Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Even her aides are liars

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Longtime Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines repeatedly lied about using a personal email address to communicate with reporters, records show. Emails uncovered after Gawker successfully sued the State Department show that Reines regularly corresponded with reporters using a personal Gmail address, despite previously dismissing the suggestion as a “cockamamie theory,” saying his personal email account “is about the last place I want to be emailing reporters or conducting work.”
Gawker’s initial request under the Freedom of Information Act was initially denied after the State Department claimed to have no record of Reines’s correspondence with reporters. The emails, about 18,000 in total, are coming to light now thanks to a successful legal appeal.
The revelation is interesting given that the scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email address, hosted on a private server, during her time as secretary of state, and the fact that Hillary, according to her, has been completely honest and more transparent than anyone in American history.

If it is not Hillary Clinton's lies, it is the lies of aides.

She lives in a bubble of lies.

At this rate, she is so vile she has become shameless.

There is a real reason people find her untrustworthy and the term "liar" is applied to her so often.

At any rate, ignore her and read Kat's "Kat's Korner The triumphant return of Janet " about Janet Jackson's new album Unbreakable.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, October 5, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Haider al-Abadi continues his fakery, Ramadi remains held by the Islamic State, Operation Inherent Failure remains an abject one, and much more.

Iraq was slammed by violence today with Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) counting 56 dead with 32 alone killed by an al-Khales car bombing. Ahmed Rasheed, Michael Gregory and Allison Williams (Reuters) quote al-Khales police captain Mohammed al-Tamimi declaring, "The driver begged police to be allowed to park his vehicle in order to buy medication from a nearby pharmacy and five minutes later it (the bomb) went off and caused huge destruction."

That was one of three major bombings.  AFP reports ten people died in another "bombing in Zubayr, near Basra in southern Iraq, was claimed by the Sunni extremist Islamic State group, which has controlled swathes of the country since last year but was thought to have little reach in the deep Shiite south" while a third bombing  left five people dead in Hosseiniyah.

In other violence, Alsumaria notes a Kirkuk roadside bombing left two Peshmerga injured and  Dawn Ennis (The Advocate) reports:

More horrifying atrocities against men believed to be gay have come to light in occupied Iraq, where Islamic militants from ISIS have executed four men by tying them up and tossing them from the rooftops of high-rise buildings.  
Extremists in Mosul executed two Iraqi men in this fashion simply for being gay, local sources reported to the ARA News website. Another report claimed the same fate befell two men in Nineveh, for the same “crime.”

A civil rights activist in the region told ARA News the judgment of who is gay is based on “superficial information without any investigation.”

US President Barack Obama's plan or 'plan' to address the Islamic State and rescue Iraq has yielded no positive results and remains Operation Inherent Failure.

Mosul fell to the Islamic State in June 2014.

And today?

It remains under the control of the Islamic State.

In April of 2015, Ramadi fell to the Islamic State.

And today?

It remains under the control of the Islamic State.

But unlike with Mosul, with Ramadi there's an effort to liberate Ramadi.

How long has the operation to retake Ramadi been going on?


Haider al-Abadi's government is attempting to portray reclaiming a stadium -- not in Ramadi -- as a victory.

All these months later, the Iraqi government now controls a sports stadium.

That's what passes for 'success' in Iraq.

  • Fred Fleitz (Fox News) offers:

    In Iraq, ISIS took the city of Ramadi last May despite being outnumbered 10-1 by the Iraqi army.  Iraqi officials said they would retake the city “in days.” 

    Four months later, there is little prospect of this or an assault to retake Mosul which was supposed to occur last spring. This is due to the weakness of Iraq’s army and President Obama’s refusal to allow U.S. military advisers or special forces leave their bases and accompany Iraqi forces into the field. 

    Operation Inherent Failure.

    June 19, 2014, Barack insisted the only answer to Iraq's crises was a political solution.

    Yet in all the time since, there's been little effort to address Iraq's crises which include the long targeting of the Sunni population.

    They remain excluded.

    For over a year now, Barack and others in the administration have insisted that Iraq needs a national guard but the draft law remains a bill as Parliament refuses to pass it due to objections over a Sunni force.

    In a surprising development today, Judit Neurink (Independent) reports:

    The Iraqi government has embarked on secret talks with Sunni militia figures and former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime in an attempt to secure crucial Sunni support in the fight against Isis.  

    After a first meeting in the Qatari capital Doha early last month, a second round of talks took place in Tanzania two weeks later, and three more sessions are planned, according to well-informed Iraqi sources who were party to the talks but requested anonymity because of their sensitive nature. The Independent has seen photographs of the meeting in Tanzania, which showed representatives from Western and African governments alongside officials of Iraq’s Shia-led government. The US and the UN are mediating the talks.

    The Doha conference, of course, was used by State of Law to target the Sunnis.

    They attempted to use the participation of Salim al-Jabouri in the conference as an excuse to strip him of his post as Speaker of Parliament.

    State of Law was created by -- and is run by -- Nouri al-Maliki who was prime minister from 2006 through 2014 and used his post to persecute the Sunnis.

    Haider al-Abadi was installed as the new prime minister in the fall of 2014 in an attempt to reset the clock and pull Iraq back from the brink.

    During his year and counting as prime minister, he's accomplished very little but flapped his gums a great deal.

    For example, protests started (re-started) months ago.

    The spark was the lack of electricity in 100-plus degree days.

    Ghaith Abdul-Ahad (Guardian) reports:

    More than a decade after the US invasion – and more than $40bn (£26bn) of investment later – Iraqis must still make do with limited electricity. In a country with one of the world’s largest oil reserves, this is a matter of great exasperation for locals.
    “People here get a few hours of electricity every day, so when the current comes there is a huge demand: everyone plugs in their fridges and air conditioners, the old network is overloaded and transformers fry and cables melt,” said Faris. “We work three shifts, 24 hours a day, trying to patch up the old network and we can’t keep up.”
    When summer temperatures peak above 50C (122F), it’s a matter of life and death – a far more emotive issue than Isis and the sectarian divide. This summer, as temperatures surged and tempers frayed, thousands of people staged a series of protests, pressing into city centre squares to denounce the corruption that riddles the system.

    All these months later, all these grand pronouncements from Haider later, and the electricity issue is still not addressed.

    But Haider did announce, over the weekend, that he'd accomplished something to meet the demands of the people.

    Sunday, AFP reported that Haider al-Abadi, prime minister of Iraq, declared that opening the Green Zone to the public is part of his fulfilling his promise to the Iraqi people.

    Strange, I don't require any signs carried by the protesters in recent months that called for opening the Green Zone.

    And, of course, it's not really that open.  As AFP noted, "The measure offers limited access to the vast area, with most streets still requiring a special badge [. . .]"

    But there's a bigger issue, isn't there?

    One AFP ignores for reasons unknown.

    Is the Green Zone open to all Iraqis?


    It's not.

    It can't be.

    Not when Baghdad isn't open to all Iraqis.

    Or have we forgotten that Sunnis in Anbar Province have been repeatedly denied entry to Baghdad over the last months?

    AFP apparently forgot.

    Not everyone was so willing to toss aside facts and common sense.  Alap Naik Desai (Inquisitr) explains the results of the 'grand opening,'  "However, many excited Iraqis who rushed to get a glimpse of the territory left disappointed.  This is because severe restrictions, still in effect, prevented the majority of Iraqis access to most of the area.  This didn't stop the PM taking credit for the initiative.

    Haider's full of words.

    It's in actual action that he's lacking.

    The US State Dept also has the gift of gab.

    Today's State Dept press briefing found spokesperson Mark Toner offering lots of words -- few possessed any real value.

    QUESTION: Just two questions on Syria and Iraq.

    MR TONER: Yeah, sure.

    QUESTION: The first one: The Kurdish groups in Syria and both in Iraq – the Iraqi Kurdish president has issued a statement. They both welcome the presence of the airstrikes by Russian – by Russia in Syria. Aren’t you concerned that some of your very best partners are now welcoming the Russian airstrikes?

    MR TONER: Well, again, we have great respect for the Iraqi Kurds in the fight that they’re waging against ISIL in Iraq. Our position on Russian airstrikes, I think, has been made painfully clear over the last four or five days since the very first airstrikes were carried out. We said many times that we would welcome a constructive role for Russia if it takes the fight to ISIL. Thus far, we’ve not seen that that’s the case. We’ve seen no indication that they’re actually hitting ISIL targets – ISIL targets.

    QUESTION: Is it constructive if --

    MR TONER: Please, go ahead, sir.

    QUESTION: Is it constructive if Russia supports the Kurds in Syria or the Kurds in Iraq?

    MR TONER: Is it constructive if – it’s constructive if --

    QUESTION: Militarily?

    MR TONER: It’s constructive if Russia wants to, as I said, live up to what it’s saying, live up to its words with action, which is – it says it wants to take the fight to ISIL. We’ve not seen that thus far. Frankly, what we’ve seen thus far is that Russia’s decision to undertake military action in Syria and intervene in that civil war that’s taking place between Assad and the moderate Syrian opposition – frankly, we consider it a strategic mistake. If they are serious about taking the fight to ISIL, then, as I said, we can find a role – or we can see a role for them to play constructively, certainly within the context of de-conflicting any action that they may be taking against some of the targets that we’re also hitting.
    Our primary purpose here is to support those groups in northern Syria – Kurds, Arabs, others – who are waging successful attacks against ISIL, dislodging them from some key strongholds and frankly clearing ISIL out of that territory. That remains our focus. We’re part of a 60-some-odd member coalition doing that. If Russia wants to play in that sphere, then we would see a role for them, but we don’t see that yet.

    QUESTION: Could you comment on a report in The New York Times that the United States is coordinating with Turkey to open another front in northwestern Syria, and perhaps even get closer to where the Russians are bombing? Could you comment on that?

    MR TONER: No, I’m not going to get into – I’m not going to confirm those reports. I mean, obviously, we’ve been working with some of these groups in northern Syria for some time, continuing to provide them support – both the Department of State, nonlethal assistance, DOD, train and equip. We’re going to continue those efforts, but I’m not in a position to really speak to those reports in The New York Times.

    QUESTION: (Inaudible) you said – you’re going to continue that? I thought there was a pause or some kind of a hiatus in the train and equip program because it was so – it was not --

    MR TONER: I think that they’ve – they’re looking at --

    QUESTION: Is that over? This is probably better asked to the Pentagon.

    MR TONER: No, I’m not clear on that, actually, but I would refer you to the Department of Defense. My understanding was that they’re looking at how to rejigger it, improve it, but --

    QUESTION: All right. And then I hesitate to ask this here, but – rather than have a colleague ask at the Pentagon, but you just said that, in response to an earlier question with – about Russia about de-confliction on targets that we may also be hitting. Are you aware of any shared targets that --

    MR TONER: No, that’s – sorry if I was unclear about that point.

    QUESTION: So --

    MR TONER: We’re trying to hit ISIL targets. We’ve not see that Russia is doing that yet.

    QUESTION: So then what is de-confliction?

    MR TONER: Sorry.

    QUESTION: You just don’t want planes running into each other? Is that – is that what it is?

    MR TONER: I mean, we want to avoid those kinds of tragic incidents, yes. And certainly, that’s – on a really tactical level, yes, that’s one of the concerns.

    QUESTION: Okay.

    MR TONER: But also there’s other concerns as well in this battle space. I don’t really want to speak to it in my capacity, but – yeah.

    QUESTION: But would it also involve Russian airstrikes against targets that you do not believe are ISIL or al-Qaida affiliates? Does that also fall under the de-confliction idea, or is this something that’s kind of not – better to ask the Pentagon?

    MR TONER: No, I mean, I would say – I mean, that’s – look, that’s been made abundantly clear both in the political sphere as well as in the tactical level. We don’t want to see Russia hitting some of the Syrian opposition forces that we believe they’ve struck.

    QUESTION: Okay. Well, does de-confliction also go to Russian planes flying into Turkish airspace, something like that?

    MR TONER: Yes, that certainly involves that.

    QUESTION: So in terms of that specific incident, again realizing that this might be better directed at the Pentagon, has there been any diplomatic activity other than just what the NATO statement, which I think we’ve all seen, with the Russians – between the U.S. and the Russians about this incident or these – this – these incidents?

    MR TONER: So I did try to check on this before. There’s been no follow-up to the de-confliction – I hate that word, but to the efforts at – to de-conflict that started – began last week, I think on Thursday. There’s been no follow-up to that, but obviously we made clear our concerns about this --

    QUESTION: No, I’m not talking --

    MR TONER: -- in the NAC – right, in the NATO --

    QUESTION: Right. No, I’m talking about aside from NATO and aside from --

    MR TONER: Right. Not that I’m aware of, no.

    QUESTION: -- the de-confliction talks, you don’t know if there’s been any contact, direct contact, between you and the Russians?

    MR TONER: Direct contact, no. I don’t believe so.

    QUESTION: Because the Secretary spoke about how the Turkish foreign minister called him on Saturday, I think he said, after the first incident.

    MR TONER: That’s right, that’s right.

    QUESTION: So you’re not aware of anything since then?

    MR TONER: No.

    QUESTION: So Mark, are you saying to the best of your knowledge they have not spoken about the Russian flights into Turkish airspace?

    MR TONER: To my knowledge, no. Now again, I don’t know if our embassy in Moscow has approached the Russian Government. To my knowledge, that has not happened between DOD, but again, to my knowledge. I’m not aware of any --

    QUESTION: I mean between Kerry and Lavrov.

    MR TONER: Not to my knowledge, no; they haven’t spoken.

    QUESTION: Mark, on the same topic. Do you have the same concerns of Russian cooperation with the Iraqi, like Russia targeting ISIS in Iraq like you have in Syria, or it is different story? Because they have a cooperation in Baghdad. That’s what the Prime Minister Abadi said, like for sharing intelligence.

    MR TONER: Yeah, sharing intelligence. But I frankly haven’t seen them actually voice any kind of willingness to actually hit ISIL targets in Iraq. Frankly, that’s a question better asked of the Iraqi Government and how they would feel about actually active Russian attacks in that space.

    QUESTION: Right, but they authorized, they welcomed – actually both regional government of – Kurdish Regional Government, also Baghdad. But what is your concern? Do you have the same thing, or you think if Iraqis is not concerned so you’re fine with that?

    MR TONER: Well, it’s a sovereign country. They can certainly make those kinds of decisions. Our concern, again, is we’re active in that same space. We’re obviously working, closely advising the Iraqi military we believe with some success over the past year, certainly, to take the fight to ISIL in Iraq. So I can’t really speak to any hypothetical role that Russia may play in that struggle.

    QUESTION: Okay. Well, one more on that last one.

    MR TONER: Please go ahead, yeah.

    QUESTION: You have many forces in Iraq that you are cooperating with – I think the Iraqi Government, Sunnis, and the Kurds. And the recent month is the Kurdish officials, they were concerned about the amount of ammunitions and also the weapons they have received from the United States, it’s really decreased to not – they have not received the share that they – was provided by Pentagon to them.

    MR TONER: You’re speaking about --

    QUESTION: The train and equip program.

    MR TONER: No, no, no, but which group in particular?

    QUESTION: The Kurdish group in Iraq, not in Syria. So one of the Kurdish official – I think the chancellor of the council of – security council of Kurdistan – he said that we have not received anything from United States since May. So --

    MR TONER: I’m not aware of any lapse in our efforts to supply them. I’d have to check on that. And frankly, it might be a better – question better directed to the Department of Defense.

    QUESTION: So I asked the Department of Defense the same issue.

    MR TONER: There you go. What did they say? (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: Well, they said that’s – that we have sent everything to Baghdad, but that’s for the diplomatic mission.

    MR TONER: Well, that is – I mean, that is a critical element of our effort there. We’ve said – we’ve been pretty adamant about the fact that command and control rests with the Iraqi Government. That said, we’ve seen a real effort on the – part of the Iraqi Government, the Iraqi military, and frankly, no lapse in getting that equipment, ammunition, whatever, supplies out to those who need it. So I honestly can’t speak to this particular case. I just don’t have the --

    QUESTION: What do you – do you mean, like, those who needs – that they are fighting? You mean maybe they are sending more to Sunnis because they are fighting extensive – in Peshmerga front lines --

    MR TONER: We have – again, I – we’ve made that very clear. And frankly, we believe that it is indeed the case where the Iraqi Government is doing a good job at disseminating those supplies to those who are actually fighting the fight against ISIL – Kurds, Sunnis, whoever. Some of these local forces on the ground that are quite effective. I’ve just seen nothing; I don’t know. I can’t speak to any lapse in supply or equipping the Kurdish forces. I just don’t --

    QUESTION: Right. Will you take it that seriously, that – these concerns by the Kurdish official, that they are not getting anything from Baghdad?

    MR TONER: I mean, obviously, we would – we would obviously take something like that – a comment like that with concern. I just said I don’t have any information about it. I can look into it, but I don’t have anything to – I don’t have any facts or any figures here to refute that.

    The last word goes to CNN's Arwa Damon who again notes an import report published last week.

  • reuters
    ahmed rasheed

    Sunday, October 4, 2015


    Is there a weaker 'gay' publication than The Advocate?

    Hillary Clinton gave a speech Wednesday and The Advocate's covering her with air kisses.

    Her homophobia is to be forgotten.

    She said she supports gay parents.

    And that erases her efforts to destroy the rights of gay parents while Secretary of State, apparently.

    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Saturday, October 3, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, one outlet joins The New Yorker in breaking the silence on prostitution in Iraq, Hillary Clinton can't address the topic but maybe if she focuses on the 'business' aspect of the sex trade she'll find a voice, and much more.

    Friday morning, we again noted The New Yorker report on prostitution in Iraq written by Rania Abouzeid and that CNN's Arwa Damon had Tweeted about it but that it was otherwise being ignored.

    From the article:

    In 2012, Iraq passed its first law specifically against human trafficking, but the law is routinely ignored, and sexual crimes, including rape and forced prostitution, are common, women’s-rights groups say. Statistics are hard to come by, but in 2011, according to the latest Ministry of Planning report, a survey found that more than nine per cent of respondents between the ages of fifteen and fifty-four said they had been subjected to sexual violence. The real number is likely much higher, given the shame attached to reporting such crimes in a society where a family’s honor is often tied to the chastity of its women. The victims of these crimes are often considered outcasts and can be killed for “dishonoring” their family or their community.

    Since 2006, Layla, a rape victim and former prostitute, has been secretly mapping Iraq’s underworld of sex trafficking and prostitution. Through her network of contacts in the sex trade, she gathers information about who is selling whom and for how much, where the victims are from, and where they are prostituted and trafficked. She passes the information, through intermediaries, to Iraqi authorities, who usually fail to act on it. Still, her work has helped to convict several pimps, including some who kidnapped children. That Saturday night, I accompanied Layla and Mohammad on a tour of some of the places that she investigates, on the condition that I change her name, minimize details that might identify her, and not name her intermediaries.

    Friday on PRI's The World, Carol Hills spoke with Raina Abouzeid about her report.  Excerpt.

    Rania Abouzeid:  But she's told me on more than one occasion that she sees this as her life's cause that she is absolutely determined regardless of the personal violence that she is often threatened with, because it is a dangerous job to sort of move undercover and pretend that you're a pimp or that you're a retired pimp in her case to get access to these brothels and to get into these nightclubs and to have the kind of relationships that she has with pimps and prostitutes.  But she's nonetheless absolutely devoted to this cause.

    Carol Hills:  You accompanied her as she tried to get information and she was sort of under cover as a pimp herself in order to get information.  What did you observe her do in order to get information?

    Rania Abouzeid:  One of the reasons she can do this was because she was in the trade many years ago.  She has those sort of connections and she mines those connections.  So she's a known quantity if you like in this underworld in Iraq.  And she, uh, she taps into those connections and she uses them to expand her network and it also gives her a kind of street cred, if you like, with these people that she's dealing with.

    Carol Hills:  Can you give a couple of examples of the kind of women or girls that are finding themselves in the sex trade.

    Rania Abouzeid:  Well it's mainly women and girls who don't have the support of their families -- either because they're fleeing from their families because of some sort of domestic abuse or they've been displaced and their usual family network isn't around them so they're -- so they're in an alien environment, if you like. And you know what one of the young ladies in my piece found herself in a very rough neighborhood because it was cheaper and it didn't take long for pimps and their women in this trade -- for one of these pimps to find her and to offer her free shelter, free food, a sense of stability and that's how she was lured into this trade.

    Carol Hills:  You just mentioned that many of the pimps are women and that really surprised me.  How-how does that happen?  It's so different from -- at least our image -- of how prostitution and the sex trade operate.

    Rania Abouzeid:  Yes, it's a very different model to the sort of western stereotype of the pimp -- the male pimp -- who's sort of controls the women.  In Iraq, actually in much of the developing world, these are criminal networks that are run by women.  But there are men behind them.  There's quite a tangled web of men behind them and corrupt police and militia men in the case of Iraq.

    Carol Hills:  Is the current Iraqi government doing anything about this?

    Rania Abouzeid:  Well in August of this year, the Women's Affairs Ministry which was always short of money anyhow was closed down as part of downsizing.  And that was one body that was supposed to sort of advocate for women's affairs.  And it was shut down.

    And it was shut down.

    As we noted September 10th, "What 'reform' under Haider means thus far is that quotas are going and gone -- meaning minority populations will not be represented or have a seat at the table.  In addition, shutting down the Ministry of Women's Affairs -- not a budget concern since it never had a real budget -- means that there will not be bodies in the government to track the treatment (or mistreatment) of certain segments."

    Why is it that when Haider al-Abadi falsely sold his announced moves as 'reform' no one wanted to call them out -- no one in the press.  They wanted to pretend that closing down an underfunded ministry would, in fact, address corruption.

    Instead, it leaves a segment of the population without any real resources.

    And where were our brave defenders of women's rights in the United States?

    I don't want to hear any two-faced women's 'leader' announce yet again: "Human rights are women's rights."

    I don't want to hear that or anything else if they were no where to be found when Haider al-Abadi was trying to dismantle the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

    Hillary Clinton, for example, was more than happy to vote (2002) to destroy Iraq and to continue to support the illegal war until it became a problem in 2007 as she was seeking the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential nomination.

    Today, she's again seeking that nomination but she has nothing to say about Iraqi women.

    The notion that some fluff in a badly (ghost)written book means she no longer has to answer for Iraq is one pimped by the whores who want to ignore what a War Hawk Hillary is.

    Remember, she can talk business opportunities brought about by the destruction of Iraq, she just can't address the problems facing the Iraqi people.

    Moving from a presidential aspirant to the actual US President, Barack Obama mentioned the Middle East briefly this week.


    Daniel Drezner Retweeted Michael Barbaro
    He forgot Iraq.
    Daniel Drezner added,

    On the issue of Russia and the air strikes in Syria garnered a lot of press attention this week.  To a lesser extent so did the announcement of the government of Iraq that they would be sharing intelligence with Russia.

    The latter topic was addressed this week on Fresh Air (NPR -- link is audio and text) when Dave Davies spoke with the Washington Post's Joby Warrick.

    DAVIES: The other development here is that the Russians recently announced an agreement with Iraq and Iran to share intelligence about ISIS. They didn't let the Americans know about this, right? I mean, what are we to make of that?

    WARRICK: It's clearly a slap in the face of the Obama administration because, you know, the Iraqis are supposedly our allies. The Iranians certainly aren't, but we've tried to work with them in finding ways - you know, common interest - in going against ISIS. But here, you know, Russia is asserting its own role without telling the United States and essentially giving the signal or the message that the U.S. has been ineffective and been powerless. As Putin said in his speech at the U.N., it's made the situation much worse, so Russia is moving in, again, in a very dramatic fashion to say we're going to take charge here. We're going to help bring a solution to the region. If eventually it leads to a more cooperative effort between the U.S. and Russia and others in doing something against ISIS, that'll be great. I think it's way, way too early to say if that's - if we can have that kind of a hopeful outcome.

    Still on Russia, Kevin Liptak (CNN) reports, "In a joint statement Friday, the governments of nations fighting ISIS -- including the United States, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia -- said Russia's military strikes 'constitute a further escalation and will only fuel more extremism and radicalization'."

    Oh, Russian strikes will do that?

    Fuel more extremism and radicalization?

    Russian strikes will do that?

    Not US strikes in Syria or Iraq?

    Because the US government has no diplomatic efforts in Iraq, just more bombs dropped.

    Friday the Defense Dept bragged:

    Airstrikes in Iraq
    Bomber, fighter, attack, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
    -- Near Huwayjah, six strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL ammunition cache, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL vehicle bomb assembly area and an ISIL mortar system.
    -- Near Albu Hayat, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
    -- Near Beiji, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 17 ISIL tactical fighting positions and wounded an ISIL fighter.
    -- Near Kirkuk, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
    -- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL rocket
    -- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL command and control node.
    -- Near Mosul, a strike destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.
    -- Near Sinjar, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    And there's this:

  • In other violence, Al Jazeera notes twin suicide bombers took their own lives in different parts of Baghdad today while also killing 24 other people.

    Still on violence, this week saw the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) issue their figures for the month of September:

    Baghdad, 1 October 2015 – According to casualty figures released today by UNAMI, a total of 717 Iraqis were killed and another 1,216 were injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in September 2015*.

    The number of civilians killed was 537 (including 42 civilian police and casualty figures in Anbar), and the number of civilians injured was 925 (including 38 civilian police and casualty figures in Anbar).

    A further 180 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (including Peshmerga, SWAT and militias fighting alongside the Iraqi Army / Not including casualties from Anbar Operations) were killed and 291 were injured.

    “The United Nations remains deeply concerned by the ongoing violence and the high rate of ensuing casualties”, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Jan Kubis said. He however noted that “the cycle of violence, displacement and migration, should not hamper the need to properly and meaningfully address the key economic, security, social and institutional reforms that will help stabilize the situation and restore hope among the Iraqis”.

    Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 840 civilian casualties (257 killed, 583 injured). Diyala suffered 67 killed and 86 injured, Salahadin 87 killed and 64 injured, Ninewa 75 killed and 8 injured, and Kirkuk 16 killed and 6 injured.

    According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, the Governorate suffered a total of 204 civilian casualties (28 killed and 176injured).

    *CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted below. Casualty figures obtained from the Anbar Health Directorate might not fully reflect the real number of casualties in those areas due to the increased volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum

    In other failures for Haider al-Abadi, Press TV reports there are now over 800 confirmed cases of cholera in Iraq.

    Reuters reports that July saw Haider al-Abadi refusing to pay the salaries to workers -- "pensioners, civil servants, doctors, teachers, nurses, police and workers at state-owned companies" -- in Iraqi cities controlled by the Islamic State.  And what are people saying about this move?

    The Iraqi government’s decision to choke off funding for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by cutting off all wages and pensions in cities controlled by the group has plunged people into hardship and could help the insurgents tighten their grip, officials and residents say.

    Way to go, Haider al-Abadi, way to make things even worse.


    Thursday, October 1, 2015

    That backstabber Hillary Clinton

    As the grandmother of a gay man, I find Hillary Clinton's intolerance of others to be appalling.

    Her e-mails reveal that she actively worked to thwart the State Department from recognizing families that were same-sex and to do so on something as basic as a passport form.

    Ms. Clinton felt that if they were recognized on the form, all hell would break loose, dogs would begin speaking, the sky would rain blood, and her good friend Satan would dance with her in the public square, apparently.

    As much as she needs to be questioned on Iraq (she supported that war), she needs to be questioned on how she has repeatedly stabbed the LGBTQ community in the back.

    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Wednesday, September 30, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Iraq's prime minister Haider al-Abadi continues his trip to the United States, more e-mails reveal the real Hillary Clinton (homophobe and greedy), and much more.

    As part of Haider al-Abadi's continued visit to the United States, the prime minister of Iraq sat down with Margaret Warner (PBS' The NewsHour -- link is text, audio and video) for an interview.  Excerpt.

    MARGARET WARNER: Another thing, of course, that happened over the last few days was news that Iraq had entered an intelligence pact with Russia and Iran and Syria to share intelligence about ISIS. Why did you join that?

    HAIDER AL-ABADI: ISIL is an international terrorist organization. As far as the intelligence is concerned, we can only gather information about ISIL inside Iraq.
    We need the help of other countries. Russia now considers ISIL as a national threat to them. It is a national threat to Syria. And, of course, it is a threat to Iran as well. Now, to share this intelligence with these countries is going to help us. I will do whatever it takes to protect the Iraqi people.
    And there are many terrorist networks all over the world and fighters coming across different countries, to Syria, to Iraq. I need the help of that intelligence, as well as the intelligence of the international coalition, which is…


    MARGARET WARNER: But doesn’t most of your intelligence in fact come from the Americans? And are you worried that the U.S. will become more wary and less forthcoming sharing intelligence with you if they know it also goes to Iran and Russia and Syria?

    HAIDER AL-ABADI: No, we will be careful not to share this information which comes from other parties with another party.

    Some have little faith in Haider al-Abadi's ability to self-censor.  It was on another US trip, for instance, when he created an international incident by declaring he had intel about planned attacks on American targets including the NYC subway system.

    It was a year ago when Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Allen (Reuters) reported:

    Iraq has "credible" intelligence that Islamic State militants plan to attack subway systems in Paris and the United States, the prime minister said on Thursday, but U.S. and French officials said they had no evidence to back up his claims.
    Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's comments were met with surprise by security, intelligence and transit officials in both countries. New York's leaders scrambled to ride the subway to reassure the public that the nation's largest city was safe.

    As his heavily reported claims were rebuked by both US and French government officials, Haider was left standing alone on the world stage and returned to Iraq an object of both ridicule and scorn.

    The man who can't trust his own mouth now says he can handle top secret intelligence and not pass it on to Russia?

    Noting that Iraq has long allowed Russia to fly over the country, in Iraq air space, David L. Phillips points out at CNBC:

    Iraq's Shiite-led government appears to be more loyal to Iran than the United States. Iran's Quds Force is fighting alongside Shiite militias against the Islamic State in Anbar and other western provinces of Iraq. Iran's political support and security assistance are critical for the survival of Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's government. 
    Iraq's Shiite-led government appears to be more loyal to Iran than the United States. Iran's Quds Force is fighting alongside Shiite militias against the Islamic State in Anbar and other western provinces of Iraq. Iran's political support and security assistance are critical for the survival of Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's government.
      Further demonstration of Iraq's non-cooperation with the United States surfaced over the weekend: Iraq has reached an understanding with Russia, Iran and Syria to share intelligence about the Islamic State. Iraqi officials kept Washington in the dark during negotiations.

    The Obama administration should be able to influence the government of Iraq. Washington supported Abadi's bid to become prime minister. The Pentagon has an extensive equip-and-train program bolstering the Iraqi Security Forces. Between 2005 and 2013, the U.S. spent $25 billion on security assistance to Iraq. U.S.troops were indispensable in toppling Saddam Hussein, which created conditions for Shiites to ascend in Iraq.   

    Should be able to but apparently the puppet pulls the strings.

    Operation Inherent Failure we dubbed it.

    And the final grades keep rolling in.

    Take this week's [PDF format warning] Foreign Fighter Task Force report from the House Homeland Security Committee.

     The report explains:

    One jihadist group in particular saw an opening.  The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), a successor organization to al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), called for sectarian war and the creation of a regional Islamic state.  AQI was a terrorist group whose leadership had pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden in 2004 and which led an insurgency against U.S. forces in the country.  After the group's leader Abud Musab al-Zarqai was killed in a 2006 U.S. airstrike, it rebranded as ISL.  The terror outfit was weakened by the surge of U.S. troops into Iraq, the Anbar awakening, and later the death of its two top leaders in 2010.  With the eventual withdrawal of American forces, however, ISI took advantage of the security vacuum and Sunni disenfranchisement with the central government to ramp up attacks.  Its new leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, oversaw the escalation in violence.
    In April 2013, al-Baghdadi declared the creation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (hereafter, ISIS).  He sought to merge his forces with those of al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, but al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahirl rejected the merger, creating a schism between the groups.  Nevertheless, ISIS expanded its operations in northern and eastern Syria, claiming territory and creating tension with other rebel factions.  The momentum allowed ISIS to attract additional resources, especially more foreign fighters.
    On New Year's Day 2014, ISIS convoys stormed Falluja and Ramadi, Iraqi cities which only a few years earlier had been liberated by U.S. forces.  The Iraqi army crumbled as the fighters arrived in convoys of 70-100 trucks, armed with heavy weapons and anti-aircraft guns.  The group's growing success resonated with Islamist radicals across social media.  ISIS launched another major offensive in June 2014, capturing Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, and taking control of others towns as it pushed south toward Baghdad.

    Further in, the report offers this stark assessment:

    The United States conducted its first series of coordinated airstrikes against ISIS in August 2014.  The strikes focused initially on curbing ISIS advances in nothern Iraq and protecting religious minorities but eventually shifted to supporting offensive operations against the militant group in both Iraq and its Syrian territory.  In September, President Obama declared the aim of degrading and ultimately destroying the group.  The United States has since conducted more than 5,000 airstrikes against ISIS.
    Airstrikes, however, do not appear to have kept aspiring foreign fighters away.  When the strikes began, counterterrorism officials estimated the total number of extremists was around 15,000.  However, fighters continued to enter Syria at a rate of 1,000 per month.  In December 2014, intelligence officials pegged the total at more than 18,000 and by February 2015 it surpassed 20,000.  Today the figure stands at 25,000-plus foreign fighters, more than triple the number from just a year ago.  The majority of these fighters still come from the Middle East and North Africa, with Tunisia as the most significant source country.  But the total also includes 4,500 Westerners and more than 250 Americans, figures which have surged since 2014.
    Indeed, foreign fighters have helped ISIS to remain strong.  Nearly 10,000 of the group's foot soldiers have been killed by airstrikes, but they have been replaced by new foreign and domestic fighters almost as quickly as they are taken off the battlefield.  There has been "no meaningful degradition in their numbers," according to one defense official, as estimates place ISIS's total fighting force at 20-30,000 -- the same as it was last fall.

    Operation Inherent Failure continues on, doing the same thing with no real results.

    Some call it a 'plan,' some call it stupidity.

    Meanwhile, the US State Dept issued a press release today:

    Media Note
    Office of the Spokesperson
    Washington, DC
    September 30, 2015
    Today at the UN General Assembly event on the humanitarian emergency in Iraq, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall announced that the United States is providing more than $56 million in additional humanitarian assistance to Iraqis who have been affected by violence and are in urgent need of help from the international community. This new funding brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Iraq humanitarian response to nearly $534 million since the start of Fiscal Year 2014.
    Nearly 3.2 m
    illion Iraqis have been internally displaced due to conflict since January 2014—the fastest growing displacement crisis in the world. Iraq’s neighbors are hosting approximately 370,000 Iraqi refugees, on top of the millions of Syrians who have also sought refuge and are in need of aid. U. S. humanitarian assistance aims to assist millions of Iraqi civilians affected by conflict, providing them with critically needed relief commodities, food, shelter, clean water and sanitation, protection, medical services, livelihoods support, and other essential goods and services.
    In June, the UN issued a $498 million appeal for the highest priority needs inside Iraq for July through December 2015. The United States is extremely concerned that there has not been a more robust response to this appeal from other international donors. Despite U.S. contributions, only 40 percent of the necessary funds for the most critical needs have been committed. As a result, humanitarian programs that provide essential food, health, water and sanitation, shelter and other relief services are shutting down. The Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government are taking steps to provide for the 3.2 million IDPs and the 250,000 Syrian refugees in Iraq. But more needs to be done, and the international community’s help is urgently needed.A range of organizations will receive this funding, including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the World Food Program (WFP), and other international and nongovernmental organizations.
    For further information, please contact Danna Van Brandt, vanbrandtdj@state.gov, or visit PRM’s website.

    Sarah Sewall -- aka Sarah Sewer -- remains a threat to peace and humanity no matter how many titles she buys in Barack's administration.

    The counter-insurgency guru used her time at Harvard to pimp war and now thinks she can pretend she stands for anything but destruction.

    Even more amazing, as 2007 drew to a close, there was Sewer and Monty McFate chatting with Charlie (bloom off the) Rose about how Sewer could use a politician as a puppet and the unnamed politician she was speaking of was Barack Obama.

    After public claims like that, you'd think Barack would make sure she had no seat at the table but, apparently, she can in fact use Barack like a puppet hence her continued role in his administration.

    Sarah Sewer's not the only State Dept trash in the news.

    There's former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    Yes, yes, the latest batch of e-mails released reveal her homophobic hatred of non-traditional families.

    But there's also David Sirota and Andrew Perez's report for International Business Times which opens:

    When then-U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton voted to authorize the war against Iraq in 2002, she justified her support of the invasion as a way to protect America’s national security. But less than a decade later, as secretary of state, Clinton promoted the war-torn country as a place where American corporations could make big money.
    “It's time for the United States to start thinking of Iraq as a business opportunity," she said in a 2011 speech.

    The quote was included in an email released by the State Department on Wednesday that specifically mentioned JPMorgan and Exxon Mobil. JPMorgan was selected by the U.S. government to run a key import-export bank in Iraq and in 2013 announced plans to expand its operations in the country. Exxon Mobil signed a deal to redevelop Iraqi oil fields. JPMorgan has collectively paid the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation at least $450,000 for speeches, and Exxon Mobil has donated over $1 million to the family’s foundation.

    She's sorry, you understand, that she voted for the Iraq War and supported it for years until well after the majority of Americans had turned against it.

    Her sorry is the same as her husband's when his affair with Monica Lewinsky was exposed -- embarrassment at being caught out.

    She has no real regrets about the destruction of Iraq, the refugee crises she helped create, the increased birth defects directly tied into the illegal weapons the US government used in Iraq --

    She has only one regret, that the mean press asks her about Iraq today.

    Oh, that mean, evil press, expecting the would be Queen of America to answer questions.

    How awful.

    How horrible.

    She's happy to talk about Iraq -- when she thinks the press isn't around and she won't be reported.

    Everything about that woman is fake, not just her hair color.

    And her pretense that she's a fighter took a huge hit over the weekend as she brought out the latest man to fight her battles for her: her husband Bill Clinton.

    If Hillary can't take on the press by herself, how would she ever be able to stand up to world leaders.

    The general rule in a campaign with regards to spouses of candidates is that the spouse smiles and stays positive throughout.

    When your spouse fights your battle -- as Marilyn Quayle did early on for husband Dan -- the candidate gets the image of being weak.

    All that time Hillary's spent trying to out macho her competition just went down the drain.

    Hillary gave a speech this month which Betty noted in "Not On My Watch -- says manly Hillary."

    A few whiners e-mailed thinking I would attack Betty for the post because I'm a feminist.

    Because I'm a feminist, I agree with Betty.

    Hillary's using macho b.s. language which is actually further alienating her from would-be supporters.

    Instead of always putting the emphasis on her own (self)perceived greatness, she should be making her campaign about 'us.'

    But as though she's prepping for a concert, she can only keep singing 'me-me-me-me-me.'

    "Not on our watch" would be inclusive language.

    "Not on my watch" is Hillary aping the most macho posing candidate and swinging her phantom cock at the crowds.

    It's really sad.

    But so is she these days.

    Finally, 16 people who were kidnapped have been released in Iraq.  September 2nd, in the Sadr section of Baghdad, 18 people were abducted -- Turkish workers and a translator.  Two were released earlier this month leaving 16 still held hostage.

    The Dow Jones Business Wire notes that the 16 were released in Mosayeb and then taken to the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad.  CBC quotes Ugur Dogan, the head of their employer Nurol Holding, declaring the workers are safe.

    Sputnik reminds, "This is not the first case of Turkish citizens being kidnapped in Iraq. In June 2014, militants from the terrorist group Islamic State took 49 employees of the Turkish consulate in Mosul in northern Iraq hostage. The hostages were released after three months in captivity."

    Rumors swirl on Arabic social media regarding whether a ransom was paid.

    Kidnapping is an occupation in Iraq -- one that brings in lots of money.

    Along with individual Iraqis having to pay hefty ransoms, many companies (including news outlets) and governments have paid ransoms throughout the ongoing Iraq War.

    the newshour
    margaret warner

    Wednesday, September 30, 2015

    Hillary is just so stupid

    Did her brain fry completely when she was Secretary of State?

    She did a ridiculous interview with hate merchant Lena Dunham.


    She gives so much ammo for her detractors.

    On voting, Hillary declared, "If you can't get excited, be pragmatic and do it anyway."

    You know everyone will turn that into either a comment about sex or about Hillary Clinton's sex life or a comment about why Bill Clinton cheated.

    She just cannot help her herself.

    Here is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Col Bernie Sanders"


    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Barack gives another speech, the prostitution rings in Iraq finally get some press attention, and much more.

    These are the words, the words are these,
    death lingering, stunk,
    Flies swarming everyone
    Over the whole summit peak
    Flesh quivering in the heat
    This was something else again
    I fear it cannot be explained
    The words that make, the words that make
    What if I take my problem to the United Nations?
    -- "The Words That Maketh Murder," written by PJ Harvey, first appears on her album LET ENGLAND SHAKE

    Yesterday, US President Barack Obama insisted before the United Nations, "Even as our economy is growing and our troops have largely returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, we see in our debates about America’s role in the world a notion of strength that is defined by opposition to old enemies, perceived adversaries, a rising China, or a resurgent Russia; a revolutionary Iran, or an Islam that is incompatible with peace."

    The economy's growing (at a snail's pace) and "our troops have largely returned from Iraq and Afghanistan"?

    Not quite what he ran on in 2008, is it?

    Back then, the Cult of St Barack gathered to hear him thunder, "We want to end the war!"

    They might have puzzled over -- maybe even booed? -- a statement like, "We want to largely end the war!"

    He further insisted:

    In Iraq, the United States learned the hard lesson that even hundreds of thousands of brave, effective troops, trillions of dollars from our Treasury, cannot by itself impose stability on a foreign land.  Unless we work with other nations under the mantle of international norms and principles and law that offer legitimacy to our efforts, we will not succeed.  And unless we work together to defeat the ideas that drive different communities in a country like Iraq into conflict, any order that our militaries can impose will be temporary.   

    What international norm or principle is Barack exhibiting when he drops bombs daily on Iraq?

    What hard lesson taught him that would work?

    Because it hasn't worked for over a year now.

    Operation Inherent Failure.

    Robert Burns (AP) sums it up, "A summer of stalemate in the effort to reclaim the Iraqi provincial capital of Ramadi, despite U.S.-backed Iraqi troops vastly outnumbering Islamic State fighters, calls into question not only Iraq's ability to win a test of wills over key territory but also the future direction of Washington's approach to defeating the extremist group."

    Not only is Barack's plan or 'plan' a failure but its exhausted patience within Iraq.  Al Mada reports that Shi'ite political parties are nervous about the US' military role in Iraq and plan to ask Haider about it (if and) when he finally appears before Parliament.  MP Mohammad al-Karbouli serves on Parliament's Defense Committee and states that the popular crowd (Shi'ite militias) insist that there should be no foreign troops on Iraqi soil.

    Confronted with strong opposition, will Haider fold or dance like the puppet he is for the White House?

    Zayd Alisa (Open Democracy) offers this:

    One year after Haider Al Abadi took over the premiership and the US commenced airstrikes against ISIL or ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, previously known as Al Qaeda in Iraq - AIQ), Iraq is grappling with not only an increasingly menacing existential threat posed by ISIL, but also an intensifying wave of protests. Erupting in Basra—Iraq’s major port and above all where the overwhelming majority of Iraq’s oil exports stems from—the protests swiftly swept through southern provinces, eventually reaching the capital Baghdad.
    The demonstrations were initially sparked by a brutal heat wave, which has been exacerbated by an indefensible chronic shortage in the electricity supply and by almost non-existent public services. They have dramatically expanded, however, forcefully calling for an all-out war on corruption and swift political reform.

    These protests have sent shock waves across the Shia political blocs, largely because they are severely undermining their credibility and legitimacy with their Shia powerbase. The three biggest Shia political blocs, which have persistently been at the heart of all Shia-led governments since the US-led invasion in 2003, are the State of the Law (SoL), which is led by the Dawa party, and from which comes not only the incumbent prime minister, Abadi, but also his predecessors Nouri Al Maliki and Ibrahim Al Jaafari; Islamic Supreme Council (ISC) led by Ammar Al Hakim; and the Sadrist Al-Ahrar bloc.

    Challenges to Haider go beyond the Parliament.  Zaid Sabah and Caroline Alexander (Bloomberg News) report:

    A Shiite militia that refuses even to identify its leader is emerging as one of the greatest threats to the Iraqi administration it’s meant to be backing.
    Kataib Hezbollah has thousands of fighters deployed against the jihadists of Islamic State. While the Iranian-backed group has played a key role in helping Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi stem the militants’ advance, it’s now joining forces with other Shiite militias to oppose the premier’s push to enact a measure that could limit its own power, and Tehran’s influence.
    At the heart of the dispute is the National Guard Law, legislation meant to bring all pro-government armed groups under a unified command. The measure is backed by the U.S. as the only way to halt the breakup of OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer.

    And yet All Iraq News quotes MP Jasim Mohammed Jaafar (Iraqi National Alliance) insisting that the National Guard bill "will be endorsed by the Iraqi Parliament after the vacation of Eid Adha."

    Of course, one MP after another has insisted for over a year now that this bill was on the verge of passing.

    Barack himself's been pushing it publicly since June of 2014.

    Maybe he should have made his (military) support conditional?  No passage of the bill, no US war planes?

    Haider's been busy in the US of late.

    His Tweeter feed is little more than glorified selfies.

  • PM Al-Abadi met Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, special coordinator for the peace process in the Middle East

  • Mladenov?

    The failure as head of UNAMI is now over the peace process?

    Well I guess that's one way to rig the effort and ensure no progress.

    Mohammed Shafiq (Alsumaria) reports that Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari also addressed the United Nations Monday insisting that it needed to help Iraq with its crises.

     Which I guess is his way of insisting that the new deal with Russia was necessary.

    CBS and AP note:

    Iraq will begin sharing "security and intelligence" information with Russia, Syria and Iran to help combat the advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS,) the Iraqi military announced Sunday.
    A statement issued by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said the countries will "help and cooperate in collecting information about the terrorist Daesh group," using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

    On CNN (see video on page), they argue the aspect of the goals of the US versus Russia with regards to Syria (the US government wants Syrian President Bashar al-Assad replaced -- that has been the goal since the days of Bully Boy Bush).

    But another aspect is how can Iraq share intelligence with Russia?

    The US is sharing intel with Iraq which Iraq will then pass on to Russia?

    I have no problem with intel being shared but I'm not the person in the White House who has demonized Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Barack created the 'great enemy' Putin -- as we noted in real time.

    Putin was a minor player -- a fading one -- until the President of the United States repeatedly elevated him at the end of Barack's first term by verbally attacking him.

    That was Barack's decision and the world lives with the consequences.

    So it's worth noting now that the chain of intel will go something like this: US government shares with Iraq which then shares with Russia.

    Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) offers this take:

    Yesterday’s announcement that Iraq is going to engage in intelligence sharing with Russia and Syria has been met negatively by Pentagon officials, who say that it “complicates” the US war and dramatically weakens America’s own intelligence gathering abilities.
    This problem appears to be largely a function of US annoyance at the information sharing, which means the Pentagon intends to limit intelligence sharing with Iraq, seemingly out of spite, and will subsequently get less intelligence from Iraq in return.

    Ditz seems a little self-righteous and ignorant in the above.

    I have no problem with intel sharing.

    But I do grasp that the US might not want to share intel with someone they're picking a fight with.

    I'm confused as to why that's such a mystery to Jason Ditz.

    Violence continues in Iraq.  Monday?  Alsumaria reports a Baghdad car bombing left 3 people dead and seven more injured and Khalidiya mortar and rockets attack killed 1 sixteen-year-old girl and left two children and two adults injured. Iraq Times adds that a 45-year-old man was shot dead (three shots to the chest) in front of his Basra home by militia members and a Basra tribal clash left 3 people dead and a fourth injured.

    In other news, Alsumaria notes that the Ministry of Health states there are now 401 confirmed cholera cases in Iraq. All Iraq News adds that 14 confirmed cases are in Diwaniya Province.

    On cholera, we'll note this Tweet:

  • For years, we've noted the sex trade in Iraq.  Few have.  Off Our Backs did (the feminist publication ceased publication shortly after).  Today, CNN's Arwa Damon Tweets:

  • The New Yorker report is by Rania Abouzeid and here's an excerpt:

    In 2012, Iraq passed its first law specifically against human trafficking, but the law is routinely ignored, and sexual crimes, including rape and forced prostitution, are common, women’s-rights groups say. Statistics are hard to come by, but in 2011, according to the latest Ministry of Planning report, a survey found that more than nine per cent of respondents between the ages of fifteen and fifty-four said they had been subjected to sexual violence. The real number is likely much higher, given the shame attached to reporting such crimes in a society where a family’s honor is often tied to the chastity of its women. The victims of these crimes are often considered outcasts and can be killed for “dishonoring” their family or their community.
    Since 2006, Layla, a rape victim and former prostitute, has been secretly mapping Iraq’s underworld of sex trafficking and prostitution. Through her network of contacts in the sex trade, she gathers information about who is selling whom and for how much, where the victims are from, and where they are prostituted and trafficked. She passes the information, through intermediaries, to Iraqi authorities, who usually fail to act on it. Still, her work has helped to convict several pimps, including some who kidnapped children. That Saturday night, I accompanied Layla and Mohammad on a tour of some of the places that she investigates, on the condition that I change her name, minimize details that might identify her, and not name her intermediaries.

    The work is extremely dangerous. The pimps whom Layla encounters are women, but behind them is a tangled hierarchy of armed men: corrupt police, militias that profit from the sex trade, and militias that brutally oppose it. On the morning of July 13, 2014, the bullet-ridden bodies of twenty-eight women and five men were retrieved from two apartments, said to be brothels, in a building complex in Zayouna, a neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. I saw the bodies a few hours later, at the city morgue, laid out on the floor. Morgue workers blamed the religious militias, singling out the pro-Iranian Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, one of the many armed outfits proliferating in Iraq. Other groups of suspected prostitutes have been found shot dead, but the Zayouna incident was the largest killing in recent years, and it prompted at least fifteen neighborhood pimps whom Layla knew to flee with their girls to Iraqi Kurdistan. Layla often visits apartments like the ones in Zayouna, posing as a retired pimp. As a cover, she sells the madams abayas that are intricately embroidered with colored crystals and diamantés; they serve to identify women as pimps, rather than prostitutes, at night clubs.

    I should probably do a correction.

    Off Our Backs did report on the issue.

    In fairness, AFP also frequently mentioned "prostitutes."

    Whenever a woman died and someone accused her of having been a prostitute -- excuse me, whenever a woman was murdered and someone accused her of having been a prostitute -- an anonymous neighbor or a vindictive police officer -- AFP was happy to report this allegation as fact -- despite having no proof and knowing what a slur the charge was in Iraq.

    Now AFP was never interested in reporting on prostitute rings or pimps or anything like that.

    But let a woman be murdered and AFP was happy to stamp her with "prostitute" -- in a "she had it coming" kind of way.

    Lastly, Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Col Bernie Sanders" went up last night.