Dexter Filkins has a long piece at The New Yorker on the fall of Ramadi:
When Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the White House last month, American officials were so encouraged by the progress that they bestowed another two hundred million dollars or so on the Iraqi government. (The U.S. has spent about $1.9 billion on military operations and hardware in Iraq and Syria in the most recent operations.)
What happened in Ramadi over the weekend revealed just how misplaced any optimism about Iraq really is. The town, dominated by members of Iraq’s Sunni minority, was largely being held by the Iraqi Army, which has proved to be a deeply fractured and incompetent institution. Last June, when ISIS first swept out of Syria and into northern Iraq, large parts of the Iraqi Army largely disintegrated. Since then, the focus of American efforts has been to rebuild the Army and turn it into an effective fighting force. Even by American assessments, this is a long-term project. The disaster in Ramadi proved just how difficult the challenge is.
And then there is the loss of Ramadi itself. Without it, most of Anbar’s populated areas are now in ISIS’s hands. (Fallujah has been under ISIS control since last year.) The big airbase at Al Assad, which was the center for much of the Iraqi Army’s (and American) operations, is now cut off in the desert. “The fall of Ramadi is a game-changer,” Jessica Lewis McFate, the head of research at the Institute for the Study of War, which released a detailed report on the war just before Ramadi’s fall, said. “Whatever confidence remained the Iraqi security forces is likely to collapse.”
There was no success for Haider to march around DC with but a compliant press shacked up with a desperate White House to spin otherwise.
I try to be nice, I try to bite my tongue. And then comes a piece of lying trash:
Neera Tanden is a liar.
Barack Obama gave a brief speech to a tiny group of people (not even 12) in 2002 against what he called dumb wars.
And that was it for Barack.
By 2004, as he was running for the US Senate, he would tell the New York Times he did not know how he would have voted if he'd been in the US Senate at the time.
Contrary to Patricia J. Williams' idiotic propaganda, Barack did not vote against the war in 2002 -- he wasn't in the US Congress.
Once he was in the US Congress, he repeatedly voted to fund the war.
Every now and then, he'd give lip service to some form of opposition only to drop it when the press moved on to another topic.
An example of that would be his pledge, posted on his campaign website, that any agreement with Iraq would have to go before the US Senate -- as treaties are supposed to per the Constitution.
But then came his November 2008 election win and the SOFA that Bully Boy Bush negotiated with Iraq -- the one the Iraqi Parliament got to vote on -- and Barack vanished the pledge, it disappeared from the website, and he never mentioned it again.
I try to be nice? There's a whole fake 'news' story going on that leaves Barack out. And I've had other things to do and focus on. But we'll bring it back to Barack in today's snapshot.
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