Saturday, February 11, 2017


Kate Randall (WSWS) notes:
Tuesday night’s CNN debate on Obamacare between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz was an exercise in cynicism and evasion.
The most notable feature of the event was the performance of Sanders. Where was the champion of the “99 percent” who railed against the “billionaire class” during the Democratic primary contest? Where was the “democratic socialist” who called for a “political revolution?”
That Sanders was nowhere to be found. He was replaced by a more “reasonable” politician who is more than willing to work with the Trump administration and the Republicans to refashion the Affordable Care Act, keeping its “good” features and revising its problematic ones.
The fact that Sanders even agreed to debate Cruz—an ultra-right Tea Party Republican who stands for a scorched-earth approach to health care and all other social programs—points to an effort to present him as a more “mainstream” politician and integrate him into the leadership of the Democratic Party. The hope is that popular illusions in Sanders that remain from his challenge to Hillary Clinton can be utilized to restore credibility to the Democrats following their electoral debacle. Sanders, who used his campaign to channel mass discontent behind Clinton, is himself fully onboard and highly conscious of his role.
There was nothing genuinely progressive in what Sanders had to propose for reforming the health care system or confronting the health insurance crisis faced by a majority of Americans. As for Cruz, he in turn insulted and patronized questioners from the audience, while dancing around issues as he spouted his pro-corporate, free-market agenda.

We need Medicare for all.

We need to toss aside ObamaCare.

It's nothing but a scam.

Now for something that makes me really sad, Aretha Franklin is retiring.

If you read the article, she's planning on doing one more album (with some tracks produced by Stevie Wonder).

That will be it except maybe a duet or two.

She says she'll do her final tour and that will be it.

Clive Davis, who's worked with her for years, including orchestrating her Arista comeback ("Get It Right," "Who's Zoomin' Who," "Another Night," "Freeway of Love," "I Knew You Were Waiting," etc) doesn't belive it's true.

He's probably a better judge.

Aretha's earned her right to retire and then some.

And it's selfish of me to want her to keep singing and touring.

But it still makes me sad.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, February 10, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, a NYT piece of work outdoes Judith Miller, the ban continues to be discussed, should a Supreme Court Justice step down from the Court, and much more.


Where the Iraq lunacy began in print and was fostered daily.

All these years later, the best it can do is offer foolishness with the occasional fact.

Take this piece of work who's violated every ethic in place this week.

1 For the last 2 days, I've been reporting from eastern Mosul, now under Iraqi control. It's amazing to finally be able to walk freely here

If ever there was a time to use Cher's favorite word, this would be it.  But I'll just bite my tongue on that.

It must be wonderful, to be an embed, and wonder as you wander the streets of eastern Mosul.

It must be amazing, when you're part of a military detail (as an embed) to walk protected.

Because, never forget, you are the story, you whorish little minded person.

You are always the story.

Not where you sent to cover because you are the story whereever you are.

The whorish one doesn't grasp that she's reporting for THE NEW YORK TIMES.

That means she doesn't offer opinions.

Certainly not on political issues.

Or, that's what it's supposed to mean.

When whores play, it gets messy -- that's why penicillin was invented after all.

15. When you're standing in the liberated streets of (eastern) Mosul, it's clear who this ban is hurting: The people who helped us.

Let's be clear about what the whore just did.
The whore is taking a side on the ban.
The whore's not an analyst.
And the whore's not talking about the Iraqi people.
She's talking about the Iraqi forces.
Which is confusing because if you're part of the Iraqi forces fighting in Mosul, are you really trying to come to the United States?
Seems like if you're part of the Iraqi forces, you'd want to stay in Iraq.
But logic is hard for whores, they're too busy calculating traffic and how much to charge per trick.
Whores take sides.
The paper bans that.  The paper bans reporters offering opinions on political issues.
But whores do what they want.
And the Iraqi forces in eastern Mosul that she's so concerned about?

Grim footage has emerged from eastern Mosul, supposedly “liberated” from [the Islamic State] control late last month,showing members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and men who appeared to be from the Shia-dominated Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) paramilitary organisation executing unarmed men in the streets.
The footage shows armed Shia militants, who are fighting under the banner of Iraq, dragging a bound and clearly terrified man through the streets. The militants are heard abusing the man, and can be clearly seen beating him as they drag him to his death.
The victim is then placed at gunpoint by two other unarmed men in front of a row of houses, before about a dozen Shia jihadists fighting with the PMF and Iraqi soldiers open fire and gun them down in cold blood.
Even after the men have been shot and are clearly dead, the Iraqi soldiers and Shia militants continue to taunt and curse them, and occasionally other soldiers would walk over to the dead men and beginning firing at their corpses at point blank range. They would also stamp on the heads of the unarmed men, which is a deep sign of disrespect in Arab culture.
“Sadly, we have become accustomed to seeing such violence against people who are likely civilians,” Ahmad Al-Mahmoud, an analyst with the London-based Iraq monitoring group Foreign Relations Bureau of Iraq (FRB), told MEMO. “Even if they are ISIS, they should be tried in transparent and just courts, not shot dead in the middle of the street,” Al-Mahmoud said, using another acronym for the [Islamic State] extremist organisation.

Guess she can't notice that because she's too busy Tweeting about how great she feels walking through the streets of eastern Mosul with her military guides.
Again, it's not about the people in Mosul, apparently, it's about the delights of the fish out of water who decides she's the center of the world because she's a reporter.
Does it matter that she requires a translator?
Apparently not.
Apparently she's just the best reporter there ever was (after failing at poetry) and can be dropped anywhere and, embedded with the Iraqi military, know just what the Iraqi people -- that she doesn't speak to freely -- are thinking.
I would say "The spirit of Judith Miller lives on" but I believe even Judith Miller had more integrity than this piece of trash.
We'll come back to THE TIMES in a minute.
Since we're on the ban, let's not Trudy Rubin (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER):
As the courts ponder President Trump's ill-advised immigration ban, nothing better illustrates its cruelty and carelessness than its impact on Iraqis who risked their lives to help Americans.
By now you probably know that Trump's claim that a mere 109 visa-holders were affected was nonsense. At least 60,000 U.S. visas were canceled, causing chaos for foreign students, academics, high-tech workers, doctors who serve rural America, family members of U.S. citizens, and tourists. That's beside green-card holders - permanent U.S. residents - who were originally included in the ban (most were eventually permitted to enter).
What you may not know is that the ban included Iraqis who held Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) issued to interpreters who helped the U.S. military. Thank heavens the Trump administration was shamed (and pressed by the Pentagon) into revising that decision. However, that affected relatively few Iraqis, since the SIV program ended in 2014; only 19 such visas were issued during the last three years, according to the State Department (around 500 cases are still in process).
And what you probably don't know is that many other Iraqis who risked their lives helping Americans are still excluded by the ban.
Trudy Rubin never forgot Iraq.  She covered regularly in the last 8 years and continues to do so.
Whether you agree with her take or not, hopefully you respect that it is an informed opinion and not an attempt to turn an issue into political football.
Perry Chiaramonte (FOX NEWS) covers another viewpoint:

The Archbishop for the Christian community in Iraq said President Trump’s travel ban on immmigrants from terror hotspots is a good thing and will help minority religious groups in the region.
Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil in Iraq, said as long as Trump's executive order includes special preferences for all victims of ISIS, it can be a positive for Christians in the region, whose plight Trump has been sympathetic to.
“I would personally prefer that our people stay here in their ancient homeland, but I also understand that many have lost hope,” Archbishop Warda said to Fox News. “They have suffered too much and want to leave. It is not my place to force them to stay. 
“That said, the fact that an American administration seems to know that there are Christians and other religious minorities here who need help is something I find heartening. I hope this means that we will no longer be excluded from U.S. government and UN aid, which our people desperately need.”
The issue will likely be going to the Supreme Court.
On that, a four to seven vote may be the outcome.
Do I mean four to four?
Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg may have to recuse herself from every case the administration is a party to as a result of her idiotic and unprofessional comments during the election.
Judges are not supposed to inject themselves into the electoral process.
Sandra Day O'Connor had her moment and she handled it well.
She was not pleased when Al Gore was being predicted winner and made some sort of a grunt.
Realizing what she did, she then left the room she was in.
Her husband, however, destroyed her removal by explaining to those present that she was upset because if Bully Boy Bush won, she could retire but if Gore won she'd have to wait at least four years before retiring.
[O'Connor was appointed by Republican Ronald Reagan.  She was stating Democrat Al Gore would replace her with someone closer to the Democratic Party so she'd have to stay on the bench until he was not president.]
I like Ruth.
I supported her nomination.
But we've all like Ruth a little too much on the left and she's gotten addicted to applause.
So she makes comments no sitting judge should make.
And we all looked the other way when she started speaking about issues that come before the Court -- when we shouldn't have.
There's an argument to be made for removing her from the court right now because she's not impartial on the Donald Trump administration by her own comments.
She should have to recuse herself repeatedly from case after case.
But, again, there's also a strong argument to be made for her stepping down from the Court immediately.
Again, I've applauded her many times -- most of us on the left have.
She's begun to seek out that applause outside the court room and given speeches and interviews on topics she should not be weighing in on as a sitting justice.
She completely crossed the line with her comments on a candidate for presidency.  Now that the candidate is president, her actions need to be scrutinized.
Let's go back to THE NEW YORK TIMES now.  David Zucchino offers some facts:
Nearly eight months after the recapture of Falluja showed that Iraq’s government could wrest one of the Islamic State’s major support bases away from it, the victory now seems at risk.
The Shiite-dominated national government has not yet demonstrated that it can secure and rebuild this shattered Sunni city, soothe sectarian grievances or provide for 250,000 returning residents. Iraqi and American security officials now fear that if the Sunnis of Falluja are given no reason to trust the government, they may once again embrace the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL.
Local officials say Islamic State sleeper cells remain active, and many residents continue to aid the insurgents. Guerrilla attacks have resumed; in one of the most recent episodes, a suicide car bomb on Jan. 28 killed two police officers.

Enjoy it.  It's the only real reporting on Iraq will likely see for a few more installments.  Having offered some facts, they'll now return to fluff.

That's liberated Falluja.  "Liberated" Falluja.

Today is day 116 of The Mosul Slog.

The operation to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul began 116 days ago.

It's still not done.

Now they're saying it will be done in 180 more days.

The following community sites updated:

  • Thursday, February 09, 2017

    Crooks (DNC)

    The big joke that is the DNC continues.

    1. Identifying fundamental flaws of the Dem Party isn't a distraction, it's a prerequisite for success
    2. It’s clear why the Clinton camp wants Perez; he is a reliable party operative and will change nothing of substance.
    Tom Perez Apologizes for Telling the Truth, Showing Why Democrats’ Flaws Urgently Need Attention

    It's such nonsense.

    And for those who forget, the DNC's chair's last year were a woman who rigged the process (Little Debbie) and a woman who passed on debate questions from CNN to the Clinton campaign ahead of the debate (Big Donna).

    They were crooks so many more crooks rush to cash in.

    The working knowledge appears to now be: Hey, if they could have two crooks in one year, they'll take anyone.

    I wonder if Charles Manson will announce he's seeking the position next?

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Thursday, Feburary 9, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, does anyone notice the corpses dumped in the streets, US asks for another 180 days for Mosul, Corrine Brown's aid turns on her, and much more.

    Let's start with the US political scene.

           Ranking Member

    Timothy Walz
    Timothy Walz

    US House Rep Timothy Walz is officially Ranking Member on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

    Good for him.

    Good for veterans.

    Bad for the inept Nancy Pelosi and the corrupt Corrine Brown (who is set to face trial on federal charges in April).

    I believe we said it best about Congress' own personal Snuffleupagus (above in Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "CORRINE BROWN") in the November 19, 2014 entry "Corrine Brown is not fit to serve."

    And she wasn't.

    And dumb asses who don't ever attend a Congressional hearing, don't follow what laws get passed, etc, insisted that criticizing Corrine was part of a war on women.

    No, it was about an incompetent member of Congress who couldn't speak the English language, couldn't get her wig on straight (not a metaphor, she had attended hearing with the wig askew and once with it on backwards) and had more rumors of corruption than she had wigs in her collection.

    On the English language, let's drop back to the June 27, 2015 snapshot:

    Thursday, I didn't have my Corrine-To-English translator ring on me so we'll just note a little bit of her opening remarks.

    Ranking Member Corrine Brown:  The VA is facing a shortfall of 2.6 billion for veterans healthcare.  This shortfall must be address [sic] ammediately [sic].  We cannot put the health and lives of our veterans at ris [sic] by spending our time and attention pointing fingers and assigning blame.  VA will be facing an additional shortfall at the start of the next fistal [sic] year in October 

    We have to stop there.

    We have to.

    Corrine goes on to say that the country is headed towards a government shutdown -- she uses shutdown twice.  Both times she probably would have been bleeped on TV.

    She always invents her own words and here she took the "u" in "shutdown" and replaced it with an "i" both times she said it.

    A government sh*tdown.

    The fist time she said it, people were looking around.  Then she said, "Let me say that again, we are headed towards a government sh*tdown" and several on the Committee appeared to bite their lips to avoid laughing.

    On her third time using the term, she did manage to say "shutdown."

    Keep playing with the English language, Corrine, it works if you work it.

    Corrine used her time to ask about fee based care and Choice.  Yes, Choice is fee based.  Many grasped that before Corinne's question but everyone grasped it after Sloane explained Choice.

    Well . . .

    Everyone but Corinne Brown.

    After he finished describing it, she asked, "And Choice?"

    A confused Sloan Gibson replied softly, "That is Choice."

    Oh, Corrine Brown.

    The disgrace that never stopped.

    And continues to this day.

    Corrine's been busy since she lost her primary last August.  She immediately set up a committee for her followers to donate to her legal fund.  She's appeared at various churches throughout Florida with her hands out trying to stick in people's pockets.

    Yesterday, Steve Patterson (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION) reported:

    Ronnie Simmons, former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown’s longtime chief of staff, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a fraud conspiracy charge that strengthens the legal vise squeezing his indicted ex-boss.
    Simmons, who pleaded guilty to just two of 19 charges he faced from a July indictment, also admitted to helping steal government money by creating a phantom job for an unnamed relative that cost the government about $735,000 over 15 years.

    “If you plead guilty, there will be no trial of any kind,” U.S. Magistrate James Klindt told Simmons before agreeing during a Wednesday hearing to recommend a district judge accept the plea. The rest of the charges will be dismissed if the judge accepts the plea.

    Anne Schindler (WTLV) adds:

    If Simmons were to receive the maximum punishment for the two charges, he would face up to 30 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
    However, according to the plea deal, prosecutors are recommending a "downward adjustment" of his sentence and consideration of his "substantial cooperation." A judge is not bound by the plea deal. 
    In exchange, Simmons must truthfully testify against his former boss, and anyone else involved in the case, at the request of prosecutors.
    Simmons was indicted July 6, 2016 alongside Brown, who was charged with 22 related counts. She has pleaded not guilty.
    Anthony Suarez, Simmons' attorney, described his decision to testify against her as "gut wrenching"  for his client. But, he said the fake charity scheme was merely a symptom of a pay-to-play political system.

    ACE NEWS SERVICE explains exactly what Suarez is stating took place:

    In connection with his guilty plea, Simmons admitted that, between late 2012 and early 2016, he and a co-defendant, former Congresswoman Corrine Brown, 70, of Jacksonville, Florida, participated in a fraudulent scheme involving the One Door for Education – Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund (One Door) in which the two defendants and others acting on their behalf solicited more than $800,000 in charitable donations based on false representations that the donations would be used for college scholarships and school computer drives, among other things. As part of the scheme, Simmons admitted that he and Brown solicited donations from individuals and corporate entities that Brown knew by virtue of her position in the U.S. House of Representatives, many of which the defendants led to believe that One Door was a properly registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, when, in fact, it was not.
    Simmons further admitted that, contrary to his and Brown’s misrepresentations, Brown, Simmons, One Door president Carla Wiley, and others, used the vast majority of One Door donations for their personal and professional benefit, including tens of thousands of dollars in cash deposits that Simmons made to Brown’s personal bank accounts. Simmons admitted that he engaged in such cash transactions involving funds from the One Door bank account at Brown’s direction. In one instance, Simmons admitted depositing $2,100 in One Door funds into Brown’s personal bank account the same day that Brown wrote a check for a similar amount to pay taxes to the IRS. Likewise, Simmons admitted that he and Brown also used the outside consulting company of one of Brown’s employees to funnel One Door and other funds to Brown and others for their personal use. Further, Simmons acknowledged that more than $200,000 in One Door funds also were used to pay for events hosted by Brown or held in her honor, including a golf tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; lavish receptions during an annual conference in Washington, D.C.; the use of a luxury box during a Beyoncé concert in Washington, D.C.; and the use of a luxury box during an NFL game between the Washington Redskins and the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Washington, D.C. area.

    Corrine stands a good chance of serving time.

    And she should be behind bars.

    Her disgrace is also Nancy Pelosi's disgrace.

    Corrine was not fit to be Ranking Member of any Committee.

    She was especially not fit to be Ranking Member of a veterans committee.

    As a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Corrine had 'distinguished' herself with one attack on veterans after another from 2009 to 2016.

    Why did she attack them?

    To defend the administration.

    Take the scandal with the new veterans on the GI Bill not getting their checks.  Corrine declared it was their fault and the colleges fault.

    She continued this nonsense even after then-Secretary of the VA Eric Shinseki testified to the House Veterans Affairs Committee on October 14, 2009.

    I'll be frank, when I arrived, uh, there were a number of people telling me this was simply not executable. It wasn't going to happen. Three August was going to be here before we could have everything in place. Uh, to the credit of the folks in uh VA, I, uh, I consulted an outside consultant, brought in an independent view, same kind of assessment.  'Unless you do some big things here, this is not possible.'  To the credit of the folks, the good folks in VBA, they took it on and they went at it hard. We hired 530 people to do this and had to train them. We had a manual system that was computer assisted. Not very helpful but that's what they inherited. And we realized in about May that the 530 were probably a little short so we went and hired 230 more people. So in excess of 700 people were trained to use the tools that were coming together even as certificates were being executed.  Uhm, we were short on the assumption of how many people it would take. We based our numbers on the Montgomery GI Bill which is about a 15 minute procedure. The uh chapter thirty-three procedures about an hour on average, maybe an hour and 15 minutes. So right off the bat, we had some issues with assumptions. Uh, we are still receiving certificates of enrollment. This week alone, we received 36,000 certificates of enrollment coming from schools who are working through the process and we put them into the execute of providing those checks -- three checks.

    Corrine never missed a moment to place the burden and the blame on the veterans in her last 8 years of Congress.  Barack Obama was president then and Corrine saw her role on the Veterans Affairs Committee as playing defense for the administration, not in assisting veterans.

    Which is why veterans groups endorsed Walz for Ranking Member and not Corrine.

    Tim Walz is a voice for veterans regardless of who occupies the White House.

    He had proven himself on the committee repeatedly.  (For this documented in detail, see the editorial we did at THIRD "Editorial: Corrine Brown must not be named Ranking Member.")

    But Nancy Pelosi wanted her friend Corrine to serve as Ranking Member.

    lets be what

    That's Isaiah's "Let's Be Whats!"

    From the disaster of Nancy Pelosi's leadership of House Democrats to the disaster of Iraq . . .

    We've repeatedly stressed: "The Islamic State and al Qaeda in Mesopotamia are not the same thing.  They have similar goals and can work together or can be at war with one another."  And from January 24th:

    Xenophobia allows a White person to group the Islamic State and al Qaeda in Iraq together.

    For many years, you saw this play out at the US State Dept.

    But the two are not the same and were never the same.

    They have some similar motives and they have some opposing motives.

    Which is why the two work separately in Syria -- they also do in Iraq but a lazy (and, yes, xenophobic) press just attributes all actions in Iraq to the Islamic State.

    al Qaeda in Iraq remains.  And they have been responsible for some recent bombings.

    Even some that the Islamic State has taken credit for.

    But that's another difference between the two groups.

    An informed dialogue would benefit all.

    But, sadly, we're not getting it these days.

    Maybe reality is starting to sink in?

    Natalie Johnson (FREE BEACON) reports:

    A Sunni insurgency is taking root in Iraq as the U.S.-led coalition continues to weaken the Islamic State's territorial strongholds, particularly in Mosul, according to a new report.
    The D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War warned that al Qaeda's top leadership likely will capitalize on ISIS's continued losses and attempt to gain influence within splinter militant groups opposed to the Shia-led government of Iraq.

    Emily Anagnostos, the researcher who authored the report, told the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday that the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria needs to broaden its focus to target smaller Sunni insurgent groups that likely will grow as ISIS faces setbacks.

    So the simple narrative may be dying at last.

    If the Islamic State is focused on Mosul -- retaining it and repelling Iraqi soldiers -- exactly who's carrying out violence elsewhere?

    ALUSMARIA notes a Falluja suicide bomber took their own life and the lives of 2 Iraqi soldiers with two more injured.

    That's only one of many examples of violence today.

    They also note that the corpse of a member of the Ministry of the Interior was discovered dumped in the streets of Baghdad (shot dead).

    When the bodies are being dumped in the streets (as happened yesterday as well), it's a sign that violence is on the rise.

    Sec. Gen. of Hezbollah party in Basra Basim al Musawi assassinated late last night in a drive by shooting in Basra province south .


    A senior leader within the Iran-backed Iraqi Hezbollah militant group was assassinated last night in the southern Shia-dominated city of Basra according to local police sources and social media activists.
    “Bassem Al-Moussawi, secretary-general of [Iraq’s] Hezbollah, was killed late yesterday when unidentified assailants opened fire on his car in Basra province’s Al-Hayyaniya district,” the Basra police force spokesman, Major Jumaa Al-Hamrani, told Turkish state-run Anadolu.
    An associate of Al-Mousawi was injured in the attack, after which the gunmen managed to flee the scene, Al-Hamrani said.

    No group has yet has claimed responsibility for the assassination. However, Basra is completely under the control of several Shia militant organisations, each vying for a greater share of power and influence at the expense of one another. The assassination could therefore be one militia attacking another.

    Turning to the issue of protests.  Yesterday's snapshot noted the protest taking place in Baghdad and wondered if the western press would cover it (having ignored the protest last Friday already)?

    Not a word from AP, REUTERS, THE NEW YORK TIMES, etc, etc.

    Qatar's PENINSULA has a report which opens:

    Thousands of supporters of firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr staged protests in Baghdad on Wednesday to demand the dissolution of Iraq’s High Electoral Commission. 
    "The electoral commission in its current form is unviable," protestor Murad al-Yaseri told Anadolu Agency. 
    "It is beholden to political parties," he added. "It is incapable of overseeing impartial elections."

    Protestors gathered outside the capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone, demanding the establishment of a new electoral commission "untainted by political affiliations". 

    MIDDLE EAST MONITOR carries the same report.

    If the United States paid attention to what Iraqis protest, maybe, just maybe the US government wouldn't be dropping bombs on Iraq daily and US troops wouldn't be needed on the ground in Iraq?

    Sadr has called for a million man demonstration to be held of Saturday Feb 11th in . The location will be a ''Surprise''.

    Meanwhile, it's day 115 of The Mosul Slog.

    Betty's "Give them 180 more days for Mosul" takes on the assertion of U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend that "within the next six months I think we’ll see both (the Mosul and Raqqa campaigns) conclude."

    And now they're saying in 180 more days, the city may be liberated.

    The people of Mosul suffer.

    Their government doesn't care.

    Hayder al-Abadi becomes prime minster in August of 2014.

    The Islamic States took Mosul two months before in June of 2014.

    He's made prime minister in August of 2014 and he waits until October of 2016 to try to liberate the city from the terrorist group.

    Talk about a worthless and unresponsive government.

    The failure to liberate Mosul is a stark testament to how ineffective the Iraqi government currently is.

    The following community sites -- plus PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: