Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ralph finds his spine

Ralph Nader (COUNTERPUNCH) writes:

Before announcing for President in the Democratic Primaries, Bernie Sanders told the people he would not run as an Independent and be like Nader—invoking the politically-bigoted words “being a spoiler.” Well, the spoiled corporate Democrats in Congress and their consultants are mounting a “stop Bernie campaign.” They believe he’ll “spoil” their election prospects.
Sorry Bernie, because anybody who challenges the positions of the corporatist, militaristic, Wall Street-funded Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, in the House and Senate—is by their twisted definition, a “spoiler.” It doesn’t matter how many of Bernie’s positions are representative of what a majority of the American people want for their country.
What comes around goes around. Despite running a clean campaign, funded by small donors averaging $27, with no scandals in his past and with consistency throughout his decades of standing up for the working and unemployed people of this country, Sanders is about to be Hillaried. Her Capitol Hill cronies have dispatched Congressional teams to Iowa.

The shunning of Bernie Sanders is underway. 


It took him long enough, didn't it?

But Ralph did finally find his spine.

It's a little late.

Hopefully not too late to help Bernie.

But at least it's not another series of lies about how great things are.

Let's hope this column signals a change for Ralph.


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



Saturday, January 30, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the US death toll continues, Hillary Clinton continues trying to minimize her support for the Iraq War, and much more.



The never-ending Iraq War continues.  Today, the US Defense Dept announced:


Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Asad, one strike destroyed two ISIL bomb-making facilities.

-- Near Baghdadi, one strike destroyed three ISIL rocket rails.

-- Near Ar Rutbah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Habbaniyah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL staging area and an ISIL vehicle and suppressed an ISIL fighting position and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Mosul, seven strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 10 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns, and an ISIL weapons cache.

-- Near Ramadi, one strike destroyed an ISIL command-and-control node and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Sinjar, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.


Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.



No one questions how these bombings -- this continued war -- makes America safer.  It certainly doesn't make Iraq safer.


They can talk of how many more US troops to send to Iraq, they just can't talk about what is the point?  Where is the success?  What is the end game?

Dropping back to Thursday's snapshot:


The continued talk of sending more US troops to Iraq comes as there's yet another US death in Iraq.
STARS & STRIPES reports, "A coalition servicemember supporting operations against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria died of a noncombat-related injury in Iraq, the Combined Joint Task Force in charge of Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement."
Back in November, Pvt Chrisopher J. Castaneda died at Al Asad Air Base from a "non-combat related incident."
These are deaths in Barack's endless wars.
His endless and illegal wars.




Yesterday, DoD identified the fallen:


The Department of Defense announce today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
Sgt. Joseph F. Stifter, 30, of Glendale, California, died Jan. 28, at Al Asad Airbase, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, from wounds suffered when his armored HMMWV was involved in a roll-over accident. The incident is under investigation.
Stifter was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the 1st Infantry Division public affairs office at 785-307-6744.


Ryan Fonseca (LOS ANGELES TIMES) notes, "Stifter is survived by his wife, daughter, mother and father, the Army statement said."


Why was he deployed to Iraq?


All these years later, why are any US troops in Iraq?

There is no strategy, there is no logic, there is only continued death and destruction.


Which is why it does matter that Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq War.

In 2002, she was a US Senator and she chose to vote for the Iraq War.

She chose to support it for years after.

It's only in 2008 that she can call it a 'mistake' publicly and then, this week, she insisted it was a 'mistake' only because Bully Boy Bush had prosecuted the war wrongly.


She's a liar.

As a US Senator, as a First Lady, as a Secretary of State, she's a liar.

But she thinks she deserves the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Other are less likely to agree.  Take Angela Ross of Eugene, Oregon who writes a letter to the editor of THE REGISTER GUARD explaining:


Many of my women friends favor electing Hillary Clinton as our next president because she’s a woman, but I can’t base my vote on gender.
Because Clinton voted to support the Iraq war while in the U.S. Senate, I can’t in good conscience vote for her for president. If she’d argued against invading Iraq (as Sen. Bernie Sanders did), it would have shown leadership. Instead, she went along with the Bush-Cheney program.
[. . .]
I not only will vote for Sanders, I’ll also work hard participating in the democratic process his campaign engenders. He has 21st century ideas, whereas the ideas of Clinton and other establishment figures are from the 20th century.

Hillary may have foreign policy experience, but when push came to shove, she showed an extreme lack of judgment on the most important foreign policy decision in a generation. As in 2008 when she was running against Obama, it casts serious doubt on whether she's the Democrats' best presidential nominee.
Hillary voted for the Iraq War either out of rank political opportunism, because as a prospective presidential candidate, she feared that an anti-war vote would make her look weak. If so, she voted to send thousands to their deaths to further her political career.
Or she voted for the war out of a sincere belief in the benefits of American military intervention in the Middle East and the good that could come from regime change. If so, her beliefs showed an extreme lack of foreign policy judgment.
I'm not sure which is worse: voting for a needless and destructive war out of political opportunism or out of poor judgment. In either event, the Iraq War vote remains a big black mark on Hillary's claim that her foreign policy experience makes her the best choice to be Commander in Chief on Day 1.



Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon spoke out against the Iraq War.  While Hillary used support of the Iraq War to increase her own profile, Susan opposed the war and was verbally attacked for that.  She saw a charity event cancelled because she supported peace.

As Gregory Favre (POYNTER) explained March 28, 2003:

This week, the folks at United Way of Tampa Bay, in their infinite lack of wisdom, canceled an event because the actor Susan Sarandon was to be the speaker. This decision was made the day after she flashed the peace sign during the Academy Awards telecast.
How dare she have an opinion, much less express it.
So the $75 a plate dinner was sacrificed. (In the interest of full disclosure, Sarandon's fee was being paid by the St. Petersburg Times, which is owned by The Poynter Institute, my employer. And my boss, our dean, Karen Dunlap, was scheduled to interview her as part of the program.)
It had nothing to do with Sarandon's views, a United Way spokesperson said. It's just that her presence would have been divisive.
But isn't this kind of heavy-handed response to dissent happening all over this country? Just listen to the violence of the language aimed at those who may raise questions. Are we back in the '50s and '60s of the last century?



And it didn't end there.  Roger Catlin (LOS ANGELES TIMES) reported the following month:

Last week, she and her partner, Tim Robbins, were told by Baseball Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey, a former assistant press secretary to President Ronald Reagan, that he was canceling a 15th anniversary celebration of their film "Bull Durham." Petroskey said the couple's antiwar stance "ultimately could put our troops in even more danger." Earlier, Sarandon's appearance at a United Way event in Florida was canceled.



Hillary didn't just speak out for the war, she voted for it.  Despite the fact that she was supposedly representing the state of New York which gave her no mandate to support the Iraq War.

She voted for in direct opposition of the will of the citizens she represented.

So she attacked democracy and logic to embrace illegal war.


In an attempt to bury the issue before her planned run for the 2016 Democratic Party's presidential nomination, Hillary 'addressed' the issue in her ghost-written, poor selling book entitled HARD CHOICES.  Lesley Clark (MCCLATCHY NEWS) noted in 2014:

Democrats such as Clinton believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and posed a threat, a belief they said was fed by their own research beyond the word of the Bush White House, all of which later proved to be wrong.
Clinton said in the book that she’d voted to authorize war “after weighing the evidence and seeking as many opinions as I could inside and outside our government, Democrats and Republicans alike.”


But as Stephen Zunes (FPIF) pointed out earlier this week:

“Her vote was simply a mistake.”
While few Clinton supporters are still willing to argue her support for the war was a good thing, many try to minimize its significance by referring to it as simply a “mistake.” But while it may have been a terrible decision, it was neither an accident nor an aberration from Clinton’s generally hawkish worldview.
It would have been a “mistake” if Hillary Clinton had pushed the “aye” button when she meant to push the “nay” button. In fact, her decision — by her own admission — was quite conscious.
The October 2002 war resolution on Iraq wasn’t like the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing military force in Vietnam, which was quickly passed as an emergency request by President Lyndon Johnson when there was no time for reflection and debate. By contrast, at the time of the Iraq War authorization, there had been months of public debate on the matter. Clinton had plenty of time to investigate the administration’s claims that Iraq was a threat, as well as to consider the likely consequences of a U.S. invasion.
Also unlike the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which was disingenuously presented as an authorization to retaliate for an alleged attack on U.S. ships, members of Congress recognized that the Iraq resolution authorized a full-scale invasion of a sovereign nation and a subsequent military occupation. Clinton had met with scores of constituents, arms control analysts, and Middle East scholars who informed her that the war was unnecessary, illegal, and would likely end in disaster.
But she decided to support going to war anyway. She even rejected the advice of fellow Democratic senator Bob Graham that she read the full National Intelligence Estimate, which would have further challenged some of the Bush administration’s claims justifying the war.

It was not, therefore, simply a “mistake,” or a momentary lapse of judgment. Indeed, in her own words, she cast her vote “with conviction.”



She made a decision and it wasn't based on the will of the citizens, it wasn't based on the law, it wasn't based on facts.  She made a decision that started the Iraq War and all the destruction that followed -- all the destruction that continues.

This is no mere 'mistake.'

This goes to a serious lack of judgment and leadership.



Susan Sarandon is supporting Senator Bernie Sanders -- who, in 2002, voted against the Iraq War authorization.  She Tweets:


Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article24768997.html#storylink=cpy



  • This campaign is about a political revolution - millions of people standing up and saying enough is enough.
    Embedded image permalink
  • Retweeted
    If we stand together on Monday night, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. :
  • Retweeted
    Brothers and sisters: Now is not the time for thinking small. Now is not the time for the same-old establishment politics.







  • For many Democrats, 2016 is boiling down to a question of do you support a liar (Hillary) or a leader (Bernie)?


    The people of Iowa will be the first to weigh in when they caucus on Monday.


    The people of Iraq get no vote but then they really get no vote in their own country either.

    Haider al-Abadi is prime minister because Barack Obama wants him to be.  The US President made the decision in the summer of 2014 -- not the Iraqi people.

    Before Haider al-Abadi was prime minister of Iraq, the position was held by thug Nouri al-Maliki.

    Nouri was installed as prime minister in 2006 not by the Iraqi people but by Bully Boy Bush.  In 2010, the Iraqi people went to the polls.  One of the things they were deciding was whether to keep or ditch Nouri as prime minister.

    Nouri lost.

    He refused to step down as prime minister.  For eight months, he refused.

    In the end, he didn't have to.


    Why?

    Barack had US officials negotiate a contract, The Erbil Agreement, which went around the will of the Iraqi people and democracy to give Nouri a second term.

    Please note that State of Law lost the 2010 election to Iraqiya.

    Yet, in 2014, when Barack replaced Nouri, he didn't go with a member of Iraqiya but again with the loser State of Law.


    The following Tweet best represents the attitude of the Iraqi officials to the Iraqi people they are supposed to serve.















  • iraq

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

    Hillary's Haiti 'success'

    Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report) notes Hillary Clinton's claim to fame with regards to Haiti


    But, even the prospect of a one-man contest could not stop the Americans from insisting on going ahead with the run-off. The U.S., which pays for the Haitian elections and, therefore, believes it has the right to decide who wins and who loses, growled that Haiti should go along with the fraudulent process. The Americans were upset that they might have no reliable replacement for their loyal puppet, “Sweet Mickey.” Plus, the discrediting of the elections would also reflect very badly on presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who claims to have brought stability to Haiti when she was at the State Department but, in fact, is culpable for all of the Haitians who were murdered by the Martelly regime. The truth is that Hillary and Bill were the Bonnie and Clyde of Haiti, robbing the country for their own and other corporate criminals’ benefit. The teams of FBI agents that are now matching Hillary’s emails with contributions to the Clinton Foundation are tapping a Mother Lode of corruption that may yet bring her down before Election Day in the United States.
    If that happens, the Haitian people will deserve some of the credit for saving the U.S. from another period of rule by the Crooked Clintons, in the process of saving Haiti’s sovereignty and self-respect. The Haitians’ furious grassroots resistance forced the cancellation of Sunday’s run-off election; “Sweet Mickey” is slated to leave office in less than two weeks; and negotiations are underway to form an interim government that would hold clean elections. The struggle now is for Haiti’s poor majority to make its voice heard above the growling of the U.S. imperialist occupiers and their hired Haitian flunkies – some of whom are real killers, whose names aren’t funny at all.

    Where there's a buck to be made or an individual to be killed, you will find the Clintons.

    Somehow, Hillary's not using that for a campaign slogan.

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



    Thursday, January 28, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the Iraqi government continues persecuting Sunnis, Susan Sarandon speaks out for Bernie Sanders, and much more.


    Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 15 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, suppressed an ISIL mortar position, and destroyed three ISIL rocket caches, two ISIL rocket rails, four ISIL mortar tubes, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Ramadi, eight strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed six ISIL vehicle bombs, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL staging area, an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL light machine gun and five ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.


    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.


    Over 16 months after Barack Obama began bombing Iraq, there are no new ideas.

    No positive results and no new ideas.

    Unable to turn the mythical corner in Iraq, he does as Bully Boy Bush did before him, send more US troops into Iraq.


    SPUTNIK reports, "US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is prepared to ask for additional troops in Iraq if additional actions need to be undertaken against the Islamic State terror group, US Department of Defense spokesperson Peter Cook told reporters on Wednesday."  Cook stated that there are currently 3700 US troops in Iraq.  Lisa Ferdinando (FORT CAMPBELL COURIER) adds, "The United States potentially will make recommendations to position U.S. troops with Iraqi security forces in northern Iraq to support the next phase of isolating the key city of Mosul, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said."


    The continued talk of sending more US troops to Iraq comes as there's yet another US death in Iraq.

    STARS & STRIPES reports, "A coalition servicemember supporting operations against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria died of a noncombat-related injury in Iraq, the Combined Joint Task Force in charge of Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement."

    Back in November, Pvt Chrisopher J. Castaneda died at Al Asad Air Base from a "non-combat related incident."

    These are deaths in Barack's endless wars.

    His endless and illegal wars.

    There's no authorization from Congress for what he's ordering in Iraq and Syria.


    The issue of the lack of authorization was raised in today's US State Dept press briefing moderated by spokesperson Mark Toner.



    QUESTION: About the authorization for the use of military force against ISIL that Mitch McConnell put forward, do you have any concerns about it being effectively an international martial law declaration where the U.S. could take action anywhere with any number of troops and for any duration of time? Do you find anything concerning about this kind of authorization?


    MR TONER: I haven’t looked at the draft legislation. I’m sure that we’re working with Congress. I’d also refer you to the White House on some of these issues, so I don’t have any particular comment to that. What we want to see, as in any case like this, is a robust debate within Congress, and we’re ready to look at any legislation once it passes.


    QUESTION: It offers sweeping powers to the President. Do you think – would you like the next President of the U.S. to have such an authorization?


    MR TONER: Again, without having it in front of me, without having studied it, I’m not going to offer a judgment on it.
    Please.


    QUESTION: Do you feel that this is a step to sort of augment the President’s strategy in the fight against ISIS, Mitch McConnell’s --


    MR TONER: Look, again, this is something we’ve been back and forth with on Congress many times. It’s an ongoing discussion. What I think we want to see is, as I said, is a robust debate within Congress on the AUMF going forward. We would welcome that.


    QUESTION: And in the absence of a different kind of authorization, is the Administration – would the Administration be inclined to accept this sweeping one?


    MR TONER: Again, we’re looking into the legislation, working with Congress, but nothing to announce on that.
    Please.


    QUESTION: But the point is you still don’t think you need this anyways, right? You’re – you have a legal war as far as you’re concerned.



    MR TONER: We believe we have legal justification, yes.



    He believes wrong according to most legal scholars.


    Being on the wrong side?








  • A truly horrific video circulating showing a Shia militiaman disemboweling &/or skinning a Sunni corpse in , with 2 other men beheaded.



  • These militias are part of the Iraqi government.  Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi brought them in under the umbrella of the 'Popular Mobilization.'

    And they carry out crimes against Sunni citizens.

    Repeatedly.

    Earlier this week,  Human Rights Watch published "Iraq: Civilians Pay Price of Conflict:"


     Iraqi security forces and pro-government militias committed possible war crimes during 2015 in their fight against the extremist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, by unlawfully demolishing buildings in recaptured areas and forcibly disappearing residents, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016.
    Iran, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and other countries provided military support to the Iraqi government despite a continued absence of credible accountability for those responsible for these crimes.
    ISIS carried out numerous atrocities, including summary executions and indiscriminate bombings.

    “ISIS and Iraq’s government-affiliated militias are both committing atrocities against civilians with evident support from their commanders,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “Making matters worse – much worse – is the fact that Iraq’s justice system isn’t providing any semblance of accountability.”


    As we stated last week, the Islamic State is a terrorist organization.

    Terrorist organizations commit crimes.  They do awful things.

    That's what a terrorist organization does and is.

    But a government is supposed to protect its citizens.

    When a government fails to do that or, worse, when it targets and persecutes its citizens, that's what's known as news.


    Was it treated as news?

    Before we answer that question, let's remember last week, when the United Nations issued a report making similar points, the western press ran with condemnations of the terrorist group the Islamic State while avoiding the crimes of the Iraqi government.


    Tuesday, the 19th, when the report was released, it was one piece after another about the Islamic State.  By the end of last week, only Aisha Maniar (TRUTHOUT) had bothered to cover the reports of the Iraqi government targeting civilians.

    Was it any different this week?

    Yes.

    Without the Islamic State to focus on, the so-called press ignored the Human Rights Watch report.

    Ignored it.

    One western outlet after another took a pass.

    A government is supposed to protect its citizens.

    Repeating, when a government fails to do that or, worse, when it targets and persecutes its citizens, that's what's known as news.

    The US government has thrown its lot in with a government that attacks its own people.

    That's in violation with many US laws, with international law and with many treaties the US is a signatory to.


    And even so-called 'realists' -- people who tolerate any broken law if they think it results in some advantage -- can't argue that this benefits anyone.


    The persecution that's taking place?

    It's been going on for years and it's what fueled the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq.


    Related . . .


    Two Sundays, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) broke the news that 3 Americans were missing in Iraq.  CBS NEWS and AP then reported, "A group of Americans who went missing over the weekend in Iraq were kidnapped from their interpreter's home in Baghdad, according to an Iraqi government intelligence official."  Susannah George (AP) reported   that "two powerful Shiite militias are top suspects" in the kidnapping:  Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Saraya al-Salam -- both linked to Iran.


    Today, Imran Kahn (AL JAZEERA) reports:

    The abducted Americans are only a small fraction of the people that go missing in Iraq every day.
    Accurate figures on kidnappings are impossible to come by as the Iraqi government doesn't maintain a database on crime. One member of the Iraqi parliament told Al Jazeera that the amount of kidnappings has skyrocketed over the last six months and is now in the thousands.
    In Sadr City we spoke Hussien Sarmad. He has witnessed intense activity in his neighbourhood over the last 10 days. He described to us late-night raids, helicopters buzzing over homes and counter-terrorism forces in the streets.
    He is angry that when Iraqis are kidnapped from his neighbourhood, no one seems to care. "It's funny, all this fuss for three Americans. The security forces are turning our neighbourhood upside down. I doubt that they are even here," Sarmad said.
    It's a common sentiment among Iraqi families who fall victim to this sort of crime.
    The search for the kidnappers doesn't involve the military. Often times families of the victims receive no help from the police or international community and are left to deal with the threats from the kidnappers themselves.


    This is yet another indictment of a government -- the Iraqi government -- which refuses to protect its citizens.  It just doesn't care.

    It has to care about Americans because without US support the puppet government out of Baghdad collapses.


    Turning to the US political scene, Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon is in the news.

    She's supporting US Senator Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.







  • Spent some great time sticking labels on flyers at Waterloo HQ. Their commitment is so inspiring.
    Embedded image permalink



  • Bernie's chief rival for the nomination appears to be War Monger Hillary Clinton.  Jessica Chasmar (WASHINGTON TIMES) reports:



    Ms. Sarandon said Mrs. Clinton lost her support after voting for the Iraq War in 2002 as a New York senator.
    “The biggest foreign decision that had to be made in terms of foreign policy was whether or not to go into Iraq and go into war, and she failed that test,” she told the Daily Mail.
    Mrs. Clinton went on to be secretary of state, “but what has she done that we’re bragging about? How has she led?” Ms. Sarandon asked.



    She didn't lead on equality.

    Until 2013, she was a foe of marriage equality.  Long after others in elected office -- including US Vice President Joe Biden -- had taken a leadership role arguing for equality, Hillary was still opposing equality.

    Susan noted Hillary's cowardice on the issue of equality.  Matthew Clark (SUN TIMES) notes:

    “It is one thing to be for gay rights and gay marriage once everybody else is for it,” Sarandon said. “That’s not difficult.”
    After her speech, Sarandon spoke with the Daily Mail, expounding on the idea that Clinton hasn’t been a leader in the LGBT rights movement, despite receiving an endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign.
    “There’s a number of issues where she has come around but she very clearly equivocated or was not there in the beginning.

    “She was not, and that’s a matter of record, and yes she has come around. But my point is, it’s great that she came around, but wouldn’t it be great to be a leader instead of a follower, especially if you’re going to hold the highest office in the land?”


    Let's close with Trina's "3 reasons we need to vote for Hillary Clinton"

    1) Overpopulation.

    The earth is small, the population is growing.

    A President Hillary Clinton would mean many, many wars and many, many, many deaths.

    Hillary is the cure.

    2) Lying will be accepted.

    Hillary will not just popularize lying, she'll make it socially acceptable.

    We'll no longer have to get on to our children for lying.

    If we do, they'll just tell us that they're acting "presidential."


    3) Equality is scary to some.

    Hillary will ensure that vast poverty continues in the United States -- if only to assist her Wall Street friends.


    Those are three reasons to vote for Hillary -- for some people.

    They are among the three reasons I will not vote for Hillary.






    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

    She's twisted

    Hillary Clinton's taken to declaring that the country needs "more love and kindness."

    No, she's not announcing that she's out of the race -- that would be too much kindness, apparently.

    But what if, Jesse Walker (Reason) wonders, Hillary was speaking honestly:




    But a ruthless pol whose private sense of self really looks like this, a ruthless pol who genuinely believes a campaign to elect her president is "about" "inspiring" "more kindness"? That's sort of sad, and it's a little megalomaniacal too. What the world needs now may be love, sweet love, but Washington isn't going to provide it; of all the things that might inspire people to do more to help their friends and neighbors, surely the presidency is nowhere near the top of the list. Yet here Clinton is casting her candidacy as a kind of national encounter group, with herself as our therapist-in-chief.
    Add the fact that this particular politician is better known for war than warmth, and we find ourselves in deeply dark territory. President Clinton lecturing us on love and kindness as she drops bombs on Syria or Yemen—that would be bad enough. But if the lecture is sincere, if she sees each airstrike as an act of love: Now that would be unbearable.

    Hillary's insanity threatens us all.


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



    Tuesday, January 26, 2016. Chaos and violence continue,  the spin continues, US troops keep returning to Iraq, Hillary Clinton says her vote for the Iraq War was a mistake because of Bully Boy Bush, and much more.



    Oh, how the whores lie.

    I don't just mean the Bully Boy Bush whores.

    But I do remember a woman practically wetting herself while he was speaking on television and basically declaring him god.  I thought those Bush zombies were the worst the United States would ever see.

    But they had nothing on the Cult of St. Barack.

    And today I just don't have the stomach for either of these camps and their never ending lies and endless squabbles as they insist the other one is responsible for what's wrong in Iraq.

    There's more than enough blame to go around.

    NEWSHOUNDS was always a partisan front pretending to be about ethics and issues. The last eight years have not been easy on them.

    Because War Criminal _____ has returned to the public eye in a desperate bid for sordid coin, NEWSHOUNDS is suddenly interested in Iraq.

    Or 'interested' in Iraq.

    They don't give a damn about Iraq.

    Partisan whores on either side never gave a damn about Iraq.


    NEWSHOUNDS slams the ridiculous Sean Hannity (he's as ridiculous as NEWSHOUNDS itself) for blaming Iraq's problems on Barack Obama:





    Whatever that job was supposed to be after more than eight years of war. 
    More than 8 years?

    They're ending the Iraq War in 2011.
    How nice for them.
    In the real world, of course, the Iraq War has not ended.
    In the real world, of course, Barack's drawdown (there was no withdrawal) was followed by publicly sending US troops into Iraq.
    A process that continues.
    Four years after last homecoming, rocket battalion headed back to
     
     
     
    The Iraq War has not ended.
    The US positioned one portion of the Shi'ites in charge.  They remain in Iraq to prop up that government.
    That's the reality.
    More reality, things are getting worse.
    The U.S. is headed toward deeper military involvement in Iraq, Syria and Libya to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to President Obama's former national security adviser Tom Donilon.  
    "My own judgment is ... we're going to become more deeply involved in both Iraq and Syria going forward here to address the challenge," Donilon said at a Politico event Monday evening. 
    Donilon, who served as national security adviser between 2010 and 2013, said U.S. forces are "going to have to become deeply involved" in helping Iraqi security forces retake Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq.
    Reality escapes NEWSHOUNDS which whines:

    And, of course, nobody pointed out that when Obama left, “Essentially, he implemented the phase-out plan laid out by Bush.”
     

    Is that what Barack did?

    Because that's not what he led Americans to believe he would do in 2008 while campaigning.

    Back then, he was saying the US would be out of Iraq in 16 months of his being sworn in.


    (Samantha Power resigned from his campaign after she told the BBC that he did not mean these promises and he'd decide what he'd actually do after he was in the White House.)

    When we go around speaking about Iraq, from time to time we'll encounter a Cult of St. Barack-er who will insist to me that Barack had to break his promise because of the Status Of Forces Agreement Bully Boy Bush pushed through in November of 2008.

    There are two main problems with that lie.

    The first is that Barack (and Joe Biden) had campaigned insisting that any such agreement would have to have the consent of the US Senate -- because it would be a treaty.

    When Bully Boy Bush pushed that through -- well after the 2008 presidential election -- Barack could have stuck to his guns (yes, I'm laughing at that notion as well) and Dems in Congress -- who already were on record opposing any agreement that did not have Congressional approval -- would have helped torpedo it.

    Barack didn't do that.

    Barack embraced that Status Of Forces Agreement.

    That means Bully Boy Bush may have birthed the SOFA but Barack happily adopted it.

    The second problem is where I usually lose the ability to be nice.

    Because we explained the SOFA here and we were right.

    All the opinion-ators were wrong.

    Various news outlets got it wrong.

    Contract law.  Know it or just sit your tired and uninformed ass down.

    No one needs your thoughts if you don't know contract law.

    Not about what a contract means.

    And the idiots who say Barack was bound by it?

    I don't have time for their stupidity.

    There were out clauses in the contract.

    If I was in the mood to still spoon feed The Cult of St. Barack's ignorant and lazy ass, I'd quote from it.

    But I just don't care anymore because you cannot teach the willfully stupid.

    Barack broke his campaign promise (one of many) and did so to use the SOFA as he excuse if anything went wrong in Iraq.


    Of the War Hawk whose wares we're not promoting, NEWSHOUNDS whines:


    This is the guy who was part of the de-Baathification that caused so much destabilization in the first place. 
    Wait?

    Do those idiots and liars at NEWSHOUNDS think de-Ba'athification ended?


    It didn't.

    It was supposed to.

    National reconciliation was put into writing, in the Bully Boy Bush "benchmarks" of 2007.  The November 2006 mid-terms had put Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress.

    They had campaigned with promises of accountability and ending the war.

    Now, afraid the Dems would pull funding for the Iraq War, the BBB White House came up with a series of benchmarks that the Iraqi government would have to meet to continue to receive US tax dollars and support.

    These benchmarks would demonstrate progress in Iraq.

    But there was no progress.

    And though Nouri al-Maliki signed off on the benchmarks in 2007, he never met them.

    Not in 2007.

    Not in 2008.

    Not in 2009.

    Not in 2010.  (Key year that, remember it, we will be coming back to it.)

    Not in 2011.

    Not in 2012.

    Not in 2013.

    And not in 2014 (his final year as prime minister).

    It wasn't met in 2015 either.

    This is why the Islamic State found support or apathy in parts of Iraq and was able to establish a base in the country.

    The persecution of the Sunnis led some Sunnis to support anyone who would stand up to this and led others to look the other way.

    And Barack's responsible for that.

    He's had two terms to do something about that and refused.


    As we noted this week at Third in "Editorial: Barack's not even trying"


    There is no US diplomacy in Iraq.
    Last week, REUTERS reported, "The U.S. government has approved the probable sale to Iraq of smart bombs, AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles and other munitions for use on its fleet of 36 F-16 fighter jets in a deal valued at up to $1.95 billion, the U.S. Defense Department announced on Wednesday."
    Barack didn't use Iraq's desire for the deal to force the Iraqi government to work on national reconciliation or on a national guard or on any political solutions.
    He's not even trying.
    He clearly doesn't even care.
    No one, not even Barack, could be that inept.
    No one.





    Now we said we'd come back to 2010.

    We're at that point now.

    In 2010, Iraq held elections.

    Though the media predicted Nouri al-Maliki would win by a large margin . . .

    he lost.


    And then he refused to step down.

    Iraq's "political stalemate" is the 8 months the country comes to a standstill because he will not step down as prime minister.


    Barack Obama, that great defender of freedom and democracy, does what?


    Supports the winner and insists Nouri step down?


    No.


    He had US officials negotiate a contract (The Erbil Agreement) that went around the will of the Iraqi people and gave Nouri al-Maliki a second term.

    That's reality.

    And what Nouri did in his second term took Iraq even closer to the brink.

    That's on Barack.  Bully Boy Bush wasn't in the White House.

    There's plenty of blame to place on both men.

    Unless you embrace false gods and your false idol (Bush or Barack) is the only thing you hold dear.


    Here's some of the violence inflicted upon Iraq today per the US Defense Dept's announcement:


    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 15 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
    -- Near Huwayjah, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL mortar systems.
    -- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
    -- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL weapons storage facility and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL weapons cache.
    -- Near Ramadi, nine strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, denied ISIL access to terrain and destroyed an ISIL staging area, two ISIL tactical vehicles, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL armored bulldozer and an ISIL fuel tanker.
    -- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

    In related news, Dan Lamothe (WASHINGTON POST) reports, "As the U.S. military prepares to expand its operations against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria, it has altered how and when it discloses sensitive information about when it kills civilians with airstrikes."

    The changes will further obscure reality.

    Lamothe notes CENTCOM spokesperson Patrick Ryder:

    Ryder added that the process to declassify and redact documents associated with the cases can take months, so it made sense to release the limited information available now separately, and ahead of the documents. But the decision also means the documents will likely only be released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, which have historically taken Central Command many months, and sometimes years, to respond to fully.


    I guess you could say CENTCOM is pulling a full-on Hillary.

    Hillary Clinton, the anti-transparency candidate.  Her e-mails, that she insisted she wanted the American people to see, are still not fully released.  And her speeches to Wall Street -- the same Wall Street she swears she'll reign in -- are off limits to the public.


    Hillary Clinton declared on CNN last night, "I have a much longer history than one vote, which I said was a mistake because of the way that it was done and how the Bush administration handled it."

    She said it was a mistake.

    But she can't shut her damn mouth, can she?

    She's the liar who can't take accountability.

    "I wrecked your car."

    "But if that other car hadn't been on the road . . ."

    "I have a much longer history than one vote, which I said was a mistake because of the way that it was done and how the Bush administration handled it."

    Her vote was a mistake.

    And then she adds "because of the way that it was done and how the Bush administration handled it."

    No, you damn liar.

    Iraq had no WMDs.

    Iraq was not a threat.

    These are the lies Hillary embraced with her vote.

    And after saying she dealt with her vote in her last ghost written book -- no, she didn't deal with it -- she now wants to prove that she's still a liar.

    "I have a much longer history than one vote, which I said was a mistake because of the way that it was done and how the Bush administration handled it."

    The Iraq War was wrong.

    No matter how it had been executed, it would have remained wrong.

    It was built on lies.

    Stop blaming everyone else for your poor judgment, take accountability.


    Jeff Stein (VOX) reports:

    Bernie Sanders went after Hillary Clinton's record on Iraq at a CNN town hall event Monday night, attacking Clinton's vote to invade more aggressively than in previous debates.
    "I have tried — as I hope you all know — not to run a negative campaign ... to keep this discussion on a high level where we debate the issues facing this country," Sanders said, standing up from his chair at the forum, held in Iowa a week before primary voting begins.

    ""The truth is that the most significant vote and issue regarding foreign policy that we have seen in this country in modern history is the vote on the War in Iraq," Sanders said. "I voted against the War in Iraq ... Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq."
    "I said, 'No, I think that war is a dumb idea.'"



    Hillary voted for it.  She supported it.


    Stephen Zunes (FPIF) points out:

    The 2016 Democratic presidential campaign is coming down to a race between Hillary Clinton, who supported the Bush Doctrine and its call for invading countries that are no threat to us regardless of the consequences, and Bernie Sanders, who supported the broad consensus of Middle East scholars and others familiar with the region who recognized that such an invasion would be disastrous.
    There’s no question that the United States is long overdue to elect a woman head of state. But electing Hillary Clinton — or anyone else who supported the invasion of Iraq — would be sending a dangerous message that reckless global militarism needn’t prevent someone from becoming president, even as the nominee of the more liberal of the two major parties.

    It also raises this ominous scenario: If Clinton were elected president despite having voted to give President Bush the authority, based on false pretenses, to launch a war of aggression — in violation of the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles, and common sense — what would stop her from demanding that Congress give her the same authority?











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