Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A few break the silence

Last week, the White House announced US President Barack Obama's 'big plan' for Iraq -- keep doing what he was already doing but with an additional 450 US troops -- oh and set up a military base in the highly violent Anbar Province (the first of many bases).

Phyllis Bennis offered an embarrassing critique or 'critique' last week.

This week others have been weighing in and using their big boys and girls voices.

Daniel Wagner (Huffington Post) observed last night:

Mr. Obama apparently believes that being seen to be doing something is better than doing nothing, but he is wrong. The U.S. tried a war, installing a prime minister, and implementing a post-war counter-insurgency strategy. None of them worked for a reason: The Iraqi government is the wrong partner.
It took a long time for the U.S. to acknowledge that continuing to back Nouri al-Maliki for as long as it did was a big mistake, but by the time it did, it was really too late to salvage the situation. Iran is running the government and a feckless military. Trying to support the government or the military now is based on an alternate reality that 'could' have become true a dozen years ago, but bears little resemblance to the reality today. What will it take for the U.S. government to admit that what it is doing isn't working?

 The editorial board of the Baltimore Sun pointed out yesterday:, "Sending a few hundred troops merely gives the impression that he is taking action while really just kicking the can down the road for the next American president to contend with."  From the May 21st snapshot:

And what's especially sad is he went on and on while campaigning for president (the first time) about how the answer wasn't to play "kick the can."  He was, he insisted, someone who took action and made decisions.
But his Iraq action is nothing but kick the can.
Every day, you can picture him praying, "Just semi-hold together until January 2017, just semi-hold together until January 2017."
The whole point of his (minimum) three year action on Iraq that he started in mid 2014 was that he wouldn't be the one left holding the bag at the end.
So he grits his teeth and lies, "I don't think we're losing."

Aamer al-Qaisi (World Meets Us) observes:

There is nothing new in what the Americans have to say. On the tenth of June last year when Mosul fell, the Americans told us to expect a long war that could take three years. Only now - a year after Mosul's fall, it has become five years. We know nothing about the most recent projections of the American administration after it altered its strategy from merely encouraging the arming of various warring factions and the Peshmerga to now accepting the participation of the Popular Mobilization Forces [Shiite militias] in efforts to liberate occupied cities from Daesh!
Amid all the "creative chaos" of the American approach, we stand a year out from the fall of Mosul, four million people have fled, there is a waterfall of blood and the political cracks are deepening by the day – free gifts for Daesh, which it uses to extend its aggression and hatred toward everything human in this country ...
Posted By Worldmeets.US
The truth we must courageously face up to is that we are fighting Daesh without any kind of strategy – political or military. We are in fact in the heart of the chaos. Politically, our wonderful politicians continue to exchange insults and accusations while brandishing slogans of reconciliation, national unity and Iraqi brotherhood. That is all for internal consumption – and we're fed up with it. Militarily, we continue to lack united leadership and a military strategy that could serve as a compass for all those fighting Daesh. Our military victories lack purpose and depth in terms of returning displaced people to their homes and restoring social peace in liberated cities that have been destroyed by war!


It's good to see so many starting to speak up.

And that list (finally) includes The Progressive which offers Jared Keyel's "US Needs to Stay Out of Iraq and Afghanistan."

Silence isn't an option and that's been demonstrated in the results of a recent poll which we'll address in today's snapshot.

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