Friday, April 10, 2015
Who'll be sleeping on the rollaway in the Lincoln Bedroom?
CRANKY CLINTON WILL SURPRISE MANY ON SUNDAY BY ANNOUNCING THAT INSTEAD OF DECLARING HERSELF QUEEN OF THE WORLD, SHE IS ANNOUNCING HER RUN FOR THE PRESIDENCY.
REACHED FOR COMMENT, BILL CLINTON TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "HER POINT HERE, REALLY, IS THAT GOD MIGHT REST ON SUNDAYS BUT HILLARY DOESN'T."
JAMES CARVILLE QUICKLY INTERRUPTED BILL AND INSISTED THAT HILLARY "IS NOT AT ODDS WITH GOD, SHE'D LIKE HIS VOTE, IN FACT, BUT SHE WANTS IT TO BE VERY CLEAR THAT SHE'S WORKING 9 TO 5, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, SHE'S WORKING IF YOU MAKE A 3 A.M. CALL, SHE'S WORKING ON THE WEEKEND -- NOT FOR THE WEEKEND, AND THAT INCLUDES SUNDAYS, IF YOU CALL AT 6:45 TUESDAY MORNING AS SHE'S TAKING HER DAILY CRAP, HILLARY'S GOING TO GRAB THAT PHONE. SHE'S LIKE A 1 WOMAN CALL CENTER FRONTING FOR A PRIVATE MERCENARY COMPANY DEFENDING A BAD ASS CORPORATION CREATING STAGNANT WAGES. AM I CLEAR ON HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS WOMAN!"
BILL CLINTON THEN SIGHED, ROLLED HIS EYES, TURNED TO JAMES AND ASKED, "DUDE, WHERE YOU KEEPING YOUR BLUE DRESS AND WHAT'S ALL OVER THE FRONT OF IT?:"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
As the announcer used to say at the start of The Lone Ranger, "Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear."
Who knew the White House felt the same?
They promote Vice President Joe Biden's speech on Iraq for days, they call it a major one and yet when it takes place all they offer is an audio stream?
That makes it only much less surprising that the White House still hasn't bothered to post a transcript of the speech.
Biden offered early on, "Next week, Prime Minister Abadi will make his first visit to Washington, D.C. And this provides us with an opportunity to take stock of where things stand right now. And that’s going to be the focus, with your permission, of my remarks today."
(All quotes from prepared remarks that the White House has yet to post, FYI.)
And taking stock would be a good thing. It might not be a pretty thing, but it would be a good thing.
Any hopes that Joe would speak some truth and offer leadership vanished quickly.
Vice President Joe Biden: Critics have made a number of claims regarding our policy in Iraq and the state of affairs in Iraq today. They say that Iraq’s fight against ISIL -- under the command of the Iraqi government, backed by America and an international coalition -— has stalled, has been stalemated. We read that ISIL remains in a commanding position inside of Iraq; that Iran and its proxies are leading the fight against ISIL, and that they are dominating Iraq; and that Iraq itself is likely to be a thing of the past, doomed to split apart because of sectarian violence. There’s just one problem with these critiques: The claims do not reflect the circumstances on the ground. The claims do not respect and represent the circumstances on the ground. They don’t reflect Iraq’s progress against ISIL -– incomplete but significant and growing; Iraq’s resilience and unity in confronting the crisis many predicted would split them apart; or Iraq’s resolve to uphold their sovereignty and their independence -– even as they look to their neighbors in all directions for assistance.
That's just disgusting. That's Petey Beinart 'thinking.'
You create a straw man to rail against.
Whether or not the 'fight' is bogged down is not the issue.
Joe Biden provided real leadership on LGBT rights as Vice President, he spoke plainly and forced the White House to move before it was actually ready to.
But on Iraq, he offered garbage and lies.
Whether this part of Iraq is occupied by the Islamic State or that part is? That's not the argument nor is it the terms for success that have been laid down.
It wasn't some straw man who declared:
Finally, the United States will lead a diplomatic effort to work with Iraqi leaders and the countries in the region to support stability in Iraq. At my direction, Secretary Kerry will depart this weekend for meetings in the Middle East and Europe, where he’ll be able to consult with our allies and partners. And just as all Iraq’s neighbors must respect Iraq’s territorial integrity, all of Iraq’s neighbors have a vital interest in ensuring that Iraq does not descend into civil war or become a safe haven for terrorists.
Above all, Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come together around a political plan for Iraq’s future. Shia, Sunni, Kurds -- all Iraqis -- must have confidence that they can advance their interests and aspirations through the political process rather than through violence. National unity meetings have to go forward to build consensus across Iraq’s different communities. Now that the results of Iraq’s recent election has been certified, a new parliament should convene as soon as possible. The formation of a new government will be an opportunity to begin a genuine dialogue and forge a government that represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis.
Now, it’s not the place for the United States to choose Iraq’s leaders. It is clear, though, that only leaders that can govern with an inclusive agenda are going to be able to truly bring the Iraqi people together and help them through this crisis. Meanwhile, the United States will not pursue military options that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another. There’s no military solution inside of Iraq, certainly not one that is led by the United States. But there is an urgent need for an inclusive political process, a more capable Iraqi security force, and counterterrorism efforts that deny groups like ISIL a safe haven.
[. . .]
Regardless of what’s happened in the past, right now is a moment where the fate of Iraq hangs in the balance, and the test for all of them is going to be whether they can overcome the mistrust, the deep sectarian divisions, in some cases just political opportunism, and say this is bigger than any one of us and we’ve got to make sure that we do what’s right for the Iraqi people. And that’s a challenge.
That’s not something that the United States can do for them. That’s not something, by the way, that the United States Armed Forces can do for them. We can provide them the space, we can provide them the tools. But ultimately, they’re going to have to make those decisions.
No, those remarks were made June 19, 2014 by US President Barack Obama.
With Barack having made those remarks, Joe had to struggle to address them.
Vice President Joe Biden: When Mosul fell, Iraq had just held their national election. Fourteen million -- roughly 14 million Iraqis had shown up at the polls. But now they had to form a government in the middle of this chaos. And having been deeply, deeply involved, as Brian McKeon will tell you because he was with me, trying to help form the first government and being engaged, we knew this could be extremely difficult [sic].
During the term of the last government, distrust had deepened so profoundly between Sunni, Shia, and Kurds -— creating serious obstacles to a unified effort against ISIL and a questioned willingness of whether they were willing to literally stay together.
But the irony -- the irony of all ironies -- is that Iraq was actually -- helped form its government because of ISIL. ISIL the very outfit that intended to tear Iraq apart and establish a caliphate, it actually united Iraqis.
The Sunnis realized they preferred a united, federal Iraq under a new government to being at the mercy of ISIL or dependent upon the other Sunni states. The Kurds realized that withdrawing from Iraq was not a viable option, and they did not want a terrorist state on their doorstep. I don’t know how many conversations I had with President Barzani relating to this. And the Shia, they realized they didn’t want to take on ISIL alone or become a vassal of a neighboring state. Consequently, they each concluded they were better off if they were in this together. And to quote a famous American politician in an early war of ours, we either hang together or hang separately.
Oh, the nonsense never ended.
Vice President Joe Biden: The Iraqis themselves recognized how badly the trust had been broken among them. Nothing less than a comprehensive change could deliver a united Iraqi government that could effectively take on ISIL, and many Iraqi leaders believed that the only way to do this, as I believed, was a wholesale change in leadership; that every interest in Iraq had to find different leaders this time to occupy the seats of power.
I remember speaking to -- with Usama Nujayfi, a proud son of Mosul, who had been the speaker of Iraqi’s parliament, and him deciding that in order to make way for a new wave of leaders, it was very important -- which he thought was important as well -- that he would have to step down as speaker.
And so there was a need, from the speaker to the Prime Minister to the president, to find new leaders. And the result was -- another widely respected Sunni, Salim Jabouri, became the new parliamentary speaker, and Iraq chose Fuad Masum, a well-respected Kurdish senior statesman, to be the new president. And he stuck to his convictions under enormous pressure -- because you know how the process works -- he, the president, is the one that then turns to one of the factions to form a government.
That's a cute, albeit incomplete, rendering of history.
I have no problem with Osama al-Nujaifi.
But he didn't step down as Speaker of Parliament for the good of the country.
He stepped down to become one of Iraq's three vice presidents.
That's actually a higher position than Speaker of Parliament.
It has more powers, much more powers.
Including the power to kill legislation after Parliament's passed it.
It was 2009 when then-Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi demonstrated that power wasn't just in theory but actual by killing a just-passed election law (and pushing the national elections back from 2009 to 2010 in the process) when he felt the election law did not adequately represent Iraqi refugees (which were predominately Sunni).
Joe likes to pretend the government changed but it didn't.
In 2010, the only change was Osama al-Nujaifi.
Everyone else stayed in their same positions.
There was shuffling but that was all.
Yes, Iraq finally got a new president.
But that wasn't due to a vote.
That was due to the idiot Jalal Talabani.
He can't eat right.
He thinks he can visit the US and they can suck out his cholesterol and make him all better and he can then eat mountains of unhealthy food a day.
Didn't work out for him.
Suffered a massive stroke.
Which his family lied about.
Jalal was whisked off to Germany.
They'd sit fat boy up for some photos every now and then -- just like Weekend At Bernie's, as Arabic social media noted in real time.
Iraq had no president.
The Constitution was ignored -- in part because the Talabani family lied repeatedly, insisting Jalal's health wasn't that bad and hwas improving. He was out of the country for basically a year and a half. And when he finally returned, he still couldn't assume his duties (or speak in public).
So there was never any doubt that Iraq would have a new president.
The thug who brought Iraq to ruin?
He is no longer prime minister.
Don't throw that confetti just yet.
He is now one of Iraq's three vice presidents. (And he continues to occupy the home/castle of the prime minister. Since August, he's refused to move out.)
Osama became another. Ayad Allawi, another former prime minister of Iraq, is the third.
Where's the change Joe Biden's talking about?
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