hillary's never ending e-mail mess

so did you see this:

Kirby’s comments defending State’s work to release Clinton’s emails came on the same day the agency’s inspector general released a report slamming State for providing incomplete and inaccurate responses to Freedom of Information Act requests involving the secretary’s office, including one about Clinton’s use of email.
Last week's disclosure of an additional 5,500 pages included at least some messages from each year of Clinton's time in the administration. It also brought the total of emails now deemed classified to 1,274 — a number that has now risen to more than 1,300.
Nearly all of the classified messages have been designated at the "confidential" level. With Thursday's release, a total of seven messages have been deemed "Secret." Intelligence officials have said that Clinton's collection contained some messages with content classified at the "top secret" level, although not marked as such. The State Department has disputed that claim. So far, no messages have been made public with notations that they contained "top secret" data. When the messages are made public, classified information and other sensitive information are redacted, but the reason for the deletion including the classification level is noted alongside the deletion.

 we keep learning more and more about cranky clinton's inability to be honest.

this week, we learned that her aides lied while she was at state so they could keep e-mails from people and the press.


she surrounds herself with them because that's all she is - 1 damn liar.

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

Thursday, January 7, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the State Dept continues to act as if it is a wing of the US Defense Dept, Iraq's getting $800 million in weapons from the US but Barack didn't think to put conditions on the deal, and much more.

Today, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency issued the following:

Media/Public Contact: 
Transmittal No: 
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2016 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq of Hellfire missiles and Captive Air Training Missiles, related equipment and support. The estimated cost is $800 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on January 6, 2016.
The Government of Iraq has requested a possible sale of five thousand (5,000) AGM-114K/N/R Hellfire missiles; Ten (10) 114K M36E9 Captive Air Training Missiles; associated equipment; and defense services. The estimated major defense equipment (MDE) value is $750 million. The total estimated value is $800 million.
The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security goals of the United States by helping to improve a critical capability of the Iraq Security Forces in defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Iraq will use the Hellfire missiles to improve the Iraq Security Forces' capability to support ongoing combat operations. Iraq will also use this capability in future contingency operations. Iraq, which already has Hellfire missiles, will face no difficulty absorbing these additional missiles into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corporation in Bethesda, Maryland. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will not require any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives in Iraq.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
All questions regarding this proposed Foreign Military Sale should be directed to the State Department's Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, pm-cpa@state.gov.

This isn't supposed to happen.

Laws, the Leahy Amendment, it's all supposed to forbid governments like Haider al-Abadi's receiving weapons.

The White House got its way but that just means Barack Obama owns this.

He can be fawned over and fluffed today but, in history, this is tied to him.

The entire failure is tied to him.

And it is a failure.

Over the weekend, Karen DeYoung (WASHINGTON POST) reported:

The current prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, also a Shiite, has given much lip service to inclusion but has made little headway in changing Iraq’s sectarian equation. “All these things have to move in harmony. . . . You can’t simply focus on the military and ignore political factors,” said the senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal assessments.
“Our diplomats are working day in and day out” on Iraqi political reconciliation, the official said, “but in some ways it is even more difficult. . . . These are existential questions that the Iraqis are asking themselves.”

The diplomats are working very hard, are they?

So Barack got his Iran deal but didn't think to secure the release of American hostages.

Meanwhile the Iraqi government does as it damn well pleases despite years of promises to institute reconciliation and Barack just hands over anything to them.

It's difficult, the official told Karen DeYoung.

It's not that difficult.

Iraq wants a weapons sale worth $800 million?

That's a want.

The White House then tosses out their want.

The Iraqi government has to give a little or there's no deal.

That's what deal making is, that's what diplomacy is.

In June of 2014, Barack publicly declared that the only answer to Iraq's crises was a political solution.

Yet in August of 2014, he started bombing Iraq.

He used the US military, his envoy and the State Dept to work on more military means.

And there's been no progress on the political front.

None at all.

Yet he continues to pull State from diplomacy in order to have it work military.

At the top of today's US State Dept press briefing, spokesperson John Kirby declared:

Okay. I do have just a couple of things at the top additionally. And the Secretary alluded to this, but I wanted to flesh it out just a little bit more.
As he mentioned, he met today with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter as well as other leaders from the State Department and from the Defense Department here in the building to discuss coordination on all the lines of effort in the counter-ISIL campaign. This meeting today was one of a series of regular meetings between Secretary Kerry and Secretary Carter to discuss synchronization and mutually reinforcing efforts in the counter-ISIL campaign.

Today’s meeting in particular focused on next steps following continued progress in Ramadi as well as efforts to cut ISIL supply lines between Mosul and Raqqa. They also discussed the strategy to enhance our counter-messaging efforts. We are working to support the Government of Iraq as they continue working to stabilize the city of Ramadi. Our efforts in Ramadi are as much diplomatic and humanitarian as they are military. As the city continues to be cleared of ISIL, stabilization and humanitarian needs will be increasingly pressing on everybody. We are working with the coalition to address those very urgent needs.

At what point does State work on State issues?

"Even more difficult" to do diplomacy for the State in Iraq the US official told Karen DeYoung.

It's got to be difficult when all your time is spent on military issues, getting other countries to join the 'coalition' of bombers dropping bombs on Iraq.

Who's really being helped?

Farah, 8, from w/ her teddy bear ‘Aysha’ at a registration centre in Presevo, Serbia                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Embedded image permalink

The diplomatic push has been ignored.

What do the bombings bring to the refugees?

Ibrahim lives in a camp in . "More than anything I miss my school & my friends”
Embedded image permalink

A diplomatic surge might help the refugees.

But there's no diplomatic surge.

How long can Iraq wait?

  • What Barack has pursued in Iraq is a failure.

    Yes, each day the Defense Dept can brag about bombing Iraq.  In fact, here they are doing so for today:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Coalition forces, using rocket artillery, fighter, fighter-attack, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft, conducted 22 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
    -- Near Baghdadi, two strikes struck an ISIL staging facility and an ISIL weapons cache.
    -- Near Huwayjah, a strike destroyed an ISIL bunker.
    -- Near Albu Hayat, a strike destroyed 30 ISIL rockets, an ISIL rocket rail, and an ISIL building.
    -- Near Habbaniyah, two strikes destroyed two ISIL staging areas, two ISIL buildings, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL tactical vehicle.
    -- Near Haditha, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit, wounded an ISIL fighter, and destroyed three ISIL vehicle bombs, an ISIL fighting position and two ISIL vehicles.
    -- Near Hit, two strikes struck an ISIL vehicle bomb factory.
    -- Near Mosul, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 11 ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL bed down locations, an ISIL tunnel and four ISIL assembly areas.
    -- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck two large ISIL tactical units, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed 13 ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL heavy machine guns, four ISIL vehicle bomb staging facilities, an ISIL staging area, three ISIL buildings and three ISIL tactical vehicles.
    -- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.

    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 a 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.

    Barack is repeating the same mistakes Bully Boy Bush did.

    Barack's provided a 'surge' in military power.

    Supposedly, this was supposed to support the government and allow it to work on the political crises.

    The whole point of Bully Boy Bush's 'surge' was that sending more US troops into Iraq would allow them to secure the country and allow the Iraqi government to focus on the political crises.

    The US military did its part of the 'surge' but the political aspect was forgotten.

    Barack's making the same mistakes.

    And the violence includes the bombs dropped from war planes.

    But the violence isn't limited to that.

    Also today, IRAQI SPRING MC reports 2 corpses were found dumped in Baghdad, 1 man and 3 women were discovered dead in a Baghdad apartment (thought to have been killed by Shi'ite militias), 2 corpses were discovered in Diyala (said to be the victims of Shi'ite militias), a bomb south of Baghdad killed 2 people and left six more injured, a Baghdad bombing killed 1 person and left four more injured, a Baghdad bombing near a fish market left 1 person dead and five more injured, 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Tarmiya and another was left injured,

    Fanar Haddad explores the climate in Iraq with "Shia-Centric State Building and Sunni Rejection in Post-2003 Iraq" (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace):

    Underlying this spectrum of Sunni rejection is a latent resentment toward the post-2003 order that in turn is founded on a deep sense of Sunni alienation, a sense of loss, and a sense of victimhood beginning with regime change in 2003.7 This sense of resentment does not predetermine attitudes and positions; rather, and as with similar societal cleavages characterized by asymmetric power relations elsewhere in the world, people’s attitudes and positions are constantly shifting. Most people are not ideological hardliners—they react to socioeconomic and political conditions and make their choices accordingly. This can be seen in changing Sunni political behavior and participation in the political process over the years: from the boycott in 2005 to violence to participation in 2009 and 2010 to protest in 2013 and back to violence in 2014–2015.8 These shifts have reflected how Sunnis have perceived the permanence or transience of the post-2003 order and the prospects for political progress.
    Shia-centric state building is likewise a spectrum. At its most basic, it involves ensuring that the central levers of the state are in Shia hands (and more specifically in Shia-centric hands) and that Shia identities are represented and empowered. This could range from allowing, or even encouraging, Shia symbolism in public spaces to incorporating the Shia calendar into the national calendar for events and holidays, all the way to attempting to endow the state with a Shia identity.9 Whatever position a person adopts along this spectrum, the essence of it is that the Iraqi Shia are the Iraqi staatsvolk—Iraq’s constitutive people.

    The following community sites updated:

  • 1/07/2016

    of course she did

    you don't get to be hillary clinton without making your focus yourself.

    and she's always taken the time to set her end up.

    so 'politico' reports:

    Hillary Clinton kept a hectic schedule as the nation's top diplomat, juggling international crises, public appearances and high-level meetings.
    But eight batches of Clinton emails released thus far by the State Department-- with an additional limited release expected later this week -- illustrate another priority during her years as Secretary of State: tending to wealthy supporters who backed her campaigns and family foundation.
    While handling diplomatic issues, she took time to meet with billionaire George Soros, now one of her presidential campaign's top donors. She gave briefings to mega-donor and Hollywood director Steven Spielberg, sent birthday wishes to billionaire Haim Saban, and lunched with supporter and philanthropist Jill Iscol.



    that's hillary.

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

    Wednesday, January 6, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, some news outlets make claims regarding Haider al-Abadi that they just can't back up, FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS is suddenly concerned about justice, and much more.

    The increasing useless FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS offers Giorgio Cafiero's "Saudi Arabia Executed a Nonviolent Shiite Cleric. It’s Going to Cost Them Big."  They don't seem to grasp what they're saying.

    Words we use say a great deal.

    So do words we choose not to use.

    The execution -- which we'll again get to in a moment -- will "cost them big," Giorgio huffs and puffs like the bulls**t sexism offender that he and FPIF are.

    Strange, isn't it, how you can search their archives and never find a single report on the Sunni women of Iraq being thrown in prison when they're charged with no crime (other than being related to someone the police couldn't round up) and then beaten and raped.

    By its silence in real time and its silence since, FPIF made damn clear that beating and raping female prisoners came with no cost, that a government could carry these crimes out and not only get away with it but not even be called out for it.

    Today sexist Giorgio is suddenly concerned because a cleric was executed.

    (I oppose the death penalty.)

    Today sexist Giorgio is outraged and insists the cleric was non-violent.

    He bases that on hearsay.

    But when Rasha al-Husseini, a politician's secretary, 'confessed' under what many bodies saw as torture (Human Rights Watch, here), FPIF said what?

    Oh, that's right.

    FPIF said not a damn thing.

    It's a funny sort of concern.

    The same 'concern' that led them to embrace Nouri al-Maliki and stay silent about his many crimes -- including torturing Iraqis (including torturing Iraqi journalists).

    But today, today FPIF is suddenly concerned.

    It would be touching if it were so ghastly and so whorish.

    As to the execution, Matt Bradley and Ghassan Adnan (WALL ST. JOURNAL) report, "Shiite politicians and religious leaders urged their followers to take to the streets of Baghdad on Wednesday to protest Saudi Arabia’s execution of a dissident Shiite cleric as the prime minister appealed for calm amid a threat of fresh sectarian violence."

    Nimr al-Nimr was the Shi'ite cleric executed.

    Iraq is bordered by both Iran and Saudi Arabia. (It also shares borders with Jordan, Syria and Turkey.)  And some are worried that being caught between the two will mean an increase in strife within Iraq.

    AFP notes the fear that things could return to the 2007 standard in Iraq, "The civil war saw the reign of death squads and horrific communal violence that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than four million, reshaping the confessional map of a country in which up to 65 percent of the Muslim population is Shiite."

    This was the period of ethnic cleansing -- which few ever want to discuss honestly.

    The over four million refugees are largely forgotten today as people regularly note 3 million refugees from Syria and Iraq and the last years and bill it as the biggest refugee crisis.

    Not yet.

    The over four million refugees remains the biggest refugee crisis in the region since 1948.

    Ali Akbar Dareini and Jon Gambrell (AP) note the proposal (ridiculous proposal) being offered: Iraq will serve as mediator and help Iran and Saudi Arabia come to an understanding.

    The Iraqi government can't (or won't) even implement reconciliation in its own country.  The Sunnis of Iraq still feel persecuted (for good reason).  But Iraq's going to be successful as a mediator?

    The reporters explain:

    The offer by Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, made during a news conference in the Iranian capital, included the diplomat referring to the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr as a "crime," a description that raised questions as to whether Saudi officials would even consider such an offer. The kingdom and its allies say that al-Nimr was executed after being tried and sentenced to death under Saudi law.

    No one would believe the Shi'ite based government could be impartial.

    Not with its close ties to Iran and its history of public rebukes against Saudi Arabia dating back to Nouri al-Maliki's second term as prime minister of Iraq (2010 to 2014).

    Here's one reaction to the proposal on Twitter:

  • Same Iraq that allows Shia Militias to murder Sunnis.

  • Wait, some fools would believe it.


    The outlet's Michael D. Regan types, "Abadi gained power last year and has recently tried to bridge relations with Iraqi Sunnis, the country’s minority populace, Reuters said."

    Even if it was what REUTERS said, that wouldn't make it true.

    But Maher Chmaytelli's REUTERS report  really doesn't say that.

    It maybe hints towards that but it doesn't make that claim.

    It offers statements like, "Powerful Iran-backed Shi'ite militia called on Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi -- a Shi'ite who has staked his credibility on efforts to reconcile with Sunnis -- to shut a Saudi embassy that reopened only last month after decades of strained ties."

    But if you make a claim, you need to be able to back it up.

    Ramadi is not proof of any attempt to bridge relations.

    Pushing the reconciliation bill through the Parliament?

    That would be a sign.

    It was agreed to by Nouri al-Maliki in 2007.  Part of the White House 'benchmarks,' remember?

    It was something the Iraqi government was supposed to do in order to prove that US tax payer money was not being wasted.

    Reconciliation effort?  That would be the government agreeing to what we always called de-Ba'athifcation.  The US government imposed Ba'athication on Iraq -- running of those members who had been part of the Ba'ath political party.  They were supposed to be reintegrated into Iraq.  It's also the agreement to enact an amnesty law for those who were members of the Ba'ath Party.

    Thug Nouri al-Maliki agreed to it in 2007.

    And billions of US tax dollars have poured into Iraq ever since.

    But the deal was never held up.

    In fact, the Iraqi press was reporting just last month that the reconciliation bill was still buried.

    Like members of Congress -- Democrats and Republicans -- I'm just not seeing this alleged effort by Haider al-Abadi (prime minister since the fall of 2014) to reconcile with the Sunnis.

    But if REUTERS wants to hint that this is happening or THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR wants to state that it is, it's incumbent upon both to back that up.

    Neither can.

    Don't talk about Ramadi and Sunni tribal fighters taking part in the fight against the Islamic State because, reality, those tribal leaders have been fighting against the Islamic State for some time now.

    Better reality?

    The Sahwa are not back and on the payroll.

    Sahwa.  Awakenings.  Sons Of Iraq (and Daughters Of Iraq).

    These were Sunni fighters (then-Gen David Petraeus told Congress in April 2008 -- check the archives, I was at the hearing and we reported on it then -- that Awakenings were mainly Sunni).

    The US paid them.

    Senator Barbara Boxer, in that hearing, wanted to know why the Iraqi government wasn't paying them?

    This led then-US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Petraeus (then the top US commander in Iraq) to promise to explore it.

    And the cost was passed off to the Iraqi government.

    Of course, the whorish press insisted it had been done.

    When it hadn't.

    And the US had to keep paying.

    But finally Nouri said he'd pay 'em.

    And then he took off the payroll.

    And then he had many of them arrested.

    It was part of his war against Sunnis.

    So if Haider was really different from Nouri (Haider belongs to Nouri's political slate State of Law and to Nouri's political party Dawa and Arabic media loves to show a clip of the two side by side gushing to one another and laughing and touching one another), he could prove it and demonstrate a real effort to bring the Sunnis back into the fold by putting Sahwa back on the Iraqi government payroll.

    And if that judgment seems a little harsh to the whorish press, why don't we note these words:

    While we are focused on making additional tactical gains, the overall progress in the Sunni-populated areas of Iraq has been slow, much to our and Prime Minister Abadi's frustration. Indeed, with respect to Sunni tribal forces, we would like to see the government do more to recruit, train, arm, and mobilize Sunni popular mobilization fighters in their communities. We continue to engage the Iraqi government at all levels to move forward on this critically important aspect of the counter-ISIL campaign, including working with Sunni local police to ensure there is an Iraqi hold force to sustain any future gains.

    That's not me.

    That's US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to the Senate Armed Services Committee on December 9th.

    And don't say, "See, he got his wish with the Ramadi forces!"


    First, Ramadi's still not liberated.

    If it were, the US Defense Dept would not have announced this today, "Near Ramadi, eight strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL staging areas, three ISIL buildings, an ISIL front-end loader, six ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, an ISIL rocket propelled grenade system, an ISIL recoilless rifle, three ISIL vehicles, and four ISIL heavy machine guns. The strikes also damaged an ISIL tactical vehicle and denied ISIL access to terrain and wounded three ISIL fighters."  Nor would US President Barack Obama have congratulated Haider today on "continuing to liberate Ramadi, noting that the United States and our counter-ISIL Coalition partners will continue to intensify support for the ISF in these efforts, in coordination with the Iraqi Government." (We'll post the White House press release in full, later in the snapshot.)

    The forces that have taken parts of Ramadi -- again, still not liberated in full all these days later -- had finally moved across the Euphrates River from Ramadi when Carter appeared before the Committee -- a point he himself made, "After a frustratingly long time, we are starting to see some movement in the operation to re capture Ramadi. Over the past several months, the coalition has provided specialized training and equipment -- including combat engineering techniques like in-stride breaching and bulldozing, and munitions like AT-4 shoulder- fired missiles to stop truck bombs – to the Iraqi Army and counter- terrorism service units that are now beginning to enter Ramadi neighborhoods from multiple directions. In fact, in the last 24 hours, the ISF retook the Anbar Operations Center on the northern bank of the Euphrates River across from Ramadi's city center."

    Again, when a news outlet makes a claim, it needs to be able to back it up.

    REUTERS and THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR can't back their claims up.

    We covered the hearing in the Wednesday, December 9th "Iraq snapshot," "Turkey's invasion and occupation of Iraq continues..." and in the Thursday, December 10th "Iraq snapshot" while Mike covered it in "So now attack helicopters" and "What is the plan?," Betty in "Joe Manchin is a sad US Senator," Wally at Rebecca's site with "Who knew Ash Carter was a fan of The Killers?," Ava at Trina's site with "Those shameful senators," Ann with "That posturing and preening Senate Armed Services Committee," Ruth with "Senator Blumenthal misses the point," Kat with "Disgusting 'answer' to the refugee crisis" and Elaine with "Senator Claire McCaskill is a pig."

    Carter also appeared before the House Armed Services Committee last month. . We covered that December 1st hearing in the Tuesday December 1sts snapshot  and the Wednesday, December 3rd snapshot and in "Ash Carter spun wildly to Congress," additional reporting: Cedric's "Hank Johnson's sexual obsession with Barack" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! HANK HIS JOHNSON!" covered US House Rep Hank Johnson wasting everyone's time to profess his strangely sexual obsession with Barack and Carter and Gen Joe Dunford refusing to indulge Johnson,  At Rebecca's site, Wally reported on Ranking Member Adam Smith  in "Even House Democrats are criticizing Saint Barack.(Wally)," at Trina's site Ava reported on the obsession with oil that was at the heart of the hearing in "It's still about the oil," Mike reported on US House Rep Niki Tsongas offering some realities about the so-called coalition in "US Armed Services Committee hearing offers a little bit of reality," Ruth reported on US House Rep John Kline's questioning which established that there was no cap on the number of US troops that could be in Iraq "Iraq still matters,"  Kat took on the surreal aspect with "The US just declared war on everyone but Santa," Elaine covered one time anti-war US House Rep Jackie Speier making an idiot of herself in statements and dress with "The idiot Jackie Speier" and Dona moderated a roundtable at Third on the hearing with "Congress and Iraq."

    At that hearing, Carter also noted that Sunnis weren't being brought in, "The progress in the Sunni portions of Iraq --  as the campaign to recapture Ramadi shows -- has been slow, much to our and Prime Minister Abadi's frustration. Despite his efforts, sectarian politics and Iranian influence have made building a multi-sectarian ISF difficult, with some notable exceptions, such as the effective US-trained counter-terrorism forces. We continue to offer additional US support of all kinds and urge Baghdad to enroll, train, arm, and pay Sunni Arab fighters, as well as local Sunni Arab police forces, to hold territory recaptured from ISIL."

    I can back up my judgment call.

    And I can do with reality and even do it by quoting Carter's public testimony to Congress.

    It's a shame that so-called news outlets like REUTERS and THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR feel they can just say anything and not have to back it up -- no matter how ridiculous their claim is.

    Today, the White House issued the following:

    Office of the Press Secretary
    January 6, 2016

    Readout of the President's Phone Call with Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi of Iraq

    President Obama today called Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi of Iraq to congratulate him on Iraqi forces' recent successes in Ramadi and to underscore the United States' enduring support for Iraq in its fight against ISIL.  President Obama praised the courage and tenacity of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in continuing to liberate Ramadi, noting that the United States and our counter-ISIL Coalition partners will continue to intensify support for the ISF in these efforts, in coordination with the Iraqi Government.  The President also praised Prime Minister Al-Abadi's plans with Anbar Governor Rawi to stabilize Ramadi and create the conditions necessary for residents to return home.
    President Obama reiterated the U.S. commitment to work together with international partners to support Iraq's efforts to stabilize and strengthen its economy.  The President emphasized the need to take measures to improve the structural integrity of Mosul Dam and noted the United States' continued support for efforts to ensure timely maintenance work. 
    On regional issues, Prime Minister Al-Abadi and President Obama discussed their mutual concern over Saudi Arabia's execution of Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr and the attacks against Saudi Arabia's diplomatic facilities.  They agreed on the need for all regional parties to demonstrate restraint, avoid provocative rhetoric or behavior, and avoid a worsening of sectarian tensions. They agreed on the importance that all parties maintain diplomatic engagement and dialogue. President Obama reaffirmed the United States' commitment to Iraq's territorial integrity and sovereignty and called on Turkey to do the same by withdrawing any military forces that have not been authorized by the Iraqi government.  Finally, President Obama and Prime Minister Al-Abadi reaffirmed their commitment to the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq and their determination to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.

    And let's note today's US Defense Dept's bombing of Iraq announcement in full:

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack, bomber, fighter, ground attack, remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Huwayjah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

    -- Near Haditha, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL vehicles, an ISIL vehicle bomb, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL fighting position and wounded six ISIL fighters.

    -- Near Kisik, five strikes destroyed two ISIL bunkers, nine ISIL fighting positions, 11 ISIL assembly areas, and suppressed a separate ISIL fighting position and an ISIL machine gun position.

    -- Near Mosul, one strike destroyed an ISIL rocket cache.

    -- Near Ramadi, eight strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL staging areas, three ISIL buildings, an ISIL front-end loader, six ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, an ISIL rocket propelled grenade system, an ISIL recoilless rifle, three ISIL vehicles, and four ISIL heavy machine guns. The strikes also damaged an ISIL tactical vehicle and denied ISIL access to terrain and wounded three ISIL fighters.

    -- Near Sinjar, one strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike destroyed eight ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Tal Afar, one strike destroyed four ISIL fighting positions and damaged an ISIL bunker.

    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.



    is barack cracking up in public?

    granted, he's a drama queen.

    but is barack obama cracking up?

    in his gun speech today, barack began weeping.

    it doesn't jibe with the manly image of a president.

    remember when hillary got trashed for her eyes misting up?

    but barack was openly weeping.

    is he losing it?

    i think of those late night commercials about people with some disorder that causes them to weep.

    again, he's a drama queen.

    so it might just be the drama.

    but a president who can't deliver a scripted speech without weeping is a pretty shocking sight.

    as is this.

    whatever happened to hillary diane

    Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Whatever Happened To Hillary Diane? AKA American Horror Story"

    oh, do we really have to put hillary in the oval office?

    can't we just put her out to pasture?

    what a year 2015 was.

    and here are the community pieces:

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

    Tuesday, January 5, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the US continues bombing Iraq, more US troops are sent to Iraq, little concern is given to the hardening  perceptions in the Arab world of the US government, and much more.

    Is 2016 the year that we can finally hold US President Barack Obama accountable?

    Will The Cult of St. Barack continue to lie?

    These are questions worth asking.

    Especially as Felecia Martinez (GOOD 4 UTAH -- link is text and video) reports, "53 intelligent soldiers with the Utah National Guard are preparing to deploy to Kuwait and Iraq."

    When Bully Boy Bush was in the White House, those kind of deployments bothered us.


    Apparently not so much.

    Or how about this?  THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL features a photo by Rick Wood of "Sixty-six Wisconsin Army National Guard members stand during a sendoff ceremony in Madison Monday morning."  It's one of eleven photos of the ceremony for the troops who are headed to Iraq and Kuwait.

    US troops are being deployed again.

    Another US soldier died in Afghanistan today with two more left injured.

    Last week, an idiot -- an idiot I know -- an actor Tweeted to praise the success in Ramadi because no US service member had died in this wave of the Iraq War.

    Despite the death of Master Sgt Joshua Wheeler.

  • And he wasn't the first death in this latest wave of war that began in the summer of 2014.  From last August's "Editorial: How many US troops have died in the Iraq War in the last 12 months?:"

    Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

    But people -- like the idiot I consider a friend who's more committed to Barack than truth -- want to pretend otherwise.

    At this late date, that's on them.

    There's no pretending that the media has failed them.

    There's no pretending that the information has been kept from them.

    The Cult of St. Barack made the choice to 'turn on, tune in and drop out.'

    The hopium has been deadly to any real work towards peace.

    Days after Barack Obama won the 2008 US presidential election, the so-called United for Peace and Justice announced it was shutting down, their mission over.

    The Iraq War didn't end in November 2008.

    It hasn't ended today.

    UFPJ was nothing but a front organization for Democrats.

    It wasn't about peace, it wasn't about ending the Iraq War (or the Afghanistan War), it was about creating dissension to Republican rule and when a Democrat is elected to the White House, their 'mission' was over.

    Fakes and fake asses.

    They misled the country, they betrayed the peace movement.

    But at some point, the blame has to spread beyond the liars like Leslie Cagan.

    As we noted this week at Third in "Editorial: Barack's continued Iraq War:"

    But do most Americans even talk about the boots on the ground at this point?
    Seems like the only time any anger is expressed in the US over Iraq, it's to bring up Bully Boy Bush who left the White House in January 2009 and has largely lived under his rock ever since.
    At a certain point, it's not that the media is dumbing us down.
    No, at a certain point, we have to take responsibility for our refusal to recognize reality.

    In the summer of 2014, August of 2014 to be exact, Barack ordered the bombing of Iraq.  These bombings are daily and announced by the US Defense Dept.  For example, today DoD announced:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Coalition military forces conducted 25 strikes in Iraq using attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
    -- Near Baghdadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, cratered an ISIL-used road, wounded three ISIL fighters, denied ISIL access to terrain, suppressed two ISIL mortar positions and an ISIL vehicle bomb, and destroyed an ISIL machine gun, an ISIL fighting position, five ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL vehicle bomb, and five ISIL rocket rails.
    -- Near Fallujah, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL bunker.
    -- Near Haditha, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb, four ISIL vehicles, and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
    -- Near Kisik, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
    -- Near Mosul, 12 strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed eight ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL excavator, four ISIL weapons caches, ISIL engineering equipment, three ISIL heavy machine guns, and 12 ISIL assembly areas.
    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL-used bridge.
    -- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions and four buildings.
    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and suppressed two ISIL machine gun positions.
    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed 10 ISIL bunkers.

    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 a 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.

    That's combat.

    But people wanted to pretend otherwise.

    If you're a US pilot dropping bombs on a country, you are in combat.

    A lot of people kid themselves.

    The White House and the press, for example, with their biased coverage of an execution in Saudi Arabia.

    A secretary for one of Iraq's Vice President (Tareq al-Hashemi), is tortured into a 'confession' and given the death penalty and the White House can't say a word and most outlets -- even after Human Rights Watch repeatedly raised the sentence of Rasha al-Husseini (such as here).

    This bias -- which is swept and away and not even acknowledged in the US -- is part of the reason the US government has so little influence in the region.  They're seen as one-sided -- concerned only with the Shi'ites.  That's how Sunnis tend to see Barack's deal with Iran, his refusal to go to war with the Syrian government (I don't support war on Syria, I'm merely noting the perception among Sunnis) despite the persecution of Syria's Sunnis, etc, etc.

    If you're not getting how one sided the US government and US media's interest is, let's go to Monday's THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER (CNN) and pay close attention to how Elise Labott 'reports' the controversial execution.

    WOLF BLITZER:  Let's begin with a sudden and growing crisis in the Middle East pitting Iran, Saudi Arabia and many of their allies against each other right now. The ramifications are enormous.

    Our global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, is working the story for us.

    Elise, this potentially significantly, damaging impact for the United States.


    Tonight, Saudi Arabia canceled al fights to and from Iran after cutting diplomatic ties over the attack on its embassy. As the region's two biggest powerhouses ramp up their diplomatic standoff, tonight, fears in Washington the fallout could set the entire region on a collision course.


    LABOTT (voice-over): In Baghdad today, protesters chanted "No to Sau" -- as they stormed the Saudi ambassador's residence.

    A similar scene in Tehran, where protesters there returned to the Saudi Embassy after ransacking and torching it over the weekend, what is quickly becoming a crisis that could pull America further into a centuries-old Middle East conflict. Tonight, one of America's most entrenched foes is in a showdown with one of its staunchest allies.

    Iran is promising vengeance after the Saudi government beheaded this cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, who it called a terrorist. He, like much of Iran's population, was a Shiite Muslim. And his killing inflamed that country, leading to protests and the brutal attack on the Saudi Embassy.

    ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI ARABIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We will not allow Iran to destabilize our region.

    LABOTT: Tonight, the backlash against Iran is growing. Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic relations with Tehran. And, today, three Sunni- Arab countries, Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, joined them, severing or downgrading ties with Tehran and recalling their ambassadors.

    AL-JUBEIR: The cutting off of diplomatic ties with Iran is in reaction to Iran's aggressive policies over the years and in particular over the past few months.

    LABOTT: Since the American-led nuclear deal with Iran this spring, tensions between the countries have boiled over, each backing opposite factions in conflicts throughout the region, from Yemen to the bloody civil war in Syria, where Iran's support for Syrian President Assad has fueled Saudi anger.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they grow further apart, if they're not talking, if they're fighting through proxies in places like Syria and Yemen, and they are, it means, unfortunately, that in the next several months, we should expect to see more violence, more dead, more refugees coming out of Syria.

    LABOTT: Tonight, Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to get the countries to talk in an attempt to stave off war between two of the most heavily armed countries in the Middle East.

    JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: What we want to see is the tensions reduced. We want to see dialogue restored and try to get a resolution to these things peacefully, diplomatically and without violence.


    LABOTT: Now, U.S. officials tell me they did voice concern with the Saudis even before the cleric's execution that such a move would inflame tensions in the region.


    Now, the White House pointedly not criticizing the move, only saying it was unhelpful to security and stability in the region. Tonight, officials say they are trying to avoid owning this feed, making it clear to Saudi Arabia and Iran it is up to them to resolve their differences, Wolf.  

    Who, in Iraq, protested the execution?

    Check out Arabic social media because they're noting -- repeatedly -- that the protesters in Iraq are being presented as "Iraqis" -- when, in fact, they are Iraqi Shi'ites.  However, Arabic social media is pointing out that when protests took place in Iraq for over a year, the same US press referred to them as Sunnis.

    So when you're Shi'ite in Iraq and you protest, you're an Iraqi.  But when you're Sunni, you're labeled as Sunni.

    The White House objections to the execution are noted in Arabic social media as well.

    If the Cult of St. Barack can pull its head out of Barack's ass, they might be able to notice what impressions and perceptions have been taking hold in the Arabic world.

    And they might take a moment to ponder the long rage implications.

    Instead of that, in the US, we get pithy little comments about the Saudi government and 9/11.

    They do nothing to speak to the attitude of the Arabic people in the region.

    Or even to address what's taken place or the death penalty itself.

    But it allows us to pretend that, for about 30 seconds, we actually thought about something, right?

    Like CODESTINK pretends like they are appreciated in the Arabic world when they're appalling silence on the persecution of Sunnis in Iraq is noted as well as CODESTINK going all in for the Shi'ite majority country of Iran.

    Perceptions and impressions have been formed in The Age of Obama and they are hardening.

    At some point, Americans might want to take a moment to grasp that and grasp the potential pitfalls that these perceptions and impressions may result in.

    Let's stay with politics.

  • . is a true progressive who championed & opposed the Iraq War. We wish him the very best in retirement!

  • Yes, in 2002, he opposed the Iraq War.

    But, as Janet Jackson noted thirty years ago (it was released January 13, 1986) in her first top ten hit on the BILLBOARD HOT 100:

    I know you used to do nice stuff for me
    But what have you done for me lately?

    He did speak out -- or at least about or ask a question or something -- on the current wave of the Iraq War:

    WASHINGTON, DCToday, The Hill is running Congressman Jim McDermott’s latest opinion editorial.  The piece calls for Speaker John Boehner to invite President Barack Obama to Congress before the end of the 113th session to fully explain U.S. military strategy in Iraq and Syria.
    “Make no mistake, more American sons and daughters will die in Iraq in the coming months, if not the coming years.
    Our nation’s use of military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is becoming a full-fledged military campaign in Iraq.
    It is now an imperative that Congress hears from the president.
    It is in the American people’s best interest for the president to ask the people’s representatives for a proper authorization for the use of military force.”

    And we might applaud that . . . effort? . . . were it not for the fact that his office issued that press release on December 9th . . .

    December 9, 2014.




    Nothing at all.

    What a brave strong member of Congress!

    It would appear that Jim announced his retirement this week but actually entered his retirement at the end of 2014.

    Still on US politics, Senator Bernie Sanders is running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  He's noted in the following Tweet.

  • elise labott