Thursday, October 22, 2015

Janet belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Janet Jackson belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Whether or not the sexist -- notoriously sexist -- R&R Hall of Fame will induct her is another story.

Link to headline article
Rock Hall CEO on Class of 2016: 'If Madonna is in, Janet Jackson should be' (Video) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO Greg Harris offers his thoughts on the nominees for the Class of 2016, including The Smiths, Janet Jackson, Nine Inch Nails and N.W.A.                                                                                                                                                                                               

Forget Madonna, if the Beastie Boys are in the Hall, Janet damn well should be.

The two of them hit at the same time -- 1986.

And the Beastie Boys started out as novelty act (actually punk rock but then they were a novelty act).

So come on.

They're in and Janet's still not in?

Her Control album alone said more than all the Beastie recordings put together.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Wednesday, October 21, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Russia and the US want to dance with Haider, the US continues bombing Iraq, the number of reported cholera cases continue to increase, and much more.

In the fall of 2014, US puppet Haider al-Abadi, newly installed as prime minister of Iraq, thought he'd be a player on the world stage.  Full of hubris, he made one faux pas after another culminating with his public claim that he had intel the Islamic State was determined to strike NYC subways.

After that he was bum rushed off the world stage and has been left to nurse his hurt pride ever since.

 I see a possibility 
And try it out for size
And it's so scary
What I might be losing
But I'm willing
Open for surprise
Feeling so alive 
Between the promise and the prize
-- "The Promise And The Prize," written by Carly Simon for the television show PHENOM

Iraq, especially puppet Haider al-Abadi, is caught between something.   Patrick Cockburn (Independent) reports:

Iraqi political and military leaders are demanding that the government follow Syria in requesting Russia to start air attacks on Isis fighters in Iraq. 
Two members of parliament are quoted as saying that the Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, is under "tremendous pressure" from his ruling National Alliance group to call for Russian military help.

But Pravda reports, "Iraq no longer intends to appeal to Russia for help in the fight against terrorists. Allegedly, such a decision was made after the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army Joseph Dunford paid a visit to the country. "  CBS and AP quote Dunford stating, "I said it would make it very difficult for us to be able to provide the kind of support you need if the Russians were here conducting operations as well.  We can't conduct operations if the Russians were operating in Iraq right now." Ahmed Rasheed and Saif Hameed (Reuters) observe, "Growing pressure on Abadi to seek Russian support puts him in the delicate position of trying to appease his ruling coalition, as well as militias seen as a bulwark against Islamic State, while keeping strategic ally Washington on his side."

Exploring the topic further, Mustafa al-Kadhimi (Al Monitor) offers:

So far, Abadi seems to have resisted the pressure placed by Shiite forces and parties, such as the Popular Mobilization Units that announced Sept. 20 that “the Baghdad-Damascus-Tehran-Moscow alliance is a natural and legal right for Iraq.” These forces stressed the need for full participation in the Russian alliance and to speed up the official request that Russia take part in attacks on IS in Iraq.
Yet Abadi is taking his time and does not want to risk his relations with the West at this sensitive stage. He has contented himself with the intelligence cooperation and arms deals with Russia, and he has refrained from going beyond this point to avoid losing the United States as a strategic ally of Iraq.
Abadi is reasonable in being cautious, because the Iraqi political situation is vulnerable and would not tolerate further internal divisions, which would take place in the event of a radical change in the Iraqi international alliances. In addition, Abadi does not perceive the new Russian alliance as a guaranteed alternative to the Western one, and he does not desire that Iraq be turned into a field for a new battle between the world powers, which would lead to dire consequences.
At the same time, Abadi does not believe he can manage without an external party to help Iraq restore its territorial integrity and get rid of IS. This is particularly true in light of Russia's strong participation in fighting IS and US confirmation that the fight will be long.

Haider al-Abadi is at a deciding point.

What can I say this time
Which card shall I play
The dream is not over,
The dream is just away
And you will fly
like some little wing
straight back to the sun
The dream was never over
The dream has just begun
The dream has just begun

-- "Straight Back," written by Stevie Nicks, first appears on Fleetwood Mac's MIRAGE

He seems to be taking cues from his predecessor.

Former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki loved to play kick the can.

His special brand of it was to make promises for a future date and then stall and stall and, when the date finally arrived, act like no promises were ever made.

Haider seems to think he can wait out this power struggle between the governments of Russia and the United States.

But most likely, his stalling only continues to weaken him internally within Iraq.

Meanwhile, the United Nations calls attention to worsening conditions in Iraq:

The humanitarian situation in Iraq is deteriorating and growing more complex, as conflict protracts, coping capacities diminish, and funding falls short, according to a report issued today by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The number of Iraqis requiring humanitarian assistance has grown to over 8.6 million people, including over 3.2 million people who have fled their homes since January 2014, according to OCHA. The International Organization for Migration’s most recent tracking of displacement shows that there are now 3,206,736 internally displaced people in Iraq, while military operations and insecurity have triggered new displacement in Salah al-Din and Anbar governorates.
Cholera has spread across the country, with over 1,600 confirmed cases and two deaths one month after the outbreak was first declared, according to the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). The main causes for the current outbreak are broken water supply systems and the lack of sufficient chlorine in the country to provide clean water.
Insecurity and military operations continue, as Iraqi security forces and its allies continue military operations to retake areas from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Amidst unverified reports of an escalation of military operations there have been reports of civilians seeking to leave Ramadi and Falluja, but access to safety for civilians in conflict areas remains a concern, according to the OCHA report.
The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq reported that at least 537 Iraqi civilians were killed and 925 civilians injured nationwide in September 2015. This includes civilian police and casualty figures from Anbar.
International assistance has alleviated the suffering of over two million Iraqis during the past year, but funding is still short of growing needs, said OCHA. Overall global funding to Iraq in 2015 is $618 million, of which $237 million has been received outside the UN and its partners' joint appeals. On 4 June, the Government of Iraq and the UN launched a revised and prioritized Iraq Humanitarian Response Plan seeking $498 million, 41 per cent of which has currently been received. 

The Associated Press notes the 1,600-plus cases of cholera today are in contrast to the 54 cases that had been confirmed previously as of September 22nd.  Saif Hameed, Isabel Coles and Jon Boyle (Reuters) add that the Iraqi Ministry of Health has confirmed over 1800 cases and, "The illness, which can lead to death by dehydration and kidney failure within hours if left untreated, was detected last month west of Baghdad." And AFP reports, "Ministry spokesman Rifaq al-Araji told AFP that the governorates of Baghdad and Babil, south of the capital, were the worst affected with more than 500 cases each."

Monday night, Betty weighed in:

The failure Barack pretends the bombings are 'humanitarian' but when Iraq needs real humanitarian help, where's the money?
No where to be found.

And still the bombs drop as Operation Inherent Failure continues with the DoD announcing today:

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, bomber and fighter aircraft conducted 14 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the government of Iraq:

-- Near Kisik, six strikes struck an ISIL vehicle bomb facility and destroyed five separate ISIL staging areas.

-- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL command and control node, an ISIL bomb, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Sinjar, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 14 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL light machine gun, and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike suppressed ISIL mortar fire.

-- Near Tal Afar, one strike destroyed 16 ISIL fighting positions.

Jacky Sutton's death was news earlier this week.

A little blubber in my igloo
And I knew you pigtails and all 
Girls, when they fall
And they said Marianne killed herself
And I said not a chance
-- "Marianne," written by Tori Amos, first appears on her BOYS FOR PELE

The family has decided to go along with a 'finding' many who knew Sutton feel is off the wall.  They would like their privacy.  So they'll have it here.  But in closing on this issue, we'll just note that it is deeply, deeply stupid to issue the statement they did while also wanting to add sotto voice that if other details emerge . . .

No, there are no other details when you tell the world, "Disperse, nothing to see here."  Should other details emerge, they will do so when the press' attention has moved on to other topics and when there is no 'fresh' value to Sutton's death to motivate coverage.

The family has ensured that there will be no serious investigation as a result of their idiotic statement.

It is one thing to say, "We want our privacy and await the results of the investigation."

It is quite another to say, "We want our privacy and believe the findings reported by the Turkish press."

We have serious issues to cover here.  The family's statement has ensured that Jacky Sutton's death will no longer be treated like a serious issue.

ahmed rasheed

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Good for Canada

Good for Canada.

  • Too bad so many of the rest of the countries (including the US) can't say the same.

    "Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
    Tuesday, October 20, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue,  turmoil increases in the KRG, the US Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visits Iraq, War Hawk down in Canada, and much more.

    Let's start with politics.

    , "We made a mistake going into Iraq" and weighs in on the war in Afghanistan:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

    I know Donald Trump.  I don't like Donald Trump.  I'm not voting for Donald Trump.

    But I find it hilarious how so many on the centrist-left side -- not real leftists, just whores for the Democratic Party -- are obsessed over when Trump was against the Iraq War.  Was it before the illegal war started (March 2003) or, as the public record seems to indicate, some time in 2004?

    While the whores rush to attack him, does anyone bother to register Hillary Clinton?

    She 'regrets' her vote authorizing the Iraq War (mainly because it's the one mess she hasn't been able to lie herself out of).  It was a "mistake."

    Where's her statement on Iraq?

    Where's her statement on anything other than her own narcissistic self?

    The worthless might consider that but then if the likes of Kevin Drum were honest or ethical, instead of challenging Trump or anyone else, they'd be taking a vow of public silence because it's trash like (and including) Kevin Drum that pimped the Iraq War to begin with.

    It's a sign of how craven the Kevin Drums are -- and how craven their candidate Hillary is -- that they need to attack someone for decrying the Iraq War.

    While the US election is a year away, Canada's held their election.

    The loser?

    Stephen Harper.  The War Hawk who persecutes war resisters has been prime minister of Canada since February 2006.

    Thanks to the election, he's out and Justin Trudeau is in.  Trudeau will not only become Canada's next prime minister, he'll become the second in his family.  He's the son of the late Pierre Trudeau whose name has been raised repeatedly over the last years as people noted that, during Vietnam, Canada was a refuge for war resisters while, under Harper, it became known for kicking them out of the country.

    Australia's ABC reports:

    Canada's prime minister-elect Justin Trudeau has told US president Barack Obama that Canadian fighter jets will withdraw from fighting the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria.
    Mr Trudeau told a press conference that, while Canada remains "a strong member of the coalition against ISIL", he had commitments to end the combat mission.

    June 19, 2014, Barack declared the only answer to Iraq's various crises was a political solution. But in the months that followed, he didn't work on a political solution, he worked on building a group of countries that would agree to bomb the already war-torn Iraq.

    The bombings have not been successful.

    Civilians have been killed and wounded.

    Any 'militants' killed?

    The bombings have been a great recruiting tool for the Islamic State.

    Barack's 'plan' is a failure, Operation Inherent Failure.

    And now Canada plans to walk away from the bombings.

    The Guardian notes the White House's attempt to put a happy face on the news via the following statement:

    The two leaders agreed on the importance of deepening the already strong United States-Canada relationship and committed to strengthening the countries’ joint efforts to promote trade, combat terrorism, and mitigate climate change. In particular, they noted the successful conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and the need to move forward with implementing the high standards of the agreement, which promises to boost economic growth and support good-paying jobs on both sides of the border. They committed to work together to achieve an ambitious and durable global climate agreement in Paris in December. 

    Staying with the US government, Iraq came up in today's State Dept briefing.  Spokesperson John Kirby was asked specifically about the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq.

    QUESTION: Just a couple of questions on Iraq. The prime minister of the Kurdish region has been in Iran for the past few days. He has been seeking Iran’s assistance to help resolve the political turmoil in the region. Some commentators in the region have called this possible because of the lack of an effective U.S. role there. There’s a void the Iranians are filling. Do you agree with that?

    MR KIRBY: A role – a lack of effective role in Iraq?

    QUESTION: In the region. In the – specifically in the Kurdish region. The United States has not been playing an effective role to solve this domestic problem, and the Kurds are now feeling that they  have to reach the Iranians to solve that problem.

    MR KIRBY: Well, I won’t – certainly, they have the right to speak to who they want to speak to. But I absolutely would completely disagree with any assumption, perception, or assertion that the United States is not playing an important, indeed leading, role in the coalition efforts against ISIL. And look at the ledger. Just look at what we’ve done.

    QUESTION: I was talking about the political crisis that is in the region over the position of President Barzani.

    MR KIRBY: I think we’ve talked about this many, many times. These are internal political decisions that need to be worked out. You – when we talked about this before, we were certainly invited to some of the early discussions, and we’re grateful for the invitations and we went. But ultimately, these are decisions that local politicians have to make, and we respect that. And the support that we are giving to Iraq is through the government in Baghdad, and we’ll continue to do that.

    QUESTION: Okay, it’s domestic, but one last question. You seem to be taking sides when it comes to practical steps in the region. For example, yesterday General Joe Dunford was in Kurdistan and he openly called Barzani “Mr. President,” while domestically a lot of people believe that his mandate is over. Why would a high-ranking --

    MR KIRBY: We’ve talked about this --

    QUESTION: -- U.S. official call him president? I mean, do you see him as the legitimate leader of the region?

    MR KIRBY: We have talked about this before, that while these --

    QUESTION: Can you answer that again now? Do you see him as the legitimate --

    MR KIRBY: Well, if you’d let me answer I’d be happy to. But you’ve got to stop interrupting. Okay?

    QUESTION: Sure.

    MR KIRBY: While these discussions are ongoing, he is still fulfilling that role and so we – he is considered to be the president while this is ongoing. But ultimately, these are decisions that Kurdish politicians have to work through, and I’ve said that before. Okay?

    On the turmoil, Mahmut Borzarslan (Al Monitor) sketches out the recent incidents:

    Developments that brought the Kurdish region to this crisis situation began when Barzani's term officially ended Aug. 20, but the Ministry of Justice extended his tenure until 2017. That solved a political issue, but it did not end political squabbling. Leaders tried to resolve the issue by holding meetings of all parties represented in the parliament.
    But before a solution was found, strikes and demonstrations began.
    Earlier this month, as Sulaimaniyah province was hosting one of those meetings -- the ninth -- schoolteachers who had not been paid for three months walked off their jobs.
    A group protested in front of the hotel where the meeting was being held, and police used force to prevent the demonstrators from entering the building. The group then resorted to a sit-in. As this was going on, health workers in the Iraqi Kurdistan capital, Erbil, walked off their jobs.

    In addition, a more recent development appears to be an orchestrated attack on the press in the region.  Reporters Without Borders announced Saturday:

    Reporters Without Borders is alarmed to learn that many Kurdish media have been attacked in connection with a political crisis in the past few days in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, where the security forces have closed media outlets in an attempt to suppress criticism of the government.
    The crisis over President Masoud Barzani’s succession since his term ended in August has sparked many demonstrations since the start of October, especially in Sulaymaniyah, an opposition stronghold. Some have turned into riots, with protesters demanding the payment of salaries to government employees and calling on Barzani to stand down.
    To limit news coverage of the demonstrations, the premises of several media outlets have been attacked by the security forces or in some cases by demonstrators. Access to Facebook was even blocked for a day, 10 October, in Erbil.
    We condemn the attacks on the media and we call on the Kurdish authorities to respect the media’s work and to end the harassment to which they are being subjected with complete impunity,” said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Middle East and Maghreb desk.
    “And amid the continuing political crisis, we urge journalists to act in an independent and professional manner and to refrain from fuelling political tension and disputes.
    As noted in the State Dept press briefing, US Gen Joe Dunford, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Iraq today. Jim Michaels (USA Today) reports, "America's top military officer arrived in the Kurdistan region of Iraq on Tuesday, saying that Iraq's government has not sought Russian airstrikes to help in its fight against Islamic State militants."  Phil Stewart (Reuters) reminds that Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was publicly open to Russia taking part in air strikes on October 1st but that Dunford declared today, "Subsequent to that, U.S. officials engaged Abadi and he did not request Russian air strikes."

     AP states, "Dunford said he wants to talk with his commanders to get updates on battles in Beiji and Ramadi."   He need not travel to Iraq for updates.

    It's rather simple.

    Ramadi was seized last April, the battle to retake it began in May and now, in October, it's still ongoing with no visible progress since Iraqi forces have failed to even enter the city in the last five months.

    In fact, Mosul is the best example of the 'success.'

    The Islamic State took control in June of 2014.

    A year and a half later, they remain in control of Mosul.

    There is no success.

    And there is no progress.
    The Beiji oil refinery is a crucial piece of infrastructure for Iraq, which made it a target for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
    Iraqi security forces – with coalition air support -- have wrested the refinery from ISIL, and this has given Iraqi government forces confidence that they can take on the terror group, Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said today.
    Dunford told reporters traveling with him that the capture of the massive refinery by Iraqi forces could be an inflection point for the campaign against ISIL. The chairman visited Irbil and Baghdad today and met with Iraqi, U.S. and coalition leaders. They briefed him on the campaign against the terror group.
    Kurdistan Regional President Massoud Barzani said the myth that ISIL is some unbeatable opponent has been broken, Dunford told reporters.
    Beiji was a tough battle, said Army Maj. Mike Filanowski, an operations officer with Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve here.  
    Did they get control of the refinery?
    Did they finally get control of the refinery?
    The one that was seized in April.
    What a pretend proud moment.
    But then, you have to pretend to ignore the slaughter of Sunnis taking place in Iraq.
    Oh, you can also pretend that they're all being killed by the Islamic State.
    But if you're even a little bit honest, you have to face the fact that Shi'ite militias and the Iraqi military itself continues to target Sunnis.

  • Lastly, David Bacon's latest book is The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration.  This is from Bacon's photo essay entitled "RECYCLING WORKERS FIGHT FIRINGS AND WIN A UNION:"

    SAN LEANDRO, CA - ACI workers walked out on strike to protest the company's decision to fire workers accused of not having legal immigration status. They were protesting low wages of $8.30 an hour, and the company's refusal to honor San Leandro's Living Wage of $14.17/hour.  The workers filed a suit after learning their wage was illegal, and the company then began firing people.

    SAN LEANDRO, CA  - ACI workers cheer in the company break room to celebrate the victory of the union in an election at the company.  Workers voted for Local 6 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

    David Bacon holds the copyright to the photos above and the other ones in the essay  "RECYCLING WORKERS FIGHT FIRINGS AND WIN A UNION.".

    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Ed Snowden responds

    Jenna McLaughlin (Intercept) reports NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden has responded to Hillary Clinton's vile attacks last week:

    Snowden was asked about Clinton’s comments in an appearance, by videolink from Moscow, at a Bard College privacy symposium Friday afternoon.
    Snowden said her statement was “false” and he decried “a lack of political courage.”
    “Truth should matter in politics, and courage should matter in politics,” he said.

    But, of course, truth has never mattered to Hillary Clinton.

    "TV: Rob Lowe: Non-actor surpreme" (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):
    Rob Lowe is very lucky.  Most good looking men who can't act end up spending their later years selling their bodies.  Like the James Dean wanna-be of the 60s who starred in bad movies before losing it and ended up a contractual 'bonus' in the mid 90s to an actress starring on Broadway -- by 'bonus' we mean the production paid for his sexual servicing of the actress who'd been hot for him back in his hey day.
    With the bad acting, sex tapes -- 1988 Lowe filmed himself having sex with a woman and a 16-year-old girl and with a woman and another man -- stud services might have seemed his natural future.
    Instead, he's managed to make a career out of bad acting.
    Fox's new sitcom THE GRINDER continues Lowe's lucky streak while also again confirming that he truly can't act.

    Rob Lowe is a hideous actor.

    "Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
    Monday, October 19, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, War Criminal Tony Blair gets media attention (but not enough), we survey panhandle media to see which outlets that beg for your money bothered to cover the latest Iraq revelations, five months and counting and the Iraqi forces still can't take Ramadi, a journalist en route to Iraq dies mysteriously in Istanbul, and much more.

    Jon Stone (Independent) reports that Andrew MacKinlay, Labour MP during the lead up to the Iraq War, has declared himself "ashamed" for having faith in Tony Blair:

    Andrew MacKinlay, who sat on the foreign affairs select committee in the run-up to the war, told LBC Radio that a new memo shows Tony Blair “duped” him along with the rest of the country. 

    “Looking at this these documents this morning and everything else that has gone before we know that this was a complete and utter deceit to me and to others,” he said.

    What's he talking about?

    Telesur notes, "A 2002 memo from former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to President George Bush suggests that then-U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair had already committed support for an invasion of Iraq – almost 1 year before the invasion took place.

    News of the agreement surfaced Saturday.

    Sunday saw a denial on behalf of Blair.  Olivia Goldhill (Quarts) reports:

    A spokeswoman from Tony Blair’s office said in an email to Quartz that the memo did not contradict what Blair has said in public. “This story is nothing new. The memo is consistent with what Mr. Blair was saying publicly at the time and with Mr. Blair’s evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry,” she said, referring to Britain’s public inquiry into the Iraq war.

    But others aren't so quick to buy that spin.  Rowena Mason (Guardian) reports:

    Alex Salmond, the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman and Scotland’s former first minister, said “the net was now closing” around Blair and added to concern over Chilcot’s conduct.
    “The memo contradicts claims from Mr Blair that all that time he had been seeking diplomatic ways to avoid an invasion. It also adds weight to the evidence given by Sir Christopher Meyer, the former UK ambassador to the United States – to the Chilcot inquiry – that the military timetable and preparation for invasion took precedence over any diplomacy and specifically over the timetable for the weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix,” Salmond said.

    And BBC News notes, "BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said the document appeared to offer a revealing insight into how Mr Blair was perceived at the very highest level in Washington, in the year before the Iraq War."  Samuel Osborne (Independent) adds, "Mr Blair, who served as prime minister between 1997 and 2007, has repeatedly denied rushing to war in Iraq."

    What stood out most about the story this morning is how it echoed The Downing Street Memo in that major American outlets avoided it.  This morning, the only US outlet covering it seriously was the Associated Press (click here for Danica Kirka's story).

    Since then?

    Global Research has covered the story.  Dissident Voice carries a serious examination by Felicity Arbuthnot which ties up many ends and also notes:

    Also notable is that so keen was Tony Blair to ally George W. Bush in invasion-plotting that he left the UK during the ten days national mourning for Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The longest living member of the Royal family had died on March 30, 2002. Queues lined to pay their last respects as she lay in state in Westminster Abbey, the Monarchy grieved and Her Majesty’s Prime Minister, Blair, boarded a ‘plane to the US.

    Jennifer Deutschmann covers the subject for Inquisitr.  Sophia Tesfaye publicly embarrasses herself (it's all about the GOP race for president!!!!!) at Salon but Salon's where all the non-thinkers go.  That said, she should be greeted with rotten fruit wherever she dares to show her face after taking the revelations and trying to turn them into whore points for the Democratic Party.  She's a real piece of trash so it's good that she works at a garbage dump.  For an example of crazy on the right-wing side of the spectrum, you can check out the loony tunes Michael Rubin serves up at Commentary.

    And what of 'brave' McClatchy Newspapers?

    As we've long noted, McClatchy didn't do a damn thing to report the truth in the lead up to the Iraq War.

    Knight-Ridder did.

    And McClatchy purchased the Knight-Ridder chain in June of 2006.

    But McClatchy was as cowardly as most other outlets -- cowardly and craven -- in 2002 and 2003.

    They remain so today.

    The lack of interest from US outlets is appalling given that the US Defense Dept announced Sunday:

    Airstrikes in Iraq
    Bomber, fighter, attack, ground-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 18 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
    -- Near Beiji, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL bunker, an ISIL heavy machine gun, three ISIL weapons caches, and an ISIL tactical vehicle.
    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system.
    -- Near Kisik, two strikes suppressed an ISIL sniper position and an ISIL light machine gun position.
    -- Near Mosul, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL heavy machine guns, six ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL tactical vehicle.
    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL roadside bomb and an ISIL vehicle.
    -- Near Ramadi, three strikes destroyed an ISIL supply cache and denied ISIL access to two separate terrain locations.
    -- Near Sinjar, five strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL command-and-control node, an ISIL cache, an ISIL assembly area, 26 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL bomb factory, and suppressed an ISIL rocket position.
    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

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

    And today the DOD announced:

    Airstrikes in Iraq

    Attack, bomber, fighter, remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed an ISIL bunker and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    -- Near Beiji, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL mortar system.

    -- Near Fallujah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache, an ISIL building, and an ISIL mortar system.

    -- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed an ISIL vehicle and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    -- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units; destroyed four ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL buildings, four ISIL heavy machine guns, and two ISIL vehicles; and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 17 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL assembly area, and two ISIL command-and-control nodes.

    -- Near Tal Afar, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed an ISIL vehicle and four ISIL fighting positions, and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    In addition, Barack Obama continues to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to carry out his plan or 'plan' for Iraq.

    And yet the news of the memo is not considered major news at all in the US.

    And let's note our 'friends' and their silence.

    The Progressive posted today . . . but couldn't be bothered to post about the revelations.

    Ruth Conniff couldn't bother to Tweet about it.

    It's not even as important as her obsession with David Brooks.

    But remember that the current editor of The Progressive bragged on KPFA that no one she knew was touched by the Iraq War.

    In These Times also can't be bothered with the Iraq revelations.

    At The Nation, they can post a huge photo of Katrina vanden Heuvel's hagged out face (she's looking really bad -- it's called karma) but they ignore this topic, they ignore the revelations.

    At Mother Jones, Kevin Drum and David Corn vie for the title of F**king Ugliest Person on the Face of the Planet so you might think they'd have plenty of down time -- but they don't use it to cover the Iraq revelations.  Nor does anyone else at Mother Jones despite their (laughable) boast of providing "fearless journalism."

    Give credit to Deidre Fulton and Common Dreams for covering the topic (and, in addition, Fulton's written a very strong report).

    Shame and scorn to the increasingly pathetic

    They offer only one article:

  • Tony Blair Will Help US on Iraq, 2002 Memo Says

  • Oops!

    It's not their article.

    It's a link to The Daily Mail.

    The so called "Antiwar" website hasn't seen fit to write one damn word about the revelations.

    We covered it in Saturday's snapshot.

    It's Monday and they're still too weary to write about it.

    Poor little tykes.

    Amy Goodman did cover it briefly on Democracy Now! today:

    A newly published document shows former British Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed to support U.S. military action in Iraq in 2002—a year before the invasion. The memo, written by then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, was obtained by the Daily Mail as part of a batch of emails on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private server. Powell writes, "On Iraq, Blair will be with us should military operations be necessary." The memo is dated a week before Blair met with President George W. Bush at Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, and publicly said, "We are not proposing military action at this point in time."

    So much for the so-called "war and peace report."

    And what of the paper that sold the illegal war?

    While the New York Times cannot make room for the revelations they do run Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt's heavy panting:
    Struggling to regain the initiative after a long impasse in the battle against Islamic State militants, the Iraqi government and the American-led coalition are for the first time in months putting military pressure on the jihadists on multiple fronts, officials say. 
    Supported by increased American air power, Iraqi forces are on the outskirts of Ramadi, pressing to encircle the capital of Anbar Province, which the militants took in May, and cut it off from resupply and reinforcements.
    To the north of Baghdad, Iraqi military forces and Iranian-backed Shiite militias are trying to expand their foothold at the Baiji oil refinery after retaking it from the Islamic State on Friday.

    The two say that the Islamic State has 600 fighters holding Ramadi.  
    And they say that there are 10,000 Iraqi forces prepared to take it.
    As we noted at Third in "Editorial: Operation Inherent Failure:"
    For those who misplaced their trading cards, the assault on Ramadi began in May.

    They're still not in Ramadi -- the Iraqi forces.

    It's October.

    For those who struggle with basic math, let's count it out together: 1 (May), 2 (June), 3 (July), 4 (August), 5 (September) and 6 (October).

    But you can call it just five, if it makes it easier for you.

    Five months.

    Five months to try to take Ramadi.
    Five months and still on the outside of Ramadi.
    Meanwhile, Nina Golgowski (New York Daily News) reports:

    The organization's executive director, Anthony Borden, said Sutton would have known that they would have paid for a new flight which is a relatively common occurrence.
    "Clearly there would have been no issue (with money). It's really inconceivable. We change tickets all the time," he said.
    Sutton?  A 50-year-old British journalist who died in Istanbul under questionable circumstances.
    The Institute for War & Peace Reporting issued the following:

    We at the Institute for War & Peace Reporting are devastated to announce the death of our country director in Iraq, Jacky Sutton.
    Jacky, who was 50, was found dead at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on October 17. She had flown from London to take an onward flight to her base in Erbil in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.
    The circumstances of her death are unclear, and we are trying to establish the facts.
    Jacky was appointed IWPR’s acting country director in Iraq at the end of June. She replaced Ammar Al Shahbander, who was killed in a car bomb attack on May 2. She had been in London to join Ammar’s family, friends and colleagues at a memorial service held for him at St Bride’s Church in Fleet Street last week.
    “Jacky was one of the top development professionals working on Iraq, and she devoted nearly ten years of her life to helping the country,” said Anthony Borden, Executive Director of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting. “She was extremely bright, highly competent, and well able to handle herself in difficult environments, and she was universally loved. We are in total shock.”
    Jacky Sutton was a veteran journalist and media development expert, and worked closely with IWPR long before joining us. She spent two years at the BBC World Service in 1998-2000, reporting from Africa and the Middle East as well as in London. She went on to serve with the United Nations in numerous senior roles that took her from Afghanistan and Iran to West Africa and Gaza, and in 2008, Iraq. After running a media and elections project for UNDP in Baghdad, she became country director for IREX and then a consultant for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in Baghdad.
    Jacky earned multiple advanced academic qualifications including in constitutional law and international development, all of which brought intellectual rigour and a broad vision to her professional roles. Her LLM, for example, focused on Iraq’s regulatory framework for media and telecoms and its impact on freedom of expression. Most recently, she was working on a PhD on the position of female journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan, studying at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra.
    Jacky was returning to Iraq full of plans for innovative new work, including projects to counter violent extremism that threatens a country to which she was so committed. Our condolences go out to her family and all those who knew her.

    Alexandra Topping and Constanze Letsch (Guardian) report, "Former BBC journalist Jacky Sutton, 50, is understood to have been found dead in a toilet at the city’s main airport. The circumstances of her death are as yet unknown. Local media reported that it appeared that Sutton, who is believed to have been travelling to Irbil, northern Iraq had killed herself after missing a flight connection, a claim colleagues said was unlikely."

    Jordan Hayne and Tegan Osborne (Australia's ABC) report that Ammar Al Sha held the position of Iraq director at IWPR before Sutton but he "was killed in a car bomb attack on Baghdad in May."  And they note:

    Friend and ANU colleague Susan Hutchinson told the ABC she was in "complete shock" over Ms Sutton's death, and had trouble believing her friend took her life.
    "I am unconvinced that she would have committed suicide ... I am sceptical of the idea. I absolutely think that there needs to be a full investigation," she said.
    "I hope that the (UK) Foreign Office has full access in order to be able to conduct a proper investigation about the circumstances in which Jacky died and I hope that that is done internationally and in a transparent and cooperative way."
    David Barrett (Telegraph of London) adds:

     Christian Bleuer, a research fellow at the Australian National University who knew her well, tweeted: "Toughest woman u could meet. Turkish police say she committed suicide cuz she missed her flight?"

    He added: "I'm not into conspiracies, but if the Turks say a security camera at Istanbul-Ataturk was 'malfunctioning', then Jacky Sutton was murdered." 

    Mark Duell, Laura Wells and Simon Tomlinson (Daily Mail) note additional doubts and calls for a thorough investigation.  Danica Kirka and Suzan Fraser (AP) add:

    "None of us believes she took her own life," said Vanessa Farr, who worked with Sutton in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. "But all of us know she was attracting negative attention for her absolute refusal, before U.N. officials, politicians and warlords alike, to stay silent in the face of what she was witnessing women suffer."

    Lastly, new content at Third:


  • eric schmitt

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

    Sam Husseini and CounterPunch

    Sam Husseini has an important article at CounterPunch which opens:

    I just helped organize a news conference with Holly Sterling, the wife of jailed CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling and a number of press freedom advocates and whistleblowers.
    Just prior to the news conference this morning, Democracy Now was good enough to have Norman Solomon (my boss) and Holly Sterling on the program.
    The problem is how Democracy Now introed — and therefore, framed — the segment: “Sterling is serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence for leaking classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen about a failed U.S. effort to undermine Iran’s nuclear program. Risen later exposed how the risky operation could have actually aided the Iranian nuclear program.”

    That is a very benign way to describe what Operation Merlin (the program in question) was about.

    Use the link to read it in full.

    By the way, I'm assuming CounterPunch needs money.  They've got donation buttons at the top of each page and this message:

    COUNTERPUNCH! Politically, these are treacherous and uncertain times. A discredited president is saddled with a listless economy and a slew of unpopular and illegal wars. The voters rightly hold both parties in contempt. The corporate press is similarly disgraced. Thousands of readers around the globe are flocking to CounterPunch because they know we aren’t in the pockets of corporations or their foundations, and we aren’t beholden to any political party. That’s why you come to CounterPunch and that’s also why we need YOUR support. The need is real. The time is now. Please make a tax-deductible donation today by credit card through our secure online server, via PayPal or by calling 1(800) 840-3683. Note: This annoying box will disappear once we reach our fund drive goal. Thank you for your support!

    If The Progressive or The Nation went under, no great loss.

    CounterPunch has shown some real independence over the years.

    "Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
    Saturday, October 17, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Tony Blairs lies leak out, Hillary and Colin are caught with their pants down, Eleanor Smeal embraces (and engulfs) war and destruction, and much more.

    "Save the cheerleader, save the world," NBC's Heroes insisted throughout its original run but the imprisonment and/or death of at least one cheerleader might have saved the world -- at least when that cheerleader was Tony Blair.

    War Criminal Blair lied to the Iraq Inquiry when he testified just a few years ago but he's been lying since 2002.  He's a War Criminal and he's a liar.

    David Millward (Telegraph of London) reports:

     The controversy over Tony Blair’s decision to back George Bush over the Iraq war has been rekindled after a memo emerged showing the Prime Minister pledged to support an invasion a year ahead of the conflict.
    Details of the Prime Minister’s readiness to back the US in bringing down Saddam Hussein are contained in a note from Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, to George Bush, ahead of Mr Blair’s April 2002 summit with the President in Crawford Texas.
    The memo was found in a batch of secret emails on the private server of Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, which was made available by the US courts. 

    As Millward reminds, a year before the start of the Iraq War, Tony Blair was lying to the world by insisting the efforts were towards a diplomatic solution.  Millward also reports, "A second memo says that Mr Blair used spies within the Labour party to help influence public opinion in favour of the war."

    Tony Blair is exposed as the liar he always was, yes.

    But it also exposes two other liars: Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton.

    Colin The Blot Powell.

    Remember when that piece of trash went on 20/20 insisting his lies to the United Nations were unknown by him at the time (he knew, use the link).

    He's a dam liar.

    He's a piece of filth trash.

    And that brings us to the little puppy following around sniffing at his crotch little Larry Wilkerson.

    MSNBC tried to turn him into a star and saint but the Scott Pritchard to Colin Powell's David Brice never took because he's unphotogenic and highly off putting.

    But MSNBC tried, didn't they?

    Rachel Maddow had him on countless times, this apologist for Colin Powell, this member of the War Machine, this liar to the American people.

    It's not just the original liars, it's these news ones.  Rachel Maddow's Iraq special, for goodness sake, was even called out as fraudulent by Randi Rhodes.

    Yet Rachel is held up as a truth teller when all she's ever been is a little liar.  She was for the Iraq War -- she was even calling for it to continue when Air America Radio started and repeatedly insisted on air that "if you break it, you own it.  That's the Pottery Barn policy."  But it wasn't the Pottery Barn policy and Iraqis -- the owners of Iraq, please grasp -- were not asking US forces to stay in Iraq.

    But a liar like Rachel, a corporate whore, just sets up her own end.  So she lied when Lizz Winstead walked from Unfiltered and told people Lizz was just sick.  She lied about the fact that Unfiltered had only a month left and that they would be replaced by trash TV merchant Jerry Springer.  She had her father being a sock puppet on the Unfiltered message board.  And she was paid off for her lies by getting her own Air America Radio show.

    To get her MSNBC show, she insisted to AP that Chris Matthews was sexist and then, when informed she'd have her own show, she carried out her tit-for-tat part of the agreement by insisting Chris Matthews was not a sexist.

    Chris Matthews is a sexist.

    This was a known reality long before Rachel used the charge in 2008 to leverage her own show.

    But not according to Rachel.

    She's a liar who'll say anything and only the ridiculous idiots at The Nation magazine will pretend otherwise and pretend that her corporate and centrist politics are at all left -- she's actually about as left as Joe Lieberman.

    The same woman (who along with Lizz -- sorry, Lizz) refused to have war resisters on Unfiltered continues to preach and promote policies and candidates who are not left.

    She's the perfect foil for Hillary Clinton's campaign of destruction that runs right through the White House.

    And Hillary . . .

    She feels so sorry about her Iraq War vote, right?

    That's her lie she insists.

    But she won't talk about it.

    Turns out, she wouldn't talk about the arrangement Bully Boy Bush and Tony Blair had.

    She'd communicate it in e-mails.

    But to the American people, the ones she needs to vote for her?

    She just continued the lies because she is a liar.

    This was a Republican deal -- Bully Boy Bush was in the White House.

    So why has she covered up for them?

    She (ghost)wrote that bad book Hard Choices Easy Whoring and supposedly that told the truth about Iraq.


    Turns out the whore can't stop lying about Iraq.

    She'll say anything, put her name to any text someone else writes, because she's a dishonest liar.

    And she and Colin are now exposed as the eternal liars they both are.

    For years now, both gutter dwellers have insisted they were misled -- by intel, by this, by that.

    They're just liars who cover up for other damn liars.

    From liars and cheerleaders to beauty queens . . .

    Iraq is scheduled to hold the county's first Miss Iraq pageant since 1972.  Alexander Smith (NBC News) reports that over "150 women have applied" to compete but "15 hopefuls have already dropped out amid a barrage of criticism -- and even death threats."  Meg Warner (New York Daily News) explains, "The 2015 pageant won’t be a direct copy of its Western counterparts --  for example, the swimsuit round will be replaced with a segment featuring more conservative outfits -- but still sticks to the requirements that would make the winner eligible to compete in Miss Arab and potentially Miss World. Following those regulations, Miss Iraq hopefuls will not wear headscarves."

    Last month, Stephen Kalin (Reuters) revealed the contest had already been postponed from October 1st to some time in December and that:

    A pro-Shi'ite Muslim television channel warned this month that the event would corrupt public morals and "create a base culture while our people face the danger of terrorism".

    It accused the organizers of being Freemasons, a loaded insult in the Middle East where the secretive, fraternal organization is widely seen as pro-Zionist and hostile to Islam.

    Reuters has a photo here of Wijdan Burhan al-Deen who was crowned Miss Iraq in 1972 and competed in the Miss Universe Contest.

    The hope is that the pageant will be a step forward for Iraq and, specifically, for Iraqi women.

    But allegedly filled with remorse over what her support of the Iraq War did to Iraq, Hillary hasn't bothered to even note this possible pageant.  This despite many noting her non-stop references to her gender.

    There's a world of difference between self-obsession and feminism.

    Hillary trying to garner support by insisting her being a first elevates all women is a bit hard to believe when her entire campaign is about I-I-I and me-me-me.


    Gray, ugly and disappointing, 76-year-old 'feminist' Eleanor Smeal (mis)used her position at the laughable Feminist Majority Foundation and as publisher of the now-embarrassing Ms. magazine to promote war this week.  If that's news to you, see "Eleanor Smeal, Ms. magazine and the Feminist Majority Foundation embrace war" and you'll find a link there for Smeal's trash that we linked to Friday only in fairness and that we won't link to again.

    Ellie's sexually excited and delighted that US President Barack Obama broke another promise and has decided to extend the Afghanistan War beyond 2017 (he leaves office in January 2017).

    Ellie finger-banged herself relentlessly at the prospect of more years for US troops in Afghanistan.

    "Feminist" Ellie loves the fact that the US government, as the New York Times exposed last month, is aiding, abetting and assisting with pedophilia in Afghanistan.

    As a feminist, I wasn't aware pedophilia was something we were supposed to support but that's Eleanor Smeal for you -- always breaking new ground . . .  in shame and self-embarrassment.

    You go a long way, baby, straight to the pits of hell.

    Apparently since the victims of these assaults are young boys -- not girls -- Eleanor Smeal sees this as 'progress' and something to stand up for.

    Not everyone sees continuing the Afghanistan War as something to have a sexual orgasm over.

  • Ultimately the challenges in Afghanistan must be resolved through political means by the Afghan ppl. US military force can’t solve this.

  • War in Afghanistan is the longest in US history & there’s no end in sight. Time to recognize there is no military solution.

  • But Eleanor Smeal feels differently.  Having created her own organization (because she couldn't work with others) and used that organization to destroy Ms. magazine (non-profit is the biggest political con job there is -- and effectively silences your voice which is why more and more left activist oppose the move), she now wants to make clear that she supports US airstrikes on Afghanistan hospitals.

    Continuing the Afghanistan War also means continuing The Drone War in Afghanistan (and elsewhere).  Eleanor's a-okay with that.

    She's a 'publisher' who lies for officials.

    1. To manipulate drone numbers, Obama adm calls all victims "enemies killed in action" when their identity is unknown

  • New docs: "Nearly nine out of 10 people who died in airstrikes were not the Americans' direct targets," by

  • Full story revealed of how Bilal el-Berjawi had his citizenship revoked by UK so he could be killed by a US drone

  • The secret process of how Obama chooses which people will be put on their assassination list, by

  • She's not bothered by any of that.

    Not a bit, not a bit.

    Some might point out that Afghanistan is a failed policy but if Eleanor Smeal couldn't embrace a failed policy how could she keep from slitting her own wrists when surveying what passes for her life?



    13 hours ago

  • The New York Times tries to sugar coat it:

    President Obama abandoned his hopes of ending the two wars he inherited

    Abandons hope?

    Abandons promise.

    But you can't expect honesty on Iraq from the New York Times at this late date unless you're a hopeless full or an illiterate.

    On the topic of The Drone War:

  • While the drone crashes, the US and others continue to drop bombs on Iraq.

    This includes the government of Turkey which violates Iraq's sovereignty with these bombings as well as with on the ground raids.  US-installed Haider al-Abadi, like a good puppet, has learned to be silent on these actions.  But all the silence in the world will not sugar coat the destruction Turkey's war planes are carrying out.

    Pieter Stockmans (Middle East Eye) reports:

    Turkey continues to conduct airstrikes against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in spite of the unilateral ceasefire brought forth by the PKK. As the bombings go on, Turkey has scheduled critical elections less than three weeks away.
    The announcement of the PKK’s ceasefire offer came immediately after the largest attack in Turkey’s modern history. On 10 October, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a peace rally in Ankara, only five days after Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met EU leaders in Brussels to discuss the situation of Syria's refugees. In return for keeping Syrian refugees from reaching Europe, Erdoğan is asking the EU to support his war on the PKK.
    Civilians, however, have bared the brunt in this war. Most of the casualties have been non-combatants, and a significant portion of those killed never took up arms against Turkey, but instead fought the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq.

    We're closing with the following regarding Barack's extension of war on Afghanistan:
    Signers of this statement are listed below.
    The U.S. and NATO occupy my country under the name of all the beautiful banners of democracy, women’s rights, human rights. And for this long time, they shed the blood of our people under the name of the war on terror…” —Malalai Joya
    President Obama’s decision to leave actually ending, as opposed to officially “ending,” the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan to his successor (barring Congress developing the nerve and the decency to act) illustrates our collective and his personal failure to overcome what candidate Obama once called the mindset that gets us into wars. The idea that year 15 or year 16 is going to go better in Afghanistan than the first 14 years have gone is based on no evidence whatsoever, but merely the hope that something will change combined with a misguided and arrogant sense of responsibility to control someone else’s country. As numerous Afghans have been saying for nearly 14 years, Afghanistan will be a disaster when the U.S. occupation ends, but it will be a larger disaster the longer it takes to do so.
    This longest-ever U.S. war since the destruction of the Native American nations is, when measured in deaths, dollars, destruction, and numbers of troops and weapons, far more President Obama’s war than President Bush’s. Yet President Obama has been given credit for “ending” it, without actually ending it, for nearly seven years, including while he was more than tripling the U.S. troop presence. The idea that escalating a war helps to end it, built on myths and distortions about past wars (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Iraq “surge”), has to be set aside after these many years of failure. The pretense that a military can both end and not end the occupation of another people’s country by shifting to “non-combat” troops (even while bombing a hospital) must be abandoned.
    The view that further war, in particular with drones, is counterproductive on its own terms is shared with us by
    U.S. Lt. General Michael Flynn, who quit as head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in August 2014: “The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just… fuels the conflict.”
    Former CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief Michael Scheuer, who says the more the United States fights terrorism the more it creates terrorism.
    The CIA, which finds its own drone program “counterproductive.”
    Admiral Dennis Blair, the former director of National Intelligence: While “drone attacks did help reduce the Qaeda leadership in Pakistan,” he wrote, “they also increased hatred of America.”
    Gen. James E. Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “We’re seeing that blowback. If you’re trying to kill your way to a solution, no matter how precise you are, you’re going to upset people even if they’re not targeted.”
    Sherard Cowper-Coles, Former U.K. Special Representative To Afghanistan: “For every dead Pashtun warrior, there will be 10 pledged to revenge.”
    Matthew Hoh, Former Marine Officer (Iraq), Former US Embassy Officer (Iraq and Afghanistan): “I believe it’s [the escalation of the war/military action] only going to fuel the insurgency. It’s only going to reinforce claims by our enemies that we are an occupying power, because we are an occupying power. And that will only fuel the insurgency. And that will only cause more people to fight us or those fighting us already to continue to fight us.” — Interview with PBS on Oct 29, 2009
    General Stanley McChrystal: “For every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies.”
    Afghanistan need not be “abandoned.” The United States owes Afghanistan reparations in the form of significant actual aid, the cost of which would of course be less than that of continuing the war.
    The U.S. air strikes on the Kunduz hospital have generated more attention than many other U.S. atrocities committed in Afghanistan. Yet horrific attacks have been the mainstay of this war which was begun illegally and without U.N. authorization. The motivation of revenge for 9-11 is not a legal justification for war, and also ignores the Taliban’s offer to have bin Laden face trial in a third country. This war has killed many thousands of Afghans, tortured and imprisoned, wounded and traumatized many more. The top cause of death among members of the U.S. military who have gone to Afghanistan is suicide. We shouldn’t allow continuation of this madness to be depicted as reasonable and cautious. It is criminal and murderous. A third U.S. president should be given no opportunity to continue “ending” this war for additional years.
    End it now.
    David Swanson, director of World Beyond War
    Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate
    Medea Benjamin, Co-founder, Code Pink
    Ret. Col. AnnWright, former U.S. diplomat, including in Afghanistan
    Mike Ferner, former Navy Hospital Corpsman and president of Veterans For Peace
    Matthew Hoh, Former Marine Officer (Iraq), Former US Embassy Officer (Iraq and Afghanistan)
    Elliott Adams, former National President, Veterans for Peace, FRO
    Brian Terrell, co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
    Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
    Ed Kinane, Steering committee, Syracuse Peace Council
    Victoria Ross, Interim Director, Western New York Peace Council
    Brian Willson, Esq., Veterans for Peace
    Imam Abdulmalik Mujahid, Chairperson, World Parliament of Religions
    David Smith-Ferri, Co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
    Dayne Goodwin, secretary Wasatch Coalition for Peace and Justice, Salt Lake City
    Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
    Randolph Shannon, Progressive Democrats of America – PA Coordinator
    David Hartsough, Peaceworkers
    Jan Hartsough, San Francisco Friends Meeting
    Judith Sandoval, Veterans for Peace, San Francisco
    Jim Dorenkott, Veterans for Peace
    Thea Paneth, Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Arlington United for Justice With Peace
    Rivera Sun, author
    Michael Wong, Veterans for Peace
    Sherri Maurin, Global Days of Listening co-coordinator
    Mary Dean, Witness Against Torture
    Dahlia Wasfi MD, Iraqi-American activist
    David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books includeWar Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio.He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
    Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.