Saturday, November 21, 2015

Again on Tracy Chapman

Last week I noted Tracy Chapman was on Tavis Smiley's PBS show.

Click here for video.

Here's a taste to get you hooked:

Tavis: What did you mean by “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution”? I know what Bernie is talking about, income inequality, wonderful campaign. What did you mean by that?

Chapman: Oh, I mean the same thing. Talking about economic and social equity, you know, just that we need fairness in our society and people who work hard should be able to make a decent living.
Tavis: I want to go back to your beginning in the time I have. You’ve been on this program a couple of times, I think, over the years and I missed this the last time you were here. It’s been annoying me for years since you were last here. And that is this distinction between having grown up in Cleveland. You left Cleveland about, what, age 15 maybe?
Chapman: Right.
Tavis: So you grow up in Cleveland, but then you move to Connecticut. The only two things those words have in common are the C at the beginning. Cleveland and Connecticut are two different locales, to be sure. How did you navigate that difference, that distinction, number one. And which one of those two locales had the most impact on your artistry, your music?
Chapman: Well, I mean, you’re right to point out that it was not an easy transition. I didn’t entirely move. I was given a scholarship to a private boarding school, so for the next three years of high school, I was in this tiny town in the woods [laugh] and in school.
It was honestly the best thing that’s ever happened in my life, this wonderful program, a better chance. They were the ones that helped me to make it there. Honestly, I think, as an artist, it’s everything that’s in your life that informs what you do. So, obviously, growing up in Cleveland has played a big role in how I see the world.
But then having this opportunity to go into this environment that couldn’t have been more different, you know, this was a place where people had wealth and didn’t worry about the things that people in my community did, like where are you going to get your next job or how you pay the bills.

And that song that you were just playing, “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution”, it came out of that. I wrote it when I was 16 and it kind of came out me trying to figure out, you know, how to explain where I’ve come from. How do I kind of situate myself in these two worlds now?

Remember that Tracy Chapman's Greatest Hits is out.

There is a radio interview you can listen to hear -- CBC via PRI:

Chapman was raised by a single mother in Cleveland, where, she says, she grew up “basically being babysat by the public library,” a place her mother allowed her to go on her own.
“I read all the time and listened to music all the time,” she says. “My parents had a record collection of all kinds of music — jazz and soul, R & B, gospel. My sister liked rock music and Barbra Streisand and all that sort of thing, so I just always heard lots of different types of music when I was growing up. I’ve always loved playing as well as listening to music — and I love writing songs.”
Chapman first began to consider making a career out of music during her last few years of college. By then, she was playing in folk clubs and as a street performer and had begun to develop a following in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Then people started to approach her about recording.

During one street performance, someone from Warner Brothers Music dropped a business card in her guitar case, saying they could help get her a record deal. It was then, she recalls with a laugh, that she thought, “Maybe I won’t be a professional anthropologist.”

There is a lot of solid music out this month -- Tracy, Carly Simon's two disc compilation, Adele's new album, that deluxe version of Sam Smith's album (I wrote about that "Sam Smith's new album out now!!!!"), among others.

Try to check out as many as you can.  Let me know if something came out that you want me to mention here. I know how it is when you wish your favorite could get some attention.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Thursday, November 19, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Yazidis fondle their inner revenge demons, Hillary War Hawk Clinton talks more destruction, and much more.

Today, the US Defense Dept announced the following:

Strikes in Iraq

Bomber, attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Kirkuk, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Kisik, six strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL weapons caches, 12 ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL vehicles, and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache and two ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL tactical vehicles, an ISIL tunnel, seven ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL- controlled bridge, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, an ISIL bed down location, an ISIL staging area, and cratered two ISIL roads.

-- Near Sinjar, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL tactical vehicle, and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

They do a lot of bragging at the Defense Dept.  For example.

Targets Damaged/Destroyed as of November 13, 2015

That's a whole lot of bombings.

Of course, former US House Rep Mike Rogers points out, at CNN, "And we have bombed ISIS in Syria for over a year, yet three of their deadliest attacks have happened in the last three weeks."

Rogers is making the point as he argues for more war.

His little pitch for more carnage, however, is likely to go unnoticed since Hillary let her War Hawk wings flutter in a major speech today.

Hillary Clinton:  This is not a time for scoring political points. When New York was attacked on 9/11, we had a Republican president, a Republican governor and a Republican mayor, and I worked with all of them. We pulled together and put partisanship aside to rebuild our city and protect our country. 

And, so modest, apparently it was this 'bi-partisan' drive that forced her to vote for the illegal war -- which she did in 2002.

She pulled together with other War Hawks.

"This is not a time for scoring political points," she said.  Or, apparently, for common sense.

Hillary Clinton:  Our strategy should have three main elements. One, defeat ISIS in Syria, Iraq and across the Middle East; two, disrupt and dismantle the growing terrorist infrastructure that facilitates the flow of fighters, financing arms and propaganda around the world; three, harden our defenses and those of our allies against external and homegrown threats.

I'm sorry when Hillary ran the Pentagon, does anyone remember --

What's that?

She was never Secretary of Defense?

She was Secretary of State?


I'm confused then.

Where in the world is her advocating for diplomacy?

Three main elements and they're all military.

She didn't learn a thing from all those photo ops.

She didn't learn much at all.


Sons Of Iraq (and Daughters Of Iraq).


Three terms for the same thing.

Hillary wanted to reference them -- largely Sunni fighters that the US government paid.

Hillary Clinton:  Ultimately, however, a ground campaign in Iraq will only succeed if more Iraqi Sunnis join the fight. But that won’t happen so long as they do not feel they have a stake in their country or confidence in their own security and capacity to confront ISIS.   Now, we’ve been in a similar place before in Iraq. In the first Sunni awakening in 2007, we were able to provide sufficient support and assurances to the Sunni tribes to persuade them to join us in rooting out Al Qaida. Unfortunately, under Prime Minister Maliki’s rule, those tribes were betrayed and forgotten. So the task of bringing Sunnis off the sidelines into this new fight will be considerably more difficult. But nonetheless, we need to lay the foundation for a second Sunni awakening.

During Nouri al-Maliki's rule?

This happened during Nouri al-Maliki's rule?

Damn that Bully Boy Bush!

He installed Nouri in 2006.

This happened because of Nouri.

If only Iraq could have gotten rid of Nouri.

The Iraqis even tried.

He lost the 2010 election to Ayad Allawi.

But that damn Bully Boy Bush insisted Nouri get a second term and --


Bully Boy Bush wasn't in the White House in 2010?

Oh, that's right.

It was Barack -- and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- who disregarded the voice of the Iraqi people, spat on their votes, pissed on the Iraqi Constitution and crafted The Erbil Agreement to give Nouri the second term the Iraqi people wouldn't.

Hillary's correct that today's divisions were fostered by Nouri.

He persecuted the Sunnis.

But his actions were already known.

Secret jails and prisons he used for torture were already exposed.

But Barack gave him a second term and Hillary didn't object.

Now she wants to insist that the same US government must lead -- the one that disregarded the Iraqi voters while hectoring them about 'democracy' -- and they must lead this battle -- the battle the US government started.

Hillary Clinton:  This is a time for American leadership. No other country can rally the world to defeat ISIS and win the generational struggle against radical jihadism.  Only the United States can mobilize common action on a global scale, and that’s exactly what we need. The entire world must be part of this fight, but we must lead it. 

The only leadership Hillary's ever offered is leading American's children into wars.

Let's move over to liberated Sinjar and the peaceful Yazidis, so grateful to return to Sinjar that they hugged everyone and prayed.

Or something.

On All Things Considered (NPR), Alice Fordham reported on the reaction of some Yazidis.

FORDHAM: And he directs his anger at the Arab Muslims from his area who he says collaborated with the extremists. Not one of the Yazidis I speak to distinguishes between Arab Muslim families who stayed in ISIS-held areas and ISIS fighters. Some Arab leaders fear widespread revenge killing and looting. South of Sinjar, there's a string of ISIS-held villages mainly populated by Arab Muslims. I ask a Yazidi commander named Badr al-Hajji if there are civilians there.

And how 'bout this money quote?

  •  Monday, AFP reported that the Yazidis 'celebrated' their return to Sinjar by looting Sunni homes and setting them on fire.

    AFP also reminds, "Rights group Amnesty International documented attacks by Yazidi militiamen against two Sunni Arab villages north of Sinjar in January, in which 21 people were killed and numerous houses burned."
    Today, Isabel Coles (Reuters) visits the area and hears from Yazidis such as one man who she sees loading (stolen) sofas onto his truck and explains, "This is our neighbor's house.  I've come to take his belongings, and now I'm going to blow up his house."
    Hillary's nonsense today did not address that.
    In other news, Stars and Stripes reports, "A servicemember working with the Combined Joint Task Force directing coalition operations against Islamic State militants died of a non-combat-related injury in Iraq on Thursday, the coalition said."  Reuters adds, "The service member was not identified, and the U.S. military statement offered no other details."

    Lastly, the US State Dept issued the following today:

    Iraq: U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction Efforts Save Lives and Build Capacity

    Fact Sheet
    Office of the Spokesperson
    Washington, DC
    November 19, 2015 

    The United States has invested more than $280 million in Iraq since 2003 toward the clearance and safe disposal of landmines, unexploded ordnance, and excess conventional weapons and munitions. This assistance, directed through several Iraqi and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), has made significant progress toward protecting communities from potential risks, restoring access to land and infrastructure, and developing Iraqi capacity to manage weapons abatement programs independently over the long term.
    The Landmine /Unexploded Ordnance Challenge
    Communities across Iraq face danger from an estimated 10-to-15 million landmines and pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) from conflicts dating back to the 1940s. Numerous large barrier minefields and UXO remain along the Iran/Iraq border as a result of the 1980s conflict between the two nations. The war in 1990-1991 and the conflict that began in 2003 scattered significant numbers of additional UXO, particularly in the south of the country.
    The recent activities of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq have dramatically altered the Conventional Weapons Destruction (CWD) landscape. As civilians flee large population centers like Mosul, they have become internally displaced persons in areas where they are not familiar with mine and UXO hazards. As families begin to return to their homes, they are confronted with both hazards from the recent conflict, as well as deliberate mining and booby-trapping of homes by ISIL.
    Recent Accomplishments
    During the past year, the Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) provided over $23 million to support CWD efforts in Iraq which led to the following results:
    • Safely released and cleared landmines and UXO from more than 65 million square meters (from a total of 752 million square meters) of land across Iraq, which has revitalized economic and agricultural development throughout the nation.
    • Destroyed more than 61,979 pieces of UXO and abandoned or otherwise at-risk munitions.
    • Provided risk education to more than 38,000 Iraqi men, women and children, saving lives and preventing injuries with outreach programs to warn about the potential dangers from landmines and UXO in their communities.
    U.S.-Funded Partner Initiatives:
    • MAG (Mines Advisory Group): State Department funding has enabled MAG Iraq to clear over 34 square kilometers of contaminated land, freeing 300 contaminated sites for productive use and responding to more than 20,000 spot tasks to safely remove and destroy 840,730 landmines and pieces of UXO in northern and central Iraq. In the upcoming fiscal years, MAG plans to begin clearing newly liberated areas for the safe and timely return of IDPs such as the Yazidi population in Sinuni, Zammar, and Rabeea. Additionally, MAG plans to deploy community liaison teams to deliver risk education to an estimated 71,700 civilians affected by ISIL-related violence.
    • Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA): NPA provided technical advisors to the Iraqi Regional Mine Action Center - South in Basrah (RMAC-S) to assist it in fulfilling its role as a regulatory body that is able to coordinate and monitor mine action activities. This project has enabled the RMAC-S to conduct a survey designed to provide a more accurate picture of the mine/UXO situation in southern Iraq. Additionally, NPA’s WRA-funded teams cleared 164,868 square meters in 2014 and found 74 cluster sub-munitions, and 20 other pieces of UXO. In 2015, the same teams have so far cleared 1,732,105 square meters finding 1,086 cluster sub munitions, 157 other pieces of UXO, 22 anti-tank mines, and 7 anti-personnel mines.
    • Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD): FSD’s proposed area of intervention was captured by ISIL and then liberated by Peshmerga forces between July 2014 and February 2015. Subsequently, FSD plans to deploy survey and clearance teams to those areas in late 2015 to increase civilian security for returning IDPs.
    • Danish Demining Group (DDG): DDG will begin conducting survey and clearance operations in southern Iraq as well as assist in developing the program capacity of the RMAC-S in coordination with the Iraq Directorate of Mine Action (DMA). Additionally, DDG hopes to conduct risk education with the goal of reaching 120,000 beneficiaries in northern Iraq.
    • Information Management and Mine Action Programs (iMMAP): iMMAP advisors continue to provide operational management, strategic planning, victims’ assistance support, and technical expertise. In September 2015, the DMA, Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA), and iMMAP signed a Memorandum of Understanding allowing iMMAP to establish a joint DMA and IKMAA Information Management Database to track humanitarian mine action (HMA) information in areas liberated from ISIL, and facilitate the flow of HMA data among various mine action NGOs assisting in reconstruction efforts.
    • Spirit of Soccer (SoS): Spirit of Soccer continues to implement innovative projects using soccer as a means to promote education and outreach to children about the risks from landmines and UXO. Expanding on these techniques, SoS incorporated trauma training for youth affected by ISIL-related violence, and pursued local league and tournament sponsorships in order to target young Iraqi males at risk of joining extremist groups.
    • Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI): MLI enhanced and refined the 12 Mine Detection Dog teams working with a local Iraqi demining organization. Furthermore, MLI continued the Children Against Mines Program in southern Iraq; linking three American schools to three Iraqi schools to promote mine risk education in schools and provide medical assistance to young survivors.
    • Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD): The 2014 Country Planning Workshop for Iraq, which was facilitated by GICHD in August 2014 in Istanbul, provided an opportunity for key mine action stakeholders to exchange ideas and to explore, consider and assess future options and opportunities for advancing the assessment and management of CWD activities in Iraq. DMA based in Baghdad, IKMAA based in Kurdistan, PM/WRA, and all relevant international non-governmental organizations participated in this workshop.
    The United States is the world’s single largest financial supporter of efforts to clear unexploded ordnance and landmines. Since 1993, the United States has contributed more than $2.5 billion to more than 90 countries around the world to reduce the harmful worldwide effects of at-risk, illicitly proliferated, and indiscriminately used conventional weapons of war. For more information on U.S. humanitarian demining and Conventional Weapons Destruction programs, check out the latest edition of our annual report, To Walk the Earth in Safety.
    For further information, please contact David McKeeby in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at

    Thursday, November 19, 2015

    Joni Mitchell nailed it

    In today's snapshot, C.I. documents the media's push for more war.

    Endless war.

    Sitting in a park in Paris France
    Reading the news and it sure looks bad
    They won't give peace a chance
    That was just a dream some of us had

    Joni nailed it in "California" and what was true when BLUE was released remains true today.

    "Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
    Wednesday, November 18, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, the Pentagon spins, the media issues a call for more war, and much more.

    Today, the US Defense Dept announced:
    Strikes in Iraq
    Bomber, attack, and fighter aircraft conducted 16 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Kisik, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL bunkers, two ISIL weapons caches, and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Mosul, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL staging area, an ISIL headquarters and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL fighting position, and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL vehicle-borne bombs, 29 ISIL fighting positions, six ISIL vehicles, 16 ISIL machine gun positions, three ISIL tactical vehicles, four ISIL vehicle-borne bomb staging areas, an ISIL bulldozer, five ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL building, an ISIL staging area, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, one strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes suppressed an ISIL rocket position and an ISIL mortar position.
    The strike release published on Nov. 16 includes a French strike listed as “Near Ar Raqqah, one strike struck an ISIL storage depot.” After further coordination with the French Ministry of Defense, CJTF-OIR officials said they have determined that France conducted two separate strikes on two different targets. The first target was an ISIL storage depot and the second strike against an ISIL command and control node.
    Yes, more bombings.
    It's apparently the only thing in Barack's tool box.
    More bombings at a time when Robert Burns (AP) estimates the average number of bombs dropped on Iraq and Syria by coalition forces in one month is 2228, that the US government is spending $11.1 million a day of taxpayer dollars and has spent $5 billion alone "since August 2014."  
    And what is the result?
    The Associated Press words it carefully:  "But what has been the result? In a word, stalemate, although U.S. military officials say they see the tide gradually turning in their favor."
    In straight forward words?

    Operation Inherent Failure.
    On CNN this week, we had the always ready to wrap her legs around a war Christian Amanpour insisting on "an honest conversation"

    She was speaking to Anderson Cooper on Monday, during CNN's endless Paris coverage, and insisting that Barack Obama's strategy or plan for addressing the Islamic State was a failure.

    It is a failure.

    How many moths have we been calling it Operation Inhernet Failure here?

    Thanks for joining the conversation, Christiane, but I won't let you hijack it.

    Barack's 'plan' has been non-stop bombings.  It is a military plan.

    Despite the fact that he insisted two months before he started the bombings that the only answer was a political solution (June 19, 2014, he said it).

    So Barack's 'plan' is a failure but it's a failure because he's spent about 16 months bombing and finding other countries to bomb Iraq.

    He's failed tto address the issues in any way that have resulted in a political solution.

    Now if the whores who see their poster boy Barack as more important than Iraqi life could have been honest, I wouldn't be alone in making this argument.

    But the left or 'left' seems paralyzed when it comes to sticking up for any belief if it conflicts with their It Girl Barack.

     The military plan he's executed was always going to be a failure.

    If, like the War Hawks, you've accepted the military plan of Barack's as the answer, then of course you will insist for more military action.
    Niles Williamson (WSWS) notes the one-note response the media is presenting:
    Less than 24 hours after the terrorist attack by ISIS in Paris on Friday night killed 129 people and wounded hundreds more, the chief liberal opinion writers in the United States are calling for a massive escalation of the imperialist interventions in Syria and Iraq.
    [. . .]
    In their drive for an expanded war, no serious questions are raised about what lies behind the attacks, or about the impact of more than 14 years of unending war in the Middle East as part of the efforts of the US and its allies to assert hegemonic control over the region and its strategic resources.
    Among the chief warmongers are the New York Times’ Roger Cohen and the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen, two journalists who represent what passes for liberal democratic opinion in the United States.
    Over the last two decades there has not been a single American military intervention or imperialist provocation that either Cohen has not supported. In their endorsement and promotion of intervention in Iraq in 2003 on the basis of lies about nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction,” they bear significant responsibility for the catastrophe in the Middle East which they now seek to escalate.
    If you want to talk about war and further war, endorsing it, the media has a spot for you front and center.  But if you want to question this war -- not to increase military action but to insist upon political solutions -- there's no space for you among all the papers and all the channels throughout the United States.
    The conformist cry for more war passes not only for 'insight' but also for 'diversity' in the conformist and limited media landscape that bullies the people.
    At the State Dept there was no time to talk about Iraq.
    Not a word on Iraq.
    However, today's Pentagon Press briefing did acknowledge Iraq and was conducted by Colonel Steve Warren in a video conference from Baghdad.  He started with some opening remarks.

    Colonel Steve Warren:  Moving on to Iraq, we'll start in Mosul, which is circle number one, blue one in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. That's Mosul, where we continue our disruption operations in the Tigris River Valley, which includes Baiji, Mosul and Hawaija. We've conducted 105 airstrikes since October 15.

    The vicinity of Sinjar, further west, which is star number three, the coalition has conducted 290 airstrikes since October 15. Peshmerga have secured Sinjar, established a new forward line of troops and continue their clearance operations there.

    Finally, along the Euphrates River Valley, which includes Ramadi, Fallujah, and Abu Hayat, we've conducted over 190 airstrikes since October 15.

    So these are all the whats, and the important, I think, question is always the why. And the why is -- and the why I tell you all of this is because it's -- I think it's important for everyone to understand our overarching objective, which is to partner with indigenous ground forces, enable those indigenous ground forces to conduct offensive operations and then provide coalition air power on top of those offensive operations.

    As indigenous friendly forces maneuver against our enemy, it causes our enemy to move. The enemy has to react, and as soon as the enemy reacts, we kill them from the air. So I think that's my overall message here. This is an operation, it -- it spans the breadth and the depth of this battlefield, now going as far south as the tri-border area, as far west as the Mara line and as far east as -- as Baiji.
    There was more but that was the only section on Iraq.
    It was spin and Warren sounded on the defensive, suggesting that even he couldn't believe his own spin.
    Most of the questions at today's briefing focused on Syria.  We'll note two exchanges on Iraq.

    Q: Hey, Colonel, it's Jamie Crawford with CNN. Thanks for -- for doing this.

    I was just curious if you could give us an update on the operation in Sinjar that began last week. How close are we to -- or are the Kurdish forces to completely liberating that -- that town. And then, just as a follow-up, if you could just give us a picture of any sort of tangible results of difficulty that ISIS is now having to resupply their population center as they hold like Mosul after this operation started?

    COL. WARREN: So, Sinjar is liberated. The Peshmerga forces are now going through the laborious process of identifying and reducing, or clearing the IEDs, booby traps, et cetera that -- that ISIL left behind.

    As far as the impact on Mosul, certainly, as is always the case with logistics, it won't be instantaneous, but, you know, having severed that main artery between Raqqa and Mosul, it will force ISIL's resupply on logistics operations off the high-speed avenue of approach, and they'll have to now move through these ratlines and smuggling routes that go through the desert south of Sinjar. This will take a -- what normally would be a several-hour drive from Raqqa to Mosul, will turn it into potentially days.

    So this will have an impact. This will cause them -- it will cause our enemy to be less able to do what they want to do, which is to mutually reinforce their own position. Again, this is -- this is the operational nature of what we're doing now. So, pressure in Iraq; pressure in Syria; pressure in the north; pressure in the south.

    And what this does -- and all those pressures, primarily by ground forces, but all of those pressures cause -- cause the enemy to have to make very difficult decisions. And cause the enemy to not necessarily be able to help other portions of his organization.

    And by continuing this ground pressure, what we see is that as you're being attacked from the ground, as was the case in -- in Sinjar, as was the case in Al-Hawl, as was the case in Al Tam -- the enemy will move, you know, as a reaction to the ground pressure that's been placed on them. And that causes them to pop up and become a very easy target for our air power to kill. So this is the beauty of, you know, these combined air-ground operations.

    So, we don't have specific statistics yet, a percentage of how much Mosul will be constricted by the seizure of Sinjar, but what we do know is it will drive ISIL off the main road and onto the back roads which will slow their operations substantially.

    In addition to being asked about Sinjar,  Warren was also asked about Ramadi which fell to the Islamic State in April.

    Q: Steve, Tom Bowman again. 

    I wonder if you could give us an update on Ramadi. I think last time we talked, you said they'd almost encircled the city, except for the bridge over the Euphrates and I think trouble with the river itself. And if they have completely encircled it, why haven't they gone in yet?

    COL. WARREN: So the western access has seen some fairly good activity. I think I mentioned that Camp Warar has not only been seized, but now cleared of nearly 30 -- I think it was 24, 26 IEDs that have been discovered buried at Camp Warar, which is right on the west bank of the river and overlooks the main city.

    The CPS then kind of looped around and now they're working up through the -- there's a neighborhood that runs parallel to Camp Warhar. They're working their way up through that.

    The northern access has met with some very stiff resistance, frankly. The enemy has put up a good fight here in the last couple of days, so they're continuing -- I think it was about a 200-meter movement here yesterday. So this is -- this is slow and sometimes incremental work, but you know, they're continuing.

    We believe that all the piece are in place, you know? We've -- Iraq has asked for some additional enablers, additional air, et cetera. We're providing that. So we believe that all the pieces are in place and that the Iraqis have a plan that's -- that's a good plan and workable and it's time for them to execute it.

    Q: Major General Rich Clark of the 82nd that -- the Iraqi security forces outnumber ISIS about 10 to one. If that's the case, I don't understand the stiff resistance if you're 10 to one.

    COL. WARREN: Yeah, that's -- that's 10 to one, total. But you know, in any attack, right, there's always a point to that spear. When that point to that spear gets blunted against some stiff resistance, it could -- it could stop all the rest. That's the case here.

    You know, the enemy, as I've described, I think -- once or twice before has put in some fairly complex obstacles and then they are fanatical defenders of Ramadi.

    Now, that said, we -- we've provided some very substantial air power, some very good training and some specialized equipment to help with these problems -- you know, with -- with this -- with the problem of this integrated defense.

    So, again, we believe all the pieces are in place, and that it -- it's time for the Iraqis to -- to make this final move and -- and get Ramadi cleared. We do believe that.
    "We do believe that."

    I guess you have to at this point -- in order to justify the lack of success, you have to believe that.
    The rush of the stupid to find something -- anything to hug -- is always something to roll the eyes over.
    Currently, a number of idiots have bought into the propaganda that Yazids are ponies and rainbows and we must support them.
    They're people just like anyone else.
    And right now they are people carrying out retaliation.
  • Yazidi are burning down mosques in Sinjar. The start of blanket immunity against Sunni for ISIS. Hope you're happy with your lies.
  • They aren't saints and anyone surprised that a persecuted people could carry out retaliation and worse clearly missed the history of the state of Israel.
    Monday, AFP reported that the Yazidis 'celebrated' their return to Sinjar by looting Sunni homes and setting them on fire.

    AFP also reminds, "Rights group Amnesty International documented attacks by Yazidi militiamen against two Sunni Arab villages north of Sinjar in January, in which 21 people were killed and numerous houses burned."

    The back-and-forth never ends in Iraq -- in non-inclusive Iraq.
    Where's that political solution?

    Wednesday, November 18, 2015

    Is this the new line to explain her flip-flops and poor judgment?

    Radar reports:

    In a series of newly leaked emails from conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch, the democratic front-runner’s longtime aide Huma Abedin admits that her employer is “often confused” when it comes to knowing who to call, meeting times etc., the New York Post reports.


    So she's not the new Pol Pot.

    She's the new Elmer Fudd.

    I guess her befuddled nature is supposed to explain away her vote for the war on Iraq, the assault on Libya, etc?

    Of course, there's also the fact that senility should be a bar against the presidency.

    "Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
    Monday, November 17, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, an American idiot shares how bored she is by any talk of Iraq, and -- worse -- Bustle publishes the idiot, Bernie Sanders issues a statement, and much more.

    Saturday, former Senator and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Governor Martin O'Malley and Senator Bernie Sanders took to the stage for the lowest rated political party debate so far this year.

    We noted some of it in Sunday's snapshot.

    Today, Bustle let Jqcqueline Derks flaunt her stupidity.

    Derks felt too much time was spent on Iraq and sees it all as ancient history.

    That's her opinion.

    I disagree.

    But it's her opinion.

    Her opinion doesn't make her stupid.

    The fact that she doesn't know the facts makes her stupid.

    She writes of Sanders:

    Clearly, the removal of Saddam Hussein had negative consequences like the escalation of sectarian violence. But despite ISIS's claim of statehood, it does not operate in the international order like a country, nor is it recognized as such. There is no regime to overturn. It's a non-state entity. It's difficult to understand why Sanders' brought this up in the midst of the Iraq discussion that wasn't explicitly referencing ISIS in Syria. Sanders' point simply added confusion to his already lackluster defense plan.

    Oh, you stupid little twit.

    The Islamic State is about overturning the Iraq regime -- in Iraq, that's what it's about.

    If the dumb ass knew a damn thing about the persecution of the Sunnis, or the US government's willingnees to go along with that persecution, she'd understand why the Islamic State got a toe-hold in Iraq to begin with.

    Go to the archives here, we said it was coming.

    We noted in the prison breaks of 2010, for example, that the prisoners -- Sunnis -- were being aided -- post prison-break -- by the attacks on the Sunnis.

    Prison breaks meant Sunnis turned their eyes and kept their mouths shut about prisoners.

    They didn't turn them in.

    That was the beginning of a significant shift.

    The Sunnis were wrongly imprisoned

    I'd love to see the dumb ass write about that.

    They were disappeared -- as happened in Chile under thug Pinochet.

    And who were the arrested?

    Usually, they were the brother, the sister, the child, the mother or father of the suspect.

    The suspect.

    Not anyone convicted.

    A suspect.

    And when the Iraqi forces couldn't find the suspect, they grabbed family members and hauled them off.

    They were disappeared.

    If they were women, as Parliament established in the fall of 2012, they were beaten and raped in prison.

    Bustle never showed any interest in that, did they?

    This is what providing the breeding ground for the Islamic State.

    Sunnis were persecuted, they were not a part of the government, and they had no stake in it as a result.

    Which is why, even to this day, you get the attitude expressed by many Sunnis in Iraq that the Islamic State's battle with Iraqi forces has nothing to do with them.

    Derks is apparently a Clinton supporter judging by how delicately -- and sparsely -- she treats Clinton.

    Derks does write:

    No longer are Bush or al-Maliki in positions of power, so this should not be the focus of debate talking points. Clinton might not like the reality that resulted from their actions, but she must accept it — after all, she did vote for the war authorization. 

    And she did more than that, you stupid idiot.


    Nouri al-Maliki lost the election.

    He's only in place because the State Dept negotiated The Erbil Government -- an extra-constitutional agreement (even Nouri agrees with that) which went around the Iraqi voters and the Iraqi Constitution to give Nouri a second term.

    Who was the Secretary of State then?

    Oh, it was Hillary Clinton.

    It's past time that 'democratic' Democrat Hillary was asked about her role in overturning the will of the Iraqi people as expressed at the ballot box in 2010.

    Way past time.

    Nouri's thuggery was well known by 2010.

    Human rights didn't concern Hillary any more than the will of the Iraqi people did.

    Dumb ass Derks seems to think the Islamic State somehow took root in Iraq for no reason at all.

    She's an idiot who refuses to connect consequences to actions.

    Of O'Malley, she writes:

    Pointing out who voted for the war is problematic, as it brings a decade-old issue back into the centerfold, distracting from current events. And the information that was available in 2003 and today is drastically different. Asking "what if we hadn't?" won't change a thing. History isn't a science experiment that we can run two tests to find out which method works best. We did the test, and we have our result.

    You know what, Derks?

    F**K YOU.

    How the hell dare you compare the tragedy -- the ongoing tragedy -- that is the Iraq War, their suffering, to a quiz.

    You stupid, stupid idiot.

    The Iraq War -- the ongoing Iraq War -- is not a quiz or a game.

    It is a war.

    Iraqis are dying every damn day.

    I'm really sorry that you're stupidity makes you one of the dumbest jack asses to ever type online.

    But that's not my problem, it's your problem.

    And you are grossly insulting to the suffering of the Iraqi people.

    You don't even appear to grasp the American sacrifice involved.

    Not on the part of Hillary, of course, all she lost for the Iraq War was her soul, integrity and the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

    But thousands of Americans that she okayed sending to fight in Iraq with her 2002 vote, thousands came back injured.

    Approximately 5,000 died.

    Does she even know that Joshua Wheeler died last month in the Iraq War.

    For her, it's all over.

    It's over because the snotty little brat is bored.

    Well we're bored with her and her strong sense of stupidity and entitlement.

    We're bored with her gross insensitivity to the ongoing suffering of the Iraqi people.

    And, reality check, Hillary may says her vote was a "mistake" but she's failed to ever say how she's learned from it.

    Today, the US Defense Dept announced their daily bombings of Iraq:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 13 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
    -- Near Baghdadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL homemade explosives cache.
    -- Near Albu Hayat, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
    -- Near Fallujah, one strike destroyed an ISIL building.
    -- Near Kisik, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
    -- Near Qayyarah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache.
    -- Near Ramadi, five strikes destroyed six separate ISIL command and control nodes, damaged an ISIL building and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL vehicles.

    Yesterday, Elise Viebeck (Washington Post) reported US President Barack Obama declared that the Paris attacks would not cause a shift in Barack's method of addressing the Islamic State in Iraq.  And she quoted Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes is quoted stating at the G20 Summit today, "We don’t believe U.S. troops are the answer to the problem.  The further introduction of U.S. troops to fully reengage in ground combat in the Middle East is not the way to deal with this challenge."

    Now Ben Rhodes wants to insist that's not enough?

    Well the ones supporting bombings -- in the US Congress -- generally feel that US boots on the ground are needed in combat.  In large numbers.

    Jody Seaburn (Austin-American Statesman) notes today that "especially hawkish critics like U.S. Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham who call for the United States to send ground forces to Iraq and Syria. We could follow their advice and put tens of thousands of American and allied troops in Iraq — for the third time — and they could take Ramadi and Mosul from Islamic State forces, and we could capture territory in Syria as well, but then what?"

    June 19, 2014, Barack publicly insisted  a political solution was the only way to end the crises in Iraq.

    Yet, in August 2014, when he implemented his 'plan,' Barack completely ignored the political solution.

    The tragedy of Paris leaves people wanting to do something.

    And to continue bombing will lead supporters asking for an expansion of the military approach.

    Barack's had 15 months and counting to work on a political solution.

    He's failed.

    Not from hard work that didn't work out but from refusing to seek the needed political solution.

    That's why Barack was insisting in June and July of 2014 that Iraq needed a national guard that represented all aspects of the society.

    But he never made bombings conditional upon this being created.

    And all this time later, bills  for creating a national guard cannot pass the Iraqi Parliament.

    The tragedy in Paris rightly horrifies the world.

    But in terms of Iraq, the answer is not more military action on the part of the US.

    The answer is the same as it was in June 2014: A political solution that creates an inclusive and representative government.

    But no one wants to talk about that.

    The State Dept doesn't even want to talk publicly about Iraq.

    Here's spokesperson Mark Toner at today's State Dept press briefing.

    QUESTION: Last week, Kurdish forces, Peshmerga, retook Sinjar or Shingal. The question is, do you have any immediate plans with KRG to help return the refugee to the city?

    MR TONER: No, and I don’t – no, I don’t want to be too overly – you’re right that they have been – I think they still are continuing to clean up or to mop up in Sinjar. I don’t have an operational report for you or an on-the-ground report to give to you. I know we continue to support the Peshmerga-led offensive there, and this is – they’ve made tremendous strides and great success. I don’t know if the – if Sinjar is yet fully liberated. I’d leave that to folks in the field who can speak to that. But certainly, as – if we look forward and we are able to – the Iraqi Government is able to reestablish control of the city, we always look to that end to reestablish good governance and to allow refugees to return.

    And that was that.

    Sinjar is apparently retaken and no one wants to talk about that victory at the State Dept.

    Nor are there apparently any plans in returning refugees to the city -- or any State Dept interest in the issue.

    That says everything.

    Senator Bernie Sanders was short changed by the idiot Derks as we noted earlier.

    As a result, we'll include this press release his campaign issued today:

    CLEVELAND – Saying Americans are “appalled and disgusted” by terrorist attacks in Paris, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday called for a concerted international effort to defeat the Islamic State and “eliminate the stain of ISIS from this world.”
    Bernie Sanders Speaks to Thousands in Cleveland

    The senator and Democratic Party presidential candidate also denounced “cheap political talk” and “demagoguery and fear mongering.” He urged Americans not to “turn our backs on refugees” fleeing the terrorist organization.

    “Every American has been appalled and disgusted by the attack against the people of Paris by the terrorist organization ISIS. I know all of us send our condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones. And we pray for the recovery of all those who were injured, many of them seriously,” Sanders told an audience of more than 7,000 at the Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center.

    “In my view, now is the time for developing a serious and effective approach to destroy ISIS. Now is not the time for taking cheap political advantage of this tragedy. Now is the time – as President Obama is trying to do – to unite the world in an organized campaign against ISIS that will eliminate the stain of ISIS from this world,” Sanders added. “But let me also say that now is not the time for demagoguery and fear mongering. What terrorism is about is trying to instill terror and fear into the hearts of people. And we will not let that happen. We will not be terrorized or live in fear. During these difficult times, we will not succumb to Islamophobia. We will not turn our backs on the refugees who are fleeing Syria and Afghanistan. We will do what we do best and that is be Americans – fighting racism, fighting xenophobia, fighting fear.”

    Sanders said the United States must learn from history. He disputed an assertion by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus who said the United States was projecting weakness on the global stage. “Well, in 2002 we had a president, George W. Bush, who was very tough – but not very smart. He invaded Iraq and we are reaping the consequences of that war today: 6,700 dead Americans, hundreds of thousands wounded, $5 trillion spent and massive instability in the region – chaos which allowed the rise of ISIS. Yes, we have to be tough but not stupid. Yes, a worldwide coalition must defeat ISIS. But no, the United States must not be involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East,” Sanders said.

    Sanders also stressed that the focus on the Islamic State must not divert attention from critically important issues at home in the United States. “I understand there are some who think that because of this attack we no longer have the capability to address the collapse of the American middle class. I disagree. Our country and the world can and will defeat ISIS and at the same time we will rebuild our disappearing middle class,” Sanders said.

    Watch the video:

    Monday, November 16, 2015

    Tracy Chapman

    Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Hillary's Got A Funny Bone"

    humorous hillary

    Oh, Hillary, you're so disgusting.

    I really have to marvel over how so many who denounced her in 2008 now hold their tongues.

    I can understand people who walked away from her after 2008 -- she proved she was a War Hawk and her Iraq vote was not an exception but the rule for her.

    But those who denounced her -- especially those who insisted she was a racist?  It's hard to watch them rush to support and defend her.

    Hillary's a continuation of the ongoing corruption that is DC politics.

    She's no revolution.

    As for talking 'bout a revolution, you know it sounds like a whisper, right?

    That's what Tracy Chapman sang on the first track of her self-titled debut.

    Now she's getting a true GREATEST HITS collection:

    We are really pleased to announce you this exclusive information: Tracy Chapman releases her long awaited “Greatest Hits” album on November 20, 2015!

    Tracy Chapman's Greatest Hits releases on November 20, 2015

    18 songs, all remastered, chosen by Tracy Chapman herself, compiling 25 years of music: the tracks are taken from her 8 studio albums (from 1988 to 2008) to her live interpretation of “Stand By Me” at the David Letterman show in April 2015.

    It’s been 27 years since Tracy Chapman released her “Debut Album” and it seems it was just yesterday. She’ll be celebrating a nearly three-decade career with a greatest-hits compilation through Elektra / Rhino Records.
    The album charts the history of Tracy Chapman’s most popular songs, all released as a single (but “Save Us All”) and the vibrant interpretation of “Stand By Me” she gave at the David Letterman show in April 2015. She received for it tremendous reviews from the press and her fans.
    The album will be available on Elektra / Rhino Records on both CD and digital formats. The photo cover chosen for the “Greatest Hits” is from Herb Ritts: it was taken in 1989 for the album “Crossroads” and used on the cover of the single “Crossroads”.

    Pre-order the “Greatest Hits” on iTunes or Amazon

    Here is the complete tracklisting of Tracy Chapman’s Greatest Hits:

    1. Telling Stories (2000)
    2. Baby Can I Hold You (1988)
    3. Change (2005)
    4. The Promise (1995)
    5. Open Arms (1992)
    6. Subcity (1989)
    7. Fast Car (1988)
    8. Bang Bang Bang (1992)
    9. Crossroads (1989)
    10. Speak The Word (2000)
    11. Smoke And Ashes (1995)
    12. Sing For You (Single Edit) (2008)
    13. You’re The One (2002)
    14. Save Us All (2008)
    15. All That You Have Is Your Soul (1989)
    16. Talkin’ Bout A Revolution (1988)
    17. Give Me One Reason (1995)
    18. Stand By Me (Live at The Late Show With David Letterman) (2015)


    Tracy Chapman releases her long-awaited Greatest Hits album on November 20 through Elektra/Rhino Records. This new collection brings together, for the first time, classic tracks from Chapman’s celebrated career that now spans four decades and includes eight best-selling studio albums. Compiled by Chapman herself, the featured songs have also been newly remastered. Since her eponymous debut in 1988, Chapman has captivated audiences around the globe with her pure voice, evocative songs and intense spirit, and her ear for authenticity infuses these 18 tracks with a visceral and emotional resonance.
    Tracy Chapman has created a body of work that has been as consistently compelling as it is honest and uncompromising, eloquently telling stories with perennial appeal that are at once personal and universal. Impervious to trends, she has commendably stayed her musical course, earning the approbation of fans, critics and peers, beginning in 1988 with the release of Tracy Chapman. The multi-platinum debut album earned three Grammy Awards and featured the classic singles ‘Fast Car’, ‘Talkin’ Bout A Revolution’, and ‘Baby Can I Hold You’. It went on to become one of the most successful debuts of all time, selling more than 20 million copies worldwide. To this day, it still makes regular appearances on album charts around the world, and is one of the most successful albums by a female artist in chart history. Chapman’s musical journey has continued with 1989’s Crossroads (RIAA platinum, internationally multi-platinum), 1992’s Matters Of The Heart (RIAA gold), 1995’s multi-platinum New Beginning (which featured the Grammy-winning single ‘Give Me One Reason’), 2000’s Telling Stories (RIAA gold, internationally platinum), 2002’s Let It Rain (internationally platinum), 2005’s Where You Live, and her eighth studio album, 2008’s Our Bright Future. Along the way, in addition to her four Grammys, Chapman has earned an American Music Award, two Brits, and a Billboard Music Award.
    Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Chapman was awarded an academic scholarship to the prestigious Wooster School in Danbury, Connecticut, and later attended Tufts University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology (in 2004 she received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from her alma mater). It was while she was there that she began singing in coffee houses, night clubs and street performing around Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    Since her breakthrough performance at Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday concert in London in 1988, Tracy Chapman has appeared frequently in support of social and humanitarian causes, including Amnesty International’s Human Rights Now! Tour, the annual Bridge School benefit concerts, the Nelson Mandela Free South Africa Concert, Farm Aid, Tibetan Freedom FestivalVote for Change, the Driving Votes tour, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and many others. Chapman made her theatre debut composing the music for a new production of Athol Fugard’s classic 1961 play Blood Knot, which opened at San Francisco’s A.C.T. in 2008, and was directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. In 2012, Chapman performed at the 35th annual Kennedy Center Honors, honouring Buddy Guy. In 2014, she sat on the domestic documentary jury at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2015, she was invited by David Letterman to sing ‘Stand By Me’ during his final season hosting The Late Show, commanding a stage entirely on her own for a performance – now included on this album – that demonstrated her enduring appeal and relevance.

    My only gripe is the failure to include "Our Bright Future" from the album of the same name.

    That 2008 release was significant.

    Yes, she includes two other tracks from the album but I really would have pushed for three if it had been me.

    OUR BRIGHT FUTURE is her finest album after her debut.

    CROSSROADS is challenging for some (I love it) and I'd rank it as her third best album.

    But I was blown away by OUR BRIGHT FUTURE in a way that I rarely am with established artists.

    November 20th is a Friday.

    I first noticed this with Janet Jackson's new album -- new releases are now coming out on Fridays.

    Traditionally, they were released on Tuesdays.

    By the way, Tracy was on Tavis Smiley's PBS show -- video will soon be posted online.

    "Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
    Sunday, November 15, 2015. Chaos and violence continue, Hillary spins on Iraq, one of her supporters spins and lies, the KRG's flag flies in Sinjar, and much more.

    Iraq War veteran Matt McLaughlin reflected on the Iraq War and politician's responsibilities this week in a column for the Somerville Journal which included the following:

    This moment was not very significant at first, but after two tours in Iraq and every year since, I asked myself “if that drill sergeant knew we would be there for years, why didn’t our elected officials? If he knew the truth, and 21-year-old Matt McLaughlin knew enough to ask questions, why didn’t the most informed people in the nation?”
    The truth is they did know better. The politicians who voted yes to Iraq did so because it was politically expedient. Republicans and Democrats made a rare bipartisan decision to give Bush unlimited war powers. But they were not a united voice. One hundred and thirty-three members of Congress voted against the war. Their courage serves as a historical rebuttal to the idea that Iraq was a simple mistake based off bad information.
    [. . . ]
    I can forgive individuals for their trespasses, just as I hope I’m forgiven for my mistakes. But I will never willingly let such individuals make life and death decisions again. They already proved they would choose their political life over someone else’s death. I can forgive, but I will never forget. I will always remember. Army veteran Matthew McLaughlin served two tours in Iraq.

    That's some honest truth.

    So few people can offer it.

    Take professional liar Jeffrey Marburg-Goodman.

    At Huffington Post this week, he rushed in to defend Hillary on, of all topics, Iraq.

    He 'forgot' to inform readers that he was part of her 2008 campaign.

    The same way he forgot to tell readers he was tied to the corrupt no-bid contracts in Iraq that the US government 'rewarded' certain big donors with.

    He especially forgets -- as does Huffington Post -- forget to tell you that this "Obama administration official" sered in the Bully Boy Bush administration as well.  In 2004, for exaple, his title was Assistant General Counsel for Government Contracts at the US Agency for International Development.

    For his embarrassing defense of the Bully Boy Bush administration's corrupt and no-bid contracts see the defense of it he offered in 2003 entitled [PDF format warning] "USAID'S Iraq Procurement Contracts:Insider's View" (and don't e-mail to tell me that the capital "S" after USAID should be lower case -- it's his typo).

    But the liar's back to offer more lies when he should probably be issuing an apology for those no-bid contracts -- possibly issuing from a federal prison cell.

    Is it any surprise a whore for Bush and Barack would show to whore for Hillary as well?

    DC's little more than a gan of thieves these days.

    It's a corrupt sewer waiting for someone to drain it.

    Instead we get Marburg-Goodman serving up his version of fan fiction erotica, "Re-Examing Iraq: Is Hillary Really a Hawk?"

    Let's look in on Marburg-Goodman's crap-trash:

    Here are the facts: on October 11, 2002, Clinton joined a strong majority of Democrats, including liberal and left-center Democrats like John Kerry, Tom Harkin, and Joe Biden in voting "yes" on the Resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq.
    While that resolution did indeed authorize President Bush, under strict requirements of the 1973 War Powers Act, to use force, it remains largely forgotten that Clinton's vote authorized using such force only as "necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq," and to do so only upon the President certifying to Congress that "diplomatic or other peaceful means" would be insufficient to defang Saddam. 

    That's the sign of a really bad liar -- not even able to come up with a new lie.

    Talk about lazy.

    We've heard this lie before.

    Elizabeth Edwards trotted this out to defend her husband John Edwards.

    It was at the same time she was castigating Hillary in the press for being married to a . . . cheater.

    Remember that?

    Remember how Edwards not only had a mistress but he had a pregnant mistress who gave birth to his child.

    But liar Elizabeth Edwards had the gall to attack Hillary for Bill's affairs?

    So the liar today wants you to know Hillary voted "yes" for war -- but "yes" for another war, you understand.

    Not the war that still ravages Iraq and has left over one million Iraqis dead, killed around 5,000 US military personnel, left wounded many more, not that war.

    No, no, no.

    Hillary voted for another Iraq war.

    It reminds me of a scene in "The feminist film classic of the 90s," the Sandra Seacat directed comedy classic IN THE SPIRIT from a screenplay by Jeannie Berlin and Laurie Jones, starring Marlo Thomas and Elaine May. In the scene noted below, Reva (Marlo) and (Marianne (Elaine) pretend to be hookers to get prostitute and porn actress Lureen (Melanie Griffith) to open up to them about murder victim Crystal.

    In The Spirit

    Lureen: I better quit drinking. I've got to go do The Robin Byrd Show in an hour.

    Reva: Oh really? Are you an actress?

    Marianne: Yeah.

    Lureen: You know Karl Percy, don't you? From Albany?

    Reva: Oh yeah.

    Marianne: Yeah.

    Reva: We, uh, we worked for him.

    Lureen: You're kidding. Which movies?

    Marianne: The early ones.

    Reva: Yeah, the early ones.

    Lureen: You mean like Finger Licking Good? 20 Laps?

    Mariann: Yeah, that's right.

    Lureen: Wow.

    Reva: No, I-I wasn't in 20 Laps.

    Lureen: Oh.

    Reva: I had another part.

    Lureen: Oh.

    Reva: In a musical.

    Lureen: You're kidding!

    Marianne: She is.

    Lureen: You know, Crystal was so good in Hot Sausages --

    Reva: Uh-huh.

    Lureen: -- but she just never followed through. She had no ambition.

    Marianne: I think that she was very dumb to get mixed up with Chuckle.

    Lureen: Yeah, well, Crystal was dumb. And Chuckles is smart. He is real smart. He is too smart. I get scared of guys who are that smart. You know, and he really gets off on showing you just how smart he is -- like a really mean cat with a bird.

    FYI, Marlo's currently winning raves for another superb comedic performance in the play CLEVER LITTLE LIES now playing at New York's Westside Theatre (407 West 43rd Street).

    But that's what the dreadful Huffington Post column, insisting Hillary voted for the Iraq War but, you understand, a different Iraq War reminds me of: Reva insisting she made porn but not 20 LAPS, instead she was in a musical.

     Hillary voted for the war.

    So did John Kerry.

    So did many other cowards.

    One thing to Hillary's credit, she hasn't attempted the lie that Jeffrey Marburg-Goodman does.

    Marburg-Goodman also offers:

    When Hillary Clinton was challenged on her Iraq war vote at last month's Democratic debate, the front-running candidate pointed to President Obama's 2008 selection of herself as Secretary of State as affirmation of his continuing confidence in her judgment on matters of war and peace.

    Oh, Barack's Iraq judgment?

    The same Barack who chose Joe Biden as his running mate?

    Biden also supported the Iraq War.

    The same Barack who chose John Kerry for Secretary of State?

    John supported the Iraq War -- he was for it before he was against it -- remember that 2004 howler?

    The same Barack who found Iraq War cheerleader Samantha Power several spots in his administration?

    The same Barack who found Iraq War cheerleader Susan Rice a spot?

    As we have long pointed out, Ann Wright -- who resigned from the State Dept over the Iraq War -- wasn't given a post in the administration.

    But those who supported the war were littered throughout Barack's administration.

    His choosing Hillary was perfectly in keeping with his choosing all those other Iraq War supporters -- including Victoria Nuland who, as we noted in 2004's "When NPR Fails You, Who You Gonna' Call? Not the Ombudsman," was Dick Cheney's right hand:

    What is Kagan's conflict of interest appearance? (An issue NPR has still not addressed.) It's not that he writes an op-ed for The Washington Post. Dvorkin does toss out the "hawk" issue but without ever addressing it. But he also doesn't address a very important fact: who is Robert Kagan married to?

    He's married to Victoria Nuland. For all I know, she's a wonderful person. But that's not the issue. The issue is who Ms. Nuland works for. Want to take a guess on that?

    Did you guess Dick Cheney? If you did, you may be more informed than Dvorkin or Montagne because possibly they are unaware of that fact. Possibly, they haven't done the basic work required -- Montagne to know about the "guest" she is introducing; Dvorkin to address the issue of Kagan as a commentator/interpreter of John Kerry's remarks.

    Michele Norris' husband worked for the Kerry campaign. (Warning: we're going down a very basic road here. But apparently, it's not one that NPR can navigate by themselves so let's move slowly to allow them to keep up.) Since Norris' husband is involved with attempting to get what we will call "team A" into the White House, Norris has the appearance of a conflict of interest and her reporting duties can not include commenting or covering the campaigns. That's a simple path to follow whether you agree with it or not.

    But with Kagan, the path has a huge u-turn and veers off to God knows where. Kagan's wife works as Cheney's deputy national security adviser. That's Ms. Nuland' s title. So in effect, Ms. Nuland's employed by "team B" -- she's apparently not working on team B's campaign, but she works for team B. Potentially, Kagan has a vested interest in the outcome of the 2004 election.

    It was so laughable to watch the stooges rush to Nuland's defense over Benghazi.

    They didn't know a thing about Benghazi or, for that matter, Victoria herself.

    Only when she was caught on tape regarding the Ukraine in 2014 did the toy left activists suddenly discover what a freak show Victoria was and then they learned of her connections to Cheney.

    Ten years prior, we'd told you what NPR wouldn't or couldn't.

    But the toy left, too scared to call out Barack or stand up, couldn't say a word until ten years later.

    It's a little like when Davey D was on KPFA in the summer of 2008 whining about poor little Samantha Power -- or, as he stupidly and repeatedly called her, "Samantha Powers."  She was a poor, innocent, peace loving person -- forced out of Barack's campaign by the evil Hillary.

    No, she resigned because the BBC interview was about to start airing -- she resigned hours before it did and, check the archives, we called it out in real time unlike Tom Hayden who only wrote about it four months after the fact -- where she revealed that Barack's promise to end the Iraq War was not a promise he intended to be held to.

    But there was Davey D rushing to defend a War Hawk -- one that we had identified as such -- as had Keith Harmon Snow, Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman and a few others.

    But members of the toy left are never saddled with such add-ons as truth, they roll off the line with the factory standard spin, lie and whore options.

    Those options were being test driven during Saturday's Democratic debate or 'debate' hosted by CBS News' John Dickerson.

    All right, thank you, governor, thank all of you. The terror attacks last night underscored the biggest challenge facing the next President of the United States. At a time of crisis the country and the world look to the president for leadership and for answers. So Secretary Clinton, I'd like to start with you, hours before the attacks, President Obama said, "I don't think ISIS is gaining strength." 72% of Americans think the fight against ISIS is going badly. Won't the legacy of this administration which is-- which you were a part of-- won't that legacy be that it underestimated the threats from ISIS?

    Well, John I think that-- we have to look at ISIS as the leading threat of an international terror network. It cannot be contained, it must be defeated. There is no question in my mind that if we summon our resources, both our leadership resources and all of the tools at our disposal, not just military force which should be used as a last resort, but our diplomacy, our development aid, law enforcement, sharing of intelligence in a much more-- open and cooperative way-- that we can bring people together.
    But it cannot be an American fight. And I think what the president has consistently said-- which I agree with-- is that we will support those who take the fight to ISIS. That is why we have troops in Iraq that are helping to train and build back up the Iraqi military, why we have special operators in Syria working with the Kurds and Arabs so that we can be supportive. But this cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential.

    But-- Secretary Cli-- Clinton, the question's about what-- was ISIS underestimated. And I'll-- I'll just ask-- the president referred to ISIS as the JVU in a speech, the council in foreign relations in June of 2014 said, "I could not have predicted the extent to which ISIS could be effective in seizing cities in Iraq." So you've got prescriptions for the future. But how-- how do we know if those prescriptions are any good if you missed it in the past?

    Well, John, look, I think that what happened when we abided by the agreement that George W. Bush-- made with the Iraqis to leave-- by 2011 is that an Iraqi army was left that had been trained and that was prepared to defend Iraq. Unfortunately, Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, set about decimating it.
    And then with the revolution against Assad-- and I did early on say we needed to try to find a way to train and equip moderates very early so that we would have a better idea of how to deal with Assad because I thought there would be-- extremist groups filling the vacuum.
    So, yes, this has developed. I think that there are many other reasons why it has in addition-- to what's happened in the region. But I don't think that the United States-- has the bulk of the responsibility. I really put that on Assad and on the Iraqis and on the region itself.

    Okay, Governor O'Malley would you critique the administration's response to ISIS? If the United States doesn't lead (UNINTEL)?

    John, I would-- I would disagree with-- with Secretary Clinton, respectfully, on this score. This actually is America's fight. It cannot solely be America's fight. America is best when we work in collaboration with our allies. America is best when we are actually standing up to evil in this world.
    And ISIS, make no mistake about it, is an evil in this world. ISIS has brought down a Russian airliner. ISIS is now attacked the western democracy in-- in France. And we do have a role in this. Not solely ours. But we must work collaboratively with other nations. The great failing of these last ten or 15 years, John, has been our failing of human intelligence on the ground. Our world in the world is not to roam the globe looking for new dictators to topple. Our role in the world is to make ourselves a beacon of hope, make ourselves stronger at home.
    But also our role in the world, yes, is also to confront evil when it rises. We took out the save haven in Afghanistan but now there is undoubtedly a larger safe haven. And we must rise to this occasion in collaboration and with alliances to confront it. And invest in the future much better human intelligence so we know what the next steps are.

    Senator Sanders, you said you wanna rid the planet of ISIS. In the previous date you said the greatest threat to national security was climate change. Do you still believe that?

    Absolutely. In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. And if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say you're gonna see countries all over the world-- this is what the C.I.A. says, they're gonna be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops. And you're gonna see all kinds of international conflict.
    But of course international terrorism is a major issue that we've got to address today. And I agree with much of what-- the secretary and-- and the governor have said. Only have one area of-- of disagreement with the secretary. I think she said something like, "The bulk of the responsibility is not ours."
    Well, in fact, I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely. And led to the rise of Al Qaeda-- and to-- ISIS. Now, in fact, what we have got to do-- and I think there is widespread agreement here-- 'cause the United States cannot do it alone. What we need to do is lead an international coalition which includes-- very significantly-- (UNINTEL) nations in that region are gonna have to fight and defend their way of life.

    Quickly just-- let me ask you-- follow up on that, Senator Sanders, when you said the disastrous vote (?) on Iraq-- let's just be clear about what you're saying, you're saying Secretary Clinton-- who was then Senator Clinton-- voted for the Iraq war. And are you making a direct link between her vote for that or-- and what's happening now for ISIS? Just so everybody--


    Oh I don't think any-- I don't think any sensible person would disagree that the invasion of Iraq led to the massive level of instability we are seeing right now.


    I think that was one of the worst foreign policy plunders in the modern history of United States.

    All right, let's let Secretary Clinton respond to that.

    Thank you, John, well, I think it's important we put this in historic context. United States has unfortunately been victimized by terrorism going back decades. In the 1980s it was in Beirut, Lebanon under President Reagan's administration and 258 Americans, marines, embassy personnel and others were-- murdered.
    We also had attacks on two of our embassies in-- Tanzania and Kenya-- when my husband was president. Again, Americans murdered. And then of course 9/11 happened which happened before there was an invasion of Iraq. I have said the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. But I think if we're ever gonna really tackle the problems posed by jihadi extreme terrorism we need to understand it and realize that it had-- ans-- and (UNINTEL) to what happened in Iraq and we have to continue to be vigilant about it.

    Senator Sanders, let me just follow this line of thinking. You've criticized then Senator Clinton's vote. Do you have anything to criticize in the way she performed as secretary of state?

    I think we have a disagreement. And-- the disagreement is that not only did I vote against the war in Iraq, if you look at history, John, you will find that regime change-- whether it was in the early '50s in Iran, whether it was toppling Salvador Allende in Chile or whether it was overthrowing the government Guatemala way back when-- these invasions, these-- these toppling of governments, regime changes have unintended consequences. I would say that on this issue I'm a little bit more conservative than the secretary.

    All right.

    And that I am not a great fan of regime changes.

    Here, let me go--

    John, may I-- may I interject here? Secretary Clinton also said that we left the h-- it was not just the invasion of Iraq which Secretary Clinton voted for and has since said was a big mistake, and indeed it was. But it was also the cascading effects that followed that.
    It was also the disbanding of-- many elements of the Iraqi army that are now showing up as part of ISIS. It was-- country after country without making the investment in human intelligence to understand who the new leaders were and the new forces were that are coming up. We need to be much more far f-- thinking in this new 21st century era of-- of nation state failures and conflict. It's not just about getting rid of a single dictator. It is about understanding the secondary and third consequences that fall next.

    All right, Secretary.

    Well, and-- and of course each of these cases needs to be looked at individually and analyzed. Part of the problem that we have currently in the Middle East is that Assad has hung onto power-- with the very strong support of Russia and Iran and with the proxy of-- Hezbollah-- being there basically fighting his battles.
    So I don't think you can paint with a broad brush. This is an incredibly complicated region of the world. It's become more complicated. And many of the fights that are going on are not ones that the United States has either started or have a role in. The Shia-- Sunni split, the dictatorships that have suppressed people's aspirations, the increasing globalization without any real safety valve for people to have a better life. We saw that in Egypt. We saw a dictator overthrown, we saw Muslim Brotherhood president installed and then we saw him ousted and the army back. So I think we've got to understand the complexity of the world that we are facing and no places more so than in the Middle East.

    Now let's examine the above a little.

    HILLARY CLINTON:Well, John, look, I think that what happened when we abided by the agreement that George W. Bush-- made with the Iraqis to leave-- by 2011 is that an Iraqi army was left that had been trained and that was prepared to defend Iraq. Unfortunately, Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, set about decimating it.

    Is that what "we" did?

    Hillary's such a little whore these days.

    What Barack did was try to renegotiate the Status Of Forces Agreement and failed.  But the administration continued to try in November of 2011, December of 2011, January of 2011 and a little bit more.  That's public record.

    Excuse me.

    That should be public record.

    I was at the hearings.

    We covered it here.

    Where was the press?

    Oh, that's right whoring as they always do.

    No wonder they love Hillary -- she's a whore just like they are.

    Let's zoom in on this:  "by 2011 is that an Iraqi army was left that had been trained and that was prepared to defend Iraq. Unfortunately, Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, set about decimating it."

    Well, Hillary, you were in charge then, remember?

    The State Dept took over the mission.

    You had billions for training?


    And US facilities that you ended up giving away to the government of Iraq.

    They didn't want training.

    Remember that too?

    It was in the report of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

    Maybe you don't remember because you're not on the record.

    Maybe America needs to be talking about that.

    Maybe the whorish press needs to be talking about your refusal to tell Congress the State Dept's plan for Iraq?

    Your refusal to answer questions?

    At the end of 2011, the State Dept was put in charge of the US mission in Iraq.

    It did not go well.

    Hillary doesn't want to talk about that today.

    Nor does she want to address the real issue of training.

    Let's drop back to the February 8, 2012 snapshot: (and for any who don't remember, she was the Secretary of State at the time):
    We covered the November 30th [2011] House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the MiddleEast and South Asia in the December 1st snapshot and noted that Ranking Member Gary Ackerman had several questions. He declared, "Number one, does the government of Iraq -- whose personnel we intend to train -- support the [police training] program?  Interviews with senior Iaqi officials by the Special Inspector General show utter didain for the program.  When the Iraqis sugest that we take our money and do things instead that are good for the United States. I think that might be a clue."  The State Dept's Brooke Darby faced that Subcommittee. Ranking Member Gary Ackerman noted that the US had already spent 8 years training the Iraq police force and wanted Darby to answer as to whether it would take another 8 years before that training was complete?  Her reply was, "I'm not prepared to put a time limit on it."  She could and did talk up Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Interior Adnan al-Asadi as a great friend to the US government.  But Ackerman and Subcommittee Chair Steve Chabot had already noted Adnan al-Asadi, but not by name.  That's the Iraqi official, for example, Ackerman was referring to who made the suggestion "that we take our money and do things instead that are good for the United States."  He made that remark to SIGIR Stuart Bowen.
    Brooke Darby noted that he didn't deny that comment or retract it; however, she had spoken with him and he felt US trainers and training from the US was needed.  The big question was never asked in the hearing: If the US government wants to know about this $500 million it is about to spend covering the 2012 training of the Ministry of the Interior's police, why are they talking to the Deputy Minister?
    In that same House Foreign Relations Committee hearing, it was also established that the State Dept had no real plan.
    Ranking Member Gary Ackerman: When will they be willing to stand up without us?
    Brooke Darby: I wish I could answer that question.
    Ranking Member Gary Ackerman: Then why are we spending money if we don't have the answer?
    [long pause]
    Ranking Member Gary Ackerman: You know, this is turning into what happens after a bar mitzvah or a Jewish wedding. It's called "a Jewish goodbye."  Everybody keeps saying goodbye but nobody leaves.
    Again, a non-whorish press would be demanding answers from Hillary on Iraq.
    And when she dared to bring up Nouri al-Maliki -- as she did in the debate -- a real press would challenge her with the fact that Nouri lost the 2011 elections to Iraqiya but the White House refused to back Ayad Allawi for prime minister and instead backed Nouri and negotiated The Erbil Agreement which went around the Iraqi voters and the Iraq Constitution to give Nouri a second term as prime minister.
    But a whorish press just wants to lie for War Hawk Hillary.
    Her representative -- Brooke Darby -- appearing before Congress was not willing to "put a time limit" on how long training would take.
    Isn't it past time that Hillary herself was asked for a timeline?
    It's been twelve years.
    How much training do Iraqi forces need?
    How many years?
    When's the press going to ask Hillary that?
    Let's note Hillary again for this:
    Thank you, John, well, I think it's important we put this in historic context. United States has unfortunately been victimized by terrorism going back decades. In the 1980s it was in Beirut, Lebanon under President Reagan's administration and 258 Americans, marines, embassy personnel and others were-- murdered.
    We also had attacks on two of our embassies in-- Tanzania and Kenya-- when my husband was president. Again, Americans murdered. And then of course 9/11 happened which happened before there was an invasion of Iraq. I have said the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. But I think if we're ever gonna really tackle the problems posed by jihadi extreme terrorism we need to understand it and realize that it had-- ans-- and (UNINTEL) to what happened in Iraq and we have to continue to be vigilant about it.

    Terrorists attacks.

    Anybody notice anything there?

    She wants to talk Paris, she wants to talk 9/11, she wants to Tanzania and Kenya, even Beirut.

    She doesn't bring up Benghazi, does she?

    Of course, she doesn't.

    And no one wants to bring up who the US supports in Iraq or their persecution of the Sunnis.

  • Hillary failed on Iraq all those years ago as a Senator, she failed as Secretary of State and she's still failing today.

  • Bernie: I don't think any sensible person would disagree that the invasion of Iraq lead to what we see now. YES YES HILLARY

  • Still on Hillary, Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Hillary's Got A Funny Bone" went up Saturday morning.

    In Iraq, the battle for Sinjar is apparently over.  Xinhua reports:

    Iraqi Kurdish forces on Friday freed the town of Sinjar in the northern province of Nineveh from Islamic State (IS) militants, a Kurdish security source said.
    The troops, known as Peshmerga, entered the town which located some 100 km west of the IS-held city of Mosul, from three directions and managed to seize all the neighborhoods of the town, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

    As we noted Friday in "The no-win win:"

    If Sinjar is liberated, it's very humiliating for Iraqi forces who can't take Ramadi.

    In addition, Sinjar is disputed territory.

    It was claimed by both the KRG and the Baghdad-based Iraqi government.

    Who really has claim to it now?

    If the Peshmerga liberated it, in the eyes of the world, the KRG now has dibs.

    If the Baghdad-based government couldn't or wouldn't take on an effort to liberate the city what right do they have to it?

    So this Tweet from Reuters' Isabel Coles is not at all surprising:

  • PM Abadi says Sinjar liberated w/ Iraqi assistance & flag of must fly over the town. Barzani says only flag will be raised