Celebrations broke out at the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and other operation centers around the world when the New Horizons spacecraft re-established communications at 8:52:37 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) last night after its successful flyby of Pluto, the most distant object in the solar system to be visited by a space probe.
This photo was taken on 13 July 2015 when the spacecraft was 768,000 kilometers from Pluto's surface. The heart shape is likely the result of geological activity in Pluto's history. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRIAfter the first dazzling close-up photograph sent Tuesday morning, as the spacecraft began its closest approach to the dwarf planet, New Horizons was silent, its instruments turned to Pluto, gathering more and better data in a few hours than in the entire previous history of astronomical observation of that body. Once the spacecraft resumed communications to Earth, it began relaying that data home. Initial imagery from the close approach is expected to be released in the coming days.
In 1962, the spacecraft Mariner 2 performed the first successful planetary encounter as it flew past Venus, marking the beginning of planetary exploration. In the subsequent 27 years, a series of robotic probes were sent to every planet in the solar system, from Mercury to Neptune, revealing worlds of unimagined complexity, character and beauty. More than a quarter century later, New Horizons has continued that journey with the exploration of fundamentally new terrain: Pluto and its system of moons.
New Horizons was launched nine and half years ago and has an estimated cost of $650 million (less than a single B-2 stealth bomber). To get to Pluto as fast as possible, the spacecraft was launched aboard an Atlas V rocket directly into a solar system escape trajectory, going at approximately 16.5 kilometers per second relative to Earth. To further shorten the journey, it used Jupiter’s gravity to slingshot it, increasing the velocity by 4 kilometers per second and shortening the voyage to Pluto by three years.
I'm so glad WSWS covered it.
A) Their perspective needs to be out there on this issue.
B) There is so little coverage of science, let alone space exploration.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
The day begins in Iraq with news of a Friday night truck bombing resulting in massive deaths and injuries.
How big is "massive"?
The bombing took place no where Baghdad but it's getting western press coverage, that's how "massive."
Scott Neuman (NPR) notes the Diyala Province bombing has left "at least 11 people" dead and that "Susannah George, reporting for NPR from Iraq, says amateur video shows dazed civilians wandering through destroyed streets and buildings." Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) points out that this is "one of the deadliest single attacks in the country in the past decade."
What's going on?
All that happened when the assault began on Anbar is the violence spread elsewhere. Consider Falluja the middle of a tube of tooth paste. Nouri putting the thumb in the middle of the tube did not make the toothpaste disappear, it only made it increase in opposite ends.
You probably think I wrote that today or this week when the (latest) assault on Anbar began.
That's from February 21, 2014.
When is anyone going to wake the hell up?
I am not the smartest person in the room and never will be.
This week the so-called Center for American Progress offered more useless garbage about Iraq and trying to defend Barack.
There's no defense.
There is experience and there is knowledge.
We have explained the toothpaste metaphor over. I believe the most recent time was April 25th. Equally true, Gen Martin Dempsey picked it up and used it when testifying before Congress this month.
When he did, I thought about including it here. But then I thought, "Am I patting myself on the back?" So we avoided it here.
We can't avoid it anymore.
The United States needs to start paying attention and stop whoring.
Whoring for Bully Boy Bush didn't help Iraq.
Whoring for Barack Obama doesn't help Iraq.
Take your mouth off the cock of which ever of the two men you're in love with and worship and stop your whoring.
(Although some, like Andrew Sullivan, managed to worship and whore for both men.)
If you want a military approach to Iraq -- I do not -- you need to grasp that Barack and Haider al-Abadi's strategy or 'strategy' or plan or 'plan' is doomed.
It does not work.
Even by military standards it will not work.
If you want a military approach to Iraq's political crises, then what you want is not 'degrade and destroy' -- which are two bulls**t terms used to trick the American people -- many of whom want to be tricked, let's be honest.
The two terms are "clear and hold."
That's the military strategy that needs to be carried out in Iraq.
You do not defeat (militarily) an 'enemy' in an area by jumping here (Tikrit) and then there (Ramadi) and then many miles over there and then many miles over here.
If you're trying to defeat an enemy in the borders of country, a state, a province, whatever, you are doing clear and hold.
You are starting from point X and you are methodically working to the next point.
So if we're in California, for example, we don't clear Los Angeles and then jump tons of miles over to Monterey.
If you made Los Angeles your starting point, you would immediately send troops into Ventura and Kern and Orange and San Bernadino because each of those counties border Los Angeles (while keeping forces in Los Angels county to ensure that it is 'held').
You would take Los Angeles county and then grab the immediate surroundings ones -- this is clear and hold.
Once you had secured those counties, you would continue to work outwards.
When you instead, grab Los Angeles county and then jump miles and miles and miles to the north to grab San Francisco, you accomplish nothing. Between the two you have San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, Merced, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, etc., etc.
So if you retake Los Angeles and then jump to San Francisco, all those areas between the two? That's where the 'enemy' will flood to.
That's the point of the toothpaste analogy. You're just pressing on one point of the tube and the toothpaste is just spreading elsewhere in the tube.
(To be successful, you would need to work from the closed end of the toothpaste tube all the way across -- squeezing all the toothpaste out as you do -- to the nozzle.)
This is not working militarily -- the current approach in Iraq -- and it will never work. You can't do Tikrit in northern Iraq and then jump down to Ramadi.
Clear and hold.
That's basically door to door.
And once you clear one area, you need to hold it.
And you send additional forces into the bordering area and clear and hold that. And you do that over and over, working through the country.
That's the only way the approach works from a military stand point.
From a military stand point, the current effort (whatever you want to call it -- plan, strategy, whatever) is a failure and will continue to be a failure.
I don't support a military approach to the problems. Maybe other Americans will. That's fine, it's a democracy. If they do support it, I'll still be a voice opposed to it (that's also democracy).
But if you're going to do a military approach, you need to do one that could accomplish something and not one -- the one Barack and Haider al-Abadi are ordering -- that will never accomplish anything.
Jumping from Tikrit to Ramadi just means the Islamic State moves all over in all directions.
You're not 'herding' them by doing a clear and hold.
You're allowing them to set up multiple bases wherever they want.
The current approach is not methodical and it's insane from a military stand point.
(And, yes, the Pentagon knows that. That's why they don't like the approach.)
I say it won't work. Even clear and hold, I say, won't work.
That's my opinion.
What am I basing it on?
I'm basing it on we saw the Islamic State coming.
We warned it was coming, we warned this was where Iraq was headed and we started that warning back in 2010 and got louder and louder until 2012 when we were no longer saying this could happen but saying it would happen.
Because I'm a genius?
No, because I studied revolution, rebellion and resistance in grad school.
Do they still offer those courses all these years later?
I don't know.
But I emphasized campaign politics and Latin America for my underground poli sci work and I went with political theory for my grad school work.
And it boils down to: People can only take so much.
In Iraq, in 2010, an election was held. There was all sorts of efforts by Nouri al-Maliki to suppress the vote in Sunni areas. There were polling stations in Sunni areas that never opened. There were ones that the so-called independent electoral commission was able to get opened by noon. Sunnis overwhelmingly were told -- when they did get to an open polling station -- that they couldn't vote there and had to travel to X to vote.
Even with this and other dirty tricks -- Sunni politicians were stricken from the ballot -- this includes Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq (who took to Al Jazeera's Inside Iraq to denounce this effort many times ahead of the March election) -- Nouri's State of Law did not win the election.
Iraqiya -- headed by Ayad Allawi and also representing Saleh al-Mutlaq and Osama al-Nujaifi, among others -- won.
This was huge.
This was a breakthrough.
Iraqiya did not win by Sunni votes.
It won with a cross-section of support from Iraq's various sects.
It was the Iraqi voters saying -- as they began to say in 2009's provincial elections -- that they wanted a national identity.
The sectarian approach -- imposed on Iraq by the US government -- had been a clear failure and had only served to divide Iraq.
The voters rejected it.
They went with Iraqiya -- which was a party that welcomed all Iraqis. Yes, Saleh and Osama were Sunni. Ayad Allawi was Shi'ite.
They also welcomed women -- a big deal in Iraq after the US-led invasion destroyed women's rights.
In the years after the vote, Maysoun Damalouji became one of the most cited individuals in the Iraqi media. She was the most cited woman. And she was probably in the top ten period. She was the spokesperson for Iraqiya.
That's an accomplishment that only Iraqiya had -- they brought women into the national dialogue, they forced the media to acknowledge women -- not in those ridiculous 'beauty' features some Iraqi media features but as participants in Iraq's society.
That's why Iraqiya had the support it did in 2010.
It represented a way forward for the country.
And that's why it came in first.
But Barack Obama chose to ignore the Iraqi voters.
Nouri al-Maliki did not want to step down as prime minister. (Bully Boy Bush installed him as prime minister in the spring of 2006.)
He wanted a second term.
And instead of the US insisting that Nouri step down and that the vote be honored, they backed him.
So for eight months, it was a standstill Iraq -- this is the political stalemate.
Nouri refused to step down and Parliament wasn't meeting to address issues.
With Chris Hill, Samantha Power and others insisting that Nouri was the only way (he would, they insisted, allow US troops to remain in Iraq after the end of 2011), Barack ordered US officials in Iraq to bypass the vote (and the Constitution) via a legal contract.
This is The Erbil Agreement.
It's what Patrick Cockburn and all the other liars ignore.
They tell the lie that Iran was responsible for Nouri's second term.
It's a cute lie and it absolves Barack of any blame.
But it was The Erbil Agreement.
Some lazy know-nothing is going to e-mail the public e-mail account insisting that's not true and they know it because they watch MSNBC.
So let's note this:
▼ 11/07 - 11/14 (20)
- Plenty of drama but no prime minister
- Deployments, PTSD
- Iraq snapshot
- Lying can make you very popular
- The burn pits
- I Hate The War
- Iraq snapshot
- Targeting Iraqi Christians, Beggar Media silencing...
- Veterans Day
- Iraq snapshot
- The Iraq 'withdrawal'
- New wave of attacks target Iraqi Christians
- Iraq snapshot
- Well look what Bobby Gates is saying
- The assault on Iraqi Christians
- Iraq snapshot
- 8 months without a government
- Veterans issues
- And the war drags on . . .
- Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "MSNBC's Boldes...
That's the week that mattered, know-nothings.
That's the week.
In October 2010, Patrick Cockburn insists (lies), Iran resolved the issue and Nouri was prime minister.
As we explain in an entry in one of the above (I'm really tired of spoon feeding, can you tell?):
March 7th , Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The Guardian's editorial board noted in August, "These elections were hailed prematurely by Mr Obama as a success, but everything that has happened since has surely doused that optimism in a cold shower of reality." 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. November 10th a power sharing deal resulted in the Parliament meeting for the second time and voting in a Speaker. And then Iraqiya felt double crossed on the deal and the bulk of their members stormed out of the Parliament. David Ignatius (Washington Post) explains, "The fragility of the coalition was dramatically obvious Thursday as members of the Iraqiya party, which represents Sunnis, walked out of Parliament, claiming that they were already being double-crossed by Maliki. Iraqi politics is always an exercise in brinkmanship, and the compromises unfortunately remain of the save-your-neck variety, rather than reflecting a deeper accord. " After that, Jalal Talabani was voted President of Iraq. Talabani then named Nouri as the prime minister-delegate. If Nouri can meet the conditions outlined in Article 76 of the Constitution (basically nominate ministers for each council and have Parliament vote to approve each one with a minimum of 163 votes each time and to vote for his council program) within thirty days, he becomes the prime minister. If not, Talabani must name another prime minister-delegate. . In 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister-delegate. It took eight months and two days to name Nouri as prime minister-delegate. His first go-round, on April 22, 2006, his thirty day limit kicked in. May 20, 2006, he announced his cabinet -- sort of. Sort of because he didn't nominate a Minister of Defense, a Minister of Interior and a Minister of a Natioanl Security. This was accomplished, John F. Burns wrote in "For Some, a Last, Best Hope for U.S. Efforts in Iraq" (New York Times), only with via "muscular" assistance from the Bush White House. Nouri declared he would be the Interior Ministry temporarily. Temporarily lasted until June 8, 2006. This was when the US was able to strong-arm, when they'd knocked out the other choice for prime minister (Ibrahim al-Jaafari) to install puppet Nouri and when they had over 100,000 troops on the ground in Iraq. Nouri had no competition. That's very different from today. The Constitution is very clear and it is doubtful his opponents -- including within his own alliance -- will look the other way if he can't fill all the posts in 30 days. As Leila Fadel (Washington Post) observes, "With the three top slots resolved, Maliki will now begin to distribute ministries and other top jobs, a process that has the potential to be as divisive as the initial phase of government formation." Jane Arraf (Christian Science Monitor) points out, "Maliki now has 30 days to decide on cabinet posts - some of which will likely go to Iraqiya - and put together a full government. His governing coalition owes part of its existence to followers of hard-line cleric Muqtada al Sadr, leading Sunnis and others to believe that his government will be indebted to Iran." The stalemate ends when the country has a prime minister. It is now eight months, four days and counting.
The power-sharing agreement is The Erbil Agreement.
One day after it it is signed (November 10th), the Parliament finally meets (November 11th). (There was a do-nothing meet-up in the late spring of 2010. They didn't carry out their duties then due to the political stalemate.)
The Erbil Agreement was brokered by the US government.
This is how they sold to the various political leaders in Iraq: Look, it's about 8 months and the countries not moving forward because Nouri refuses to step down. He could do this for another 8 months. Be the bigger person here, do what's right for Iraq. Let's just let him have a second term as prime minister so we can move things forward. Now in exchange, we'll get the things that the voters you represent want. And we'll make this legally binding by putting it into a contract that has the full support and backing of the White House.'
So the Kurds, for example, demanded (among other things) that the contract include Article 150 of the Constitution be implemented.
This was insanity as I've said over and over.
The Constitution itself demanded Nouri implement Article 150 by the end of 2007.
If he refused to do so when the Constitution of Iraq demanded he do so, why the hell would you think a legal contract brokered by the US government would now force him to do what he'd refused to for his entire first term?
The Kurds weren't the only insane ones.
By 2010, when had Nouri ever kept his word?
In 2007, for example, he agreed to meet the White House benchmarks.
Those were going to determine whether or not the Iraq War continued to be funded by Congress, remember? Give them the tools to measure 'progress' in Iraq.
He never did.
Not in 2007.
Not in 2008.
And by 2009, cheap whores in Congress (we mean you, Barbara Lee) no longer cared because Barack Obama was now in the Oval Office.
So Ayad Allawi, for example, per The Erbil Agreement, was going to head an independent national security commission.
And he foolishly believed that would happen.
Until November 11, 2010 when the Parliament met and Nouri announced . . . that Erbil Agreement? He was going to need to put in hold.
He'd implement it, sure, absolutely, but it was going to take a little time.
Allawi walked out of Parliament with the bulk of Iraqiya.
And Barack called Ayad and begged him to go back in and swore to him that The Erbil Agreement was a legally binding document and had the full support of the White House.
Because the President of the United States personally gave his word, Allawi went back in.
Biggest mistake he ever made.
There was no power-sharing government.
(And Nouri refused to nominate anyone to head the security ministries because he was staging a power grab and wanted to control them.*)
In January of 2011, small protests began breaking out in Iraq.
This was ahead of the Arab Spring or 'Arab Spring.
They wanted a power-sharing government.
I'm guessing because of the whorish manner of the US press that they ignored those protests to protect the administration.
The general rule -- especially true at the New York Times -- is foreign coverage is dictated by foreign policy conveyed by the US State Dept.
The protests became bigger in February.
By then the US press was enthralled by the Arab Spring.
They loved Egypt, for example.
They weren't interested in Iraq.
But Nouri knew he was in trouble and he declared a number of things including (a) he would not seek a third term as prime minister, (b) he would implement the power-sharing agreement (The Erbil Agreement) and (c) give him 100 days -- stop protesting and give him 100 days -- and he would end government corruption.
He didn't do any of those things.
He just wanted protesters off the street, fearful of the impact they might have.
So you have the Iraqi voter expressing their intent at the ballot box.
And you have their will and intention over turned (by a foreign leader -- Barack).
They now have their elected reps who can possibly address the situation.
And that's what their reps try to do.
Beginning in the summer of 2011, the Kurds, Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr, Iraqiya and others begin demanding that Nouri implement the power-sharing agreement (the one he signed off on, the legal contract, in order to get a second term as prime minister).
And he refuses.
And here's what Barack dummies up and he, the White House and the State Dept act like they never heard of The Erbil Agreement, let alone negotiated it, let alone gave Ayad Allawi a promise that it was legally binding and had the full backing of the President of the United States.
Not only did Nouri ignore the calls to implement it, he had his spokesperson float to the Iraqi media that the contract was illegal so Nouri wouldn't be bound by it.
That's when, at the start of 2012, there is a move towards removing Nouri from office.
It moves slowly with many hoping that just floating the idea will scare Nouri enough so that he will implement The Erbil Agreement.
It doesn't happen.
Small meetings in March quickly turn into public meetings in April.
Throughout, Moqtada al-Sadr says publicly that Nouri can end this process to move towards a vote of no-confidence in Parliament by implementing The Erbil Agreement.
He makes no so move.
In May, the needed signatures are gathered (actually more than needed) on a petition. The MPs are glad to sign off because all the groups were promised things in The Erbil Agreement and no one's getting any of it.
So as May 2012 draws to a close, it's time for the vote in Parliament.
The petition goes to then-President Jalal Talabani whose sole role in this is to present it to Parliament -- it's a ceremonial role.
But under pressure from the US government (this is Barack again, not Bully Boy Bush), Talabani suddenly declares that he has to vet the signatures.
Eye brows are raised over this, it's not his role, but no one objects.
Vet the signatures?
Sure, let him speak to each Member of Parliament that signed the petition and make sure that they signed it.
Where's the harm?
Jalal quickly announces that some people admitted they signed the petition but -- he says -- they say they wouldn't sign it today.
So he's not submitting the petition.
And, oh, by the way, he's got to have emergency, life necessary surgery so he's leaving for Germany immediately.
You better believe that lying coward fled immediately.
There's no, "I won't take back my signature."
If you've changed your mind, you just change how you'd vote when the no-confidence vote is held.
You're not able to remove your signature after you sign the petition.
That lying, fat ass Jalal Talabani -- doing the work of the US government -- created a role that didn't exist and did so to kill the no-confidence vote.
If you're a religious person, this might be where you insert, "God don't like ugly."
I call it karma, you can call it whatever you want.
But Jalal fled the country like the lying coward that he was. He actually had elective knee surgery -- there was no danger to his life. He lied and he left the country to avoid fall out for what he did.
But here's where karma or a Higher Power or whatever kicks in.
Nouri remained in power. In December of 2012, Nouri and Jalal got into a rage-fest in Jalal's office.
Jalal suffered a stroke.
He ended up in Germany for 18 months.
He lied in May of 2012 that he needed to have surgery to save his life.
And in December 2012, he got a life altering event.
Fat ass Jalal still can't face the Iraqi people. Even now, he does not have control of his body or his speech.
He will never recover from this stroke -- brought on, again, by his face-to-face December 2012 rage-fest with Nouri al-Maliki.
That may be the only justice that Iraq's seen since the US-led invasion of 2003.
The Iraqi citizen has seen their vote trashed (by Barack). They've seen their representatives attempt to seek redress by following the Constitution and -- with Jalal doing Barack's bidding -- that didn't happen either.
This is when the people take to the streets.
They begin protesting and the protests last for over a year.
Nouri responds by attacking the protesters.
He calls them "terrorists."
He has them followed.
He has them arrested.
He has them beaten.
He has them killed.
Most of that is done away from the protest areas.
Then comes the killings at the protest areas.
The most infamous one?
The April 23, 2013 massacre of a sit-in in Hawija resulted from Nouri's federal forces storming in. Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk) announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault. AFP reported 53 dead -- indicating that some of the wounded did not recover. UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).
Now this freaked out the State Dept (see the archives and it's the Sunday before the massacre where I note speaking to the State Dept about what was taking place in Hawija and how they were concerned).
But nobody did anything to help the Iraqi people.
And publicly the State Dept insisted there would be an investigation (there never was) and the results would be released (nope) while acting as if there was a good chance that the dead killed themselves or were responsible for their own deaths due to taking part in a peaceful sit-in.
That could have been enough to set Iraq on fire.
In some countries, it would have been.
But the protests (peaceful) continued.
Let's note this because it's very important: The Iraqi people were awesome. They showed true belief in their country and in a process (democratic or whatever) that would lead to a better Iraq.
They didn't give up when their vote was stolen.
They didn't give up when their representatives were ignored (or arrested).
They didn't give up when their peaceful protests led to them being killed.
They believed in a better Iraq and were trying desperately to work towards that.
But they repeatedly were cut off at the knees by Barack Obama and his administration which either stole their vote, overturned the actions of their representatives or looked the other way as the US-installed Nouri al-Maliki terrorized them.
Many people share blame and fault in the events that led up to the current crises in Iraq but the Iraqi people deserve applause for their patience, for their beliefs and for their willingness to work for a better future.
If at any point, the White House had taken a moment to recognize what was going on with the people of Iraq and to appreciate that, today's crises might not be taking place.
Instead, in January of 2014, the US looked the other way as Nouri began burning down protest areas.
And the Islamic State -- which had largely concerned itself with prison breaks but had warned that if the Iraqi people were attacked, they would step forward -- became the presence it is today.
A persecuted people, the Sunnis, had a protector.
That's the role the Islamic State sees itself in.
You may not see that. I don't happen to agree that they are that.
But at last, someone was able to defend the Sunni people.
It wasn't the United States government.
In fact, all Barack's done is piss on Sunni Arabs, let's be clear on that -- because they are -- they are very clear on that in Arabic social media.
The Yazidis -- a religious faith that worships a god and is tied to the archangel expelled from heaven or something -- end up trapped on a mountain top. Instead of merely sending food and rations, Barack responds with a new wave of war (this is last summer).
But Sunni civilians in Falluja are bombed starting in January of 2014 (under Nouri) and it continues to this day (under Haider al-Abadi) and Barack doesn't give a damn.
One group is trapped on a mountain and 'we must rush into war.'
Another group is being bombed by the Iraqi government -- this is a War Crime -- and Barack doesn't do one damn thing.
You can worship him, you can bury your nose in his pubes and pretends that he is Mr. Peace all you want but the facts don't bear you out and you are as ridiculous as those who worshiped (and some continue to) Bully Boy Bush.
Today in Iraq, some Sunnis support the Islamic State, some see the issue as a fight between the Shi'ite government out of Baghdad and the Islamic State.
Idiots like Joel Wing who blog with one hand on the keyboard and one hand down their pants try to pretend that Nouri didn't create this situation.
He damn well did.
And if you check the archives or just Google "the common ills prison break," you will see that long before the Islamic State rose, we were talking here about this exact same thing.
We were noting that the prison breaks, where people escaped (usually via the Islamic State) and then couldn't be found?
It was because these were Sunni areas.
And the Sunnis saw Nouri's government suppressing them and took the positions of (a) good for the breakouts or (b) this isn't my dance, this is between them, the government does nothing but persecute me, I'm not supporting it.
And the government did.
Sunnis were rounded up and tossed in prisons and jails.
They were denied a legal system.
There were either no arrest warrants in most cases or the warrants weren't for who was taken in.
On the latter, Iraqi forces would go to a home to arrest, pulling a name out of thin air here, Mohammed Hamadi. Mohammed is not home.
But his mother is.
Or his wife.
Or his son.
Or whatever relative.
That relative is not wanted for anything.
But that relative (or relatives) gets arrested and hauled off to prison.
Americans have had the luxury -- via a whorish press -- of looking the other way on Iraq once Bully Boy Bush left the Oval Office.
But just because Americans averted their eyes does not mean that in 2009 Iraq became a land of milk and honey, let alone one of social justice.
June 11, 2014, Barack said that Iraq needed a political solution to the crises.
He was right then.
But he's done nothing to assist with that.
There is no military solution to Iraq (again, Barack's said that himself).
The only answer, the only way to defeat the Islamic State, is to make the Iraqi government inclusive, to end the persecution of the Sunni civilians.
It is now a year since Barack recognized publicly that reality.
And yet the White House and the State Dept haven't done a damn thing.
Even Nouri felt the pressure -- when the beatings and rapes of Sunni women and girls tossed in Iraqi prisons was revealed and then confirmed by the Iraqi Parliament -- to do a for-show release.
Haider al-Abadi hasn't even done that.
All he's offered the Sunnis was on September 13, 2014, he acknowledged that bombing civilians in Falluja was wrong (he did not call it a War Crime, though it is). He then stated that these bombings were no more on his orders.
But September 14th came and despite his (heavily reported) remarks, the bombings of Falluja's residential neighborhoods continue.
Where's the change?
There is no military solution in Iraq, in my opinion. (And in Barack's opinion when he's forced to comment on it.)
You can disagree.
And that's fine and we can debate and we can discuss it and we can offer our examples and supporting evidence and blah blah blah.
But I do draw the line on the military aspect.
Clear and hold is the only thing that works from a military stand point (I don't think it works at all, I think it breeds further hostilities but that's my opinion).
From a military stand point, it works.
This nonsense of "degrade and destroy" which translates at, 'This month we take on Tikrit. And then, a month or so later, we'll move over 110 miles and go after Ramadi'?
That's insane from a military stand point.
You 'clear and hold' if that is your objective.
If you're bouncing around here, there and everywhere, you're not accomplishing a damn thing except allowing the Islamic State to spread out from various points and set up new bases.
I don't support a military strategy (and don't believe it will work). I'm semi-shocked that the so-called Center for American Progress is supporting it publicly.
But if you want a military approach -- and goodness knows, US tax dollars (billions) are being spent right now on a military approach in Iraq -- at least have the intelligence to demand that the US government create a plan based on past military success and not the nonsense that's being used currently.
Lastly, stop the lying.
The Joel Wings minimized Nouri's actions in real time.
They continue to today.
Remember this above:
(And Nouri refused to nominate anyone to head the security ministries because he was staging a power grab and wanted to control them.*)
When a country's security falls apart -- and I think most of us can agree that is the current state in Iraq (and why Barack says they need US 'trainers') -- you need to look at what happened.
If there is no Minister of Defense or Minister or Interior?
Then that's part of the reason for the collapse of the security forces.
And throughout his second term, Nouri refused to nominate people to hold this office.
Joel Wing will quickly lie and tell you that they had them, Nouri put them in, blah blah blah.
No, he didn't.
He put puppets in and they did what he said, not what was needed.
If he had nominated people to hold the posts and they were approved by Parliament they could do what they saw necessary.
But his flunkies did only what he told them because since they weren't really ministers (Parliament never voted on them because they were never nominated), they only held the post while Nouri let them.
Nouri's second term began in November of 2010.
In July of 2012, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observed, "Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has struggled to forge a lasting power-sharing agreement and has yet to fill key Cabinet positions, including the ministers of defense, interior and national security, while his backers have also shown signs of wobbling support."
That remained true for Nouri's entire second term.
Can you imagine the outrage if Barack had spent four years failing to nominate anyone to head the Defense Dept?
Nouri is at fault in each and every way for today's crises in Iraq.
And all the Joel Wing liars and all their lies in support of Nouri will never change that.
If the above events were brand new to you, you can check the archives for real time coverage of the events, you can also refer to Emma Sky's new book The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq as well as Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor's The Endgame.
For Friday, Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 227 violent deaths across Iraq.