Monday, July 28, 2014

Nouri wants a third term and a nation of clones and drones

As so many lose faith in Nouri al-Maliki, he turns to televised propaganda.  The prime minister and chief thug of Iraq has thus far resisted calls from Kurds, Sunnis and even some Shi'ite politicians (most notably cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr) to step aside and let someone else govern Iraq.  Nouri's desire for a third term as prime minister has led him to ignore the religious authorities as well (most notably Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani).  He's also rumored to have lost the support of the Iranian government (after they met with key Shi'ite politicians from Iraq).

None of it has had any effect on Nouri who appears to be more determined to grab that third term and run the country further into the ground.

Now, like his predecessor Saddam Hussein, Nouri's using state television in an attempt to enlist the people in his vanity campaign.  Maggie Fick (Reuters) reports:

 Since the humiliating loss of much of Iraq's north to Islamic State insurgents, the official Iraqiya channel has been churning out patriotic videos of marching soldiers, heavily-armed commandos and even singers and actors to rally the public behind the government.
The theatrics are reminiscent of life under Saddam Hussein, whose propaganda machine put a positive spin on disasters like his 1990 invasion of Kuwait or 1980-88 war with Iran.
Instead of increasing confidence in Maliki, the campaign has highlighted what critics say is the Shi'ite Muslim premier's failure to unite Iraq against Islamist insurgents who have put the country's survival as a unified state in jeopardy.

Meanwhile Fars News Agency reports 31 corpses of rebels were found in Baquba.  And National Iraqi News Agency reports the Iraqi military says they killed 150 'terrorists' in a Mosul bombing (from a plane).

As you start to really think about that -- just two bits of reported violence today -- and how there are so many people Nouri's government claims to kill each day in this 'campaign,' it's worth pondering what the cut off is?  What is the magic number for Nouri to claim is against him and Iraq before you start to wonder if that many people constitutes the reality of Iraq today?  If the minority isn't really Nouri.  (It is and that's been obvious long before the latest wave of violence got the world's attention.


 On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics addressed include?  Gaza.  It's a little comedy show from three attorneys who ignore Nouri al-Maliki's use of collective punishment -- a legally defined War Crime.  Instead of linking the two and increasing awareness of both topics (Iraq and Gaza), they go off into the rabid yet again.  And don't miss their embrace of insane Naomi Wolf who deserves applause -- they argue -- for walking out.  Oh, the bravery!  She walked out of a synagogue.

Such skill, such power.

You know, come to think of it, you walk into a synagogue, you do so knowing you'll be walking out.  But clear heads are in short supply when Gaza crazy strikes the radical left every few months.

(My ridicule and scorn is aimed at the American 'Red Cross' of the left which repeatedly drops every story every few months to focus on Gaza and does little with their rabid froth but make people want to step away from these US spokespersons.  They do so much -- unintentionally, but still -- to ensure the Palestinians continue to suffer.)



The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.






wbai
law and disorder radio
michael s. smith
heidi boghosian
michael ratner
 




















Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hejira

Loveday Morris (Washington Post) reports on rumors/signs that Nouri al-Maliki will not see a third term as prime minister and that his time on top is dwindling.  Earlier this month, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani made statements which indicated Nouri al-Maliki should step down.  Friday's sermon made that even more clear.  Morris reports:

On Saturday, Sheik Abdul Halim al-Zuhairi, a senior figure in Dawa, was dispatched to Najaf to deliver a message to Ayatollah Sistani that the coalition was willing to replace Mr. Maliki if necessary, said Jumaa al-Atwani, a politician with Mr. Maliki’s coalition. Mr. Zuhairi passed the letter to Sistani’s son, he said.



MP, of Ahrar bloc, Bahaa al-Araji called on the Iraqi National Alliance, as the biggest bloc, to resolve the issue of nominating its candidate for Premier post before August 8. 
He said in a press statement received by All Iraq News Agency "The matter of choosing PM must move away from partisan and personal affiliations and the most importantly is to maintain the unity of INA to form a strong government can save Iraq from this crisis."


Having brought Iraq to the precipice, you'd think even Nouri would feel compelled to step down.  Knowing Nouri that seems unlikely.  

For example,  Tim Arango (New York Times) reports, "Just before midnight on Friday, Shiite militiamen in eight black S.U.V.’s rolled up to the Baghdad home of an important Sunni politician and abducted him and four of his bodyguards, a brazen move that threatened to further convulse a country already in the grip of a political crisis."


It was the fall of last year when Tim Arango broke the story that Nouri was arming, garbing and backing Shi'ite militias (death squads):

In supporting Asaib al-Haq, Mr. Maliki has apparently made the risky calculation that by backing some Shiite militias, even in secret, he can maintain control over the country’s restive Shiite population and, ultimately, retain power after the next national elections, which are scheduled for next year. Militiamen and residents of Shiite areas say members of Asaib al-Haq are given government badges and weapons and allowed freedom of movement by the security forces.


So a Shi'ite militia in Baghdad kidnapes a Sunni politician and his bodyguards in Baghdad?  Nouri's the one who made it possible. 

His actions have bred violence in Iraq.  Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 374 people dead with another seventy-eight injured.

You'd think anyone facing so many failures would hang their head in shame, not seek a third term in office.

You'd think.

 




I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4489.

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan --  updated:




  • New content at Third:





    The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.






     

















    xx

    Wednesday: IAVA and Defense One Partner to Explore the Future of Veterans in America

    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America issued the following this week:


    CONTACT: Gretchen Andersen (212) 982-9699 or press@iava.org


    Wednesday: IAVA and Defense One Partner to Explore the Future of Veterans in America
    Event brings together congressional, veteran, and media leaders with keynote speaker Montel Williams and premiere of Soledad O’Brien documentary 


    WHAT: Defense One and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) are partnering for a one-day event, “The New Battleground: Veterans,” focusing on the future of vets in America. From issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to a public that still doesn’t completely understand what it means to be a veteran, ​this event will explore challenges and examine the way forward for the new greatest generation. Join us as we talk to experts, politicos, journalists and leaders about the critical challenges our veterans are facing.


    Montel Williams, former television host of The Montel Williams Show and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, will be the keynote speaker for the event. Wrapping up the day will be the premiere viewing of award-winning journalist and CEO of Starfish Media Group Soledad O'Brien's documentary, "The War Comes Home," which follows the journeys of two young men who return home and the personal battles they must face to recover from the emotional effects of war.


    Panel sessions include: 


    Veterans Care: Reforms for a 21st Century VA 
    Hiring Veterans: Deployed then Unemployed 
    22 a Day: Preventing Suicide Among Veterans 
    The 1 Percent: Bridging the Military-Civilian Divide
    You can register here.


    If you’re unable to attend the event, it will be livestreamed at DefenseOne.com


    WHO: 
    • Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO, IAVA
    • Kevin Baron, Executive Editor, Defense One
    • Montel Williams, Former Host of the The Montel Williams Show, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
    • Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., Former Adjutant General of the Montana National Guard 
    • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii 
    • Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs 
    • Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, House VA Committee member
    • Joseph Kernan, Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy, Ret.; Chairman, NS2 Serves; Vice President, Business Development, SAP National Security Services 
    • Tom Tarantino, Chief Policy Officer, IAVA
    • Marine Cpl. Aaron Mankin, Veterans Advocate
    • Phillip Carter, Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program, Center for a New American Society 
    • David Wood, Senior Military Correspondent, The Huffington Post
    • Leo Shane, Congressional Reporter, Military Times
    • Mike Haynie, Executive Director, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Syracuse University
    • Barbara Humpton, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Siemens Government Technologies 
    • Zach Iscol, Founder and CEO, HirePurpose 
    • Fred Wellman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, ScoutComms 
    • Molly O'Toole, Political Reporter, Defense One
    • Mark Testoni, President, NS2 Serves; President and Chief Executive, SAP National Security Services 
    • Constance Sayers Witherspoon​, President, Government Executive Media Group
    • Dr. William Nash, Psychiatrist, Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs 
    • Alex Horton, Writer, former Digital Engagement Official, Department of Veterans Affairs 
    • Mike Monroe, Division Administrator, Team Rubicon 
    • Former Rep. Patrick Murphy, MSNBC host of "Taking the Hill"
    • Stephanie Gaskell, Deputy Editor, Defense One


    WHEN:  

    Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 
    Registration at 7:15 am EST
    Event from 7:45 am - 1:30 pm EST 


    WHERE: 


    National Press Club - Ballroom 529 
    14th St. NW, 13th Floor 
    Washington, DC 20045


    Note to media: Paul Rieckhoff, Tom Tarantino, Aaron Mankin and others will be available for interviews. Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699.


    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation's first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 270,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA recently received the highest rating - four-stars - from Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator. 
    ###







    Senator Blunt’s Bill To Promote Religious Freedom In Middle East Heads To President’s Desk

    Senator Roy Blunt's office issued the following:


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today applauded the U.S. House of Representative’s unanimous consent of the “Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act,” which he introduced and U.S. Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (Mich.) co-sponsored to encourage President Barack Obama to appoint a special envoy to promote religious freedom among religious minorities in the Middle East. The bill overwhelmingly passed the U.S. Senate on July 10, 2014, and will now head to the President’s desk. To read the bill, click here.


    “As we continue to witness disturbing violence against religious minorities in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, I’m pleased both chambers of Congress have passed this bipartisan bill to demonstrate that the U.S. takes religious freedom very seriously,” said Blunt. “I urge the President to sign this bill into law quickly and appoint a special envoy to promote religious freedom among all persecuted religious communities in these critical regions.”


    Blunt recently spoke on the U.S. Senate floor to urge U.S. officials to aggressively protect the rights of religious minorities throughout the world, specifically calling for the release of Meriam Ibrahim and her family in Sudan, as well as Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran. Please click here to watch his remarks.


    “It is a tragic fact that in much of this region, the freedom to worship in keeping with one’s conscience is in doubt,” Levin said. “Passage of this legislation strengthens America’s role in protecting religious minorities from violence, persecution and fear.”

    Additional Background Information:
    As the New York Times recently reported, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has forced remaining Christians to flee Mosul, subjecting what’s left of these centuries-old faith communities in Iraq to unprecedented violence and displacement.

    Blunt and Levin originally introduced legislation to protect religious minorities in the Middle East in June 2011. Blunt also introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in November 2013 to appoint a special envoy in the Near East and South Central Asia. In December 2013, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee overwhelmingly passed Blunt’s bipartisan legislation. U.S. Representative Frank Wolf (Va.) introduced a companion bill in the House.

    In addition to Blunt and Levin, the bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Susan Collins (Maine), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), and Roger Wicker (Miss.).

    In October 2013, Blunt joined U.S. Senators Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry noting recent reports of more frequent, targeted attacks against Coptic churches and individuals in Egypt “warrants a clear U.S. response.” In August 2013, Blunt reiterated his calls for Congress to pass bipartisan legislation aimed at promoting and protecting religious freedoms throughout the region.



    Blunt serves on both the defense authorizing and appropriations committees, and he is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.














    I Hate The War

    And I do.

    And I hate the fake ass.

    Which would include the US House of Representatives.

    I had avoided the topic, I had other things to do, real things to focus on.

    But it's the weekend which means I'm the only one working the public e-mail account for this site.

    And one person after another e-mails to inform me about the important measure the House passed on Congress and how it really is something and needs to be noted.

    It is nothing.

    It is less than nothing.

    When you see Barbara Lee's name, that's your first clue that someone let the fake ass into the room.

    Barack is conducting war under a 9-11 authorization.  He's destroying civil liberties and much more with that.

    If you missed it, fake ass Barbara Lee has wanted it repealed for some time. She's done nothing.

    Just like her yearly "If we're still in Afghanistan next year I am going to do something."

    She never does.  She's a fake ass.

    She's a useless liar who preens and poses but doesn't give a damn about peace because she's so far up Barack's ass.

    Barbara Lee is only convincing when Republicans hold the White House and control the Congress -- it lets her play the victim -- a role she excels at.

    The House voted on a measure last week saying that Barack could not conduct military operations (with US troops) in Iraq without Congressional approval.

    They passed a measure that basically says what the Constitution already did.

    There was nothing brave about their actions.

    It's not a law.

    Harry Reid will never allow it to pass in the Senate.

    It's a fake ass action.

    The House controls the purse.

    The measure did not say, "We believe in this and we will not fund any such action."

    They could have refused to fund under Bully Boy Bush and ended the Iraq War there and then.

    As former US Senator Mike Gravel repeatedly pointed out, they could have filibustered -- just one of them -- and brought it all to an end.

    They didn't.

    They're fake asses.

    Last week, a number of them -- including Barbara Lee -- stroked and finger banged themselves.

    They got off.

    Good for them.

    But I don't have to watch it.

    I'm not a voyeur.  And have you seen Lee and her cohorts?  None of them have bodies that would make it on the big screen.

    It was not about Iraq, it was about grand standing over doing nothing.

    Barbara Lee is a whorish politician.

    I don't have time for it.

    While she and others play the victim, the reality is the presidency is not above Congress.  It is a co-equal branch (as is the Supreme Court) and I've had it with b.s. actions from chicken s**t politicians.

    Nouri al-Maliki is being supplied with Hellfire missiles which he uses on the Iraqi people.

    That's blood on trashy Barbara Lee's hands.  She can fool a lot of the people with her empty remarks and meaningless gestures but at the end of the day she's just another whore in Congress dancing for the war machine.




    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] 4489.



    The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.