The fact is that the corporate media in this country are our enemies. Media consolidation has left us with a handful of newspapers and television networks which are all controlled by international conglomerates. They hoped they would make neo-liberal heroine Hillary Clinton the next president but Democratic Party failures and her own weaknesses put Trump in the White House.
The news has been fake long before Donald Trump used those words. The cozy relationship between Bush and the press gave him cover to invade Iraq and kill 1 million people. The correspondents’ dinners and the private briefings create media haves and have nots, and taint the journalism that comes from this collusion. Obama made the private briefing a standard operating practice and kept Democratic pundits in his thrall, not that he had to work hard to win them over.
Trump considers anyone an enemy who doesn’t love him. That is why he is no friend of the press. But the rest of us should not rush to defend them either. After all they do not defend us. In 2016 they stood with Hillary Clinton while Bernie Sanders, despite his political failings, revealed the weaknesses in the Democratic Party. He was mocked, the desire for change was ignored and as a result Trump is the 45th president of the country.
I got this much written and then forgot it.
Life, like it or not, interferes.
And, actually, I like it.
My granddaughter wanted to learn to make cookies.
I was more than happy to teach her.
We made sugar cookies because they're the easiest.
We'll work our way up to chocolate chip in the next weeks (those are her favorite).
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:
Friday, February 24, 2017. Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, efforts to resell the war never end, US taxpayers spend $12.5 million a day dropping bombs on Iraq at the Iraqi government's request but Iraq takes its F-16 to Syria to drop bombs, and much more.
So Iraq's using one of the F-16s the US government wrongly (illegally) supplied to bomb Syria.
And how many billions have the US taxpayers footed for the bombing of Iraq from US war planes since August 2014?
Why is that happening?
If the Iraqi government has F-16s (and they wrongly and illegally do), why don't they do their own bombings?
The US taxpayer is on the hook for "$12.5 million a day on air operations against the Islamic State and has spent billions more training and equipping Iraqi security forces," according to Loveday Morris (WASHINGTON POST).
Tubby Hayder al-Abadi issued a statement moments ago.
It's 8 points.
The usual nonsense we'd expect.
The Iraqi forces are on the human side, for example.
Except of course when they're threatening or harming civilians.
He leaves that part out.
He does not that they bombed Syria and that they will continue to do so.
And he mentions the people of Mosul (seventh point).
The 750,000 civilians that may still be in Mosul?
Does he note the harm they have faced?
He just calls on them to support the Iraqi forces.
Hayder forgot the people of Mousl?
Well that's what he's always done, right?
Mosul was seized by the Islamic State in June of 2014. By August of that year, Hayder was transitioning into the role of prime minister.
But he would wait until mid-October of 2016 -- over two years later -- to attempt to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul.
130 days later, The Mosul Slog continues.
Jordan Shilton (WSWS) reports:
An estimated 750,000 civilians remain in the west side of the city and the offensive by Iraqi forces will prove deadly for many. Other urban centers recaptured from ISIS over the past two years, including Ramadi, were virtually destroyed in the process.
The streets in the ISIS-held part of the city are narrower and virtually all routes for escape have been closed off. Bridges linking the east and west sides of Mosul across the Tigris River were destroyed by air strikes, and Shiite and Kurdish militias have surrounded the city to the north and west.
According to the United Nations, more than half of all casualties thus far in the battle for Mosul have been civilians. At least 1,096 civilians have died and a further 694 have been injured since the government’s offensive was launched last October.
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that “available food and fuel supplies continue to dwindle, with residents resorting to burning furniture and rubbish to keep warm. Food and fuel supplies are dwindling, markets and shops have closed, running water is scarce and electricity in many neighborhoods is either intermittent or cut off.”
It added that spaces at refugee camps could provide shelter to only 60,000 civilians.
The people of Mosul.
The supposed reason for the operation.
Completely forgotten by the corporate press.
Well maybe that's not fair.
Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Sinan Salaheddin and Susannah George (AP) remember the civilians . . .
in paragraph thirteen.
12 paragraphs have to take place before the supposed reason for the operation can even be mentioned.
AP clearly has other priorities.
Day 130 and CNN's Ben Wedeman sells war with lies -- the operation isn't 48 hours old.
Sorry, Ben, your lies are as offensive as your looks.
As he lies to reset the clock, he also leaves out the reason for the alleged 'success' of the last few days: US troops, Australian troops and Canadian troops.
It's not the Iraqi forces.
It's the foreign troops.
Yes, the operation is moving quicker in the last days.
That's not because of the Iraqi forces.
It's because 'trainers' and 'advisers' are now officially in combat.
Susannah George and Balint Szlanko (AP) note:
In the fight against the Islamic State group in Mosul, the United States has adjusted its rules of engagement as American and other international troops are now closer to front-line fighting than before.
During the push to take Mosul International Airport on Thursday, American and European advisers were embedded with forward Iraqi rapid response and special forces units.
If it were left to the Iraqi forces, The Mosul Slog might last a full year.
Let's note a stupid Tweet.
The Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State -- some of these forces are committing War Crimes -- aren't trying to come to the US.
How stupid are you?
More to the point, they don't like the US.
Even excluding the Shi'ite militias loyal to the government in Tehran, they don't care for the US.
Not a crime, they don't have to.
But let's grasp as more billions are poured into Iraq that the US State Dept said they'd oversee training of Iraqi forces.
Did we all forget that?
In October 2011, the US mission was transferred to the State Dept in anticipation of the military drawdown at the end of that year.
And the State Dept was given millions of taxpayer dollars for this.
And millions were spent on a Baghdad training facility.
What happened there?
Before the drawdown even took place, the Iraqi government had declared they didn't want US training.
Did the whole world forget that?
Then in 2014, it's train me, train me, train me.
Even the Hillary Clinton supporters should agree with this because Hillary held onto that money at State for months hoping the Iraqi government would change its mind.
They did not while she was Secretary of State.
The Iraqi military that the stupid Tweet (and its stupid owner) support is the same one that 'followed orders' after the bulk of US troops left Iraq in December and patrolled and circled (with tanks) the homes of Sunni politicians. They're the same military that invaded the home of a Sunni member of Parliament at dawn and killed people in the raid -- including the MP's brother.
They're the same ones who 'followed orders' and 'disappeared' thousands of Sunni civilians.
Herr Trump can hump the legs of the Iraqi military but there's no reason for any sane person to be impressed by them.
They attacked Sahwa, they attacked the Peshmerga.
And if and when the Islamic State is gone (or at least a minor threat), they'll go back to attacking other Iraqi military.
For now, they keep their teeth sharp by attacking Iraqi civilians in 'liberated' areas.
Yes, they get good press.
When whores like Ben Wedeman are embedded with them, something happens. Sexual lust?
As well as the whole Patty Hearst hostage experience.
They're not journalists when they're embedded.
They're controlled whores.
Ben Wedeman needs to free his inner Tania.
And the western press needs to stop serving sop to whatever consumers they have left.
Loveday Morris' recent report for THE WASHINGTON POST offered more reality than Ben could fit into three hours of his embed 'reporting.' Morris:
In an open letter to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Facebook page called Mosul Eye, which has chronicled life in the city under the Islamic State, warned that abuses by some parts of the security forces were creating humiliation for the local population, while "huge corruption" meant that Islamic State members were going free.
And protesters gear up in Baghdad.
The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated: