Tuesday, July 08, 2014

All About Fran

 Every summer, Third does a summer read edition where people try their hands at fiction:

Be sure to check out all the pieces. 

"TV: Overt Affairs" (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):

We did see dowdy and dumpy Fran, the old whore for the CIA.  She worked in countries where she was considered a blond (just like Annie!) because her hair was light brown.  She was also considered attractive -- in those third world countries.

In the US, she couldn't have bought a cup of coffee selling her tired and worn out goods.

But, with a Ford Foundation cover, Fran spread her legs all over Indonesia, Pakistan, Jakarta, India and elsewhere -- she did it for country, you understand.

We were surprised to see her because she spends most of her time today pretending to be part of the left --  a visionary, even --  all the while taking notes on various left figures which then turns over to her former (or is that 'former') bosses at the CIA.

Grasping that she'd out us in an instant, we dashed out of the office, taking great care to ensure she didn't see us.

Ava and C.I. explore the TV show Covert Affairs, the CIA and spies.


What an interesting character.

I've shared the story before about how, when I was dating a British government official and C.I. and I were at a party/function and a loud and ugly American started hollering and walking across the room towars us, my boyfriend didn't want to be seen with the woman, detested her and, as C.I. immediately realized and vocalized, didn't trust the woman because she was actually CIA.

The Ford Foundation provided a lot of covers for the CIA back then (and I'm sure now as well.)


Let's just say the best of good fiction usually contains a kernel of truth and I believe Fran is the kernel for this piece.

Jim is amazed at how popular the piece is.

Ava and C.I. hate what they wrote.  (It's actually very good.)  They threw in Fran as a reward for their readers.

Yes, Fran exists.

Yes, Fran was CIA.

In fact, she is the woman I just wrote about above.  I've also written about her here before.

I never gave any of her name.

But I will now note that her first name is, indeed, Fran.

Ever wonder why some magazines go under while ones that don't have any real circulation continue?

Some are CIA-backed publications.

They allow a cover for various people.

No surprise, Fran ended up with a magazine, I believe it's a monthly, which is kept alive not by circulation but by your taxdollars which the CIA funnels to it.

It's a faux left magazine but I bet most of you have already figured that out.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Monday, July 7, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, the Kurds refuse to be the White House's lackey, tomorrow's session of Parliament is cancelled,  and much more.

Don't just love the pig boys?  No, I don't either.

Piggie Walter Hecht (Spectrum) wants you to know the problem in Iraq is Bully Boy Bush.  He has no knowledge to share of the years 2010 to 2014 -- Nouri's second term.  But he wants you to believe he knows what he's talking about.  He refers to "the Pottery Barn rule" which makes him look like a bigger dunce since Pottery Barn never has had a you-break-it-you-bought-it policy.  Before he was US Senator Al Franken, Al had done the research and established there was no you-break-it-you-bought-it policy at Pottery Barn.

Equally true, Hecht, Iraq isn't up for sale to foreigners.  The gall, the audacity to suggest that foreigners can and should "buy" Iraq?  I'm sorry, you modern day Columbuses, you didn't discover a brave, new land.  Like the Americas, Iraq was occupied.  In fact, Iraq is usually considered to be the birth place of civilization.

Pig boy Hecht wants you to know he understands Iraq.

He understands because he read a book by bwana L. Paul Bremer and a book by former US State Dept employee Peter Van Buren.

Pig boys never read, for example, Deborah Amos' Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile and Upheaval in the Middle East.

What is about these pig boys -- and toss in the ridiculous Thomas E. Ricks  -- that they don't think they need to read women?

Deborah Amos is a journalist.  She wasn't working for the government.  She was in Iraq to report.

I'm failing to understand how Bremer's book -- which I found very self-serving (more was to be learned from the public testimony in England's Iraq Inquiry than from Bremer's book).  Peter Van Buren wrote an interesting book worthy of praise but he's not really someone who mingled with the Iraqis, is he?

While the boys built monuments to their own egos (excessive praise and colossal wailing are two sides of the same grand ego), Deborah told the story of how the Iraq War effected Iraqis.

Her book topped the community's list for 2010 in books with Martha and Shirley observing, "Amos' book is moving throughout but especially when she's charting what refugee status means for a number of Iraqi women -- late nights in clubs attempting to turn a trick in order to support their families.  Amos is covering the realities of the Iraq War that so few have."

Deborah wrote a great book.  She's not the only woman who's done that with the topic of Iraq. At Third, we did a series on the 10 most important books of the last ten years and "Manal M. Omar's Barefoot in Baghdad" was one of our selections:

One of the few books addressing the effects of the war on the ground -- as opposed to War Porn glorifying the US military 'kills' -- is Manal M. Omar's Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity -- My Own and What it Means to be a Woman in Chaos which charts her journey to Iraq, as an American (and an Arab), to help the women of Iraq and what she ends up learning from and of Iraqi women. Omar was with the US Institute of Peace and in Baghdad from 2003 to 2005.

Unlike Thomas E. Ricks or George Packer, we weren't afraid to note women in our list:  "Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking," "Peter Laufer's Mission Rejected," "Chris Hedges'Death of the Liberal Class," "Shirley MacLaine's I'm Over All That," "CCR's Articles of Impeachment Against Bush," "Manal M. Omar's Barefoot in Baghdad," "Susan Faludi's The Terror Dream," "Joyce Murdoch and Deb Price's Courting Justice," "Anthony Arnove's Iraq: The Logic Of Withdrawal" and "Tori's Piece by Piece."  Laufer and Arnove made the list with Iraq as a topic and I'd also argue that Susan Faludi's penetrating book The Terror Dream has a lot to do with Iraq (and Afghanistan).

It takes a special ignorance blended with arrogance to believe books by people like Bremer -- where Iraqis are, at best, minor supporting character and, at worst, extras -- are going to provide you knowledge of Iraq and its people.  And you can see it in this sentence Hecht typed, "Iraq was not and is not ready for democracy and free market capitalism; Iraq may never be ready."

Who are you to say whether or not Iraq is "ready for democracy"?  That's really up to Iraqis.  As for "free market capitalism," they can be "ready" or not but that will be there decision.  And "free market capitalism" is not the end all be all to solve every problem.  They may choose another economic model, they may revert more strongly to the model they had prior to 2003.  That's their decision.  And when it's treated as though these two things are 'baby steps' to be taken by Iraq, you really insult and infantalize a people and a culture that outdates your own so you might want to pull your nose out of the air.

As for what's happening in Iraq now, Eli Lake (Daily Beast) reports voices were warning the administration -- for years and years:

At the time, senior Obama administration officials went out of their way to proclaim just how impossible-to-predict the collapse of Mosul was. But interviews with a dozen U.S. and Iraqi intelligence officials, diplomats, and policy makers reveal a very different story. A catastrophe like the fall of Mosul wasn’t just predictable, these officials say. They repeatedly warned the Obama administration that something like this was going to happen. With seemingly no good choices to make in Iraq, the White House wasn’t able to listen.
“It’s simply not true that nobody saw a disaster like the fall of Mosul coming,” Ali Khedery, who served as a senior adviser at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, told The Daily Beast. “I can’t speak for anyone else, but I literally predicted this in verbal warnings and in writing in 2010 that Iraq would fall apart.”

Ali Khedery had a very important column last week.  Mike noted it in "Reading assignment for Joel Wing and other nut jobs," Rebecca noted it in "and f**k you, tom hayden," Kat in "Joe Biden, another politician of broken promises," Marcia in "Barack's betrayal of Iraq," Ann with "Barack backed Nouri, remember that" and Trina in "The idiot Chris Hill."

The column is  "Why we stuck with Maliki -- and lost Iraq" (Washington Post) and at Third we noted it in "Truest statement of the week" and "Truest statement of the week II."

In a meeting in Baghdad with a Petraeus-hosted delegation of Council on Foreign Relations members shortly after the 2010 elections, Maliki insisted that the vote had been rigged by the United States, Britain, the United Nations and Saudi Arabia. As we shuffled out of the prime minister’s suite, one stunned executive, the father of an American Marine, turned to me and asked, “American troops are dying to keep that son of a b---- in power?”
[. . .]
On Sept. 1, 2010, Vice President Biden was in Baghdad for the change-of-command ceremony that would see the departure of Gen. Ray Odierno and the arrival of Gen. Lloyd Austin as commander of U.S. forces. That night, at a dinner at the ambassador’s residence that included Biden, his staff, the generals and senior embassy officials, I made a brief but impassioned argument against Maliki and for the need to respect the constitutional process. But the vice president said Maliki was the only option. Indeed, the following month he would tell top U.S. officials, “I’ll bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA,” referring to the status-of-forces agreement that would allow U.S. troops to remain in Iraq past 2011.

Iraq was a topic in today's State Dept press briefing in DC moderated by spokesperson Jen Psaki.

  • QUESTION: Yes. Former Ambassador Ryan Crocker told CNN – I know he’s a former official but he probably knows Iraq better than many people. He said that, “The Islamic State may have done us a favor by publicly erasing the Iraqi-Syrian border. If they have, I think we should too and go after their targets wherever they are.”
    Is that the kind of thinking that may be germinating in this building that --

    MS. PSAKI: Well, Said --

    QUESTION: -- because the Iraqis recognize their borders and the Syrians recognize their borders. Only the Islamic State that recognizes this fungible border, right?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, Ambassador Crocker is a private citizen and doesn’t speak for the United States Government. We’ve also talked quite a bit in here about the fact that our focus remains on encouraging urgent steps toward a government formation, and we have a range of options at our disposal to take on the threat that Iraq and the region is facing from ISIL. That’s long been the case for weeks now, long before these comments were made.

    QUESTION: But as they expand their territory – and obviously they are – I mean, what is the United States doing actually on the ground to sort of reverse the tide?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, I think a range of steps. One, we’re consulting closely on the ground with a range of government officials from all parties. We also have increased, expedited our security assistance. You’re familiar with the steps we’ve taken in that regard. And we remain in close consultations. And again, we have a range of options at our disposal. But our focus remains on encouraging political steps forward and a unified front against ISIL and the threat that all people --

    QUESTION: You said that --

    MS. PSAKI: -- of Iraq face.

    We'll come back to the press briefing in a moment.

    Iraq needs a political solution, that's what US President Barack Obama said.  June 19th, for example, he declared, "Above all, Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come together around a political plan for Iraq’s future.  Shia, Sunni, Kurds -- all Iraqis -- must have confidence that they can advance their interests and aspirations through the political process rather than through violence.  National unity meetings have to go forward to build consensus across Iraq’s different communities.  Now that the results of Iraq’s recent election has been certified, a new parliament should convene as soon as possible.  The formation of a new government will be an opportunity to begin a genuine dialogue and forge a government that represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis."

    So when's it coming?

    Last Tuesday, the Parliament met.  And accomplished nothing -- in part due to Nouri's refusal to do the right thing and step aside.  His thuggery, corruption and ignorance has brought Iraq to the brink.  Saturday, Rufiz Hafizoglu (Trend AZ) reported cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr has called on the Iraqi people to refute Nouri al-Maliki's efforts to secure a third term as prime minister. Al Jazeera notes, "The main point of contention right now is the post of prime minister, which holds most of the power in Iraq. Last week's session, the first since a May election, broke up when Sunnis and Kurds walked out after Shias failed to name a prime minister to replace Nouri al-Maliki."  Maria Abi-Habib (Wall St. Journal) explains:

    Salim al-Jabouri, a Sunni parliamentarian from the eastern province of Diyala who is widely touted as the next speaker, said Mr. Maliki is a stubborn, experienced political operator who won't vacate his office without a fight. 
    "This is a very difficult issue as Maliki has a strong personality and he will use all his cards to stay in power. He will also manipulate the security situation, which will give his supporters an excuse for him to stay in power," said Mr. al-Jabouri, adding that the premier's obstinacy won't deter efforts to replace him. 
    "Maliki is not accepted by all blocs, and we will push him to resign," he said. 
    A more broad-based government headed by a new prime minister is widely viewed here as critical to defusing the Sunni insurgency. 

     In 2011, he told AFP he wouldn't seek a third term.  No one wants to note that now.

    Certainly not AFP which believes this whoring for Nouri al-Maliki passes for reporting.

    Tomorrow, the Parliament was supposed to meet again.

    That's not happening.

    Everything imploded today and, as Alsumaria notes,  tomorrow's session was canceled and August 12th floated as when the Parliament might meet again.  Isra'a al-Rubei'i and Ahmed Rasheed (Reuters) explain, "Citing the politicians' failure to reach 'understanding and agreement' on nominations for the top three posts in government, the office of acting speaker Mehdi al-Hafidh said parliament would not meet again until Aug. 12."

    Alsumaria also notes the National Alliance is calling for a session of Parliament no later than a week from now and that Mehdi al-Hafez, who is acting Speaker, is stating it looks like there is agreement on holding a session within a week.
    Ban Ki-moon is the Secretary-General of the United Nations.  Nickolay E. Mladenov is his Special Envoy to Iraq.  Mladenov Tweeted:

    And then he later Tweeted:
    The second Tweet was late in the day.  It was, for example, after Jen Psaki's press briefing.  Let's go back to today's State Dept press briefing:

    QUESTION: You said that your kind of first priority is a government.

    MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

    QUESTION: Now, the parliament wrapped up and kind of delayed its next meeting until August 12th without any kind of judgment or new government or anything. And I mean, do you have – given, like, if you think back to the last time the Iraqi Government tried to form a government, that took months.

    MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

    QUESTION: Do you have that kind of time to kind of wait for a government to form and hope that that gels and will fight ISIS? I mean, it seems like they’ll probably be pretty close to overrunning the country before the Iraqi – if that’s like what needs to happen before any meaningful action is taken.

    MS. PSAKI: Elise, there’s no question that sooner is better than later and that we’re in a dire – we’re looking at a dire situation on the ground, which is why it’s so important that things move forward urgently on the ground. We’ve seen the statements. Our view is that’s not set in stone, that they still have the ability to move forward more quickly than what they outlined this morning.

    QUESTION: I understand. But I mean, if history is any indicator, that doesn’t really seem like it’s going to – that – like that’s going to happen. And I mean, can you afford really to wait until a new government is formed, regardless of how long that takes? It could take a week. It could take six weeks or six months. And so, can you really afford to wait, given that ISIS is continuing to gain territory with astonishing speed, as you admit?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, the circumstances are different than they were the last time we went through this. And certainly, you’ve seen us increase and expedite our – a range of assistance that we’re providing to the security forces on the ground, as a result of the circumstances on the ground. Our view is that government formation and the steps that the Iraqis need to take themselves is essential to a long term – the long term success in Iraq; that’s why we’re encouraging it. But the President has the prerogative to take any steps he chooses. But I don’t want to get ahead of any decision-making process.

    QUESTION: Let me just follow up on the government and the formation. In your opinion, what is really the hold up? Is it the Sunni bloc in the parliament or is it Maliki, who insists on being the prime minister once again or – what is it? What is the hold up?

    MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to do analysis along those lines from here, Said. At – bottom line is it’s urgent that all parties in Iraq take concrete steps to form a new government as quickly as possible under the constitution. That’s what we’re encouraging; that’s what we’re conveying to all parties on the ground.

    QUESTION: But you would think that after such investment in blood and treasure – of American blood and treasure in Iraq, you would be more engaged in this process. Or you would be --

    MS. PSAKI: We would be more engaged?

    QUESTION: Yes. You would be more engaged, perhaps a bit more forceful on what kind of outcome Iraq --

    MS. PSAKI: Well Said, just to refute your point – and I’m not sure – how – what are you referring to when you say we’re not engaged?

    QUESTION: I’m referring that – I don’t know. Are you engaged in this parliamentary, sort of little, whatever, ballet that is going on now to choose the three presidencies, as they call it – the president to the parliament, the president of the country, and the prime minister?

    MS. PSAKI: Well Said, the Secretary was just there two weeks ago. We’ve had Ambassador Beecroft, we’ve had Deputy Assistant Secretary Brett McGurk engaged every single day with a range of Iraqi officials. We’ve expedited our assistance. We’ve been in – probably as engaged or more engaged than any other country in what’s happening on the ground. So I think your point is not backed up by facts.

    QUESTION: Okay. Let me ask you this: Are you still sort of sticking to Maliki, or do you prefer to see someone else? Because the Iranians said today that while they support Maliki, they are not really – they could see working with someone else like Adil Abd al-Mahdi, who is the former vice president of the country.

    MS. PSAKI: We’ve consistently said it’s up to the Iraqi people and only the Iraqi people to determine their future leadership. Moving forward in the process is what our focus is on now.

    QUESTION: Jen, do you have a specific reaction of whether it’s discouragement or anger or whatever to the parliament just taking off and not doing anything?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, I think specifically, as we’ve said in the past, we hope that Iraq’s leaders will move forward with extreme urgency, and that’s what we’ve been calling for.

    QUESTION: Have you --

    MS. PSAKI: Again, it’s not – in our view, the reports and what they called for this morning is not set in stone. They have every ability to move forward more quickly, and we’re encouraging them to do so.

    QUESTION: Well, do you think they’re demonstrating great – or the urgency with which you think that this situation needs to be treated?

    MS. PSAKI: We think there could be greater urgency in moving forward, yes.

    QUESTION: All right. And then you had also said that the United States has been engaged perhaps more than any other country? Would you put Iran in that category?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, what I’m referring to, Matt, is the fact that we’ve been engaged on the political front. We’ve been engaged on providing assistance. We’ve been working closely with the Iraqi Government. The Secretary was just there.

    QUESTION: Right.

    MS. PSAKI: So I think there’s no question I was refuting the point that Said was making.

    QUESTION: I understand that. But do you think that – or is it you think that the United States has been as engaged and active in Iraq over the course of the last three years as Iran has been?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, I think I wasn’t meaning to draw a comparison --

    QUESTION: Right.

    MS. PSAKI: -- but bottom line, I don’t have all the details on their engagement either.

    The State Dept's Brett McGurk Tweeted:

    As everything falls apart, Barack needs help.  Thank goodness, he's been a good friend to the Kurds and can count on them.

    Oh, wait.

    He's just treated the Kurds like crap over and over.

    Most recently?

    As we noted Friday:

    In other news, the White House is objecting to the Kurds exercising their Constitutional right to explore full automony.
    Oh, look, Barack's stabbed the Kurds in the back.
    Can someone please tell the White House spokesperson to not take a position on Kurdish issues at a time when the White House desperately needs the help of the Kurds?
    Or is the spokesperson expressing Barack's desire to f**k up repeatedly on Iraq?
    This is not a White House concern, nor is it anything that's going to happen in the next few weeks.
    So maybe the White House could learn to keep their big nose out?  Maybe Barack and company could learn that the world doesn't need an opinion on them about every damn thing?  That sometimes, especially when you're attempting diplomacy, the smartest thing you can do is not express opinions on side issues when you know the opinions will only anger the people whose help you need?

    Saturday, All Iraq News reported:

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Saturday that Iraqis will never accept disintegration of their homeland.

    She reiterated in a statement reviewed by All Iraq News Agency "Iran's support for Iraq's solidarity and territorial integrity."

    This put the US government and the Iranian government in agreement -- a very scary thought.

    Ron Margulies (Great Britian's Socialist Worker) explains recent history:

    In Iraq and Iran, Kurdish history was similarly bloody, with genocidal campaigns against them both by the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein.
    However, in Iraq, an uprising against Hussein in 1991 and the First Gulf War saw guerrilla forces drive the Iraqi army out of the Kurdish northern parts of the country.
    A period of self-rule was followed in 2005 by the recognition of Iraqi Kurdistan -- or South Kurdistan, as Kurds prefer to call it -- as a federal part of Iraq. The region is now effectively an independent state.
    The US-led occupation forces and the government it set up preferred to accept the Kurds’ autonomy rather than risk generalised resistance from across Iraqi society.

    For more on recent history, Amjed Rasheed (Rudaw) provides a strong look at the history of the Kurds in Iraq starting with 1970.

    And the most recent history of the Kurds would include: "The idea of a united Kurdistan is just a dream written in poetry."  That was Jalal Talabani.

    The caver caved again, caved always.  As long as Jalal could lead, the US government could count on him to do what they wanted.  Toss a few trinkets Jalal's way, the US government believed (based on many past experiences) and Jalal would do whatever the US government wanted.

    And if they didn't want Kurdish independence -- and historically, they haven't -- Jalal wasn't going to push for it either.

    But, thing is, he was supposed to represent the Kurds.

    And that statement, in 2009, was the beginning of the end for Jalal as 'power broker.'  He'd immediately have to announce he would not see a second term as Iraq's president.  He did that to take the heat off himself.  Most who know him argue he never intended to sit on the sidelines.  So he grabbed his second term and proved ineffective there as well.  He refused to perform his Constitutional duties and forward the petition for a vote of no-confidence (in Nouri) to the Parliament.  He then fled the country for Germany with his spokesperson insisting this was life or death, a real health issue.  (It would emerge he was having elective knee surgery.)  He'd hide out for months in Germany before finally returning in the fall of 2012.

    He wouldn't be in Iraq for long.

    December 2012,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 following Jalal's argument with Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot).  Jalal was admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  He remains in Germany currently.

    During all of this, KRG President Massoud Barzani became the voice for Kurdish independence.  He also stood up to Nouri repeatedly which made him very popular in the KRG and turned him into a figure on the world stage.

    Though all of this was happening while Barack was settling in as president -- every event noted above was 2009 and later -- no one at the White House appeared to grasp the change that was taking place.

    At 67 (and not being grossly obese), Massoud brings a passion and sense of urgency that 80-year-old (grossly obese) Jalal never could.

    As June was winding down, Massoud Barzani appeared on Amanpour (CNN -- link is text and video) and told host Christiane Amanpour, "Iraq is obviously falling apart.  And it's obvious that the federal or central government has lost control over everything. Everything is collapsing  --  the army, the troops, the police. We did not cause the collapse of Iraq. It is others who did. And we cannot remain hostages for the unknown. The time is here for the Kurdistan people to determine their future and the decision of the people is what we are going to uphold."

    University of Exeter professor Gareth Stansfield tells Rebecca Collars (Time magazine), "Baghdad always promises Kurds the world when Baghdad is weak.  And then as soon as Baghdad is strong enough to re-impose its authority over the Kurds then it comes back with its engines."

    You can see that happen repeatedly.  But the Jalal Kurd is passe.  The Massoud Kurd is more determined -- not just for full autonomy, but also not to fall for the lies and tricks all over again.

    Barack picked a really bad time to anger the Kurds.   Jackson Diehl (Washington Post) reports on the new Kurdish realities.

     Pressed by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, the Kurds agreed to negotiate on a new central government. But they insisted they also will go forward with a referendum on “self-determination for Kurdistan.” They have no intention of returning to a status in which they depend on the central government for revenue, refrain from directly exporting their own oil and defer their claim to Kirkuk.
    “The Kurds are being told to lead the engagement” for a new government, said [foreign relations dept. head Falah Mustafa] Bakir, in a not-so-subtle reference to Kerry. “In return for what?”

    Again, the White House needs the Kurds but chooses repeatedly to tick them off.  And it's not just Barack, it's every White House pretty much.  The very beginning of the relationship was documented by the US Congress in the Pike Report which the Congress quickly decided not to publish.  But it was leaked to the press and, February 16, 1976, The Village Voice published Aaron Latham's "Introduction to the Pike Papers."  Latham explained:

    In 1972, Dr. Henry Kissinger met with the Shah of Iran, who asked the U.S. to aid the Kurds in their rebellion against Iraq, an enemy of the Shah.  Kissinger later presented the proposal to President Nixon who approved what would become a $16 million program.  Then John B. Connally, the former Nixon Treasury Secretary, was dispatched to Iran to inform the Shah, one oil man to another.
    The committee report charges that: "The President, Dr. Kissinger and the foreign head of state [the Shah] hoped our clients would not prevail.  They preferred instead that the insurgents simply continue a level of hostilities sufficient to sap the resources of our ally's neighboring country [Iraq].  The policy was not imparted to our clients, who were encouraged to continue fighting.  Even in the context of covert action, ours was a cynical enterprise."
    During the Arab-Israeli war, when the Kurds might have been able to strike at a distracted Iraqi government, Kissinger, according to the report, "personally restrained the insurgents from an all-out offensive on the one occasion when such an attack might have been successful."
    Then, when Iran resolved its border dispute with Iraq, the U.S. summarily dropped the Kurds.  And Iraq, knowing aid would be cut off, launched a search-and-destroy campaign the day after the border agreement was signed.
    A high U.S. official later explained to the Pike committee staff: "Covert action should not be confused with missionary work."

    The Kurds were lied to over and over by the US government.

    Now a US president needs them but he's exhausted their patience.  And his White House took to insulting them last week  Those don't qualify as 'smart moves.'