Friday, October 28, 2016

Andrea Mitchell rushes to cover for Hillary again

What do you think:

So the FBI should not open investigations into people running for office because it might hurt that person's chances of winning?

Andrea Mitchell's covered for Hillary from day one.

She's minimized and lied.

She's been their friendly go-to.

Yes, we all have a right to know.

Yes, the FBI has a job to do.

If it's uncomfortable for Andrea or for Hillary, oh, we're so sorry.

We're so sorry that the pursuit of justice bothers you.

The press better stop trying to cover for Hillary.

I doubt it will end pretty.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:

Friday, October 28, 2016. Chaos and violence continue, Turkey's government is not planning to pull their troops out of Iraq, Iraq's Shi'ite militias state they are joining the Mosul operation, and much more.

In Iraq, the focus on Mosul continues and the results are . . .

: Thousands displaced as battle for rages on via

But remember, no criticism is allowed.  If you offer any criticism, CNN's 'objective' 'reporter' Elise Labott will scream "NO!" in the middle of a press conference -- as she did this week when a reporter referred to the Mosul operation as a slog.

Elise Labott will allow no criticism or questioning.

And CNN will bask in the shame Elise provides them.

Saif Hameed and Maher Chmaytelli (REUTERS) report, "Iraqi Shi'ite militias said on Friday they would launch an offensive against Islamic State west of Mosul imminently, a move which would block any retreat by the Sunni jihadists into Syria but is likely to alarm Iraq's northern neighbor Turkey."

This may or may not alarm Turkey.

Of greater concern should be the issue of the region which is not going to see these militias as 'helpers' or 'liberators' but as attackers and threats to their well being.

Then there's the US government.

Their bombings are not to be directed by these militias, they are not to support these militias.

These militias are accused of War Crimes.

There's also the concern that Hayder al-Abadi, prime minister of Iraq, has stated that these militias will not take part.

Is there any consistent in any of this?

Apparently not.

On that topic, Stephen Gowans (GLOBAL RESEARCH) explores the differences between the US government's views and actions in Iraq versus in Syria:

To recover Ramadi from Islamic State, Iraqi forces surrounded and cordoned off the city. [6] In addition, the US led coalition bombarded Ramadi with airstrikes and artillery fire. [7] The bombardment left 70 percent of Ramadi’s buildings in ruins. The city was recovered, but “the great majority of its 400,000 people” were left homeless. [8]
Iraqi forces also besieged the city of Fallujah, preventing most food, medicine and fuel from entering it. [9] Militias “prevented civilians from leaving Islamic State territory while resisting calls to allow humanitarian aid to reach the city.” [10] This was done “to strangle Islamic State” [11] with the result that civilians were also “strangled.” Inside the city, tens of thousands endured famine and sickness due to lack of medicine. [12] Civilians reportedly survived on grass and plants. [13] Many civilians “died under buildings that collapsed under” artillery bombardment and coalition air strikes. [14]

The current campaign to recover Mosul is based on the same siege strategy US forces and their Iraqi client used to liberate Ramadi and Fallujah. US and allied warplanes have been bombarding the city for months. [15] Iraqi forces, aided by US Special Forces, are moving to cordon it off. “Some aid groups estimate that as many as a million people could be displaced by fighting to recapture the city, creating a daunting humanitarian task that the United Nations and other organizations say they are not yet ready to deal with.” [16]
Writer and journalist Jonathan Cook commented on the utter hypocrisy of Westerners who condemn the Syrian/Russian campaign to liberate East Aleppo from Islamist fighters while celebrating the Iraqi/US campaign to do the same in Mosul. Targeting the British newspaper, the Guardian, beloved by progressives, Cook contrasted two reports which appeared in the newspaper to illustrate the Western heart beating for all except those the US Empire drowns in blood.

Report one: The Guardian provides supportive coverage of the beginning of a full-throttle assault by Iraqi forces, backed by the US and UK, on Mosul to win it back from the jihadists of ISIS – an assault that will inevitably lead to massive casualties and humanitarian suffering among the civilian population.
Report two: The Guardian provides supportive coverage of the US and UK for considering increased sanctions against Syria and Russia. On what grounds? Because Syrian forces, backed by Russia, have been waging a full-throttle assault on Aleppo to win it back from the jihadists of ISIS and Al-Qaeda – an assault that has led to massive casualties and humanitarian suffering among the civilian population. [17]

Central to Western propaganda is the elision of the Islamist character of the Al Qaeda militants who tyrannize East Aleppo. This is accomplished by labeling them “rebels,” while the “rebels” who tyrannize the cities the United States and its allies besiege are called “Islamic State,” ISIL” or “ISIS” fighters. The aim is to conjure the impression that US-led sieges are directed at Islamic terrorists, and therefore are justifiable, despite the humanitarian crises they precipitate, while the Syrian-led campaign in East Aleppo is directed at rebels, presumably moderates, or secular democrats, and therefore is illegitimate. This is part of a broader US propaganda campaign to create two classes of Islamist militants—good Islamists, and bad ones.

Wednesday, US President Barack Obama's Special Envoy Brett McGurk was asked at a Baghdad press conference about the US involvement on the ground in Iraq.

Brett McGurk: So thanks. Very good question. We have again, a Strategic Framework Agreement with the Government of Iraq. There are multiple aspects of that. There is education, economic support. We work very closely with your government and the IMF to help provide a foundation for your economy in a very difficult economic situation you faced over the summer. So it's a very broad relationship. And, of course, there is a security aspect to that relationship. So anything we do here in Iraq will be at the request of the Iraqi Government. So those will be decisions, ultimately, for the Iraqi Government. And I think we will, obviously, be in close consultations with them about an appropriate role to support your security forces, going forward. But utimately, everything we do here is with the approval of the Government of Iraq.

And what sort of agreement does the government of Turkey have with Iraq?

Because the Baghdad-based government does not want Turkish troops in Iraq, the Foreign Minister of Iraq has asked them to leave, the Prime Minister of Iraq has asked them to leave and yet they remain.

And the US government refuses to call out this violation of sovereignty -- permission to build that CIA base in southern Turkey at the end of Bully Boy Bush's second term sure paid off the Turkish government.

The Turkish government has refused to remove its troops from Iraq.

Wednesday, Barack spoke on the phone with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the White House issued this statement:

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the President's Call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey

The President spoke by phone today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the next steps in the campaign against ISIL. The President recognized the contributions of Turkey, our NATO Ally, to the campaign, especially in supporting local Syrian forces who have cleared ISIL from Turkey's border in northwest Syria. President Obama noted the need for close coordination between the United States and Turkey to build on these successes and to apply sustained pressure on ISIL in Syria to reduce threats to the United States, Turkey, and elsewhere. The President welcomed continued dialogue between Turkey and Iraq to determine the appropriate level and form of Turkey's participation in the Counter-ISIL Coalition's efforts in Iraq, and both leaders affirmed their strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.  The two leaders agreed on the importance of denying the PKK a safe haven in northern Iraq.

RUDAW notes, "Wednesday's phone call lasted for more than one hour."

And how did that call work out?

XINHUA reports:

Turkey will continue its involvement in Syria and Iraq, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said here on Wednesday, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
"We are determined to stand by our brothers and sisters, who are fighting against terrorist organizations, through our diplomatic and military might if necessary," Erdogan said at the Presidential Complex.

Ishaan Tharoor (WASHINGTON POST) adds, "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that he had informed President Obama of Turkey's intent to participate in an offensive in northern Syria. His remarks are a reminder of the strategic conundrum facing the United States, which is working to defeat the extremist Islamic State in Syria and Iraq with both cooperation from Turkey as well as from Syrian Kurdish militias being targeted by the Turks."

Patrick Christys (DAILY EXPRESS) notes:

FEARS are mounting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is hell-bent on expanding his country’s territory after giving a string of provocative speeches referencing Turkey’s claim to more land.

The leader’s comments are fuelling speculation that the Middle Eastern nation is intent on land grabbing parts of Iraq, Syria and the Greek islands.
In one recent speech, the 62-year-old said Turkey “did not accept the borders of our country voluntarily” and mentioned the National Pact – a plan made at the end of the Ottoman Empire to conquer the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Meanwhile, in the United States, North Dakota is looking a lot like Iraq.

  1. No, this is not |i army getting ready to storm , but these 📸 show forces at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest -

This military invasion of a sovereign nation is being done on behalf of a foreign oil company.  Say no, from Standing Rock to Iraq

Law enforcements concept of de-esculating a protest, is to dress up like they are headed into Mosul, Iraq to drive out ISIS.

The following community sites updated:

  • iraq

    Thursday, October 27, 2016

    The healthcare scam

    ObamaCare was a swindle.

    More and more I get e-mails saying, "How did you know?"

    Not because I'm a genius but because my state -- under Governor Mitt Romney -- saw it first. 

    Romney was going to provide "universal healthcare" by . . . making it a law to purchase.

    Sound familiar?

    It was a con and I saw it and I saw friends hurt by it.

    The same thing's going to happen with ObamaCare.

    You will see costs continue to rise, you will see people do without and pay fines -- fines that many will not be able to afford.

    Andre Damon (WSWS) details the latest:

    On Monday, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that premiums for health insurance plans sold under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will increase on average by 25 percent in 2017, raising health care costs of millions of working people by thousands of dollars.
    Coming on top of extremely high deductibles and co-pays and severe restrictions on doctors and hospitals available to most of those insured under the ACA, better known as “Obamacare,” the steep premium increases testify to the fact that the Obama administration’s “signature” legislation is a reactionary fraud, aimed at increasing corporate profits by gutting the health benefits won by workers over the course of decades of struggle.
    The entire health care overhaul is a scheme devised in collaboration with the insurance conglomerates to dismantle the system of employer-paid health coverage that emerged in the United States out of the mass struggles of the 1930s and 1940s, which established the industrial unions and extracted health insurance as a concession from the corporations. The lack of a government run program of universal health care in the United States was the result of the political subordination of the labor movement to the corporate-controlled Democratic Party by the anti-socialist trade union bureaucracy.
    On the basis of the so-called “individual mandate,” which requires all those not covered by employer-sponsored plans or government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid to purchase health coverage from private insurance companies on exchanges set up by the government, Obamacare has established a model whereby each individual “consumer” is placed at the mercy of gigantic insurance companies, which are virtually unrestricted in setting fees and conditions.
    Those who fail to buy insurance under Obamacare are subject to a tax penalty equal to at least 2.5 percent of their annual income. This will rise to $700 or more in 2017.

    ObamaCare is a swindle and a scam as RomneyCare was before it.

    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:

    Thursday, October 27, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Elise Labot thinks she's going to land John Kerry and that this means she's now a State Dept press spokesperson, Iraq wants to sit on the UN's Human Rights Council, and much more.

    Let's address Khizer Khan.

    I didn't know his story, I didn't need to know it.

    In fact, the election would be a lot better off if no one knew it.

    He goes on stage at the Democratic Party's national convention and insults Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

    Donald responds in his usual over the top way -- typical Donald Trump.

    And yet it will not go away.

    Because Khizer Khan is a cry baby.

    That's all he is, just a damn cry baby.

    He wants to kick someone in the shins publicly and then he runs behind the American public hoping we'll save his ass from a beating.

    Worse than that, he runs behind the American public and continues to stick his tongue out at Donald Trump.

    Ben Finley (AP) reports -- I have no idea why -- that Khan's now taken to the mosque to attack Donald Trump and Trumps has responded.

    "I wouldn't have been in Iraq," Trump said, once again falsely insisting he was opposed to the Iraq War before it started. "Had I been president, Capt. Khan would be alive today."
    Fumed Khan, "This is the most cruel thing you can say to grieving parents."

    For real?

    "This is the most cruel thing you can say to grieving parents?"

    How about this?

    Why was your Muslim son in a war on Muslims?

    Or this?

    He died for oil and empire, he didn't die for freedom.

    I can think of 8 million worse things that people have said in the last 13 years alone and I'm sure you can as well.

    I'm sorry that Khan's been so pampered and babied by the press that he can't.

    Cindy Sheehan got much worse in one day, in one hour, than Khan's ever gotten.

    She didn't whine like a little cry baby.

    But then she wasn't an idiot prattling on in public, trying to use their dead son to elect a woman who supported the war.

    This is reality.

    Khan has no meaning and no point of interest if you don't factor in his son.

    He used that son to attack Donald Trump.

    This is a fact that press continues to lie about.

    AP today insists, "Khan first gained national attention from the podium of the Democratic National Convention when he paid homage to his son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who died in Iraq in 2004."

    No, he did not pay homage to his son.

    I didn't attend the convention.  I didn't watch it on TV.

    I know (and dislike) Donald Trump.

    I know that when he starts slinging mud, it's because others are slinging it too.

    (He'd rather talk -- on and on -- about himself.  When other people pop up on his radar, it's either him talking about how smart they think he is or he's going after them.)

    So I knew, without knowing Khan's speech, that Khan had been insulting.

    Click here for the speech in full. Minus nine sentences, here it is:

    If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America. Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities -- women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.
    Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words "liberty" and "equal protection of law."
    Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America -- you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
    You have sacrificed nothing and no one.

    First off, how is the Republican "party leadership" "minorities"?

    I believe they are all Anglo White men -- so they don't qualify by race or gender -- and as members of Congress, they're part of the establishment, so, no they're not minorities.

    Second, "all faiths, genders, and ethnicities."

    What about race?

    When I think of the Academy Awards and a speech -- a brave one -- a friend gave not that long ago only to be ripped apart for wording, I note that the same eagle eyes aren't working the beat when it comes to Khan.

    Third, this crap about "if it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America"?

    This lie has been repeated over and over and over.

    And you get that idiot in the Hillary commercial (which one! which idiot, which commercial!) saying Donald would throw her child out of the country -- her child wondered.

    If you legally adopted the child, how is your child getting thrown out of the country?

    And what kind of a parent can't correct that fear?

    Khan and his family became American citizens in 1986.

    What kind of idiot would say Donald Trump, if it were up to him, would kick them out?

    Trump did not need lies to make him into a bad person.

    He's spent his entire life making himself into a bad person.

    All reporters had to do was report.

    Instead, they lied and they gamed the system.

    And you better believe that in doing that, they have created sympathy for Donald Trump.

    Anyone who believes in fairness, has to roll their eyes over how the corporate media has painted Donald -- me included.

    I have a friend who repeatedly calls when one of Ava and my media pieces goes up at THIRD and she says, "But we hate Trump!"  And, yes, I'm part of that "we."

    I also hate liars.

    And the press has lied repeatedly.

    Khan got up on the stage and launched an attack on Donald Trump.

    It's a free country.

    He's allowed to do that.

    But when Donald responds in kind -- probably responds in an overboard manner, that is Donald's style -- it becomes, "Oh, poor man, oh, he's being attacked, oh, this is so unfair . . ."


    You say something publicly, someone responds.

    That's how the town square works.

    And again, Cindy Sheehan took her lumps.  People called her vile things.  She didn't turn into a little cry baby whining in the public square.

    But that's the difference: Cindy Sheehan's a grown up.

    Khan needs to stop whimpering.

    It's disgusting.

    And let me also be clear, in a decade or so this may change, but right now, I'm really sick of fathers who never served in the military using their child's service to make themselves look better.


    Women have faced restrictions in the US.  That's changing.

    When it does, my view of mothers on this issue may change.

    On Trump and immigration, he was referring to undocumented immigration in his speech announcing his bid for president.  At some point, grown ups will have to have a conversation.

    And Hillary supporters who are little babies are going to be surprised to find that the actual immigration policies of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will not differ.

    Grown ups will also have to face the fact that you either have rules for immigration or you don't.

    If we want truly open borders, then let's vote for that on a referendum.

    But I don't think that would pass.

    The immigration issue is a serious issue.  And reducing it -- as the press has done -- to cartoon simplicity helps no one.

    (I used undocumented worker, etc. so for those who don't know I support sanctuary cities and feel that a blanket amnesty should be pursued for those in the US currently. And I can make my argument for those positions.  I don't have to distort Donald Trump's views in order to voice my own.)

    Khan doesn't appear to notice, but the Iraq War continues -- as does the suffering of those living through it.

    Iraq's children MUSTN'T be forced to choose between being trapped and fleeing into gunfire:

    As the suffering continues, so does the attempt to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul.

    The issue was raised at yesterday's State Dept press briefing.

    QUESTION: Okay. Can we stay on [the Islamic State] and the battle of Mosul?

    MR KIRBY: Sure, sure.

    QUESTION: Okay. Is it turning out to be like a slog, or how are things moving? How are they progressing?


    MR KIRBY: Elise, do you want to come take the podium?

    QUESTION: Not today.

    MR KIRBY: Not today, all right. Look, I mean, we’re how many days into this, Said? And now we’re already talking about slog? What’s the next thing we’re going to be asking about? Quagmire? I mean, this is --

    QUESTION: Okay.

    MR KIRBY: This just started. And we said all along that this was going to be, first of all, a long road to get to the operation, because it had to be done when the Iraqis were ready, and now they are. And we said even before, even while we were doing shaping operations, that taking back Mosul was going to be a tough fight and was going to take a while, and it was going to be ugly because of the terrain and because of the nature of the city itself and their presence in Mosul.
    And so look, we’re only a few days into this. And actually, they are making good progress. They’re mainly still on the outskirts of Mosul, but they have achieved a measure of success. And oh, by the way, there’s been good coordination between the Peshmerga and the ISF, and there were people, critics, saying well, that’s never going to happen. Well, it’s happening.
    So we’ve got to give them time and space to continue to execute their plan, but military operations are never clear-cut things. You’re going to meet resistance. The enemy gets a vote. Things don’t always go according to plan. I’m not saying that this isn’t; I’m just saying that we need to all be prepared to watch this on a daily basis and not get ahead of it.

    QUESTION: Well, because of all these – all the different groups and all the moving parts in this thing, is the United States – is it maybe – has it made a mistake by not taking command and control of this operation? And perhaps because it has a better experience, and whether in the fight in Mosul in the old days, 2003 and 2004, and so on?

    MR KIRBY: No, absolutely not. No, this – no, no, I couldn’t disagree more. I mean, we’ve also long said for going on two years now, that in order to achieve a truly sustainable defeat of this group, it has to be done with indigenous forces. Now, one of the lessons we’ve learned over the last 15, 16 years is yes, the American military can do a lot of things and do it very, very well, but the way to sustain a defeat against extremists on soil is to make sure that indigenous forces and secure – and a security apparatus is in place and capable of not only defeating, but then stabilizing afterward; that sometimes the presence of foreign troops alone can be – can be the irritant required to keep extremists interested in an area, that we can actually make the situation worse.
    The second thing I’d say – I see you, Elise. Give me a second. The second thing I’d say is that we tend to forget Iraq is a sovereign country. I know we talked about Iraq for much of the last decade as if it was some – it was a territory. It’s a sovereign country and Prime Minister Abadi must maintain command and control over the forces inside his country, and he does. And we’ve long said that if you’re going to be involved in the fight against ISIL, we want all those things coordinated and under Prime Minister Abadi’s command and control.

    That’s the way to achieve a lasting defeat against this group, which is why our role has been one – not just because we wanted it, but because Prime Minister Abadi wanted it – one of training, advising, assisting, helping improve their battlefield competency, confidence, and capability so that they could mount this – well, all these operations, but this one in particular – successfully, and then maintain the defeat of ISIL over time and stabilize Mosul going forward. That can’t be done by foreign forces. It needs to be done by Iraqi forces.

    Let's just close in on one aspect of that:

    QUESTION: Okay. Is it turning out to be like a slog, or how are things moving? How are they progressing?


    MR KIRBY: Elise, do you want to come take the podium?

    That's Elise Labot who forgets she works for CNN -- she's convinced John Kerry's going to leave his wife for her (it's not happening, Elise) -- and not the State Dept.

    There's Elise objecting -- that should read "No!" -- to the notion that the Mosul action is turning into a "slog."

    One wonders why the biased and dishonest Elise is allowed by CNN to remain on the State Dept press beat.

    But if she had any ethics, she wouldn't be trying to pursue a married man.

    Meanwhile, the Iraqi government wants to be on the United Nations Human Rights Council.  The executive director of UN WATCH, Hillel Neuer, offers his thought on their campaign brochure.

    1. Ahead of tomorrow's farce— elections to its Human Rights Council—I will now tweet out from 's brochure.

    2. Iraq's absurd election campaign brochure actually invokes their minority—even though they've been subjected to genocide.

    3. Iraq's absurd election campaign brochure also cites the happy condition of their minority—who have been decimated.

    4. Finally Iraq's UNHRC election brochure says " have lived in Iraq for thousands of years"; right—but were all chased out decades ago.

    Before the USA illegally invaded Iraq in 2003, there hadn't been a single suicide bombing in Iraqs history.

    The US create the terror!

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and BLACK AGENDA REPORT --  updated:

  • iraq