scandal (Rebecca)


above is Isaiah‘s The World Today Just Nuts “Just Keep Lying” from labor day.

thank goodness labor day has passed.

october is much closer now.

and that means the debut of ‘scandal.’

right now, kerry washington is on the cover of ‘glamour’ and does she not look amazing?

i’m really excited about season 3.  not only because we’ll get some sort of wrap up to last season’s cliff hangers but also because lisa kudrow will appear in a few episodes.

phoebe from ‘friends’ will be on.

the season opener is supposed to be a shocker with a plot twist no 1 is expecting.

i am on pins and needles.

let’s close with c.i.’s ‘Iraq snapshot:’

Wednesday, September 4, 2013.  Chaos and violence continue,  one attack may have ugly implications for Iraq’s future, Nouri says Iraq will suffer from an attack on Syria, Barack continues to push for war on Syria, John Kerry is revealed to be a dining buddy of Bashar al-Assad, the US-backed ‘rebels’ of Syria in al Qaeda attacked a Christian village today, and much more.

Tom Cohen (CNN) reports US President Barack Obama declared today, “A red line for us in we star seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”  What is The Dalibama of War babbling about?  His push for war on Syria and, Cohen states, “Conservative critics have said Obama painted himself into a corner with his statement last year that Syria’s use of chemical weapons was a red line that would change his approach to its civil war.”  Cohen’s mistaken, it’s not just conservative critics who are making this claim and Cohen is wrong in that he refuses to explain really what the claim is. Devin Dwyer (ABC News) reported last week:

While Obama has long spoken out against Bashar al-Assad and the use ofchemical weapons, it was the president’s apparent off-the-cuff comments one year ago that may now be most responsible for putting the U.S. in a bind.
Obama’s warning in August 2012 that use of a “whole bunch” of chemical weapons would cross a “red line,” triggering “enormous consequences,” went much further than aides had planned, several told the New York Times earlier this year.  Some reportedly wished Obama could have taken those words back.
Now, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who has made ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan his signature foreign policy achievement, is at risk of entangling the U.S. in a fresh Middle East conflict.

 AFP’s Prashant Rao Tweets:
  2. Obama Assures Americans This Will Not Be Another 1456 Ottoman Siege Of Belgrade – @TheOnion 

It was beyond stupid for Barack to make that ultimatum and it was the action of a politically naive savant which really makes you wonder who really runs the White House?  But that’s how the US government ended up where they are now and, note, Some White House aides “reportedly wished Obama could have taken those words back.”  That doesn’t sound like conservative critics.  Betty‘s certainly not a conservative and, last night,addressing Secretary of State John Kerry went on and on about “reputation” in yesterday’s hearing which can be boiled down as Barack shot off his mouth and Kerry feels it is the duty of the Congress to ignore the will of the people to protect The Dahlibahma of War from his own big, fat mouth.  This led Betty to state what we should all be wondering,  “And for that, you want innocent Syrians to die in your pretend ‘precision strike’.”

Because Barack Obama, two years ago, said “Assad must go,” and, one year ago, said any use of chemical weapons crosses his “red line,” Congress has no choice but to plunge America into yet another Mideast war. 
Can this be? Are we really, as a nation, required to go to war to make good the simple-minded statements of an untutored president who had no constitutional authority to issue his impulsive ultimata? 
Are we really required to go to war to get the egg off Obama’s face?

On Barack’s false claim that he didn’t draw the red line, Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report):

With obscene imperial arrogance, President Obama proclaimed that the “world” – not he – has drawn a bloody “red line” in Syria. “I didn’t set a red line,” said Obama, at a stop in Sweden on his way to a Group of 20 nations meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia. “The world set a red line.”
That’s news to the rest of the planet, including most of the Group of 20 and the meeting’s host, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who described Obama’s claims that Syria used sarin gas against civilians in rebel-held areas as “completely ridiculous.” “It does not fit any logic,” said Putin, since Syrian President Assad’s forces “have the so-called rebels surrounded and are finishing them off.”
It’s news to China, which will surely join Russia in vetoing any Security Council motion to provide legal cover for Obama’s aggression. And it’s news to the usually compliant UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who this week reaffirmedthat “the Security Council has primary responsibility for international peace and security” and “the use of force is lawful only when in exercise of self-defense in accordance with article 51 of the United Nations Charter and or when the Security Council approves such action.”
It’s news to Great Britain, America’s temporarily wayward poodle, whose parliament rejected any militarily entanglement in Obama’s red line. As esteemed political analyst William Blum points out, 64 percent of the people of France oppose their government’s planned participation Obama’s Battle of the Red Line.
Apparently, a young and impressionable Obama took the 1985 USA for Africa song “We are the World” too literally, and believes that all one need do is sing or shout the words to make it so.

Also calling out leaders — in Congress and out — is Margaret Kimberley (Black Agenda Report)

The black misleadership scoundrels are also worthy of scorn in this crime. Van Jones was tossed under the wheels of Obama’s bus yet has sung his praises ever since. As a “left” commentator on CNN he said, “If you kill Assad right now, wonderful.” Jones also claimed that the United States overthrew a dictator in Iran in 1953. Of course Mohammed Mossadegh was democratically elected and Jones was left to feebly explain that he meant to use the word leader.
Jones wasn’t alone in trashing black Americans’ historic opposition to military aggression. We didn’t really need further proof that black politics has reached its nadir under Obama, but Eleanor Holmes Norton provided us with more. The non-voting Washington DC delegate to congress had this to say about why Obama will probably win congressional approval for more death and destruction. “If [Obama] gets saved at all, I think it’ll be because, it’ll be because of loyalty of Democrats. They just don’t want to see him shamed and humiliated on the national stage.” Not satisfied at her public expression of stupidity she had this to say. “At the moment, that’s the only reason I would vote for it if I could vote on it.” So shallow and shameful were Norton’s words that one might be tempted to support the district’s powerless status. 

Today Barack got a little closer to getting his war on Syria.  Paul Richter (Los Angeles Times) reports, “A divided Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted narrowly Wednesday to authorize a punitive U.S. strike against Syria, opening the way for a vote in the full Senate next week.”  Ruth asked that we note her Senator Chris Murphy was one of the votes against authorizing an attack on Syria.  On Labor Day, Ruth noted Murphy’s comments about Syria and would have guessed that he would have voted for authorization. She notes that she and a friend in her neighborhood went door to door speaking to those home about the need to contact Murphy and distributing fliers with contact info.   Jake Miller (CBS News) explains, “With the exceptions of Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., all of the panel’s Democrats voted in favor of the resolution. Udall and Murphy were opposed, while Markey voted ‘present.'”  Gregory Korte (USA Today) notes, “The vote was 10-7. Five Republicans and two Democrats voted against it. The committee’s consensus followed closed-door meetings Wednesday morning, which delayed the start of the committee’s meeting by nearly three hours.”  Along with Murphy and Udall, the other “no” votes were Republican Senators John Barasso, Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, James Risch and Marco Rubio.  “Yes” votes were Democratic Senators Barbra Boxer, Chris Coons, Dick Durbin, Ben Cardin, Tim Kaine, Robert Menendez and Jean Shaheen.  Republicans voting “yes” to attack were Bob Corker, Jeff Flake and John McCain.
If it surprises you that more did not stand up, look at the House minority leader and the idiotic story she told:
“I’ll tell you this story and then I really do have to go. My five-year-old grandson, as I was leaving San Francisco yesterday, he said to me, Mimi, my name, Mimi, war with Syria, are you yes war with Syria, no, war with Syria. And he’s five years old. We’re not talking about war; we’re talking about action. Yes war with Syria, no with war in Syria. I said, ‘Well, what do you think?’ He said, ‘I think no war.’ I said, ‘Well, I generally agree with that but you know, they have killed hundreds of children, they’ve killed hundreds of children there. ‘ And he said, five years old, ‘Were these children in the United States?’ And I said, ‘No, but they’re children wherever they are.’

Justin Raimondo ( calls out Pelosi’s stupidity:

To the reporters crowding around her, who share the globalist assumptions of the political class, her remarks seemed… well, unremarkable. To ordinary people, however, Pelosi’s smart-as-a-whip grandson posed a very good question, perhaps the only pertinent one in this whole debate: what does the Syrian civil war have to do with us? Which makes one wonder: what was Pelosi thinking as she related a narrative whose real meaning seemed to elude her.
Which brings us rather neatly to the central question underlying the debate over whether to strike Syria: What was the Obama administration thinking when they decided to try to pull this off? Do they live on another planet from the rest of us?
That is really the central issue here. Forget the “weapons of mass destruction:” let’s not even talk about the vague and very shaky “evidence” linking the Assad regime to the use of sarin gas – and it’s probably best to ignore the “moral” arguments users of phosphorus bombs and depleted uranium weaponry invoke when justifying this war. The real question is what kind of mindset are the Nancy Pelosis of this world operating under. It’s not a partisan mindset: the leadership of both parties, as well as the White House have all drunk from the same pitcher of Kool-Aid. 

For Congressional advocates for war, international law doesn’t matter. Nor, as Jason Ditz (, does public opinion appear to matter:

But while the president can count on old-guard hawks to vote yes before they even hear what country they’re voting to lob missiles at, the American public is nowhere near so easy to trick, and despite top officials repeatedly advocating the war in public addresses, the polls continue to show broad, bipartisan opposition among Americans for the conflict. 
Nationwide, the administration can’t even crack the 30% mark on selling the war to the public, even with television news networks shamelessly reiterating administration lies about unquestionable “proof” of Assad’s guilt and Secretary of State John Kerry loudly and repeatedly comparing Assad to Adolf Hitler.

John Kerry calls Assad “Hitler” today but Anthony Bond and David Martosko (Daily Mail) point out that he didn’t feel that way in 2009 when he and his wife, Teresa Heinz, shared “a cozy and intimate dinner with Bashar al-Assad” and the First Lady of Syria Asma al-Akhras.   But today, Kerry screams al-Assad is Hitler?  Jason Ditz ( observes:

Officials are throwing every rhetorical trick in the book at Congress to see what sticks at this point, from Hitler to Iran, and making any empty promises about keeping the war limited to skeptics while talking up escalation to hawks.
There is palpable desperation in the administration’s attempts to sell the war at all costs, and while officials have regularly tried to trick the country into war throughout history, there have been few that have been so flagrant about it. Fortunately, the polls are still not on their side, and the American public appear unwilling to be fooled this time. urges all readers to contact their Congressmen and urge them to vote against attacking Syria. Click here for contract information.

Yesterday, MoveOn sent out the following e-mail:


Dear MoveOn member,
We need your help making an important decision.
President Obama has asked Congress to authorize the use of military force in Syria in response to recent reports of a chemical weapons attack by the government there.1
Because MoveOn is its members, the stance MoveOn takes on this issue will be decided by MoveOn members.

Should MoveOn support or oppose the congressional authorization to use military force in Syria?

Click here to cast your vote:
Voting starts now and will go through 10:00 a.m. ET tomorrow. The more people who participate, the better the decision will be—so please take a moment to vote now by clicking here:
Thanks for all you do.
–Anna, Mark, Susannah, Linda, and the rest of the team

Today Rebecca Shabad (The Hill) reports, “The liberal group MoveOn said Wednesday it opposes military action in Syria and will work to defeat it in Congress.  The group, which spearheaded liberal opposition to the Iraq War, said it surveyed its 8 million members and found overwhelming opposition to President Obama’s call for Syria strikes.”

I’m honestly surprised by that move — not by the results of the vote but that MoveOn listened to their membership.  Maybe if John Kerry would stop repeatedly hissing “Hitler,” he could hear the voice of the people as well?  Or maybe the question to ask is WWHB: Who Would Hitler Back?

Today on Morning Edition (NPR — link is audio and transcript), US-backing efforts in Syria were discussed:

And I’m Renee Montagne.
President Obama has promised limited military action against Syria. He says missile strikes are not about regime change and there will be no boots on the ground. But even as the Congress debates the president’s plans for action, the White House is looking at broader options.
NPR’s Tom Bowman reports the president may call on the U.S. military to help build up the Syrian opposition.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Right now it’s not the Pentagon but the CIA that’s working with the Syrian rebels, mostly providing training in Jordan. But the president also promised weapons for the rebels back in June and they haven’t arrived. So yesterday at a Senate hearing, Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee put this question to Secretary of State John Kerry.


SENATOR BOB CORKER: Why have we been so slow, so inept in so many ways at helping build capacity of this opposition that we have said publicly that we support?

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY: I think, Senator, we need to have that discussion tomorrow in classified session. We can talk about some components of that.

BOWMAN: Classified session, meaning behind closed doors; that’s because the CIA is handling the effort. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Senator Corker the U.S. military is on the sidelines.

Again, WWHB?  As Robert Fisk (ZNet) pointed out last week:

If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as al-Qa’ida.
Quite an alliance! Was it not the Three Musketeers who shouted “All for one and one for all” each time they sought combat? This really should be the new battle cry if – or when – the statesmen of the Western world go to war against Bashar al-Assad.
The men who destroyed so many thousands on 9/11 will then be fighting alongside the very nation whose innocents they so cruelly murdered almost exactly 12 years ago. Quite an achievement for Obama, Cameron, Hollande and the rest of the miniature warlords.

It’s full circle for the CIA, back in business with al Qaeda after training and funding them to fight against the USSR military in Afghanistan.  The Voice of Russia reports Russian President Vladamir Putin is criticizing the US government for getting in bed with al Qaeda:

“Surely, this lie is not very elegant,” he said. “I watched the debates in Congress. A congressman asks Mr. [US Secretary of State John] Kerry: ‘Is there al-Qaeda there? There has been rumor that they are gaining strength’. He [Kerry] replies, ‘No. I am telling you firmly: there are none of them there’,” Putin said.

As a matter of fact, “the principal combative unit [acting in Syria now] is the so-called Nusra, which is an al-Qaeda unit,” Putin said. “And they know this. I even felt quite awkward. We are communicating with them and assume that they are decent people. And he is telling an outright lie, and he knows that he is lying. This is sad,” Putin said apparently referring to Kerry.

 Darya Korsunskaya, Steve Gutterman and Timothy Heritage (Reuters) report it this way:

“They lie beautifully, of course. I saw debates in Congress. A congressman asks Mr Kerry: ‘Is al Qaeda there?’ He says: ‘No, I am telling you responsibly that it is not’,” Putin said at a meeting of his human rights council in the Kremlin.
“Al Qaeda units are the main military echelon, and they know this,” he said, referring to the United States. “It was unpleasant and surprising for me – we talk to them, we proceed from the assumption that they are decent people. But he is lying and knows he is lying. It’s sad.”

In fairness to John Kerry, he’s never dined with al Qaeda so he might have trouble identifying them.

In an attempt to help him, let’s note Karin Laub and Sarah DiLorenzo (AP) reported this afternoon that a vicious assault took place on the “Christian mountain village” of Maaloula today.  Bashar al-Assad’s forces?  No, al-Assad’s government has been secular.   So who was it?  Barack Obama’s beloved rebels, “rebels from the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra group launched the assault on predominantly Christian Maaloula.”

This is who Barack is supporting.  

Syria shares a border with Iraq.   All Iraq News notes Nouri al-Maliki is planning to deliver a speech on Syria today.  Hou Qiang (Xinhua) reports, “Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki on Wednesday launched a new peace initiative to end the Syrian crisis and called on the Arab countries and the world to back his plan.Maliki said at his weekly statement that his nine-point initiative is a modified version of Iraq’s former peace plan, which was rejected by the Syrian opposition last year.  The plan includes a series of proposals like stopping arming the both sides of the conflict, withdrawal of all foreign fighters, supporting investigation into the use of chemical weapons and rejection of military intervention in Syria, as well as establishing a fund for the return of Syrian refugees.”

Krishnadev Calamur (NPR) looks at the region and how they view an attack on Syria.  We’ll note the section on Iraq:

Iraq has been careful to maintain neutrality in Syria, but its prime minister blamed the recent increase in violence on what was happening next door.
“The internal situation in Syria is playing a major role with what’s happening in Iraq,” Nouri al-Maliki said .
He was also critical of the proposed in Syria.
“The military solution is a dead end that has nothing in it but the destruction of Syria,” he said. “Nothing is obvious on the horizon other than destruction, catastrophe and a civil war that has no winner.”
Maliki previously would further destabilize the region.
In recent years, Iraq has drawn closer to Iran, and, , has granted Iran access to its airspace to deliver weapons and fighters to Assad.
It’s worth pointing out that the Obama administration, in its attempt to make a case for military action in Syria, has insisted it , where the U.S. spent more than eight years until the withdrawal of troops in 2011.

 On this, Nouri’s position is the position of a number of Iraqis.  But it is not the position of Iraq.  The KRG only recently made a statement to the effect of they will stay out of it.  The Kurds in Iraq generally speaking support the Kurds in Syria.  In Iraq, the Kurds have a semi-autonomous area.  In Syria, they do not.  The US-invasion of Iraq toppled the presidency of Saddam Hussein and his government which was seen as serving the Sunni population.  After the invasion, the (US-installed) Shi’ites took over.  They are the majority population in Iraq.  In Syria, it’s the other side of the coin with an estimated 74% of the population being Sunni Muslim.  Some Sunnis in Iraq support the Sunnis in Syria and some Iraqi Sunnis cross the border to fight in the Syrian War.  (Some Iraqi Shi’ites also cross the border to fight in Syria’s civil war.)

The whole point here is that when you step away from leaders, you find a wider view and it’s really simplistic to say: This is the Iraq view.

NPR would have been better off presenting Nouri’s view as Nouri’s and noting that Moqtada al-Sadr and Ayad Allawi are among those in agreement with him.  In the Sadr bloc’s statements made yesterday, the Sadr bloc specifically noted that there was a wide range of opinions re: Syria within the National Iraqi Alliance — a Shi’ite alliance of various political groups including Moqtada’s bloc, Nouri’s State of Law,  Ibrahim al-Jaafari’s National Reform Trend, Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress, and Ammar al-Hakim’s Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. 

According to John Kerry’s testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, he spent the last two years wooing foreign leaders to go to war with Syria.  He clearly failed in that time to do his job and overseeing the US mission in Iraq to increase diplomatic ties.

How sad for John if Nouri’s remarks today shake the resolve of other leaders to go to war on Syria.  But that is possible and it’s what can happen when you fail to do your job.  As Secretary of State, Kerry should have been interacting with Iraq regularly. Didn’t happen.

It’s not just Nouri.  Yesterday, Wael Grace (Al Mada) reported that Moqtada al-Sadr’s bloc was saying that a US military attack on Syria would make the already worsening security situation in Iraq spiral out of control.  And that is true.

Ayad Allawi’s writing about Syria on his Facebook page and noting that Iraq shouldn’t be expected to stop aid to Syria from Iran.  He’s right.  Iraq can’t even secure their own air space.  They lack the planes and the training.

In the fall of 2011, the State Dept began taking over the US mission in Iraq in preparation of the military drawdown.  The Dept has been given billions each Fiscal Year for that.  And yet they seem to have no idea of what goes on Iraq or what the sentiment there is.

Iraq is the best argument against attacking Syria.

Not just because we’re seeing similar lies in the effort to sell the attack.

Also not only because Iraq is a testament to how US governmental ‘help’ has made another country worse, not better.

But the main reason is because an attack’s going to make Iraq worse.  Attacking Syria means more refugees entering Iraq, means more al Qaeda and other fighters going through Iraq to enter and leave Syria, means the region is in turmoil and brings back the level of fear (which caused great mental stress in Iraq as studies demonstrated) that was present throughout the US occupation.  There is no way Iraq wins from an attack on Syria.

Ayad Allawi Tweets that attacking Syria is not a solution (and he links to this NBC report about the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s vote today). 

Wael Grace (Al Mada) reports that in anticipation of a US strike on Syria, Sahwas are being deployed to Mosul in expectation of an influx of refugees and, more to the point, to assist if the civil war in Syria spills over — a fear that many Iraqis in the area fear.

Meanwhile NINA reports that a Latifiya home invasion yesterday resulted in the shooting of “members of two families of two brothers, killing six children, two women and two men” before blowing up the home.  Kareem Raheem, Isabel Coles and Alison Williams (Reuters) quote  family member Haneen Mudhhir stating,  “Gunmen broke into our house overnight and shot my father four times in the head, they killed my two brothers, they killed my cousin, they were shooting everyone they saw, I escaped from the back door.”  BBC News explains, “Latifiya is in a religiously-mixed region that came to be known as the ‘Triangle of Death’ at the peak of Iraq’s insurgency in 2006 and 2007.”  NINA also notes 3 Sahwa were shot dead in Ramadi with another three left injured, a Mosul car bombing claimed the lives of 5 police officers and left four people injured, a Tikrit attack left 1 Sahwa and 1 rebel dead and one rebel injured and two Shawa injured, and 3 Tarmiya bombings claimed the lives of 5 Iraqi soldiers and left seven more injured.   “And in the capital’s eastern Basmaya district,”  Press TV adds, “unknown gunmen killed a mechanic and his son. ”  And in southern Baghdad, NINA reports:

Police source told NINA that an improvised explosive device, emplaced near women beauty salon in Shurta neighborhood, went off wounding the salon’s owner and three other civilians, happened to be nearby, as well as causing damages to the salon.

That attack is very important. al Qaeda may or may not be responsible for that attack but for years they have launched attacks in that area.  The attack, if carried out by al Qaeda, may have been an attack on business or anything.  But the best guess is it being an attack on women who refuse to live in Iraq as though Iraq is Afghanistan.

Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 187 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month.  AFP’s Prashant Rao offers:

  2. In the first three days of September, at least 90 people were killed, 252 wounded by violence in Iraq – @AFP tally: 

 the los angeles times


 jason ditz


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