But I felt the movie destroyed and distorted the comic.
So I'm less than thrilled that the film is the number one film of 2014.
But for any readers who hated my review of the film, there's your satisfying victory -- despite my opinions, the film was the biggest hit of the year.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
If you ever questioned the proposition that US politicians are basically crooked and dishonest, let's note two people writing about Iraq today.
Jack A. Smith (Dissident Voice) offers:
The U.S. war against Iraq ended officially December 31, 2011, but it has now metamorphosed into Washington’s air war against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. There are increasing hints U.S. ground troops may be sent in this year. (3,000 American military advisers are already there and 1,500 allied troops are expected soon.)
We can all follow that.
And now here's nutty Dennis Kucinich, former US House Rep:
Establish a US Commission on Truth and Reconciliation. America was led into a war against Iraq, a war which killed over 1 million innocent Iraqis, a war which was based on every manner of deceit. In our name, and with our tax dollars, countless people were either killed, injured or tortured, their homes ruined, the land destroyed. It is time for Americans to know the truth about Iraq and other wars. Let us push Congress and the President to create a US Commission on Truth and Reconciliation.
We must require the highest level of accountability from those who have held the highest positions in our government. Lies which took us into war and established a national security state have separated us from each other, and from the world. Let us reunite in the spirit of truth and justice, seeking the moral high ground and a newer world.
Can Dennis just stop f**king around and lying.
There will not be -- in the next 20 years at least -- a US Commission on Truth and Reconciliation. Why are you wasting people's time deceiving them?
There are things to focus on and your nonsense is not one of them.
You want a Truth Commission? How about you tell the American people about the flight you took with Barack? How about you explain how you got on that plane insisting you were sticking to your guns and not voting for ObamaCare but by the time you touched ground you were breaking your public promise? Why don't you tell the American people about that conversation?
It would be illuminating.
Not just to show the world self-serving you are, but to explain how politics in the US really work.
Dennis is a disgrace. I've always felt that way.
Now he's writing of Iraq as if the illegal war is over. That's offensive enough.
But he's lying to the American people as well. A decision was made to go war on Iraq. That wasn't -- though Dennis loves to pretend otherwise -- a decision of just Republicans or of just Republicans plus Hillary Clinton.
It's not going to happen.
And this gets to the core of why I despise Dennis.
In 2004, in Boston, as he let down his supporters -- which really is the constant thread in the public career of Dennis Kucinich -- a young woman approached me crying, feeling he betrayed her and the rest and I comforted by leading her (eventually) in a chant of "F**k Dennis Kucinich!"
Dennis is never serious, Dennis is a con artist.
His runs in the Democrat parties presidential primaries -- which, let's be clear, is not running for president, he's never run for president -- are fake.
They're an attempt to corral people into the Democratic Party (and keep them from going to the Green Party or elsewhere). After his fake run, Dennis gives his little fake ass speech, after denouncing the party, urging his supporters to support the Democratic Party. He's a tiny valve intended to release steam and frustration before all of us on the left are supposed to join hands and march behind whomever the party's decided gets the nomination.
In 2008, Barack Obama 'won' Iowa.
After the early round of the caucus, Dennis instructed his followers to take their support to Barack.
At what point does that little bitch plan to take accountability for that?
I believe Barack's actions in Libya were illegal. I called them out here.
Dennis did so on Fox News. But never took accountability for his role in promoting Barack Obama and helping to make him the nominee for the Democratic Party.
Dennis has never, ever run for president.
Don't believe the lies of Amy Goodman.
He's participated -- poorly -- in the Democratic Party's primaries.
Cynthia McKinney ran for president, Ralph Nader ran for president, H. Ross Perot ran for president, Barack ran for president, John McCain ran, etc.
But Dennis never ran for president.
The most he ever ran for was the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.
There's a huge difference between that and running for president.
Look at any of his speeches when he repeatedly sought the party's nomination in one cycle after another.
Read the speeches and ask yourself, "If someone really believes that, why don't they run for president?"
Dennis is a fake ass.
He lives to distract. Maybe because he's so nutty. Maybe because that's the role he's assigned himself.
But he's worthless time and again.
If he wants to matter, it's not that hard. Tell the truth about the plane ride. Explain to Americans how you changed your mind on that plane ride.
He doesn't want to talk about the truth.
Talking about the truth might change the system. It would certainly upset the apple cart. So instead, he keeps lying and distracting.
At a certain point, his freak show doesn't even deliver snorts of derision.
At that point, he becomes an embarrassment that the world simply can't afford.
Dennis could have ended the Iraq War at any point. Any member of the US Congress could have. Former US Senator Mike Gravel told those truths and the response was John Edwards and Hillary Clinton caught on mike talking about how to purge certain people from the debates.
Real quick, let's see if we're all idiots like Dennis. Here's the test. Can you read Ahmed Rasheed and Ned Parker's latest report for Reuters and grasp what they're saying:
As Shi'ite forces push into territories held by Islamic State, many Sunnis have fled for fear of both the Shi’ite-led government and the Sunni jihadists.
Shi'ite leaders insist Islamic State must never be allowed to strike them again, nor return to areas now abandoned.
Shi'ite groups now decide who can stay in a community and who should leave; whose houses should be destroyed and whose can stand.
In one case, a powerful Shi’ite paramilitary organization has started redrawing the geography of central Iraq, building a road between Shi’ite parts of Diyala province and Samarra, a Sunni city that is home to a Shi’ite shrine.
You can summarize the above as Shi'ites clear out an area of the Islamic State and then purge the Sunni elements as well.
So you're not a complete idiot or crazy.
Not everyone can make that claim.
This morning, we noted the article and ethnic cleansing in Iraq.
Crazy Reider Visser takes to Twitter with his own brand of insanity.
Maybe he thinks he's successfully disputing Ned Parker and Ahmed Rasheed?
As we explained "A crackpot runs AFP, Al Jazeera and the Christian Science Monitor" (June, 2013), this is the 'expert' who was running around the globe insisting the CIA was pretending to be the State Dept and he was being persecuted and hunted and his parents wanted him to get mental help. As we explained:
The man's a loon. Read his September 2012 post for laughs. He's being 'punished' and 'stalked' by the police in his country because . . . he took photos. He didn't understand it was a crime, he writes, before making a xenophobic remark about the Japanese. But Reider was done with his country. He moved to England. But the Norwegian police followed him there as well! And continued to harass him. So he went to the US and, "The Norwegians came after me to the United States as well. Easily recognisable officers of the organised crime unit within the Oslo police even followed me into research libraries where they deliberately sat next to me and made noise in order to disturb my work on Iraq."
Yeah, watch out, in US libraries, for those Norwegian police crime units.
It needs to be noted, and it has been repeatedly here, Reider and Joel Wing and all the little Circle Jerk buddies?
They weren't telling truths.
They were lying.
They were pimping for Nouri al-Maliki -- a thug. They were passing him off as a leader.
He led Iraq, alright, into the brink of destruction.
For all those just so amazed at the violence today in Iraq, so surprised by it, let's drop back for more of the June 2013 entry where we noted crazy Reider:
AFP's gotta be the dumbest and trashiest in the secretarial pool as evidenced by their latest nonsense. Nouri's gone on state TV (which he controls) to say what's happening in Syria is causing sectarian strife in Iraq. Who knew AFP was also Iraqi state TV?
It must be because all it can do is present his comments in a vacuum, as if to exonerate his own actions and convict the Iraqis.
The most obvious point to make re: Syria is that, if true (it's not), how interesting that Nouri chose not to side with the west on the issue.
What goes on in Syria is not why there is sectarian strife in Iraq.
AFP fails at their job repeatedly acting as a megaphone for whomever's in power. In this case, we're dealing with a paranoid tyrant. AFP sends their stenography out over the wires and, in doing so, does tremendous damage. The press is supposed to be a watchodg not a stenographer.
This is the week that saw Nouri (illegally) kick Kurds out of the Cabinet. For the record, the sectarian strife Nouri's alarmed about at this second is Sunni v. Shi'ite. But it takes a lot of never when you conduct your war on the Kurds to, in the same week, insist others are playing sectarian games. Nouri's always been enabled by a slovenly and unprofessional western press.
In 2010, Nouri agreed to the US-brokered Erbil Agreement.
Now Nouri's a known liar who's failed to keep every promise he's made in his first and second term. For those who missed Nouri's first broken promise, he was out of Iraq at the time, and only a few months into being prime minister, when the US began putting up blast walls and barricades throughout Baghdad. An enraged Nouri insisted they were coming down immediately as soon as he returned to Iraq, he even used the words "promise" in the statement. Of course, Nouri returned and the walls stayed up. Add "being Joshua with the rams horns outside the walls of Jericho" to a list of the many things Nouri has tried to be but instead failed miserably at.
Nouri only agreed to it because he wanted a second term as prime minister and he never planned to honor it. Other political blocs thought it was for real -- because the US government brokered it and vouched for it -- and signed on. If Nouri's having trouble and you're an outlet reporting today, you can't ignore The Erbil Agreement. Since the summer of 2011, Iraqiya (who won in the 2010 elections), the Kurds (Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, KRG President Massoud Barzani, etc) and clric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr have been demanding that Nouri stop postponing and implement The Erbil Agreement as he was supposed to at the end of 2010.
Nouri's failure to implement the contract has disenfranchised many. When a people stop believing that their voices are listened to, they find means other than conversation to make their points. What's happening isn't surprising unless you're a stenographer for AFP. You sort of picture Prahsant Rao and Reider Visser lunching on plain yogurt and lamenting how their thunder thighs will look next weekend in their bridesmaids dresses.
That's how Iraq arrived at where it is today.
A lot of liars.
Over the last few years, a lot of e-mails have come in lamenting tone an language.
To which I say, you can eat my _____.
You're bothered by the tone?
People are dying and you're bothered that I'm angry that a country supposedly 'liberated' has instead been trashed, decimated and poisoned?
As for language?
I've repeatedly noted that I have a very foul mouth. We are work place friendly. Which means we are limited to 'swear' words we can use. My favorite word is four letters long and starts with an "s," ends with a "t" and waves hello via "hi" in the middle. I can't use that word here.
I can use "whore" and Media Whores Online pioneered calling out the whores. I wish MWO was still around.
But if you can't grasp how much lying and whoring has taken place on Iraq in the last six years, let's note this:
Alice Fordham has a report for NPR's Morning Edition (link is text and audio) that wants to insist Nouri's trying to bring the Sahwa into the military -- while ignoring what Ned Parker's outlined above and what's taken place for the entire second term of Nouri al-Maliki until right before these elections.
She's providing a wrong impression to listeners.
So what, you say, in 2009, Fordham wrongly thought Nouri would incorporate the Sahwa.
And if that was from 2009 or even 2010, I'd call it out but note that Fordham got it wrong.
Trouble is, that's from the April 18, 2014 snapshot.
At that point, at that late date, you're not just 'wrong,' you're whoring because you're deliberately wrong. (Fordham was deliberately wrong on other details and we noted in that snapshot.)
Does it matter?
Does any of it matter?
It has to.
Because it's life or death.
If Alice Fordham had done actual reporting, if Joel Wing and Crazy Reider hadn't whored for thug Nouri, Iraq might not be where it is now, where it is today.
Violence had dropped off.
The government in place was imposed by the US government so, political science would argue, there was always a chance of renewed violence when the bulk of US forces left the country.
So violence could very well have increased. It could have even gotten worse than it is now.
But what bred the violence was Nouri al-Maliki.
And what allowed him to breed the violence was a world that largely looked away, a press that near universally hid the truth -- western press, excuse me -- about what Nouri was doing.
This is a man so hateful that he sent agents of the Ministry of the Interior into Iraqi schools to target gay and thought to be gay men, to stir up hate against these men, to tell the students that these men would kill them, that these men drink blood, etc. And not just tell the students that.
See, here's what got Nouri in trouble, they had a handout.
When reports first emerged -- in the Iraqi media, please no western outlet touched it -- Nouri's spokesperson insisted the actions of the Ministry were being distorted and nothing of the sort happened.
But there was the handout.
And when Alsumaria and Al Mada got a hold of the handout, Nouri's story suddenly changed from it didn't happen to oops how did this happen.
This is how evil Nouri al-Maliki is.
He deliberately attempted to frighten children of gay men and encouraged them to attack and kill gay men.
It was there in the presentation and, too bad for Nouri, it was there in the handout.
He was evil.
That's only one example.
But this is the man that press carried water for. This is the thug that Joel Wing and Crazy Reider portayed as respectable and a real leader.
People need to be held accountable for what they do.
And if that means I have to be the biggest bitch online day after day, then that's what it means for however long this site continues.
There are a lot of people willing to prop up thugs like Nouri.
The last six years hasn't seen a lot of attempts -- outside of the Iraqi press -- to defend the people of Iraq.
This week, the American Kurdish Council of California's Delovan Barawri (at Huffington Post) noted:
Yet, while the oppressive Middle Eastern regimes subjugated their citizens, especially the minorities, the global players kept a blind eye on the brutality, often supporting and arming the oppressors. A prime example is the Obama administration's support of the former Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri Maliki, in spite of his dictatorial and marginalizing policies, which ultimately allowed the Sunni regions to turn into breeding grounds for ISIS.
And that's what all the whoring did.
It allowed the White House to support Nouri.
A thug. Someone who killed protesters. Someone I believe had a journalist killed (Hadi al-Mahdi). He certainly had Hadi and other journalists tortured.
And even when this did get coverage by the western media, it was limited coverage. (Click here for Annie Gowen and Aziz Alwan covering it for the Washington Post.)
This is the thug that when the bulk of US forces departed Iraq, turned Iraq's military tanks onto his political rivals. And Liz Sly reported on it for western media (Washington Post) but people had other things to do apparently.
So let's not pretend that the Islamic State popped up out of the middle of nowhere and for no reason.
A lot of whoring allowed the despot Nouri al-Maliki to get away with, yes, murder.
And the response to that can be seen in Iraq today.
From time to time, a friend will say to me that they can't believe I called out _____ -- a mutual friend. Of course I did. The hurt feelings of a friend don't begin to equal the suffering of the Iraqi people Those whose actions encourage and prolong the suffering of the Iraqi people probably deserve a little more than hurt feelings over getting roughed up verbally in the global town square that is the internet.
And maybe instead of whimpering and whining, they could take accountability for their part in increasing violence in Iraq?