Friday, April 01, 2016

SHADES OF BLUE (Season one wraps up)

Harley's plans all fell apart on the season finale of NBC's SHADES OF BLUE.

Jennifer Lopez's character thought she had figured a way out.

She would get Donnie and the mysterious man behind the robbery in the same room with the stolen $12 million and the feds would be satisfied and leave Woz and her crew alone.

But it fell apart.

First off, Donnie got killed.

Second off, the mysterious man appears to have skipped town.

And there was the whole Miguel thing.

Christina (Harley's daughter) did not stay at the hotel with Linda (Woz's wife) as planned.

She called Miguel to come get her.

He did.

When Harley found out, she was furious.

She held a gun to Miguel until he admitted she was with his mother.

She went there with Miguel (and had Miguel in handcuffs) and Christina tried to argue but instead just demanded her father be taken out of handcuffs.

Harley did that and told Miguel she'd get him the $200,000 at his mother's (she's paying him to skip town and leave Christina alone).

She and Christina left.

Then she went to Woz.

She told him the FBI had just approached her.

The night before.

They were using Christina to leverage her.

But her plan was to give them Donnie and the mysterious man.

Woz told her that wasn't possible.

Donnie was dead and the man had skipped town.

She said she'd stall and come up with something else.

Then she put Christina on an airplane with her sister and cried because she was going to turn herself in.

She told the fed she couldn't show Christina how to do right if she didn't do right.

So she came up with turning herself in and since the feds would have the $12 million as well, she felt they'd go for it.  It was that, she told the fed, or she'd burn the money.

He said they'd go along.

But when she got ready to turn herself in, something had changed.

She called Woz to talk to him and tell him what she was doing. But it wasn't working.

He explained he already met with the feds and had turned himself in.

"I can't lose another daughter," he said.  His own daughter killed herself.  He considers Harley a daughter.

He knew she was the mole.

She told him this isn't over, give her a chance to figure something out.

She appeared to but we didn't hear that part of the conversation.

We did see the feds descend on Woz to arrest him.

Next, we saw Harley at her house and she was surprised by Miguel who had her gun.

He said he'd visit her sister in New Jersey where Christina was.

He bragged that he'd beat her the way he used to beat Harley.

As he made threats, Harley grabbed him and broke his neck.

That's how season one wrapped up.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, March 31, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Moqtada al-Sadr's rallies end, Haider al-Abadi finds men to nominate for his Cabinet (no women), a famous Iraqi has passed away, and much more.

The faux-test has ended.  For weeks, a fake 'protest' has taken place and now it's finally over.  AFP reports, "Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr today ordered his followers to end a two-week sit-in at Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone aimed at pressuring the government to carry out reforms."

Cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr staged rallies, not protests.


Rallies to support the prime minister.

He met with Haider beforehand.  He met with Haider during.

This was not a protest nor was it an independent action.

Moqtada al-Sadr called the rallies to back Haider al-Abadi.

State of Law was against the 'reforms' that Haider had said he would push for.

State of Law is a powerful Shi'ite bloc.

It's headed by Nouri al-Maliki.

Nouri's a thug.

He was also made prime minister of Iraq for a second term in 2010.

Not via the ballot box.  He lost the 2010 election to Ayad Allawi.

US President Barack Obama decided Nouri would get a second term.  He did that via the US brokered Erbil Agreement -- leaders of Iraq's political bloc signed off on a legal contract granting Nouri a second term and, in exchange, Nouri promised to give them certain posts and referendums.

Nouri used the second term to terrorize the Sunni population.  This is what led to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq.

Eventually, Barack decided 'enough.'

Not soon enough.

Nouri was targeting Sunnis, persecuting them, killing them.

The April 23, 2013 massacre of a sit-in in Hawija 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 eventually (as some wounded died) rose to 53 dead.   UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).

That didn't bother Barack.

It was only when the Islamic State seized Mosul in June of 2014 that Barack began to make noises about replacing Nouri.

In August of 2014, it was announced Haider al-Abadi would replace Nouri.

He would, we thought, serve out Nouri's term which would expire that same year.

Instead, the 2014 elections never happened.

And Iraq has nothing but an illegitimate government.

Smoke and mirrors attempt to conceal that.

Moqtada provided smoke and mirrors.

The rallies for Haider's reform were to silence other Shi'ite factions.

Moqtada's followers in the street were supposed to scare them from speaking out -- the National Alliance, elements of Dawa (the political party Nouri belongs to but chose not to run with in 2010), Ammar al-Hakim's Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, the Ribes of Iraq Coalition, the Islamic Dawa Party, etc.

And they did.

Their presence in support of Haider's proposals meant that State of Law stood alone in rejecting them publicly.

That's what the faux-test was about, silencing Shi'ite objection.

If you missed that fact, you missed a whole lot.  Stephen Kalin, Saif Hameed, Maher Chmaytelli, Isabel Coles and Richard Balmforth (REUTERS) point out, "Sadr, whose opinion holds sway with tens of thousands of supporters, warned party leaders last week that they would face street protests if they obstruct the government overhaul."

Ben Kesling and Ghassan Adnan (WALL STREET JOURNAL) report:

Mr. Abadi trimmed the size of his cabinet from 22 ministers to 16 and submitted a list of 14 new names for parliamentary approval. He kept only his defense and interior ministers, citing security reasons.
“I submit this list…you have the right to accept, adjust or refuse it,” Mr. Abadi told lawmakers.
Parliament will vote on the names in 10 days, said Speaker Salim al-Jabouri.
Mr. Sadr said that if parliament didn’t approve the list, he would press for a no-confidence vote in Mr. Abadi’s government.

14 new names?  And the most the press has been able to scare up is 12.  MIDDLE EAST MONITOR and RUDAW both note these 12 people for the following positions:

Ali Alawi - Minister of Finance
Nzar Salim - Minister of Oil
Sharif Ali bn Ali - Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ali Jabouri - Minister of Education
Ali Mubarak - Minister of Health
Hassan Janabi - Minister of Oil and Water Resources
Aqil Yousif - Minister of Youth and Culture
Hoshiyar Amin - Minister of Municipality and Reconstruction
Yousif Assadi - Minister of Transportation
Mohammed Nasrollah - Minister of Justice
Ala Dashir - Minister of Electricity
Wafa Mahdawi - Minister of Immigration and Displacement

A 13th name Dr Abdul Razzak Aleisa for Minster of Higher Education.

The losers are many.


Women are yet again losers in Iraq.

14 positions.

Not one woman qualified?

Iraqi women are stupid and uneducated?

Is that it?

That lie is told on the same day Zaha Hadid has died.


A woman who rates two reports from ALSUMARIA today -- here and here.

  • Zaha Hadid -originally from Mosul- always spoke of her love for , of an elegant and beautiful of her childhood.What a loss

  • The 65-year-old Iraqi woman was an architect whose designs were known throughout the world and included the London Aquatic Centre.  In September of 2015, BBC NEWS reported:

    Dame Zaha Hadid has been awarded Riba's royal gold medal for architecture, making her the first woman to be awarded the honour in her own right.
    The renowned Iraqi-born, London-based architect designed the Aquatics Centre for the 2012 London Olympics.
    She has designed buildings in cities from Guangzhou in China to Glasgow.
    The gold medal is given in recognition of a lifetime's work by the Royal Institute of British Architects and is personally approved by the Queen.

    DESIGN MUSEUM offers this timeline of Hadid's life:

    Zaha Hadid born in Baghdad, Iraq

    Graduated from the Architectural Association, London

    Established Zaha Hadid Architects

    Competition winner for ‘The Peak’, Hong Kong

    Vitra Fire Station completed, Weil am Rhein, Germany

    Competition Winner, Cardiff Bay Opera House, Cardiff, Wales

    Competition Winner, MAXXI: National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome

    Honourable Member of the Bund Deutsches Architekten

    LF One/Landesgartenschau completed, Weil am Rhein, Germany

    Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London
    Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
    Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture

    Hoenheim-Nord Terminus completed, Strasbourg, France

    Bergisel Ski-Jump completed, Innsbruck, Austria
    Commander of the British Empire (CBE)

    Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Arts completed, Cincinnati, USA
    Mies van der Rohe Award for Honheim-Nord Terminus

    Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize

    Phaeno Science Center completed, Wolfsburg, Germany
    The BMW Central Building completed, Leipzig, Germany
    The Hotel Puerta America interior completed, Madrid, Spain
    The Ordrupgaard Museum Extension completed, Copenhagen
    Spittelau Viaducts Housing completed, Vienna, Austria
    Member of the Royal Academy of Arts
    Designer of the Year, Design Miami
    RIBA Stirling Prize Finalist, BMW Central Building

    Maggie’s Centre completed, Fife, Scotland. Lopez de Heredia Winery completed, Haro, Spain
    Zaha Hadid exhibition, Guggenheim, New York
    RIBA Medal, European Cultural Building of the Year
    RIBA Jencks Award
    American Institute of Architects (UK) Award
    Finalist for the RIBA Stirling Prize, Phaeno Science Center

    American Institute of Architects (UK) Award, Maggie’s Centre
    Finalist for the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture
    Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture Scottish Design Award, Maggie’s Centre
    Installation for Serpentine Gallery, London
    Zaha Hadid: Architecture and Design exhibition, Design Museum, London

    Exhibited in Design Museum and Beefeater 24 present Super Contemporary

    Stirling Prize winner for MAXXI, Rome

    Stirling Prize winner for the Evelyn Grace Academy, London

    Appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to architecture

    Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park opens in Seoul, South Korea
    Awarded Design of the Year 2014 by the Design Museum for Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre

    Awarded 2016 Royal Gold Medal, the first woman to be awarded the prestigious honour in her own right.

    Zaha Hadid dies in Miami aged 65, following a sudden heart attack

    That's quite a life, quite a list of accomplishments.

    Yet on the day she dies, a US puppet over the Iraqi government can't even think of one woman to nominate for his Cabinet?

    And Hillary Clinton, running to be president of the United States and claiming to be a defender of women, spends all day fretting over statements from blowhard Donald Trump instead of calling out the continued assault on Iraqi women?

    Other losers?

    The Iraqi people and democracy.

    Iraq does deserve a new cabinet.

    But one named by a new prime minister.

    A new prime minister who results from national elections -- which were due by 2014 but still have not taken place.

    No elections, just bombs.

    The US Defense Dept announced/claimed today:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Rocket artillery and attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 25 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike damaged an ISIL defensive fighting position.
    -- Near Haditha, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
    -- Near Hit, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL safe house and destroyed two ISIL supply caches, 15 ISIL rockets, three ISIL bunkers and an ISIL tunnel.
    -- Near Kirkuk, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL assembly areas and an ISIL beddown location.
    -- Near Mosul, eight strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units, destroying three ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL beddown location, two ISIL safe houses and an ISIL fighting position and suppressing two ISIL mortar firing positions.
    -- Near Qayyarah, four strikes struck an ISIL improvised explosive device factory and an ISIL communications facility, destroying an ISIL mortar position and denying ISIL access to terrain.
    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, four strikes destroyed four ISIL assembly areas, five ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL tunnel system and an improvised ISIL ferry system.
    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike struck an ISIL communications facility.
    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use.

    Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, officials added.

    In the US, one candidate supported the Iraq War -- Hillary Clinton.

    And her vote for the war is not  a minor issue even all these years later.

  • "The corporate owned media who sold us the war are trying to sell us the candidate who voted for it"-Rosario Dawson !

  • of Hillary surrogates saying the American people are past the war vote when we're still paying for it.

  • ADDED: The following community sites updated:

  • Thursday, March 31, 2016

    It's all about the money

    Joseph Kishore (WSWS) reports:
    Financial contributions for Democratic and Republican candidates running in the US presidential elections surged past $1 billion by the end of last month, shattering comparable figures for previous elections. A huge proportion of this money has come from a handful of super-wealthy donors who have taken advantage of the elimination of restraints on donations to “Super PACs” associated with individual campaigns.
    According to data compiled by the Campaign Finance Institute and reported yesterday by USA Today, the sums of money raised so far are more than twice the $402.7 million raised during the last presidential election in 2012, through the end of February. In 2008, the last year when both parties had contested primaries, election spending was at $812 million through the same period.
    Super PACs, which are free to raise unlimited funds following the 2010 Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court, account for nearly 40 percent of fundraising, up from 22 percent in 2012.

    According to USA Today, 108 individuals, companies and groups have contributed at least $1 million to super PACs, for a combined total of $232 million. That is, just over 100 individuals have contributed more than half of all donations to Super PACs and nearly a quarter of financing for the election as a whole. 

    Don't let anyone tell you that it's not all about the money.

    Also don't forget that public financing of elections was killed by Barack Obama.

    In 2004, John Kerry floated not going with public financing for the general election and the public pushed back.


    So he dropped it.

    In 2008, Barack refused to use public financing -- thereby destroying the only election reform we really had in the US when it comes to campaign money.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Wednesday, March 30, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, a US general embraces the killer of US troops, Iraq still has no legitimate government, the White House finally releases a plan or 'plan' for addressing the Islamic State, and much more.

    On the 13th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, another US service member died in Iraq.  As the month of March draws to a close, Timothy Whiteman (WILMINGTON CONSERVATIVE EXAMINER) reports:

    The earthly remains of Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, USMC, have been returned home to California. As reported by KABC-TV of Los Angeles on Mar. 28, 2016, the fallen Leatherneck will nonetheless receive a hero's welcome in the Southern California town of Temecula, albeit a sad one.
    The small town on the edge of California's High Desert region will honor their hometown hero with a public viewing this Friday at the Temecula City Hall Town Square. Mayor Mike Naggar in a statement, "Temecula is deeply saddened to learn that one of our hometown high school graduates, who grew up to be the bravest of warriors, died protecting our Nation's freedoms. Cardin is forever a hero to Temecula and to our Nation."

    March 19th, Liz Sly and Mustafa Salim (WASHINGTON POST) explained:

    A senior Iraqi army officer in Makhmour said two rockets landed about 8:20 a.m. Saturday on the U.S. camp, a small, closely guarded facility where American advisers have been based for several months helping Iraqi army and peshmerga forces battle Islamic State fighters nearby and preparing for an offensive to recapture the key Iraqi city of Mosul.
    Kim Henderson (DAILY LEADER) notes Louis Cardin:

    Back at home, Cardin was kown as "Louie," the second-youngest of eight siblings, a military-minded guy who joined the Marines in 2006 just two days after graduating from his Temecula, California, high school.  So while his former classmates moved into dorms that fall, Louis moved into dorms that fall, Louis moved into a different mold -- that of a field artilleryman.  He was following in the footsteps of his two grandfathers and an older brother, Vincent, who told reporters that Louis would have turned 28 next month.  Vincent said he and Louis had recently been messaging via Facebook about getting their mother a ring for her birthday, one containing all the siblings' birthstones.
    Mary Pat, mother of Cardin brood, has waved away offers of condolences, preferring instead to speak of her years with Louis as a gift.  She's aware that President Obama publicly acknowledged her son's death during his visit to Cuba, but says her Louie would have wanted the attention deflected from himself and directed instead toward his fellow Marines.  That's why the two care packages Mary Pat was preparing to send to her son -- filled with desert essentials like baby wipes and over-the-calf socks -- will be sent to other recipients.  "That's what he'd want," she told The Press Enterprise, a Riverside, California, newspaper.

    And no one can tell you why Cardin died.

    To protect Iraq?

    What Iraq?

    The government that is no more?

    In March 2010, national elections were held.

    There is no one in the national government today who legitimately holds office.  From Iraq's Constitution:

    Article 54:
    First: The electoral term of the Council of Representatives shall be limited to four calendar years, starting with its first session and ending with the conclusion of the fourth year.

    Second: The new Council of Representatives shall be elected forty-five days before the conclusion of the previous electoral term.

    Get it?

    Their terms expired in 2014.

    It's 2016.

    The country being helped or 'helped' has refused to hold elections.

    This isn't a representative government or one that even cares enough to look that way.

    This is an abusive and non-responsive government which refuses to abide by accountability.

    This is why US troops have been sent to die in Iraq?

    To defend this joke of a government?

    And today, US President Barack Obama just made things worse.

    Background comes via Human Rights Watch, here they are discussing Iraq's 'popular mobilization forces' -- Shi'ite militias:

    Mostly Shia militias fighting ISIS, such as Badr Brigades, League of the Righteous, or Imam Ali Battalions, carried out widespread and systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular, demolishing homes and shops in recaptured Sunni areas.
    Militia fighters as well as Iraqi security forces in late August 2014 succeeded in driving ISIS fighters from the Shia Turkmen and Sunni Arab town of Amerli and subsequently raided several dozen neighboring Sunni villages driven by revenge and expelled Sunni Iraqis to alter the area’s demographic. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters told Human Rights Watch of 47 villages that Shia forces methodically destroyed. Raids included looting, burning, and demolition by explosives, as well as the abduction of at least 11 local men.
    After recapturing Tikrit in March 2015, militia forces torched and blew up hundreds of buildings and destroyed large sections of neighboring al-Dur, al-Bu ‘Ajil, and southern al-Alam. Militias also forcibly disappeared some 200 men and boys.

    Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) also carried out, or failed to prevent, destruction of Arab homes and looting of shops in areas recaptured from ISIS. Witnesses implicated Peshmerga forces in the wholescale destruction of the village of Barzan, in Zumar district, in September 2014, as well as in nearby Bardiya town, where KRG forces, at a minimum, allowed Kurdish civilians to raze Arab houses.

    Okay, so US troops are on the ground in Iraq to protect the innocent civilians from these Shi'ite militias?


    The US military is now hugging and dry humping these forces.

    Ali Mamouri (AL-MONITOR) reports:

    On March 12, US Consul General Steve Walker visited Al-Sadr Teaching Hospital in Basra to pay his respects to wounded members of the Popular Mobilization Units. The visit marked the first time a US official has publicly met these troops. This is particularly remarkable as until now, the official US position toward the Popular Mobilization Units was negative, and the United States had even demanded that the Iraqi government prevent the forces from taking part in the operations to liberate some areas, such as the city of Ramadi in Anbar, that were freed without their participation by US request.
    Walker made it clear that the trip was not just a courtesy visit. Accompanied by TV stations such as the US-based Alhurra, which broadcast the visit and his remarks in Arabic, Walker said, “The US recognizes the important contribution of the Popular Mobilization Units under the command of Prime Minister [Haider al-Abadi], and most of the Popular Mobilization troops came from the south. This is why I would like to express my condolences to the people of Basra and the south who have lost their loved ones or friends in the war against the Islamic State.”
    Walker expressed his solidarity with the wounded, who welcomed his visit. He told them, “The US and Iraqi people are very, very proud of you.” 

    General Steve Walker is dry humping these Shi'ite forces?

    If you're not getting how disgusting this is, you're not familiar with these forces and what they've done to US forces in the not-so-long ago past.

    For just one example, we'll drop back to the June 9, 2009 snapshot:

    This morning the New York Times' Alissa J. Rubin and Michael Gordon offered "U.S. Frees Suspect in Killing of 5 G.I.'s." Martin Chulov (Guardian) covered the same story, Kim Gamel (AP) reported on it, BBC offered "Kidnap hope after Shia's handover" and Deborah Haynes contributed "Hope for British hostages in Iraq after release of Shia militant" (Times of London). The basics of the story are this. 5 British citizens have been hostages since May 29, 2007. The US military had in their custody Laith al-Khazali. He is a member of Asa'ib al-Haq. He is also accused of murdering five US troops. The US military released him and allegedly did so because his organization was not going to release any of the five British hostages until he was released. This is a big story and the US military is attempting to state this is just diplomacy, has nothing to do with the British hostages and, besides, they just released him to Iraq. Sami al-askari told the New York Times, "This is a very sensitive topic because you know the position that the Iraqi government, the U.S. and British governments, and all the governments do not accept the idea of exchanging hostages for prisoners. So we put it in another format, and we told them that if they want to participate in the political process they cannot do so while they are holding hostages. And we mentioned to the American side that they cannot join the political process and release their hostages while their leaders are behind bars or imprisoned." In other words, a prisoner was traded for hostages and they attempted to not only make the trade but to lie to people about it. At the US State Dept, the tired and bored reporters were unable to even broach the subject. Poor declawed tabbies. Pentagon reporters did press the issue and got the standard line from the department's spokesperson, Bryan Whitman, that the US handed the prisoner to Iraq, the US didn't hand him over to any organization -- terrorist or otherwise. What Iraq did, Whitman wanted the press to know, was what Iraq did. A complete lie that really insults the intelligence of the American people. CNN reminds the five US soldiers killed "were: Capt. Brian S. Freeman, 31, of Temecula, California; 1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz, 25, of Verdon, Nebraska; Spc. Johnathan B. Chism, 22, of Gonzales, Louisiana; Pfc. Shawn P. Falter, 25, of Cortland, New York; and Pfc. Johnathon M. Millican, 20, of Trafford, Alabama." Those are the five from January 2007 that al-Khazali and his brother Qais al-Khazali are supposed to be responsible for the deaths of. Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Robert H. Reid (AP) states that Jonathan B. Chism's father Danny Chism is outraged over the release and has declared, "They freed them? The American military did? Somebody needs to answer for it."

    That's the League of Righteous.

    That's who US General Steve Walker 'paid his respects' to.

    They killed US soldiers.

    And now Walker has, on behalf of the US government and military, 'honored' them with praise.

    Why are US forces in Iraq?

    To die for an illegitimate government and to hug the very militias that killed other US troops.

    As if to make clear how fake and phony the entire operation is, the White House (finally) delivered to Congress a "Strategy for the Middle East and to Counter Violent Extremism."  PDF format warning, click here for the seven page document.

    Despite invoking phrases like "whole of government approach," it's just bomb, bomb, shoot, shoot.

    There's no diplomatic effort and this is the most the seven page paper can offer that doesn't involve the military:

    In Iraq, we are pressing the Government of Iraq regularly to institute political reforms that promote reconciliation and inclusive governance. We are also working with the Government of Iraq to assist with stabilization and reconstruction in liberated areas. Finally, we are also leading an effort to organize financial support for Iraq, so that Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) can continue operations against ISIL notwithstanding depressed oil prices.

    It's always about oil, isn't it?

    Even cuter, "we are pressing the Government of Iraq regularly to institute political reforms that promote . . ."

    There is no government of Iraq.

    And forget political reforms, how about holding a damn election, one that's now nearly two years overdue?

    Quit pretending, quit fake assing.

    Republican Paul Ryan is the Speaker of the US House of Representatives.  His office issued the following in response to the White House plan or 'plan:'

    This is not a real plan to defeat ISIS
    On the eve of Easter weekend, the Obama administration quietly released its whopping seven-page, one-month-late “plan” to counter violent extremism and defeat ISIS. No fanfare. No announcement from the president. No campaign to sell this strategy to Congress and the American people. Why? Because this is not a real plan.
    Congress mandated this report to compel the administration to finally present a comprehensive plan to eliminate ISIS. There is little mention of how we’ll work alongside our allies in this fight, or which groups will help us counter violent extremism, or how we’ll develop a capable ground force in Iraq and Syria following disastrous attempts to train and equip vetted factions in both countries.
    This morning, Speaker Ryan discussed the issue further on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America radio show:
    “We are not doing what we need to do to get ISIS. The president we required in law [to] deliver a plan to Congress to defeat ISIS—he was a couple months late in delivering that plan. He just gave it to us a couple of days ago. And I guess you could say that that’s a good thing that he finally gave us a plan. But what was more disheartening and just shocking about it was it was just a recitation of the status quo of what they’re doing—which is even more disturbing to me because it shows me that they are just phoning it in on the war on terror, they’re phoning it on radical Islamic terrorism, and they’re not doing anything near what we need to do. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m going over to the Middle East to talk with our allies who are combating this.”
    As the speaker mentioned, he will travel to the Middle East to discuss the threat posed by ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism with several key allies. House Republicans are serious about strengthening our alliances and confronting these threats. That’s why our Task Force on National Security is working on a specific policy agenda to build a stronger, safer, and more Confident America.

    Ryan's criticisms revolved around the military aspect which he feels are not strong enough.

    There are many points that would back up Ryan's view.

    Chief among them the fact that Barack has now set up the Iraq War as something that will continue beyond his term and be left for the next US president.

    It can also be noted that the 'plan' or plan has the same thing happening over and over -- despite the lack of any noticeable success.

    For example, the US Defense Dept issued the following today:

     Strikes in Iraq
    Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL boat.
    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
    -- Near Hit, three strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL safe house and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas and an ISIL vehicle bomb.
    -- Near Mosul, five strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed six ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL vehicle.
    -- Near Qayyarah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL tunnels and an ISIL assembly area.
    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.
    -- Near Kirkuk, a strike destroyed two ISIL assembly areas.
    -- Near Kisik, a strike destroyed an ISIL assembly area.
    -- Near Makhmur, a strike destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes destroyed an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL fighting position.

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

    They issued it today. 

    And beginning in August of 2014, they've issued it every day.

    And when what you are doing militarily does not work but you instead double down on it -- do the same thing but with increased assets -- what do you get?


    For Paul Ryan, the response is to demand a more robust military plan.

    But that's not going to defeat the Islamic State.

    The group got its foothold in Iraq because the government was persecuting the Sunni people.

    Stop that persecution and you remove the reason for the Islamic State to be in Iraq.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2016

    Hillary The Hypocrite

    Poor hypocrite Hillary.

    Clinton's refusing to debate Bernie Sanders.


    She said he's been campaigning negatively.

    She says that's a broken promise.

    And mean!

    Poor hypocrite Hillary.

    Bernie's campaign is promoting what Hillary said about debates in 2008:

    “You should be willing to debate anytime, anywhere.” — in 2008.

    What a hypocrite.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Tuesday, March 29, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the persecution of Sunnis continue, an illegitimate government continues to rule Iraq, and much more.

    Two US service members are known to have died in the Iraq  War in the last months.

    Dropping back to the October 24, 2015 snapshot:

    Thursday saw the death of yet another person in Iraq -- this time a US citizen.

  • And now dropping back to the March 23rd snapshot:

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

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

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


    Why did they die?

    Why did US President Barack Obama send them and others into Iraq?

    To help Iraq?

    He said, before he sent US troops in, that the only answer for Iraq was a political solution.

    But there has been no political solution.

    More to the point, there is no legitimate government.

    Yes, Barack forced Nouri al-Maliki to step down as prime minister before the end of his term.

    Yes, Barack backed Haider al-Abadi to be the new prime minister.

    But we're not talking about that.

    Iraq has no legitimate government.

    This is from Iraq's Constitution:

    Article 54:
    First: The electoral term of the Council of Representatives shall be limited to four calendar years, starting with its first session and ending with the conclusion of the fourth year.

    Second: The new Council of Representatives shall be elected forty-five days before the conclusion of the previous electoral term.

    Do you get it?

    Because the White House really, really hopes you don't.

    Nouri's term should have ended in November of 2014.

    Since Haider replaced Nouri, Haider's term should have ended in November of 2014.

    Haider is no longer a member of Parliament.

    There are legally no members of Parliament* because their four year term expired in November of 2014.

    [*We can argue this all you want but when Tareq al-Hashemi was Vice President from 2005 to 2010 and before he (and anyone else) was named to the posts following the 2010 elections, he was visiting other countries to promote investment and business in Iraq and Nouri objected and insisted that Tareq was not a vice president because his term had expired.  Nouri's understanding/view was not disputed by the press, they treated it as gospel.  So if that was the case then, it's the case now.]

    The current Parliament held their first official session November 11, 2010.  So if we're generous, we can argue their term expired in November 11, 2014.

    It's March 29, 2016.

    There is no legitimate government in Iraq nor any legal one.

    Where are the elections?

    Per the Constitution, they should have taken place over a year ago.

    Where are the elections?

    And how can Barack justify sending US troops into the failed state of Iraq when it doesn't even have a government?

    At the very least, he should have made any troops being sent in, any aid -- weapons or dollars conditional upon free and fair elections.

    Iraq is a failed state.

    The US troops are in Iraq to prop up the illegitimate government of Iraq.

    In what world is this acceptable?

    In the United States, elections are not postponed.

    9/11 did not result in a loss of elections nor, for that matter, did the American Civil War.

    What is Iraq's excuse?

    As we asked in yesterday's snapshot, where are the elections?

    We know where US troops are -- in Iraq with more to be deployed shortly.

    Thomas Gaist (WSWS) observes:

    In 2014, at the outset of the latest US Iraq war, known as “Operation Inherent Resolve,” the Obama administration vowed that the US intervention would be limited to air strikes and a minimal ground role, restricted to small numbers of “advisors” embedded with Iraqi units.
    During the nearly two years of escalating US operations that followed, these promises have been continuously rolled back. A familiar pattern has emerged, whereby the US military chiefs periodically announce, without any suggestion that the civilian administration has been consulted or even informed, their plans for an imminent expansion of the quality and role of US forces in the war.
    Last June, the Pentagon unveiled plans for the indefinite stationing of US ground forces throughout Iraq in a network of “lily pad” bases. In December, Secretary Carter announced the deployment of a Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) “expeditionary targeting force,” essentially a small army of lavishly funded and equipped commando units specializing in assassination, kidnapping, and other black operations.
    The US moves toward larger ground operations have proceeded beneath a relentless bombing campaign. US-led coalition planes have pummeled Iraq with more than 7,336 strikes since the beginning of the air war in August 2014.
    The American military violence being inflicted upon Iraq in the name of fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is part of a decades-long assault on the country.

    And the pummeling of Iraq continued today with the US Defense Dept announcing/claiming/boasting:

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack aircraft conducted four strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Hit, two strikes struck an ISIL bed-down location and an ISIL safe house.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed two ISIL assembly areas and suppressed an ISIL machine gun position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed three ISIL assembly areas.

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

    Turning to other violence, Al Jazeera reports:

    The armed group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in central Baghdad that police said killed seven people and wounded 27.
    The blast occurred on Tuesday near a gathering of workers in Tayaran Square, about a kilometre from a sit-in held by supporters of influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to demand political reforms.

    Meanwhile, Moqtada's rally behind Haider position appears to be wavering:

  • While Haider stands in danger of losing support from his fellow Shi'ites, he's done nothing to reach out to the long persecuted Sunni community.

  • One of the many reasons the Sunni youth join the Tyranny of the Rafidah Snakes

  • Iraqi Sunni civilians arrested by Shia militias without guilt or charge

  • Haider has become not just the failed leader of a failed state but the illegitimate leader as well.  When will Iraq hold elections?  When will it follow the country's Constitution?