OH LOOK! POLITICO'S PUBLISHING ONE OF KATRINA VAN-VAN'S LITTLE BITCHES.
AIR MEBLER DOESN'T WRITE FOR AN OUTLET, HE WRITES FOR A PROPAGANDA MILL. WHY POLITICO WANTS TO TROT OUT THE TIRED LITTLE WHORE IS ANYONE'S GUESS BUT TRY TO FOLLOW THE 'LOGIC' OF AIR:
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Danny Schechter (ZNet) notes US President Barack Obama is set to deliver another speech, this one on Thursday and supposedly focusing on jobs:
Attention, collapsing Economy: you finally have the big man's attention. Nearly 70 organizations are pressing the President to take strong action.
Please give him a break. He's been busy tending Empire business -- waging GWOT warfare on IraqAfghanistanLibyaYemenPakistanSomalia et. al . . .
Call it the greatest "long war" in American history: an unending and unbelievably expensive intervention justified as necessary to keep us safe.
But the Iraq War made no one safe. Iraqis aren't safe, and we'll get to that later in the snapshot, but neither is "the west." The former head of British intelligence, MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller just said so in a recent speech.
Eliza Manningham-Buller: War was declared on a rogue state, an easier target than an elusive terrorist group based mainly at that stage in the difficult terrain of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. And, in my view, whatever the merits of putting an end to Saddam Hussein, the war was also a distraction from the pursuit of al Qaeda. It increased the terror threat by convincing more people that Osama bin Laden's claim that Islam was under attack was correct. It provided an arena for the jihad for which he had called so that many of his supporters including British citizens traveled to Iraq to attack western forces. It also showed very clearly that foreign and domestic policies are intertwined, actions overseas have an impact at home and our involvement in Iraq spurred some young British Muslims to turn to terror.
BBC News has video here and notes, "She was speaking during her first 2011 Reith Lecture, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 6 September 2011 at 09:00 BST and repeated on Saturday 10 September at 22:15 BST. You can also listen via the BBC iPlayer or download the programme podcast." In the US, Richard Cohen (New York Daily News) observes:
This is a melancholy season in Washington, much talk about the decline of America and how our vaunted system has broken down. I won't quibble. But the most consequential breakdown of our system is exemplified by waging an unnecessary war and then - history, brace yourself - the reelection of the incompetents who had done it. Is it possible that for all the treacly talk about "the fallen" and all our salutes to the troops, we care so little about them that we casually gave second terms to the very people who wasted their lives?
This lack of accountability is not limited to our ill-conceived military adventures. After all, the financial system collapsed, but afterward there were no metaphorical hangings. People of modest means, suckers fooled into thinking a home of their own was a gift of citizenship, lost it all, but the guys at the top had a couple of bad years and then got the bonuses they were accustomed to. We are a get-over-it nation, always moving on.
Still, Iraq was different. Lives, not homes, were lost - and the Middle East was thrown up into the air.
And the Iraq War continues. Over the weekend, Aswat al-Iraq quoted from a statement by Humam Hammoudi, "head of the Iraqi Parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission," which says of the issue of a US withdrawal: "we are waiting the PrimeMinister to present a new agreement following the U.S. forces withdrawal for the training cadres." Al Mada reports today that Iraqi Gen Anwar Hamad Amin has released a statement stating that Iraq will need "years" to be able to secure their own air space and that, post-2011, they will continue to need US air support. But the big news happens because of Fox News.
Today, they reported, "The Obama administration has decided to drop the number of U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of the year down to 3,000, marking a major downgrade in force strength, multiple sources familiar with the inner workings and decisions on U.S. troop movements in Iraq told Fox News." They reported that US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta had agred to it and they quoted Panetta denying that any decision had been made. Some rushed to slam Fox News. Why? Today Norah O'Donnell, CBS News, raised the issue of Iraq.
Norah O'Donnell: And can I turn to Afghanistan and ask whether the President has received a recommendation from Secretary Panetta to reduce the number of troop levels to about 3,000 by year's end?
Jay Carney: I think you mean Iraq.
Norah O'Donnell: Excuse me, Iraq. Thank you. I misspoke.
Jay Carney: No. And the process has -- as you know, we are operating under a status of forces agreement with the Iraqi government that was signed by the previous administration to draw down our forces. We are in negotiations, consultations with the Iraqi government about what our relationship with Iraq will look like going forward. We want a normal, productive, healthy relationship with Iraq going forward. We have said in the past that if the security component of that relationship -- if the Iraqi government makes a request of us, we will certainly consider it. That request has not been made. No decisions have been made. And so we are operating as of now under the existing agreements.
Norah O'Donnell: I understand those negotiations are underway. But the question specifically, though, is has Secretary Panetta delivered a recommendation to the President --
Jay Carney: No, I think what I -- This is contingent upon what our relationship looks like with Iraq, and that component of it depends on our negotiations with the Iraqi government.
Wendell Goler: Will budgetary concerns be a part of the President's decision about how many troops to leave in Iraq?
Jay Carney: The President has I think made abundantly clear for a long time now that he will end and has ended our efforts in Iraq, our combat efforts, responsibly. We have been operating on a timetable that has withdrawn over 100,000 U.S. forces since he took office in a way that has been incredibly careful and responsible, and has allowed the Iraqis to further build up their security forces and improve their capacities. And uh, the -- Wh-what our relationship looks like going forward with Iraq will depend upon our negotiations with the Iraqi government.
Wendell Goler: And not concerns about how much it costs?
Jay Carney: I think we live in a world of, uh -- where resources aren't infinite, and that -- that's the case with every consideration we make. But the answer is we will uh-uh make decisions based on what is the best for the United States, best for our national security interests and best for having the most effective relationship with Iraq going forward.
Norah's with CBS News, Wendell Goler is with Fox News. The is the most Jay Carney has spoken of the Iraq War. A war that has no cease fire. A war that has no peace treaty. A war that is ongoing. A war that the White House should be asked of regularly. Today they were forced to address it. They should. The State Dept is forever being asked about Iraq. Why isn't the White House? Is Barack not the commander-in-chief? Was an executive order signed that no one knows of?
If not, the White House needs to be pressed on what is going on with Iraq.Victoria Nuland, State Dept spokesperson, is a better speaker than Jay Carney to begin with. But part of the reason she's not forever stammering and uh-uh-ing her way through Iraq issues is because she's regularly forced to address it. That includes today:
MS. NULAND: On Iraq. Yeah.
QUESTION: The [Kurd] president, Masoud Barzani, has told the U.S. forces to stay in Iraq, and warning of a civil war if the American forces withdraw. What can you tell them?
MS. NULAND: I think our public position, our private position, hasn't changed, that our plan is to withdraw by the end of the year. Were the Iraqi Government to come forward and make a request for some continued security assistance, we would be prepared to look at it.
QUESTION: Do you consider this call as a request from an Iraqi leader?
MS. NULAND: Well, we have heard many different views from individual Iraqi leaders, but they have a government, and we need to hear a united view from the government.
QUESTION: There was an article, a very lengthy article, by Ayad Allawi last week basically calling for that, so that's the head of a major political Iraqi bloc. Now you have the Kurds calling for that. There are talks of some sort of behind the scene agreements between the Pentagon and the Iraqi Ministry of Defense for a rotation. And so, did you know of that?
MS. NULAND: I mean, it's clear that a lot of Iraqis are thinking about this and talking about it. But obviously, we couldn't get into a discussion on the basis of informal comments by individual Iraqis.
QUESTION: I guess the question is: Is the United States flexible enough to accept such a request when it happens?
MS. NULAND: Again, you're taking me into hypotheticals as to when this might happen. Our view hasn't changed, that if they have something that they would like us to do, we're prepared to look at it.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MS. NULAND: Please.
QUESTION: Is there any --
MS. NULAND: Oh, sorry. Still on Iraq?
MS. NULAND: Yeah.
QUESTION: Is there any possibility to make a deal with north Iraq regarding the future of the U.S. presence in Iraq instead of waiting for a request from the Iraqi Government?
MS. NULAND: I think we have for many years operated on the basis of a single policy with regard to a unitary Iraq. I don't see that changing.
On the issue Fox News reported on and that Norah O'Donnel asked about, Lolita C. Baldor, Rebecca Santana, Lara Jake and Robert Burns (AP) report that the White House "is reviewing a number of options" but that a request needs to be made before Barack can decide which option to go with.
As noted earlier, the Iraq War didn't make Iraq safer for Iraqis. Lara Jakes (AP) reports on the mood of Iraqis and notes, "Security is a key indicator of Iraq's future -- it drives business investment, government policy decisions and the psyche of the war-torn nation. In interviews across Baghdad, Iraqis cited the random daily bombings and shootings that continue to kill people here. At least under Saddam, they say, they knew they could avoid being targeted by violence by simply staying quiet." Reuters notes a Baghdad sticky bombing left two people injured and a Haditha attack on the military left 8 Iraqi service members dead with one more injured.
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