Monday, May 23, 2016

Truest statement of the week

Now that the impeachment trial is over, it’s time for progressives to get back to their drawing boards and let Bill Clinton clean up his own mess. If, as NOW president Patricia Ireland said, “There’s no way that Bill Clinton can look into the cameras and deny it and have anybody believe it,” that is a problem entirely of the President’s own making, and it would be a grave mistake for feminists, environmentalists, trade unionists and civil rights and civil liberties advocates to lend him a penny more of their moral capital. For six years too many progressives have given Clinton the benefit of the doubt, whether it was their ill-founded hope that he wouldn’t sign the Personal Responsibility Act or the equally ill-founded skepticism about the existence in an unlaundered state of a certain blue dress. We’ve seen Jesse Jackson hailing “our President” as the bombs were falling on Iraq and Barney Frank defending–wittily, tirelessly–the man who signed the Defense of Marriage Act. As the anti-impeachment slogan put it, enough is enough.

-- Katha Pollitt, "Re: Juanita Broaddrick" (THE NATION, March 4, 1999).

Truest statement of the week II

How can & consider themselves progressive media while they do not cover the Green Party?

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Monday.

We had hoped for better.

First, 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:

For a today's truest, we dip back decades.
Jill Stein gets a truest.
It's all war games and excitement to the so-called reporters.  What's it like for the civilians trapped in Falluja?  No one's ever supposed to ask that question.
Ava and C.I. did this one as a readers' request.  After their 2015 coverage of SCANDAL a lot of readers were expecting some sort of comment -- closing thoughts.  They provide them here.

They also review June Pointer's new book.
Oh, Hillary, you're so good at name calling others.


This is a serious question.  He needs to answer the charge himself -- something he has never done.
Hillary says a lot of stupid s**t, doesn't she?
What we listened to while writing.
Repost from THE COMMON ILLS.
Tweets from Stein.

IAVA press release.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: When will they actually report on Falluja

-i soldiers learn to operate an M1 Abrams tank through Advanced Gunnery Training System

The battle for Falluja has begun.

And the press has glommed on it as a story to --

Well, not report.


Glommed on it as a story to repeat?

Yeah, that's it.

They repeat what the Iraqi government tells them.

And they cast it as Superman versus whatever.

But, like Batman in BATMAN VS SUPERMAN, we wonder about the people.

Because Falluja is not an empty city.

"Tens of thousands" of civilians remain in the city by most press accounts.

And that's really all the coverage they get.

It is their city.

The fighting and bombing will take place in their city.

Why are they not a major part of the story?

Oh, right.

That would require reporting.

And today's press prefers to repeat, not to report.

It's as though they're covering Hurricane Katrina but refusing to talk about the residents of the 9th

It's not reporting.

It's not responsible.

It's deeply embarrassing.

TV: Going out with a whimper

Blame it on the Moldavian Curse, if you will, but the season finales this spring have been very unshocking and truly mundane.


Oh, sure, THE BLACKLIST managed to shock but that was the exception.

The Moldavian Curse?

Once upon a time, the only shows having season finale twists were the serials, the nightime soap operas: KNOTS LANDING, FALCON CREST, DYNASTY, etc.  And it was DYNASTY that ended season five with the prospect that any character might be dead.

Blake and Alexis' daughter Amanda was marrying Prince Michael in Moldavia when terrorists burst in and shot up the chapel.  It made for a tremendous cliff hanger and strong ratings.

It was also difficult to get the sixth season rolling and to manage expectations after the only deaths were two minor characters (Lady Ashley and Luke Fuller).

The let down is no something factored in when season finales roll around.

Shonda Rhimes may be factoring that in.

Equally true, she's running on fumes.

Once upon a time, she could create and manage pot boilers.  Then she spread herself too thin while also destroying good will by getting caught being a flat out bitch in public.

Back in February, 2015, we noted:

Katherine Heigl is not a bitch and the fact that Shonda Rhimes can't get over their conflict isn't reason for The Water Cooler Set to attack Heigl.  Considering her success, we think Shonda should have been a lot more gracious or at least kept her mouth shut.  She may think it's amusing but she's a woman and her one-sided cat fight with Heigl will later be used to help bring Shonda down -- probably in two years when Shondaland no longer seems new and the viewers fall away and The Water Cooler Set can really sharpen their knives on her.
Yes, Shonda, you dominate ABC TV.
Once so did Carsey-Werner -- and where are they on the ABC schedule today?

Shonda spent all of 2015 failing.

If that's news to you, you've missed her burials this spring as one publication after another discovered she was tanking in the ratings.

The Water Cooler Set is the Christopher Columbus of media criticism.

We say that because what they discovered in the last few months, we were charting from February to May of 2015:

TV: Shonda Wasteland
TV: Off the rails
TV: When a show runner is a show ruiner
TV: If They Could Turn Back Time
TV: Shonda Rhimes' fall from grace
TV: ABC in shambles, pretend not to notice

2015 was one failure after another for Shonda Rhimes.

Proof of that was she finally got herself on the cover of Ms. magazine.

If you want to know where TV is . . . don't go to that magazine, they haven't known from TV since the seventies.

They're a dishonest LITTLE GOLDEN READER for those who can't read, serving up crap public relations hype passed off as 'reporting' and 'criticism.'

The only thing worse than the print edition is the laughable website.

But as bad as 2015 was, 2016 was even worse.

Her shows were failures.

SCANDAL and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER continued to bleed viewers.

And her new 'hit' THE CATCH?

It did scare up 10 million viewers for its premiere.  And by its final episode struggled to get four million.

Because no one could put up with that garbage.

It's why ABC informed Shonda next season would be SCANDAL's last.

Shonda did not make the decision to end the show, ABC did.

And several minutes too late?

Her big cliff hanger for SCANDAL?

Jake gets named Mellie's running mate but . . . he's still working for Olivia's father!!!

Does anyone care?

Does anyone give a damn about this show anymore?


Which is why a series whose season finale once grabbed 10.57 million viewers finished up this May with 6.65 million -- the lowest season finale the show has ever had.

Jake, for those of you who do not watch Shonda's claptrap, is one of two men on the show who treat Olivia like a chew toy.

Fitz is the other one.

Fitz, the President of the United States, left his wife in his second term after Olivia decided to tell the American people that she was the president's mistress.

Then they moved in together at the White House.

Then she had an abortion and left him.

What does Olivia want?

When viewers can't answer that about the main character of a show they watch constantly, the series is in trouble.

It's Shonda's fault.

She has no bible that she works from.

She has no long range stories.

She watches Headline News and rushes, from one week to the next, to try to craft a storyline on to the characters.

If the storylines don't actually fit the characters?

Who cares!

She's got preaching to do.

And it's this preaching that's run off the audience.

Complex (and satisfying) season finales can be hard to come back from.  And if you'd lost four million viewers from your fall debut to your spring wrap up, the way Shonda did, you might decide, as she apparently did, "F**k it, I'll just write some more 'commentary' and worry about actual storylines next fall."


What's the best selling girl group in Billboard history (singles)?

Females wanting to be sexual slaves of Beyonce pant her name, pant her name.

But the Beehive has confused their damp panties with actual record sales yet again.

All the manly women
All the manly women.

No, Destiny's Child isn't number one.

They barely make the top three.

At number one it's Diana Ross and her Supremes.

TLC -- the talented group Destiny's Child tried (and failed) to copy -- is at number two

Who's right behind Destiny's Child?

A group with 21 top forty R&B hits and 16 top forty pop hits (including one song that charted twice).

Though overlooked by some, they deserve to be known by all: Ruth, June and Anita Pointer of the Pointer Sisters.

It wasn't always that line up.

June and Bonnie became the Pointer Sisters when they invited sister Anita to join them.

In 1972, they brought in sister Ruth and that's when they had their first hits ("Fairy Tale," "Yes We Can Can" and "Wang Dang Doodle").

But it's only after Bonnie leaves (1977) and the sister act becomes a trio that they achieve massive success ["He's So Shy," "Fire," "Automatic," "Slow Hand," "Dare Me," "Neutron Dance," "I'm So Excited," "Jump (for My Love)," etc].

The hits included "American Music" (number 16 pop, number 23 R&B) -- a song they weren't so crazy about then or since -- as oldest sister Ruth reveals in her new memoir STILL SO EXCITED: MY LIFE AS A POINTER SISTER (written with Marshall Terrill).


And Ruth's not pulling any punches in this book.

She's got praise for Angela Y. Davis but none for Loretta Switt (like most of the cast of TV's M*A*S*H, Switt was a pain in the butt -- a detail that would have been long ago outed had that series aired during the internet age).

She also dishes on nasty Paul Anka for that matter.

Diana Ross, Cher, Bonnie Raitt, Muhammad Ali, Richard Pryor, Joe Namath, Burt Reynolds, Sammy Davis Jr. and others all get fond mentions.

And she shares the tale of when Bill Withers pulled a knife on James Brown.

If there's one flaw to the book, it's in the music.

At one point, after they're training a daughter to take June's place in the group, she remarks that, having sang with her sisters her whole life, she'd taken for granted how automatic the harmonies came.

And there's some of that in the chapters, taking for granted how these wonderful harmonies came about.

But there's so much to cover in 287 pages.

The drugs and the men, for example.

Ruth covers all of her marriages (including the first, albeit briefly).  But the real marriage problems are Bonnie and June's.

Both marry men who harm the group in different ways.

Bonnie's husband, for example, convinces her she is the group and to go solo.  (The Pointer Sisters have their first huge hit, the Bruce Springsteen written "Fire," after Bonnie leaves the group.)  Bonnie is the nemesis throughout the book -- despite the praise Ruth frequently offers her.

It's Bonnie, for example, who will use June's death to try to blackmail her way back into the group (having failed as a solo).

June's husband?

He thought he was running things.

He did ruin a few things.

For example, the Pointer Sisters were asked to sing on "We Are The World" (1985's massive charity single which featured Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, Dionne Warwick, Paul Simon, Lionel Richie, Billy Joel, Ray Charles and others).

They were asked to sing.

They lost their solo in the song when June's husband started trying to boss people around and then stormed out with June after he was placed in a room with Jane Fonda and Ali MacGraw (among others) to watch the singing (those not singing were not allowed in the studio).

As a result, June's husband stormed out with June.

Instead of sharing a solo, Anita and Ruth sang backing vocals on the track.

It's an exciting read -- one well told.

And though we'd appreciate more on the music, the reality is that the book reads like a film.

The ups and downs, the betrayals and triumphs, STILL SO EXCITED: MY LIFE AS A POINTER SISTER would make a wonderful movie and offer four strong roles for African-American women.

Hillary's calling other people bullies

Hillary Diane Clinton, noted War Criminal, has declared Donald Trump (businessman running for the Republican Party's presidential nomination) "a bully.''

Was it being a "bully" when Hillary offered her thoughts on Qaddafi?

"We came, we saw, he died" -- that's what she said.  

And cackled over.

Hillary's bombastic and a bit of a bully herself.

But bully is better than her previous attempt.

Remember that?

Branding Trump a "loose cannon."

When her husband Bill is the original "loose cannon" -- as Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Original Loose Cannon" pointed out.

original loose cannon

Especially after he took his little Bedazzler and splattered Monica Lewinsky's blue dress with sperm.

"Loose cannon" was a flop.

And we think "bully" will be as well.

Tweet of the week

more than a decade later, still occupied still under siege. Mission accomplished?

Is he a rapist?


He's Bill Clinton.

A former US president.

He's Bill Clinton.

A man who settled a law suit with a woman who accused him of sexually harassing her.

He's Bill Clinton.

An attorney whom the Supreme Court barred from practicing law.

America looked on in horror as Clinton's sex acts defiled the office throughout his second term.

Then came Juanita Broaddrick.

Did he rape Broaddrick as she claimed?

At the time, most Americans, weary of his ongoing sex scandals, just wanted the whole thing over.

Clearly, NBC NEWS did as well since they waited until February 24, 1999 to air their January 20, 1999 interview -- aired 12 days after the Senate vote not to remove Clinton from office (after the House impeached him).

And most didn't want to believe that the man in the Oval Office was a rapist.

But time has passed.

And Bill Clinton's never had to go on the record about the charges.

Time has passed.

And Juanita Broaddrick stands by her assertion that he raped her.

Time has passed and Hillary Clinton is selling herself as a staunch supporter of women in her efforts to seize the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Isn't it past time Bill Clinton was forced to answer the charges?

And isn't it past time that Ms. Broaddrick, the only living woman to publicly accuse a president of raping her, was allowed to air her charges on a range of media outlets?

From SHADOWGOV.COM, here's the opening of the 1999 NBC NEWS segment (the only interview any of the three major broadcast networks ever did with Juanita Broaddrick):

She became known as Jane Doe Number 5. Her story was well known to independent counsel Ken Starr, to House impeachment managers, to Washington insiders and Capitol Hill reporters. A month ago, she gave an interview to NBC News correspondent Lisa Myers. Since then NBC News has been carefully investigating this story — combing through state records, court documents and newspapers, cross-checking dates and events, talking to more than 80 people, and repeatedly requesting information from the White House.
LAST WEEK, as NBC News continued its investigation, Jane Doe Number 5 went public with her extraordinary allegation -- that she was sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton 21 years ago. To some this is an old and unprovable accusation that should never have been circulated to begin with. To others it’s a story that must be told. Is she to be believed? Or is Jane Doe Number 5 the latest weapon in a relentless political war against Bill Clinton?
Juanita Broaddrick: “It’s important to me to tell what happened. I don’t know how people are going to take this. I don’t know what they’re going to think after all these years and months why I’ve come forward.”
Jane Doe Number 5 is 56-year-old Juanita Broaddrick, a successful businesswoman who has been the subject of intense political and media speculation. Rumors about Broaddrick’s story have been floating around Arkansas and Washington for years, known to both Clinton haters and supporters.
Broaddrick was pulled into the Paula Jones case, she met with investigators for the House Judiciary Committee and was interviewed by Ken Starr’s investigators. And though what she told Starr remains sealed it was seen by 40 members of Congress before the impeachment vote in the House. Later House Republican Whip Tom Delay publicly urged senators to find out what Jane Doe Number 5 had to say before deciding the fate of the president.
As the whispers about her grew, Broaddrick found herself hounded by the media — and she says she was the subject of gossip and half truths on the Internet and in the tabloids.
Juanita Broaddrick: “All these stories are floating around. Different stories of what really happened, of what people think happened and I was tired of everybody putting their own spin on it.”
The Broaddrick story became public last week, and since then her story has appeared in print, on radio and TV.
But much of what you may have read or heard is incomplete. While NBC News was investigating this story and seeking comment from the White House, our work became the subject of much speculation.
Tonight, you’ll see what we were able to learn and you’ll hear from Juanita Broaddrick herself — a woman who remained silent for two decades and who admits she has lied under oath about this story in the past but now says she wants to tell the truth.
Juanita Broaddrick’s story begins in 1978 — she was a registered nurse who had started her own nursing home in Van Buren, Arkansas. Bill Clinton was the state attorney general who was running for governor:
Juanita Broaddrick: “I thought he was just something that was gonna be really good for Arkansas. Thought he was a very charismatic man, that had bright ideas for our state… I just really liked him.”
Broaddrick, whose married name at the time was Juanita Hickey, says she was so impressed with Clinton she volunteered to hand out bumper stickers and signs — her first and only political campaign. Broaddrick says she met Clinton for the first time when he made a campaign stop at her nursing home in the spring of 1978.
Juanita Broaddrick: “While he was there visiting, he said ‘If you’re ever in the, ah you know, Little Rock area, please drop by our campaign office,’ and he said ‘be sure to call me when you come in and call down to the campaign office.’”
Broaddrick says not long after that conversation she did go to Little Rock for a nursing home meeting held at the Camelot Hotel — now the Doubletree. She says she checked into the hotel and the next morning called Clinton campaign headquarters. She says she was told Clinton was at his apartment and to call him there.
Juanita Broaddrick: “I did call and ask him if he was gonna be at the headquarters that day and he said no he didn’t plan to be there. He says, Clinton said, ‘Why don’t I just meet you for coffee in the Camelot coffee shop?’”
But Broaddrick says Clinton called later — she thinks it was around 9 in the morning — and asked if they could meet in her hotel room because there were reporters in the coffee shop.
Lisa Myers: “Did you think his interest in you at the time was personal or professional?”
Juanita Broaddrick: “I thought it was professional, completely.”
Myers: “So you thought this was going to be a business meeting?”
Broaddrick: “Yes I did, I really did.”
Myers: “Did you have qualms at all about him coming to the room?”
Broaddrick: “I was a little bit uneasy. But, I felt, ah, a real friendship toward this man and I didn’t really feel any, um any danger in him coming to my room. I sort of ushered us over to the coffee — I had coffee sitting on a little table over there by the window and it was a real pretty window view that looked down at the river. And he came around me and sort of put his arm over my shoulder to point to this little building and he said he was real interested if he became governor to restore that little building and then all of a sudden, he turned me around and started kissing me. And that was a real shock.”
Myers: “What did you do?”
Broaddrick: “I first pushed him away and just told him ‘No, please don’t do that,” and I forget, it’s been 21 years, Lisa, and I forget exactly what he was saying. It seems like he was making statements that would relate to ‘Did you not know why I was coming up here?’ and I told him at the time, I said, ‘I’m married, and I have other things going on in my life, and this is something that I’m not interested in.’”
Myers: “Had you, that morning, or any other time, given him any reason to believe you might be receptive?”
Broaddrick: “No. None. None whatsoever.”
Myers: “Then what happens?”
Broaddrick: “Then he tries to kiss me again. And the second time he tries to kiss me he starts biting my lip (she cries). Just a minute... He starts to, um, bite on my top lip and I tried to pull away from him. (crying) And then he forces me down on the bed. And I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him ‘No,’ that I didn’t want this to happen (crying) but he wouldn’t listen to me.”
Myers: “Did you resist, did you tell him to stop?”
Broaddrick: “Yes, I told him ‘Please don’t.’ He was such a different person at that moment, he was just a vicious awful person.”
Myers: “You said there was a point at which you stopped resisting?”
Broaddrick: “Yeah.”
Myers: “Why?”
Broaddrick: “It was a real panicky, panicky situation. I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to ‘Please stop.’ And that’s when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip.”
Broaddrick also says the waist of her skirt and her pantyhose were torn.
Juanita Broaddrick: “When everything was over with, he got up and straightened himself, and I was crying at the moment and he walks to the door, and calmly puts on his sunglasses. And before he goes out the door he says ‘You better get some ice on that.’ And he turned and went out the door.”
Myers: “On your lip?”
Broaddrick: “Yeah.”
Broaddrick estimates Clinton was in her room less than 30 minutes.
Myers: “Is there any way at all that Bill Clinton could have thought that this was consensual?”
Broaddrick: “No. Not with what I told him, and with how I tried to push him away. It was not consensual.”
Myers: “You’re saying that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted you, that he raped you.”
Broaddrick: “Yes.”
Myers: “And there is no doubt in your mind that that’s what happened?”
Broaddrick: “No doubt whatsoever.”
While the president and his lawyer declined to be interviewed on camera, through his lawyer the president did issue a statement saying any allegation he assaulted Broaddrick is “absolutely false” and when asked about it Wednesday the president said he had nothing to add to that statement.
It’s important to note — and Broaddrick concedes — that aside from her, there are no witnesses and as far as we know, no one saw Clinton enter or leave Broaddrick’s room, or even the hotel. She took no photos, kept no evidence and the hotel has no records to confirm that she stayed there. However, Broaddrick does have a friend who backs up her story.
Norma Kelsey did not want to be interviewed on camera. However she told us she did accompany Broaddrick on that business trip to Little Rock — they even shared a hotel room. Norma says when she left that morning Broaddrick told her she was planning to see Clinton. But Norma says when she called around lunchtime, Broaddrick was upset and crying so she returned to the room.
Juanita Broaddrick: “Well, I was very emotional within an hour or so after it happened and then by the time Norma got back my whole top lip was turned out, was very swollen and very ugly looking.”
Norma also says that Broaddrick’s lip and mouth were badly swollen, that her pantyhose had been ripped off and she says Broaddrick told her she had been sexually assaulted by Clinton.

Fact checking the original birther Hillary Clinton

Is Hillary Clinton again questioning whether or not a candidate was born in the United States?

We can't be sure.

But Eric Bradner (CNN) reports:

"I know how hard this job is, and I know that we need steadiness as well as strength and smarts in it, and I have concluded he is not qualified to be president of the United States," Clinton said.

Not everyone is as fortunate as Hillary to have been married to a president.  

As a wife of, she feels she knows the job.


Maybe not.

What she doesn't know is the Constitution.

Article II Section 1 Clause 5: No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. 

Is that hard for Hillary to grasp?

Is she assaulting the Constitution before she's even in the White House?

Or is she just drunk?


We rate her statement: Lie Face 100%

This edition's playlist


1) The Pointer Sisters' JUMP: THE BEST OF.

1) Jack Johnson's EN CONCERT.

1) Carly Simon's THE BEDROOM TAPES.
2)  Prince's CONTROVERSY.


4)  James Blake's OVERGROWN.

Tareq al-Hashemi

Repost of the most requested highlight of the week:

What Tareq al-Hashemi reveals about the crisis in Iraq and the state of the western press

tareq al-hashemi

In a rare bit of good news, INTERPOL has dropped Tareq al-Hashemi from its red list.

He never should have been on it to begin with.

I find it interesting that the whorish press -- yes, they were whores -- were eager to trumpet his being added to that list yet I have to learn of this development -- the dropping from the list -- from a French journalist friend who phoned to ask if I'd heard the news?

Of course, I hadn't.

Who's reporting it?

As usual, if it's not something that helps whatever spin -- or lie -- the US State Dept is currently pimping, the western outlets ignore it.

Who is Tareq?

A rather important figure because he is Sunni and he represents the targeting of the Sunnis in Iraq that led to the rise of the Islmaic State.

Tareq al-Hasehmi served two terms as vice president of Iraq.  During his first term, he incurred the wrath of thug and then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a number of reasons including noting the living conditions in Iraqi prisons and the fact that those in prison either had long waits before they appeared in court or had never appeared in a court before.  And he didn't just speak out about this, he toured the prisons, inviting the press to accompany him.

He also spoke out about the torture and abuse taking place under Nouri al-Maliki.

And he noted that the Iraqi government had a financial responsibility to help neighboring countries -- Jordan, Lebanon and Syria -- who were taking in the bulk of Iraqi refugees.

Nouri's first term was followed by a political stalemate which lasted over eight months.  The 2010 elections saw Nouri's State of Law lose to Iraqiya -- which was led by Shi'ite Ayad Allawi and which Tareq was apart of (as were the al-Nujaifi brothers, Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq and many more). Nouri refused to step down.  For over eight months.

And during this period, he had the nerve to accuse Tareq of acting illegally.

Tareq was carrying out plans from 2009 to visit neighboring countries.

Nouri declared these visits were illegal and that Tareq was not a vice president (which would mean Jalal Talabani wasn't president either nor was Iraq's other vice president -- we'll get to him in a moment).  Nouri made this claim as his own term was over -- expired, yes, but also over due to the election results.

The western press chose to deal with this drama by ignoring it.

Sensing a pattern?

Because it's always existed.

It was actually worse at one point.

As one point, 2006, THE NEW YORK TIMES felt they could lie about Sunni leaders and get away with it.  And they pretty much did because only we called them out when they had the Sunni leader of Parliament hiding at his home in a deep depression -- reality, he was visiting neighboring countries.

That wasn't a mistake, let's be clear.

It was psy-ops on the American people.

And we called it out.

The press also missed out on Adil Abdul-Mahdi declaring Nouri's remarks ridiculous.  Adil Abdul-Mahdi, a Shi'ite,  had served as Iraq's other vice president  since 2006 along with Tareq (Adil is a Shi'ite).  It was left to Adil to point out (without naming Nouri) that, due to the political stalemate,  the Parliament was not meeting and therefore could not name a new president or new vice presidents and that, for stability purposes, he, Tareq and Jalal would have to continue in their roles until the Parliament named successors.

Iraqiya itself spoke to the illegitimacy of Nouri's second term.

Its very existence was a reminder that the voters had not chosen Nouri. Nouri got a second term via a contract the US government brokered which was The Erbil Agreement -- it went around the voters and the Iraqi constitution to deliver Nouri a second term.  (No, Barack did not care about democracy, will of the voter or any other concept we supposedly value in the US.)

When Nouri used the contract to get his second term but refused to honor the promises he made in that same contract, Tareq was one of the first to call Nouri out and demand that contract be honored.  He was joined by Ayad Allawi, Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr, KRG President Massoud Barzani, and many others.

As summer (2011) turned to fall, the demands grew louder.

December 2011, saw a drawdown where most US troops left Iraq (many -- over 15,000 -- to go to Kuwait).  The drawdown was completed December 15th and Nouri began going after his political rivals.  Two days later, December 17th, Liz Sly (Washington Post) was reporting that Iraq was "unraveling faster than had been anticipated Saturday." Adding, "In recent days, the homes of top Sunni politicians in the fortified Green Zone have been ringed by tanks and armored personnel carriers, and rumors are flying that arrest warrants will be issued for other Sunni leaders."

Tareq al-Hashemi, many outlets wrongly reported, fled Iraq and fled because he was going to be arrested.

Again, are you sensing a pattern?

Me too.

When year after year, the western press distorts the Sunnis, it's not an accident.

And if you've read Arabic social media in the last years, you know many Arabs don't see these repeated distortions and omissions as an error either.

Sunday December 18, 2011, Tareq al-Hashemi and Saleh al-Mutlaq, along with bodyguards, attempted to leave out of Baghdad International Airport for the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government -- three semi-autonomous provinces in Iraq). Nouri's forces pulled all off the plane and detained them for approximately an hour before allowing some bodyguards and al-Hashemi and al-Mutlaq to reboard.

From that day's "And the war drags on . . .:"

AFP reports, "Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and several of his bodyguards were escorted off a plane at Baghdad airport on Sunday because two of the guards were wanted on 'terrorism charges,' officials said, the latest step in a deepening political crisis." Also on the plane was Saleh al-Mutlaq, Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister whom Nouri has asked Parliament to strip the powers of. al-Mutlaq was also forced off the plane. 

After being detained, the two were allowed to re-board the plane and travel to the KRG.

 The next day, December 19th, Nouri issued an arrest warrant for al-Hashemi whom he charged with 'terrorism.'  From that day's snapshot:

CNN reported this afternoon that an arrest warrant had been issued for Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi by the Judicial Commitee with the charge of terrorism.  Omar al-Saleh (Al Jazeera) terms it a "poltical crisis" and states, "The government says this has nothing to do with the US withdrawal, that this has nothing to do with the prime minister consolidating his grip on power.  However, members of al-Iraqiya bloc, which Hashimis is a member of, say 'No, [Maliki] is trying to be a dictator."  Sam Dagher (Wall St. Journal) observes, "The arrest warrant puts Mr. Maliki on a possible collision course with the Kurds, who run their own semiautonomous region in the north and participate in the central government but have longstanding disputes with Baghdad over oil and land; and with Sunni Arabs in provinces like Anbar, Diyala, Nineveh and Salahuddin who have pressed in recent weeks for more autonomy from Baghdad with the backing of the Kurds."

Tareq was already in the KRG when the arrest warrant was issued.

al-Hashemi did not 'flee' to the KRG.

It's a lie that's still 'reported' by western media outlets to this day.

What western outlet has ever bothered to correct the record?

Answer: None.

Message (as noted on Arabic social media): You can tell any lie about a Sunni that you want to and get away with it.

Tareq to the KRG on business and could have been stopped if Nouri wanted to stop him. A day after he arrived, an arrest warrant was issued and he elected to remain in the KRG. He was  the guest of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and KRG President Massoud Barzani.

Because Jalal is spineless, Talabani quickly caved and withdrew his support.  Massoud Barzani has a spine and he never caved and stated that the KRG would host Tareq and would not turn him over to Baghdad.

For reality, we'll drop back to December 24, 2011 for this:

Mustafa Habib (Al Mada) notes that Nouri al-Maliki's targeting Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi with terrorism charges and calling for Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq [to be stripped of his office] have many noticing that both are members of Iraqiya and political opponents of Nouri and that while the political crisis has revealed a diminished role for the US it has underscored that the Kurds remain the heart of the country's political process. Dar Addustour reports that Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi announced the postponement of the scheduled meeting yesterday of the political blocs while Nouri's spokesperson floated the notion that there are other charges waiting in the wings. Reportedly this includes charging the Minister of Finance, Rafie al-Issawi, with terrorism, specifically with killings in Falluja back in 2006. Like Tareq al-Hashemi and Saleh al-Mutlaq, Rafie al-Issawi is a member of Iraqiya. Dar Addustour also notes Hoshyar Zebari, Foreign Minister, issued a statement declaring the matter should have been resolved by the political blocs but has instead played out in the press. Al Mada adds that Kurdistan Regional President Massoud Barzani and US Ambassador James Jeffrey spoke yesterday and are calling for a meeting among the political blocs and that State of Law was whining about the Friday meet-up, whining that Iraqiya is boycotting Parliament but they want to attend the meet-up. Aswat al-Iraq notes, "Iraqiya bloc leader Iyad Alawi described recent events in Iraq as 'liquidation of differences', warning an explosive era waiting Iraq in the coming days, according to an interview with Arabia TV late yesterday (Friday)."

Maybe telling the truth about Tareq and the persecution of the Sunnis would mean that the world would have to stop blaming the current mess that is Iraq solely on Bully Boy Bush?

He's a war criminal and responsible for the Iraq War starting.

He's rap sheet is lengthy.

But the rise of the Islamic State and so much else effecting Iraq today goes to Barack and his decision to install Nouri al-Maliki in a second term after voters rejected Nouri.

During Nouri's second term, Barack was repeatedly silent.

He refused to call out what was going on in Iraq.

Thursday, February 16th 2012, an incredible act of judicial abuse took place as the 'independent' Supreme Court in Baghdad issued a finding of guilt against Tareq al-Hashemi. Was a trial held? Because Article 19 of Iraq's Constitution is very clear that the accused will not be guilty until convicted in a court of law. No. There was no trial held. But members of the judiciary -- who should damn well know the Constitution -- took it upon themselves not only to form an investigative panel -- extra-judicial -- but also to hold a press conference and issue their findings. At the press conference, a judge who is a well known Sunni hater, one with prominent family members who have demonized all Sunnis as Ba'athists, one who was then demanding that a member of Iraqiya in Parliament be stripped of his immunity so that the judge can sue him, felt the need to go to the microphone and insist he was receiving threats and this was because of Tareq al-Hashemi, that al-Hashemi was a threat to his family.

Having already demonstrated that they will NOT obey the Constitution, the judiciary then indicated -- via the judge's statement -- a personal dislike of Tareq al-Hashemi. What they did that Thursday was demonstrate that Tareq al-Hashemi had always been correct in his fear that he would not receive a fair trial in Baghdad.

Nouri's regime kidnapped Tareq al-Hashemi  bodyguards as well as at least two other employees.  In February 2012, Tareq noted that his bodyguards had been tortured  and that he was in possession of photos demonstrating the torture. Al Jazeera quoted him stating, "We have pictures of bruises on their faces and bodies." AFP quoted him in full, "All the arrested people from my bodyguards and the employees of my office are being held in secret prisons over which the ministry of justice has no authority, and confessions are being taken from them through torture. We have pictures and evidence proving that the bodyguards were tortured, physically and psychologically." CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq reported:

Al-Hashimi criticized the investigation, saying, "How come they finished investigating 150 cases against me and my bodyguards within a few days?
"Where did my bodyguards plan for these 150 attacks? On the surface of the moon?" he asked.

Only AFP noted that employees of Tareq al-Hashemi, besides bodyguards, are also being held. January 30th, Amnesty International issued a call for "Iraqi authorities to reveal the whereabouts of two women arrested earlier this month, apparently for their connection to the country's vice-president. Rasha Nameer Jaafer al-Hussain and Bassima Saleem Kiryakos were arrested by security forces at their homes on 1 January. Both women work in the media team of Iraqi Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi" and quoted Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, declaring, "The Iraqi authorities must immediately disclose the whereabouts of Rasha al-Hussain and Bassima Kiryakos. At the very minimum they should have immediate access to their family and a lawyer." The alert noted that, in the middle of the month, Bassima Saleem Kiryakos phoned her husband to say she was being released, but she was not heard from again and that, in December, she was also taken by Iraqi security forces and beaten.

Moving on to the March 22, 2012 snapshot:

Since December, those working for Tareq al-Hashemi have been rounded up by Nouri's forces.  At the end of January, Amnesty International was calling for the Baghdad government "to reveal the whereabouts of two women arrested earlier this month, apparently for their connection to the country's vice-president.  Rasha Nameer Jaafer al-Hussain and Bassima Saleem Kiryakos were arrested by security forces at their homes on 1 January.  Both women work in the media team of Iraqi Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is wanted by the Iraqi authorities on terrorism-related charges."  Yesterday, al-Hashemi noted that his bodyguard had died and stated that it appeared he had died as a result of torture.
 Alsumaria notes Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi is calling for the international community to call out the death of his bodyguard, Amer Sarbut Zeidan al-Batawi, who died after being imprisoned for three months. al-Hashemi has stated the man was tortured to death. The photo Alsumaria runs of the man's legs (only the man's legs) appear to indicate he was tortured, welts and bruises and scars.  They also report that the Baghdad Operations Command issued a statement today insisting that they had not tortured al-Batawi and that he died of chronic renal.  They also insist that he was taken to the hospital for medical treamtent on March 7th and died March 15th. Renal failure would be kidney failure.  And that's supposed to prove it wasn't torture?
If you work for an outlet that just spits out what you are told and didn't actually learn a profession, yes.  Anyone with half a brain, however, apparently that's half more than the average journalist possess today knows to go to science.  The Oxford Journal is scientific. This is from the Abstract for GH Malik, AR Reshi, MS Najar, A Ahmad and T Masood's "Further observations on acute renal failure following physical torture" from 1994:
Thirty-four males aged 16–40 (mean 25) years in the period from August 1991 to February 1993 presented in acute renal failure (ARF), 3–14 (mean 5) days after they had been apprehended and allegedly tortured in Police interrogation centres in Kashmir. All were beaten involving muscles of the body, in addition 13 were beaten on soles, 11 were trampled over and 10 had received repeated electric shocks.
Out of that group? 29 did live. Five died.  I don't think the Baghdad Command Operations created any space between them and the charge with their announcement of renal failure as the cause of death.  But, hey, I went to college and studied real topics -- like the law and political science and sociology and philosophy -- and got real degrees not glorified versions of a general studies degree with the word "journalism" slapped on it.  So what do I know?

Tareq never should have been tried.  Any trial was illegal.  Until 2014, he remained one of Iraq's vice presidents.  Nouri tried to get the Parliament to strip him of his role but they refused.  He could not legally been put on trial while in office unless he was stripped of his office per the Iraqi Constitution. He was tried in absentia.  His attorneys request that Jalal Talabani testify (and Talabani agreed to testify) was refused by the prejudiced judiciary which had already announced his guilt months before the trial began.

There is so much more to the Tareq story that we could go into.

But just the above should convey the targeting that took place -- just some of it.

And convince you that Barack continuing to supply weapons and moneys to Iraq blindly and without conditions, his silence in the face of the persecution of the Sunnis gave Nouri al-Maliki the green light to persecute the Sunnis.

And the persecution grew and grew.

Until finally, in the summer of 2014, even Barack had to back off from supporting Nouri.

In August of 2014, Barack insisted upon Haider al-Abadi.

This was sold as "change."

Is Nancy A. Youssef a whore or just stupid?

We'll come back to that.

How could it be change?

Haider, a Shi'ite, was a member of Nouri al-Maliki's political party (Dawa) and a member of the political coalition Nouri created to go around Dawa (State of Law).

He was also a friend of Nouri's.

(And even Nouri's well known desire to topple Haider so he can return as prime minister hasn't stopped Haider from seeking Nouri's approval.)

This week, Nancy A. Youssef filed a ridiculous report -- strong in parts but ridiculous for the claim that Haider's done anything to try to ease the persecution of the Sunnis.

We may go into this at length in the next snapshot.

For now, we'll just note that the statement isn't just idiotic, it's offensive.

Haider's done nothing to address this issue.

It's why the Islamic State got a powerhold in Iraq.

So it must be addressed if you want to defeat the Islamic State.

Though Haider had nothing to do with Tareq's name being removed from the list, if he had any smarts (probably not), he'd be noting the news himself.

He'd be trumpeting it as an act of healing, an act of getting Iraq on track to being a united country that welcomes all Iraqis.

As it is, Haider's done nothing.

Two years later and he's done nothing.

I keep seeing one 'analysis' after another about how Iraqis are bothered by corruption and blah, blah, blah.

It's strange that this wasn't noticed when Sunnis took to the streets for over a year of protests.

It's as though, in the western media, nothing happens in Iraq unless it happens to a Shi'ite.

The media has repeatedly reported from one side, on behalf of one side.

We see constant distortions with regards to Sunnis, we see constant silences with regards to Sunni Arabs.  Over and over.

And the same press that spent a week and a half 'reporting' on Tareq being added to the INTERPOL list (and getting event hat wrong) has yet to note that he's been removed from the list.

Western journalists are very, very lucky that the bulk of western news consumers do not read Arabic.  If they did, they'd be aware of just how distorted coverage has been.

Western journalists are very unlucky that some of us do -- and that we won't be silent.

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