THE EASIEST WAY TO UNDERSTAND CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O WAS EXPLAINED TO US BY A FORMER WHITE HOUSE INSIDER WHO IS NOT ROBERT GIBBS.
THE UNNAMED SOURCE , SOMEONE OTHER THAN ROBERT GIBBS, EXPLAINED THAT BARRY O'S DADDY FLED BEFORE HE WAS BORN AND HIS STEP-DADDY CALLED HIM A "LITTLE SISSY," MADE FUN OF HIM FOR BEING FAT AND HAVING NO FRIENDS, "AND MUCH, MUCH WORSE" SO HE WAS SENT TO HAWAII WHERE HE CONTINUED TO HAVE PROBLEMS MAKING FRIENDS.
"THIS," SOMEONE OTHER THAT ROBERT GIBBS, "EXPLAINS WHY THE LITTLE BITCH CAN'T GET ALONG WITH ANYONE."
AND THAT'S CERTAINLY ON DISPLAY TODAY AS HE WORKS HARD TO BLAME HIS POOR PERFORMANCE ON CONGRESS AND INSIST THEY NEED TO CHANGE. AND NOW HE IS INSISTING THAT THEY CHANGE.
HIS STILL LITTLE BITCH WHO CRIED TO NANNY ABOUT STEP-DADDY, HE'S STILL THE LITTLE BITCH WHO COULDN'T PLAY SPORTS WITH OTHER BOYS, HE'S STILL THE LITTLE BITCH WHO EXPECTS EVERYONE TO CHANGE FOR HIM.
SOMEONE, NOT ROBERT GIBBS, SUGGESTED THAT THE 2012 OBAMA SLOGAN SHOULD, IN FACT, BE: "STILL THE BITCH."
Today in Baghdad, a funeral procession was attacked by a suicide bomber. Mohammed Tawfeeq and Joe Sterling (CNN) quote Hamit Dardagan, Iraq Body Count, stating, "The situation is worsening. Sectarian politics in Iraq in Iraq is setting the stage for armed conflict."
Throughout the Iraq War, there have been non-stop waves of Operation Happy Talk. Efforts which have consistently failed leaving the US official who produced the spin looking like an idiot. Reality will always slap you in the face, when it comes to Iraq. That is the lesson of every year of the Iraq War and occupation. As Iraq's former Ambassador to the UN Feisal Istrabadi explained December 13th to Warren Oleny on KCRW's To the Point:
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 Jeffrey 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 getting a lot of Happy Talk," Istrabadi noted. And it's not helpful no matter what US official it comes from -- whether its James "Jeffrey in Baghdad, the US Ambassador, or whether it's the president himself or other cabinet officers." And it was the US Ambassador to Iraq, James Jeffrey, who got slapped upside the face by reality today due to insisting, in an interview Gulf News published yesterday, that the political crisis had nothing to do with the current wave of violence, "These attacks are not a result of the political crisis as they are planned months in advance; they are very carefully put together by Al Qaida." Operation Happy Talk is just one of the many things Barack's administration has continued from the Bush administration. It was laughable during the previous administration, it's just pathetic now. Nine years of continuous lies from the government and Jeffrey is supposed to be the face of the United States in Iraq.
(If you're confused, the attack on today's funeral procession was not "planned months in advance." Nor is most of the violence.)
Adrian Blomfield (Telegraph of London) reports, "A suicide bomber killed at least 32 people on Friday by driving an explosives-laden vehicle into a Shia Muslim funeral procession in Baghdad, heightening fears that Iraq is in the grips of sectarian conflict." KUNA notes, "The car exploded on Markaz street, targeting a funeral of a man who was killed in Al-Yarmouk district on Thursday, a police source said." Kareem Raheem, Patrick Markey and Myra MacDonald (Reuters) quote an unnamed Baghdad security official stating, "The suicide car bomber failed to arrive at the Zaafaraniya police station so he blew himself up close to shops and the market." The Daily Mirror notes, "Half of the victims were policemen guarding the march". Raheem Salman and Patrick J. McDonnell (Los Angeles Times) add, "Among those killed Friday, witnesses reported, was a woman who sold fish from a cart at the intersection. Rescuers put the woman's corpse in her cart and took the remains to the hospital, a witness said."
Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports, "Authorities believe Col. Norman Dakhil may have been the target of the bomber. Dahkil and his family were in the procession making their way to the hospital to collect bodies of three relatives, including his brother, when the bomb exploded, police said." Ali A. Nabhan and Munaf Ammar (Wall St. Journal) add, "The suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into the crowd, which included the pallbearers at a funeral for an Iraqi army commander's brother, who was assassinated along with three others on Thursday, according to a Ministry of Interior official." Sebastian Usher (BBC News) was on the NPR hourly news break this morning stating that many details were not clear at this time and that the funeral was for a real estate agent. Al Bawaba notes, "The funeral was held for an Iraqi man, his wife and son who were killed yesterday in the predominantly Sunni Yarmouk district of the capital." Al Rafidayn identifies the realtor as Mohammed al-Maliki (they do not give the names of his wife and son who were also buried after being killed last night "by gunmen." Salam Faraj (AFP) provides this view of the attack, "Helicopters flew overhead as a heavy security presence cordoned off the site of the explosion, while distraught witnesses screamed in anguish, surrounded by the remains of the dead, their clothes and shoes, and chunks of twisted metal. Outside the hospital, groups of men called out names, searching for missing relatives." Bushra Juhi (AP) notes that the death toll has risen to 32 (per hospital officials) and quote grocer Salam Hussein describing "human flesh scattered around and several mutilated bodies in a pool of blood." Lu Hui (Xinhua) reports hospital sources state the toll might rise, "Many of the injured are in serious condition, which could make the death toll higher, said the official. "
Tom A. Peter (Christian Science Monitor) states, "The attack Friday was the deadliest in a month and came as part of a wave of attacks that has left more than 200 people dead since US forces withdrew on Dec. 18, reports Al Jazeera." Doesn't that seem like an undercount? It is one. All this week that claim's been made. So let's take a look at it because, on its face, it doesn't seem correct (because it's not). We're referring to the violence covered by the press and noted in the snapshots. We'll start with December 19th but only reported violence from the 19th (on December 19th, the press was also reporting violence from the night of December 18th, we're leaving that out of the count). In addition, we're ignoring the Turkish bombing on the border of Iraq that left 5 dead -- that's not in the count. We're focusing on the dead in Iraq from violence (other than Turkish war plane bombings) and in parenthesis is the number injured, FYI. Also 'credited' for the "more than 200"? The Los Angeles Times today credits AFP for that (false) figure.
December 19th, 2 were reported dead (5). December 20th, 0 were reported dead (0). December 21st, 3 were reported dead (4). December 22nd, 75 were reported dead (213). December 23rd, 0 were reported dead (0). December 24th, 5 were reported dead (5). December 25th, 3 were reported dead (12). December 26th, 8 were reported dead (37). December 27th, 2 were reported dead (1). December 28th, 2 were reported dead (15). December 29th, 0 were reported dead (0). December 30th, 0 were reported dead (0). December 31st, 0 were reported dead (0). January 1st, 9 were reported dead (21). January 2nd, 0 were reported dead (3). January 3rd, 3 were reported dead (13). January 4th, 9 were reported dead (17). January 5th, 75 were reported dead (80). January 6th, 3 were reported dead (20). January 7th, 7 were reported dead (25). January 8th, 3 were reported dead (20). January 9th, 20 were reported dead (59). January 10th, 12 were reported dead (3). January 11th, 6 were reported dead (14). January 12th, 6 were reported dead (25). January 13th, 6 were reported dead (32). January 14th, 53 were reported dead (157). January 15th, 21 were reported dead (0). January 16th, 0 were reported dead (0). January 17th, 10 were reported dead (5). January 18th, 6 were reported dead (5). January 19th, 4 were reported dead (8). January 20th, 6 were reported dead (5). January 21st, 7 were reported dead (1). January 22nd, 7 were reported dead (6). January 23rd, 2 were reported dead (5). January 24th, 20 were reported dead (86). January 25th, 1 was reported dead (1). January 26th, 14 were reported dead (8).
So what did we get? Check my math (always). 391 is the number killed from December 19th through yesterday's reporting cycle. Now add in today's death totals and you get over 400. Yes, 400 is "more than 200," in fact, it's twice 200. And calling over 400 dead "more than 200 dead" is leaving a false impression with your reader. Please note, those aren't all the deaths, those are just the deaths that we noted from press reports (meaning I may have missed some deaths) and, in addition, all violent deaths do not get reported on in Iraq. And calling over 400 deaths only "more than 200" is cutting the truth in half.
Violence didn't end with the bomb attack on the funeral. Barbara Surk (AP) reports, "Minutes after the explosion, gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint in Zafaraniyah, killing two police officers, according to police officials." In addition, Reuters notes 1 electrician was shot dead in Mosul and 1 Iraqi soldier and 1 civil servant in Mosul.
Prensa Latina explains, "The current escalation of violence is associated with political frictions between the government, led by Shiite Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi. Al-Maliki issue[d] a warrant for the arrest of al-Hashemi, who is under protection of Iraqi Kurdistan, for alleged terrorist acts in 2009, and also . . . . [is attempting] to make the Parliament withdraw its vote of confidence on Sunni Deputy Prime Minster Saleh Al-Mutlaq." Middle East Online adds, "The United States and United Nations have urged calm and called for dialogue but oft-mooted talks involving Iraq's political leaders have yet to take place."
The only hope for resolving the political crisis was said to be the national conference that President Jalal Talabani and Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi have been calling for since the end of December. Last week, things appeared promising for a national conference at least being held. One planning meet-up had taken place and another was scheduled for Sunday January 22nd; however, last Sunday's meet-up (which was hoped to be the final planning session) was postponed due to Talabani having to fly to Germany for spinal surgery. Since then, Nouri and his State of Law have insisted that if anything take place, it not be called a "national conference" and that participants be limited to Nouri, Talabani, al-Nujaifi and the leader of blocs in Parliament. Al Rafidayn reports that Moqtada al-Sadr has declared he will not participate and that he can't be forced to. Whether this means no one from his bloc will participate or not isn't clear. Dar Addustour also covers al-Sadr's statements which he issued online in reply to a question from one of his followers. Al Mada quotes Nouri's spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh talking down the national conference and stating that it will be a failure if it raises the issue of Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi. (Nouri wants him tried for treason; he wants Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq stripped of his post. al-Hashemi and al-Mutlaq are members of Iraqiya which bested State of Law in the March 2010 elections.) The report also notes that State of Law's push to replace Saleh al-Mutlaq with former Speaker of Parliament Mahmoud al-Mashhadani does not have the full support of the National Alliance (a Shi'ite coalition made up of many actors including the Sadr bloc and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq).
The political crisis has many roots but at the heart is the failure to follow the agreement that ended the eight month political stalemate which followed the March 2010 elections. Nouri refused to allow anyone else to be prime minister. During this time, Iraqiya should have been allowed to build a coalition but Nouri blocked it. During this time, Moqtada al-Sadr and others were vocal that they didn't want Nouri to be prime minister. But he had the backing of the White House so the will of the Iraqi voters and the Constitution didn't matter. To get the country moving forward, all political blocs except State of Law made major concessions in the US brokered Erbil Agreement of November 2010. It allowed Nouri to continue as prime minister. It was supposed to mean a number of other things but after Nouri was named prime minister-designate, he trashed the agreement and refused to honor it.
Some online sycophants of Nouri al-Maliki, worshipers of authoritarianism, insist that the agreement must be trashed, that it's "unconstitutional." The aspect that's against the Constitution, the only aspect, is the section that made Nouri prime minister. Not surprisingly, the self-styled 'analysts' never object to that or suggest that section was unconstitutional. Yet they expect to be taken seriously as analysts and honest brokers. Only in your all male circle jerk, boyz, only there.
Al Mada notes that a spokesperson for KRG Prime Minister Barham Salih that the Erbil Agreement must be part of the national conference and that it must be followed. The Kurdish blocs have been calling for that for months.
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