Tuesday, June 02, 2020

The Mamas and the Papas

"I've Got To Have You" is a track on Carly Simon's ANTICIPATION album that I love (I actually love that entire album).  It was written by her former boyfriend Kris Kristofferson.  I think it's the only track on ANTICIPATION that she didn't write or co-write.  Anyway, as a member of THE COMMON ILLS community, I participated in tons of roundtables including for the gina & krista round-robin.  I was always surprised when we'd talk music during those and Australian community members would mention "I've Got To Have You."  I never knew, until the third or fourth roundtable mention, that "I've Got To Have You" was a huge hit in Australia. 

Many songs that are hits in the US aren't hits in other countries or aren't the artists' biggest hits.

So take one of my favorite groups, the Mamas and the Papas. 

In the US, their biggest hits are?

"Monday Monday," of course.  It is their only number one.  The classic "California Dreamin'" (written by John and Michelle Phillips) made it to number four.  "I Saw Her Again," "Words Of Love" and "Creeque Alley" all made it to number five.  "Dedicated To The One I Love" made it to number two.  Those are their top ten hits in the US (they have many more songs that made the top forty). 

Okay, now guess what their biggest hit in the United Kingdom was?

Their biggest single was . . . "Dedicated To The One I Love."




The Michelle led single made it to number two in the UK -- their highest charting position.  The song was also on the charts their for 17 weeks -- the longest any Mamas and Papas single stayed on the chart in the UK.

After "Dedicated," their biggest hit in the UK was "Monday, Monday" which made it to number three -- one slot below "Dedicated" -- and stayed on the charts for 13 weeks.

The album "Dedicated" is from, DELIVER, made it to number four which means the group's second album, THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS, beat it because that album made it to number three.  However, DELIVER stayed on the charts in the UK for 22 weeks -- the longest chart run of any Mamas and Papas album.

I prefer DELIVER (the group's third album) to the second.  It has many more interesting songs and vocal techniques. 

I love DELIVER, I love IF YOU CAN BELIEVE YOUR EYES AND EARS and I love THE PAPAS & THE MAMAS.  I've always been lukewar on THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS -- I think I even enjoy the album they made to avoid a lawsuit more (that is PEOPLE LIKE US, the band broke up in 1968 but to avoid being sued for millions had to go back into the studio in 1971 and make one more album).

Michelle Phillips is the last living member of the group.

The Mamas and the Papas were part of the folk rock scene and one of the most innovative vocal groups of the rock era.  Along with Michelle, Cass Elliot, Denny Doherty and John Phillips were the members.  They made four albums in quick succession and then broke up.  Michelle and John were married, they broke up as a couple as well.  (Their daughter is Chyna Phillips of the group WILSON PHILLIPS.)

Oh, I always forget the live album.  Lou Adler, Michelle and John Phillips were behind the Monterey Pop festival.  The Mamas and the Papas closed the festival and their set was released as an album (originally released in 1970, three years after the concert).


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Monday, June 1, 2020.  THE NEW YORK TIMES rushes to trash Tara Reade again, many people aren't having it, in Iraq the water issues continue in Basra and much more.

THE NEW YORK TIMES drags Tara Reade through the mud again.  You can read it at THE WALLA WALLA UNION BULLETIN.  That way, you're not giving clicks to THE TIMES or it's putrid Jim Root-Toot-en-berg, Stephanie Saul and Lisa Lerer.  The bulk of the long, long article is trash.  Here are the parts that matter.  First:

Only two people know what did or did not happen between Reade and Biden in the spring of 1993. Still, like other significant chapters of the #MeToo moment, Reade’s comes with the statements of confidants who say they heard her account long before it became public.
But while five people have said Reade shared all or part of her account of sexual harassment with them around the time she says it happened, corroboration of the assault charge is shakier.
The two people who say she told them of it contemporaneously — her brother and a longtime friend — initially offered accounts of harassment, not assault. The friend told The Times in 2019 that Biden’s behavior was “a little bit just over the line, but nothing like, ‘Oh, my God, call 911.’”
The friend says she had withheld the full story because Reade was not ready to share it, and two other people have said she told them of an assault a few years later. Professionals who counsel sexual abuse victims say it is not uncommon for them to reveal what happened piecemeal, over time.
 
Nothing Michael Tracey and other pig boys have written or Tweeted about Tara changes or disproves the allegation of assault she has made against Joe Biden.

There's this:

There is some contemporaneous evidence that she complained of mistreatment while in Biden’s office.
As The Intercept reported in April, a woman living in California called in to “Larry King Live” in August 1993 to say her daughter had been working “for a prominent senator and could not get through with her problems at all.” She did not say what that trouble was. Reade has previously said her mother, who has since died, called into the program after she told her about her experience.
Three years later, in divorce proceedings, her husband, Ted Dronen, said Reade had “related a problem she was having at work regarding sexual harassment in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office.” He did not say Biden had himself harassed her.

And this:

"By coming forward about Joe Biden,” she wrote Friday, “I have lost everything again, my job, my housing and my reputation. I have been called every vile name imaginable and presented as a monster by the media for daring to speak about Joe Biden and what happened. But I am free.”


That is all that matters. 

Oh, my goodness, some people didn't get repaid when they helped her with an electric payment!!!!!

Who the hell cares?

That has nothing to do with the assault she alleges.

I loan money all the time and I never do it with the expectation that I'm going to be paid back.  I'm not seeing any story -- and it wouldn't matter if I did -- where someone's saying, "I had an overdraft on my account and I told Tara I could loan her X but I needed the money by noon the next day or I would bounce checks."  You had the money, you gifted the money.  In a perfect world, you'd get it back.  In the real world, you know someone supporting herself and her daughter that is already struggling with bills is probably never going to pay you back.

None of it has anything to do with the charge of assault.  

And no where in the article does THE TIMES take accountability for their smearing of Tara or for being in the tank for Joe Biden.

He claimed in an interview two weeks ago that he has been endorsed by the NAACP every time he's run for office.  The NAACP has never endorsed him.  They even issued a statement noting that fact.  We covered it at THIRD ("Does Joe Biden ever stop lying?").  Where's THE NEW YORK TIMES' article?  Where's their report noting all the lies he's told and all the character flaws he has -- including refusing to acknowledge a grandchild even after DNA tests made clear the child's father was Hunter Biden?

Joe Biden dropped out of the 1988 race for president why?  Because he got caught lying.  And he clearly didn't learn from it because he continues to lie -- over and over.

Why is he getting a pass on that from the press?

Oh, right.  Bully Boy Bush had the media's help selling the Iraq War because the corporate media wanted certain things.  Joe's already met with Comcast and others and promised them their shopping lists would be checked off.  


Left-wing corporate Democratic media and politicians not only proved me wrong, they betrayed my trust and respect as a student journalist and moral citizen. Regardless of whether you believe Tara Reade’s allegation against Joe Biden or not, no human and survivor who speaks up deserves death threats and harassment, interrogation, trauma-ignorant journalists, disrespect, vilified characterization, and media blackout.
Tara Reade is certainly not the first survivor to withstand such treatment nor will she be the last, but as readers and as voters, we need to start holding our institutions and representatives accountable for the messages of silence they send.
The New York Timeswas one of many left-leaning newspapers to exemplify this treatment against Reade. This was shown by their taking 19 days to report on her allegation, and by including interviews from extraneous staff members, using Trump as a strawman, and editing the article after publication to say "The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden'' and excluding "beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable" — without notifying readers of the update. Between all of it, this article and many others like it, politically trivalize sexual violence in a way that encourages silence for the sake of political convenience.
Many #MeToo leaders and liberal feminists, including Alyssa Milano, fell into this trap of political hypocrisy as well. The double standard reactions towards Reade's case as compared to Ford and other survivors was made clear as many went out of their way to criticize Reade, once more begging the question of trading in any actual conversation of Reade and her story for political convenience. 
[. . .]

As we see survivors on national television scrutinized and politically targeted by journalists, politicians, #MeToo leaders, and anyone with an opinion, there's a dangerous message that the burden is on the survivor and that the world is against them. Consider another reason many don't report: the length and difficulty of the reporting process and any following criminal case.
"I've spoken to a lot of people about this and that was why the case being so long felt even longer because they have to go through the trauma over and over again," Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activists (SARVA) Director Nicole Sullivan said. 

[. . .]  a proper DNC inquiry is just what’s needed to give Reade’s allegation the full attention it deserves. Why be so afraid to carry one out? If the evidence is compelling enough on either side, then voters will know whether or not they have a candidate they can be confident in. As Representative Ayanna Pressley recently said: “I reject the false choice that my party and our nominee can’t address the allegations at hand and defeat the occupant of the White House.”



This is not going away.  Even after the 2020 election is over, this is not going away.  The Michael Traceys can savage Tara as much as they want.  It's not going to silence her or the people who are outraged over the trashing of a woman for stepping forward.  This is not a minor issue.  This is one of those issues that will never go away.  

The attacks on Tara have been outrageous.  What's passed for 'reporting' has been outrageous.

She's been held to a higher standard than an elected official has.  Joe's entire life has been as a public servant.  But he's not held to any real standard by the media.  A woman came forward and was savaged for her resume, for her rent payments, etc.  Joe has repeatedly lied to the American people.  He's easily told a thousand lies in public in interviews and appearances in the last 12 months.  

Where's the lengthy article examining his character?

The corporate media has never held Joe Biden accountable for anything -- including his part in the destruction of Iraq.  Miguel Gonzalez (EL PAIS) reports:

At the end of July, Spanish troops will be withdrawn from the Gran Capitán base in Bismayah, which is Spain’s most important base in Iraq. Before the coronavirus pandemic, 350 out of Spain’s 530 soldiers in Iraq were stationed at the Gran Capitán base. The base is one of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) centers run by the US-led international coalition in Iraq, which is tasked with training Iraqi security forces. According to military sources, troops are being withdrawn because the base has completed this mission.
The Spanish Defense Ministry is also preparing to withdraw soldiers from Afghanistan by the end of this year or the beginning of 2021, before the 14-month deadline for complete withdrawal of US and allied forces comes to an end, as set out in the deal struck between the United States and the Taliban.
At ANTIWAR.COM, Margaret Griffis offers her roundup of May's violence: "At least 262 people were killed, and 149 were wounded across Iraq during May. During April, at least 208 people were killed, and 185 were wounded. Although the new coronavirus kept many civilians in their homes, security operations against the Islamic State increased violence between those two groups."


The Iraq War has not ended.  And the government of Turkey continues to terrorize the Iraqi people.  For years now, they have been ignoring Iraq's sovereignty and bombing the country of Iraq.  These bombings have resulted in many dead.  Seth J. Frantzman (JERUSALEM POST) reports:

Turkish airstrikes killed civilians on Saturday, days after another set of airstrikes killed members of a far-left Iranian dissident group in the mountains of the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The attacks appear to represent an increase in Ankara’s use of drones and airstrikes against Kurdish groups. Ankara claims these groups, linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are “terrorists” but presents no evidence that any of them are involved in “terror.”


The PKK is one of many Kurdish groups which supports and fights for a Kurdish homeland. Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) described them in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk." The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has been a concern to Turkey because they fear that if it ever moves from semi-autonomous to fully independent -- such as if Iraq was to break up into three regions -- then that would encourage the Kurdish population in Turkey. For that reason, Turkey is overly interested in all things Iraq. So much so that they signed an agreement with the US government in 2007 to share intelligence which the Turkish military has been using when launching bomb raids. However, this has not prevented the loss of civilian life in northern Iraq. Aaron Hess noted, "The Turkish establishment sees growing Kurdish power in Iraq as one step down the road to a mass separatist movement of Kurds within Turkey itself, fighting to unify a greater Kurdistan. In late October 2007, Turkey's daily newspaper Hurriyet accused the prime minister of the KRG, Massoud Barzani, of turning the 'Kurdish dream' into a 'Turkish nightmare'."

Frantzman notes, "Iraq has complained to Ankara about the airstrikes but Ankara acts with impunity and international organizations that usually monitor human rights refuse to critique Turkey or visit the areas of the drone strikes." 

The new prime minister, like the previous ones, can't protect Iraq from the continued Turkish attacks.  What can he do?  Corruption now threatens to topple Iraq's long standing food rations program.  ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports:


Iraq has only 190,000 tons of rice available in its coffers for its food rationing program, the trade ministry said in a statement late on Saturday.
The country needs around 1-1.25 million tons of rice a year to support the program.
In March, the trade ministry pleaded for money from the state's budget to build three months' supply of strategic wheat and rice stockpiles as Iraq grappled with the spread of the new coronavirus.

The corruption has long been noted.  A decade ago, some pretended to be interested in it and in eliminating it -- the US Congress, for example, and the US State Dept to name but two.  These days?  No one really seems to care except for the Iraqi protesters.  A few days ago, Khaled Yacoub Oweis (THE NATIONAL) reported:


A veteran Iraqi economist who is advising the country's new Prime Minister, Mustafa Al Kadhimi, has revealed astounding figures on government waste in the resource-rich but impoverished nation.
Mudher Salih told of a state obsessed with generating money from its oil sector without acting to develop the country or plug holes in the budget that have been sucking liquidity out of public finances for years.
The electricity sector costs the government about $10 billion (Dh36.73bn) a year to run but generates only 7 per cent of its operating costs in revenue, Mr Salih told the official Iraqi news agency on Tuesday.
Iraq also suffers crippling power cuts and imports electricity and gas from Iran to boost production.
Official datas show its generation capacity at 16,000 megawatts, compared with the 24,000 to 30,000 megawatts needed to satisfy demand.
Mr Salih, a former central bank official, is one of the few senior independent experts in Iraq who survived purges under Saddam Hussein.
He retained a senior position in the state after the consolidation of the Shiite political ascendency in 2005, the year Iraq had its first democratic poll post-Saddam.
Mr Salih said Iraq imported $50bn worth of fuel in the past 10 years, although it is one of the top five members of Opec.
"This amount could have been used to build 10 large oil refineries," he said.

The rice shortage comes as other things take place.  Ayad Allawi Tweeted Saturday about the burning of farms that is taking place in Iraq.


Fuel and electricity issues are not the only ones corruption has caused.  There remains the issue of Iraq having a lack of potable water.  This should have been seriously addressed in 2003.  Instead, 'addressing' it was handing out tablets to purify water and blaming women -- the United Nations blaming women, let's be clear.  That allowed the corrupt government of Iraq to continue to ignore the water issue.  Basra's water was so outrageous that it's part of what fueled the protests.  ALSUMARIA reports that the Water Ministry declared today that it 'plans' to address the issue of the lack of drinking water in Basra.  Corruption would also include the report that, as vice president, Nouri al-Maliki to four billion dinars (3,349,396 in US dollars) from the government to decorate his home.

Last July, as people in Basra were suffering, Human Rights Watch noted:

The situation culminated in an acute water crisis that sent at least 118,000 people to hospital in 2018 and led to violent protests. 
The 128-page report, “Basra is Thirsty: Iraq’s Failure to Manage the Water Crisis,” found that the crisis is a result of complex factors that if left unaddressed will most likely result in future water-borne disease outbreaks and continued economic hardship. The authorities at the local and federal level have done little to address the underlying conditions causing the situation.
“Shortsighted politicians are citing increased rainfall as the reason they do not need to urgently deal with Basra’s persistent crisis,” said Lama Fakih, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “But Basra will continue to face acute water shortages and pollution crises in the coming years, with serious consequences, if the government doesn’t invest now in targeted, long-term, and badly needed improvements.”
Human Rights Watch interviewed 58 Basra residents, workers at private and public water facilities, and healthcare professionals, and reviewed water sample tests from the Shatt al-Arab river, treatment plants, and taps in homes. Human Rights Watch also interviewed representatives from Basra’s provincial council, governor’s office, and the Ministries of Water Resources, Municipalities and Public Works’ water and sewage departments, Health and Environment, and Agriculture, and analyzed academic and public health data and over 20 years of scientific and commercial satellite imagery of the region to substantiate many of the findings.
Basra’s primary water sources are the Shatt al-Arab river and its freshwater canals. Human Rights Watch found that Iraqi authorities have failed to properly manage and regulate Iraq’s water resources, depriving people in southern Iraq’s Basra governorate – four million people – of their right to safe drinking water for decades, including during the period of occupation by the US- and UK-led Coalition Provisional Authority. But multiple government failures since the 1980s, including poor management of upstream water sources, inadequate regulation of pollution and sewage, and chronic neglect and mismanagement of water infrastructure, have caused the quality of these waterways to deteriorate.
To cope with water pollution and shortages, Basra residents have had to rely on purchasing water. The high cost, especially during the crisis, falls hardest on poorer residents, and makes them particularly vulnerable to exposure to unsafe tap water.         



Some will argue that Mustafa al-Kadhim only became Iraq's latest prime minister on May 7th, give him time.  Really?  Back to Ayad Allawi who Tweeted May 26th:

No public tribunal has yet been formed to try protestors’ killers; and neither have martyrs’ families, those wounded and made handicapped been compensated. In addition, there must be a fixed date for fair and early elections; a new electoral law; and an independent commission.


This is not supposed to be a four year term as prime minister.  al-Kahim is supposed to be sorting things out and planning new elections.  We're not seeing that happen.  We're not even seeing him offer a full Cabinet yet.  


Kat's "Kat's Korner: Ricky Martin re-emerges" went up Saturday.  New content at THIRD:






Friday, May 29, 2020

5 great tracks from Alanis Morissette

The title tells you who's getting spotlighted but pretend that didn't give it away.  Would these lyrics have?

For a while I'm speaking
You know how much you hate to be interrupted
Maybe spend some time alone
Fill up your proverbial cup so
That it doesn't always have to be about you


That's from "Front Row."



It's the debut track on SUPPOSED FORMER INFATUATION JUNKIE.  Maybe set expectations too high for the album?  It's a great song and one of the best on the album. 

Another great Alanis' song is "Hands Clean."



That is on the album UNDER RUG SWEPT which I actually think, sorry to some, is Alanis' best album.  Everyone loves JAGGED LITTLE PILL and that is the album that brought her to fame and fortune.  I own it still on CD.  But it's not a great album to me.  "Wake Up," "Not The Doctor" and "Perfect" do nothing for me.  However, there's not one track on UNDER RUG SWEPT that doesn't speak to me and it hits harder than JAGGED LITTLE PILL.

I really think what hurt her career the most was "Uninvited."



It is a great song.  No question, it is a great song.  But "You Ought To Know" was a great song and her biggest.  Before she released SUPPOSED FORMER INFATUATION JUNKIE, she had "Uninvited" (from the sountrack for the Meg Ryan film CITY OF ANGELS).  It was hard hitting as well.

So I think a lot of us were right to expect that SFIJ would be a hard hitting album.  Instead, we got "Thank U" and not a bad song -- but not a song on the level of "You Ought To Know" or "Uninvited."  Alanis had looked like she was going to lead the rock music field and then came "So Pure" and "Thank You."  She wasn't as underwhelming as Jewel but she wasn't much better.

Jewel followed up PIECES OF YOU, her hit album, with SPIRIT.  It was a huge disappointment ("Hands" is a good song but the album has nothing else to offer).  Jewel's SPIRIT was released November 17, 1998, while Alanis' SUPPOSED FORMER INFATUATION JUNKIE was released November 3, 1988.  The two albums were compared by many listeners and critics and both seemed 'soft.' 

Alanis has never gotten back to where she was coming off "Uninvited."  UNDER RUG SWEPT never got the attention it deserved.

"Narcissus" is another great song from Alanis.




Is that it for Alanis?  I hope not.  SUCH PRETTY FORKS IN THE ROAD is due out shortly -- it's yet another album that has been postponed due to the coronavirus (it was supposed to come out earlier this month).  "Diagnosis" and "Smiling" are on the album and they're strong songs.  I hope if the whole album is strong, Alanis will get some of the attention she used to receive.  Here's "Reasons I Drink" which is also supposed to appear on the new album.



I have high hopes for SUCH PRETTY FORKS IN THE ROAD -- but the longer the release is delayed?  The less impact that the album will probably have.


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, May 29, 2020.  ISIS remains active in Iraq (don't tell the Iraqi government spokesperson), Tara Reade's allegation remains credible, Michelle Goldberg sports classism and racism as though they are the new colors for the summer, and much more.

In the US, attacks on Tara Reade continue.  She is the woman who came forward to accuse Joe Biden of assault.  It's no longer just that the assault is not the issue the corporate whores won't address, it's no longer just the embrace of rape culture, it is now the stereotypes that they are re-enforcing.

Meet the Ultimate Karen: Michelle Goldberg.

The whore for THE NEW YORK TIMES participated in a podcast for the paper this week and we don't link to rape culture.  In that podcast, she put out a thought -- if you can call it that -- that is especially illuminating.

She's trying to run with pig boy Michael Tracey's attack which is that Tara Reade never should have been covered in the first place.  Michelle wants you to know that the press didn't do their job when the covered her without vetting her.

This really isn't an avenue that she or anyone else should pursue.

First, their goal is to elect Joe Biden.  All this argument does it remind everyone that blessed Beau Biden wasn't a saint either -- not even compared to hustler bro Hunter.  All it reminds people of is Larry Sinclair.  Larry claimed he did cocaine with Barack Obama, he claims they had sessions in limo where they performed oral sex.  He even wrote about it in a book entitled LARRY SINCLAIR AND BARACK OBAMA: COCAINE, SEX, LIES AND MURDER?

Whether you believed Sinclair or not, he was suddenly becoming interesting to the press when all the sudden he got arrested.  Why?  Trumped up charges by Beau Biden, who was the Attorney General of Delaware at the time.

The charges fell apart but not before Sinclair was arrested in DC for charges in Delaware and the press ran away from the story.

I have no idea whether Sinclair was telling the truth or not.  I didn't follow the story, it wasn't about assault or rape -- he was claiming a consensual relationship.  But even not following it, it was clear that Beau was abusing his powers of office to stop the press from covering the story.

So it's probably not a good idea to remind the American voters that the only member of the Biden family whose hands are considered clean are, in fact, probably dirty.

But for the media itself?

If you're a person of color and/or anyone who cares about fairness with regards to the treatment of all human people, then you do remember The Days Of The Missing Blonds.  Matt Lauer was one of those who made a career out of that genre.  To a lot of the country, it looked like every time a blond girl or woman went missing, the whole news industry came to a stop.  It was the sole focus day after day after damn day.  Now let a child of color go missing and it wouldn't make THE TODAY SHOW or GOOD MORNING AMERICA or . . .

The media has never owned up to what they did.  They have never taken accountability for it or made a pledge to pursue fairness.

So it's telling that Michelle Goldberg is re-enforcing that classist and racist standard.

Tara Reade, she insists, was allowed to speak without being vetted.

Why does she need to be vetted?  Because Joe Biden says so?  When does he get vetted?  His behaviors are well known -- even if Michelle's paper edits out a sentence on the Biden's campaign's behalf noting his history of harassing women.  Yes, boys and girls, sniffing hair, groping from behind, kissing women you don't know -- all of that is harassment.

Tara Reade doesn't deserve to tell her story -- Michelle Goldberg wants you to know.

That is the mentality of the press that led to the never-ending Days Of The Missing Blonds coverage.  Again, while they covered blond women and blond girls, they ignored children of color that went missing, African-American women that were killed.  It was only a certain group that the media felt had a right to tell their story.

Tara Reade has made a credible accusation and has what we have always considered corroborating evidence (her mother's 1993 call to LARRY KING LIVE, the 1996 court documents where her husband notes her harassment, people who remember her telling them about it in real time when it happened as well as years and years ago).  No one who has come forward to the people and the press has ever had that amount of corroborating evidence for a rape.

Those are the issues.  And those are the issues that the media runs from because they want to protect Joe Biden.  Good little whores, that's all they are.

Imagine that every awful thing that has been said about Tara is true.  For one minute, let's pretend that's true.

So what?

She can't be raped because a landlord doesn't like her or someone who claims to have been her friend didn't get back a set of law books?

Michelle Goldberg is not a feminist.  She's not about truth or journalism either.  She's just a little whore who is going to smear a woman because it's the thing the Joe Biden campaign needs her to do.  Twenty years from now, when she whispers, "I believe Tara Reade," people should throw food at her.  She's useless and she's a whore.

If she truly believed the lies she repeats, that would only be more reason for her to defend Tara Reade and to try to educate people on how there is no perfect victim.

Michelle is not about feminism and never will be.  She is the Ultimate Karen -- a white woman of a certain class (not a high class, mind you, she's still got dirty face pressed against the glass hoping to get in) looking down on everyone else as she pretends to be superior.



Fred Tippett (NORTH BY NORTHWESTERN) wonders if Joe Biden really wants to be elected president:

First of all, he gave voters a direct reason not to vote for him. Last week, in an MSNBC interview, Biden again denied Tara Reade’s, a Senate staffer for him in the 90s, allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, maintaining the stance his campaign has held since Reade’s accusation. But then, Biden kept talking.
The former Vice President said, “If they [voters] believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me,” and even went as far as to say, “I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade.” Now, first of all, I believe it was very honorable of Biden to acknowledge and state his understanding of the seriousness of this allegation to some voters. But from a political standpoint, this was a very strange choice. Reade’s allegation had already shaken Biden’s support from women and young people and Biden, rather than trying to win them back, opened the door for them to walk away. Not to say it would’ve been better for Biden to do the opposite and completely discredit Reade and those who believe her but … I don’t know — he just really put himself into a proper Catch 22 situation.
Secondly, there is, of course, the story of the week: Joe Biden’s interview with Charlamagne tha God on “The Breakfast Club.” On the show, as I’m sure you all know, Biden said, “I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't Black." The quote spread quickly, becoming the most viral comment from a bizarrely casual interview. Critique was swift but light. Most notably, Representative Clyburn of South Carolina said he cringed at Biden’s comment, while simultaneously reiterating his support of the former Vice President. It’s unclear how the comment will affect Biden’s support among Black voters, but I think it’s safe to say Biden will not get away with it without ruffling a few feathers.



The editorial board of AMERICAN MAGAZINE: THE JESUIT REVIEW argues:

Yet even if American voters do not have sufficient evidence to determine what Mr. Biden did or did not do in the past, there are standards by which the public can judge his present conduct. One such standard is whether Mr. Biden has made every effort to be transparent and to provide access to potentially relevant archival materials. Unlike in the hearings for Justice Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, when Senate Republicans chose to press ahead to a vote as close as possible to their original schedule, there is still sufficient time to resolve the question of whether any documents relevant to the present case exist and to do so well in advance of the election.
The former vice president has asked the National Archives to search for any relevant documents or other evidence, and he has made a similar request of the U.S. Senate. But he has thus far not allowed access to his personal papers at the University of Delaware, saying that those archives do not contain personnel records.
That may be true, but Mr. Biden should open those archives anyway. He could commission an impartial, professional archivist or archival firm to conduct a narrow search for any material related to Ms. Reade’s allegations. This would go a long way toward proving to a wary electorate that he is taking every possible step to be transparent.

In other Biden news, Jacob Crosse (WSWS) reports:

In an attempt to reassure the Democratic Party establishment, the Biden campaign, and the corporate bosses they represent that she is a “team player,” Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a former Biden rival, ended any pretense last week of championing reform to the US health care system should she become vice president in a Joe Biden administration.
During a May 19 Zoom meeting hosted by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, Warren fielded softball questions from students and the host for nearly an hour. Responding to a query regarding the “receptivity” of a “universal or hybrid” health care system posed by David Axelrod, a longtime Democratic Party consultant and former senior adviser to Barack Obama, Warren replied, “I think right now people want to see improvements in our health care system, and that means strengthening the Affordable Care Act.”

In dropping any mention of her signature campaign proposal known as “Medicare for All,” Warren is demonstrating that there is no “pushing” the Democratic party, the oldest capitalist party in the world, to the left, nor is there a constituency in the ruling class for any “reforms” that might impact the profits of insurance companies or drug manufacturers.
Warren’s campaign pledge, which was a copy of the legislation she had previously cosponsored with Bernie Sanders, had already been dialed back by the senator last year in the face of open hostility from corporate America. Within three weeks after the release of her “bold” plan during the fall primary, Warren released a “backup” plan that still preserved the private insurance market, while offering the “option” of Medicare for people under 65.
In dropping her (by now largely rhetorical) support for universal health care coverage, Warren showed impeccable timing, since nearly 40 million workers have applied for unemployment benefits in the US as a result of coronavirus-related layoffs, and millions of those have lost, or are on the verge of losing, their employer-based health care coverage. The objective necessity for a universal health care system could not be posed more clearly, yet according to Warren, “people” aren’t yet “comfortable” with that.
The opposition to providing health care to all as a basic right is not, of course, the reluctance of the “people” to embrace such a plan, as Warren suggests. It is the ferocious, last-ditch opposition of the insurance companies, drug monopolies and for-profit hospital and health care corporations, which would lose billions, and the overall opposition of Wall Street, which reviles all forms of social spending as a deduction from profit.
Warren went on to articulate the kind of proposal one can expect from a self-proclaimed “capitalist to the bone.” Remarking that the pandemic had revealed who is “essential” in society, Warren floated legislation for an “essential workers bill of rights,” so limited that it would guarantee “hand sanitizer” and “if they get sick, full health care coverage.”

This is an insult to workers and their families that would do nothing to protect them from COVID-19. What good is hand sanitizer to a meatpacker forced to work with a contaminated mask or without personal protective equipment? Warren declined to elaborate what “full health care coverage” entailed, or what workers would be expected to pay for it but, given her full-throated endorsement of the Affordable Care Act, one can expect that the cost for workers will not be cheap.


Elizabeth Warren?  Supposedly, she's the only thing that can save Joe now.  Mike addressed that last night:

No, Joe's not getting the votes or providing any excitement. This is hilarious. The top of the ticket is not generating enough excitement and we're not screaming to replace him? Instead, we're trying to find the running mate that would provide 'excitement'? Tell me again about how electable Joe is. What a joke. Joe is a joke. He needs to be dumped before he takes down the whole ticket.

Give us anyone but Joe. Let us be excited and passionate. We can't get excited as we wait to see if his dentures are going to slip out again like they did in one debate or if a blood vessel in one eye is going to pop like happened in one debate. What exactly is Joe's slogan going to be? "I'm at death's door, vote for me"?

Dump him. He's not helping anyone but Donald Trump. We need a nominee that can serve a full term. One that could even run for a second term would be even better. We don't need Joe and we don't want Joe.

Can the DNC not buy a clue?  He's a loser.  We need better.  If you want to stop Donald Trump from having a second term, you need to be calling for Biden to step aside.

He's not up to the job.  He's senile.  He's a habitual liar.  He's a war monger.  He's a rapist.

This is our alternative to Donald Trump?



Even more ridiculous?  The press reports that Joe plans to drag this out -- vp choice -- until August 1st.  He has nothing else of interest to the press.  This is the most embarrassing campaign in our lifetime.



Let's turn to Iraq . . .




Last yesterday, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon offered an essay at NBC NEWS regarding the coronavirus and the Islamic State:

 "What you are witnessing these days are only signs of big changes in the region that’ll offer greater opportunities than we had previously in the past decade” read an online message on Thursday from new ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, translated by Hassan Hassan, director of the Non-State Actors in Fragile Environments Program at the Center for Global Policy and a co-author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror."
The message comes as those who have been fighting ISIS for more than a half-decade have spoken publicly and in plain terms about the group‘s increasing strength.
“The Islamic State group has been moving the fighting from Syria to Iraq ... (and) is strengthening, both financially and militarily,” said Lt. Col. Stein Grongstad, head of Norway’s forces in Iraq, there to advise and assist the Iraqi military. He called it a “paradox” that just as COVID-19 was weakening nations, ISIS was regaining strength.



And that's why, in yesterday's snapshot, we were calling out the Iraqi military spokesperson  Yahya Rasoul who was insisting that ISIS was "vanquished" and "no longer poses a threat to Iraq."  The biggest security threat to Iraq right now might just be the stupidity of  Yahya Rasoul.







The following sites updated:





Gaga

Good for Lady Gaga.  She's not hiding during the pandemic.  She's releasing her new album.  BILLBOARD reports:


Little Monsters, the time has come. After getting rescheduled from its original April 10 release date due to COVID-19, Lady Gaga's Chromatica arrived on Friday (May 29).
The 16-track album is Mother Monster's return to pop, seven years after her third studio Artpop hit the music world. Chromatica is filled with synth-filled, dance-y tunes like previously released singles "Stupid Love," "Rain on Me" with Ariana Grande and "Sour Candy" with Blackpink.


Here is the video for "Rain On Me."



Now when is Sam Smith going to release his postponed album?


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, May 28, 2020.  Joe Biden remains disgusting, Tara Reade's allegations of assault stand and Michelle Goldberg offers new lies and new attacks on Tara.

Joe Biden wants to be the president of the United States.  He doesn't want to do anything for the American people -- no Medicare For All, nothing to meet the needs of the people -- so I guess he just wants the title.  He could put it next to his name right beside War Monger (he destroyed Iraq -- and we're just talking about his 2002 vote) and rapist.

Yeah, Tara Reade's not going away.  He is spearheading a trashing of Tara's name using his friends in the corporate media.  The goal was to make Tara toxic so people would walk away from her -- as I noted in a snapshot last week, the campaign was sure they had won this.

They haven't won.  And they won't win.  This is now Joe's legacy forever more.  He can be elected president and he can even serve two terms.  Doesn't matter.  He's a rapist.  And for every whore who stands with him now, there will be ten in a decade calling him out.  That's how it works and that's what the campaign never understood and never cared to understand.

I was accused this morning by a member of Biden's senior staff of being behind an editorial.  I'm not behind it.  I had nothing to do with it.  I love the editorial, it's wonderful.  But it was written by the editorial board of THE GEORGETOWN VOICE:


In early March, Tara Reade accused former vice-president and likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in the spring of 1993, when she worked as a staff assistant in his Senate office. Two months after Reade first made the allegation, and one month after she filed a criminal complaint against Biden on April 10, a consensus seems to have been reached by Democratic politicians: do not ask more questions, do not press further, and do not elevate Reade’s voice. This contradicts the heart of the fight against sexual assault and is the exact opposite of how women who come forward should be treated. Whether or not Biden is guilty, Reade deserves to be heard. 
A slew of staunch supporters of the #MeToo movement, including Democratic politicians Stacy Abrams and Kirsten Gillibrand, have quickly voiced their continued support for Biden, tacitly stating they believe his denial. Media investigations continually fail to mention all available evidence, and often seem predisposed to find the allegations not to be credible, urging their audience to come to a certain conclusion. In all this, Reade has been left behind and has not been given even a semblance of the investigation her accusation merits. 
The response to Reade, like every response to women who accuse powerful men of sexual assault or harassment, tells survivors in this country how society will treat them. Reade’s accusations have garnered disbelief, disdain, and nonchalance. There is almost a consensus that women will only be fiercely defended when it is politically convenient, as can be seen in the different responses to Reade’s accusations of Biden and Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Reade, who has received little support from the media and prominent Democratic officials, deserves to have her claims investigated and taken with the utmost seriousness. 
Reade first made her allegation in a podcast on March 25. It took over two weeks for major outlets, including the Associated Press, the New York Times, and the Washington Post to write articles on the allegations. In contrast, the Intercept reported on Ford’s allegations before her initial letter detailing the allegations to Sen. Dianne Feinstein was made public, and CNN, the New Yorker, and the Post all published stories within four days on the revelation. Meanwhile, Reade was discredited on social media, with a tacit understanding by much of the public that the lack of articles was a direct reflection of the accuracy of Reade’s claims. In recent days, articles about other aspects of Reade’s life have been used to create doubt of the veracity of her claims. 
The stories that were then released often took a dismissive or critical tone, and focused on Biden’s response rather than the allegations themselves. A particularly egregious “investigation” by the New York Times asserted the Times had found no corroboration of her claims and “no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden,” effectively making a judgment on the veracity of Reade’s claims for readers. In the days after the article was released, multiple pieces of evidence that supported Reade’s claim and had been overlooked by the Times came to light. 

We cannot expect reporters to examine claims of sexual assault to the extent of a criminal investigation. We should, however, expect them to be honest about when they fall short, and to allow their readers to make their own judgments. We can expect them to treat women who come forward with far more dignity and respect than Reade has been afforded, and we can expect them to report on women’s claims regardless of the political party of the accused.


It's a brilliant editorial, please read it in full.

I said here last week and over the phone to my friend with the campaign that they were wrong to think that they picked the right time re: campus life to attack Tara.

I said they were wrong.

That wasn't because I was calling students and saying, "Write about Tara!"

I said they were wrong because I've been speaking to college and high school groups (as well as women's groups, veterans groups and labor groups) since February 2003. That's why I knew in September of 2016 that Hillary was going to lose.  She didn't have the enthusiasm needed among voters.

The young are the future.  They're not middle aged whores who will vote for just anyone.  They're not middle aged whores who looked the other way as James Carville, Gene Lyons, Bob Somerby and so many others smeared and attacked women who spoke of harassment and assault carried out by Bill Clinton.

They are 'woke' -- which really just means that they have heightened awareness.  They have that especially when contrasted with the beaten down and overly used whores who are middle aged and elderly.  They'll look the other way.  They'll say, "I believe Tara but I'm voting for Joe."  Because that's what whores do, they settle.

They should be insisting the DNC get another nominee.  It could be Bernie Sanders, it could be Andrew Cuomo, it could be Gavin Newsom, it could be . . .  I'd vote for any of them.  I don't want a rapist who voted for the Iraq War and then went on to destroy that country as vice president (including by overturning the votes of the Iraqi people in 2010 in order to give thug Nouri al-Maliki a second term that the people of Iraq did not want him to have -- a term that led to the rise of ISIS in Iraq).  I'm not asking for perfection as this point just someone who isn't a rapist now going senile.

People have seen what Joe's done to Tara.  The corporate press has done everything they can to keep Joe's hands clean but he's the one feeding the press the smears and he's the one who okayed the whole operation.  History will not judge Joe or his supporters well.

More to the point, it will be seen as 'goes to pattern' after Bill Clinton.  That'll be the face of the DNC in a decade?  That's what they're willing to risk to save a candidate who can't even speak coherently and utters something offensive every time he does speak -- not to mention at least one lie in every interview.

It's as though the DNC's real goal is to re-elect Donald Trump.

Marisa Ozbat Tweets:

There are no inconsistencies in her story corroborated by court docs from the 90’s, 5+ witnesses, interns. She elaborated, let’s not act like we have amnesia on victim shame and self blame. These sad rape culture op-Ed’s are just that.


Does anyone not grasp rape culture?  Or do they just pretend not to?  If someone's confused, actually confused, Anthony Zenkus (COMMON DREAMS) explains:

Rape culture holds victims to a higher standard than it does abusers. Rape culture allows us to turn a victim’s life upside down, looking at every tweet, post, public or private statement, for any inconsistencies, even when it has nothing to do with the crime perpetrated against them. Especially when it has nothing to do with that crime. Rape culture does this while making sure we’re never allowed to ask the same things of the alleged perpetrator. We don’t turn their lives upside down. We ask them for a denial, they give it, and then we move on. Nancy Pelosi, in a recent CNN interview, said she was done talking about the Tara Reade allegations. Case closed. Nothing to see here. Move along. Rape culture.
In the case of Tara Reade, Joe Biden’s documented history of public lying is never looked at. His fantastic and completely false claim of being arrested in South Africa while visiting Nelson Mandela goes unmentioned by politicians and the media. His years of lies about having been involved in the civil rights movement go unnoticed. We’re not allowed to talk about why he had to drop out of a presidential race because he plagiarized and then lied about it multiple times on the campaign trail. We only seem to have permission to deconstruct his victim, Tara Reade. We question the timing of her disclosure. We say she changed her story. We look for inconsistencies in her claims about filing a complaint after she was sexually harassed while working for then Senator Biden. We share hit pieces on social media which paint her as a “manipulative, deceitful user” because she may have been late on her rent and owed people money. We attempt to look into every nook and cranny of her life, and while doing so, make sure we keep the spotlight off of the man accused of victimizing her. It’s hot under those lights, best we keep them turned on the victim.
In rape culture, we say the alleged perpetrator is a “good man”. That’s what we’re saying about Biden now. He passed the Violence Against Women Act. He was Obama’s VP. Sure, he gets a little handsy sometimes, but he doesn’t mean anything by it. He didn’t mean to offend or harm women when he sniffed their hair, planted long kisses on their heads while touching their waists from behind, touched their thighs or caressed them – all without their consent. Joe Biden is Joe Biden. Move along.

Senator Dianne Feinstein waded into the world of rape culture and victim blaming when she said of Tara Reade, “Where has she been all of these years?”.  Questioning the timing of a victim’s disclosure is the epitome of rape culture. It’s what defense attorneys who represent men accused of sexual assault do. All the time. It’s an uninformed and ignorant way of looking at rape. It’s understandable when it comes from the mouths of lawyers defending rapists, like when it was uttered by Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers – that’s their job. It is completely unacceptable when it comes from a leading Democrat like Feinstein. The Democrats were supposed to be the party of #MeToo. They were supposed to be the party that didn’t defend men credibly accuse of rape. They were supposed to be the opposite of the Republicans, who defended Trump and Kavanaugh. They were supposed to be, but when it comes to rape and sexual assault, they are not.


Lara Tweets:

When I saw how the Democrats handled Tara Reade, that was my last straw. Will never be a part of a party who dismisses a survivor and encourages rape culture. I thought me too was real but it was a political weapon where survivors are used as pawns. All this opened my eyes.


The whores of the corporate media can't stop whoring.  Remember Joe Biden's sniffing of women, his unwanted touching and kissing?  Michelle Goldberg reduces it to "kind of touching people inappropriately" on THE NEW YORK TIMES' podcast.  What a whore.  It's cute how Michelle, the first to attack Tara at THE NEW YORK TIMES, is pretending she was ever fair to Tara.  What a whore.  She is the argument for non-partisans to be hired as columnists.  Whores got whore and no one does that better than Michelle Goldberg.  We see you and we see your lies.  Joe, she insists, needed the benefit of the doubt.  But she presents allegations against Tara as fact.

Not just allegations, mind you.  She presents a Tara hater's stated feelings as fact.  I don't give two s**ts what some attorney thinks Tara was trying to do and, more to the point, no court gives two s**ts about the feelings of attorney.  Michelle is a dirty whore and always will be.


Michelle doesn't ever note that the allegation of assault is false.  She's not that much of whore -- not that much.  The allegation stands.  And it's cute how THE NEW YORK TIMES wants to muddy the water -- which includes bringing up Joe Biden's tax returns.

Joe Biden has an awful history.  That includes Iraq.  And it goes beyond his 2002 vote for war. He brags non-stop that Barack Obama put him over Iraq.  Barack ran on the promise that he would remove all US troops from Iraq.  After two terms, his presidency was over and US troops were still in Iraq.

Why?

ISIS is the reason given.



Let's yet again note the August 2015 broadcast of Kevin Sylvester's THIS SUNDAY EDITION (CBC) which featured Emma Sky discussing Iraq:





Emma Sky: And that [2010] national election was a very closely contested election. Iraqis of all persuasions and stripes went out to participate in that election.  They'd become convinced that politics was the way forward, that they could achieve what they wanted through politics and not violence.  To people who had previously been insurgents, people who'd not voted before turned out in large numbers to vote in that election.  And during that election, the incumbent, Nouri al-Maliki, lost by 2 seats.  And the bloc that won was a bloc called Iraqiya led by Ayad Allawi which campaigned on "NO" to sectarianism, really trying to move beyond this horrible sectarian fighting -- an Iraq for Iraqis and no sectarianism.  And that message had attracted most of the Sunnis, a lot of the secular Shia and minority groups as well.

Kevin Sylvester:  People who felt they'd been shut out during Maliki's regime basically -- or his governance.

Emma Sky:  Yes, people that felt, you know, that they wanted to be part of the country called Iraq not -- they wanted to be this, they wanted Iraq to be the focus and not sect or ethnicity to be the focus.  And Maliki refused to accept the results.  He just said, "It is not right."  He wanted a recount.  He tried to use de-Ba'athification to eliminate or disqualify some Iraqiya members and take away the votes that they had gained.  And he just sat in his seat and sat in his seat.  And it became a real sort of internal disagreement within the US system about what to do?  So my boss, Gen [Ray] Odierno, was adamant that the US should uphold the Constitutional process, protect the political process, allow the winning group to have first go at trying to form the government for thirty days.  And he didn't think Allawi would be able to do it with himself as prime minister but he thought if you start the process they could reach agreement between Allawi and Maliki or a third candidate might appear who could become the new prime minister. So that was his recommendation.

Kevin Sylvester:   Well he even calls [US Vice President Joe] Biden -- Biden seems to suggest that that's what the administration will support and then they do a complete switch around.  What happened?

Emma Sky:  Well the ambassador at the time was a guy who hadn't got experience of the region, he was new in Iraq and didn't really want to be there.  He didn't have the same feel for the country as the general who'd been there for year after year after year.

Kevin Sylvester:  Chris Hill.

Emma Sky:  And he had, for him, you know 'Iraq needs a Shia strongman. Maliki's our man.  Maliki's our friend.  Maliki will give us a follow on security agreement to keep troops in country.'  So it looks as if Biden's listening to these two recommendations and that at the end Biden went along with the Ambassador's recommendation.  And the problem -- well a number of problems -- but nobody wanted Maliki.  People were very fearful that he was becoming a dictator, that he was sectarian, that he was divisive. And the elites had tried to remove him through votes of no confidence in previous years and the US had stepped in each time and said, "Look, this is not the time, do it through a national election."  So they had a national election, Maliki lost and they were really convinced they'd be able to get rid of him.  So when Biden made clear that the US position was to keep Maliki as prime minister, this caused a huge upset with Iraqiya.  They began to fear that America was plotting with Iran in secret agreement.  So they moved further and further and further away from being able to reach a compromise with Maliki.  And no matter how much pressure the Americans put on Iraqiya, they weren't going to agree to Maliki as prime minister and provided this opening to Iran because Iran's influence was way low at this stage because America -- America was credited with ending the civil war through the 'surge.'  But Iran sensed an opportunity and the Iranians pressured Moqtada al-Sadr -- and they pressured him and pressured him.  And he hated Maliki but they put so much pressure on to agree to a second Maliki term and the price for that was all American troops out of the country by the end of 2011.  So during this period, Americans got outplayed by Iran and Maliki moved very much over to the Iranian camp because they'd guaranteed his second term.

Kevin Sylvester:  Should-should the Obama administration been paying more attention?  Should they have -- You know, you talk about Chris Hill, the ambassador you mentioned, seemed more -- at one point, you describe him being more interested in putting green lawn turf down on the Embassy in order to play la crosse or something.  This is a guy you definitely paint as not having his head in Iraq.  How much of what has happened since then is at the fault of the Obama administration?  Hillary Clinton who put Chris Hill in place? [For the record, Barack Obama nominated Chris Hill for the post -- and the Senate confirmed it -- not Hillary.]  How much of what happens -- has happened since -- is at their feet?


Emma Sky:  Well, you know, I think they have to take some responsibility for this because of this mistake made in 2010.  And Hillary Clinton wasn't very much involved in Iraq.  She did appoint the ambassador but she wasn't involved in Iraq because President Obama had designated Biden to be his point-man on Iraq and Biden really didn't have the instinct for Iraq. He very much believed in ancient hatreds, it's in your blood, you just grow up hating each other and you think if there was anybody who would have actually understood Iraq it would have been Obama himself.  You know, he understands identity more than many people.  He understands multiple identities and how identities can change.  He understands the potential of people to change. So he's got quite a different world view from somebody like Joe Biden who's always, you know, "My grandfather was Irish and hated the British.  That's how things are."  So it is unfortunate that when the American public had enough of this war, they wanted to end the war.  For me, it wasn't so much about the troops leaving, it was the politics -- the poisonous politics.  And keeping Maliki in power when his poisonous politics were already evident was, for me, the huge mistake the Obama administration made. Because what Maliki did in his second term was to go after his rivals.  He was determined he was never going to lose an election again.  So he accused leading Sunni politicians of terrorism and pushed them out of the political process.  He reneged on his promises that he'd made to the tribal leaders who had fought against al Qaeda in Iraq during the surge. [She's referring to Sahwa, also known as Sons of Iraq and Daughters of Iraq and as Awakenings.]  He didn't pay them.  He subverted the judiciary.  And just ended up causing these mass Sunni protests that created the environment that the Islamic State could rear its ugly head and say, "Hey!"  And sadly -- and tragically, many Sunnis thought, "Maybe the Islamic State is better than Maliki."  And you've got to be pretty bad for people to think the Islamic State's better. 

Emma Sky wrote about her experiences in Iraq in the book  THE UNRAVELING: HIGH HOPES AND MISSED OPPORTUNITIES IN IRAQHere's Emma's bio:

Emma Sky is director of Yale's Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows Program and a Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute, where she teaches Middle East politics. She is the author of the highly acclaimed The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq (2015) and In a Time of Monsters: Travelling in a Middle East in Revolt (2019). Sky served as advisor to the Commanding General of US Forces in Iraq from 2007-2010; as advisor to the Commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2006; as advisor to the US Security Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process in 2005; and as Governorate Co-ordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003-2004. Prior to that, Sky worked in the Palestinian territories for a decade, managing projects to develop Palestinian institutions; and to promote co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians. In addition, Emma has provided technical assistance on poverty elimination, human rights, justice public administration reform, security sector reform, and conflict resolution in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. Sky has published numerous articles including in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politico, Atlantic, Slate, Survival, Center for a New American Security, US Institute of Peace, the Guardian, and the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies. Sky was educated at Oxford (UK), Alexandria (Egypt), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) and Liverpool (UK). Sky is an Officer of the British Empire.


As Joe has repeatedly claimed credit for Iraq and also lied about it, is there a reason the corporate media can't find Emma Sky?

Oh, that's right, they hide or attack anyone who won't join hands and sing along to "Oh Come Let Us Adore Joe."

ISIS rose in Iraq because of Nouri al-Maliki's second term.  Joe Biden made that second term possible.

MIDDLE EAST MONITOR ONLINE reports that Iraqi Brigadier General Yahya Rasoul is insisting that ISIS "has already been vanquished, no longer poses a threat to Iraq."  Unfortunately, reality slaps Rasoul in the face.  ISIS has never been vanquished.

Monday, ALMASDAR NEWS reported, "The Iraqi security forces announced on Monday that an Iraqi military plane was hit by terrorist forces in the Al-Rutbah Desert during an operation to destroy Islamic State"  Iraqi security forces said a member of ISIS had "14.5 mm mono weapon and fired at one of the planes, lightly wounding the plane."  Doesn't sound like it's been vanquished or that it no longer poses as a threat.  Monday night, David Rose (THE AUSTRALIAN) reported:


Islamic State has waged its deadliest terrorism campaign in Iraq for nearly two years, raising fears jihadists are staging a resurgence.
In the past month, since the start of Ramadan, Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has claimed responsibility for more than 260 attacks across Iraq, allegedly killing or wounding 426 people.
The attacks form part of the group’s self-proclaimed “battle of attrition” campaign, which also has inspired violence by Islamic State branches in Syria, Egypt, Nigeria, Niger, Congo and Mozambique in recent weeks.


Yesterday, Persecution: International Christian Concern issued the following:

 Since Ramadan’s beginning last month, the Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for over 260 attacks across Iraq, which resulted in the death or injury of 426 people. Over the last few weeks, attacks in Syria and Egypt also increased. Fears are rising that jihadist sleeper cells view the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to weaken others, capitalizing on the disruption the disease has already caused.
The attacks in Iraq are primarily along the perimeter of governorates’ borders, not necessarily in Nineveh where most Christians lived before their displacement. However, the increase in attacks still brings fear to Christians. They are trying to rebuild their lives following displacement from ISIS.
More broadly, Christians throughout the Middle East still face a serious threat as they live out their faith. A resurgence in ISIS attacks means less freedom and more fear for those who follow Christ. Especially amidst the devastation of the coronavirus, many Christians experience difficult and sometimes life-threatening circumstances every day.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org. 

But by all means, let's pretend that ISIS is no longer a threat and vanquished because some minor little military spokesperson in Iraq said so.


Hassan al-Obeidi (DIYARUNA) reports:


 In mid-May, a lengthy video produced by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) began to circulate on extremist social media accounts.
The 50-minute video, titled "Strike Their Necks", contained a compilation of clips that show various attacks ISIS elements carried out in the preceding weeks.
It showed dozens of ISIS elements pledging allegiance to the group's new leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurashi, and threatening to launch what they described as "continuous attacks" inside Iraq.

It also showed the execution of unarmed tribesmen in northern and western Iraq, labeling them as "infidels" for providing assistance to Iraqi forces during the liberation operations that took place in 2016 and 2017.
 There were scenes of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) detonating, sniper operations and armed attacks against Iraqi security forces, and of civilians being beheaded under various pretexts.
Also shown was the burning of wheat fields and orchards in northern and western Iraq, the bombing of electricity pylons and the shooting of livestock.
The video showed about 30 masked ISIS elements, standing with a man whose accent indicates he is an Iraqi, as he threatened to launch new terror attacks in what he referred to as "Wilayat al-Iraq".
The video provides some insights, Iraqi security expert Fuad Ali told Diyaruna.
It shows ISIS continues to pose a threat, he said.      


Imagine that.


The following site updated: