Tuesday, December 06, 2016

A few thoughts on Ben Carson's media treatment

I agree with Cynthia McKinney:

Of all of Trump's appointments, why does the NYT have THIS headline about Dr. Ben Carson?...

If you're not the media approved African-American, they will go to town on you.

Roland Burris?

Look at the way the media went after him.

Ben Carson is Dr. Ben Carson, a surgeon.

He is a Yale graduate.

How was Julian Castro qualified?

He is our current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and he went from Mayor of San Antonio to HUD Secretary without any qualms of his "lacking expertise in public housing."

Steve Preston, Bully Boy Bush's last HUD Secretary, had no experience.

I'm not saying Carson would be good, I'm not saying he would be bad.

I am saying a lot of HUD Secretaries have come in with no public housing experience and it wasn't treated like a crime.

The media really seems to love going to town on Dr. Carson.

Jon Stewart, for example, was able to make fun of Dr. Carson by using a racist voice to 'mimic' him and the media was a-okay with that.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, December 6, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the Mosul slog continues, the lack of western coverage of the action Iraqi women staged in Baghdad yesterday goes to the ongoing and never-ending sexism in the US media, and much more.

It's day 50 of the never ending operation to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul.

Ahmed Rasheed and Patrick Markey (REUTERS) report, "Iraqi army units advanced from southeast Mosul towards a bridge across the Tigris in the city center on Tuesday, in an attack that could give fresh impetus to the hard fought, seven-week battle for Islamic State's northern Iraq stronghold."

With record numbers of military deaths last month, the Iraqi military is reeling.  But don't worry, as we noted Saturday, the United Nations doesn't work for the world, it works for the Iraqi government and, therefore, will no longer keep count of military fatalities because the Baghdad-based government wants to bury that.

They've already buried the huge numbers of desertions as soldiers flee the Mosul slog.

I remember when Obama was simultaneously at war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and his wicked supporters had ZERO problem with it.

Fake news?

It's been around for years, decades.

It helped start the Iraq War and it helped it continue.

DIGITAL JOURNAL has a press release we're going to quote the opening paragraph of:

As the Iraq War’s official end on December 18, 2011 marks its fifth anniversary, many questions remain on its fallouts.
For the record, American businesses are whining about how they were hurt, in New York, by the boycott of french fries. 
Yes, that is right up there with the children in Falluja born with birth defects.
(That was sarcasm.)

The Iraq War did not end on December 18, 2011.

There are US troops in Iraq today.  Since Barack began sending them back in, we've seen US troops die in the ongoing Iraq War.

I don't expect a lot of whining business owners to grasp reality.

I do express the press to.

And they've often repeated that lie as well -- that the Iraq War ended.

If they're going to repeat that lie and not be 'fake news,' then it's incumbent upon them to ask one question: Where was the parade?

Barack will leave office in January.

There were no parades for the returning veterans.

There was no parade to celebrate the so-called end of the war.

Like many a namby pamby bulls**t piece of crap ingrate, Barack bought into the lie about how awful the peace movement was to veterans during Vietnam.

He repeated that lie over and over in one campaign appearance after another in 2007 and 2008.

We could be specific but I don't want to promote the lies he pimped.

I do want to underscore that having rode his high horse into town, it's very clear that he betrayed the veterans of today's wars.

He never held one parade.

Not one.

While castigating those in the Vietnam era for their actions, he did much worse than anyone could imagine.

Not one parade.

And it's not as though veterans groups and service organizations weren't asking for the parades.

In his first term, he lied -- let's use the right word -- and said that they would come.

Didn't in his first term.

Haven't in his second term -- which winds down next month.

Where are the parades, Barry?

All that grandstanding before the VFW and you don't think they notice there's no parade.

No president has ever been more protected by the press.

He wasn't ready for the job.

He might have become ready if the press had done their job.

But instead they fawned and petted and treated a presidency like it was an experiment in social engineering.

Even now they refuse to hold him accountable for any of his failures.

His promise was to end veterans homelessness by the end of 2015.

2016 is almost over and we still have homeless veterans.

He failed.

And he lied.

And if you want to lecture others about fake news or pretend you're so brave to call Donald Trump a liar -- a bit like calling him loud -- does it get more obvious? -- then you better go back to your little pet Barack and start applying the same standards.

Hell, apply any standards.

No one ever got an easier ride from the press.

That's one reason there was so much anger out there and why 2016 was a change election.

The media make excuses for Barack that shouldn't have been made.

Matt Lee of AP coordinated with the State Dept spokespersons to determine his questions and to figure out how to kill the Benghazi reports.

Outside the media bubble, this is how it looks:

Keep your Doctor YouTube video JVTeam Not a smidgen Iraq is stable Decimated On the run Transparent IRS innocence Fixed V.A.

The press can pretend otherwise but they played favorites and picked sides.

They did that for the last eight years non-stop.

They didn't show skepticism, they didn't report.

They acted as the p.r. firm of the administration and practiced advocacy not journalism.

This was outrageous behavior.

So is the western media blackout on what took place in Baghdad yesterday.

Cool. Its a challenge for girls to ride bike in some MidEast countries. Today Iraqi girls cycled in


Every fat gutted, balding American male reporter in Iraq has tried to treat soccer like the second coming of democracy.

But let women risk something -- and it was a risk to do what they did -- and you've got your thumbs your asses?

The rank sexism in coverage of Iraq is one of the least noted press critiques that have been offered.  (We've covered it here from day one -- beginning with THE NEW YORK TIMES go-go boys coverage of Iraq.)

Yet again, rank sexism has prevented a story that should have been told from reaching American news audiences.

New topic . . .

General James Mattis is president-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of Defense.  Mattathias Schwartz (THE INTERCEPT) reports:

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Mattis said, “we will probably look back on the invasion of Iraq as a mistake — as a strategic mistake.”
Mattis was one of the Iraq campaign’s most important ground commanders. He led the 1st Marine Division during the invasion and later oversaw the bloody retaking of Fallujah from insurgents in 2004.
As for the Pentagon’s view on the Iraq invasion at the time, Mattis said this: “I think people were pretty much aware that the U.S. military didn’t think it was a very wise idea. But we give a cheery ‘Aye aye, sir.’ Because when you elect someone commander in chief — we give our advice. We generally give it in private.”

And here's one response to that news:

Rule: If you think Iraq was only "probably" a mistake, you'll probably make the same mistake again.

In other news, AP reports that 43-year-old Iraq War veterans Luis Carolos Montalvan has died and his body was discovered on Friday in an El Paso hotel.  THE DAILY MAIL adds:

The medical examiner's office has not completed a preliminary autopsy report.
'He was an extremely dedicated activist nationwide for multiple causes, including rights and benefits of veterans and the disabled, as well as the promotion of service dogs,' a statement from his family reads.

Still on Iraq War veterans, a Canadian in Iraq has been arrested.

Feds working for release of Canadian veteran held in Iraq |iPolitics



A former Canadian soldier being held in Iraq is in good health and Canadian Embassy officials are working to win his release, federal cabinet minister Judy Foote confirmed Monday.
Foote, the senior minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador, spoke to Mike Kennedy’s mother in Newfoundland earlier in the day, said press secretary Jessica Turner.
Kay Kennedy told radio station VOCM her son was arrested in Erbil in northern Iraq while taking part in what she called a humanitarian mission. She said she was speaking with him on Tuesday evening when she realized something was wrong.

The following community sites updated:

Monday, December 05, 2016

Hillary, Iraq, etc.

James North (MONDOWEISS) points out:

The mainstream media nit-picked over when Trump had actually come out against the 2003 invasion, without sufficiently noting that Senator Clinton had voted for the war and then spent years running away from any discussion of it. Although some are labeling Trump voters as proto-fascists and warmongers, let us remember there was no groundswell of spontaneous support from Middle America to invade Iraq. Americans in the Rust Belt, as elsewhere, wanted to defend our country against recurrences of the September 11 attacks, but what I would call the plot to misdirect that fear toward Saddam Hussein was hatched in Washington, D.C., not Youngstown, Ohio, or rural Wisconsin.

Iraq defeated Hillary in 2008 and it defeated her in 2016.

I voted for Mike Gravel in the 2008 primary and don't regret it.

Hillary is a War Hawk.

The way the media and her fan clubs slimed on Trump over Iraq was ridiculous.

Whenever he started speaking, he was much more clear in his remarks that Hilly.

"Media: GOOD BEHAVIOR, Sally Field and truth telling" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):
We covered this ground at the end of 2008 with, among others, "Yes, let's stop kidding ourselves (Ava and C.I.)."

We're not going to rehash it all now but we are gong to note that 2016 did not see sexism.

And we're gong to note that Democratic outlets like WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER and MS. MAGAZINE's online blog repeatedly let women down and let men.

To be fair, left outlets whose primary audience wasn't women also let women down in 2008.

But those outlets don't promote themselves as being about improving the lives of women.

If Sally wants to be an online presence who's helpful to women, she needs to be honest.

And she needs to mix it up.

There's no point in playing nice.

We're encouraged to play nice and there's no reward for it.

We need to toughen up online.

Women are tough offline, to be sure.

And a lot of us are tough online as well.

But if we were truly tough collectively online Angelina Chapin's crap at HUFFINGTON POST last month would have been called out everywhere (one of us called it out here).

Want to harm women's political chances?

Be like the idiot Chapin and insist that an election can not be followed with discussions -- not even a week later -- about the results and the campaigns because we're too weak -- as a gender -- to handle it.

What a lot of crap.

Arianna Huffington is gone from HUFFINGTON POST so we won't blame her for the nonsense Angelina Chapin wrote and published.

But we will point out that, in 2008, Arianna was against Hillary for the Democratic Party's nomination and that she published many women who were against Hillary (including Nora Ephron) and that support for Hillary wasn't presented as a female norm.

Eight years later, Angelina Chapin is lying that "every liberal woman has broken down at some point in the past week" over Hillary's loss.

We don't need to be encouraged to be weak or weepy -- society has already done that to us for centuries.

I thought this was a great piece by Ava and C.I.  They really covered all the bases.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Monday, December 5, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Mosul remains a slog, the US Secretary of Defense states the US military will need to remain in Iraq long after Mosul is finally liberated, Iraqi women stage an action in Baghdad, and much more.

Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) explains, "For a war which President Obama promised would involve 'no boots on the ground,' the ISIS war in Iraq has involved a substantial deployment of ground troops, some 6,000 by most reckonings. Even as officials present ISIS as nearly defeated in Iraq, the US military presence looks to be more or less permanent."

More or less permanent?

US Defense Secretary: 'We must stay in Iraq after defeat of '

On Ash Carter's remarks, RUDAW reports:

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has said that the United States military, along with its coalition allies, needs to retain a presence in Iraq after ISIS is defeated to ensure the group does not rise again. 

Insisting that the US and the coalition must not halt the current campaign until the Iraqis successfully retake Mosul from the militants Carter said the need for a continued coalition presence after that objective is complete. 

“But there will still be much more to do after that to make sure that, once defeated, ISIL stays defeated,” Carter said on Saturday, according to AP. “We’ll continue to counter foreign fighters trying to escape and ISIL’s attempts to relocate or reinvent itself. To do so, not only the United States but our coalition must endure and remain engaged militarily.” 

Some are a little slow so they still may not be getting it: Barack Obama did not end the Iraq War.

He came into office on the promise that he would.

He leaves Iraq with the war continuing.


Sunday, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, rotary and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted seven strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

-- Near Huwayjah, three strikes disabled a bridge and destroyed five ISIL-held buildings.

-- Near Mosul, three strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units; suppressed an ISIL tactical unit; damaged a land bridge, an ISIL-held building, and 16 supply routes; and destroyed a mortar, a weapons cache, four ISIL-held buildings, a command and control node, an explosives factory, and a heavy machine gun.

-- Near Rawah, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb factory.

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

That has been Barack's answer since August of 2014 -- drop bombs and more bombs daily.

How's that working out?

NIQASH spoke with people in Mosul and one of them explained "Even now, we still cannot get outside as the sky is raining rockets and bombs,” she adds. “We can’t cook and we have to find water; we’re living on bread and dates and food that we stored because we knew this day would come."

Life in Mosul.

The Islamic State seized the city in June of 2014.

The Baghdad-based government of Iraq didn't care enough to try and liberate the people until October of this year.  49 days later, the people are still not free.

Charlie Kimber (Great Britain's SOCIALIST WORKER) reports:

The offensive was prepared by wave after wave of bombing. US, British, French, Jordanian and Australian jets and helicopters are providing air support to the Iraqi regime and its allies.
Mosul was overrun by Isis in 2014 in what was described as a “total collapse” of Iraqi government security troops.

The forces that now claim to be liberating Mosul are the same ones that smashed Iraqi society and killed hundreds of thousands of people after the 2003 US-led invasion.
Many of them are backing or taking part in the bloody Saudi Arabian war in Yemen (see below).
Isis’s rule has been appalling, but civilians are now terrified of the air and artillery assaults and the gun battles in the streets.

There will be precious little “freedom” for many when the sectarian Iraqi militias arrive.

Martin Chulov (GUARDIAN) reports:

The startling progress of the first few weeks of the campaign to take Iraq’s second city, the terror group’s last urban stronghold in Iraq, has given way to a numbing reality: Isis will not surrender Mosul, and Iraq’s battered military will struggle to take it.
Since Iraqi forces entered Gogali, a light industrial neighbourhood, in mid-November, the advance has slowed. “When we started, we were talking weeks,” said Hussein. “Now, we hope it will be by early in the new year. But these guys are not cowards. They kill as easy as they breathe.”

Saif Hameed and Ulf Laessing (REUTERS) note that "the military's campaign is likely to stretch well into next year as it seeks to recapture a city where the jihadists are dug in among civilians and using a network of tunnels to launch waves of attacks."

War, war and more war is all the White House has preached and done.

In fairness to Barack, a big part of the lack of a diplomacy effort was John Kerry.

Though he was supposed to be Secretary of State, Kerry was far more comfortable making war noises and pretending he was Secretary of Defense.

In the end, Barack had to ice John out of the decision making and elevate Brett McGurk to his special envoy.

  • Visited front near today to express our respect & gratitude to and Security Forces. More to follow ...

  • Always great exchanges with re , internal challenges, cooperation w and reconciliation post ISIL.

  • PM Barzani and discuss post-ISIS Mosul and other regional issues:
  • With Bafal Talabani and Kosrat Rasul today in . A united critical for a stronger Region & destroyed .
  • Excellent meeting with close friend President Barzani. Honored to receive memento from liberation of Christian areas near .

  • That flurry of diplomacy over the last days was motivated more by the news that the Kurds were seriously considering breaking away from Iraq.

    Meanwhile it is the Iraqi people who will have to stand.

    Many women are standing up today in Baghdad.

    This photo is not old, it's in this morning in Baghdad - Abu Nawas Street, girls wanted to say that we are free and not slaves.

    = Bicycle Marathon

    First female bike marathon about to begin in central Baghdad Good luck to them all

    New content at THIRD: