A year ago today, June 19, 2014, US President Barack Obama declared:
Above all, Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come
together around a political plan for Iraq’s future. Shia, Sunni, Kurds
-- all Iraqis -- must have confidence that they can advance their
interests and aspirations through the political process rather than
through violence. National unity meetings have to go forward to build
consensus across Iraq’s different communities. Now that the results of
Iraq’s recent election has been certified, a new parliament should
convene as soon as possible. The formation of a new government will be
an opportunity to begin a genuine dialogue and forge a government that
represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis.
Now, it’s not the place for the United States to choose Iraq’s
leaders. It is clear, though, that only leaders that can govern with an
inclusive agenda are going to be able to truly bring the Iraqi people
together and help them through this crisis. Meanwhile, the United
States will not pursue military options that support one sect inside of
Iraq at the expense of another. There’s no military solution inside of
Iraq, certainly not one that is led by the United States. But there is
an urgent need for an inclusive political process, a more capable Iraqi
security force, and counterterrorism efforts that deny groups like ISIL a
Where's that political solution?
Where's any work towards that?
All Barack's focused on is a military solution.
And in doing so,he's favored the Shi'ite sect repeatedly.
He's favored them over the Kurds and the Sunnis. He's armed them over the other two.
He's done everything he said he wouldn't.
And a year later Iraq's in a worse place than it was last June.
His plan or 'plan' is not working.
And it appears the military feels the same way.
James Rosen (Fox News) reports that US Marine Corp Lt Gen Vincent R. Stewart has declared Iraq to be a "quagmire." Documents Rosen has reviewed show that Stewart also warned the term was "too political" for public use.
The White House has denied the call and DoD tends to focus on their actions and avoid sharing actual thoughts. DoD noted yesterday:
Attack, fighter, bomber
and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq, approved
by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:
-- Near Baghdadi, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Huwayjah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Beiji, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL pontoon bridge.
-- Near Fallujah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL rocket rails and an ISIL bunker.
-- Near Ramadi, four airstrikes struck multiple defensive obstacles and fighting positions.
-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying
two ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL buildings and an ISIL excavator.
-- Near Tal Afar, five airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL
fighting position and an ISIL bunker. Two ISIL buildings, two ISIL
heavy machine guns and an ISIL vehicle bomb were destroyed, and land
features were struck to deny ISIL a tactical advantage.
Wednesday, Gen Martin Dempsey (Chair of the Joint Chiefs) and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter testified before the House Armed Services Committee. We covered it in the Wednesday and Thursday snapshot. For those in need of an audio report, Audie Cornish discussed the hearing with Tom Bowman on NPR's All Things Considered.