Monday, May 09, 2016

Iraq -- more US troops in, less truth in the US media

Charles Keating IV died in Iraq last week.  KPNX 12 NEWS reports there was a memorial run held for him over the weekend. David Bauders also died in Iraq last week.  Laura Frazier (THE OREGONIAN) reports:

The University of Portland graduate and Washington National Guard soldier who died in Iraq was a "true hero" with a "big heart," his sister said in a statement.
[. . .]
Bauders graduated from high school in Forest Grove and then attended the University of Portland, where he earned a bachelor's degree with a major in sociology and a minor in psychology, according to the Associated Press. 

Bauders was a high school track star and earned a full college scholarship, said his sister, Corinne Horton, in a statement. Horton described Bauders as a "beloved brother, friend, leader, trooper, officer and a true hero" with  "a big heart and warm smile." She said he will be recognized at his service with full military honors.

The two deaths are only the latest in the never-ending Iraq War.

Liz Sly (WASHINGTON POST) reports:

In an attempt to ramp up the tempo of the war, the U.S. military is escalating its engagement, dispatching an additional 450 Special Operations forces and other troops to Syria and Iraq, deploying hundreds of Marines close to the front lines in Iraq and bringing Apache attack helicopters and B-52s into service for the air campaign.

The extra resources are an acknowledgment, U.S. officials say, that the war can’t be won without a greater level of American involvement. 

In a functioning democracy, such news would come via a prime time presidential news conference and he'd face a questioning and skeptical press.

But Barack, for all the kid gloves treatment, has actually faced the press far less than Bully Boy Bush.

And eight years of excusing Barack's actions not only led to the Iraq War continuing, they also led to Hillary Clinton being the 'front runner' for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Meanwhile, ABC proves you can find an honest discussion of Iraq on TV -- if you're in Australia.  Australia's ABC program WORLD TODAY speaks with Emma Sky is the author of  The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq.

KIM LANDERS:  Emma Sky, in Iraq at the moment there's a divided parliament, there's deep frustration among Iraqis about the inability to tackle corruption and poor economic management. Is Iraq unravelling?

EMMA SKY: I think most of the attention in the West has really been on the Islamic State, but actually in Iraq, Iraqis themselves are getting angrier and angrier at the parliaments and all their attention is focused on the corruption of those in the parliament.

You hear Iraqis shouting you know, "You are all thieves" and they just feel years and years have going on. The invasion was in 2003 and the same elites have been ruling Iraq since then, and instead of delivering services and security to the population they've been stealing the wealth of the country. So the problem really is this kleptocratic elite that the people are very unhappy with.

KIM LANDERS: So what's the solution?

EMMA SKY: It's very hard because the problems of Iraq relate to the elites who have been in power since 2003 being incapable of forming a vision for the country, to agree on the nature of the state and how the country should be governed. All they do agree on is that the oil wealth of the country will be divided up between them. They sit in the green zone, they pass a lot of money and services don't get delivered. 

[. . .]

KIM LANDERS: The number of US troops in Iraq seems to be mushrooming. A couple of years ago it was just a few hundred, now it's up to between 4,000 and 5,000. Is Iraq going to be a foreign policy blot on President Barack Obama's record?

EMMA SKY: I think it will be. When President Obama became President, Iraq was actually in a relatively good place. From 2007 to 2009 is the only time in the whole war that the US had the right strategy, the right leadership and the right resources. So when President Obama took over, the levels of violence were down, there was optimism in the country that everything was heading in the right direction.

And after the 2010 elections which were a tightly contested election, but a good election, the US didn't uphold the election results and the US quickly drew down its forces. That enabled basically Maliki, who lost the election, to consolidate more and more power and go after his rivals, to arrest Sunni's en masse, which created the space for Islamic State to rise up and created the problems that we see today.

So I think Iraq will go down as a blot of President Obama's record. Particularly, as his administration was claiming Iraq to be a great success. 

Somebody grab a Depends.  I think Charlie Rose just pissed himself in shock.  Yes, Charlie, truth will be spoken -- whether or not you want it to be.

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