Friday, October 28, 2016

Not Born In A Manger


From December 25, 2013, that's "Not Born In A Manger."   C.I. noted:

Michelle stumbles upon Barack in a Nativity scene and says, "Oh no!  We've just about killed off the Kenya rumors.  We're not starting any born in Bethlehem ones. Get out of the manger."   Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

I still like that one.  :D

It gave Michelle something to do.

But it might have been better to have drawn Valerie Jarrett into the cartoon instead.

She is my favorite to draw from the administration.

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

Friday, October 28, 2016. Chaos and violence continue, Turkey's government is not planning to pull their troops out of Iraq, Iraq's Shi'ite militias state they are joining the Mosul operation, and much more.

In Iraq, the focus on Mosul continues and the results are . . .

: Thousands displaced as battle for rages on via

But remember, no criticism is allowed.  If you offer any criticism, CNN's 'objective' 'reporter' Elise Labott will scream "NO!" in the middle of a press conference -- as she did this week when a reporter referred to the Mosul operation as a slog.

Elise Labott will allow no criticism or questioning.

And CNN will bask in the shame Elise provides them.

Saif Hameed and Maher Chmaytelli (REUTERS) report, "Iraqi Shi'ite militias said on Friday they would launch an offensive against Islamic State west of Mosul imminently, a move which would block any retreat by the Sunni jihadists into Syria but is likely to alarm Iraq's northern neighbor Turkey."

This may or may not alarm Turkey.

Of greater concern should be the issue of the region which is not going to see these militias as 'helpers' or 'liberators' but as attackers and threats to their well being.

Then there's the US government.

Their bombings are not to be directed by these militias, they are not to support these militias.

These militias are accused of War Crimes.

There's also the concern that Hayder al-Abadi, prime minister of Iraq, has stated that these militias will not take part.

Is there any consistent in any of this?

Apparently not.

On that topic, Stephen Gowans (GLOBAL RESEARCH) explores the differences between the US government's views and actions in Iraq versus in Syria:

To recover Ramadi from Islamic State, Iraqi forces surrounded and cordoned off the city. [6] In addition, the US led coalition bombarded Ramadi with airstrikes and artillery fire. [7] The bombardment left 70 percent of Ramadi’s buildings in ruins. The city was recovered, but “the great majority of its 400,000 people” were left homeless. [8]
Iraqi forces also besieged the city of Fallujah, preventing most food, medicine and fuel from entering it. [9] Militias “prevented civilians from leaving Islamic State territory while resisting calls to allow humanitarian aid to reach the city.” [10] This was done “to strangle Islamic State” [11] with the result that civilians were also “strangled.” Inside the city, tens of thousands endured famine and sickness due to lack of medicine. [12] Civilians reportedly survived on grass and plants. [13] Many civilians “died under buildings that collapsed under” artillery bombardment and coalition air strikes. [14]

The current campaign to recover Mosul is based on the same siege strategy US forces and their Iraqi client used to liberate Ramadi and Fallujah. US and allied warplanes have been bombarding the city for months. [15] Iraqi forces, aided by US Special Forces, are moving to cordon it off. “Some aid groups estimate that as many as a million people could be displaced by fighting to recapture the city, creating a daunting humanitarian task that the United Nations and other organizations say they are not yet ready to deal with.” [16]
Writer and journalist Jonathan Cook commented on the utter hypocrisy of Westerners who condemn the Syrian/Russian campaign to liberate East Aleppo from Islamist fighters while celebrating the Iraqi/US campaign to do the same in Mosul. Targeting the British newspaper, the Guardian, beloved by progressives, Cook contrasted two reports which appeared in the newspaper to illustrate the Western heart beating for all except those the US Empire drowns in blood.

Report one: The Guardian provides supportive coverage of the beginning of a full-throttle assault by Iraqi forces, backed by the US and UK, on Mosul to win it back from the jihadists of ISIS – an assault that will inevitably lead to massive casualties and humanitarian suffering among the civilian population.
Report two: The Guardian provides supportive coverage of the US and UK for considering increased sanctions against Syria and Russia. On what grounds? Because Syrian forces, backed by Russia, have been waging a full-throttle assault on Aleppo to win it back from the jihadists of ISIS and Al-Qaeda – an assault that has led to massive casualties and humanitarian suffering among the civilian population. [17]

Central to Western propaganda is the elision of the Islamist character of the Al Qaeda militants who tyrannize East Aleppo. This is accomplished by labeling them “rebels,” while the “rebels” who tyrannize the cities the United States and its allies besiege are called “Islamic State,” ISIL” or “ISIS” fighters. The aim is to conjure the impression that US-led sieges are directed at Islamic terrorists, and therefore are justifiable, despite the humanitarian crises they precipitate, while the Syrian-led campaign in East Aleppo is directed at rebels, presumably moderates, or secular democrats, and therefore is illegitimate. This is part of a broader US propaganda campaign to create two classes of Islamist militants—good Islamists, and bad ones.

Wednesday, US President Barack Obama's Special Envoy Brett McGurk was asked at a Baghdad press conference about the US involvement on the ground in Iraq.

Brett McGurk: So thanks. Very good question. We have again, a Strategic Framework Agreement with the Government of Iraq. There are multiple aspects of that. There is education, economic support. We work very closely with your government and the IMF to help provide a foundation for your economy in a very difficult economic situation you faced over the summer. So it's a very broad relationship. And, of course, there is a security aspect to that relationship. So anything we do here in Iraq will be at the request of the Iraqi Government. So those will be decisions, ultimately, for the Iraqi Government. And I think we will, obviously, be in close consultations with them about an appropriate role to support your security forces, going forward. But utimately, everything we do here is with the approval of the Government of Iraq.

And what sort of agreement does the government of Turkey have with Iraq?

Because the Baghdad-based government does not want Turkish troops in Iraq, the Foreign Minister of Iraq has asked them to leave, the Prime Minister of Iraq has asked them to leave and yet they remain.

And the US government refuses to call out this violation of sovereignty -- permission to build that CIA base in southern Turkey at the end of Bully Boy Bush's second term sure paid off the Turkish government.

The Turkish government has refused to remove its troops from Iraq.

Wednesday, Barack spoke on the phone with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the White House issued this statement:

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the President's Call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey

The President spoke by phone today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the next steps in the campaign against ISIL. The President recognized the contributions of Turkey, our NATO Ally, to the campaign, especially in supporting local Syrian forces who have cleared ISIL from Turkey's border in northwest Syria. President Obama noted the need for close coordination between the United States and Turkey to build on these successes and to apply sustained pressure on ISIL in Syria to reduce threats to the United States, Turkey, and elsewhere. The President welcomed continued dialogue between Turkey and Iraq to determine the appropriate level and form of Turkey's participation in the Counter-ISIL Coalition's efforts in Iraq, and both leaders affirmed their strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.  The two leaders agreed on the importance of denying the PKK a safe haven in northern Iraq.

RUDAW notes, "Wednesday's phone call lasted for more than one hour."

And how did that call work out?

XINHUA reports:

Turkey will continue its involvement in Syria and Iraq, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said here on Wednesday, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
"We are determined to stand by our brothers and sisters, who are fighting against terrorist organizations, through our diplomatic and military might if necessary," Erdogan said at the Presidential Complex.

Ishaan Tharoor (WASHINGTON POST) adds, "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that he had informed President Obama of Turkey's intent to participate in an offensive in northern Syria. His remarks are a reminder of the strategic conundrum facing the United States, which is working to defeat the extremist Islamic State in Syria and Iraq with both cooperation from Turkey as well as from Syrian Kurdish militias being targeted by the Turks."

Patrick Christys (DAILY EXPRESS) notes:

FEARS are mounting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoฤŸan is hell-bent on expanding his country’s territory after giving a string of provocative speeches referencing Turkey’s claim to more land.

The leader’s comments are fuelling speculation that the Middle Eastern nation is intent on land grabbing parts of Iraq, Syria and the Greek islands.
In one recent speech, the 62-year-old said Turkey “did not accept the borders of our country voluntarily” and mentioned the National Pact – a plan made at the end of the Ottoman Empire to conquer the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Meanwhile, in the United States, North Dakota is looking a lot like Iraq.

  1. No, this is not |i army getting ready to storm , but these ๐Ÿ“ธ show forces at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest -

This military invasion of a sovereign nation is being done on behalf of a foreign oil company.  Say no, from Standing Rock to Iraq

Law enforcements concept of de-esculating a protest, is to dress up like they are headed into Mosul, Iraq to drive out ISIS.

The following community sites updated:

  • Iraq

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    Friday, October 14, 2016

    Under The Tree


    From December 24, 2013, that's "Under The Tree."  C.I. noted:

    Having dropped 'gifts' under the tree, Barack steps away declaring, "Don't worry, I'm leaving something for every American underneath the tree."  Under the tree we see 'gifts' with ObamaCare on them and the ribbon is a lit fuse.  Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

    ObamaCare, the 'gift' that keeps stealing.  (For the latest, see Trian's "ObamaCare, the gyp that keeps on swindling").

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

    Friday, October 14, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Haider al-Abadi is said to survive an assassination attempt, the refugees and displacements that Mosul liberation or 'liberation' will create is a given and should be addressed now, and much more.

    US President Barack Obama is hoping to both bolster his legacy and deliver the election to War Hawk Hillary Clinton via a 'victory' in Mosul.

    Mosul was seized by the Islamic State in June of 2014.  Over two years later, it's suddenly time, a month before the US presidential election, to liberate or 'liberate' it.

    And you get US government spokespersons trying to gin up US public interest with press releases like "Liberating Mosul Will Be Iraq's Biggest Fight, OIR Spokesman Says."

    So -- get this -- the US government is preparing.

    Preparing for propaganda, preparing for using Iraq, preparing for lying . . .

    Preparing for everything, apparently, except helping Iraqis.


    Shahad, 3, in a tent in a camp south of , is one of 4.7 million children in who currently requires humanitarian assistance.

    Iraq's already got a displacement crisis.

    Shahad, 3, in a tent in a camp south of , is one of 4.7 million children in who currently requires humanitarian assistance.

    Liberating or 'liberating' Mosul will result in more displacement.

    This is a known.  Where is the preparation by Barack to deal with that?

    We call for genuinely safe routes for civilians to escape fighting & get to the shelter/help they need:

    An assault on Mosul risks 600,000 children's lives. Children will be in the line of fire - unless we act now

    Many are warning what's coming.  There's no excuse for Barack's failure to prepare for this.  The White House better get on it and if they fail in this task the news outlets might want to try to remember there's supposed to be a difference between journalism and hagiography.

    And Ken Roth better ask himself if pimping for Hillary Clinton is worth short changing human lives? I'm talking about the failure of Human Rights Watch to warn of this impending disaster while Roth sends his 'coded' Tweets of support to Hillary (which include pimping the lie that WikiLeak's revelations are due to Russian hackers).  Roth would do better to focus on humanity and stop cheapening his reputation with election politics.

    The timing of Mosul faces complications due to the ongoing animosity between the governments of Iraq and Turkey.  Turkey has troops in Iraq.  The government of Iraq wants them out.  Turkey is refusing to remove the troops.

    Birce Bora (ALJAZEERA) observes, "Only weeks before Iraqi troops and their local and international partners start their push to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), the leaders of Turkey and Iraq have been caught in a war of words that could derail the Mosul liberation efforts."

    In other news out of Iraq today, there's this:

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi survived an assassination attempt today.

    THE BAGHDAD POST apparently has the exclusive, if the attempt took place.

    What is known and established by others right now is that Haider al-Abadi was in Kirkuk earlier today.

    Mohammed Jabaal (BAGHDAD POST) reports that there was a shelling on a post where al-Abadi had been ten minutes prior.  No one was injured in the shelling.

    Haider was put in check on Tuesday by Iraq's federal courts who overturned his decision (unconstitutional decision) to do away with the post of vice president.  This means that Osama al-Nujaifi, Ayad Allawi and Nouri al-Maliki remain vice presidents.

    Nouri is the former prime minister and thug of Iraq whose actions -- persecuting the Sunni people, among his many actions -- nearly destroyed Iraq.

    So it's no surprise that this is one response to the news:

    Iraqi Shia cleric calls for demonstrations against Maliki’s return to a vice presidential position. |

    Moqtada and Nouri have long been foes and rivals for control of the Shia population.

    And the US Defense Dept announced Thursday:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 10 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
    -- Near Huwayjah, a strike destroyed an ISIL boat and a vehicle bomb.
    -- Near Rutbah, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three vehicles.
    -- Near Bashir, a strike engaged an ISIL staging area and destroyed two ISIL-held buildings, two fighting positions, two tunnels, a storage cache and an ammunition cache.
    -- Near Beiji, a strike destroyed two ISIL ammunition caches, two vehicles, a mortar system and a tunnel entrance.
    -- Near Kisik, two strikes destroyed three ISIL tunnel entrances and damaged another tunnel.
    -- Near Mosul, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.
    -- Near Qayyarah, two strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units and destroyed three supply caches, two vehicles, two mortar systems, two rocket systems and a heavy machine gun.
    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed five ISIL homemade explosive caches, two vehicles and an artillery system and suppressed a mortar position.

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

    I know a few people are posting this morning.

    I'll add the following community sites posted when they go up:

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