Saturday, July 04, 2015

I Hate The War

Oh, my goodness!  Oh, my gosh!

Women and children sold as sex slaves in Falluja!

ARA News reports!

Or 'reports' the laughable Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights says is happening.

Is it happening?

That Ministry is a propaganda ministry existing in a climate in which Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi repeatedly laments in public that the Iraqi government is losing the propaganda war to the Islamic State.

When beheading people, the Islamic State has no qualms about videotaping the event and releasing it to the public.

So it's hard to believe that were they carrying out a slave auction in Falluja, they wouldn't be releasing video.

Equally true, where's the money coming from to buy sex slaves?

There are Islamic State fighters in Falluja.  There are also civilians there in the residential area.

Falluja's been occupied for how long now by the Islamic State?

Longer than Mosul.

So where's the money coming from?

Are the slaves that cheap or is the Islamic State paying their fighters six figure salaries?

It feels like propaganda.

And it probably is.

But if it is true -- so what?

I'm getting really tired of watching the leaders of the failed state of Iraq point fingers at others when the actions of the Islamic State -- as horrible as they are -- aren't that different from what the government of exiles has imposed on Iraq.

Nouri al-Maliki was prime minster until August of last year.  His second term was known for the Baghdad prostitutes he 'visited.'  (Actually, there were two he was rumored to have set up in apartments which he covered the cost of.)

Equally true, when you're supporting a law -- as he and State of Law did -- along with other Shi'ite fundamentalist politicians -- allowing girls under the age of ten to be forced into marriage, you really have no high horse to ride through the town square so just stop pretending otherwise.

Haider is a new prime minister!

Yes and he's a member of State of Law and he supported the bill that would have lowered the age at which young girls could be sold into what passed for marriage.

It's like the non-stop hand wringing over the destruction of cultural artifacts.

When the world wants to pay as much attention to the killing and wounding of the Iraqi people as they do to the destruction of some cultural artifact, we might be able to pretend that our global priorities aren't screwed up.

Until then, try to avoid mounting the high horse.

Here come the priests, each one wailing and bemoaning
Lordy, they got their heads bowed down
Here come the madmen, they're too excited for atoning:
"Burn the mosque," they're shouting, "Burn it down!"

Save me a place, surrounded with friendly faces
All of us have gathered here to share the end
To watch the world go up in flames

-- "Share The End," written by Carly Simon and Jacob Brackman, first appears on Carly's Anticipation

The Islamic State is defined as a terrorist group.

That they do appalling things is a given.

But that the government of Iraq cannot freely point fingers due to their own actions is outrageous.

Last month, the idiot Joel Wing was gas bagging with a US War Hawk about how they believed that the Islamic State -- if you limited them to just a few years -- had killed and harmed more civilians than had the Iraqi government.

I'm sorry, in what f**ked up world is it acceptable for a government to have a death toll of its own civilians?  To rake up kills over their own people?

In what f**ked up world?

When you grade on a curve, you're letting certain people pass when they definitely need to be held back.

It's outrageous and it's outrageous that the world is appalled by the Islamic State allegedly killing 4 males suspected of being gay but the same world was more than happy to look the other way when Nouri al-Maliki used the Ministry of the Interior to launch a witch hunt on Iraq's LGBTQ community, when he encouraged Iraqi school students to kill gay people.

There should have been an international outcry.

The brave UN?

I've had it with Ban Ki-moon and his useless nonsense.

They insisted they were monitoring the situation and would have a report on it.

But they never did, did they?

Iraq is a failed state.

It is also a state that the United Nations clearly failed.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4497.

This week saw a theme post in the community where people selected their favorite cover song: Betty went with  "Chaka's "Hejira"," Trina went with the Mamas and the Papas' "Do You Want To Dance," Stan with Diana Ross' "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," Kat with Ben Taylor's "By Your Side," Isaiah with Herbie Hancock's "River," Rebecca went with "en vogue" and their covers of two songs from the film Sparkle, Elaine went with Aretha's "Rolling In The Deep," Marcia went with "Anita Baker "You Belong To Me"," Ruth went with the Afghan Whigs' "Mr. Super Love," Ann went with Tori Amos' "Angie" and Mike went with Carly Simon's ""Blackbird," "Devoted To You" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream"."

That should have been noted in a snapshot, we usually do note the community theme posts.

I bring it up because X e-mails that his thing didn't get noted or that this didn't get noted or that . . .

I work in what I can.

Sometimes, I don't even have time to note things in the community.

If I don't even have time for that, strangers really need to chill about what they think has to go up here.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, Jane Fonda and Susan's On the Edge -- updated:



  • The e-mail address for this site is

    Friday, July 03, 2015


    Barry & Bully

    Isaiah's  The World Today Just Nuts "Barry & Bully" of Barack consulting his inner spiritual guide Bully Boy Bush.


    BY Sherwood Ross

    President George W. Bush did much to turn the world into the lawless battlefield it is today, and as he has not yet been prosecuted for his crimes, other terrorists will only continue down his path.

    The late Vincent Bugliosi, the famed Los Angeles county district attorney, wrote, "Bush should be prosecuted, in an American courtroom, for first degree murder arising out of his war in Iraq."

    Bush “beyond all reasonable doubt” is responsible for all the murders of American troops killed in Iraq and could be prosecuted by any of 140 Federal and State legal authorities, Bugliosi wrote.

    The president is guilty of “the most serious crime ever committed in American history…knowingly and deliberately taking this country to war in Iraq under false pretenses,” Bugliosi said, killing 4,000 GIs, seriously wounding 30,000 more, and killing 100,000 innocent Iraqis as a consequence.

    Bush is referred to above as a "terrorist" as the facts overwhelmingly support this epithet.

    In his book, "George W. Bush, War Criminal?"(Praeger) professor Michael Haas writes prisoners of the Bush regime typically were held without even knowing the charges against them, a right first established in the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 in Britain. (Haas is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Hawaii and has authored and edited 33 books on human rights.) 

    Haas counts no fewer than 269 different kinds of war crimes for which Bush is liable, of which the denial of habeas corpus is just one. These range from torture of children(!) to denying prisoners' attorneys, to forcing confessions under torture to sexual attacks to threatening prisoners' families to water boarding. 

    Many innocents were held in prisons kept secret from the Red Cross, another war crime. The CIA alone operated at least 11 such prisons. Bush's forces also took 24,000 prisoners, most of them civilians, virtually all of them innocent of any offense, and locked them away for years without lawyers or bringing them to trial. 

    Referring to Bush's many wrongs, Haas asserted, "they have been so devastating to those affected that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because civilization cannot survive their being repeated over and over again."

    Since Bush has left office, Haas noted, he is no longer immune from prosecution. In fact, he can be tried in federal district courts.

    While a federal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney General in Washington, or any of the 93 U.S. attorneys throughout the country “would be the easiest procedure,” Bugliosi wrote, any of the 50 State attorneys-general also “could bring a murder charge against Bush for any soldiers from that state…who lost their lives fighting Bush’s war.”

    Writing in “The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder”(Vanguard Press), Bugliosi said Bush’s lies to the public constituted “overt acts” and their broadcast nationally via the media are a basis for prosecution in every state. Charges could include murder as well as conspiracy to commit murder, the veteran prosecutor said.

    “Bush and his gang of criminals were constantly telling Americans that Hussein constituted an imminent threat to the security of this country, but they kept the truth from the American people that their CIA was telling them the exact opposite, that Hussein and Iraq were not an imminent threat to this country,” Bugliosi writes.

    In his speech of October 7, 2002, in Cincinnati, Bush said “The Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gasses and atomic weapons…” even though a CIA report dated October 1 gave Bush notice that “the CIA did not consider Hussein an imminent threat to this nation,” Bugliosi pointed out.

    As Bush did not act in self-defense, he did so with “a criminal state of mind,” with “criminal intent,” Bugliosi asserted, thus, “every killing of an American soldier that took place during Bush’s war was an ‘unlawful killing’ and murder.”

    “In my opinion,” Bugliosi continued, “there certainly is more than enough evidence against Bush to justify bringing him to trial and letting an American jury decide whether or not he is guilty of murder, and if so, what the appropriate punishment should be.” 

    Another prominent legal authority, Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, Champaign, identified a number of presidential aides and Pentagon officials as candidates for prosecution as war criminals. These are:

    Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Joseph Biden; Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta; Secretaries of State Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and Hillary Clinton; National Security Advisors Stephen Hadley, James Jones, and Thomas Donilon; Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and James Clapper and Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) Directors George Tenet, Leon Panetta, and David Petraeus.

    In the Pentagon, war criminals include the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and some Regional Commanders-in-Chiefs, especially for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), and more recently, AFRICOM. Besides Chairman General Martin Dempsey, U.S. Army, JCS members include Admiral James Winnefeld Jr.; General Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army; General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps; Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations; and General Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

    Those who have headed the Central Command since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan include Lt. General Martin Dempsey; Admiral William Fallon; General John Abizaid; General Tommy Franks; Lt. General John Allen; and General James Mattis.

    "In my book 'Tackling America’s Toughest Questions'(Clarity Press), I argued and reached the exact same conclusion that Vince did: Bush and his immediate subordinates can be prosecuted here in the United States for murdering U.S. Armed Forces (personnel) whom they deployed to Iraq knowingly to die in an illegal, unconstitutional, and criminal war," Boyle said in a statement to this reporter.

    "I had worked with some lawyers in Boston to get Rumsfeld so prosecuted when he went there to give a speech. But they chickened out at the last minute. I and other lawyers around the world  will continue our efforts to bring Bush et al. to Justice in American Courts, Foreign Courts, and International Courts," Boyle added. He noted further: 

    "There is no Statute of Limitations for committing murder or their other international crimes, and there is Universality of Jurisdiction to prosecute Bush et al. everywhere in the world for these offenses for the rest of their lives." 

    Boyle recalled: 

    "It took me about eight years to bring Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to Justice before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for his International Crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the time I first went after him in the International Court of Justice as the Lawyer for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993 and  despite Richard Holbrooke’s promise of immunity/impunity to Milosevic if he signed the Dayton Agreement in 1995. See my book 'The Bosnian People Charge Genocide!'(Aletheia Press:1996). The Wheels of Justice turn slowly against once powerful government officials. But they do turn!” #

    (Sherwood Ross formerly reported for the Chicago Daily News and The New York Herald-Tribune, among other dailies, and for major wire services. He holds awards for his reporting, running, and poetry. Reach him at

    Iraq snapshot

    Friday, July 3, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Iraq's government prepares to subjugate the Iraqi people via loans from the IMF and the World Bank, Jim Webb announces he's seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, and more.

    The Anyone But Hillary Brigade just got another option.

    Thursday saw former US Senator Jim Webb declare his intent to seek the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Webb issued a statement which included:

    After many months of thought, deliberation and discussion, I have decided to seek the office of the Presidency of the United States.
    I understand the odds, particularly in today’s political climate where fair debate is so often drowned out by huge sums of money. I know that more than one candidate in this process intends to raise at least a billion dollars – some estimates run as high as two billion dollars – in direct and indirect financial support. Highly paid political consultants are working to shape the “messaging” of every major candidate.
    But our country needs a fresh approach to solving the problems that confront us and too often unnecessarily divide us. We need to shake the hold of these shadow elites on our political process. Our elected officials need to get back to the basics of good governance and to remember that their principal obligations are to protect our national interests abroad and to ensure a level playing field here at home, especially for those who otherwise have no voice in the corridors of power. And at the same time our fellow Americans need proven, experienced leadership that can be trusted to move us forward from a new President’s first days in office.
    I believe I can offer both.
    37We all want the American dream – unending opportunity at the top if you put things together and you make it, absolute fairness along the way, and a safety net underneath you if you fall on hard times or suffer disability or as you reach your retirement years. That’s the American Trifecta — opportunity, fairness, and security. It’s why people from all over the world do whatever they can to come here. And it’s why the rest of us love this country and our way of life.
    More than anything else, Americans want their leaders to preserve that dream, for all of us and not for just a few.
    We need a President who understands leadership, who has a proven record of actual accomplishments, who can bring about bipartisan solutions, who can bring people from both sides to the table to get things done. And that leader needs to gather the great minds of our society and bring them into a new Administration and give them direction and ask them to help us solve the monumental challenges that face us.
    What should you ask for in your next President?
    First, there is no greater responsibility for our President than the vital role of Commander in Chief.
    2I have spent my entire life in and around the American military. I grew up in a military family. I fought as a Marine rifle platoon and company commander on the battlefields of Vietnam. I spent five years in the Pentagon, four of them as an assistant secretary of defense and secretary of the navy. I covered our military on many journalistic assignments, including the Marine Corps deployment to Beirut in 1983 and as an “embed” reporter in Afghanistan in 2004. And while in the Senate I spent six years on both the Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee.
    Let me assure you, as President I would not have urged an invasion of Iraq, nor as a Senator would I have voted to authorize it. I warned in writing five months before that invasion that we do not belong as an occupying power in that part of the world, and that this invasion would be a strategic blunder of historic proportions, empowering Iran and in the long run China, unleashing sectarian violence inside Iraq and turning our troops into terrorist targets.
    I would not have been the President who used military force in Libya during the Arab Spring. I warned repeatedly that this use of our military did not meet the test of a grave national security interest, that it would have negative implications for the entire region, and that no such action should take place without the approval of the Congress. The leadership in the Congress at that time not only failed to give us a vote; they did not even allow a formal debate, and the President acted unilaterally. The attack in Benghazi was inevitable in some form or another, as was the continuing chaos and the dissemination of large numbers of weapons from Qaddafi’s armories to terrorist units throughout the region.

    5And today I would not be the President to sign an executive order establishing a long-tem relationship with Iran if it accepts Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. This Administration and those in Congress should be looking very hard at the actual terms of this agreement, which we on the outside cannot yet see or evaluate. They should also be questioning whether it is appropriate for such an important agreement to be signed without the specific, prior approval of the Congress.

    The current popularity of Bernie Sanders goes to the desperate desire among a significant number of Democrats for someone other than Hillary Clinton.  That the media crowned front runner is polling so high in negatives does not bode well for her.  The negatives could very well increase in six or so months when Americans are actually paying attention to the 2016 races.

    Equally true, the media gets bored.

    If Hillary is in the lead this early, she's going down.

    John Kerry wasn't in the lead at this point in 2003.  Barack wasn't in 2007.

    There's no story if every day Hillary is the front runner.

    It's highly unlikely the media coverage is going to get 'nicer' for Hillary.

    It's very likely that the media will create drama -- that's how that get ratings, clicks and sell publications -- and Hillary's not a candidate who benefits from drama.

    She's someone the American people distrust when her negatives are raised.

    Her e-mail story will probably be one of the things that most harms her campaign.

    She lied publicly at the United Nations.

    The lies included that she only carried one device.

    If that lie and others are explored by the media, America's going to remember that they loved Bill Clinton but always had a more troubled relationship with Hillary and, most importantly, she's not Bill.

    She's not the comeback kid and she's not natural.

    The e-mail dumps are making that clear as well as America begins to see just how many protective layers of flunkies are around her.

    Bill had friends and Bill had advisors.

    Hillary has 'muscle' -- flunkies that exist solely to attack any who question Hillary.

    In 2008, you could argue her mistakes in the Senate weren't reflective of who she was.

    Then she served four years as Secretary of State where she (a) admitted she's a cheap liar (telling Robert Gates -- as outlined in his book Duty -- that her opposition to Bully Boy Bush's 'surge' in Iraq was political in order to gain her support among Democrats), (b) did the same easy photo ops that she did as First Lady, (c) but didn't do any actual work as Secretary of State and (d) confirmed that she was a blood thirsty War Hawk, advocating for military action in one area after another.

    In 2016, 2008 is going to be 8 years ago -- and every one of those years shows in her face.

    A fact she grasps which was why she recently attempted to steal Farrah Fawcett's 1984 hair.

    hair crimes

    Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Hair Crimes" noted the hair style.

    And for  Farrah, in 1984, it was a new look for a woman who'd pioneered a seventies hair style (one that still hasn't faded completely away).

    For a 67 year old running for president?

    It was an embarrassment.

    Is she an aging sex kitten?

    This is why she fails over and over and over.

    Everything about her is unnatural, everything about her is forced.

    She can't offer one genuine moment.

    And American needs to stop making excuses for her.

    'Oh, it's because she was attacked by the press when she asked should she have just stayed home making cookies?  Or because of the way they treated her for Travel Gate or Whitewater or . . ."

    That's all nonsense.

    She has responded to life's events by closing herself off and acting from a position of distrust and suspicion while treating every action as a personal attack.

    That's not someone you want in the White House.

    We've had that in the White House -- it's name was Richard Nixon.

    At this point, she comes with too much baggage and I'm not talking about her scandals, I'm talking about all the muscle between her and the real world.

    I'm not voting for Hillary, I've made that clear.

    I'm not voting for Jim Webb either, by the way.

    Don't misconstrue coverage with support.

    If a candidate talks about Iraq, that means we may cover them here based on what's going on that day.

    Bernie Sanders, Lincoln Chafee, Martin O'Malley and now Jim Webb are seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

    Joe Biden may throw his hat in.

    The fact that people are still pushing Elizabeth Warren to run and that there are efforts being made to get Kirsten Gillibrand to run go to the fact that Hillary is seen as having already peaked and now entering the fade process -- seen that way by Democratic Party superdelegates who, for the most part, screwed Hillary over in 2008 and really aren't inclined to embrace her (or empower her to strike back) in 2016.

    Jim Webb becomes another alternative to Hillary. It's doubtful that he's going to be the last to throw his hat into the race to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee.

    As Bernie, Martin and Lincoln have already done, Jim Webb is making an issue of Iraq (as well as Libya).  Until Hillary can talk about Iraq honestly -- without defensive posturing or hiding behind "I covered this in my book" (that nobody read) -- it will remain a liability for her.

    Hillary's 'liability' is far worse for the Iraq people.  Margaret Griffis ( reports 115 people killed in violence across Iraq on Thursday.

    And as bad as things are for the Iraqi people, now they'll get worse.

    Dominic Evans and David Holmes (Reuters) report that Iraq will be taking an $833,000,000 loan from the International Monetary Fund and $1,700,000,000 in loans from the World Bank.

    Uh, paging Antonia Juhasz?

    You going to weigh in on this or you going to spend Barack's entire 8 years in the White House being a useless fool?

    People should be sounding alarms.

    Instead, Iraq's about to lose any hope of autonomy.

    Juhasz knows that.  She wrote about it in her 2006 book The Bush Agenda.

    But when it's time to notice that there's no real difference between a Bush Agenda and a Barack Agenda, Antonia proves she has no ethics and no bravery and that her alleged concern for the Iraqi people is trumped by her slavish devotion to the Democratic Party.

    Meanwhile Reuters notes Iraq's budget this  year is $100 billion with a $25 million shortfall.

    There is no need for any loans at all from anyone.

    There is a serious need to address government corruption.

    Under Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi people's money was misused to pay for Ahmed al-Maliki's fancy cars and fancy digs in various locales (not just the pricey London residence).

    Nouri al-Maliki lives like a king which should beg questions of where did the damn money come from?

    This is a man who fled Iraq and lived in exile in various countries.

    How does he now afford a lavish lifestyle for himself and his family?

    (The $4.1 billion Russia arms deal provided Ahmed with even more money and when Nouri turned on an aide and the aide went public, that should have been the beginning of a serious investigation into corruption.  Instead it was just a shrug.)

    The indulgence from the press on this obvious corruption is shocking and the only more shocking is the world community's continued desire to look the other way.

    Now when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House, the US Congress regularly held hearings about the corruption in Iraq -- heard from Iraqi officials on this topic.

    But no one cares anymore.

    Iraq can't be used as a political point to beat Bully Boy Bush the US Congress no longer cares.

    When the Iraqi people are allowed to tell their story and be heard -- whether it's ten years from now or forty years -- it's not just going to be a story about being invaded and physical violence, it's going to be about how their national riches were stolen and how the world community could get outraged by an artifact being demolished by the Islamic State but could also stand silent as the people's treasury was plundered by US appointed politicians.

    Thursday, July 02, 2015

    Cameron and others whine about the press to avoid addressing their own failures

    A new report from Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) notes 71 journalists have been killed worldwide in the last 6 months. Iraq and Syria tied for third place on the list with six deaths each.

    Staying on the topic of the press, David Cameron can't fix anything in England so he takes to the radio to whine that "Islamic State" is being used to describe the group in Iraq -- the group that has named itself the Islamic State.

    Whining orally wasn't enough so a number of UK MPs put it in writing.  Jake Kanter (UK Broadcast Now) reports:

    A group of MPs, including Boris Johnson and Alex Salmond, also wrote to director general Tony Hall asking that the BBC instead adopt the term “Daesh”, which translates as Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (Syria).
    But Hall rejected the request, arguing that the corporation needed to “preserve the BBC’s impartiality”, according to The Times.
    A BBC spokesman said: “No one listening to our reporting could be in any doubt what kind of organisation this is. We call the group by the name it uses itself, and regularly review our approach.
    “We also use additional descriptions to help make it clear we are referring to the group as they refer to themselves, such as ‘so-called Islamic State’.”

    No, Kanter, it's not really that simple and Da'ash is seen as a slur.

    Roy Greenslade (Guardian) weighs in:

    Some 120 MPs signed up to a letter to the BBC’s director general, Tony Hall, which urged the corporation to adopt the term “Daesh” (an Arabic acronym that is used by Islamic State’s opponents).*
    Cameron claimed that the term “Islamic State” annoyed Muslims in Britain because the group was neither Islamic nor a state. The moment he made that specious remark on Radio 4’s Today programme I shook my head.
    Did he seriously think that anyone was fooled by that description? Did he really believe that its use amounted to some kind of propaganda coup? If so, in what way?
    Was he suggesting that more people will be inclined to join a gang of barabaric murderers because they proclaim themselves to be an Islamic state?
    It immediately struck me that the prime minister, and the 120 MPs who agreed with him, were engaged in some form of displacement activity.

    Instead of worrying over the substantive matter of designing a strategy to deal with terrorism, they preferred to go off at a tangent and adopt a Daily Mail/Sun-like agenda by attacking the BBC for doing its job.

    If Cameron and company don't want to call them the Islamic State, they can certainly use their own mouths to use which ever words they desire.

    David Cameron does get that, right?  That he's in charge of his own mouth?

    Judging by some of his statements, he might not grasp it -- or maybe just might not want to take responsibility for it.

    But whining about the press using a term for a group that a group itself uses is bad enough.  Trying to force a news outlet to instead use another a term is the sort of bullying one expects from a group like the Islamic State and not for a supposed legislative body representing a nation.

    Again, it's a distraction and goes to the fact that Cameron has no plans for actually addressing the group so he hopes to score some easy points with this nonsense.

    As for the actions that have been taken, it's been bombings dropped from war planes over and over.  That's the 'plan' and it's really not working.

    Amazingly, in June of 2014, US President Barack Obama was the first to say it wouldn't work.  He was the first to note that the only road to peace was a political solution.

    Yet all he and other western leaders have done is focus on bombings.

    Which leads us to the question of the day on Twitter:

  • But bombings all the west wants to focus on.

    National Iraqi News Agency reports:

    Vice President Iyad Allawi said the international coalition led by the United States does not have a specific strategy in the ongoing fight against Daash, in the light of the lack of coordination between the allies.
    Allawi added in a press statement transferred by his press office "that Britain and France will demand holding a meeting on the sidelines of the General Assembly of the United Nations to adopt the convening of a regional conference to unify the visions to how eliminate the forces of extremism in the region.

    And Allawi is correct.

    Cameron whining about press coverage won't create a strategy.

    Nor has Barack, stumbling around on this for a year now, been able to discover a strategy.

    Which has left the State Dept acting like the Pentagon.

    Here's the State Dept's Brett McGurk's entire Twitter output for Wednesday:

    1. New airstrikes destroy terrorist units near & ; and across from to to . Details

    Again, he's confused himself with a DoD employee.

    All Iraq News reports:

    –Iraqi three presidencies, president, speaker of parliament and prime minister, held a meeting Wednesday evening, discussing the security and political situations in the state.

    “Deputy president Iyad Allawi took part in the meeting,” the media office of the deputy announced in a statement.
    “Putting a comprehensive strategy and national reconciliation are the prior topics discussed in the meeting as well as the challenges that relate to the displaced families and the services,” the statement concluded.  

    McGurk can't even amplify that meet-up, so desperate is he to stroke his War On.

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated:

  • The e-mail address for this site is

    Wednesday, July 01, 2015

    Iraq snapshot

    Wednesday, July 1, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, even the UN's undercount of deaths finds June's death toll the highest since last September, Margaret Griffis ( reports nearly 5,000 deaths for the month of June, the refugee crisis continues, Matthew Hoh and Jesse Ventura take on Barack's Iraq War spin, and much more.

    Yesterday's snapshot focused basically on an e-mail Hillary Clinton sent and how the New York Times' lazy 'reporting' was distorting the e-mail.

    Did it matter that they distorted?

    Wouldn't most people have the brains to realize the distortion?

    It did matter and clearly most people don't have the brains needed.

    Presumably an outlet calling itself "Pink News" wants to accurately report on LGBT issues.

    Yet Joseph Patrick McCormick kicks off his nonsense with:

    Newly released emails show Hillary Clinton discussed Saddam Hussein’s treatment of LGBT people, calling it “sad and terrible”.

    No, you are wrong, you are grossly incorrect.

    You should be embarrassed and ashamed of yourself for writing such stupidity.


    Two were released.

    The first is Cheryl Mills forwarding to Hillary a news report: Ashley Byrne's "Saddam's rule 'better' for gay Iraqis" (BBC News).

    The second is Hillary replying:

    So sad and terrible.  We should ask Chris Hill to raise this w govt.  If we ever get Posner confirmed we should emphasize LGBT human rights.

    The news report is that things were better for Iraq's LGBT community under Saddam.

    Bynre writes in the report:

    All the LGBT Iraqis interviewed for Gay Life After Saddam maintained that life was easier for them when Saddam Hussein was in power, from 1979 to 2003. 

    So if you write, as McCormick does at Pink News today:

    Newly released emails show Hillary Clinton discussed Saddam Hussein’s treatment of LGBT people, calling it “sad and terrible”.

    You are flaunting your ignorance in the public square and really need to sit your tired ass down.

    Hillary did not discuss Saddam's treatment of LGBT people and the article she was commenting on was noting that in the post-Saddam era, life had become very dangerous for Iraq's gay community.

    This is what happens when 'reporters' like Peter Baker and Steve Eder get away with lazy and inaccurate work -- it quickly spreads and the truth is distorted.

    Today, UNAMI announced the figures for Junes death toll in Iraq.  They go with 1,466 dead and 1,687 injured and those are the number you'll see.  Add 801 deaths for 2,488 deaths from violence (that includes security forces) and  2342 for the injured (includes security forces).

    After over a year of criticism, they've made some attempt to include Anbar Province in the body of the report (136 killed and 163 injured).

    This is an undercount.

    They do not include the civilians in Falluja killed by the Iraqi military bombings of residential neighborhoods, for example.

    Even so, AP notes, "The monthly death toll was the highest since last September, and the rise from last month appeared to be almost entirely due to higher casualties among security forces."

    Margaret Griffis ( reports, ", using news reports, found at least 3,311 militants were killed and 287 were wounded. Many of these deaths were reported by the Iraqi government, which could be exaggerating its successes. On the other hand, many of the wounded might not have fallen into government hands and therefore are uncountable. In total, 4,777 were killed and 1,974 were wounded during June."

    The violence takes place in a populated country with a very young population.  The United Nations notes:

    The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today said that over the past year in Iraq, it has seen a 75 per cent increase in grave violations against children that include killing and maiming, abduction, recruitment as soldiers, sexual violence, attacks against schools and denial of humanitarian access.
    “We could never have predicted that one year on we would be looking at a violent crisis that has affected more than eight million people,” said Colin MacInnes, UNICEF’s Acting Representative in Iraq briefing the press in Geneva from Irbil. This month marks the anniversary of the beginning of the widespread violence across the country.
    This time last year, many communities in Iraq, particularly in locations such as Mosul and Tikrit, witnessed violence that displaced people on a scale that caught everyone by surprise. It led to the collapse of the healthcare system, the education system the public safety net. The situation for children in particular was desperate. In the 2014-15 school year more than 650,000 children had received no schooling whatsoever and over three million did not attend a regular school cycle.
    “For those children not in school and who did not have services the situation continued to worsen,” said Mr. MacInnes.

    The speed and scope of the crisis has been very severe, he continued, affecting both national and international actors. The ability of families to access even basic items was also harshly impacted. Recently nearly 3,000 people from Anbar were being displaced every week. 

    The refugee crisis is so great that even the Iraqi government has to acknowledge it in some form.  Andolu Ajansi reports the Ministry of Migration and Displacement is stating that the last 12 months have seen 493,990 Iraqi families displaced within Iraq.  Those numbers are an undercount and they do not include the number of families who have fled Iraq in the last 12 months due to the ongoing violence.

    On the internally displaced, Mushreq Abbas (Al-Monitor) reported last week:

    Al-Monitor met with people who had been displaced from the towns of al-Alam, al-Dor and Tikrit in Salahuddin governorate who refuse to return for other reasons. Samer al-Douri, a civil engineer from al-Dawr who was displaced to the city of Sulaimaniyah, said that returning to al-Dawr is now impossible in light of the Popular Mobilization Units imposing their control over the areas that were recently liberated.
    He added, “We will not be safe even though we ran away from al-Dawr when IS invaded it. The government and the Popular Mobilization Units still deny the return of our families.”
    Iqbal al-Ojaili, who was displaced with her family from Tikrit to Sulaimaniyah, told Al-Monitor, “I refuse to return at the government's discretion. I have three boys and their lives are in the hands of a security member. If the latter decides that they are terrorists, it will be over for them.”
    Ali Issam, who also fled to Sulaimaniyah, told Al-Monitor that his house in Tikrit had been completely looted. He owned a food store that was burned to the ground. “How do I get back, and where and how will I live?” Issam asked.

    Last week, Shalaw Mohammed (Niqash) reported on a refugee camp in Kirkuk:

    Omar Sabbah has not left the displaced persons' camp where he is now living for two whole months. Originally from Tikrit, he says that if he wanted to leave, he'd have to walk a long way on an unpaved road. There are no easy ways to get out of here, he complains. “Life in the camps is another kind of prison,” he says. “We can only hope conditions improve in our own home towns soon so we can return there.”
    Sabbah is one of around 8,500 people living in 1,800 tents in the Laylan camp for displaced people, about 20 kilometres out of the northern city of Kirkuk.
    When he managed to escape the extremist group known as the Islamic State that had control of Tikrit until recently, Sabbah said he'd never expected to end up living in such a remote area.
    Although the Islamic State, or IS, group was pushed out of Tikrit Sabbah doesn't think he can go back to the city anytime soon. The city was liberated by a mixture of pro-government Iraqi forces, which also included a large number of fighters from Shiite Muslim militias. These have been both celebrated for their victories and controversial because of bad behaviour after the fighting ended.

    Omar knows this only too well. He has already changed his first name to Ammar. In Iraq, it is possible to tell which sect or tribe any person is from because of their names. “The Shiite militias hate the name Omar, which is why I changed mine,” Sabbah explains. “It's going to make it easier for me to return home in the future.”

    The above and so much more should result in the US State Dept spearheading a diplomatic mission which would include making a sizable donation to the United Nations' aid programs in Iraq and encouraging other nations to do the same.

    Instead, the UN has to repeatedly note that their aid programs in Iraq are in danger due to serious shortfalls in the budget.

    They could also foster an environment which would allow for reconciliation and a political solution.  Instead, the State Dept mistakes itself for the Pentagon and when Iraqi officials take tentative steps, there's no encouragement or support from the White House.

    For example, National Iraqi News Agency reports that the three presidencies (Iraqi Preisdnet Fuad Masum, Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jubouri and Prime Minster Haider al-Abadi) were supposed to meet tonight:

     A source told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / "The meeting will deal with a number of issues in the forefront will be the national reconciliation and the political agreement document as well as some of the bills that are still waiting for legislation."

    He noted that "the three presidencies perhaps, will call to convene a meeting for the political blocs, explaining that there is a consensus among the three presidencies on the need to come out of usual routine meetings and reach clear decisions on the files that are discussed."

    Salim al-Jubouri, House Speaker held a meeting yesterday evening with MPs and ministers of the Iraqi forces coalition to discuss a number of important files, particularly the political file and what was achieved from the terms of the political agreement, in addition to the bills that await to be approved in the House of Representatives during its legislative term and laws sent by the Council of Ministers. "/ 

    This news is apparently so unimportant to the administration that it can't even get a Tweet from the State Dept's Brett McGurk -- McGurk who Tweets daily on US airstrikes on Iraq.

    Were Barack Obama and the White House not being held hostage by the government of Iran, maybe they could address issues in Iraq?

    Instead, the wasted time continues.  We were told that all the focus would end in March when a deal was arrived at.

    There was no deal.

    The White House insisted that by the end of June, they'd have a deal.

    June has ended.

    Currently, they've tacked on another week.

    As former US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker has repeatedly noted in the last weeks, Iran is not helping Iraq, it is assisting in the hardening of divisions among Iraqis and in inciting ill will.

    But that can't be addressed when Barack is held hostage by Tehran.

    Some news reports today made the laughable claim that Barack knows how to walk away from the bargaining table.

    No, he doesn't.

    And when you demonstrate that, and he did last March, you have no power.

    That's why tacking three more months to the 'talks' did not result in a deal.

    Tehran knows Barack will do anything to avoid walking away.

    Tehran knows they're calling the shots.

    It's not a debate among equals, it's one group insisting on what they want (Tehran) and another party too scared to end the talks.

    And while he continues to allow Iran to take center stage, Iraq suffers every day.

    Barack Obama's 'plan' for Iraq doesn't stem the violence, it only adds to it.  The US Defense Dept announced today:

    Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted nine airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:
    -- Near Baghdadi, three airstrikes struck land features, denying ISIL a tactical advantage and destroying two ISIL excavators.
    -- Near Fallujah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL tunnel system.
    -- Near Haditha, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL vehicles.
    -- Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL mortar firing position, destroying an ISIL building.
    -- Near Waleed, an airstrike destroyed three ISIL armored personnel carriers.

    None of that steers Iraq towards a political solution.

    None of that addresses the very real grievances of the Sunni population, a population targeted under the (mis)leadership of Nouri al-Maliki for years and still targeted by the man who replaced him as prime minister Haider al-Abadi.

    In January 2014, Nouri began bombing civilians areas in Falluja (Sunni-dominate Falluja).  These bombings continue under Haider al-Abadi (they are collective punishment which is legally defined as a War Crime).

    On Falluja, Rudaw reports:

    Airstrikes carried out over the last two weeks by the Iraqi Army against the Islamic State, or ISIS, have been causing heavy collateral damage on the civilian residents of Fallujah, the city's top health official reported Wednesday.

    “The random airstrikes carried out by the Iraqi air forces against Daesh [ISIS] gunmen have killed 71 people and wounded 90 others,” Ahmad Shami, head of physicians in Fallujah Hospital, told Rudaw.

    Iraqi Spring MC notes today's Iraqi military bombings of Falluja's residential area left 4 children dead and their mother and father injured.

    Falluja is only one city in Anbar Province.  Middle East Monitor reports:

    The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq denounced what it described as "crimes and flagrant human rights violations" committed in the city of An-Nukhayb in the Anbar province, adding that the area is being emptied of its indigenous people as part of a systematic policy of demographic change carried out by the Popular Mobilisation Forces with the support of the government.
    In a statement released yesterday, the association quoted eyewitnesses from the area as saying that on Monday "members of the Popular Mobilisation Forces started to burn dozens of safe homes and houses inhabited by the people of the area. They also attacked the inhabitants by beating them and yelling obscene and sectarian insults at them."

    Iraq War veteran Matthew Hoh appeared on Jesse Ventura's Off The Grid today.  Excerpt:

    Jesse Ventura:  What do you think of this latest troop deployment?  We already have 3,100 troops in Iraq and now we're sending in at least 450 more to "train local security forces" -- whatever that means.  What do you make of it, Matt?

    Matthew Hoh:  Oh, it's completely absurd, Governor.  You know, it's -- What does anybody expect to come out of this?  Except more violence in Iraq, more violence in Syria, more violence where ever we put our troops into the middle of a civil war.  It only benefits groups like the Islamic State or Shia militias that get all riled up because of the presence of foreign troops and basically us trying to pick winners and losers again in someone else's civil war that we had a lot to do with starting, of course. But also too, the other people that make a ton of money off of this, the only other people that benefit, are the defense companies.  And the amount of money that goes into these conflicts is-is just obscene -- particularly when you look and compare it to the declining states of our nation -- how our own schools are failing, our infrastructure is failing, etc. But we are more than willing to send troops overseas to fight in foreign civil wars.  And most of that -- or a good deal of that -- has to do with American defense companies making billions and billions of dollars of it.

    Jesse Ventura:  Now Obama said, Matt, that these are not combat troops, they're "trainers."   What the hell does that mean?

    Matthew Hoh:  You're talking about putting American troops into the middle of Iraq.  More American troops into the middle of Iraq where we had already lost 4,500 troops, 4,500 Americans in the Iraq War, tens of thousands wounded, 100,000 or more with mental issues, homeless issues, etc. But this notion that they're just going to be trainers is just -- is just a politician trying to sound both tough and safe at the same time.

    Lastly,, Trevor Timm explores the topic of civilian deaths at the Guardian.  He's noting the calls for more civilian deaths in Iraq.  We noted this when we reported on the House Armed Services Committee hearing on June 24th.  And you can also refer to the June 4th snapshot as well as in "Iraq: Failed follow ups and whining that bombs aren't being dropped quick enough"