Friday, June 01, 2018


Is there anything more irritating than the FACEBOOK commercial?  I don't know which parts worse, the notion that 'we' have had growing pains or the fact that they use the smarmy voice of some young man to reassure us.

Something you should watch?

THE DAMNED DON'T CRY.  An e-mail asked what my favorite black & white film was but, before I could even reply, he ended with, "And don't say THE APARTMENT!"

I do love THE APARTMENT.  :D  It's a great film, Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon are wonderful, Billy Wilder does a great job.

I love many other black and white films but I would probably toss out THE DAMNED DON'T CRY.

It's a film noir directed by a great film maker, Vincent Sherman.  It's got a first rate cast headed by Joan Crawford. Crawford's often under-estimated as an actress.  Yes, she was a movie star but she could also act.  You don't start working in films back when they were silent movies and become a star and then remain one for several decades without real talent.  This is a role she can play.  She's a mother who loses her child and ends up moving to the big city where she wants more and more and more and will do anything -- or any man -- to fulfill her needs.  Joan goes all out with her performance -- but without chewing the scenery.  It's brave and honest and probably my favorite Joan Crawford film.

Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck really were the first women of film noir.  They made many classic film noirs.  (Joan even won the Academy Award for one, MILDRED PIERCE.)

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, May 31, 2018.

I met a guy from Iraq yesterday. Very kind. He said before 2003 it wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty darn good, beautiful. I nonchalantly said “Don’t worry it’ll come back.” He looked at me and said in a somber tone “It can’t. Nothing’s left.” NO MORE UNNECESSARY WAR

Iraq held elections May 12th.  There has been a strong effort to destroy the legitimacy of them.

An example?  This Tweet.

The head of the United Nations Mission in Iraq , has demanded a recount in a number of areas including Kirkuk.

Jan Kubis demanded a recount?  Really?  Because "demand" is a pretty strong word.

And Jan appeared before the United Nations Security Council yesterday to brief them on Iraq.

On 12 May 2018 – within the constitutional time-frame- Iraq held elections to its national parliament, the Council of Representatives. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, after the close of the polls, noted that τhe country held the elections on time, that people were able to cast their votes and select their representatives freely and safely and that the liberated areas witnessed a free voting process for the first time after the victory of the Iraqi forces and the defeat of [the Islamic State].
The Secretary-General on 13 May congratulated the people of Iraq on the holding of parliamentary elections and stated that following the military defeat of [the Islamic State], the elections represent further progress in building a stronger Iraqi democracy. He saluted the tireless efforts of electoral officials, party agents and the security forces in making the elections largely peaceful and orderly.
Following the elections, international partners, including the governments of Kuwait, Qatar, Iran, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, United Kingdom, and European Union also congratulated the Iraqi people.
Madame President,
The elections held in a generally calm and stable environment were marked by a low voter turnout: the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) informed about the participation of 44.52%, just 10.8 million out of 24.3 million eligible voters, a significant decrease in comparison with previous national elections in Iraq after 2003. The new parliament will also witness a massive turn-over - according to the preliminary results less than 100 of the over 300 incumbent MPs have secured their place in the new Council of Representatives (CoR). The decision by more than half of the voting population not to exercise their democratic right sends a strong signal to the elites ruling the country since 2003. I urge the Iraqi political elites to draw the necessary conclusions on the need for improved representation, justice for all, democratic accountability and good governance void of corruption, sectarian quota system, nepotism and patronage.
I also urge political leaders to ensure the full participation of women in negotiations on the formation of the next ruling coalition and the government, and their representation at the highest levels in Iraq’s political and decision-making structures in the parliament and the government as pledged by many political leaders in the election campaign.
Madame President,
Following the closure of the polls and the announcement of the preliminary results, many Iraqi political leaders publicly endorsed the electoral process including the Prime Minister and the President. They continue to urge a timely conduct and conclusion of the complaint process, certification and acceptance of the results, and speeding-up of the formation of the new government, within the constitutional timeline and in accordance with relevant legal procedures. Some other political forces and leaders have raised concerns over some of the technical shortfalls encountered with the electronic vote tabulation devices, as well as reports of fraud and vote rigging, active intimidation of voters including by some armed formations, and political interference. They have demanded the recount of votes in some governorates, the annulment of results of out of country voting and voting of the IDPs, and even fresh elections. Amidst questions about the legality of their decisions, including from the IHEC, on 28 May the Council of Representatives voted to request the IHEC to undertake the manual counting of 10 per cent of the ballot boxes that could trigger the manual counting of all the ballots in case of a discrepancy of 25 percent and above. It also requested cancellation of the Out of Country and IDP voting.
On 24 May, the Council of Ministers (CoM) decided to form a High Commission to investigate reports and documents pertaining to the elections. The High Commission already referred the IHEC to the Integrity Commission, a move rejected by the IHEC as an interference in its independence.
Six Kurdistani parties have questioned the credibility of the electoral process in the Kurdistan region and have been calling for a recount of the votes in the Kurdistan governorates, and even for the re-run of the elections. On the other hand, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan have announced their satisfaction with the outcome of the elections and their intention to start dialogue on coalition building with political parties in Baghdad.
In Kirkuk governorate – one of several hotspots of complaints - the situation remains volatile, with Turkmen and Arab parties, demanding manual recounting of the election results while the IHEC has complained that they have obstructed their work.
On 17 May, I called on the Electoral Commission to act expeditiously and seriously to address all complaints including, as necessary, the conduct of a partial manual recount in selected locations, notably in Kirkuk. I stressed the importance of undertaking such measures in full transparency, witnessed by stakeholders, to strengthen confidence in the process. I also called on all political actors to uphold the peace and to remain committed to resolving any electoral disputes through the established legal channels.
We urge the independent electoral management bodies to adjudicate all appeals properly, fully and in time, to enable corrections of the problems, justice and the timely certification of the final election results. I also wish to highlight the readiness and availability of United Nations electoral advice and expertise, in support of any activities and measures that may be required to retain confidence in the process, also in the light of the forthcoming Provincial Council elections across Iraq on 22 December and Kurdistan Regional elections on 30 September this year.
Given the controversies around the CoR elections, the regional Kurdistan High Electoral and Referendum Commission has decided not to use electronic vote tabulation machines. UNAMI stands ready to advise and support that electoral process.

I'm sorry, where in the above does he call for a recount -- let alone "demand" one?  He doesn't.

Nor does UNAMI imply he does.

UN Representative says elections were held in generally calm and stable environment, urges calm as electoral appeals are being adjudicated through established legal channels Press Release:

The United Nations -- with or without Jan -- does not demand recounts.  Why is that so difficult for KIRKUKNOW to grasp?  Or is it that they do grasp it but figure most people will read their Tweet, see the photo and have no idea this was a regular update to the UN Security Council?

The efforts to discredit the results of the elections is troubling many.  The current prime minister Hayder al-Abadi has insisted -- as have many Iraqi legal experts -- that any questioning of the elections must take place in court because Parliament has no jurisdiction over the results.  The Constitution requires Parliament to pass an election law.  That is it for them the election.  After the election is over, they are supposed to seat and name a president and then a prime minister designate is named who has 30 days to form a Cabinet (that's nominate each Cabinet member and have each approved by the Parliament in thirty days).

Displeasure with the results does not allow for rewriting the country's Constitution.

Iraqi president Fuad Masum: Annulling election results, ordering manual recount ‘unconstitutional’

The results are the results and politicians should focus on forming a government.  It's May 31st.  How long are they planning to take?  In 2010, it took over eight months to form a government. 

Who did you think you were fooling
Said you were missing me blind
But the truth is I knew you were lying
You were using me time after time

When people lie about what the UN did or did not say, it's obvious that more than a few believe they can fool others.  "I can live without you," Tina Turner sings on "When The Heartache Is Over" and that's certainly true of the Iraqi people who've seen politicians put forward their own interests while ignoring the Iraqi people.

Still on the elections . . .

congress designating Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq militias as a terrorist group, but i wonder if is aware of that Asa'ib got 15 seats in elections? US policy is worth to worry about in .

Who is the "US"?  The government?  The people?

The US media has done very little but cover the "shock" over Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr's victory.  Even that coverage has been vastly limited.  Americans who know anything about the elections are most likely to know about Moqtada's victory but most probably are unaware that elections even took place earlier this month.  It was not a 'big' story in the media.

That's why we need licensing for all channels.  This was almost an issue on Laura Flanders' AIR AMERICA radio show last decade.  A listener had a question regarding the cable channels and what could be done in terms of bringing them to the same terms as broadcast.  But the FCC Commissioner (one we applauded on the left) was such an idiot he couldn't get the question and instead went off on 'decency standards.'

But there does need to be some overseeing body.  Not for 'decency' or other nonsense.

The US is at war.  There are US troops in Iraq.  Tons of dollars -- taxpayer dollars -- have been sent to Iraq.  But the media doesn't feel Iraq is a story to cover?  In what world?

Licensing of some form could force, for example, MSNBC talk shows to address the topic of Iraq.  That might not be a good thing considering the output on MSNBC but at least the average American would be aware that US troops remain in Iraq.

In terms of the Congressional delegation, Bryant Harris (AL-MONITOR) reports:

The House of Representatives unanimously voted last week on legislation requiring President Donald Trump to sanction “persons that are officials, agents, affiliates of or owned and controlled by” two prominent Iran-backed militias that operate in Iraq and Syria. The amendment from Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, to a must-pass annual defense authorization bill targets Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, both of which are part of the Shiite-led Popular Mobilization Units battling the Islamic State.
Both militias joined with other Iran-backed military forces as part of the Fatah, or Conquest, political coalition, which came in second in the May 12 elections with 47 out of 329 parliamentary seats. Asaib Ahl al-Haq won 14 of those 47 seats, according to Iraq analyst Kirk Sowell, while Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba did not field any candidates.
“The US Department of Treasury will ultimately determine if the political wing constitutes an affiliate or entity controlled by” Asaib Ahl al-Haq, a Poe aide told Al-Monitor. “Congressman Poe believes [Asaib Ahl al-Haq] will likely be subject to these penalties unless it completely breaks all ties with the armed wing, renounces violence and acts solely as [an] Iraqi political party with no backing from Iran.”
“Political parties are about engaging in peaceful civil discourse, not about representing armed thugs who commit violent atrocities to achieve political ends,” the aide added.

The AL-MONITOR article leaves some questionable impressions -- intentionally or not.  First, this, at present, has nothing to do with Donald Trump (president of the US).  This has nothing to do with the Senate at present.  The House of Representatives unanimously voted -- that's pretty clear.  If anyone's confused, that means every member of the House present voted for it -- regardless of party identification.

The article also talks about (some of the) past history of Asaib Ahl al-Haq.

This isn't past.

November 25th, six months ago, Asaib Ahl al-Haq made clear that they saw US troops in Iraq as the enemy and that, with ISIS defeated, US troops should leave and those who did not were worthy targets.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, DISSIDENT VOICE, CCR and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Back brace?

The photo above.  I find it fascinating.

Her hair?  Money hs been spent on it but it looks so ratty.  The face in repose?  It's judgmental and angry.  She's there to scare up votes for Cuomo.  This is her natural face.

The wardrobe?  Green with envy?  What's it trying to say?  

It's clearly concealing something -- is that just a back brace?

Has Hillary had yet another spill?

After the video of her overseas repeatedly slipping and looking drunk, is she keep quiet about a more recent injury because her alcoholism has become a topic of discussion?

I don't know.

But that is a fascinating photo.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, May 30, 2018.  The nonsense never ends.  Far too many participation trophies have been handed out and far too little accountability has taken place.

They think they know what they're talking about -- because someone put a gun in their hand.

But they don't.

Iraq War veteran Pat Ryan is running for Congress. He’s calling for an assault weapons ban: “The weapons that I carried in combat for 27 months should not be on our streets. Period.”
0:16 / 1:02

Tell you what, Patty Cakes Ryan, when you get smart enough to grasp that you shouldn't have been carrying those weapons on the streets of Iraq or even been in that country, maybe then you'll have something to share.

Right now?

You don't know a damn thing.  Doesn't mean you won't get elected -- ignorance is one of the chief qualifications for Congress.

Iraq didn't attack the US.  The US did attack Iraq.

It'd be great if the Tammy Duckworths and Patty Cakes Ryan and Vote Vets would grasp that they really owe Iraq an apology and need to stop scratching their nuts in public.  

We noted Anne Sexton last night in "Anne Sexton: THE COMPLETE POEMS" and this is her poem "The Firebombers:"

We are America.
We are the coffin fillers.
We are the grocers of death.
We pack them in crates like cauliflowers.

The bomb opens like a shoebox.
And the child?
The child is certainly not yawning.
And the woman?
The woman is bathing her heart.
It has been torn out of her
and because it is burnt
and as a last act
she is rinsing it off in the river.
This is the death market.

where are your credentials?

Tammy and her fellow nut scratchers who feel the need to go on and on about Iraq?  It's about time they started speaking about "Abeer."  They're the ones so proud of what took place in Iraq.  That would include killing and maiming civilians.  It would also include Abeer:  Abeer Qassim Hamza was murdered on March12, 2006 in the town of Mahmoudiyah along with her parents Qassim Hamza Raheem and Fakhriya Taha Muhasen and her five-year-old sister Hadeel Qassim Hamza. Originally, an investigation into their deaths pegged the killer or killers as "insurgents."

14-years-old and gang raped by US soldiers.  14-years-old, gang raped by US soldiers while she hears her parents and her sister killed in the next room by, yes, US soldiers.

I'm sorry, where was #MeToo and Mira and Ashley and all the other fake assees -- especially Ashley who worked both sides of the street when securing jobs but now is astounded that anyone would have ever propositioned her.

Apparently the only lives that matter are forty-something faded starlets who never had the talent they thought and whose efforts to park their work on their boobs -- natural and enhanced -- didn't work out quite the way they thought it would.  No, Mira, no one needed to see you try to play Marilyn Monroe.  You were called out in real time.  At best, you were quirky.  At worst, your looks were kind of repulsive.

But it's all about you, Mira, right?

Not about a 14-year-old girl who was gang-raped by US soldiers.  It was five of them but many observers feel the only one who was forced to pay was Steven Green -- who also happened to be the only one who was out of the military and the only one tried in civilian courts -- as we all know "military justice" is a joke.

Iraq is a country that has been destroyed by the United States.  It had no Weapons of Mass Destruction.  It did not attack the US.  And that the Tammy Duckworths think they can scratch their nuts in public and act like they've accomplished something?

Oh, honey, no.


You destroyed a country.  You were ordered there by the failure of  a government we have here in the United States.  I get that.  And I am sympathetic to you for it.  But stop with your tales of heroism because there are none.  The Iraq War is a crime.  Stop acting like you've got something to brag about.  My heart breaks for you in the abstract but that doesn't mean I act stupid and pretend like you've done something that we need to applaud.

Your government sent you to destroy a country.  That's nothing to brag about.

The US government used chaos -- planned chaos -- to destabilize and destroy Iraq.  The rights of women were destroyed as the US put in charge fundamentalists and cowards.

Picking up on a topic from yesterday's snapshot, the attempts to steal the vote by screaming fraud.  MIDDLE EAST ONLINE explains:

Close to three weeks after parliamentary polls, confusion reigns in Iraq as allegations mount of election fraud even with negotiations to form a government well underway.
Since the May 12 victory of anti-establishment electoral lists, long-time political figures pushed out by Iraqi voters hoping for change have called for a recount -- with some even calling for the poll results to be cancelled.
Iraqi authorities have agreed to review the results, but have yet to take any concrete measures.
Experts say claims of fraud are more likely to stem from frustrated outgoing politicians, rather than any major electoral manipulations in a country determined to turn the page after a brutal three-year fight against the Islamic State group.

The results were surprising to those who repeated the garbage of the US government.  Hayder al-Abadi was a leader!  Iraq had been saved by him!

The votes made clear that wasn't the case.  In fact, collectively, the Iraqi people sang Shania Twain.

Media whores peddled US government lies and assumptions as fact in the lead up to the Iraq War.  That's why they were so shocked.

It's being a Tammy Duckworth and looking at Iraq from far away while imposing your values on the people.

The reality is Hayder allowed the US, Turkey and many other countries to bomb Iraq.  That's nothing that Iraqi people are going to applaud and you really have to have your head up your ass to think otherwise.

Why is this site the only one that can ever ask, "If this happened in the US, would we be thrilled?"

Because instead of common sense, so many operate from the belief that 'those people' should be grateful for whatever we (the US) decides to do.  After 15 years of non-stop war on Iraq, we're apparently still that collectively stupid.

'Liberation' was spun by many in the western media but spin couldn't conceal that Anbar is under siege, not liberated.  There is no liberation.  Mosul remains destroyed and haunted.

In 2017, conflict forced 11.8 million people to flee their homes. Over half of those displaced were in these 5 countries. - Syria: 2.9 million - Iraq: 1.4 million - South Sudan: 857,000 - Philippines: 645,000 - Central African Republic: 539,000 via

There was nothing that Hayder delivered on.  Lives were as bad as they were before he became prime minister (before Barack Obama made him prime minister in 2014).

All elections are local but all the so-called experts in the US couldn't grasp that and thought the Iraqi people would vote not their own interests but what the US thought they should care about.

That's not just stupid, that's not just insulting, it's harmful.

MEMO notes, "Iraqi leader Muqtada Al-Sadr yesterday rejected meddling by both Iran and the United States in the next government which is being formed in the country."  As well he should.  Neither supported him, first of all.  Second, its the will of the Iraqi people that resulted in his victory, that's who he better please and better focus on.

RUDAW reports, "Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi rejected foreign intervention in government formation talks, condemned the electoral commission’s statement of an impending civil war, and said he wouldn’t mind another term."

I'm sure Hayder al-Abadi wouldn't mind another term but that's not what the Iraq people wanted, is it?  Last time the US overruled the Iraqi people in an election?  2010.  They rejected Nouri al-Maliki.  The US wanted Nouri (Samantha Power convinced Barack that Nouri would bring 'stability' which would allow US goals to advance to the front of Iraq).  Barack overturned the votes of the Iraqi people (via The Erbil Agreement) and installed thug Nouri for a second term.  By June of 2014, even Barack had to admit publicly that Nouri was responsible for the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq.

Despite bluster and bravado, the US government holds neither a patent on wisdom nor even a basic grasp on common sense.  This has been repeatedly demonstrated in the Iraq War.

The US would love to have Hayder for another four years.

He did nothing for the Iraqi people but the US government has never been about improving Iraqi lives.  There's propaganda they offer ahead of going to war with Iraq and there's the US government actual actions ever since the start of the war.  It's never been about helping Iraqi people or improving anyone's lives.  It has been about attempting to push an oil & gas law (one Iraqis don't favor but the US government wants).  It has been about putting despots in charge.  It has been about destroying the Iraqi people's way of life.  It's a land of widows and orphans.  Do the Tammy Duckworths honestly believe they accomplished one damn thing to be proud of?

If so, they need professional help.

Hamza Mustafa (ASHARQ AL-AWSAT) reports:
Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission has warned of a potential civil war after the Iraqi parliament decided on Sunday evening to cancel some of the parliamentary elections results and manually recount 10 percent of the votes.
The head of the commission, Riyad al-Badran said that the failure to comply with the official poll results could have dire political repercussions.

On Monday, Iraq’s parliament decided to annul the expatriate vote and recount about 10 percent of all ballots cast due to evidence of fraud.

Poll results from major displacement camps in the Anbar, Salaheddine and Diyala provinces were also canceled.

As Jamal al-Asadi points out, the actions of Parliament are illegal and the courts are the rightful avenue for any determinations.


The following community sites -- plus The ACLU and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS --  updated: