Friday, November 14, 2014

Congress doesn't even pretend to be heavily interested in Barack's 'plan'

Months into US President Barack Obama's so-called 'plan' to address the Islamic State, Cassandra Vinograd  (NBC News) reports:

U.S.-led airstrikes have failed to slow the number of ISIS attacks and its defiant militants are now racking up a higher body count than ever before, according to data provided exclusively to NBC News.
Analysis of IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center's (JTIC) database shows the current face — and pace — of the group's battle for Syria and Iraq.
Data showed that ISIS massively stepped up attacks after conquering the Iraqi city of Mosul on June 10 — and has stepped them up further since airstrikes were launched in August. Deaths caused by ISIS also climbed since the key city was overrun and have continued to rise since the U.S.-led coalition started bombing the militants.         

The plan is a failure thus far.

Despite this fact, the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Martin Dempsey, declared at yesterday's House Armed Services Committee,  "There is no change, and there is no different direction."

He also ridiculously insisted, "I think progress purchases patience."  

There is no progress.

And, no, the claims of liberating an oil refinery (in Baiji) from the Islamic State (all over the news this morning) would not constitute progress.

I don't believe Barack sold this latest wave of war on "We must make the oil safe!"  No, but isn't that typical of how the US government aims focus?

Yazidis remain trapped on Mount Sinjar, months after Barack supposedly liberated them, but the 'rescue' of an inanimate object will be sold as 'progress.'

War is hell -- for oil refineries, apparently.

Of yesterday's hearing, Andrew Tilgman (Military Times) offers, "Capitol Hill is growing skeptical of the U.S. military strategy in Iraq that hinges on the Shiite-led Baghdad government's ability to overcome years of sectarian divisions and strife and forge an inclusive government that shares power with Kurdish and Sunni minorities."

Of, if only it were true.

Why didn't we note this, why didn't we note that, why did we quote US House Rep Walter Jones in full -- those are among questions in this morning's e-mail.

Walter Jones spoke with conviction.

We noted him for that reason.

Most of the others?

Not so much.

This was not a marathon hearing.

It ended a little after two hours.

This is a large Committee.



  • Washington Adam Smith, Ranking Member, Washington Visit Site
  • California Loretta Sanchez, California Visit Site
  • North Carolina Mike McIntyre, North Carolina Visit Site
  • Pennsylvania Robert A. Brady, Pennsylvania Visit Site
  • California
Susan A. Davis, California Visit Site
  • Rhode Island James R. Langevin, Rhode Island Visit Site
  • Washington Rick Larsen, Washington Visit Site
  • Tennessee Jim Cooper, Tennessee Visit Site
  • Guam Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Guam Visit Site
  • Connecticut Joe Courtney, Connecticut Visit Site
  • Iowa David Loebsack, Iowa Visit Site
  • Massachusetts Niki Tsongas, Massachusetts Visit Site
  • California John Garamendi, California Visit Site
  • Georgia Henry C. "Hank" Johnson Jr., Georgia Visit Site
  • Colleen W. Hanabusa , Hawaii Visit Site
  • California Jackie Speier, California Visit Site
  • Arizona Ron Barber, Arizona Visit Site
  • Andre Carson, Indiana
  • New Hampshire Carol Shea-Porter, New Hampshire Visit Site
  • Daniel B. Maffei, New York
  • Derek Kilmer , Washington
  • Joaquin Castro, Texas
  • Tammy Duckworth, Illinois
  • Scott H. Peters, California
  • William L. Enyart, Illinois
  • Pete P. Gallego, Texas
  • Marc A. Veasey, Texas
  • Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii

See all those names?

Where were they?

By the final half hour of the hearing, there were about five or six members in the hearing.

Out of all those representatives, that was it.

Many people spoke -- apparently hoping for their media moment.

I didn't hear a lot of conviction.

I heard a lot of 'let me get on my local media with this statement because I know the war is deeply unpopular back home.'

I heard Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen Martin Dempsey ask for a waiver so that the US could arm and aid known torturers (to get around the Leahy Amendment forbidding it) and the 'outraged' reaction?  One Democrat thanked the two witnesses for their statements and called it "food for thought."

They weren't standing up for the Constitution or the law.  They were in and out quickly, hoping that video would make it to their local TV newscast so their five minutes of actual participation in the hearing would come off as, "I'm fighting for you!"

As someone who sat through many hearings of this Committee before Barack was president, I know that many long serving members could speak with a bit more passion and common sense, if they cared to.  And if they cared about the topic, they would have been present for the bulk of the hearing.

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