Tuesday, March 21, 2023


As a longtime carrot connoisseur, I love every type out there. Except for one: packaged baby carrots. That’s right, those unnaturally perfect miniature carrot-like specimens that are sold everywhere from upscale grocery stores to gas stations to corporate office vending machines. They're actually bad in every way.

Ever since baby carrots were “invented” in the 1980s, marketers have conned us into believing that they're the ultimate healthy snack, a convenient way to enjoy veggies on the go. Sure, they may be snackable and convenient, but they’re definitely not what you think they are. Here’s why you should think twice about snagging a bag:

  1. They’re not actually “baby.” The package might claim otherwise, but most carrots sold as “baby carrots” are just regular carrots that have been cut into two-inch pieces, shaved, and polished down to that snackable size.

  2. They don’t actually taste like real carrots. The taste of these so-called baby carrots can best be described as factory fresh, which is VERY different from actual carrot flavor. Don’t believe me? Get a bag of regular carrots and do a side-by-side taste test.

And it goes on from there.  Lynda asked my thoughts?  Here they are: Wah!!!!

Please, we've got serious issues baby carrots isn't one of them.

I don't cook them, I don't use them.  I buy the regular carrots (which are cheaper, by the way) but that's what works for me.  I have friends with severe hand pain.  One can't even use a hand can opener.  She went her whole life without an electric can opener because she wanted to do right by the environment.  Then she hit 50 and just couldn't handle it.  If she's making  a soup or a stew or a pot roast and needs carrots for it, she either buys baby carrots or carrot chips.  

And I think: Good for her.

Boo-hoo and wah!  That's what I thought reading the article.  

Here's a video about the Iraq War from Aljazeera.

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

Tuesday, March 21, 2023.  20 years later and nothing has been learned as the same media landscape that sold the Iraq War continues to offer lies, generals and blaming the American people (for the media's failures) while ignoring the voices of peace.

She started out being called "Lard Ass" because her name was "Lourdes" and then she changed it to "Lulu" as though she were a stripper and not a supposed journalist.  Who am I talking about?  Former NPR embarrassment, now fled to THE NEW YORK TIMES, Lulu Garcia-Navarro.  She wants you to know, in her NYT column, about the years and years she covered Iraq.  She implies it was a straight string of time when in fact she was in and out of the country.  And you'd think every report she did was like the one where Iraqi widows were being put into a trailer camp in trailers with on air conditioning so the trailers were nothing but ovens.  No.  Most of the time she was talking to or speaking for American government officials.  And we're usually kinder to her, she's not one of the worst offenders in journalism.  But then she writes garbage like this:

Americans who never went to Iraq do not think much about what happened there. According to a recent survey, the Iraq war is “largely invisible and out of mind" for a majority of us. Even young Iraqis are hopefully putting the war behind them. But amnesia or a will to move on can’t erase what was a colossal and catastrophic mistake.

Lulu, it was your job and your peers to cover Iraq.  If Americans don't think much of it -- something I don't believe -- then maybe take a second to notice how little coverage the Iraq War has received in the last six, eight, ten years.

If it weren't the 20th anniversary, Lulu, you wouldn't have stepped down from your stripper pole to hector the American people, now would you?

And let's be really clear that your work out of Iraq was embarrassing -- yes, as part of the NPR team you won two awards -- as part of the team.  The weakest member of the team.  You weren't Deborah Amos and you weren't Kelly McEvers.  Meaning?  Anyone who knows NPR's coverage knows those were the two star journalists, those were the reporters breaking actual news.  You soft balled a US general here or there, you cooed to Petreaus, you did nothing of real importance and you did that over and over when you weren't rushing off to Israel or to Mexico or to Libya or to . . .

You've got a lot of nerve showing up now and blaming the American people for not knowing what goes in Iraq -- as though they live across the street from Iraq and aren't dependent upon the media to inform them of what's going on over 6,000 miles away?

The media failed repeatedly on Iraq and continues to fail.  Lard Ass wants to blame the American people.  Heaven forbid most members of the US media ever take accountability.  Certainly not the star players.

The war didn't just start with lies.  It continued with lies.  The shameful reporting of THE NEW YORK TIMES -- especially John F. Burns and Dexter Filkins -- was not about reporting, it was about continuing the Iraq War.  Dexter is off to interview someone with the Iraqi resistance.  A US official says he'd prefer Dexter doesn't do that.  Dexter decides he won't do it.  Falluja's being attacked -- for the second time -- and Dexter's some sort of a witness.  He tells people -- I have the names and I even have copies of the e-mails (I also have the break up e-mails with your ex-wife, Dexy) -- that these are War Crimes he's seeing.  But that doesn't make it into the paper.  Instead, he hands his copy over to the US military -- this is the bad copy that we called out the first  week of this site, the bad copy that he won an award for -- and award that should have long ago been pulled.  He lets the military vet his copy.

The paper's aware of it.

They do nothing.

When THE WALL STREET JOURNAL learned Gina Chon had let US government official Brett McGurk vet her copy all those years in Baghdad, they called her and they fired her.  Even though she was now married to Brett, it didn't matter.  You don't let others dictate your copy.  Editors for your outlet can dictate your copy but you don't let outsiders dictate it.

I'm looking around and seeing a lot of people show up in the last days wanting to talk Iraq -- it's not an eight year war.  You can't even get the basics right?  And does anyone need to hear from David Petraeus again?  Did you all sleep with him?  Is that why you keep fluffing him and pretending that he's got something to offer?

The corporate media (and some begging outlets) hasn't gotten any better.

The American media paid only perfunctory attention to the Iraq War anniversary. What has been said is aimed at covering up for the colossal scale of the crime, and of the media’s own role in it.

The cynicism, as always, found its most perfidious expression in the pages of the New York Times. A news analysis by Max Fisher under the headline, “20 Years On, a Question Lingers About Iraq: Why Did the U.S. Invade?” treats the motives of the Bush administration in launching the war as uncertain and even “fundamentally unknowable,” in the words of one “scholar” interviewed by Fisher. 

The Times article flatly rejects the “once-prevalent theory: that Washington invaded to control Iraq’s vast oil resources,” without referring to the prominence of former oilmen like Vice President Cheney and Bush himself in driving the decisions for war. And it attributes the systematic lying about Saddam Hussein’s possession of “weapons of mass destruction” to a form of groupthink, in which “[a] critical mass of senior officials all came to the table wanting to topple Mr. Hussein for their own reasons, and then talked one another into believing the most readily available justification.”

The Times’ “analysis” carefully avoids any discussion of the role of the Times itself as one of the main promoters of the “weapons of mass destruction” campaign. Reports written by Judith Miller and Michael Gordon, most notoriously a September 2002 front-page exclusive under the headline, “U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts,” parroted the claims of top Bush administration officials, and were taken up by the corporate media as a whole. White House officials then cited these reports as “evidence” against Iraq, which they themselves had planted.

The motivations for the war are not “unknowable.” Indeed, they were known at the time, with tens of millions throughout the world participating in demonstrations in advance of the invasion, rejecting the lies of the administration and demanding “no blood for oil.” The size and breadth of the demonstrations were so large that it prompted the New York Times to comment that there were “two superpowers”: The United States and “world public opinion.”

On March 21, 2003, the day after the invasion began, World Socialist Web Site International Editorial Board Chairman David North published a statement laying out the nature of the war:

The unprovoked and illegal invasion of Iraq by the United States is an event that will live in infamy. The political criminals in Washington who have launched this war, and the wretched scoundrels in the mass media who are reveling in the bloodbath, have covered this country in shame. Hundreds of millions of people in every part of the world are repulsed by the spectacle of a brutal and unrestrained military power pulverizing a small and defenseless country. The invasion of Iraq is an imperialist war in the classic sense of the term: a vile act of aggression that has been undertaken on behalf of the interests of the most reactionary and predatory sections of the financial and corporate oligarchy in the United States. Its overt and immediate purpose is the establishment of control over Iraq’s vast oil resources and reduction of that long-oppressed country to an American colonial protectorate.

The war was part of an unending series of invasions and occupations initiated by the United States in the midst of and following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, under both Democrats and Republicans. This includes the First Gulf War (1990-91); the bombing of Serbia (1999); the invasion of Afghanistan (2001); the bombing of Libya (2011) and the US-backed civil war in Syria (2011). Far from expressing the strength of American capitalism, the effort of the American ruling class to use military force to conquer the world arises out of extreme crisis.

Noting the same NYT column, Mark Frauenfelder (BOING BOING) points out, "So, while The Times may now be asking 'Why Did the U.S. Invade?' it's worth remembering that The Times was complicit in the lies and propaganda that led to the war, and it should be held accountable for its role in this tragic chapter in American history."

It would be hard to overstate the devastation wrought by the Iraq War. Brown University’s Cost of War project estimates that roughly three hundred thousand innocent Iraqi civilians were killed as a result of direct fighting. Millions more died indirectly from its consequences, such as malnutrition, disease, and poverty. More than nine million were displaced from their homes. Today much of the political instability, corruption, and sectarian violence in Iraq can be traced back to the devastation of the war. Domestically, the invasion of Iraq cost US taxpayers $2.4 trillion and fueled the military-industrial complex. Regionally, it birthed an Islamist insurgency that would become the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), destabilizing the region from Syria to Yemen and Libya.

What was achieved in Iraq?  How are the Iraqi people better off today? 

The MSM either avoids the topic or, in the case of NBC's Richard Engel, they just flat out lie.  "There Are Many Signs of Hope" in Iraq was the title of Richard's ridiculous 'report' yesterday.

The glass is half-full, Richard, of Iraqi blood.

The illegal war reduced the country to a land of orphans and widows.  There is still not a government that serves the Iraqi people.  They do not have jobs.  Corruption continues and sees officials rip off millions while the citizens of oil-rich Iraq live in poverty and don't even have the needed basic infrastructure to avoid flooding in the streets or cholera each summer.  

Kim Sengupta (INDEPENDENT) notes another effect of the war:

The outrage caused by the Iraq War became a call to arms for international jihad the repercussions of which are still being felt today. Islamist terrorist groups continue to use the invasion as one of the reasons for carrying out attacks.


Richard Engel and everyone else needs to stop trying to sell the crime that is the Iraq War.  It can't be prettied up.  

It was an illegal war, it was a war of choice.  Even the Pope was trying to avert the US-led war.  Marie Duhamel and Linda Bordoni (VATICAN NEWS) note:

Cardinal Fernando Filoni says one of the toughest periods of his life was the war in Iraq.

He was speaking to Vatican News exactly 20 years after the outbreak of the conflict in the Middle Eastern country, where he served as apostolic nuncio in the early 2000s, remaining at his post in Baghdad amid bombings and suicide attacks. 

Filoni was appointed as the Vatican’s ambassador to Iraq and Jordan in January 2001, and was at the apostolic nunciature in the Iraqi capital during the US invasion which began on 20 March 2003.

“This was the moment,” he said, ”in which not only myself but also the bishops, the priests, the faithful and the people in Iraq, we had the perception of our incapacity to give a different perspective than that of war”.

He recalled that Pope John Paul II spoke often of the conflict and about the possibility of solving it through dialogue.

Here's Germany's DW with the truth Richard Engel won't deliver.

But by all means, Lola, Lardass, whoever you are at this moment in time, let's pretend the problem is the American people and not the US media outlets that they depend upon for their information.

After their ridiculous 'we gave Iraqis disposable cameras' lifestyle segment last week, CNN rolls up their sleeves and lets 


Salah Nsaif was 32 years old when American soldiers imprisoned him in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003.

Twenty years later, he has left his country and settled in faraway Sweden with his wife and three children, but the horrors of the war there continue to haunt him.

“What happened to me was very painful. It impacted my personal relationships when I left Iraq,” Salah told CNN, adding that he felt like he was in a prison of his own mind. “I didn’t want to see my baby or anyone else and I isolated myself. It took me a long time to stop having nightmares.”

Two decades after the start of the US-led war in the country, Iraqis say that while some of the physical wounds may have healed over time, the psychological trauma from the conflict and its aftermath persists to this day.        

Over the weekend, protests took place across the U.S. calling for an end to U.S. involvement in the Ukraine war as the world marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In the nation’s capital, people rallied in front of the White House and marched in the streets of D.C. This is Claudia de la Cruz from The People’s Forum.

Claudia de la Cruz: “We’re here to let the world know that we are committed as a people to shut the war machine down. The planet and humanity depend on us. We’ve got to fight. We’ve got to continue to demand an end to NATO, an end to AFRICOM, an end to the Southern Command and the levels of sanctions that the U.S. has all across the globe. We need to continue to make the connections of working-class people in the United States to the working-class people all around the world. So we’re here making those demands. We’re also recommitting ourselves to lift up the antiwar movement once again.”

The Costs of War Project estimates up to 306,000 Iraqi civilians have died from direct war-related violence, while hundreds of thousands more Iraqi civilians have died from indirect causes and millions have been displaced. Some estimates put the death toll in Iraq at over 2 million. In the lead-up to the illegal 2003 invasion, tens of millions of people took to the streets in thousands of antiwar protests around the globe.

On March 18, the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, thousands of anti-war protesters gathered in Lafayette Park, in front of the White House. Protesters demanded an end to the endless U.S. wars of the past 20 years, particularly the proxy conflict in Ukraine.

Just in front of the musicians and speakers, eight coffins were draped in flags of various nations struck by the U.S. war machine, representing those needlessly killed in the past 20 years of war and sanctions. The protesters marched to the White House front fence carrying the coffins to confront President Joe Biden for his responsibility for the many deaths because of U.S. aggression.

After half the marchers entered the area near the White House fence, the Secret Service closed the area to the public, expelling tourists and demonstrators alike. Tourists looked on as a Secret Service officer explained that this was the largest protest in some time.

The march then proceeded to the headquarters of the Washington Post. Speakers accused the Post of responsibility for the past 20 years of war as well, calling the Post “the stenographers of empire”. Brian Becker, national director of the ANSWER Coalition, denounced this war mongering publication from the rally’s stage, “We know who you are. You’re not journalists, you’re an echo chamber for the war machine, and you too are guilty for the deaths of all these people.” This sentiment was reinforced by the banner at the front of the march: “Remember Iraq: No more wars based on lies.”

The march continued to the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. Speakers from the pulpit closed out the afternoon with calls for the end of U.S. intervention against Eritrea, Ethiopia, Syria, Palestine, and many other nations around the globe. Speakers highlighted the need to end military pollution, such as the mass poisoning of water caused by the U.S. base at Red Hill, Hawaii. 

Nearly 300 organizations, including peace groups, socialist organizations, anti-war veterans’ groups, organizations fighting for Black liberation and many others supported the demonstration that was initiated by the ANSWER Coalition, The People’s Forum, and Code Pink. Protesters traveled from all over the country, many on all-night drives with little sleep. Associated actions also took place in over a dozen additional cities as part of this powerful day of action.

That should make you think.

20 years later and the same media that failed the public and silenced the voices of peace while parading around generals in front of the camera is still doing it.

I don't give a damn what lie David Paetraeus -- a man who left Barack Obama's administration in disgrace -- has to say.  I didn't care what he had to say when he was lying in Iraq.  But even after the Iraq War is seen as the crime it is, these are the same voices we're still being offered on what passes for 'news' on our TV screens.

Here's some names that Richard Engel and Lulu Large Ass didn't think to include in the conversation:

Camilo Mejia, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Joshua Key, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman.

Those are war resisters.  They've been excluded from this important conversation and we're not supposed to notice, apparently.

New content at THIRD:

The following sites updated: