It started with the White House vowing to stand behind their pick for US Ambassador to Iraq, the supremely unqualified Brett McGurk. Less than 18 hours later, McGurk was out. If you never got just how unqualified McGurk was, you just had to wait for his boyfriends to come crawling out of the woodwork to defend their fellow. Neocons and War Hawks like David Frum. And the always ridiculous Fred Kaplan.
When these floating turds start whining "Poor Brett, we loved him well," you know McGurk was even worse than his scant resume suggested.
The political crisis in Iraq continued . . . despite little attention from the US press. The Iraqi press? They reported last week that the White House is pressuring everyone to 'wrap it up' because they don't want the crisis on voters' minds when November rolls around. US Vice President Joe Biden was supposed to visit. But, the Iraqi press reported, Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister and US-installed thug of Iraq -- told Joe not to bother.
It's really important to US President Barack Obama that no one be thinking about Iraq as the elections approach. If they do, Barack's fake Iraq accomplishment looks even less impressive. Not only because he was unable to name one ambassador to Iraq who could stick out for a four-year term. (McGurk, if he had been comfirmed, would have been Barack's third US Ambassador to Iraq -- following Chris Hill and James Jeffrey). But also because the White House's choice to back Nouri after Nouri didn't win the 2010 elections, to piss on the democratic process and tell Iraqi voters, "You got, Nouri, suck on it!" seems especially misguided now that the country is gripped in gridlock.
If American voters started talking about that, they might notice that the US-brokered an agreement in November 2010, the Erbil Agreement. Since Nouri didn't win those elections, the Erbil Agreement was required to give him a second term. The US swore to the Kurds, Iraqiya and others that this was a binding contract and that, in exchange for their letting loser Nouri have a second term as prime minister, they would get this and they would get that. It was legal! It was signed!
Nouri used it to get his second term and then refused to keep any of the promises he had made. And the White House didn't stick up for the agreement and acted like they didn't even know about it. (The US press quickly followed the White House lead.)
Iraq's chaos and violence. It's not an accomplishment for Barack. And if American voters look to closely, they might come across the the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released [PDF format warning] "The Gulf Security Architecture: Partnership With The Gulf Co-Operation Council" reported on in the Tuesday "Iraq snapshot."
Barack insists he ended the Iraq War (bombings last week indicate otherwise) and brought all the US troops home.
No, he didn't. Not only are about 1,000 US troops still in Iraq, you've got the troops Barack moved to surrounding countries. As the Senate report documents, there are over 13,000 in Kuwait alone and stationed in Kuwait so they can move quickly back into Iraq. And the Senate's recommending keeping them there for several years more.
That's not really what Barack promised but he's always had a problem being truthful to the American people. Fortunately for him, so much of the press has been eager to lie for him.
So Wednesday morning you could read about these troops in some outlets. For example, Maqsood Hussain (News Tribe) reports, "The United States has now nearly 15,000 troops in three bases across Kuwait -- triple the average number of American forces in the Middle Easter country before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 [. . .]" Jennifer Rizzo (CNN) opens with, "The United States has approximately 15,000 troops in Kuwait, according to a Senate report released Tuesday,, the first time the number has been disclosed." But the paper that did more to sell the illegal war than any other 'forgot' to use its front page to announce reality.
In a bid for public sympathy, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani got the press to whisper on Thursday that when he returned from his 'emergency' procedure in Germany (he had knee surgery), he was going to resign as president. No one cared, much to Jalal's dismay.
Friday brought more bombings. From that day's snapshot:
It wasn't the only violence that week, it wasn't even the only violence this month. Haider Najm (Niqash) explained:
The past week has been a deadly one for Iraqis. A wave of coordinated attacks around the country targeted Shiite Muslim pilgrims and others observing a week of holy days. The results, according to Iraqi Body Count, an organization that analyses reports of deadly incidents in Iraq from around the world and from Iraq, saw 92 killed on the deadliest day, Wednesday June 16, and a further 121 killed over the following week. Many hundreds more were wounded with around 300 injured on Wednesday.
This was one of the deadliest weeks in Iraq following the withdrawal of US troops late last year and Iraqi Body Count estimates that 315 civilians had been killed up in Iraq up until June 19.
Saturday brought news of Nouri's plans to close down 44 media outlets in Iraq including the BBC.
All of that and so much more. Including an American family who begs the Iraqi government to returned their loved one who died this month.
Iraq. The country that the US government tore apart and now wants desperately to keep voters from thinking about.