Sunday, August 17, 2014


US military Colonel Joel Rayburn pens a column for the Washington Post which opens:

Nouri al-Maliki may have agreed to step down as prime minister of Iraq on Thursday, but the damage he has wrought will define his country for decades to come. The stunning collapse of the Iraqi state in its vast northern and western provinces may be Maliki’s most significant legacy. After nine decades as the capital of a unitary, centralized state, Baghdad no longer rules Kurdistan, nor Fallujah, nor Mosul, and might never rule them again.

It's an interesting opinion piece in that the opinion is built on actual facts.  You can agree or disagree with Rayburn but you can't accuse him of failing to nail down the basics in his column.

If only everyone else could say the same.  Susan Milligan turns in soft porn at US News & World Reports entitled "No Other Choice" which insists, "Obama sincerely wants to keep his campaign promise and satisfy an American public exhausted with U.S. involvement in a part of the world where there appears to be no clear way to achieve a permanent peace."

Barack doesn't just want to keep his campaign promises, Milligan insists, he "sincerely wants to."

Keep working that Harlequin Romance, Milligan, just don't expect anyone to believe it.

Milligan describes the Yazidis as "a mainly Kurdish-speaking religious minority."

While some do describe the group that way -- some would include Kurds -- the Yazidis, generally speaking, don't usually describe themselves that way.

Of Nouri, Milligan declares, "He declared in his weekly radio address that staying on – despite overwhelming . . ."


Does Milligan know a damn thing?

Nouri's address is televised.

It does air on radio, but it's televised.

Does Milligan just assume Iraq doesn't have TV resources?

It's moments like those -- and there are so many in Milligan's brief column -- that ensure few will take her seriously.

Patrick J. McDonnell and David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) know about Iraqi TV and can even note it in their piece on how Kurds may now be in control of the dam in Mosul:

In comments to news agencies and on Iraqi television, the officials reported the gains at the Mosul dam, a massive structure on the Tigris River that is a key source of power and water for northern Iraq. Regaining control of the dam would be a major victory for Kurdish authorities, who were embarrassed in early August when Islamic State militants overran the dam and other areas nominally under Kurdish control, forcing a hasty withdrawal of peshmerga forces, as the Kurdish fighters are known.

Meanwhile, Martin Pengelly (Guardian) reports on Barack's ridiculous claim, "In a letter to Congress, outlining the rationale and justification for the strikes, Obama said the integrity of the dam was crucial to the security of the US embassy in Baghdad. The US has consistently cited the security of US personnel in Baghdad as cover for its military operation to support the Kurds."

Susan Milligan would no doubt insist that Barack meant that lie "sincerely."

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4491.

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