Yes, I am.
I am voting for the Green Party's presidential candidate Jill Stein.
Jill speaks to me.
If she speaks to you, I hope you'll consider voting for her.
But I'm not going to be like TV celebrity and tell you who to vote for.
If you believe in someone, vote for them.
And if you believe in them, it's not a wasted vote or a vote anyone should disagree with you on.
In a democracy, we're allowed to vote for who we want and we should try to respect the choices others make.
I'll write about TV or movies next time. But enough of you are e-mailing that I needed to say something.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Wednesday, October 26, 2016. Chaos and violence continue, the Iraq mission remains undefined, more War Hawks and War Criminals back Hillary Clinton, and much more.
The advance on Mosul slowly moves along . . .
The advance on Mosul slowly moves along . . .
Not so liberating: Iraqi village freed from Islamic State, but then things get complicated lat.ms/2eEnnvG
As that inches along, Turkey continues to maintain it can fight in Iraq.
For those late to this story, Turkey has troops in Iraq.
The Iraqi government has repeatedly ordered them to remove those troops.
The Iraqi government has stated they do not want the troops there and they do not want the troops involved in the Mosul operation.
The Turkish government refuses to respect Iraq's requests or Iraq's national sovereignty.
At least the United States understands the concept of national sovereignty.
The issue came up Monday at the State Dept press briefing moderated by lovely lashes John Kirby (desperately attempting to become an MSNBC star -- no joke, he's angling for a post-administration gig),
QUESTION: The rise in tensions between Turkey and Iraq. After --
MR KIRBY: Between Turkey and?
QUESTION: And Iraq.
MR KIRBY: Okay.
QUESTION: After Secretary Carter’s visit both Iraq and Syria, what’s the status of the – with tensions? Do you see a potential ultimate agreement?
MR KIRBY: Well, I’d let – I think I’d let each side speak for themselves in terms of where they see the tensions. What’s been important is that there has been dialogue and we’ve said all along, many months ago when tensions over a Turkish military footprint came up, that we wanted to see Turkey and Iraq talk through this and work through this bilaterally.
QUESTION: But did Secretary Carter ease any rise in tensions between them in this visit in particular?
MR KIRBY: You’d have to talk to Secretary Carter and his staff. I don’t do a good job speaking for the Defense Department anymore, so you’d have to talk to them about that.
Let each side speak for themselves?
What about national sovereignty, John Kirby?
You know, if he'd spend less time pumping Mika for tips on making it at MSNBC and more time doing his job he might make it to adequate.
Tuesday, the issue was raised again. Still Kirby failed to stand up for sovereignty.
QUESTION: On Iraq.
MR KIRBY: Where?
MR KIRBY: Okay, sure.
MR KIRBY: Said is being a gentleman.
QUESTION: I appreciate that. Thank you. So the Turkish foreign minister said today that they could launch a ground operation in Iraq. You’ve talked a lot about how Turkey is a key NATO ally. How does the U.S. feel about that?
MR KIRBY: Well, again, I’m a little reticent to talk about military operations here, but in this case what I’ll – what I would say is that, as we have made clear from the beginning of this fight against [the Islamic State], that all military activity should be coordinated as part of the larger Iraqi effort to expel [the Islamic State] from their cities, their towns, their communities. And any nation’s participation in that effort we want to be done by, through, and with the Iraqi Government’s express permission and coordination.
QUESTION: So Turkey’s involvement without their express permission and coordination would complicate that effort?
MR KIRBY: Well, I’m not going to, again, speculate for what Turkey will or won’t do. But as I’ve again said many times, that any – we would – we believe that any effort outside, done in an uncoordinated fashion, is ultimately counterproductive to the overarching goal of defeating and degrading [the Islamic State] inside Iraq. We want all military activities to be coordinated and with the permission and approval of the Iraqi Government.
Too bad there's not a presidential election going on.
If there was, the press could pin the candidates down as to where they stand on national sovereignty.
Oh, wait, there is a presidential election going on.
Where's the press.
Doing the work the press won't do is constitutional attorney Bruce Fein who notes at HUFFINGTON POST:
President Barack Obama’s foreign policy of “Don’t do stupid s[tuff]” has been turned on its head in Iraq. The stupefying stupidity of our continuing military involvement featuring more than 5,000 American soldiers ranks with our carnival of imbecilities during the Vietnam War.
We have no definition of victory.
We are defending a Shiite government dominated by Iran, at war with Israel, hostile towards Iraqi Kurds, opposed by a NATO ally (Turkey), and brimming with corruption.[. . .]
The United States stupidly invaded Iraq in March 2003 for the juvenile thrill of flexing our military muscles to intimidate the world. But we also made Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, stronger by destroying its chief nemesis, Saddam Hussein. Thirteen years after our invasion, we stupidly remain in Iraq without any idea of why we are there beyond killing for the sake of killing.
That is the very definition of stupid stuff that President Obama professedly derides.
Let's stay with stupid stuff for a moment.
What a fool.
He deliberately distorts what Trump says.
I don't agree with Trump on this point (or on any that come to mind -- oh, I agree that Hillary's crooked -- that I agree with). But his point was that for months they've been saying that the assault on Mosul would start and that this allowed leaders of the Islamic State to leave.
You can agree with his point of view that it should have been a surprise or not.
Again, I don't.
But Mehdi's deliberately distorting Donald.
And don't applaud that.
Even if you're a Hillary Clinton supporter, don't applaud that.
Mehdi did that for Bully Boy Bush throughout BBB's occupancy of the White House.
He would go on THE DIANE REHM SHOW and ridicule opponents to the Iraq War.
So don't think Mehdi lying about someone is a good thing.
He's a suck up who chooses his targets based upon whom the establishment wants to silence.
Staying with the presidential race -- Donald Trump is the Republican Party's nominee for president -- let's zoom in on the Democratic Party's nominee Hillary Clinton:
Ben Norton (SALON) reports that Colin THE BLOT Powell has announced he will be voting for War Hawk Hillary and Powell is one of many Iraq War criminals rushing to support Hillary:
The former senior Bush administration official joins a long list of right-wing leaders who are support Hillary Clinton.
Former president George H.W. Bush, father of the leader under whom Powell served, has also said he is going to vote for Clinton.
Likewise, former vice president Dick Cheney heaped praise on Clinton in a 2011 Fox News interview. He said the then-secretary of state was “one of the more competent members of the current administration,” adding that “it would be interesting to speculate about how she might perform were she to be president.”
Cheney stopped short of endorsing Clinton and appears to have said little about her in this election. Salon sent Cheney multiple requests for comment but did not receive a reply.
Clinton also had a warm relationship with Robert Gates, a former secretary of defense in George W. Bush’s administration and later for Obama’s. Gates admiringly called Clinton a “tough lady” who shared his hawkish politics and “was someone he could do business with,” the Times reported.
Neoconservative war hawks like Robert Kagan, Max Boot and James Kirchick have similarly endorsed Clinton, applauding her foreign policy views.
As Bully Boy Bush might say, that's her base.
Meanwhile Jill Stein is running for president on the Green Party ticket and Gary Johnson is running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket.
Presidential candidate Jill Stein notes:
Why has debt ballooned? Reckless wars for oil. Tax cuts for the rich. Economic meltdown. Caused by both Dems + GOP. #InvestYourVote
Stein is running on a peace platform, yes, but also a common sense one.
Meanwhile, the US Defense Dept announced this morning:
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted eight strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Haditha, one strike destroyed an ISIL trench system.
-- Near Kisik, one strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.
-- Near Mosul, three strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units and a mortar system and destroyed seven vehicles, seven tunnels, seven mortar systems, four fighting positions, four supply caches, three staging areas, three ISIL-held buildings, a communications facility and a vehicle bomb.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, three strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units and destroyed six vehicles, two buildings, a weapons system and a front-end loader.
Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.
The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated: