The White House is no place for on-the-job training, and the president's growing pains have been troubling to watch.
After withdrawing troops from Iraq, the United States again has boots on the ground to battle the growing menace of the Islamic State. We find ourselves on the same side of the battle as Iran, which is trying to turn Iraq into a proxy state under Tehran's control.
And this as Haider al-Abadi makes the same mistakes as the thug he replaced (Nouri al-Maliki). Middle East Monitor quotes Iraq's prime minister declaring yesterday:
We announce today that we will cleanse every inch of the land of Iraq and that Daesh [ISIS] has no longer a foothold in Iraq. We announce in front of our people and to the world that we're going to see the last chapter of operation to liberate Salahuddin province.
This is the speech, please note, where he didn't mention US air strikes -- the ones he begged for -- which really says a great deal about the true state of Iraq.
You beg in private for US air strikes but you can't speak publicly about it?
Even though every outlet in the world is reporting on it, you can't make a public comment on it?
Haider is the new Nouri.
The answer, his remarks quoted above, will come via the military.
He is as stupid as Nouri ever was.
First off, the Islamic State has a foothold in Iraq.
Secondly, the military will not banish it.
If you want to send the Islamic State packing, you have to include the Sunnis in the government and stop targeting them.
Barack Obama noted it last June.
Haider's done nothing to move towards a political solution.
How long is the US government going to indulge him?
He wanted strikes.
That was the perfect time to say, "Then you need to do . . . ."
Instead, as usual, the White House gives a country what the country wants while hoping that, in kindness, the other country will (later) do what it should have done.
He didn't even have the good manners -- let alone common sense -- to publicly thank the White House for granting the US air strikes he begged for.
Circles and circles
Got to stop spinning
Circles and circles and circles again
Thought I was over the bridge now
-- "Cloud On My Tongue," written by Tori Amos, first appears on her Under the Pink
The following community sites -- plus the Guardian, McClatchy Newspapers, the House Veterans Affairs Committee and Antiwar.com -- updated: