Sunday, March 30, 2014

Truest statement of the week

“America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory,” Obama insisted, going on to praise Iraq as a “fully sovereign state” that “could make decisions about its own future.”

Which is to say the US forced a puppet government into power before it left, despite Prime Minister Maliki losing the last election, and put in place an election system so crooked that even the Maliki-appointed election commission resigned en masse yesterday rather than take part in April’s planned vote.

-- Jason Ditz, "Obama Paints Crimea Secession as Worse than Iraq War" (

Truest statement of the week II

Barack Obama is one smooth operator, relentlessly expanding on the fascist domestic and international infrastructure bequeathed him by George W. Bush, the cartoon cowboy imperialist. As we described him in 2012, Obama is truly the “more effective evil” – a president who routinely commits the most brazen aggressions under the lawless doctrine of “humanitarian” intervention, and who has utterly trashed due process and the rule of law on the domestic front. If you want to see fascism built right, get a Black Harvard man to do it – and watch the internal resistance crumble.

-- Glen Ford, "Obama: Putin-Baiter and Preventive Detainer" (Black Agenda Report).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday.

First up, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

Jason Ditz earned this one.
Elaine and Betty nominated Glen Ford for this one.
In our Iraq piece this week, we decided to present as many voices as possible.
Ava and C.I. tackle real issues.  They don't phone it in.  In this case, Billie Jean King and PBS falsely presented her as the brave little trooper who got honest with America after her 1981 outing.  Lie.  She lied and lied.  She hid in her 'marriage' and she used homophobic stereotypes to smear the woman she had an affair with (one of the women -- another lie was that she only slept with one woman).  She remained in the closet until 1998.  There's no excuse for lying about that in a so-called documentary for PBS.  

Susan Rice shows the boys in the room how to sit like a man!
Dona moderated this.  Why?  I (Jim) was doing a piece with Ava and C.I.  Ty was doing his own piece.  That left Jess and Dona.  And no one thought to ask Jess.  How come?  He really grew up without a TV.  He knows very little about TV.  He was allowed to watch cartoons and PBS and that was it.  So Dona told Jess she'd grab it and he could crash with a nap or do whatever.  Only a moment ago did we find out Jess has a favorite TV show.  You'll never believe what it is but you'll have to wait for next week.  We're done for this week.

One of our short features.  Due to long pieces this week, we have a number of short features.  Jess did this one.
A visual.  This really is a visual piece.  Ty responds to an e-mail complaint. 
What we were listening to.

I had five titles for this -- all had "Ava and C.I." in it and they didn't want their names in it so I had to come up with something at the last minute.
Another short piece.  By the way, we are happy to popularize White House photos.  We saw that a one-time 'friend' now foe was inspired by last Sunday.  We saw it.  Remember, ____, follow in our footsteps since you lack the spine to stand on your own.

Another short feature.

Workers World repost.
Socialist Worker repost. 
Senator Ron Wyden's office. 
House Veterans Affairs Committee press release.

Center of Constitutional Rights press release.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Land of 1000 Dances

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This week, many Americans finally saw another side of US President Barack Obama.  In Brussels Wednesday,  Barack decided to pull out and expose his little War Hawk as he offered lies on the Iraq War:

It is true that the Iraq War was a subject of vigorous debate – not just around the world, but in the United States as well. I happened to oppose our military intervention there. But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory, nor did we grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state could make decisions about its own future.

It was shocking.  William Rivers Pitt (Truthout) objected to the remarks, "Truthout does not forget. We were at the forefront of the struggle against that disastrous war, and we will not stand idly by as an alleged "good guy" slaps a coat of paint over it to cover up the blood on the walls. President Obama sounds for all the world like a used car salesman trying to peddle a lemon, and that will not happen on our watch."  

And this is where we offer our thoughts.  But last week saw an actual pushback against Barack's efforts for lying and war and we thought we'd instead make this a forum for many, many voices.

  • Everything Obama has said on Iraq makes me want to dig my own eyeballs out do you understand

  • Emperor Obama claims a referendum in Crimea worse than illegal war which has killed c1m people. Does he think we're all total cretins?

  • Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barack Obama now seeks to kosher the US invasion and occupation of Iraq:

  • hey depleted uranium used in Iraq from US causing birth defects+cancer.F U CRIMEA IS WORSE THEN IRAQ

  • Anger, Disbelief as Obama Defends US Invasion of Iraq: President Barack Obama delivers ...

  • Barack Obama was against the Iraq war, before he was for it.

    1. When you didn't think Obama could get any worse, but then he did. Apologist for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

  • Anger, Disbelief as Obama Defends Bush's Iraq Invasion while denouncing Putin's invasion of Crimea-Ukraine

  • Today, Obama criticized Russia's invasion of Crimea, saying the US only "intervened" in Iraq and did not "annex" it. Two wrongs, no right.

  • Obama overlooks destruction US has wrought upon Iraq. "We ended our war & left Iraq to its people."

    1. Obama said "Iraq invasion not as bad as Crimea"..True, Iraq took 1million+ innocent lives & stole resources.. & well Crimea took 0...

  • Dear fans, Please explain why Obama would DEFEND our invasion of Iraq. Thanks.

  • Obama Suddenly Defends U.S. Invasion [Annihilation] of Iraq - Mainstream Media Shrug

  • Along with Tweets, people also made themselves heard via comments such as in these two comments left in response to Aaron Blake (Washington Post) report of Barack's remarks:

    Then get out, as requested by the puppet governor we installed.



    Sorry, but this has stunned me into speechlessness. Not one country sanctioned the US for invading a sovereign country on a phony pretext, destabilizing it, occupying it, setting up an American govt....

    And not one country ever sanctioned the US for its torture of suspects. 

    The US doesn't need to annex that which it occupies and then controls through puppet regimes. 

    This was totally unwise. 

    There was shock.  James Schlarmann (Political Garbage Chute) wonders, "Uh, guys?  What kind of high-powered, supermegahardcoreholy***damneds**t halluciongen would I have had to take wherein I would find myself hearing President Barack 'I Am Not George W. Bush' Obama defending the U.S. invasion of Iraq?"  Nebojsa Malic ( asks, "Whatever possessed Mr. Obama to say that 'even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system' when this was clearly not the case, and Bush II’s war was prosecuted without UN approval, without even NATO approval, but by an ad-hoc 'Coalition of the Willing'?"  

    And there were critiques.  Jason Ditz (

    “America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory,” Obama insisted, going on to praise Iraq as a “fully sovereign state” that “could make decisions about its own future.”
    Which is to say the US forced a puppet government into power before it left, despite Prime Minister Maliki losing the last election, and put in place an election system so crooked that even the Maliki-appointed election commission resigned en masse yesterday rather than take part in April’s planned vote.

  • DS Wright (Firedoglake) notes:

    Yesterday President Barack Obama tried to claim that the United States government’s actions in the 2003 Iraq War were legal and different than Russia’s actions in Crimea because the US had “sought to work within the international system.” Apparently merely seeking to work within the international system is some kind of get out of jail free card. If one follows Obama’s logic then Russia need only to have “sought” a doomed UN resolution justifying the annexation of Crimea before doing so, this would have made their actions legitimate under Obama’s standard.

     Justyn Dillingham (Salon) writes:

    It is disingenuous to say that we “sought to work within the international system” without noting that we subsequently went to war in flagrant violation of international law. Even one of the war’s chief architects admitted that the invasion was not strictly legal. Richard Perle, one of the Pentagon’s most eager advocates of war on Iraq, said in November 2003 that international law “would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone” and that “in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing.” Even if the Bush administration would have preferred to go to war with the support of the United Nations, the fact remains that they went to war without it. Saying that the United States “sought to work within the international system” before invading Iraq is like praising a burglar because he checked to see if your door was unlocked before breaking a window.
    The consequences of this reckless act go far beyond the awful human cost of the Iraq War. Our invasion of Iraq undermined the authority of the United Nations and created a dangerous precedent for other preemptive wars. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called Bush’s war a “fundamental challenge” to the core principles of the United Nations and warned that it “could set precedents that [result] in a proliferation of the unilateral and lawless use of force, with or without credible justification.” Putin himself, in defending his actions in Crimea, cited the record of the United States in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

     John Glaser ( focuses on Barack's defense of the illegal Iraq War and observes, "This is perhaps the most asinine thing the president has said in the entirety of his presidency. The invasion of Iraq was an illegal, preventive war based on lies. It got hundreds of thousands of people killed and cost trillions of dollars. The U.S.-backed dictator of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, is ruling the nation with an iron fist, as the country slips back into civil war. Nothing but chaos, ruin, and rivers of blood resulted from the criminal invasion. For Obama to even dare to compare Crimea to Iraq is a sick joke." And Patrick Martin (WSWS) points out:

    The truth is that the war in Iraq was the greatest crime—up to now—committed in the 21st century. More than a million Iraqis lost their lives as a result of the US invasion and occupation, and Iraq was destroyed as a functioning society. The Bush administration openly declared that the Geneva Conventions and international law did not apply either to the war in Iraq or the previous conquest and occupation of Afghanistan, a position that the Obama administration continues to uphold.
    Obama seeks to rally the world against the supposed crimes of Russia in Crimea, in which, as of this writing, two people have been killed (one Ukrainian soldier and one Russian), while opposing any prosecution of the American war criminals responsible for the immense bloodbath visited upon the people of Iraq.
    Instead, the US president excused the monumental crimes of his own government with the statement, “Of course, neither the United States nor Europe are perfect in adherence to our ideals. Nor do we claim to be the sole arbiter of what is right or wrong in the world.”
    Actually, the US government does claim that role. Administration after administration has declared the United States to be “the indispensable nation,” the sole superpower, the country whose military-intelligence apparatus must be the world’s policeman, and whose leaders are immune from any accountability for their actions.

     RAZFXPro (News From A Parallel World) offers:

    It’s come to this, an American President taken such leave of his senses that, while a domestic audience is presumably comforted, the rest of the world struggles to find language sufficient to describe his arrogance and flagrant dishonesty.

    America did not seek to ‘work within the international system.’ To the contrary. Denied the support of even most of its traditional allies, the U.S. forged what it clumsily termed a ‘coalition of the willing,’ giving the astonishing destruction we rained on an innocent and essentially defenseless population a rhetorical fig leaf which fooled no one excepting U.S. news commentators and maybe some school children.  

    There was also reporting.  Pravda points out the curious nature of the speech itself, "The key event of Obama's European tour was his speech in the Brussels Palace of Fine Arts in front of 2,000 people. His lengthy discourse on the history and common values ​​with Europeans was very quickly replaced with anti-Russian rhetoric.The speech turned out to be a dispute with Russian authorities, entirely devoted to the situation in Ukraine."   Julianna Goldman and Mike Dorning (Bloomberg News) report, "As Obama spoke, U.S. stocks fell, erasing earlier gains, on investor concern that the conflict may escalate. The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 0.3 percent to 1,859.76 at 3:19 p.m. in New York, after earlier climbing to within three points of its record closing level reached March 7. "  The Voice of Russia notes:

    Matt Howard and Ross Caputi, members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, spoke with Common Dreams by phone and said that the president's narrative on the events that led up to the Iraq invasion, inside or outside the context of Ukraine, was simply "not grounded in reality." "We went from one lie, which was weapons of mass destruction, to another lie which was liberation and freedom," said Howard. "This idea that Iraq is somehow better off or that the US waged a so-called 'Good War' is ridiculous."

    Jessica Desvarieux files a report for The Real News Network (link is transcript and video).  Excerpt:

    YANAR MOHAMMED, PRESIDENT, ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN'S FREEDOM IN IRAQ: Sovereignty for whom? I think he's talking about the 275 or 300-something parliamentarians who are living inside the International Zone. (And that's the new name for the Green Zone. It's not "Green" anymore.) It's only the sovereignty for those people. And they have the whole wealth of Iraq, while the people are suffering. And there's a number that was produced by the UN reports: almost 38 percent of the Iraqi people are living under the poverty line. Sovereignty for whom?

    DESVARIEUX: Many questions still remain for the people of Iraq after, almost 11 years ago, troops toppled the government of Saddam Hussein and brought to power the Shiite government of al-Maliki.

    Iraqi labor organizer pointed out how the U.S.-backed al-Maliki government is more concerned with amassing wealth and seizing resources, and it aims to crush organized labor movements and remain in power.

    FALAH ALWAN, PRESIDENT, FEDERATION OF WORKERS COUNCILS AND UNIONS: The new government, busy with how to redivide the wealth and how to seize the resources of the society and how to spend mountains of dollars and gold--and this corrupted government, supported directly by the U.S. government.

    The new Iraqi authorities, despite the tragic situation in Iraq, they want to impose a new legislation, which enable them to be in power and [incompr.] in power by controlling the so-called elections and to issue new labor laws to control the workers and prevent them from expressing their demands and their interests, and keeping the old laws of Saddam, which would prevent the workers from organizing themselves, from holding strikes, from negotiating, from calling for their interests. All--we can talk about the tragedies day and night.

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