A VERY NERVOUS BARACK OBAMA ASKED FOR A MEETING TODAY. THESE REPORTERS ATTENDED ASSUMING IT WAS SOMETHING MAJOR LIKE HE AND MICHELLE WERE DIVORCING.
INSTEAD, HE WANTED TO KNOW, "DO YOU THINK SHE'D HELP ME? I'M REALL IN OVER MY HEAD!"
"SHE" IS SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON AND THE TROUBLE THIS TIME WAS THE FAMILY PET. THE OBAMAS HAVE NO FAMILY PET.
HE'S NOT A DOG MAN.
HE DOESN'T LIKE DOGS.
HE DOESN'T LIKE PETS.
AND HE DOESN'T LIKE LOOKING FOR PETS.
WE INFORMED HIM THAT WE WOULD BET SENATOR CLINTON HAS MANY MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO THAN TO HELP HIM FIND A PET. WE FURTHER ADDED THAT IT'S PROBABLY NOT A GOOD IDEA TO USE PETS FOR PROPS.
At the US State Dept today, deputy spokesperson Robert Wood was asked of the treaty masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agrement and he responded, "My understanding is that the Iraqis are studying the text, and we await to hear back from them. We think it's, you know, a good agreement that serves both countries' interests. China's Xinhua quotes Ali al-Adeeb speaking to the Iraqi press on the treaty and stating, "Washington's response over the Iraqi proposed amendments on Status of Forces Agreement only have some positive points, but it seems not enough for the Iraqi side"; and they quote Iraq's Minister of Finance Bayan Jabr Solagh stating, "The cabinet will meet either on Saturday or on Sunday to review the last version of the SOFA draft and then will vote." People's Weekly World Newspaper quotes Iraq's Communist Party secretary of the central committee (and Iraqi MP) Hamid Mejaeed Mousa stating, "Our party is seeking, with others, to amend the agreement, because it is unacceptable in Iraqi society in its current draft. It will also not pass in the Parliament in this format, and we will be the first to reject it. . . . There has to be an agreement that ensures the evacuation of the foreign troops . . . their evacuation cannot take place by total rejection. It must be regulated by an agreement between the two sides. In all countries, regardless of the situation where there are foreign troops, their exit does not take place by only ignoring mutal dialogue and talks, but through an agreement. What matters, therefore, is the content of such an agreement, and what the principles and basis were for concluding it. That is the correct approach." Real News Network files a report on the treaty:
The Iraqi government has made more demands for more changes to the Status of Forces Security Agreement with the United States. The government of Prine Minister Nouri al-Maliki had already demanded changes to the agreement last month and last week the US sent an amended draft proposal back for approval. But even with the US acquiescence to Iraqi demands on Tuesday, Iraqi government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh told the London based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, "The US reply to the Iraqi amendments is not satisfactory and there are many points that still need clarification and amendment." The agreement must be approved by the Iraqi parliament before the 31 December 2008 deadline of the U.N. mandate that allows US troops to operate legally within Iraq. Without an agreement the US would have to go back to the Security Council to get an extension.
The report includes an analysis by Gareth Porter whose work at IPS we've noted often [such as "Witnesses Describe Ballot Fraud in Nineveh" (IPS) from November 2005.] Real News Network is always video and usually text as well.
While the treaty remains iffy, one thing was approved today. The Saudi Gazetter reports al-Maliki's cabinet signed off on the $67 billion 2009 budget and that it now goes to the Parliament (which will ratify or turn thumbs down).
At the State Dept today Wood also noted that Tayyip Recep Erdogan, Turkey's Prime Minister, was in the US for an economic meet up with the White House and that Secretary of State Condi Rice will be meeting with him during the visit. Turkey and northern Iraq are in continous conflict and it is a rare day when the Turkish military's airplanes are not bombing northern Iraq. Whether that topic will figure into any talks or not is not being dicussed. Another Iraqi neighbor is in the need. Khaled Yacoub Oweis (Reuters) reports that despite the US assault on Syria October 26, the Syrian government has decided it will go through with a planned conference on November 22nd. The conference has invited Iraq, its neighbors, the US, the UK and others.
On the change of emperors in the US, Paul Street (Black Agenda Report) weighs in with a must read and we'll excerpt this from it:
An old friend used to be a very smart Marxist and was an early member of SDS -- a real New Leftist. She refused to be given -- yes, refused to be given -- a copy of of my very careful and respectful book on the Obama phenomenon. "I can't read that," she said. Some of the names on the back of the book (Adolph Reed Jr., Noam Chomsky, and John Pilger) are former icons of hers (she introduced me to the writings of Adolph Reed, Jr. in the mid-1990s.) but now she's in love with Obama. "It's the best thing that could happen," she says about his election. She's repudiated her radical past and agrees with centrist American Enterprise Institute (AEI) "scholar" Norman Ornstein's recent ravings on how "the left" must not press Obama for very much right now (Ornstein's AEI-funded admonitions have recently been broadcast again and again across America's wonderful "public" broadcasting stations ("N" PR and "P" BS) because of, you know, "the economy" and all.
Paul Krugman in the New York Times (a left-liberal Obama critic during the primary campaign) says there's "something wrong with you" if you weren't "teary-eyed" about Obama's election. Yes, numerous other radicals and I need to be put under psychiatric care because we didn't cry over the militantly bourgeois and openly imperialist Obama's presidential selection.
We have the increasingly unglued white anti-racist Tim Wise screaming "Screw You" to Obama's harshes radical critics -- this after recklessly charging racism against working-class whites and Hillary Clinton supporters who had any issues with (the racially conciliatory) Obama.
[. . .]
The local bookstore, run by progressives (left-liberal Edwards supporters during the Iowa Caucus), is willing to sell my book but "too scared" to have an author event.
Few if any of these people have bothered to read a single solitary word of Obama's blatantly imperial, nationalist, and militarist foreign policy speeches and writings. And my sense is they never will. They do not care about such primary sources in the ongoing history of the Obama phenomenon.
For the last two years talking to many liberals and avowed "progressives" I know about Obama -- who I picked to be the next president in the fall of 2006 (I thought he was too simultaneously irresistible to both the power elite and the liberal base not to prevail) -- has been like talking to Republicans about George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and 2004; no room for messy and inconvenient facts.
I am hearing people of color identify with the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq in ways that would be unimaginable without Obama. This may be the worst thing of all.
Paul Street's book is Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics [Link takes you to Amazon.com.] Independent journalist John Pilger (at Dissident Voice) continues his truth telling:
No serious scrutiny of this is permitted within the histrionics of Obama-mania, just as no serious scrutiny of the betrayal of the majority of black South Africans was permitted within the "Mandela moment." This is especially marked in Britain, where America's divine right to "lead" is important to elite British interests. The once respected Observer newspaper, which supported Bush's war in Iraq, echoing his fabricated evidence, now announces, without evidence, that "America has restored the world's faith in its ideals." These "ideals", which Obama will swear to uphold, have overseen, since 1945, the destruction of 50 governments, including democracies, and 30 popular liberation movements, causing the deaths of countless men, women and children.
None of this was uttered during the election campaign. Had it been allowed, there might even have been recognition that liberalism as a narrow, supremely arrogant, war-making ideology is destroying liberalism as a reality. Prior to Blair's criminal war-making, ideology was denied by him and his media mystics. "Blair can be a beacon to the world," declared the Guardian in 1997. "[He is] turning leadership into an art form."
Today, merely insert "Obama". As for historic moments, there is another that has gone unreported but is well under way -- liberal democracy's shift towards a corporate dictatorship, managed by people regardless of ethnicity, with the media as its clichéd façade. "True democracy," wrote Penn Jones Jr., the Texas truth-teller, "is constant vigilance: not thinking the way you're meant to think and keeping your eyes wide open at all times."
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