January 10, 2012. Chaos and violence continue, State of Law starts
another fist-fight in Parliament, the Minister of Youth and Sports
refuses to testify before Parliament, a new poll on Iraq contains very
disturbing numbers, a tone-deaf or anti-Semitic group doesn't help
Hagel's chances to become Secretary of Defense, more people on the left
get vocal about the nomination, and more.
Emily Swanson (Huffington Post) reports
on a Huffington Post - YouGov poll which found 52% of those surveyed
think the Iraq War was a mistake (31% say it wasn't) and 55% say it
wasn't worth fighting (27% say it was) -- the poll has a plus or minus
3.7% margin of error. Those aren't good numbers. If you doubt that, visit the Podesta Brothel that is Think Progress
and you'll see them covering the poll -- sort of. The best figure
(still disappointing) is the 55%. So they work that in but ignore the
52%. It's very dishonest of them to grab the 55% and not note the 52%.
Neither figure is a good one but the 52% is more important.
more important not just because it's the lower number but also because
of the questions asked. 52% of those surveyed say the Iraq War was a
mistake. That number should be much higher. I'm not speaking of my
personal opinion yet. I'm speaking of attitudes in surveys.
Respondents, in the history of modern polling, are more apt to say a war
or conflict was a mistake than they are to say it wasn't worth
Mistake goes to government.
Fighting goes to the service members. People are more comfortable
calling out decisions by the government than calling out rank-in-file
members of the military and when you get to the issue of "fighting" and
it's value or worth, for many Americans, you are evaluating what the
military on the ground did or did not do.
the public has changed or maybe the wording was different or maybe they
just got a non-representative sample. I would love for that to be true
because the numbers themselves are disturbing.
The Iraq War is not over. Analyzing the deaths, the number injured and the incidents of violence for 2012, Iraq Body Count concluded
"In sum the latest evidence suggests that the country remains in a
state of low-level war little changed since early 2009, with a
'background' level of everyday armed violence punctuated by occasional
larger-scale attacks designed to kill many people at once." So let's
bust that little myth first. Second, US troops did not all leave. Some
15,000 moved over into Kuwait (and at least 13,000 of them remain).
They were stationed there because of Kuwait's proximity to Iraq -- so
that they could be quickly ordered back in. 'Trainers,' Marines
guarding the US Embassy staff, Special-Ops, etc. did not leave and
remain in Iraq. In fact, the number of US Special-Ops in Iraq increased
in the second half of 2012. September 26th, Tim Arango (New York Times) reported
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.
Or as William Rivers Pitt (Truthout) put it
last month, "if you think we're not still at war in Iraq, I can
introduce you to some military families who are still posting
love-you-be-safe letters to that particular delivery code." So that
should explode myth two.
are a ton of reasons to continue focusing on Iraq here in the US. But
if people only care about themselves then maybe now some on the left
who've argued it doesn't matter (including two friends with The Nation
magazine) will wake up? We've gone over what could happen repeatedly
in the last years. We did so at length August 20, 2010 in "The war continues (and watch for the revisionary tactics."
you're old enough, you saw it with Vietnam. That illegal war ended
with the government called out for its actions. And some people -- a
lot in fact -- just moved on. The weakest of the left moved on because
it wasn't 'polite' to talk about it or it wasn't 'nice' or 'can't we all
just get along' and other nonsense. Others talked about things because
they didn't care about Vietnam, the Vietnamese or the US service
members. And, after all, they had a peanut farmer from Georgia to
elect, right? And bit by bit, year by year, all these lies about
Vietnam took root. The press turned the people against it! The US
could have won if the military's hands hadn't been tied! All this
nonsense that, back when the public was paying attention in the early to
mid-seventies, would have been rejected outright by the majority of
Jane Fonda explains in the amazing documentary Sir! No Sir!,
"You know, people say, 'Well you keep going back, why are you going
back to Vietnam?' We keep going back to Vietnam because, I'll tell you
what, the other side does. They're always going back. And they have to
go back -- the Hawks, you know, the patriarchs. They have to go back
because, and they have to revise the going back, because they can't
allow us to know what the back there really was."
if you silence yourself while your opponent digs in on the topic, a
large number of Americans -- including people too young to remember what
actually happened -- here nothing but the revisionary arguments.
Jane's correct, the right-wing always went back to Vietnam. They're at
fork in the road probably because, do they continue to emphasize Vietnam
as much as they have, or do they move on to Iraq. Victor Davis
Hanson's ready to move on to Iraq. He's not the only one on the right.
And on the left we have silence.
that is why revisionary tactics work. It's not because revisions are
stronger than facts. It's because one side gives up. And the left --
check The Progressive, The Nation, etc.* -- has long
ago given up on even pretending to care about Iraq -- about the Iraq
War, about the Iraqis, about the US service members. [*But not In These Times -- they've continued to feature Iraq about every six months. Give them credit for that.]
We're seeing again what happens in silence. When we're silent on the left, when we silence ourselves, we lose and we lose big.
going to toss out some poll numbers to illustrate how bad the results
of The Huffington Post - YouGov poll is. The easiest way to find these
numbers is to refer to Polling Report
and scroll down.
December, 2011, as most US troops were being taken out of Iraq (what
the Pentagon rightly called a drawdown, not a "withdrawal"), there was a
CNN - ORC Poll which asked, "Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in
The results? 66% opposed. 31% favored. From 66% opposed in December 2011, the against-the-war opinion has dropped to 52%?
not good news. That's why the Podesta Bordello ran from that figure.
We can't run from it. Running from the topic of Iraq has led us to this
point where at least 10% opposition to the Iraq War has vanished. (At
least 10%? I'm factoring in the potential margin of error.)
the left, we're silent. Very few of us acknowledge Iraq today. If we
do, it's a sentence or two. Or we're using the Iraq War to praise some
politician. We're not talking about the realities, we're not covering
the birth defects, we're not interested in the continued struggle, the
abuse of LGBTs, the rape and torture of women in Iraqi prisons, go down
On the left, we convince ourselves
that we have something better and more important to do. That's not
happening on the right. On the right, they're covering the continued
tragedy that is the Iraq War. They're covering the results of it.
They're talking about. They're addressing it.
is what happens one side is silent. This is not new. This is not
novel. Here, we have discussed this concept since at least 2005. We
warned about it while the US military was involved in 'combat
operations.' We warned about it when Barack, echoing Bush's 'major
combat has ended' b.s., declared that combat operations were over.
We've warned about it. That's not because I'm a genius.
because this is what happens and it happens over and over. Know the
patterns. They do repeat unless you break them. That's not just
therapy, that's history.
I was standing here shaking my head in silence until the friend I'm dictating this too just asked, "Are you still there?"
is a question with a number of answers. Yes, we are still here (the
community, visitors and me). And this is exactly why we are still
here. You cannot talk away from this topic without repercussions. And
we're seeing that right now.
While I was being silent, however, I was thinking of how many years it took to rewrite Vietnam, how many movies (The Deer Hunter,
Sylvester Stallone's awful films, and so many, many more), how many
books, how many columns, on and on. It is a cottage industry, the
revisionary history of Vietnam. People have made big money there.
contrast, they haven't had to work that hard on Iraq. They certainly
haven't put in the same amount of time that their cohorts did on
According to The Huffington Post -
YouGov poll, only 52% think the Iraq War was a mistake. In ten years,
that's going to be nothing. In ten years, if the silence from those of
us on the left continues, those numbers will be reversed with 52% (or
more) arguing the Iraq War wasn't a mistake and basing that on the fact
that the left doesn't care enough to object to and refute the lies,
doesn't care enough to cover the damage.
day the sun rises. If every day, a large group of people make it their
life's work to insist that the sun doesn't rise every day and no one
bothers to refute it, despite the fact that sun rises every day, you
will find public opinion registering the belief that it doesn't. It may
be a very small number, but you will find it in the polling. If the
one group continues to insist for years that the sun doesn't rise every
day, and the other side continues to greet that claim with silence, you
will see that small number rise in consecutive polls.
not because people are stupid or because people are dumb. Most people
are very busy with their lives, children, job, school, just surviving,
whatever. And if they try to follow what's going on in the limited
amount time that they can devote to 'current events' and political
'discussions' but all they hear is one side, it doesn't matter what that
one side says, a number of people will accept it as truth.
will happen because it is repeated over and over. Joseph Goebbels was
a Nazi which means he was an idiot. People praise him or cite him for
his assertion: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it,
people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained
only for such time as the State can shield the people from the
political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus
becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to
repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus
by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." Let's just
deal with the first sentence. (And I'm talking about what an idiot
Goebbels is here. I'm not comparing War Hawks on Iraq to Goebbels. I
don't generally make Nazi comparisons as a rule.) "If you tell a lie
big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to
believe it." Goebbels didn't do the work required.
not telling a lie or spin that helps it succeed. It's this taking
place in a vaccuum with other opinions absent. Not because of fear.
There is no fear today in the United States that if you call the Iraq
War a mistake you will end up harmed or punished or shunned or
whatever. There's no liability, there's no loss or potential loss at
The lie succeeds not just because
it's being repeated and not because the government suppressing truth but
because those of us who know the Iraq War was wrong are silencing
That example of the rising sun?
People have limited time. It's not just that they hear, via the media,
the claim that the sun doesn't rise every day. It's also that they're
media trained. Meaning, in the US we expect that truth is presented as
fact. Truth requires nothing but to be said. Media training in the US
tells us that 'controversial' or 'disputed' issues require balance. So
when the only one speaking is from one side, to the average American
media consumer, that person must be speaking the truth because no one's
there objecting. Surely, if this person claiming that the sun didn't
rise every day was wrong or even just potentially wrong, there would be
another voice and it would point out that the person was wrong.
training in the US, and we're all trained in it regardless of
rejection, embrace or indifference, allows revisionary history to take
root when one side falls into silence.
Some may argue that the term isn't concrete and even point out that a
few opposed to the Iraq War have insisted it not be called a mistake,
that's it's a crime, that the actions of the United States government
were criminal. I believe Bush committed War Crimes, so I can certainly
understand that point of view.
Was that point of view at play in the poll? Could be. Maybe that explains the low 52% figure?
then there's the 'worth it' issue with 55% saying it wasn't worth it.
CBS News did a poll in November of 2011. They used charged questions.
They asked about worth and used worth measured against the loss of US
lives. To me, that's perfectly fine, wars cost lives, let's be honest
about it. But to others, that's a charged question. They asked about
worth twice. In the other question, it was basically the same, but the
invoked Saddam Hussein's name. By invoking Hussein (again, charged
question), they were able to signifcantly alter the responses. Saddam
Hussein, former leader of Iraq until the US invasion, was seen as a
madman (probably true) and much worse.
told CBS the war was not worth it, by 67%, when asked about the loss of
American lives. However, when Saddam Hussein's name was invoked, this
same group of respondents, changed their answer. It went from only 24%
saying it was "worth it" to 41%. The 67% saying it was not worth it
dropped to 50% when Saddam Hussein's name was invoked. Same group of
people, same survey. Not a follow up, not a month later. Same people,
same survey, same phone call.
in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits
to the United States, do you think the war with Iraq was worth fighting,
Worth fighting . . . . . . . . 27%
Not worth fighting . . . . . .55%
Not sure . . . . . . . . . . . . 18%
Saddam Hussein's name in 2011, CBS News was able to knock 17% points
away from the group saying the Iraq War was not with it. Without
invoking Saddam Hussein's name in 2013, Huffington Post - YouGov is able
to knock 12% points off the group saying "not worth it."
should be disturbing to all who opposed the Iraq War. The shift in the
second question ("worth it") appear to back up the numbers -- or the
veracity of the numbers -- for the poll's other big question (Iraq War,
mistake or not). And the poll about Bush that found he was basically
soaring in approval ratings also go to a trend that may be emerging.
isn't a topic that ever should have been dropped in the US. Set aside
the US military (service members died and were wounded there, service
members spent time there, it's part of their lives). On a cost basis,
there should have been continued interest. A ton of US tax payer money
went into that illegal war. The US government is in a supposed crisis
right now because it needs a ton of money. Hmm. Let's keep pretending
the two aren't connected.
There's also the
very real impotant detail that Iraqis are people. They're not an image
on the TV screen. When you stop watching, they don't cease to exist.
When you stop watching, violence still continues.
was never a good reason to walk away from Iraq. But the bulk of the
left did it and did it to enshrine Barack Obama. We're seeing the
effects now. Here's some cold, hard truth: Barack Obama no longer
matters. He won't matter again until he dies. Then he'll get a state
funeral and people will cry and mourn and endlessly gasbag. But he
doesn't matter right now. He's in his second term. What matters right
now, and DC watchers know it, is who sets themselves up for a future?
Not just a future run for president. But who's going to be the Judas
(or the George Steph, if you prefer)? Who's going to be the one who
goes from low level assistant we never heard of to the press favorite
who gets credited with everything? That's what people are watching for
Barack's story is over. He was the
44th US President. He was elected to two terms. Think about your grade
school history. The story is over. (Barring a sex scandal or a
reality TV show.) Congress and White House staffers are now the ones
who will achieve or fail.
So maybe grasping that, The Nation or The Progressive
or Pacifica Radio or some left outlet can suddenly start to rediscover
Iraq? Iraq matters not only in terms of history and what was. It also
matters in terms of the next big US war. And when opposition to the
Iraq War is so small today -- as demonstrated by the poll -- then the US
government can have any war it wants. And I'm not saying anything the
White House or a future White House isn't already aware of.
Iraq was slammed with violence today. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) counts
12 dead. All Iraq News reports
that the President of the University of Diyala, Abbas al-Dulaimi,
survived an assassination attempt when his motorcade was targeted with
bombings resulting in the deaths of 2 bodyguards with three more left
injured. They also note
a roadside bombing in central Baghdad left one employee of Parliament injured. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports
a Baquba home invasion left 1 Iraqi military officer dead while the homes of two Sahwa members were bombed killing both men. AFP notes
a Baghdad car bombing which claimed 3 lives and left eleven people injured. Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports
the death toll from the Baghdad car bombing has risen to 5 and the number injured is fifteen.
first noted in our 2009 analysis that our six-monthly data for the year
'may indicate that the situation is no longer improving', as it had
done dramatically in comparison to the height of sustained violence in
2006 - 2008. This was borne out by data for 2010 and then 2011, during
which the years the levels of violence, as measured in the number of
civilians killed annually, were almost identical."
not done with the violence yet. There was a fist-fight in Parliament.
How does the Iraqi government expect violence to decrease in Iraq when
MPs think threats and violence are the tools to resort to?
addition, you'd think Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law would advise all
of its members on conduct and how their actions can reflect poorly not
only on themselves but also on the political slate State of Law all the
way up to the prime minister (Nouri). But over and over, year after
year, State of Law MPs keep throwing punches in Parliament. Already
this week, there's been one fight. Today, State of Law takes to the
Parliament to defend their title: Nouri's Neandrathals. All Iraq News explains
Parliament was supposed to be questioning Jassim Mohammed Jaafar
(Minister of Youth and Sports) when State of Law MP Abbas al-Bayati
decided to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee by starting a
fight with Bahaa al-Arajil of Moqtada al-Sard's parliamentary bloc. Tuesday
, it was State of Law's Ali Alfalh starting a physical fight in Parliament.
it's time to stop referring to "sessions" of Parliament and instead use
the term "rounds." That'll be helpful at the end of the year, for
example, when they can proclaim that Parliament had 152 rounds in 2013
and that, in those rounds, State of Law picked 112 fights.
Because of the fight, Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi had to call a one hour recess
They never did get to question the Minister of Youth because, like so
many of of Nouri's people, he failed to show up despite being summoned
before the Parliament.
Why question the Minister to begin with? Charges
of corruption and the fact that a sports center in Basra has access to
and receives three times the amount of electrical power the rest of the
entir province receives
. Jassim Mohammed Jaafar is a Turkman and
he's also with Nouri's State of Law. He owes Nouri because he ran, in
2010, for a seat in Parliament but didn't win. State of Law named him
to the Parliament using one of the two compensation seats they
received. Kitabat notes
that Parliament is considering bringing corruption charges against him.Al Mada reports
the Kurdistan Alliance is in preparation for questioning Nouri before
the Parliament but they expect him to attempt to use the federal court
in an attempt to get out of appearing before Parliament. In case that
doesn't work, State of Law is gathering signatures in an attempt to
remove Osama al-Nujaifi as Speaker of Parliament. They have 130
currently. All Iraq News notes
MP High Nassif has issued a statement declaring that Nouri is in
violation of the Constitution and she disputes his claim to a mandate
noting that a mandate would come from the people and the prime minister
is elected by the Parliament. The article also notes that the bill on
the three presidencies was read yesterday in Parliament. The bill
seeks to limit all three to two terms. Currently, the Constitution
limits the President of Iraq to two terms. The three presidencies are
the Presidency, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament. The proposed
amnesty law was supposed to have been read today as well. Alsumaria notes
the reading has now been kicked back until Monday. All Iraq News reminds
that an amnesty law is one of the demands by those engaged in the ongoing protests.Dar Addustour writes
about Nouri's speech yesterday attacking the protesters. He said that
Iraq's too young for protests. He called on the police to arrest
protesters, declared they were being paid by foreigners and floated that
they should have to pay $100 to protest. You'll note the silence from
the White House on the protests. If the State Dept mentions them today,
no doubt, it will just be to provide Victoria Nuland with another
chance to smear them. Kitabat reports
Nouri sent at least two military brigades to Anbar Province yesterday to target the protesters.
While Nouri pushes violence (isn't that always his answer), All Iraq News notes
that Iraqiya is holding a meeting today to discuss the protesters
demands and the refusal of the government to recognize these demands.
Iraqiya is headed by Ayad Allawi. Speaker of Parliament Osama
al-Nujaifi is also with the Iraqiya political slate. They came in first
in the March 2010 elections and would have gotten the post of prime
minister were it not for the White House's refusal to let anyone but
Nouri be prime minister.
Minister Maliki's challenges right now are not so much with parliament,
but more with Iraq's political elite. The prime minister has managed to
alienate most of the elite, even while remaining popular with many
ordinary Iraqis. Early elections are, in fact, one of the demands of the
political groups opposing Maliki who want nothing more than to replace
the prime minister. This could be achieved either through early
elections or a vote of no confidence in the prime minister. Some would
settle for a pledge from Maliki that he will not seek a third term in
of no confidence route was tried last summer and failed, largely because
the Sadrist bloc backed away from their pledges to support the ouster.
Maliki, in provoking the Kurds, the Sunnis, and the Sadrists (who are
Shiites) all simultaneously, may have pushed his luck too far this time.
[However,] the chances of these groups staying united in parliament
long enough to conduct a vote of no-confidence is still unlikely, not
least due to the inevitability of Iranian counter-pressure.
theory, the street, more than parliament, could be the source of
political pressure on Maliki, but this would require the Sunni movement
merging with a robust Sadrist street movement. Although there have been
efforts over the past days to broker this marriage, much history and
suspicion lie between the two groups, making an effective merger a
challenge. Moreover, most Iraqis, after decades of trauma, are not
disposed to take to the streets to change their government, when (unlike
the other "Arab Spring" countries) elections provide an option.
the above? Those are her opinions and her opinion is also highly
anti-Moqtada al-Sadr. I raise that specifically because she claims
Moqtada killed the no-confidence vote. I'm sure she has some source she
can cite to back that up. But that source really doesn't carry weight
with me. We followed that story in real time, Sadr's bloc was appalled
that the no-confidence vote was called off. In adddition, there was no
rupture between Iraqiya's Ayad Allawi and Sadr or between KRG President
Massoud Barzani and Sadr. If Moqtada had been the cause, Allawi and
Barzani would have distanced themselves to a noticeable degree. They
Jalal Talabani was visited by the US
government and the Iranian government before suddenly declaring the
no-confidence vote was dead. Jalal's spoken very little about the vote
pubilcly since announcing it was off. However, he did give one
interview where he was clearly angry and on the defensive regarding the
no-confidence vote. In that interview, he noted a Shi'ite figure who
had pushed for the no-confidence vote only to turn on it. Jalal spoke
about that and said this person was the first one to raise the issue of a
no-confidence vote on Nouri with him.
identified that person and it wasn't Moqtada al-Sadr. Jalal called out
Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. So based
on Jalal's only public comments on the matter, based on the reaction of
the Sadr bloc, based on the reactions of Allawi and Barzani, I don't
see where you get that Moqtada called it off. (Equally true, she's
asked a question which states Moqtada is calling for an Arab Spring.
That's incorrect. Moqtada has warned of an Arab Spring. He has not
called for it.)
don't know Moqtada. Friends at the State Dept scoff at the 'new'
Moqtada. I can only judge by what's reported of his remarks and his
actions. I think it's really silly to proclaim Moqtada unchanged. In
2010, as we noted then, he wanted to be prime minister. He's presented
himself in a leadership position ever since.
not "I am the leader of Shi'ites." Yes, he is. He's also a cleric.
But he's building a movement whether people want to recognize that or
not. I would hope that it would be movement which would results in
positives for the Iraqi people. I don't know that it will or that it
will go further. But to ignore the changes he's brought about?
ignorant because you're miss exactly what does happen in Iraq. We
refer to him as "cleric and movement leader." That's in part because of
his change in tone. (I'm still surprised he didn't get more coverage
for his visit to Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad last Friday.)
But it's mainly because the reality is that he is a leader and not just
in Sadr City and parts of Basra.
appeals to Christians and Sunnis and Kurds just attempts to curry
favor. Maybe, maybe not. But what matters is what he does with them.
And what's he's done so far has been beneficial to Iraq. 2012 saw
Moqtada as the voice of the people. He fought for them with regards to
the food-ration card system (which Nouri tried to do away with) and he
fought for them with regards to the oil surplus and how the Iraqi people
would benefit from that money. A friend at the State Dept asked --
good question -- whether I would judge Moqtada the same if Nouri hadn't
gone so crazy in 2012? I think so. I don't think I'm doing a
And again, I can't
vouch for Moqtada's soul and I'm not trying to. I'm also not trying to
get him elected or appointed to any post. I'm just trying to convey in
each day's snapshot what the big themes and events were that day. You
can think the 'new' Moqtada is insincere or playing a game or whatever.
But if you're not at least admitting that it is a different Moqtada
al-Sadr than a few years back, you're missing the point. (The State
Dept friend pointed out that I have increased coverage of Moqtada in the
snapshots at the same time that the too-quick-to-embrace-Moqtada press
has suddenly tossed him to the side.) (Also, disclosure and reminder,
for several years now, an MP with the Sadr bloc has e-mailed this site.
The MP makes an impassioned case for Moqtada all the time. Check the
archives, it didn't effect me in the past. Maybe the MP has worn me
down? I don't think so.)
are many different groups that support Chuck Hagel's nomination to be
Secretary of Defense. It's a shame that the anti-Jewish section is so
quick to grab the spotlight. As James Besser (Jewish Week) noted
at the start of 2011 when US House Rep Gary Ackerman publicly rebuked
them, "J Street has become such a lightning rod in Jewish politics."
The controversial J Street has no launched a campaign that is, at best,
tone deaf and, at worst, anti-Semitic. "SMEAR A BAGEL, NOT CHUCK HAGEL"
is a petition with a questionable headline. J Street is seen as
anti-Jewish by many in the Jewish community (and, yes, the fact that
Jews are a part of J Street doesn't change that perception). Chuck
Hagel is seen by some as anti-Semitic. And to promote Chuck, J Street
decides the way to go is to argue, "SMEAR A BAGEL, NOT CHUCK HAGEL
What's the most famous film scene that a bagel has to do with?
It's the scene that resulted in film's first Jewish superstar. Barbra Streisand
won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her film debut as Fanny Bryce in William Wyler's Funny Girl
Fanny Bryce was a Jewish comedian, a singer and actress. "My Man" was
her signature song and she was famous for voicing Baby Snooks on the
radio. Though Carol Burnett and Anne Bancroft were considered for the
lead in the Broadway play, it was pretty much a given that Bryce needed
to be played by a Jewish woman. After her success on Broadway (and in
London), Barbra would perform the role on film, one of the most famous
Jewish womein in the world during the first half of the 20th century
would be played by the most famous Jewish woman of the second half of
the 20th century. The bagel scene (script by Isobel Lennart) involves
Barbra as Fanny Brice, Frank Faylen as Keeney and Lee Allen as Eddie.
Keeney: You've got to face facts.You don't look like the other girls --
Fanny Brice: I know but --
Keeney: You've got skinny legs. You stick out. And you are out! Eddie.
Fanny Brice: I'm just trying to tell you something. Why don't you give me a chance?
Eddie: I'm sorry, kiddo.
Fanny Brice: I do a terrific time step. Look.
Keeney: Out. Out.
Brice: Look, Mr. Keeny, suppose all you ever had for breakfast was
onion rolls. Now all of the sudden, one morning, in walks a bagel. You
take a look at it and you say, "What is that?" Until you tried it. But
that's my trouble.
Keeney: What's your trouble?
Fanny Brice: I'm a bagel on a plate full of onion rolls!
money isn't money. It's congealed snow, melts in your hand, and there
you are. I can't talk about Hollywood. It was a horror to me when I
was there and it's a horror to look back on. I can't imagine how I did
it. When I got away from it I couldn't even refer to the place by
name. "Out there" I called it. You know what "out there" means to me?
Once I was coming down a street in Beverly Hills and I saw a Cadillac
about a block long and out of the side window was a wonderfully slinky
mink, and an arm, and at the end of the arm a hand in a white suede
glove wrinkled around the wrist, and in the hand was a bagel with a bite
out of it.
narrative above is mean to insult a gaudy person representative of a
gaudy business. Take away the bagel and there is no story, it's a key
image in the story she's painting (whether you agree with the image or
So when you say "Smear a bagel" some
may see your slogan as "Smear a Jew, not Hagel." Again, when you're a
group some see as anti-Semitic and you're promoting a nominee some see
see as anti-Semitic, your campaign has a problem, a built-in hostility.
And when you promise to send (unrequested) bagels to a Jewish man
(William Kristol)? Even more so. J Street would be wise to think up a
Currently a member of the board of directors of Chevron,
Hagel led the charge in 1997 to block ratification of the Kyoto
Protocol, the international agreement that would have committed the US
and other industrial nations to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The
Hagel-Byrd Resolution, co-authored by the coal-friendly Democrat, West
Virginia's Robert Byrd, argued that the Kyoto failed to include
developing countries and posed barriers to US economic expansion.
his way through the revolving door to higher fame and fortune, Hagel
announced in September 2007 that he would not seek a third term in the
Senate. While his current mainstream biographies note that he happens to
teach at Georgetown, they somehow consistently miss mentioning that he
might have to give up his current position on Chevron's board.
Urvashi Vaid (The Progressive) is championing
Flournoy. For reasons that we've gone over before (what the job
actually entails), Flournoy would be a better choice than Hagel and
might even be a solid choice on her own. (She does have the youth --
she's 14 years younger than Hagel -- and passion the job needs.) Vaid
anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-women's rights, anti-environmental,
pro-defense contractor Senator with a 0% rating from Human Rights
Campaign and an 11% rating from the NAACP.(3)
guy whose election to the Senate from Nebraska involved the electronic
ballot counting company he started tallying up the votes.
made his fortune by owning and selling electronic voting systems, and
the company he founded has seen its optical scanning systems be dogged
by claims of faulty tabulation.(4)
a guy who has operated with no public oversight or scrutiny as co-chair
of the powerful and ultra-secret President's Intelligence Advisory
Board for these past three years.
Senate votes on issues important to service members are contradictory:
He opposed repealing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, but now says that
he supports lifting the ban; he voted against allowing women service
members access to abortion; he voted for the Iraq invasion but then came
around to opposing the war; he opposed the nomination of long-time gay
Democratic leader Jim Hormel as ambassador, but he apologized to Hormel a
few weeks ago.
It was August 1998 and Washington was embroiled in President Clinton's adultery scandals. Chuck Hagel,
though, had his eye on the next president. So he asked George W. Bush
if Hagel could meet with him at the governor's mansion in Austin, Texas.
then a top adviser to the governor, says he remembers Hagel flying to
Austin after Rove politely tried to dissuade him from the trip because
the governor's schedule was crowded.
flew to Austin anyway. In a meeting with Bush, Rove says, the freshman
Nebraska senator gave the governor his personal endorsement for the 2000
election cycle. Bush said he appreciated the senator's endorsement, but
asked him to keep it quiet for the time being, according to Rove,
because the governor had not yet announced he was running. After the
meeting, Hagel flew to Omaha, Nebraska, and told a group of agricultural
executives that he was urging Bush to run. The story was covered in the
August 10 edition of the Omaha World Herald, and Hagel briefly became one of the first major politicians to endorse George W. Bush for the presidency.
But the Hagel endorsement didn't last long. A few months later, when fellow Vietnam War veteran Sen. John McCain
announced his own run for the presidency, Hagel gave his endorsement to
McCain. "He wanted to be a big guy and talk to the paper," Rove said.
"Then when McCain became a credible candidate he just flipped. That's
Hagel: mercurial, focused on doing it his way."
Chuck Hagel. That's the Hagel who wasn't trusted by his peers --
Democrats or Republicans -- in the Senate because he was inconsistent.
That's Hagel. 'I want to endorse you.' Can you wait? 'No.' Then,
months later, he's announcing he's endorsing someone else.