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The Iraq parliamentary elections were held back on March 7. The elections were notable for having the first participation of large numbers of Sunnis, and for having the first participation of the Sadrist block.

Al-Iraqiyya list and Ayad Allawi, a secular Shi'a and Sunni coalition, won with 91 seats.

The State of Law Coalition, tied tightly to Shi'a Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Dawa party, came in a close second with 89 seats.

The National Iraqi Alliance, a Shi'a fundamentalist coalition including Sadrists, came in third with 70 seats.

The Kurdistan Alliance came in fourth, with 43 seats.

Choosing a Prime Minister involves wrangling out a coalition.

The process for parliamentary coalition building in Iraq includes a period of assassinations, disappearances, and bombings. This process has been going on since the March election, and the election-related sectarian violence has recently heated up.

Last Saturday, negotiations to keep U.S. choice, current Prime Minister, and second place finisher Nouri al-Maliki fell apart.

The followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, who form a king-making bloc in the next Iraqi government, have confirmed they will not accept Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki's candidacy for a second term as leader.

The move effectively ends the career of the US-backed incumbent.


Ramadan begins on Wednesday. Withdrawal of our combat troops is scheduled by the end of this month.

Foreign Policy reports that Barack Obama sent a letter to Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, asking for help in resolving the election.

President Obama has sent a letter to Iraq's top Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, urging him to prevail upon Iraq's squabbling politicians to finally form a new government, an individual briefed by relatives of the reclusive religious leader said Thursday.


The Sistani-linked source said the letter was sent shortly after Vice President Joseph Biden visited Baghdad over the July 4 weekend and failed to bring about a resolution of the dispute.

Foreign Policy

At times of political crises, Iraq's clergy have proven to be useful; it was Ayatollah Sistani who pushed for the landmark open-voting system in the parliamentary elections, much to the dismay of Iraq's politicians but to the delight of their constituents; and it was Sistani who intervened, with positive results, on key democratic and constitutional issues, as well as the US-Iraq status of forces agreement.

The clerical establishment, however, has been careful to not get its hands dirty.


Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has only intervened twice in politics since the US invasion of Iraq. Once he called for a new constitution and one time he broke up fighting between American troops and populist leader Moqtada al-Sadr.

Now we may need him a third time.

Business Insider

There was no immediate comment from the White House.

Voice of America

U.S. media often discusses all the various sectarian and election-related violence in terms of "al-Qaeda in Iraq," a thing that does not exist.

Figures from the Iraqi health, defence and interior ministries show 396 civilians, 89 policemen and 50 soldiers were killed, with another 1,043 people left wounded.

Iraq violence 'worst in two years', Al-Jazeera English

Iraqi and US authorities dispute the number of recent Iraqi deaths. Baghdad said July was the deadliest month for more than two years. The US military said 222 Iraqis died in July, while Baghdad put the figure at 535.

US disputes upsurge in Iraq violence, Sydney Morning Herald

The killing of five policemen in Baghdad on Tuesday came as President Barack Obama vowed again to fulfill an agreement with the Iraqi government to lower US troop levels from 80,000 to 50,000 by the end of August.

Iraq violence flares as US begins to draw down troop levels, Christian Science Monitor

Iraqi authorities say at least three people were killed Friday and at least 28  others wounded in roadside blasts in Baghdad.

The shootings raise to at least six the number of traffic policemen killed since Tuesday in the capital city.  Police and health officials said at least seven traffic officers have been wounded during the same period of time in Baghdad.

Baghdad Hit by Multiple Bombings, Voice of America

Kadhimiya ... al-Khadraa ... near Haifa street.

3 roadside bombs go off in various parts of Baghdad, CNN

Gunmen stormed a Baghdad money exchange and killed three people Thursday, the latest in recent brash daylight attacks on banks, financial and trade centers in the Iraqi capital, many of which have been blamed on insurgents.

Gunmen storm Baghdad money exchange, kill 3, AP

Originally posted to Garrett on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 07:21 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Iraq is falling apart (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, deMemedeMedia

    but that's not our problem, anymore.  This is their time, their future, and we are not responsible for it.

    "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

    by rainmanjr on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 07:34:36 PM PDT

    •  Well, yes, we are "responsible" (8+ / 0-)

      because we invaded, destroyed, killed, polluted, gave them this form of "democracy," and still will have tens of thousands of combat troops (we'll just not CALL them combat troops) there.

      That's not saying, of course, that we should continue to try to control their lives.

    •  I'm not so sure we are "not responsible" (6+ / 0-)

      As with Afghanistan, we created this mess, from the get go, over the last 50-60 years or so of machiavellian manipulation of the region, culminating in this occupation...

      I think it's a bit callous, to try to assert that we are not responsible, to a very substantial degree, for the chaos and mayhem in Iraq, and the entire region.

      "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

      by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 07:50:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then it's also Richard 111's fault. (0+ / 0-)

        I was against this war from 1990 so don't lecture me about who broke it.  I know we did.  But parents aren't always responsible for their children.  At some point it's the kids lives and they must make their own way.  That's where Iraq is and they've piddled away a lot of time.

        "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

        by rainmanjr on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 08:11:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Look, I can't disagree, that ultimately... (0+ / 0-)

          it's on the Iraquis to stand up their own government and to deal with the contradictions they face.

          Sorry if it sounded like a lecture, but I've been against these kinds of wars even longer, going way, way back to the root inceptions of machiavellian manipulation of the entire region, to assert our hegemony, or failing that, to sow chaos, on the flanks of Russia and the oil fields.

          The present situ there did not spring up out of a vacuum, of it's own accord, and we have very substantial responsibility for it, going all the way back, far beyond 1990.

          And yes, the Brits also had a major role in that.

          But as with Afghanistan, I think it would be cowardly and unprincipled for us to now run away from our responsibility there, merely to avoid a bloody nose and the expense of rectifying our crimes against humanity.

          The issue, and the real question, I think, is can we, will we, "make" Obama do that, in a principled, responsible, correct manner, by mobilizing the electorate to give him the juice that he needs, or the material pressure that he would have to submit to, by purging and suppressing our own corrupt right wing elements, and seizing the power in our own country, for justice and peace, to save the planet, for real?

          Bring the Better Democrats!

          All Out for 2010 and 2012!

          "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

          by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 08:25:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree that we should stay but... (0+ / 0-)

            I respect your comment.  Yes, the British had a great deal to do with this mess, as did we, and I'm sorry the country has been so badly fucked up.  Obama has managed his part as best he could but it's time to fulfill his campaign promise.  We can do no good and should not do any further harm.  I wish them life.  La Hiem (or however it's spelled).

            "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

            by rainmanjr on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 10:53:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No, they have not yet had the freedom to do (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Garrett, Lochbihler

          their thing. They didn't even select their lunatic constitution, it was thrust upon them by Brennan.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt -

          by enhydra lutris on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 10:07:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  soo...while this is an interesting compendium... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wonder what your analysis of the situ might be, Garrett?

    Would you propose we withdraw more substantially and quickly, so they can get on with the bloodbath various intransigent and insurgent elements so clearly seek to precipitate, to terrorize and demoralize the Iraqui people (and us)?

    Or maybe you think we should suspend the withdrawal, and stick it out a while longer, until we can referee a more stable situation?

    It would seem from your citations that Obama's appeal to al-Sistani may result in some hope for rational resolution of the continuing you think so?

    I have to admit that I don't have much of a clue...but I'm willing to trust Obama to try his best, to do the right thing, since that's about the only option I see, presently.

    I'm glad he's keeping his promise to withdraw, on schedule, I guess, and hoping for the best...

    "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

    by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 07:45:53 PM PDT

    •  Ah, he's not keeping his promise. (3+ / 0-)

      He promised to withdraw all combat brigades.  Well, no such luck. He's leaving 50,000 troops in place, just renaming combat brigades by giving them a new "mission."

      •  Well, I think it's arguable... (0+ / 0-)

        as to who's splitting hairs, in that regard.

        While not absolute and total, it does seem like a very substantial stand-down, to me.

        Whether those troops who will be staying to further facilitate the transition and help prevent civil war will help or hinder that process remains to be seen, I guess.

        So, what do you think?  

        Should we just wash our hands of what we have done to the Iraquis for all of these years, and walk away, and leave them to their "fate" (so largely contrived and manipulated by us), or should we do whatever it takes, to try to rectify our crimes against humanity over last 50 years or so in that region, even risking our own "blood and treasure" to do so, a little bit longer, under Obama's (hopefully, at least somewhat) more principled motivations and methods?

        "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

        by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 08:03:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Check out this . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          truong son traveler

          WHAT are you talking about, "more principled motivations and methods?"  It's not about American hegemony anymore?  About oil?  About keeping Iran from becoming the dominant regional power?  

          Have you folks seen how Obama's popularity in Arab lands has fallen below Bush's?

          •  Again, you assume... (0+ / 0-)

            That nothing can be done to change anything about US policy, motivations and methods, going forward.

            You insist on looking at things from a one-dimensional perspective, ignoring that changes in conditions mandate a change of perspective.

            With sufficient progressive plurality in the House and Senate, we can and must not only transform US foreign and domestic policy, but surge forward into the 21st Century with a full-on green paradigm that will liberate us from our present dependence on oil, and establish new meanings for world "leadership" and hegemony, that are truly centered on justice and peace, to save the planet.

            We can do this, if enough people turn out to vote, explicitly to purge and suppress the right, and to demand that we execute the necessary changes.

            You, obviously, do not think this is WTF are you doing here, if not to harrass and try to discourage us from even trying?

            This is not about freakin' Obama, or even the Democrats, per se.  It's about the popular democratic will.

            Again, I ask you, what do your propose?

            Do you really think that "bring the boys (and girls) home" is going to change a goddamn thing, anymore than it did with Viet Nam?

            What we need is to bring the WAR home, by which I mean, seize the power, right now, for real, in this country, in 2010, and 2012.  

            Then, and only then, instead of systematically making war against popular democratic elements all over the world, we can begin to materially support  and help them, for a change.

            How do you propose we might do that?   With protests and demonstrations?  Perhaps you'd like to see an armed revolution, to overthrow capitalism?  Good luck with that shit, like it has worked so well for us previously.

            Breaking News:  It's the right that's now calling for "revolution" (counter-revolution) these days, lol, in the face of a precipitous shift to the left in the US.  

            Conditions have changed, and this is not 1917 Russia, or 1945 China, but here and now, in the USA, where political consciousness, communication, and democratic aspirations are higher than we've ever seen them.

            A vast majority are now staunchly opposed to racism, sexism, eco-rape, murderous monopoly corporate ripoff and imperialist profiteering wars.

            When will the US left accept and embrace the leadership of the masses, who have very emphatically REJECTED bankrupt left "strategies" for electoral boycott and splitting, and all of the "revolutionary" rhetorical posturing and posing that goes with it, and have chosen instead to just simply seize the power, democratically, electorally?

            We don't have any more time left for a lot of bullshit.  The ice caps are melting.

            The people are ready for, and demanding democracy.  So, let's get on with it, and make that the focus...instead of merely incessently rehashing the all too obvious conditions that so clearly demonstrate the dire need for it, let's just freakin' DO it, and seize the power.

            "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

            by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 10:32:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  This would be possible, because...? (3+ / 0-)

      Or maybe you think we should suspend the withdrawal, and stick it out a while longer, until we can referee a more stable situation?

      It's a good move to involve Sistani, possibly the only one available to break the Iraqi deadlock.

      But let's not pretend that the US isn't angling to keep troops in the area for years and years to come. The Pentagon has made no secret of their plans to do so, and one reason we want an Iraqi government is to negotiate a new SOFA.

      Calling combat troops whatever you want to call them doesn't make them not be combat troops as well.

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 07:58:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, Jim... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P

        Of course, your analysis of the intentions of the Pentagon are substantially correct, at least among the most powerful elements there, it would seem, yet and still.

        However, I think it's a fallacy to assume, as you seem to do, that the old-school cold war perspectives, motivations and objectives remain absolutely predominant there, in our government, or in our nation.

        I think a shift is coming, precipitated by, or shall we say, indicated by, the popular democratic upsurge behind Obama, and that it is possible (as well as necessary) that we could be on the cusp of a very substantial paradigm change.

        But it's not over yet, and the midterms in November, and the 2012 elections will be critical, in terms of whether or not this impetus for real change will continue to move forward, for the better, or will end in a precipitous slide back, into the pits of hell.

        And regarding your sig line, I would point out that DESPITE 40 years or more of full-on monopoly corporate fascist commercial mass media propaganda blitz, 24/7, on all channels, the masses in this country have nevertheless very substantially shifted to the left, culminating in Obama's election, and the rhetoric he espoused.

        So, yes, the media sucks, and major media reform is in order, to be sure, because far too many people for comfort are manipulated and fooled by it...but the media, and their dupes, do NOT rule as absolutely as your tag line suggests.  The vast majority of the people recognize how twisted and perverse it is, and are NOT buying their jive shit.

        "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

        by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 09:01:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, may your optimism be justified. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Garrett, Radical def

          That would be good.

          As to 40 yrs of media, I can't even begin to express how deeply the changes wrought have gone into the collective psyche. Natural and healthy value-systems have been greatly compromised and replaced by a set of adolescence values and reflexes.

          Be that as it may, within the realm of political reality, media is the lynchpin to the entire game as it is played. Nobody can name one issue in which media's role isn't a factor, even the determinant, in our political outcomes. (And even you could name one, it's easy to name 100 to weigh against it.)

          Check out the Soviet Union. Everybody knew that the media was lying to them by the end of WWII at the very very latest. Most a decade before. But the SU keep running everyone's life for 50 years.

          Knowledge without changing how information gets moved about, instantly, to everyone, doesn't really do the trick. People just get atomized like they do on the internet. "Divide and conquer" works.

          Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

          by Jim P on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 10:23:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Substantially true, BUT... (0+ / 0-)

            "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

            by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 10:36:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ooops...I was saying... (0+ / 0-)

              This is not freakin' 1917 Russia, nor pre-WW2 Germany, either.

              This is the USA, here and now, and as I have pointed out, DESPITE everything you say, which is more or less true to a substantial degree, for too much of the population, yet and still alternative media, word of mouth, and the popular democratic will CAN and HAS actually rejected the fascist propaganda memes, to a sufficient degree to elect Obama, larger Democratic Majorities, and a larger Progressive Caucus.

              It's a serious error to accept the commercial mass media's own meme, heh, that they fucking pwn us.  

              They DON'T, bro, as much as they have tried, they have NOT been able to turn back the tide of history.

              And just a few more progressives, and a few less Blue Dogs and Republicans in the House and Senate will allow us to make very substantial, long overdue media reforms in the US, as with all other issues.

              Will it be over then, and all good?  I think not, but we'll be in a much better position to move forward, and to prevent sliding back down the slippery slope we've been on for so many years.

              "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

              by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 10:45:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not 1917 Russia by far. (0+ / 0-)

                Since 1950, with literally tens of billions spent in research, modern tech, and a revolving door between Intelligence Agencies and advertising....

                you're right there. No comparison at all.

                Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

                by Jim P on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 09:35:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  The problem in a nutshell. (3+ / 0-)

            And when terrorists and militias plunged Iraq into sectarian war, our troops adapted and adjusted—restoring order and effectively defeating al Qaeda in Iraq on the battlefield.

            President Barack Obama, August 2, 2010

            1. There is no such thing as al-Qaeda in Iraq.
            2. He knows this.
            3. The thing he is, for the most obvious of reasons, calling al-Qaeda in Iraq, has not been defeated.
            4. It can't be defeated on the battlefield.
            5. It's but one small part of the sectarian violence and the problems in Iraq anyways.
            6. ...

            The "al-Qaeda in Iraq" shit works. Powerfully.

            •  WTF?! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Did he really say that? That's astonishing.

              I'm sure you'll agree that a military response to 911 was, and remains, close to clinical insanity. Since battlefields aren't involved, by definition almost, in terrorism.

              So it's still not about al qaeda, is it? Never has been, isn't today, looks like.

              OT: Did you see the story on the Chinese with a cheap, too fast, and pin-point accurate carrier-killer missile?

              The entire strategy of our military plans for the world has just been crumbled at its base. It'll be interesting to see what develops from this, in concert with all the lunatic wars.

              Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

              by Jim P on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 11:44:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I haven't got any more clue (3+ / 0-)

      what to do than anyone else, I don't think.

      I can say that I don't like this kind of talk from the President:

      violence in Iraq continues to be near the lowest it’s been in years.

      And when terrorists and militias plunged Iraq into sectarian war, our troops adapted and adjusted—restoring order and effectively defeating al Qaeda in Iraq on the battlefield.

      Credibility and trustworthiness of the U.S. government is just far too important.

      •  Which President, Bush or Obama? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Garrett, truong son traveler

        Can't tell?  LOL

        •  Not this jive shit again..."no difference"??!! (0+ / 0-)

          The only thing that's "no different" is that there are still very substantial remnant right wing elements deeply entrenched in the military, State and CIA apparatus, not to mention the US House and Senate, to which Obama remains, in fact, more or less hostage, regardless of his intentions or desires.

          I see no indication though, that he has "the same" bloodthirsty, racist, absolutely depraved and corrupt motivations as Bush.

          I hold out little hope for more substantial progress, or material ability to "make" Obama do the right thing, on any issue, though, without mobilization of the electorate in the US, to root out our own corruption, and suppress our own right wing reactionary conservative fundamentalist traitors, democratically, electorally.

          If you can't tell the difference between Bush and Obama, in that regard, then you are not going to be any help whatsoever in this struggle, and would seem more likely to be serving the interests of the enemy, than of the people of the US, or Iraq.

          "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

          by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 08:14:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Hostage?" Obama's a "Hostage?" Since when? (0+ / 0-)

            And Bush (a nitwit, if there ever was one) is an American Hitler?

            Come on, my friend.  

            Let's face it, both Bush and Obama were and are concerned with maintaining America as the controlling force in Middle Eastern affairs.  It's an imperial thing, of course, having nothing to do with al Queda's piddling presence in Iraq (or Afghanistan, to mention it).  

            •  Well, I think you're stuck in a rut... (0+ / 0-)

              of dogmatic rhetorical 100 year old catechisms, which tend to have gotten us nowhere, over these many years.  I think it's time for a new analysis, rather than falling back on the same old leftist perspective that calls for electoral boycott, or splitting the vote "on principle", while the world burns.

              We don't have the time or the luxury for such absolutist idealism, any more.  

              The ice caps are melting, and it's do or die.  We must seize the popular democratic power, even if it must be on the back of the Democratic Party.

              OK, it's true, Obama is just another rich bourgeois liberal politician, who will ultimately seek to serve the interests of his class, and capitalism.

              But I would posit that this does NOT make him "the same" as Bush, who is a much more overtly fascistic pig, regardless of his intellect.

              Even Lenin, and Mao, and the other great leaders of successful revolutions who overthrew capitalism and imperialism recognized that some elements of the national Bourgeoisie can be won over, or co-opted, to serve the people, more or less, to the extent that many of them recognize and resent the atrocities committed by the international monopoly capitalist pigs.

              The real point is that the masses, including unprecedented numbers of youth, and virtually all people of color in this country stepped up and voted with their feet, choosing to REJECT the right, AND the left calls for boycott and splitting, to elect Obama, larger Democratic Majorities, and a larger Progressive Caucus, based on an explicit rhetoric of justice and peace, to save the planet.

              The left needs to recognize, respect, and embrace the leadership of the masses in this regard, and commit to direct action, now, to seize the power, democratically, electorally, so we can surge forward into the 21st Century, before it's too freakin' late.

              Otherwise, STFU.

              "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

              by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 08:46:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I honestly can't believe that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                truong son traveler

                one who genuinely recognizes Marxist values can think that uncritical support of a President whose support of Wall Street and the military industrial complex is necessary, and that anyone who dares criticize the Leader should "STFU."

                Your "support Obama no matter what" is the same thing that Rethugs kept saying about Bush.  Blind support.  Fail.

                Criticism is not merely proper but necessary where the behavior is inappropriate.  

                •  No, YOU fail, in your false extrapolation (0+ / 0-)

                  Criticism is only valid if it's principled and objective, and NOT mired in opportunist, dogmatic rigidity, unable to accept and adapt to changes in conditions over the centuries, and from one country to the next.

                  Nowhere will you ever find anything I have ever said that calls for "blind support" of Obama, capitalism, Democrats, etc (or SWP, or RCP, etc, either, lol) "no matter what".

                  What I call for is the banning from this blog of people who post here with absolutely no desire or intention to see more better Democrats elected, but rather wish to sow cynical defeatism and demoralization, in their own weaseling for theoretical hegemony of a narrow sectarian theory and analysis that ultimately boils down to either electoral boycott or splitting, since they hold out no hope whatsoever for popular democratic electoral change.

                  What I'm saying is that if you have no material proposals for how we are going to rectify the conditions you more or less correctly describe, then you are blowing it out your ass, and should, indeed, STFU.

                  I say seize the power, democratically, electorally, like our comrades in Latin America have been doing, with considerable success.

                  What do you say?


                  "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

                  by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 09:15:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                    •  LOL...I thought have NOTHING (0+ / 0-)


                      "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

                      by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 09:53:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  My friend, I think you missed my point. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        truong son traveler

                        I am not faulting Obama for not stopping a meteor.

                        I am not even faulting him for not keeping a campaign promise.  

                        I am faulting him for not keeping a campaign promise, and then pretending to have kept it.

                        Ho Chi Mihn's honorable adage was not meant to imply that media BS is the right way to govern.

                        •  You are obsessing on Obama... (0+ / 0-)

                          It's not about him.

                          It's about the popular democratic will, which, due to alternative media, protracted, resolute, determined grassroots organizing, face to face word of mouth, and the good sense of the American peoples, has moved more and more to the left, in stark contradiction to the Faux "News" meme of this being a "center right nation".

                          My "trust" is not in Obama, teh Dems, or anything else but the people...who can, and must call Obama's bluff, if that's what it is, about "make me", by giving him the juice to do more, faster, better, or to bring material pressure on him to force him to do so, or to be in a material position to replace him with more viable leadership, going forward.

                          Again I ask what possible solution to these issue you really think might be materially feasible, besides seizing the power democratically, electorally?

                          "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

                          by Radical def on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 10:56:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  We should get a drink, because (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Garrett, Radical def

                            aside from our dispute here, I do not war with many of your hopes.

                            I suppose that's what it comes down to.  I had too many hopes that, when the smoke cleared after the last election, we'd see some push back against the financial oligarchs and the military-industrial complex.  But Obama turned out to be more of a Kerry than a true progressive; a fine enough leader for the Empire, but don't expect that we'll see any change to the tweedle-dum tweedle dee of two centrist parties dominated by big money.  

  •  Didn't Sistani also force us to hold (3+ / 0-)

    popular elections early on? iirc, the first imbecile serving as viceroy had a plan where people we appointed would caucus to select their first government. But Sistani insisted there be real votes. I think this is different than Business Insider's two interventions by him.

    What a horror that after all this time simple traffic cops are being killed. An example of how lawless, and threatened, daily life must be for people. It does seem odd there's no news coming from ordinary people in Iraq these days.

    Anybody ever hear from Riverbend again?

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 07:51:32 PM PDT

  •  Iraq: Troops out, Hired Guns in... (3+ / 0-)

    An opinion piece worth reading:

    Troops down to 50,000 then to 0. SOFA will prevent troops from even protecting the massive US Embassy in the Green Zone.

    "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

    by deMemedeMedia on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 08:07:14 PM PDT

  •  It's time to bite the bullet (2+ / 0-)

    and let al-Sadr become the PM.  He's the natural leader of Iraq but all kinds of undemocratic forces have so far colluded- and been permitted- to thwart him.

  •  My nephew, US Army Private Ian Sorrow... (5+ / 0-)

    ...arrived home from 10 months in Iraq today.

    Thank God.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 08:56:38 PM PDT

  •  so now (0+ / 0-)

    our government is begging wacko religious leaders to help form Iraq's government. What an unmitigated disaster the entire war has been, turning a secular state into a dysfunctional sectarian and religious battlefield.

  •  Hmmm. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    Some of these comments are downright suspicious.

    "I will no longer be labeled, except as a human being."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 09:34:12 PM PDT

  •  A guest post at Juan Cole (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, Lochbihler

    goes into the intricacies: Jiyad: The Da`wa Party Dilemma and Gridlock in Iraq.

    The main theme is that with the office of Prime Minister comes all the patronage, which benefits the party, and which gets you elected. You can work out the various "if Party A joins with Party B" scenarios from that.

    But al-Maliki has been wrapping himself in cult of personality trappings. The State is the National Security is the Law is the Party is Himself.

    It's been the real complication in getting a resolution.

    The U.S. propping up of al-Maliki has contributed in a bad way. Technically, certainly, we should have stayed out of it rather than taken a side.

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