Monday, August 14, 2017


KIDNAP is not a classic.  It's also not a bomb.

Halle Berry is very effective in the role -- she should consider more parts like this.

What the movie leaves you with is that for all the efforts to turn this actress or that actress into a superhero or action film star, Halle is natural in that role.

A lot of actors need talky to be effective.

Halle can convey more with a look than most can with 5 pages of dialogue.

I could see her, for example, as the lead in a movie like THE QUICK & THE DEAD.  She could do Clint Eastwood type roles.

It's a shame we're all sick of dystopian tales -- so overdone -- because she could be a rouge leading a group of children to utopia.  She has a presence that is haunting when it's used effectively.

I enjoyed KIDNAP for Halle's performance but also for the staging of the chase scenes.

I would recommend you see it.

Let's note also that five US troops were injured Sunday in Iraq and two more died.

That's big news but, as C.I. notes in today's snapshot, very few are registering it.

I was opposed to the Iraq War under Bully Boy Bush, I was opposed to it under Barack Obama and I'm opposed to it under Donald Trump.

We thought, in 2007, we were ending the Iraq War.

We were so wrong.

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

Monday, August 14, 2017.  How do you note the death of 2 US service members in Iraq?  If you're a reporter for THE NEW YORK TIMES or most members of the US Congress, you do it with silence.

Yesterday, it was announced two US service members had died in Iraq and five more were injured.

Say a little prayer till they all get home
Say a little prayer till they all get home
I knew when we woke up
You would be leaving
You knew when you left me
It might be too long
That kiss on your shoulder
It's me looking over
Close to your heart
So you're never alone
Say a little prayer till they all get home
Say a little prayer till they all get home

-- "Till They All Get Home," written by Melanie (Safka) and first appears on Melanie's CRAZY LOVE

CENTCOM: Two U.S. service members were killed and five injured conducting combat operations in northern Iraq, Aug. 13, 2017.

Jake Tapper wasn't the only one in the media noting the dead and the injured.

US military says 2 American soldiers killed in Iraq
2 U.S. soldiers killed during operations in Iraq

Interestingly, although Tweeting six hours after Jake Tapper about pompously "sitting in Iraq," THE NEW YORK TIMES' new Judith Miller (Rukmini Callimachi) didn't say a word about the deaths or the injured.

She's paid to cover Iraq but she can't Tweet about it?

My thoughts are with the families of the service members killed in Iraq today.

US House Rep Beto O'Rourke could -- and did.

Good for Beto, as Alicia sings, "Nobody ever shut it down like you."

What of the cowardly posers?

Babsie Lee, I mean your fake ass.  Didn't Tweet about the deaths did you?  Nor you, "Auntie" Maxie.
What a bunch of fake asses.  They used the Iraq War, railed against it and then fell silent when it won the party the White House.

The queen of all fake asses, my US House Rep, Nancy Pelosi had not a word for Twitter either.  But, Nancy, we'll note you more later this week.

Also strangely silent?  My own US senator, Dianne Feinstein, couldn't Tweet one word about the loss.

But then, why would she?  Iraq's been a huge moneymaker for her:

Senator Dianne Feinstein voted to let Bush invade Iraq her husband is now raking in millions in military contracts for his company Perini.

Guess voting for the Iraq War paid off pretty good for the Feinstein family.

Back to THE TIMES, also Tweeting about Charlottesville but not Iraq?

THE NEW YORK TIMES' "Baghdad Bureau Chief" Tim Arango.  I was nice and stayed out of it over Tim's recent piece that he was slammed for.  It's a decision I can revisit at any time.  I noticed, for example, those who felt Tim played fast and loose with the facts in that latest piece of writing were unaware of the smackdown he received from a public editor -- even though it fit the narrative.  Tying that moment in would make for media criticism and not just complaining -- complaining is what FAIR and others did -- apparently unable to do the work required.

Tim, you can always go back to the soft feature writing if you're not up for the task of reporting.

But, for future deaths of US service members in Iraq?  If you're the Baghad Bureau Chief, you get off your candy ass and you Tweet about it.

Your failure to do so is highly disappointing.

I'm sorry, Tim, that doing your job is too hard for you.  I'm sorry that you're bored with the Iraq War -- unless you can find an Iran angle.

But, check, you'll see, the war is still going on and people are still dying and no one needs your reTweeting about a US event -- and that's before you start reTweeting the whack job who was hurried out of THE NEW YORK TIMES because he was surfing online for underage male porn stars.

Can someone explain why today's NEW YORK TIMES carries this AP story?

The paper is paying Tim and Rukmini to cover Iraq but they have to run an AP report on the deaths of 2 US troops because Tim and Rukmini are too busy -- in Iraq -- Tweeting about Charlottesville to do their damn job?

I'm sure I'm not the only media observer who remembers THE NEW YORK TIMES selling the Iraq War -- beginning with a front page October 2001 report falsely linking Iraq to the 9/11 attacks.  Having sold the damn war, they're obligated to cover it -- including the deaths in Iraq.

They have blood on their hands and running an AP story that they bury on page six of the main section doesn't wash that blood away.

Marilia Brocchetto and Diane Rugiero (CNN) observe:

Close to 5,000 US troops are currently aiding in the fight against ISIS.
A month after Iraq's Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi declared victory over ISIS in Mosul, the coalition continues to aid the Iraqi armed forces fight against ISIS in other towns throughout the country. 

Colin Dwyer (NPR) notes, "As NPR's Lauren Frayer reports, nine Americans involved in the operation have been killed this year, and nearly 50 service members have been wounded since the campaign was launched roughly three years ago."  Chad Garland (STARS AND STRIPES) also reports those figures -- 9 killed this year, 50 wounded in the last three years.  Ray Downs (UPI) notes, "Including Sunday's deaths, the United States' Operation Inherent Resolve against Islamic State has resulted in 43 U.S. soldier fatalities since the mission began in 2014, according to DoD data.  As of June 2, 484 civilians have been killed by U.S.-led coalition strikes during that time."  RT reminds, "In July, a top US commander in Iraq stated that the US troops and coalition forces may stay in Iraq even after Islamic State terrorists are totally defeated. He added that the troop levels are not going to be changed in the near future."

RUDAW adds:

According to a statement from the coalition on the incident, the deaths and injuries were “not due to enemy contact.”

ISIS, however, issued a claim of responsibility, saying in a statement published online that they had fired Grad rockets at US forces in the village of Bewer, east of Tal Afar. 

Kareem Fahim (WASHINGTON POST) reports on the denial of ISIS' claim:

Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and Syria, called the Islamic State claim “false” and said the casualties on Sunday were “not because of enemy fire.” 

An Iraqi military statement issued Monday said the soldiers had been performing a routine inspection of a cannon when a shell inside exploded and that the deaths were not combat-related.

At THE NEW YORK TIMES, their correspondents are silent.  I guess that's better than PRESS TV where the comments left include:

11 hours ago
Great news. The cost of occupation must increase.
15 hours ago
US troops are devilish assassins and terrorists
16 hours ago
Hooray ..... Hopefully many more to follow..... Well done that man...
16 hours ago
Why isn't the U.S saying that the Taliban captured Ghormach district in Badghis province?
17 hours ago
ha ha! Excellent news... well, not really - it's good news... "Excellent" would be many more of these dirty Yanks being killed!!! ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!1
> Maz11 hours ago
You do know why they call them YANKS of course.
18 hours ago
Excellent! USA thugs are on their way to hell!
18 hours ago
18 hours ago
They will not get out of North Iraq or Iraq, North Iraq is FLOATING on oil, US must be driven out by force and against their will..
18 hours ago
Good riddance...more to come

Among the violence being reported today in Iraq, ALSUMARIA notes a Kirkuk attack left 1 police officer dead, and the Ministry of the Interior notes two of their explosive experts died attempting to disable a bomb.

ALSUMARIA also notes that Saleh al-Mutlaq, known for the large, wide yellow streak down his back, has held a ceremony to announce that he is the leader of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front party.

Saleh's suddenly grasped that all the other major players are campaigning and he better hurry up and toss his name out there too.

He's got a lot of miles to go.

Currently getting the most attention?

Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr whose latest trip has been to the UAE.

Iraqi Shi'ite leader visits UAE, strengthening ties with Sunni states

Iraqi Shia cleric Sadr visits after Saudi Arabia#

announced that he ,

New content at THIRD:

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