Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Looking at President Trump's remarks

So on NPR today, I hear President Donald Trump. 
He states that the reason Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and others are bringing up the allegations against him – assault and harassment – is because the Russian probe/smear has failed.
Okay.  I am going to dive into that.
The Russian probe/smear?
I hope it has failed.  There has never been anything resembling proof.  I do not believe that President Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election.  I do believe he was duly elected
I believe that whole thing was nothing more than sour grapes. 
I believe that certain people were unable to accept the results of the election and had a tantrum in public.
Now that takes care of the second part of what he was saying.
As for the first part?
Senator Gillibrand does not play politics like that.  (Sadly, my senator does. Senator Richard Blumenthal has wasted time on the Russian nonsense and embarrassed himself as a result.)
This is a serious issue.
It was a serious issue before the election.
But the press did not want to talk about it.
Well, they wanted to blather.  They did not want to examine.
Ava and C.I. did a piece examining the allegations in October because no one was.  (They agreed with the accounts of all but one.  On the one they didn’t sign off on, they noted she might be telling the truth and they might be wrong.  But other than that, they found the stories believable.)
So here is the question?
Previously, the attitude has been that an election settles these things.
I am not joking.
But we are in a different time – and I am glad about that.
I do not mean “I am glad so that the rules change on President Trump!!!” Gnash my teeth and growl.
I am glad because assault and harassment are serious crimes.
I am very sad to see U.S. House Representative John Conyers resign.  But the system has to work.  And Mr. Conyers did many great things but that does not mean you get a pass.
It also means no pass for Donald Trump. 
So the election did not wipe out the allegations.
And they need to be taken seriously. 
President Trump would do well to avoid appearing to dismiss or mock them.
If he wants to go to court, great.
Let the court decide it.
But as it stands, I trust Ava and C.I. and they examined it back in October and found the women believable.

Barring anything that changes that, I am on their side.  If the president has a case to make, he needs to make it.  He also needs to take it seriously.  This is the 21st century and things have changed.

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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017.  PBS continues to air propaganda, a US service member is laid to rest, in 'victory' Baghdad decides to bomb the Kurds and much more.

Imran Ghori (PRESS-ENTERPRISE) reports:

McGurn’s goal was to return to the Police Department after completing his military service and become a police canine officer, he said. He would maintain his excitement while volunteering for the worst assignments, Castro said.

Over the weekend, tiny despot Hayder al-Abadi held a parade, self-glorified and was selective in sharing thank yous.  The Kurds were disrespected but they weren't the only ones.  Everyone knows that Hayder and company would still be battling for Mosul -- to name but one example -- had the foreign coalition not been bombing constantly.

Back to Ghori:

Todd Lane McGurn was known for his big smile, his love for his family and his drive to succeed.
Family and friends paid tribute to the 20-year-old Riverside resident in an emotional funeral service Monday, Dec. 11, at Sandals Church in Riverside. Afterward, a police procession accompanied a hearse carrying his body to Riverside National Cemetery where he was laid to rest.

The US government should have never started the Iraq War.  But they continue it and they continue to send Americans over to Iraq and they continue to send US tax dollars over to Iraq.

Ahmed Aboulenein (Reuters) reports on the whining of the Counselor of the USAID Thomas Staal who has just about lost it over US President Donald Trump's efforts to reduce (by 30%) the foreign aid budget.  It's outrageous to Staal.  This despite the fact that: "The U.S. government has provided nearly $1.7 billion in humanitarian assistance for Iraq since the Islamic State takeover of the north in 2014."

Since 2014.

$1.7 billion in the last three years.

Not since the start of the Iraq War, but just in the last three years.

Basic needs cannot be met in the United States and that's due to priorities and due to the illegal war that is still ongoing.

Now we're supposed to spend billions propping up Hayder al-Abadi because we just know -- like we did with Nouri before -- that he'll deliver what we want -- at last -- finally.

Iraqis need leaders that the support.  They do not need leaders imposed upon them by the US or any other foreign government.

The reason so many trillions have been spent 'creating' a government in Iraq is because it lacks all legitimacy.

Hoshang Mohamed (RUDAW) observes:

Many factors facilitated the success of ISIS in Iraq, including political, economic and social injustice; governance, development and public services deficits; and discriminatory policies based on ethnic, sectarian, religious and political identities and affiliations. These root causes which paved the way for the rise of this brutal terrorist organization are still in effect and have further deepened over the last three years.

The history of Iraq reveals a number of persistent sources of conflict: systematic demographic changes, sectarianism and purely ideological policies, concentration of political and military power with impunity, and disregard for rule of civilian law.

Blind celebration and overestimation of the military success will not last long and will not bring peace, stability or security in the long run unless Iraqi leaders accept these realities and are brave enough to recognize the critical mistakes made since 2005.

Neither military success nor money will stabilize Iraq if the legitimate grievances of all communities across Iraq are not genuinely considered and resolved.

These are basic realities.  But notice how the western press will not address them.

The taxpayer draining waste that is THE NEWSHOUR spent a report 'on' Iraq refusing to note these basic realities and instead focusing on Iran versus the US.  And treating that as normal.  As if another country exists solely to be a test lab for the US and Iran.

They have done some lousy reporting on Iraq at THE NEWSHOUR last week but this tops even the nonsense already broadcast.

As usual, the Iraqi people are rendered invisible.

As usual the real problems are ignored.

Instead, PBS encourages you to feel superior to the Iraqi people and take part in 'superpower' wonderment.

They ought to be ashamed.

While Iraq is celebrating the defeat of ISIL, these citizens are struggling to rebuild their lives:

That's some of the reality that PBS is avoiding.

The Baghdad-based government is attacking the Kurds -- with US supplied weapons.

Tuz Khurmatu comes under shelling, Iraqi aircraft bombs villages

Maybe they could cover this reality?  The whorish PBS and others?

Iraqi Helicopters bombing kurdish villages around Tuz Khurmatu for the first time since 1991. Another thing kurds didnt expect to happen again in Iraq!

What does not fit the narrative is stripped away.

Rendered an aside or not even spoken.

Buried deep in Jonathon Gatehouse's CBC report, for example, you find this, "In fact, the same day Abadi declared victory, Iraqi security forces reported a skirmish near Kirkuk in which they killed what they said were 10 [Islamic State] suicide bombers hiding in a tunnel."

Land of snap decisions
Land of short attention spans
Nothing is savored
Long enough to really understand
In every culture in decline
The watchful ones among the slaves
Know all that is genuine will be
Scorned and conned and cast away

-- "Dog Eat Dog," written by Joni Mitchell (first appears on her DOG EAT DOG album)

The following community sites -- plus Tavis Smiley and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated: