Saturday, March 26, 2016

So where's the indictment?

Jason Leopold (VICE NEWS) reports:

The FBI submitted a classified declaration to a federal court judge late Friday explaining details about the bureau's "pending investigation" into the use of a private email server by Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton. The declaration addresses why the FBI can't publicly release any records about its probe in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by VICE News.
In a separate public declaration, David Hardy, the chief of the FBI's FOIA office, said there are a number of documents exchanged between the FBI and the State Department relating to the FBI's ongoing investigation of Clinton's use of a private email server, which stored all of the official government emails Clinton sent and received during her tenure as Secretary of State. But the FBI, which consulted with attorneys within its Office of General Counsel "who are providing legal support to the pending investigation," cannot divulge any of them without "adversely affecting" the integrity of its investigation.
Some of the documents at issue concern "server equipment and related devices obtained from former Secretary Clinton," Hardy said. The documents "consist of memoranda from the FBI to the Department of State regarding evidence. The purpose of these communications with the Department of State was to solicit assistance in furtherance of the FBI's investigation."

So where's the indictment?

This investigation has been going on for over a year.

Add in that Hillary Clinton is attempting to become president of the United States so we have a time sensitivity issue.

So where's the indictment?

They want to withhold information?

Only valid reason would be to indict.

Otherwise, they need to release the information.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, March 25, 2016. Chaos and violence continue, an operation to retake Mosul begins, Bernie Sanders receives a major endorsement, and much more.

Thursday, the US Defense Dept announced/claimed:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 26 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Hit, three strikes struck an ISIL weapons storage facility and an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL rocket rail and five ISIL bunkers.

-- Near Kirkuk, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL command and control node and an ISIL weapons cache.

-- Near Kisik, a strike destroyed an ISIL tunnel.

-- Near Mosul, eight strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL vehicle bomb and six ISIL assembly areas and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Qayyarah, three strikes struck an ISIL communication facility, destroyed an ISIL-used bridge section and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Ramadi, a strike denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Sinjar, five strikes struck five ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and four ISIL assembly areas.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed an ISIL mortar position and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Tal Afar, two strikes destroyed an ISIL assembly area and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Hit, a strike destroyed two ISIL staging areas and two ISIL supply caches.

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

In other news, a supposed major move is taking place on the ground.

|i army starts offensive in region around , according to State TV

Larisa Epatko (THE NEWSHOUR) explains, "About 2 million people lived in Iraq’s second largest city before the Islamic State, or ISIL, siege in June 2014. Since then, some residents, including Yazidis, Turkmen and other ethnic and religious minorities have fled to other parts of the country."
The ASSOCIATED PRESS notes, "It was not immediately clear how long such a complex and taxing offensive would take."

  • While Iran's PRESS TV is rah-rah, others are a bit more down to earth.  For example, CBS NEWS offers:

    Indeed, a senior U.S. military official told CBS News that Thursday's advance was a "small operation to liberate some villages near Makhmour and push the foreign line of troops west." A commander of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces characterized the operation in the same way. 

    And Jane Onyanga-Omara and Jim Michaels (USA TODAY) provide this clarity:

    Still, the Iraqi ground operations are preliminary and Iraqi forces are still about 75 miles away from Mosul.
    Iraq's military has yet to assemble enough trained forces needed to seize the city, a complex operation that will exceed anything Iraqi forces have accomplished since the country's military collapsed in the face of an Islamic State onslaught two years ago.

    Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) sees something more than liberating Mosul as the point of the current operation focusing on Makhmour:

    The Makhmur District is also a key to holding oil fields around Kirkuk, and the ISIS offensive is seen by many analysts as part of an effort to ultimately regain control over those lucrative oil fields, and have been “outgunning” the thousands of Iraqi troops in the area.
    Whether they’re trying to save Iraqi ground troops who still can’t stand up to ISIS, or save oil fields, however, the latest escalation puts US troops even further in harm’s way, and has put the war even further afield from the “no boots on the ground” affair initially promised by the Obama Administration.

    The "no boots on the ground" promise is now forgotten.

    As pointed out on DEMOCRACY NOW!:

    The Pentagon is facing increasing questions about the U.S. troop presence in Iraq, following the death of Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin and the revelations of a newly disclosed U.S. base in northern Iraq. Unnamed Pentagon officials told The Washington Post that there are currently about 5,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq—a far higher number than previously reported. The U.S. troop level in Iraq is supposed to be officially capped at 3,870. But U.S. military spokesperson Colonel Steve Warren said, "People come through on a temporary basis and go above and below the force cap all the time."

    On Thursday's THE NEWSHOUR (PBS), Judy Woodruff spoke with Senator Bernie Sanders about the Islamic State:

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate: Well, I think it has to be destroyed.
    This is a barbaric organization that is a threat not only to the people in the Middle East, to the people in Europe, but obviously to the people in the United States as well. It has to be destroyed.
    And here is how we destroy it. We do not destroy it by doing what we did in Iraq and getting into perpetual warfare. I voted against the war in Iraq. In fact, Secretary Clinton, when she was in the Senate, voted for that war.
    What we do, as King Abdullah of Jordan has told us, is we work to put together a very effective coalition of Muslim nations who lead the effort on the ground, supported by the United States, the U.K., France, and other major powers in the air and through training.
    Now, in the last year, we have had some success. Ramadi has been recaptured. ISIS has lost about 20 percent of the ground that it controlled. But we have a lot more to do. So, I think what we need is strong coalition.
    And, by the way, Judy — and very few people talk about this — we have got to bring in some of the Gulf region countries who have kind of sat it out, countries like Qatar, one of the wealthiest countries on earth, who are spending $200 billion in preparation for the World Cups in 2022.
    They’re spending $200 billion for the World Cup. Well, they may want to spend some money helping us destroy ISIS. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait are going to have to play a greater role.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, Senator, as the United States waits for these other countries to get on board to form this coalition, ISIS is not only strong in its base in Iraq and Syria. It’s now sending, we know, hundreds of fighters into Europe, the AP reporting today 400 trained fighters planing attacks in Europe.
    That’s going on right now.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Right, and that raises the other issue.
    First of all, we have got to destroy ISIS. Second of all, we have got to protect the United States from attacks and protect our allies throughout the world. And that means we need to do a much greater job in sharing intelligence. We need to do a much better job in monitoring those young people who are being drawn into terrorism.
    We have got to monitor how they communicate with each other to plan attacks. So, there is a lot of work to be done to protect our country, as well as to protect our allies in Europe and elsewhere, by the way.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But how do you do that, when there are people right now in Europe, in Belgium, and other countries and presumably here in the United States who are prepared to die for this cause?

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, Judy, no one ever said that this is going to be simple.
    What we have got to do is work with increased intelligence capabilities, shared intelligence capabilities. We have to work with increased law enforcement, with increased monitoring, with increased tracking of people who come into this country. This is not easy. Your point is right.
    If somebody is willing to blow themselves up and walk into an airport, or walk into a movie theater, you know what? It is tough to defend ourselves against that. But, obviously, we must do everything that we can.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But I don’t understand how you destroy ISIS, to use your word, when you’re talking about intelligence operations and cooperation and coalitions.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: You don’t understand how we destroy ISIS?
    We destroy ISIS because there are millions of soldiers in the Middle East who are under arms right now. ISIS has perhaps 30,000 or 40,000 fighters. Our goal is to bring those countries together, to put troops on the ground to destroy ISIS, not to get the United States involved in perpetual warfare.

    Can ISIS be destroyed? Of course they can. It’s a question of a coalition. It’s a question, as King Abdullah has said, Muslim troops on the ground, not American troops. And, by the way, it is not a question of going to war against a religion, as some of my Republican colleagues would have us do. We’re taking on terrorism and ISIS, not Islam as a religion.

    Bernie Sanders is running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, Tweeted the following:

  • THE YOUNG TURKS Cenk Uygur interviewed Bernie:

  • Rosario Dawson Tweets:

  • And Bernie just keeps picking up endorsements -- including this major endorsement:

    ILWU endorses Senator Bernie Sanders for President

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The ILWU’s International Executive Board voted today to endorse U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders for President.
    “Bernie Sanders is the best candidate for America’s working families,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath. “Bernie is best on the issues that matter most to American workers:  better trade agreements, support for unions, fair wages, tuition for students and public colleges, Medicare for all, fighting a corrupt campaign finance system and confronting the power of Wall Street that’s making life harder for most Americans.”
    Many longshore union members have expressed enthusiastic support for Sanders at the local level.
    The ILWU represents approximately 50,000 women and men who work in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii – in addition to ILWU Divisions representing workers in Canada and Panama.

    Friday, March 25, 2016

    Rosario Dawson

  • "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Thursday, March 24, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the US continues bombing Iraq, the effort to retake Mosul is said to begin, nothing changes on the ground, and much more.

    In the ongoing Iraq War, the US government continues dropping bombs on Iraq.  Yesterday, the US Defense Dept announced/boasted/claimed:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Rocket artillery and attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL front end loader, an ISIL machine gun position, and an ISIL bed down location.

    -- Near Haditha, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL staging areas.

    -- Near Kirkuk, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL assembly areas and an ISIL supply cache.

    -- Near Kisik, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL mortar position and three ISIL assembly areas.

    -- Near Mosul, three strikes struck an ISIL headquarters, an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Qayyarah, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL used bridge section.

    -- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle and an ISIL front end loader.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun position and an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Hit, two strikes destroyed an ISIL staging area and an ISIL supply cache.

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

    These bombings have been taking place daily since August 2014.  They've accomplished nothing.  Which is a good time to note THE DAILY BEAST'S Nancy A. Youssef's Tweet:

  • Overheard at the Pentagon: "The generals use the same playbook for every war. ...Strike from the air, send in SF, train locals."

  • One size fits all?

    That might explain why the US has been unable to end any of the wars it started -- the Iraq War continues, the Afghanistan War continues and the Libyan War continues.

    The US government is far too quick to go to war but when they do go they attempt the same cookie cutter pattern despite the lack of positive results.

    Barack Obama said, when campaigning for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2008, that he wanted to change the mindset.

    Apparently, that desire -- like his desire to end the Iraq War -- faded shortly after he was sworn in as president during his first term.

    On the topic of bombings, HURRIYET DAILY NEWS reports:"Turkish jets hit outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) camps both inside the country and in northern Iraq as a part of two separate air operations, the Turkish General Staff has announced."

    Though the Iraqi government has voiced displeasure over this round of bombings which have taken place for months now, the US government has repeatedly backed the bombings and insisted that Turkey has a right to 'defend' itself (see US State Dept press briefings if this is news to you).

    But what else would they say when they'[re also bombing Iraq?

    Neither the US bombings nor the Turkish bombings are effective.

    If the US actually addressed the issues causing the strife in Iraq, that would not only be helpful to Iraq, it could be behavior that others could model.

    The Turkish government, for example, would have to address their own attacks on the Kurdish people within Turkey, the discrimination this population faces within Turkey, etc.

    And when that happens, there's no need for the PKK.

    Calling the PKK or the Islamic State terrorists is not addressing the situation.

    The PKK could probably be called rebels.  The Islamic State's attacks on civilians rules out "rebels" as a term for them -- I am referring to the execution of civilians for various 'misdeeds.'  Both groups set off bombs and kill.  Historically, rebels do such things.  But when you are killing individuals in actions that can only be described as torture and worse, you usually do not get the term "rebel" -- even hundreds of years after you've left the earth.

    Most outside of the Middle East don't know about the PKK or the situation around it to form an opinion.

    For example, this exchange took place at yesterday's US State Dept press briefing moderated by spokesperson Mark Toner.

    QUESTION: Yeah, thank you. In Iraq, the Kurdish Regional Government President Massoud Barzani yesterday said in one interview that the PYD and the PKK are exactly one and the same thing. And he also said that Americans know that they --

    MR TONER: I’m sorry, you said the PKK and --


    MR TONER: And PYD.

    QUESTION: Yeah, YPG.

    MR TONER: Sorry, yeah. Finish. I’m sorry.

    QUESTION: Yeah.

    MR TONER: I just wanted to make sure I had the --

    QUESTION: Okay. And he also said that Americans know this very well, but they don’t want to say it, as the top priority is the fight against ISIS, so they turn a blind eye PYD relation with PKK. And this is what your close ally Peshmerga’s leader, Mr. Barzani, said.

    MR TONER: Well – and you’re asking me for my reaction and whether --

    QUESTION: I want to know, what do you know about PKK and PYD relation?

    MR TONER: I mean, we still adhere to what our policy’s been for the past many months, which is that we view the PKK as a foreign terrorist organization. We condemn its – the violence that it carries out against Turkish civilians and citizens. And separately, we have been working with the YPD – or YPG, rather, in parts of Syria as part of a number of groups we’re working with who are actively fighting and dislodging Daesh or ISIL from territory it controls.

    That doesn’t mean we haven’t had disagreements with them when they try to hold territory or not – or declare semi-autonomous self-rule zones. We disagree with them on that and we have frank discussions with them about that.



    Alphabet soup for some outside the region.

    Does it matter to you?

    It should.

    When situations are not addressed but instead are allowed to fester, they consume the world's attention and time.

    The issue in Turkey is starting to become the Israeli-Palestine divide.

    It needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed honestly.

    As for within Iraq, pretend for a moment the bombings were working.

    It still wouldn't matter.

    The root cause has not been addressed.

    Nothing changes until it is addressed.

    |i army starts offensive in region around , according to State TV

    That also doesn't matter.

    Not if they retake Mosul, not if they don't.

    If the root issues are not addressed, none of this matter.

    President Barack Obama understood that at one point which is why in June of 2014 he spoke of the need for Iraq to find a political solution.

    Of course, he also once said American lives would not be put at risk.

    A political solution would address the inequality, the discrimination and the targeting.

    It would take support and/.or sympathy for the Islamic State out of the equation.

    Some fool Tweeted about federalism in Iraq and how it was said -- by the US government -- that it would prevent conflict in Iraq.

    If you want to call what Iraq has federalism -- I'm not sure Vice President Joe Biden would call it that because his idea of federalism was a three region Iraq with the three regions having autonomy -- you're calling it federalism on paper.

    Only on paper.

    In 2010, Nouri al-Maliki lost the election.

    He refused to step down as prime minister.

    For eight long months.

    Although the US government -- the White House -- did not support him remaining originally, they decided (during the long political stalemate) to do so (Samantha Power insisted Nouri would give the US what they wanted).

    So in November of 2010, the stalemate ended the day after The Erbil Agreement was signed.

    The Erbil Agreement was a contract brokered by the US.

    It said Nouri could have a second term as prime minister, that the other major political blocs would agree to it.

    But, in exchange for that, Nouri agreed to a political sharing government, he agreed the winner of the election (Ayad Allawi) would have an independent position over national security, the disputed area of Kirkuk would get a vote, etc.

    Nouri used the contract to get his second term.

    Then he refused to honor the parts he had agreed to.

    And the US suddenly pretended it had never existed.

    But before Nouri trashed it, Barack had issued a statement praising the agreement (November 12, 2010):

    Before I discuss the G20, I want to briefly comment on the agreement in Iraq that's taken place on the framework for a new government.  There's still challenges to overcome, but all indications are that the government will be representative, inclusive, and reflect the will of the Iraqi people who cast their ballots in the last election. This agreement marks another milestone in the history of modern Iraq.  Once again, Iraqis are showing their determination to unify Iraq and build its future and that those impulses are far stronger than those who want Iraq to descend into sectarian war and terror. For the last several months, the United States has worked closely with our Iraqi partners to promote a broad-based government -- one whose leaders share a commitment to serving all Iraqis as equal citizens.  Now, Iraq's leaders must finish the job of forming their government so that they can meet the challenges that a diverse coalition will inevitably face.  And going forward, we will support the Iraqi people as they strengthen their democracy, resolve political disputes, resettle those displaced by war, and build ties of commerce and cooperation with the United States, the region and the world.

    Today, the Iraqi government is still not a power sharing government.

    The current prime minister Haider al-Abadi uses charges of "corruption" on the part of others to try to remake the government.

    He cries "corruption" to alter the government in ways that the Iraqi Constitution does not allow.

    Currently, he's attempting to dismiss his entire Cabinet.

    Moqtada al-Sadr has staged rallies supporting that move.

    But the Constitution does not give him that power.

    If he wants to dismiss a minister in the Cabinet, he's required to get Parliament to vote on it and only if they vote to dismiss the minister would the minister have to go.

    And that's the Constitution of Iraq.

    The one the White House supports sometimes and ignores at other times.

    The government is not a functioning government.

    Iraq remains a failed state.

    No one -- no political observer, no official in the US government -- can honestly explain how ignoring the Iraqi Constitution is going to make things better.

    And no one wants to point out that dishonesty.

    We'll close with this Tweet:

  • Why do Hillary fans say the war was JUST a "mistake" w/such a cavalier attitude? It was a calculated move for political gain.

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2016

    The awful Will Arnett

    "TV: NETFLIX's epic fail" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):
    How does he keep working?

    It's a question that could easily be asked of Will Arnett.

    After his minor role in the critically acclaimed (but little watched) ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT on FOX, it was decided he was a star.

    The people of America didn't make that decision, some network honchos did.

    And, goodness, were they wrong.

    First up was FOX's RUNNING WILDE which only proved he lacked chemistry with females.  Then came (for American audiences) UP ALL NIGHT on NBC.  In season one, the sitcom was hilarious and a hit.  But little Will wasn't happy playing a stay-at-home dad (he wasn't happy with much of anything -- hence the separation from his wife Amy Poehler around this time) and wanted more of the focus on him and not on Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph.

    The show was retooled to feature him more heavily for season two -- which is when the viewers began fleeing.

    Having destroyed that show, he next attempted stardom with CBS's hideous THE MILLERS.

    Having flopped with a sitcom on three of the four major networks, it was over for him.

    All the man-tan in the world -- no matter how generously he applied it -- could cover up the look of failure.

    The actor was at best a bit player.

    His only real success had come from a series of guest spots on 30 ROCK where he wasn't required to interact with females believably (he was attracted to Alec Baldwin's character) and where he was a smarmy villain which actually allowed his into-the-hand acting to work (he throws lines away, unable to create a character).

    Despite all of that, NETFLIX wrongly thought Will Arnett was someone to build a show around.

    Hence FLAKED -- their first real disaster.

    Eight long, l-o-o-o-n-g episodes that are said to be less than thirty minutes a piece tend to feel like four hours a pop.

    Paul Lynde probably couldn't have pulled it off but it does seem the sort of role he'd play -- a vain, self-centered, talkative type.

    Will Arnett should be believable in such a role.

    Should be.

    But he really can't act.

    He's never been able to.

    His skill is almost good enough to carry a SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE skit -- almost.  Not a series of skits, mind you, just one.

    Will Arnett really is someone who's had his chance and then some.

    He's like Jerry Van Dyke in the 70s, the networks keep shoving him down your throat and you keep spitting him up.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the secret US base in Iraq is no longer a secret, nor is the fact that there are now 5,000 US troops in Iraq (not counting Special Ops), we look at how the Circle Jerk distracts from Iraq (to protect Barack and to protect Hillary), and much more.

    On the 13th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, another US service member died in Iraq.

    The USMC just released a photo of SSgt Louis Cardin, KIA Saturday in Iraq. RIP Marine.

    Barbara Starr (CNN) reports, "A U.S. Marine stationed at Firebase Bell was killed by an ISIS Katyusha rocket attack on Saturday. Eight U.S. troops were also wounded in the attack. Three were medivaced to Germany where one is described as having serious injuries a defense official told CNN."  Spencer Ackerman (GUARDIAN) notes of the attack:

    The US marine who was killed in a rocket attack on Saturday died at the first exclusively American base established in Iraq since the Pentagon returned forces to the country in 2014, a spokesman said on Monday.
    The base, whose existence had not previously been public, has come under fire from ever closer range over recent days, an indication that Isis knew about the outpost before the Pentagon announced its creation.

    What's becoming very clear is that if you are in the US and you care about Iraq, it's time to yell "Shut the f**k up" to the various whores and misleaders.

    They waste our time, these media 'voices,' day after damn day with their whoring and their misleading and their misdirection.

    They don't give a damn about Iraq.

    That includes the whorish Kevin Drum who cheerleaded the Iraq War and now likes to pretend that never happened.

    Whores like Bob Somerby support Drum.

    Bob has a cute little trick when he's talking about 'civilians' -- citizens who say things in public or write letters to the editor.  He talks about how they can make mistakes but a are well intentioned -- blah, blah, blah.  Surely, he insists, they are good people.

    Excuse, me, good men.

    He does that for men.

    But for how many weeks was he allowed to rip apart the African-American college student, the young woman who dared to ask Hillary Clinton about her speech popularization the racist myth of the 'super predator'?

    He ripped that woman apart.

    He didn't show her fairness.

    He only does that if it's a man.

    And his comments about Anderson Cooper and his way of 'quoting' sources is nothing but mocking Anderson for being gay, nothing but treating gay as a 'perversion' or a flaw.

    He needs to cut that s**t out.  But you'll note no one wants to call Bob Somerby out on this.

    It's the Circle Jerk, you understand.  The one that's always protected (White) American men online.

    We're not part of the Circle Jerk, we've never wanted to be.

    Kevin Drum at MOTHER JONES today wasted time tee-hee-ing over Donald Trump's apparent or alleged inability to know where Iraq's oil was.  An argument can be made that Trump would only be interested in Iraq's most rich areas and easiest to drill on.  I'm not making that argument.  And I'm not making it for a number of reasons including that I just don't give a f**k.

    Whether Trump knows where the oil is or not doesn't mean one f**king thing.

    It wouldn't effect his ability to be president, it wouldn't make him a better president if he knew.

    But this kind of meaningless s**t is what these whores pass off as "Iraq conversations."

    As we'll be noting in a moment, the number of US troops in Iraq is far greater than the White House has admitted, combat operations include US troops, and much more.

    But Kevin Drum wants to distract from reality with his garbage bulls**t and MOTHER JONES is so sick that it will let him do this.

    Get this through your heads, we hear over and over from people on the left that those who were wrong about Iraq shouldn't be on TV or in magazines or newspapers --

    They mean those who cheerleaded the war.

    Well, they mean those who did on the right.

    But if you're Ezra Klein or Kevin Drum or anyone like that, it's okay if MOTHER JONES or whomever hires you.

    You can be wrong then.

    No need to punish you.

    Just punish if you're on the left.

    The hypocrisy is on clear display.

    It's as obvious as Bob Somerby's attack on -- excuse me, Bob Somerby's gutless attack on -- Anderson Cooper which needs to open a quote from THE WASHINGTON POST not where it would (supposedly) back up his point but where it notes Anderson's male partner.

    No one wants to call out the homophobia, no one wants to call out the disgusting way Bob treated an African-American woman calling her stupid and much worse.

    Had she been a man -- Excuse me, had she been a White man, he would have written paragraphs about how, if she was mistaken, it was the media's fault.

    But not this go round.

    That's reality.

     Here's more reality, there's no defense for Hillary Clinton's actions as Secretary of State or her constant revisions on Iraq or her Iraq vote.

    She has lied repeatedly.

    Including that she studied the intel.

    She didn't and she didn't care to.

    And Senator Bob Graham can speak of that length and has many times before.

    Hillary Clinton is a War Hawk and you can't be honest about Iraq today because that would mean calling her out and calling Barack out.

    Because the Iraq War continues despite Barack Obama's 2008 campaign promise to end it.

    He's had seven years, when does he end it?


    He has set it up so that the next US president inherits it.

    That's reality.

    'Oh, but US troops aren't in combat!'

    US Marine Staff Sergeant Louis F. Cardin was killed in Iraq on a US base -- a previously undisclosed US base.

    And Barbara Starr (CNN) reports another attack, "For the second time in three days, the first U.S. military firebase in Iraq has come under attack from ISIS. The base, known as Firebase Bell, came under small arms fire from a group of about 10 ISIS fighters who also attacked a nearby U.S./Iraqi installation at Makhmur in northern Iraq."

    There may have been a third incident, as this Tweet notes:

    With current events, there's an IS statement that was clearly not noticed: soldiers entered a US base in


    That actually may be the second attack because, unlike Barbara Starr, Nancy A. Youssef (DAILY BEAST) reports it as the Islamic State "storm"ing the base.  Youssef also notes:

    Three days before ISIS militants killed Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin, the U.S. military notified his family—and the families of roughly 200 Marines—that their loved ones had moved off the USS Kearsarge, deployed to the Persian Gulf, to somewhere in northern Iraq. The letter didn’t say exactly where he had been deployed two weeks earlier, or why.
    But while his family and the American public were largely being kept in the dark, members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State were acquiring detailed intelligence on the movements of Cardin, the second U.S. service member killed in Iraq, and his fellow Marines.
    As it turned out, those Marines were on no ordinary deployment. Cardin and his fellow Marines were deployed near the front lines of what is expected be the biggest battle of the war, two officials told The Daily Beast, tasked to launch a mission that signaled the U.S. was again furtively expanding its mission in Iraq. 

    Monday, Missy Ryan (WASHINGTON POST)  another important development, "The U.S. military has around 5,000 service members in Iraq, officials said on Monday, far more than previously reported, as the Obama administration quietly expands ground operations against the Islamic State."

    Trevor Timm (GUARDIAN) attempts to address Iraq.


    I don't think he's stupid.

    He notes the silence around Iraq today and acts as though that's strange.

    It's not strange.

    Barack lies about Iraq and the media goes along with him.

    Hillary's the leading candidate -- and the leading candidate of the US media, let's be honest about that, they're working overtime to elect her -- and she's for the Iraq War and for sending more US troops into Iraq.

    It's strange that the media's gone silent on Iraq?

    Not at all.

    They have War Hawks to protect and War Hawks to sell.

    Trevor's on stronger ground here:

    The US government celebrated the Iraq war anniversary by announcing that they were sending more troops to the country. Remember this is a war that supposedly “ended” more than three years ago, yet thousands of troops have been sent back there since late 2014 to fight Isis, a group whose creation can be directly tied to the first Iraq war – or I guess the second one, depending on how you count.
    In all, the US has been bombing Iraq for 25 years, which includes the last four presidents (you can watch a montage of all four announcing their respective bombing campaigns here). And if you listen to the leading candidates for both political parties, you can bet that streak will reach five on their first day in office.

    Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have called for an expansion of military action in the Middle East in response to Isis. 

    Stronger . . . but not strong.

    Meaning, the Iraq War is not the reason for the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq.

    The persecution of the Sunni population is.

    I don't know if it's ignorance or a desire to lie.

    But those of us who studied demography grasp that barring some cataclysmic event, Sunnis will be one of the most dominant segments of the world population for some time to come.

    So if you're too much of a coward to speak the truth about how the Sunnis were persecuted because it is the truth, grasp that it's not only the truth but also a position that will have majority support due to demographics alone.

    Barack Obama gave Nouri al-Maliki a second term via The Erbil Agreement in November 2010 after Nouri had lost the March 2010 elections (and after he spent over 8 months refusing to step down as prime minister).

    In his second term, Nouri's persecution of the Sunnis was impossible to ignore unless you just tuned out on Iraq completely.

    It was this persecution -- wrongful imprisonment, rape, beatings, etc -- that led to the dismay on the part of the Sunni population.

    We documented it in real time and noted Sunnis were repeatedly ignoring Sunni prison breaks, refusing to turn in their own.

    And that was before things went completely awful.

    That's when the Islamic State saw their opening and took it.

    A large number of Sunnis watched and felt it wasn't their battle -- the Islamic State had a beef with the government in Baghdad (that the US installed) and neither group was helping the Sunnis so who cared?  A smaller group of Sunnis actually supported the Islamic State because no one on the world stage was defending them -- certainly not the US government.

    That's how the Islamic State got to where it is today.

    And until these issues are dealt with and addressed, until this persecution of the Sunni population stops, you're not going to end the Islamic State in Iraq -- no matter how many times you drop bombs, no matter how many fighters you kill.

    Today, the US Defense Dept announced/boasted/claimed:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 13 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, two strikes struck two ISIL staging facilities.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Hit, two strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.

    -- Near Kisik, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL tunnel and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Qayyarah, two strikes destroyed ISIL engineering equipment and damaged an ISIL used bridge section.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike suppressed an ISIL rocket position.

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

    It's not making a damn bit of difference.

    MOTHER JONES can't tell you that because instead of hiring an anti-war reporter or columnist, they hired White, (near the end of) middle aged Kevin Drum.  Apparently, the 'independent' magazine not only wanted to reward Kevin for cheerleading the Iraq War on but also that White, middle-aged men were under-represented in the American media.

    Which is why MOTHER JONES can't (won't) address any of the realities of the Iraq War today but can offer Kevin Drum's inconsequential chatter and gossip that neither informs nor enlightens.

    missy ryan