BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
AMERICA'S PRINCESS, BARRY O, IS VERY, VERY WORRIED. BARRY O IS ABOUT TO TURN 50
AND -- WELL LET'S LET BARRY O TELL IT, "BY 50 MARILYN MONROE WAS DEAD. AND JUDY. ALL THE SEXY AND TALENTED WOMEN. I FEEL LIKE SOPHIA LOREN OR SOMETHING, ABOUT TO DIE A TRAGIC DEATH."
WHEN INFORMED THAT SOPHIA LOREN WAS, IN FACT, STILL ALIVE, THE FOLLOWING EXCHANGE ENSUED.
PRINCESS BARRY O: NO, SHE'S NOT.
US: YES, SHE IS.
PRINCESS BARRY O: I KNOW THESE THINGS. SHE'S DEAD.
US: SHE'S ALIVE.
PRINCESS BARRY O: OH DOODLE ME IN FRENCH! JAY! JAY! JAY, HONEY, CAN YOU STEP OVER HERE FOR A MINUTE. JAY, IS SOPHIA LOREN DEAD OR ALIVE?
STITCH BITCH JAY CARNEY: ALIVE.
PRINCESS BARRY O: HUH? I MEAN, YES! THAT IS JUST WHAT I WAS TELLING THESE REPORTERS!
WITH THAT BARRY O STRAIGHTENED HIS WIG, SMOOTHED OUT HIS SKIRT AND SASHAYED OUT THE DOOR.FROM THE TCI WIRE
Each month the Army releases their data on suicides. The press covers it and any information released by the other branches as well. Reading in the paper (the monthly release is usually just noted in the print media), you can be left with the impression that these are the military suicides but they are not the only ones. Those who have discharged and left the service have become "veterans" and not "service members." Veterans deal with many issues like readjustment to civilian life, attempting to find employment (in a bad economy and in a climate where young male veterans of the current wars have one of the worst rates of unemployment in the country), attempting to re-establish relationships, as well as, for some, other issues such as PTSD.
Veterans taking their own lives because the system failed them (or their pain from what they experienced while serving is too much to handle) are paying the costs of war and they are paying it with very few aware because their numbers are not tracked.
Many have decried this lack of record keeping including Senator Daniel Akaka when he was Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee and Senator Patty Murray back then as well as since she became Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee. Senator Murray and three other senators are attempting to resolve the 'mystery' around veterans suicides and to get this cost of war out in the open. Her office notes:
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, has joined with Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Max Baucus (D-MT), and Robert Casey (D-PA) to call on state Governors to begin reporting critical statistics on suicides among military veterans in their states. The effort, which comes amid a steadily rising suicide rate among veterans and members of the military, focuses on pushing 41 states to create a direct link to the VA to communicate information about veteran suicides. That information is particularly important for tracking and prevention efforts as many suicides among veterans not enrolled in the VA often go unrecorded.'
"One of the most significant obstacles to understanding veteran suicide is the lack of information available regarding these individuals," the Senators wrote. "In many cases the Department of Veterans Affairs does not even know that a veteran has died if that individual was not enrolled in VA health care."
In addition to the National Governors Association the letter sent by the Senators also went to the National Association of Medical Examiners, which is the professional organization for medical examiners and death investigators who are responsible for investigating deaths that are violent, suspicious, or otherwise unusual.
The full text of the Senators' letter is below:
July 20, 2011
The Honorable Dave Heineman
Chair, National Governors Association
444 North Capitol Street
Washington, DC 20001-1512
As you know, there has been a disturbing rise in suicide rates among veterans and members of the military. We are sure you find this trend as troubling as we do. As we continue our work to provide all the needed resources and services to assist servicemembers and veterans with mental health concerns, we ask for your assistance in this effort.
One of the most significant obstacles to understanding veteran suicide is the lack of information available regarding these individuals. In many cases the Department of Veterans Affairs does not even know that a veteran has died if that individual was not enrolled in VA health care. This makes it very difficult for researchers and mental health professionals to study the information and design effective, targeted campaigns to prevent suicide.
This is a result of the fact that only 16 states provide information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Violent Death Reporting System. VA has also been working with the states to create a direct link between the states and VA to communicate information about veteran suicide, but so far only nine states have reached such an agreement with the Department.
Thank you for your assistance, we look forward to working with you on behalf of the nation's veterans.
John D. Rockefeller IV
Turning to the Iraq War, news came late yesterday
that the Iraq had agreed to launch official negotiations with the US on the US military staying in Iraq beyond 2011. As Jane Arraf (Christian Science Monitor) notes
, "Long after most reporters had rushed home to beat the 1 a.m. curfew still in force, Deputy Prime Minister Rosh Nuri Shawis emerged to read a statement to state-run television saying the attendees recognized the need for further training of Iraqi military forces." And as we'll note, curfew or not, Jane Arraf reported on it yesterday. As did AP
's Lara Jakes and Mohammad Ali Harissi for AFP
-- those three's reports were noted in yesterday's snapshot.
Yang Lina (Xinhua -- link has text and video) reports
, "Iraq's political leaders have given the government the green light to begin negotiating a deal with the U.S. The deal would keep American troops beyond the end of 2011 to train Iraqi security forces." Ned Parker and Raheem Salman (Los Angeles Times) point out
, "As a candidate, President Obama promised to end the Iraq war, so the White House has been reluctant to call openly for U.S. troops to remain."
So, yes, that makes the start of acknowledged negotiations major news. (Even if the New York Times
runs a paragraph by AP
and refuses to file their own story on the issue. Talk about caught sleeping on the job -- and, no, that's not a slam at Tim Arango who is pursuing a different story and doing follow ups. He is not the only one who could have written the story and when Mullen went into Iraq, he did so with reporters.)Jane Arraf (Al Jazeera) observes
, "After weeks of wrangling and lots of US pressure it appears to be a breakthrough. After a five hour meeting in presidential compound here in Baghdad there was an announcement that a deal has been reached that presence of US military trainers would be raised in parliament." And as noted yesterday, Jane Arraf Tweeted about the big meet-up so refer to her Twitter feed
for many more details about what was discussed by the Iraqi political blocs beyond US troops. And, if you visited her feed this morning, you saw that the supposed official stated position of the Sadr bloc
is they're not going to block the move if everyone else goes along with it (US troops in Iraq beyond 2011) but that she (Arraf) was meeting up with a Sadr official to find out what their position actually entails
Of the negotiations, Press TV notes
, "The move, which is opposed by the Iraqi people, comes after a visit to Baghdad by the outgoing Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, who has urged the al-Maliki government to make a decision whether it wants an extended presence of American forces in Iraq." This week in Baghdad, a petition calling on US forces to leave Iraq at the end of the year got 2.5 million signatures. Another number is offered by Stars & Stripes
, "The U.S. has offered to keep up to 10,000 troops in Iraq beyond the year-end deadline." As Dar Addustour notes
, the meet-up of the political blocs took place at Jalal Talabani's home (Talabani is the President of Iraq).
Mohammed Tawfeeq and CNN quote
the Deputy Prime Minister Ruz Nouri Shawees stating, "After extensive discussions, the leaders of the political blocs headed by Iraq's President Jalal Talabani have agreed to let the Iraqi government start negotiations with the American side only on the issues of training and under the Strategic Framework Agreement." In an active and functioning media, that statement alone would result in multiple columns, analysis and discussions. As it is, it will probably sail right over most heads (the meaning of it). Ed O'Keefe (Washington Post) elaborates
further, "The leaders agreed that any request to keep U.S. military trainers in Iraq would fall under a general security agreement with the United States and would not require signing a new accord to keep U.S. troops in the country into 2012, according to Talabani's office. U.S. military and diplomatic officials in Iraq did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday night."
The only non-Iraqi press outlet I see offering analysis of the news at this point is the editorial board of the Khaleej Times
:With pressure coming in from Washington to decide at the earliest if it wants the remaining troops to stay or leave, Maliki faces a tough task. His tenuously cobbled coalition government is at a risk of falling apart in case a decision is made in favour of retaining American forces for longer than the December 2011 deadline. Facing violent opposition from some of his coalition partners -- concerning further prolonging of US forces in the country -- Maliki is in a catch-22 position in trying to choose the lesser of the two evils. For the security in Iraq is far from stable and is in fact worse than before, according to a recent report presented before the US Congress. According to the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart W. Bowen Junior, the security situation is at an all time low.Though an earlier military assessment in May lauded the improvement in security, it was misleading and based on a comparative assessment of the situation to that in 2007. As a matter of fact, according to Bowen, Iraq is facing enhanced security threat from Shia militant factions that have contributed to the spread of violence and instability. An increase in targeted killings of US soldiers and Iraqi officials and attacks in Baghdad over the past many months is testament to the fact. In addition, the Iraqi military capability is as yet not on track.
The start of negotiations is major news. And it did come late yesterday. So some needed to play catch up today. Understandable. If they, in fact, caught up.
There are 20 headlines to stories on The Nation's main page currently, not one has anything to do with Iraq. On Democracy Now!
, Amy Goodman gave it two sentences plus a quote from Adm Mike Mullen. A military officer, grasp this, had more to say on Democracy Now! about war than did that 'peace loving' Amy. (Some may say, "She covered the debt ceiling!" Finally. And too damn little too damn late. Ava and I documented that in real time she did nothing "TV: The unexamined (American) lives
" and "TV: The Age of Fakery
." She only cared after the fact. See Elaine's "The Goody Whore
" from last night.) And then there's Matthew.
The Progressive offers a piece by Matthew Rothschild, a weak and inaccurate piece. Maybe he shouldn't have written a damn thing?
Mike picked Matty Rothschild as Idiot of the Week
and boy had Matty earned that honor. A month or so back, Matty was going to get ripped apart by me over his so-called concern for civil liberties. If you're concerned for civil liberties and do a "McCarthy Watch," you do that the same regardless of who is in the White House. He can rip Bush apart, he just can't call out Princess Barack. Now because Matthew called out the Libyan War and (rightly) noted it was an impeachable crime, I wrongly thought he had left the Cult of St. Barack and was more than willng to table the critique of how he does a McCarthyism Watch when it's Barack and when it's Bush.
Poor Barack, the ultimate victim. No one listens to him! The Pentagon does what it wants!
I'm sick of this crap. He is president. People like Matthew Rothschild lied and whored to get him the Democratic Party nomination. He's now the president hold him accountable. I am so sick of these pathetic little babies and Matthew is the King of them.
From his embarrassing garbage:
All U.S. troops are supposed to be out of Iraq by the end of this year.
This has not only been Obama's pledge. This is the precise wording of the security agreement between the Iraqi government and the United States.
But now the Obama administration wants to keep U.S. troops beyond that date, so the Pentagon's been negotiating with the Iraqis to extend the American presence there.
Okay, that wasn't Obama's pledge. That's a damn lie. Barack would not have gotten the Democratic Party nomination if he was promising that all troops will be out of Iraq at the start of 2012, three years after he takes office. That's a damn lie.
Secondly, after "Obama's pledge," Barack's never responsible again. It's not Barack that wants the US to stay in Iraq, it's "the Obama administration." Matthew Rothschild is such a damn chicken, such a pathetic coward, that he can't call out Barack Obama.
I don't like Barack. I didn't vote for him. I won't vote for him in 2012. But I'm not the one pretending he's a weakling, I'm not the one pretending he has no strength or power. I recognize he's the president of the United States. That's something that the Cult of St. Barack that gifted him with the nomination can't own up to.
The Pentagon is NOT negotiating.
"Brave" Matty can call them out but he's wrong. Robert Gates, when he was Secretary of Defense, was required to note the time issue and that it was passing when speaking to Nouri or Jalal Talabani. Leon Panetta has infamously noted the time issue since becoming Secretary of Defense. Adm Mike Mullen went to Iraq to convey how serious the government was taking the issue.
Their efforts were to prompt action. They are not negotiating anything. James Jeffrey, the US Ambassador to Iraq, is the public face of negotiations (as Ryan Crocker was when he was the US Ambassador to Iraq). He is assisted by State Dept employees the administration has tasked for this issue.
This is not who Hillary Clinton has selected, it's not her issue. Joe Biden and Samantha Power are tasked with Iraq on the orders of Barack Obama. Hillary is not involved. You see her with her Iraqi counterpart from time to time, she does receive most visiting Iraqis but she and Nouri are not close and anyone who can't grasp that can't remember Hillary's public remarks about Nouri when she was in the Senate. That's the practical reason Hillary's not over Iraq. There are other reasons as well. Samantha Power is elevated to her position because, although Joe Biden has a great relationship with many Iraqi politicians (including the Kurds), he also made comments, when he was a senator, about Nouri that Nouri has not forgotten. (Hillary and Joe both rightly called Nouri a despot at one point or another and it's not forgotten on Nouri's side. And they were not one time remarks. Nor were they unique remarks in the Senate. Back then, Baraba Boxer was among the many calling out Nouri as a Little Saddam.)
If that's news to you, that's still not an excuse for ever thinking that the Pentagon would be negotiating -- or that they would do so against the wishes of the president.
Matthew throws caution and facts to the wind in this sentence: "Because even as Admiral Mullen was making his pitch, U.S. troops along with Iraqi troops were raiding a village, killing three men, including a tribal elder who was seen in handcuffs, and wounding five others, including two little girls."
No. You can't alter facts and keep them as facts. Mike Mullen arrived in Iraq on Monday
. The incident Rothschild's referring to took place LAST WEEK. This appears in Saturday's second entry
: "and, dropping back to Friday night, a "joint U.S.-Iraqi air landing on al-Rifeiat tribe's village in Balad township of Salahal-Din Province" today resulted in the deaths of 4 Iraqi civilians (and six being injured)," Mullen arrived on Monday. You can't alter the facts and claim that they're still facts. Yes, Matthew Rothschild, it does make the story play better, but it's not fiction and you can't alter the facts. (And if you're interested in this story, Tim Arango has filed two reports on it so far -- here
What Matthew Rothschild is really doing when he refuses to call out Barack Obama, when he invents blame for the Pentagon and when he alters time lines to make the story more 'pleasing,' what he's really doing is demonstrating how Judith Miller was able to write for The Progressive. She did. Long before her bad reporting helped sell the Iraq War, she was writing for The Progressive. And meeting the very low standards required from that magazine.
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