The much ballyhooed Iraqi government operation to capture the central city of Tikrit from the Islamic State has stalled three weeks after it began, amid widespread reports that Shiite Muslim militias and the government are badly divided over tactics and roiled by claims that the militias have engaged in war crimes against the local Sunni Muslim population.
AP adds today, "Operations to recapture Tikrit have been on hold for nearly a week, with Iraqi officials saying they're trying to minimize casualties by not rushing the final assault."
CIA Director John Brennan appeared on Fox News Sunday (link is video and text), "During the wide-ranging interview, Brennan said that Iran and the Islamic State are equal in the threat they pose to the United States."
As we noted in the last snapshot, this is the feeling of Iraq's neighbors in the region. And it's also a feeling in Congress -- on both sides of the aisle.
Democratic leadership in the Senate has made clear to Barack that, if there's a deal to make with Iran, he needs to make it already.
Not only has his dilly-dallying on a treaty harmed Iraq, it's also harming the image of the United States which is beginning to appear as indecisive as Barack himself. (That was the point Harry Reid was conveying to the White House last week.)
The deal is apparently going to be a wash judging by Brennan's statements which not only identified Iran as a source of state-sponsored terrorism in the world but also stated if the treaty talks failed, the White House would "continue to keep pressure" on Iran.
When the CIA director is making the Sunday program rounds to talk about if the treaty fails, it's usually an indication that the talks have failed and it's time to prepare the American people for that reality.
Reality is missing in some e-mails to the public account.
Some are wrongly praising me for defending Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Some are wrongly praising me for calling him out.
I did neither.
Thursday's snapshot included this:
Possibly, we might also try respecting election results.
Today, there is massive whining -- Andrea Mitchell's one of the worst -- about the election of the leader . . . of Israel.
I don't understand where you get off, as a non-Israeli, being so outraged by the results.
What gives you the right to stick your damn nose everywhere?
Do you ever think maybe you should close your mouth?
I am stating that the election results aren't your damn business unless you're eligible to vote in that election.
Congratulations to the Israeli people. Hopefully, they'll be happy with their votes throughout his (third) term.
I don't live in Israel.
Their elections are none of my business.
It was a fair and democratic election and, as someone who believes in democracy, I praise the people for their participation. I congratulate them on that.
And that should really be it.
Instead, you have sour grapes among the US media. And they really don't grasp that they need to sit down and close their mouths.
Everything in the world isn't about them.
Everything in the world does not require a US opinion or a US stamp of approval.
Saturday, Barack again slammed Netanyahu for comments.
That Arab Israelis would be voting "in droves."
That offended Barack.
That required comment.
When 8 children were among the over 50 killed by Nouri's forces in Hawija, Barack didn't say one damn word.
When Nouri unleashed his thugs on Iraq's LGBTQ community, Nouri didn't say one damn word publicly.
And wouldn't have even raised the issue with Nouri had Congress not pressured him to do so. (US House Rep Jared Polis really led that effort and deserves credit for it.)
I have no idea why Barack feels his job is to police the words from someone else's mouth.
I really don't believe he was elected to do that.
But this inability to butt out of things that aren't your business?
That's the whole point of empire.
There's also the issue of the Palestinian people.
If you care about them -- as opposed to just using them to express your hatred for Jewish people -- then you realize that Barack insulting the leader of Israel over and over is not going to help the Palestinian cause.
Barack's disrespect probably drove some votes to Netanyahu and continuing to slam him is not going to motivate Netanyahu to alter his positions.
He just got a third term, he's the leader of Israel, if there's a path to Palestinian statehood, it's going to have to come through him (or wait until his term is up).
If all the whiners are nearly done with their temper tantrums (Law and Disorder does their whining tomorrow), maybe they can now focus on how Netanyahu gets moved to a side that benefits the Palestinian people.
Or we can all just condemn the Palestinians to more abuse and suffering by name calling Netanyahu and feeling 'morally' superior as a result.
Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 114 violent deaths across Iraq today.
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] 4494.
The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated:
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