Saturday, September 16, 2017


I saw MOTHER! by myself.

No family member wanted to go.  My girlfriend had already bailed over Jennifer Lawrence's comments that Trump voters deserved the hurricane.  My friends tend to be MARVEL friends and we all know Jennifer Lawrence has destroyed Rogue -- taken a strong and fun villain and turned her into a giant sad sack of used tissues.

[Added: This wasn't up five minutes until my friend Marcus called to say, "You meant to say Mystique!"  Yes, Lawrence has destroyed Mystique.  My bad.]

So I saw it by myself.

There were about 20 people in the theater (everyone was still going to IT apparently).

People were booing and walking out.

Don't go see it now.

Lawrence has angered too many people.

Wait for it on video.

Darren Aronfksy directed a challenging film and, at times, a baffling film.

I didn't walk out and stayed until the end.

I thought most of it was memorable and original.

The weak part is Jennifer Lawrence.

I don't just mean her promotion for the film -- but that should register and no studio should hire her without explaining that promoting a film means not attacking victims of natural disasters.

She's also physically wrong for the film.

She's a Hershey Kiss when she should be a Twizzler.

She's all that's wrong with the film.

Her acting choices don't appear inspired -- more paint by the number as though she were busy throughout filming with something else.

But the other actors?

They get the material and they bring it to life.

I would argue Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer deserve supporting acting nods at the Oscars for their work here.

It is scary and probably a lot scarier if you're not interrupted by people walking past you as they walk out on the film.

That's another reason to wait for video.

I have a feeling there is no second week for this film -- box office wise.

If that's true, the blame goes to Jennifer Lawrence who doesn't commit to the film in terms of acting and whose concept of promoting it was a disaster.

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

Friday, September 15, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, yet even when the topic opens a press briefing the press isn't interested.

.: We condemn in the strongest terms the barbaric terrorist attacks that took place in Nassiriya, .
Spokesperson Nauert Condemns Terrorist Attack in Iraq
Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert addresses reporters at the Department Press Briefing on September 14, 2017. - U.S. Department of State

Heather Nauert kicked off the press briefing with Iraq:

I’d like to start out today by mentioning the terror attack that took place – got a little bit of an echo in here – terror attack that took place in Iraq, and we’d like to condemn that in the strongest possible terms, the barbaric attacks that took place in Nasiriyah, Iraq. They’ve been claimed by ISIS – the attacks have. The brutal attacks demonstrate, once again, the savagery of the enemy that so many of our nations face. We want to extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and hope for a speedy recovery for those who’ve been wounded. The attacks are a reminder that all Iraqis must remain focused on defeating ISIS. The U.S. reaffirms its commitment to support the government and the people of Iraq in their struggle against ISIS. 

Betsy Woodruff of THE DAILY BEAST would bring up Iraq but first the reporters would work their own agendas (on Iran) while ignoring the ongoing war as they do every press briefing.

MS NAUERT: Of course not. Of course not.
Okay, let’s move on. Betsy, go right ahead.

QUESTION: Yeah. My publication, Daily Beast, and others, including Fox News, have reported that there’s a U.S. citizen who traveled to Syria, was fighting there along ISIS – alongside ISIS – when he was apprehended by the Kurds and handed over to the U.S. military. My question is: Is he currently in Syria or Iraq, and has the Red Cross had access to him? Do you have any information about just where he is?

MS NAUERT: So I don’t have a lot for you. I can tell you that we’re aware of that report that a U.S. citizen was detained. Beyond that, I just don’t have any specifics on that. Let me check to see if I have anything additional, but I don’t. This is early on. We just learned about this issue a couple hours ago – to my awareness, at least – and I believe that that is all we have.

QUESTION: Well, it seems that he surrendered to Kurdish elements of the SDF in Syria.


QUESTION: Are you saying you don’t know, or you can’t say because of privacy --

MS NAUERT: Look, we don’t have a lot of information on that. That is what is being reported; that is what somebody said. I just can’t – I can’t confirm that.
Go ahead.

QUESTION: But the DOD statement that they initially gave us said that we needed to ask the Government of Iraq about it. Is there – do you have any information on who --

MS NAUERT: That who would ask the Government of Iraq about it?

QUESTION: That our publication, when we were reporting this out --


QUESTION: We reached out to CENTCOM and they said we – they said they were deferring to the DOJ and the Government of Iraq. Just from your post at the State Department, do you have any sense of why the Government of Iraq could be involved in this issue with a U.S. citizen fighting with ISIS in Syria?

MS NAUERT: I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know. Look, perhaps the Government of Iraq – I mean, this is a hypothetical in a sense, in that perhaps the Government of Iraq has him. I don’t know where this man is. I can only tell you that we are aware of reports that a U.S. citizen was fighting for some sort of a terror group. Whether it was ISIS or not, I do not know.
It serves as a good reminder that in a nation of 330-some million people, some people will be dumb enough to go to Iraq and Syria to try to fight for ISIS. We encourage people not to do that. As the U.S. Government, we say don’t go do that. I mean, you can’t be very bright if you’re going to go over there and do that. Beyond that, I just have no information. Okay.

QUESTION: Can I – just one more thing on this? The CENTCOM statement, the most recent one, says, “The coalition defers questions pertaining to captured ISIS fighters to their relative nations’ departments of state or equivalent agencies.” And --

MS NAUERT: I’d say thanks, DOD.

QUESTION: Yeah. And they’ve been --

MS NAUERT: I don’t have any information for you.

QUESTION: And in fact – and in fact, the Pentagon – it’s not just CENTCOM in Baghdad or wherever.


QUESTION: It’s also the Pentagon.


QUESTION: Everyone’s throwing this to you guys and --

MS NAUERT: We don’t have any information on this.

QUESTION: Well, then call them out right now and say, “Stop referring questions to the State Department.”

MS NAUERT: (Laughter.) Thanks, DOD. Stop referring questions --

QUESTION: There we go, okay.

MS NAUERT: -- to the State Department when we don’t have any information --

QUESTION: Thank you.

MS NAUERT: -- about who this person was. But it is a good opportunity to remind American citizens, do not go to Iraq or Syria. It is not safe. And if you go there to Iraq and Syria, very bad things could happen to you. Leave it at that.

QUESTION: Can we stay with Iraq?

MS NAUERT: Okay. Anything else on that?

QUESTION: Just because you don’t have any information on it, does that lead us to believe that --

MS NAUERT: Guys --

QUESTION: -- the U.S. Government doesn’t actually have this person in custody and that --

MS NAUERT: I don’t know. Look, I don’t have any information about this. Okay? This is getting to be a bit much now. When I tell you I don’t have any information about it, I am telling you I don’t have any information about it.

QUESTION: But I’m just asking if – if you did have someone, would Consular Affairs make us aware, or is that something that you guys wouldn’t necessarily --

MS NAUERT: I don’t know the answer. I don’t know the answer to that.


MS NAUERT: I’d have to check on that.

QUESTION: Stay on Iraq?


QUESTION: Today, the president’s office of the northern – the KRG, the --


QUESTION: -- the Kurdistan Region – issued a statement that he’s looking at alternatives as a result of his meeting with Mr. McGurk and a high-level UK person.

MS NAUERT: He’s looking at alternatives to what?

QUESTION: To the – to the referendum that is scheduled for the 25 of this month.


QUESTION: Okay. So I would – could you share with us if you have any idea as to what that alternative might be to the referendum which would conceivably result in an independent Kurdistan?

MS NAUERT: Yeah. I’m not aware of that. I believe that Brett McGurk is still over there in the region, and I’m just not aware of what meetings he had and what came up in those conversations. But the U.S. Government, as we have told you, we don’t support the planned Kurdish referendum on September 25th because we feel that that takes the eye off the ball of ISIS and that we should all remain focused on ISIS. And when I topped at the beginning of this briefing with that most recent attack that took place in Nineveh province, that’s a good reminder why we can’t take our eye off the ball, which is ISIS.

QUESTION: Well, the Kurds are hoping that even if they have a referendum and you are --


QUESTION: -- opposed to it, once they go ahead with statehood that you’ll be the first to recognize them. Could you give us – I mean, is your position firm on this non-support of --

MS NAUERT: Our position is firm that we don’t support this referendum at this time. We do not support the referendum on Kurdish independence at the time because of ISIS. Okay. 

To recap.

At State Dept briefing, Heather Nauert says DOD should stop referring q's on our story to State bc they don't know

2) The attacks were noted.   Reuters  reports,  "Three suicide attacks claimed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) killed at least 60 people in southern Iraq on Thursday, a health official and police sources said, suggesting a shift in the ultra-hardline group’s tactics since it lost control of its stronghold in Mosul."  G.H. Renaud (KURDISTAN 24) adds, "Iraqi authorities confirmed over 100 people had been killed and wounded in a twin attack in southern Iraq on Thursday.  Following the violence, the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for a third attack which has yet to be confirmed by officials."  An attack that leaves over one-hundred dead and the State Dept press corps can't be bothered to ask even one question about it.

2) The White House is against Kurdish independence.

The time is not right currently.

It needs to wait for another day, some other day.

That's been the same regardless of who occupied the Oval Office.

Bernhard-Henri Levy (FOREIGN POLICY) offers:

It is said the referendum will distract attention from the common fight against the Islamic State and interfere with the Iraqi elections scheduled for next year. But everyone knows, except when they choose not to admit it, that the military part of the battle ended with the fall of Mosul, thanks largely to the Kurds themselves. Moreover, who can guarantee that the Iraqi national elections will take place as scheduled rather than being adjourned, just as we are asking the Kurds to adjourn theirs?
An independent Kurdistan, the commentators continue, would imperil regional stability. As if Syria, mired in war; Iran, with its revived imperial ambitions; and decomposing Iraq, that artificial creation of the British, are not dangers far greater than little Kurdistan, a secular and democratic friend of the West with an elected parliament and free press!
Independence, the talking heads insist, would threaten the territorial integrity of the four nations — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey — across which the Kurdish nation is spread. It is as if these voices are unaware that the present referendum concerns only the Kurds of Iraq, who have no ambition to form a greater Kurdistan with their “brothers” and “sisters” in Turkey and Syria, whose crypto-Marxist leadership is ideologically incompatible with that of the Iraqi Kurds.

But what about the reaction of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, one asks? What about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s reported threat to cut the pipelines that connect Iraqi Kurdistan to the rest of the world? I do not believe that it is the role of the West to act as a press agent for two dictatorships that detest us, nor do I see why the blackmailing of one’s neighbors should be condemned when practiced by Pyongyang but facilitated when it comes to Tehran or Ankara.
Sadly, however, no argument is too feeble to be used to justify our request to “delay.” It feels like an Orwellian nightmare, or a festival of bad faith, in which all arguments are turned into their opposites.

When is the good time?

It's like the good time for the US to end the Iraq War: When the US-installed government is no longer on shaky ground.

And when will that be?

The US-installed government is not popular and will never be.

The US government needs to stop injecting itself into Iraq.  Self-determination is what can allow a person to support a government.

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan -- updated:

  • iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq Iraq

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