Friday, June 24, 2016

Hillary's village of predators

Vijay Prashad (COUNTERPUNCH) notes:

Looking beneath the warm embrace of this long-forgotten feminist commitment, however, other, less comfortable facts emerge. When Bill Clinton went after women on welfare, Hillary Clinton produced a book called It Takes A Village, in which she recommended that social workers do mandatory house searches of the homes of women on welfare. “The village must act in the place of parents,” she wrote, “it accepts those responsibilities in all our names through the authority we vest in the government.” The “village” was the state, which was now given authority to regulate in all aspects the lives of the poor. The rich, meanwhile, earned a free pass. Bill Clinton’s economic policy enhanced trade and freed up the banks. The Clintons attacked the poor and called on them to take “personal responsibility”; no such attack came against the rich. This was liberalism in the service of the rich.

As Senator from New York and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton pushed a belligerent foreign policy that included wars of aggression and unequivocal defence of U.S. allies (such as Israel). She oversaw the coup in Honduras and the regime-change operation in Libya— two instances, among many, which showed that her liberalism seemed identical to neo-conservatism. Little wonder that the neo-conservative writer Robert Kagan said of her: “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy.” Little in Hillary Clinton’s record should give anyone illusions that she will govern from anywhere other than the Right. That is her temperament. The two pillars of her administration will be Wall Street and war. It is to be expected.

The rights of We The People don't matter to Hillary and apparently never did.

The people of other countries don't matter at all to her (except for Israel).

And especially poor Americans don't matter to her.

The poor are nothing but test subjects for whatever social experiment she wants to try out -- an experiment that would never be allowed -- or even considered -- if it was conducted on the wealthy.

Hillary preys on those in need.

She always has.

She always will.

She is the super predator.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS): 
Thursday, June 23, 2016. Chaos and violence continue, the persecution of the Sunnis continues, silence on the part of US House Reps Barbara Lee and Nancy Pelosi continue, US House Rep Seth Moulton continues to demand an actual plan, and much more.

Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 22 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL tunnel system.

-- Near Huwayjah, a strike destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun position.

-- Near Bashir, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL command-and control-nodes.

-- Near Beiji, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL tunnel entrance and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

-- Near Fallujah, four strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units; destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, five ISIL light machine guns, an ISIL rocket-propelled grenade system and an ISIL boat; damaged two separate ISIL fighting positions; and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Mosul, eight strikes struck six separate ISIL tactical units, an ISIL oil ministry headquarters and an ISIL vehicle bomb factory and destroyed three ISIL vehicles, two ISIL weapons caches, 10 ISIL assembly areas, two ISIL command-and-control nodes and an ISIL tunnel entrance.

-- Near Qayyarah, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area and eight ISIL boats and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 14 ISIL boats and two ISIL weapons caches.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

And as more US bombings continue, more US troops may be headed to Iraq.

AFP reports:

US military leaders are weighing whether to request additional coalition troops to help local forces fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq, but no decisions have been made, a military official said Thursday.
"We're constantly looking to see if we're right-sized," said British Army Major General Doug Chalmers, adding that troop levels and additional capabilities formed part of an "ongoing dialogue."

This follows Josh Rogin's WASHINGTON POST report earlier this week where he explained:

[US] Military leaders directing operations against the terrorists in Iraq are readying requests for more troops and equipment they feel are needed to solidify and quicken progress toward defeating the Islamic State. These proposals have not yet been formally submitted to the White House for approval, and would first be vetted by the Pentagon leadership, but key generals have already told many in Washington they need hundreds more U.S. personnel to do the job right. 

CNN adds:

The Obama administration is “not ruling out the possibility” of sending hundreds of additional troops to Iraq this fall to help train, advise and assist Iraqi forces as they get ready for a potential assault on Mosul, according to a senior U.S. official.
And while officials won’t publicly confirm it, there have been several meetings to begin to determine if more troops are needed for the upcoming battle for Iraq’s second-largest city and what those troops might do to affect the battle. 

Though he originally insisted in August of 2014, the number sent in would be small and in the hundreds, US troops in Iraq are now in the thousands -- and that's not counting Special Ops.  The number has repeatedly increased.

Back in August of 2014.  Carla Marinucci (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE) reported:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that congressional Democrats were united in support of President Obama's decision to order air strikes in Iraq as "humanitarian assistance" for refugees trapped by Islamic militant fighters, but added that "we don't consider boots on the ground an option."
Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said 100 House Democrats held a conference call Monday after Obama notified Congress that 275 U.S. troops were being deployed to Iraq as security for American diplomatic personnel in Baghdad. His notification, made under the War Powers Act, came two days after U.S. warplanes fired on Islamic State militants who have bottled up refugees near the Syrian border.
[. . .]
Although House Democrats have made it "very clear" that sending combat forces back to the country is unacceptable, Pelosi said, she left open the possibility that U.S. actions in Iraq could reach "a place where we need congressional action." 

This week, the 76-year-old, elderly Pelosi Tweeted:

 Pinned Tweet

Sit or stand but we cannot be silent for victims of gun violence - we need to take action.

But apparently she can be silent about Iraq.

"We don't consider boots on the ground an option" she said in August of 2014.

Two years later, she's silent.

Off to carry out yet another political stunt to make the American people think she'll do something.

Just like, in the 2006 mid-terms, she repeatedly told the American people 'deliver us one House of Congress and we'll end the war.'

But the voters gave the Democrats both houses of Congress and Pelosi & company did nothing.

The silence, hypocrisy and cowardice from Nancy on the Iraq War are surprising only if you don't know her record.  The website GARLIC & GRASS: A GRASSROOTS JOURNAL OF AMERICA'S POLITICAL SOUL has highlighted some of Nancy's many failures:

  • January 12, 2005 - Two months after the November referendum, Bay Area Congressional Representatives Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee, Pete Stark, and Sam Farr joined Democratic colleagues from across the country in signing a letter to President Bush calling for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Pelosi conspicuously refused to sign on.

  • November 17, 2005 - Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) made a brave, groundbreaking call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Pelosi stood up and said, "Representative Murtha speaks for himself." And just one day later, on Nov. 18, 2006, she voted against immediate withdrawal from Iraq. She used her leadership position as House Democratic Leader to encourage others to oppose Murtha. Doing so helped to kill the momentum building at that time to force a timetable for troop withdrawals.

  • November 30, 2005 - Two weeks later (interestingly, just after local San Francisco Green Medea Benjamin spoke about possibly running against Pelosi), Pelosi reversed course and said she supported Murtha's call for immediate withdrawal. Still, she took no action and refused to use her leadership position to call for a 'party caucus position,' which would have put the majority of the Democratic Party on record against the war and shifted the national debate about the war. Indeed, at a point when two thirds of Americans had acknowledged that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, and when a majority of Americans began saying that the time had come to start rectifying that mistake by bringing the troops home, Pelosi's actions stalled the national debate and weakened the Democratic Party's stance. 

  • Last week, US House Rep Barbara Lee Tweeted:

    Our service members deserve a Congress willing to debate the war that they are fighting. Silence is cowardice.

    Rep. Lee Call On Congress To Debate An ISIL-Specific War Authorization

    So when's the sit-in for that, Barbara?

    Oh, right, never.

    Because you're nothing but empty words.

    And empty words don't end the Iraq War.

    Not everyone's silent.

    US House Rep Seth Moulton, for example, has not been silent.

    Yesterday I lost my closest friend in the Iraqi Army to ISIS and our failed policy in Iraq.

    From the May 13th snapshot:

    Yesterday on CNN's THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER, Jake spoke with US House Rep
    Seth Moulton (and just as soon as CNN posts a video or a transcript, we'll note a link -- instead, we'll just link to Jake's Twitter):

    Jake Tapper:  So you blame the Obama administration's failed ISIS policy of the death of your Iraqi comrade who you describe as "your closest friend."  Why?

    US House Rep Seth Moulton: He was my closest friend in the Iraqi army and the bottom line is that we have a military strategy to defeat ISIS but we don't have any longterm political strategy to ensure the peace.  And that's why we find ourselves back in Iraq again today refighting the same battles that I, myself, my fellow Marines and soldiers fought just eight or ten years ago

    Jake Tapper: And what needs to change, sir?

    US House Rep Seth Moulton:  We need to have a clear mission for the troops, a clear end game, a clear goal that they can achieve and than a strategy to maintain the peace once we defeat this terrorist group because, look, we already fought these same battles against al Qaeda but then when we pulled out of Iraq so quickly and not just pulling out the troops, I'm talking about pulling out the diplomats.  I'm talking about the people that were working in the prime minister's office, in the ministries.  The Iraqi government just went off the rails and as a result created this political vacuum that ISIS came in to occupy.  We cannot keep repeating this mistake in Iraq, going back again and again.

    Jake Tapper:  Now there are more than 4,000 US personnel, US military personnel, in Iraq right now but the White House argues this is not a combat mission.  Do you think that the Obama administration is misleading the American public.

    US House Rep Seth Moulton:  That's just simply not true, this absolutely is a combat mission.  In 2004, I had an advisory mission as a Marine with my platoon in Iraq.  We were advisors to an Iraqi unit and when that unit started to get overrun, we went to their assistance and started the battle of Najaf which was some of the fiercest fighting of the war until that time.  So there's a very fine line between an advisory mission and full fledged combat. It's very clear from the death of the Navy Seal just last week that this is absolutely a combat mission.

    Jake Tapper:  Why do you think the White House is-is pursuing the strategy that they're pursuing -- calling it an advisory mission, not a combat mission? Not pursuing the line of attack that you're suggesting they need to -- in terms of the clear strategy with an end game?  Why?

    US House Rep Seth Moulton:  I don't know.  I mean, some would say that this is trying to do war on the cheap just like the Bush administration when they got us involved in in the first place.  Let's not forget that we wouldn't be involved in this mess at all if George Bush hadn't invaded Iraq with faulty intelligence back in 2003.  But this a president who promised to get us out of Iraq and promised to use the tools of diplomacy to prevent wars from happening -- and that just hasn't happened.  You know if you think about what happened when ISIS swept into Iraq from Syria, they didn't just defeat the Iraqi army.  The Iraqi army put their weapons down and went home because they had lost faith in their government.  And yet our solution, our strategy, is to train Iraqi troops.  Well you don't fix Iraqi politics by training Iraqi troops. And Iraqi politics are broken.  That's the fundamental problem in Iraq that we need to fix.

    And, thing is, Barack agrees with Seth Moulton -- or did on June 19, 2014 when he (Barack) declares that the only answer to Iraq's crises was a political solution.

    Yet the last two years has the seen the US government drop more bombs on Iraq and send more US troops in while doing nothing to help broker a political solution.

    Tonight, THE WASHINGTON POST website published a column by Moulton which includes:

    In April, I visited some of the almost 5,000 troops that President Obama has put back in Iraq, and I witnessed a recurring theme: We have a military plan to defeat the Islamic State — and, as initial gains in Fallujah this week demonstrate, it’s going well in many respects — but we have yet to articulate a political plan to ensure Iraq’s long-term stability.

    Sometimes it’s impossible to tell whether it’s 2007 or 2016. The battle plans I hear from our commanders in Iraq today are the same ones I heard at the beginning of the surge, down to the same cities and tribal alliances. My question is: How will this time be different? The silence is deafening.

    And in that silence, War Crimes continue as the Iraqi forces -- supposedly there to protect the civilians -- target the Sunnis.

    Nazli Tarzi (MIDDLE EAST EYE) observes:

    For a brief moment last week, the world learned about the disappearance of at least 643 Iraqi civilians from Saqlawiya, and the torture and humiliation that awaited hundreds more captured by marauding, Iranian-backed militias.
    Outrage was at best tame, and coverage has remained thin. Although government forces have recaptured Fallujah from Islamic State (IS), the fate of the “lost” men of Saqlawiya, Al-Garma and Al-Azraqiya remains unknown. Some were freed but only to have returned with bodies riddled with dark raised welts, inflicted by sectarian militias. It appears that no soundtrack other than a skulking silence accompanies these shameful developments, leaving many important questions unanswered.
    Government officials have repeatedly said that investigations into alleged wrongdoing by its security forces are underway. Last Monday, government spokesman Sa'ad al-Hadithi affirmed that Haider al-Abadi's government is serious about pursuing violations against the people of Fallujah. Defence Minister Khaled al-Obaidi added that four military personnel had been arrested after video evidence of their abuses surfaced.
    So why are the details of federal investigations yet to be made public? Why have those arrested not been quizzed on national TV, as is done with alleged IS members who are paraded before the cameras? 

    The targeting never ends.

    Shia Militias crimes
    دعاء مزلزل من طفله عراقية سنيه على الحشد الشيعي وتقول ديننا
    قولوا امين

    Iraqi Sunni Child  Crying and screaming from Shia Militias crimes against Sunni Civilians

    The persecution of the Sunnis is what allowed the Islamic State to get a foothold in Iraq.

    You can't defeat the Islamic State without ending the persecution of Iraq's Sunni population.

    In other news, Hillary Clinton just keeps getting fatter.

    Honored to welcome to the U.S. Capitol to meet with !

    And, like her waistline, her list of lies just keeps thickening.  Michael Biesecker (AP) reports, "Former Secretary Hillary Clinton failed to turn over a copy of a key message involving problems caused by her use of a private homebrew email server, the State Department confirmed Thursday. The disclosure makes it unclear what other work-related emails may have been deleted by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee."

    Wednesday, June 22, 2016

    Hillary doesn't have it sewn up

    Who controls Bernie Sanders?

    At this point, does it matter?

    More important is who control's Bernie's supporters?

    Bruce A Dixon (BLACK AGENDA REPORT)  offers:

    Last weekend's Peoples Summit in Chicago was several different things. For the rank and file supporters of Bernie Sanders who could get there, it was likely the closest thing they'll get to a national victory party. It was a chance to commiserate and celebrate. It might have been a chance to compare and analyze experiences from around the country, an opportunity to synthesize the lessons and discuss the options for what Bernie Sanders called his “political revolution.” But it seems the conveners of the Peoples Summit didn't much trust their rank and file to draw the correct conclusions.

    Summit attendees I talked to said there was considerable willingness on the part of rank and file activists to consider third party options. But the summit's conveners and headliners squashed and disparaged that, providing only the usual litany of reason after reason to unite, to defeat Trump. The Green Party's Jill Stein contacted summit organizers and asked to address the event, and was turned down. The conveners knew what they were doing. For them, the Peoples Summit was never about raising up and hearing rank and file activists and encouraging them to chart the way forward. It was about keeping Berniecrats inside the Democratic herd long enough, with noses held or not, to get out the vote for Hillary or against Trump, either way.

    I don't think Bernie supporters are going to go over to Hillary very easily.

    Everything she stands for is what Bernie railed against.

    For the problems she's going to be facing, I refer you to Shaun King:

    1. Indeed, the Dem. party is in big trouble if it believes Millennials will automatically flock to it against Trump.
    2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe the Democratic Party has EVER had a nominee that received so little support among youth voters.
    3. The Democratic Primary, more than anything else, showed a deep generational divide between voters. Young people voted 8 to 1 for Bernie
    4. More voters under the age of 30 voted for Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton.

      Yeah, really.

      That's a HUGE problem.
    5. My latest.

      The Democratic Party doesn't understand or connect with young voters and doesn't seem to really care.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Wednesday, June 22, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Nouri al-Maliki insults  Sunni politicians and Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the US government hopes tossing some money will let them off for assisting with War Crimes in Iraq and much more.

    Since August of 2014, the US government has bombed Iraq daily.

    Recall: our current bombing campaign in Iraq was pitched as "limited". It's now almost 2 yrs old.

    Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Rocket artillery and bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Beiji, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed eight ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL vehicles, an ISIL improvised explosive device, an ISIL vehicle-borne IED, four ISIL rocket rails, two ISIL mortar systems, an ISIL supply cache and an ISIL anti-air artillery piece and damaged five ISIL berms.

    -- Near Fallujah, three strikes struck two separate large ISIL tactical units and destroyed 11 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, two ISIL heavy machine guns, five ISIL light machine guns, five ISIL rocket propelled grenade systems and two ISIL mortar systems and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Kisik, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL tunnel and three ISIL rocket rails.

    -- Near Mosul, four strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, six ISIL assembly areas and an ISIL rocket system.

    -- Near Qayyarah, three strikes destroyed three ISIL rocket rails and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed nine ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL light machine gun, an ISIL rocket-propelled-grenade system, an ISIL boat and three ISIL weapons caches.
    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun position.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

    That they'll release.

    Other things?

    Not really.

    At yesterday's Pentagon press conference moderated by press secretary Peter Cook, the following exchange took place

    Q:  Peter, during last week's briefing, the issue of injured American service members came up, and you said you would take the question and look into it.

          Can you confirm that four American service members were injured in Northern Syria on June 9th?

          MR. COOK:  (Inaudible) -- this is -- I'm glad you raised the question, because this does raise a question, a policy question for us about identifying injured service members.

          And as I stated last week, and probably should have stated more clearly, our policy is not to identify wounded service members, for a variety of reasons -- including operational security, including privacy reasons.

          And so, I'm not going to be able to elaborate more fully on that situation.  Just as I wouldn't with other wounded service members, because of that -- because of our policy in place.

          Q:  I believe on May 31, the Pentagon did come out and say there were two service members, one in Iraq and one in Syria, who were injured and I think you even gave a specific location -- (inaudible), north of Raqqah.  And I'm not asking for a specific location or name.  You know, were there American service members injured?  Because in the past, you have acknowledged when they have been injured.

          MR. COOK:  And what -- and of course one of the things that we're concerned about here is not just operational security -- (inaudible), but also, we do not want to provide additional information to the enemy that might enhance their own assessment of the battlefield situation and their own impact.

          Q:  (inaudible) -- because on May 31, you did give out two numbers of Americans injured.

          MR. COOK:  I'm just spelling out right now our policy consistent with what it's been in the past with regard to wounded service members.  We provide information with regard, of course, to casualties.  But for a variety of reasons, we do not provide information on wounded service members and we're going to continue to stick to that, again, because we don't want to provide information to the enemy that might be helpful, we have privacy concerns that we want to address.

          And again, we don't routinely release that information.  There have been some exceptions in the past, but that is our -- our basic policy and I'm going to stick to that policy.

    Cook insisted this was not a change.  Idrees Ali and Leslie Adler (REUTERS) point out, "However, the Pentagon has released such information in the past and responded to queries, and it was unclear how Cook's comments were consistent with previous disclosures."  At the conservative website HOT AIR, Jazz Shaw maintains:

    It’s hard not to read something overtly political into this policy change, no matter how the Pentagon describes it. We’ve already seen the President standing by his policy of not mentioning Islamic terrorism and our own Attorney General has tried to keep mentions of ISIS out of transcripts of conversations with terrorists attacking at home. Any news about battlefield injuries in the war against this enemy clearly plays against the Democrats in general and Hillary Clinton’s election hopes in particular, so suppressing public discussion of such unpleasant realities has a clear political side to it.

    ALSUMARIA reports that independent politician Izzat al-Shahbandar states that while Iraq has made gains in the battle against the Islamic State but none on the political front.  Though described in the article -- and by the press usually -- as "independent," he is a member of Nouri al-Maliki's political slate State of Law.

    Shi'ite Nouri al-Maliki is the former prime minister of Iraq and the forever thug.

    RUDAW reports today that he's slammed Sunni politicians as "terrorists" (he did that while he was prime minister too) and denounced Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr and compared the rallies carried out by Moqtada's followers to "robbery."

    Nouri's persecution of the Sunni population provided the Islamic State the foundation they needed in Iraq.

    Also on the political front, the office of the current prime minister, Haider al-Abadi,  issued the following today:

    استقبل السيد رئيس مجلس الوزراء الدكتور حيدر العبادي في مكتبه اليوم الاربعاء رئيس ائتلاف الوطنية الدكتور اياد علاوي.

    وجرى خلال اللقاء مناقشة الاوضاع السياسية والامنية والاقتصادية التي يشهدها البلد واهمية توحيد الجهود لمواجهة 
    التحديات التي يمر بها العراق.

    كما جرى التأكيد على ضرورة ادامة زخم الانتصارات بعد تحرير الفلوجة والدعم والاسناد لقواتنا البطلة وتوفير المستلزمات 
    الضرورية والعيش الكريم للنازحين.

    ودعا الدكتور العبادي جميع الكتل السياسية الى دعم قواتنا البطلة في حربها ضد العصابات الارهابية والابتعاد عن كل ما من 
    شأنه ان يؤثر سلبا على عزيمة مقاتلينا مؤكدا في الوقت ذاته على اهمية نبذ الخلافات واللجوء للحوار لحل القضايا العالقة 
    للسير بالبلد الى بر الامان.

    المكتب الاعلامي لرئيس الوزراء
    22 حزيران 2016

    The press release notes that Ayad Allawi traveled to Haider al-Abadi's office today and the two met to discuss economic, security and political developments within Iraq and the need to unite to face the challenges and to carry on the momentum of victory beyond the liberation of Falluja.

    Allawi now leads the National Coalition.  In 2010, he led Iraqiya which offered a way forward for Iraq, a political party built not on sect but on commonalities.

    Despite election irregularities and Nouri al-Maliki's stunts, Iraqiya won the 2010 elections and Allawi should have been named prime minister-designate and given the opportunity to attempt to form a government.

    However, Nouri al-Maliki refused to step down bringing the country to a standstill.  That political stalemate lasted over 8 months and Nouri was able to carry out that paralysis of the Iraqi government with the help of US President Barack Obama who had US officials negotiate The Erbil Agreement -- a legal contract that did away with the votes of the Iraqi people and gave Nouri a second term as prime minister.

    On 'liberated' Falluja, AFP notes the large number of Iraqis it has created:

    "We have to admit that the humanitarian community has also failed the Iraqi people," said Nasr Muflahi, Iraq head of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

    "There are serious funding shortfalls, but there is no justification why there aren't more aid agencies helping the people of Fallujah," he said.

    As already existing camps filled way beyond capacity, other camps were being set up but the newly displaced families arriving there often found nothing to sleep on or under, nothing to eat or drink.

    Salam Khoder (ALJAZEERA) speaks with the refugees:

    When Um Anwar, a resident of Fallujah, was asked to describe her life in the refugee camps at Amiriyat al-Fallujah, she summed it up in a sharp, clear voice: "We are staying inside the camp but living outside the tents." 
    Um Anwar left Fallujah on Friday June 17, with her four daughters. "We have been sleeping out in the open for days now," she told Al Jazeera. "My four daughters and I take turns in sleeping during the night. Two of us have to stay up watching while the rest of us fall into sleep. This is the only way to ensure no one is coming our way during the night. They told us that they had no tents to spare us one as a family."

    Her son, Anwar, fled the city 15 months ago and has been trying to make a living in Baghdad ever since, while her husband was killed in a bombing in Fallujah city shortly after her son left.

    And the refugees also have to deal with the Shi'ite militias.

    Iraqi Sunni civilians displaced from Fallujah tortured  by Shia Militias 


    War Crimes took place throughout the 'liberation' of Falluja and continue to take place.

    Awash in blood and guilt, the US government attempts to buy it's way out.

    >1/2 of Iraq's 3.4m displaced are children. Today we announced July 20 pledging conference to raise support for Iraqi people in dire need

    What's she talking about?

    US State Dept spokesperson John Kirby explained at today's State Dept press briefing:

    On Iraq, we are pleased to announce that the United States will co-host a pledging conference with Canada, Germany, and Japan in Washington, D.C. on the 20th of July to raise support for urgent humanitarian and stabilization needs in Iraq. This will be an effort to help the people of Iraq weather the humanitarian crisis and destruction wrought by [the Islamic State] in the country, and as – to remind, as you know, I mentioned yesterday, we announced yesterday $20 million of assistance for Iraq specifically for humanitarian purposes. And I fully would expect that the pledging conference will see, as I said yesterday, additional contributions by the United States.
    Now, while [the Islamic State] has suffered continued defeats on the battlefield, we now believe we’re at a critical juncture in the fight. Iraq needs the international community’s support to provide desperately needed items such as food, water, shelter, medicine for those in need, and to assist in the return of displaced families back to liberated areas as quickly as possible. It’s critical that we focus not only on defeating [the Islamic State], of course, but also what comes after that. Reconciliation and long-term peace are simply not possible until Iraq’s acute humanitarian crisis is alleviated and people can return to their homes with access to basic services, to health care, education, and with at least a modest hope for prosperity.

    We believe that this pledging conference will provide a unique and important opportunity for the international community to assist in doing just that, and to helping Iraq’s citizens move past some of these challenges and in remedying the harm caused by [the Islamic State] and to show solidarity with the people of Iraq as they rebuild their nation.

    Turning to politics in the US where Democrats in the House of Representatives are staging a useless move that's supposed to lead people to vote for them.

    Of all things Dems could've but didn't do a sit-in for (end Iraq War, punish Wall St & torturers), they choose this:

    Not everyone's falling for the nonsense and a hashtag has been created #DemsNeverSat:

    against systemic disinvestment, poverty, school closures, health care access, etc

    against crimes against humanity. In fact, they championed the weapons sales.

    to protest the most corrupt presidential candidate in US history.

    Glad ppl r as disgusted w/ dog & pony show as I am & see it 4 what it is

    to stop the Iraq War.  Or apologized for never trying.

    to stop Hillary making arms deals w/ countries who donated $$$ to her Foundation

    as black children were disproportionately expelled in schools on pipeline 2 prison .

    when Flint kids were drinking what looks like sewerage

    for any other cause when it wasn't an election year

    in protest of the drone war's extrajudicial executions of suspects without due process or a trial.

    in protest of poverty, the war on drugs, racist policing & mass incarceration of black/brown communities.

    when someone under FBI investigation ran for president

    against the use of sanctions on Iraq which killed hundreds of thousands of women & children.

    to oppose the terror watch list, which they're pretty much embracing right now.

    to demand a new water system in flint.

    to stop the Obama administration from deporting 2.5+ million people.

    while private prison corporations were cutting backdoor deals with state & municipal govt's encouraging more incarceration.

    for extended unemployment benefits

    against Wall Street bailouts

    while racist police forces were getting surplus military hardware to use in communities of color in the US.

    And for some tough but fair criticism, check out

    while Israel was slaughtering civilians in Gaza. Decided to give them more military aid.

    against the repeal of the Voting Rights Act

    in opposition to NSA collecting data on U.S. citizens and sharing with local law enforcement

    for mandatory paid maternity leave

    to stop the War in Iraq

    Staying with politics in the US, Chaka Con?

    Emily Babay (Philadelphia Inquirer) reports:

    U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah was convicted on Tuesday of federal corruption and bribery charges, as a federal jury in Philadelphia found that he misused grants, campaign contributions and charitable donations to pay off debts and advance his career.
    [. . .]
    Prosecutors said Fattah accepted an illegal $1 million campaign loan from Albert Lord, the former Sallie Mae chief executive, in an effort to save his struggling 2007 mayoral bid. The congressman and his allies then stole charitable donations and federal grants from an education nonprofit he created to pay Lord back.

    In addition, there were bribes, funds illegally used to buy his son a car and much, much more.  Chaka Fattah is a Democrat and he is a super delegate who has pledged his support to Hillary.  Since he's now a convicted felon, he should be stripped of his super delegate status.  Since he's come out already for Hillary Clinton, she should issue a statement on the felony convictions of her friend Chaka.

    A Republican is also in the news for crimes.

    In fact, his journey to prison even made Iraq's ALSUMARIA.  Doug Stanglin (USA TODAY) reports:

    Former House speaker Dennis Hastert reported to prison in Minnesota on Wednesday to begin serving a 15-month sentence in a case involving millions in hush money paid to cover up his sexual abuse of teenage students 30 years ago.
    Hastert, 74, partially wheeled himself into the Rochester Federal Medical Center complex, which is surrounded by high, razor-wire fencing. A woman followed behind him, carrying crutches.