why is joe biden yelling at me!!!!

okay, here are yesterday's tv posts:

  • i'm watching the debate and why is joe biden yelling.

  • it's like he just woke up from his nap.

  • i guess he'll go back to sleep.

  • but what the hell is up with his face, by the way.

  • his nose looks weird and his face has a lot more dots on it.  it's like they forgot to put on joe's pancake make up.  


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

    Thursday, December 19, 2019.  A sexist appeal to Elizabeth Warren to take one for the boys should go over with a thud and the writer -- David Swanson -- should be loudly rebuked, Human Rights Watch's Belkis Wille sees more bloodshed in the future for Iraq as the government continues to crackdown on protesters, and much more.

    The ingrained sexism in society is also deeply woven into the left.  We can never forget that because the world we live in won't let us.  Say you listen to, for example, KPFK.  How would you listen to that station (Patty, I'm looking at you -- you who pretends to be a warrior for women) and never notice that show after show is male, male, male?  They're progressives -- on every issue but diversity and gender.

    It shouldn't require you, me or us together having to point out the nonsense.  But it has.  Ava and I documented COUNTERSPIN's sexism in 2006.  This is the radio program from 'media watchdog' FAIR.  It's supposed to be our friend, right?  But when Ava and I asked "Are You On CounterSpin's Guest List?," the answer was: Probably not if you're a woman.  From October of 2005 to March of 2006, 36 men were guests while only 13 women were.

    Why in the world did we chose that time span -- October to March?

    Because FAIR was slamming THE NEWSHOUR (PBS) for it's lack of female guests in that same period.  While featuring roughly one woman to every three men, they were calling out THE NEWSHOUR for featuring roughly one woman to every four men.  Yes, COUNTERSPIN was a tiny bit better.  But the lack of awareness, the inability to self-check is a hallmark of the left when it comes to gender.

    At least they took their lumps and shut up.  THE NATION is another story.  In 2007, Ava and I began studying the bylines in THE NATION (print issues).  As we noted a tally each issue, half-way through -- following the publication of "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you must have a penis," a desperate e-mail comes in from THE NATION.  Could we please kill this feature?  Pretty please?  They insisted they were aware of the problem and they would be addressing it.  "On the subject of women and the magazine; you should also know that the magazine is more than aware of the imbalance, and has taken steps in the last several months to recruit and bring in more women writers," Ben Wyskida wrote.


    Because they didn't address it.  We continued the study for another half year and, when the last new issue of THE NATION for 2007 went to print, we offered "The Nation featured 491 male bylines in 2007 -- how many female ones?"

    Want to take a guess on the number?

    491 by men, 149 by women.

    Ben Wyskida, in his e-mail imploring us to kill the feature, wanted us to know -- apparently, we were too stupid in his mind to have known this -- "Its worth noting, I think, the extent to which women ARE the leadership of the magazine -- from the editorial side (print, web, and almost all of our senior and executive editors) to the business side (President and the heads of advertising and fundraising) -- but there is an ongoing effort to bring in more women in to the magazine and the website."

    Oh thank goodness Ben and his mighty penis came along to share that because, as women, Ava and I had no idea what a woman was, right?

    The whole reason we were calling out THE NATION was because of the women making the key decisions -- a point we noted when the feature started.  Katrina vanden Heuvel was the definition of what we would later dub the Deanna Durbin syndrome -- 100 guys and a girl.

    Thank you, Ben, for all the hard work you did lifting your mighty penis to state the obvious -- to tell us not only what we already knew but, in fact, what we'd already written about.

    And women are part of the problem -- a fact we've never denied.  With Ann, we studied NPR's Terry Gross and her not-so-fresh-air that featured 399 guests in 2010.  How many were women?  74.  And we're the only ones calling it out.

    We could talk 2008 and the sexist trashing of women (Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente) and we certainly documented that but let's leave it at the above and get to the point of why I have to note the above today.  "Six Reasons Elizabeth Warren Should Volunteer to Be Bernie Sanders' Running Mate."

    You know a man wrote it, right?  It had to be.

    It shows up yesterday in the public e-mail account (common_ills@yahoo.com).  Martha calls to tell me about it.

    It's by David Swanson who's not all bad.  When not passing Rebecca's private e-mail response to him with his editorial statements  -- when not passing that around -- and not being smart enough to realize he included Rebecca on it -- David can do a good thing or two.  I mean, he does remember the Iraq War every three months or so, right?

    So Bernie Sanders supporter David Swanson felt his mighty penis needed to weigh in.

    Now David is part of the left problem and look at what he's constantly sharing and you grasp that.  You grasp that there is no effort to present equal numbers of female guests and female writers.  Some on the left complain about the lack of equal pay in the US -- when will they complain about the lack of equal representation?

    Until that day comes, I guess I just have to be the bitch online who always points out the problem.

    Elizabeth Warren has a shot at being the second woman in the nation to be the presidential nominee for one of the duopoly parties.  That is not a minor thing.  Unlike Hillary, Elizabeth didn't 'inherit' her public stature.  She made it herself.  Most women in politics have had their stature bestowed on them -- by marriage, by parents, whatever.

    So Elizabeth would be a game changer.

    That doesn't mean I embrace her as the candidate.  I think either she or Bernie Sanders would be a worthy nominee.

    I'm not taking sides.

    Awhile back, Bernie supporter Norman Solomon tried to take sides.  We ignored the column and he moved on realizing it wasn't the time.

    It's still not the time.

    Who the f**k is penis waving David Swanson to tell Elizabeth Warren she would be a good vice president.

    Why doesn't he just ask her to stay home and take care of the babies?

    She'd be good at that, right, David?

    This is sexism plain and simple and it's appalling that I'm having to write about it.

    He's on the left.  But gender means so little to him that he doesn't grasp the various tropes he's trafficking in, the various ways he is reinforcing sexism.

    David just wags his mighty penis and says, "Girls, I'm upgrading you, I'm saying a woman can be vice president."

    David needs to sit his tired ass down and start composing an apology for what he wrote.  I'm not joking.  It demands an apology.  Maybe he'll have the guts to write it.  No one else that we've called out ever has.  (And don't get me started on the lists of excuses various NPR omsbudpersons -- hey, Alicia, you were always the snarkiest -- have shared privately to justify the sexism on NPR airwaves.)

    It demands an apology.

    Women do not need David Swanson telling them what to do.  It's amazing how little he bothers to note women or issues that directly impact the lives of women but he's so full of himself that he can still take it upon himself to tell a candidate who is basically in a three-way tie that she -- emphasis on the "she" -- should step aside and be a vice presidential nominee.

    C'mon, Lizzie, step aside for the big balled boys.

    David needs to apologize.

    Unlike his bitch ass, I do remember 2008.  Like many women, I have the scars from 2008.  David's b.s. right now was done to Hillary as well.  It did not 'bring the party together.'  His sexist b.s. not only makes him look stupid, it harms Bernie's support.

    He crossed a line that does not need to be crossed.

    And if he'd written "Corey Booker" and not "Elizabeth Warren"?  That's the whole point.  Men on the left know not to write that about race.  They grasp that is offensive.  But when it's a woman, they think it's a-okay.

    It's disgusting and he needs to retract it and apologize for it.

    Yes, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.

    Until Iowa, it will be a three-way race -- Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.  After Iowa, things will change based on the results.  There might be a surprise new name due to the results, the three-way may expand to a four-way or shrink to one nominee only.

    But currently, it is a three-way race.  Far from the winner's circle currently is Mike Bloomberg.  But that doesn't mean he doesn't know how to campaign.

    Carl Campanile (NEW YORK POST) reports:

    Michael Bloomberg dumped on Democratic rival Joe Biden, saying the former vice president is not qualified to be president because he’s never run anything.
    “He’s never been a manager of an organization. He’s never run a school system,” Bloomberg said during an MSNBC interview, excerpts of which were released Wednesday night.
    The former three-term New York City mayor and billionaire media mogul thought no better of the rest of the Democratic competitors running for president.

    “But no, I don’t think any of them — you know, the presidency shouldn’t be a training job,” he said.

    Bloomberg knows he needs press attention -- not just ad buys (ad buys that have not helped him) -- and he knows the press will cover attacks on his competitors.  It's a shame others don't grasp that basic reality.  Instead, real and fundamental policy differences are glossed over in the name of 'togetherness.'

    On the topic of Joe Biden, Kimberly Leonard and Joseph Simonson (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) report:

    Former President Barack Obama’s once-longtime doctor said the medical records Joe Biden’s campaign disclosed are concerning and incomplete.
    “He’s not a healthy guy,” Dr. David Scheiner, who was Obama's personal physician for the 22 years before he became president, concluded after reading the records. “He’s not in bad shape for his age, but I wouldn't say he’s in outstanding health. Could I guarantee he won't have issues for the next four years? He has a lot of issues that are just sort of sitting there.”
    A three-page letter from Biden’s physician concluded the former vice president is a “healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old” that is fit to be president. But the letter also revealed Biden receives treatment for an irregular heartbeat and high cholesterol and that he deals with acid reflux and seasonal allergies. It noted his already known history of aneurysms and that he took blood thinners.

    The details from the letter made Scheiner, 81, concerned about Biden’s potential for strokes, and he said he would want to see results from an MRI or CT scan. Because Biden also used to have sleep apnea before getting surgery on his sinus and nasal passages, Scheiner said he would also like to review the results of a sleep study. 

    Turning to Iraq where the protests continue.  Sunday, Mustafa Saadoun (AL-MONITOR) reported:

    The constitutional deadline for nominating a new prime minister arrived Dec. 15 with no consensus candidate in view, even though a spokesman for Iraqi President Barham Salih said Dec. 12 that the president was committed to coming up with a candidate within the constitutional time frame.
    Former Human Rights Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani threw his hat in the ring Dec. 13, announcing on his Twitter account that he has resigned from the Islamic Dawa party to become a candidate for the premiership. Sudani has not been nominated by any bloc in the parliament, although he is believed to be backed by Fatah bloc, which is the political front of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Units and former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition, which together could form the largest bloc in parliament. However, the president sent a request on Dec. 15 to the parliament, asking to determine the largest bloc, in order to nominate a candidate for the premiership position, which indicates that Fatah was not able to form the largest bloc and Sudani candidacy was not successful. In fact, one of the main criticism against the parliament and government formed after the 2018 election is that the whole process of forming the government had not followed the constitution guideline which obliged the parliament to determine the largest bloc officially, which did not happen. 
    Moreover, the protesters had rejected Sudani previously. His photo, among those of other five possible candidates, can be seen in Tahrir Square with a big red X across it, indicating that the protesters do not accept any of the names. The other names are Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Qusai al-Suhail, Basra Gov. Asaad al-Eidani, former Minister of Youth and Sports Abdul-Hussein Abtan, former Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum and veteran politician Izzat al-Shahbandar.
    The protesters had previously said that they want a new face without any affiliation with the current political class to lead the caretaker government and prepare for fair early elections, on the condition that the caretaker prime minister not run for office in the upcoming contest. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has the largest parliamentary bloc with 54 seats, also has rejected Sudani. Sadr has said the protesters must nominate the new prime minister. 

    The deadlock continues today.  This morning, REUTERS reports, "Iraqi lawmakers said on Thursday that deadlock in parliament was holding up the selection of an interim prime minister, meaning leaders would miss a deadline to name a replacement for Adel Abdul Mahdi and prolong nationwide unrest."  The protests have been going on for months.  The refusal of the lawmakers to act on declaring a replacement prime minister is outrageous.

    The deadlock takes place as the protesters are under attack.  As Eleanor Hall (Australia's ABC's THE WORLD TODAY) noted this morning, "the targeting of activists is the latest attempt to shut down the movement."  This led into a story on the killing of activist leaders.  "They really are putting their lives at risk,"  Belkis Wille notes.

    As they continue to put their lives at risk, the lawmakers do nothing.  Human Rights Watch Belkis Wille offered this on THE WORLD TODAY I think that the government or the powers that somehow remain in power will do everything that they can to get the people off the streets. So I think the movement is going to dwindle and it's going to be extremely bloody in coming weeks.  I think it's going to get much worse."

    In other news, XINHUA reports:

    The U.S. forces on Thursday conducted an operation and captured a leader of a paramilitary Sunni tribal fighters over participating in rocket attack on an air base housing U.S. troops in Iraq's western province of Anbar, an official and a security sources said.
    The U.S. troops conducted an airdrop operation before dawn on a house in Jubba area at the town of al-Baghdadi, some 190 km northwest of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, and arrested Naseer al-Obeidi, a leader of local tribal fighters affiliated with the Hashd Shaabi forces, a local official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

    The source said that al-Obeidi was arrested over intelligence reports which said that he had participated earlier in the month in a rocket attack on the nearby Ain al-Asad air base, where hundreds of U.S. troops are stationed, the official said.

    The following sites updated:


    dynasty - scoring the season thus far

    stan has a reader who wants those of us who cover a tv show to do a score card for the first 1/2 of the season.  I cover 'dynasty' which airs on 'the cw' on friday nights and has already aired it's winter finale.  it returns in january with new episodes.  this is a reboot of the 80s number 1 show.

    so how do we grade the 1st 1/2 of the season?  b+.  no a?

    no way.

    the winter finale ended with alexis colby carrington showing up to testify against blake at a murder trial.  it was a move - including wardrobe - that was right of the original show's 1st season cliffhanger.

    it should have been a great moment.  but this is our 2nd alexis.  no, our 3rd.  knot's landing's nicolette sheridan played the part.  she did a fine job.  then the character's face was burned and the actress playing fallon began playing alexis.  now we have our 3rd alexis.  this 1 is a no name.  she may make a name for herself in the role; however, the part should have gone to some 1 else, my opinion.

    heather locklear would have been the ideal choice.  they also could have gone with emma samms.  heather and emma were on the original show (sammy jo and fallon).  they could have gone with the original fallon from the original show - pamela sue martin.  there are so many strong actresses.

    for all i know, this woman might be strong.  if she is, they did her dirty.  they should have given her 1 real scene to act in before ending with the winter finale.

    what works?  fallon and liam.  that's a real love story and it's really involving.  it's the best part of the show.

    the worst?

    probably kirby.  i like the character and the actress but not really seeing how she gets a long term storyline.

    i think the show needs to do more with monica.  i think adding dominique has improved the show.

    but i still think steven needs to be back on the show.

    all of that goes to why is give it a b+ and not an a.

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

    Wednesday, December 18, 2019.  Guess which presidential wanna be is weeping at events yet again, Tulsi Gabbard (not the weeper) continues to dodge even basic questions re: war and peace, and much more.

    Starting in the United States where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  You were warned.

    Dropping back to the August 21st snapshot:

    And when Joe starts weeping, yes, we're back to that, on the campaign trail, they won't be able to bury it.

    In New Hampshire, in January of 2008, Hillary's eyes welled.  And she was attacked in the press for days over that.

    Joe Biden?

    He openly wept in the general election campaign.

    From September 28, 2008, here's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Boys Do Cry."


    Isaiah's latest The World Today Just Nuts "Boys Do Cry." Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden declares, tear streaming, "Remember weeping on the campaign trail is okay if you have a penis." [If you're late to the party on the tears, see "TV: Do Not Disturb The Propaganda."]

    As ABC's THE NOTE explained in real time, Joe had to stop speaking because he was crying, right there, on stage in Greensburg, PA.  He had to stop speaking because of the tears.  Then he tried to speak again.  Then he had to stop to wipe away the tears.

    Now Hillary was crucified for welling eyes but Joe's emotional breakdown was largely ignored.  Why?  For one thing, he was running as the vice president, not the president.  For another, Barack was younger than Joe.  (The reverse of the McCain-Palin ticket where the concern over Palin was said to be due to John McCain's advanced age and the possibility that he could die in office leaving Palin to finish the term as president.)

    I don't care what sweet lies his doctor wrote in the three page note, Joe is not healthy enough to run for president.  He's been on a light schedule -- which campaign insiders can't stop grumbling about -- and he still can't keep it together.

    Emily Larsen (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) reports:

    Joe Biden cried at a Delaware campaign fundraiser and said he is preparing for an “ugly” fight against President Trump in a general election.

    “This is going to be really difficult,” Biden said Tuesday in Wilmington, according to a pool report. “But we’re strong. The whole family is strong. I don’t take well to bullies.”

    Cry baby Joe.  What's he going to do if he gets the nomination and actually has to campaign?  He'll be so worn out he'll be crying at the debates (plural, remember, not just the one v.p. debate he's used to).  Cry Baby is in a different terrain today.

    In 2008, the sexist press could get away with trying to destroy Hillary over her eyes welling up while looking the other way when Joe openly wept.  That won't play in the post #MeToo era.  And it shouldn't.

    He's crying in public again.  His emotional health is in question.  He's not up to this.

    Ryan Cooper (THE WEEK) notes:

    Biden has so far run a lackluster at best campaign. He is doing relatively few events, and often puts his foot (or his wife's fingers) in his mouth at the ones he does. At debates and campaign events he routinely flubs details of current events or even his own campaign machinery. His own campaign reportedly cut back on campaigning earlier in the year for fear of negative press, and his allies have suggested he do the same.
    Biden can't even raise much money, despite his deep-pocketed connections from a career as a handmaiden for the corporations that use Delaware as a flag of legal convenience. As of mid-October, he had less than a third as much cash on hand as Bernie Sanders — which probably prompted Biden to abandon his pledge to not accept support from corporate-baked outside super PAC groups, drastically undermining a decade of organizing effort to get Democrats to stop taking corporate money at a stroke. Even the pipsqueak Buttigieg has raised vastly more money, perhaps because even some big establishment donors are reportedly alarmed by Biden's weak campaign.
    Biden has no explanation for why he is suitable to lead a party whose base is rapidly moving leftward, given his history on the center-right of the party. Why should a guy who voted for the Iraq War, financial deregulation, and bankruptcy reform; who was a key architect of rolling back school integration; and who is implicated in dozens of other historic atrocities be appropriate for the Democratic Party of 2019? He has not even addressed the question — on the contrary, he continues to promise an utterly impossible return to bipartisan compromise, and to boast about his friendship with segregationist Dixiecrats.
    On the specific politics of 2020, Biden has not even bothered to come up with a persuasive answer to his son Hunter's involvement with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, which has dominated media coverage for months by way of the Trump impeachment inquiry. As New York's Eric Levitz argues, Hunter collecting $50,000 a month to sit on a board for which he had no qualifications was clearly corrupt influence peddling. Biden could still argue somewhat convincingly that he did nothing to help his son, and perhaps make an emotional case that, while he knew what Hunter did was wrong, he was so devastated by the death of his other son Beau that he couldn't bring himself to rein him in. That might even be true! But at a minimum, a presidential front-runner should have a clear response to such a critical problem.

    Instead, Biden gets mad when the subject is brought up. The best he could muster to Mike Allen at Axios was "I don't know what he was doing ... I trust my son." When a voter at one of his campaign events brought up the subject, Biden called him a "damn liar" and challenged him to a push-up contest. Not exactly sharp political messaging.

    If you missed the reports, Joe is said to have declared, "Narcissism is a mental deficiency.  And it means you cannot tolerate any criticism at all."  Though he was speaking of Donald Trump it actually sounds a lot like the Joe Biden who called the voter a "damn liar" and "fat" for raising the Hunter Biden issue.  Or the man who cut off and ripped apart Elizabeth Warren on the stage in the debate, the one where he lost all control and looked like he was going to hit her.

    Joe's also making statements like no one wants their child to grow up like Donald Trump.  Actually, there's probably about half the voters who do want that.  It's a mean and petty statement to make but mean and petty is all that Joe has to offer at this point.

    Someone needs to remind him that didn't work out well for Hillary.  All her negativity on Donald did was reinforce how her campaign was not about real issues.

    As we noted when 2015 faded out, in  2015's Year of the Ass:

    2015 will lead into 2016.  So is it any surprise that, as the year ends, it appears very likely that the two major party candidates who'll be competing next year will be Hillary and Donald Trump?
    What else, honestly, what else could The Year of the Ass produce but a match off between each major party's biggest ass?

    Joe's running on nothing.  Weeping's not going to help him.  Insults about Trump aren't going to help him.  Joe has dreamed of being president since at least 1988.  So why can't he figure out what he'd do if elected?  Why can't he make a compelling case for this run?

    JEZEBEL's conducting their Cancel Tournament currently.  One of the nominees?  Joe Biden.  This is from Tracy Clark-Florey's explanation of how Joe ended up nominated:

    Here’s why Joe Biden should be canceled. Follow Jezebel’s Cancel Tournament to see what ultimately gets canceled.
    Hair sniffing, neck kissing, attempted nose rubbing. These phrases are about as repellent as Joe Biden himself, who has been accused of multiple such incidents of unwanted physical contact with women. Worse still, he’s proven to not quite understand why these unsolicited acts are so unbearably creepy and inappropriate. Case in point: In April, he released an “apology” video in which he emphasized the gee-shucks innocence of his physical style of “connecting with people” and argued that “social norms” have simply changed since the nose rubbing days of his youth. (Ah yes, the ol’ “hair sniff,” formerly as common as the handshake.)
    In April, though, Biden seemed to earnestly commit to being “much more mindful” about respecting people’s physical boundaries. Good job, bud! Except fast-forward just a couple days and there was Uncle Joe, making light of his alleged habit of invading personal space during an event and joking—hahahahahahaha—about having gotten permission first to hug a couple people on stage. In case his lack of remorse was unclear, he actually said these exceedingly dumb words to reporters: “I am not sorry for anything that I have ever done.”
    And, oh, does it show. We already knew that Biden was not sufficiently sorry about his role as chairman of the judiciary committee during the Anita Hill hearings. As you might recall, Hill was interrogated, and humiliated, by a panel of 14 white men, lead mercilessly by Biden. Meanwhile, Biden declined to call witnesses willing to corroborate Hill’s testimony. Now, Biden, no doubt realizing the liability this represents, did arrange a phone call earlier this year with Hill to express “his regret for what she endured,” in the passive, exculpatory words of his campaign. According to Hill, however, it fell short of a true apology.
    In the man’s own words: He’s not sorry for ANYTHING he’s EVER done. 

    And that includes Iraq.

    Joe's not sorry for voting for the war, for smearing critics of it, for trying to split Iraq up into three independent zones, for overturning the 2010 vote of the Iraqi people who voted Nouri al-Maliki out as prime minister.  Vice President Joe pushed through The Erbil Agreement that overturned the votes and gave thug Nouri a second term (the second term led to the rise of ISIS -- a response to Nouri's non-stop persecution of Sunnis).  Joe even went to Iraq to sell the skeptical on The Erbil Agreement -- confusing every one present, at one point, when he started off on one of his long-winded, half-truth, half-fantasy, mostly lies stories -- this one telling them it was like Ireland and the IRA -- no, no one understood what Joe was trying to say.

    Iraq today?  The people fighting for a responsive government, fighting against the puppet system the US government created and installed.  They've taken to the streets for months now -- and the death toll is at least 500 -- but no one asks Joe about that.

    In fact, war doesn't even factor into this campaign.  When CNN's Jake Tapper did raise the issue, he provided US House Rep and Iraq War vet Tulsi Gabbard two chances to speak about the Iraq War and she used her time to issue a pardon to Joe for all he'd done.  Later, after the debate, she gave multiple interviews where she explained Joe deserved clemency because he'd 'apologized.' He hadn't.  Tulsi revealed herself to be an uninformed idiot -- she didn't even know Barack had put Joe over Iraq -- and someone who self-presents as an anti-war candidate but actually can't stand up for her supposed convictions.

    Doubt it?

    Tulsi replies to : Which one of your fellow candidates, competitors in the primary concerns you the most on issues of foreign policy?”

    Who in the race for the nomination concerns you regarding foreign policy?

    If you missed it, that was the question.

    Tulsi  served up a big cup of soup full of words but she never answered the question, did she?

    The clear answer is Joe Biden.  Even Tiny Pete is second to Joe Biden.  Joe has voted for one disaster after another, argued for one intervention after another.

    But Tulsi couldn't call him out or anyone else.

    That refusal to stand up?  It goes a long, long way towards explaining why, in even the best polls, she can only make it to 2% of support from Democratic Party voters.

    With all that's happening in Iraq, with WIKILEAKS' revelations that the media and the United Nations lied about Syria, with the Afghanistan War revelations, you'd think war and peace would be a major issue in this campaign but apparently the corporate press is bothered with real topics.

    JACOBIN interviews Anand Gopal (JACOBIN) about the wars.  This is from the intro:

    Last week, the Washington Post published the “Afghanistan Papers,” a massive tranche of documents that confirmed the disaster of two decades of US military occupation in Afghanistan. Some $950 billion have been spent, and yet civilian casualties are on the rise. This past year, at least 3,804 Afghan civilians have been killed by the US military, the bloodiest year since the United Nations started counting in 2009.
    According to the documents, the United States launched a “Lessons Learned Project” in 2014, collecting four hundred accounts from war planners and field officers to “diagnose policy failures in Afghanistan so the United States would not repeat the mistakes the next time it invaded a country or tried to rebuild a shattered one.” The assembled remarks were frank about the mistakes the United States has made: shifting and contradictory tactics, mismanagement of billions of dollars, allowing the drug trade to flourish, and enflaming an insurgency rather than defeating it.
    While much of what the Afghanistan Papers have revealed won’t be news to longtime opponents of the war, the two thousand pages of documents have, at least for a time, pushed discussion of Afghanistan back to the front pages.

    Anand Gopal has reported across the Middle East throughout the “war on terror,” writing major pieces on Iraq for the New York Times Magazine and Syria for the New Yorker. In 2014, Gopal’s book on Afghanistan, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Jacobin’s Jason Farbman sat down with Gopal to discuss the machinations of US empire, the bipartisan roots of the Afghanistan disaster, and the socialist answer to imperialism: international solidarity.

    Here's a section of the interview:

    But Iraq didn’t work out as planned, at all.

    No, they failed. But Afghanistan, in a way, was successful because they were able to set the stage for the Iraq invasion. More enduringly, they were able to get the American public used to the idea of permanent war. We’ve been at war now for nineteen years. There’s not been any real outcry against the war in Afghanistan. The fact that we are completely used to permanent wars is actually a success of the Bush doctrine.
    Now for the first time we’re seeing pushback, but it’s taken a long time to get here.

    The US has spent around $950 billion in Afghanistan so far.

    That’s a tremendous amount from a human perspective, or from the perspective of an austerity economy. But from the perspective of the American state, which is able, by borrowing, to basically spend an unlimited amount on the military, this is not a major cost.
    Many corporations have gotten fabulously wealthy as a result of the United States going to war and, more broadly, as a result of the counterterrorism industrial complex.
    This is one reason why, despite all the terrible consequences for Afghans, this war could go on in perpetuity. For the United States, there was very little political or financial cost to waging permanent war.
    It’s striking to me how much from these documents was already well known and reported. Take your book No Good Men Among the Living, which was reviewed everywhere and was up for a National Book Award. That was during the Obama years. Why is this such big news now?

    I don’t think there’s a single claim in these papers that hasn’t been reported before. The big difference is that the news is coming in the age of Trump. There’s a section of the liberal elite and the “resistance” that will see this and use it as a way to bludgeon Trump. But Trump’s military strategy is largely a continuation of Obama’s.
    For example, US airstrikes have killed tens of thousands of people in the last few years in Iraq and Syria. This is an air campaign strategy designed under Obama and simply implemented by Trump. For example, in December 2016, just before Obama left office, he changed the rules of engagement to make it easier for certain frontline commanders to call in airstrikes in Mosul. The number of civilian deaths spiked shortly thereafter.
    Then, in January, Trump is inaugurated and suddenly the news coverage focuses on civilian casualties, implying or stating explicitly that this was Trump’s doing. Trump’s foreign policy is largely still an extension of Obama’s. Of course, he’s much more erratic than Obama, and you can see that with his Syria policy. But both are committed to militarism and permanent war. When Trump pulled some troops from Syria, for example, he merely transferred them to Saudi Arabia.

    In other news, Jennifer Hansler and Kylie Atwood (CNN) report:

    The State Department plans to dramatically downsize the number of American personnel in Iraq, according to a memo sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and obtained by CNN.
    The document, dated December 6 and sent by Bureau of Legislative Affairs Assistant Secretary Mary Elizabeth Taylor to committee Chairman Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican, outlines plans to reduce staffing levels at US Mission Iraq by 28% by the end of May 2020.

    The reduction would mean 114 fewer people at the US Embassy in Baghdad, 15 fewer people at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center and eight fewer people at Consulate General Erbil. In addition to the reduction in State Department personnel, the cuts would include Defense Department and US Agency for International Development personnel. 

    The protests continue and here's a new development:

    Protests in Iraq continue, despite the huge government violence against protesters. Youth and activists from Baghdad are sending pictures of their art, to share and raise awareness. Artwork by Noor Algabiri

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