PRINCESS BRAT CAROLINE KENNEDY SPOKE TO THESE REPORTERS THIS MORNING AFTER WE CAUGHT HER BUYING UP MULTIPLE COPIES OF TODAY'S NEW YORK TIMES WHICH JUST HAPPENS TO FEATURE HER ON THE FRONT PAGE.
"WHAT CAN I SAY," JOKED PRINCESS BRAT PICTURED BELOW, "IT HELPS TO GIVE A LITTLE HUH-HUH TO THE MAN RUNNING THE PAPER."
ASKED ABOUT THE PAPER SAYING SHE WOULD CAMPAIGN IN UPSTATE NEW YORK, CAROLINE AGREED THE WORDING THERE WAS WRONG.
"YOU DON'T CAMPAIGN FOR AN APPOINTMENT, NOT WITH THE HOI POLLOI," CAROLINE AGREED WRINKLING HER NOSE AT THE APPARENT ODORS OF THE "HOI POLLOI" BEFORE CONTINUING, "BUT THIS HAS CERTAINLY BEEN A LEARNING EXPERIENCE. I ALWAYS ASSUMED MY FAMILY NAME WOULD ALLOW ME TO COAST TO EASY VICTORY AND I'M FINDING IT'S NOT REALLY WORTH ALL THAT MUCH. I'M CONSIDERING ASKING BARACK AND MICHELLE TO ADOPT ME. 'CAROLINE OBAMA' MIGHT PROVIDE SOME OF THAT CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN, YOU KNOW?"
WHEN ASKED WHETHER HER HUSBAND WOULD BE DOING PUBLIC APPEARANCES WITH HER, CAROLINE GASPED AND STORMED OFF. APPARENTLY IT'S OKAY FOR KENNEDY'S TO DISCUSS THEIR ALLEGED LOVERS BUT ASKING A BASIC QUESTION ABOUT A CANDIDATE'S SPOUSE WAS 'OFF LIMITS.'
Today, Adam Ashton (McClatchy Newspapers) observes, "The deadlines sound clear enough in the security agreement: U.S. combat troops must be out of Iraqi urban areas by June, and all Americans should withdraw from the country by Dec. 31, 2011.
However, those deadlines have appeared anything but firm to Iraqis over the past week. " Thursday David Morgan and Anthony Boadle's (Reuters) reported, "Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said some U.S. forces could be needed for 10 years but told reporters that the terms of any extended presence would be negotiated between the next Iraqi and U.S. governments." Alsumaria pointed out on Friday, "Al Dabbagh, representing Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki in Washington, said some U.S. forces could be needed for 10 years stressing that the terms of any extended presence would be negotiated between the next Iraqi and US governments in 2011 since the security pact has not tackled this issue. He added that until that time, the number of troops needed and the level of cooperation and support required would be clearer." Clearer? That's all the treaty did? Shocking -- for those not paying attention and/or self-deluding themselves. The news just kept coming over the weekend. Xinhua quoted puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki stating, "What Dr. Ali al-Dabbagh said about Iraqi forces will need ten years to be ready was only his personal view and does not represent the Iraqi government." Stating? Not really. His office issued a statement. al-Maliki said nothing publicly. al-Maliki has a pattern of 'issuing' statements that he then disowns. Over the weekend, AP finally decided to report what al-Dabbagh said Thursday -- when they could run the 'denial' with it -- only they focused so on the denial they couldn't even get the day right of al-Dabbagh's statements (they reported the remarks were made Friday when they were made Thursday). Missy Reid and Michael Christie (Reuters) walked the late comers through:
Dabbagh, on a visit to Washington this week, raised the possibility of some of the 149,000 U.S. troops in Iraq remaining for longer than the date defined by the security pact.
"We do understand that the Iraqi military is not going to get built out in the three years. We do need many more years. It might be 10 years," Dabbagh said at a Pentagon press briefing.
He said that future Iraqi leaders would decide what kind of U.S. presence might be required after 2011.
Iraq's parliament approved the bilateral security agreement setting the end-2011 deadline after fierce and protracted debate. It is scheduled to be put to a referendum next year.
Opponents of the pact, including supporters of anti-American Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, have argued the pact gives legitimacy to a destructive foreign occupation and say they do not believe the United States will honour the withdrawal date.
Maliki, a Shi'ite who heads a coalition government, was seen as benefiting the most from the pact.
McClatchy's Ashton added Iraqi reaction to the Thursday statements, "That assertion makes sense to many Iraqi leaders, though they rarely say it in public. Iraq doesn't have a navy or an air force to protect itself. Many view it as America's obligation to improve the country's defense." But the alledged denial wasn't the only thing in the news cycle and, in fact, the top US commander in Iraq knocked the spin out of the statement issued by the puppet's office. Yochi J. Dreazen (Wall St. Journal) explained that despite the treaty 'promising' US forces would withdraw from all Iraqi cities (and to bases) in June, turns out, maybe not: "Gen. Raymond Odierno told reporters here that the U.S. troops assigned to 'joint security stations' inside Iraqi cities like Baghdad would remain in the outposts indefinitely. The bases, which are a key part of the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy, house thousands of American personnel across the country. There are well over a dozen such outposts in Baghdad alone.Gen. Odierno, who assumed command in September, explained that the withdrawal provision in the security pact applied only to combat personnel. The U.S. forces assigned to the joint security stations mentor and fight alongside Iraqi troops, so American commanders classify them as training personnel and don't consider them to be covered by the withdrawal language, he said." Odierno was not alone when he he held his press conference, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was with him. That's the current US Secretary of State and the also the one president-elect Barack Obama wants to continue in the job. Sunday Elisabeth Bumiller (New York Times) repored on Odierno's statement and that Lt Col James Hutton "reiterated" Odierno's statements after the press conference. Bumiller noted Odierno also indicated that the US would attempt to renegotiate the treaty and stated, "Three years is a very long time."
Today Ashton reports that al-Dabaggah issued a statement saying he was misquoted (no, he was not) and trying to back away from his statements as Odierno's statements only further added fuel to the fire with Iraqi MP and Nouri's B.F.F. declaring, "The agreement is clear and it didn't give a space for misunderstanding. This statement is stepping over the limits and authorities of this military leader, and over the constitutional establishments."
Ashton also quotes MP Harith al Obeidi declaring, "Treaties and pacts among nations are obligations and commitments, but this statement gives the matter a question mark on it." And a question mark hovers over al-Maliki. Steven Lee Myers and Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) observe:
Although a majority in the Iraqi Parliament approved the agreement, on the street, Iraqis have mixed views. Many distrust any pact made with an occupying power, and while Mr. Bush is appreciated for having overthrown Mr. Hussein, he is widely blamed for the violence that raged in the years after the war, which prompted more than a million Iraqis to flee and killed tens of thousands of civilians.
Still, Mr. Bush's stalwart support for Mr. Maliki -- after an initial period when the national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, expressed doubts about him -- has been a bulwark against domestic political forces who sought to topple him.
With the American president's term ending, Iraqi politicians from parties other than Mr. Maliki's have been discussing whether to force the prime minister out with a no-confidence vote. This is not the first time his ouster has been discussed, but with American power in Iraq on the wane and troop numbers beginning to decline in earnest, it seems a more serious threat.
For those attempting to keep track, the Queen of Panhandle Media, Amy Goodman, continues to ignore the issue but she made herself clear when she adopted the White House spin (such as "historic" for the Parliament vote). This is from American Freedom Campaign:
The document parading around as the U.S.-Iraq agreement is not valid under the U.S. Constitution. Its legitimacy is based solely on the silence of lawmakers (and members of the media), who seem to be paralyzed by the fear of having an independent and intelligent opinion. Fortunately, one lawmaker has broken the silence and has acknowledged the truth before everyone's eyes.
It is now time for others, including you, to join their voices with hers.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the pending U.S.-Iraq agreement, decrying the fact that the Iraqi Parliament was being given the opportunity to vote on whether to approve the agreement while Congress was being denied - and was refusing to fight for - the same opportunity.
Well, thanks to our efforts and the leadership of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), the U.S. House of Representatives may finally get to voice its opinion on President Bush's unconstitutional usurpation of Congress's legislative power.
Yesterday, Rep. Lee introduced a resolution related to the U.S.-Iraq agreement, inspired in part by AFC's call for a "signing statement" resolution. The primary purpose of this resolution is to express the sense of the House that President Bush does not have the power under the Constitution to negotiate and sign such a far-reaching agreement with another nation without seeking congressional approval of the agreement.
Passage of this resolution -- most likely following re-introduction in January -- will send a message to the Bush administration, the incoming Obama administration, and the rest of the world that the agreement holds no legal weight under U.S. law and will be considered merely advisory by Congress.
In truth, even without passage of this resolution, Congress shall not be bound by its terms. No president can unilaterally commit $10 billion per month in U.S. treasure to keep our troops in another nation. The United States has never been a monarchy or a dictatorship and we are certainly not going to accept any similar kind of system today.
Putting aside the question over whether this agreement is currently binding or not, it is important that as many lawmakers as possible openly reject the constitutionality of the agreement. So please tell your U.S. representative to co-sponsor, support, and vote for Rep. Lee's signing statement resolution (H.Res. 1535) by clicking on the following link
Once you have sent your message, please forward this email widely to friends and family. In the alternative, you can use the "Tell-A-Friend" option on the AFC Web site that will appear after you have sent your message.
Thank you so much for taking action.
American Freedom Campaign Action Fund
Meanwhile a new Washington Post - ABC News poll is out. Michael A. Fletcher and Jon Cohen (Washington Post) report: "Americans are more upbeat about U.S. prospects in
Iraq than at any time in the past five years, but nearly two thirds continue to believe the war is not worth fighting and 70 percent say President-elect Barack Obama should fulfill his campaign promise to withdraw U.S. forces from the country within 16 months, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll." How many would be so upbeat if they knew that Barack did not promise to withdraw all US troops from Iraq? Not asked, not answered. On this issue of withdrawal, UPI reports that Japan "began withdrawing force from Kuwait" today as it ended "its 5-year airlift mission in Iraq".
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