THE WHITE HOUSE IS IN A FLURRY OF ACTIVITY OVER TOMORROW'S STATE DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT OF MEXICO, FELIPE CALDERON. RAHM AND COMPANY ARE SAYING THAT IF THEY CAN PREVENT ANY GATE CRASHERS FROM SHOWING UP, THE WEEK WILL BE A SUCCESS.
SO JAZZED BY THE MEASUREMENT WAS CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O THAT HE DECIDED TO STREAK THROUGH HALF THE COUNTRY (PICTURED BELOW).
AND SUCH A MEASUREMENT AGAIN DEMONSTRATES JUST HOW OUT OF IT THE WHITE HOUSE IS AS UNDERWATER OIL PLUMES FROM THE GULF DISASTER ARE SAID TO MEASURE AS MUCH AS 10 MILES IN LENGTH.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with the Shame of the Movement. Little Raed Jarrar -- the Jar Jar Blinks of the Peace Movement. Today Jar Jar declares of the Status Of Forces Agreement, "It is very important to understand how we've managed to reach to the the current plan, which is a good plan aimed at ending the occupation completely." Note, "the the" is his typo. Didn't we always picture Jar-Jar as Eva Braun? Someone fly him to Highland Park ASAP so he can hop into the bunker with Bully Boy Bush. It's "a good plan." Gushing is second nature to Raed. No, it's a lousy contract. And the dope doesn't understand the US Constitution so he probably should sit his ass down, open a book and try to learn. It's clear he's never going back to Iraq. Fine, learn about this country or don't speak. Raed knows nothing about the law or the Constitution. He wastes his time -- when not posing as a Quaker (he's not a Quaker) -- and he wastes everyone else's. David Swanson, for all his many faults, grasps that the SOFA is unconstitutional. It flies right over Raed's head, so busy is he pulling his pud and exclaiming, "It's a withdrawal!" It's nothing of the sort. Raed's pimping Peace Action which ridiculously still brags on its website that they are "a leading member of the United for Peace and Justice and Win Without War coalition" -- yeah, the backstabbers who sold out the peace movement, hijacked it, turned it into a Get-Out-The-Vote action for the Democratic Party (which has not ended the Iraq War). You'll note how Peace Action ranks their goals by what gets listed first:
Peace Voter Campaign
How sad. Jar-Jar's an idiot. Ava and I gave up on educating him (he really seems to have some developmental issues) and I know Dona's had it with him as well. In Friday's snapshot we were noting Nouri al-Maliki's summer of 2009 remarks about US forces remaining in Iraq after 2012. It doesn't matter whom you cite or what, Jar-Jar doesn't deal in reality. There is something seriously wrong with his head. In the real world William Rivers Pitt (Truthout) offers:
President Obama will not get the United States out of Iraq in his first term. If he wins a second term, it is highly unlikely he will get us out of Iraq before he finally leaves office.
Print that out and tack it to your wall. Six years from now, it will still be hanging there, yellow and curled, but entirely correct. We're not going anywhere.
[. . .]
Whether President Obama is a prisoner of this situation, or is actively continuing the policy, is entirely irrelevant at this point. He may hate this war, or he may love it, but at the end of the day, he will continue in the manner of his predecessor.
We're there, and unless this country erupts in a frenzy of furious protest and civil disobedience, we're staying. Even that may not make the nut, but it would be awfully nice to see this country shake itself out of its stupor and do what needs to be done.
Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan and Peace of the Action (not to be confused with Peace Action which just wants you to vote) are preparing for a Sizzlin' Summer Protest with a "Rethink Tyranny" 4th of July to kick things off at one in the afternoon in Lafayette Park. Monday through Friday (July 5th through 9th), Lafayette Park will be a meet up spot each morning and late in the afternoon. Afternoon protests will be in front of the White House during the day at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Unmanned Aerial Vehicle display. The first week of summer protests will be celebrated that Saturday with a bash for Cindy Sheehan (July 10th is her birthday) and for the spirit of protest. There are many more July actions being planned and some are announced (click here). If you'd like to participate, they ask that you e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com because they are attempting to get a head count.
Turning to Iraq and the post-election madness. Sunday, Anthony Shadid (New York Times) reported that the results of the Baghdad recount (of the March 7th elections) have been released and there was no evidence of fraud, nor did the outcome change. Ayad Allawi's political slate remains 91 seats in the Parliament to Nouri al-Maliki's 89. al-Maliki's spokesperson declared no objections further indicating that the recount was always intended to be a stalling technique to question the legitimacy of Iraqiya's win allowing the raised doubts (and fears that al-Maliki would get his way) to sideline any attempts by Iraqiya to form a coalition-sharing alliance. Meanwhile Alsumaria TV informs, "Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki told Alsumaria that the State of Law Coalition has no other candidate than him for Premiership." Nouri also instilled the fear that backing Iraqiya was a lost cause because his 'helpmates' Ahmed Chalabi and Ali al-Lami were ensuring that various members of Iraqiya would not be seated. Today Anthony Shadid and Riyadh Mohammed (New York Times) report that a court issued a ruling today stating no elected candidate would be prevented from serving in the Parliament: "The decision Monday was handed down in the same obscure and capricious fashion that has plagued the entire de-Baathification process. It was not made public; that was left to Mr. Lami. Even as he promised to abide by the court ruling, he warned that he might open more cases against sitting members of Parliament. Electoral officials acknowledged being unclear over precisely what the decision said Monday." Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) adds, "The attempted disbarment of the candidates -- now newly elected members of parliament -- for alleged ties to Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party was among the factors that prevented Iraqi officials from certifying the results of the election. [. . .] Maliki tacitly supported the disqualification process and was the driving force behind the recount in Baghdad. In the end, neither effort affected the seat distribution."
Nouri played it very well. He knew Chris Hill, US Ambassador to Iraq, was both inept and a living failure. He knew he could make threats and bully and not even worry about Hill calling for a face-to-face talk over any of it. He knew that while Allawi, Iraq's Foreign Ministers and others called for US and UK involvement to ensure the post-election period was fair, the idiot Hill would continue to issue his 'everything is fine on the ground' reports to DC. He knew he could rob the store and burn it down and Hill would tell DC the 'real news' was that the store would be reopening.
If you still haven't grasped what happened, try to do so now. Despite Nouri having all the power of the office, despite him tossing around bribes and election year promises, despite the press covering for him, despite the press insisting he (they should have said his party) was a shoe in and that it would win 100s of seats, the Iraqi people rejected him. Many Shi'ites rejected him by not voting. Others joined Sunni voters in voting for Iraqiya. Still others voted for the National Alliance. The big winner whom the press told you would dominate the elections barely came in second.
The Iraqi people spoke. They wanted something different, they wanted something new. They were willing to risk an unknown in Iraqiya just because they knew they didn't want more of what Nouri had to offer. They did their part. They voted (or stayed home to register their objection). The election observers did their job. And yet despite that stunning upset, despite that huge rejection, thanks to Chris Hill, it now appears Nouri will remain in power. Something the majority of Iraqis did not want.
There may still be a challenge. Waleed Ibrahim, Serena Chaudhry and Michael Roddy (Reuters) report, "Iraq's Sunni vice president [Tariq al-Hashemi] said on Monday that the cross-sectarian Iraqiya coalition he belongs to was more determined than ever to claim the right to form the next government after a recount maintained its election win." And that may be it because Saturday Hassan Abdul Zahra (AFP) reported that Moqtada al-Sadr's spokesperson was insisting al-Sadr no longer had any objection to Nouri being prime minister. (For life?) Reuters offers a breakdown on the basics once the results are certified. Reuters also notes, "After the last parliamentary election in 2005, violence erupted when politicians took more than five months to negotiate a new government." Elizabeth Palmer (CBS News) ponders whether a civil war is on the verge of breaking out.
And on that front, Reuters reports Sheikh Abdullah Shakoor al-Salhy was beheaded today by assailants "wearing Iraqi military uniforms" and the iman's head was then put atop an electric pole in his Diyala Province village. AFP adds, "According to the Diyala military officer, in the village of Al-Bushaheen, 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Baquba, gunmen burst into the home of Sheikh Hashim Arif at about 3:00 am (0000 GMT), dragged him to his garden and shot him dead in front of his family." And Press TV reports that a US helicopter crashed in Nasiriyah on Saturday.
Last week, Turkish press was still noting that Turkey had invaded Iraq's airspace (that's the way the Turkish press billed it) as they chased after people they suspected of being PKK. Despite that (because of it?), Today's Zaman interviewed with Nouri al-Maliki's spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh who made a surprising assertion, "Turkey is a very close friend of Iraq. We are proud that we have achieved this level in the relationship. Mr. [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-]Maliki and [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan have that [shared] vision, and we at the different levels of the Iraqi government, most of us are sure that Turkey is our real partner, our strategic partner. And I think that our counterparts in Turkey feel the same. Iraq is a very important country for Turkey -- this understanding, this vision has spurred the relations to the level that they're at. It's a model partnership between two neighboring countries; we want to promote this model with Iran, we want to promote it with Saudi Arabia." Turkey should be the model for Iraq's interaction with other neighbors, according to Nouri's spokesperson.
[. . .]
They might qualify as biggest laugh of the day were it not for Janet Napolitano. Appearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs this afternoon, she declared -- straight faced -- regarding the Gulf Coast Drilling Disaster 2010, "Since day one, the Administration has engaged in an all-hands-on-deck response to this event." That was approximately one month ago and the ocean continues to have oil pouring into it. In fact, it was NPR, not the government, that informed us Friday that the amount pouring into the ocean "may be at least ten times the size of official estimates" (click here for Richard Harris' Morning Edition report). A month later and as many 84,000 barrels a day may be pouring into the Gulf waters and Napolitano wants to claim that the administration has been on the job since day one?
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