ON THE HEELS OF YESTERDAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT FROM STITCH BITCH JAY CARNEY THAT QUESTIONS MUST NOT BE YELLED AT CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O, CAME A NEW LIST OF ORDERS FROM CARNEY.
AS HE ADJUSTED THE HEM LINE OF BARRY O'S SLIP AND WORKED ON GETTING STAINS OUT OF SILK PANTIES, JAY CARNEY DEMANDED THAT NO ONE CALL BARRY O BY HIS NAME ('HE'S TRYING TO GET INTO CHARACTER!"), ASK FOR AUTOGRAPH OR LOOK AT HIM.
"AVERT YOUR EYES AT ALL TIME," SNARLED THE STITCH BITCH. "HE DOES NOT LIKE TO BE GAWKED AT! ESPECIALLY NOT RIGHT NOW WHEN HE'S IN THE MIDST OF A JUICE FAT IN AN ATTEMPT TO LOSE THOSE NASTY LOVE HANDLES THAT JUST SEEM TO GET WORSE WITH EVERY YEAR. NOW, IF YOU'LL EXCUSE ME, I HAVE SOME CROTCHLESS PANTIES TO ATTEND TO."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Yesterday on Flashpoints (KPFA, Pacifica), guest host Kevin Pina spoke with Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya who has left Canada to report from Libya on the illegal war. Excerpt.
Mahdi Nazemroaya: In regards to France, I have to point out that the Defense Minister of France made a statement which didn't please the United States. He said, we're willing to -- essentially, this is what he said -- we're willing to stop if there's political discussion and if Muammar Gaddafi switches his place in the government. It's not a total withdrawal, they're basically saying something symbolic. NATO's running out of steam here, the assessment is that they have 90 days to end this war, Ramadan which is a Muslim holy day is coming up, in September, I believe. [August 1st through 29th is Ramadan this year.] They have to end this war by that time. So they're looking for an exit strategy. This is what all this talk about negotiations is about because if anybody who follows the news and the news wires will see that the Libyan regime, Muammar Gaddafi and his government have been asking for negotiations from the beginning. The African Union has. Venezuela offered to be a negotiator between both sides or a go-between. Everybody has. The Chinese, the Russians have called for negotiations. The people that prevented it were the Obama administration, Mr. Sarkozy in Paris, Prime Minister Cameron in London and NATO. They're the ones who pushed it. And I have to point something out, the Italian prime minister said something very important about a meeting with David Cameron and Mr. Sarkozy. The president of France and the prime minister of Britain both said that the campaign should not end until there is a revolt in Tripoli against Col Gaddafi and his regime. What this signifies is that the intentions of these bombings was to create a revolt. The bombings did not start because there was a revolt, the intention was to create a revolt from the bombings, to make the people get fed up with Gaddafi and to overthrow him to end the bombings. That is what the intention was. That is why there's a siege on Tripoli and Libya. That's why they're bombing civilian sites. And I want to clarify, they bombed food storage places, medical clinics, hospitals, a place for children, a place for Down Syndrome, civilian residential areas, university campuses. These are the types of places they bombed. This was punishment on the Libyan people. And it backfired because it made Gaddafi very, very popular in Libya and across in Africa.
Kevin Pina: And you're listening to Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio and that is the voice of Mahdi Nazemroaya our special correspondent coming to us direct from Tripoli, in Libya. We're discussing the situation on the ground there. Mahdi, I also understand there were some recent bombings again happening over Tripoli. What has, in the last two weeks that you've been there, can you just summarize what has been the overall impact of the NATO bombing campaign on the ground in the capitol of Libya?
Mahdi Nazemroaya: Well Kevin, there's been so many bombings and overhead flights by NATO war planes that I've lost track. That's the honest truth. They have been flying overhead and bombing. I hear bombings when I'm in the shower, I hear bombings when I'm outside. I hear their planes. It's hard to keep track. It's on the news, the Libyan TV talks about it. The [foreign] journalists here don't really cover it because it's not an issue for them. They're more concerned about making the Libyan government look bad. So they've bombed and this bombing has backfired. Instead of getting the population against the government, it's brought everybody together. It's unified the country. There's a new spirit. There's an actual call for global revolution again in Libya. Libya, for a long time the Libyans saw themselves as the center for global revolution. That's actually in the youth again. So when I talk to people in the street -- and I mean regular Libyans and Libyan society as a whole -- the youth, the elderly, children, people who have nothing to do with officialdom or the Libyan state -- they are in a state of high morale, they are totally against NATO and many of them now support Col Gaddafi -- even the ones who were his political opponents and disliked the man and his family and his son Saif al-Islam now support the man. This has brought the country together and this has backfired on NATO. This has totally backfired on them and it was a very big strategic mistake. The thing is that they thought this would be done in a matter of days, maybe in two weeks, something like that. But it wasn't. It wasn't a walk in the park for them at all.
Kevin Pina: And you're listening to Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio and that is the voice of Mahdi Nazemroaya coming to us direct from Tripoli in Libya. And, Mahdi, we also hear reports that the rebels over the last week have taken several strategic towns and are making a drive towards the capitol of Tripoli and according to a lot of the western reports that we're hearing, their morale is equally high. So in a lot of ways, these two reports, one that we're hearing in Tripoli and the other that we're hearing from journalists embedded with the so-called rebels, are very inconsistent. How do we make sense of this inconsistency?
Mahdi Nazemroaya: Well let me say that I know some of these journalists and I knew some of these journalists before they left Tripoli, such as the ones in Misrata. I will point out that I personally -- on a personal basis -- question their professionalism, I question their intent in this country, alright? That's from my personal experience with them. In regards to towns falling like Sabha which they claim fell and its environs they took all the journalists who were willing to go to that city in Fezzan, I want to visit that city as well, it's in the south. They said it fell. It didn't. They said the gates of Tripoli had been reached. They hadn't. They've said that neighborhoods have fallen, they haven't. They've said that mosques have been closed, they haven't. I read those reports saying mosques have been closed and there's fighting every night. There isn't fighting every night. There is some fighting. That's true. At Tripoli, sometimes there's one or two people firing out of God knows where but that's only to destabilize this place and it's part of the psychological operation against this country. And I will let you know that there are special forces on the ground in Tripoli and they're here for sabotage and to break the morale here. They want regime change. And I'll tell you, NATO is not going to win this war. This war is unwinnable. And if they invade this country, they're fools.
As Elaine noted last night, Human Rights Watch has issued a report on the 'rebel' forces and how they are "responsible for looting, arson, and abuse of civilians in recently captured towns in western Libya". Click here for the Human Rights Watch report.
Last week, thug and First Lady of Iraq Moqtada al-Sadr was explaining who was to be socially welcomed and who was to be socially shunned. AFP reported that collaborators with the US would be shunned. AFP (and Moqtada) did not note that the US Embassy in Baghdad hopes to pull in the local population as contractors in 2012 and 2013. That would be more difficult if they're threatened and the man who issues fatawas loves to threaten. AFP reported, "Asked about whether Iraqis who had worked with the Americans as drivers, cleaners, builders or in other menial jobs could work with a government led by his movement, the cleric replied: 'yes they can, but not in administrative work,' suggesting they would not rise above low-ranking positions." Current workers are to be shunned and translators are social pariah according to Moqtada.
In today's New York Times, Tim Arango reports that it is these groups Moqtada has labeled undesirables -- "especially interpreters for the military" -- who are now suffering in the asylum process as they attempt to be granted admission to the United States. Arango notes, "Advocates say that the administration is ignoring a directive from Congress to draft a contingency plan to expedite visas should those Iraqis who worked for the United States government" and he notes that from October 2010 (start of the fiscal year) through last June, less "than 7,000 Iraqis have been admitted to the United States." If this trickle continues, Barack will be admitting less than George W. Bush was in his final year occupying the Oval Office. Ed O'Keefe (Washington Post) adds, "A special program meant to distribute 25,000 visas to Iraqis who worked for the U.S. government has admitted just 7,000 since it started in 2008, officials said this week. In addition, the U.S. Refugee Admission Program, a global program that also admits Iraqis, will admit about 6,000 Iraqis this year, down from 18,000 in fiscal 2010."
Last April, John Hopkins University's Dr. Farrah Mateen gave a presentation in Honolulu at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Mateen gave an overview of the Iraqi refugee population in this video.
Dr. Farrah Mateen: So the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees recognizes more than 40 million refugees in the world today and there are currently more than 30 active, armed conflicts and we know very little about neurological disease in humanitarian emergencies and in times of humanitarian crisis. The war in Iraq actually began more than eight years ago now, March 20, 2003. And the UNHCR recognizes more than 3.5 million persons of concern of Iraqi origin and currently there are more than 2 million refugees who live outside of Iraq. The United States as well as western Europe, Australia and Canada are major recipients of Iraqi refugees today and continue to be. Iraqi refugees often have to seek humanitarian assistance in the countries where they flee to.
Neither Arango nor O'Keefe's article indicate that they attempted to get an answer on what's going on from the person in charge of the US Iraqi refugee program. Candidate Barack Obama swore that if elected president he would provide $2 billion for Iraqi refugees. That has still not happened. What's going on? O'Keefe notes State Dept employees spoken to. But the State Dept isn't over this. This doesn't fall under Hillary Clinton's scope. You'd think it would because she is Secretary of State; however, Barack put the War Monger Samantha Power in charge of many things Iraq including Iraqi refugees. This was made clear by plus-size model and then-White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs on August 14, 2009 when he issued a statement which included:
Further to discussions that took place during Prime Minister Maliki's recent meetings in Washington, President Obama is pleased to announce that Samantha Power, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council in the White House, will coordinate the efforts of the many parts of the U.S. government on Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), including the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense.
So what happened? Samantha Power was too busy spreading lies about Libya? It was Power who came up with the lie that Libyan women were being raped -- by assailants on goverment provided viagra!!!!! -- and it was her cohort Susan Rice that was tasked with popularizing that lie. When The Problem From Hell's actions demonstrate that the self-described "humanitarian hawk" isn't at all concerned with humanity, you're just left with a power-mad buttinsky craving the blood of others. No, that doesn't sound like someone who should have been tasked with the Iraqi refugee issue.
johnfdrake John Drake
Turning to another member of the administration, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's visit to Iraq this week has not yet resulted in more press covergae than former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' Never-Ending Farewell Tour but give it time. On the trip, he stated that the US military would defend itself against Iran whom Panetta alleges is supplying weapons to Iraqi militias and that it would defend itself against Iraqi militias such as Moqtada al-Sadr's militias. Al Mada reports that Nouri al-Maliki's spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh stated that the US military would not do military operations against al-Sadr. (It's not in the article but I'm told on the phone that al-Dabbagh also declared yesterday that the Panetta is mistaken and no military action against Iran will take place using Iraq as a staging platform as a result of the existing outlines in the SOFA and the Strategic Framework Agreement.) Meanwhile the editorial board of New Hampshire's Sentinel Source observes:
Today, there are still 46,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, some dying in supposedly non-combat roles. And the White House has begun to indicate that it will keep as many as 10,000 there past the end-of-the-year deadline -- if the Iraqi government asks for them to stay. Press reports quote unidentified briefers and foreign diplomats as saying that plans for retaining the troops indefinitely are already under way.
The administration's intention is clear in the open invitation it is waiving in the face of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, hoping for a come-hither gesture.
18 US soldiers have died in the last six weeks. Michael Evans (Times of London via The Australian) notes that fact and points out, "US President Barack Obama's 'final withdrawal' deadline was supposed to be the day when he could tell the American people the war in Iraq was finally over -- not 'mission accoplished' as his predecessor declared prematurely in May 2003, but an end to the large-scale US troop presence there. If the US military is asked to stay, albeit in smaller numbers, the risk is that the troops remaining will become targets.
RanjAlaaldin Ranj Alaaldin
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