Thursday, July 03, 2014

The always abdicating US Congress

Why has US President Barack Obama refused to put forward a concrete list of actions for how the US can 'help' Iraq?

CNN reports, "The poll also indicates that most say it's not in the national interest to get involved in the fighting in Iraq and oppose sending U.S. ground troops to help the Iraqi government, which is trying to hault an aggressive drive by radical Sunni militants who have captured city after city in northern and central Iraq as they march towards Baghdad."

And that's why Barack continues to avoid presenting a plan to the American people.

At Global Public Square (CNN), Fareed Zakaria answers questions about Iraq:

The U.S. military advisers who are in Iraq, we are told they're going to make recommendations in the next few days about what they need after they've gathered intelligence. If the military recommends to the White House that they need more than the few hundred troops that the president has already authorized, does  this become an issue that President Obama is not able to untangle? Is he going to be able to sell more troops in Iraq to Congress and to the public?

[Fareed Zakaria:] Well, I hope he doesn't go down that route because the problem here isn’t that the Iraqi government doesn't have troops and fire power – the Iraqi government has between its security forces and army something in the range of 650,000 soldiers or people under arms. It has a defense budget around $17 billion. It’s trying to defend itself against a few thousand lightly armed insurgents.
The problem is that the insurgents have the sympathy of the public in these areas, in these Sunni areas. We've seen this movie before. This happened in 2007 and 2008, and with 140,000 troops, General Petraeus still said the only solution was political. You had to reach out to the Sunnis, to the tribes, you had to divide the Sunnis so they could stop supporting groups like al Qaeda. That's the same solution here, and if Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki isn't willing to do it, sending in a few hundred more American advisers or a few thousand more American troops is certainly not going to solve the problem.

The title of the CNN piece is "We've seen this Iraq movie before."  And we have.  We've got an Oval Office occupant refusing to tell the country the truth about Iraq.  We've got a Congress refusing to do its job.

The Congress is especially disappointing.  A bunch of cowards in 2002 and they're not any braver in 2014.  Senator Barbara Braggart Boxer?  Oh, she's fine with whatever Barack wants.  She's fine with 'counter-terrorism' operations by US soldiers.  She's fine with everything but 'combat.'

What the hell does that elderly fool think 'counter-terrorism' operations are?

Barbara Boxer is a disgrace.

The Congress has yet again abdicated their role.

Blame  Baraba Lee as well.

The woman who lies repeatedly in a book she put her name to (her autobiography was ghost written) -- it's a clever, little story, it's just not true -- lies about everything.  Including her pose in the '00s as a person for peace.

No, she just hated Bully Boy Bush.

Each year of Barack's presidency, she's offered the country, "If that rascal Barack doesn't pull  US troops out of Afghanistan soon, I'm going to do something, rally or propose a bill or maybe just get a decent haircut -- one that fits my face and my age."

Instead she does nothing.

And year after year, she wants this war legislation repealed or that one but she never makes it happen.

She's a useless piece of trash.

Give her a Republican in the White House -- or give Barbara Boxer one -- and suddenly they're full of answers and rage and they want to save the people being attacked.  But put a Democrat in the White House and they can't do a damn thing except roll over on their backs and whimper.

They're disgusting.

When they were the minority in the House and the majority in the Senate (2002), they couldn't stop the authorization of the Iraq War from passing.

Because they're little infants unable to stand on their own.

That's the reality.

They refuse to stand up.

They refuse to be counted.

They're voted into office and they refuse to use their power.

Former Senator Mike Gravel repeatedly pointed out -- in 2007 when Dems took control of both houses of Congress -- how the Iraq War could be immediately ended.  But they didn't want to end the war.

And now they refuse to do their job, they refuse to question, they refuse to demand answers.

They're willing to yet again put US lives at risk.

Iraqi lives?

Grow the hell up if you're still kidding yourself that the US Congress ever gave damn about Iraqi lives.  Ted Kennedy did and he was about it.  Otherwise, the Congress doesn't care.  If they cared, they would have gone after Nouri in 2013 when he was attacking protesters.  Like the White House, they looked the other way on Nouri and each year Nouri became worse.

They don't offer an apology to the Iraqi people.

They didn't even give a damn when Nouri was targeting gays and lesbians in Iraq.  Even with some outrcry from the US LGBTQ community, the Congress didn't care and if it wasn't for the fact that there were a few openly gay members of Congress, they wouldn't have even managed their 'open letter' to Barack.

Grasp that Nouri targeted -- and did so publicly -- gays and lesbians (and those straights perceived to be gay), targeted them for death and all the US Congress managed to 'do' was pen an open letter to the White House.

That's it.

They're a craven and cowardly group.

So forget Iraqi lives because you're not going to convert the Congress and make them suddenly care.

But US lives?

Do they care?

Barbara Lee doesn't.  That liar is fine and dandy with US service members dying overseas as long as they die with Barack as their commander-in-chief.

Yes, Senator Tim Kaine and Senator Joe Manchin are raising serious questions.

But they're the exceptions.  Barbara Boxer's more worried  whether Rhea Pearlman will invite her back into her home than Boxer is worried about whether US service members are going to die in Iraq.

2002 was not some exceptional moment, it was the new normal for the Democratic Party.  They'd go along with anything if it meant that they could enrich themselves.

Barbara Boxer will be remembered as the foolish idiot who thought she could (co)write books.  She can't.  She has no talent at all.  She has no literary voice.  She lacks the ability to offer perspective.  She's not only no Edith Wharton, she's also not even a Jackie Collins.  A Boxer book is a snooze-fest that goes nowhere -- sort of like a Senator Boxer.

Barack keeps insisting there is no "mission creep" for Iraq.  Which is how you know there will be.

To quote Hamlet, The lady doth protest too much.

And when that happens, a few members of Congress may wake from their self-induced slumber and get all self-righteous about how-the-hell-did-this-happen?

It happened because you didn't do your damn jobs.

A Congress that confuses public office with goody bags of self-enrichment will always fail the people.

Barack's being dishonest about what's going on Iraq.  That's reality.

But when it's time to apportion blame, it's also true that the Congress is abdicating their role -- again.

They are as responsible -- Democrats and Republicans -- as Bully Boy Bush for starting the Iraq War.  They will be as responsible for Barack's mission as well.

And Socialists.  Don't forget Bernie Sanders.  Big brave Socialist who can't even call out the latest round of US troops sent into Iraq.   Bernie who couldn't even stand up to the VA as it victimized and harmed veterans.

Note: There will be an Iraq snapshot today. Tomorrow is a US holiday (Fourth of July).  I will put up content here.  I most likely will not do a snapshot.  Doing a snapshot means everyone feels compelled to post in the community.  So short of some major news -- Nouri caught raping a small child -- there will not be a snapshot.  Saturday and Sunday will be the usual here.  Monday, the snapshot will return.

The following community sites -- plus Susan's On the Edge and the Guardian -- updated:


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