Thursday, July 29, 2021

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs in the Kitchen

Tommy just got an air fryer. It was a hand me down from his sister. So he doesn't have the booklet with various recipes. He was wondering if I had any recipes I'd offer? Jennifer Banz has great recipes and I really love the one she has for air fryer chicken thighs:

4 Bone in, skin on chicken thighs, trimed of excess fat and skin
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
½ teaspoon Oregano
½ teaspoon Onion powder

Preheat your air fryer to 380F for 5 minutes. After pre-heating, spray with cooking spray.
Add the chicken thighs to a large zip-top bag or a bowl with a lid. Top with the kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano and onion powder. Shake to coat.
Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer, skin side down, for 12 minutes.
Turn your chicken thighs skin side up and cook for 10 minutes more. If you would like your chicken thighs super crispy. Cook for 4 minutes increments to get your desired crispness.
Thighs are done when an internal meat thermometer reads 165F. Serve.

The air fryer is really good for things crisp. I love tater tots, potato wedges, onion rings, etc. For about 20 years now, they've gone in the oven. I just don't fry them. But what I lose in grease, I sometimes feel like I also lose in crispness. So the air fryer was just a wonderful kitchen addition. I use it for a variety of items.

Dean Baker (CounterPunch) notes:

Larry Summers says he’s worried about the US economy, even more than he was worried when he started to sound the alarm in February. The well-known economist and former US treasury secretary said last week, “the focus of concern right now should be on overheating.”
He’s not talking about climate, but about the economy growing too fast and running into persistent high inflation like we had in the 1970s, along with other possible crises. On the same day that he issued the above warning, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June was 5.4 percent above its level one year earlier. Press reports noted that this was the biggest one-year jump since 2008.
There are many reasons to question whether his fears are well-grounded; more on that below. But first, some background on why this debate is so important at this particular moment in US history.
Most of the time in the United States, the two most important policies that determine people’s living standards over time — including the rate of employment and unemployment — are monetary and fiscal policy.

I think things are going to get worse.

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

 Thursday, July 29, 2021.  As the Iraq War continues, we take a break to note an important passing: an activist, journalist, theorist, fighter, inspiration and a very good person has died.

Glen Ford has passed away.

Journalist Glen Ford was a truth teller.  Many of us first became aware of his work from THE BLACK COMMENTATOR.  Being a truth teller meant that he had to leave TBC.  Tell the truth or just go along?  Tell the truth was Glen's decision.  He, Bruce Dixon and Margaret Kimberley all left TBC and founded BLACK AGENDA REPORT which quickly became the must read website online.  Along with the text reporting, Glen Ford co-hosted BLACK AGENDA RADIO.  

Margaret Kimberley Tweets:

I am sorry to inform you that Glen Ford, founder of Black Agenda Report, and my friend, comrade, and mentor has passed away. We will share more information as we receive it. May he rest in power.

In replies to her Tweet, many note their surprise and sadness -- including Richard Medhurst, Fiorella Isabel, Kevin Gosztola and Glenn Greenwald.  Libby Liberal notes:

Whenever I attended the Left Forum in NYC, I ran down the list of presentations and marked all the panels containing #GlenFord to attend.

Black Alliance For Peace Tweets:

The Black Alliance for Peace mourns the passing of Glen Ford (November 5, 1949-July 28, 2021) from an elder to an ancestor.

Minister of the Interior Tweets:

For some he was an expert political analyst, journalist, activist, and broadcaster. But he was my hilarious, fun-loving uncle too. Going to especially miss our countless 5-hour-long conversations, which were formative in making me the person (and writer) I am today. RIP Glen Ford


To call Ford a career journalist is a vast understatement. According to his bio on the Black Agenda Report website, Ford was reporting the news live on the radio as early as 11-years-old and went on to enjoy a career in journalism for more than 40 years that included working as a Washington bureau chief as well as a correspondent covering the White House, Capitol Hill and State Department.

After getting his start in news radio in Augusta, Georgia, Ford honed his skills at other local news stations and eventually created the “Black World Report,” a syndicated half-hour weekly news magazine that paved the way for the Black Agenda Report to be founded. Years later, in 1977, Ford helped launch, produce and host “America’s Black Forum,” the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television.

That led to the creation of “Black Agenda Reports” two years later in a successful effort to focus his syndicated content in the areas of Black women, business, entertainment, history and sports.

About a decade later, Ford branched out into the then-burgeoning popularity of hip-hop culture with “Rap It Up,” the first syndicated hip-hop music show in American history.

After co-founding in 2002, he and the rest of the website’s staff left to launch Black Agenda Report, which remains a popular source of information, news and analysis from a Black perspective.

In one of his final dispatches before his death, Ford, along with Kimberley, on July 21 addressed the jailing of former South Africa President Jacob Zuma, questioning on Black Agenda Report whether the resulting uprising there should be characterized as “riots” or an “insurrection.”

Born Glen Rutherford in Georgia in 1949, Ford famously has his surname shortened by James Brown, who owned the radio station where Ford got his start in Augusta, Georgia.

BLACK POWER MEDIA offered this tribute.

Dust James reflects on how Glen changed the conversation.

Below, he's discussing Barack Obama's legacy with Chris Hedges in 2017.

And here is Glen speaking on war, elections and more.


The son of famed disc jockey Rudy “The Deuce” Rutherford, the first Black man to host a non-gospel television show in the Deep South – Columbus, Georgia, 1958 – Glen was reading newswire copy on-the-air at age eleven. Glen’s first full-time broadcast news job was at James Brown’s Augusta, Georgia radio station WRDW, in 1970 – where ‘The Godfather of Soul” shortened Glen’s surname to “Ford.”

Glen Ford  worked as a newsperson at four more local stations: in Columbus, Georgia, Atlanta, Baltimore – where he created his first radio syndication, a half-hour weekly news magazine called “Black World Report” – and Washington, DC. In 1974, Ford joined the Mutual Black Network (88 stations), where he served as Capitol Hill, State Department and White House correspondent, and Washington Bureau Chief, while also producing a daily radio commentary. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted “America’s Black Forum” (ABF), the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television.

ABF made Black broadcast history. For the next four years, the program generated national and international headlines nearly every week. Never before – and never since – had a Black news entity commanded the weekly attention of the news services (AP, UPI, Reuters, Agence France-Presse – even Tass, the Soviet news agency) and the broadcast networks.

While still host and co-owner of ABF, Ford in 1979 created “Black Agenda Reports,” which provided five programs each day on Black Women, History, Business, Sports and Entertainment to 66 radio stations. The syndication produced more short-form programming than the two existing Black radio networks, combined.

Ford also produced the McDonald’s-sponsored radio series “Black History Through Music,” aired on 50 stations, nationwide.

In 1987, Ford launched “Rap It Up,” the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. During its six years of operations, “Rap It Up” allowed Ford to play an important role in the maturation of a new African American musical genre. He organized three national rap music conventions, and wrote the Hip Hop column for Jack The Rapper’s Black radio trade magazine.

Ford co-founded (BC) in 2002. The weekly journal quickly became the most influential Black political site on the Net. In October, 2006, Ford and the entire writing team left BC to launch (BAR).

In addition to his broadcast and Internet experience, Glen Ford was national political columnist for Encore American & Worldwide News magazine; founded The Black Commentator and Africana Policies magazines; authored The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion (IOJ, 1985); voiced over 1000 radio commercials (half of which he also produced) and scores of television commercials; and served as reporter and editor for three newspapers (two daily, one weekly).

Ford was a founding member of the Washington chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ); executive board member of the National Alliance of Third World Journalists (NATWJ); media specialist for the National Minority Purchasing Council; and has spoken at scores of colleges and universities.

Ella Septima-Hamer Tweets:

In honor of the late Glen Ford. I think it’s only right to post this classic debate (ass whoopin) once again. RIP Mr. Ford Effective Evil” or Progressives’ Best Hope? Glen Ford vs. Michael Eric Dyson on Obama Presidency

Many are noting that video on social media.  It's an example of Glen's truth telling and the priority he put on it.  He was dropped from DEMOCRACY NOW!'s guest list for refusing to sing from Amy Goodman's hymnal.  July 14th, Ava and I were noting in "TV: Truths -- partial and whole:"

Let's start with Aaron Mate. We've been very clear both here and at THE COMMON ILLS that Aaron has our sympathies and that the lies and attacks Ana Kasparian and others at THE POST-MENAPAUSAL TURKS have carried out are unseemly and reflect more on the attackers than they do on Aaron.

We've defended him and will again. But we speak to actual journalists -- not podcasters. And we're aware that they had great sympathy for Aaron. The sympathy has weakened. They're tired of him "making himself the story," exact words from two journalists -- print journalists. They're referring to his constant appearances on various programs including Jimmy Dore's where Aaron talks about . . . well, himself. We're not questioning his right to defend himself but we are noting that when he makes himself the story reporters lose interest. And so do viewers if we can judge by the stats at THE COMMON ILLS where various YOUTUBE videos get reposted and in e-mails to both that site and this one.

We see the point many are making. We have another point though. Glen Ford of BLACK AGENDA REPORT. He told truth when it was uncomfortable and did so on the laughable DEMOCRACY NOW! Amy Goodman was pimping the White House and the administration's talking points. Glen didn't play. The result? Glen got banned from the show. He hasn't been on since 2012.

What else hasn't he been on? Aaron Mate's THE GRAYZONE.

That's an issue to us. And as Aaron speaks of being wronged, while we agree with him, we're aware that others were wronged as well. And if you're not using your power to help others who were wronged it just comes off a little self-focused, a little self-centered -- honestly, a little vain. 


for a while i'm speaking
you know how much you hate to be interrupted
maybe spend some time alone
to fill up your proverbial cup
so that it doesn't always have to be about you

-- "Front Row" written by Alanis Morissette, first appears on her SUPPOSED INFATUATION JUNKIE

Aaron is Jewish which is an ethnic minority. It's not really a minority in left media. Glen Ford is African-American. Sabby Sabs and Niko House raised an important issue in the video below last month.

Why aren't people stepping up? Why does Sabby have to make that video in 2021? Shouldn't inclusion -- at this late date -- not require reminders? 

All women and men of color are grossly under-represented in our left media.

The news of Glen's passing will hit many hard.  And should, he was an important voice, someone who stood for a better world.  Last night, I learned of Glen's passing when I was in the e-mails and posted BLACK POWER MEDIA's video about it.  And I was sad -- which I still am -- and feeling something a little more than desperation.  

Glen's voice was an important voice and we really needed it.  We needed his take on events, we needed his suggestion, we needed his guidance.  The world was a little better off with him in it.

I'm still very sad but I don't feel so desperate.  I've had time to think a little and Glen influenced so many of us -- in this country and around the world.  His actions influenced so many and so much that we may not even notice many of the ripples.  But when Sabby Sabs tells her truth with a risks-be-damned attitude, she's carrying on the work of Glen Ford.  

He made his mark and he inspired.  He will be sorely missed and, while he was with us, he used his time in a way that mattered and registered. 

Here he is speaking at The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War.

New content at THIRD:

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

WSWS skips off the cliff

Oh my God. As a general rule, that's not something you read at community sites. You won't read it at THE COMMON ILLS because C.I. won't take any deity's name in vain out of respect for all religions. Kat says it a lot in real life and sometimes in her writing. Mike does as well. It even came up once in a roundtable and we were of the opinion -- Kat, Mike, Rebecca and me -- that we are known as religious and that people reading us regularly would grasp that and not take offense. (Kat, Mike and I are Catholic, Rebecca's Methodist.)

But, oh my God.

WSWS. I just don't know what's going on with them.

The crazy needs to stop. It really needs to stop. The had their conspiracy theory that Donald Trump would refuse to leave the White House if he lost the election. They started that weeks and weeks before the election. They looked nutty at the time, they look nutty in retrospect.

Since January, they have been pimping the January 6th riot as a coup.

They look like nut jobs. The latest piece demonstrates that they are.

"Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks with U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell after a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (Jim Bourg/AP)" is the caption to the photo they run.

WSWS loves their boys (and girls) in blue now that they can use them to pimp their crazy. Give it a day or two, though, and they'll be back to telling the world about Killer cops. (There are good police officers and bad police officers and I do not paint with a broadstroke -- my family has a ton of police officers in it.)

So there's WSWS using the horrid Liz Chaney and a police officer to pimp their nutty talk. They'll grab onto anything. At some point, you'd think they'd realize the damage they do to themselves.

It wasn't a coup. It wasn't an insurrection. It was a small riot. Get a grip. That applies to Nancy Pelosi as well but we all know she's lost her grip long ago and is a dottering fool insisting, "We feed them! We feed them!"

WSWS is now in bed with Nancy Pelosi, grasp that. They are just as bankrupt as she is.


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

Wednesday, July 28, 2021.  Is Joe Biden all there?  Is the press?

How sentinent is Joe Biden?  At 78, it was never a surprise that people would question his coherence.  This is someone who was hidden from the press while campaigning -- as a strategy.  Even hidden away, his words weren't connecting.  SKY NEWS is building a cottage industry around his questionable moments.

For example:


We could go on and on.  

Joe was too old to run for president and never should have been given the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  He's 78.  How old was Ronald Reagen when he left office?  77.  He was elected at 69 and served two terms.  It was obvious Reagan wasn't coherent at the end.  

Some argue it's already apparent that Joe is incoherent.  

That might explain why he's so determined to mislead the American people and why some in the press are so willing to lie.

Garbage like the article credited to "agencies" that Pakistan's DAILY TIMES runs which insists "After 18 years, US announces to end combat mission in Iraq."  If you're as senile as many fear Joe Biden is, you might just nod along.  If you're mind hasn't gone to mush, however, you'll probably be remembering this was declared in Barack Obama's first term as president.  

NBC NEWS allows a little truth to emerge via a column they run online by Daniel R. DePetris:

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's visit to the White House on Monday produced what the Biden administration is marketing as a major announcement about the U.S. troop presence in Iraq: There won't be any U.S. combat troops in Iraq by the end of the year. The U.S. presence in the country will now focus on training, advising and enabling Iraqi security forces to conduct operations independently against the Islamic State militant group.

The Biden administration has framed this shift as a "significant evolution" in the U.S. mission in Iraq, with support personnel and logisticians favored over Apache helicopters and special forces. There's only one problem with this line of thought: The latest announcement won't do much to change U.S. military operations in Iraq, let alone end them.

What the White House is trumpeting as a withdrawal is more like a reclassification, in which combat troops become trainers and advisers in behalf of the Iraqi army. The current U.S. force posture in Iraq, about 2,500 troops, will remain almost the same. The mission U.S. troops are tasked with today is the same mission they were tasked with a week ago, with little sign of letting up: a seemingly endless endeavor to build a perfect Iraqi military.

So that's Daniel R. DePetris, Ruth Sherlock, (NPR) and us.  Guess what?  We're all still breathing.

Meanwhile, ANTIWAR.COM continues to lie -- most recently in the latest from Jason Ditzy.  WSWS just completely ignores the whole issue.  Didn't think either of you outlets existed to provide cover for politicians but I guess we can tell by your actions, right?

Look, Daniel, Ruth and us, we're all in the pool.  Como on in and join us, you can even stay on the shallow end or visit the kiddie pool.

I'm just sick of this garbage.  You self-present as truth tellers but you take a pass time and again.  WSWS needs, apparently, multiple days after an announcement (lie) is issued by the government to respond and Ditzy and his ANTIWAR gang just run with whatever the government says.  

Do we need to buy them floaties?  Would that help.

(Yes, we are fine.  I've read the e-mails and was already aware of what happened last night.  Their little games do not hurt us and haven't in the past and they're learning that payback is always meted out -- not by me but by UK supporters.  That's all we'll say here.  If we had a community newsletter today or tomorrow, I wouldn't even say that.  This will be addressed in the gina & krista round-robin.)

The front pages of THE PROGRESSIVE, THE NATION and IN THESE TIMES have nothing on it either.  Noting that before ________ with WSWS to whine that others didn't cover it.  

WSWS has spent how many weeks calling out JACOBIN?  For not covering this or that?  But it can't cover this lie being spread by the White House via the press?  

It really is a garbage media we are being asked to build.  Send money, send money!!!!!  We are the last tellers of truth!!!!!

What a load of garbage.  They're lazy pandhandlers.  And they prove it by doing nothing with the money they've been given.

Trudy Rubin is someone I've long disagreed with on many things releated to Iraq.  We've included her frequently over the years because she truly does care about Iraq.  This is from her latest from THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER:

But he also made clear that U.S. forces — probably most of the 2,500 now in the country — would be rebranded to “train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS.”

Unlike his abrupt end to the “forever war” in Afghanistan, Biden wants to deepen a strategic partnership with Iraq.

Moreover, the White House wants to help Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, an unusual Iraqi leader. He is trying to pull together a country fragmented by sectarianism, corruption, and by Iranian meddling, including aid to Shiite militias that challenge the government.

And there it is.  The US is trying to rig the election for Mustafa.

Mustafa is a lousy prime minister.  But even if he was a great one, the pretense Joe Biden's carrying out is an attempt to influence a foreign election.

Joe should really learn to butt the hell out.

He is the one who negotiated The Erbil Agreement -- the legal contract that threw out the 2010 votes so that Nouri al-Maliki could get the second term that the Iraqi people voted to avoid.  

Back then, Susan Rice and Samantha Power were insistent that Nouri al-Maliki had to have a second term.  It was the only way, they insisted, to achieve US goals.  The man running the secret prisons and torture chambers, the man who saw everyone as his enemy must be given a second term over the objection of the Iraqi people.  Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates did object.  But Joe sided with Rice and Powers.  (Hillary and Robert's stance was what Joe's had been originally in March of 2010 -- that the winner should be named prime minister-designate -- that would be Ayad Allawi.)  

Anybody remember how that turned out?

Nouri's second term saw him persecute even more Iraqis and ISIS rose up as a result of his persecution of Sunnis.  ISIS, under Nouri, would terrorize the country.  It would also do something that terrorists don't generally do, it would seize control of parts of the country.  

That's on Joe Biden and the gang who couldn't support democracy or respect the votes.

They just knew better -- in their minds.

We're there again with Mustafa.  He has accomplished nothing.  The Iraqi people are suffering.  But here's the US government yet again trying to influence the government.  As noted in the roundtable for POLLY'S BREW with Iraqi community members, there's a feeling of why even bother to vote this go round since Joe's back in the White House and they know he overturned their votes in 2010?

A lot of people are saying that they won't participate in the elections.

Some leaders in The October Revolution have announced that they won't be voting.  Some Christians have announced the same. XINHUA notes that there are now three political groups that are also saying they won't participate:

The Iraqi National Dialogue Front announced on Wednesday its withdrawal from the parliamentary elections scheduled for Oct. 10.

It is the third political group, after Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc and the Iraqi Communist Party, that has decided to withdraw from the upcoming Iraqi elections.

"The failure to provide a safe environment for early elections and the proliferation of out-of-control weapons are all factors that confirm that no clear change will happen, and accordingly, the Front decided not to participate in the elections," the Front said in a statement.

The Front, led by Salih al-Mutlak, participated in the 2018 elections as part of the al-Wataniya (National) Coalition led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a veteran secular politician. The coalition won 21 out of the 329 seats in the parliament.

On the withdrawal of Ayad Allawi's National Dialogue Front, Halgurd Sherwani (KURDISTAN 24) notes:

In a press conference on Wednesday in Baghdad, Judge Wael Abdullatif, the deputy of the Forum, announced the decision. The electoral list was headed by Allawi, a former prime minister and seasoned politician.

Abdullatif said he expects very low turnout in the planned elections, which would result in a “weak government.” 

He urged other political parties to take the same position. 

It is not yet clear how the latest withdrawals by major parties will affect the planned vote. Government officials, including Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi regularly reiterate that the election will be held on time – Oct. 10.

In 2010, Joe Biden tossed aside the Iraqi votes and Ayad Allawi's chance at being the prime minister.  Wonder if Joe's position as US President currently had any impact on Allawi's decision?

The CIA estimates that Sunnis make up approximately 34% of Iraq's population -- a significant number -- unless you're ANTIWAR.COM.  (ANTIWAR.COM works to disappear the Sunnis the same way WSWS works to disappear the Kurds.)  Their votes?  It appears that there is a huge enthusiasm gap.  ARAB WEEKLY offers a lengthy analysis which includes:

Most Iraqi Sunnis do not trust the political forces and parties that represent them. The tensions between Halbousi and Khanjar have increased that level of mistrust ahead of the parliamentary elections, which are expected to be held next October.

Sunnis, whether displaced or residing in their areas, realise that Halbousi and Khanjar have been picked by the ruling Shia parties to play the role of the community’s representatives.

Khanjar is allied with a number of Iranian-aligned Shia forces, including the Badr Organisation headed by Hadi al-Amiri and the Islamic Dawa Party headed by Nuri al-Maliki, while al-Halbousi enjoys the support of Kurdish and Shia leaders, including former Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani and the leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr.

After the elimination of most of the supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq, Khanjar made a radical shift in his political position, transforming himself in the process from a radical critic of Iran to ally of the Shia Islamist regime in Tehran.

Halbousi’s supporters say that Tehran wants to reward Khanjar for this political u-turn by giving him the chance to participate in returning part of the Sunni community of Jurf al-Sakhar, 60 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, to their areas. Local media sources have earlier suggested that Khanjar has reached an agreement with Shia militias, according to which he gave up most of the areas in Jurf al-Sakhar in exchange for allowing part of the Sunni population to return to their homes.

Since 2018, no Iraqi official has been able to enter Jurf al-Sakhar after the displacement of its Sunni residents, while sources say that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps directly supervised the transformation of parts of this area into camps for Shia militias, weapons stores and sites for taking off and landing drones. The Shia militias also exploited vast agricultural areas in Jurf al-Sakhar to create farms and fields, raising livestock, poultry and fish.

Independent Iraqi politician Jabbar al-Mashhadani told The Arab Weekly that Khanjar’s alliance with Iran, through Qatari mediation, is his magic recipe for hijacking Sunni votes.

Mashhadani, however, warned the spell could turn on Khanjar if the political situation changes or if regional balances shift.

RUDAW has an important piece that we'll note the opening of:

US Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller spoke with Rudaw's Roj Elli Zalla in Washington DC, discussing developments in the US mission in Iraq, the upcoming parliamentary elections, and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the Kurdistan Region. 

Echoing other US officials, Tueller reiterated Washington's role in Iraq is to enable Iraqi security forces to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), saying that anyone criticizing the US presence is resisting the state. 

The US is also providing financial support to the UN mission in Iraq, and the electoral commission, in preparation for the October elections. 

He also refuted claims that the US is "quiet" on the Turkey-PKK conflict, and says Washington wants a strong Iraqi state to contribute to a more peaceful Middle East.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Some of the militia groups are saying combat troops, advisor troops, this is just a change of names and the US is not really withdrawing. What do you say to that?

The security issue has dominated much of the discussion, but let me remind everybody that of course our presence there is at the request and invitation of the Iraqi government, they asked us to come in and lead an international coalition to help the Iraqi government deliver the decisive and enduring defeat of ISIS. We have accomplished much of that mission and we are at a stage now where we can assess what are the capabilities of the Iraqi forces, whether from the Peshmerga, the Iraqi security forces, or the counter terrorism forces and what are their needs. That’s the nature of the discussion. I would dismiss those who are criticizing this or anything because what they are really resisting, is they are resisting an Iraqi state, they are resisting a state that is able to provide security for the Iraqi people, they are resisting an Iraqi state that is able to provide jobs, predictability that is what their resistance is. There is no occupation by any foreign force, certainly not by the US. Our role there, operating within the Iraqi bases and the Iraqi operation centers, is to enable and make the Iraqi forces the most capable they can be.

This agreement between Iraq and the US, do you think this might lead to a better condition for the embassy to open up, and the US bases there that would face less attacks?

Well of course we do not have US bases in Iraq, we have some of our military that are on Iraqi bases whether in Ain al-Assad or Erbil or elsewhere so there are no US bases. We have an embassy, as we have embassies in any country in the world, and it is normal that a host government is responsible for protecting embassies and protecting forces that are in the country of the invitation. So the real question is for the Iraqi government, will they be able to stand up to those forces that as I said are resisting the Iraqi government. Will they be able to hold accountable those who are conducting these attacks, will they be able to deter them, will they be able to chase them down. I have seen some success in that regard and we hail that and we hope that the Iraqi government will continue to pursue very, very aggressively these forces that ultimately are threatening the interest of Iraq and the Iraqi people.


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