Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Farming out the hard work yet again






They grow 'em dumb at MIT. John Tirman thinks he has something to say at the Huffington Post but he's just huffing and puffing. He wants you to know that the Conflict Zone photo exhibit at New York City Fire Museum, ignores Iraqi suffering. Does it? I don't know. I haven't toured the exhibit. So I won't offer an opinion on it. John Tirman hasn't toured it either but he saw a few photos online and that made an 'expert.' MIT grows 'em dumb because it encourages stupidity, fearless stupidity. In Friday's snapshot we noted four of five participants in the New York Times' Thursday "Room for Debate" feature. Tirman notes it as well . . . in order to defend Barack Obama.
Like most worthless whores of the last few years, he trashes the Clinton administration because he thinks that makes him look like less of a whore and independent. ("Look, I trashed a Demorat!") No, it doesn't. It's the second oldest trick in the whore's book. (I believe the first oldest is stealing money out of john's wallet while the john sleeps.) The most blessed thing about a second Barack administration would be the absence of Hillary Clinton and the inability of all these little pricks to continue to blame her for everything he does. That's not me wishing for a second term for Barack, that's me saying, if it happens, there's one positive aspect of it right there.
Tirman's just another cheap whore for Barack, unable and unwilling to address reality. Pretending to give a damn about the dead in Iraq . . . as long as he can pretend the dying stopped after Bully Boy Bush left the White House.
Tirman writes as if things are wonderful in Iraq. Kenan Engin (Eurasia Review) offers this summary of events:
Since the US-withdrawal from Iraq approximately 500 Iraqis have been killed across the country. This is the highest death and casualty toll in the past five years. The recent attacks have mostly occurred in Shiite neighborhoods and intensified a sectarian tension between Sunnis and Shiites. This tension flamed up with the recent conflict between Sunni Arab Vice President Al-Hashimi and Shiite PM Al-Maliki and has turned into a political crisis. Al-Maliki has accused Al-Hashimi of assisting a terrorist car bombing supposedly aimed to assassinate Al-Maliki. For that reason an arrest warrant has been issued against Al-Hashimi after which he fled to Kurdistan. This has agitated Al-Hashimi and Sunni Arab members of parliament who blame Al-Maliki's political tendency to dominate power centers, rule extra-constitutionally, and deny the rights of Sunni federated regions as in the case of Kurdistan.
Tirman ignores all that. That someone at MIT could be as dishonest as Tirman is very telling about the decay in US academia. Like a good little whore for Barack, he wants to distract because if he can't go to "the war is illegal!" and bash Bush for starting it, he might have to note that continuing an illegal war is just as wrong -- something Barack did. So he ignores the arguments that were put forward in the forum. He can't handle the arguments, his mind isn't equipped for it. And in the process, the idiot allows the right wing to win. That's not how we engaged on the left, by throwing up a lot a smoke and trying to distract from the points being made. Tirman is not just dishonest, he's embarrassing.
Nouri al-Maliki? He huffs, "They are not only upset about the hasty retreat, but the residual support for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whom they find distasteful." It takes extreme stupidity or whoredom to be responsible for that sentence. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and many others are calling out Nouri al-Maliki. But because some right-wingers and some centrists also do, Tirman must reflexively take the opposing side? That's academically and intellectually dishonest.
The dishonesty abounds. We'll take one paragraph as an example and break it up into bits.
"Putting aside for a moment the fact that the timetable for withdrawal was set by President Bush,"
He's referring to the SOFA (Status Of Forces Agreement) which extended the US military occupation of Iraq from 2008 to 2011.
"the impossibility of extending that timeline foiled by the Haditha massacre (the result of which is Iraq's refusal to sustain U.S. criminal immunity),"
First, "the impossibility of extending that timeline foiled by . . ." What the hell is he trying to say? Extending the timeline of the SOFA was an impossibility that Haditha foiled? If it foiled the impossibility -- pay attention, MIT -- that would mean the extension wasn't an impossibility.
Regardless of what he's trying to say, the Barack administration did attempt to extend the SOFA, did attempt to enter into a new agreement and, according to Michele Flournoy, is now back in negotiations with Iraq for a US military presence. From the January 30th snapshot:
Robert Burns (AP) reports this morning Michele Flournoy, outgoing Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, explained to reporters that talks will be kicking off shortly between the US and Iraq -- part of the reason the White House strong-armed Ayad Allawi on Friday and over the weekend -- and "to start thinking about how they [Iraqis] want to work with" US troops. Which is completely expected despite the failure of press outlets to pay attention in November. See the November 15th "Iraq snapshot," November 16th "Iraq snapshot," November 17th "Iraq snapshot," Ava's "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava)," Wally's "The costs (Wally)," Kat's "Who wanted what?" and Third's "Enduring bases, staging platforms, continued war" and "Gen Dempsey talks "10 enduring" US bases in Iraq."
Like many dabblers, he goes to Haditha for outrage when Haditha was only one of the outrage and not even the most outrageous to Iraq. There's an Iraqi on trial in the US. For a crime that is less than what was done to 14-year-old Abeer and her family (in the US, the accused is accused of rape only -- not gang-rape and multiple murders). That case is followed in the Iraqi media. The anger over no one being put to death for the murder of a family of a four, for the gang-rape of a 14-year-old girl, has not gone away. There's Abu Ghraib, there's so much. But dabblers go with Haditha. It's a reference they can sprinkle into their pre-written sermons.
"that Maliki's power was consolidated under Bush,"
In March 2010, Iraq held elections. This was followed by an eight-month political stalemate because Nouri refused to surrender the post of prime minister. He never would have been able to bring Iraq to a standstill for eight months without the backing of the White House and that's President Barack Obama's White House. Yes, Bully Boy Bush and company installed a thug they thought would be an easy puppet and push through the oil & gas law they wanted. No question of that. But Nouri al-Maliki was not the choice of the Iraqi people in 2010. And Nouri could have been ousted if the process -- outlined in the Constitution -- had been followed. Instead, he was able to hang onto a post because he had the White House backing. The Erbil Agreement reached by the political blocs? The US government drafted whole portions of that.
"and that a major promise of Obama's 2008 election was withdrawal from Iraq."
Was it a major promise in March of 2008 when Samantha Power revealed that it wasn't a promise? Let's drop back to the March 7, 2008 snapshot:
Stephen Sackur: You said that he'll revisit it [the decision to pull troops] when he goes to the White House. So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out within sixteen months, isn't a commitment is it?
Samantha Power: You can't make a commitment in whatever month we're in now, in March of 2008 about what circumstances are going to be like in January 2009. We can'te ven tell what Bush is up to in terms of troops pauses and so forth. He will of course not rely upon some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US Senator.
Noted here when it happened, ignored by the Cult of St Barack until July 4, 2008 when it was briefly noted in our 'brave' 'alternative' media (see "Editorial: The Whores of Indymedia" first and then "Letters to An Old Sell Out: Iraq" if you're late to the party).
The US still hasn't withdrawn from Iraq. Special Ops, the CIA, the FBI, 700 US service members as trainers (according to Tirman's beloved Nouri al-Maliki), drones and the 17,000 brigade known as the 'diplomatic corps' of the State Dept is not withdrawal. Barack did lie on the campaign trail in 2008, he swore one brigade a month and it would start when he was sworn in, the first thing he would do. And yet, that would have meant everyone out of Iraq in 2010. Barack didn't meet that promise.
"What is more troubling about the right-wing moaning is that they fail to mention that eight-year war that just ravaged the country. "
What is most troubling about whores for Barack is that they want to pretend that Iraq can now be ignored because they've got an election to whore for. Violence is up in Iraq. There's a political crisis in Iraq. You think they're outraged by Haditha? Did you miss their outrage over the US drones being flown in their country? (The State Dept says they're controlling the drones but many believe it's the CIA.)
Whores don't care about people, they just care about a person and they'll lie for him or her and that's all they'll do, that's all they ever do. They offer nothing to an honest debate because they hocked honesty at a pawn shop years ago. If you doubt it, note how many times Tirman tells you what the photo exhibit means -- the one he's never been to. The one he's seen just a few photos of online. You try attending a class as a student and giving a critical evaluation on, for example, Hesse's Steppenwolf after you admit you haven't read the book and see how that goes over.
Thought the Iraq war was over? The Obama administration certainly wants you to think so, the better for its re-election campaign. Inconvenient fact, though: The Pentagon is asking for nearly $3 billion for a war it isn't actually fighting.
To be specific, the Pentagon's brand-new budget request asks for $2.9 billion for what it calls "Post-Operation NEW DAWN (OND)/Iraq Activities." That's almost as much money as the Pentagon spends on Darpa, its mad-science arm. And there are practically no U.S. troops in Iraq.
RT adds, "After 'ending' the war last year, the US government handed Iraqi operations over to the State Department. Three billion dollars -- the amount that the DoD wants for a war they aren't waging -- makes up around one-ninth of the State Department's entire annual budget. In 2012, the Pentagon had asked for $11 billion to fight the War in Iraq -- which was, at the time, an actual war." The Defense Dept isn't the only one sticking their greedy hands out for US taxpayer dollars. Nicole Gauette (Bloomberg News) reports, "President Barack Obama's budget seeks $8.2 billion in 'extraordinary and temporary' funding for State Department responsibilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The request comes on top of the $43.4 billion proposed for the 'core' budget for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which manages foreign aid. As the military has pulled out of Iraq and drawn down in Afghanistan, the administration has turned to the State Department to oversee spending on political, security and economic projects, such as the $1.8 billion for Iraq police training and military assistance."
Aren't you glad Barack 'ended' the Iraq War and all those billions of US taxpayer dollars stopped being spent on it? Oh, that's right, neither of those things actually happened.


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