Thursday, November 30, 2017

They offer Conyers as a sacrifice

Democrats can't even hide their loathing for their Black constituency: with Menendez in the dock and Franken on the ropes, Pelosi calls for Conyers (only) to resign!

Losing John Conyers in Congress?

It's going to hurt. He's been a hero for years.

But right is right and he has to step down.

That said, Al Franken should go as well.

And it is nonsense to give Franken a pass when we call for Conyers to go.

They both need to go.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, November 30, 2017.

Starting with Iraq's militias.  They were supposed to be disbanded long ago, were considered illegal.  But the US-installed prime minister of Iraq Hayder al-Abadi has made them part of the Iraqi military and they aren't planning on leaving.  AP reported last month:

With the [ISIS] group driven from nearly all of Iraq, US officials have suggested that the thousands of mainly Shiite paramilitary fighters who mobilised against the Sunni extremists three years ago lay down their arms.
But Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, who once battled US troops and is now the deputy head of the state-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces, says they are here to stay.
“The future of the (PMF) is to defend Iraq,” he told The Associated Press in his first extensive interview with a Western media outlet. “The Iraqi army and Iraqi police say they cannot operate without the support of the Hashd,” he added, using a shortened Arabic term for the paramilitary force.

Today, PRESS TV notes:

A senior commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, says American military forces must leave his country’s soil following the eradication of the Takfiri terror group.
In an exclusive interview with Press TV, Hadi al-Ameri, who heads Iraq’s Badr Organization, said the popular forces would call on the parliament to draw up legislation to demand the US pull out all its troops from the Arab country.
 “We will adopt a parliamentary decision to pull out all American troops”, who were allegedly fighting [ISIS] terrorists in the conflict-stricken Arab country, he said.
Ameri said the popular forces won’t allow even “one US soldier” to remain in Iraq now that the Takfiri terrorists have lost their major bastions in the Arab state in the face of successful Iraqi army operations.

That is what an element of the Iraqi government is saying.

Where are the journalists at the White House demanding a response to this?

Where are they at the State Dept?

Where is the President's statement on this?

I believe the US forces should leave Iraq immediately.

That has nothing to do with the threat from the faction of the Iraqi military.

But if you believe the US military should remain in Iraq -- and clearly those in charge at the Defense Dept do -- then why aren't you addressing these comments?

Seems the press should be asking why US military personnel are in Iraq.

And if the answer is "to train and assist," the response should be, "How effective can they be training and assisting a military that publicly states they are the enemy and that they need to get out of the country?"

This goes beyond the philosophical musings of why.

This goes to the fact that these comments indicate "harms way" now includes potential harm to US troops from the Iraqi military.

Should something happen to even one US service member, heads should roll.

And if something should happen to one US service member and the press hasn't done their job of informing people what the situation actually is and hasn't done their job demanding answers from the administration, then the blame for any harm or deaths will not just belong to Donald Trump and company but also to the press.

But what is the press today but willing collaborators eagerly embroidering the tapestry of lies?

Take Larry Luckner (WASH DIPLOMAT) and his most recent 'reporting.'

To read it, he's covering a simple public event planned and attended by unbiased participants.

The Turkish Heritage Organization is a lobbying front for the government of Turkey.

I'm not really sure why James Jeffrey participated -- cash?

But considering the attacks that took place -- by Turkish bodyguards -- in DC not all that long ago, I really think he showed disrespect -- not just stupidity -- for democracy and for those who were attacked by gas bagging at this event.

Turkey does not want Kurdish independence.

So let's not pretend this was a dis-interested party.

They invite James Jeffrey -- one of Barack Obama's many failed US Ambassadors to Iraq (Chris Hill was the worst but they were all failures).  Jeffrey was in the job for approximately two years.  He couldn't hack it.  Jeffrey was also part of the mop-up committee known as the Iraq War Study Group.  They produced nothing of value but did manage to consume a lot of US taxpayer funds.

Also participating in person?

Lukman Faily.


Until 2016, he was the Iraqi ambassador to the US.  Installed by forever thug Nouri al-Maliki.

Lukman accomplished nothing though he did manage to insult many of Iraq's minority groups.

This included the Kurds so, no surprise, he did so at the conference.

Third guest -- appearing via satellite -- a Turkman.

That really says it all.

So they're there to discuss the Kurds.

No Kurd is on the panel.

No pro-Kurdish person is on the panel.

And they spew their hate and their conspiracies unchecked and it's all supposed to be wonderful.

The UK is committed not only to defeating [ISIS] militarily but also to countering the dispersal of foreign fighters from Iraq and Syria.

Replying to 
The Prime Minister today became the first major foreign leader to visit Iraq since the fall of Mosul, where she congratulated British, Coalition and Iraqi Troops on the success of the counter [ISIS] campaign.

Replying to 
The Prime Minister today became the first major foreign leader to visit Iraq since the fall of Mosul, where she congratulated British, Coalition and Iraqi Troops on the success of the counter [ISIS] campaign.

ISIS fighters could slip back into Europe, May warns on Iraq trip

PM IN IRAQ: becomes first major world leader to visit Iraq since Isis were driven from Mosul and Raqqa. The PM met British troops training Iraqi soldiers as she warned of the risks of IS terrorists 'dispersing' across the region.

Theresa May's visit should beg the question of where's Donald Trump's visit?

He has yet to visit Iraq.

As a US president, Barack Obama only visited Iraq once -- once in eight years as president.

So if Donald plans on being a one-term president -- as so many hope -- maybe he could just go to Kuwait instead?

Let's move to one of the media's biggest liars: Joy Reid.

Replying to 
One last thing on the history of protests: the March On Washington was meant to move a Democratic president, and it did, because at core, he had come to agree with the protesters. The anti-Vietnam and anti-Iraq war marches were massive, but failed versus Republican presidents.

I don't see how LBJ was moved by the protesters (other than realizing he couldn't be pro-war and be re-elected).

Are we also forgetting that Barack didn't end the Iraq War, Joy?

He was a major liar.  He 'protested' with a small speech in Chicago ahead of the war.

Then he told THE NEW YORK TIMES, in 2004, that he's not sure how he would have voted if he'd been in Congress at the time.

Please remember that he used his Iraq War 'protest' to show his superior judgment -- but in 2004, he didn't know how he'd vote?

Barack told Elaine and I, after the war started, that the protests didn't matter because the US was in Iraq now.

He told many people that.

Yet the press let him run as anti-war in 2008.

And the same press agreed to stay silent as he left office with the Iraq War still dragging on.

Joy realizes Barack is a Democrat, right?

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Those bitter clingers

Michael Tracey Retweeted Paul Krugman
There's few things more pathetic than feckless, aggrieved pundits using every sexual misconduct revelation to bolster their "Hillary Was Wronged" narrative
Michael Tracey added,

100% agree.

This is such nonsense.

Not Matt Lauer being a creep who harassed women.

That's true.

But this nonsense of, "Oh, this proves the media was against Hillary!"

The media was not against Hillary.

She got better coverage than any other presidential candidate under a criminal investigation.

She's a liar and so are her dead enders who just can't let go.

That especially includes Paul Krugman.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, November 29, 2017.

According to a Pentagon report, the US has deployed thousands more troops in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan than it has previously admitted.

BBC NEWS picks up on the issue of more US troops being stationed in Iraq than previously revealed:

The number of US troops in Syria and Iraq is significantly higher than acknowledged by Pentagon officials, a US defence department report shows.
Officially there are 503 US troops in Syria and 5,262 in Iraq.
However, the Pentagon's quarterly report puts number of troops as 1,720 in Syria and 8,892 in Iraq.


The report did not include number of special operations forces or temporary personnel rotating into or out of the country in the official figures, so, military experts and analysts believe the actual number could be even higher.

And they note that this trickery with regards to numbers did not begin under Donald Trump:

Around the end of Obama's presidency, DOD announced that the number of US troops in Iraq is 2,662, however, Defense Manpower Data Center announced in December 2016 that there are 6,812 troops in Iraq.

RT speaks with analyst Ali Rizk about the numbers:

Ali Rizk: It is quite possible the real numbers are higher than the official numbers which are given by the US officials. You have to bear in mind – before the killing of four US troops in Niger, many people didn’t know that the US actually had forces in that country. Bearing that in mind, one wouldn’t be surprised to know that the real numbers of US troops in Iraq, in Syria, or elsewhere in the Middle East would be higher given the fact that this US troop presence in Africa, Niger and elsewhere in the African continent, wasn’t known. What also could make it quite possible that the real numbers are higher than what is being announced – is the fact that you have generals, many of Trump’s closest associates, members of his cabinet, they are military men, General McMaster, General James Mattis, John Kelly, they would be prone to send higher number of military personnel abroad. At the same time, the US public probably wouldn’t receive that kind of deployment very well and would probably raise its objections which would require from Trump administration to maybe hide these facts and to increase the true presence without actually announcing it. So, [given] all these factors, it could be quite possible that we indeed do have larger numbers than what is being heard about.

RT: This wouldn’t be the first time the US has been unclear about its troop numbers in Iraq and Syria. Why does the Pentagon apparently want to give the impression it has fewer troops than it really does in the region?

AR: It is related to what I would call the post-Iraqi and Afghani war syndrome. It is similar to the situation we had in the aftermath of the American war in Vietnam. The same thing, the American public is exhausted, it is against any increase in troop presence. And I think the Pentagon is very intent on keeping this message that it has a low level of troop presence in order not to lead to an outburst or an outcry from an American public which as I said would be very war-weary and would be very much objected to increased American presence… At the same time, we do have a lot of generals who want to increase, who would be more prone to pursuing military solutions or having military build-up in the foreign countries.     

In other news . . .

Drought and neglect have decimated Iraq’s breadbasket

You may remember the stories of how the date industry was going to revolutionize Iraq's economy under Bully Boy Bush.

No, we didn't believe it here.

And we got some angry e-mails on that including from one US military captain who had worked on the program.

That was over a decade ago that the e-mail came in.

It would appear that we were right to have been skeptical of the laughable claims.

So many programs get started and then dropped.

And the point here: The dam in Mosul.

If ISIS is cleared of Mosul, maybe it's time to get serious about the dam.

Every few years, we're told that the dam could fall apart and spew enough water across Iraq to kill thousands.

So if ISIS is gone, what's the hold up?

Why wait until you fear the battered dam will be bombed or exploded by ISIS or someone else to fix it?

Fix it now.

But that would require the Iraqi government using money for something other than corruption and, goodness knows, corruption remains the big money industry in Iraq.


Over the weekend came news that members of Nouri al-Maliki's administration (2006 - 2014) had been charged with corruption.  It was supposed to be a big deal and a feather in the cap for Iraq's current prime minister Hayder al-Abadi.

Though many continue to spin it that way, is it?

We've already noted that Nouri himself wasn't part of the group charged.  And that the efforts seemed mild, at best.

Judging by ASHARQ AL-ASWAT's report today, it's even worse than we thought:

At a time when Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi warned that he will escalate his war against corrupt officials, the judiciary handed down on Tuesday prison sentences against a number of officials who were convicted in corruption-related cases.

Abadi announced last week that the corrupt had to either hand out the stolen money – and perhaps be pardoned – or lose their money and spend the rest of their lives in prison.

The Integrity Commission revealed on Tuesday that several judicial verdicts were handed down in cases it has investigated against officials charged with abusing public funds.

Criminals who betrayed the public trust were given, by Hayder, the opportunity "to either hand out the stolen money [. . .] or lose their money and spend the rest of their lives in prison"?

That's rather strange in a country where a whisper campaign can get you executed.

But then Hayder's not serious about fighting corruption and the way he's treated those guilty of corruption makes that perfectly clear.

What, if anything, has Hayder improved in Iraq?

: Honour crimes remain a grave problem & Article 409 of the Penal Code – which reduces punishment for men who kill women for “honourable motives” – should be amended to end impunity for such acts

Apparently, he's not done much of anything but, no doubt, like Nouri before him, he'll eventually leave office with his pockets full of the country's riches while the Iraqi people struggle.

For now, he shakes hands with visiting dignitaries.  Today?

: British Prime Minister has arrived in Baghdad and will be holding talks with Iraq’s Prime Minister .

While she shakes hands with Hayder, George Galloway notes the lies that pulled the UK into the Iraq War.

“Gordon Brown reveals in his autobiography that after Chilcot Inquiry had closed he was leaked a document from US government proving beyond any contradiction that US govt never believed Iraq had WMD, therefore allowing Tony Blair to lie to the Queen, Armed Forces, to parliament”

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