Saturday, December 17, 2016


Forest Whitaker appears to be winking in his role in ROUGE ONE and that may be why he's about the only one who doesn't have egg on his face by the end of this film.

Peter Finch is 'in' it.  He died decades ago.  But they've felt they can bring him back with CGI and 'create' a perforance for him.

I find that disgusting.

I find it even more disgusting that all the thought and care in the film was put into that special effect.

This film will make billions.

But it's worthless.

The original STAR WARS trilogy was not heavy on great storyline -- it was a basic good versus evil -- so generic that you could see whatever you wanted in it.

But what it did have was characters.

While Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are certainly actors I don't think anyone pretends anymore that Mark Hamil has any real talent.

I say that not to be mean, but to explain that a basic plot was enlivened by the writing of real characters.

That ceases to be the case with every film after the original three.

And now it's at it's all time low.

Last go round, you may remember, is when the franchise decided it was time to create a main character who was Black.

Apparently, a bi-racial president in the White House (Barack)  forced them to realize that a universe had to include more than just Landou as a person of color.

This go round maybe they were anticipating the election of Hillary as president and that's why they created a young woman who didn't just get kidnapped?

I hope that's the case.

As crass as that would be, it's much better than being a HUNGER GAMES rip-off -- which, for the record, is what the film feels like all too often.

I'm not a Jennifer Lawrence fan.

I feel she's highly overrated and was awful as Rogue in THE X-MEN films.

But I don't deny that she carried the HG franchise and brought just about the only life to the film (Woody Harrelson also did well in the franchise). 

HG needed a Jennifer Lawrence to carry it.

ROGUE ONE needs a Jennifer Lawrence.

Instead they got 33-year-old Felicity Jones whose at least a decade too old for the part (do the math, the filmmakers forget to) and looks about 15 years too old for the part.

And she's awful.

Yes, the script is a piece of crap.

So was the one to THE HUNGER GAMES.

Jennifer Lawrence made it make sense with the force of her personality.

Felicity Jones has no personality.

It's like watching Julia Ormond in SABRINA (or any film, for that matter) and wondering how the hell this dishrag got cast in a leading role?

When she's not sleepwalking through the part, she seems to feel the need to try to put every single emotion into a scene to make up for her zombie like performance in the others.

There is no consistency to her performance.

She's awful.

The script's awful.

The film's awful.

Bring back the Jedis!!!!

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, December 16, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the Mosul slog continues, US troops remain in Iraq, there's still no political solution, and much more.

The liberation or 'liberation' of Mosul continues.

Another press briefing by the US State Dept took place yesterday and Iraq was ignored as usual while the obsession over Syria continued.

Iraq: Two Months into Mosul Operations, Over 96,800 Iraqis Displaced

  1. Iraqi Sunnis refugees استمرار العوائل السنيه العراقيه من الموصل بخطه الحشد الشيعي تحت امرة الصفوي بصمت عالمي

Iraqi Sunnis civilians fled from due war

Over 3 million people are displaced in . We're reaching hundreds of thousands with food, water & essential aid, but we want to do more.

Bill Van Auken (WSWS) notes the US government's outrage over Syria contrasted with the US-led mission in Iraq:

The hypocrisy of the US denunciations of the brutal methods employed by the Syrian government and its allies in eastern Aleppo has been underscored by the unfolding of a similarly savage siege being directed by the Pentagon against the far larger urban population of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. As many as 1.5 million people still live in that metropolitan area, which the Iraqi army surrendered to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in June 2014.
With the US-backed offensive against Mosul now nearly two months old, conditions for the city’s residents are growing increasingly desperate, while the number of civilians killed continues to mount.
Scattered reports from media in the region provide a glimpse of the carnage unfolding in Mosul. Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported that an entire family of nine was wiped out on Tuesday in a US drone missile strike against a house in Mosul’s al-Falah district. “Nine family members were killed in the attack,” an Iraqi police officer told the agency.
And The New Arab (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed) reported Thursday: “At least 40 civilians have been killed including women and children and dozens of others injured in air raids and artillery fire in the east of the Islamic State group [IS] bastion of Mosul, local and medical sources have said. The civilians were killed early on Wednesday with many of the injured still trapped under rubble...”

While similar accounts of human suffering in Aleppo have received non-stop coverage in the Western media amid official denunciations of Syria and Russia, reports of the slaughter in Mosul have been effectively blacked out.

  1. Iraqi army crimes عاجل ستشهاد الطفله العراقيه السنيه شمس عمر بقصف الحشد الشيعي الارهابي على الموصل ودفنت مع عائلتها بحديقه منزلهم

Little Angel Shams Omar Iraqi Sunni child killed by Iraqi army Airstrikes on

And Mosul's not winding down.

For those who have forgotten, US President Barack Obama planned on Mosul being his "October Surprise" that would deliver the 2016 election to Hillary Clinton.

Didn't work out quite the way you wanted
How were you to know
Boom town broke down
What a let down
Where did the mountain go?
-- "Chalice Borealis," written by Carole King and Rick Sorensen, first appears on Carole's SPEEDING TIME

Still the slog continues.

And it is a slog.  Despite CNN's 'objective' 'reporter' Elise Labott scream "NO!" in the middle of a press conference in October when a reporter referred to the Mosul operation as a slog.

It's day 60 of the slog.

No end in sight and no plan for what happens after.

Dominic Dudley (FORBES) notes:

Others in Iraq and outside warn that a military defeat will only bring a pause in the phenomenon of Sunni protest and insurgency in Iraq, unless it is accompanied by meaningful political and economic change.
“ISIS did not fill a security vacuum in the country, it filled a political one, where Sunnis in Iraq felt so disenfranchised that they welcomed ISIS with open arms,” said Qubad Talabani, deputy prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), speaking at the Chatham House think-tank in London on December 7.

“Iraqi forces will never be able to hold territory taken from ISIS unless the military track is quickly accompanied by a political track, one that addresses the core Sunni grievances… If, after a military victory is declared, Iraq goes back to business as usual and the world's attention to Iraq dissipates, you can be sure that another bloody insurgency will arise within the Sunni areas of Iraq. Yes, we expect ISIS 2.0 to rear its ugly head.”

Mark Perry (POLITICO) adds, "Centcom commander Army Gen. Joseph Votel, picked to head up Centcom by President Barack Obama because of his special operations expertise, believes the outlook is dark, this same Pentagon intelligence officer told me, and likely to get darker, with the country heading inexorably toward a civil war."

In this week's "The Jihadi Threat: ISIS, Al Qaeda and Beyond," the United Institute for Peace (primary author with assist from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars) explains:

Terrorism is an inherently political form of violence. Counterterrorism is therefore an inherently political endeavor as well. Any counterterrorism program should be sensitive to public opinion at home, in the theater of terror, and in the wider world. Marginalizing extremism requires creating a political environment in which jihadism has less and less appeal over time. In Iraq, for example, the military has made major headway against ISIS, but the government has not brokered a basic power- sharing agreement among the country's diverse Sunni, Shiite, Kurdish, and other communities in the thirteen years since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The military campaign has repeatedly been out of sync with a political resolution. The success of the military surge in 2007 that marginalized al Qaeda in Iraq was followed by a botched political program that only further alienated Sunnis and led to the emergence of a reinvigorated ISIS. Creating stability ultimately requires political and military simultaneity.


And Barack even agreed at one point.  It was June 19, 2014 when he publicly declared the only solution to Iraq's political crises was a political issue.

Instead, he used US money and time to weaponize Iraq with bombings and with guns and fighter planes and even more training.

From the November 6, 2014 snapshot:

Training isn't the issue.

A government worth fighting for is what's needed and what Baghdad has failed to provide Iraqis with.

Hundreds of thousands of foreign troops -- US, UK, etc -- had to spend years on the ground to give the government a chance to do something, a chance to prove it was legitimate.

It failed repeatedly.

Now Barack's making the same mistake Bully Boy Bush made.  Time and again, the focus was going to be political.  The 'surge'?  Remember that failed effort?

Bully Boy Bush said the increased number of US troops sent into Iraq would provide the Iraqi government with space to work towards political solutions.

But it never happened.

The 'surge' was a failure.

Not because of the US military.  The military did all it was asked.

But it did that, in Bully Boy Bush's own words, to create a space for Iraqi politicians to move forward on issues facing the country.

Barack has wasted over a half billion dollars bombing since August 8th and there's nothing to show for it.

Even more money wasted now and there's still no political solution.

Obama pulled troops from Iraq five years ago. They're still there

Five years after Barack Obama withdrew US Troops from Iraq, thousands remain

Harriet Agerholm (INDEPENDENT) observes:

The number of US troops has increased in recent months in anticipation of an attempt to seize the city of Mosul from Isis. The city in nothern Iraq is the group's last major stronghold in the country.
The US has ploughed $10bn (£8bn) into the intervention since it returned to the country to fight the terror group and outgoing US secretary of defense Ash Carter said earlier in this month that it was “certainly possible” that Mosul could fall before Donald Trump enters the White House on 20 January. 

But the deputy commander of the US coalition in the region, Major General Rupert Jones, has called for “patience”, saying more time was needed to minimise the danger to civilians.

US forces remain in Iraq.

The war didn't end.

Elected to end the Iraq War in 2008 and here we are in 2016 with the Iraq War still going.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- UPDATED:

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