Saturday, October 18, 2014

The hideous David Greenglass

I am going to note this:

The name of David Greenglass has become synonymous with cowardice and selfishness. His death casts a spotlight on a case that ranks, alongside that of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, as a travesty of justice. While Greenglass is worthy of our contempt, the Rosenbergs must be recognized as principled opponents of oppression and exploitation. They take their place, alongside Sacco, Vanzetti and many others, as victims of capitalist reaction.

It is from Fred Mazelis' WSWS article.

David Greenglass has passed away and it was no loss.

He was responsible for the execution of his own sister, Ethel Rosenberg.

He chose to blame her.

Not to save his wife but to save his own ass.

He sent his sister to her death.

He sent his brother-in-law to his death (Julius Rosenberg).

And he had no real remorse even while admitting, decades later, that he lied.

You have to be a special kind of psychopath to help send your innocent sister to the electric chair.

The Rosenbergs were railroaded and, no doubt, would have been railroaded with the help of someone else if the government had not had David Greenglass' help.

But nothing will ever excuse what he did to his sister and brother-in-law, not to mention to the country.


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


Saturday, October 18, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, Iraq finally has a Minister of Defense and a Minister of Interior, Human Rights Watch has concerns, we look at the lie of WMD in Iraq, and much more.


Let's start with the biggest nonsense of the week.

CJ Chivers wrote poorly this week -- no surprise.  Chivers is a New York Times no-star who has clocked  more miles than a bald tire and all those years of working for the paper have really never amounted to anything of note.  The paper that creates and spits out journalistic 'stars' couldn't do anything with Chivers.

This was demonstrated yet again when he had an assignment fall in his lap.  Michael Gordon or Judith Miller could have created shockwaves with it.  A number of others could have painted it for what it was -- a story of government indifference to the suffering of soldiers sent into a risky situation (without appropriate gear) and then ignored as they suffered.  All Chivers could do was go rote and hope he'd pleased an old college professor.

It was left to the right wing media to do what Miller (no longer with the paper) or Gordon might have done, run around like Chicken Little insisting the sky was falling and it was falling WMDs!


No.


And we waited to see if the Forest Gump of White House occupants, Bully Boy Bush (the original, "I am not a smart man . . ."), would prove to be as dumb as he was so often thought to be.

Nope.

Bush was actually rather smart this week.

He kept his mouth shut and let others stick their necks out and claim he was right and that he had been vindicated.

He let others lie.

He kept his mouth shut because the chemical weapons US troops encountered in Iraq were not WMDs.

They were not what Bully Boy Bush sold the war on.

What were they?

What you can find in Russia today.  What you can find in parts of Eastern Europe still.

Old stockpiles that should be destroyed.

(But how do you destroy them?  Even 'safe' procedures will damage the environment -- a reality that should be considered when these monsters create weapons to begin with.  And 'monsters' refers to the multinational corporations.)

Counting those decaying -- and largely unusable -- artifacts would have been like Bully Boy Bush pointing the vast number of landmines littering Iraq and claiming they too were a threat to US lives.

Like the landmines, the aged stockpiles were not 'deployable' and were only a threat for any unlucky enough to stumble upon them (or live in the area -- those weapons degrade slowly and release chemicals into the immediate area as they do degrade).

Bully Boy Bush did not declare, "With a lot of elbow grease and chewing gum, Saddam Hussein is hoping to glob together some decaying chemical weapons and, with a really big slingshot, aim them at Philadelphia."


March 19, 2003, Bully Boy Bush insisted:

The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder. We will meet that threat now with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of firefighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities.


The US troops suffering -- 17  plus seven Iraqis according to Chivers -- wouldn't have had to 'meet that threat' if Bully Boy Bush hadn't sent them into Iraq.  (And the bulk of what was discovered, as Chivers noted, were supplied by the US government.)


While so many wasted time on fantasies and lies this week, Iraq suffered as usual.


Today the Parliament met.  And, in real news, the Parliament voted on the security ministries.  National Iraqi News Agency reports Mohammed Ghaban is the new Minister of Interior (over the federal police and prisons) after winning the votes of 197 MPs while Khaled al-Obeidi is the new Minister of Defense after securing 173 MP votes.

The Parliament voted on other positions as well and they matter also.  For example,  All Iraq News reports Bayan Nouri is now the Minister of Women Affairs, Hoshyar Zebari (who served 8 years as Foreign Minister) is now Minister of Finance, Faryad Rawandozi has been voted Minister of Culture, Dirbaz Mohamed was voted Minister of Immigration, Saman Abdullah was voted Minister of State, and Adil al-Shirshab was voted Minister of Tourism.


These are all important posts.  These all should have actually been voted on some time ago. But while those posts and others are important, there is a special importance to the security ministries at present.

National Iraqi News Agency notes: Osama al-Nujaifi (Speaker of Parliament for the last four years before becoming one of Iraq's three vice presidents currently) issued a statement congratulating the Parliament on their work today:


He said in a statement read by his press office that this Saturday has witnessed an event of positive connotations, which is to complete the formation of the Iraqi government, and the approval of the House of Representatives on the ministers who were proposed by Dr. Haider Abadi.
He added that this involves a fundamental and important stage in the process of starting to achieve reform and implementation of the political agreement according which the government of Mr. Abadi emerged.
He stressed that "the success of al- Abadi in completing the formation of the government confirms the determination to meet the challenges and realize the process of change that all citizens await.



NINA notes the Vice President offered his congratulations to those voted into office today by the Parliament and, along with those we named above, Rose Nuri Shaways was also voted on today and is now Deputy Prime Minister.


US State Dept spokesperson Jen Psaki issued the following statement:

We congratulate the Iraqi people and their elected representatives in the Iraqi parliament on the selection of seven new cabinet ministers today. These ministers, including new Ministers of Defense, Finance, and Interior, represent the diversity of Iraq, and complete an inclusive cabinet led by Prime Minister Abadi. Significantly, this is the first time since 2010 that Iraq has had a full cabinet with security ministers confirmed by the Iraqi parliament. Today's vote is another important step in the long-term campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and restore stability to Iraq.
The United States looks forward to further strengthening our partnership with Prime Minister Abadi, his new cabinet, and the Iraqi people. We also look forward to working with all the new ministers, in the many fields outlined in our Strategic Framework Agreement, including security, economic, educational, and cultural cooperation. Our commitment to Iraq is long-term, and this new cabinet, representing all communities inside Iraq, is a key step in overcoming the many challenges confronting Iraq.


Jen sugar coats it -- or maybe she's being diplomatic.

Iraq has not had a Minister of Defence or Minister of the Interior since spring 2010.


Let's go over what happened today.


Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi nominated Mohammed Ghaban to be Minister of Interior and Khaled al-Obeidi to be Minister of Defense.  Parliament voted on the nominations and named the two to those posts.  They are now over those ministries, they run them.  They continue to run them for the next four years unless (a) they die, (b) they chose to resign or (c) Parliament votes them out.

In the US, if US President Barack Obama wants someone out, they're out.  (Ask Julia Pierson, former head of the Secret Service.)  Iraq has a different government set-up and the Cabinet heads have a level of authority and independence that their American equivalents would not and do not have.

Haider hopefully chose well because he's pretty much stuck now with the two he nominated.

In his eight years at prime minister of Iraq, thug Nouri al-Maliki fought with everyone.  He wanted this MP legally prosecuted for comparing him to Saddam Hussein (the MP wasn't prosecuted, he had immunity).  He wanted Tareq Ali, then Vice President of Iraq, stripped of his office.  Tareq served his full term.  In exile, yes.  But Tareq remained Vice President.  Parliament refused to strip him of his title.  When Nouri went after Tareq, he also went after Saleh al-Mutlaq (aka The Turncoat, more on Saleh later in the snapshot).  For approximately five months, he attempted to have Saleh stripped of his post but Parliament refused to do so.

Once Parliament votes you in, only they can remove you.

In 2010, Nouri decided to get around this and break the law (the Constitution of Iraq) by refusing to nominate people to head the security ministries.

Those great western outlets told their readers and viewers that this was a temporary measure and that, in a few weeks, Nouri would nominate people for these posts.  Ayad Allawi, leader of Iraqiya and now one of Iraq's three vice presidents, spoke the truth in January 2011 when he said this was a power grab by Nouri and that Nouri had no intention of ever nominating people to head the security ministries.

Allawi was right.

Nouri went his entire second term without heads of the security ministries.

He wanted to control those ministries so he sent no names to Parliament.

That's actually grounds for removal of office and should have triggered a no-confidence vote.  But the White House was backing Nouri until May of this year and they worked to ensure no such vote took place -- including when the diverse group of Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr, Iraqiya leader Allawi (Iraqiya was non-sectarian political grouping), Kurdish Regional Government President Massoud Barzani, then-Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi (a Sunni) and others came together in April and May of 2012 to push forward a no-confidence vote on Nouri.

(They did all that was required by the Constitution.  The final step was for Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to introduce the request in a session of Parliament.  Under US pressure -- and a victim of his own grand ego -- Jalal refused to do so and declared that he had the duty -- not written anywhere in the Constitution -- to consult with all who signed the petition, counsel them, query them and ensure that their signature was something that, even after badgering from him, they meant to put on paper.)


Since 2010, Iraq had been without a Minister of Interior or a Minister of Defense.

This as the violence climbed yearly.

So the confirmations of Mohammed Ghaban and Khaled al-Obeidi  are major news and hopefully will result in some sort of change.


For Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's, this is monumental.

It shouldn't be.

Because Nouri never should have been allowed to complete a second term (to even start one) without having the security ministries confirmed.

But he did.

It could have set an awful precedent had al-Abadi also refused to obey the Constitution.

Instead, his efforts to have the offices voted on (efforts that began months ago) demonstrate that the Constitution remains the supreme law in Iraq and that even office holders must obey the law.

On Monday, at the State Dept press briefing, Psaki or Marie Harf can rightly hail this as a major accomplishment.

And if it doesn't seem like one, it's because the people unimpressed aren't aware of the struggle under Nouri's last four years.


The State Dept's Brett McGurk Tweeted the following today:









United Nations Secretary-Genral Ban Ki-moon's Special Envoy to Iraq Nickolay Mladenov Tweeted the following:




On the Cabinet, it'll be interesting to see if there's more than one woman in it.  One does, however, put al-Abadi ahead of Nouri al-Maliki who began his second term with no woman in the Cabient and with (male) Hoshyar Zebari as 'acting' Minister of Women's Affairs.

Equally true, is that neither person confirmed as security heads may be qualified or fit.

Only time will tell that.





Kenneth Roth heads Human Rights Watch.  He feels the above is important enough to Tweet twice.

I agree it's important and if he or HRW has more on it, we will note it.

If it's true about Mohammed Ghaban?

I don't think there's any if.

I think it's true.

Roth's not an alarmist or one to go out on a limb.

But my position?

As one thug after another has been brought into the Iraqi government -- usually at the US government's behest -- and as there's been no justice commission*, what do you do?

Hopefully, Ghaban will see this as a moment to go bigger than himself, to go beyond sectarian feelings, to prove that he can move forward -- and, therefore, so can Iraq -- and work towards unity and abandon the destructive cycle of never-ending revenge.

That was the hallmark of Nouri's two terms.

A chicken s**t coward who fled the country rather than take on Saddam, Nouri advocated for the US to attack Iraq (again, something he was too cowardly to do himself) and only after that happened did he return to the country.  Once named prime minister, he attempted to assault the Sunni community in revenge reprisals.

It's all nonsense at some point and you just have to let the past go.  That doesn't mean you forget, that does mean that you work towards the future and not spend every waking hour trying to avenge the past.  The past is, after all, past, gone.

I support a justice commission but I'm also leery of one.

The Justice and Accountability Commission was not a truth commission but it fancied itself as such.  All it did was persecute Sunnis.  If that's what's going to pass for a truth commission or justice commission in Iraq, the country might as well not even bother.

If they want to address actual crimes against humanity, and put Sunnis and Shi'ites (and maybe even Kurds) on trial, fine.  They should certainly start with Nouri al-Maliki.

But I don't see such a commission being created.

I'm not dismissing Kenneth Roth's concerns and I'm glad that he's calling attention to Mohammed Ghaban's history.  Maybe such attention will help move Ghaban away from sectarianism and towards unity.


And maybe such attention will allow Iraq to arrive at a point in the near future where their government is made up of their citizens who chose to fight for the country, not to run from it.  Maybe at some point, actual Iraqis in the government will outnumber the exiles who only returned after the US military ran Saddam Hussein out of Baghdad.

Kenneth Roth's concerns are not 'pie in the sky.'  They are very real concerns that should be taken seriously and Ghaban's actions should always be tested against that past record.  I am also not claiming that I'm being 'realistic' or 'real politic' or any such thing.

I'm just saying that my position is, Iraq needs to move forward.  I didn't pick Haider al-Abadi's nominee.  But he was picked and he's been confirmed.  And it's good, Constitutionally speaking, that someone now holds the office.  Ghaban has a chance to show he's more than what Roth or I think of him.  He has a chance to represent Iraq -- all of Iraq -- and to take part in the creation of unity.  We should know in a matter of months -- or weeks -- whether or not he's up to that challenge and up to the honor of the office.

Again, I'm not presenting myself as a 'realist.'

If anything, I'm just a concerned and exhausted observer.

And exhausted explains Saleh al-Mutlaq's latest troubles.

The man who has been dubbed the Whore of Babylon on Arabic social media saved his own ass multiple times but, in order to do so, he had to burn a lot of bridges.

As noted earlier, in December 2011, Saleh was targeted along with Tareq al-Hashemi by Nouri.

While Tareq continued to be targeted, Saleh fell before Nouri, dropped to his knees and begged mercy.

Lay down with dogs, get fleas.  Lay down with Nouri, get pubic lice.

And it's itchy for Saleh now.

Long rumored to have enriched his own pockets with government money while serving as Deputy Prime Minister (2010 to 2014), Saleh's now facing more than rumors.

All Iraq News notes that Speaker of Parliment Saleem al-Jobouri announced today that Saleh will face questions from the Parliament about rumors of corruption and crimes.

Like Saleh, the Speaker is a Sunni.  In the past, that might have been enough to protect Saleh.  Not after he got in bed with Nouri and burned his bridges.  Since then, he's had objects hurled at him by Sunni protesters and his face has been prominently featured at Sunni protests -- his face with a large red X over it.

Saleh may really be on his own.

If so, he may be the first to be punished for corruption.


On another topic, I was going to do this for its own entry but an HRW friend asked why I didn't highlight this by Erin Evers and why I didn't highlight Amnesty International's report this week.

On HRW, will note it in a moment and I honestly was unaware of their piece.

It came out ahead of Amnesty International's piece.

We did highlight Amnesty and link to it.

Normally, I would have done a lot with it.

We would have gone over it in two or more snapshots.

But I'm just really damn tired.

I'm tried of being here online and I'm tired of having to lobby Amnesty International to do their damn job.  I had one phone call after another with them over this for over a month now.  I got two friends who fundraise for them to lodge objections as well.

This all started back in September (see "The death of Amnesty International?" ) and I know Amnesty International US branch is bulls**t.  It's nonsense, it's garbage.  If you need something done, you know you lobby the UK branch which does have some concern about human rights.

But this time, even those doors were closed.  I had to yell and scream at friends with AI, I had to pull in two friends to join me and then finally AI responds with a report that they should have issued months ago.

Now it's issued and everyone from  CBC to Stars and Stripes has covered it -- by carrying the AP report on it.  So that's a good thing.

But the efforts on my part, the time I had to put in, the yelling I had to do (I was hoarse one day from yelling on the phone) and, yes, the threat I had to make about funding drying up if AI was seen as anti-Arab, after all of that, I wasn't in the mood to spend time on a report which basically notes what we've been covering forever and a day.  We'll probably use it as a reference but that's about it.

Now this is from Erin Evers' Human Rights Watch piece at the end of September:

The spectacular conquests by the Islamic State have held much of the world’s attention ever since it took control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. Adding to this attention are the US airstrikes in northern Iraq, where the group targeted minority populations, kidnapping and killing hundreds - maybe thousands - and displacing thousands more.
But these high-profile killings and abductions are only part of the story of the horrendous abuses Iraqi civilians are suffering, including from government troops and Shiite militias. I met in recent days with more than 40 residents of Latifiyya, a town in the area known as the ‘Baghdad Belt’ whose population size, they said, has been reduced from approximately 200,000 to 50,000 in recent months. The town is majority Sunni with a sizeable Shia population.
The town is strategically located at the crossroads connecting four provinces – Baghdad, Babel, Wasit and Anbar. During the US-led occupation of Iraq, US troops named Latifiyya and the neighbouring towns Yousifiyya and Mahmoudiyya the ‘triangle of death’ because of the strong al-Qaeda presence. Though Latifiyya is particularly vulnerable right now, the abuses residents described are very similar to what we’ve been finding in the Baghdad Belt and other parts of Iraq for months.

The area’s majority Sunni population is paying a high price for the town’s location and its reputation for being restive. Residents told me that Shia militias, still operating under the control of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, are laying siege to the town, especially the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haqq militia. Sunni residents of other towns to the north accused that group and other militias of carrying out summary executions there after the militas took control in the wake of US air strikes against the Islamic State.


Erin always does strong work and my apologies for missing that report.

Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 142 violent deahts in Iraq on Friday with another 122 left injured.


At her site, Trina's noted  "Sibel Edmonds and the Deep State (SOAPBOX PODCAST 10/19/14)"  and we'll note it here as well.  As Trina points out:



It should be a wide ranging discussion because Cindy's no Amy Goodman.
Amy's not interested in Sibel or issues that really matter.
What I like about Cindy's show is Cindy just doesn't give a damn about so-called respectability.
She's going to have an interesting discussion with her guests and if they go to places that aren't Ford Foundation approved, oh well.
So make a point to catch this.







Lastly, David Bacon's latest book is The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration (Beacon Press). We'll close with this from Bacon's "GLOBALIZATION AND NAFTA CAUSED MIGRATION FROM MEXICO" (The Public Eye/Political Research Associates):


When NAFTA was passed two decades ago, its boosters promised it would bring "first world" status for the Mexican people.  Instead, it prompted a great migration north.


Rufino Domínguez, the former coordinator of the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations, who now heads the Oaxacan Institute for Attention to Migrants, estimates that there are about 500,000 indigenous people from Oaxaca living in the U.S., 300,000 in California alone.1

In Oaxaca, some towns have become depopulated, or are now made up of only communities of the very old and very young, where most working-age people have left to work in the north. Economic crises provoked by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other economic reforms are now uprooting and displacing these Mexicans in the country's most remote areas, where people still speak languages (such as Mixteco, Zapoteco and Triqui) that were old when Columbus arrived from Spain.2 "There are no jobs, and NAFTA forced the price of corn so low that it's not economically possible to plant a crop anymore," Dominguez says. "We come to the U.S. to work because we can't get a price for our product at home. There's no alternative."















Friday, October 17, 2014

How To Get Away With Murder

Betty and I cover ABC's How To Get Away With Murder:


"How To Get Away With Murder," "I can't stand Michaela (How To Get Away With Murder),"

On tonight's episode, the most powerful moment to me was the end.


Viola Davis' character is doing what we do so often, taking off her makeup before her mirror.

But she was tired and resigned.

And it was a tough episode involving a suicide among other things.

So you could get how she would be upset but she was registering a weight that did not click with me until her husband entered and she asked him how his photo of his penis got on the cell phone of a dead woman?

That would weigh me down too.

The show is filled with these sort of twists and turns and they happen throughout the episode.

Connor was great again this episode and he is becoming one of my favorites.

I loved the scene with him and a guy named Paz or something similar.  (Paz is the one who committed suicide.  Sleeping with him, Connor learned he was involved in illegal trading and when Paz was confronted, he jumped out a window.)

But I really love the whole show.

I hate to say that though because any time I blog about a show I love, they tend to get the axe.  Hopefully, this will be the exception.

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


Thursday, October 16, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, the Iraqi Parliament meets and then adjourns until Saturday, the White House's 'diplomacy' team heads home, CNN's Elise Labott forces the Pentagon spokesperson to dance, and much more.



US Vice President Joe Biden has two sons: Beau and Hunter.  Hunter is in the news.  Eric Brander (CNN) reports that Hunter Biden's February 2014 discharge from the Navy Reserve was an "administrative discharge" after he tested positive for cocaine.  I know Joe (and like Joe) and we're not going to be accused or hiding what happened.  But we're also not a gossip site so let's note that drug use takes place in all families, that the military especially needs to up their efforts to address drug use and addiction.

Hunter is an adult and responsible for his own decisions and, if he has an addiction, the treatment of his disease.  He has issued a statement today taking responsibility.


Falling down doesn't define us, how we brush ourselves off and resume our journey does.  All eyes are on Hunter right now and that's not a comfortable place for anyone to be in.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari is a former prime minister of Iraq and is currently the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  National Iraqi News Agency reports he held a press conference today to announce "that there was no state party which asked to bring ground troops to Iraq."



That's a nice thought.  Not a clear one, not an honest one, but a nice one.

Earlier this month, Laura Smith-Spark, Ben Wedeman and Greg Botellho (CNN) reported on Anbar Provincial Council's request for US forces for combat.  They're provincial and not federal but that call was significant and only becomes more so.  But you can ignore that.

And I guess if you pretend hard enough, you can convince yourself that all the US forces Barack sent over since June are something other than 'ground troops.'


Barack pretends otherwise, after all, and so do many Americans.  As Peter Certo (Other Words) observes:

If Barack Obama owes his presidency to one thing, it was the good sense he had back in 2002 to call the Iraq War what it was: “dumb.”

Now, with scarcely a whisper of debate, Obama has become the fourth consecutive U.S. president to bomb Iraq — and in fact has outdone his predecessors by spreading the war to Islamic State targets in Syria as well. With the Pentagon predicting that this latest conflict could rage for three years or longer, Obama is now poised to leave behind a Middle East quagmire that closely resembles the one he was elected to end.



But before Ibrahim gets crowned the great pretender, check out Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby.  In the grand tradition of the crossovers on The Bionic Woman and The Six Million Dollar Man, today the Pentagon and the State Dept held a joint press conference.  During the press conference, CNN's Elise Labott nailed him and Kirby just pretended otherwise.




RADM KIRBY: Thanks. Thank you. Thanks, Jen. Thanks for welcoming me over here. As Jen said, this is something we’ve been talking about for a long time. We just work together so closely every single day that we thought this was a good idea. And now I’m going to beg her to come over to the Pentagon and do it in our briefing room as well. So that’ll be the next iteration of this.
I just want to update you on – quickly on two military operations that the Defense Department has been focused on in recent weeks: our efforts against ISIL, of course, and our efforts in the Ebola response in West Africa.
With regard to the counter-ISIL effort, Operation Inherent Resolve – we just officially unveiled that name yesterday – U.S. forces conducted 14 airstrikes near the town of Kobani yesterday and today. Initial reports that we’re getting from Central Command indicate that those strikes successfully hit 19 ISIL buildings, two command posts, three fighting positions, three sniper positions, one staging location, and one heavy machine gun. Very precise targeting. With these airstrikes, we took advantage of the opportunity to hit ISIL as they attempt to mass their forces and combat power on the Kurdish-held positions – or portions, I’m sorry, of Kobani. While the security situation there does remain tenuous, ISIL’s advances appear to have slowed and we know that we have inflicted damage upon them.
On our response to Ebola in West Africa, Operation United Assistance, our forces on the ground in Liberia continue to make progress in setting up infrastructure and facilities to support the international response. Setup has been complete on the 25-bed hospital, and we expect it to be fully operational, with U.S. public health service medical workers taking responsibility for that unit next week. Meanwhile, personnel from the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center continue to operate three mobile medical labs, which provide 24-hour turnaround results on samples. To date, they have processed more than 1,200 total samples. And lastly, construction continues on the Ebola treatment facilities with the first expected to be completed by the end of the month.
And I want to emphasize, again, that no U.S. military personnel will be providing direct patient care to the local population. As my Pentagon colleagues have heard me say many times, we’re focused on four lines of effort and only four lines of effort: command and control, logistics support, training, and engineering.
With that --

MS. PSAKI: All right. Well, as we typically do, we’ll stay with one topic. We talked about this, so let’s try to do that if we can. I know yesterday was a little wild and wooly.
Go ahead, Matt.

QUESTION: Thank you. I’m looking forward to this. Double the pleasure, double the information, I hope. Right?

MS. PSAKI: Double the fun.

QUESTION: Double the fun.

MS. PSAKI: Yes.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

QUESTION: I just have one logistic question about this briefing. Are you, Admiral, going to be staying for the whole thing or are you going to leave?

RADM KIRBY: That depends on how --

QUESTION: All right, because I have a question that’s not related to either Ebola or ISIL for you.

RADM KIRBY: No, I’ll be here.

QUESTION: Okay.

RADM KIRBY: I’ll be here the whole time.

QUESTION: All right. So let’s start with Kobani then. So in your comments just now in talking about the progress that the operation has made --

RADM KIRBY: Yes.

QUESTION: -- does this mean that saving Kobani from falling has now become a priority in the campaign?

RADM KIRBY: Well, we’ve been focused on Kobani for a long time. This isn’t the first day that we’ve done strikes there. We’ve been doing them for a long time. What makes Kobani significant is the fact that ISIL wants it. And the more they want it, the more forces and resources they apply to it, the more targets that are available for us to hit there. I said it yesterday, keep saying it: Kobani could still fall. Our military participation is from the air and the air only right now, and we’ve all been honest about the fact that air power alone is not going to be able to save any town in particular.

QUESTION: Right. But you and other officials, including Jen, have said in the past that – or indicated, and Secretary Kerry has as well, that losing Kobani or Kobani falling to ISIL is not a huge strategic loss, and now it seems like you’re really ramping up the effort to keep it – to prevent it – to prevent it from falling. And I’m just wondering, has the decision been made within the Administration that the propaganda or other symbolic – a symbolic victory in Kobani would be too much to stomach, from your – an ISIL victory in Kobani would be too much?

RADM KIRBY: I think we’ve been pretty consistent about the fact that we need to all be prepared for other towns and other cities to fall too. This group wants ground. They want territory, they want infrastructure. We all need to be prepared for them to continue to try to grab that, and succeed in taking it. There’s been no strategic shift here as far as I know, at least from the military perspective, about Kobani or any other town. What we’re trying to do in Syria – and this is an important point, Matt – in Syria we’re trying to deny safe haven and sanctuary. They want safe haven and sanctuary in Kobani; we’re trying to help not let that happen.
So Kobani matters from that perspective. It also matters tactically because, as I said, they’re putting more resources to the fight, so there are more targets. We’ve killed several hundred of their fighters in just these strikes in and around Kobani. It would be irresponsible for us not to try to target them in a more aggressive way as they become more aggressive around Kobani itself.
And the last thing is, frankly, it’s an issue of balancing resources. One of the reasons you’ve seen additional strikes in the last couple of days is because we haven’t been able to strike quite as much, quite as aggressively inside Iraq. There’s been terrible weather there, sandstorms this time of year. It’s made it very hard for us to get intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms up over to see what we’re trying to do in Iraq. So we’ve had resources available that we might not have otherwise had available to strike them there in Kobani. Does that answer your question?

QUESTION: Yeah, I think so.

QUESTION: Can I follow up?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Can I follow on that? Elise Labott with CNN. Welcome.

RADM KIRBY: Hi.

QUESTION: Yesterday, General Allen said that the increase in airstrikes in Kobani was for humanitarian purposes, and it sounds like now you’re saying that there’s more of a target. Rather than humanitarian aspects along the lines of what you did with the Yezidis, it sounds like this is more – you have more targets of opportunity.

RADM KIRBY: It is that. There’s a humanitarian component to it, no question about it.

QUESTION: Well, there wasn’t last week. I mean, it didn’t seem last week that there was.

RADM KIRBY: No, there’s a – there was a humanitarian component to it. But we don’t estimate that – right now, we think there’s hundreds, not thousands, of citizens remaining in Kobani. It fluctuates and it changed, but we believe most of the population is out of there. That doesn’t mean they’re out of danger, though, and so there is a humanitarian component to this. If we can help the Kurdish militia keep Kobani – keep ISIL out of Kobani, then you by default are helping protect the population that remains there. And so there is a component to it.

QUESTION: So is it more now that you feel that as long as you have targets, you’ll continue to strike them, or is it now you’ve made the decision that come hell or high water you’re going to make sure that this town doesn’t fall?

RADM KIRBY: We are going to continue – I think it’s a great question. We are on the offense against these guys. There’s this narrative out there that they’re opportunistic and they’re adaptive and they’re agile. Nobody is more opportunistic or agile or adaptive than the United States military, and so we’re going to continue to go after them wherever they are and wherever we can.
There’s going to be a limit, though. You can’t just hit every place you know them to be, because we do – unlike them, we have to be discreet and discriminant about collateral damage and civilian casualties. So we’re going to hit them where we can, where we can do it effectively, have an effect on their ability to sustain themselves and to operate, but without having a bad effect – a negative effect – on the surrounding population.

QUESTION: But it’s – but you said it still could fall and that --

RADM KIRBY: Yeah --

QUESTION: -- wouldn’t mean that your goals weren’t achieved.


RADM KIRBY: That’s – our goals have not changed with respect to going after ISIL in Syria or in and around Kobani. And I said it yesterday, I’ll say it again: That town could still fall. We all need to be prepared for that possibility.



Pretenders also include the Iraqi Parliament which is back from its long holiday.  Kind of.   All Iraq News reports that today's session saw 217 MPs show up.  That might be good news were it not for the fact that Iraq's Parliament has 328 MPs.

So in the midst of multiple crises which have led other nations to contribute (wisely in the case of Germany which is sending doctors, poorly in the case of those dropping bombs), over 100 members of Parliament can't even show up for the sessions?

Thought Barack was going to be working on that political solution?

When exactly?

He's dropped bombs.  He's named his ridiculous bombing campaign.

Exactly when does he focus on the political?


The State Dept's Brett McGurk Tweeted the following today.




So now you go home?

The Parliament takes two weeks off, finally comes back into session and that's when the US government decides to send what passes for a diplomatic team home?

Barack can -- and did -- attend a meet-up this week with approximately 20 defense ministers from various nations but when it's time to talk diplomacy, it's reduced to Blinken and McGurk?


No wonder there's still no move towards a political solution in Iraq.

In related news, NINA reports:


An informed source said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi request to extend the deadline to provide the names of the security ministers for 24 hours.
The source said in a press statement: "The prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi asked the parliament to extend the deadline to provide the names of the security minister for 24 hours." 



Sure, why not?

Iraq hasn't had either since March 2010, so why rush now?

Because Iraq's falling apart.

So they showed up today -- or about two-thirds did -- and did nothing and now, All Iraq News reports, they've decided to adjourn until Saturday.



They did this as violence rolled Iraq.  National Iraqi News Agency notes a Ramadi suicide car bomber took his own life and the lives of 4 Iraqi security forces with five more left injured, a Mahmudiyah car bombing left 6 people dead and fifteen more injured, and2 Baiji home bombings left 17 family members dead and three more injured.  All Iraq News reports 11 corpses were discovered in Tikrit.  AP notes 2 car bombings in Baghdad's Dolaie section which left 14 people dead and thirty-four injured.  AP also notes the aftermath of the bombing:


Angry residents in the neighbourhood threw stones at police checkpoints and police cars that arrived to respond to the blasts, prompting police to withdraw from the area. Senior Iraqi officials have tried to reassure residents that the capital is too well-protected for militants to capture, even as they struggle to stop frequent near daily deadly attacks. 


On the topic of the Iraqi police, Elizabeth Palmer (CBS News) observes, "Basic training lasts 45 days. The young recruits are almost done. In two weeks, they'll be sent into combat. They're called police, but they're trained like the military."  A ton of money -- US tax payer money -- was already spent training the Iraqi police.

You may remember that the Minister of Interior said in the fall of 2011 that the US should find a better way to spend their money and that training wasn't needed.

Woah.

You may remember that the man the US press insisted was the Minister of the Interior said that.  He wasn't the Minister.  The ministry was headless.  Nouri al-Maliki, thug and prime minister, refused to nominate anyone to head the security ministries.  Instead, he named flunkies 'acting ministers' which -- while unconstitutional -- allowed him to control the ministries.

So actually, the flunky was speaking on behalf of Nouri.

Now they need help.

One plan being tossed around was basically three sets of forces -- Kurds, Sunnis and Shi'ites -- making up a national guard.


The justification for this was probably best explained by Fareed Zakaria (CNN's Global Public Square), "Billions of dollar poured into it, because it was based on the idea that there was an Iraq, that there was a nation that there would be a national army for. Maybe we need a different strategy, which is to stand up sectarian militias, Shia militias, Sunni militias. They already exist. And the Kurds have their Peshmerga, that model. Send them into fight in their areas, not in other areas where they would be regarded as a foreign army."

That notion appears to be dead now.  Tamer el-Ghobashy (Wall St. Journal) reports:



Momentum has swung against the proposal to create a national guard that would encompass local forces in Iraq’s provinces as rival political blocs expressed reservations over who would be allowed into the new service and how funding would be allocated.
The Obama administration has pushed the national guard proposal as a way to bring minority Sunnis closer to the Shiite-dominated central government after years of policies espoused by former Prime Minister Iraqi Nouri al-Maliki that excluded them.



So the police are being rushed through training, the national guard idea appears dead, Shi'ite militias terrorize Sunnis throughout Iraq.  On those militias, NINA quotes Kirkuk's Sheikh Othman Agha calling for "a solution to the militias, which are spread in public roads and highways being contrary to the Constitution and detrimental to the national interest and harmony among citizens of one nation."


It's a shame the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Interior aren't addressing these issues and --

Oh, wait, again there is no Minister of Defense and there is no Minister of Interior.

All Iraq News reports rumors that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi intends to make new nominations for the post on Saturday: Khalid al-Ubaidi for Minister of Defense and the always controversial Ahmed Chalabi for Minister of Interior.



On violence . . .




  •  .




    Winding down, the following community sites posted today:




  • Also, earlier this week, Mike's "The Invasion," Stan's "Halloween," Marcia's "Aliens," Ann's "Insidious," Elaine's "Scream," Ruth's "The Omen,"  Rebecca's "rosemary's baby," Betty's "The Exorcist," Trina's "The Believers" and Kat's "The Birds" were entries in a theme on favorite horror movies.
















    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    Let's end the pretense

    Yes, Blogger was down last night.

    And it ticked me off because I love the snapshot and how C.I. takes on the fakery that is CodeStink.  However, I see this:





  • Elaine and Betty have already tackled the subject much better than I could.

    But I do feel I need to point something out.

    You cannot be a leader forever if you stop leading.

    You can be a leader of 'the 60s' or some other limited time.

    But it is time for us to stop pretending, for example, that people who were merely opposed to Bully Boy Bush were actually peace leaders.

    These people who are silent as President Barack Obama bombs Iraq and sends more and more US troops in are not about peace.

    They need to stop pretending.

    But, more importantly, we need to stop pretending.


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


    Wednesday, October 15, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, Nouri works to undermine the new prime minister, more US troops are sent into Iraq, CODESTINK's national coordinator reminds us all of how useless that trashy organization is, Susan Rice spins again, and much more.


    Let's start with stupid idiots.

    Alli McCracken of CODESTINK, get your ugly ass down here.

    You can apply any swear word to Alli, they all fit.

    She's another useless attention whore who pretends to be against this or that but really just diverts attention and criticism from Barack's War Crimes and actions of hostility while lying that she's for peace.

    She has a poorly written article at Dissident Voice where she congratulates herself for being kicked out of a Congressional hearing.  She was disruptive -- I was there -- and she had her moment and was taken out when she was bound and determined to be the junior I Need Attention Medea Benjamin.  Sorry, Alli, your little stunts don't amuse anyone.

    You and CODESTINK are real good at going after this or that Secretary of but real poor about criticizing Barack Obama -- well married-for-money (for currency, she gave herself like a nun to God) Jodie Evans was a Barack bundler and as co-founder of CODESTINK, she (mis)used the organization in 2008 to whore for Barack while attacking all of his Democratic rivals in the primaries.

    Only CODESTINK could think that was ethical.

    Only CODESTINK could think they could get away with that.

    A real organization would have forced Evans out.

    Alli reveals her own whorish nature throughout the column but it's most evident in this passage:

    Three years after my first disruption of Panetta, more than ever I stand by my words. I would do it again, and honestly, I probably will do it again. Whether it’s Leon Panetta, or Hillary Clinton. I’m horrified at the prospect of Clinton being the more “liberal” Presidential choice in 2016. If President Obama campaigned for hope and change, but ultimately enshrined some of Bush’s most egregious foreign policies, what are we in store for next from explicitly pro-war candidates?

    What did I say?  What did I say?

    Yes, she will rail against Secretaries of.  She will refuse to rail against Barack.

    It's there in her own words, whores have to reveal their prices, they have to get the money up front because after the john cums, he (or she) is less willing to pay as much.

    So Alli puts it into writing, the CODESTINK way (she is national coordinator of the pig sty), she will probably disrupt Leon or Hillary.

    But not Barack.

    She's just another whore working the street.

    One of many men and women who've spent the last six years ensuring that the US would remain in Iraq by lying for Barack, by refusing to hold him accountable and by constantly inventing 'scandals' to be outraged over.


    Meanwhile, Iraq's burned and erupted into multiple crises and the self-attention bitches of CODESTINK, so eager to 'fast' (Medea, want to tell the truth about your 'fast'? didn't think so) for Iraq in 2006 couldn't even call out the slaughter of Sunnis, of Iraq's LGBT community, of religious minorities and so much more.  As women's rights were under constant attack in Iraq, CODESTINK was busying propping up Barack (and, never forget, calling for US troops to remain in Afghanistan).


    And if you're not getting what a whore Alli is, she actually wrote this:


    Three years ago, during the height of the Occupy movement, I was ejected from a Congressional hearing for allegedly “assaulting” Leon Panetta, then Secretary of Defense and former Director of the CIA. He was testifying to the House Armed Services Committee about “lessons learned by the Department of Defense over the preceding decade.” I jumped out of my audience seat to tell him that young people were paying the price of those “lessons,” and we were sick of the government funding war instead of education. The baseless assault charges against me were ultimately dropped.



    Yes, Alli, the great injustice being done by, for example, the Iraq War was that people like you were being denied an education.  (Alli managed to graduate in 2010 somehow.)


    That was the great injustice.


    Not the Iraqis killed, not the ones wounded, not the ones born with deformities and defects due to the weapons the US government sent into Iraq.

    The great injustice, the all time great tragedy, was that you were denied a big spring break blow out in Daytona.


    I'm sure that the Iraqis who grieve over the family members and friends they have lost in this never-ending war are touched by your plight, Alli.


    (Again, since we are often translated, let me point out the last sentence was sarcasm.  Alli is self-obsessed bitch who lacks both intelligence and perspective.  In the face of over a million dead, her whine is about money -- and money that could have been spent on her and a group of people she's wrongly appointed herself the spokesperson of.)


    The bordello that is CODESTINK should have been shut down long ago on the grounds of endangering public health.


    US President Barack Obama's non-plan finally got a name and this the media could -- and did -- note.  But when Susan Rice lied (again) on a Sunday chat and chew did anyone blink?

    Chuck Todd?  As the latest host of Meet The Press, Todd's coming off stiff and staid on the long running NBC show and has many problems before you even get to his inability to pay attention to the guest speaking before him.


    We'll note this exchange from Sunday's Meet The Press:


    CHUCK TODD:
    Considering what's going on in the Anbar Province, considering what's going on in Kobani, I know it's still early, barely two months into this operation against ISIS, but right now, does it feel as if we're degrading and destroying ISIS?
    SUSAN RICE:
    Yes, Chuck. We are in the midst, in the early stages, as you-- acknowledged, of what is going to be, as President Obama said, a long-term effort. Let's recall what it is we're trying to do. We're trying over time to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL and prevent it from having permanent safe haven, from which it can conduct terrorist attacks against us or our partners in the region from the territory of Iraq or Syria.
    Now this is going to take time. Our efforts have various different lines of effort, as we've called them. On the one hand, we're trying to build up the capacity of the Iraqis, which means the Iraqi army, the Kurds, the peshmerga inside of Iraq who have over years, atrophied. They've become more sectarian. They've become less skilled in their ability to take the fight to ISIL.
    So we're building up that capacity and we have seen some success in that regard. On the Syrian side, we also have a larger-term challenge of supporting the moderate opposition and giving them, while they have great will, greater capacity to fight Assad and to fight ISIL.
    So this is going to take time. Our air campaign is off to a strong start and we've seen very important successes in places like Mosul Dam, Sinjar Mountain, where we were able to rescue many tens of thousands of civilians at risk. And this is going to take time. So it can't be judged by merely what happens in one particular town or in one particular region. This is going to take time and the American people need to understand that our aim here is long-term degradation and building the capacity of our partners.         


    War Hawk Susie can't stop lying.

    "Our air campaign is off to a strong start and we've seen very important successes in places like Mosul Dam, Sinjar Mountain, where we were able to rescue many tens of thousands of civilians at risk."?


    Everyone agreed to look the other way as the always trashy Susan Rice lied.

    Barack's 'plan'?

    You may remember that back in June Barack sent in a number of US troops ('advisors'!) to nose around.  They were going to be key to what he would decide to do.

    The Sinjar Mountain operation?   You can argue it started with Barack's August 7th address where he declares the US will begin bombing Iraq, "Today I authorized two operations in Iraq -- targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death.  Let me explain the actions we’re taking and why."


    But it involved Australia and British forces dropping aid and, reportedly, Turkish war planes bombing.

    And it was really the Kurdish peshmerga doing work.  The estimates for the number of Yazidis trapped on the mountain is usually 50,000 (which a number of observers say is too high) with 30,000 said to have been provided safe passage by the peshmerga.


    It's funny that the old war whore Susan Rice wants to lecture about "what the American people need to know" while she flat out lies to them but, as for the long haul, her tired ass will be working the streets in two years.  And Benghazi will probably prevent future Democrats from bringing her into any administration.


    Meanwhile Barack's bombing passed off as a 'plan' finally got a name.  Robert Burns (AP) reports it's been christened Operation Inherent Resolve which Burns dubs "inherently bland."

    It got a name, it still lacks a purpose.

    August 11th, Barack declared:


    This advances the limited military objectives we’ve outlined in Iraq:  protecting American citizens, providing advice and assistance to Iraqi forces as they battle these terrorists, and joining with international partners to provide humanitarian aid.  But as I said when I authorized these operations, there is no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq.  The only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government -- one that represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis, and one that can unify the country’s fight against ISIL. 
    Today, Iraq took a promising step forward in this critical effort.   Last month, the Iraqi people named a new President.  Today, President Masum named a new Prime Minister designate, Dr. Haider al-Abadi.  Under the Iraqi constitution, this is an important step towards forming a new government that can unite Iraq’s different communities. 

    Earlier today, Vice President Biden and I called Dr. Abadi to congratulate him and to urge him to form a new cabinet as quickly as possible -- one that’s inclusive of all Iraqis, and one that represents all Iraqis.  I pledged our support to him, as well as to President Masum and Speaker Jabouri, as they work together to form this government.  Meanwhile, I urge all Iraqi political leaders to work peacefully through the political process in the days ahead.


    That oft mention fabled political solution which now seems to have been little more than lip service.


    Tuesday, All Iraq News reported the Council of Ministers met today and did not -- did not -- address the 2014 budget.

    Iraq has still not passed a 2014 budget.

    The 2015 calendar year starts January 1st, yes.  The 2015 fiscal year?

    It started October 1st.

    Yet the Council of Ministers, in place for over a month now, just like the previous Council of Ministers they replaced, are unable to pass a budget that should have passed no later than September 30, 2013.


    And today National Iraqi News Agency reports that MP Siham al-Moussawi informs them that there is still no "agreement between the political blocs on the choice of candidates for security ministries so far."

    This is not minor.

    Nor is it surprising.

    It is outrageous.

    The Iraqi government would rather play helpless and useless and beg others -- including the US -- for weapons and fighters (yes, Americans dropping bombs on Iraq are in combat) than get off their own fat asses in the heavily protected Green Zone and do their damn job.

    When you're security situation is as bad as Iraq's is, you do not go weeks, let alone months, refusing to declare a Minister of Defense or a Minister of the Interior (the latter's over the federal police and many of the prisons).

    It is outrageous and it is not surprising.

    In 2010, the White House installed Nouri al-Maliki for a second term via the US-brokered Erbil Agreement, the press insisted it was okay Nouri refused to nominate people to head the security ministries, it was okay because he would do so in just a few weeks.

    And by "press," we're referring to the western press, not the Iraqi press.

    Nouri went four years, through his entire second term, and he never had people heading the security ministries because he refused to nominate them.

    This contributed to the crises, yes.  However, it also underscores that the current absence of people to head the security ministries is not surprising or something that the White House shouldn't have anticipated as a possibility.



    But they appear caught off guard yet again.

    August 9th, Barack engaged in the Socratic method, "Did we underestimate ISIL? I think that there is no doubt that their advance, their movement over the last several months has been more rapid than the intelligence estimates and I think the expectations of policymakers both in and outside of Iraq. And part of that is I think not a full appreciation of the degree to which the Iraqi security forces, when they’re far away from Baghdad, did not have the incentive or the capacity to hold ground against an aggressive adversary.


    Caught off guard then, caught off guard now.


    On even the most basic issues, the White House stumbles and falters.


    The same day, August 9th, Barack insisted, "So we’re going to be pushing very hard to encourage Iraqis to get their government together. Until we do that, it is going to be hard to get the unity of effort that allows us to not just play defense, but also engage in some offense."

    Barack has to reduce it to sports because if it's not game he loses interest so quickly (see his numerous unmet promises that 'now' he would begin focusing on the economy).

    In the August speeches, he was praising new Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi.

    But he's apparently done little to help al-Abadi and al-Abadi's also harmed himself and his image.  Dropping back to the September 27th snapshot:


    So is Haider al-Abadi a liar or powerless?
    A number of people are saying powerless and noting articles like this one at Kitabat which maintains that Nouri is refusing to leave the palace he's lived in since 2006, the housing of the prime minister.  And that even high ranking members of Dawa (Nouri's political party) attempting or persuade Nouri that he must leave and allow al-Abadi to move in have failed.
    An image is taking hold.  I'm not surprised.



    Nouri should have been run out of the country.

    He's a War Criminal, among other things.  He should have to account for the riches he's accumulated while prime minister of Iraq and how his son now affords pricey London digs and a fleet of sports cars.

    Instead, he's been allowed to keep the money he's stolen from the Iraqi people and walk the streets of the heavily fortified Green Zone.

    Mainly, he's been able to undermine al-Abadi.

    As we noted repeatedly, Nouri's not done doing damage until he's in the ground.

    So Kirk Semple, Omar al-Jawoshy and Falih Hassan's report for the New York Times on Nouri's efforts to retake the post of prime minister should not be too shocking -- unless you're a member of the administration.

    The White House anticipates nothing.  They are so clueless, they are so dumb.

    It's not one time, it's over and over.

    From Semple, al-Jawoshy and Hassan's report:

    During a closed-door meeting of State of Law last month, Mr. Maliki, its leader, seemed intent on humiliating Mr. Abadi, several participants said, granting him only several minutes to address the assembled politicians and frequently interrupting him.
    During one interruption, Mr. Maliki suggested that Mr. Abadi did not have a firm grasp on which foreign forces were operating in Iraq and questioned his protection of the country’s sovereignty, participants recalled. Mr. Abadi said that the country’s sovereignty was ceded in June, under Mr. Maliki’s watch, when Mosul fell to Islamic State fighters.
    Mr. Maliki has also refused to give up his prime ministerial offices, in one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces in the Green Zone, several politicians said.



    Nouri undercuts the new prime minister, throws obstacles in his path (as the Iraqi press has noted, the nominees for the security ministries were stalled by Nouri's State Of Law) and all in the hopes that a no-confidence vote in the not so distant future will oust al-Abadi and allow Nouri to take over.



    Maybe when Barack tires of playing with his bombs, maybe then he'll find time to address issues -- the ones, in fact, that are at the root of the crises in Iraq?


    And maybe Barack should have been honest and just dubbed what he's doing (the 'plan') Operation George W. Bush?

    That is all he's doing.

    Repeating the same mistakes.

    Pretending he thought them up.

    He's 'surge'ing which is Bully Boy Bush.

    And he's pinning his hopes on fostering Sunni forces to create a buy-in of the current government which is also Bully Boy Bush -- remember Sahwa aka "Awakenings" aka Sons (and Daughters) Of Iraq?


    More US forces have been sent to Iraq.  Xinhua reports, "Dozens of U.S. military advisors arrived in Iraq on Wednesday to train the country's security forces as they continue to face obstacles in their fight against the Islamic State (IS) militant group, officials said."  Some went to Anbar. National Iraqi News Agency adds:


    Chairman of the Provincial Council Sabah Karhut told the National Iraqi News Agency / Nina / that Washington sent today to Anbar province 100 American military to bases of Habbaniyah and al-Assad appointed in the province
    He added that the American military personnel will take the task of training security forces and the sons of Anbar tribes in their war with the IS.



    CBS News notes:

    The U.S. has been training the Iraqi army for a decade and they have been performing abysmally in most areas.
    "The Iraqi forces, unfortunately, as a result of actions taken by the previous government, were in many aspects hollowed out," Deputy U.S. National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer in Iraq. "They were deprofessionalized. Competent commanders were moved out. Incompetent ones were moved in based on loyalty to the government."



    Violence never ends in Iraq.  One incident of violence today garnered much attention.  AP notes a suicide car bombing in Baghdad left 21 people dead and sixty injured with MP Ahmed al-Khafaji among the dead.  UNAMI issued the following statement:

    Baghdad, 15 October 2014 - The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov presents his heartfelt condolences to the Iraqi Council of Representatives for the loss of Member of Parliament Ahmed Al-Khafaji, killed yesterday in a suicide car bomb attack in Baghdad, along with dozens other innocent civilians. He also extends his condolences to the family of Mr. Khafaji, along with those of the other victims of terrorism.

    “Those who use terror, violence and fear against the people of Iraq will fail. Today Iraq and the world are united and will defeat those who seek to destroy the Iraqi state and will restoring security, prosperity and democracy to this country”, Mr. Mladenov said.


    All Iraq News quotes from a statement by MP Ghazwan al-Shiban, "We strongly condemn assassinating MP Khafaji and call the security forces to hold an investigation to reveal the sides behind this issue.  There are some sides aim at assassinating the qualified figures in Iraq."