Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Women's March becomes one with hate

Organizers of the Women's March are facing controversy after they were linked to anti-Semitic statements from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
As Tablet Magazine's senior writer Yair Rosenberg demonstrated in a Twitter thread stretching from late last month to earlier this week, Farrakhan is undoubtedly a run-of-the-mill Jew hater. In a speech last month, Farrakhan claimed that "Jews have control over those agencies of government."  He blamed Jews for "degenerate behavior in Hollywood turning men into women and women into men" and referred to Jews as "the mother and father of apartheid." Farrakhan even claimed that Jews were working with the United States government to manipulate marijuana strains in order to feminize African-American men.
Nor, as Rosenberg noted, were these Farrakhan's first forays into anti-Semitism. Some of his other choice comments have been to denounce the "synagogue of Satan," accusing Jews of controlling the media and the banks and citing the story of Jesus Christ as an example of the "real problem with the Jewish community."
[. . .]
That was an article on an important topic.  I don’t think it was a good article.  I’ll give the writer credit for tackling the subject.  But it did not go far enough.  We cannot get in bed with someone who hates Jewish people or hates Armenians or hates whomever.  This is not feminism and it’s not appropriate.
I’m no fan of the Israeli government, for example, but not only do I not blame Jewish people in America for a foreign government, I also don’t blame the people of Israel.  My government doesn’t represent me.  I wouldn’t make the assumption that another war mongering country represented its citizens either.
Why are they tolerating Farrakhan?
Because they want numbers and that’s what he can deliver.
But to get those numbers, they are signing off on a message of hate. 

They should be ashamed.  But they just frontin’ anyway, let’s be honest.  They just frontin’.

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

Thursday, March 8, 2018.

The idiot Melinda Henneberger.

I've said this repeatedly: I do not begrudge any woman who supported Hillary in 2008 for supporting her in 2016.  I did not support her in 2016.  I did support her in 2008.  And those of us who did battled real sexism -- not the supposed sexism of 2016.  We dealt with, for example, Matthew Rotschild (then in charge of THE PROGRESSIVE) giggling over Citizens United's full name -- look it up.  We got David Shuster going after Chelsea and accusing Hillary of "pimping her."  We got Keith Olbermann declaring Katie Couric "worst person of the week" because Katie dared to point out reality -- a news reporter for MSNBC should not be bragging on air about how he couldn't be objective about Barack because he loved him so much.  We got talk shows offering that Hillary needed to be taken out behind the barn.  We got Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards both suggesting that if Hillary couldn't handle her home life (meaning Bill's affairs) then how could she handle her presidency?  (Edwards is especially hilarious to reflect on -- she gave an interview -- where else -- to THE PROGRESSIVE boasting about how, unlike Hillary, the choices she made in her life left her happy -- this as her husband had just fathered the child with his mistress).  We had Chris Matthews chuckling over -- promoting actually -- the nut crackers that were basically a Hillary Clinton doll whose legs cracked nuts.  We got talk of how she shaved her face every morning.

There was the infamous photo, remember?

Dee Dee Myers (VANITY FAIR):

What's bugging me is his intention.  He isn't putting his hand on her "chest" as most of the articles and conversations about the picture have euphemistically referred to it.  Rather, his hand-cupped just so -- is clearly intended to signal that he's groping her breast.  And why? Surely, not to signal he finds her attractive.  Au contraire.  It's an act of deliberate humiliation.  Of disempowerment.  Of denigration.  And it disgusts me.

Here's the photo, for those who have forgotten it or never saw it.

Image result for hillary clinton jon favreau

Grabbing/cupping her breast?  That's Barack Obama's speech writer.  The photo is from the 2008 campaign.  Jon Favreau never publicly apologized.  It was in the middle of the primary.  Barack never made a point to apologize or to call for Favreau to.

We could go over and over this -- the 2008 environment -- but I always felt Marie Cocco hit harder than any of us and that her "Obama's Abortion Stance When 'Feeling Blue'" (Washington Post Writers Group) will always be something for us all to be proud of (what she wrote, not Barack's nonsense -- and if that link doesn't work try Googling the title of the column):

Obama says that these women should not be able to obtain a late-term abortion, because just "feeling blue" isn't the same as suffering "serious clinical mental health diseases." True enough. And totally infuriating. During the recent Obama pander tour -- the one in which he spent about a week trying to win over conservative religious voters -- the presumptive Democratic nominee unnecessarily endorsed President Bush's faith-based initiative, a sort of patronage program that rewards religious activists for their political support with public grants. Then in a St. Louis speech, Obama declared that "I let Jesus Christ into my life." That's fine, but we already have a president who believes this was a qualification for the Oval Office, and look where that's gotten us.Obama's verbal meanderings on the issue of late-term abortion go further. He has muddied his position. Whether this is a mistake or deliberate triangulation, only Obama knows for sure. One thing is certain: Obama has backhandedly given credibility to the right-wing narrative that women who have abortions -- even those who go through the physically and mentally wrenching experience of a late-term abortion -- are frivolous and selfish creatures who might perhaps undergo this ordeal because they are "feeling blue."

The only thing better?  Marie near the end of the 2008 cycle, ''Misogyny I won't miss:"

I will not miss seeing advertisements for T-shirts that bear the slogan "Bros before Hos." The shirts depict Barack Obama (the Bro) and Hillary Clinton (the Ho) and are widely sold on the Internet.
I will not miss walking past airport concessions selling the Hillary Nutcracker, a device in which a pantsuit-clad Clinton doll opens her legs to reveal stainless-steel thighs that, well, bust nuts. I won't miss television and newspaper stories that make light of the novelty item.
I won't miss episodes like the one in which liberal radio personality Randi Rhodes calledClinton a "big [expletive] whore" and said the same about former vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro. Rhodes was appearing at an event sponsored by a San Francisco radio station, before an audience of appreciative Obama supporters -- one of whom had promoted the evening on the presumptive Democratic nominee's official campaign Web site.
[. . .]
Political discourse will at last be free of jokes like this one, told last week by magician Penn Jillette on MSNBC: "Obama did great in February, and that's because that was Black History Month. And now Hillary's doing much better 'cause it's White Bitch Month, right?" Co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski rebuked Jillette.
I won't miss political commentators (including National Public Radio political editor Ken Rudin and Andrew Sullivan, the columnist and blogger) who compare Clinton to the Glenn Close character in the movie "Fatal Attraction." In the iconic 1987 film, Close played an independent New York woman who has an affair with a married man played by Michael Douglas. When the liaison ends, the jilted woman becomes a deranged, knife-wielding stalker who terrorizes the man's blissful suburban family. Message: Psychopathic home-wrecker, begone.
The airwaves will at last be free of comments that liken Clinton to a "she-devil" (Chris Matthews on MSNBC, who helpfully supplied an on-screen mock-up of Clinton sprouting horns). Or those who offer that she's "looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court" (Mike Barnicle, also on MSNBC).
But perhaps it is not wives who are so very problematic. Maybe it's mothers. Because, after all, Clinton is more like "a scolding mother, talking down to a child" (Jack Cafferty on CNN).

Deliah Boyd and a lot of other women fought this nonsense day in and day out in 2008.  We fought it here.  And it was a war, a very real war against women.  Don't do your whining about 2016 and sexism because it really wasn't there -- not compared to 2008.  And we were threatened and bullied, many of us were run of Blogger/Blogspot (our issue is Iraq and we've long called out everyone on that which might be why the complaints about this site to blogger didn't get us suspended the way so many other female run sites were -- most of those women ended up moving over to WordPress).

So I don't begrudge any woman who supported Hillary in 2008 supporting her in 2016.  The women of 2008 -- myself included -- have the scars.

But I do begrudge the women who were silent in 2008.  Especially if they've set themselves up as the last word on sexism in 2016 and especially today.

Melinda, for those who wonder, didn't do s**t.

But here she is rushing in to defend Dianne Feinstein in a USA TODAY and KANSAS CITY STAR COLUMN -- Kansas?  Presumably, that's where she votes.  She doesn't vote in California.

But Dianne Feinstein is being disrespected, whines Melinda, and that's sexism.

Shove it up your useless ass, Melinda.

It's not sexism to point out her age -- you might want to pretend it's ageism, but it's not sexism.

And there's nothing good about the fact that, if elected in November to the US Senate, Dianne -- if she lived that long -- would be in her 90s when her term expired.

Dianne will be 85 in June.

She needs to retire.

Saying that is not sexism.

From December 2008's "A gold watch for Robert Byrd?" that we wrote for THIRD:

But Byrd and his colleagues really aren't running for office these days. They are incumbents and the re-election rate for incumbents means that there's no real running for office in most cases. OpenSecrets notes, "Few things in life are more predictable than the chances of an incumbent member of the U.S. House of Representatives winning reelection. With wide name recognition, and usually an insurmountable advantage in campaign cash, House incumbents typically have little trouble holding onto their seats . . . Senate races still overwhelmingly favor the incumbent, but not by as reliable a margin as House races. Big swings in the national mood can sometimes topple long time office-holders, as happened with the Reagan revolution in 1980. Even so, years like that are an exception." This is backed up by their graphs where you will find, for example, the 2004 re-election rate for incumbents in the US Congress: House office holders were re-elected by 98% and Senate office holders by 96%.

Let's stop pretending the bulk of incumbents ever have to worry about holding onto their seats.

And let's stop pretending about the 'kid' tapped to replace Byrd as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committees. That would be Senator Daniel Inouye, a whipper snapper of 84-years. Repeating, 84-years-old.

The Daniels

Inouye is not only the incoming chair of the Senate Appropriates Committee, he's also the senior senator from Hawaii. "Junior" would be Daniel Akaka who is also 84-years-old (four days younger than Inouye, in fact). Ted Kennedy is 76-years-old and last ran for re-election in 2006. In May of this year, he informed voters he was ill, brain cancer. A few months later he had surgery, taking constituents by surprise. The surgery is thought to have extended Kennedy's life expectancy (by a few months) but he had a seizure in August that no one's said a great deal on but the 'official word' is the seizure resulted from medications. (His being diagnosed with brain cancer was preceded by at least two seizures.) Carl Levin is 74-years-old, Herbert Kohl is 73-years-old and Jay Rockefeller is 71-years-old. Tom Harkin and Harry Reid will both turn 70 in 2009.

In his June 2007 speech, Byrd declared, "I will continue to work until this old body just gives out and drops -- but don't expect that to be any time soon." Are Senate seats to be lifetime offices? The rate of re-election indicates that is possible if someone's life is so damn pathetic that all they have to live for is their job. There is something really sick about this. From time to time, for example, one of the above listed senators is "honored" for his consecutive days of service (in 2004, Daniel Akaka issued a proclamation honoring Daniel Inouye, for example) as though this was something to be proud of. You can't say, "As though Inouye was the Baltimore Orioles Cal Ripken Jr." because, note, Ripken had the good sense to step down. In terms of good sense, about all you can say for the senators is, "At least they didn't use a revolving door to become lobbyists."

Look, Liar Melinda, you can call out men

She'll be 85 this year, she needs to step down.  And Melinda needs to stop calling every insult, critique, slam on a politician "sexism!" if the politician happens to be a woman.

There's no one more of an idiot than Melinda.  She didn't stand with us in 2008 when Hillary (and later Sarah Palin) were attacked with sexism (or the silence on Cynthia McKinney which was another form of sexism).

But now because her centrist sensibilities are offended that Reagan Democrat Dianne Feinstein might be forced out of office (she should be forced out), she comes running in to whine "Sexism!"  Just sit your tired ass down, Melinda.

Kevin de Leon can lead my state into the future.  He may not be right for Kansas and Melinda, but he's not running to represent the people of Kansas.

LIVE: Joined by former U.S. Attorney General , Senator and Assemblymember on response to federal lawsuit

💻 | Live at 10:30AM (PST) a press call with Senate Leader De Leòn and former U.S. Attorney General on response to the federal lawsuit LINK:

In a press conference with , and , spoke on the phone about lawsuit: "[Federal government] cannot insist that the State of California use its money and its resources to help in [its immigration policies]."


Kevin's standing up for the people of California.

Dianne's napping . . . again.

Turning to Iraq . . .  and the war that Dianne Feinstein voted for.

Vivienne West (TIME) speaks with prime minister Hayder al-Abadi:

TIME: How do you stop ISIS from regrouping, and taking advantage of the upheaval in this region?

Abadi: One faultline that allowed [. . .] [ISIS] to make very good advances in our cities is that the reachout to our citizens was weak. Our citizens must feel they are part and parcel of this country. This is essential. The role of the government is not to solve religious or sectarian or ethnic problems. These are age-old. I don’t think any government of the day can solve all differences. But the government of the day can deliver to our citizens, and show our citizens that they are equal in front of the law.
[. . .]

That said, when will this no longer be a war that involves the U.S. military?

We need a few things yet: Restructuring our own armed forces, finishing the job of training our security forces, logistical support, intelligence cooperation. We still need them to make sure that [ISIS] is fully destroyed, not only militarily, but its own existence is destroyed. There is a lot of work to be done. There are terror cells which we are following up. In Syria there are safe havens, controlled by this terror organization. They are training would-be suicide bombers, would-be assassins, to commit terrorist attacks.
We need a few things yet?

The Iraq War hits the 15 year mark in less than two weeks but Hayder needs a few things yet?

Because he's not really a leader.  He's an installed puppet.  He needs the US military on the ground to maintain his power.  When most (but not all) were removed from Iraq at the end of 2011, ISIS began taking over parts of Iraq.  When the US government was convinced that ISIS was about to take over Baghdad, Barack Obama sent a large number of troops into Iraq and began bombing the country daily.  Mosul being seized by ISIS?  That didn't make him move.  The threat that Baghdad would fall -- and with it, the US-installed puppet?  That was enough to motivate Barack.

The 'leadership' in Iraq does not have validity.  It's being propped up.  It was created by foreigners and it's propped by them.  The goal, apparently, is to exhaust Iraqis and the US military has to stay until that happens.

Hayder wants (and needs) the US military to stay.

That's not what the people of Iraq want.

People of Iraq have spoken, time for US to move out – Ron Paul


Ron Paul was in the US Congress when the vote on the Iraq War took place and he voted no.  He has consistently opposed the Iraq War.

Earlier this month, he noted:

This month marks the 15th anniversary of the US war on Iraq. The “shock and awe” attack was launched based on “stove-piped” intelligence fed from the CIA and Pentagon through an uncritical and compliant US mainstream media. The US media was a willing accomplice to this crime of aggression committed by the George W. Bush Administration.

Despite the lies we were constantly bombarded with, Iraq never presented a threat to the United States. Iraq never had the weapons of mass destruction that the neocons used to frighten Americans into supporting the war. How many of them knew all along that there were no WMDs? We’ll never know. Attacking Iraq and overthrowing its leader was long a plan in the neocon playbook and they used the 9/11 attack on the US as an excuse to pull the plan off the shelf and put it into action.

The US “regime change” war on Iraq has directly resulted in the death of at least a quarter of a million civilians, and indirectly perhaps a million Iraqis have been killed. The Iraqi infrastructure was destroyed and the country was set back many decades in development. Far from the democratization we were promised, Iraq has been turned into a hell on earth. Due to the US use of depleted uranium and other chemical weapons like white phosphorus, Iraqis will continue to suffer from birth defects and other related illnesses for generations.

"Let's listen to the Iraqi people," is how he concludes his column.  And he's right.

The following community sites -- plus PACIFICA EVENING NEWS, Cindy Sheehan, DISSIDENT VOICE and Jody Watley -- updated:

  • Wednesday, March 7, 2018

    The reality of MeToo

    At WSWS, Richard Hoffman has a powerful piece on the MeToo ‘movement’:

    The #MeToo Campaign, a movement backed by the Democratic Party, has advanced another fundamental attack on the rule of law—upon the central democratic legal principle that there can be no punishment without a law; nulla poena sine lege.
    The light-minded and cynical attitude of the leaders of #MeToo was breathtakingly revealed in the recent calls for complaints and exposures by the New York Times for “gray-zone sex” experiences, where college students from around the world were invited to submit material, including text messages and photographs, where they had agreed to have sex, but the consent came with some hesitation, qualms or remorse.
    The exposures have nothing to do with any violation of an existing law, and in a column in the Times on February 4, Dr Catherine MacKinnon wrote gleefully: “#MeToo has done what the law could not,” as if that were self-evidently a wonderful thing. One needs to think a little more seriously, however, before climbing on this bandwagon of self-congratulatory abandonment of centuries old legal principles, which were won in bloody struggles against the oppressions of the state.
    It is timely to recall, in the current climate of ignorant, post-modernist contempt toward law and constitutionalism, the dictum of Justice Felix Frankfurter in 1952:
    A constitutional democracy like ours is perhaps the most difficult of Man’s social arrangements to manage successfully. Our scheme of society is more dependent than any other form of government on knowledge and wisdom and self-discipline for the achievement of its aims. For our democracy implies the reign of reason on the most extensive scale. The founders of this nation were not imbued with the modern cynicism that the only thing that history teaches is that it teaches nothing.
    The hysterical and accusatory character of the #MeToo movement reminds one of precisely why the rule of law and constitutional rights became the bulwark of a free and democratic society, against both the predations of the state and the justice of the lynch mob. It also highlights why law, based on concrete and definite norms and principles rather than arbitrary and capricious categories and subjective thoughts, became the institutional foundation, in democratic societies, for regulating social behavior, the powers of the state, and the criminal law.
    Fundamental to the rule of law was the ascendancy of reason over irrational and subjective thought, in the creation of a normative regime regulating social conduct.

    It’s a strong piece and that might not be the best selection.
    I would note that he misses on element of MeToo and it’s the reason that, community wide, we don’t support it.
    The Alyssa Milano aspect.
    Alyssa is the mental midget who was a child actress and her body grew but neither her brain nor her talent did.
    MeToo – a motto she hijacked from African-American activists – has led her to fame and influence.  MeToo (White version) is b.s. and it’s CAA’s attempt to look better despite the fact that they were the worst agency and were, in reality, flesh peddling.  That’s all of them.  That includes Alyssa’s lousy husband.  That includes Carrie Fisher’s ex-husband.  That’s all of them.  They purposely provided women to these predators.  And they want to clean up their image and they are – at CCA – the epitome of corporate Democrats.
    CAA pulled their strings with the media to get MeToo at the forefront.

    And that’s a reality we need to confront.  We also need to grasp that Alyssa Milano is a schill for war.

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

    Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

    The item below, that's not really why the military exists or why someone is made a "high ranking member of the US military."

    Your Military at Work.... Colin Kaepernick: U.S. Military Official Cautioned Ravens On Signing QB via

    That is outrageous.

    It's as though the official is Alyssa Milano and never learned the phrase "butt the hell out."  Colin should sue.  This is outrageous and against both (a) democracy and (b) the free market the US government supposedly is so enthralled with.

    Staying with the government, Kevin de Leon is running for the US Senate from my state of California.  He has stood firm with regards to Donald Trump while others have held hands and, in Dianne Feinstein's case, played footsie.

    Yesterday, Kevin addressed the issue of children being torn from their parents on his Twitter feed.

    Bottom line: California will NOT help President Trump, Jeff Sessions or Thomas Homan rip children from the arms of their mothers and fathers. Here in CA, we embrace our historic diversity, and we will do everything in our legal power to protect it.
  • Based on Jeff Session's track record in court so far - I like our odds of beating back his racist and xenophobic attack on the CA Values Act.
  • If Sessions is serious about cracking down on crime, he should stop fretting about CA and look in his own backyard. 2016 FBI stats show crime is far higher in his home state of Alabama than in California.
  • Our nation’s Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions is suing CA because we refuse to help the Trump administration tear apart honest, hardworking immigrant families. To that, I say BRING IT ON! CA will not be intimidiated.

    He was not the only one to address the topic.

    Separating young children from their parents as a form of punishment flies in the face of American values. I've repeatedly told the Department of Homeland Security this policy is completely unacceptable.

    Dianne's against the practice as well.

    "I've repeatedly told the Department of Homeland Security this policy is completely unacceptable."


    If only Dianne were in the US Senate and able to do something -- to actually take a stand and introduce legislation -- then maybe . . .



    She is in the Senate.

    Do-nothing Dianne.

    And that's all she's ever been.

    Doubt it?  In 2006, during the confirmation hearings for Judge Samuel Alito,  Rebecca captured Dianne perfectly:

    it started with a whimper, then it picked up a little, then it whimpered to an end.

    no climax. if the alito hearings had been a lover, you'd have been smart to kick it out of bed.

    this is the oppostion party? this is how they do the brave stands?

    i'm not talking about a filbuster. 1 of the nelsons brothers (that's how i see the 2 senators named nelson, they're like the really bad pop band of the 80s) has already given indications that he's willing to vote for alito.

    so i'm not talking about that. i'm talking about asking tough questions and then asking follow ups. too often i felt like i was watching toy poodles who'd been housebroken long ago.

    they'd bark a little at you while you were sitting on the couch but if you stood, they'd whimper and run out of the room.

    that's not an opposition party.

    it's sad that the democrats think that makes 1.

    when alito kept fudging and refusing to answer, they should have treated him like a hostile witness. by the last day, every 1 of them should have used their time to hit on the same issues.
    over and over.

    dianne feinstein, to name 1 of the worst offenders, could shoot scattershot (although she acted as though she were tossing out lillies throughout the hearings) in the other days but on the final day, she didn't need to be bringing up new issues. this is where you make the case to the people.
    not where you suddenly introduce a new topic.

    and for some 1 who interrupted ted kennedy repeatedly the day prior as he asked about caps, wasn't it strange that she didn't have a question on that? when kennedy was speaking yesterday, she couldn't stop interrupting. today? she's moved on.

    miss dianne gets my vote for most useless and i'm not fan of kohl. but miss dianne was supposed to be fighting for women and instead we got a timid school marm trying to get the rowdy class to like her.

    it's not just her. that's a point c.i. made tonight in the roundtable. c.i. pointed out that arlen specter couldn't stop treating her like she was a 'special' and not a real senator. he referred to her 'dramatic entrance.' there was another specific example c.i. brought up but i'm forgetting it now. but the point is, she is treated that way by others on the committee.

    as an adult, she should ask them to cut it out. instead she seems tickled by the patronizing attitude.

    i'm looking for the non-action figure miss dianne. she comes non-fully poseable. she's in a seated postion. you can extend her legs or bend them depending upon whether you want her to sit in a chair or to sit on the floor. she wears a lovely dress with several layers. she comes with white gloves and the cutest little purse that matches her hat, her belt and her shoes. the non-action figure has a silly grin pasted on its face and is called 'miss dianne, girl senator.'

    the tea set is purchased separately.

    No one's ever captured Dianne better.

    California needs a fighter.

    Not a faker.

    There are enough fakes in the world.

    Speaking of . . .

    British agents caught dressed as Arabs & shooting civilians in Iraq to inflame sectarianism

    Remember that?

    We covered that fakery in real time.  So did others.  From DEMOCRACY NOW! (September 20, 2005):

    New questions about Iraq's sovereignty are being raised after British forces attacked an Iraqi jail on Monday because they believed two detained British commandos were inside. British troops opened fire on the jail in Basra and used six armored vehicles to smash down the jail's walls as helicopter gunships flew overhead. The provincial governor of Basra described the British assault as "barbaric, savage and irresponsible." The Associated Press reported 150 prisoners escaped during the siege. As the British raided the prison, Iraqis started attacking the British vehicles with firebombs and rockets. One of the British armored fighting vehicles was set ablaze. Photos showed a British soldier on fire climbing out of the hatch and jumping to the ground, as a crowd pelted him. An Iraqi official said that the British soldiers were arrested after they had fired at an Iraqi police officer. At the time the British soldiers were undercover and dressed as Iraqis. After the prison was breached in Basra, the two soldiers were found not to be in the jail but in a nearby house. The British Army attempted to downplay the incident claiming that the men were released after negotiations. The government said it feared for the lives of the British commandos after discovering they had been handed to "militia elements". The British attack on the Iraqi jail came one day after British forces arrested three members of the Shiite Mahdi Army.

    While they said that -- the British government -- and Amy Goodman repeated it, that wasn't reality.

    From 9/22/17:

    Waving pistols and assault rifles, Iraqi police officers led an angry anti-British demonstration in the southern city of Basra on Wednesday, and the provincial council voted unanimously to stop cooperating with British forces in the area until Britain apologized for storming a police station to free two of its soldiers.
    At least 200 people, mostly officers who work in the police station that was damaged in the raid, rallied outside Basra's police headquarters, demanding an official apology from Britain and the resignation of Basra's police chief, Hassan Sawadi, Iraqi officials said.
    Later, Basra's 41-member provincial council voted unanimously to "stop dealing with the British forces working in Basra" until it received an apology for the raid on Monday, The Associated Press reported. In the raid, British tanks crashed through the police station's outer wall and freed two officers who had been detained by the Iraqi police.

    The above is from Robert F. Worth's "Anger Grows in Basra After British Raid" in this morning's New York Times. Look, I'd love to take a pass on the Iraq coverage. I don't have a great deal of faith in the paper's coverage.

    But note these paragraphs:

    The details of the raid and its origins remain murky, with British and Iraqi officials offering different accounts. British commanders and government officials have said the Iraqi police handed the men over to Shiite militia members, who largely control the Iraqi police and military in Basra. After breaking into the police station, British officials said, British soldiers found the two men in a nearby house. Initially, some Iraqi officials confirmed that account.
    But on Wednesday, Iraq's interior minister, Bayan Jabr, disputed the British account, telling the BBC that the soldiers had not been handed over to anyone else and that the British had acted on a rumor. A spokesman for Muhammad al-Waili, the governor of Basra Province, said the same thing in an interview, adding that the British were "claiming that to justify their illegal behavior." The arrest and detention of the British officers, who were in Arab dress, was handled appropriately, said the spokesman, who agreed to discuss the episode on the condition of anonymity. A judge issued an arrest warrant and informed both the Basra governor and the city council about the case, he said.

    Polly provides these two BBC stories that address the differences in where the two soldiers were obtained from: "Basra soldiers tell of fire drama" and "Leaders firm after Basra unrest."

    Why would they do that?

    Because that was the point -- to sew unrest in the country, to encourage tensions.

    This was to allow for the occupation of Iraq -- which continues to this day -- to take hold.

    Naomi Klein wrote one of the most important articles about Iraq -- to this day, it remains one of the most important.  From her "Baghdad: Year Zero" (2004, HARPER'S -- but link goes to ICH):

    The honey theory of Iraqi reconstruction stems from the most cherished belief of the war's ideological architects: that greed is good. Not good just for them and their friends but good for humanity, and certainly good for Iraqis. Greed creates profit, which creates growth, which creates jobs and products and services and everything else anyone could possibly need or want. The role of good government, then, is to create the optimal conditions for corporations to pursue their bottomless greed, so that they in turn can meet the needs of the society. The problem is that governments, even neoconservative governments, rarely get the chance to prove their sacred theory right: despite their enormous ideological advances, even George Bush's Republicans are, in their own minds, perennially sabotaged by meddling Democrats, intractable unions, and alarmist environmentalists.

    Iraq was going to change all that. In one place on Earth, the theory would finally be put into practice in its most perfect and uncompromised form. A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions. The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment. Jobs would have to be lost and, as foreign products flooded across the border, local businesses and family farms would, unfortunately, be unable to compete. But to the authors of this plan, these would be small prices to pay for the economic boom that would surely explode once the proper conditions were in place, a boom so powerful the country would practically rebuild itself.

    The fact that the boom never came and Iraq continues to tremble under explosions of a very different sort should never be blamed on the absence of a plan. Rather, the blame rests with the plan itself, and the extraordinarily violent ideology upon which it is based.

    Torturers believe that when electrical shocks are applied to various parts of the body simultaneously subjects are rendered so confused about where the pain is coming from that they become incapable of resistance. A declassified CIA "Counterintelligence Interrogation" manual from 1963 describes how a trauma inflicted on prisoners opens up "an interval – which may be extremely brief - of suspended animation, a kind of psychological shock or paralysis ... At this moment the source is far more open to suggestion, far likelier to comply." A similar theory applies to economic shock therapy, or "shock treatment," the ugly term used to describe the rapid implementation of free-market reforms imposed on Chile in the wake of General Augusto Pinochet's coup. The theory is that if painful economic "adjustments" are brought in rapidly and in the aftermath of a seismic social disruption like a war, a coup, or a government collapse, the population will be so stunned, and so preoccupied with the daily pressures of survival, that it too will go into suspended animation, unable to resist. As Pinochet's finance minister, Admiral Lorenzo Gotuzzo, declared, "The dog's tail must be cut off in one chop."

    That, in essence, was the working thesis in Iraq, and in keeping with the belief that private companies are more suited than governments for virtually every task, the White House decided to privatize the task of privatizing Iraq's state-dominated economy. Two months before the war began, USAID began drafting a work order, to be handed out to a private company, to oversee Iraq's "transition to a sustainable market-driven economic system." The document states that the winning company (which turned out to be the KPMG offshoot Bearing Pint) will take "appropriate advantage of the unique opportunity for rapid progress in this area presented by the current configuration of political circumstances." Which is precisely what happened. L. Paul Bremer, who led the U.S. occupation of Iraq from May 2, 2003, until he caught an early flight out of Baghdad on June 28, admits that when he arrived, "Baghdad was on fire, literally, as I drove in from the airport." But before the fires from the "shock and awe" military onslaught were even extinguished, Bremer unleashed his shock therapy, pushing through more wrenching changes in one sweltering summer than the International Monetary Fund has managed to enact over three decades in Latin America. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate and former chief economist at the World Bank, describes Bremer's reforms as "an even more radical form of shock therapy than pursued in the former Soviet world."

    The tone of Bremer's tenure was set with his first major act on the job: he fired 500,000 state workers, most of them soldiers, but also doctors, nurses, teachers, publishers, and printers. Next, he flung open the country's borders to absolutely unrestricted imports: no tariffs, no duties, no inspections, no taxes. Iraq, Bremer declared two weeks after he arrived, was "open for business."

    One month later, Bremer unveiled the centerpiece of his reforms. Before the invasion, Iraq's non-oil-related economy had been dominated by 200 state-owned companies, which produced everything from cement to paper to washing machines. In June, Bremer flew to an economic summit in Jordan and announced that these firms would be privatized immediately. "Getting inefficient state enterprises into private hands," he said, "is essential for Iraq's economic recovery." It would be the largest state liquidation sale since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    But Bremer's economic engineering had only just begun. In September, to entice foreign investors to come to Iraq, he enacted a radical set of laws unprecedented in their generosity to multinational corporations. There was Order 37, which lowered Iraq's corporate tax rate from roughly 40 percent to a flat 15 percent. There was Order 39, which allowed foreign companies to own 100 percent of Iraqi assets outside of the natural-resource sector. Even better, investors could take 100 percent of the profits they made in Iraq out of the country; they would not be required to reinvest and they would not be taxed. Under Order 39, they could sign leases and contracts that would last for forty years. Order 40 welcomed foreign banks to Iraq under the same favorable terms. All that remained of Saddam Hussein's economic policies was a law restricting trade unions and collective bargaining.

    If these policies sound familiar, it's because they are the same ones multinationals around the world lobby for from national governments and in international trade agreements. But while these reforms are only ever enacted in part, or in fits and starts, Bremer delivered them all, all at once. Overnight, Iraq went from being the most isolated country in the world to being, on paper, its widest-open market.

    At first, the shock-therapy theory seemed to hold: Iraqis, reeling from violence both military and economic, were far too busy staying alive to mount a political response to Bremer's campaign. Worrying about the privatization of the sewage system was an unimaginable luxury with half the population lacking access to clean drinking water; the debate over the flat tax would have to wait until the lights were back on. Even in the international press, Bremer's new laws, though radical, were easily upstaged by more dramatic news of political chaos and rising crime. 

    That was the plan and it remains the plan to this day.

    The government of Iraq was toppled and the military sent packing.  And the violence that resulted -- often encouraged or started by foreign governments such as the British earlier -- was meant to terrorize the people into submission.

    That's still the plan.

    US forces remain in Iraq to protect the installed leaders of Iraq -- leaders who are not of the Iraqi people, leaders who only found their way back to Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion.

    These cowards have been elevated above the Iraqi people by the US and UK governments.  This happened not because these were popular people who could inspire but because they were willing to be puppets to foreign governments -- or at least promise to be.

    In 2006, a new effort was made out of frustration on the part of the foreign governments.  The US installed Nouri al-Maliki not because he was competent but because he was paranoid -- as his CIA profile had noted -- and the hope was that the paranoia would allow the US to use him more fully than they had others before him.

    His paranoia, once fully unleashed, led an already battered country to the brink of collapse.  He was aided by the US which elected to look the other way and to thwart democracy.  Despite Nouri losing the election in 2010, he refused to step down as prime minister.  (Something US Gen Ray Odierno had warned about ahead of the election but then-US Ambassador to Iraq Chris Hill dismissed.) Instead of calling for him to step down, Barack Obama's administration worked to deliver him the second term the Iraqi people didn't want him to have.  They did this via The Erbil Agreement -- an agreement -- legal contract -- so important that Patrick Cockburn never bothered to report on it and ignores it to this day.  This contract gave Nouri a second term provided he agreed to make concessions to the other major political parties.  He never did honor the contract but he used it to get his second term.

    In the lying world of Patrick Cockburn, Nouri got a second term because of the Iranian government.  In October, they backed Nouri, Patrick repeats always, and this is how he got his second term.

    While the Iranian government did back him, that's not how he got his second term.

    Nouri's refusal to step down lasted for eight months and brought the country to a political stalemate.

    Patrick's lies did not back then stand up to reality and the timeline everyone should be able to see today makes it clear that Patrick was lying (and continues to lie).

    March 7, 2010, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The Guardian's editorial board noted in August 2010, "These elections were hailed prematurely by Mr Obama as a success, but everything that has happened since has surely doused that optimism in a cold shower of reality." 

    Patty says come October the matter was decided.


    November 10, 2010, The Erbil Agreement is signed.  November 11, 2010, the Iraqi Parliament has their first real session in over eight months and finally declares a president, a Speaker of Parliament and Nouri as prime minister-designate -- all the things that were supposed to happen in April of 2010 but didn't.

    The event that allowed the Parliament to finally do what they were supposed to do immediately after the elections was not some approval in October from Iran.  It was the legal contract, The Erbil Agreement -- as we've said all along.  And the proof is that the Parliament finally holds the first real session 24 hours after The Erbil Agreement is signed.

    I have no idea why Patrick Cockburn lied and continues to do so.  It wasn't his first Iraq 'problematic' reporting -- remember when he reported on the stoning victim that wasn't stoned?

    But the timeline has always made it clear -- to anyone who wanted to pay attention -- what happened.

    Laura Flanders, his niece, was taken in by the con of Barack Obama -- maybe Patrick was too.

    Barack's out of office, can we finally get honest about the destruction Iraq faced as a result?

    After Nouri was installed for a second term, he only got worse, terrorizing the Sunnis and basically everyone in Iraq that wasn't of his sect, party and political slate.

    The people tried to address these abuses by appealing to their lawmakers and their lawmakers tried to stand up to Nouri but Barack had pressure put on fat ass Jalal Talabani, then president of Iraq.  Presented with a petition for a no confidence vote, all Jalal was supposed to do was present it to the Parliament.  Instead?  Instead, he created the task for himself of verifying the signatures and pressing people who signed to say they wouldn't sign today -- how novel.  He then refused to introduce it and quickly high tailed it to Germany claiming a medical emergency.  It was elective knee surgery.  Karma's a bitch, which is how Jalal Talabani ended up with a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17th (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  Fat boy would remain there for over a year and a half.

    Fitting for Jalal.

    And Iraq would fall apart.

    The people had used the ballot box, they had resorted to their elected officials.  Now they took to the streets.

    Nouri's response?

    To have them kidnapped, to have them attacked, to attack the press who covered the protests, etc.

    It was this climate that gave rise to ISIS.

    Nouri birthed it.

    Only when ISIS took over Mosul and other areas did Barack finally tell Nouri it was time to go and then Barack installed the eager to please Hayder al-Abadi.

    Iraq is not a place where freedom exists or where the people have a voice.

    It is a foreign occupation.

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