Thursday, March 10, 2011

WHM

Women's History Month and International Women's Day celebrate the strides toward dignity and equality that women have made around the world. They are also a chance to reflect on the work we still have to do, and the particular challenges faced by women at the margins, including those in the criminal justice system.

Years ago, women prisoners were second-class citizens occupying small units within men's prisons. Reformers' calls for facilities specializing in women's needs helped spur the development of women's prisons — which then needed to be filled with ever-increasing numbers of women prisoners.

Today, women are among the fastest-growing segments of the prison population. The so-called War on Drugs spurred the criminalization of women by widening the net of criminal liability to minor players, family members, and mere bystanders to drug activity. Sentencing laws have made things worse by failing to consider the many reasons women sometimes remain silent about a family member's involvement in the drug trade.

That's from Mie Lewis' "Women Prisoners, Women's History" (ACLU Blog of Rights). It's women's history month. Once upon a time, The Common Ills noted that and Black History Month. What happened? Iraq became the sole focus and we have community newsletters. So now it gets covered there. But Women's History Month was something that I really liked about The Common Ills.

Why?

It was a political website. And very few of them note women's history. Very few. It was one of those ways that we could tell this was a site where women weren't excluded.


So maybe I should be doing my part and noting women's history? Pay it forward, that sort of thing?

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"



Thursday, March 10, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, Nouri appears before Parliament, Nouri sees one MP of his coalition resign, protests continue in Iraq, the US Director of National Intelligence excuses the brutality the Iraqi forces have heaped on protesters, where are Barack's benchmarks, and more.
"First, I'd like to welcome our witnesses for today's hearing on current and longer-term threats and challenges around the world. We are delighted to have James Clapper here for the first time as the Director of National Intelligence, along with the DIA Director General Ron Burgess," declared Chair Carl Levin this morning at the start of the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. In his opening remarks, the Director of National Intelligence did nod to Iraq.
James Clapper: In Iraq, I think actually what has happened in Iraq has been a very interesting and encouraging evolution as they have gone -- they're going through a very difficult transition into a democracy. Uhm, they have too had demonstrations that have taken place widely throughout many cities in Iraq and personally was heartened by the uh excellent performance of the Iraqi security forces who reacted temperately to the professionally for the most part to these demonstrators.
However, it is equally true that Levin noted in his opening remarks, "We will want to learn from our witnesses their estimate of the prospects for democracy and for security for religious minorities in Iraq." Those topics were never touched on. In fact, Carl Levin was the only senator to ask of Iraq. Iraq exchange in full:
Chair Carl Levin: Can you give us an assessment of the vulnerability of the government of Iraq to the kinds of protest which have -- we've seen in other parts of that region? And has the government of Iraq cracked down on peaceful demonstration and could that lead to greater demonstrations?
James Clapper: Well, sir, I think the people in Iraq have the same aspirations as we're seeing throughout the MidEast, uh, the same four factors I indicated. And, uh, I think, uh, the word "crackdown" I guess -- that's somewhat of a loaded word. I guess they have curtailed -- controlled these demonstrations and, uh, I think the real test is the, uh, how responsive the, uh, Iraqi government can be for things like provisions of water and electricity to-to the people. And I think it's, uh, sort of basic fundamental, uh, needs, uh, and the government of Iraq, I think, understands that. The -- Prime Minister Maliki certainly does and that, uh, he's got to deliver. And that's going to be the test. And to the extent that, uh, they're not able to do that, then I think that, uh, frustration will fester more among the Iraqi people.
Chair Carl Levin: And just to tie that up, what's the Iranian influence in the Iraqi government, what's the extent of it?
James Clapper: Well sir it's, uh -- I think sometimes there is a tendancy to overstate that. I think, uh, clearly they're interested, uhm, they're going to try to influence, uh, things in Iraq in a manner that's, uh, supportive of their interests. Uh, I think, though, Prime Minister Maliki is, uh, his eyes are wide open here. He's got some background with the Iranians and, uh, I think they are very much aware of that. And certainly that's a great concern to others in the region.
Chair Carl Levin: So a limited effect? The Iranian influence?
James Clapper: Well I wouldn't -- I don't know what the right characterization is. It is a concern it's a factor and uh certainly the Iranians will try to exploit any openings they can whether in Iran -- Iraq or anywhere else in the region. And some measures -- some-some ways, uh, they would like to exploit the situation. But uh, I think that's going to be very problematic for them.
No one else bothered to ask. Ranking Member John McCain asked in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this week (see Tuesday's snapshot, it's noted in full -- and that was the only time Iraq came up in that hearing). Let's see we heard about Mexico being the new Columbia and we heard about the Balkans and we heard about -- Goodness, it was so bad maybe we should be grafeful no one felt the need to note the 'great' Grenada invasion of 1983.
While we were at the Senate Armed Services Committee, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was testifying in front of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. Simmi Aujla (Politico) reports, "Clinton told House Republicans that cutting the agency's 2012 budget would also threaten U.S. progress in [typo error at Poliltico edited out here] Iraq and Afghanistan." I'm sorry, Hillary, we need to do that why? Those of us attending the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this morning heard the US "world wide threat assessment" and Iraq wasn't one. Russia was number one and China was number two. We know that because after Clapper made that surprising announcement in response to Senator Joe Manchin's questions, Chair Carl Levin quickly brought him back to that issue to make sure everyone had heard correctly. (Levin: "I was frankly quite surprised by your answer.") They had. Levin gave him a third attempt to self-correct noting how it will look -- especially in Russia -- when the headlines emerge (I doubt they will outside of Russia, there were not a lot of front page press types at the hearing) of "Russia Greatest Threat To The US." Clapper said he was sticking with his answers because, for greatest threats, only Russia and China would have the capability.
In fact "cyber threats" -- specifically "malicious software" -- were the focus of more grave words from Clapper than was Iraq. The US and England led the world into the Iraq War (Australia tagged along with John Howard as everyone's pudgy kid sister). But the United Kingdom's not fretting Iraq these days. From the March 1st snapshot, when Hillary was appearing befor the full House Committee on Foreign Affairs:
While Hillary was repeatedly saying that the billions to go into Iraq -- a third surge, was how she billed it -- were necessary for national security, a curious thing was happening across the Atlantic Ocean. Alex Stevenson (Politics) reports, "Britain has shaken up its international development budget by placing renewed emphasis on poor countries which directly affect the UK's national security. The move means 16 countries including Angola, Niger, Cameroon and Lesotho will no longer receive any funding from Britain. Neither will Russia, Iraq, Vietnam, Bosnia, Serbia and Burudni." That's very interesting. The Iraq War was started and led by the US and the UK. They spent the most money on the illegal war and sent the most bodies to fight it (and had the most foreign people die in Iraq). To sell the Iraq War in the US, Bully Boy Bush resorted to many lies including that Iraq had sought yellow cake uranium from Africa. Tony Blair, then prime minister of England, had the ability to use chemical and/or biological weapons on England within 45 minutes. That's much quicker than an attack on the US and that's because England is physically closer to Iraq than is the US. So why is it that the UK argues today that they don't need to give Iraq anymore aid because it's not a threat to their own national security but the US -- White House and Hillary Clinton -- is arguing differently?
So can Hillary and the White House get honest about what's really going on? Clearly England is as tied to Iraq as the US and they're not calling it a threat to their national security and, turns out, based on Clapper's testimony, the US isn't either. Maybe we're back to what Ted Koppel, on NPR's Talk of the Nation Tuesday, speaking with Neal Conan declared?
Ted Koppel: We're there because of U.S. interests, and those U.S. interests can be summarized quite simply in one or two words: oil and natural gas. The stability of the Persian Gulf is of enormous national interest to the United State. No politician wants to send young men and women to die for oil. But the fact of the matter is that it is one of the politically most - no pun intended - inflammable issues. When the price of gasoline goes up, as it is going up right now, to $4 a gallon, if we were to leave before there is genuine stability in Iraq, if that area no longer had the oversight of American military, I think you could very easily see the price of oil go up to seven, eight, nine dollars a gallon. And the fact of the matter is then you would have all kinds of political yelling and screaming on Capitol Hill, all kinds of pressure being raised by the American public, which would not want to see that happen to its economy.
That was noted in the March 8th snapshot. So was this:
It would be "very unwise" to leave, he insisted and those who think the US is trying to help Iraq are looking at it wrong because "the prism that we're there for Iraq's interests? We're not. We're there because of US interests."
That quote is incorrect and should have included "[. . .]" and the first "we're" should have been "United States" -- my error, my apologies. What Koppel stated was, "the prism that we have been learned to - that we have been taught to accept over the last few years, and that is that the United States is in Iraq for Iraq's interests. We're not. We're there because of U.S. interests, and those U.S. interests can be summarized quite simply in one or two words: oil and natural gas. The stability of the Persian Gulf is of enormous national interest to the United States." My apologies for my error.
Is oil what Hillary's calling national security? If so, the White House needs to get honest about it. If not, they need to do a lot of explaining due to the fact that Iraq's not a national security issue for the US. It never was. It was never a threat to the US' safety. When Barack, Joe, Hillary, et al start insisting "national security" for the US staying in Iraq, they are LYING the exact same way Bush did when he claimed Iraq was a threat to the United States. If that's the standard they want to meet, then let all three of them be judged accordingly.
When Barack declared his candidacy for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, February 2007, Tom Eley (WSWS) broke down the realites of 'antiwar' Barry:
In the coded language of official American politics, a ''responsible end'' can mean only one thing: the total subjugation of Iraq, in one way or another, and the expropriation of its enormous oil wealth, delicately referred to by Obama as ''our interests in the region."
"Our interest in the region"? What are they? Barack's a War Hawk. And he's as dishonest as Bully Boy Bush. Back to Eley:
Obama endorses and recycles as his own all of Bush's "thirteen benchmarks" for "progress" in Iraq. Among them, Obama singles out the demand for "eliminating restrictions on US forces." In other words, the Pentagon should be given an even freer hand to drown the Iraqi resistance in blood. Obama also demands the Iraqi government reduce "the size and influence of the Militias" -- that is, fully confront the powerful Al Mahdi militia.
Benchmarks. As Eley notes, Barack was thrilled to grab onto Bush's benchmarks. In fact, he, Joe and Hillary -- all US senators at the time -- were calling for benchmarks. Where are his benchmarks?
Let's review a few of the targeted groups in Iraq.
* Christians and other religious minorities
* the LGBT community
* women
* orphans
* special needs persons
There are many more targeted populations. Barack is in the White House and desperately wants to be in it in 2013. Shouldn't he have something to add? The US tax payer is being asked to fork over billions of more dollars and for what? So Nouri and his thugs can torture gay men and suspected gay men? So they can seal these men's anuses with glue and cause them to die a very painful death?
We have seen zilch from this White House when it comes to Nouri's violations of basic human rights. Doubt it? Let's go over an exchange today one more time.
Chair Carl Levin: Can you give us an assessment of the vulnerability of the government of Iraq to the kinds of protest which have -- we've seen in other parts of that region? And has the government of Iraq cracked down on peaceful demonstration and could that lead to greater demonstrations?
James Clapper: Well, sir, I think the people in Iraq have the same aspirations as we're seeing throughout the MidEast, uh, the same four factors I indicated. And, uh, I think, uh, the word "crackdown" I guess -- that's somewhat of a loaded word. I guess they have curtailed -- controlled these demonstrations and, uh, I think the real test is the, uh, how responsive the, uh, Iraqi government can be for things like provisions of water and electricity to-to the people. And I think it's, uh, sort of basic fundamental, uh, needs, uh, and the government of Iraq, I think, understands that. The -- Prime Minister Maliki certainly does and that, uh, he's got to deliver. And that's going to be the test. And to the extent that, uh, they're not able to do that, then I think that, uh, frustration will fester more among the Iraqi people.
Clapper thinks the security forces showed moderation. Really? When they beat five journalists in Basra last Friday? When did they show restraint? When they injured protesters? When they killed them? When did they show restraint? When they beat up Baghdad journalists? When? And how the hell does this behavior earn the support of the US government?
It's an illegal war and the US has installed a thug. But if that doesn't matter to the current White House -- and it obviously doesn't since it was the current White House that ensured Nouri continued as prime minister -- how about this: The man considered an idiot (George W. Bush) laid down (under duress, true) benchmarks that Iraq was supposed to meet in order to continue to receive US tax payer money; however, someone supposedly smarter than George W. Bush doesn't even see the need for benchmarks today. Doesn't see the need while despite the targeting of religious minorities, of Iraq's LGBT community, of Iraqi women and on and on. That's very telling and what it's telling on the current White House isn't at all pretty.
Turning to Iraq, Emad Kamel (Al Mada) reports on the threats to Iraq's food security and agriculture as a result of water concerns and notes that experts are predicting future wars will revolve around water resources. Related, Al Mada reports that Iraq's Minister of Agriculture is requesting that the Iranian government clarify their plans on building dams effecting the bodies of water the two countries share.
Reuters quotes Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq stating, "If [Nouri al-] Maliki cannot administer his government in these three months in a way to meet the ambitions of people, I believe he himself should resign. These protests are not against this current government. They are against the accumulation of financial and administrative corruption and against building the country in an inappropriate way for the last eight years." This as the editorial board of the National Newspaper observes, "As The National reported yesterday, Nouri al Maliki, the incumbent prime minister, continues to dither on promised power-sharing deals, and points fingers instead. He's given his cabinet 100 days to reform or face unspecified 'changes'. He has also accused al Qa'eda and Baathists of encouraging street demonstrations. Both moves are ill-conceived attempts to divert blame from his own leadership. Mr al Maliki must recognise that it is not only his future on the line, but Iraq's. Both will lose out if he fails to address the grievances of its people." Al Rafidayn notes al-Mutlaq is a member of Iraqiya and states he is trying to limit any anti-government fallout from Nouri's inaction attaching to him (al-Mutlaq). Alsumaria TV points out Nouri appeared before the Parliament today.
In April 2006, Nouri al-Maliki became prime minister-designate. In May of 2006, he became prime minister. By misusing the powers of his office, he ensured he would remain prime minister despite the results of the March 7, 2010 elections and the will of the people. So Nouri is now serving his fifth year as prime minister. Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports that when Nouri appeared before Parliament today he attempted to spread the blame ("The current situation is not the responsibility of one group, rather it is a joint responsibility. The executive and legislative authorities share responsibility in both successes and setbacks.") but that some rejected that attempt and MP Maha al-Douri (Sadr bloc) is quoted as stating, "He tried to throw the ball into the parliament's court for the failures that took place in the country. What we need is immediate solutions for the problems, not long speeches." But the most telling evaluation of Nouri's performance may be via Aswat al-Iraq which reports MP Saifya al-Suhail (Nouri's State Of Law slate) issued a statement stating that, due to "the non-democratic ways," she was leaving State Of Law: "I have suffered blackballing, ignoring and marginalizing when it comes to contributing to key political decision-making for the bloc. There was meager coordination and consultation as well as autocracy practiced by a limited number of persons."
Tuesday's snapshot included the following, " Aswat al-Iraq reports that US Special Forces did 'an air drop operation on a village in al-Huweija district and raided some houses, killed a physician and arrested his brother' -- and if you're wondering, US Special Forces roam free in Iraq. Osama al-Nujefi, Speaker of Parliament, wants an investigation into US actions." Today Parliament's health committeee held a press conference. Aswat al-Iraq quotes the statement issued: "The Committee, denouncing the killing of an Iraqi physician during a raid by U.S. soldiers and Salah al-Din security forces on his house, calls on the prime minister to launch immediate investigations into the incident and bringing the persons involved to justice."
Al Mada reports that Moqtada al-Sadr has concluded his meetings with various officials and office holders in his party. In related news, KRG President Massoud Barzani is in Baghdad. Dar Addustour reports he is present in an attempt to resolve the issue of the National Council. And no doubt, he's present in an attempt to hold together the fragile power-sharing agreement -- especially after calls from the White House.
Dar Addustour notes that Nouri is set to make a series of proposals, allegedly in response to the demands of protesters, and also to make his nominations for the Cabinet positions he still has not filled all this time later. Al Mada notes that the Commission on Parliamentary Srvices has declared that it will be very difficult for the demands to be met.
Meanwhile New Sabah reports that Kut saw protests yesterday in response to an attempt to move the commander of their rapid response regiment to Baghdad and that there was a walk out, that it was peaceful and that the demands are to keep the commander in Kut. So there's now a split in Kut. There are those who are outraged by the treatment of the protesters last month -- with at least one killed and close to fifty injured -- and there are those who want the man seen as responsible for the violence to remain in Kut. Dar Addustour reports a Baghdad protest by workers with the State Company of Heavy Equipment for the oil industry, numbering around 500, protested in Firdaus Square against corruption and unfair wages. They are threatening a hunge strike. In Dhi Qar, Iraqis with special needs marched outside the province's council offices calling for funding that would increase the quality of their lives and noting that they suffer because they are not able to work. Protests are scheduled for tomorrow.
In economic news, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports the bombing of an oil "pipeline in Ninevah province [which] pumps about 500,000 barrels of crude oil every day to the Turkish port of Cevhan". Citing Ministry of Oil spokesperson Asim Jihad, AP states that it is expected the pipeline will be shut down for a minimum of three days; however, Jihad tells Reuters, "We (the oil ministry) have put a 5-day timeframe to fix it, starting from yesterday. We are trying to shorten this time." Hassan Hafidh (Dow Jones) explains, "Iraq usually pumps between 450,000 and 490,000 barrels a day via that pipeline. The crude oil is exported to Europe and Turkey." Brendan Conway (MarketWatch) adds that "U.S. stocks were sharply lower Thursday, dragging the Dow Jones Industrial Average below the psychologically important 12000 mark for a time [. . .] The stock sldie comes at a point when investors have been battered for weeks by fears of continued political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. The continued fighting in Libya between rebel forces and those loyal to Moammar Gadhafi is still the focal point, but investors are also watching reports of new protests scheduled for Friday in other countries including Saudi Arabia and Iraq." And clarifying priorities, Aswat al-Iraq notes, a pipeline to the northwest of Mosul was attacked today and a security source explains, "Pumping oil to Syrian did not stop, but pumping water to a village dropped due to the explosion."
Billie Jean Grinder and Marcus R. Alford Sr. died serving in Iraq February 21, 2010. Hugh G. Willett (Knoxville News Sentinel) reports their loved ones have filed a suit as a result of the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Grinder and Alford, "At the time of the crash, the Department of Defense said Grinder and Alford were trying to land their helicopter near Qayyarah Airfield West, about 30 miles south of Mosul, were not under fire and no enemy forces were nearby. Named as defendants in the suit, filed Feb. 18, are Bell Helicopter Textron, Rolls-Royce North America, Goodrich Pump and Engine Control Systems, Unison Industries and Honeywell International. According to the suit, the Kiowa's FADEC system failed on a Feb. 21, 2010, mission in Iraq, resulting in the crash that killed Alford and Grinder."
Moving over to today's violence . . .
Bombings?
Reuters notes a Baghdad roadside bombing which claimed the life of 1 police officer (three more injured), another Baghdad roadside bombing which left one civilian injured, a third Baghdad roadside bombing which injured three people (one was a police officer), a fourth Baghdad roadside bombing which injured one person, a fifth one which left three police officers injured, a sixth one which left four police officers injured, a fifth one which left five people injured and, dropping back to Wednesday, a Baghdad sticky bombing which left two people wounded. Aswat al-Iraq notes a Falluja sticky bombing claimed 1 life.
Shootings?
Reuters notes a Baghdad "shootout" in which 2 civilians and 4 police officers were killed but the assailants escaped apparently unharmed. Aswat al-Iraq notes 1 person shot dead in Falluja.
Corpses?

Aswat al-Iraq reports one corpses was discovered in Missan.
Ed Tibbetts (Globe Gazette) reports that US House Rep Bruce Braley "has reintroduced legislation that would require an accounting of the 'long-term human and financial cost' of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through 2020." Iowa's The State quotes Braley stating, "In the last 10 years, Congress has appropriated over a trillion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what we don't account for in that figure is the more than 5,800 U.S. Service members who've been killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. Or the more than 40,000 who've been wounded and who will spend the rest of their lives treating injuries like PTSD, traumatic brain injury, severe burns and amputated limbs. These are not just costs that our troops and their families bear -- these are also significant costs for the Veterans Affairs department and all American taxpayers. As a nation, we have a right to know what these conflicts will actually cost us." US House Rep Bruce Braley's office released the following yesterday:

Braley Fights to Expose True Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan Wars
Introduces bi-partisan bill to require reporting on true cost of wars

Washington, DC -- Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) introduced a bill that would require a full accounting of the human and financial costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Earlier this week, Rep. Braley returned from a Congressional fact-finding mission in Afghanistan where he met with General David Petraeus and discussed the cost of the Afghanistan war with him. Rep. Braley also met with several top commanders on the ground and numerous Iowa National Guard troops -- 3,500 of which are currently stationed in Afghanistan.

"These wars are incredibly personal for me and the people of my district," said Rep. Braley. "I've met with dozens of my constituents -- young men and women and their families -- who have sacrificed a great deal in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And when I meet injured soldiers and I see the hardships -- physical and financial -- that they and their families will endure for the rest of their lives it becomes crystal clear that the true cost of the war is not being accurately reported. With this bill, we can change that."

The bipartisan True Cost of War Act, co-sponsored by Republican Congressman Walter Jones (NC-03), requires the President to work with the Secretaries of Defense, State and Veterans Affairs to submit a written report to Congress on the long-term human and financial costs of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan through 2020.

"In the last 10 years, Congress has appropriated over a trillion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Rep. Braley. "But what we don't account for in that figure is the more than 5,800 U.S. Service members who've been killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. Or the more than 40,000 who've been wounded and who will spend the rest of their lives treating injuries like PTSD, traumatic brain injury, severe burns and amputated limbs. These are not just costs that our troops and their families bear -- these are also significant costs for the Veterans Affairs department and all American taxpayers. As a nation, we have a right to know what these conflicts will actually cost us."

Rep. Braley has been fighting for a true accounting of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since he came to Congress. He has introduced and passed similar language in several amendments to past House bills.

Click here for text of the legislation.

In related news, Morris Workman (Mesquite Local News) explains he was wrong to support Barack Obama in 2008 for president: "For example, he promised he would get us out of Iraq. Today, there are still Americans in military uniforms carrying weapons around Baghdad, but they don't count because Obama removed their official designation as 'combat troops'. He hasn't done much to get us out of Afghanistan either, keeping our troops in harm's way without a real plan, without an exit strategy, and without even bothering to come up with a real reason beyond the Elmer Fudd-sounding excuse of 'Eh-h-h-h, there's got to be some Tawiban awound here somewhere'." And while some in the press blame Americans for not knowing what is not reported, Gary Daily (Terre Haute Tribune Star) uses his column to cover the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to note what the media spends so much time on instead:

It's the same old, same old when I read the newspaper. Republicans believe (or pretend to believe) that the 7 percent of union members in America's workforce caused the Bush Depression. Charlie Sheen again demonstrates which part of "Two and Half Men" he is. And college sports scandals continue to blossom and smell stronger than the sweat in a crowded locker room or the money in a big booster's off-shore bank account.
Not getting as much attention is the same old news on America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I guess the expiration date on interest in these costly wars (trillions and counting) and deadly (thousands and counting) has run out.
U.S. newspapers and television programs also ignore the wars. Some broadcasters do acknowledge the wars thousands of miles away, but they also say these wars are rarely the lead story, on grounds that people are not that interested.
But the truth is the Obama Administration is happy to keep the popular pressure off as the fighting goes on.
Obama is following his predecessor, George W. Bush, regarding war policies and censorship. The Bush Administration barred coverage by reporters and cameramen of the American soldier coffins. But the truth is the Obama Administration is happy to keep any anti-war popular pressure off against the wars as the fighting continues.
Those pictures might upset the country and leave us asking, "Why are we still fighting and dying in those wars?" We have yet to get a straightforward answer from Obama, as to why he chooses to continue the Bush-instigated wars.

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