Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Iraq snapshot

Wednesday, April 25, 2018.

Can someone explain why our troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan? 🤷🏽‍♀️

An Australian asks the right question.  It's a question we should be asking in the US?  Those in the United Kingdom and Canada are among the citizens of other countries who should be asking the question.

In the US, we can't ask the question apparently.  We're too busy with stupidity like this.

why does it matter public editor position eliminated? bc it was the looming threat back in 2004 that the NYT public editor was going to publish major evaluation of the paper's botched WMD coverage that forced editors to finally address issue themselves;

As usual, Eric doesn't know what he's talking about.  But then, little Eric isn't mentioned in Daniel Okrent's book.  I am (and have known that since the book came out, PUBLIC EDITOR #1, but we haven't noted him in the time since so there was no need to make that disclosure).  Okrent did a good piece but it was not a major piece.  (Compare it to the similar piece by Howard Kurtz for THE WASHINGTON POST -- Kurtz had cooperation with his paper's employees.)  Okrent wrote that piece because of a community member.  He had been called out by the member.  When he first started as the paper's public editor (ombudsperson), he noted he would not go into Iraq or any other past events.  He broke that when he covered the Tonys before the paper did.  He went back to their previous coverage (he felt it had been too much) and did so before the latest nominees were announced.  Having done that, he was confronted with an e-mail about the hypocrisy of his stand.  Because of that -- he may not have agreed with the point but he did see how it could be seen as a double standard -- Daniel Okrent did a column on the Iraq War.

This did force the paper to do a limited review -- with the promise of more that never came -- of their coverage leading up to the Iraq War -- which they rushed out ahead of the column Okrent did.

That's what happened.  Again, Eric was doing nothing of value back then.  That's sort of the story of his career, isn't it?  And those thinking Big Brave Eric is so wonderful for sticking up for Hillary Clinton for the last two or so years should remember that Eric did nothing to call out the very real sexism that Hillary experienced on a daily basis in 2008.  He's always worthless.

For example, this go round, he links to the NYT editors' piece but not Okrant piece.

I'd tell Eric to go f**k himself but, let's face it, he's never stopped doing that. Which is why he can only stare into the past and can't deal with Iraq and NYT today.  Sinan Atoon's  "How NYT took part in the plunder of Iraq" (ALJAZEERA) addresses a very real issue that's current, one that Eric might get around to in twenty or so years.  Or not.

Staying with criticism, SOFREP reports criticism the central government out of Baghdad is making regarding a decision by the US government:

Once again the United States is stepping up to handle the salaries of the Peshmerga despite Iraqi criticism and their apparent inability or unwillingness to do it themselves. The United States will be giving the Ministry of Peshmerga approximately $365 million this year over several installments. The ministry confirmed they have received the first on and will be using it this week to fund Peshmerga wages. This is not the first time the United States has had to step in and provide wages for Kurdistan’s forces because of Iraqi central government negligence.
An Iraqi Minister of Parliament, Firdaws al-Awadi, has expressed that the United States providing financial aid to the Peshmerga will insight rebellion in Kurdistan. Firdaws al-Awadi is part of the State of Law Coalition which is run by Nouri al-Maliki. Maliki is the former prime minister and  current Iraqi vice president. Awadi said, “Delivering financial aid for the Peshmerga from a bank account in the US shows disrespect to the sovereignty of Iraq and is an encouragement for the Peshmerga to rebel against the Iraqi government. Delivering this money to an armed national force in Iraq without knowledge of the Iraqi government is a big problem.” Her implication is that the United States is potentially funding an armed coup.
There are many who will argue that this should have been done all along.  But certainly the fact that the Peshmerga isn't being funded post 2008 is an issue with historical implications that thug Nouri's partner Firdaws al-Awadi elects to ignore.  Sawa, SOI (and DOI), "Awakenings."  Remember them?  Sunni fighters.  Largely Sunni -- we covered the David Petreaus hearing where he said there was more than Sunnis in the group, "there are now over 91,000 Sons of Iraq -- Shia as well as Sunni -- under contract to help Coalition and Iraqi Forces protect their neighborhoods and secure infrastructure and roads. These volunteers have contributed significantly in various areas, and the savings in vehicles not lost because of reduced violence -- not to mention the priceless lives saved -- have far outweighed the cost of their monthly contracts."

That snapshot also noted then-Senator Barbara Boxer's comments and questions including that the US government was paying the Awakenings -- $18 million a month.  Boxer: "I asked you why they couldn't pay for it. . . . I don't want to argue a point. . . I'm just asking you why we would object to asking them to pay for that entire program giving all that we are giving them in blood and everything else?"

The Iraqi government was fine with the US paying for that.  But after Boxer's questions, the US pushed the cost off on Iraq.

Or said they had.

But they hadn't because Iraq wouldn't pick up the cost.  When the US finally quit paying?  The Sahwa didn't get paid.

With that in mind, the decision to pay the Peshmerga may have been made.

Nouri lets the Sahwa collapse at the same time he persecuted Sunnis which led to the rise of ISIS.  The fear might have been if the Peshmerga wasn't paid while the Kurds were targeted by the central government out of Baghdad, something similar might take place again.

The US Defense Dept is quick to announce the following:

Although hard work remains following defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s tyrannical self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria, there are encouraging signs that life is returning to normal, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve told Pentagon reporters today.

Oh, another turned corner!!!!

They do love to lie and spin as they start yet another wave of Operation Happy Talk.  Dropping back to Sunday:

The US press tradition is to lie and then lie again.  Over and over.  Elections are scheduled to be held May 12th in Iraq so that's the only story that the US press can manage.

If they weren't so busy selling the myth of 'liberation' and 'democracy' in Iraq, the might be able to tell you just how bad things are getting.

For example, in eastern Baghdad today a corpse was discovered dumped in the streets.

Why does that matter?

Whenever dead bodies start showing up on the streets of Baghdad, that's a sign things are getting worse, much worse.

If anyone is paying attention, this is something to be alarmed by.

That was Sunday.  Yet the Defense Dept continues to spin.  It's worth quoting then-Senator Hillary Clinton from the same April, 2008 snapshot:  "For the past five years, we have continuously heard from the administration that things are getting better, that we're about to turn a corner." 

That was in 2008.  Ten years later, it's still the same story.  Hillary concluded those remarks calling for an orderly withdrawal.  Yet US troops remain in Iraq today.

New content at THIRD:

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

  • Tuesday, April 24, 2018

    Beto O'Rourke for the US Senate

    Community member Sabina is supporting Beto O'Rourke.

    Beto currently serves in the US House of Representatives.  He is a Democrat currently running for the US Senate seat Republican Ted Cruz currently holds. 

    I have no negative opinions about Beto -- any snapshot reporting on a Congressional hearing he was part of contains nothing but praise for him -- but I'm not endorsing him and that's because I don't endorse in elections I can't vote in.  I'm not Alyssa Milano butting in everywhere across America telling people how to vote.  You know your area better than I do.  Sabina is firmly for Beto and has been for months.  For community members in Texas, Sabina's recommendation steered them to Beto.  That's great, it's her state and she knows the issues. 

    David Walsh in Milwaukee and Chicago this week

    From WSWS:

    World Socialist Web Site

    Socialist Equality Party

    Public meeting with David Walsh:
    Art and the Resurgence of the Class Struggle



    Date: Wednesday, April 25
    Time: 7:00 p.m.
    Location: University of Illinois at Chicago
    Behavioral Sciences Building, Room 250 (Map)
    1007 W Harrison St, Chicago, IL 60607



    Date: Thursday, April 26
    Time: 7:00 p.m.
    Location: UW-Milwaukee Union (Map)
    Wisconsin Room Lounge
    University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
    2200 E Kenwood Blvd
    Milwaukee, WI 53211
    RSVP on Facebook (Chicago)
    RSVP on Facebook (Milwaukee)
    The social conditions of wide layers of the population, including young people especially, are more and more desperate. Social inequality, poverty, low wages, homelessness, drug addiction, unemployment and under-employment, the destruction or unavailability of decent education and health care – these social facts confront tens of millions in the US. Meanwhile, a handful of CEOs and Wall Street swindlers live like emperors.

    2018 has seen the first stages of an upsurge in the class struggle, as popular outrage has begun to erupt. The strikes by tens of thousands of teachers and school employees in West Virginia and Oklahoma was a powerful indication. Teachers in Arizona and other states, bus drivers, telecommunications workers and many more may well walk out. The conditions for a general strike are brewing.

    Beyond the borders of the US, there have been strikes this year by metalworkers in Germany and Turkey, airline workers in France and university lecturers in the UK. In the Czech Republic, Skoda autoworkers are threatening to strike. Protests by workers have erupted in Iran, Tunisia, Morocco, Greece and elsewhere.

    What does this resurgence mean for art? The suppression of the class struggle in recent decades has been very harmful to culture too. Major strikes in the US reached one of their lowest points in history in 2017. Art and the artists are very sensitive to popular moods. Filmmaking in particular is nourished by rebellion and resistance. What will it do for the cultural and intellectual atmosphere if millions break out of the straitjacket of the trade unions and the Democratic Party?

    World Socialist Web Site Arts Editor David Walsh will discuss the implications of this explosive change in the global political and social situation for art and culture.
    World Socialist Web Site |
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