Friday, October 26, 2012

Shut up, Richard Kim, it's a sexist ad

So the laughable Richard Kim (Richard Kimmy) wants to try to do spin control for the Obama campaign yet again.

If you don't know the whore, consider yourself lucky.  Richard Kim, more than anyone else, is why I quit subscribing to The Nation magazine.


It should be no surprise then that her impish video imploring young women to vote for Barack Obama—because on the first time “you wanna to do it with a great guy”—works in the same mode and has elicited similarly polarizing reactions. In just 24 hours, her ad has garnered hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube and an almost equal numbers of likes and dislikes.

He goes on to site I-was-John-Edwards-Campaign-Blogger-until-my-potty-mouth-got-me-fired Amanda saying that the ad's fine.

F**k Kim and f**k Amanda.  And how trashy do you have to be for serial adulterer John Edwards to fire you?  Grasp that.  Edwards is paraiah.  So that makes Amanda beneath pariah.

An exhibitionist was hired by the Obama campaign to make a get-out-the-vote video.  She sees women as whores so no surprise she makes a video comparing voting to having sex for the first time.

I'm not sure Lena The Exhibitionist has had sex but that's because I've watched that awful HBO show Girls.

Here's reality, Lena's a limp mind, totally non-creative.

Do you remember SCTV?

Martin Short used to do Kathatrine Hepburn impersonations on that show.  In one, 'Kate' went on and on about her 'first time' and how she didn't like it much the first time and on and on.  At the very end, you found out she was talking about coffee.

That's the same thing that Lena's done.  She's ripped off SCTV.

Richard Kim wouldn't know that because there were no Dawson Creek types on SCTV and he so sorely needs those types to stay interested.

Now there's also the whole "Girls Say Yes To Guys Who Say No" nonsense.

During Vietnam, that was a poster featuring three women -- Joan Baez and her two sisters.

If guys said "no" to service in Vietnam, the poster proclaimed, women would say "yes!"

That's what this is doing as well.  It's faux feminism.

'Voting is like having sex!'

No, it's nothing like have sex.  But how telling that women are being targeted with that ad, how telling that voting is being sexualized.

How telling that Lena and the Obama campaign don't see woman as thinkers but as breeders desperate for the act of sex.

That ad goes to the belief -- the false belief -- that are men are thinkers and women are ruled by biology.

It's a sexist ad.

It's a false ad.

And it's a rip-off of SCTV.

There's nothing to defend there.

Amanda should stick to picking out racist cartoons for her next book. 

And Richard Kimmy is such a betrayer of people of color that he would go to Amanda to begin with, that he would cite her.  That tells you all you need to know about how White Richard Kim really is.

No self-respecting person of color would reward Amanda.  Her racist attacks -- with her book cover and the illustrations as well her ripping off African-American bloggers -- are very well known.

The commercial is offensive and perfectly in keeping with Barack's sexist attitudes (calling female reporters "sweetie," his male-only golf games, etc.).  He's a pig, so's Amanda, so's Richard Kimmy.


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


Friday, October 26, 2012.  Chaos and violence continue, Nouri's supporters call for a majority government, Nouri targets the press, Senator John McCain calls out Colin Powell while some in the 'press' pile on McCain, and more.
 
 
Trash of the day?  New York 'magazine.'  If you've ever flipped through the magazine (fewer and fewer bother to), you know it's little more than ads with the text equivalent of light blogging.  They don't do journalism and, more and more, that's because they're not able to -- their writers lack the skills.  And intelligence.  As Dan Amira demonstrates today.
 
When you don't like the message, what do you do?  Attack the messenger.
 
Yesterday, War Criminal Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama.  Senator John McCain -- a War Hawk -- called out Powell's endorsement today.  A magazine could explore that at length in a way that a newspaper can't but New York isn't a real magazine and Dan Amira isn't a real journalist.  So instead we get "Increasing Crotchetiness" from Amira.
 
And what that reminds me of is the November 15, 2011 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing where Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Gernal Martin Dempsey (Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) appeared and the senators -- of both parties -- established that negotiations were on-going for a treaty to allow US troops to remain in Iraq, that regardless of whether that was successful or not, all troops would not leave Iraq (Panetta noted the number would not go to zero), that US troops were being moved from Iraq to Kuwait where they would remain, the numbers the generals wanted to stay in Iraq, and many other important issues (including the Committee's opinion that the residents of Camp Ashraf must be removed from the US terrorist list -- an opinion held by every member of the Committee, Democrat or Republican).  These were serious isse and we covered them in this community,  see  "Iraq snapshot,"  "Iraq snapshot,"  "Iraq snapshot."  Ava reported on it with "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava), Wally reported on it with "The costs (Wally)" and Kat reported on it with "Who wanted what?". 
 
We did.  But others: Reuters, AP, the LA Times, on and on, turned it into "McCain snaps at Panetta."  I'm not a John McCain fan.  (I do know Cindy McCain, I like her, she works very hard on a number of children's issues.)  We've called him out repeatedly here.  When he's made an idiotic and/or offensive remark in a hearing we attended, you'll find him called out hear (especially true when he made homophobic remarks).  But his personality isn't the story.  It wasn't the story of the Senate hearing (which also found Panetta and McCain laughing later in the hearing -- Leon considers him a friend which apparently the idiotic, face-pressed-against-the-glass press doesn't know but I know Leon and have for years and he wasn't upset by McCain and has long consider John McCain to be his friend).  But by making it the story of the Senate hearing (and all outlets -- print and television -- made that the sole story except Elisabeth Bumiller and the New York Times), they got to play catty and bitchy and Americans weren't informed.
 
Do you think just once, all you bitchy little spinners, you could bother to inform the American people of the issues first? 
 
Equally true, 'righteous' Colin Powell and 'maverick' John McCain were media creations.  Neither man was what the media made them out to be.  McCain was long ago tossed to the press wolves but Collie gets to repeatedly try a make over.  He's a War Criminal who belongs behind bars and shame on any thinking person who rushes to rescue Powell.  Powell's a cheap tacky liar, human trash that cultivated the press early on in his career.  And the press responded by shaping an image that's never been true.
 
He's a liar who lied before the United Nations.  With the whole world watching, Colin Powell lied. And it reveals how hollow and trashy the American press is that this man thinks he can make a political endorsement of anyone today.
 
Find a cell for the like of Mark Kleiman (so-called Reality Based Community) as well who sees the whole thing as a 'scrimmage' and rushes to defend his lover Barack.  You stupid idiot, Iraqis are dead, babies are born with defects.  This is not a game, it was never a game.  Your political whoring is not surprising, your inability to grasp that this is not a sports event or a video game is appalling.  That you can write such a thing and post it goes to just how sad and depraved you are.
 
These people are beyond evil.  There's no excuse for them at this late hour in the day.  When I saw this blind devotion to Bully Boy Bush, this lack of even compassion for the Iraqi people, I could tell myself, 'They don't know any better.  They've been sold a bunch of lies.  As events unfold, they will be better informed and stop making excuses.'  That's the right-wingers.  How do you excuse those on my side who knew the illegal war was wrong and called it out under Bully Boy Bush but now rush to embrace Case-Closed Colin Powell and miminize his crimes just because he endorsed their political hero?  You can't excuse it, you can't excuse whoring, not when people's lives are at stake.
 
Gather is a website, it doesn't claim to be a magazine.  Brian Gabriel shows more awareness of the basics invovled than the overpaid, supposed journalist Dan Amira.  Gabriel's first paragraph:
 
Colin Powell, the Secretary of State under Bush, has endorsed Barack Obama for President just like he did in 2008. Says former Republican presidential nominee John McCain: "Colin Powell, interestingly enough, said that Obama got us out of Iraq. But it was Colin Powell, with his testimony before the U.N. Security Council, that got us into Iraq." McCain makes a good point: it was Powell's famous speech to the U.N. Security Council in 2003 that got many people on board with the invasion. But wasn't McCain one of the biggest supporters of the war in Iraq even before it started? The candidate Obama ran a much more peace-oriented campaign than did McCain --the candidate who spoke like the biggest war-hawk of the 2008 political season.
 

Iran's Press TV also manages to address issues and not resort to 'look at the cranky old guy' nonsense.  Colin Powell lied and help sell the war.  That's reality.  He did a tiny pivot as the press turned on the illegal war.  The summer of 2005, Cindy Sheehan's actions (Camp Casey at Crawford) forced questions to be asked.  Colin could see the writing on the wall and did a tiny pivot.  Which is who in September 2005, he goes on air with Barbara Walters pretending that he was misled.  There were lies spoken, but he didn't know they were lies!  And it was a "blot," he declared, on his image.  As Ava and I noted, he was still for the war, he wasn't calling out the war and he was lying about not knowing -- State Dept staff had repeatedly told him that the claims were lies.  He knew they were lies before he said them. Colin Powell is a cheap liar and his lies resulted in the deaths of nearly two million Iraqis.
 
A few months after that interview with Barbara Walters, Collie's Girl Friday Lawrence Wilkerson started making the media rounds, acting a surrogate for a truth-barren Powell, creating fancy lies for the AP and MSNBC and so many more but, as Norman Solomon (Cold Type) pointed out in November 2005, it wasn't believable:
 
Rest assured that if the war had gone well by Washington's lights, we'd be hearing none of this from Powell's surrogate. The war has gone bad, from elite vantage points, not because of the official lies and the unrelenting carnage but because military victory has eluded the U.S. government in Iraq. And with President Bush's poll numbers tanking, and Dick Cheney's even worse, it's time for some "moderate" sharks to carefully circle for some score-settling and preening.
 
In his speech to the American Legion -- a group that is interested in the Iraq War (even if New York 'magazine' isn't) -- McCain noted that Colin Powell is going ga-ga in public about how Barack ended the Iraq War (someone forgot to tell Iraq -- and Al Mada notes today Moqtada al-Sadr is calling out the continued US efforts to occupy Iraq).  That's not surprising.
 
 
McCain is right, this is duplicity. 
 
And it's so sad to see supposed lefties rush in to defend Colin Powell.  Before Bully Boy Bush physically occupied the Oval Office, Robert Parry and Norman Solomon were writing a series about the reality of Colin Powell (start with "Behind Colin Powell's Legend").  And Powell's lies did not start in 2003.  September 5, 2002, Norman Solomon (FAIR) was warning about the reality of Colin:
 
 
Media coverage is portraying Powell as a steady impediment to a huge assault on Iraq. But closer scrutiny would lead us to different conclusions.
Instead of undermining prospects for a military conflagration, Powell's outsized prestige is a very useful asset for the war planners. The retired general "is seen by many of Washington's friends and allies abroad as essential to the credibility of Bush's foreign policy," the French news agency AFP noted as September began.
Avid participation in deplorable actions has been integral to Powell's career. A few examples:

Serving as a top deputy to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Powell supervised the Army's transfer of 4,508 TOW missiles to the CIA in January 1986. Nearly half of those missiles became part of the Reagan administration's arms-for-hostages swap with Iran. Powell helped to hide that transaction from Congress and the public.
As President Reagan's national security adviser, Powell became a key operator in U.S. efforts to overthrow the elected government of Nicaragua. When he traveled to Central America in January 1988, Powell threatened a cutoff of U.S. aid to any country in the region that refused to go along with continued warfare by the contra guerrillas, who were in the midst of killing thousands of Nicaraguan civilians. Powell worked to prevent the success of a peace process initiated by Costa Rica's president, Oscar Arias.
When U.S. troops invaded Panama on Dec. 20, 1989, Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He had "emerged as the crucial figure in the decision to invade," according to British newspaper reporter Martin Walker. Hundreds of civilians died in the first hours of the invasion. Powell declared on that day: "We have to put a shingle outside our door saying, 'Superpower lives here.'"
In late 2000, while Bush operatives went all-out during the Florida recount to grab the electoral votes of a state where many thousands of legally qualified African Americans had been prevented from voting due to Republican efforts, Powell went to George W. Bush's ranch in Texas to pose for a photo-op and show support for his presidential quest.
 
 
 
Colin Powell was for the illegal war.  Ann Wright was at the State Department.  The former military colonel resigned the day before the start of the illegal war and did so publicly.  From her resignation letter:
 
I wrote this letter five weeks ago and held it hoping that the Administration would not go to war against Iraq at this time without United Nations Security Council agreement. I strongly believe that going to war now will make the world more dangerous, not safer.
There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein is a despicable dictator and has done incredible damage to the Iraqi people and others of the region. I totally support the international community's demand that Saddam's regime destroy weapons of mass destruction.
However, I believe we should not use US military force without UNSC agreement to ensure compliance. In our press for military action now, we have created deep chasms in the international community and in important international organizations. Our policies have alienated many of our allies and created ill will in much of the world.
Countries of the world supported America's action in Afghanistan as a response to the September 11 Al Qaida attacks on America. Since then, America has lost the incredible sympathy of most of the world because of our policy toward Iraq. Much of the world considers our statements about Iraq as arrogant, untruthful and masking a hidden agenda. Leaders of moderate Moslem/Arab countries warn us about predicable outrage and anger of the youth of their countries if America enters an Arab country with the purpose of attacking Moslems/Arabs, not defending them. Attacking the Saddam regime in Iraq now is very different than expelling the same regime from Kuwait, as we did ten years ago.
I strongly believe the probable response of many Arabs of the region and Moslems of the world if the US enters Iraq without UNSC agreement will result in actions extraordinarily dangerous to America and Americans. Military action now without UNSC agreement is much more dangerous for America and the world than allowing the UN weapons inspections to proceed and subsequently taking UNSC authorized action if warranted.
I firmly believe the probability of Saddam using weapons of mass destruction is low, as he knows that using those weapons will trigger an immediate, strong and justified international response. There will be no question of action against Saddam in that case. I strongly disagree with the use of a "preemptive attack" against Iraq and believe that this preemptive attack policy will be used against us and provide justification for individuals and groups to "preemptively attack" America and American citizens.
The international military build-up is providing pressure on the regime that is resulting in a slow, but steady disclosure of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). We should give the weapons inspectors time to do their job. We should not give extremist Moslems/ Arabs a further cause to hate America, or give moderate Moslems a reason to join the extremists. Additionally, we must reevaluate keeping our military forces in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Their presence on the Islamic "holy soil" of Saudi Arabia will be an anti-American rally cry for Moslems as long as the US military remains and a strong reason, in their opinion, for actions against the US government and American citizens.
 
 
Ann Wright was able to do the right thing but Colin Powell's entire life has been about doing the wrong thing, about lying to advance his own personal interests and doing so at the expense of many innocent civilians.  That has been Colin Powell's chosen path for decades and to pretend that he is qualified for anything other than an arraignment hearing for War Crimes, is to be less than honest.  The whoring has to stop.  Even prostitutes -- real ones, not press whores -- will draw the line and say there are some tricks they will not turn.  Sadly our sex workers have stronger ethics than those who compose what passes for a modern day press. 
 
And Colin Powell sure is a happy little talker.  When he has a book to promote, he runs ot the media, when he's being paid six figures, he rushes off to the convention.  But Powell does nothing that doesn't enrich his own pockets. 
 
Where's the 'good' general's concern for those who served?  What has he ever done, for example, to assist those whose health was destroyed by exposure to various chemicals due to military burn pits?  Erin Jordan (Cedar Rapids Gazette) reports on Joshua Casteel's recent death and how his family believes that burn pit exposure while serving in Iraq is what caused the cancer.  Joshua Casteel is only the most recent tragedy.  August 10th came news that Iraq War veteran Russell Keith had died.  November 6, 2009, at the Democratic Policy Committee hearing Russell Keith testified,  "While I was stationed at Balad, I experienced the effects of the massive burn pit that burned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The ten-acre pit was located in the northwest corner of the base. An acrid, dark black smoke from the pit would accumulate and hang low over the base for weeks at a time. Every spot on the base was touched by smoke from the pit; everyone who served at the base was exposed to the smoke. It was almost impossible to escape, even in our living units."  May 17th, it was Iraq War veteran Dominick J. Ligouri.  If Colin Powell gave a damn about anyone other than himself -- even only in recent years -- he would be doing something to speak out and raise awareness on an issue that mattered.  But as he churns out one co (ghost) - written book after another, it's all about enriching his own pockets.
 
Even now, in the face of what his lies have caused, he can only think about enriching his own pockets.  Last night, Iraq War veteran Ross Caputi (Guardian) observed:
 
Four new studies on the health crisis in Fallujah have been published in the last three months. Yet, one of the most severe public health crises in history, for which the US military may be to blame, receives no attention in the United States.
Ever since two major US-led assaults destroyed the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004, Fallujans have witnessed dramatic increases in rates of cancers, birth defects and infant mortality in their city. Dr Chris Busby, the author and co-author of two studies on the Fallujah heath crisis, has called this "the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied".
In the years since the 2004 sieges, Fallujah was the most heavily guarded city in all of Iraq. All movement in and out of Fallujah was monitored by the occupying forces. The security situation made it nearly impossible to get word out about Fallujans' nascent health crisis. One of the first attempts to report on the crisis was at the seventh session of the UN Human Rights Council in the form of the report, Prohibited Weapons Crisis: The Effects of Pollution on the Public Health in Fallujah by Dr Muhamad Al-Darraji. This report was largely ignored. It wasn't until the first major study on the health crisis was published in 2010 that the issue received mainstream media attention in the UK and Europe.
To this day, though, there has yet to be an article published in a major US newspaper, or a moment on a mainstream American TV news network, devoted to the health crisis in Fallujah. The US government has made no statements on the issue, and the American public remains largely uninformed about the indiscriminate harm that our military may have caused.
 
All the dead, all the wounded, all the blood on the hands of liars like Colin Powell but because he rushed to endorse Barack Obama, some media whores want to pretend like he's someone to listen to and not someone to be tossed behind bars?
 
As Collie The Blot Powell tries to saunter away from the illegal war he caused, people continue dying in Iraq.  AP notes an attack on a Buhriz checkpoint has left 2 police officers dead and they reported "Shortly after sunset, a car bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque in Mahaweel, killing two Shiite worshippers as they were leaving the mosque compound, police officials said. Six worshippers were wounded in the attack."  In addition, Alsumaria reports a Babil Province car bombing claimed the life of 1 person with three more injured, a Khalis car bombing left six people injured and the government announced 36 corpses (killed from 'terrorism') were discovered in a mass grave to the south of Baghdad.
 
 
During the Eid holiday, Wasit Province is banning motorcycles, Alsumaria notes.  The ban follows Thursday's bombing in Mosul that used a motorcycle and a Wednesday bombing in Kirkuk said to have also used a motorcycle.  By contrast, All Iraq News reports, Sulaymaniyah is seeing a crackdown on beggars with 40 arrested in the last two days.  In addition, they are also using helicopters in Sulaymaniyah to monitor traffic.  In Basra, Al Mada reports, the focus is on preventing Iraq's latest cholera outbreak from spreading in the province.
Al Mada reports that United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Special Envoy to Iraq is calling for Iraq to resolve their political differences. Martin Kobler is quoted stating that he repeats his call for the parties to redouble their efforts to resolve the political crisis. Thursday, July 19th, the United Nations Security Council held a hearing on Iraq and Kobeler noted his concerns "that the ongoing political stalemate" was harming Iraq.

All Iraq News reports that National Alliance MP Wael Abdul Latif is calling for the political crisis to be resolved by  a majority government.  Ibrahim al-Jaafari is the head of the National Alliance. 
Al Rafidayn reports that al-Jaafari met with US Ambassador Robert Beecroft yesterday and that the two addressed the political stalemate but al-Jaafari spoke of continued dialogue, not a majority goverment.  But that was when speaking to the US government's representative.  As Kitabat notes, al-Jaafari favors a majority government and says it is the Constitutional right of Nouri to form one.  Alsumaria notes that KRG President Massoud Barzani is calling for dialogue (not a majority government) and the return to the Erbil Agreement.
 

The Erbil Agreement ended the eight month political stalemate that followed the March 2010 parliamentary elections.  Even before then, Nouri al-Maliki has long wanted a majority government.  US General Ray Odierno saw that desire and warned the US government about it but US Ambassador Chris The Nit Wit Hill said Odierno was wrong.  Hill then got the White House to refuse to allow Odierno to speak to the media.  Because they are so incompetent, the White House not only nominated the idiot Hill to be ambassador but they failed to grasp that Hill had no clue what was going on in Iraq.  It would be months before they realized what was going on.  During those months, they ignored Odierno and shut him out of the process.  Had Odierno been listened to, the  will of the Iraqis and the Iraqi Constitution might have been followed.
 

Al Mada reports that Nouri al-Maliki is calling for the spirit of Eid al-Adha to lead the political blocs to create a better atmosphere for a national conference.  Nouri's long opposed such a conference.  When he supports it, he's usually working to destroy it.  History would indicate that's what's happening behind the scenes right now.  He also wants people to "discard their differences."  Like their differences over the Erbil Agreement?

When Nouri failed to win a second term as prime minister as a result of State of Law coming in second in the March 2010 elections, the White House negotiated a contract -- the Erbil Agreement -- during the 8 months that Nouri dug in his heels and refused to allow a new prime minister to be named.  The contract gave Nouri a second term in exchange for Nouri agreeing to implement Article 140, agreeing to create an independent national security commission and more.

Nouri signed the contract, agreed to it, gladly took his second term as prime minister and then trashed the agreement, refused to honor the contract.

That's what caused the current stalemate.
 
Nouri's power-grab knows no bounds and, to be successful, it will depend upon silencing the Iraqi press.  That need may in fact explain the murder this week of an Iraqi journalist.  Dropping back to Wednesday's snapshot:
 
 
In addition, Kitabat reports that journalist Zia Mehdi was stabbed to death in Baghdad while she was doing an investigation into the persecution of Iraq's LGBT community.
Iraq's Journalistic Freedoms Observatory notes the investigative journalist was in Baghdad's Tahrir Square at ten a.m. Monday morning conducting meetings and interviews and she was also working on a story about prostitution and brothels in Iraq.  She went to a police station to interview some of the 180 women arrested but a police officer prevented her from entering and he denied that there were any prostitutes among the arrested.  He left and then moments later re-appeared telling her she could enter but without her colleagues.  Zia Mehdi didn't feel comfortable with that offer and instead returned to Tahrir Square to continue her LGBT interviews.  Later she was discovered dead, stabbed to death, still in her jacket that noted she was a journalist.
 
Today Al Mada reports that the military protection for the Union of Writers headquareters in  Baghdad's Andalus Square that has been in place since 2004 has just been withdrawn with no reasons given and that the writers are stating this leaves them an easy target for terrorist attacks.  Over the summer, a bombing in Andalus Square left at least 12 dead.  When not removing physical security, Nouri's government is attempting to remove rights.  Kitabat notes Iraqi journalists are protesting Nouri's efforts to restrict the media and stating that this is the first stage of authoritarian rule in Iraq.
 
International labor journalist, David Bacon, author most recently of the book  Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award, is known for text and for photographs.  He has two photo exhibits currently.  In Mexico City, he has the following exhibit (first the Spanish announcement, then in English):
 
 
Facultad de Economia
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
El Area de Conocimiento de Economia Internacional de Posgrado
Academia de Economia Politica y el proyecto PAPIIT IN304312

Invitan a la Muestra Fotografica
"Migracion de Jovenes Mexicanos en Estados Unidos"
de David Bacon
"Que tiene como objectivo visibilizar a traves de imagenes, las condiciones de vida que tiene los jovenes mexicanos que trabajan en los campos agricolas de California."

Desde 3 de octubre hasta 1 de noviembre
En la sala de la Facultad de Economia, UNAM
Mexico, DF
 
 
The Economics School
National Autonomous University of Mexico
The Postgraduate Study Area for the International Economy
The Academy of Political Economy and the Project PAPIIT IN304312

Invite you to the Photographic Exhibition
"The Migration of Mexican Youth to the United States"
By David Bacon
"Making visible through images the living conditions of young Mexicans who work in the fields of California."

From October 3 to November 1
In the entrance hall of the Economics Faculty, UNAM
Mexico City, DF
 
And he has an exhibit taking place in Oaxaca as well:
 
 
El Instituto Oaxaqueño de Atención al Migrante (IOAM)

Les invita a la exposición de fotografias
"Sobreviviendo: la vida de los jornaleros agrícolas y sus familias en EU"
del fotoperiodista David Bacon

Palacio Municipal de la Ciudad de Oaxaca de Juarez
Plaza de Danza, Centro Historico
Oaxaca
8 de octubre hasta 8 de noviembre

"La mayoría de las personas tiene la idea de que ir a EU es como ir a barrer los dólares y todo es fácil de conseguir, cuando realmente las personas tienen que vivir bajo los árboles, en casas hechas de cartón o a la intemperie para mandar el dinero a sus familias" -- el titular del IOAM, Rufino Domínguez Santos.

Esta exposición consta de un total de 18 fotografías a gran formato y a color, es itinerante y por ello recorre los municipios identificados en tener el mayor índice de expulsión de migrantes hacia Estados Unidos, con el fin de sensibilizar y hacer conciencia en la población sobre las condiciones de vida de los migrantes.
 
 
The Oaxaca Institute for Attention to Migrants

Invites you to the photographic exhibition
"Surviving: the life of farmworkers and their families in the U.S."
By photojournalist David Bacon

City Hall of Oaxaca de Juarez
Plaza de Danza, Centro Historico
Oaxaca
October 8 to November 8

"The majority of people have the idea that by going to the U.S. you rake in the dollars and everything is easy to get, when in reality people have to live under trees, in houses of cardboard, or outdoors, in order to send money to their families" -- Rufino Dominguez Santos, director of IOAM

This exhibition contains 18 large color photographs, and is a traveling show, going especially to those towns identified as ones sending the majority of people to the United States. Its purpose is to make people aware of the living conditions of migrants.
 
Entrevista de David Bacon con activistas de #yosoy132 en UNAM
Interview of David Bacon by activists of #yosoy132 at UNAM (in Spanish)
 
 
 
 

Idiot Alexander Burns


No link to POLITICO.  We dropped that trashy, refuse to credit website.  Since we did, it's hits have fallen and fallen -- even in an election year.  Ha! 

Maybe next time don't refuse to give credit when you're talking about who broke a story you lying sacks of ___.

A relative e-mailed me Alexander Burn's nonsense about Colin Powell, Barack Obama and John Sununu.  They were all caught in bed together.

Joking!

Sununu said that Colin's just endorsed Barack because of race.

Alexander Burns is bent out of shape.

Get real.

Barack is bi-racial, he is mixed.  He is not Black. Even he knows not to claim Blaack in front of certain audiences and that's why, for example, fundraising in California this month, he's talked about being mixed.

But he is seen as Black by a lot of people who can't process too well. 

And there is pressure on you if you are Black (like me) to support his War Criminal ass.

So, yeah, Colin's only endorsing Barack because Barack is considered Black by many.

I can, for example, remember when Colin endorsing a presidential candidate, just didn't happen.

Professional scrotum Alexie Burns can't.

Sununu's exactly right.  That's the main reason. 




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

Thursday, October 25, 2012.  Chaos and violence continue, WikiLeaks has a new document release, a War Hawk rushes to embrace Barack, not a great deal of interest in Iraq in the US presidential election and more.
 
In the US presidential race, incumbent Barack Obama notched up a high profile endorsement and, were I British Socialist who let my freak flag fly in alternatve UK publications but pretended to be New Labour when writing for a daily paper, I'd be all gaa-gaa-goo-goo.  But not having whored my soul out thus far, I'll instead note that Barack has received the endorsement of War Criminal Colin Powell.
 
2008 pledged delegate for Barack to the DNC Norman Solomon described Collie Powell's past this way at ZNet in 2003
 
Tacit erasure of inconvenient history -- including his own -- is integral to the warm relationship between Powell and U.S. news media.  There's a lot to erase.  For instance, in January 1986, serving as a top aide to Pentagon chief Caspar Weinberger, he supervised the transfer of 4,508 TOW missiles to the CIA, and then sought to hide the transaction from Congress and the public.  No wonder: Almost half of those missiles had become part of the Iran-Contra scandal's arms-for-hostages deal.
As President Reagan's national security adviser, Powell worked diligently on behalf of the contra guerrillas who were killing civilians in Nicaragua.  In December 1989, Powell -- at that point the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- was a key player behind the invasion of Panama.
The Gulf War catapulted Powell to the apex of American poliical stardom in early 1991.  When he was asked about the Iraqi death toll from the war, Powell said that such numbers didn't interest him.
 
The numbers of the dead didn't interest him?  In 2003, Jack Kelly (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) reported on demographer and Carnegie Mellon University professor Beth Daponte's estimates "that 158,000 Iraqis -- 86,194 men, 39.612 women and 32,195 children -- had perished in the war and its aftermath."  Those numbers don't interest Colin, not even the children, not even the 32,195 children.   American Everyman covers today's endorsement with a post entiteld "Liar, Neocon, War-Criminal Colin Powell Endorses Obama -- 'I think we ought to keep on the path we are on'."  In 2008, Collie endorsed Barack as well leading Joe Mowrey (Dissident Voice) to revisit some of the high water marks (waterboarding marks?) on Powell's criminal record:
 
Powell is the guy who, as a bright young 31 year old Army Major, did his level best to keep information about the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam from becoming public. Specifically, he was charged with investigating a letter from a whistle-blowing soldier giving detailed accounts of many of the atrocities committed by U.S. military personnel in Vietnam under the auspices of the Phoenix Program. That program was a lovely little package of war crimes intended to "identify and neutralize (via infiltration, capture, or murder) the civilian infrastructure supporting the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (the Viet Cong)." In other words, it was a U.S. and South Vietnamese death squad operation which rampaged through the country side slaughtering civilians and burning down entire villages. You know, capturing the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people. Powell summed up his investigation of the whistle-blower's accusations by saying, "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent."
Well that's enough for me. If Powell endorsed the rousing success of the Phoenix Program, what more do we need to know? Queried about his participation in the attempted white wash of My Lai, some 40 years later Powell said, "I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again…" Personally, I think he sounds really sorry. And he's seems to be bashing Republicans these days, so I like him a lot.
Fast forward to 2003. Then Secretary of State, Powell, made a triumphant speech to the United Nations outlining the urgent need for us to invade Iraq in a war of aggression in order to eliminate the massive amounts of weapons of mass destruction which Saddam Hussein was going to use to invade and destroy the United States. Thank Buddha that Powell was able to use his dignity and gravitas to convince the world of the imminent danger. Imagine where we might be today without his steadfast endorsement of that magnificent war crime. I don't know about you, but I wasn't into wearing a turban and having Saddam Hussein's picture on the one dollar bill. I shudder to think of Brittany Spears in a burka. Of course, it's a bit unfortunate that Powell's speech to the U.N. was a pack of outright fabrications and lies. But I've forgiven him by now, especially since he's decided to come out in favor our Our Guy Obama.
 
 
Iran-Contra, My Lai, the Iraq War -- he's sort of like the Forest Gump of Death and Destruction. But with Collie, there's never enough room to include all the harm he's done.  For instance, few writers bother to note the way he savaged Bill Clinton's plan to allow gays to serve openly in the military.  Collie was the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff back then.  Today, we realize how awful homophobia is.  If Collie hadn't stood in Bill's way, think of how much better life could have been for LGBTs that much sooner.  Think of the people who wouldn't have been kicked out of the military.  Collie's never apologized for his homophobic.  He dropped his objection a few years back and for that we're all supposed to be grateful? 
 
Earlier this year, when Collie needed some media attention and was flirting with endorsing Barack, Bill Perdue (FireDogLake) observed, "The fact that Powell is once again endorsing Obama means that Powell feels safe that he won't be indicted as a war criminal as long as Obama continues wars of aggression and that he agrees with Obama's war policy, which will enlarge and expand these wars causing more deaths and putting the finishing touches on the destruction of our economy and standard of living."
 
Collie The Blot Powell.  Having sold the Iraq War with a lying testimony to the United Nations, Collie appeared shocked that illegal war might go wrong.  As he rushed to get out of a sinking administration in the fall of 2005, he sat down with mother-confessor Barbara Walters to serve up more self-serving half-truths.  As Ava and I noted after that aired:
 
Walters says, unable to look at him while she does -- oh the drama!, "However, you gave the world false, groundless reasons for going to war. You've said, and I quote, 'I will forever be known as the one who made the case for war.' Do you think this blot on your record will stay with you for the rest of your life?"

Powell: Well it's a, it's a, of course it will. It's a blot. I'm the one who presented it on behalf of the United Nations, uh, United States, to the world. And it will always be uh, part of my, uh, my record.

Walters: How painful is it?

Powell: (shrugs) It was -- it *was* painful. (shifts, shrugs) It's painful now.

Has a less convincing scene ever been performed?
 
Medea Benjamin and Charles Davids (Antiwar.com) observed last June that Powell continues to refuse to take accountability for his actions, "In other words, according to Powell, the fact that he lied to the American public as well as the international community on the eve of a disastrous war is not his fault — heavens no — but the fault of his anonymous underlings, the allegedly timid State Department staffers who lacked the courage to speak truth to their courageous boss. Like many of Powell's anecdotes, it's a tidy little story about leadership that's about as truthful as his U.N. speech."  And just last June, Veterans for Peace, Chapter 92 ("Greater Seattle")  geared up to protest Colin's visit to the area, "Please join members of Greater Seattle Veterans For Peace as we protest the Seattle appearance of former US Army General and Secretary of State Colin Powell. Powell will be the guest of Seattle's City Club and is promoting his new book, It Worked For Me."  I don't know which is worse: Getting the endorsement of a War Criminal or being unable to call out a War Criminal who's endorsed you.
 
Last night, Rebecca noted that Terry O'Neill and NOW were in violation of the law with the mailing Terry sent out yesterday.  NOW cannot send that mailing and it cannot be listed as coming from NOW.  This is is explained in number 8 of NOW's Faqs online, "NOW's Political Action Committee, or NOW/PAC, supports candidates in federal elections (for Congress and the Presidency.)  You must be a member of NOW to contribute to NOW/PAC.  NOW/PAC is the only part of the national organization that can endorse federal political candidates."  That's pretty damn clear to everyone . . . except Terry O'Neill.  So Terry sent out an e-mail tarring and feathering Mitt Romney for what some other Republican in a race stated.  Guilt by association was the card Terry played.  Colin Powell endorsed Barack.  Despite NOW's supposed (post-Mother Of Us All) commitment to LGBT equality, don't expect NOW or Terry to utter a word.  The endorsement is both offensive and telling.  But you can buy the silence of whores.
 
And expect many to be silent today as the Butcher of Baghdad himself, Collie The Blot Powell, makes an endorsement and expects the world to take him seriously.  Colin Powell is a War Criminal.  He shouldn't be making endorsements, he should be serving hard time behind bars.  Why might Barack embrace a War Criminal?  Because they're two of a kind?  Timothy P. Carney (Washington Examiner) observes:
 
 
President Obama has killed hundreds of civilians, including women and children, in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia through a drone war aimed at exterminating the suspected terrorists on his unprecedented and ever-expanding "kill list" — a list that has included U.S. citizens.
In Iraq, Obama tried to perpetuate the U.S. occupation past his promised date for withdrawal, and after Iraqi leaders wanted American troops to leave.
In Libya, Obama illegally intervened in a civil war, sending U.S. fighter jets and missiles to kill a dictator who posed no threat to America. The aftermath of this unauthorized war: a coup in neighboring Mali paired with the rise of al Qaeda in that country, and a terrorist attack in Libya ending in the death of four Americans.
Amid real successes — such as the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, and ultimately ending the occupation of Iraq — Obama's foreign policy has been riddled with failures, scandals and mistakes. But if you watched this week's debate or follow this election cycle's media coverage, you would assume Obama has been throwing a perfect game around the planet.
 
 
While Barack makes nice with War Criminals, he continues to attack whistle blowers.  In a smart move by WikiLeaks, they're back in the news.  Charles Miranda (News Limited Network) reports,  "The whistleblowing website tonight released five restricted files from the US Department of Defense, including the standard operating procedure manual for Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay.  Over the next month, the website will publish more than 100 classified documents covering operating procedures at detention camps in Iraq and Cuba."  Reuters quotes Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, stating, "'The Detainee Policies' show the anatomy of the beast that is post-9/11 detention, the carving out of a dark space where law and rights do not apply, where persons can be detained without a trace at the convenience of the U.S. Department of Defense.  It shows the excesses of the early days of war against an unknown 'enemy' and how these policies matured and evolved."
 
Julian Assange's attorneys should pay attention.  This is how you make people give a damn about WikiLeaks, not by resting on past glories.  The past is the past and can't be taken away.  You want to make the case for Julian Assange's supposed importance, you do it with what WikiLeaks can do, not what it did a few years ago.
 
 
 
Turning to the topic of violence, Jeanette Torres (ABC News) sees violence increasing (for the month) as Eid al-Adha approaches and notes, "Since Sunday, 36 people have been killed in Iraq, more than the combined total of deaths reported during October's first 15 days."  Regardless of whether the pattern holds, violence did continue today.  Alsumaria reports a Mosul motorcycle bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left another injured today.  Alsumaria adds a Tirkt bombing  claimed the life of 1 cousin of Misan al-Jabaari.  AFP notes 15 people died from violence yesterday and calls it the deadliest month of October in Iraq.  Yesterday,  Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reported a Falluja suicide bomber attacked the home of the father of Rafei al-Essawi (Minister of Finance) leaving 1 woman dead and five more injured (and the suicide bomber dead).  Rafei al-Essawi is a Sunni (not noted in yesterday's coverage) and a member of Iraqiya.   This was not the first attack this year on the al-Essawi family.  Dropping back to the January 3rd snapshot:

 Another member of Iraqiay that Nouri has been targeting is Finance Minister Rafe al-Essawi whom Jack Healy and Michael R. Gordon (New York Times) profiled Saturday and noted that Nouri had tried to get the Cabinet to toss him out but the Cabinet had refused. al-Esawi told the New York Times, "Maliki now wants just to get rid of his partners, to build a dictatorship. He wants to consolidate power more and more. Someone else should be prime minister." The day after the comments ran, there was an attempt on al-Essawi's life.  Press TV reported he was the target of a roadside bombing Sunday which left "three of Essawi's bodyguards, two officers and one soldier" wounded. Dan Morse (Washington Post) reports Essawi is calling for an investigation and Morse writes, "Essawi is widely regarded in Iraq as a moderate official."


All Iraq News reports MP Khalid al-Alwani has denounced the attack on al-Essawi's father.  All Iraq News quotes MP Walid al-Mohammadi stating that the targeting of the fathr of an official sets a dangerous precedent. The attack may be (or may not be) part of the continued assault on Sunnis and/or Iraqiya.
 
The political crisis?  Anthony H. Cordesman and Sam Khazai (Center for Strategic and International Studies) have a draft paper on Iraq that notes the following on the political crisis:
 
 
While many had hoped that 2012 – and US withdrawal – would mark an era in which Iraqi leaders would focus on solving the numerous problems their country faced, such hopes were quickly dashed by increased political instability and the threat of more violence.
The severity of Iraq's deep political divisions, and the coming intensity of Prime Minister's struggle for power with his rivals became apparent just days after President Obama praised Iraqi democracy progress in a December 2011 White House press conference with Prime Minister Maliki. With the withdrawal of US troops, it became clear that US-Iranian competition in Iraq was to play out in an increasingly uncertain and unstable environment. By late January 2012, New York Times was already reporting that "finally confronting the social, economic, and religious divisions that were papered over by the presence of American troops" posed a far greater challenge than previously anticipated.
The ethnic and sectarian tensions that have driven these recent divisions have been apparent ever since Iraq's founding as a state, but the current crisis has is direct origins in Iraq's March 2010 parliamentary elections. A range of rival political and sectarian factions sought power. Two factions – Ayad Allawi's Iraqiyya bloc and Maliki's State of Law coalition – emerged as the leading factions with only a small majority favoring Allawi. The end result was a post-election power struggle for control over the government, and for control over Iraq's political system, security forces, and oil wealth.
This political struggle continues and has become more violent and divisive. If left unresolved, it could lead to the collapse of Iraq's fledgling democracy and serious civil conflict. The struggles at the top are being compounded by a broader growing Shi'ite split with the Kurds and Sunnis. There is no way to predict how sectarian and ethnic internal violence will emerge out of the power struggles now going on in Iraq. However, the current levels of violence are high, Data from the US National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) show that Iraq had a consistently higher level of violence than Afghanistan during 2009-2011, with no consistent reduction in violence since mid-2009.

So that's their take on the political crisis.  Iraqiya came in first in the March 2010 parliamentary elections (Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law came in second).  Nouri has targeted both Iraqiya and Sunnis -- when the two overlap, they tend to get run out of the country.  Among the targeted by Nouri, Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi who is both a member of Iraqiya and a Sunni.  All Iraq News reports he gave an interview in which he stated Nouri had attempted to send security officials into Turkey to kill him.  Shortly after Tareq arrived in the KRG in December 2011, Nouri accused him of terrorism and had a warrant issued.  Tareq has moved on to Turkey and Nouri's court has found him guilty of terrorism.  Tareq states in the interview that the verdict isn't to be taken seriously because (a) he was tried in absentia, (b) he was not allowed to present defense witnesses and (c) when the judge refused to rule the way Nouri wanted, the judge was replaced.  He also states that the solution to the ongoing political crisis is not Nouri because Nouri is the root of the problem.  He speaks of returning to Iraq.

The political crisis continues as does Nouri's power-grab.  He's refused to honor the Constitution and implement Article 140.  He was supposed to do that in his first term as Prime Minister.  It's written into the Constitution that it's implemented by the end of 2007.  Why anyone would think Nouri would do in a second term what he refused to do in a first -- US-negotiated contract or not (Erbil Agreement) -- is a puzzler.  Al Mada reports that he is attempting to swarm Kirkuk with Operation Tigris. (Operation Tigris has been going on for weeks now.)  Nouri has declared that the Peshmerga (Kurdish force) is in violation of the law and the Constitution by providing protection and refusing to surrender areas to his army.

Those who've paid attention will remember that General Ray Odierno warned of this.  It's a shame the White House refused to listen to him and took the word of the idiot Chris Hill instead.  (Yes, I know, after Robert Gates set up a meeting between Odierno and Hillary Clinton, she took the issues to the Cabinet.  By then, however, it was too late.)

Kirkuk is disputed territory.  This issue of Nouri sending in forces to disputed territory has raised its head before.  In the past, the US military would mediate.  What happens now?

Dar Addustour quotes Nouri declaring that his army should be free to cover every inch of Iraq.  You better read that the way Nouri intended it.  Meaning the US and foreign press will merely repeat that or ignore it.  But what it is actually is a threat to the KRG.  The Peshmerga are their forces and now Nouri is trying to occupy the disputed territories and claiming he can occupy any place in Iraq which, yes, does mean he's claiming he can send the Iraqi army into the Kurdistan Region despite it being semi-autonomous.  In a fair fight, it's very likely Kurdish forces would repeal Nouri's attempt to seize control.  That's because (a) Iraqi forces wouldn't favor such a move and many would check-out (as many did when Nouri used them in early 2008 to attack Basra), (b) the Kurds would fight to death on the KRG and that would be Iraqi Kurds and Kurds from surrounding areas -- the KRG is the closest thing to a homeland the world's most displaced population has, and (c) the nothern region is not like the rest of Iraq and the KRG would have an advantage because they know the terrain.

But it wouldn't be a fair fight.  Nouri's been on a weapons shopping spree, remember?  4.2 billion dollars to Russia for weapons and 1 billion dollars to the Czech Republic.  And then 18 more fighter jets from the US for a a total of 36.  Do you get now why KRG President Massoud Barzani has objected to these purchases?  Why he's noted these weapons could be used on the Iraqi people?

Al Mada reports President Barzani noted the ongoing political crisis and stated that dialogue is the only way to address these unresolved problems.  Meanwhile Dar Addustour reports Parliament is considering passing a bill that would end the 'acting' positions.

What's are they talking about?

To move from prime minister-designate to prime minister, an individual must put together a Cabinet -- that's nominating them and getting Parliament to vote in favor of them -- within 30 days.  This isn't a partial Cabinet.  If it was partial, why the 30 day limit? This is a full Cabinet.

Nouri never did that.  He got away with violating the Constitution because his second term was guaranteed not by the Constitution (nor by the will of the Iraqi people) but by a contract the White House negotiated (the Erbil Agreement).

Back in July, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observed, "Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has struggled to forge a lasting power-sharing agreement and has yet to fill key Cabinet positions, including the ministers of defense, interior and national security, while his backers have also shown signs of wobbling support." 

Those positions were supposed to be filled in Decmeber 2010.  Go back to press as late as January 2010 -- US and European -- and you will see claims that Nouri would do so in a matter of weeks.  He never did.  Currently, he's made people 'acting' ministers.  An acting minister -- which is not recognized by the Constitution -- is a puppet of Nouri's who does what Nouri says or loses the job.  You only have job protection if the Parliament confirms your nomination.  If that takes place, Nouri can't get rid of you without the approval of Parliament (which is difficult to get as Nouri discovered earlier this year when he tried for months to have Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq removed from his post).
 
The US elections are getting attention outside of the US.  Mustafa Habib (Niqash) examines the interest -- or lack of -- in Iraq:
 
Over the past two decades the outcome of the US presidential elections has been hotly debated by Iraqis. However this year, the approaching American cliff-hanger hardly seems to interest locals at all. NIQASH asked Baghdadis why. 
In past years, as the US presidential election has approached, the subject has dominated conversations in the coffee shops, clubhouses, restaurants and streets of Iraq, as well the Iraqi media.
Two decades ago, the outcome of such an election meant a lot to the Iraqi people who watched the campaigns and nervously awaited the results. And they did so because they knew the outcome would have a major impact on US foreign policy toward Iraq.
Back in 2004 and 2008, Iraqis were discussing the candidates whenever they could, trying to analyze which candidate would be best for Iraq. Some locals even placed bets.
But this year, it seems, nobody cares as much. The US presidential elections, which take place every 4 years, are scheduled for Nov. 6 and, according to current opinion polls, support for the two candidates, current US President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the candidate for the opposition republican party, is fairly even. It will be a tight race.
A recent BBC poll noted that while Americans may be uncertain, the rest of the world clearly favours Obama. Yet somehow not that many people in Iraq seem to care.
Retiree Mohammed Najeeb told NIQASH he's more worried about politics and security in Iraq than he is about anything going on in the US. "Neither Obama nor Romney can do anything to help the Iraqis," said the local who doesn't like watching television. "We only want the US to leave us alone."
 
 
 
The Voice of Russia notes, "Turkey is a strategic ally of the USA.  At the same time, Ankara's actions don't always fit in with Washington's ambitions in the Middle East.  How can the current relations between Turkey and the US be characterized  And will they change after the presidential elections in the US?  What is the future of the Turkish-American relations?"
 
Maybe there is no future relations?  Recent events call into question the sincerity of the US government?  As noted in October 17th snapshot, for some unknown reason US Ambassador to Turkey Frank Ricciardone (above) decided to reveal secrets that now leaves the Turkish government in an uncomfortable position.  Press TV explained:

On Tuesday, Francis Ricciardone revealed to Turkish journalists that the US had offered Turkey its military technology to hunt down the PKK leaders.
However, the Turkish government turned down the offer, saying it would continue battling with the PKK "on the basis of its laws and experiences."


This is leading to charges by opposition parties that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a puppet.  Ricciardone's revelations are causing problems within Turkey and will most likely result in Erdogan having to maintain -- if not increase -- the dropping of bombs on northern Iraq in order to not appear 'weak' at a time when the opposition is attacking him as a puppet.  Please remember, 1980 is not that long ago.  That's when Turkey has a military coup.

In addition, the PKK issue is a huge issue for the region.  Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) described the PKK in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk."

This is a decades long conflict and war and more war hasn't been the answer.  Tomorrow, we won't all wake up to a world where magically war and more war suddenly becomes the answer. The US government either got the Turkish government -- an ally -- into trouble due to incompetence or due to a desire to stab Turkey in the back.  If it was incompetence, why hasn't anyone been publicly reprimanded?
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pregnancy talk

Do we get our pre-pregnancy bodies back after pregnancy?

I'm not talking hips or waistline. 

I'm talking all these different things. 

As if being tired all the time wasn't enough, I'm constipated.  (Means I can't do number two.)

This is day three of being constipated.  The first day, I thought, "Well I guess I was too busy today."  Day two, my stomach was killing me.  Today, a friend at work said, "Ann, you're constipated.  It happens sometimes during pregnancy."  So I'm on prunes, a fiber cereal and some high fiber beans.  That was dinner tonight.  I want to try to get rid of it that way and not just go buy something on a shelf in the store.  But if I have to use laxatives than I will.

So is this something that's going to happen all the time after I give birth or is this just a pregnancy thing?

And if it's going to happen all the time, they need to work on those sex-ed classes.

There are things that I'm going through right now that would have grossed me out as a teen enough to make me not want to have sex. 

And that's just what I'm going through.  All my friends keep telling me horror stories.

Now I want a baby so I'll be fine with it.

But, seriously, this sort of thing would have made me, at 15, think, "Oh, I never want to have sex."



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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012.  Chaos and violence continue, an Iraqi journalist is stabbed to death, Barack gets busted for lying about Iraq, Nouri gets accused of assassinating a political rival, Robert Gibbs justifies the killing of a 16-year-old American, new e-mails reveal the White House should have known what was going on during the Benghazi attack, and more.
 
Reporting for the Pentagon's American Forces Press Service, Jim Garamone notes Lt Gen Mark P. Hertling expressed doubt on Tuesday as to what Iraq might become -- democracy or something else, "They are still struggling and it pains me to watch it."  He also stated, "There was a lot of blood and sweat and tears and hard work put into that country by American soldiers."  Joel Gehrke (Washington Examiner) ties "the general's misgivings about the insurgency and Iraqi security forces" to comments made by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the debate Monday as well as to those of Senator John McCain who has stated, "Iraq is going to hell in a hand-basket.  Al Qaida has doubled there presence there.  There are al Qaida training camps in Western Iraq. . . . I've got to hand it to the president to [be able] to say things [in the debate] that in my view defy reality."
 
Let's stay with the debate for a moment.  The increasingly dishonest Stephen M. Walt is aghast at Foreign Policy over the 'neocons' advising Mitt Romney.   Here's an example of the dishonesty:
 
 
To be fair, an awful lot of supposedly sensible Democrats supported the war too, including a lot of senior officials in the Obama administration. But they didn't dream up the war or work overtime to sell it from 1998 onward. They just went along with the idea because they thought it was politically expedient, they couldn't imagine how it might go south, or they were convinced that Saddam was a Very Bad Man and that it was our duty to "liberate" the Iraqi people from him. They were right about Saddam's character, of course, but occupying the entire country turned out to be a pretty stupid way of dealing with him.
 
 
You have to be a huge liar to say "to be fair" and then proceed not to be fair.  Barack's had necons throughout his administration.  We regularly call out Victoria Nuland who is better known as Mrs. Robert Kagan and who is even better known as Dick Cheney's National Security Adivsor (2003 to 2005).   In February 2011, whistle blower Sibel Edmonds (Boiling Frogs) noted some of the many neocons serving in Barack's administration: Marc Grossman, Dennis Ross and Frederick Kagan (that would be Victoria Nuland's brother-in-law).  In 2010,  Kristine Frazao (Russia Today -- link is video and text) thought Kagan's addition was so important, she did a report on just that, opening with, "They're ba-a-a-ck!  The US government may be done with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld but another neoconservative is returning to the government payroll.  That same year, Allen McDuffee (ThinkTanked) observed, "Because we overinflated the impact of neoconservatives during the Bush administration and paid little attention to them before that, we're missing the fact that neocons are having the same influence in the Obama administration they've always had, according to a report issued by the Brookings Institution." And if we drop back another year, we can land on Jacob Heilbrunn's Huffington Post report from May of 2009 which opened:
 
This morning leading neoconservatives such as William Kristol and Robert Kagan held a meeting at the Mayflower Hotel -- in support of President Obama's Afghanistan policy. Kristol and Kagan, as Foreign Policy's Laura Rozen has reported, have formed a successor organization to the Project for the New American Century, which came into disrepute for its advocacy of the Iraq War. The new one is called the Foreign Policy Initiative. Its contention is that America remains, in the words of Madeleine Albright, the "indispensable nation"and, furthermore, that neocons can play a valuable role in coming years in ensuring that it remains one.
 
 
So Walt's sudden concern about the neocons return to power is rather disingenuous.  Return to power?  When Barack brought them into his administration?  His insincerity and lack of scruples go a long way towards explaining why many of the people who applauded him just five years ago wouldn't cross the street to greet him today. 
 
 
On Monday night, we heard President Obama and Governor Romney each profess their love of militarism.
The president boasted, "We spend more on our military than the next 10 countries combined; China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, you name it." Then his opponent called for increasing the military budget even more! It was the president who called the United States the "one indispensible nation," but both candidates showed their love of U.S. exceptionalism and exhibited paternalistic worldviews.
That is not the way I see our relationship with our sisters and brothers across the globe.
 
 
Mark Johnson is posting from Basra, he's back in Iraq.  Barack's taken a distortion (lie) he made in the debate and turned it into a new ad which Glenn Kessler (Washington Post) gives  three Pinocchios.  Among other things, the ad proclaims, "Mitt Romney would have left thirty thousand troops there [Iraq]."  Kessler reviews how the Status Of Force Agreement (negotiated under the Bush administration) was coming to an end and the Barack administration attempted to negotiate another agreement.  The deal faltered on the issue of immunity.  But even after it was seen as faltering, negotiations continued (and still continue -- but we will get to that).

This was established by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey (Chair of the Joint Chiefs) appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee November 15, 2011 (for reporting on that hearing,  see  "Iraq snapshot,"  "Iraq snapshot,"  "Iraq snapshot."  Ava reported on it with "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava), Wally reported on it with "The costs (Wally)" and Kat reported on it with "Who wanted what?").  By November 15th, the press had been telling you for weeks that negotiations were over.  But that's not what Senator Joe Lieberman and Panetta were saying at the hearing.  Excerpt.

Senator Joe Lieberman:  Let me, Secretary Panetta, pick up from that point. I've heard from friends in Iraq -- Iraqis -- that Prime Minister Maliki said at one point that he needed to stop the negotiations -- leave aside for one moment the reasons -- but he was prepared to begin negotiations again between two sovereign nations -- the US and Iraq -- about some troops being in Iraq after January 1st.  So that's what I've heard from there. But I want to ask you from the administration point of view. I know that Prime Minister Maliki is coming here in a few weeks to Washington. Is the administration planning to pursue further discussions with the Iraqi government about deploying at least some US forces in Iraq after the end of this year?
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: Senator, as I pointed out in my testimony, what we seek with Iraq is a normal relationship now and that does involve continuing negotiations with them as to what their needs are.  Uh, and I believe there will be continuing negotations.  We're in negotiations now with regards to the size of the security office that will be there and so there will be -- There aren't zero troops that are going to be there. We'll have, you know, hundreds that will be present by virtue of that office assuming we can work out an agreement there.  But I think that once we've completed the implementation of the security agreement that there will begin a series of negotiations about what exactly are additional areas where we can be of assistance? What level of trainers do they need? What can we do with regards to CT [Counter-Terrorism] operations? What will we do on exercises -- joint-exercises -- that work together?


As Kessler points out, the administration attempted to negotiate a variation of a SOFA and failed.  Failed.  But the administration wants to spin.  Kessler:


In other words, Obama has spun a diplomatic failure -- an inability to reach a deal with Iraq -- into a "mission accomplished" talking point. In fact, Obama made a dubious claim in the debate that having any troops in Iraq "would not help us in the Middle East."
Since the departure of U.S. troops, the United States has lost leverage in Iraq. For instance, Iran uses Iraqi airspace and convoys on the ground to ferry arms and military equipment to the beleaguered regime in Syria -- a government that Obama says must fall.
And, of course,  Tim Arango (New York Times) reported September 26th:

 
Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.
Back in December 2011, Nouri accused Vice President Tareq al-Hasehmi of being a terrorist.  While Tareq was in the KRG, Nouri ordered his arrest.  The KRG refused to hand him over.  After killing one of Tareq's bodyguards -- he was tortured by Nouri's forces who tried to pretend kidney failure had nothing to do with torture -- they then staged their kangaroo court and convicted Tareq who now resides in Turkey.    Josh Rogan (Foreign Policy) picks up the story there:

But Hashimi is still technically the vice president and he is fighting for what he calls a "fair trial." He argues that Maliki has hijacked the Iraqi political system and become beholden to Iranian interests, which include supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Hashimi said he has evidence and reports from politicians, from officers in the Interior Ministry, and from Iraqi intelligence officials, all pointing to a growing and active ground transport route from Iran to Syria. The route crosses through the Zarbatia checkpoint on the Iran-Iraq border, west of the Iranian town of Mehran, flows through the city of Karbala, and crosses over to Syria via the al-Qaim border crossing, he said.
"The transit is not only aerial using Iraqi airspace, but the ground transit is becoming a phenomenon. Munitions, heavy arms, and even militias are passing checkpoints without any sort of obstruction," Hashimi said in a telephone interview. "I am very afraid the U.S. and the international community is only focused on the aerial transit and leaving behind the ground transit. Everything should be checked now."
 
Noting Hashemi's remarks, Paul Mulshine (New Jersey Star Ledger) observes, "Got that? Not only is the nation we liberated helping the Iranians to ferry arms to Syris, but its elected vice-president is under a death sentence and is living in exile.
Ain't democracy wonderful?"
 
Last Friday, Al Arabiya aired an interview with Vice President al-Hashemi:
Tareq al-Hashemi:   I am with the Syrian people against the unprecedented repression and killing.  I am with the Syrians and champion them in finding an opportunity to live in freedom.  What is happening in Syria will also inspire a generation of true change in Iraq.
 
Al Arabiya:  Hashemi scoffed at the statements made by the Iraqi government about searching Iranian planes crossing  into Syria via Iraq.
 
Tareq al-Hashemi:  We have proof on this matter and so does the US administration.  And in truth, this random inspection is considered fabrication. 
 
Al Arabiya:  He urged the international community to see Iraq's double standard regarding its policy towards Syria.  He said there is an Iraqi-Iranian agreement to down planes that medical and humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians and at the same time turn a blind eye to the planes that carry weapons and artillery to the Syrian regime.
 
Tareq al-Hashemi:  This is an issue that the international community must pay attention to.
 
Al Arabiya:  He accused Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki of persecuting Sunni Iraqis.
 
Tareq al-Hashemi:  The sectarian issue is another matter.  Today, when you go to prisons, you will find that over 90% of inmates are Sunnis.  This is something that cannot be ignored.  Today, the Arab Sunnis are targeted by Nouri al-Maliki's government exclusively.  Today, the torture that is carried out, the random apprehensions, turning our provinces into regions have occured for sectarian purposes.
 
That's far from the only serious accusation Nouri's currently facing.  He now stands accused of the assassination of a political figure.  From the September 27th snapshot:  "Alsumaria reports that the former governor of Basra, Mohammed Misbah Waili, was assassinated today (the firearm had a silencer)."  And from the October 2nd snapshot: "On fear, Alsumaria reports that in Basara accusations are being tossed around following the assassination last Thursday of former Governor (2005 to 2009) Mohammed Misbah Waili with some accusing a clan within the province and the clan accusing unnamed foreign powers."  Despite a so-called investigation, nothing has been turned up regarding the who or why of the assassination.  However, Kitabat reports that the family of the late governor is stating that Nouri and others in Dawa (Nouri's political party -- State of Law is his political slate) wanted him dead and they are accusing Nouri of ordering the assassination.  Family members state that when they arrived at the scene they found security officers in offficial Iraqi military uniforms, these officers surrounded the scene and prevented the family from going to the car where they could hear the governor, still alive, screaming.  They are arguing that had he been immediately moved to a hospital, he would be alive today.  The family says that the refusal to move the injured governor to a hospital resulted from orders from higher up.  They are going to file a lawsuit against Nouri and others (Abdullah Auaz al-Jubouri and Issam al-Asadi) in a Basra court.  A member of the family tells Kitabat that although they know Nouri acts as if he is above the Constitution and the judiciary, the family is stronger than Nouri and the Dawa Party because they have the truth on their side.
 
 
Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 146 killed in violence so far this month.  Today? 
All Iraq News reports a Baghdad roadside bombing has injured three police officers and an armed Baghdad attack has left 2 Iraqi soldiers deadAP says the Baghdad roadside bombing followed the armed attack and note that 1 of the three injured police officers have died.  Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports, "Gunmen attacked a minibus [in Baghdad] with small arms fire and killed seven government employees who work for al-Nasra State Industry Company," and a Falluja suicide bomber attacked the home of the father of Rafei al-Essawi (Minister of Finance) leaving 1 woman dead and five more injured (and the suicide bomber dead), and an attack on a Mousl checkpoint left 1 person dead. Alsumaria reports a Kirkuk roadside bombing left one 1 student dead and 2 more injured and a Kirkuk bicycle bombing has left three police officers injuredAdam Schreck (AP) says it was a motorcycle bombing and notes 9-year-old Ahmed al-Obeidi was killed in the explosion.  In addition, Kitabat reports that journalist Zia Mehdi was stabbed to death in Baghdad while she was doing an investigation into the persecution of Iraq's LGBT community.
 
Iraq's Journalistic Freedoms Observatory notes the investigative journalist was in Baghdad's Tahrir Square at ten a.m. Monday morning conducting meetings and interviews and she was also working on a story about prostitution and brothels in Iraq.  She went to a police station to interview some of the 180 women arrested but a police officer prevented her from entering and he denied that there were any prostitutes among the arrested.  He left and then moments later re-appeared telling her she could enter but without her colleagues.  Zia Mehdi didn't feel comfortable with that offer and instead returned to Tahrir Square to continue her LGBT interviews.  Later she was discovered dead, stabbed to death, still in her jacket that noted she was a journalist.

Dropping back to the October 15th snapshot:

So far this year, Iraq is known to have executed 119 people. It has ignored calls from the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others to impose a moratorium on the death penalty. Despite the fact that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani insists he is against the death penalty and regularly basks in applause for that stance, he has not blocked one execution. (His 'opposition' is refusing to sign the death warrants, leaving it for a vice president to sign it. As president, he could object to any or all executions and stop them immediately. He refuses to use that power.)
These executions are beginning to cause more problems for Iraq. Kitabat reports that Alegeria has summed the Iraqi ambassador to express their alarm that an Alegerian, Abdullah Ahmad Belhadi, has been executed and Saudi Arabia is objecting to plans to execute their citizens -- though Faleh al-Fayad, Iraqi national security adviser, declares the Saudi executions will go forward.


Today, Meshal al-Otaibi (Saudi Gazette) reports that the execution of Abdullah al-Qahtani, Saudi citizen in Iraq, has been postponed "according to his lawyer Abdulrahman Al-Jurais."
 
 
Turning to the topic of Libya, e-mails wonder why Bob Somerby calls Elise Labott "CNN's tremendously awful 'foreign affairs reporter'" and "a genuine nightmare"?  Because she's a woman.  He knows nothing about her reporting and has never critiqued before today.  He probably doesn't know she's a CNN producer and that she covers the State Dept.  Bob's not real smart sometimes but he never passes a chance to demonize a woman.  If a man had reported what Elise did, Bob would treat them with kid gloves.  He only beats up on women -- see CiCi Connelly, Katharine Seelye, Maureen Dowd, Anne Gearan and on and on and on.  He'll go after State Dept reporters Labott and Gearan but you'll never see him take on AP's Matthew Lee.  Bob only beats up on women.  We noted this a long time ago, over 7 years ago, in fact.  In the Howler world a woman is demonized but a man guilty of the same 'crime' is treated as savable and redeemable but the witch, you understand, must be drowned -- even if she floats.  Especially if she floats.
 
Elise Labott has the same problems any other person does and she can be wrong and she can be right.  As a journalist, she's one of the strongest working today.  And unlike Bob Somerby, we've noted Elisa Labott many times here.  What are we talking about when we're talking about Libya?  US House Rep Darrell Issa outlined it very clearly at a hearing earlier this month:
 
 
Committee Chair Darrell Issa:  On September 11, 2012, four brave Americans serving their country were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya.  Tyrone Woods spent two decades as a Navy Seal serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Since 2010, he protected the American diplomatic personnel.  Tyrone leaves behind a widow and three children.   Glen Doherty, also a former Seal and an experienced paramedic, had served his country in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  His family and colleagues grieve today for his death.  Sean Smith, a communications specialist, joined the State Dept after six years in the United States Air Force.  Sean leaves behind a widow and two young children.  Ambassador Chris Stevens, a man I had known personally during his tours, US Ambassador to Libya, ventured into a volatile and dangerous situation as Libyans revolted against the long time Gaddafi regime.  He did so because he believed the people of Libya wanted and deserved the same things we have: freedom from tyranny. 
 
See those names: Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods.  Guess where you didn't see them?  At The Daily Howler.  Bob Somerby thinks he can trash Elise Labott.  But Elise has noted the dead, she's done the work for over a month now.  Not true of Bob Somerby, not true at all.
 
Last night Ruth noted Sharyl Attkisson (CBS News) reports on e-mails sent from the Benghazi consulate on September 11, 2012 during the attack and immediately after including one sent at 6:07 pm where it is noted "the embassy in Trpoli reported the Islamic military group 'Ansar al-SHaria Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack'."  This is what Elise is covering as well: "Two hours after first being notified of an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, a government e-mail to the White House, the State Department and the FBI said an Islamist group had claimed credit, according to a copy obtained by CNN." (Elise maintains Barack used the term "terror" on September 12th.  That's her take and her opinion.  As noted in the October 17th snapshot, we disagree.  Others disagreeing that there's a clear-cut assessment include The Washington Post and CBS News (text report by Brian Montopoli, video report by Jan Crawford.)  Anne Gearan (Washington Post) adds, "The reference to Ansar al-Sharia may fuel Republican efforts to show that the White House had evidence of terrorism almost immediately but sat on it. Five days after the attack, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice said the attack appeared to have grown out of a 'spontaneous' protest over an anti-Muslim video." Mark Hosenball (Reuters) explains, "While some information identifying recipients of this message was redacted from copies of the messages obtained by Reuters, a government source said that one of the addresses to which the message was sent was the White House Situation Room, the president's secure command post. Other addressees included intelligence and military units as well as one used by the FBI command center, the source said."   John Parkinson, Dana Hughes and Sunlen Miller (ABC News) pick up there:
 
In light of the emails, Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire teamed up today to write a letter to question President Obama why his administration "consistently described the attack for days afterward as a spontaneous response to an anti-Islam video."
"These emails make clear that your administration knew within two hours of the attack that it was a terrorist act and that Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan militant group with links to al Qaeda, had claimed responsibility for it," the trio wrote. "This latest revelation only adds to the confusion surrounding what you and your administration knew about the attacks in Benghazi, when you knew it, and why you responded to those tragic events in the ways that you did."
 
John Hudson (The Atlantic) notes that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared, "Posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence."  No, it wouldn't necessarily hold as evidence in a court of law; however, it is used as evidence by the State Dept and the US intelligence community all the time. Equally true, someone's who has claimed to have taken responsibility needs to stop minimizing and justifying information's that's coming out.  Part of taking responsiblity is shutting your mouth when you're exposed to have misled.  Hillary misled.  She was very clear in her accountability that State didn't make the false claims the White House did.  She's been silent as to why that is.  Now she wants to dismiss new findings.  That's not accountability, that's excuses.  She needs to either explain why the White House told people the attack was something that it wasn't or she needs to bow out of the matter. 
 
 
Meanwhile, the Drone War has also brought out the worst in Team Obama.  Conor Friedersdorf (The Atlantic -- link is text and video) reports on what happened when former White House plus-size spokesmodel Robert Gibbs started justifying the killing of an American teenager.
 
How does Team Obama justify killing him?
The answer Gibbs gave is chilling:
ADAMSON: ...It's an American citizen that is being targeted without due process, without trial. And, he's underage. He's a minor.

GIBBS: I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don't think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.
Again, note that this kid wasn't killed in the same drone strike as his father. He was hit by a drone strike elsewhere, and by the time he was killed, his father had already been dead for two weeks. Gibbs nevertheless defends the strike, not by arguing that the kid was a threat, or that killing him was an accident, but by saying that his late father irresponsibly joined al Qaeda terrorists. Killing an American citizen without due process on that logic ought to be grounds for impeachment. Is that the real answer? Or would the Obama Administration like to clarify its reasoning? Any Congress that respected its oversight responsibilities would get to the bottom of this.
 
 
Conor's correct, Congressional oversight is sorely needed. 
 
 
 
 cnn

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