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i'm ella, barbara stanwyck is my inspiration. ∞ ♡
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    Egotism - usually just a case of mistaken nonentity. Barbara Stanwyck
  • Baby Face with Barbara Stanwyck.
  • Barbara Stanwyck just asked Henry Fonda if he saw anything he liked.

  • barbara stanwyck was a legendary star and 1 of the great actresses of her age.

    she had chemistry with most of her male co-stars.

    (barbara was a lesbian in real life.)

    and 1 of the great problems with films?

    henry fonda was paired with a sexless katharine hepburn in 'on golden pond' when he should have been reteamed with barbara instead.

    with the exception of lauren bacall, i can't think of an actress who had real passion with henry (on screen) the way barbara did.

    let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

    Thursday, May 21, 2015. Chaos and violence continue, politicians continue lying about Iraq, Haider al-Abadi goes off on a whirlwind trip to Russia, Barack insists that the Islamic State is not winning in Iraq, and much more.

    Throughout this week, I've repeatedly stressed that the only politician with a national profile who can tell the truth on Iraq is former Senator Mike Gravel.  No one else can.

    Today, Fritz comes along to prove me . . . right.

    Former Senator Ernest F. Hollings comes along to prove that, while a train can whistle, a politician can only lie.

    "Why America invaded -- and failed in -- Iraq," finds Fritz name dropping ("my old desk partner, Joe Biden"), envious of other countries ("What does Mossad say about Iraq?") but mainly just lying.  Lying to himself and others.

    Fritz insists he was against the Iraq War . . . before he was for it.  See speaking to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, sharp as a tack Fritz noticed Rumsfeld didn't answer him when he asked Donald, "What does Mossad say about Iraq?"  So Fritz knew he had to vote against the 2002 war on Iraq resolution.  Bully Boy Bush goes on TV making the case for starting war without provocation by declaring, "We cannot wait until the smoking gun is a mushroom cloud."  Then Fritz "knew" (his term) that the CIA told Bully Boy Bush that Iraq had WMD.

    How did he know it?

    I think he spread his legs while Peatsy Hollings, noted music hater, whispered in the vicinity of his anus, "Real men start illegal wars."

    That makes about as much since as anything else in his long lie of a column.

    Personal favorite?

    This passage:

    I remember debating a PNAC Resolution on Iraq in 1998. We finally agreed under Trent Lott, the Senate majority leader, to a resolution on Iraq by a voice vote so long as the last paragraph was worded: “Under no circumstance does this permit military action against Iraq.” At that time, we wanted to stir dissent and have Iraq headed for a democracy but under no circumstance invade.  

    Yes, in the world of civil disobedience, no one has done more than the US Congress.  He wanted "to stir dissent"?

    Again, politicians lie.

    And then they lie again.

    Fritz isn't just lying, he's also stupid.

    It's a generational stupid on his part.

    Fritz spends his retirement writing these columns and gets all excited when they're printed.  Not since Peatsy railed against the Prince-written Sheena Easton hit "Sugar Walls" has either spouse had an encounter with the modern world so many of us live in today.


    Only an old fool who didn't grasp the internet would type that he voted for the resolution only after its last paragraph included "Under no circumstance does this permit military action against Iraq."

    Only an old fool who didn't grasp the internet would type that claim.

    Click here.

    It's the resolution that passed the Senate (identical to what passed the House, by the way).

    Where's the statement, Fritz?

    It's not in the bill.

    105th CONGRESS
      2d Session
                                    S. 2525
      To establish a program to support a transition to democracy in Iraq.
                       IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
                               September 29, 1998
       Mr. Lott (for himself, Mr. Kerrey, Mr. McCain, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. 
    Helms, Mr. Shelby, Mr. Brownback, and Mr. Kyl) introduced the following 
      bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign 
                                     A BILL
      To establish a program to support a transition to democracy in Iraq.
        Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
    United States of America in Congress assembled,
        This Act may be cited as the ``Iraq Liberation Act of 1998''.
        The Congress makes the following findings:
                (1) On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, starting an 
            eight year war in which Iraq employed chemical weapons against 
            Iranian troops and ballistic missiles against Iranian cities.
                (2) In February 1988, Iraq forcibly relocated Kurdish 
            civilians from their home villages in the Anfal campaign, 
            killing an estimated 50,000 to 180,000 Kurds.
                (3) On March 16, 1988, Iraq used chemical weapons against 
            Iraqi Kurdish civilian opponents in the town of Halabja, 
            killing an estimated 5,000 Kurds and causing numerous birth 
            defects that affect the town today.
                (4) On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded and began a seven month 
            occupation of Kuwait, killing and committing numerous abuses 
            against Kuwaiti civilians, and setting Kuwait's oil wells 
            ablaze upon retreat.
                (5) Hostilities in Operation Desert Storm ended on February 
            28, 1991, and Iraq subsequently accepted the ceasefire 
            conditions specified in United Nations Security Council 
            Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991) requiring Iraq, among other 
            things, to disclose fully and permit the dismantlement of its 
            weapons of mass destruction programs and submit to long-term 
            monitoring and verification of such dismantlement.
                (6) In April 1993, Iraq orchestrated a failed plot to 
            assassinate former President George Bush during his April 14-
            16, 1993, visit to Kuwait.
                (7) In October 1994, Iraq moved 80,000 troops to areas near 
            the border with Kuwait, posing an imminent threat of a renewed 
            invasion of or attack against Kuwait.
                (8) On August 31, 1996, Iraq suppressed many of its 
            opponents by helping one Kurdish faction capture Irbil, the 
            seat of the Kurdish regional government.
                (9) Since March 1996, Iraq has systematically sought to 
            deny weapons inspectors from the United Nations Special 
            Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) access to key facilities and 
            documents, has on several occasions endangered the safe 
            operation of UNSCOM helicopters transporting UNSCOM personnel 
            in Iraq, and has persisted in a pattern of deception and 
            concealment regarding the history of its weapons of mass 
            destruction programs.
                (10) On August 5, 1998, Iraq ceased all cooperation with 
            UNSCOM, and subsequently threatened to end long-term monitoring 
            activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency and 
                (11) On August 14, 1998, President Clinton signed Public 
            Law 105-235, which declared that ``the Government of Iraq is in 
            material and unacceptable breach of its international 
            obligations'' and urged the President ``to take appropriate 
            action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws 
            of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its 
            international obligations.''.
        It should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the 
    regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the 
    emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.
        (a) Authority To Provide Assistance.--The President may provide to 
    the Iraqi democratic opposition organizations designated in accordance 
    with section 5 the following assistance:
                (1) Broadcasting.--(A) Grant assistance to such 
            organizations for radio and television broadcasting by such 
            organizations to Iraq.
                (B) There is authorized to be appropriated to the United 
            States Information Agency $2,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 to 
            carry out this paragraph.
                (2) Military assistance.--(A) The President is authorized 
            to direct the drawdown of defense articles from the stocks of 
            the Department of Defense, defense services of the Department 
            of Defense, and military education and training for such 
                (B) The aggregate value (as defined in section 644(m) of 
            the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961) of assistance provided 
            under this paragraph may not exceed $97,000,000.
        (b) Humanitarian Assistance.--The Congress urges the President to 
    use existing authorities under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to 
    provide humanitarian assistance to individuals living in areas of Iraq 
    controlled by organizations designated in accordance with section 5, 
    with emphasis on addressing the needs of individuals who have fled to 
    such areas from areas under the control of the Saddam Hussein regime.
        (c) Restriction on Assistance.--No assistance under this section 
    shall be provided to any group within an organization designated in 
    accordance with section 5 which group is, at the time the assistance is 
    to be provided, engaged in military cooperation with the Saddam Hussein 
        (d) Notification Requirement.--The President shall notify the 
    congressional committees specified in section 634A of the Foreign 
    Assistance Act of 1961 at least 15 days in advance of each obligation 
    of assistance under this section in accordance with the procedures 
    applicable to reprogramming notifications under such section 634A.
        (e) Reimbursement Relating to Military Assistance.--
                (1) In general.--Defense articles, defense services, and 
            military education and training provided under subsection 
            (a)(2) shall be made available without reimbursement to the 
            Department of Defense except to the extent that funds are 
            appropriated pursuant to paragraph (2).
                (2) Authorization of appropriations.--There are authorized 
            to be appropriated to the President for each of the fiscal 
            years 1998 and 1999 such sums as may be necessary to reimburse 
            the applicable appropriation, fund, or account for the value 
            (as defined in section 644(m) of the Foreign Assistance Act if 
            1961) of defense articles, defense services, or military 
            education and training provided under subsection (a)(2).
        (f) Availability of Funds.--(1) Amounts authorized to be 
    appropriated under this section are authorized to remain available 
    until expended.
        (2) Amounts authorized to be appropriated under this section are in 
    addition to amounts otherwise available for the purposes described in 
    this section.
        (a) Initial Designation.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
    enactment of this Act, the President shall designate one or more Iraqi 
    democratic opposition organizations that satisfy the criteria set forth 
    in subsection (c) as eligible to receive assistance under section 4.
        (b) Designation of Additional Groups.--At any time subsequent to 
    the initial designation pursuant to subsection (a), the President may 
    designate one or more additional Iraqi democratic opposition 
    organizations that satisfy the criteria set forth in subsection (c) as 
    eligible to receive assistance under section 4.
        (c) Criteria for Designation.--In designating an organization 
    pursuant to this section, the President shall consider only 
    organizations that--
                (1) include a broad spectrum of Iraqi individuals and 
            groups opposed to the Saddam Hussein regime; and
                (2) are committed to democratic values, to respect for 
            human rights, to peaceful relations with Iraq's neighbors, to 
            maintaining Iraq's territorial integrity, and to fostering 
            cooperation among democratic opponents of the Saddam Hussein 
        (d) Notification Requirement.--At least 15 days in advance of 
    designating an Iraqi democratic opposition organization pursuant to 
    this section, the President shall notify the congressional committees 
    specified in section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 of his 
    proposed designation in accordance with the procedures applicable to 
    reprogramming notifications under such section 634A.
        Consistent with section 301 of the Foreign Relations Authorization 
    Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (Public Law 102-138), House Concurrent 
    Resolution 137, 105th Congress (approved by the House of 
    Representatives on November 13, 1997), and Senate Concurrent Resolution 
    78, 105th Congress (approved by the Senate on March 13, 1998), the 
    Congress urges the President to call upon the United Nations to 
    establish an international criminal tribunal for the purpose of 
    indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi 
    officials who are responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide, 
    and other criminal violations of international law.
        It is the sense of Congress that, once Saddam Hussein is removed 
    from power in Iraq, the United States should support Iraq's transition 
    to democracy by providing immediate and substantial humanitarian 
    assistance to the Iraqi people, by providing democracy transition 
    assistance to Iraqi parties and movements with democratic goals, and by 
    convening Iraq's foreign creditors to develop a multilateral response 
    to Iraq's foreign debt incurred by Saddam Hussein's regime.

    "Under no circumstance does this permit military action against Iraq"?

    No, it's not in the resolution.

    Well there was other action in the Senate, on Iraq, in 1998.

    Maybe it was in another Iraq resolution?

    It wasn't in this one.  Or this one.  Or this one. Or this one.

    Now maybe Fritz isn't lying.

    Maybe his mind is gone?

    Or maybe in real time Trent Lott put one over on him and tricked him into believing the phrase was in a bill on Iraq in 1998 when it wasn't?

    Again, find me a politician with a national profile who's not lying about Iraq.  Other than Mike Gravel, you really can't.

    They lie.

    US President Barack Obama's in the news cycle for his interview with The Atlantic where he declares of Iraq, "I don't think we're losing."

    Does he understand the concept of losing?

    He does.  He's still enraged, for example, that Bobby Rush kicked his ass in 2002.

    So he lies.

    And what's especially sad is he went on and on while campaigning for president (the first time) about how the answer wasn't to play "kick the can."  He was, he insisted, someone who took action and made decisions.

    But his Iraq action is nothing but kick the can.

    Every day, you can picture him praying, "Just semi-hold together until January 2017, just semi-hold together until January 2017."

    The whole point of his (minimum) three year action on Iraq that he started in mid 2014 was that he wouldn't be the one left holding the bag at the end.

    So he grits his teeth and lies, "I don't think we're losing."

    Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) reminds, "Obama began the ISIS war after the fall of the city of Mosul to ISIS, and expanded the war to Syria in September. Since then, ISIS has increased its territory in Iraq, including taking virtually the whole of the Anbar Province, Iraq’s largest. They also hold over 50% of Syrian territory now."  AFP adds, "Even with sustained US airpower, many observers are skeptical the Iraqi army can win the war against the well trained and highly motivated Islamic State group."

    Syndicated Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson doesn't see 'victory' or even 'not losing' in Iraq.  He notes:

    The simple truth is that if Iraqis will not join together to fight for a united and peaceful country, there will be continuing conflict and chaos that potentially threaten American interests.
    We should be debating how best to contain and minimize the threat. Further escalating the U.S. military role, I would argue, will almost surely lead to a quagmire that makes us no more secure. If the choice is go big or go home, we should pick the latter.

    I'm glad Robinson's covering Iraq and I think a solid argument is made in his column.

    But since Barack declared last June that the only answer for Iraq was a "political solution," maybe that should be factored in?

    Specifically, the US government's refusal to aid the Iraqi government in working towards this or to use Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's need for aid or weapons by demanding concessions from him to move the political process along.

    We focus here on the mistreatment of the Sunnis very often because -- under Haider and Nouri al-Maliki before -- the Sunnis have been targeted with violence.  But let's not pretend that life's wonderful in Iraq for a Shi'ite civilian who doesn't hold office.

    Robinson's correct that the Iraqi military collapses over and over.

    But might that be due on some level to the fact that there's nothing in Iraq for the Iraqi people.

    Billions of dollars flood in via oil sales but potable water remains a dream in Iraq.

    You can't get out of the faucet.

    You can boil your water on the stove before drinking it -- as many Iraqis do.

    Where is the improvement in their lives?

    Where is any indication that the government intends to serve them?

    It's a government of exiles, hidden behind the walls of the Green Zone.

    Who wants to risk, let alone give, their life for something like that?

    Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 69 violent deaths across Iraq today.

    Ramadi has fallen to the Islamic State but, not to worry, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declares they have Ramadi surrounded and will soon retake it.

    Of course, he made that statement not from Ramadi or even Baghdad.

    But from Russia.

    Alsumaria reports he also declared that some foreign powers called on him not to go to Russia.

    Who could he be speaking of?

    It's highly doubtful Iran has any problem with his visit to Russia.

    What country might have the biggest problem?

    Who could that be?

    Right, the United States government.

    Did they?

    And did they encourage him to not to go to Russia?

    No one knows based on the public record but Haider clearly wants to stand on the national stage and imply.

    This right after he's gotten US President Barack Obama to hastily deliver missiles.  BBC News reports, "The US military says it is sending 1,000 anti-tank missiles to the Iraqi government following the fall of Ramadi to Islamic State (IS) forces."  Missiles, which, no doubt, the Iraqi military and militias will leave on the ground of a contested city as they rush to flee (based on past performance).

    So off he goes to Russia and insults the US.

    No doubt, he'll rush to clarify that he was speaking of a super power, but not the US.  He meant this other super power, one that no one's ever heard of and that he can't, of course, name.

    Should he be in Russia today?


    In the Iraqi press for the last three weeks, one report after another has featured one Iraqi official after another insisting that Iraq needed to secure an alternative country for weapon supply.

    So you could argue that this visit was needed.

    But even if you argued that, it's still difficult to argue that Haider himself should be out of the country glad handing when the still-not-on-the-run Islamic State is seizing more areas.

    Of course the visit wasn't just about weapons, it was also about oil.  Alsumaria notes that, while in Moscow, Haider met with the heads of Soyuz Group Oil and Gas, LUKoil and Gazprom.

    Meanwhile, Iraqi Spring MC notes that the Iraqi Center for Documentation of War Crimes is stating they will file an appeal with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over the actions of the militias and Baghdad's SWAT forces as well as the indiscriminate shelling which has injured and killed thousands of Iraqis.

    The bombing of Falluja's residential neighborhoods carried out by the Iraqi government and now having existed for 16 continuous months -- leaving many civilians wounded or dead.

    September 13, 2014.  That's the day Haider stood before the press and proclaimed that these bombings (which are War Crimes) were over.  No more.  He had stopped them.

    September 14, 2014.  That's the day the bombings continued.

    And still continue.

    And Haider's off in Russia when he needs to be seeing that his (empty) promises are kept.

    More weapons -- from the US and from Russia -- are not the answer to the political crises in Iraq.



    pig hillary

    bill van auken (wsws) notes:

    The war on Libya was packaged by the Obama administration as a struggle for human rights, a war to save the Libyan people from a threat of a massacre at the hands of the Gaddafi regime, though today it is widely acknowledged that there was no evidence of mass killing before the US and NATO intervened. Figures like Clinton, Blumenthal, Samantha Power and others promoted this war, aided by a coterie of middle class pseudo-left organizations and accomplices in academia, who hailed it as a humanitarian crusade and even cast the advances of the Islamist militias under the cover of NATO bombs as a “democratic revolution.”
    What the Blumenthal-Clinton memos offer is a glimpse of the real motives driving these people, which were in no essential way different than those that drove Bush, Cheney and Co. a decade earlier. In both cases, war policy was set by a collection of political gangsters working in the interests of finance capital, the oil industry and their own personal enrichment. In both countries, they were prepared to decimate entire societies, killing, maiming and forcing from their homes millions of innocent civilians, in order to create more favorable conditions for plundering their natural resources.
    Just as with Cheney’s Halliburton and KBR, the machinations of Blumenthal and Clinton make clear that the profit interests of America’s ruling oligarchy driving US wars of aggression are not some abstraction. They involve real people thrusting their noses about like pigs at the trough.

    hillary's like the greediest little pig.

    she's the 1 who can never make it out of the pen because she's so fat from eating everything.

    she's a greedy pig who will eat just to ensure others can't.

    let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

    Wednesday, May 20, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, the WMD issue or 'issue' continues to obscure larger points on the Iraq War, Baghdad again refuses refugees, the Pentagon continues to maintain all is well and much more.

    In yesterday's snapshot, we noted how, excepting former US Senator Mike Gravel, no US politician with a national presence tells the truth about Iraq.

    They all tend to repeat the comforting lies about how the US 'helped' Iraq and how a 'gift' was given (at gun point) and it's always noble and wonderful -- on the side of the 'giver.'  Very little attention is ever given to those that the 'gift' was imposed upon.

    Damon Linker, non-politician, attempts to grapple, all these years later, with whether or not Bully Boy Bush and others lied about believing former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was sitting on Weapons of Mass Destruction.  At The Week, Linker notes this belief (or stated 'belief') was held by many Democrats in the five or so years leading up to the Iraq War:

    I read or listened in real time to most of the statements quoted in this useful Larry Elder column from 2006. Bill Clinton in 1998 and 2003; Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in February 1998; Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger in 1998; Rep. Nancy Pelosi in 1998; General Wesley Clark in 2002; Sen. John Rockefeller in 2002; French President Jacques Chirac in 2003 — all of them, and many more, expressed the overwhelming consensus of the Washington elite of both parties that Saddam Hussein was hiding WMD and that this made him a serious threat both to our allies in the region and the United States itself.

    And Linker concludes:

    Twelve years later, rather than doing the hard work of figuring out why so many Democrats (including the party's presumptive presidential nominee in 2016) made the unwise decision to support the invasion, liberals have decided to go easy on themselves by treating the Bush administration not as foolish but as sinister, conniving, evil. What a relief it must be to exonerate oneself from complicity in a catastrophic mistake by portraying oneself as an innocent victim of a diabolical plot.

    It's an interesting column, one worth reading and I applaud the effort.

    I started speaking out against the Iraq War publicly in February 2003 (one month before the war started).

    To me, today's discussion is b.s.

    Whether it's a little government monkey like Mike Morrell making statements that no one should believe or the continued other nonsense, it doesn't really matter.

    I didn't base my objection on WMD being present or not being present.

    Apparently, there are a lot of idiots or, in fairness, a lot of people who were silent when it mattered that now want to pretend they were brave.

    Brave would never having been declaring that the Iraq War had to be fought or not fought based on WMDs.

    WMDs couldn't be proven or disproven short of the United Nations weapons inspectors being allowed to do their job.  (Bully Boy Bush did not allow them to do their job.)

    I am never gong to build an argument around something I can't prove or disprove.

    I don't know anyone in the early days against the war who was going around saying, "Saddam doesn't have WMDs!"  I'm sure some people some where did that.  But those of us that were speaking out -- especially on the college lecture circuit -- were not making that claim.

    And I really find it dishonest that these Democratic partsians are today trying to pretend that WMD was the issue.

    WMD was the side show.

    I spoke out against the illegal war because it was illegal.

    Just War theory didn't spring up in the last five days of 2002.

    Its roots go back to Saint Augustine and Thomas of Aquin -- and even pre-date that if you pull in The Mahabharata.  Centuries of legal theory, centuries of ethical exploration resulted in the Just War theory.

    Bully Boy Bush was trashing that.

    There is no go-it-alone justification unless you are attacked.

    The US was not attacked by Iraq.

    There was no legal justification to go to war with Iraq.  There was no ethical justification.

    What Bully Boy Bush did was upend the law, upend tradition and insist that there was a new justification for war:  You could now legally go to war with a country because you suspected that at some point in the near or distant future they might decide to attack you.

    There was no imminent threat nor was the US responding to an attack that had taken place.

    The Iraq War was a war of choice.

    The choice being made -- not by the people of America, not by the people of Iraq -- was going to have long lasting implications.  For Iraq, the most immediate implication would be the tragedy of lives lost both during combat and in the immediate years following.  For the US, it would mean our government was not just embracing its inner thug, it was now fondling its inner thug in public.

    There would be no more efforts to pretend -- and there haven't been.


    We bombed it.

    I beliee Hillary Clinton's argument is: We did it because we could.

    There is no more pretense that the US government follows the law.

    It just acts as a big bully doing whatever it wants.

    Now the uni-polar system doesn't last for long.

    In part, that's due to the fact that bullies breed hostility.

    Whether a multi-polar system will come into being or a bi-polar system will return (Russia versus the US again?), something will take its place.

    But WMD is nonsense and b.s.

    And not noting how certain Republicans and Democrats felt that the uni-polar system meant the US could (and should) do whatever it wants?

    I'm really not into stupidity.

    I feel like I'm watching five-year-olds trying to explain rain.

    Only with five-year-olds, they're cute.

    There's nothing cute about adults basing arguments 12 years after the start of the Iraq War on whether or not it was known that Iraq had WMD before the Iraq War started.

    When the US government was moving towards going to war on Iraq and doing so without even the cover of a United Nations authorization, when they were doing it with no attack from Iraq and no imminent attack, they were upending the rules of engagement and destroying the traditions that engagement were based upon.

    Generally, when rulers act as the US government did in 2003, they're not seen well in history.  Nazi Germany didn't feel the need to follow international law, didn't feel the need to embrace Just War theory.

    The actions were criminal.

    And when one country does it, you can't then scream that others can't.

    So when the US government was giving up even the public pretense of Just War, it had a huge effect.

    In 2003, I would say, if asked, that I didn't believe the case had been made that Iraq had WMD.  But, I'd add, that was my belief and I didn't know for a fact.

    I did build my opposition to the Iraq War on WMD.

    And to go even further, I honestly believed -- belief, not fact -- that after the war started, if Iraq didn't have WMD then Bully Boy Bush would plant them in Iraq.

    So I stayed away from that topic.  It was a non-issue because I couldn't say one way or another whether Iraq did or did not have WMD.

    If you're interested in this topic for whatever reason, the only thing of value I think you'll find to back up your case that Bully Boy Bush and others were lying?

    On the eve of the war, then-US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (a Republican) wrote a column insisting that US troops needed better suits and protection when they went into Iraq.  What was she talking about?

    The WMDs that they were going to be greeted with.

    And she was actually right.

    Think about it.  Bully Boy Bush is arguing Iraq has chemical weapons and WMDs and needs to be taken out for that reason.

    But Bully Boy Bush wasn't arming, equipping and outfitting US troops sent into Iraq to face that.

    I would assume that the senator was honestly concerned and had bought the notion that Iraq had WMD -- the notion Bully Boy Bush repeatedly sold.

    But if Bully Boy Bush believed it, why wasn't he ensuring the protection of the troops?

    There are two possible answers: He didn't give a damn about US troops or he knew there were no WMDs.  He should be presented with those two options by the press and asked to explain which it was?  I don't find either answer as a 'win' for him -- and I doubt history will either.

    So if the WMD debate is what you're focused on, trying to pursuing that angle.

    But wars have been justified on lies throughout history -- not just Gulf on Tonkin.

    No one else has been so eager to publicly destroy the agreed upon structure and rules as Bully Boy Bush.

    And this is because of the collapse of the Soviet Union which led the neocons (and some neoliberals as well) to begin arguing in the late 90s -- in one academic article after another -- that the world was a uni-polar system now with the US in charge and the US needed to seize that moment to leave its imprint.  International politics on the college level suddenly had introductory books and collections and readers where these arguments were being made.  And on the college level back then, you would have pushback from many sides -- including conservatives -- because these claims were pie-in-the-sky and unrealistic.  But the die hards stuck to them and, with Bully Boy Bush administration and the aftermath of 9-11, they were able to present their ridiculous claims (on world order, on war, etc) as part of a 'new world,' a post-9/11 world and, with fear overrunning the country, they got what they wanted.

    I spoke out because there were serious implications here, long lasting ones.  Again, a friend had booked a college campus tour and then she had a larger tour offered where she could reach more people.  (Neither she nor I made any money off of this, we were donating our time.  To this day, I have never made  a penny off the illegal war and never want to do so.)  With the bigger tour and the chance to reach more people (and hopefully use that to stop the impending war), she needed to take that tour.  But she couldn't just leave the earlier one unfilled.  So I told her I'd grab the dates she'd already agreed to on the smaller tour.  And that's what I did.

    But it never ended for me.  I'm still speaking out against the (still) ongoing Iraq War.

    And I want my life back.  I don't want to be online with 'new content' every damn day as has happened since this site started.  I don't want to spend every year -- my final years? -- talking about Iraq.

    And I'm aware those are selfish comments and that's why I haven't stopped yet.

    How lucky am I, an American citizen in the US, to be able to stop thinking about Iraq.

    Iraqis -- both in Iraq and those who've been forced to flee -- don't have that luxury.

    They will never be able to stop thinking about what has happened to their country.

    The only ones today who can stop thinking, the only Iraqis who can?

    Those are the ones who've been killed in this illegal war.

    So I will whine -- I'll will drive my BMW loudly through the public square (Bitch Moan and Whine) -- but I will continue to try give time to this topic for a little while longer.

    Even so,  I don't have the patience or the spirit to indulge liars or partisans hacks who want to distort the history, the reality of the illegal war.

    I've seen and done things I want to forget
    I've seen soldiers fall like lumps of meat
    Blown and shot out beyond belief
    Arms and legs were in the trees 
    I've seen and done things I want to forget
    coming from an unearthly place
    Longing to see a woman's face
    Instead of the words that gather pace
    The words that maketh murder
    -- "The Words That Maketh Murder," written by PJ Harvey, first appears on her album Let England Shake

    The politicians lie.  Barack included. The Iraq War is an illegal war.  US troops were misused and treated disgracefully (both in being sent over there and in the way they were treated by the US government after -- and, by the way, where's the parade?  I though Barack's excuse was that troops were still in Afghanistan but in 2012 there would be a parade.  Where's that parade?).

    I do not attack any service member who was deployed to Iraq.  They did what they were trained to do and what they were ordered to.  They are not the criminals.  In some cases, they are heroes -- yes, an illegal war can have heroes.  Abby Martin's made a spectacle of herself with her idiotic and tasteless t-shirt ("F**k Chris Kyle").  She has nothing to contribute to the conversation.  She's spoiled little girl throwing a tantrum and being indulged by some.

    The Iraqi people were victimized by an out of control US government (also by a British government and an Australian one).  Easily a million have been killed in the Iraq War.  And as we've repeatedly maintained here, the dead are the lucky ones when you consider the alternative of being injured and living in combat.  A bomb -- market bomb, bomb dropped from a US war plane, whatever -- takes off you leg?   Life was hard for you in Iraq already and now you have to navigate a never-ending combat zone without a leg?

    The western press has always treated the injured as a class better off.  By contrast, the Iraqi press has always tended to lump the totals together.

    Along with the immediate victims, the use of various illegal chemicals -- by the US government -- means that birth defects have skyrocketed in Iraq and that these birth defects are not a transitional element of the Iraq War but one of its longest lasting effects -- one that will be felt for decades.

    These are the truths and they are the truths that are avoided as politicians rush to dress their War Crimes up in nobility rags.

    The never-ending Iraq War has gone on for so long that so many western journalists have now covered it for multiple outlets -- Leila Fadel, Sam Dagher, Dexter Filkins, Ned Parker, Liz Sly, Alice Fordham, Missy Ryan, etc.  Nancy A. Youssef covered Iraq for Knight Ridder Newspapers and then for McClatchy Newspapers and now for The Daily Beast.  She Tweets today:

  • Overheard at the Pentagon: "We've been exaggerating the strength of the Iraqi Army since the '80s. What else is new?"

  • Aaron Mehta (Defense News) reports Pentagon spokespersons are insisting there will be no change in "stragegy" (there's no strategy, only tactics) with Col Pat Ryder boasting/insisting, "I think our record speaks for itself."

    It does.

    But it's not saying anything to boast about.  Joshua Keating (Slate) observes:

    U.S. commanders have been describing ISIS as having “peaked” or being “on defense” in statement after statement since the fall of 2014—but a lot of anti-ISIS progress has been ambiguous at best. After Ramadi, reading Vice President Biden’s confident early-April proclamation that “ISIL’s momentum in Iraq has halted and in many places has been flat-out reversed,” it’s hard not to be reminded of his predecessor assuring the country that the Iraqi insurgency was in its “last throes” in 2005.

    Hassan Hassan (Foreign Policy) reminds, "The Islamic State’s recent advance did not take the world by surprise, as it did when the group captured Mosul and other areas across Iraq last year. This time, the United States said it conducted seven airstrikes in Ramadi, in an effort to prevent its fall, in the 24 hours before the city was lost. Local officials in Ramadi, meanwhile, had repeatedly warned that the city would be overrun if they did not receive urgent reinforcements. But the international and Iraqi support that arrived was simply insufficient to hold the city."  Hugh Naylor (Washington Post) points out, "The fall of Ramadi amounts to more than the loss of a major city in Iraq’s largest province, analysts say. It could undermine Sunni support for Iraq’s broader effort to drive back the Islamic State, vastly complicating the war effort."

    This is a point that Shadi Hamid makes clear in a Tweet:

  • Iraq's circular loop --> The more ISIS gains, the more Iraq needs militias. The more Iraq uses militias, the more Sunni support ISIS gets.

  • The fall of Ramadi has added to Iraq's already existing refugee crisis.

  • Refugees were totally expected.

    Are we really supposed to believe that Haider al-Abadi was again -- again -- taken by surprise?

    Because it is also very easy to read this as yet another example of the targeting of the Sunnis.

    When Haider pulled this earlier, there was great outcry from all Iraqis -- including Shi'ites.  It was noted that Baghdad belonged to all and that Haider's actions were discrimination and possibly illegal.

    And yet, weeks later, he's doing it again.

    At today's US State Dept background briefing on Iraq, McClatchy Newspapers' Hannah Allam raised the issue:

    HANNAH ALLAM: Okay. First of all, on the refugee issue, what are you – what are the discussions with Abadi about letting people in? I mean, you’ve got thousands of people stranded, four days, they can’t go back, they get killed, they won’t let them in even with a sponsor now.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: So I understand – again, I’ve been told as of this morning that the bridge has been open for refugees with a sponsor with a place to – what that means is that they need a place to go in Baghdad because you can’t just have a – otherwise, you just have a really chaotic situation which can quickly get out of control. So the bridge has been open to refugees with a sponsor in Baghdad. And the UN, again, who is doing just heroic work, is working to set up facilities for those who are on the other side of the bridge. That’s what’s happening as we speak, so hopefully, I’ll have a little more for you in the next 24 hours or so.

    Allam's report on the briefing can be found here.

    Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 151 dead across Iraq in today's violence.

    nancy a. youssef