Monday, November 10, 2014

Iraq snapshot

Monday, November 10, 2014.  Chaos and violence continue, a Canadian busybody cries for his lover Barack, Jon Stewart takes on Barack's latest outrage (more US troops sent to Iraq), Brett McGurk continues to think he works for the Defense Dept, Iraq War veteran Tomas Young passes away, and more.

If you're the Christian Science Monitor, you can't do actual reporting so you have to find 'click bait.'  You can read the latest garbage from the paper by clicking here and going to Yahoo (thereby not giving CSM a click for their 'click bait').

A busy body by the name of Richard Brunt wonders -- from Canada -- what were Americans thinking last Tuesday?

I believe I've said this already but tend to your own gardens.

I really don't give a s**t what some Canadian thinks of American elections.

I don't make a point to stick my nose into their elections.

But for someone that thinks something awful took place, exactly how long is Canada going to keep conservative Stephen Harper on as prime minister?

And are you ever going to get off your lazy asses and demand that asylum be granted to War Resisters?

And what about fracking?  Isn't that your leading export of late: Socially damaging policies?

Speaking of, how far along have you gotten with regards to addressing the very real complaints of indigenous peoples in Canada?

What's that?

You just want to talk about how "groovy" you think Barack Obama looks in sun glasses?

Well just because you're letting the precum pool in your pants doesn't mean you need to share your erotic fantasies with the rest of us.

Brunt's so busy jizzing while moaning Barack, he actually writes, "Obama brought soldiers home from Iraq."


For example, he brought these two home last month -- in body bags.

That's Lance Cpl. Sean P. Neal (photo from Facebook).   We noted his death in October 25th snapshot.

That's Cpl Jordan Spears (photo from Marine Corps).  Last month, he was reclassified as the first death in 'Operation Inherent Resolve.'

Apparently, Brunt's been too busy jacking off to light bondage fantasies of Barack disciplining him to pay attention to actual events in the real world -- including the fact that 'Operation Inherent Resolve' has already claimed the lives of 2 American service members.

While Brunt sees accomplishments worth bragging of, the Chicago Tribune's Steve Chapman seems less inclined to shine it on, "The United States is still involved in a 13-year-old war in Afghanistan, and President Barack Obama has undertaken a new one against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, just three years after he withdrew the last of our troops from Iraq. The administration is also carrying on a drone missile campaign -- which looks eerily like war from the receiving end -- in Pakistan and Yemen."

Brunt also seem to forget that his own government is taking part in the bombing of Iraq.

Maybe if he spent a little less time trying to trash the American people for how they voted (or not voted -- most Americans eligible to vote elected not to vote in last Tuesday's elections), he'd be able to effect some change in his own government?

Or at least not appear so pathetic and envious that he obsesses over his neighbors instead of living his own life.

Or ignorant of what's going on in Iraq, how the Iraqi people continue to suffer and how Barack keeps sending in more US troops.

What Brunt avoids, Jon Stewart took on in tonight's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central).  Excerpt:

US President Barack Obama September 18th:  I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:  It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil

Jon Stewart:  Yes!  If American troops are going to be fighting, they're going to be fighting on our soil!  Against . . .  Wait a minute.  It's comforting to hear our president say on national television there will be no combat troops in Iraq.

News Anchor, November 7th: Today, President Obama authorized the deployment of 1,500 more US troops to Iraq to help with the fight against ISIS.

Scott Pelley, November 7th: With this expansion, the number authorized has grown from 275 in June to 3100 tonight.

Jon Stewart:  What the f[bleep]! You said no troops in Iraq!  And in five months we've increased the number of US troops in Iraq by ten times.  At this rate, by 2016, everyone in the world will be in Iraq fighting ISIS!  We're going to have to recruit people from ISIS to fight ISIS.  And those troops are boots on the ground!  You said no boots on the ground! The ground would get no boots!

Barack, September 18th:  The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission in Iraq.  Their mission is to advise and assist our partners on the ground. 

Jon Stewart:  Oh, I'm sorry, that's my mistake.  I'm sorry.  So it's not 3,000 troops, it's 3,000 advisors. Okay.  Well, you know, that's a lot of advice.

Even Democracy Now! addressed Barack's decision to deploy more US troops to Iraq (link is text, audio and video):

AMY GOODMAN:  Well, for more, we go to Raleigh, North Carolina, where we’re joined by Matthew Hoh, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, former State Department official who resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan over the U.S. policy there in September 2009. Prior to his assignment in Afghanistan, Matthew Hoh served in Iraq. From 2004 to ’05, he worked with a State Department reconstruction and governance team in Salah ad-Din province. And from 2006 to ’07, he worked as a Marine Corps company commander in Anbar province.
Matthew Hoh, welcome back to Democracy Now! Can you share your response to the increased boots on the ground?

MATTHEW HOH: Hi, good morning, and thank you for having me on. My response is, as many people, I think, in the United States, scratching their head and wondering: What are we doing? What does the United States government really think it’s going to accomplish by putting more American troops into the middle of the Iraqi civil war and into the middle of the Syrian civil war, particularly coming off of 13 years of war in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, in Somalia, in Yemen, etc.? So, my response, Amy, is more or less the same as most people’s, of a—very concerned and, you know, lack of a better phrase, this is crazy.

AMY GOODMAN: Speaking to CBS’s Face the Nation, President Obama insisted U.S. troops will focus on training Iraqis to fight ISIS and coordinating airstrikes, rather than engaging in active combat.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: What hasn’t changed is, our troops are not engaged in combat. Essentially what we’re doing is we’re taking four training centers, with coalition members, that allow us to bring in Iraqi recruits, some of the Sunni tribes that are still resisting ISIL, giving them proper training, proper equipment, helping them with strategy, helping them with logistics. We will provide them close air support once they are prepared to start going on the offense against ISIL. But what we will not be doing is having our troops do the fighting.

AMY GOODMAN: President Obama refused to rule out further increases in U.S. troops in Iraq.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: As commander-in-chief, I’m never going to say never, but what, you know, the commanders who presented the plan to me say is that we may actually see fewer troops over time, because now we’re seeing coalition members starting to partner with us on the training and assist effort.

AMY GOODMAN: That is President Obama on CBS’s Face the Nation. Matthew Hoh, do you believe what he’s saying?

MATTHEW HOH: No, I don’t. And I think it’s very easy for us to revisit this in a few months’ time, just as now we’re revisiting this from several months ago, and see the increase, the graduation of entry of American forces back into the conflict. But I think it’s a slippery slope—excuse me—and that very quickly this will spin out of control for the United States. What happens when American troops are killed? What happens when we lose several young men to a suicide bomber? How is the president going to react to that? How is the United States going to react when our troops are in combat and we only have 3,000? And the president, who can’t seem to face down the same critics in Congress who are always demanding for war, the John McCains and Lindsey Graham, how is he going to face them down then, if he can’t face them down now? So, I don’t believe his words, and I think that this is going to be the beginning of an unfortunate and tragic re-entry of America back into this civil war.

Reuters reports, "The United States has deployed a team of about 50 troops to an air base in Iraq's fiercely contested Anbar province to lay the groundwork for an advisory mission at the core of its campaign against Islamic State militants, officials said on Monday."  All Iraq News quotes Sha'aban al-Obaidi, Commander of the Emergency Police, declaring, "The US trainers arrived at Assad Military Base in Anbar and met with the security leaders."

The Washington Post's Liz Sly Tweets:

  • 50 US military advisers have been deployed to Anbar, Pentagon says. This is like watching a movie in reverse

  • While the US only sent tools of war, National Iraqi News Agency reports Jordan's King Abdulla II sent a plane to Anbar today "loaded with large quantities of humanitarian aid, including food supplies and blankets to help the Iraqi people."  Petra notes, "The aid was sent as part of efforts to boost cooperation between Jordan and Iraq, and alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people in view of the current situation in their country."

    Of Barack's actions passed off as a 'plan,' Ivan Eland ( weighs in with this take:

    Although ISIS is not strictly an insurgent (guerrilla) force, because the group has some heavy weapons and infrastructure, it has made gains despite U.S. airstrikes on these obvious targets. And since the objective of U.S. and Iraqi strategy is to eventually drive ISIS fighters to ground in cities like Mosul and then to cut off their supplies and reinforcements from Syria using U.S. airstrikes, some ground force will be needed to go into these built up areas, conducting house-to-house counterinsurgency operations to root out the group. Right now that falls to the Shi’ite-dominated Iraqi Army and the Kurdish pesh merga militias. Yet these are the same forces that, despite years of training and equipping by the United States, have fared poorly against ISIS.
    To improve these forces, the United States has already sent about 1,400 military advisers, but so far they have advised at only relatively high levels of the Iraqi Army. To be effective, more advisers will be needed to go into the field with Iraqi and Kurdish forces and also call in U.S. airstrikes. The United States already will ramp up the number of advisers to 3,100. When the United States originally invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, proponents decried comparisons to the Vietnam War, but of course, both wars have turned out to be much longer quagmires than even U.S. involvement in Vietnam. And the recent American adventure back into Iraq and into Syria also is beginning to resemble escalation in Vietnam. U.S. air power failed to bring the enemy to heel, so more and more American combat "advisers" are being added to fight along side friendly local forces. In these situations, once the nation starts down the escalation slope, American prestige is on the line and when lesser measures don’t work, overwhelming political pressure is brought to bear on the president by the political and foreign policy elite to escalate the conflict.

    In Vietnam, there was never much public pressure to escalate the war, because most Americans in the early 1960s didn’t even know where Vietnam was on a map. Yet it happened anyway. In this case, the American people were horrified at ISIS’s beheadings of Americans in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes against the group and reflexively wanted something done about it; but after the long quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq, public opinion doesn’t want significant U.S. ground combat troops added. Thus, one could foresee such American forces gaining in number, after local forces don’t perform well, but never shedding the label "advisers."  

    James Cogan (WSWS) offers this take on the recent events:

    President Barack Obama announced during a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday that he has requested US allies to send additional military forces to the war in Iraq and Syria. Appearing with Abbott in Beijing during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Obama stated: “I am having conversations with Australia and other coalition partners that have already committed to putting trainers in how they can supplement and work with us in this overall effort.”
    The US-led intervention was launched in August on the pretext of destroying the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which had taken control of significant areas of northern and western Iraq, and much of eastern Syria. After last week’s mid-term congressional elections, during which the war was barely mentioned, Obama quickly announced the doubling of US ground troops working with Iraqi government forces, from 1,500 to over 3,000. At least 7,000 mercenary contractors are also involved, along with war planes carrying out daily attacks inside Iraq and Syria.
    Obama’s statement yesterday signals a further escalation of the war. While initially focussed on ISIS, the intervention’s longer-term goal is ousting the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad and installing an American client state. ISIS and other Islamic fundamentalist militias have waged a brutal civil war against Assad’s government since 2011. They have received significant aid from US allies such as Turkey and the Gulf states, with Washington’s knowledge and support. It was not until ISIS posed a danger to the stability of the US puppet government in Iraq that ISIS was demonised as the world’s greatest terrorist threat.

    Turning to a tale of two Vice Presidents . . .

    Iraq has three vice presidents: Ayad Allawi, Osama al-Nujaifi and thug and former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.  Two were in the news today.

    All Iraq News notes Allawi spent yesterday in Amman, Jordan visiting the country's Prime Minister Abdulla al-Nisor where they discussed energy issues (including "erecting the oil pipeline between Iraq and Jordan") while today he continued his visit to Jordan by visiting with Iraqi Christian families who have been displaced by the violence in Iraq and forced to seek asylum out of the country.

    Nouri, of course, didn't visit with Christian refugees.  He spent so much of his second term multiplying their numbers by refusing to protect them.  That's why so many fled Baghdad during his second term -- some went to northern Iraq, some left the country.  It's doubtful he'd be well received should he show his face in a refugee camp.

    So Nouri went to where he would be welcome: Tehran.

    All Iraq News runs a photo of Nouri looking particularly coy and girlish as he sits opposite the Supreme Guide of the Islamic Revolution of Iran Ali Khamanaye and the outlet notes Nouri and Khamanaye disccused "Iran's support to the anti-terrorism war."

    Nouri's visit came up in today's US State Dept press briefing moderated by spokesperson Jen Psaki.

    QUESTION: And I just wondered if you’d also seen a report out of Tehran today that the vice president – or one of the vice presidents has said that Iran would be ready to help to all of its abilities in Iraq, to help the Iraqi Government with all its abilities to fight ISIL. I know that there’s been some discussion about Iran’s role here, but would that be something that you would welcome?

    MS. PSAKI: I’m not sure what exactly the minister meant by his comments. Our concerns haven’t changed. Obviously, while there’s a role every country can play, and the Secretary himself has said that, we have expressed concern and our concerns remain about Iran’s activities in Iraq. We believe that Iran’s leaders can choose to continue to contribute to the current – we believe they continue to contribute to the current instability by backing unregulated militias in Iraq and elsewhere in the region. We believe these actions have contributed significantly to the sectarian conflict. And we are aware that some Iranian active – or operatives are inside Iraq training and advising. We remain concerned about this, and it’s certainly not something that we are encouraging.

    While Allawi (and possibly Nouri) worked on diplomacy, the US State Dept's Brett McGurk continued to confuse his position with a Defense Dept posting.

    Today, McGurk Tweeted:

    National Iraqi News agency reports on the meet-up here.  Where's that political solution Barack used to swear was what Iraq needed and what would solve the conflict in Iraq?

    He appears to have forgotten about it.

    Meanwhile, it was just last month that Susan Rice went on NBC's Meet The Press to insist Barack's 'plan' was a success and to offer an example, the August 'rescue' of the Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar.

    No sooner had the words flown out of her lying mouth than came news that hundreds of Yazidi families were still trapped, all these months later, on Mount Sinjar.

    That continues to be the reality today.

  • Will Susan Rice ever be asked to explain how she got it so wrong?

    On the eve of Veterans Day in the US comes news that Iraq War veteran Tomas Young has passed away.  RT notes:

    Tomas Young enlisted in the military two days after 9/11 because he wanted to strike back at those responsible for the attack on America. Instead of being deployed to Afghanistan after joining the Army, he was deployed to Iraq. He was shot in the chest and paralyzed during an insurgent attack in Sadr City just a few days after beginning his tour of duty.
    His injuries resulted in quadriplegia, paralysis from the neck down. Young became a significant critic of the war in Iraq – during which 4,488 soldiers and Marines died in Iraq and 30,000 were wounded – and an early member of Iraq Veterans Against the War advocacy group. 

    His passing has been widely noted on Twitter including in the following Tweets:

  • Feeling broken and lost with the death of my friend and fellow antiwar veteran Tomas Young. If you know a member hug them today.

  • RIP , paralyzed Iraq veteran & prominent anti-war activist who wrote this powerful letter to Bush & Cheney

  • I am heartbroken to learn that Tomas Young has died. He has inspired so many.
  • RIP my hero. Tomas Young and his amazing wife Claudia. Tomas loved superheroes and also was one.…
  • Tomas Young, one of the first veterans to oppose the Iraq war, passed away today. He was 34 and had been badly...
  • Presente! Tomas Young was a Veteran who served in Iraq where he was left paralyzed from the neck down in 2004....

  • liz sly
    all iraq news