Saturday, December 21, 2013

They still itch for war with Syria

The War on Syria continues, the efforts to push the US into it.  The White House wants it (and Barack was willing to lie to get it) but the people don't.

Always, the New York Times enlists to sell war.

At Global Research, Stephen Lendman explains:

Times editors ignore it. They wrongfully blame Assad for death squad invader crimes. They do it repeatedly. They do it reprehensibly.
It’s longstanding Times policy. So is giving feature op-ed space to loathsome figures like bin Abdulaziz.
He called Assad’s government “a weapon of mass destruction. Chemical weapons are but a small cog in (his) killing machine.”
He called it “an evil regime that is hurting and harming the Syrian people.” He lied multiple times throughout his commentary claiming it.
Recent polls show Assad has strong popular support. In early September, Press TV cited a US daily news service World Tribune one.
It showed 70% of Syrians support Assad. Another 20% back neither side. Only 10% endorse opposition elements.
Don’t expect New York Times editors to explain. Don’t expect bin Abdulaziz and likeminded rogues to feature truth and full disclosure.

What the people of Syria want doesn't matter one bit to Barack or to the New York Times.

They will force 'liberation' (war) off on any people they can get away with forcing it onto.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Friday, December 20, 2013.  Chaos and violence continue, today was one year of continuous protests in Iraq, we examine the meaning, we look at what fueled them, we look at 2011's protests and the difference between then and now, today is also one year that Iraq's been without a president, and much more.

Today, protests took place in Iraq.

As Iraqi Spring MC notes above, the people turned out in Falluja.

To appreciate what took place today with regards to the protests, we have to drop back to the wave of protests which took place in 2011.

Back then, the Arab Spring or 'Arab Spring' took hold in places in the Middle East promising populism and freedoms.  Even in areas where the protests weren't put down, little changed.  This week, a young Iraqi woman told BBC News, "I thought the uprising was a brighter future for our Middle East but it turned out to be a huge failure because of other countries meddling in our issues, it became a huge, huge failure for our Middle East I am against these uprisings and I wish it never would have happened in the first place."

Iraq's 2011 protests actually began before the 'Arab Spring.'  What were they protesting in Iraq?

Corruption, the 'disappeared' (Iraqis rounded up and then lost in the maze of what some optimistically call "justice" in Iraq), the lack of jobs and a government that looked pretty much like the one before the 2010 elections -- despite Iraqis turning out to vote and putting Iraqiya in first place.  An Iraqi correspondent for McClatchy explained one day's protests as follows:

The main purpose of the demonstrations that took place in many Iraqi cities in Feb 25 was to give the Iraqi officials an idea about the bad reality that we live eight years after what was called liberation. After the collapse of the former regime in 2003, Iraqis were so optimistic about future. We thought that collapsing Saddam's regime was the end of suffering, deprivation but it looks that Iraq moved from the dictatorship of one party to the dictatorship of a group of parties. Both Baath Party and the current Iraqi parties care only about their interests neglecting Iraqis completely. During Saddam's regime, high positions were only for the regime's supporters and now the same thing happen. If you are not a member of the ruling parties or a friend of one of the officials, you can forget about having a decent job even if you have the highest level of education. Professionalism is not the basic criterion in Iraq. It had been ignored more than three decades ago. The basic criterion now days is (which party are you from? )or sometimes (how much money you can pay to get the position?)

The Pacifica Evening News carried a report on the various protests Friday, February 25, 2011:

Mark Mericle: Thousands marched on government buildings and clashed with security forces in cities across Iraq in an outpouring of anger that left 11 people dead -- the largest and most violent anti-government protests in the country since political unrest began spreading in the Arab world weeks ago. The protests, billed as a Day of Rage were fueled over anger by corruption, chronic unemployment and shoddy public services from the Sh'ite dominated government. Shi'ite religious leaders discouraged people from taking part, greatly diminishing the Shi'ite participation. Tarek Bazley reports.

Tarek Bazley: The spirit of protest is very much alive in Iraq despite the capitol and virtual security lockdown, thousands took to the streets. Their day of rage inspired by recent events in North Africa.

Iraqi man: Our demands are to prevent corruption by making laws to prevent it and apply it correctly for the of the Iraqi people.

Tarek Bazley: Soldiers searched protesters trying to enter Liberation Square. They barricaded a bridge leading to the city's so-called Green Zone government area. At one point, protesters threw stones at riot police and forced them back against the wall. In the southern city Basra, around 3,000 also took to the streets to protest against corruption and a lack of basic services. Concrete slabs surrounding the Basra government building were knocked over. Clashes too with riot police in Mosul where provincial government offices were set on fire. Eight years after the US invasion and the fall of Saddam Hussein, there's clear anger on the streets. Development has been slow to come to the country and after recent events in the region there are fears that anger could drive a broader call for change. Tarek Bazley, Aljazeera.

In the face of those protests and with unrest elsewhere in the region and the government of Egypt eventually toppled, Nouri got a little worried.  So what did he do?  He started making promises.

Nouri's words always worthless, that's been established repeatedly. But fearing for his own job, he promised that he would 'abdicate' his 'throne' at the end of his second term and that, if the protesters would just stop protesting, give him 100 days, he would end corruption.  His lies were all about ending the protests.

Let's review some of that.  Dropping back to February 5, 2011:

This week has seen a lot of words but not a lot of action. Words include the announcement that Nouri won't seek a third term. Why does it matter who he said it to?
Announced by who? The Los Angeles Times isn't clear. He said it to Sammy Ketz of AFP in an interview. Ketz reports him stating he won't seek a third term, that 8 years is enough and that he supports a measure to the Constitution limiting prime ministers to two terms.

Of course, he didn't support a measure limiting the office to two terms.  In fact, last August, he was ordering the Baghdad court to nullify a measure that the Parliament passed.  But let's drop back now to February 6, 2011 where we again noted Nouri's claim reported by Sammy Ketz:

That was written yesterday and Nouri couldn't even go 24 hours sticking to his 'promise.' Ben Lando and Munaf Ammar (Wall St. Journal) report that Nouri's spokesperson, Ali al-Mousawi, declared today, "We would like to correct this article. Maliki said, 'I think that the period of eight years is adequate for the application of a successful program to the prime minister, and if he is not successful, he must vacate his place'." Of course he's not announcing that. He's a thug. His previous four year term was an utter failure.

In March (2011), the New York Times' editorial board's "Mr. Maliki's Power Grab" showed more sense than many outlets like the BBC had:

Instead of taking responsibility, Mr. Maliki charged that the protests were organized by "terrorists." He ordered the closing of the offices of two political parties that helped lead the demonstrations.
His only concessions were vows not to seek a third term in 2014 and to cut his pay in half. That was not persuasive, especially given his many recent power grabs. 

Again, Nouri's word is worthless.  He established that repeatedly in his first term and repeatedly in his second.  He cannot be trusted, his word is meaningless.  Now he wants a third term despite his promises.  What about those 100 days?

Dropping back to the June 7, 2011 snapshot:

The 100 days is over.  Al Rafidayn reports Nouri's press conference yesterday in Baghdad found Nouri expressing his hope that "the citizens will treat us kindly in the measuring our accomplishments and that they will be objective." He announced that meetings would take place today on evaluations. New Sabah quotes State Of Law's Khaled al-Asadi stating that Nouri will make assessments through tonight and that the 100 Days was in order to evaluate the performances and that "no sane person would assume a government only four years old could accomplish improvement in one hundred days." Oh,how they try to lower the expectations now. The 100 Days?  Al Jazeera gets it right, "Maliki gave his cabinet a 100-day deadline to improve basic services after a string of anti-government protests across Iraq in February.  He promised to assess their progress at the end of that period, and warned that 'changes will be made' at failing ministries.  That deadline expired on Tuesday -- and Maliki largely retreated from his threat, instead asking for patience and more time to solve problems." Fakhri Karim (Al Mada) observes that the 100 Days has done little to instill strength in the belief that Nouri has the "ability to manage the Cabinet" and the duties of the office of prime minister. Karim notes that Nouri's inability to govern, his failure at it, led to the protests and that they were for the basic services which are "the most basic necessities" of our time. Alsumaria TV notes, "Starting today, meetings will be held in front of the people. Discussions will cover all fields one by one. We will go over three headlines or three ministers. We must realize the framework upon which we will carry on with the second 100 day deadline, Maliki said."

Please, Nouri lied to end the protests.  There was no end of corruption at the end of 100 days.  Just more lies from Nouir.  His assertion of "the second 100 day deadline"?  What a load of crap.  There was never another mention of ending corruption let alone the open hearings and meetings he claimed would take place.

He's just a cheap little thug who will say anything to maintain his hold on power.

During the 100 days most of the protesters stopped protesting.  Some because cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr urged them to stop.

The protests would try to regroup after June 7th.  Some would take part in the protests but it did not reach the level that it had been in February 2011.  There were reasons for that, such as the attacks on the protesters, the assassination  of journalist and activist Hadi al-Mahdi (assassinated on Nouri's orders, I will always believe) and more.  But regardless of the reasons, the protests had lost their momentum.

Today, Iraqi Spring MC reports protests also took place in Ramadi, Samarra, Jalawla, Tikrit, among other places.

And this matters because protests matter.

But it matters also because of what it demonstrates about the Iraqi people.

What I'm offering is my opinion, my analysis.  I can be wrong.  Anyone can be and I'm more often wrong than most people, I'm sure.  But I do know politics and that includes certain signs.

There what the press repeatedly missed.

To establish that, we'll just use one example.   December 30th, Sunni politician and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq tried to grand stand and use a Ramadi protest as a photo op.  That rocks and bottles were tossed at him was shocking to the western press.  Just shocking.  He's so popular!  He's so loved!  The calendar showed 2012 was winding down but the press was living in 2010.  As I noted on December 30th:

Why he was stupid enough to go to a protest is beyond me.  Yes, he is Sunni and, yes, he is in the Iraqiya slate.  But Saleh al-Mutlaq is not popular.  He and Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi (also Sunni and Iraqiya) were both targeted by Nouri in December of 2011.  While Tareq ended up having to leave the country and being convicted of 'terrorism,' Saleh sailed right through.  In May, Nouri dropped his efforts to strip Saleh of his office.
By that point, there had been months of speculation in the Iraqi press that Saleh al-Mutlaq had cut a deal to save his own ass, that he was now in partnership with Nouri al-Maliki.  This seemed to be even more true when Saleh was seen as undermining efforts to get a no-confidence vote against Nouri as spring was winding down.
Saleh al-Mutlaq is seen -- rightly or wrongly -- by Sunni Iraqis as someone who protects himself and does nothing for other Sunnis (whether they're politicians or average citizens).
He went to a Sunni area, Ramadi, where protests had long been taking place and was immediately greeted with a demand that he resign from the Cabinet.  (That would not have taken him out of his MP status.  He just would no longer be a Cabinet member.)  He was appalled by the idea and rejected it outright.
Nouri's first term was notorious for one Cabinet walk out after another.
But Saleh wouldn't even entertain the idea?
You've got provincial councils going on strike but Saleh can't even do a walk out?
Of course they threw rocks and bottles at him.  He was already seen as a sell-out.  And people want to believe that's not the case but then he appears before them and acts like that?  He destroys his own image.
He never should have gone and it's a sign of just how out of touch with Sunni public opinion he is that he did show up.

It wasn't just that they played dumb in their press reports in real time.  It was also that my take above resulted in four members of the press -- one wire service, three US newspaper 'men' (all contacting were men -- they're always so  eager to 'correct' a woman) .  If you ever wanted to be quoted, just note in your e-mail that you want to be named and quoted.

Of course, it's good that you didn't want to be noted.

Salah al-Mutlaq popped up at the protests again.  At the end of March.  Not physically.  It was his image.  People carried his image.  But before you think like the western press -- "Oh, that popular Saleh!" -- take a look at what they carried.

From Karkuk من كركوك

I don't think you need to speak Arabic to grasp what the big red X across his face means.

Three months before, we'd already talked about the realities -- realities the western press denied.

So I can be wrong, I often am wrong.  But I can also be right and I feel right about what I'm going to offer below.

People are fretting that the vote -- if parliamentary elections take place on April 30th -- will be lower than in 2010 and it will be especially lower for Sunnis.  Some western commentators are insisting that Sunnis will stay home.

They're basing on a see-saw that's been present so far.

In the 2005 parlimentary elections, Shi'ites turned out in large numbers while Sunnis -- in significant numbers -- didn't vote.  In 2010, the reverse was true.

Based on that pattern, it is probably safe to predict that the next election will see Sunnis disenchanted and staying home.

But what about the pattern of today?

December 21, 2012, this wave of protests kicked off.  Today, they reached the one year mark.

Iraqis -- largely Sunni, but not just -- carried on a wave of protests for one year -- and counting.  Today, was the one year mark but there's not any announcement that they stopped today.

For one year, they've protested.  Largely Sunnis, protesting in spite of everything.

Nothing has stopped them.

The flooding in Iraq didn't stop them.

The increased violence in Iraq didn't stop them.

Being targeted with threats and violence didn't stop them.

While many western outlets published stories about poor little back stabbing Saleh getting pelted and used that as 'violent protests!,' the same outlets ignored the ongoing violence aimed at the protesters.

Such as?   January 7th, Nouri's forces assaulted four protesters in Mosul,  January 24th,  Nouri's forces sent two protesters (and one reporter) to the hospital,  and March 8th, Nouri's force fired on protesters in Mosul killing three.

All of that and more appeared to be a trial run for what was coming, the April 23rd massacre of a peaceful sit-in in Hawija which resulted from  Nouri's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported the death toll rose to 53 dead.  UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).

Not even that attack stopped the protests.

And away from the protests?

Protesters and leaders of the protests have been repeatedly targeted.

Ammar Jassam Theyabi

September 25th is just one day when one of them was assassinated and -- like with the assassination of Hadi al-Mahdi in 2011 -- no suspect was ever found -- mainly because Nouri's never had any real investigations because these attacks are carried out by his supporters.  If you want to be generous you can say 'probably not on his orders.'  Above is Ammar Theyabi.  National Iraqi News Agency reported a Ramadi sticky bombing claimed the life of "Ammar Theyabi, one of the organizers of the Anbar protests."  Alsumaria revealed that Ammar was crossing a bridge when the bomb went off.   Iraqi Spring MC states the attack bears the characteristics of one carried out by government intelligence agents.  Ammar is only one of the many killed for protesting.  Even though the Constitution of Iraq guarantees the right to protest, you can be killed for it.

And if you are?

Iraq media may cover it.  But the western press has demonstrated repeatedly in 2013 that they just don't give a damn.

So they probably shouldn't be trying to analyze the Sunni population having ignored them.

The way I see it, my analysis?  Sunnis will be voting if elections are held April 30th.

You don't take part in a year long protest and risk your own safety just to turn around and not vote.

Yes, Sunnis have every reason to be discouraged about the voting process (and that's on Barack Obama who overruled their votes in 2010).  But if you're completely writing off the process, you don't take part in protests.

What you do is you pick up a gun or make a bomb.

Nouri's smeared this wave of protesters as 'terrorists' the same as he did in 2011.

But terrorist don't do sit-ins and don't marches.

Terrorists do not believe that they will be heard.  They have exhausted all political options -- at least in their minds -- and the only thing they feel they can now do is bring down the system with violence.

The massive participation by Sunnis this year in 12 months of continuous protests does not say, "I'm opting out of the political process.  I'll either turn to apathy or violence."

The protesters are still part of the democratic process.

Those who've participated are probably more likely to vote because of their participation.  That's also true of family members of protesters who didn't join the protests.  They know how the government tried to destroy the protesters and, alone with their ballot in April, they can stand with their loved ones.

The year-long protests have been fueled by many things including the disappeared, the lack of public services (potable water, reliable electricity, etc.), corruption, unemployment, the targeting of Sunnis and especially the torture and rape of girls and women in Nouri's prisons and detention centers.

From the December 31st snapshot:

In October, allegations of torture and rape of women held in Iraqi prisons and detention centers began to make the rounds.  In November, the allegations became a bit more and a fistfight broke out in Parliament with an angry State of Law storming out.  By December, Members of Parliament on certain security committees were speaking publicly about the abuses.  Then Nouri declared that anyone talking about this topic was breaking the law. He continued on this tangent for weeks claiming this past week that he would strip MPs of their immunity.  (The Constitution doesn't allow for that.)  Also this past week, it was learned that at least four females were raped in a Baghdad prison.
The outrage here is part of what has fueled the protests.  Alsumaria notes the Ministry of Justice's latest spin Saturday: Only women guards are at these prisons!  Whether that's true or not (most likely it is not) world history demonstrates that when women are imprisoned it's very common for someone to get the 'bright idea' to sell access to these women.  Greed is a strong motivator.  Again, the very claim is doubtful but if there are no men on staff, that doesn't mean men have not been present in the prisons.  It wasn't enough to silence objections or stop the protests.  Sunday,  Al Arabiya noted, "Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered on Sunday the release of female prisoners, who were arrested for terrorism charges without judicial warrants or because of terror crimes committed by their relatives, to appease to protesters who want to see the scrapping of anti-terrorism measures in the country, a local website reported."

Yesterday Ahmed Muayed (Niqash) reported:

The practice of torture to exact confessions from prisoners remains widespread in Iraq’s justice system. And investigators have apparently been able to practice it with impunity. But now even MPs from the ruling coalition are saying something needs to be done about it.

The 34-year-old began to cry as he spoke about his time in a Baghdad prison. He and his three brothers were arrested in the eastern province of Diyala and brought to Baghdad.
“At times, I was convinced that I was dead and that those who were beating and torturing me were demons from hell,” the man, who wished to be known only as Hamid, told NIQASH. “I was screaming so loud I hallucinated that my voice was heard on the other side of the universe.”
Hamid says part of the torture involved being stripped, hung from a pole, sprayed with cold water from a hose every half hour and beaten.

“They beat us with sticks and without mercy. And they kept repeating that they would take their revenge on us until we confessed to our crimes,” Hamid says.
Various international watch dog organisations agree that torture is still widespread in Iraq’s prisons. Human Rights Watch has released dozens of reports on torture in Iraq. Erin Evers, a Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch, who was in Iraq, interviewing women in prison and officials, lawyers and others about the justice system, says torture in Iraqi prisons is “a systematic act”.

Evers says that the investigating officers rely on it to get confessions and that they get away with it because they are never held accountable for using torture, either by the Ministry of Justice or other authorities.
An Amnesty International report published in March this year, called Iraq: a Decade of Abuses, said that, “thousands of Iraqis are detained without trial or are serving prison sentences imposed after unfair trials, torture remains rife and continues to be committed with impunity.”

Today was the one year anniversary of the start of the ongoing protests.

It was also something else.

Let's play Where's Jalal!

Last December,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17th (see the December 18th snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20th, he was moved to Germany.  He remains in Germany currently.

He has been out of the country for a full year.

He is incapacitated and unable to carry out the duties of his office.

Per the Constitution of Iraq, he should have been replaced as prime minister.

In October, it was reported that he can't speak.

And for those who would argue that 'the vice president is filling in for him!' -- per the Constitution, that's 30 days only.  So the country has no president and the Constitution's not being followed.  Those aren't good signs for Iraq.

Nor is the violence.  National Iraqi News Agency reports 1 person was shot dead outside his Baquba home, and a Falluja attack left 1 person dead and three injured (two were police officers),  All Iraq News adds that 2 Tuz Khurmatu bombings left 6 people dead and twenty-five injured.  Alsumaria explains one of the bombings -- the one that left 5 people dead -- targeted mourners in a cemetery.  Earlier this week, Alsumaria noted that placing bombs in cemeteries had become the "killing technique of the month" and  quoted Salim al-Hiyali ("security expert) stating, "Planting bombs in graves is a new phenomenon that surged in the security scene in Diyala during December after two such incidents took place: the first in a graveyard near Al Wajihiyah (25 km north-east of Baaqubah) leading to the death of about 60 civilians and the second took place near a cemetery in Abu Idris (3 km south of Baaqubah). 30 civilians were injured and died as a result."

Alsumaria reports other violence today includes a Mosul roadside bombing left Col Mohammed Ibrahim and his assistant injured, a Juachik vomving left 2 people dead, 2 people were shot dead in Tal Afar, a Mosul roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and left another injured, 1 taxi driver was shot dead in Mosul, 1 telecom company employee was shot dead in Mosul,  National Iraqi News Agency also reports that a Shirqat attack left 1 Sahwa dead and four police officers injured, a Qayara bombing targeting the home of Nineveh Antiquity Department Director Abdul Aziz Hassan al-Jobouri left 1 child dead and another injured, 1 police officer was shot dead in Shirqat, and a Qayara home invasion left 1 police officer and the officer's mother dead.

Yesterday's violence claimed the life of  Iraqi journalist Muhanad Mohammed and one of his sons. Ammar Karim (AFP) remembers him today in a post which includes:

Muhanad was a dedicated journalist whom I had known for many years, a man who was never afraid of death, who built an extensive network of sources, and who always fought to get the truth and convey it with integrity. He had worked for both foreign and Iraqi media, and was the seventh journalist to be killed in Iraq in less than three months.
On a personal level, he was a true and loyal friend during the difficult situations we passed through, and he would get mad if we didn't stay in touch.

Turning to the US,  Senator Patty Murray's office issued the following:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               CONTACT: Murray Press Office (202) 224-2834
Thursday, December 19, 2013                                                    Ayotte Press Office (202) 224-3324
MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT: Final Defense Bill Includes Murray-Ayotte Reform to Better Protect Victims
Murray-Ayotte provision would provide trained military lawyers to victims of sexual assault in all service branches
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) released the following statements after the United States Senate approved the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes their bipartisan legislation to provide victims of sexual assault in all military branches with a Special Victims’ Counsel (SVC) – a trained and certified military lawyer to assist victims throughout the legal process. The defense bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 84-15, also includes dozens of major reforms to protect and support victims of sexual assault, boost prosecutions, and hold military commanders accountable. 
Today we have taken a major, unprecedented step toward finally eliminating the plague of sexual assault in our nation’s military,” said Senator Murray. “Thanks to the voices of countless victims, the work of thousands of advocates, and the bipartisan cooperation of my colleagues, we have shone a light on an issue that for too long has left so many of our nation’s heroes in the shadows. I’d especially like to thank Senator Ayotte for her partnership as we worked to enact this reform, which truly gets at the heart of effectively addressing the tragic epidemic facing our men and women in uniform. I look forward to President Obama’s signature on this legislation and in the coming months will work closely with Secretary Hagel and the incoming Director of the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault and Prevention Office, Major General Jeffrey Snow, to ensure swift implementation of our legislation.”
“Providing sexual assault victims with their own military lawyer takes a major step toward empowering victims and making sure they get the guidance they need,” said Senator Ayotte. “The special victims’ counsel provision will help encourage victims to come forward to seek justice, and it will help ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes. I appreciated the opportunity to work with Senator Murray on this bipartisan measure, which is part of a broad package of reforms to address sexual assault in our military.”
In August, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel directed immediate implementation of several measures to “gain greater consistency of effort and enhance oversight, investigative quality, pretrial investigations and victim support” in cases of military sexual assault. Among other measures, the directive includes implementation of a special victims’ advocacy program to assist sexual assault victims in all branches through the legal process, similar to the legislation introduced by Senators Murray and Ayotte.
Senators Murray and Ayotte have worked for much of the year to advance legislation to prevent sexual assaults in the militaryLast month, Senators Murray and Ayotte  joined a bipartisan group of female Senators on the floor to speak out against sexual assault in the military and call on their colleagues to support some of the historic changes being made to prevent this scourge.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

News media, voices, silence

Do you use your voice in a way that matters?

We had a dinner tonight, probably five couples.

One of the topics raised was just that.  The man raising it is in the news industry and we discussed it in terms of whether the news media was doing its job.  (We all -- including that man -- agreed it was not.)

He said that telling the truth ran people off and you always had to be aware of that.

After everyone had gone, I kept thinking about that and finally called Jim because he follows the statistics for Third Estate Sunday Review and for C.I.'s The Common Ills.  C.I. never looks at the statistics at her site and doesn't want to know.

So I ran by the discussion we'd had and wondered in terms of the statistics he saw?

Jim offered C.I.'s very brave work in the front of Tuesday's Iraq snapshot, addressing the efforts of a small group of people to turn the illegal spying story into The Glenn Greenwald Singer film.  The fallout from that, Jim said, was immediately noticeable.  The stats demonstrated that there was outrage over the topic being addressed.

"And C.I.'s response?  She didn't look at the numbers," Jim said, "but she didn't have to.  I'm always raising this topic with her so she knew, when she dictated the snapshot, she knew she would take a hit, lose some readers, because of it.  She still told the truth.  Not only that, she made a point to leave that snapshot up forever.  When she write something like that, I always tell her, 'Well at least post something after so that something else is on top of the site.'  Nope.  She let it stay up there until after 3:00 pm EST.   And you have to admire her for that."

You do.  She does tell the truth and she doesn't worry about the consequences.

In part, that's because she's so often right and knows history will prove her right -- usually in a matter of days if not weeks.

But she is very brave and to contrast that with someone in the news media, sitting at my dining table, and saying (of reporting) that the media had to parcel out truths they did report and bury other ones because otherwise they wouldn't be popular?

That's really sad.

It's also disturbing that this is how an outlet believes they should determine what they do cover.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Wednesday, December 18, 2013.  Chaos and violence continue, AFP embarrasses itself again with more hypocrisy, did you know a human body can stop an exploding bomb (no, it can't), the murder of journalists in Iraq gets some attention, the Jewish archives belong to the Jewish community and not the Iraqi government and that fact was established even more on Sunday and (oops!) recognized by the Iraqi government, and more.

Once upon a time, news outlets allegedly reported.  Once upon a time. And when you talk to the losers of AFP, for example, and confront them over their hideous silence regarding the ongoing protests in Iraq, they'll offer weak ass b.s. about how they can't get to the protests and to repeat what they didn't see themselves, well that's jut not what journalism is!!!!!


AFP is the veneral disease of the media.  They prove it yet again today with crap -- and if it's crap, you know The Huffington Post had to pick it up and chew it.

Allegedly police officer Ayyub Khalaf 'hugged' a suicide bomber to prevent others from being hurt.  That's not really how it works, FYI.  He didn't save any lives, he's not a bomb shield.  If he attempted to do it or not, he's a body, not a metal shield.  The 'number' saved by his actions would be about one person -- if even that.  Apparently anatomy and physiology are just two topics AFP also never bothered to learn.  But the thing is, this feel-good report?  It's not a report.

They refuse to cover the protests by speaking to people at the protests.  For those who don't know -- and many don't because there's so little press coverage, protests began December 21st in Iraq.  This Friday?  It will be one year of continuous protests.  But you don't know that.  Nouri's kept the press out and, AFP insists, they can't report on what they can't see and verify themselves.

Unless they're whoring for the security forces -- Nouri's security forces.  They didn't see the alleged 'hugging' but they're happy to repeat it.

Because they're cheap little whores. And they spread disease everywhere they go.

Again, reality, a human body is not a bomb shield.  It appears one too many action movies where, for example, someone shoots at Angelina Jolie and she uses someone else's body as a shield, have misled too many people.  In the real world, bullets go right through.  In the real world, we saw it with the assassination of JFK.  That's bullets.  Bombs are even worse.  But here comes AFP with 'People Saved By Police Hugger!'

It can't be verified.  Those vouching have self-interests and are not impartial.  AFP did not see the event.  And logically the spin doesn't hold up (1 body does not stop a bomb).

But it's feel good!  It's faux news!  It's AFP whoring.

And it matters because they say they can't get to the protests -- Nouri's forces circle the protests and prevent journalists from entering -- and that's why they can't cover the record year-long protests.  They can't just call organizers and leaders and take down what they say and offer that as a report.  But they can and do just that with this 'People Saved By Police Hugger!' nonsense.

And, repeating, the human body is not a shield against a bomb.  So sorry that you're so damn stupid.

Especially you, WG Dunlop.

Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to protect pilgrims, embracing a suicide bomber to shield others from blast

If you read AFP's lengthy pornography -- it's not reporting -- it's also offensive because they get a quote here and a quote there, this family member, that family member blah blah blah.

They didn't bother to do the same for this little girl.

Young Saudi girl shot dead in Iraq

That's Taqi Majid al-Jishi who was shot dead in Samarra and her mother was left injured in the shooting.

But AFP didn't care about her.  Didn't care enough to mention her name or to note her death.

They don't care when a protesters killed.

They don't care when an Iraqi  journalist is killed.

Here's Hayman Hassan (Niqash) reporting on the murder of a journalist:

On the evening of Dec. 6, the journalist Kawa Ahmed Germyani was shot in the head and chest at home, in front of his mother, in Kalar, a town south of the Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah. It is generally thought that Germyani was murdered by unknown gunmen because as the editor-in-chief of Rayal magazine and as a correspondent for Awene, an independent newspaper specializing in investigative work, he had been looking into corrupt officialdom in the semi-autonomous region.

Although Iraqi Kurdistan, which has its own parliament, military and legislative system, is generally considered to be far more secure than the rest of Iraq, this was another blow to the region’s more liberal image. Earlier this year, Iraqi Kurdish security forces had to deal with the first extremist bomb attack here in six years.

Rahman Gharib, from the Kurdish media rights watchdog, Metro Centre, told the AFP news agency that Germyani had been threatened – there was some audio evidence of this - and that he had been taken to court by politicians and officials over his work.

Germyani’s murder was not the first. Two other high profile cases in Iraqi Kurdistan have been very similar. The others were Soran Mama Hama, who had also been publishing information about corruption among local officials, and Sardasht Othman, who had been writing satirical stories about the region’s leading Barzani family. Additionally dozens of other journalists and members of the press have been assaulted, intimidated, kidnapped or otherwise attacked. Equipment has been confiscated, property destroyed and there have been arbitrary arrests.

The Metro Centre says it has documented more than 200 attacks on journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan since the beginning of the year and that these range from beatings to arrests and other intimidation. 

In both of the two previous murder cases, the assailants have never been caught and the cases have not progressed. Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan fear the same will happen in Germyani’s case. And as a result, they organised a number of protests.

After Germyani’s funeral last Friday, locals in Kalar took to the streets to demand justice for the slain reporter. Those protests have since spread and demonstrations have taken place in Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah and Erbil. Local security forces say they have arrested four individuals in connection with the murder but Germyani’s family say they want those who ordered his murder held responsible too, not just the actual assassins.

Germyani’s brother told NIQASH that the family were filing a law suit against local officials. “Our primary concern is to reveal the names of the officials we believe assigned the assassins,” he said.

In fairness, AFP reported on the murder as well . . . by noting he was shot in front of his own mother.  They didn't go look for siblings to share a quote, they didn't go to his peers in journalism for 'meaning' on the death.  All the things they do today to whore for feel-good?  They don't do it for anyone else.

The United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe issued the following today:

Violence against media workers undermines the ability of journalists to carry out their work freely as well as the right of citizens to receive the independent information they need, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement earlier today.
This year, 71 journalists have been killed, according to Reporters Without Borders.
The head of the United Nations agency entrusted with upholding press freedom pushed on with her campaign to secure the safety of journalists, condemning the killing of media workers in Syria and Iraq.

Freelance Iraqi cameraman Yasser Faysal Al-Joumaili, 35, who often worked for Al-Jazeera International TV and Reuters news agency, was reportedly abducted and killed by members of a radical group in northern Syria earlier this month.
Kawa Ahmed Germyani in Kalar, 32, editor of the magazine Rayal and a correspondent for the Awene newspaper in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, was shot by unidentified gunmen in his home in Kalar, on 5 December after reportedly receiving death threats in connection with his work.
Indian journalist Sai Reddy, a reporter for the Hindi-language newspaper Deshbandhu, died on the way to hospital after he was beaten and stabbed in the market of Basaguda village in the central state of Chhattisgarh on 6 December.
Ms. Bokova has so far this year condemned the killings of eight journalists in Iraq, seven in Syria, and four in India, as well as others in various countries around the world.
Just two days ago she called on the Philippines’ authorities to investigate the separate murders of three journalists in the southern region of Mindanao.

“Too many professional and citizen journalists are losing their lives in the conflict in Syria, often deliberately targeted by the various factions involved,” she said in her statement today on that war-torn country. “The circumstances of freelance journalists are a cause of particular concern, as they are often less well trained to deal with the dangers they face than are staff reporters.”

And the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization issued the following today:

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of newspaper editor and reporter Kawa Ahmed Germyani in Kalar, in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

“I condemn the murder of Kawa Ahmed Germyani,” the Director-General said, “I call on the authorities to ensure that this case is investigated thoroughly and do all they can to improve the safety of media workers in the country.”
Thirty-two-year-old Kawa Ahmed Germyani, editor of the magazine Rayal and a correspondent for the Awene newspaper, was shot by unidentified gunmen in his home in Kalar, on 05 December. He is reported to have received death threats in connection with his work.
The Director-General of UNESCO this year condemned a total of eight journalist killings in Iraq (see the dedicated page, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists). 

Yesterday's snapshot noted the continued targeting of Iraqi Christians.  The Gatestone Institute notes they have a piece by Raymond Ibrahim on the targeting of Christians in the Middle East and, from that, here's Ibrahim on Iraq:

The nation's Christians, more than half of whom have fled since the U.S.-led invasion a decade ago, are now also being targeted in and fleeing from northern Iraq, which until recently was considered a relatively safe region for Christians fleeing violence in the south. Recently, for example, a suicide bomb went off outside the home of Christian politician Emad Youhanna in Rafigayn, part of the Kirkuk province, injuring 19 people, including three of his children. Several more bomb attacks have also taken place in the northern city of Erbil, for which al-Qaeda claimed responsibility. According to Christian News, "In early September, Christians in the village of Deshtakh complained that they were facing harassment from local police. A group of Christian young people said that policemen told them that they 'should not be in Iraq because it is Muslim territory.' Violence in the south of the country is also escalating. Church leaders in Baghdad say that there are attacks on Christians every two or three days."

Gatestone used to be Hudson which means it's a right-wing organization and its roots go to cheerleading the war in Iraq.  I'd be leery of policy recommendations from them but we will note the above.

Also targeted in Iraq is the Jewish population.  Sam Sokol (Jerusalem Post) reports:

A number of fragments of holy texts confiscated from the Iraqi Jewish community by Saddam Hussein’s secret police were buried in a Jewish cemetery in New York City on Sunday.
The documents, mainly consisting of fragments of Torah scrolls and the book of Esther, are part of a collection discovered in 2003 by coalition forces in the basement of Baghdad’s Mukhabarat, or secret police, headquarters.
According to Jewish law, holy texts that are damaged or otherwise unusable must be placed in permanent storage or buried.

Before we go further, let me work in a plug a friend with Basic Books asked for.  Hugh Wilford's followed up his 2009 book on the CIA's efforts with the press with a new book, just out this month, America's Great Game: The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East.  You'll learn all about how the CIA worked to discredit the nation-state Israel  and to breed hostility against it.  (I also noted this book last month in a column for the gina & krista round-robin.)  You'll learn all about the dirty work of Kermit Roosevelt Jr., Archie Roosevelt and Miles Copeland.

The dirty work of Saddam Hussein was to steal the documents currently on display by the US National Archives. The National Archive explains:

On May 6, 2003, just days after the Coalition forces took over Baghdad, 16 American soldiers from Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, a group assigned to search for nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, entered Saddam Hussein’s flooded intelligence building. In the basement, under four feet of water, they found thousands of books and documents relating to the Jewish community of Iraq – materials that had come from synagogues and Jewish organizations in Baghdad.
The water-logged materials quickly became moldy in Baghdad’s intense heat and humidity. Seeking guidance, the Coalition Provisional Authority placed an urgent call to the nation’s foremost conservation experts at the National Archives. Just a week later, National Archives Director of Preservation Programs Doris Hamburg and Conservation Chief Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler arrived in Baghdad via military transport to assess the damage and make recommendations for preservation of the materials.
Given limited treatment options in Baghdad, and with the agreement of Iraqi representatives, the materials were shipped to the United States for preservation and exhibition. Since then, these materials have been vacuum freeze-dried, preserved and digitized under the direction of the National Archives. Peek “behind the scenes” of the state-of-the-art Conservation Lab [] *
The collection includes more than 2,700 Jewish books and tens of thousands of documents in Hebrew, Arabic, Judeo-Arabic and English, dating from 1540 to the 1970s. A special website to launch this fall will make these historic materials freely available to all online as they are digitized and catalogued. This work was made possible through the assistance of the Department of State, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Center for Jewish History.
The Jews of Iraq have a rich past, extending back 2500 years to Babylonia. These materials provide a tangible link to this community that flourished there, but in the second half of the twentieth century dispersed throughout the world. Today, fewer than five Jews remain.
Display highlights include:

  • A Hebrew Bible with Commentaries from 1568 – one of the oldest books in the trove;
  • A Babylonian Talmud from 1793;
  • A Torah scroll fragment from Genesis - one of the 48 Torah scroll fragments found;
  • A Zohar from 1815 – a text for the mystical and spiritual Jewish movement known as “Kabbalah”;
  • An official 1918 letter to the Chief Rabbi regarding the allotment of sheep for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year);
  • Materials from Jewish schools in Baghdad, including exam grades and a letter to the College Entrance Examination Board in Princeton regarding SAT scores;
  • A Haggadah (Passover script) from 1902, hand lettered and decorated by an Iraqi Jewish youth ; and
  • A lunar calendar in both Hebrew and Arabic from the Jewish year 5732 (1972-1973) - one of the last examples of Hebrew printed items produced in Baghdad.

What the Jerusalem Post reported (Frank Eltman of AP also reported on it) is important.  I don't think people are getting how important it is.  I especially don't think the Iraqi government gets how important it is.  If they grasped how important it was, I don't think the Iraqi Embassy in the United States would have issued this statement:

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq - Washington, D.C.
The Government of Iraq announces the burial of 49 Torah scroll fragments, which were part of the Iraqi Jewish Archive collection currently in the United States, in cooperation with the Iraqi Jewish community presented by the World Organization of Jews from Iraq. The burial under Jewish ritual custom took place on December 15, 2013 at the New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, New York. The fragments were interred at the cemetery through a religious service ceremony, which was attended by Ambassador Lukman Faily, other Iraqi officials, and officials from the U.S. Government.
Today, Iraq marks another milestone of practicing democracy by approving the proper handling of these fragments and the disposal of its sacred texts, which were no longer viable for religious purposes, and welcomed the opportunity to undertake this good will gesture and cooperate with the Iraqi Jewish community on this important endeavor.
Iraq’s new constitution stipulates that all Iraqis are equal in their rights without regard to sect or religion. The Iraqi Jewish community, like other communities in Iraq, played a key role in building the country; it shared in its prosperity and also suffered exile and forced departure because of tyranny. The Government of Iraq also appreciates the support of the U.S. Department of State and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) on this matter and for their continued contribution to the preservation of the entire Iraqi Jewish Archive.
The Iraqi Jewish Archive is a collection of books, manuscripts, and records in Hebrew and Arabic languages, found by the Coalition Forces in 2003 and salvaged from a flooded basement in Al Mukhabarat building in Baghdad after the fall of the regime. The Archive is Iraq’s property and was brought to the U.S. under an agreement for preservation, conservation, and exhibition.

Government papers -- damaged or not -- don't get buried.

The action (and the statement) just increased the legal standing for Jews wishing to sue in federal court to prevent the Jewish archive from being shipped to Iraq.

The claim the White House makes is that they have a contractual agreement with the Iraqi government.  The papers were stolen from the Jewish people by the previous Iraqi government.  The current Iraqi government was in possession of stolen goods.  The burial -- recognized and overseen by an Iraqi government official (Lukman Faily) -- per "Jewish ritual custom" further establishes that these are not documents belonging to the Iraqi government, these are documents belonging to the Jewish community.  Just as some were buried on Sunday ("under Jewish ritual custom"), the remaining documents need to be handed over to the Jewish community.

I would love to see the US government attempt to argue in court that the documents from the archive buried on Sunday were somehow different from the other documents.  No, they're not.  They're all part of the same archive and the actions on Sunday go towards further establishing that the true owners are the Jewish community and not the Iraqi government.  When Jewish law became the ruling law for a portion of the documents (those buried Sunday), it became the ruling law for the entire archive.

Iraq Body Count notes 23 dead from violence yesterday and, through Tuesday, 580 dead from violence so far this month.

On violence, Mushreq Abbas (Al-Monitor) reports:

Militiamen in Iraq do not only carry weapons, they also wield religious, moral and economic power over their social environment. They play the role of neighborhood governors in times of peace and murderers in times of war.

Mohammed, a member of a well-known Shiite militia in Iraq, insisted on being called "Sheikh Mohammed," by which the residents of his area in Baya, south of Baghdad, know him. Speaking to Al-Monitor, he said he does not normally carry weapons without receiving orders from within his circles. What happened in the Baya neighborhood was a response to the bombing of a cafe, in which one of the neighborhood’s residents was involved.
While he spoke, the young sheikh tried to express a high degree of religious conservatism: “We are not involved in killing, as our religion prohibits us. We simply fend off certain negative influences and try to protect the residents of the area.”
Mohammed denied committing any crime that would be punishable by law. What he does is a mere self-defense, even if it comes in the form of an assassination. The residents of the neighborhood, however, depict the "sheikh" in a different light. According to one female worker, he is seen as practically the governor of the neighborhood. When someone wants to sell his house to escape threats, Mohammed specifies the price and buys the house himself as a final settlement. No one dares to offer a higher bid.

Back in September, Tim Arango (New York Times) broke the news that Nouri al-Maliki was paying and arming militais:

In supporting Asaib al-Haq, Mr. Maliki has apparently made the risky calculation that by backing some Shiite militias, even in secret, he can maintain control over the country’s restive Shiite population and, ultimately, retain power after the next national elections, which are scheduled for next year. Militiamen and residents of Shiite areas say members of Asaib al-Haq are given government badges and weapons and allowed freedom of movement by the security forces.

In his second term as prime minister, Nouri can boast of increasing violence and failing to fill the posts of Minister of Defense, Minister of National Security and Minister of the Interior.  They were supposed to be filled by the end of 2010; however, in a power grab, Nouri refused to fill the posts so he could control them.  And the world can see the effects from Nouri's decision.

Despite his lengthy record of failures, Nouri wants a third term.

Well why wouldn't he?

Before he became prime minister he was nothing, a failure whose only 'credit' was fleeing a country like a little chicken and then cowering in Iran, Syria and Jordan while he lobbied the US government to stand up to Saddam Hussein -- something coward Nouri had never done himself.

So why wouldn't he want a third term?

The alternative might be obscurity.

Or more likely lengthy trials to address how he misused the public funds to enrich himself and his family.

Parliamentary elections are supposed to take place April 30th.  Fadel al-Kifaee (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) observes today:

As Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki prepares to make a third run in the Iraq’s upcoming parliamentary elections, daunting challenges appear ahead. More than ever, Maliki stands as a dividing figure in Iraqi politics—his opponents are numerous and diverse, but the strongest opposition, political and religious, comes from within his Shia community.
There have been indications that Iraq's Shia spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is not in favor of a third term for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, but the latter is taking advantage of the Ayatollah's quietism. Although Maliki seems aware of Sistani’s disproval of his performance, he is using Sistani’s abstention from politics (Sistani will not even meet with politicians) to deny claims that he lost the support of the religious establishment. Sistani belongs to and maintains the traditional Shii thought that a marja's role in politics is limited to providing advice without taking sides, unless the Islamic social identity of society comes under a threat—which necessitated his involvement in the ratification of the 2005 constitution. However, Sistani's representatives have, without explicitly naming Maliki, made their discontent with him and his performance apparent, especially on issues of national unity and security (including his handling of Sunni protests and poor management of security challenges, let alone corruption). These criticisms are effectively delivered through Friday prayer, in a soft manner and in compliance with Sistani's approach.

On Carnegie Endowment, we'll note this Tweet:

New Book—Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings, by

Finally,  Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee and serves on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  Her office issued the following yesterday:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            CONTACT: Murray Press Office
Tuesday, December 17, 2013                                                                                (202) 224-2834
JBLM: DOL Awards $5.5 Million for Transitioning Servicemembers at JBLM
Approximately 900 JBLM servicemembers will be aided by grant established under Murray’s veterans jobs legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the announcement by the U.S. Department of Labor of a $5,586,385 National Emergency Grant (NEG) to assist approximately 900 transitioning military personnel at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The grant, awarded under Senator Murray’s “VOW to Hire Heroes Act” (VOW), will be awarded to the Pacific Mountain Workforce Consortium and operated by the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council. Of the total award, $2,888,266 will initially be released with further funding up to the approved amount being made available as Washington state demonstrates a need for ongoing assistance. 
“Today’s news serves as a shining example of what happens when we establish strong partnerships between the public and private sector in order to support our nation’s heroes,” said Senator Murray.  “For too long we’ve been patting our veterans on the back to thank them for their service and sending them out into the job market alone without the basic help they need. I’m grateful for the work being done by JBLM and the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council to implement the VOW to Hire Heroes Act and provide our men and women in uniform with the tools and resources necessary to not only make it in the workforce, but to succeed.”
The grant will support separating servicemembers from one year before and up to six months after transitioning from service. With the four current tracks available at JBLM for transitioning servicemembers, the grant will primarily serve those who want to transition directly to employment.
Approximately 300,000 active duty servicemembers and more than 100,000 National Guardsmen and reservists transition back into to civilian life each year. About 13,000 of those men and women plan to re-enter civilian life in Washington state and over 50% of those 13,000 transition through JBLM.
The “VOW to Hire Heroes Act” was signed into law by President Obama in 2011. Double-digit unemployment rates for veterans used to be the norm – but since VOW became law, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is on par with non-veterans. And while recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics prove that these programs work, VOW aims to continue lowering the rate of unemployment among our nation’s heroes by: 
·         Improving the Transition Assistance Program (TAP): The VOW to Hire Heroes Act makes TAP mandatory for most separating servicemembers, upgrades the program’s career and employment counseling services, and tailors TAP for the 21st Century job market.
·         Facilitating Seamless Transition:  This law allows servicemembers to begin the federal employment process prior to separation in order to facilitate a truly seamless transition from the military to jobs at VA, Homeland Security, and many other federal agencies in need of our veterans.
·         Expanding Education & Training: VOW provides nearly 100,000 unemployed veterans of earlier eras with up to 1-year of additional Montgomery GI Bill benefits to qualify for jobs in high-demand sectors ranging from trucking to technology.  VOW also provides disabled veterans up to 1-year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.
·         Translating Military Skills and Training:  This law also requires the Department of Labor to take a hard look at how the skills and experiences veterans gain through service can be better translated into a civilian context and to make it easier for qualified veterans to obtain the licenses and certifications they need to launch a range of well-paying, productive civilian careers.  
·         Veterans Tax Credits:  The VOW to Hire Heroes Act provides tax incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans, and up to $9,600 for hiring disabled veterans, if the veteran has been looking for work for six months or longer.
Meghan Roh
Press Secretary | New Media Director
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Mobile: (202) 365-1235
Office: (202) 224-2834