Saturday, February 18, 2017

Nouri The Child Molester

From March 11, 2014, that's "Nouri The Child Molester."  C.I. noted:

Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki explains, "Nothing comes between me and my Fake Ass Jeans except for children!  That's why I'm advocating for 9-year-old child brides!"  A nervous Valerie Jarrett offers, "Uh . . . Oh, the smell of it?" Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

What's really scary is that Nouri has a real change of becoming prime minister in Iraq's 2018 elections -- mainly because Hayder al-Abadi has been so awful.

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

Friday, February 17, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, Zaid Al-Ali grabs his pom-poms and attempts a Leapin' Lora of historic propaganda proportions, Baghdad's slammed with bombings, The Mosul Slog continues, and much more.

Yet again, the neoliberals are out for war and eager to send other people's children off to die.  The Center For Progress is getting it's war on as we noted in Wednesday's snapshot.  And then there's Zaid Al-Ali.

He did such a bang up job working in Iraq (that's sarcasm) that he's decided he's an expert.

He has an insipid column that was apparently too pathetic for even THE GUARDIAN to run so he took to ALJAZEERA.  Here's a typical passage:

Analysts and commentators in various parts of the world claimed that Mosul's population took sides in the conflict, throwing their lot in with ISIL. A video was widely circulated on social media, supposedly showing Mosul's inhabitants stoning Iraqi army vehicles on their way out of the city - never mind that the video was actually from Sadr City in 2008.

Second sentence first: Social media is global.  Not everyone speaks or reads Arabic.  It is very easy for a posted video to be shared with unintentional misrepresentations on social media.  I really have no idea what point the idiot thought he was making with that.

The first sentence?

It's a paragraph in a September 2015 column by Joost Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group.

A word on the International Crisis Group.  Early on, we were asked to note them by someone inhouse there and I blew it off.  We ignored them for probably the first three years.  As coverage on Iraq in the west continued to dwindle, we began to cite them.

In a perfect world, we probably would never have.  Their larger goals are in conflict with my own concepts of peace.  So I'm not a fan.

I know Joost only through his public writing.

Here's what he wrote in September 2015:

In Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s autocratic tendencies and sectarian-imbued repressive policies further alienated a Sunni population that, as soon as the opportunity presented itself, threw in its lot with the Islamic State (IS), despite the latter’s brutal rule. Iran could have acted to moderate Maliki’s behavior but neglected to do so, content that a friendly Shi’ite Islamist coalition ruled a neighbor that, barely a generation ago, had launched a destructive eight-year war against it. The Iraqi army’s collapse in the face of Islamic State’s advance in June 2014 created a security vacuum that Iranian military advisers have tried to fill by commanding urgently mobilized Iraqi Shiite militias. But what will the proliferation of such militias do for the unity of the Iraqi state, which Iran claims to want to preserve? The country’s breakup into warring fiefdoms is now a more likely scenario.

That's paragraph ten of a 21 paragraph column.

Iraq is not his focus in that column.

From his other writing does he believe the Sunni population in Iraq acts in unison?


From his other non-Iraq writing, does he believe any group of people act in unison 100%?


He was writing on another topic, Iran, and he did a short cut.

It happens.

I do short cuts here and hear about it.  "You say THE NEW YORK TIMES reported in September of 2012 that Barack Obama sent Special-Ops back into Iraq but there's no link because it didn't happen!"

No, there's no link because I'm not here to spoon feed you.

Check it out, we've linked to that report over 570 times since it first ran.

Here's one random example:

There's the fact that Barack sent a brigade of Special-Ops in during the fall of 2012. Tim Arango (New York Times) reported, "Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence." 

So after 570 times linking to it when I'm mentioning it in passing to make another point I'm still required to link to it?  A five year old article that was outright ignored in real time but that we covered in real time and that we have linked to over 570 times since?

Sorry, I don't have that time or kind of space.

Joost took a short cut because he wasn't writing about Iraq.

Joost took a shortcut.

Zaid Al-Ali lies outright which is a wrong.

Yes, there are Sunnis who support the Islamic State -- Sunnis in Iraq.

Sorry, that's reality.  If you can't deal with it, stick with lying, Zaid Al-Ali.

The majority position of Sunnis in Iraq as the Islamic State began rising was: It's not my fight.

That was conveyed in social media as well as in strong journalism done by NPR and other outlets.

The Sunnis were being persecuted by Nouri al-Maliki.

The Islamic State rises up in response to Nouri.

Nouri had made clear that Sunnis were not part of his vision of Iraq.

It wasn't their fight.

There were some Sunni Iraqis who were against the Islamic State.  They were quoted in real media early on.  They saw it as a foreign effort (the Islamic State) and read it as an incursion in the way Iraqis see Iran's attempts to expand their border (I'm referring to cartography here, not political influence -- though it doesn't get much western media attention, Iran is frequently seen as attempting to redraw the actual border it shares with Iraq).

There were some Sunni Iraqis who were horrified by what they knew of the Islamic State and were against them for that reason.

But there were some who supported them.

And you have to remember when they rose up -- it's not a fact that the western media ever gets correct because it would require them confessing to their own failure.

Iraqis had been peacefully protesting for over a year -- demonstrations and sit-ins.

And the western media that built up the Eygpt protests as the great change in the world (didn't turn out that way, did it?) ignored the protests in Iraq.

Ignored it as Nouri used the Iraqi forces to attack the protesters.

Ignored it as Nouri used the Iraqi forces to attack journalists covering the protests.

Ignored it as Nouri used the Iraqi forces to kill the protesters.

As this became the reality and Nouri began threatening the peaceful protesters blocking the road between Baghdad and Falluja, as he began calling them terrorists and speaking (publicly) of setting them on fire, that's when the Islamic State goes public.

They are the black garbed figures that show up with guns to protect those protesters.

In their earliest public form, that's what they were -- defenders of the Sunni population who protected the peaceful Sunni protesters.

And they did protect them.

Nouri didn't kill them on that road the way he did elsewhere.

That's reality.

And that's why there were some Sunnis who saw them in a better light.

That probably would have continued for some if the Islamic State had not decided it should take and hold areas.

Once it did that, it was not just extremely fundamental, it was also corrupt.

As a movement (that resorted to violence), it could have had some success in the region.

We are speaking in political terms.  Do not e-mail me saying, "You said ISIS was successful or would have been successful and I don't think it's a success to enslave people!"  A movement's success is based upon it's ability to spread.  Even with limited violence, ISIS could have spread it's movement.  For those who recoil at that notion and insist that bombing is not an answer, I didn't say it was.  I'm referring to their movement.  For those who insist that Iraqis would recoil from violence, a number of people do not recoil in any area of the world.  Some do, some don't.  There is not a universal response.  Equally true, bombing is a daily fact in Iraq today -- including the daily bombs US war planes drop on Iraq.

As a governing force, it was always going to be doomed.

It couldn't manage a co-op, let alone a city.

And it's idealization was not even met within its own ranks so attempting leadership of a city was always going to expose hypocrisy and corruption.

But had they not started seizing territories in Iraq, they might have been able to have succeeded as a movement.

Can they now?

If they are defeated in areas that they hold in Iraq, they could go back to attempting to be a movement only.  However, since they attempted to expand and their expansion was destroyed, they'll always be seen as failures who scaled back to smaller goals and that would hurt success in the immediate future.  (Though the narrative, how it plays out, over ten or so years could lead to a revival.)

Zaid Al-Ali is slobbering over the 'success' in Mosul.

No one's looked so stupid since   that October State Dept press briefing when a journalist termed it a "slog" and CNN's Elise Labott screeched "NO!"

123 days ago, the operation to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul started.

123 days ago.

It's a slog.

The International Organization for Migration notes today, "As military operations to retake Mosul intensify, concerns mount that these operations may displace additional tens of thousands of civilians – beyond the 160,000-plus individuals currently categorized as 'displaced' in the Mosul region after four months of combat."  While RUDAW reports:

Oxfam International Director for Iraq Andres Gonzalez visited Rudaw's office in Erbil to discuss the next phase of the Mosul operations and warned of the looming humanitarian crisis which could affect 750,000 civilians as military operations target the western part of the city .

“Oxfam is calling on all armed forces to avoid the use of heavy weapons in populated and built up areas, including mortars and artillery, and to provide genuinely safe escape routes to avoid the high number of civilian casualties seen so far,” Gonzalez said this week.


Siege conditions in west : residents say they eat once a day and expect it to get worse

That's not a success.

It's The Mosul Slog.

And this Tweet from Brett McGurk this morning touches on other issues Zaid Al-Ali's ignoring.

Vital partners & training Iraqi forces to hold ground cleared of terrorists.

Lucky for Zaid, if westerners are paying attention to Iraq right now, most are paying attention to the attack in Baghdad yesterday.

Nearly 50 people killed in a car bomb explosion in southwestern on Thursday. claims responsibility.

Baghdad: At least 55 killed in car bomb attack on Thursday, the latest in wave of blasts to strike the Iraqi capital

The aftermath of car bomb today that killed more than 45 people and wounding more than 60


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

  • Read on ...

    Friday, February 10, 2017

    The 'Patriot' takes a Stand



    From March 10, 2014's that's "The 'Patriot' takes a Stand."  C.I. noted:

    Liz Wahl explains, "It's me, brave American patriot Lix Wahl.  I quit RT last week declaring it a propaganda outlet.  I offered a lot of meaningless details like my family's immigration record.  None of which explains why I spent so long at RT or how the Ukraine relates to my alleged patriotism.  Now I promote Fake Ass Jeans."  At which point, Valerie Jarrett declares the campaign's slogan, "Oh, the smell of it!"  Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

    Liz Wahl was probably step one in the propaganda offensive against Russia.

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

    Friday, February 10, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, a NYT piece of work outdoes Judith Miller, the ban continues to be discussed, should a Supreme Court Justice step down from the Court, and much more.


    Where the Iraq lunacy began in print and was fostered daily.

    All these years later, the best it can do is offer foolishness with the occasional fact.

    Take this piece of work who's violated every ethic in place this week.

    1 For the last 2 days, I've been reporting from eastern Mosul, now under Iraqi control. It's amazing to finally be able to walk freely here

    If ever there was a time to use Cher's favorite word, this would be it.  But I'll just bite my tongue on that.

    It must be wonderful, to be an embed, and wonder as you wander the streets of eastern Mosul.

    It must be amazing, when you're part of a military detail (as an embed) to walk protected.

    Because, never forget, you are the story, you whorish little minded person.

    You are always the story.

    Not where you sent to cover because you are the story whereever you are.

    The whorish one doesn't grasp that she's reporting for THE NEW YORK TIMES.

    That means she doesn't offer opinions.

    Certainly not on political issues.

    Or, that's what it's supposed to mean.

    When whores play, it gets messy -- that's why penicillin was invented after all.

    15. When you're standing in the liberated streets of (eastern) Mosul, it's clear who this ban is hurting: The people who helped us.

    Let's be clear about what the whore just did.
    The whore is taking a side on the ban.
    The whore's not an analyst.
    And the whore's not talking about the Iraqi people.
    She's talking about the Iraqi forces.
    Which is confusing because if you're part of the Iraqi forces fighting in Mosul, are you really trying to come to the United States?
    Seems like if you're part of the Iraqi forces, you'd want to stay in Iraq.
    But logic is hard for whores, they're too busy calculating traffic and how much to charge per trick.
    Whores take sides.
    The paper bans that.  The paper bans reporters offering opinions on political issues.
    But whores do what they want.
    And the Iraqi forces in eastern Mosul that she's so concerned about?

    Grim footage has emerged from eastern Mosul, supposedly “liberated” from [the Islamic State] control late last month,showing members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and men who appeared to be from the Shia-dominated Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) paramilitary organisation executing unarmed men in the streets.
    The footage shows armed Shia militants, who are fighting under the banner of Iraq, dragging a bound and clearly terrified man through the streets. The militants are heard abusing the man, and can be clearly seen beating him as they drag him to his death.
    The victim is then placed at gunpoint by two other unarmed men in front of a row of houses, before about a dozen Shia jihadists fighting with the PMF and Iraqi soldiers open fire and gun them down in cold blood.
    Even after the men have been shot and are clearly dead, the Iraqi soldiers and Shia militants continue to taunt and curse them, and occasionally other soldiers would walk over to the dead men and beginning firing at their corpses at point blank range. They would also stamp on the heads of the unarmed men, which is a deep sign of disrespect in Arab culture.
    “Sadly, we have become accustomed to seeing such violence against people who are likely civilians,” Ahmad Al-Mahmoud, an analyst with the London-based Iraq monitoring group Foreign Relations Bureau of Iraq (FRB), told MEMO. “Even if they are ISIS, they should be tried in transparent and just courts, not shot dead in the middle of the street,” Al-Mahmoud said, using another acronym for the [Islamic State] extremist organisation.

    Guess she can't notice that because she's too busy Tweeting about how great she feels walking through the streets of eastern Mosul with her military guides.
    Again, it's not about the people in Mosul, apparently, it's about the delights of the fish out of water who decides she's the center of the world because she's a reporter.
    Does it matter that she requires a translator?
    Apparently not.
    Apparently she's just the best reporter there ever was (after failing at poetry) and can be dropped anywhere and, embedded with the Iraqi military, know just what the Iraqi people -- that she doesn't speak to freely -- are thinking.
    I would say "The spirit of Judith Miller lives on" but I believe even Judith Miller had more integrity than this piece of trash.
    We'll come back to THE TIMES in a minute.
    Since we're on the ban, let's not Trudy Rubin (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER):
    As the courts ponder President Trump's ill-advised immigration ban, nothing better illustrates its cruelty and carelessness than its impact on Iraqis who risked their lives to help Americans.
    By now you probably know that Trump's claim that a mere 109 visa-holders were affected was nonsense. At least 60,000 U.S. visas were canceled, causing chaos for foreign students, academics, high-tech workers, doctors who serve rural America, family members of U.S. citizens, and tourists. That's beside green-card holders - permanent U.S. residents - who were originally included in the ban (most were eventually permitted to enter).
    What you may not know is that the ban included Iraqis who held Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) issued to interpreters who helped the U.S. military. Thank heavens the Trump administration was shamed (and pressed by the Pentagon) into revising that decision. However, that affected relatively few Iraqis, since the SIV program ended in 2014; only 19 such visas were issued during the last three years, according to the State Department (around 500 cases are still in process).
    And what you probably don't know is that many other Iraqis who risked their lives helping Americans are still excluded by the ban.
    Trudy Rubin never forgot Iraq.  She covered regularly in the last 8 years and continues to do so.
    Whether you agree with her take or not, hopefully you respect that it is an informed opinion and not an attempt to turn an issue into political football.
    Perry Chiaramonte (FOX NEWS) covers another viewpoint:

    The Archbishop for the Christian community in Iraq said President Trump’s travel ban on immmigrants from terror hotspots is a good thing and will help minority religious groups in the region.
    Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil in Iraq, said as long as Trump's executive order includes special preferences for all victims of ISIS, it can be a positive for Christians in the region, whose plight Trump has been sympathetic to.
    “I would personally prefer that our people stay here in their ancient homeland, but I also understand that many have lost hope,” Archbishop Warda said to Fox News. “They have suffered too much and want to leave. It is not my place to force them to stay. 
    “That said, the fact that an American administration seems to know that there are Christians and other religious minorities here who need help is something I find heartening. I hope this means that we will no longer be excluded from U.S. government and UN aid, which our people desperately need.”
    The issue will likely be going to the Supreme Court.
    On that, a four to seven vote may be the outcome.
    Do I mean four to four?
    Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg may have to recuse herself from every case the administration is a party to as a result of her idiotic and unprofessional comments during the election.
    Judges are not supposed to inject themselves into the electoral process.
    Sandra Day O'Connor had her moment and she handled it well.
    She was not pleased when Al Gore was being predicted winner and made some sort of a grunt.
    Realizing what she did, she then left the room she was in.
    Her husband, however, destroyed her removal by explaining to those present that she was upset because if Bully Boy Bush won, she could retire but if Gore won she'd have to wait at least four years before retiring.
    [O'Connor was appointed by Republican Ronald Reagan.  She was stating Democrat Al Gore would replace her with someone closer to the Democratic Party so she'd have to stay on the bench until he was not president.]
    I like Ruth.
    I supported her nomination.
    But we've all like Ruth a little too much on the left and she's gotten addicted to applause.
    So she makes comments no sitting judge should make.
    And we all looked the other way when she started speaking about issues that come before the Court -- when we shouldn't have.
    There's an argument to be made for removing her from the court right now because she's not impartial on the Donald Trump administration by her own comments.
    She should have to recuse herself repeatedly from case after case.
    But, again, there's also a strong argument to be made for her stepping down from the Court immediately.
    Again, I've applauded her many times -- most of us on the left have.
    She's begun to seek out that applause outside the court room and given speeches and interviews on topics she should not be weighing in on as a sitting justice.
    She completely crossed the line with her comments on a candidate for presidency.  Now that the candidate is president, her actions need to be scrutinized.
    Let's go back to THE NEW YORK TIMES now.  David Zucchino offers some facts:
    Nearly eight months after the recapture of Falluja showed that Iraq’s government could wrest one of the Islamic State’s major support bases away from it, the victory now seems at risk.
    The Shiite-dominated national government has not yet demonstrated that it can secure and rebuild this shattered Sunni city, soothe sectarian grievances or provide for 250,000 returning residents. Iraqi and American security officials now fear that if the Sunnis of Falluja are given no reason to trust the government, they may once again embrace the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL.
    Local officials say Islamic State sleeper cells remain active, and many residents continue to aid the insurgents. Guerrilla attacks have resumed; in one of the most recent episodes, a suicide car bomb on Jan. 28 killed two police officers.

    Enjoy it.  It's the only real reporting on Iraq will likely see for a few more installments.  Having offered some facts, they'll now return to fluff.

    That's liberated Falluja.  "Liberated" Falluja.

    Today is day 116 of The Mosul Slog.

    The operation to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul began 116 days ago.

    It's still not done.

    Now they're saying it will be done in 180 more days.

    The following community sites updated:

  • Read on ...
    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.