Friday, November 01, 2013

Over half of America disapproves







Tomorrow, Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama as the White House.  The administration has been very busy this week -- co-authoring Nouri's column for the New York Times, for example.  And they've been very busy lying.

Hamza Mustafa (Asharq al-Awsat) reported yesterday:

Prior to his departure from Baghdad airport, Maliki announced that he will “discuss, with American officials, a number of issues including implementing an agreement for a strategic framework, combating terrorism and the Syrian crisis."  

Reuters noted, "Maliki is urgently seeking military supplies to fight an upsurge in sectarian violence spilling over the Syrian border."  That includes Nouri's long lusted for F-16s.  They're due to arrive in Iraq late next year.

So explain this State Dept claim reported by Lara Jakes (AP):

A senior Obama administration official said Wednesday that U.S. officials were not planning to send U.S. trainers to Iraq and that Baghdad had not asked for them. The administration official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters by name.

Chris Carroll (Stars and Stripes) also quotes an unnamed administration official stating,  "I would not anticipate U.S. trainers going back into Iraqi soil."  At today's State Dept press briefing, it was the source of bemusement

QUESTION: Hello. The Iraqi Prime Minister is in town, and the Foreign Minister is meeting with Secretary Kerry today. In a background briefing with a senior Administration official just a couple days ago --

MS. PSAKI: I’m familiar with it. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: -- yes – the official talked about increased counterterrorism and intelligence cooperation as a topic of discussion during Prime Minister Maliki’s visit with – meeting with President Obama.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

That's Jen Psaki and I'm so very glad the press corps finds the quote amusing -- it's good to know that they're doing something since clearly they aren't doing their job.

The F-16 deal is off then?

No, it's not.  And with the F-16s goes trainers -- as any 'official' in the administration knows.

When they'd lie about something so basic, they'd lie about anything and those paying attention need to remember that.

Jakes speaks with Iraq's Ambassador to the US Lukman Faily:

He added: "We have said to the Americans we'd be more than happy to discuss all the options short of boots on the ground."

"Boots on the ground" means military forces.

Samantha Stainburn (Global Post) asserts, "Maliki may be open to counterterrorism training from US special forces and CIA advisers, according to Reuters."  If I thought Steinburn was capable of making sense, this is where I'd suggest someone slap her.  Put dunce caps on Reuters twin idiots Patricia Zengerle and Lesley Wroughton as well -- they're the authors of the Reuters article Stainburn links to.

Is Nouri open to counterterrorism training?

Better question: Just how illiterate and uninformed is the damn press?

Tim Arango -- wait.

Let's go really slow for the really stupid.

Tim Arango is the name of a human being. He is a male -- something you can verify by checking his photo on his Twitter feed.

There you will find, "I am the Baghdad Bureau Chief of The New York Times."  The New York Times is a daily newspaper.  Baghdad is in Iraq which means Tim Arango is responsible for the coverage from Iraq in the paper.  Do we follow that?

If we can move on, we're now going to September 2012.  That's a month ("September," good job Washington Post!) and a year (2012).

That's when Tim Arango reported: the following:

Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General [Robert L.] Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.        

Okay, do we need flash cards, a review, what?

To me that's very simple and obvious.  However, mainstream and 'independent' media have repeatedly gotten this wrong so there must be something confusing.  In fact, it must be really confusing because not one moderator in the 2012 presidential debates ever said, "Hey, President Obama, what's up with sending US troops into Iraq this fall?"  Not one.  Not even Candy Crowley who liked to present her tired ass as teller of facts.

Stainburn thinks Nouri might be open to counterterrorism forces . . . based on Reuters.

Stainburn's an idiot because he's already been allowing counterterrorism forces into Iraq.

I know reading is hard for the press but they've now had a year and a month to catch up on Arango's report.

Stainburn can take comfort in the fact that she's not alone and she's not an analyst.  Jeff Zarate is.  And Bob Orr spoke with him for CBS Flash Points (link is video) today.  What 'wisdom' did the analyst share?

Jeff Zarate: . . .  but the president doesn't really want to re-engage in Iraq.  I mean he's made political hay out of ending the war and our troop involvement in Iraq so there's no way he's going to send troops back or anything that appears to be a forceful presence . . .

No way Barack will "send troops back" into Iraq?

Again, Tim Arango from September 2012:

Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General [Robert L.] Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.      

They're just stupid.

They're paid money to do a job that they're not capable of.

They call themselves reporters or 'analysts' and they don't know what the hell they're talking about.

Speaking of stupid, Nouri al-Maliki made like Madonna performing "You Must Love Me."  No, Madonna, we mustn't.  Nouri updated the tune a little, changing it to "You Must Arm Me."  And, no, Nouri, we don't have to arm you.  He was speaking on Constitution Avenue in DC at the US Institute of Peace.  As we've noted for weeks, the Ashraf supporters were going to protest Nouri's visit.  Not psychic, I see them all the time at hearings.  They stated they would be protesting and they protested today.  As when they are at a Congressional hearing, they wore yellow.

They also carried signs.  Some read "MALIKI IS A MURDERER" and some read "FREE 7 Ashraf Hostages Now."  I would estimate there were 42 protesters.   Let's note the background on the Ashraf community.

Camp Ashraf in Iraq is now empty.  All remaining members of the community have been moved to Camp Hurriya (also known as Camp Liberty) as of last month.  Camp Ashraf housed a group of Iranian dissidents who were  welcomed to Iraq by Saddam Hussein in 1986 and he gave them Camp Ashraf and six other parcels that they could utilize. In 2003, the US invaded Iraq.The US government had the US military lead negotiations with the residents of Camp Ashraf. The US government wanted the residents to disarm and the US promised protections to the point that US actions turned the residents of Camp Ashraf into protected person under the Geneva Conventions. This is key and demands the US defend the Ashraf community in Iraq from attacks.  The Bully Boy Bush administration grasped that -- they were ignorant of every other law on the books but they grasped that one.  As 2008 drew to a close, the Bush administration was given assurances from the Iraqi government that they would protect the residents. Yet Nouri al-Maliki ordered the camp repeatedly attacked after Barack Obama was sworn in as US President. July 28, 2009 Nouri launched an attack (while then-US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was on the ground in Iraq). That's the attack Lara Logan reported on.  In a report released this summer entitled "Iraqi government must respect and protect rights of Camp Ashraf residents," Amnesty International described this assault, "Barely a month later, on 28-29 July 2009, Iraqi security forces stormed into the camp; at least nine residents were killed and many more were injured. Thirty-six residents who were detained were allegedly tortured and beaten. They were eventually released on 7 October 2009; by then they were in poor health after going on hunger strike." April 8, 2011, Nouri again ordered an assault on Camp Ashraf (then-US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was again on the ground in Iraq when the assault took place). Amnesty International described the assault this way, "Earlier this year, on 8 April, Iraqi troops took up positions within the camp using excessive, including lethal, force against residents who tried to resist them. Troops used live ammunition and by the end of the operation some 36 residents, including eight women, were dead and more than 300 others had been wounded. Following international and other protests, the Iraqi government announced that it had appointed a committee to investigate the attack and the killings; however, as on other occasions when the government has announced investigations into allegations of serious human rights violations by its forces, the authorities have yet to disclose the outcome, prompting questions whether any investigation was, in fact, carried out."  Those weren't the last attacks.  They were the last attacks while the residents were labeled as terrorists by the US State Dept.  (September 28, 2012, the designation was changed.)   In spite of this labeling, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observed that "since 2004, the United States has considered the residents of Camp Ashraf 'noncombatants' and 'protected persons' under the Geneva Conventions."  So the US has an obligation to protect the residents.  3,300 are no longer at Camp Ashraf.  They have moved to Camp Hurriyah for the most part.  A tiny number has received asylum in other countries. Approximately 100 were still at Camp Ashraf when it was attacked Sunday.   That was the second attack this year alone.   February 9th of this year, the Ashraf residents were again attacked, this time the ones who had been relocated to Camp Hurriyah.  Trend News Agency counted 10 dead and over one hundred injured.  Prensa Latina reported, " A rain of self-propelled Katyusha missiles hit a provisional camp of Iraqi opposition Mujahedin-e Khalk, an organization Tehran calls terrorists, causing seven fatalities plus 50 wounded, according to an Iraqi official release."  They were attacked again September 1st.   Adam Schreck (AP) reported that the United Nations was able to confirm the deaths of 52 Ashraf residents.

That attack last month?  In that attack, 7 Ashraf community members were taken by Nouri's forces.  The United Nations has repeatedly called for him to release them.  US Senator Robert Menendez has publicly called for Nouri to release the hostages.   He's insisted he's not holding them.  That's what the signs the protesters today were carrying -- "FREE 7 Ashraf Hostages Now." -- were about.

Nouri spoke through a translator.  It didn't make him come off any wiser.  In fact, he sounded ignorant not just as he said that he had a right to ask for help, that any country has a right to ask for help, that blah, blah, blah.  The worst part of the speech, the section which was both insulting and stupid, found Nouri declaring that the US needed to learn that al Qaeda is dangerous.

He should have been booed.  If he'd delivered it in English, that would have resulted in booing.

Though Nouri appears unaware, on September 11, 2001, and on so many days since, the US learned a lot about al Qaeda.

In a line that will no doubt be greeted with loud laughter in Iraq, Nouri asserted that he had never, ever, stepped on the Iraqi Constitution.

Was Nouri serious?

Has he read the Iraqi Constitution?

Is there any Article he hasn't broken?

Article 19?  He's broken it.  "The accused is innocent until proven guilty in a fair legal trial"?  But Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi's trial didn't begin until May 15, 2012 -- yet Baghdad judges declared him guilty on Februrary 16, 2012. That's innocent until proven guilty?  Who knew?

And how the hell was Tareq put on trial to begin with?

There was no vote in Parliament -- as required by Article 36 -- to strip Tareq of his immunity so he couldn't be tried for a felony -- he was tried for terrorism, that's a felony.

Nouri is a damn liar and the press lies and whores for him.  He's broken two-thirds of the Iraqi Constitution, I'm sorry that we don't have the time or space to note it all -- including Article 61 which gives Parliament the right to question the prime minister but since 2010, the Parliament's tried to do that twice but Nouri's refused to show up.  I'm even sorrier that a pathetic and cowed media has looked the other way repeatedly.

Does the Iraqi Constitution matter at all or is it just a rag for Nouri to wipe his ass with?

If it matters, it damn well should meant no trail against Tareq al-Hashemi.  If it matters, the crap-ass press should damn well be pointing out today that the kangaroo court overstepped their bounds and that the verdicts against Tareq have no legal standing since the trial violated the Constitution and since the judges violated the Constitution by declaring Tareq guilty -- declaring him guilty in public, at a news conference -- three months prior to the start of his trial.

Certainly, he's shown no respect for Iraqi's Constitutional right to protest.  Instead he's ordered them arrested, tortured and killed.  But the press can't note that, can they?  As Stephen Gowans (Global Research) points out today, "The Western news media have been virtually silent on Maliki’s cracking down violently on a mostly Sunni and primarily peaceful protest movement, yet fevered and voluble in its coverage of the Syrian insurgency, and was, even in the uprising’s early days."

Nouri talked weapons and 'plans' and again proposed he host a security conference.  He's never delivered security, how can he lead a conference on it?

Weapons, weapons, weapons, that and violence is all that Nouri has to offer.  Those aren't answers.  A plan or roadmap was defined by UNAMI earlier this week:

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov used the opportunity to call on the political leaders of Iraq to address the root causes of division, exclusion and poverty and to build an inclusive society that does not fear, but celebrates ethnic and religious diversity. He spoke of the areas where Iraq has seen notable gains, but also focused on the many challenges that remain. "Today Iraq is riven by constant and worsening violence and the prospect of deepening sectarianism casts a dark shadow over the country" Mladenov noted, adding that the social and security challenges "threaten the very fabric of Iraqi society and test the extent of the nation’s social cohesion". He highlighted that reversing the cycle of violence requires "improving governance in ways that give all citizens equal access to security, justice, employment and essential services".

The editorial board of The Economist pointed out today, "What Mr Maliki needs more than weapons is the will to compromise with his political opponents, especially Sunnis but also Kurds. In the past year Sunnis have felt more and more excluded and harassed. In addition, the civil strife churning up Syria has spilt across the border into Iraq."  FYI, they're also the only ones in the western press who note the defections in Nouri's forces as so many self-check out. Though not covered by the west, Iraqi soldiers have been self-checking out in huge numbers.  Alsumaria reported Sunday that the Nineveh Command has announced that they are extending the grace period for soldiers to return to November 15th.  The extension is because the deadline of the end of the month is approaching and most who have self-checked out of the military have not returned.  The Economist editorial board also notes:

Too fearful to conduct patrols in the streets, the security forces have been carrying out raids and mass arrests, further enraging Sunni civilians. “At the moment what fuels the conflict the most is the presence of central-government security forces in Sunni areas, where they arrest young men by the hundreds, torture them and then release them after money is paid,” says a seasoned foreign-aid worker. “You can see al-Qaeda benefiting from the heavy-handed presence of the armed forces,” he adds. Hostility to the government is not only sectarian; it is also the result of the government’s failure to do much for its citizens, says the aid worker. The erratic supply of electricity and the blight of corruption make matters worse.

Nouri was ridiculous.  The whole event was ridiculous and we may call out the Institute tomorrow or next week -- in particular one person.  Let's note that he also claimed he had reunited Iraqis as Iraqis and dared to speak of "allegiances."  Dared to speak?  Your US outlets haven't told you about Diyala and the little pledge to Iraq Nouri's trying to institute there.  Maybe, like the violence, the US media will tell you about the loyalty pledge Nouri's trying to institute -- after all goes to hell and only increases the violence.

RECOMMENDED:  "Iraq snapshot"
"Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "It's The Great..."
"Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Accountability..."
"Iraq: Over 1,056 violent deaths so far this month"
"Happy Halloween"
"Veterans issues: Hearings, electronic records and "
"The silence of The Nation"
"Is there a bigger liar than Gail McGowan Mellor?"
"The fleecing of Detroit"
"harrison ford is insane"
"Benghazi road blocks"
"Paul Craig Roberts on Krugman"
"Pig Greg Mitchell pretends to care about rape"
"Arrow (and Black Canary)"
"Dorks of Summer"
"Not popular and not powerful"

No comments: