Wednesday, May 05, 2010

What was the winning bid?







Calling for an end to the Iraq War is Ron Fisher who is running for Congress in the 8th Congressional District in Virginia. Fisher is a Green. Who will he be running against? "Ron's Likely Opponent" sketches out Fisher's take on US House Rep Jim Moran (Democrat) which includes, "Jim Moran, like many in Congress, blames the Iraq War on President Bush. Bush could not have started the Iraq war without Congress authorizing him to use force and then providing the funds for the war. Moran could have helped stop the war by simply stopping the funding and/or by helping to impeach Cheney and Bush."

Allan Abramson (Huffington Post) notes of the Iraq War (and other 'changes' that apparently were shipped COD because they still haven't arrived):

Why then did Mr. Bush stay in Iraq? Instead of fighting terrorists, we were fighting the Iraqi people, mostly Sunni groups which had lost power with our invasion. The mission had changed, to become one of nation-building. We wanted to create a Western-leaning ally. This is why our continued military action in Iraq was wrong and dumb. Without a threat to the U.S., we had no right to intervene in the governance of Iraq: this was wrong. Without a threat to the U.S., we were wasting American and Iraqi lives, and billions of dollars, rather than dealing with terrorism elsewhere: this was dumb.
In the campaign, Mr. Obama said he wanted to end the war and remove American troops. In office, Mr. Obama set an extended deadline (2011) for ending U.S. military action, but also announced that he would retain some 50,000 troops (and perhaps as many contract employees) to provide training and assistance to the Iraqi government. Whatever you call them, 50,000 troops does not qualify as ending a "war." Mr. Obama has continued the Bush-Cheney mission of nation-building in Iraq.
The choice he could have made was to set a shorter deadline, and truly remove all U.S. troops from Iraq. He could have announced that the Iraqi people would have to resolve their internal political issues on their own, and that once resolved, we would provide aid in reconstruction of the country. This he did not do, and the question arises, did he mean his campaign pledge?

No, he did not. He never meant it and that's why some of us were sounding the alarms on March 7, 2008 when Barack's tutor and chief foreign advisor Samantha Power was in the news for, among other things, the BBC interview she'd given.

Stephen Sackur: You said that he'll revisit it [the decision to pull troops] when he goes to the White House. So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out within sixteen months, isn't a commitment is it?

Samantha Power: You can't make a commitment in whatever month we're in now, in March of 2008 about what circumstances are going to be like in January 2009. We can'te ven tell what Bush is up to in terms of troops pauses and so forth. He will of course not rely upon some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US Senator.

"So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out within sixteen months, isn't a commitment is it?" No, it sure as hell wasn't. But if the Joan Baezes and Tom-Tom Haydens hadn't been whoring, people would have caught on. The clues were always there, From the November 2, 2007 snapshot:

Though Obama says he wants "to be clear," he refuses to answer that yes or no question and the interview is over."
So let's be clear that the 'anti-war' Obama told the paper he would send troops back into Iraq. Furthermore, when asked if he would be willing to do that unilaterally, he attempts to beg off with, "We're talking too speculatively right now for me to answer." But this is his heavily pimped September (non)plan, dusted off again, with a shiny new binder. The story is that Barack Obama will NOT bring all US troops home. Even if the illegal war ended, Obama would still keep troops stationed in Iraq (although he'd really, really love it US forces could be stationed in Kuwait exclusively), he would still use them to train (the police0 and still use them to protect the US fortress/embassy and still use them to conduct counter-terrorism actions.

For more on that 2007 news, refer to Third's article and the actual transcript of the interview.

In US occupied Iraq today, the recounting of ballots in Baghdad continues. As it does, Liz Sly (Los Angeles Times) reports that State of Law (Nouri al-Maliki's political party) is floating a new name for prime minister: Jaafar Sadr. And, if you're wondering, yes, he is related to Moqtada al-Sadr (second cousins). Sly observes, "His youth and inexperience [he's 40-years-old] count against him, but at the same time he has had no chance yet to make enemies, unlike most other politicians. Opposition to Maliki is the main obstacle to the creation of a grand Shiite coalition that could nix Allawi's ambitions." Jason Ditz ( notes, "A student his whole adult life, Jaafar is now nearing his bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Anthropology." Apparently, instead of the four-year-plan, he was on the twenty-two-year degree plan. Not noted by either (though Sly may be hinting) is that among those floating Jaafar Sadr as a potential prime minister are elements of the US government. Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports that State of Law is having talks with the Iraqi National Alliance about forming a Shi'ite alliance which would put "them just four parliamentary seats shy of a ruling majority." Al Jazeera reports that the news was broken by, "Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a former PM, and Abdul Razzaq al-Kadhimi, an INA advisor, flanked by officials from al-Maliki's State of Law bloc made the announcement in a press conference on Tuesday." The Telegraph of London observes, "Incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, however, appeared likely to be the main casualty of the deal between the Shiite parties, as it is widely believed the price of a coalition between his State of Law bloc and the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) was an agreement that he would not continue in his post." Steven Lee Myers (New York Times) notes that Ayad Allawi and his Iraqiya political slate has been sidelined which "could intensify sentiments among Sunnis that despite voting in force in the election in March, they remain disenfranchised". The Wall St. Journal cautions, "Despite the pact, in Iraq's volatile political atmosphere, any deal could easily evaporate before a new government is formed."

The other Sadr is in the news as well. Hamza Hendawi and Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) report that Moqtada al-Sadr's spokesperson Salah al-Obeidi announced today that the Mahdi Army is being regrouped and that it is going to "launch qualitative attacks against the occupiers (U.S. forces) if they stay beyond 2011. It will have a big role to play to drive them out of Iraq." Last month, it was announced that Mahdi Army was regrouping. Within 24 hours, it was then announced that they weren't. But that Moqtada al-Sadr was willing to reform it. There may be a walk back on today's announcement as well. Nouri al-Maliki targeted al-Sadr's militia in Basra and Baghdad in 2008. Some, largely Shi'ites, saw the Mahdi Army as a protective force. Sunnis and many Shi'ites tended to see it as a death squad deployed at Moqtada's wishes.

If the announcement is not walked back, among the most upset will most likely be the Sunnis and the Sahwa subgroup of Sunnis. Tim Arango (New York Times) reports that Nouri's refusal to bring the Sahwa into the process is frustrating many Sunnis. Sahwa aka "Awakenings" aka "Sons Of Iraq" are Sunnis who were paid by the US military not to attack the US military or the US military equipment. These payments are credited by many -- including Gen David Petreaus and former US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker -- for diminishing the number of attacks on US forces. Nouri was supposed to absorb the Sahwa but despite the press repeatedly announcing he had or he was going to, that never really happened. Arango reports Sahwa was not able to promote a united front in the March 7th elections and are feeling further unmoored: Now, under threat from insurgents they once battled and facing a government they say has not kept its promise to give jobs to the fighters, the Awakening seems to be a force whose strength is waning, as it looks for a way to cling to any rung of power it can. Some wonder if this is the beginning of the end of the Awakening. The ramifications could be stark. Most worrisome would be an increase in violence, should disenchanted Awakening fighters become insurgents again. Whether Mr. Aiffan and others accept their electoral defeat and go quietly is a question that could determine how peacefully power changes hands here.

Occupied Iraq, ruled over by a US puppet whose fighting like crazy to hold on to the position. If US service members leave the Green Zone, Nouri falls. He knows that. The US military knows it, the US government knows it. So he's proposed madcap schemes to ensure his reign since he became prime minister in April of 2006. Two Circles Net reports, "Iraqi authorities have started the construction of a security wall around the capital Baghdad, reports the country's Al-Iraqiya TV citing a Baghdad security spokesperson. The concrete wall with eight checkpoints is to be completed in mid-2011." Once upon a time, Nouri proposed building a moat around Baghdad. A moat. Stagnant water. Just what Baghdad needs more of. Especially with all the cholera outbreaks. Nouri never got his moat but he will apparently get his walled-in-city.

Meanwhile Nouri al-Maliki and his Whores among the press corps are trumpeting the claim that the 'network' behind the April 4th bombings has been 'captured' while tossing in as an aside that a supposed suspect "was later reported to have died in detention." Of the Ebola Virus? Nouri runs torture cells and forces fake confessions and his pay off is that a number of Press Whores repeatedly pimp his claims as facts -- despite the fact that his abusive relationship with the truth is well known.

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Spontaneous anti-war resistance on campuses nationwide"
"The US military announces two deaths"
"He is what you've made him"
"Dead? Not yet"
"Stale and Sexist Air"
"comic, new jersey madness, wal-mart suit, etc"
"Lynn Redgrave"
"Kate Nash"
"I just don't get it"
"Drama queens & blind watchdogs"
"Sideboob's Tiny Tits moment on Martha's Vineyard"
"Barack's got troubles"
"He used to be so popular"

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