As Iraq devolves into a multi-party civil war, President Obama has moved one step closer to sending military forces back into the country. Yet the White House has not clearly explained what the proposed contingent of 300 special operations troops would actually do, other than some vague talk about advising their Iraqi counterparts. Veterans of the special operations community spoke with The Daily Beast about what the operation would likely entail and expressed their skepticism about how much it could accomplish.
Asked if he believed sending the small military force into Iraq was a good thing, a special operations veteran and former CIA officer said, “It’s not a good thing or a bad thing, it’s a no thing. These guys are being given an impossible mission. What are they going to do? Host a dinner party? It’s 300 guys to stop ISIS from taking over Baghdad.”
On Monday, as reports spread that ISIS had captured border crossing points along the length of Iraq’s western frontier, the Obama administration cleared the most significant obstacle to sending the U.S. military to Iraq. The White House announced a diplomatic agreement providing immunity for U.S. forces from prosecution under Iraqi law. It now seems like only a matter of time before the planned 300 special operations troops arrive in Iraq. But what they will do there is an open question.
We noted the plan was murky at best. And it's not a plan worth having. The US shouldn't be in Iraq.
It's a sentiment many share. Gary Langer (ABC News) reports on a new ABC News - Washington Post poll. "Two-thirds oppose sending ground troops to fight the Sunni insurgents in Iraq" and 52% of those surveyed disapproved of Barack's methods of addressing the issue of Iraq (the poll has a 3.5% margin of error). Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus (CBS News) report on another poll, a CBS News - New York Times poll, which finds only 18% of those surveyed feel the Iraq War was 'woth it' (75% say it was not worth it) and:
When Americans are asked about a range of military options in Iraq, there is support for some actions, but not others. A slim majority of Americans (51 percent) favor sending military advisers into Iraq to train and advise the Iraqi military and collect intelligence, which President Obama has proposed. Forty-two percent oppose it. There is bipartisan support for this plan.
Secretary of State John Kerry visited Erbil today -- part of the problem, hold on we'll come back to it. Mark Tran (Guardian) reports:
John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has urged Kurdish leaders to stand with Baghdad as fighting continued for control of Iraq's largest oil refinery at Baiji.
Kerry flew to the Kurdish region on an emergency trip through the Middle East amid fears that Iraq faces disintegration under the onslaught by Islamist militants – the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) – backed by disgruntled Sunni tribes.
The problem with visiting Erbil today?
Kerry visited Baghdad yesterday.
The US government repeatedly counts on the Kurds to smooth over, to compromise, to go along, etc. And it rewards the Kurds how? By making them the last item on the itinerary time after time.
Prior to today's visit with KRG President Massoud Barazni (he and Kerry are picture in the photo earlier), Alsumaria reports Barzani stated he intended to broach the topic of a fully independent KRG with Kerry (currently, the KRG is only semi-autonomous).
That's actually the least of the US government's problems, though.
Jaime Dettmer (Daily Beast) reports the White House had months of warnings about ISIS and the warnings were ignored. And who's talking about this? Dettmer reports:
The prime minister of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Nechirvan Barzani, says he warned Baghdad and the United States months ago about the threat ISIS posed to Iraq and the group’s plan to launch an insurgency across Iraq. The Kurds even offered to participate in a joint military operation with Baghdad against the jihadists.
Washington didn’t respond—a claim that will fuel Republican charges that the Obama administration has been dangerously disengaged from the Middle East. Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki dismissed the warnings, saying everything was under control.
The Kurds’ intelligence head, Lahur Talabani, says he handed Washington and London detailed reports about the unfolding threat. The warnings “fell on deaf ears,” he says.
Again, not a good idea to short change the ones you depend on.
See, Fat Ass Jalal Talabani? He took himself out. He got his arteries cleaned in the US regularly but refused to modify his diet or lose weight. And the only workout he ever got was moving when the US yelled "Dance, monkey, dance!"
December 2012, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke. The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 following Jalal's argument with Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot). Jalal was admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital. Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany. He remains in Germany currently.
They're not dealing with Jalal anymore. The US government's dealing with the Barzani family and they've refused to sell out the Kurdish dreams. We may go over this in the snapshot today.
But the Barzanis aren't going to play second fiddle over and over and how stupid of the White House not to grasp the change in power that took place following Jalal's stroke. How deeply stupid.
On violence, Alsumaria reports 2 corpses were discovered dumped in Muqdadiya, security forces bombed Baiji and state they killed 19 people, a Yathrib battle has left 13 rebels dead, and Nouri's ofice states it killed 24 suspects and left ten more injured in Anbar. All Iraq News notes security forces say they killed 13 suspects in southern Tikrit with 40 more killed by aerial bombings.
The following community sites plus McClatchy Newspapers and ACLU -- updated:
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national iraqi news agency
iraq body count
the daily beast
chelsea j. carter
jennifer de pinto