October 31, 2012. Chaos and violence continue, kebabs are out, al
Qaeda is back, corruption never left Iraq, nor did US troops (despite
Beecroft's claims otherwise), we look at Benghazi, terror and more.
Save us all from the sexism. Last night, Ann
, Ava and I
weighed in on a sexist get-out-the-vote ad and I would have hoped that
lengthy piece could be it on the topic for a bit. But sexism never
ends, instead it seems to roll in with the tide.
Yesterday's snapshot noted Nussaibah Younis' "Time to Get Tough on Iraq
" (New York Times
which is an important column. And one of many important pieces of
writing Nussaibah's contributed over the years -- such as at England's Guardian
newspaper. But today Jacob Hornberger (Media With Conscience News) decides
to 'tackle' the article in the way only certain men can -- by
completely misunderstanding everything about the article and about
Nussaibah. So when Hornberger writes of Nussaibah, "He wants the U.S.
government to get tough . . ."?
sorry Hornberger, I would assume if you were someone who regularly
writes about the Middle East -- and Libertarian Hornberger frequently
does -- that you'd know a few things. One thing you might know, for
example, is that Nussaibah -- which has a variety of spellings -- is one
of the oldest female names in Arabic culture. Yeah, Nussaibah Younis,
the "he" Hornberger is raging against is actually a she.
If you doubt it, you can check out her profile at the Guardian
or her Twitter feed
She is not a man and it's telling that when Hornberger encounters a
name that he clearly doesn't recognize, his factory setting is to
automatically assume it's a man.
sorry Jacob Hornberger is so uninformed. I'm sorry that he's unaware
that Nouri is not the near Ghandi Hornberger wants him to be. (Ghandi
didn't run secret torture chambers.) Most of all, I'm sorry he's so
foolish. Throughout his column, he yammers away about how this is
'democracy' and now the Americans object. No, democracy is not Nouri.
Nouri was not the choice of the Iraqi voter. Iraqiya beat Nouri's State
of Law. There should have been no second term for Nouri. But the
White House wanted Nouri to have a second term.
John Barry observes in "'The Engame' Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq
" (Daily Beast
Washington has little political and no military influence
over these developments [in Iraq]. As Michael Gordon and Bernard
Trainor charge in their ambitious new history of the Iraq war, The Endgame,
Obama's administration sacrificed political influence by failing in
2010 to insist that the results of Iraq's first proper election be
honored: "When the Obama administration acquiesced in the questionable
judicial opinion that prevented Ayad Allawi's bloc, after it had won the
most seats in 2010, from the first attempt at forming a new government,
it undermined the prospects, however slim, for a compromise that might
have led to a genuinely inclusive and cross-sectarian government."
never heard of that, never heard of Nussaibah Younis, never heard of
Nouri's secret prisons apparently (well documented for many years now)
and, again, assumed for some reason that the journalist had to be a
man. Don't mean to give Jacob Hornberger a shock here, but women have
been journalists for many years now. Anne Newport Royall dates back to
the 1800s as a journalist, for example, and may be the first woman to
interview a sitting president (John Quincy Adams) and, of course, the
Dorothy Dix columns Elizabeth Meriweather Gilmer began writing in 1896;
Dorothy Thomas who wrote the "On the Record" column for the New York Herald Tribune
beginning in 1936 and many more. Since Nussaibah Younis wrote a column for the New York Times
, let's note Pulitzer winner Anne O'Hare McCormick who moved to the Times
in 1921 and to the paper's editorial pages in 1936. She won the
Pulitzer for foreign correspondence in 1937 for the columns she wrote. In the New York Times obituary on O'Hare McCormick (May 30, 1954), the paper noted
partisan spokesmen disagreed with the views she set down thrice weekly
in her editorial-page column "Abroad," and in her editorials on the two
other days of her work week, none ever failed to pay her tribute for
sharp reporting and "coolheaded analysis of the news."
the course of her brilliant newspaper career she became the expert the
experts looked up to. Although she had no formal, professional training
for newspaper work, she schooled herself for years before filing her
first cable. The stature of her work was such that only a year after she
joined the editorial page staff of The Times in 1936 she won the
Pulitzer Prize for foreign correspondence. She was the second woman to
receive a Pulitzer Prize in journalism.
In 2012, it should not be shocking that a woman would write a column. As Stevie Nicks
sings in "Two Kinds of Love" (written by Stevie, Rick Nowels and Rupert Hine, first appears on The Other Side of the Mirror
), "Who in the world do you think that you are fooling? Well I've already done everything that you are doing."
sexism involved is not a minor thing. The same wing of Libertarians
who insist upon seeing Nouri as the great man (emphasis on man) who will
stand up to the US government tend to be the most sexist in their
assumptions and in their remarks. There's a certain radio host, for
example, "ya'll," who twangs his undying love for Nouri based on
something other than reality. It may be sexual frustration or some
desire to act out power-struggles in the bedroom, I have no idea. But
this is not an isolated case, this happens over and over with this
sub-set of Libertarians. And they give the larger group a bad name
because many people think this is the Libertarian line on women.
In Iraq, Muhammed Abdulla (UPI) reports
that kebab shops are being shut down in the Kurdistan Regional
Government due to "uncleanliness and selling expired food." People
report not feeling it was safe to eat at the shops and one woman
explained she found mice feces in a kibab.
While the kibab shops are temporarily closed, polling stations will be opening in a few months. Al Mada reports
a date for provincial elections has been set: April 20, 2013. KUNA reports
that the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Iraq,
Martin Kobler, declared the news was welcome and "urged that civili
society organizations [. . .] encourage and highlight the participation
of all Iraqis, particularly women, in the coming elections."
Kobler's the UN's Vanna White. He can be found daily applauding anyone
who steps up to the wheel for a spin. He's got no real opinions to
express on other issues like the rampant corruption in Iraq.
corruption to corrupted trust, US Ambassador to Iraq Robert S. Beecroft
has only just started his job and already he's managed to destroy the
trust of Iraqis. As the ambassador, Beecroft is the face of America in
Iraq. In such a role, he needs to conduct himself in a manner that
instills trust. He made a fool of himself in today's news cycle as a
result of telling Alsumaria
yesterday that claims that there are US troops in Iraq are just unfounded, false rumors? Al Mada also covers
only was Moqtada al-Sadr calling last week for US forces to leave Iraq,
but Iraqis -- unlike Americans -- have read in their press in recent
weeks about US troops going to Baghdad International Airport over the
Syrian flights. They've read about US troops going to the border Iraq
shares with Syria. In addition, earlier this year, a CIA or State Dept
helicopter crashed in downtown Baghdad. Yet again, the American press
didn't care. The Iraqi press was all over it and especially over the
uniformed military -- that they identified as American troops -- that
came along in a second helicopter and resecued the people in the first.
Not only was this covered by the Iraqi media but so were the
subsequent statements by various MPs about American forces remaining in
In addition to the 200 or so that guard US embassy staff,
you have serveral hundred there as 'trainers' and assisting on weapons
In December of last year, Ted Koppel reported on how all US forces would not be leaving Iraq in a report he filed for Rock Center with Brian Williams
KOPPEL: I realize you can't go into it in any detail, but I would
assume that there is a healthy CIA mission here. I would assume that
JSOC may still be active in this country, the joint special operations.
You've got FBI here. You've got DEA here. Can, can you give me sort of
a, a menu of, of who all falls under your control?
AMB. JAMES JEFFREY: You're actually doing pretty well, were I authorized to talk about half of this stuff.
report was all but ignored by the media in the US outside of NPR (Ted
discussed it on Talk of the Nation). But it got serious attention in
September 26th, Tim Arango (New York Times) reported
and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in
the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training
missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General
Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed
to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.
With the exception of Tom Hayden's brief piece for The Nation
, this was ignored in the US press. But guess what press didn't ignore the article?
That's right, the Iraqi press.
In addition, Micah Zenko (Council on Foreign Relations) observed
this month, "The United States currently has 225 troops, 530 security
assistance team members, and over 4,000 contractors to equip and train
Iraqi security forces via the Office of Security Cooperation Iraq."
So Beecroft did a really stupid thing insisting there were no US troops in Iraq. Iraqis know better. He now looks like a liar.
And it really wasn't the day for an American to look like a liar in Iraq. All Iraq News reports
Iraqis state they have found Israeli recording devices on the F-16s the
US has supplied so far. The Iraqi Air Force leadership has sent a
letter objecting to the device to Lockheed Martin, manufacturers of the
F-16s. Fars News Agency adds
"Iraq's air force has found out Israeli company RADA has planted
information recording systems in its F-16 fighters recently purchased
from the American Lockheed Martin Company."
it heats up and the US government strives to be seen as an honest
broker, they have to do so as Beecroft made a statement that will strike
many Iraqis as ridiculous including some who will feel that the lies
continue even when the faces of the officials change.
Iraq Body Count
counts 1 police officer killed yesterday in a Hit bombing. AP reports
2 Ministry of Industry employees were shot dead today in Baghdad and 2 road construction workers were shot dead outside Mosul.
Chair Darrell Issa: On September 11, 2012, four brave Americans
serving their country were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya.
Tyrone Woods spent two decades as a Navy Seal serving multiple tours in
Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2010, he protected the American diplomatic
personnel. Tyrone leaves behind a widow and three children. Glen
Doherty, also a former Seal and an experienced paramedic, had served his
country in both Iraq and Afghanistan. His family and colleagues grieve
today for his death. Sean Smith, a communications specialist, joined
the State Dept after six years in the United States Air Force. Sean
leaves behind a widow and two young children. Ambassador Chris
Stevens, a man I had known personally during his tours, US Ambassador to
Libya, ventured into a volatile and dangerous situation as Libyans
revolted against the long time Gaddafi regime. He did so because he
believed the people of Libya wanted and deserved the same things we
have: freedom from tyranny.
US House Rep Darrell Issa speaking at the House Oversight Committee (he
is the Chair of the Committee) on October 10th. We covered the hearing
in the October 10th
and October 11th
snapshots -- a lot of people seem to 'know' what was said in that
hearing but they weren't present and their 'facts' don't fit what
unfolded in the hearing. Issa's a Republican. A lot of people want to
reduce it to Republican or Democrat. That's because a lot of people --
not the only ones -- asking questions are Republicans and a lot of
people -- not the only ones -- screaming "LOOK THE OTHER WAY!" are
e-mailed to attack what I've written and insist that I'm wrong about
what the State Dept knew and that I'm a Republican. I'm a Democrat. I
know a great deal more about what the State Dept knows than what I've
written here. What I've written here has largely been what was put
before Congress. (In the days ahead of the hearing, I probably dropped
hints. I know Elaine did a post based on our discussion about what was
going to come out in that hearing and she wrote it the night before the
hearing. I assume that I probably dropped hints in entries here about
what was coming out.) Because you don't know something, that doesn't
mean you scream, "Liar!" I could care less what anyone thinks about
me (I'm not campaigning for office and, as noted before, I function best
in situations where I'm not loved). But you've had ample time to find
out what was said in the hearing. The hearing should be archived and up
at the House Oversight Committee's webpage so you should be able to
stream it. You may not like what the State Dept witnesses said but that
doesn't mean that they said it.
As for my position being 'Republican' or something surprising, go back to July 26th. I wrote "The threat against the US and the failure of 'trusted voices'
The Islamic State of Iraq issued a threat to the American people and
most US outlets didn't even report it. Those who alluded to it later on
called it "al Qaeda in Iraq." Strange that a group linked to al Qaeda
in Iraq can be called "al Qaeda" but the Benghazi suspects who are
linked to al Qaeda? Scotty Shane and other 'reporters' want to draw a
line there. to insist, 'Don't call them al Qaeda!' -- while their own
outlets refuse to use the term "Islamic State of Iraq" and instead call
that "al Qaeda"? Oh, yeah, let's pretend not to notice the hypocrisy
there. In the July 26th entry, I wrote the following:
at how the US press is failing. There may be a threat to the US on
domestic shores coming out of Iraq. (There may not be.) And the tape
was released Sunday. Where's the network television coverge. At least
Bennett and the Los Angeles Times covered the hearing. (And the
Tribune is syndicating the story so you'll read it in various newspapers
across the country.) But where are the other news outlets doing their
And where is their inernational news coverage?
the crap ass, Carrie Nations, rush to the scene of natural disaster and
shed a few crocodile tears and wail "Oh, the humanity!" b.s. that the
press specializes in but the real reporting that they were supposed to
be doing, that they were supposed to return to, after 9/11. Remember
the 'never again' nonsense? Remember how they were going to return to
Maybe they did, after all the roots of American journalism are tabloid journalism.
there's another attack on US shores, the 'winners' are the
conservatives in Iraq because, in their periodicals, they never forget
the potential of another terrorist threat. Should one be executed on US
soil, they will have 'bragging rights' and be on the ground ready to
discuss what happened, to explain how they had already been covering it
and everyone else will largely be scrambling. So who controls the
narrative in that situation?
The right-wing. And that is disgusting
because it demonstrates that the left has not learned one damn thing
from 9-11. Who do we have that can speak as an authority if an attack
happened at noon today? Who at the opinion journals cover this? No
one. The Nation can offer one useless piece of crap every two
weeks but can't do a piece on safety and, as everyone should avhe
realized after 9-11, a sense of safety is as important in the US as it
is anywhere else.
The wallowing in fear after 9-11 allowed so much
that is currently wrong with our country to take place. That especially
includes the PATRIOT Act and the rounding up of Muslims. But there has
been so much more. And yet, on the left, we'd rather waste our space
-- our limited space -- on some nonsense like lies about the death of a
dog on a family vacation (I'm referring to the nonsense about Mitt
Romney's dog -- nonsense that invaded the Senate yesterday) than address
The left really needs to grow the hell up and grasp
that if terrorist attack in the US, the vast majority of Americans --
who don't fall into the left or right holding tanks -- are going to be
in front of their TVs attempting to find out what's going on and
they're not going to take seriously the musings of a 'Mad Professor' (to
name one of many worthless Nation magazine columns) or the pith
of the MSNBC no-stars. In fact, they're going to remember all the
stupid jokes the MSNBC 'anchors' (talk show hosts) have wasted
everyone's time on when they could have been addressing reality. I'm
referring to the evening and prime time MSNBC shows. I'm not talking
about, for example, Andrea Mitchell's show. Andrea is a news reporter and usually knows what's actually news as opposed to what's the hype of the week. But the rest?
You discredit yourself daily by being unable or unwilling to do anything other than pose as the latest Comedy Central hire.
was two months before Benghazi. I think my position was very clear.
And I'm not an authority on the topic but by default I have become one
of the main left voices. Ruth's another. I don't think Larry Johnson
identifies as left (No Quarter). If he does, he's certainly more
knowledgable on the topic than I am. But these are serious issues and
for all the money wasted on non-think tanks for the left, we don't have
people stepping up and addressing the serious issues. I cannot be the
left voice against terrorism. We're all in trouble if that comes to
pass. But I can and have pointed out it is past time that voices step
up in this area.
what I said was going to happen has. We've got smarmy little MSNBC
hosts offering snark and being pompous. And Americans wants answers.
They see the right wing asking questions. They see the left dimissing
it. It's time for left leadership on this issue, there is none
currently. Dismissing it and attacking the right for asking questions
or leveling charges is not addressing the topic. It is a serious topic,
it goes to all of our safety. We can be snarky and bitchy and
useless. But you damn well better get it through your head just once,
if we were better prepared on the left on September 10, 2001, the fear
mongering wouldn't have worked, the PATRIOT Act wouldn't have been
pushed through (by Democrats and Republicans) because we would learn to
talk seriously about terrorism and its dangers in a manner that offered
perspective and information, not fear and fright. Fear and fright is
what drove the country into the mess that it has still not emerged
from. So all you idiots who think snark and hypocrisy is going give you
'pull' with viewers if and when there's another 9-11 on US soil, you
better think again because all you're doing is saying to the American
people -- over and over -- "I'm too stupid to discuss serious, weighty
issues like this. But let me offer some snark and let's giggle."
I've covered Benghazi seriously. If I can do it, anyone should be able to.
Eternal failed candidate for public office James P. Thurber Jr. (Mercury News) wants everyone lining up behind Barack
He leaves out that he's a Democrat who's run for public office
(repeatedly -- always a failed campaign, one of the biggest jokes coming
out of California from either major party). Thank you, Thurber, for
that totalarian message. I'm sure that Republicans will pull out this
nonsense at some point in the future to justify whatever Republican
president wants. In the meantime, on the left, we're not supposed to be
marching behind anyone. We're supposed to be citizens in a democracy
who demand sunlight and transparency. Think Progress likes to pretend
it's left, but it's just a schill for the Democratic Party. Always
remember, Congressional Democrats were exploring impeaching Bully Boy
Bush ahead of the invasion of Iraq. Think Progress is part of the Center
for American Progress whose first President and CEO was John Podesta.
Podesta's the one who threw the fit when Ramsey Clark and others were
explaining how to go about impeachment if Bush insisted upon invading
Iraq. Podesta went nuts and started screaming that impeachment could
not happen, it would hurt election efforts! Podesta went nuts when asked
if Iraqi lives mattered at all and declared that his concern was
getting Democrats into public office. In other words, there are no
ethics for the Center for American Progress or for Think Progress. They
are whores. Complete whores. And they have blood on their hands,
the blood of the Iraqi people.
With that in mind, Hayes Brown posts
video of and offers praise for Condi Rice. She thinks people need to
wait and see what investigations find out. It's a "reasoned response,"
Hayes Brown wants you to know.
no such thing. And shame on Brown. One of the few illuminating
moments of the public testimony that the 9-11 Commission recieved was
when Condi Rice appeared before them and played her "No one could have
guessed" card yet again. No one could have guessed that terrorists
would hijack jets and fly them into a building. No one could have
known, Condi insisted covering her own ass (she was National Security
Adviser at the time of the attacks). After she had sung that tired song
several times too many, Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste asked her if
she recalled the title of the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily
Briefing. Condi infamously responded, "I believe the title was 'Bin
Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States'."
No surprise, she was wrong even on that: Title was "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside the US
Condi is the last one anyone should cite on topics of terrorism and the
public's right to know. Think Progress cites her because they're
playing politics. To them, this is just about making sure Barack
doesn't face any tough questions.
Leaving partisans (Thurber) and a partisan site (Think Progress
) for a real media site by a journalist who stirves to be objective, Rachel Manteuffel of the Washington Post
your little tirade does no one any good. It didn't reach comical. It
certainly wasn't factual. No one who regularly reads the Washington Post
can claim that the paper has ignored Benghazi or refused to call it a terrorist attack. That 'honor' would go to PBS' The NewsHour
(refer to Ruth
many posts on that, she monitored it repeatedly). But are people
asking what you imply they are as you try to be funny? Or are they
saying, "Yes, there's been Benghazi coverage but it's been dismissive
and unquestioning." If it's the latter, I know the circulation figures
and the Post
can't afford to run off any readers -- online or
in print. So if it's the latter, you might try leaving stand up to
comedians and actually addressing what criticisms the e-mails and phone
messages are making. For the record, my opinion, the Post
done a better job of covering this issue than any daily newspaper.
Manteuffel should have been able to have made that case with examples
but she was too busy writing a column that was beneath her and
attempting to be humorous when she should have been doing the job she
was hired for. And if that assessment hurts feelings at the
newspapers, sorry but I didn't get out of bed this morning to kiss
boo-boos and make everything all better.
I end my comments I have some suggestions for those who seek to exploit
the ambassador's death for political purposes. First of all they should
heed the admonitions of Stevens' parents: The attempts to "place blame
are unproductive" and the blatant attempts to exploit the ambassadors
death are "abhorrent." We all would be better off if we returned to the
bygone ethic of past leaders who sought to unite our nation on issues of
foreign policy, not divide it. I hope, if nothing else, these tragic
events make those exploitative voices reconsider their efforts to
diminish the amount of resources our country commits to its foreign
justice is blind. Which is how an idiot writes 19 paragraphs on Chris
Stevens and the tragedy. You know what, it was a tragedy for Glen
Doherty as well -- but the dumb ass judge doesn't mention Glen. It was a
tragedy for Tyrone Woods -- again, someone the judge never makes time
to mention. It was a tragedy for Sean Smith -- yes, he's another
ignored by the judge.
Betty addressed this issue last night
with another idiot. Don't think Americans don't see what happens
before their eyes. You show up with bad columns filled with Chris
Stevens. You use him as a club to silence others while pretending you
care about what happened last month.
if you cared, it takes only a few seconds to type the names: Glen
Doherty, Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods. Those three man died in the
attacks. It wasn't just Chris Stevens. And America knows that and when
they watch you render invisible those three men, they know you're full
of s**t and that you're the one playing politics because if you honestly
gave a damn, no one would ever be pointing out that you refuse to name
all four of the victims.
Dumb Ass in the Robe wants you to listen to the parent of the fallen.
As long as the parent is Chris Stevens. Don't listen to Charles Woods
who feels the government is lying to him about what happened to his son
Tyrone. Don't listen to Pat Smith who feels the White House has refused
to give her an honest answer about what happened to her son Sean. And
certainly don't listen to Sean's father Ryan Smith who becomes the
latest parent to speak out today. Tara Dodrill (Inquisitr) reports
The grieving father is also a former US Marine. He wants the Obama administration to explain what happened at Benghazi and why multiple calls for help were denied, according to WTSP News. Ryan Smith had this to say during an interview with the news station:
haven't done anything. My son and them dialed 911 for help and they
wouldn't help them. I want whoever did this, whoever didn't answer their
phone, I want them brought to justice too. He was murdered. He was
murdered. I want them to get the people who did this."
contacted Florida Representative C.W. Bill Young and asked for help
getting answers to his questions. Young reportedly became a willing ally
in the father's struggle to garner more information.
of course, Ryan Smith doesn't matter. Pat Smith doesn't matter.
Charles Woods doesn't matter. Because their sons are rendered "three
other people" when the press writes yet another piece about Chris
Stevens. Don't think the American people don't notice the way Tyrone
Woods, Sean Smith and Glen Doherty are ignored -- not even mentioned by
name -- in article after article pretending to be about the Benghazi
Americans died in the September 11, 2012 attack. Chris Stevens' death
is no more tragic and no more upsetting than the deaths of Glen Doherty,
Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods. And all four were killed because they
were Americans. This was a terrorist attack. It has national security
implications. There is no need for Americans to sit silently on the
sidelines and pretend that -- for the first time ever -- the government
is going to function just fine without any citizen oversight. Questions
are being asked because they need to be.