Stephen Kalin and Yeganech Torbati (REUTERS) report, "The United States will send around 600 new troops to Iraq to assist local forces in the battle to retake Mosul from Islamic State that is expected later this year, U.S. and Iraqi officials said on Wednesday." Barbara Starr (CNN) also reported on the addition.
That's this afternoon. This morning, we put up "More US troops headed to Iraq -- PM of Iraq says:"
Quick translation of the above posted to Haider al-Abadi's website this morning (he's the prime minister of Iraq):
As they prepare for the major battle to fully liberate the city of Mosul and eliminate the gangs of [the Islamic State], and in light of the fact that trainers and advisers from the international coalition will speed up the conclusion of the battle, in consultation with US President Barack Obama and at the request of the Iraqi government the number of American trainers and advisers under the umbrella of the international coalition in Iraq will be increased to provide backup for the Iraqi security forces during the Liberation of Mosul -- and this size of advisers and trainers will reduce once Mosul has been liberated. We emphasize that the role of trainers and advisers is not combat but only for training and consultation and the only ones who will liberate the land is our [Iraqi] troops.
This means more US troops in Iraq.
Haider's not agreeing to more on site. He wouldn't need to consult on that. He's agreeing to more coming into the country.
President Barack Obama: We have had advisors in Iraq through our embassy, and we’re prepared to send a small number of additional American military advisors -- up to 300 -- to assess how we can best train, advise, and support Iraqi security forces going forward. American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region, and American interests as well.
Despite that assertion two years ago, Kalin and Torbati note that this "new deployment is the third such boost in U.S. troop levels in Iraq since April" while Ben Kesling and Carol E. Lee (DOW JONES NEWSWIRES) add, "The latest increase follows the separate decision earlier this month to add roughly 400 troops, sent primarily to staff a logistics hub near the city of Qayara, south of Mosul." Focusing on the numbers, Daniel Wasserbly (IHS JANE'S DEFENCE WEEKLY) explains, "The total authorised US military personnel for Iraq is now around 5,250 troops, but hundreds more are understood to be operating there on a 'rotational' basis through temporary duty assignments."
Financial columnist Liz Peek (who used to be part of Marlo Thomas' WOW while it was active) Tweets:
Where is the SOFA?
There's a Memo of Understanding -- we covered that. One of the few who did in fact, we covered it in real time.
From the December 11, 2012 snapshot:
In yesterday's snapshot, we covered the Memorandum of Understanding For Defense Cooperation Between the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Iraq and the Department of Defense of the United States of America. Angry, dysfunctional e-mails from Barack-would-never-do-that-to-me criers indicate that we need to go over the Memo a little bit more. It was signed on Thursday and announced that day by the Pentagon. Section two (listed in full in yesterday's snapshot) outlines that the two sides have agreed on: the US providing instructors and training personnel and Iraq providing students, Iraqi forces and American forces will work together on counterterrorism and on joint exercises. The tasks we just listed go to the US military being in Iraq in larger numbers. Obviously the two cannot do joint exercises or work together on counterterrorism without US military present in Iraq.
This shouldn't be surprising. In the November 2, 2007 snapshot -- five years ago -- we covered the transcript of the interview Michael R. Gordon and Jeff Zeleny did with then-Senator Barack Obama who was running in the Democratic Party's primary for the party's presidential nomination -- the transcript, not the bad article the paper published, the actual transcript. We used the transcript to write "NYT: 'Barack Obama Will Keep Troops In Iraq'" at Third. Barack made it clear in the transcript that even after "troop withdrawal" he would "leave behind a residual force." What did he say this residual force would do? He said, "I think that we should have some strike capability. But that is a very narrow mission, that we get in the business of counter terrorism as opposed to counter insurgency and even on the training and logistics front, what I have said is, if we have not seen progress politically, then our training approach should be greatly circumscribed or eliminated."
This is not withdrawal. This is not what was sold to the American people. Barack is very lucky that the media just happened to decide to take that rather explosive interview -- just by chance, certainly the New York Times wasn't attempting to shield a candidate to influence an election, right? -- could best be covered with a plate of lumpy, dull mashed potatoes passed off as a report. In the transcript, Let-Me-Be-Clear Barack declares, "I want to be absolutely clear about this, because this has come up in a series of debates: I will remove all our combat troops, we will have troops there to protect our embassies and our civilian forces and we will engage in counter terrorism activities."
So when the memo announces counterterrorism activies, Barack got what he wanted, what he always wanted, what the media so helpfully and so frequently buried to allow War Hawk Barack to come off like a dove of peace.
Not everyone is kicking back with a smile and popping open a can of beer as more US troops are sent into Iraq. Ethan Forman (SALEM NEWS) reports on the reaction from US House Rep and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton:
When asked about the role the U.S. troop advisers might play, Moulton said he has no doubt these troops could wind up seeing combat.
"This is clearly a combat mission," said Moulton, who noted that when he was in Iraq in 2004, his platoon had the role of being combat advisers to Iraqi troops in Najaf in central Iraq. But, when they went to the assistance of the Iraqis, the U.S. troops saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Iraq war.
"We do need to defeat ISIS," he said, but the key is "how will this time be different."
Sadly, Seth Moulton is a rare Democrat with a spine.
The biggest disappointment in Congress in the last eight years would be US House Rep Barbara Lee who called for an end to the Iraq War when Bully Boy Bush was in the Oval Office but today can only manage . . .
Yes, Babsie, that's the problem -- that Congress won't debate it.
Not that the war continues, just that Congress won't debate it.
I don't know if the fake ass gets it or not but America watched her for the last seven years claim that if US troops were still in Afghanistan next year -- always next year -- she'd be doing something in Congress.
She never did a damn thing.
Shane Ryan (PASTE) deserves noting for having the courage Babsie Lee lacks:
So, there are a few questions we could ask, such as:
1. Even if we retake Mosul, is this really going to measurably fix the situation in Iraq in the long term?
2. What happens when we leave?
3. When the Iraqi forces prove incapable of maintaining whatever we accomplish, does that mean we can’t leave?
But then again, why even bother asking these questions? It’s clear that Obama, and the entire American political leadership, is just fine with repeating the mistakes of the past, over and over and over, with no concern for the fact that it just doesn’t work. If the sign of insanity is repeating the same stupid action ad nauseam while expecting different results, then what would you call this?
Meanwhile Haider al-Abadi has a column at USA TODAY that's an embarrassment and includes this:
As we fight, we are aware that military means alone are not enough to end ISIL. As the prime minister and commander in chief of our forces, I spend as much time on the military aspect of the war as I do in addressing the causes that led us to today.
Here I must admit that as Iraqis, we need to do more to fight sectarianism and corruption, two evils that are no less dangerous to our society than terrorism and ISIL. We will not waver in the war against them because of the war against ISIL.
[. . .]
We realize that sectarianism created the gaps that ISIL and its predecessors managed to temporarily fill. Their continued presence in our country hinders the process of reconciliation. Expelling ISIL is a prerequisite for peace, but help from the international community is still needed for us to reach that day.
When, Haider, when are you going to do something to stop the persecution of the Sunnis?
You were installed as prime minister in the fall of 2014.
It's two years later.
The persecution continues.
You're no better than Nouri al-Maliki and his policies of persecution gave the Islamic State the footing they needed.
Staying with lying politicians, Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party's presidential nominee.
At THE WASHINGTON POST, Shawn Boburg attempts to explore "Enabler or family defender? How Hillary Clinton's Responded to Husband's accusers" and does a fairly good job.
I'm going to object to the use of the term "sexual assault."
It's assault. We say "assault." "Sexual assault" implies it's about sex.
In Boburg's example of Juanita Broaddrick, the woman has consistently accused Bill Clinton of rape.
Stop calling assault "sexual assault." I don't use the term "sex crime" either.
These are assaults and rapes and attempted rapes.
Aside from that?
Boburg misses one of the biggest events. Yes, the article reviews how Hillary collaborated in smearing women who accused Bill Clinton of assault and of rape and of harassment and even notes Monica Lewinsky on the topic (Hillary smeared her on THE TODAY SHOW).
But Hillary and her whiners love to claim that it's off sides, impolite for anyone to bring up these affairs.
It's just wrong -- boo, hoo.
What a load of s**t.
First off, we know Bill couldn't keep it in his pants the last time he was living in the White House and a lot of us know he's been cheating on Hillary since leaving the White House (and who the main woman is) so there's a good chance if Hillary's back in the White House with Bill that Bill's going to get caught in another affair.
That's going to drag the nation through the gutter yet again.
She's running for president, it's an issue.
Her little snit fit during the Monica days demonstrate that maybe such a development would leave her unable to function as president.
So it's an issue.
If she wants to claim to be a defender of women, her attacks on those who have accused her husband in the past is an issue.
There's that and so much more.
Her whiners insist it is unfair to hold Hillary accountable for the behavior of her husband.
She chose to stay with him.
I don't mean after Monica, I mean after Gennifer.
And she slimed Gennifer while lying that her husband hadn't had an affair with Gennifer Flowers.
She chose to stay with him, that's an endorsement of his continued actions.
And despite his long pattern of cheating, when Monica was exposed, she attacked Lewinsky.
So she needs to be held accountable.
But there's another part, it's the part of the story that Ava and I covered back in July:
Bill slept with Gennifer Flowers -- as he admitted under oath near the end of the 90s.
But in 1992, when Ms. Flowers was telling her tale, what did Hillary do?
Bob Somerby won't tell you.
He's too busy lying about Pauline Kale with 'facts' like she wrote for THE NEW YORK TIMES, "The mentality behind such works produced a famous moment in December 1972, when Times film critic Pauline Kael expressed surprise that Nixon had won the White House again."
It was THE NEW YORKER, you cultural idiot, she wrote for THE NEW YORKER, not THE NEW YORK TIMES.
And it wasn't poor Hillary in 1992.
Not in the pages of VANITY FAIR.
Bob knows the term, he never quotes Hillary on it, nor does anyone else.
Her husband slept with Jennifer Flowers and she knew about it.
But the 'victim' Hillary chose to use Gail Sheehy's interview with her for VANITY FAIR to insist that it was a "double standard" because people knew about "Bush and his carrying on, all of which is apparently well known in Washington."
That's our 'feminist' Hillary.
Her cheating husband is getting questioned?
She tosses Barbara Bush under the bus.
Hillary's never been a victim.
She's always been involved.
She's always figured out how to go after Bill's various mistresses, she's always figured out how to present herself as innocent and wronged.
Ty saw THE WASHINGTON POST article and called me ticked off because that article doesn't note the VANITY FAIR article. I don't read e-mails to THIRD about what Ava and I write there. Ty passed on over the phone that negative e-mails on the above insisted that never happened and we'd made the whole thing up.
Too lazy to go to a real library and look up the article in VANITY FAIR all those years ago, they just decided it was a lie.
Here's something that should be easier for you to check, page 134 of Joan Didion's POLITICAL FICTIONS -- click here and you can order it instantly on KINDLE for $11.99 or pick up a used copy for one cent (plus postage) via snail mail. Here's what you'll find on that page:
Apparent accidents, and even some apparent mistakes in judgment, had emerged over time as less accidental than strategic. There was Hillary Clinton's "gaffe" in complaining to Gail Sheehy, interviewing her for Vanity Fair, that the press was following a "double standard" in dwelling on her husband's alleged friendship with Gennifer Flowers, since Anne Cox Chambers ("sittin' there in her sunroom") had told her about "Bush and his carrying on, all of which is apparently well known in Washington." This was an "embarrassment," a "mistake," and yet the appearance of the Vanity Fair piece coincided with Clinton strategists issuing the same preemptive warning to the Bush campaign; with Ron Brown suggesting that if the questions about adultery were to persist, he thought similar questions should be put to Bush; and with Democratic consultant Robert Squier suggesting on the NBC Today show that Bush be asked what he called "the Jennifer question." Nor was just the single point scored: there was also considerable secondary gain in showing Mrs. Clinton as "feminine," a weaker vessel, gossiping with a friend over tea in the sunroom and then retailing the gossip to a new friend -- who, in the "unfrminine" role of reporter, the wife's moment of indiscretion in her husband's defense. The erring but contrite wife could then be firmly but gently "reprimanded" by the presumptive CINC, her husband ("The main point is, she apologized . . . she made a mistake and she's acknowledge it"), an improved role for both of them.
To the press, in a presidential election, Hillary raised the issue of George H.W. Bush cheating on Barbara Bush with his own Jennifer Fitzgerald. (Donna Brazile did the same during the Michael Dukakis campaign and was forced to leave the campaign as a result.)
It was not by accident, it was not by chance.
And not only did she herself raise the issue of adultery in a presidential campaign, she did it while playing stereotypical archetypes to manipulate the press.
Which is the other issues -- she's played with gender roles before, she's worked them when she's wanted to.
She's no innocent in this.
That's the point Joan Didion's making in the paragraph above.
And if you're too cheap to buy a good book -- or maybe you're a victim of the 'rebounding' recovery as so many are -- you can find Joan's essay online for free here at THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS -- scroll a little over a third way down the page for the paragraphs. (Paragraphs? In the book it's one paragraph, in the online essay, the paragraph is split into two paragraphs.)
Jill Stein is the Green Party presidential candidate.
And violence continues in Iraq . . . .
And the US Defense Dept announced today:
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 10 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Qaim, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb-making facility.
-- Near Kisik, a strike produced inconclusive results.
-- Near Mosul, four strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit, suppressed a mortar system and destroyed an anti-air artillery system and a tunnel.
-- Near Qayyarah, two strikes destroyed two ISIL vehicles and a mortar system.
-- Near Ramadi, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system and damaged an excavator.
Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.