NOVEMBER 19TH, THE LEGENDARY DIANA ROSS WILL BE PRESENTED WITH THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD ON THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS.
ONE PERSON NOT PLANNING TO WATCH ABC THAT NIGHT?
CRANKY CLINTON WHO TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "WORKING OVERTIME? THAT HEFFER DOESN'T KNOW ABOUT WORK! NO WOMAN HAS WORKED HARDER THAN ME! EVER! THAT SHOULD BE MY AWARD! CLEARLY RUSSIA 'WORKED OVERTIME' TO ENSURE THAT I DID NOT GET THAT AWARD! THIS IS ALL BECAUSE I POOTED THAT TIME I WAS STANDING BESIDE VLADIMIR PUTIN. PUTIN HAS NEVER FORGIVEN ME FOR POOTING! I AM AT WORK ON ANOTHER BOOK ABOUT THIS ROBBERY -- WHAT HAPPENED AGAIN!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Emma Sky pens a column for THE GUARDIAN and does so with little grasp of how much a part of the problem she was and remains:
For months, we had been beseeching Baghdad to grant Kirkuk a special status. We argued that the “Kirkuk issue” could derail the national discussion on Iraq’s new constitution. There was real potential for conflict within the province that we feared could spill over into other parts of the country and encourage the involvement of external actors. Some form of special status could defer the determination of Kirkuk’s final standing for five years – to provide the time and space to resolve the issues, and strengthen local leadership.
We believed special status had the support of the local population – and would stop Kirkuk being a political football between Baghdad and the Kurds. But despite our arguments, the coalition did not grant such status.
Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution set out a process for resolving the status of those territories disputed between Baghdad and Irbil (the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan). But it was never implemented.
Over the intervening years, the Kurds exerted greater control over the province. Kirkuk became a stronghold for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, which selected the governor.
When the Iraqi security forces fled in the face of Isis in 2014 it was the Kurds, with support from the US-led coalition, who fought back and pushed them out of Kirkuk.
This decision to avoid conflict -- kick the can.
And Emma wants a real dialogue now.
How can you have a dialogue with a Baghdad-based government that has refused to follow the Iraqi Constitution?
Article 140 -- a delaying tactic -- was supposed to be implemented by the end of 2007.
The Iraqi Constitution states it will be implemented by that time.
It was never implemented.
Thug Nouri al-Maliki was prime minister then.
He went on to lose the 2010 election but Barack Obama had the US negotiate The Erbil Agreement to give him a second term that the voters would not. That contract called for Article 140 to be implemented. And Nouri swore it would be in one month.
A month later?
Nouri called it off.
Article 140 calls for a census in Kirkuk and a referendum to determine its fate.
Ten years after it was supposed to be implemented, per the Iraqi Constitution, it still has not been.
This is what The RAND Corporation has called out noting that this is going to be a huge problem.
Instead of addressing the problem, the plan by non-Iraqis (like Emma Sky -- she's British) has been to repeatedly postpone reality.
One way or another, this has to be resolved.
(Emma Sky has a much better piece at THE ATLANTIC.)
At FOREIGN POLICY, Emile Simpson (Iraq War veteran and, like Sky, also British) notes:
On Monday, as Iraqi regular forces and Shiite militia rolled into the city of Kirkuk that lies at the center of the territories and oil fields disputed between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi government, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued this statement: “ISIS remains the true enemy of Iraq, and we urge all parties to remain focused on finishing the liberation of their country from this menace.” The U.S. commander on the ground, Maj. Gen. Robert White, said the same thing: “We continue to advocate dialogue between Iraqi and Kurdish authorities. All parties must remain focused on the defeat of our common enemy, ISIS, in Iraq.”
Translation: We have been given no political strategy from Washington, so please, everyone, just stick to our military plan until we work one out.
[. . .]
But here we go again: We are nearing a military success against the Islamic State but have failed to define the peace that follows, because no serious attempt has been made to even define what that peace should look like in advance. This is what happens when you fixate on defeating an enemy militarily but don’t bother with political strategy.
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