Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Failed Match Up


The Failed Match Up


From August 7, 2011, that's  "The Failed Match Up." 

C.I. wrote:


 A voter explains to Barack, "I really don't care whose fault it is and don't want to hear another hour of that. You're nothing like what I was told. And besides, I thought you'd be taller." Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.


I like to try out different visuals from time to time and that's my Disney version of Barack, FYI.




Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"



Thursday, October 23, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, the US government and the Turkish government clash, Mount Sinjar is not a White House success, and much more.






Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the President of Turkey and he's in the news cycle.  Hugh Naylor and Brian Murphy (Washington Post) report, "Turkey’s president sharpened criticism of U.S. airdrops to aid Syrian Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State, but promised on Thursday that Kurdish reinforcements would soon arrive in the embattled border town of Kobane. [. . .] Erdogan also amplified his criticism of U.S. airdrops to help the Syrian Kurdish fighters, claiming it was blatant interference in Turkish affairs."

In what may have been a retaliation for criticizing the White House publicly,  David Cohen went on the attack against Turkey today.  James Reinl (Rudaw) reports Treasury Undersecretary Cohen declared today that US sanctions will be slapped on Turkey and any "Kudrish middlemen" caught trafficking in 'terrorist' oil.  Cohen stated, "Last month, ISIL was selling oil at substantially discounted prices to a variety of middlemen, including some from Turkey.  It also appears that some of the oil emanating from territory where ISIL operates has been sold to Kurds in Iraq, and then resold into Turkey."

Cohen made his remarks/allegations/threats while speaking at the Carnegie Endowment For International Peace.  In his remarks, he also outlined how the US government believes the Islamic State makes money:


Before turning to the specific steps we are taking, let me take a moment to detail these sources of revenue.
 
First, ISIL has raised a significant amount of its money – many millions of dollars – from selling oil it extracts from fields in Syria and Iraq. 
 
Our best understanding is that ISIL has tapped into a long-standing and deeply rooted black market connecting traders in and around the area. After extracting the oil, ISIL sells it to smugglers who, in turn, transport the oil outside of ISIL’s strongholds.  These smugglers move oil in a variety of ways, from relatively sizeable tankers to smaller containers.
 
We also understand that ISIL controls oil refineries of various sizes and output capacities, and earns some revenue from the sale of refined petroleum products. 
 
So who, ultimately, is buying this oil?  According to our information, as of last month, ISIL was selling oil at substantially discounted prices to a variety of middlemen, including some from Turkey, who then transported the oil to be resold.  It also appears that some of the oil emanating from territory where ISIL operates has been sold to Kurds in Iraq, and then resold into Turkey.  And in a further indication of the Asad regime’s depravity, it seems the Syrian government has made an arrangement to purchase oil from ISIL. 
 
It is difficult to get precise revenue estimates on the value to ISIL of these transactions in light of the murky nature of the market, but we estimate that beginning in mid-June, ISIL has earned approximately $1 million a day from oil sales. 
 
There are good indications, however, that recent coalition military efforts have begun to impair ISIL’s ability to generate revenue from oil smuggling.  Airstrikes on ISIL oil refineries are threatening ISIL’s supply networks and depriving it of fuel to sell or use itself.  Moreover, our partners in the region, including Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government, are committed to preventing ISIL-derived oil from crossing their borders. Last week, the International Energy Agency reported that ISIL’s ability to produce, refine and smuggle oil had been significantly hampered.
 
Second, ISIL also kidnaps innocent civilians to profit from ransoms paid to obtain their release.
 
ISIL did not pioneer kidnapping for ransom – it has been around for thousands of years.  And other terrorist organizations, including al Qa’ida’s affiliates in Yemen and north Africa, also rely on ransom payments as a key revenue source.  As I have said before, kidnapping for ransom is one of the most significant terrorist financing threats today.  For ISIL, these ransom payments are irregular, but each one can be a significant boon.  This spring, ISIL released captured journalists and other hostages from several European countries.  In return, according to press reports, ISIL received several multi-million dollar payments.  All in all, ISIL has taken at least $20 million in ransoms this year. 
 
Third, like its predecessor, al Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), ISIL raises money – up to several million dollars per month – through a sophisticated extortion racket.  In Iraq and Syria, ISIL extracts payments from those who pass through, conduct business in, or simply seek to live in the territory where it operates. 
 
In the Iraqi city of Mosul, for instance, accounts have surfaced of ISIL terrorists going home-to-home, business-to-business, demanding cash at gunpoint.  A grocery store owner who refused to pay was warned with a bomb outside his shop.  Others who have not paid have seen their relatives kidnapped.  Religious minorities have been forced to pay special tributes.  We’ve also seen reports that when customers make cash withdrawals from local banks where ISIL operates, ISIL has demanded as much as ten percent of the value. 
 
Make no mistake: This is not taxation in return for services or even for real protection.  It is theft, pure and simple.  The money ISIL pilfers is being exchanged not for a guarantee of safety but for the temporary absence of harm.
 
Fourth, ISIL also profits from a range of other criminal activities.  They rob banks.  They lay waste to thousands of years of civilization in Iraq and Syria by looting and selling antiquities.  They steal livestock and crops from farmers.  And despicably, they sell abducted girls and women as sex slaves. 
 

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, ISIL derives some funding from wealthy donors.  Even though ISIL currently does not rely heavily on external donor networks, it maintains important links to financiers in the Gulf, as a spate of Treasury designations last month made clear. 


Cohen's accusations against Turkey don't detract from what Erdogan stated today.  On that, Anatoul Agency adds:

Turkey criticized the U.S. for its military aid to the outlawed Kurdish Democratic Union Party on Monday, saying that would mean arming "terrorists," Erdogan recalled at the press conference.
"Why is Kobani so important? Where were the rest of the world while Daraa, Idlib, Hama or Homs was burning?" Erdogan asked.
"There are no civilians left in Kobani, only about 2,000 PYD fighters," he added, using an abbreviation for the Kurdish party. 
The Kurdish Democratic Union Party is affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has waged a decades-long separatist fight with the Turkish army. The PKK is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.


For Turkey, the Kurdish question has long been an issue.

Internally, Turkey has a long history of suppressing Kurds and while Erdogen has made overtures in recent years, the oppression continues.

Along with overtures to Kurds in Turkey -- many of whom want their own country, Erdogen has also, with Kurdistan Regional President Massoud Barzani, formed a working partnership with the KRG.

The KRG is the closest thing Kurds around the world have to their own country.  The KRG is a group of provinces in northern Iraq which border Turkey.  Many Kurds in Iraq would prefer that the semi-autonomous KRG become fully autonomous.

For years, this has been a fear -- a big one -- for the Turkish government which has worried that should the KRG become fully autonomous it would lead the Kurds in Turkey to strengthen their demands for autonomy.

On the Turkish government, Con Coughlin (Telegraph of London) explains:


The Turks’ reluctance to get behind the military effort against IS is based on two concerns, both of which put Ankara fundamentally at odds with the objectives of its Nato partners. The first is Turkey’s aim in Syria’s brutal civil war to see Assad overthrown and replaced by an Islamic government with a similar outlook to that of its own President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Until last year this was not a problem, as Britain and America and Ankara shared a common goal regarding Assad. But the West’s priorities have changed dramatically since the heady days of late August 2013 when President Obama and David Cameron made their ill-fated attempt to garner support for air strikes against Damascus.
These days, the West’s priority is to defeat the Islamist militants who oppose the Assad regime. Claims that the Turks are actively supporting IS fighters with arms and training indicates that there now exists a sharp divergence between Turkey’s priorities in the conflict and those of the western powers.
The plight of the Kurds is the other bone of contention between Turkey and Nato. Denying Kurdish aspirations for full independence is hard-wired into the DNA of Ankara’s political establishment, to the extent that the Turks, as shown in Kobane, would prefer to see a town overrun by IS rather than have the Kurds prevail.

While obstacles remain there, the US Defense Dept wants everyone to know they are shoulder-to-shoulder with Iraq.  Via spokesperson Rear Adm John Kirby, the Pentagon released the following today:

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke via telephone with the Iraqi Minister of Defense Khaled al Obeidi today. Secretary Hagel congratulated the newly-appointed Defense Minister and underscored his support for the Minister's counterterrorism pursuits.
Secretary Hagel emphasized the importance of rebuilding the Iraqi Security Forces in a way that engenders trust and confidence among the armed forces personnel and the Iraqi people.
The two talked about ways to train, equip and prepare the Iraqi Security forces for upcoming offensives against ISIL and Minister Obeidi expressed his appreciation for U.S. advisors and airstrikes. Both Secretary Hagel and Minister Obeidi promised to continue to work closely together to pursue mutual security objectives.




As Barack Obama's nonplan continues in Iraq, there are whispers of another plan (a post-mid-term election one).   Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) reported yesterday that the White House thinks it has another 'plan' for addressing the Islamic State in Iraq.  This one would be termed a "battle plan" and a sure sign of its weakness can be found in the belief that it will take place "gradually."  DeYoung explains:


The plan, described as methodical and time-consuming, will not begin in earnest for several months and is designed to ensure that Iraqi forces­ do not overextend themselves before they are capable of taking and holding territory controlled by the militants.

It may also include U.S. advisers in the field with the Iraqis, should that be recommended by American military commanders, said the official, who updated reporters on administration strategy on the condition of anonymity under rules imposed by the White House. The advisers, the official said, would not participate in combat. President Obama has said repeatedly that no U.S. ground forces would be deployed to Iraq.

You can be sure that the "may"s will disappear after the start of the next month when Barack will no longer have to worry about the immediate voter fallout.
Bill Van Auken (WSWS) offers:

And, as for Obama’s promise about no “ground forces,” this term is used in a manner that does not apply to special operations troops, advisers and other smaller units, but rather to the deployment of full combat brigades.
The announcement that the topic was discussed by US and Iraqi officials almost certainly indicates that preparations are being made to substantially increase the number of US military personnel deployed in Iraq, which, according to official figures, now stands at over 1,400.



Leaving what's around the corner to take a look at what's on the road now, Lolita C. Baldor (AP) notes, "The Pentagon says Iraq's new defense minister says his troops will go on the offensive against Islamic State militants who have taken over large sections of the country."

They'll go on the offensive, will they?


Anytime soon?

Sunday, World Bulletin noted the Iraqi military's efforts to retake Baiji ended when a bomb blew up "an armored vehicle" killing 4 Iraqi soldiers and leaving seven more injured.  The military insists the vehicle blown up was driven by a member of the Islamic State and that the military mistook it for one of their own vehicles and, most importantly, they'll try again to retake Baiji.  Real soon.  But still not yet, not as of today.

And today Saif Sameer and Ned Parker (Reuters) report that the Islamic State seized Zauiyat albu Nimr Village in Anbar Province and that, during the battle, the Iraqi military began escaping via a helicopter.

They're going on the offensive when?

Do they understand what "offensive" means?


They just might be as confused as Valerie Jarrett who, two Sundays ago on NBC's Meet The Press, declared Mount Sinjar to be an important "success." Today,  Saif Sameer and Ned Parker (Reuters) also report, "U.S. President Barack Obama authorized air strikes on IS in Iraq in August, citing the duty to prevent an impending genocide of minority Yazidis at the hands of the jihadist insurgents who attacked them around Sinjar Mountain."


Air strikes on Mount Sinjar.  Just like the latest wave started August 8th.

What's really changed since then?

Nothing.

And I keep waiting for US Senator John McCain to haul out his whack-a-mole talk from the previous administration and point out that any minor victory in X leads to a loss in Y.


Mount Sinjar came up in today's US State Dept press briefing moderated by Jen Psaki:



QUESTION: Can you confirm reports or do you have any comment on the fact that Yezidis are once again trapped on Mount Sinjar and requesting help, expecting an assault again by ISIS fighters?

MS. PSAKI: Well, obviously, as you know, we had taken recent action, relatively recently I should say, over the course of the summer. I don’t have anything new to predict for you. We remain committed to addressing humanitarian crises as we see them and to continuing to assist those who are impacted by the threat of ISIL. But operationally, I would point you to DOD to see if there’s anything they would want to preview about anything they’re planning.

QUESTION: Just to follow up on that, the Administration has said repeatedly that, for example, Kobani in a city of itself doesn’t have a lot of strategic import in the overall fight. I’m wondering if you have any idea what ISIS’s – what their aim is in trying to get Sinjar. Why? Do you have any idea why Sinjar is such a prize? They keep going back to it, so --

MS. PSAKI: Well, I don’t think – I know this is not what you asked, but even on Kobani I can’t tell you why – we can’t tell you why, aside from their desire to have a propaganda victory, that they are focusing there either. The reason --

QUESTION: Well, the border. They could control the border there.

MS. PSAKI: But in terms of their focus on Sinjar, I don’t know that I have analysis on why strategically ISIL is going after it more.

QUESTION: But the reason that you undertook the action in the first place is because you thought that ISIS was trying to launch a genocide against the Yezidis.

MS. PSAKI: Right. That’s right.

QUESTION: So aren’t you still concerned about that?


MS. PSAKI: Well, we certainly remain concerned about any group that’s threatened by ISIL, and we’ve taken action in the past. I have nothing to preview for you in terms of future operations, as would be typically the case.





Saif Sameer and Ned Parker (Reuters) report, "U.S. President Barack Obama authorized air strikes on IS in Iraq in August, citing the duty to prevent an impending genocide of minority Yazidis at the hands of the jihadist insurgents who attacked them around Sinjar Mountain."  But AFP reports, "Islamic State group jihadists besieging Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq have killed a commander of forces from the Yazidi religious minority defending the area, a fighter said yesterday. The commander, Al Sheikh Khayri, had returned from Germany, which has large Yazidi community, to fight, and was killed on Wednesday night, Khalaf Mamu said by telephone."


And the Yazidis are only one group targeted.  Human Rights Watch's Kenneth Roth Tweets:



  • Lastly, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America issued the following yesterday:


    CONTACT: Gretchen Andersen (212) 982-9699 or press@iava.org

    New York, NY (October 22, 2014) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing post-9/11 veterans and their families, today announced director, producer, actor and writer Peter Berg – who recently wrote and directed the Oscar-nominated, blockbuster hit, “Lone Survivor” – will join the organizations’ Board of Directors this fall. 
    Director Pete BergBerg, a loyal veteran advocate and son of a Marine, received IAVA’s 2014 Leadership in Entertainment Award this past May at the Heroes Celebration in Los Angeles, CA. 
    “IAVA is honored to have Pete Berg join our board and lead the effort to support and empower the New Greatest Generation of veterans,” said IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff. “In 2014 and beyond, we look forward to working with Pete in fighting for critical veterans issues. “Lone Survivor’s” success elevated a national conversation on the sacrifices of our veterans and servicemembers over the past 13 years.  As the son of a Marine, Pete is a staunch supporter of post-9/11 veterans and the military community. In the past few months he has met with IAVA members and veterans in both New York and Los Angeles. We are excited to bring him on board as we begin to celebrate our 10th anniversary and prep for Veterans Day 2014.”
    In addition to “Lone Survivor,” Berg is also known for his fierce portrait of high school football in the 2004 film adaptation of Buzz Bissinger’s bestseller, “Friday Night Lights.” The film's success, both in theaters and on DVD, spawned the acclaimed TV series of the same name, which aired for five seasons and garnered multiple Emmy nominations and wins. In addition to serving as the series' executive producer, Berg also directed several episodes of the show, including the 2006 pilot, for which he earned an Emmy nomination as Best Director. As one of the series' writers, he also shared a Writers Guild nomination for Best New Series.
    As an actor, Berg's recent film work includes roles in “Lions for Lambs,” “Smokin' Aces,” and "Collateral.”
    In addition to directing the 2012 film "Battleship," the New York native (and son of a Naval historian) also develops projects under his Film 44 banner. Berg has also directed “Hancock” and “The Kingdom,” among other feature films. Most recently, Berg was an executive producer and directed several episodes of the HBO series "The Leftovers," starring Justin Theroux and Liv Tyler.
    Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership. 
    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation's first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has nearly 300,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA recently received the highest rating - four-stars - from Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator.















    Read on ...

    Friday, October 17, 2014

    Presidential Stature



    presidential stature
     


    From July 31, 2011, that's "Presidential Stature."  C.I. wrote:

     Barack declares, "If nothing else my actions the last few weeks in the crisis I have created have demonstrated my true stature!" Indeed. Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.


    With Ebola and everything else, the comic could apply to today.

    But honestly . . .

    I don't even remember drawing it.

    I'm guessing it was about Libya.

    But I'm guessing.


    Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


    Thursday, October 16, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, the Iraqi Parliament meets and then adjourns until Saturday, the White House's 'diplomacy' team heads home, CNN's Elise Labott forces the Pentagon spokesperson to dance, and much more.



    US Vice President Joe Biden has two sons: Beau and Hunter.  Hunter is in the news.  Eric Brander (CNN) reports that Hunter Biden's February 2014 discharge from the Navy Reserve was an "administrative discharge" after he tested positive for cocaine.  I know Joe (and like Joe) and we're not going to be accused or hiding what happened.  But we're also not a gossip site so let's note that drug use takes place in all families, that the military especially needs to up their efforts to address drug use and addiction.

    Hunter is an adult and responsible for his own decisions and, if he has an addiction, the treatment of his disease.  He has issued a statement today taking responsibility.


    Falling down doesn't define us, how we brush ourselves off and resume our journey does.  All eyes are on Hunter right now and that's not a comfortable place for anyone to be in.

    Ibrahim al-Jaafari is a former prime minister of Iraq and is currently the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  National Iraqi News Agency reports he held a press conference today to announce "that there was no state party which asked to bring ground troops to Iraq."



    That's a nice thought.  Not a clear one, not an honest one, but a nice one.

    Earlier this month, Laura Smith-Spark, Ben Wedeman and Greg Botellho (CNN) reported on Anbar Provincial Council's request for US forces for combat.  They're provincial and not federal but that call was significant and only becomes more so.  But you can ignore that.

    And I guess if you pretend hard enough, you can convince yourself that all the US forces Barack sent over since June are something other than 'ground troops.'


    Barack pretends otherwise, after all, and so do many Americans.  As Peter Certo (Other Words) observes:

    If Barack Obama owes his presidency to one thing, it was the good sense he had back in 2002 to call the Iraq War what it was: “dumb.”

    Now, with scarcely a whisper of debate, Obama has become the fourth consecutive U.S. president to bomb Iraq — and in fact has outdone his predecessors by spreading the war to Islamic State targets in Syria as well. With the Pentagon predicting that this latest conflict could rage for three years or longer, Obama is now poised to leave behind a Middle East quagmire that closely resembles the one he was elected to end.



    But before Ibrahim gets crowned the great pretender, check out Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby.  In the grand tradition of the crossovers on The Bionic Woman and The Six Million Dollar Man, today the Pentagon and the State Dept held a joint press conference.  During the press conference, CNN's Elise Labott nailed him and Kirby just pretended otherwise.




    RADM KIRBY: Thanks. Thank you. Thanks, Jen. Thanks for welcoming me over here. As Jen said, this is something we’ve been talking about for a long time. We just work together so closely every single day that we thought this was a good idea. And now I’m going to beg her to come over to the Pentagon and do it in our briefing room as well. So that’ll be the next iteration of this.
    I just want to update you on – quickly on two military operations that the Defense Department has been focused on in recent weeks: our efforts against ISIL, of course, and our efforts in the Ebola response in West Africa.
    With regard to the counter-ISIL effort, Operation Inherent Resolve – we just officially unveiled that name yesterday – U.S. forces conducted 14 airstrikes near the town of Kobani yesterday and today. Initial reports that we’re getting from Central Command indicate that those strikes successfully hit 19 ISIL buildings, two command posts, three fighting positions, three sniper positions, one staging location, and one heavy machine gun. Very precise targeting. With these airstrikes, we took advantage of the opportunity to hit ISIL as they attempt to mass their forces and combat power on the Kurdish-held positions – or portions, I’m sorry, of Kobani. While the security situation there does remain tenuous, ISIL’s advances appear to have slowed and we know that we have inflicted damage upon them.
    On our response to Ebola in West Africa, Operation United Assistance, our forces on the ground in Liberia continue to make progress in setting up infrastructure and facilities to support the international response. Setup has been complete on the 25-bed hospital, and we expect it to be fully operational, with U.S. public health service medical workers taking responsibility for that unit next week. Meanwhile, personnel from the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center continue to operate three mobile medical labs, which provide 24-hour turnaround results on samples. To date, they have processed more than 1,200 total samples. And lastly, construction continues on the Ebola treatment facilities with the first expected to be completed by the end of the month.
    And I want to emphasize, again, that no U.S. military personnel will be providing direct patient care to the local population. As my Pentagon colleagues have heard me say many times, we’re focused on four lines of effort and only four lines of effort: command and control, logistics support, training, and engineering.
    With that --

    MS. PSAKI: All right. Well, as we typically do, we’ll stay with one topic. We talked about this, so let’s try to do that if we can. I know yesterday was a little wild and wooly.
    Go ahead, Matt.

    QUESTION: Thank you. I’m looking forward to this. Double the pleasure, double the information, I hope. Right?

    MS. PSAKI: Double the fun.

    QUESTION: Double the fun.

    MS. PSAKI: Yes.

    QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

    QUESTION: I just have one logistic question about this briefing. Are you, Admiral, going to be staying for the whole thing or are you going to leave?

    RADM KIRBY: That depends on how --

    QUESTION: All right, because I have a question that’s not related to either Ebola or ISIL for you.

    RADM KIRBY: No, I’ll be here.

    QUESTION: Okay.

    RADM KIRBY: I’ll be here the whole time.

    QUESTION: All right. So let’s start with Kobani then. So in your comments just now in talking about the progress that the operation has made --

    RADM KIRBY: Yes.

    QUESTION: -- does this mean that saving Kobani from falling has now become a priority in the campaign?

    RADM KIRBY: Well, we’ve been focused on Kobani for a long time. This isn’t the first day that we’ve done strikes there. We’ve been doing them for a long time. What makes Kobani significant is the fact that ISIL wants it. And the more they want it, the more forces and resources they apply to it, the more targets that are available for us to hit there. I said it yesterday, keep saying it: Kobani could still fall. Our military participation is from the air and the air only right now, and we’ve all been honest about the fact that air power alone is not going to be able to save any town in particular.

    QUESTION: Right. But you and other officials, including Jen, have said in the past that – or indicated, and Secretary Kerry has as well, that losing Kobani or Kobani falling to ISIL is not a huge strategic loss, and now it seems like you’re really ramping up the effort to keep it – to prevent it – to prevent it from falling. And I’m just wondering, has the decision been made within the Administration that the propaganda or other symbolic – a symbolic victory in Kobani would be too much to stomach, from your – an ISIL victory in Kobani would be too much?

    RADM KIRBY: I think we’ve been pretty consistent about the fact that we need to all be prepared for other towns and other cities to fall too. This group wants ground. They want territory, they want infrastructure. We all need to be prepared for them to continue to try to grab that, and succeed in taking it. There’s been no strategic shift here as far as I know, at least from the military perspective, about Kobani or any other town. What we’re trying to do in Syria – and this is an important point, Matt – in Syria we’re trying to deny safe haven and sanctuary. They want safe haven and sanctuary in Kobani; we’re trying to help not let that happen.
    So Kobani matters from that perspective. It also matters tactically because, as I said, they’re putting more resources to the fight, so there are more targets. We’ve killed several hundred of their fighters in just these strikes in and around Kobani. It would be irresponsible for us not to try to target them in a more aggressive way as they become more aggressive around Kobani itself.
    And the last thing is, frankly, it’s an issue of balancing resources. One of the reasons you’ve seen additional strikes in the last couple of days is because we haven’t been able to strike quite as much, quite as aggressively inside Iraq. There’s been terrible weather there, sandstorms this time of year. It’s made it very hard for us to get intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms up over to see what we’re trying to do in Iraq. So we’ve had resources available that we might not have otherwise had available to strike them there in Kobani. Does that answer your question?

    QUESTION: Yeah, I think so.

    QUESTION: Can I follow up?

    MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

    QUESTION: Can I follow on that? Elise Labott with CNN. Welcome.

    RADM KIRBY: Hi.

    QUESTION: Yesterday, General Allen said that the increase in airstrikes in Kobani was for humanitarian purposes, and it sounds like now you’re saying that there’s more of a target. Rather than humanitarian aspects along the lines of what you did with the Yezidis, it sounds like this is more – you have more targets of opportunity.

    RADM KIRBY: It is that. There’s a humanitarian component to it, no question about it.

    QUESTION: Well, there wasn’t last week. I mean, it didn’t seem last week that there was.

    RADM KIRBY: No, there’s a – there was a humanitarian component to it. But we don’t estimate that – right now, we think there’s hundreds, not thousands, of citizens remaining in Kobani. It fluctuates and it changed, but we believe most of the population is out of there. That doesn’t mean they’re out of danger, though, and so there is a humanitarian component to this. If we can help the Kurdish militia keep Kobani – keep ISIL out of Kobani, then you by default are helping protect the population that remains there. And so there is a component to it.

    QUESTION: So is it more now that you feel that as long as you have targets, you’ll continue to strike them, or is it now you’ve made the decision that come hell or high water you’re going to make sure that this town doesn’t fall?

    RADM KIRBY: We are going to continue – I think it’s a great question. We are on the offense against these guys. There’s this narrative out there that they’re opportunistic and they’re adaptive and they’re agile. Nobody is more opportunistic or agile or adaptive than the United States military, and so we’re going to continue to go after them wherever they are and wherever we can.
    There’s going to be a limit, though. You can’t just hit every place you know them to be, because we do – unlike them, we have to be discreet and discriminant about collateral damage and civilian casualties. So we’re going to hit them where we can, where we can do it effectively, have an effect on their ability to sustain themselves and to operate, but without having a bad effect – a negative effect – on the surrounding population.

    QUESTION: But it’s – but you said it still could fall and that --

    RADM KIRBY: Yeah --

    QUESTION: -- wouldn’t mean that your goals weren’t achieved.


    RADM KIRBY: That’s – our goals have not changed with respect to going after ISIL in Syria or in and around Kobani. And I said it yesterday, I’ll say it again: That town could still fall. We all need to be prepared for that possibility.



    Pretenders also include the Iraqi Parliament which is back from its long holiday.  Kind of.   All Iraq News reports that today's session saw 217 MPs show up.  That might be good news were it not for the fact that Iraq's Parliament has 328 MPs.

    So in the midst of multiple crises which have led other nations to contribute (wisely in the case of Germany which is sending doctors, poorly in the case of those dropping bombs), over 100 members of Parliament can't even show up for the sessions?

    Thought Barack was going to be working on that political solution?

    When exactly?

    He's dropped bombs.  He's named his ridiculous bombing campaign.

    Exactly when does he focus on the political?


    The State Dept's Brett McGurk Tweeted the following today.




    So now you go home?

    The Parliament takes two weeks off, finally comes back into session and that's when the US government decides to send what passes for a diplomatic team home?

    Barack can -- and did -- attend a meet-up this week with approximately 20 defense ministers from various nations but when it's time to talk diplomacy, it's reduced to Blinken and McGurk?


    No wonder there's still no move towards a political solution in Iraq.

    In related news, NINA reports:


    An informed source said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi request to extend the deadline to provide the names of the security ministers for 24 hours.
    The source said in a press statement: "The prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi asked the parliament to extend the deadline to provide the names of the security minister for 24 hours." 



    Sure, why not?

    Iraq hasn't had either since March 2010, so why rush now?

    Because Iraq's falling apart.

    So they showed up today -- or about two-thirds did -- and did nothing and now, All Iraq News reports, they've decided to adjourn until Saturday.



    They did this as violence rolled Iraq.  National Iraqi News Agency notes a Ramadi suicide car bomber took his own life and the lives of 4 Iraqi security forces with five more left injured, a Mahmudiyah car bombing left 6 people dead and fifteen more injured, and2 Baiji home bombings left 17 family members dead and three more injured.  All Iraq News reports 11 corpses were discovered in Tikrit.  AP notes 2 car bombings in Baghdad's Dolaie section which left 14 people dead and thirty-four injured.  AP also notes the aftermath of the bombing:


    Angry residents in the neighbourhood threw stones at police checkpoints and police cars that arrived to respond to the blasts, prompting police to withdraw from the area. Senior Iraqi officials have tried to reassure residents that the capital is too well-protected for militants to capture, even as they struggle to stop frequent near daily deadly attacks. 


    On the topic of the Iraqi police, Elizabeth Palmer (CBS News) observes, "Basic training lasts 45 days. The young recruits are almost done. In two weeks, they'll be sent into combat. They're called police, but they're trained like the military."  A ton of money -- US tax payer money -- was already spent training the Iraqi police.

    You may remember that the Minister of Interior said in the fall of 2011 that the US should find a better way to spend their money and that training wasn't needed.

    Woah.

    You may remember that the man the US press insisted was the Minister of the Interior said that.  He wasn't the Minister.  The ministry was headless.  Nouri al-Maliki, thug and prime minister, refused to nominate anyone to head the security ministries.  Instead, he named flunkies 'acting ministers' which -- while unconstitutional -- allowed him to control the ministries.

    So actually, the flunky was speaking on behalf of Nouri.

    Now they need help.

    One plan being tossed around was basically three sets of forces -- Kurds, Sunnis and Shi'ites -- making up a national guard.


    The justification for this was probably best explained by Fareed Zakaria (CNN's Global Public Square), "Billions of dollar poured into it, because it was based on the idea that there was an Iraq, that there was a nation that there would be a national army for. Maybe we need a different strategy, which is to stand up sectarian militias, Shia militias, Sunni militias. They already exist. And the Kurds have their Peshmerga, that model. Send them into fight in their areas, not in other areas where they would be regarded as a foreign army."

    That notion appears to be dead now.  Tamer el-Ghobashy (Wall St. Journal) reports:



    Momentum has swung against the proposal to create a national guard that would encompass local forces in Iraq’s provinces as rival political blocs expressed reservations over who would be allowed into the new service and how funding would be allocated.
    The Obama administration has pushed the national guard proposal as a way to bring minority Sunnis closer to the Shiite-dominated central government after years of policies espoused by former Prime Minister Iraqi Nouri al-Maliki that excluded them.



    So the police are being rushed through training, the national guard idea appears dead, Shi'ite militias terrorize Sunnis throughout Iraq.  On those militias, NINA quotes Kirkuk's Sheikh Othman Agha calling for "a solution to the militias, which are spread in public roads and highways being contrary to the Constitution and detrimental to the national interest and harmony among citizens of one nation."


    It's a shame the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Interior aren't addressing these issues and --

    Oh, wait, again there is no Minister of Defense and there is no Minister of Interior.

    All Iraq News reports rumors that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi intends to make new nominations for the post on Saturday: Khalid al-Ubaidi for Minister of Defense and the always controversial Ahmed Chalabi for Minister of Interior.



    On violence . . .




  •  .




    Winding down, the following community sites posted today:




  • Also, earlier this week, Mike's "The Invasion," Stan's "Halloween," Marcia's "Aliens," Ann's "Insidious," Elaine's "Scream," Ruth's "The Omen,"  Rebecca's "rosemary's baby," Betty's "The Exorcist," Trina's "The Believers" and Kat's "The Birds" were entries in a theme on favorite horror movies.
















    Read on ...

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    Spanked on the Global Stage



     Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Spanked on the Global Stage"

    spanked on the global stage

     

    From July 24, 2011, that's "Spanked on the Global Stage." 

    And as Libya continues to break apart and be consumed by violence, I'd argue that in death, Muammar Gaddafi continues to spank Barack.

    C.I. wrote:

     Muammar Gaddafi has Barack over his knee and asks, as he spanks, "Who 'must leave now'? Huh? Who?" Barack responds, "Republicans are so much easier to punk! Ow! Ow!" Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.


     

    I think that one holds up. 


    Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"



    Thursday, October 9, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, World Can't Wait calls out the continued Iraq War, Barack Obama's 'plan' for Iraq is shot down across the political spectrum, 'trend stories' aren't news, 'trend stories' are frequently insulting to women, there's no such thing as a heroic or good suicide bomber, one country's media whores may have to find real jobs (yes, I wish it were the US but it's not) and much more.




    Let's start with The World Can't Wait this is from their most recent statement where they point out the problems were not caused by the drawdown of US forces at the end of 2011:



    The U.S. withdrawal left what had been a relatively secular country split along sectarian lines, with a weak puppet government, and a huge opening for Islamic fundamentalists to push for religious rule.
    No party in this fight, not Islamic militias, not the new Iraqi government — paid for by the U.S. — and certainly not the war machine of the U.S. itself, has "right" on its side. Tomahawk missiles fired from US carriers in the Persian Gulf, drone strikes and bombs can only bring unimaginable suffering to the Iraqi people.
    We in the U.S. must speak out against any U.S. attacks on Iraq & Syria. By exposing and standing against the lies and crimes of our government, whether by Bush or Obama, we can make a difference in how people see what's going on.
    Months of cable "news" repeating Pentagon press releases, has created a situation where people in the U.S. are  supporting more war on Iraq - and now on Syria - based on lies.   Huge numbers -- enough to elect a Democrat as president in 2008 -- had come to oppose the Bush regime's unjust and immoral war on Iraq.
    But now too many people are drawn back into accepting new wars, on the basis that "something has to be done about ISIS."
    The Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) is both a response to U.S. occupation of the region, and also literally, in some cases, was created by torture in U.S. prisons in Iraq; by billions of dollars in U.S. arms strewn about the region; and funded by close U.S. allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, societies where people also have scarcely any rights.  The Islamic State offers a disastrous future for the people, and is no damn good.
    But U.S. occupations, bombs, economic exploitation, and support of every reactionary regime in the region have done more damage, by far, than any Islamic fundamentalist group in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It was the Bush regime that sold the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq — countries which never attacked the U.S. — on the basis of defeating the Taliban and al Qaeda, only to have strengthened the basis on which they operate.
    The U.S. military cannot do anything to stop the violence of ISIS. NOTHING good can come from U.S. bombing, and we need to say so immediately and widely. Join us.

    Download PDF (half-page, double-sided).


     

    Good for World Can't Wait -- and I mean that.


    Too many people are silent, a fact Elaine noted in her last post:

    For two years now, I've called out Medea [Benjamin]'s 'protest' literature on The Drone War for slamming this or that person but never Barack Obama.  There are articles she's written condemning The Drone War that don't even mention Barack.
    She's a dirty whore.  She was just in Latin America a few months back saying we in the US had to worry because the next president might be worse than Barack.
    Worse?
    How?
    We're spied on, he kills people with drones, he's apparently after Julian Assange and Ed Snowden, he's started one war after another.
    If there's not a movement in the US -- and there really isn't -- that's on the heads and asses of whores like Medea who've spent the last six years applauding Barack and refusing to call him out.



    And Elaine's right.

    And when others refuse to speak it pushes the work off onto those of us who will and we're already doing all we can.

    I'm tired and I'm tired of being online.

    But good news, I don't have to be.

    No, a man e-mailed today to inform me that, "since you claim to be a feminist," I have to write about Nicholas Vinocur and Pauline Mevel (Reuters) report which opens:


    Foad, a French truck driver of Moroccan origin, traveled alone through Syria to rescue his 15-year-old sister from an Islamist group she said was holding her captive. But when they finally stood face to face, in tears, she would not leave.
    Foad is convinced that his sister Nora, whom he described as an impressionable teen who loved Disney movies before leaving for Syria one afternoon in January, stayed on because she was threatened with execution by the French-speaking commander, or emir, of the group she joined.

    The former high school student is among dozens of European girls, many of them her age, living with such groups in Syria. It is an aspect of the conflict that is beginning to worry European governments previously more focused on the flow of young men to join the ranks of Islamic State and others.



    Do I have to write about that?


    Well it's good to know I can step down and hand off the baton, or at least the curling wand, to a man so capable and knowing that he knows what I must do as a feminist.


    Except I don't see the feminist value in that story.


    I guess you can argue that it proves women can be into destruction and killing but is that really a newly emerging detail?  Did we miss all of human history as well as Hillary Clinton's 'diplomatic' efforts in and out of office?


    There's nothing a woman can't do -- whether it's doing good or doing bad.


    The Reuters story?


    It's the sort of 'trend' story Susan Faludi's documented so well in Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women.


    It's heavy on anecdotes and it's short on facts.


    More to the point though, it's one of those It Sings stories.

    They don't celebrate women, they don't note women.  The hook of these stories, the very narrative, is, "Look at what it can do" (or has done).  Women are "it."  Or maybe it's our vaginas are "it."

    We've ignored two similar stories.

    A female peshmerga went into an Islamic State area in Iraq and blew herself up.

    She completed a suicide mission.

    I don't get where I applaud that.

    There were many people -- men and women -- e-mailing that this 'heroic' act had to be celebrated.

    My own feelings about suicide would be if that's what someone wants to do, it's what they want to do and some of us carry more pain or handle it worse or whatever.  I'm not going to condemn anyone who's taken their own life.

    But I'm also not going to celebrate suicide bombing as heroic.

    If it's heroic for one side to do it, it's heroic for another side to do it.

    I don't want to live in a world where suicide bombing is applauded or considered heroic.

    Had the woman fought to the death, it wouldn't have surprised me.  Many women throughout history have.  However, I would have agreed that could be heroic.

    But I don't want suicide bombers all over the world because some nut jobs in the peshmerga think this is a cool way to kill.  There's nothing cool about it and if we applaud it in Iraq, we'll need to applaud it in the United States and elsewhere.

    There was nothing heroic about what the woman did.  I wouldn't even call her a "human bomb" -- she was divorced from humanity when she took part in that effort.

    And that has nothing to do with her gender, I'd feel the same way if it was a man.

    I'm very bothered that the press tried to present her actions as glamorous or brave because if a suicide bomber goes off in Denver, it won't be glamorous or brave.

    The other one we ignored was women fighters and how they may terrify the Islamic State.

    We've covered women fighters before.  We may be the only who regularly noted the Daughters of Iraq. And we noted them and treated the development as something serious.  But then, repeatedly, the Daughters of Iraq popped up and disappeared based on whether or not they could be packaged as a 'trend story.'

    We use "police officer" or "police member" here.  We realize the power of words and we know in spite of all the women in Iraq who had been part of the police force prior to the start of the illegal war in 2003, there was an effort to make it a job only men could do as Iraq was controlled by fundamentalists like Nouri al-Maliki.

    And make no mistake, when you can't appoint women to your Cabinet, when even your Minister of Women's Affairs is a man, you're a fundamentalist.  You're actually much worse than that but we'll keep it clean.

    My plan was to avoid these awful recent stories because at least women were getting recognized and the real story of Iraq reporting in the last eleven years is how western reporters have repeatedly ignored women and presented the story of Iraq as taking place in men's prison.  But this repeated nonsense in the e-mails where some drive-by insists this or that 'trend story' is about feminism or women's advancement is grating.

    I don't know how to explain it with any more clarity but, no, feminism is not turning yourself into a walking bomb.

    Now I am a feminist voice, not the feminist voice, but I'd be more than happy to have an exchange with any feminist that thought becoming a walking bomb was feminism -- mainly due to hearing just how they could shore up such a weak argument.


    Speaking of weak arguments, Barack Obama's 'plan' for Iraq.

    It's being called out across the political spectrum.

    RIA Novosti quotes former Russian Ambassador to Libya Veniamin Popov stating, "Airstrikes alone are not enough to win against the Islamic State organization.  This is the US that lifted the lid, because they actively tried to overthrow [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, and thought that all means are good. So that, they directly or indirectly supported the terrorist organizations [in Syria]. And they got what they created."


    In the US, Bill Van Auken (World Socialist Web Site ) notes yesterday's meeting Barack had with US military officials and explains, "As the meetings took place, there was further evidence that American policy in the region is in a state of disarray, beset by the immense contradictions in US policy, which had backed Islamist militias in the war for regime change in Syria, and is now attempting to curb the largest of these sectarian-based armed groups, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), after its overrunning of roughly a third of Iraq’s territory. American policy is further roiled by the conflicting agendas of the so-called “international coalition” that Obama has assembled to support the US-led war."

    The Washington Examiner's editorial board weighs in noting, "Even where the casual deployment of air power can tip the balance of a war, it cannot establish a just or stable peace afterward. The best possible outcome of this strategy in Iraq and Syria might well be prolonged war among most of the same parties, but with a different balance in terms of their relative strength and odds of victory."

     

    The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal offers:


    A senior Obama Administration official headlined a leading story in Wednesday’s New York Times about American frustration with Turkish “inaction” in Syria. “There’s growing angst about Turkey dragging its feet to act to prevent a massacre less than a mile from its border,” this anonymous official said. “This isn’t how a NATO ally acts while hell is unfolding a stone’s throw from their border.” The charge was repeated in other media outlets.
    It’d be nice to know why the White House thinks a public spat with a crucial NATO and Middle Eastern partner helps the war against ISIS. The U.S. “angst” over “dragging its feet” applies far better to what the French and British, the Arab Gulf allies, Jordan and above all Turkey have thought about American inaction on Syria while hundreds of thousands died and an Islamist ISIS army emerged to take huge chunks of territory.


    Outside of the ever shrinking Cult of St. Barack, questions are being asked about the 'plan' and how it even qualifies as a plan.  On the issue of Turkey, Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly (Washington Post) report:


    In a sign of their reluctance to directly antagonize Turkey on the eve of a key diplomatic meeting, U.S. officials sent mixed signals on Ankara’s demand that the United States establish a protected buffer zone along Turkey’s border with Syria.
    “It is not now on the table as a military option that we’re considering,” said Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

    Separately, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said the idea of a buffer zone was “worth looking at very, very closely” and that it would be discussed when retired Gen. John Allen, coordinator of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, holds high-level meetings in Turkey on Thursday.



    The paper's Liz Sly Tweets:





    Back to DeYoung and Sly's report, if the administration isn't sending mixed signals, they're antagonizing allies or would be allies.

    They're also antagonizing the Iraqi people.  All the propaganda in the world can't hide that.  Yes, CENTCOM notes:


    In Iraq, an airstrike south of Sinjar destroyed an ISIL bunker and ammunition cache and a small ISIL unit. Another airstrike, south of Sinjar Mountain, destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle and a small ISIL unit. To conduct these strikes, the U.S. employed attack aircraft deployed to the Centcom area of operations. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely.

     The strikes were conducted as part of President Barack Obama's comprehensive strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL.


    Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) reports:

    In Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, more than 20 people were killed and some 30 others wounded in the morning air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition against buildings believed to be IS headquarters in the eastern part of the provincial capital city of Mosul, some 400 km of Baghdad, an official from the security committee of Nineveh's provincial council told Xinhua.

    Which is a polite way of saying the US just bombed civilians (again).  Still on violence, NINA notes a Baquba car bombing left 9 people dead and ten more injured and an Abu Dshir roadside bombing left 2 people dead and eight more injured.

    Of course, today's Iraq news wasn't all bad.  Ibrahim Saleh (Niqash) reports:

    Media organizations that fostered close links with and, some say, published or broadcast propaganda, for Iraq’s former Prime Minister are finding that their funding has dried up. Analysts and other suitably qualified individuals who used to defend al-Maliki in the media are having the same problems.


    While his bosses searched for a new investor, young Iraqi journalist Hussein Aslawi was forced to resign. As the search for extra funding went on, the satellite TV channel Aslawi worked for had decided to cut down on its number of staff.

    “And I tendered my resignation because things just are not the same anymore,” explains Aslawi, who worked as a news editor. “All of this is happening because the channel’s administrators have strong links to [former Iraqi Prime Minister] Nouri al-Maliki. So this is the result of his election loss,” Aslawi notes.


    The media organisation’s administrators had pinned all their hopes – and the future of their operating budget - on al-Maliki winning a third term. “And despite our warnings, they didn’t do anything to protect themselves in case al-Maliki lost,” Aslawi says. “That’s why things have gotten so bad.”

    Shortly before the last general elections in Iraq, held at the end of April this year, Aslawi says the satellite channel, whose name he did not want to reveal for fear of repercussions, received a lot of money from al-Maliki and his allies from out of a special campaign budget. “The money was paid on the condition that the channel changed its policies and supported al-Maliki,” says the young journalist, who adds that he and his colleagues were all shocked when they heard about the deal.  


    “The channel became like al-Maliki’s spokesperson,” Aslawi says. “And it stayed that way up until Haider al-Abadi [the new Iraqi prime Minister] was assigned to form a government.”


    At that stage, the channel was forced to stop broadcasting for almost two weeks. “And today its fate lies in finding somebody to finance it,” Aslawi notes. “But that seems very unlikely to happen.”


    Whores forced out of their jobs?  Forced to work real ones or starve?

    It could happen here!

    Pacifica Radio could be taken down -- largely because of the waste and theft at WBAI throughout the '00s  and because All Media Whore Amy Goodman scammed Pacifica and walked away with millions.  The Nation has the coffers filled enough to continue online but print is iffy by the financial projections they hope no one leaks to the media.  (Will I or won't I? -- that is the question.) Others are even more worse off.

    And should be.

    Your loyalty should be to your listeners and readers.  You shouldn't whore yourself out for the powerful.  When someone's in the Oval Office, they have not just the Secret Service but also a team of rabid attack dogs to defend them.  They don't need the so-called press whoring to protect them.

    But democracy does need a real press.

    And Panhandle Media has failed the country and if dried up and disappeared what would we really miss?

    Not much at all.

    They don't report, they don't do much of anything except explain how awful Republicans are (or anyone who criticizes Barack) and look the other way.

    They don't deserve to be on the air and they certainly don't deserve your money.

    In Iraq, whores are being sent packing.

    Too bad we can't say the same for the United States.


    Lastly, David Bacon's latest book is The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration. We'll close with this from Bacon's "Tribunal Takes Up Mexico's Migrant 'Hell'" (The Progressive):



    MEXICO CITY (10/8/14) -- Just before judges heard testimony on migration at the Permanent People's Tribunal in Mexico City last week, the Mexican government announced a new measure that might have been deliberately intended to show why activists brought the Tribunal to Mexico to begin with, three years ago.  Interior (Gobernacion) Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong told the press that the speed of trains known by migrants as "La Bestia" (The Beast) would be doubled.

    Photos of "La Bestia" have become famous around the world, showing young migrants crowded on top of boxcars, riding the rails from the Guatemala border to near the U.S. It's a slow train, but many boys and girls have lost arms and legs trying to get on or off, and wind up living in limbo in the Casas de Migrantes -- the hostels run by the Catholic Church and other migrant rights activists throughout Mexico.  Osorio Chong said Mexico would require the companies operating the trains - a partnership between mining giant Grupo Mexico and the U.S. corporation Kansas City Southern - to hike their speed to make it harder for the migrants.

    In the Tribunal, young people, giving only their first names out of fear, said they'd see many more severed limbs and deaths as a result, but that it wouldn't stop people from coming.  Armed gangs regularly rob the migrants, they charged, and young people get beaten and raped.  If they're willing to face this, they'll try to get on the trains no matter how fast they go.  "Mexico is a hell for migrants already," fumed Father Pedro Pantoja, who organized the Casa de Migrantes in Saltillo.










    iraq











     

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