Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Go It Alone Barry





Let's start with David Shorr. He's not interested in honesty, he's not interested in facts. If you can hold your nose, click on the link and sink into the spin and ignorance. He doesn't see how Barack Obama "owns" what happens in Iraq. He doesn't see it because he can't admit the truth. I haven't read Frederick Kagan and Kimberly Kagan's column, I have no interest in reading it. I have even less interest in reading Steve Clemons. I did read Peter Feaver's piece -- awhile back. (We highlighted it in the December 27th snapshot.)
I'm not in the mood to pretend Shorr's an honest broker, so we'll dismiss with him quickly. Feaver argued that Barack also owns the war (owns it with Bush). Shorr has a problem with that. We'll let Shorr's own words betray him:
Feaver cries foul on the attempt he sees by Obama supporters to give him full credit for anything positive in Iraq and saddle President Bush with everything negative. Well, what is the Obama Administration claiming to have done? President Obama claims credit for extricating American forces from nearly nine years of military involvement there. By the way, can I pause for a moment to say how absurd it is to talk about a hasty exit after nine years?!?
Wow. Well I'm convinced. Barack's a saint, a hero and pees rainbows. In Shorr's mouth. The rest of the world, however, may note that Shorr claims the Iraq War lasted nine years. No, March 2003 is when it officially started. So let's go with the eight years plus. (Facts are so hard for con artists.) So Barack deserves credit because he ended this eight year war?
Bush started and Bush ran it for eight years and just last month, Barack ended it. Thank goodness Barack Obama was sworn in as president in December 2011 or else the US might still be -- What's that?
Oh, that's right. Barack wasn't just sworn in. He was sworn in back in January of 2009. A few weeks short of three years he pretends he ended the war and occupation (he didn't end it). But he continued it, despite campaign promises. And he wanted to continue the US military's strong presence even longer. The "hasty exit" line? Again? We just called out Media Matters distorting/lying about this. But, I guess, when independent thought is beyond your capabilities, all you can do is repeat talking points.
The "hasty exit" -- as presented by members of Congress -- refers to the fact that in October when Barack ignores the Defense Dept's legal opinion and goes with the State Dept's legal opinion (I don't believe the idiot Shorr is even aware that there were legal opinions) and declares (that phase of) the talks over, that period from the last of October through December, is what they call the hasty exit. Liars and whores can't make solid arguments so they have to lie. Barack has not ended the war and occupation. But let's pretend for a moment that he has. Was he elected in 2008 with the mandate to follow Bush's actions? To continue the Iraq War for three more years? No, he wasn't. He was voted into office to end the Iraq War. And during those three years (2009, 2010 and 2011), he repeatedly made one mistake after another. December 13 on To The Point (KCRW), Warren Oleny spoke with former Iraqi Ambassador Feisal Istrabadi. Excerpt.
Warren Oleny: Is there anything the Obama administration should be doing differently from what it is?
Ambassador Feisal Istrabadi: Well, I mean, that's hard to say because obviously it's influence is somewhat waning. The critical mistake the Obama administration made occurred last year when it threw its entire diplomatic weight behind supporting Nouri al-Maliki notwithstanding these very worrisome signs which were already in place in 2009 and 2010. The administration lobbied hard both internally in Iraq and throughout the region to have Nouri al-Maliki get a second term -- which he has done. Right now, the betting there's some question among Iraq experts whether we'll ever have a set of elections in Iraq worthy of the name. I mean, you can almost get odds, a la Las Vegas, on that among Iraq experts. It's a very worrisome thing. What can they do in the future? Well I suppose it would be helpful, it would be useful, if we stopped hearing this sort of Happy Talk coming from the administration -- whether its Jim Jeffreys in Baghdad, the US Ambassador or whether it's the president himself or other cabinet officers. We're getting a lot of Happy Talk, we're getting a lot of Happy Talk from the Pentagon about how professional the Iraqi Army is when, in fact, the Iraqi Army Chief of Staff himself has said it's going to take another ten years before the Iraqi Army can secure the borders. So it would help, at least, if we would stop hearing this sort of Pollyanna-ish -- if that's a word -- exclamations from the administration about how swimmingly things are going in Iraq and had a little more truth told in public, that would be a very big help to begin with.
We're opposed to the illegal (and ongoing) Iraq War. We always have been. I don't need to distort what someone from the other side says or does to make my argument (see last night's entry). Let's dispense with David Shorr by noting he hero worshipped Daniel Schorr. Schorr loved to lie that he was fired from CBS News because of his integrity in ensuring that a Congressional report was printed. No, he was fired for lying. He was fired for lying and trying to get someone else in trouble. As Ava and I noted in "Let's Kill Helen!" (our look at the disgusting trolls attacking Helen Thomas):
Oh my goodness, Helen's anti-war! Strip her of her American citizenship! Truly, that must be a huge offense to Alicia since she likens it to anti-semitism. Can you get more stupid than Alicia Shepard?
Others may not be able to, but she surely can. And did. No reporter for CBS would get away with that, Alicia wanted to insist. And she follows that up by telling Aimee that age can't be to blame because "Dan Schorr" is 91 and he works for NPR.
He does, she's right.
But he doesn't work for CBS, does he?
Nor can he.
Yeah, we'll go there.
Daniel Schorr was fired from CBS. He and his supporters (who funded a year long travel circuit for Danny after his firing) insisted he was fired for doing his job. That is and was a lie. Daniel Schorr was not fired for being a defender of freedom.
Most people are aware of the Church Committee which investigated governmental abuses. The Pike Committee came immediately after, doing the same sort of work, and they wrote a report. They then decided not to issue it. Schorr, in his capacity as a CBS reporter, had a copy of the report. CBS was weighing whether or not to report on the now killed report. Schorr has often (not always) maintained that a decision was made to kill the report and that's why he acted. That's not true. Either he's lying or he was out of the loop. CBS was still deciding. Schorr took the report to The Village Voice which published it.
That could have been the end of it for CBS News because they retained their copy (Schorr had photocopied it and given the photocopies to the weekly). There was an internal investigation at CBS to determine whether or not someone at CBS leaked the report to The Village Voice. Had Schorr kept his mouth shut, the investigation would have been as half-assed as every other internal investigation CBS News conducts. But Schorr couldn't keep his mouth shut.
This is why he was fired, this is why he will never work for CBS again. When asked, as all who had access to the report were, if he had given it to anyone, Schorr didn't stick to "no comment" or a lie that he didn't do anything.
No, instead Schorr chose to finger Lesley Stahl. Schorr told the investigators that The Village Voice published the report (which they knew) and Lesley was dating Aaron Latham (who worked for The Voice) so it was most likely that Lesley Stahl handed over the report to the weekly.
Schorr was not fired for leaking the report. He was fired for lying and for trying to blame someone he knew was innocent.
Think for just a moment what could have happened if Schorr had gotten away with that: Lesley Stahl's career would have been over -- at least at CBS though probably no other network would touch her if they feared she'd take their stories elsewhere.
Aaron Latham (a notable journalist in his own right) would have been outraged that Lesley lost her job because she was dating him. Knowing Aaron, he would have made it his life's purpose to find out who falsely accused Lesley and prove that liar wrong. If he'd been successful, it might have been a messy media moment and then life would have continued. If not? Most likely, Lesley would try to move on from it and Aaron would want to remain in the role of protector/enforcer. Meaning it wouldn't have just effected her professional life, which was bad enough, if would have changed her entire life. Lesley and Aaron married years ago and have had one of the few enduring marriages in the journalistic community. Lesley could have lost everything as a result of Daniel Schorr's lies. He was prepared to destroy someone professionally and personally.

In June 2010, while he was still alive, Ava and I were telling the truth about the dishonest and corrupt Daniel Schorr. A month later, he died and there was David Shorr holding him up as a model. That says everything you need to know about the dishonest and uninformed David Shorr. We're done with David Shorr.

In the real world, Chris Floyd (Empire Burlesque) observes, "And as we noted here last month, the American war crime in Iraq just keeps rolling on. This week saw yet another spate of mass slaughter in yet another series of bombings in the virulent sectarian warfare which was spawned, set loose, empowered and fomented by the invaders, who very deliberately -- with malice aforethought -- divided their new 'Iraqi' government along strict sectarian lines, arming and paying death squads and militias on both sides of the Sunni-Shia divide to rip each other -- and Iraqi society -- to pieces. The mass murder this week is a direct result and a direct responsibility of the Americans who instigated, carried out, supported -- and praise -- the 'extraordinary achievement' of this endless atrocity. 'Nine years in the making,' yes -- and still going strong!" From the right-wing, we'll note Sheldon Richman (Reason -- link is text and audio):
Obama will campaign on how he ended the war -- which began not in 2003 but in 1991; the U.S. government tormented the Iraqi people for 20 years! -- and conservatives will attack him for it. Both sides will conveniently forget that (1) the U.S. government was obligated to leave on Dec. 31, 2011, under an agreement signed by Bush, and (2) Obama tried his damnedest to get the Iraqi leaders to ask the U.S. military to stay. (Contrary to claims, not all troops have left.)
And let's be clear: An exit from Iraq hardly constitutes an exit from the Middle East. The troops moved down the road to Kuwait, "repostured" for future use.
Meanwhile, sabers are being rattled in the direction of Iran and Syria, where covert warfare is already being waged.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Many meet-ups, no national conference"
"NYT unravels"
"I Hate The War"
"Pasta in the Kitchen"
"Barnes & Noble"
"Barack found yet another man (not applauding that)..."
"3 men, 3 women"
"3 men, 3 women"
"delicious revenge"
"i'm in love"
"Forget the jobs spin"
"That idiot Naomi Wolf"
"Carly Simon and books"
"Ancient Aliens"
"Defense of Lambert"
"Mars Needs Moms"
"Wheel of Greed"
"The book won't tell the half of it"
"Idiot of the week Fatty Megan"
"The environment"
"He needs help"

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