POOR LITTLE DEBBIE WASHERWOMAN SCHULTZ. SHE'S UGLY, SHE'S GOT GREASY HAIR AND THERE'S THE NOSE. BUT STILL SHE INSISTS UPON BELIEVING THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR WORDS FROM HER.
TODAY SHE DECIDES THAT WHAT THEY REALLY WANT IS TO READ HER SCRIBBLES ATTACKING REPUBLICANS.
APPARENTLY DEBBIE WASHERWOMAN HAS NOTHING TO OFFER, NO REAL THOUGHTS, HOPES OR PLANS, BUT CAN ALMOST MANAGE A SHALLOW SUPERFICIAL ATTACK ON REPUBLICANS.
NO WONDER THE RUMORS ARE HER HUSBAND'S CHEATING ON HER.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Today Mark Thompson (Time magazine) observers, "Just like clockwork, the Administration lets the New York Times know that it's planning to leave a big force in Iraq's 'hood to keep an eye on troublemakers in Tehran, Baghdad and elsewhere." What's he referring to? Saturday (online, Sunday in print) Thom Shanker and Steven Lee Myers (New York Times) reported, "The Obama administration plans to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws the remaining troops from Iraq this year, according to officials and diplomats. That repositioning could include new combat forces in Kuwait able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran." Good for them for noting it, but why didn't anyone note it two Fridays ago (or the Saturday after) when covering Barack's assertions about 'all' troops coming 'home'? As Shanker and Myers note, this has been known for "months." We noted it two Fridays ago. And while it has been known for months, it's funny how so many outlets ignored it that day (the day Barack gave his speech) and in all the days that followed. When criticism got too much for the administration, as Mark Thompson notes, they ran to the New York Times which only then 'found' the story. (See Third's editorial, "Editorial: US press doesn't give a damn about Iraq.") Dar Addustour reports that DC is in negotiations to boost US troops in Kuwait to use it as a staging platform as well beef up its presence in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE. Al Mada notes Kuwait has been discussed for months but now has "urgency" as the year ends and might end without the US securing 'trainers' in Iraq. The paper notes that this is among the alternative solutions being sought. Mark Thompson explains, "The betting here is that thousands of U.S. troops in Kuwait and elsewhere around the Gulf will keep the lid on any Iraq explosion -- at least until after next year's U.S. presidential eleciton."
It was so very nice of the New York Times to play dumb on this subject until the White House gave them approval to write about it. We're dropping back to a Third feature from November 4, 2007:
Presidential candidate and US Senator Barack Obama who is perceived as an 'anti-war' candidate by some announced that he would not commit to a withdrawal, declared that he was comfortable sending US troops back into Iraq after a withdrawal started and lacked clarity on exactly what a withdrawal under a President Obama would mean.
Declaring that "there are no good options in Iraq," Senator Obama went on to explain that even with his 16 month plan for withdrawal, he would continue to keep US troops in Iraq, agreeing that he would "leave behind residual force" even after what he is billing as a "troop withdrawal."
"Even something as simple as protecting our embassy is going to be dependent on what is the security environment in Baghdad. If there is some sense of security, then that means one level of force. If you continue to have significant sectarian conflict, that means another, but this is an area where Senator Clinton and I do have a significant contrast," Senator Obama offered contrasting himself with his chief opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination. "I do think it is important for us not only to protect our embassy, but also to engage in counter-terrorism activities. We've seen progress against AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq], but they are a resilient group and there's the possibility that they might try to set up new bases. I think that we should have some strike capability. But that is a very narrow mission, that we get in the business of counter terrorism as opposed to counter insurgency and even on the training and logistics front, what I have said is, if we have not seen progress politically, then our training approach should be greatly circumscribed or eliminated."
The Senator insisted, "I want to be absolutely clear about this, because this has come up in a series of debates: I will remove all our combat troops, we will have troops there to protect our embassies and our civilian forces and we will engage in counter terrorism activities. How large that force is, whether it's located inside Iraq or as an over the horizon force is going to depend on what our military situation is."
That's pretty clear. We wrote it at Third using the transcript of the interview conducted by Michael Gordon and Jeff Zeleny. As we pointed out in the November 2, 2007 snapshot:
On the subject of Iran, Barack Obama appears on the front page of this morning's New York Times. War pornographer Michael Gordon and Jeff Zeleny who lied in print (click here, here and here -- the paper finally retracted Zeleny's falsehood that should have never appeared) present a view of Barack Obama that's hardly pleasing. Among the many problems with the article is Obama as portrayed in the article -- and his campaign has issued no statement clarifying. The Times has the transcript online and from it, Barack Obama does mildly push the unproven claim that the Iranian government is supporting resistance in Iraq. Gordo's pushed that unproven claim repeatedly for over a year now. But Obama's remarks appear more of a reply and partial points in lengthy sentences -- not the sort of thing a functioning hard news reporter would lead with in an opening paragraph, touch on again in the third paragraph, in the fourth paragraph, in . . . But though this isn't the main emphasis of Obama's statements (at any time -- to be clear, when it pops up, it is a fleeting statement in an overly long, multi-sentenced paragraphs), it does go to the fact that Obama is once again reinforcing unproven claims of the right wing. In the transcript, he comes off as obsessed with Hillary Clinton. After her, he attempts to get a few jabs in at John Edwards and one in at Bill Richardson. Here is what real reporters should have made the lede of the front page: "Presidential candidate and US Senator Barack Obama who is perceived as an 'anti-war' candidate by some announced that he would not commit to a withdrawal, declared that he was comfortable sending US troops back into Iraq after a withdrawal started and lacked clarity on exactly what a withdrawal under a President Obama would mean." That is what the transcript reveals. Gordo really needs to let go of his blood lust for war with Iran.
The New York Times could have published a story on this issue in 2007 but didn't. They did publish an expurgated transcript to the interview (that's what we used as source material for the piece at Third -- and all quotes in the Third article were from that transcript). It's a shame scribes for the Times are unaware what's in their own archives but it's a greater shame that when they had a real story in 2007, they pulled their punches and refused to inform readers the story they really had about 'anti-war' candidate Barack.
Simon Tisdall (Guardian) ponders the staging area plan, "Exactly what the Pentagon might do with its expanded Kuwait and Gulf-based forces, should Iraq implode again at some future date or become destabilised by the unrest in Syria, is unclear. A second invasion would not command much public support, to put it mildly. If, on the other hand, the new American deployments are primarily about containing, intimidating or potentially attacking Iran, the emerging picture becomes more comprehensible, although not more reassuring." Lara Jakes (AP) reports Ali Akbar Salehi, Foreign Minister of Iran, sees this as an attempt "to meddle" in Iraq's "internal affairs." Jakes notes US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's remarks that approximately 40,000 US troops will be stationed in the region. Coming home? Leaving the region? Another blow to Barack's big 'withdrawal' speech.
"The crackdown on ex-Ba'athists started earlier this month," Kelly McEvers observed today on Morning Edition (NPR -- link is audio and text). And the crackdown sees a response from the provinces. Thursday, Salahuddin Province's council voted to go semi-autonomous. Iraq has 18 provinces. Three make up the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government. Salahuddin Province's vote was to move towards that sort of relationship. (A form of federalism once advocated by Joe Biden when he was in the Senate.) The next step would be a referendum (that Nouri al-Maliki's government out of Baghdad would have to pay for) and, were the popular vote to back up the council and were the rules followed (always a big if with Nouri as prime minister), Baghdad would control only 14 provinces (of the 18). Though some outside the province are attempting to dispute that the council had the right to vote on the issue, the measure's apparently very positive with the residents (which would explain the 20 to zero vote on the council -- eight members were not present for the vote). Over the weekend, Al Mada reported that people turned out throughout Salahuddin Province (including in Tirkrit, Samarra, Dhuluyia and Sharqat) on Friday to take to the streets after morning prayers and demonstrate in support of the council's vote. Ahmed Abdul-Jabbar Karim, Deputy Governor of the Province, is quoted stating that this decision is something that the officials will not retreat from and that it was backed by the voice of the people. Various State of Law members are quoted offering varying reasons why the vote was wrong or doesn't matter. State of Law is Nouri's political slate. Friday, residents of Anbar Province took to the streets advocating for their province to follow Salahuddin's lead.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Iraq can't protect air space until 2020"
"Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Projection Message"
"And the war drags on . . ."
"Salahuddin wants to break away, Nouri's on a tear"
"Negotions continue, Moqtada calls for Nouri not to..."
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: US press doesn't give a damn about Iraq...
- Media: NPR, the angry vagrant
- The Bronze Boob goes to . . .
- Radio Moment of the Week
- The most important day of this week
- Danny Dumptruck gets e-mails
- Jim's World
- US really withdrawing from Iraq? (Gene Clancy, WW)...
- Burn Pits
"It's going to be hard to butch him up"
"THIS JUST IN! HE WATCHES THAT FIGURE!"