Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Blame the military brass -- they earned the blame and then some

Do you care about gun control? What I do not understand is why there is always a push for more laws. Seems to me that the problem is more that the laws aren't enforced. Case in point, Davin Kelley. No, not the actress. This is the man who shot up the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 5, 2017. He left 25 people dead another 20 injured.

He never should have had a gun. He was in the military and was 'convicted' while in the Air Force. But military justice thinks it's above the law. So they didn't follow the law, the US military didn't. Though he was convicted of a violent crime by 'military justice' -- domestic violence -- the Air Force did not turn the conviction over to the FBI. Had they done so, he wouldn't have been allowed to have a gun. That was my 'opinion.' Today, that became the way it is because a court ruled. AP reports:

 A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Air Force is mostly responsible for a former serviceman killing more than two dozen people at a Texas church in 2017 because it failed to submit his criminal history into a database, which should have prevented him from purchasing firearms.
U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez in San Antonio wrote in a ruling signed Wednesday that the Air Force was “60% responsible" for the deaths and injuries at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. The attack remains the worst mass shooting in Texas history.

So if the military had done their job, the terror might not have taken place. They should pay for this, they should be financially liable. And this should make us grasp that military burying convictions for rape and domestic abuse in the ranks is a danger to our society. From C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" on June 24th:

  Rape and assault (and domestic violence) are swept under the rug in the military by refusing to address them openly and with a legal system.
Jack Reed is the new Claire McCaskill. He wants to grand stand on what some in the military leadership want -- no real change -- and stand on the fact that these men -- yes, they are all men -- have experience in combat and blah blah blah.
I'm sorry, Jack, find the one that was raped, find the one that was assaulted, find the one that was beat up by a partner. Find that man, maybe I'll listen to your nonsense.
Jack is a joke and always has been.
While pontificating on the floor, he failed to tell you that these jerks and asses are the same ones who supported a system that most Americans are unaware of. It allowed the survivor to be 'unknown.' Might sound good but in practice, it meant there was no justice and when asked for numbers by the Congress repeatedly, the ones over this program could not provide numbers, would not provide numbers. No man was ever punished for rape under that system. And I'm not talking about the distant past. I'm talking about when Barack Obama was president.
There has been no accountability at all. That's why Kirsten Gillibrand has spent eight years trying to move the current bill forward.
The military leaders opposed to these changes are the same ones who ensure that there is no justice, that the rates of assault and rape continue to climb, that domestic violence isn't even tracked.
They see their role not as helping service members but as ensuring that the crimes are nothing more than statistics that can easily be swept aside.
There has been no effort to address this on the part of Congress. They have failed to provide oversight over and over. They have let the people who are in charge and who have denied justice over and over set the terms.
Rape and assault and domestic abuse are crimes. They need to be dealt with in a court and decided based upon what happened not by some commander who thinks his 'good old boy' didn't mean any harm when he held a woman down and raped her. We have laws, they need to be enforced.
The military was granted a waiver from the law for years and that's just made clear that without turning these issues over to a judicial system, there is no justice.
We need real change and the military leaders oppose it but what happened to those poor people who were just attempting to worship on a typical Sunday demonstrates that we need real change. And that we need it now. Among the 25 murdered was the 14-year-old daughter of the pastor. Fourteen years old. A teenager. Killed in a house of worship. It's outrageous. The military needs to take accountability and start working for immediate changes. They are not above the law and, as we've seen many times, their garbage notion of 'justice' is hurting this country.


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

Wednesday, July 7, 2021.  More attacks in Iraq, what's Joe going to do now?

AP reports:

In nearby Iraq, a rocket struck a base containing US troops, injuring three people.

A US-led coalition colonel, Wayne Malott, spokesman said that at around 12:30 pm, the Al-Assard Air Force Base in western Iraq was attacked by 14 rockets that landed in and around the base. “At this point, the first report shows three minor injuries. The damage is under evaluation,” he said, saying that force protection defenses had been invoked. “

He didn’t say if the injured were American.

We should note that this attack came after -- after -- the Iraqi government increased the number of their security forces in Anbar.  Of course, their 'security' forces include the infamous militias.  The increase appears to have allowed more opportunities to attack instead of reducing violence.

Then Anbar attack  was one attack.  That air base is in Anbar Province -- home to cities such as Falluja and Ramadi. AFP reports on an attack in the northern Kurdistan Region of Iraq: 

Explosive-laden drones attacked the international airport in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil late on Tuesday, close to the American consulate, Kurdish authorities said.                 

The attack took place at around 1930 GMT but caused no injuries or major damage, with firefighters putting out a blaze, the anti-terrorist unit of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region said in a statement.

The airport in Erbil, which houses a military base of the international coalition fighting the Islamic State jihadist group, was also targeted in April by a drone packed with explosives.

Caitlin McFall (FOX NEWS) speaks with the Pentagon:

"We are aware of reporting of a UAS [unmanned aircraft system] incident in the vicinity of Erbil, Iraq," Pentagon Spokesperson Commander Jessica McNulty told Fox News. "At this time, initial reports indicate no structural damage, injuries or casualties." 

The Pentagon confirmed that U.S. troops are currently housed in Erbil but did not answer questions as to how many are located there.

There are approximately 2,500 troops dispersed across "several Iraqi Security Forces facilities," McNulty confirmed. 

Seth J. Frantzman (JERUSALEM POST) offers, "For three days in a row, since America’s July 4 Independence Day, pro-Iran militias have carried out attacks on US forces and facilities in Iraq and Syria."  Joyce Karam (THE NATIONAL) offers a little more detail in her Tweet:

FIVE attacks on US forces in #Iraq & Syria in < 72 hrs: • Mon, July 5: Ain Al Assad, Iraq • Tue, July 6: Union III, Iraq • Tue, July 6: Erbil Airport, Iraq • Wed, July 7: Ain Al Assad, Iraq • Wed, July 7: Deir Zour, Syria Drone & rockets, suspects are pro-Iran militias

And Halgurd Sherwani (KURDISTAN 24) provides a very basic fact, "The two bases —Erbil and Ain al-Asad—host the vast majority of US forces in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region."

So what now, Joe?  Huh?

The bombings carried out by the US -- targeting the Iranian-linked militias -- June 28th.  It wasn't smart.  It wasn't smart that some of those opposed to the strike felt the need to lie and ignore the fact that public threats had been made by the militias and that many attacks had been carried out against US troops in Iraq since the start of this year.  

Because you couldn't make an argument, because you could just screech, "It's illegal!!! It's illegal!!!!"

No, it wasn't illegal.  

But the next action is even less so.

This week alone?  


The head of Sayyid of Martyrs Battalions, or Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS) has warned the United States that the Iraq resistance groups are moving towards revenge options.

Abu Alaa al-Walai the leader of Sayyid of Martyrs Battalions, or Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS) has told Associated Press that the Iraqi Resistance group will take revenge on the US following the attacks on the recent PMU positions

"We want to carry out an operation that everyone describes as revenge against Washington," he told AP according to a translated version of the interview by Arabic-Language website of Al-Mayadeen.

Al-Walai added that the revenge operations against Americans may take place on land, sea, air, or any other location.

Here for the AP article referenced above.

This time, the threats are a little better covered in the US and are covered while things are still fresh.  With the ongoing attacks and the public threats, you really want to trot out your hoary nonsense of 'it's illegal, Joe acted first! Joe did this! Joe did that!'

The strikes were a mistake for many reasons.  Arguing that they were illegal was always a reach.

Glenn Greenwald went with nonsense of 'the prime minister says . . .'

Mustafa al-Kadhimi, like those before him, says one thing to the Iraqi people in the lead up to an election and one thing to the US government.  Nouri al-Maliki, while insisting publicly that he wanted US troops out of Iraq, actually argued/begged the US government for more troops as then-Senator John McCain and then-Senator Joe Lieberman revealed over and over in Congressional hearings.  

No one should be so stupid that they take empty words from a figure up for re-election as reality.

If Mustafa wanted them out, the current agreement does have an exit clause and he could activate it.  He chooses not to.  But he then tries to hide behind empty words and, fortunately for him, their are enough suckers to fall fo his empty words.

The June 28th bombings were not an answer.  And we noted that.  They weren't a deterrent either -- a big concern of many because after Joe bombed and it didn't reduce the attacks, what do you do?

Joe is already starting to look weak internally as the White House's own polling has shown.  Vice President Kamala Harris' mis-steps or perceived mis-steps are reflecting on him.  The huge increase in gas prices are also hurting him.

Now he's going to be weak in the eyes of the world?  

When Joe elected to bomb at the end of June, he raised the stakes.  That's on him.  And now he's seeing that other parties around the table can do the same -- and it actually costs him more because he's the big name at the table.  The others can bluff and if they lose?  Not as big a tumble.

So what will Joe move towards?  A diplomatic surge?  That would be great but the US government really doesn't do that.  Brute force is the usual response.  Which is why air strikes are again being considered.

And they are.

So what happens?  How does this play out?

If conflict between the two sides intensifies?  The war doesn't end, US troops don't come home and the backing from the Iranian government gives Joe the excuse the US government has long needed to go to war with/on Iran. 

Maybe all the whores who pretended to care about ending the Iraq War but really just used it to elect Democrats in 2006 and 2008 need to examine their actions because by packing up your tents and going home before the war ended and while US troops remained in Iraq, you created the vacuum.

Did someone say Goody Whore?  In other news, the Goody Whore and her DEMOCRACY SOMETIMES! continues to be appalling.  Ben Horst makes this observation:

It's sad that Democracy Now! had a retired colonel on to tell us how much of a disaster Donald Rumsfeld was. Esp when the Pentagon severely underestimates the number of dead in Iraq. It buys into the idea that these military officers on CNN, etc are worth listening to.

You should be old enough to remember when Goody Whore hectored CNN and others for their usage of military generals as experts.  But if you are too young, pick up any of her many copy & paste 'books' and you'll find her insisting that other voices should be sought out.  Or check out her published 'work -- published in HUSTLER magazine -- or her interviews -- with Charlie Rose.  HUSTLER magazine, Charlie Rose?  Yeah, a lot of us called Goody Whore out in real time.  Maybe at some point there can be a reassessment of her because she was never that great or wonderful.

And on that, Aaron Mate can stop being a little bitch anytime he wants.  If he wants credit for calling out Amy -- and we've given him it -- then he needs to call her out.  He was part of the team that promoted the Libya war.  That's the war -- and Aaron will never tell you this while making himself the focus over and over -- that got BLACK AGENDA REPORT's Glen Ford banned from DEMOCRACY NOW! because he refused to support it.


We'll note this thread from Chatham House:

(1/4) Film projector Flag of Iraq | & analysed the mechanics of politically sanctioned #corruption in #Iraq & argue that this type of corruption is more consequential for the coherence of the state & its everyday functioning, than personal corruption.

(2/4) Employment-related #corruption is widespread in #Iraq. Political parties use #payroll expansion as a tool to build patronage networks by offering public sector employment to members of their constituencies.

(3/4) In 2020, Finance Minister Ali Allawi estimated that the number of employees on the government #payroll had reached 4.5 million, of whom 300,000 were ‘ghosts’, allowing party-aligned officials to split the wages of ghost workers between themselves.

(4/4) Watch the recording from our launch event w/ the authors & expert speakers #MohammadAlHakim Downwards arrow
Paper launch: Politically sanctioned corruption and barriers to...
Analysing new research which puts the dynamics of corrupt political power-sharing practices in Iraq under the microscope. The event is on the record,...


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