CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O GAVE A SPEECH TODAY THAT EVEN FOUND HIGH SCHOOLERS DESCRIBING IT AS "TRITE."
MEANWHILE A RIGHT-WING PHILOSPHER EXPLORES HIS THOUGHTS OF BARRY O AT FORBES SO THE LEFT-WING (IT IS LEFT WING, THAT'S WHY THEY HIRED VICTOR NAVASKY) CJR DOESN'T DO A FACT CHECK, THEY DO A CHARACTER ASSASSINATION ON THE WRITER. AND THE LITTLE PRICKS AT CJR YET AGAIN THINK THEY ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING.
JUST DAYS AGO, CJR WAS ATTACKING MAUREEN DOWD AND PRAISING A LITTLE PRICK'S 'CRITIQUE' OF HER COLUMN -- A 'CRITIQUE' THAT COULDN'T EVEN GRASP THAT MAUREEN DOWD WAS NOT WRITING A COLUMN ABOUT BARRY O'S IRAQ WAR SPEECH. CJR IS FULL OF PRICKS -- OF BOTH GENDERS.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
As the violence continues, so does the political stalemate. March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The Guardian's editorial board notes, "These elections were hailed prematurely by Mr Obama as a success, but everything that has happened since has surely doused that optimism in a cold shower of reality." 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. In 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. It's six months and seven days with no government formed.
Today Alsumaria TV reports, "Member in State of Law Coalition Kamal Al Saedi said that the delegation visit to Syria does not aim at normalizing the relations between the Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, but to normalize the relations between the two countries. Saedi said that the Premiership nominations are an internal Iraqi issue." Khaled Yacoub Oweis (Reuters) adds that Nouri sent an aide to Syria to meet with the Syrian president today. And around Nouri and al Assad that the rumors fly with the biggest being that they are working out some agreement. Ma'ad Fayad and Sherezad Sheikhani (Asharq Alawsat Newspaper) report an Iraiqiya source tells them there's been no change in Syria's opposition to Nouri and the source then states, "The Syrian leadership is free to take its political stands that serve the interests of its country and people. All changes are possible in politics though we regard such a change happening unlikely even if it came by Iranian mediations. We know the Syrian leadership's principled stand on Al-Iraqiya's right to form the government in accordance with the Iraqi constitution." Gulf Times quotes Abdul Hamid al-Zuhairi stating, "We affirmed th depth of strategic ties between Syria and Baghdad. There have been (anti-Syrian) statements by Iraqi figures, but that's behind us now." Meanwhile Sami Moubayed (Gulf News) points out, "While it may have appeared that Syria was making advances to Al Maliki, in fact it was the exact opposite -- the Iraqi prime minister was cuddling up to the Syrians, in effect saying: 'I have mended fences with Damascus and will remain premier.' Syria, after all, can assist Al Maliki in ways that neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia could. It can mend his relationship with heavyweight Sunnis such as Tarek Al Hashemi and work on rebuilding trust between him and his former ally and now opponent, Moqtada Al Sadr. A multitude of players must sign off on any new Iraqi prime minister, and Al Sadr, who commands 40 seats in parliament, is top of the list. It is no secret that Al Sadr feels betrayed by Al Maliki, who failed during his years in power to protect the Sadrists from the US dragnet or to push for a timetable for withdrawal of US troops." And Alsumaira TV notes that Iraqiya is stating it is willing to enter additional talks with the Iraqi National Alliance.
How did Nouri get picked the first time? Oh, that's right, the US government shot down Iraq's first pick. But how did Nouri end up the next choice? "al-Maliki was chosen [prime minister] in a secret meeting of the Shia leadership, of all the Shia factions, that is Dawa, ISCI or SCIRI and the Sadrists and it was presided over by none other than General [Qassem] Suleimani, the head of the Quds Force, which deals with Iraq. He was the day-to-day officer in charge of Iraq policy for Iran. So he was snuck into the Green Zone without the knowledge of the United States by the Shia leadership and presided over a meeting which then, in April of 2006, chose al-Maliki to be the next prime minister of Iraq." That's Gareth Porter speaking on Antiwar Radio yesterday to Scott Horton about the myths of the surge (click here to read the text report Gareth wrote on this topic) and we'll note this from the broadcast on the second myth of the surge:
Gareth Porter: [. . .] what was really going on in 2006 was that the Sunnis were scared to death that they were going to be abandoned to the tender mercies of a Shia government and the Shia death squads because what was happening in that year, of course, was the Shia death squads were eliminating the Sunnis -- anybody who was suspected of being an activist either on the political or military side of the Sunnis was being ruthlessly eliminated by the Shia in Baghdad and they basically carried out ethnic cleansing of the capital, turning it from a mixed city -- Sunni - Shia mixed population -- into an overwhelmingly dominant Shia capital.
Scott Horton: In other words, the Sunni insurgency lost the civil war against the American and Iranian backed Supreme Islamic Council and the Dawa Party government that we were installing in Baghdad. And they cried uncle. They said we have too many enemies. We're fighting al Qaeda, we're fighting, we're fighting the Badhr corps and we're fighting the Americans all at the same time.
Gareth Porter: That's actually correct although it was primarily -- in Baghdad, it was primarily the Mahdi army of Moqtada al-Sadr which was ruthlessly carrying out the elimiatnion of the Sunni activists.
Scott Horton: And point of information here, I'm sorry I have to interrupt you but I have to bring this up. I just read the [David] Finkel book, The Good Soldiers, here, I interviewed Josh Steiber who worked for [Lt Col Ralph] Kauzlarich in that story and they're basically driving around in their Humvees getting blown up in east Baghdad, a Sadrist part of Baghdad throughout 2007, and none of these characters in the entire book -- including the author -- have any idea who they're fighting for. They're actually fighting -- they're in the middle of a civil war fighting on the side of Moqtada al-Sadr while they're fighting against him and patrolling east Baghdad, protecting east Baghdad from itself, from the terrible terrorists who are, of course, the Mahdi army guys that they're on the side of. And they're dying over here for a year --
Gareth Porter: This is the perfect illustration of the basic reality of the Iraq War which is the United States had no idea what it was really fighting for and was essentially continuing to carry out a war that made absolutely no sense whatsoever from any point of view -- either, you know, in terms of trying to foster reconciliation, foster peace, stability or the cold war against Iran. None of that was being accomplished.
[. . . ]
Scott Horton: And Petraeus never followed through with his deal with the Sunnis that 'Don't worry, I'm going to make sure that you're intergrated into the Iraqi army and into the government and etc. He just left them high and dry and now they're all going back to suicide bombings.
Gareth Porter: Well of course Petraeus never had the power to make that stick. He may have told them that we're going to integrate you into the Iraq army but it was really always going to be up to the al-Maliki regime to carry out such a policy and al-Maliki made it clear from the beginning -- and this is very well documented. He was very aware of this policy and was making no promises beyond very minimal integration of the Sons Of Iraq into the security structure of Iraq. So Petraeus had no ability to promise that sort of integration to the Sunnis.
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