The Common Ills

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Iraq snapshot

Iraq snapshot

Wednesday, November 16, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the lies of the US election continue, an idiot proposes it is sexist to criticize Hillary Clinton -- at least right now, let us grieve, let us grieve, and other nonsense.

Starting with the US election so many of us were tired of before it happened and remain tired of now. There are real issues effecting lives right now and it's must be so very nice to be an American citizen unconcerned with the wars your government is currently actively carrying out.

The ridiculous Angelina Chapin (HUFFINGTON POST) tries to pretend she's a feminist (she's not) and ties criticism of War Hawk, corporatist and scandal magnet Hillary Clinton to sexism:

I think every liberal woman has broken down at some point in the past week.  For me, it was at 2 a.m. on Wednesday when I called my boyfriend and wept.

If you think every liberal woman cried, then you're not only a bad columnist, you live in a tiny and terrifying bubble.

As Demi Moore said THE BUTCHER'S WIFE, "Well you ought to get out more."

Angelina goes on to whine that Hillary has "30 years of political experience."

No, she has 12 years -- she was a US senator for 8, she was Secretary of State for 12.  First Lady is not political experience.  Especially now that women have opportunities, we no longer need to pretend that 'woman behind the man' is experience.

And non-feminist Hillary sneered so at First Lady that she insisted she would give Bill things to do as First Spouse so that he wouldn't have to plan dinners, etc.  In other words, Hillary said, "That's women's work."  And only a few of us feminists took the time to call her out on it.

She takes Thomas Frank to task for calling Hillary a "party hack."  I'm no fan of Thomas Franks (I hope I've been fair to him but I'm not a fan of his).  But Thomas Frank's criticism of Hillary did not begin today, this month or even this year.  And it has nothing to do with sexism.

Were Angelina a feminist, she'd grasp that.  But she's just another whiner trying to play the woman card to get her way.

She insists that "when you inflict your analysis on a woman who is devastated that Americans just elected a man who considers her subhuman, you are being sexist.  Plain and simple."

Angelina, grow the f**k up.

Plain and simple.

Crawl back, crying, to your safe space, try to create the illusion of being in the womb if it helps.

But stop kidding that you're about feminism.

Women want to run for political office (and have and are).

There's no "Oh, but it's a girl so shut up with the criticism."

That's not feminism.

That's sexist.

We can handle it.

We get pushed around and pushed down every day.  Like many Americans.

And we get back up.

And we pull ourselves together and we go on.

If we want to compete in political races, we can't whine, "Oh, the results hurt my tender little girl bits and feelings so nobody can say anything!!!!"

People can say whatever they want, first of all, in a democracy.

Second of all, you need to grow the hell up and you need to toughen the hell up.

I'm embarrassed, as a feminist, that you chose to publish that crap.

Your nonsense is as pathetic today as Gloria Steinem's b.s. in REVOLUTION FROM WITHIN about how she saw her future as running a diner and there's a table in there where women can whisper and talk alone.  That's not radical.  Taking the conversation to the public square isn't even radical -- it's just democracy.

While we're mentioning Gloria Steinem -- who started her career as a CIA operative -- as THE NEW YORK TIMES recently noted and refused her request for a correction because it is true (and she used to brag about it before she suddenly became a feminist) . . .

She at least got her overall theme right -- don't mourn, organize -- in her recent GUARDIAN column.

(Though I would have said, don't wallow, organize.)

Hillary didn't change any rules in the political game.  Gloria's dead wrong on that and the speeches Hillary gave to Wall Street back that up.

Gloria, for those who are too young to know, appointed herself a feminist leader and had her friends in the media join her with that.  It's how she leaped ahead of women who'd written books on feminism, given speeches, done activism, how she leaped ahead of entire collectives of women.

She's never done much for women.  Since 1976, she's actively undercut women at every Democratic Party convention -- usually with regards to the party's platform.  This is documented and if you don't know it, you didn't bother to educate yourself.

She can't hide those actions.  Through the threat of lawsuits and bullying, she was once able to hide the CIA past that she's previously confessed to.

Gloria's still thinking she can get away with rewriting history.  In her column, she insists:

In 1972, I ran as a delegate pledged to congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, a candidate for the presidency. 

You did run, Gloria, but you lost.  A detail you leave out.

More to the point, not only was Gloria not a delegate for Shirley, she didn't support Shirley.

From Jackson Landers piece for THE SMITHSONIAN earlier this year:

“Feminists were split over her candidacy,” recalls Gottlieb. “Gloria Steinem, who you would expect to have supported her, supported McGovern instead. That was significant and it hurt on a personal level quite a bit. . . .you can’t look at 1972 through the same magnifying glass as 2016. Having a woman run for President was like having somebody from Mars run for President. And you then have a black woman running for president and everybody, all interest groups, were grappling with ‘how do you deal with such a changed landscape?’ People were not comfortable with having a black woman. And she often said, between being black and being a woman, the biggest problem was being a woman.”

So just stop grandstanding, Gloria.

And stop lying.

The media anointed her leader and helped her push out "old" Betty Friedan.

Betty was 52 when Gloria and her cronies shoved Betty aside insisting that "young blood" was needed.

Gloria's now 82 and has refused to step aside or to elevate any other woman because she's going to die holding on to the title the media created for her.

Actress Jane Fonda appeared with Gloria recently.  A friend started to tell me about it and I stopped her saying I couldn't deal with the stupidity right now.  She insisted (good for her) and it turns out Jane actually made sense. From CNN:

"I am very grateful for the time that I lived in Georgia. I learned so much," Fonda said. "And one of the most important things that l learned was the importance of listening to people who you don't agree with, with an open heart."
And that's what needs to happen now, she said.
"I know that we all didn't vote for the same people," Fonda told the crowd. "And we have to, as women, we have to have each others' backs, no matter who we voted for. We have to listen carefully."

Those are smart words.  Maybe they're a step back to activism?  Something Jane spent the last 8 years forgetting?

And I'm saying "actress" and not "actress and activist" -- as she bills herself -- because the Iraqi people have never forgotten her grandstanding January 2007 speech in DC where she claimed she would not be silent or stop fighting until the Iraq War was over.

Then Barack was elected and the issue never mattered to her again.

On actresses, Susan Sarandon.

Angelina Chapin is just so upset by negative criticism of Hillary.

It's so mean.

And what are the outright attacks on Jill Stein and Susan Sarandon?

Jill ran for president.  As Ann  -- a born and bred Green Party member from day one --  pointed out maybe Jill's supporters should be cursing out Hillary's crowd for refusing to support a woman who was against endless war, for the environment and for the people.

In other words, Hillary cost Jill Stein the election.  (Jill's run has resulted in the Green Party getting ballot access on 12 more states in the 2020 election.)

Debra Messing is a psycho, a lousy actress, star of three failed TV shows and a bully online.

She hates Susan Sarandon.  She lied about her months ago to start a Twitter war and get a little bit of fame in the hopes NBC wouldn't cancel her show.  (They did.  Largely because the hate she was spewing in her Twitter feed at that time was alienating viewers and NBC was getting tons of complaints -- and Ava and I warned about it when it started, we wrote about it at THIRD as soon as NBC suits told us and Debra still didn't cool it.  So she cost a crew, the cast and others jobs because she couldn't stop spewing her hate.)

She's still hating on Susan Sarandon.

Debra Messing Retweeted Laura A. Van Vleet
Send it to .
Debra Messing added,

Debra's an idiot.  (I love the "my understanding" Tweet regarding contacting Congress -- did you miss out on third grade, Debra?)

She just can't stop going after Susan nor can "I forgot because I'm ill" Kurt Eichenwald (see Betty's "Crazy Debra Messing" for a good laugh on that loser).

Debra Messing Retweeted Kurt Eichenwald
JESUS CHRIST. NOW she wants to give racist, islamophobic, homophobic, sexist,mysogynists a chance!"Pure" 4 Bernie. F[**]K everyone else.
Debra Messing added,

Are Kurt and Debra going to buy food for the people they're trying to put out of jobs.

If you missed it, if the head of a company endorsed Donald Trump or gave money to his campaign, Debra's started a campaign to put them out of business.

How many thousands of people is Debra trying to put on the unemployment line?

Chances are, if you own the business, you'd be okay if it went under -- you should have diversified your portfolio.

But if you work for the business, where are you going to find a job elsewhere.

You could argue Debra's crackpot scheme is racist since African-Americans still have a larger unemployment rate in this un-recovered economy.

Debra and her ilk need to grasp people like Ann.

She is a Green.

She was raised that way.

Ann has never voted Democrat in her life (or Republican) and she never plans to.

But because she's a woman and African-American, Debra's racist thinking is that Ann owes the Democratic Party a vote?

Not only is the Green Party a valid party for any American to choose to vote for, it's also now a party with people being born into it.  Just as the Iraq War has gone on so long you have people who were in first grade when it started already having finished high school, the Green Party has been around so long now that there are people who are raised in Green families the same way people have been raised in Democratic families and Republican families.

So before someone laments poor feelings again and calls for safe spaces, they better curb Debra and get her shots.

And, for the record, I'm not a bully.

I'm a bitch.

There's a big difference.

One difference?  A bully tries to put you out of business.  A bitch just warns you that if you don't calm down your Twitter feed the corporation paying you money is about to drop you.  And after Ava and I warned on Sunday and it was confirmed on Monday, the actress learned to drop the hate (not the politics, just the hate).

Atrocious - President-elect Trump wants to put the architects of the Iraq War back in charge of our foreign policy.

You know what's atrocious?

US House Rep Barbara Lee did nothing to stop the Iraq War or the Afghanistan War under Barack.  On the Afghanistan War, she was always resetting the clock, "If President Obama hasn't ___ by ___, I'm going to propose . . ."

Marriage to him?

Because she never proposed to end a war.

She was in the Democratic controlled House in 2009 and 2010.  Democrats also controlled the Senate.

The only way to stop the War Hawks was to do a Congressional investigation into the lies of the Iraq War.

They elected not to.

For numerous reasons.

So don't come crying now that people whose behavior you tolerated and, yes, normalized are now likely to be back in government.  A full and public investigation would have ended that.  You didn't call for one, Barbara Lee.

For the Democrats -- as many e-mails from Iraqis are currently noting -- it was "move on" about the Iraq War -- a luxury that the Iraqi people did not have.  But on this election, as the e-mails from Iraqis keep pointing out, Americans want to whine.

Gloria Steinem, he is your president.  I've got 15 e-mails in the last 24 hours alone from Iraqis stating that he is your president, Donald Trump, and you are responsible for what is done in his name the same way you were for Barack Obama (I agree) and the same way you were for Bully Boy Bush (I don't use the p-word for BBB, he was gifted with the oval office by the Supreme Court).

In Iraq, the war continues, the tragedies continue, the War Crimes continue.

Iraq: At least one fighter executed after he surrendered.

And let's dedicate this snapshot to John Stauber who keeps telling truth.  Taking on the nonsense at Huff-n-Puff and Gloria's nonsense inspired by John's latest COUNTERPUNCH article.

ADDED at 5:43 pm est on 11/16/16:

The following community sites updated:

  • Posted at 06:53 pm by thecommonills

  • Thursday, July 21, 2016
    Iraq snapshot II

    Iraq snapshot II

    July 21, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, meet-ups to 'help' Iraqis continue, talk of five US bases being built in the KRG circulates, and much more.

    The never-ending Iraq War continues with the US Defense Dept announcing today:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Qaim, a strike produced inconclusive results.

    -- Near Haditha, a strike destroyed an ISIL command-and-control node.

    -- Near Hit, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Mosul, two strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL headquarters and an ISIL financial headquarters and destroyed seven ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL artillery piece.

    -- Near Qayyarah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL boats, an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL tunnel.

    -- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL recoilless rifle, an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL weapons cache.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

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

    Wait, two strikes near Ramadi?

    Thought that was one of the 'liberated' cities.

    What happened?

    Don't wait for the press to ask.

    And none of these bombings helps the Iraqi people in need, does it?

    10,000,000 people in are in need of humanitarian aid — we must help them. -


    These kids now call this camp outside home. 1.5 million children need food, water & health care in .


    A must-watch video diary from a humanitarian worker in .


    At today's State Dept press briefing, spokesperson John Kirby declared, "Yesterday, also I think as you know, the Secretary [of State John Kerry] hosted the Pledging Conference for Iraq, which raised over $2.1 billion from the international community, to include $316 million from the United States – funds that will provide Iraq with critical stabilization and humanitarian support."

    What's he talking about?

    He was too busy playing Secretary of Defense to explain.

    But President Barack Obama's Special Envoy to Iraq, Brett McGurk, explained it July 19th in a press briefing:

    But very importantly, there’s much more than just the military campaign. We’re very focused on what comes after ISIL in these areas. So as a coalition we’ve established two stabilization funding facilities, one a funding facility for immediate stabilization. This is kind of to get the lights on, to get police trained, to get them back in the streets, to allow people to return to their homes. And this has actually been quite successful. We have about $100 million in the fund at any given time. And in the city of Tikrit, for example, nearly the entire population has returned to the city of Tikrit. And overall in Iraq, we’ve liberated about 50 percent of the territory from ISIL and more than 700,000 Iraqis have returned to their homes in areas that ISIL used to control.

    So we've used Brett McGurk to rescue floundering John Kerry's Wednesday remarks.

    Wednesday, US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter spoke about the military aspects:

    As I said earlier today, our coalition's military campaign plan has three objectives.  First, to destroy the ISIL parent tumor in Iraq and Syria.  That's necessary, but it's not sufficient.  As recent attacks remind us, ISIL safe havens threaten not only the lives of Iraqi and Syrian people, but also the security of our own citizens.

    And the sooner we defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria, the safer our countries will be.

    So our second objective is to combat ISIL's metastasizes everywhere they emerge around the world.  And third, and most important, to help protect our homelands.

    In January this year, we updated our comprehensive coalition military campaign plan to accomplish the military aspects of these three objectives.  And we've pursued a number of deliberate decisions and actions to accelerate this plan and hasten ISIL's lasting defeat.

    And since then, in play after play, town after town, from every direction and in every domain, our campaign has accelerated further, squeezing ISIL and rolling it back towards Raqqah and Mosul.  By isolating these two cities, we're effectively setting the stage to collapse ISIL's control over them.

    Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of our local partners and our service members, and more contributions from the nations that met here today, we seized opportunities, reinforced success, and taken the fight to the enemy.

    But we're not going to rest.  Today, we reviewed and agreed on the next plays in our campaign, which of course we won't discuss publicly yet, but let me be clear, they culminate in the collapse of ISIL's control over the cities of Mosul and Raqqah.

    Now, before I continue, I want to say that we're aware of reports of civilian casualties that may be related to recent coalition airstrikes near Manbij city in Syria, which is one of the last junctions connecting Raqqah to the outside world.  We'll investigate these reports and continue to do all we can to protect civilians from harm.

    Being scrupulously careful to avoid civilian casualties and being transparent about this issue is a reflection of the civilized nature of this coalition.

    Getting back to the future campaign and the next plays, after detailing those next plays, we identified the capabilities and the support required to execute those plays.  Since our first full defense ministerial in Brussels in February, our nations, including the United States, have provided even more support to accelerate the campaign, as our local partners have made advances.

    But we're all going to need to do more.  For the United States' part, President Obama decided to deploy an additional 560 troops to support the Iraqi security forces in their offensive to retake Mosul.  And on my visit to Iraq last week, where I met with Prime Minister Abadi and Defense Minister Obaidi, who by the way is here today and I was pleased to speak with him and he spoke to the other ministers several times -- I offered to share some of our hard-earned expertise in countering improvised explosive devices with the Iraqi security forces.

    In fact, the director of our joint improvised threat defeat agency, Lieutenant General Mike Shields, is in Baghdad today meeting with Iraqi officials to discuss this topic, a pledge I made to Prime Minister Abadi last week.

    Meanwhile, away from the meet-ups, a document the US government signed is in the news. Mustafa Saadoun (AL-MONITOR) reports:

    The military protocol agreement signed July 12 between the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government and the United States might create controversy in Iraq’s public and political circles, especially those that do not have good relations with the United States and are preparing to fight US forces if they step on Iraqi soil. According to officials in Kurdistan, the agreement states that five US bases should be built in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region areas of Erbil, Atrush, Harir, Dahuk and Sinjar. Moreover, the United States vowed to pay the salaries of the Kurdish peshmerga for 10 years, although this has not been confirmed by any US party.
    Perhaps this agreement will give the peshmerga more autonomy and international legitimacy, but at the same time it might create problems with its counterparts in Iraq such as the predominately Shiite Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the Sunni tribal forces. The agreement will allow the peshmerga to equal the Iraqi army in strength and might provide it with more arms and develop it further in the future. During the liberation of Iraqi areas, clashes broke out between the peshmerga and forces from the Iraqi army and the PMU, the last of which was in April in Tuz Khormato.
    The PMU that are close to Iran have increased in number and become better equipped, and they are almost on par with the Iraqi army. They enjoy huge influence in Iraq that might be greater than that of the Iraqi army. However, the tribal forces that constitute the Sunni version of the PMU do not have the same impact.

    ALSUMARIA reports that US Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones told the network today that Baghdad is fully aware of the agreement the US signed with the KRG.  ALL IRAQ NEWS notes that Jones has stated that the US has "no intention to set up bases" in the KRG.  NATIONAL IRAQI NEWS explains that the party of Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr is calling for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to nominate ministers to Parliament.

    The agreement was signed 10 days after the KRG became the target of threats.

    Strongly condemn the aggressive declarations of some leaders against the region & their own population.

    July 2nd, Adil Alsalmi and Dalshad Abdullah (ASHARQ AL-AWSAT) reported:

    Tension prevailed at the Kurdish frontier between Iran and Kurdistan following the threat of General Hossein Salami, deputy chief of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, to launch an attack on a wide scale.
    Salami explicitly said that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) will not hesitate to strike and destroy any region that threatens the Iranian regime and hosts rebels.
    Salami addressed top officials at Iraqi Kurdistan saying that Kurdistan should abide by its pledges or else the military response will be decisive. The General accused some of the countries in the region of supporting Kurdish opposition parties and playing with fire.

    Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran official Khalid Wanawsha told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the purpose of these threats is to exert pressure on Iraqi Kurdistan but this will not falter the party’s strive to gain the legitimate rights they are demanding.

    Massoud Barzani is the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

    Today in Erbil, the signing of a military MoU between the Kurdistan Region and the United States of America

    That is what he Tweeted.  Here is what was posted on his official website regarding the agreement:

    Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( President Masoud Barzani received a United States military delegation headed by Ms. Elissa Slotkin, the acting assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. This meeting was followed after a telephone conversation between President Barzani and Mr. Ashton Carter, the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

    President Barzani and Ms. Slotkin discussed the liberation of Mosul and the status of the preparations and readiness from the U.S., Iraqi and Kurdistan Region perspectives. President Barzani focused on the importance and urgency of the liberation of Mosul and used the opportunity to reiterated his position of the extreme importance of planning for post liberation Mosul.

    Ms. Slotkin stated that the Peshmerga forces will play an essential role in the Mosul operation just as they have played similar roles in other operations against the terrorists of the Islamic State.

    President Barzani expressed his gratitude to the people and government of the United States for their support to the Kurdistan Region and for leading the collective effort to exterminate the terrorists of the Islamic State.

    The meeting was attended by a number of military officials from both the United States and the Kurdistan Region and a memorandum of understanding on the military coordination between the Kurdistan Region and the United States was signed. The acting Minister of Peshmerga Affairs, Mr. Karim Sinjari and the the acting Assistant Secretary of Defense of International Security Affairs were the two signatories of the MoU.

    The memorandum makes references to military and financial support to the Peshmerga forces and also to some of the details of the Mosul operation.

    That makes no mention of bases -- which doesn't mean they're not in the agreement.

    Nor does Jones' denial mean that the bases aren't in the agreement.

    Meanwhile, WORLD BULLETIN reports:

    Prominent Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Thursday welcomed this week’s resignation of seven government ministers, urging remaining cabinet members to follow suit.
    On Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi accepted the resignation of six members of his government, including the ministers of interior, industry, petroleum, transportation, housing and construction and water resources.
    The following day, Hussein al-Shahristani, minister of higher education and scientific research, also resigned, leaving a total of seven ministerial portfolios vacant.

    In the United States, the Republican Party wrapped up their political convention tonight with the party's nominee Donald Trump delivering a speech -- a speech Stephen Collinson (CNN) notes lasted "one hour and 15 minutes."

    Gary Johnson is the presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party and this is from his Twitter feed:

    “Amid Donald Trumps RNC Gary Johnson Makes His Pitch to Disenchanted Republicans” via
    "Gary Johnson offers a Libertarian alternative to Clinton and Trump" via

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