Friday, July 7, 2017

The Exhibitionist








From August 3, 2014, that's "The Exhibitionist."  

C.I. noted:

Covering his nudity with his hands, Barack declares, "Torture.  Illegal spying.  I won't do anything about either.  But I stand before you exposed.  Isn't that enough?"    Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.


I went over a month between the comic before this and that one.

Why?

I took a vacation and the well ran dry.

:D


And I have another one that will either go up Saturday or on Sunday.

I've had the worst time this year with comics.

I worry less about it in the newsletters because that's just our community and I know I've got an understanding audience.

But to do something that goes up at THE COMMON ILLS?

Knowing it's going to be seen by anyone?

I don't know.

Part of me especially doesn't want to do the easy comic -- where you just join a dog pile on Trump.

Wally and Cedric have had similar problems at their sites -- and we talked it out for weeks before finally deciding over the weekend (last weekend) that we'd just toss out the humor we could come up with.



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


Friday, July 7, 2017.

The Iraq War was built and based on lies.

And yet so many idiots step forward today convinced they can re-write history.

Take this hysterical opponent of Donald Trump's:

The CIA NEVER said there were WMD in Iraq, that was the Whitehouse who LIED, Bush lied. So Trumps lying 2 times. We know its Russia!!!
 
 




Never?

Wow.

Bush turned to Tenet. “I’ve been told all this intelligence about having WMD and this is the best we’ve got?”
From the end of one of the couches in the Oval Office, Tenet rose up, threw his arms in the air. “It’s a slam dunk case!” the DCI said.
Bush pressed, “George, how confident are you?”
Tenet, a basketball fan who attended as many home games of his alma mater Georgetown as possible, leaned forward and threw his arms up again. “Don’t worry, it’s a slam dunk!”


That's from Bob Woodward's PLAN OF ATTACK.

Who was Tenet?

Al Kamen (WASHINGTON POST):

Former CIA director George Tenet will likely never live down having called the intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s WMD a “slam dunk.”
But former CIA deputy director Mike Morell, in his book, “The Great War of Our Time,” defends Tenet.
“When we wrote pieces for the president, the analysts wrote with authority on the [weapons of mass destruction] issue,” Morell writes. “This is why I personally never found fault with George Tenet’s alleged “slam dunk” comment.”

“The way the [intelligence] analysts talked and wrote about their judgments,” Morell adds, “would have led anyone to think it was a slam dunk— that is, that Saddam definitely had active WMD programs. No one ever said to me, [agency analyst Jami] Miscik, [ex-director John] McLaughlin, Tenet, [Condoleezza] Rice, or the president, ‘You know, there is a chance he might not have them.’ Such a statement would have gotten everyone’s attention,”  Morell writes.



From 60 MINUTES:


Still, at CIA headquarters, Tenet's team was about to make a historic blunder of its own. The CIA produced its evaluation of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in a secret report called a "National Intelligence Estimate."
"The first key judgment in the national intelligence estimate says, quote, 'Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons.' Period," Pelley says.
"High confidence judgment," Tenet replies.
How could he make such a bold statement? Says Tenet, "We believed he had chemical and biological weapons."
"But there was no hard evidence," Pelley remarks.
"No, no. There was lots of data. There's lots of technical data," Tenet says. "So you put all of this together, it's not evidence in the court of law. Remember, when you write an estimate, when you estimate, you're writing what you don't know. You might win a civil case. Huh? You're not gonna win a criminal case, in terms of evidence."
"We are going to war. Tens of thousands of people are going to be killed. And you're telling me you had evidence to prove a civil case, not a criminal case?" Pelley asks,
"Well, as you know, hindsight is perfect. The public face on this what we wrote on weapons of mass destruction and for professionals, who pride themselves on being right, this is a very painful experience for us," Tenet acknowledges.


Now what did the Tweet say again?  "FACT, The CIA NEVER said there were WMD in Iraq, that was thee Whitehouse who LIED, Bush lied."


Bully Boy Bush is a liar -- and a War Criminal.  That does not change the fact that Tenet and Morell -- top two at the CIA -- in their own words say and said that Iraq had WMD.

I'm sorry that you're so shrill and hysterical but that does not give you the right to re-write history.

I also have to wonder about his followers.

No one gave him a heads up?

I got a heads up.

Community member Lewis e-mailed July 5th asking if the numbers of The Mosul Slog were correct?

I hadn't checked in forever and as I always note "Check my math!"

So yesterday I counted them one by one: 262.

This was updated in the snapshot to read: "**262**" and the plan was to scan the calendar sheets last night.

That didn't happen.

When we got done speaking, I honestly fell asleep.  I didn't get undressed, I didn't wash my face, I lay down on the bed for what I thought was a second and then was out cold until this morning.  I'll try to scan them and post them tonight but it will be up by Saturday at the latest.

Thank you to Lewis for raising the issue.  I was off six days (yesterday's snapshot originally had 256).   My apologies for my error.


So today is day 263 of The Mosul Slog.


Civilians trapped as Iraq forces battle IS group in Mosul
 
 



REUTERS notes, "Air strikes and artillery salvoes continued to pound Islamic State's last Mosul bastion on Friday, a Reuters TV crew said."

Yes, the slog slogs on.

In a new paper (for RADDINGTON REPORT), Emma Skye observes:


The Islamic State (ISIS), which had in its grasp a full third of Iraq as recently as 2014, is likely to lose hold of all its territory in the country by the end of this year. Fighting block by block, Iraqi special forces have made steady progress in cutting through ISIS-held territory, including liberating nearly all of ISIS’ final bastion in Mosul. The troops have suffered significant casualties since their assault to retake Mosul last October, as ISIS mounted a fierce defense using suicide attacks, snipers, roadside bombs, mortars and machine guns. However, Iraqi forces have all but won the immediate battle in the country’s second city. Several thousand ISIS fighters in Mosul have been removed from the battlefield through death or injury, which is only one small part of the more than 60,000 militants that are estimated to have been killed since the war against the Islamist group began. But a couple hundred ISIS fighters are still believed to be in Mosul, using a network of tunnels to escape detection. In addition, they are living among thousands of civilians, who face shortages of food, water, medicine and fuel as the city’s siege tightens.
Celebrations at the demise of the caliphate in Iraq may well be short-lived. A loose coalition of forces found a common objective in working together to fight ISIS, but there is no agreement on what comes next — nor on how Iraq should be governed. And the signs are worrying: there seems to be little willingness to address the conditions that gave rise to ISIS in the first place.



And despite then-President Barack Obama's speech on July 19, 2014 insisting Iraq needed a political solution to address its crises, the US government has instead focused all efforts on military actions.


And the conditions that gave rise to ISIS cotninue to thrive in Iraq.


The U.S. announced its intent to provide additional $150 million to to help stabilize after liberation of areas held by ISIS.
U.S. Announces Intent to Provide $150 Million for Iraq Stabilization
Spokesperson Heather Nauert addresses reporters at the Department Press Briefing on July 6, 2017. - U.S. Department of State
 
 


That was from yesterday's press briefing.  Nauert noted Iraq early on:

The second thing that we have going on is Brett McGurk, our special presidential envoy for the global coalition to defeat ISIS, will host members of the coalition for a series of meetings in Washington, D.C. next week. This will be an opportunity for members to discuss the efforts to defeat ISIS, including maximizing pressure on its branches, on its affiliates, and on its networks. The coalition will discuss all aspects of our campaign, including stabilization support, counter-finance, foreign terror fighters, counter-messaging, among other things. The meetings are taking place at a key moment in the fight against ISIS. Just as ISIS is trying to stay alive, we remain dedicated in committing to defeating them. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the coalition has a strong and proven strategy committed to the total destruction of ISIS while in parallel preparing for the day after.

Another thing – and this is related to Iraq – and we are pleased to announce this: On July the 5th, Ambassador Silliman, our U.S. ambassador to Iraq, announced the U.S. Government’s intent to provide $150 million to the United Nations Development Program to support the Government of Iraq-identified stabilization priorities in the areas of Iraq that have been liberated from ISIS. The funds will support efforts to establish basic security, re-establish essential services, restore local economies, stabilize communities, and allow Iraqis to finally return home. This brings the United States commitment to stabilization programming in Iraq to more than $265 million over the past two years. The funds will be provided through USAID. 



Meanwhile, XINHUA reports:

Two Iraqi journalists were killed and a third wounded in Friday while covering fierce clashes between the Islamic State (IS) militants and Iraqi forces at a village in Iraq's northern central province of Salahudin, a provincial security source told Xinhua.
The reporter Su'dad Faris and the photographer Harb Hazza', who work for Huna Salahudin satellite channel, were killed in the village of Imam Gharbi near the town of Shirqat, some 280 km north of Iraqi capital Baghdad, the source said on condition of anonymity.



And we'll close with this from the KRG:




The owner of this all-women car garage has some advice for fellow Iraqi women.
Video: Iraqi mechanics
More on Aljazeera.com
 
 


And that you could lie like that without fear or remorse does not reflect well towards your character.






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    Saturday, July 1, 2017

    Barack explores a sub-culture


     








    From June 29, 2014, that's "Barack Explores A Subculture."  

    C.I. noted:

    For those who've missed it, Barack's taken to proclaiming himself a "bear" recently -- here, here and here.  With that background, Barack announces, "Step back boys, I'm a bear."  A man tells him, "Son, you ain't even an otter!"  Another man adds, "But I bet you'd make one damn hot power bottom."   Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

    That's a comic I still enjoy.  :D

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


    Friday, June 30, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, Moqtada rises, and much more.




    Some Tweets.

    Iraqi PM Declares ‘End of ISIS State of Falsehood’





    BREAKING: Iraq's Prime Minister declares the end of the ISIS state





    So the Islamic State is no more in Mosul -- or, according to Hayder al-Abadi -- in Iraq at all?

    ALSUMARIA reports that Lt Gen Abdul Ghani al-Asadi declared today that the "final victory" in Mosul over the Islamic State will be "in the next few days."


    Some rush in a little foolishly.


    why is twitter filled with news about rihanna and her man and not the fact that da3sh got terminated from iraq








    Maybe because the Islamic State has not been terminated in Iraq.




    : firing with RPG at vehicle in Province.








    Maybe because Rihanna is an artist with a huge following so whomever she dates becomes news.






    Maybe because the press knows people like Zain will be hating because they get a little nervous whenever a Sunni (Rihanna's new boyfriend) is involved.

    But primarily because the Islamic State remains in Iraq.

    In yesterday's snapshot, I called Liz Sly out for this Tweet:



    Reuters: Iraqi forces have captured the Nuri Mosque where Baghdadi declared the ISIS caliphate. The battle for Mosul is as good as over.






    A little while after we posted, this went up.

    Replying to 
    2/2 But to be clear, winning back Mosul does not mean the war in Iraq is over. Far from it. ISIS still controls a big area there & in Syria







    She's correct.  Susannah George (AP) observes, "Even after Mosul is retaken, however, IS still controls significant pockets of territory in Iraq that Iraqi forces say will require many more months of fighting to liberate."


    The White House's special envoy Brett McGurk Tweeted the following:

    Spent last two days in with local leaders in & . "caliphate" crumbling. More to follow.







    At present, The Mosul Slog continues -- even Brett McGurk's not calling it over yet.  So it's day 250 of The Mosul Slog and still it continues.


    Day 250.


    And if it ends tomorrow, what happens then?

    If patterns hold, not a whole to cheer about.

    Jacob Rogers (Medill News Service) reports:

    Cities in Iraq and Syria that have been liberated from Islamic State control still suffer a great deal of violence at the hands of the extremist group, but the attacks may be ISIS’ reaction to its weakening foothold in the region, according to a report Thursday by the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center.

    The report monitored 16 cities, from their date of liberation until April 2017, and used self-reported data from ISIS, which only reported death tolls in 30 percent of its 1,468 attacks. The group claimed just under 2,600 deaths, about 8.6 per attack. According to the CTC report, if that average were applied to the remaining 70 percent of attacks, the death toll would be greater than 12,000.  





    For 250 days, The Mosul Slog has provided a lot of cover for Hayder al-Abadi's do-nothing government.

    The cover slips away when the slog ends.

    And some are preparing for that day.

    ALSUMARIA reports that committees have been formed to investigate theft and corruption -- specifically corruption in the ports of Basra and theft of land in Baghdad.  Who's leading this call?
    Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr.


    Hayder al-Abadi's been little more than thug-lite, Nouri al-Maliki 2.0.

    And Nouri's bound and determined to return as prime minister.

    Next year's elections (if they take place) could be explosive as Nouri and Moqtada are already squaring off against one another.

    Nouri is the poster board for corruption.

    A fairly broke thug leaves office with millions while the Iraqi people suffer?

    The people struggle and Nouri's thug son has lodgings all over the world.  And sports cars parked at every one.

    Nouri got rich during his two corrupt terms as prime minister.

    While that happened, the Iraqi people suffered.

    One reason Moqtada hits so hard on the topic of corruption is that it's one of Nouri's biggest liabilities.

    The provinces were supposed to hold elections back in April.

    That did not happen.

    September is supposed to be when this will take place but there is also talk of merging them with the national elections planned for next year.

    Mustafa Habib (NIQASH) reports:

    The Sadrist movement has had a busy few months. The Iraqi political movement, which is led by the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, has defected from the larger Shiite Muslim political alliance to which it belongs, withdrawn ministers from government, joined in popular anti-corruption demonstrations calling for political reform and now, it seems, the Sadrists are trying to form a new alliance in preparation for federal elections next year. The most interesting thing about the latter is that the Sadrists appear to want to form an alliance that does not rely on sectarian affiliations – that is, whether one is a Shiite or Sunni Muslim. It may also end up not mattering whether one is religious or not, too.
    For several weeks now, the Sadrists have been holding a series of talks with secular political groups. If successful, the alliance would be the first between a religious, Shiite Muslim political group and a secular, civil-minded one.
    “The Sadrist movement will be the first to break away from these sectarian alliances,” Ali Shawaileh, an MP for the Sadrist movement’s political party, known as the Ahrar bloc, told NIQASH; the model built on sectarian alliances and quotas for each of them in Iraqi politics has failed, he argued.
    “And we have made many concessions in order to be able to do so,” Shwaileh continued. “We withdrew our ministers from the government so that the prime minister [Haider al-Abadi] was able to choose technocrats for ministers. However all the other political parties rejected this and continued to insist on the posts being filled, according to sectarian quotas.”

    The meetings between the Sadrists and secular groups involve two major subjects. Firstly, their ability to form a future-proof political movement and how to compete in the next federal elections, slated to be held in 2018, with it. And secondly, how to keep up the pressure with weekly protests that take place every Friday in Baghdad and in other provinces.
    There are obvious ideological differences between the two groups but they also have some very important things in common. One of the most vital is their shared enmity for Iraq’s former prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Not a week goes by without some senior member of the Sadrist movement criticising al-Maliki. Muqtada al-Sadr himself said in a television interview in mid-May that he would never vote for al-Maliki again because he had sold off the country.



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