Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gloria Keep The Money Steinem

Harvey Weinstein endowed a chair in Gloria Steinem's name at Rutgers?

Did you know that?

I did not.

It's noted in this ELLE interview though Gloria doesn't address it.

The $100,000 from him needs to be returned.

Rutgers says it will not return it.

I find this very interesting:

The campaign culminated with larger gifts totaling more than $500,000 from a wide range of donors – including Frank A. Bennack Jr., executive vice chairman of the board, Hearst Corporation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation; the George Lucas Family Foundation; and Harvey Weinstein and the H. Weinstein Family Foundation, with a gift of $100,000 in honor of his late mother, who shared Gloria Steinem’s hopes for female equality.
Early and path-breaking contributors included the Ford Foundation; the NoVo Foundation; Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook and author of Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead; and Mortimer Zuckerman, owner and publisher of the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report.

A lot of 'interesting' names -- including CIA front Ford Foundation.

Note that Gloria doesn't call for it to be returned -- the Weinstein $100,000.

No surprise her values are yet again less than leadership level.

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

Thursday, October 19, 2017.

You can tell a Republican's in the Oval Office -- Karen Meredith is back in the news.

Karen was a 'brave' warrior during the Bully Boy Bush administration railing about every issue under the sun.  Today, she rages against Donald Trump in a pathetic message.  The media reports it with no context.

Biggest context, our 'brave' Karen didn't say "Boo!" while Barack Obama was president.  She's a Democratic Party operative, she is not an independent voice, she is not ethical.

Vote Vets (wisely called "vote schmucks" by Rebecca) depends on non-veterans like Karen mainly because they ran off so many veterans.  Vets believed wrongly in the organization.  We got into several disagreements and arguments when the group began and then, when Barack became president, those vets who insisted I was wrong about Vote Vets saw reality and e-mailed that they had been used and lied to.

Front groups rarely tell the truth.

They tend to out themselves.

“Mr. Trump, stop. Please, just stop,” said Karen Meredith, who lost her son in Iraq in 2004

"It is about all of us who lost our loved ones in war."

Whether you agree with that statement or not (this is about a war on Iraq, Karen, not just about your feelings), it is after that sentence that she tips her hands, "For once in your life, please stop making everything about you."

And, actually, her full statement then continues, "For once in your life, at least pretend to know what empathy is.  For once in your life, at least try to care about other people and their feelings."

It's an attack, that's all it is.

She presumes to know everything about Donald Trump and she really doesn't know anything at all.

Unlike fake ass Karen, I've hated Donald Trump for years -- and with good reason.  Unlike fake ass Karen, I wouldn't suggest that he's never had a moment of empathy in his life, or that he's never been able to care about other people and their feelings.

She's a fake and a fraud, using her son's death to pimp the Democratic Party.

Here's reality for Karen, her son is dead and she's not trying to end the war that is killing Iraqis and Americans to this day.  Here's reality for Karen, she pops up to play 'wise' voice whenever a Republican occupies the White House.

Imagine it's 2007 and you've just returned from Iraq.  The war has not gone well in your eyes (some veterans feel that way, some don't, there's a large variety of opinions).  There's a group, Vote Vets, that are decrying Bully Boy Bush and leading you to believe that they are going to push for the end of the Iraq War.  Then Barack gets elected and they go silent.

You've helped them.  You've shared stories you aren't sure you wanted to go public with.  You've done that and given of your time because you want to help ensure that the war ends and more young Americans aren't sent to Iraq.

And now you see Vote Vets turning their back on you.

Of course, you feel used and tricked.

They abused the people who trusted them.

"They" includes Karen.

Cindy Sheehan did not go silent when Barack Obama became president.

Cindy continued to speak out.

And she was betrayed by so many 'brave' 'leaders.'  Matthew Rothschild's moved into deserved obscurity and we should all be thankful for that.  One of the great fake asses of our time, Matthew betrayed Cindy repeatedly, betrayed veterans against the war repeatedly.

When I say that, I'm referring to specific moments and specific promises Rothschild gave (including to me) that he repeatedly did not follow up, coverage promised was not granted.  It was more important to him to present a feel-good vision of the US under Barack -- even though he knew it was a lie.  THE PROGRESSIVE today is a joke but at least it's not the dirty joke it was when Rothschild controlled everything.

Meanwhile, things remained strained in Kirkuk.

Kurdish youth raise ’s flag in Kirkuk city in defiance of Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi army.

Replying to 
Kurdish civilians remove a Pro-Shia Militia Turkmen flag from 's Citadel. People don't accept Iraqi occupation of a Kurdistani city.

This is result of insulting Kurdish flags by Iraqi forces in . Kurdish youth is throwing down Turkmen Flag from Citadel.

: Kirkuk youth attack Iraqi police, throwing shoes at them, pulling Iraqi flag down.

Oil-rich Kirkuk.

Emma Sky pens a column for THE GUARDIAN and does so with little grasp of how much a part of the problem she was and remains:

For months, we had been beseeching Baghdad to grant Kirkuk a special status. We argued that the “Kirkuk issue” could derail the national discussion on Iraq’s new constitution. There was real potential for conflict within the province that we feared could spill over into other parts of the country and encourage the involvement of external actors. Some form of special status could defer the determination of Kirkuk’s final standing for five years – to provide the time and space to resolve the issues, and strengthen local leadership.
We believed special status had the support of the local population – and would stop Kirkuk being a political football between Baghdad and the Kurds. But despite our arguments, the coalition did not grant such status.
Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution set out a process for resolving the status of those territories disputed between Baghdad and Irbil (the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan). But it was never implemented.
Over the intervening years, the Kurds exerted greater control over the province. Kirkuk became a stronghold for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, which selected the governor.

When the Iraqi security forces fled in the face of Isis in 2014 it was the Kurds, with support from the US-led coalition, who fought back and pushed them out of Kirkuk.

This decision to avoid conflict -- kick the can.

And Emma wants a real dialogue now.

How can you have a dialogue with a Baghdad-based government that has refused to follow the Iraqi Constitution?

Article 140 -- a delaying tactic -- was supposed to be implemented by the end of 2007.

The Iraqi Constitution states it will be implemented by that time.

It was never implemented.

Thug Nouri al-Maliki was prime minister then.

He went on to lose the 2010 election but Barack Obama had the US negotiate The Erbil Agreement to give him a second term that the voters would not.  That contract called for Article 140 to be implemented.  And Nouri swore it would be in one month.

A month later?

Nouri called it off.

Article 140 calls for a census in Kirkuk and a referendum to determine its fate.

Ten years after it was supposed to be implemented, per the Iraqi Constitution, it still has not been.

This is what The RAND Corporation has called out noting that this is going to be a huge problem.

Instead of addressing the problem, the plan by non-Iraqis (like  Emma Sky -- she's British) has been to repeatedly postpone reality.

One way or another, this has to be resolved.

(Emma Sky has a much better piece at THE ATLANTIC.)

At FOREIGN POLICY, Emile Simpson (Iraq War veteran and, like Sky, also British) notes:

On Monday, as Iraqi regular forces and Shiite militia rolled into the city of Kirkuk that lies at the center of the territories and oil fields disputed between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi government, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued this statement: “ISIS remains the true enemy of Iraq, and we urge all parties to remain focused on finishing the liberation of their country from this menace.” The U.S. commander on the ground, Maj. Gen. Robert White, said the same thing: “We continue to advocate dialogue between Iraqi and Kurdish authorities. All parties must remain focused on the defeat of our common enemy, ISIS, in Iraq.”
Translation: We have been given no political strategy from Washington, so please, everyone, just stick to our military plan until we work one out.
[. . .]
But here we go again: We are nearing a military success against the Islamic State but have failed to define the peace that follows, because no serious attempt has been made to even define what that peace should look like in advance. This is what happens when you fixate on defeating an enemy militarily but don’t bother with political strategy.

As part of the battle over Kirkuk, attacks are being made on the outlet RUDAW.  We're noting this in full from RUDAW:

Rudaw Media Network issued a statement on Thursday regarding Iraqi institutions preventing the work of its employees in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

The statement comes after Iraqi officials in Kirkuk and Baghdad issued statements on Wednesday threatening to revoke its television license in Iraq.

Additionally,  Rudaw withdrew all staff members and reporters from Kirkuk following death threats from militiamen.

Rudaw has worked in a professional manner and has published accurate information of the developments on the ground. Rudaw underscores that its work is constitutional and essential to the principles of freedom and democracy, the statement said.

Rudaw Media Network is based in the Kurdistan Region. Coverage of the war against ISIS and other work by its reporters has been syndicated by major world networks and agencies. It also has correspondents in Baghdad, Europe, the United States, and has covered events in other Middle Eastern countries.

Rudaw has digital, radio, newspaper, and television portals, which report the news in Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish, and English.

The full statement can be read below:

To the public opinion and all the organizations defending journalism in the world

Today, the Iraqi Joint Command, and a so-called Kirkuk provincial council, issued two statements on preventing journalistic work for Rudaw Media Network, threatening Rudaw. Both of them were contrary to the Iraqi constitution and freedom of press. Whatever has been said in these two statements about spreading fear and encouraging people to flee from Kirkuk and the area is completely false. 

Rudaw Media Network has done its work, covering what was happening in a professional manner. Moreover, whatever published by Rudaw was accurate information, documents and videos. Publishing news of arresting people without an arrest warrant, taking the injured out from hospitals and killing them, burning peoples’ homes, the exodus of thousands of people because of the situation, insulting the Kurdish sanctities in the cities of Kirkuk and Khurmatu, would certainly not be what the authority doing these things want people to hear or see. But this is the job of professional and free media and the laws give this right to the media and it is the duty of the media to do this from a professional perspective.
What is more surprising is to see Kirkuk’s provincial council reacting to a video published by Rudaw, saying that the photograph of the founder of the Islamic revolution Ayatollah Khomeini and the photograph of the leader of the Islamic revolution of Iran Ayatullah Khamenei have not been put up in the building of the governorate, while the council has been silent on all these violations and tens of constitutional and legal violations since October 16, 2017.
We declare to the Joint Command and provincial council of Kirkuk, if you protect the security and freedoms of people in practice and are meticulously monitoring the work of Rudaw Media Network, why have you been silent in the face of threats to terrorize Rudaw correspondents in Kirkuk? Why don’t you fulfill your legal and security duties? Following the publication of this statement, we put the responsibility to protect the lives of all the employees of Rudaw Media Network on your shoulders. According to the constitution and principles of freedom and democracy, protecting their lives and their freedom to work is your duty, rather than preventing them from executing their work.
In addition, we will reserve our legal right to, in due time, file a lawsuit in response to any attempt to defame Rudaw Media Network.
We call upon the representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), all the organizations advocating for media work, our television colleagues in the European group for exchanging news (ENEX) and all the world’s media establishments to respond and put pressure on the Iraqi government in order to protect the freedom of journalistic work, in the face of these threats and impediments to the media work of Rudaw Media Network and journalists in Kirkuk and its surrounding areas.
Rudaw Media Network

October 18, 2017

Finally, yesterday's snapshot noted the lawsuit brought by veterans and their families against five US corporations.  Kyle Swenson (WASHINGTON POST) reports on the lawsuit:

A lawsuit that has just hit the federal court system claims that these drug giants were not only filling purchasing orders but offering substantial kickbacks and free medication, all while knowing they were in business with a group of terrorists engaged in violence against U.S. interests and Americans. Such payments, the lawsuit claims, were violations of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The 203-page suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of 108 plaintiffs, seeks to hold the corporations responsible for the deaths and injuries of U.S. service members between 2005 and 2009.

The corporate defendants include subsidiaries of the largest medical brands in the world: AstraZeneca, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Roche. The businesses “obtained lucrative contracts from that ministry by making corrupt payments to the terrorists who ran it,” the complaint argues. “Those payments aided and abetted terrorism in Iraq by directly financing an Iran-backed, Hezbollah-trained militia that killed or injured thousands of Americans.”

  • The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:

  • This is coming up!

    The legendary Diana Ross will be honored with this year’s American Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.

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

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the US media ignores what's been dubbed as The Talabani Treason as they rush to mis-report, Johnson & Johnson is among five corporations being sued by veterans and their families for supporting terrorism, and much more.

    For years, Johnson & Johnson has boasted of "no more tears" with regards to their baby shampoo but this week the giant corporation may be among the ones bawling.  Aamer Madhani (USA TODAY) reports:

    The families of dozens of U.S. troops killed or injured during the war in Iraq filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against several U.S. and European pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, alleging that the corporations knowingly financed the anti-American militia Mahdi Army through bribes and kickbacks to officials at a government ministry controlled by the group.
    The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., against some of the biggest names in the industry — including GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Roche Holdings — claims that the companies regularly paid kickbacks to officials in Iraq’s Ministry of Health through their local agents.

    FOX NEWS adds:

    The lawsuit alleges that five drug companies won contracts with the Iraqi government during the 2003 peak of the war with knowledge that free drugs and medical devices would end up in the hands of a Shiite militia.
    That militia would then sell the drugs and devices to the black market to fund its operations against the U.S., the New York Times reported.
    Named in the lawsuit are U.S. firms General Electric, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer and European drugmakers AstraZeneca and Roche Holding A.G.
    The companies won contracts with the Iraqi Ministry of Health that at the time was controlled by the leader of the Mahdi Army, a group known for attacking U.S. troops and working closely with Lebanese paramilitary group Hezbollah, which the U.S. has designated a terrorist group, the Times reported.

    The group was known as the “Pill Army,” according to the Financial Times, as some of the fighters were known to have been paid in drugs rather than cash.

    The law firms Sparacino & Anderson PLLC and Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick PLLC have teamed up to represent the people against the five corporations.  Sparacino & Anderson PLLC issued the following yesterday:

    A group of American veterans and civilians, and their families, filed a lawsuit against five major pharmaceutical and medical-supply corporations in federal court today, accusing the companies of knowingly or recklessly supporting an Iraqi terrorist group that attacked, killed, and wounded thousands of Americans in Iraq.  Financing of this group allegedly has come via a longstanding and continuing bribery scheme that many of the defendants have pursued for years and was designed to keep their profits high.

    The defendants being sued are the parent companies and/or subsidiaries of AstraZeneca plc (AZN), General Electric Company (GE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Pfizer Inc. (PFE), and Roche Holding AG (RHHBY).
    The defendants are being sued under the Anti-Terrorism Act by more than 100 Americans who were attacked or who had a family member attacked by the terrorist group Jaysh al-Mahdi (also known as JAM or the Mahdi Army).  
    Jaysh al-Mahdi is led by Muqtada al-Sadr, a notorious Iraqi cleric known for his fiery anti-American sermons and brutal attacks on Americans serving in Iraq after the fall of Saddam.  As alleged in the complaint, Jaysh al-Mahdi has carried out its campaign of terror in Iraq using money and material provided directly by the defendants.  
    The suit follows an extensive investigation by the Washington, D.C.-based law firms of Sparacino & Andreson PLLC and Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, PLLC. 
    "While Americans worked to rebuild Iraq, many were attacked by a terrorist group that we allege has been funded in part by the defendants' corrupt sales practices," said Josh Branson, a partner at Kellogg Hansen.  "This lawsuit alleges that the defendants have aided and abetted terrorism in Iraq by paying bribes to the terrorists who ran the Iraqi Ministry of Health.  We allege that those corrupt payments, including cash and free goods, provided an important source of financing for the terrorists." 
    Jaysh al-Mahdi is effectively the Iraqi franchise of Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist organization, and serves as Iran's terrorist proxy in Iraq.  The complaint alleges that Jaysh al-Mahdi's terrorist attacks against Americans in Iraq have been planned, authorized, and sometimes conducted by Hezbollah. 
    "As alleged, many of the defendants have a documented history of paying bribes that supported terrorism under Saddam," said Ryan Sparacino, a partner at Sparacino & Andreson.  "We believe that the evidence will show that when Jaysh al-Mahdi seized the Iraqi Health Ministry, the defendants continued paying the same bribes that many of them provided under Saddam – except in far greater amounts.  The complaint alleges that these corruption schemes are extensive and ongoing.  The lives of the families of those killed and injured have been forever changed, and the results have been devastating."
    Kellogg Hansen and Sparacino & Andreson conducted an extensive investigation before filing the complaint.  The firms spent thousands of hours working on the matter and analyzing hundreds of transactions between the defendants and the Iraqi Health Ministry.  For many of the survivors of these attacks and the families of those killed, much of what the investigation uncovered came as a shock.
    "My hope is that we can get justice for my brother's death and for so many others who didn't have to die in Iraq," said Ami Neiberger-Miller, the surviving sister of U.S. Army Specialist Christopher Neiberger, who was killed in action in Baghdad, Iraq on August 6, 2007, three days after his 22nd birthday.
    The complaint is available at

    RT notes:

    The lawsuit cites a Pentagon press release, which stated that a senior official with alleged ties to the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia “orchestrated several kickback schemes by using inflated contracts for ministry equipment and services.”
    “These kickbacks, which officials believe have funneled millions of US dollars to militia elements, support sectarian attacks and violence targeting Iraqi civilians,” the Pentagon said.
    The lawsuit argues that the companies knew the Health Ministry was being run by a terrorist organization and cited how they have previously paid large sums of money to settle similar charges in the past.
    In 2011, Johnson & Johnson paid $70 million to settle charges that its subsidiaries paid kickbacks to win contracts in Iraq and other countries. GE also paid more than $23 million in 2010 to settle charges that it had paid kickbacks for Health Ministry contracts under the Oil-for-Food program.

    As a few e-mails about this story point out, we've repeatedly noted the war as an effort to create new markets.  Some of the e-mails wrongly credit Naomi Klein and her book SHOCK DOCTRINE.  Sorry, the references pre-date that and the influence there was always Jane Wagner's THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE (specifically Trudy's discussion about marketing in-between meal snacks to people who didn't even know where their next meal was coming from).  No offense to Naomi but Jane wrote an award winning play that was even deeper than many realized.

    I'm surprised the corporations haven't rushed to settle.

    This is not a case they can win -- even if they should prevail in court.

    That's because the more awareness there is of this case, the more harm to the corporations -- especially Johnson & Johnson which is more visible in daily life -- and more dispensable. Pfier may be harder to get around but Johnson & Johnson -- as shampoo, baby oil, etc -- is very easy to stop buying and the reaction of many will be to stop buying those products.

    You're going to war with veterans by refusing to settle out of court, yes.  But you're also going to war with their families and advocates on their behalf (the latter is what many -- if not most -- Americans see themselves as).

    The smartest thing the corporations could do would be to rush to settle this case.  The smartest thing the law firms representing the veterans and veterans' families can do is make sure that word of this case multiplies.

    Turning to yesterday's press briefing at the US State Dept where Iraq was a laughing issue for many -- including spokesperson Heather Nauert:

    QUESTION: Similarly, in Iraq --

    MS NAUERT: -- because I won’t --

    QUESTION: -- the Iraqi Government has had difficulty --

    MS NAUERT: I can’t even hear you. I’ll answer your first question first.

    QUESTION: No, this – no, it’s the same point. In Iraq, we just saw this in Kirkuk.

    MS NAUERT: You know what? I’ve already forgotten what you’ve said as you’ve gone on on your thing.

    QUESTION: Well, you can be – you can – well, you can be dismissive, but the fact is --

    MS NAUERT: No, I’m not. I would like to answer your first question first.

    QUESTION: -- this is a civil war inside Syria and it’s not fair --

    MS NAUERT: Can anyone recall her first question? Otherwise I’ll just move on.

    QUESTION: -- and it’s not fair --

    MS NAUERT: Okay. I’ll just move on then.

    QUESTION: -- for this to be – it’s not (inaudible).

    MS NAUERT: Okay. Does anyone else have a question about Syria?

    [. . .]

    MS NAUERT: Hi, Laurie. Let’s go to Iraq.

    QUESTION: On Iraq --

    MS NAUERT: Oh, and by the way, may I just say when I ask you all to please just give me one question at a time rather than having to respond to a litany of two or three or four questions at once, it helps me to be able to answer your questions succinctly. So pardon me. I’m sorry our journalist from Al Jazeera decided to leave the briefing room. I would have been happy to have answered her questions one by one, but she didn’t want to do that. So, okay, let’s move on. We’re – Laurie, you wanted to talk about Iraq.

    QUESTION: On Iraq, individuals like Senator McCain and Senator Rubio and institutions like The Wall Street Journal have criticized you over Kirkuk, saying that you let Iranian-dominated forces directed by Qasem Soleimani attack a valuable ally, namely the Kurds, and this is the exact opposite of the tough new Iran – policy against Iran that the President just announced on Friday. What is your response to that?

    MS NAUERT: Look, as we watch the situation unfold in Iraq, we continue to call for calm, to call for calm on the part of the Kurds, on the part of the government in Baghdad as well. We have made no bones about that. The Secretary is making calls to the region, I believe set for today. I know that this is something that he is watching very closely. The whole of the U.S. Government is watching the situation closely. Our U.S. forces have fought side by side with those in Iraq, whether it’s the north or whether it’s in the south, okay. We care deeply about what happens in Iraq. We continue to monitor the situation very closely.
    We have monitored the movements of various vehicles and personnel in that. We see these as what has happened to be what I’ll call coordinated movements. I know some have reported it as attacks. We look at it from the standpoint of coordinated movements. Our advisers are not supporting the Government of Iraq and we’re not supporting the Kurdistan Regional Government activities. We’re trying to stay – we’re trying to get the situation calmed as best as possible.

    QUESTION: Could you --

    QUESTION: It’s not --

    MS NAUERT: Go ahead.

    QUESTION: Could you tell us who Secretary Tillerson is calling? Does that include Kurdish leaders?

    MS NAUERT: I’m not aware of exactly who he is calling. I know he is making calls to the region, and so I just want to leave it at that. I’m not sure he’s – who they’re going to be able to get on the phone.

    QUESTION: So --

    QUESTION: Okay, if I --

    MS NAUERT: Go ahead. Yeah.

    QUESTION: My final question. You say coordinated movements, and I understand that. But the complaint is that these movements were coordinated by Qasem Soleimani after he suborned the PUK leadership. Does that bother you?

    MS NAUERT: Look, we’re not taking friends – I mean, we’re not taking sides. We are – excuse me. (Laughter.) We are not taking sides in that. I want to be clear about that. Look, that is why we continue to say, please, calm. We’re watching this situation very closely.

    QUESTION: Can you say – has the offer that was in the statement that you put out yesterday – there was a suggestion that the offer to mediate or offer to help was out there on the table. Do you know, has that been taken up by anyone?

    MS NAUERT: We – look, an actual offer to sit down and do something of that sort, I’m not aware of that. I can tell you, in addition to the Secretary making calls, our Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk is on the ground in Iraq right now. He’s holding meetings. Our ambassador to Iraq, Ambassador Silliman, is also engaged in a lot of meetings and conversations. So we are very engaged, heavily engaged in this. We want to see a unified, democratic Iraq.

    QUESTION: Do you – where is Brett, in Baghdad or is he --

    MS NAUERT: He’s in Iraq. I don’t – I --

    QUESTION: You don’t know where?

    MS NAUERT: Beyond that, I don’t know where exactly.

    QUESTION: And then secondly – and I think this gets to the broader long question that Roz was trying to ask you – are you concerned about an Iranian --

    MS NAUERT: What are you looking at over there?

    QUESTION: The map.

    MS NAUERT: Oh, the map. Okay.

    QUESTION: It helps me focus if I look at Iraq on the map.

    MS NAUERT: The blue blob map. (Laughter.) Okay. Yes.

    QUESTION: Well, I – my geography’s good enough. I know where Iraq is.

    MS NAUERT: Okay, okay.

    QUESTION: Now, you made me forget my question. (Laughter.)

    MS NAUERT: We’ll come back to you on that. Dave. Dave, go right ahead.

    QUESTION: Yeah, I’ll pass.

    QUESTION: It was Iran or Iranian influence.

    QUESTION: Did the Government of Iraq inform you of its intentions to secure Kirkuk before the act?

    MS NAUERT: I’m not aware of that. I’m not aware of that.

    QUESTION: Would you have dissuaded them, had they done so?

    MS NAUERT: Because I’m not aware of that, that would be a hypothetical. So if I have something on you – if somebody in the building has an answer on that, I will certainly let you know. 

    Heather's not aware of much of anything -- who the Secretary of State is speaking with, where Brett McGurk is, etc.

    It's being called The Talabani Treason on social media -- the Talabanis taking money to sell out the Kurds and pull the peshmerga out of Kirkuk (see yesterday's snapshot).

    Yet it's not being mentioned in the US press.

    It's reported by the Arabic press, what the Talabanis did, how they betrayed their own and how this will hurt their political party in the next elections.

    But there's silence in the US.

    And the pretense that the Iraqi military 'won' Kirkuk.

    There was no fight.

    The Peshmerga were ordered back by the Talabanis.  Jalal Talabani, it turns out, represented his family quite well, they were/are all whores for money.  They will sell out anyone for a few coins tossed their way.

    Talk about FAKE NEWS.  How are Americans supposed to be informed when the press lies so badly?

    Buried deep in Nahih Bulos' LOS ANGELES TIMES 'report,' they can find this:

     Massoud Haider, a Kurdish member of parliament, said the government takeover was part of a deal negotiated by Iran between the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan — a skittish partner of Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraq’s Kurdish region — and Shiite-dominated paramilitary groups that are collectively known as Popular Mobilization Forces and backed by Iran.

    Buried deep.  How deep?  It's paragraph 13.

    And it's misleading.

    "Skittish partner of Massoud Barani"?

    Is Nancy Pelosi the partner -- skittish or otherwise -- of Donald Trump?

    The PUK is the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan -- the political party controlled by the Talabani family.  It began in the 70s when the Talabanis broke with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (founded in 1946) which is led by the Barzanis.

    They are not partners, they are rivals.

    KDP is the dominant party in the Kurdistan Region.

    The next most popular party, as of the last election cycle, is the CIA-backed GORAN party.  In third place is the PUK.

    They're in third place exactly because of this sort of back stabbing move by the Talabanis on Kirkuk.

    They are not the partners of Barzani and THE LOS ANGELES TIMES has misled every reader they have -- granted it's not as many as they had ten years ago -- or even five -- but they still have a few.

    Meanwhile, a battle did take place between the Shi'ite militias and the Peshmerga -- not in Kirkuk, but near the Mosul dam -- on Monday.  The results?  1 Peshmerga killed and 8 Shi'ite milita members killed.

    The following community sites -- plus PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: