Friday, December 04, 2015

Ash Carter spun wildly to Congress

In Tuesday's House Armed Services Committee hearing, US House Rep Beto O'Rourke asked a series of important questions of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Gen Joe Dunford (Chair of the Joint Chiefs).  We noted his questioning round in Wednesday's snapshot.  And we'll include this section:

US House Rep Beto O'Rourke:   There's so much in those countries -- I'll just use Iraq as an example -- that we do not control, cannot control and will not be able to predict when it comes to the political outcomes and so when we say we are going to set conditions on our aid, when we say we are going to set conditions on our military presence, do we really mean that?  Is that a viable threat?  Will we really walk away from Iraq if the government there doesn't meet those conditions?  And I think that's an important question because if, in fact, we will not, then I wonder what the motivation is there for the Iraqi government to take the very important and very difficult steps to integrate these other minorities -- whether they be Kurds, whether they be Sunnis -- into a functioning government -- decentralized or otherwise?

Secretary Ash Carter: Uh, first of all with respect to the first part of your question, uhm, the -- It -- The -- Your point gets back -- is exactly the military and the political going together.  In addition to the -- The only end state that involves the lasting defeat of ISIL is one in which there are -- whether there is local governance that cannot be once again supplanted by ISIL.  That's why once again the political and the military go together -- that's the heart of the strategy and that's why enabling committed, capable forces who can make victory stick is the other part of the definition of victory, critical --

US House Rep Beto O'Rourke:  Yes.

Secretary Ash Carter (Con't):  -- to the strategy. With respect to the leverage, I'll start there in Baghdad but the leverage involves offering to do more for those who are pursuing the same objectives and withholding our support from those who are taking a different path or not going down the path they're supposed to.  So we find alternatives, we find people that can act.  If-if-if the people 
that we're dealing with are not capable of -- because we have to act and we will find such forces that are capable. 

Ash Carter was either very stupid in his response or he'd elected to lie.

Nouri al-Maliki was rewarded by the White House with a second term when he'd done nothing to bring Iraq together.  And after Barack Obama gave Nouri a second term in 2010, Nouri went on to further persecute the Sunnis.

US House Rep Adam Smith, in the hearing, noted how there's little difference for Iraqis with Haider al-Abadi replacing Nouri as prime minister (in the fall of 2014).

That should be no surprise.

The two are both from State of Law (Nouri started the political coalition, Haider served in it) and from the Dawa political party.

Sunnis, to focus on just one group, continue to be persecuted under Haider's leadership or 'leadership.'

This morning in Geneva, the spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights addressed the issue.

Cecile Pouilly:   We are concerned at reports of increasing human rights violations and abuses committed against Sunni Arab communities in parts of Iraq that have been reclaimed from ISIL.
Reports indicate that Iraqi security forces, Kurdish security forces and their respective affiliated militias have been responsible for looting and destruction of property belonging to the Sunni Arab communities, forced evictions, abductions, illegal detention and, in some cases, extra-judicial killings.
Sunni Arab communities have also faced increasing discrimination, harassment and violence from other ethnic and religious groups who accuse them of supporting ISIL.
We have received reports as well about their limited access to basic services and essential goods, such as water, food, shelter and medical care.
We are particularly concerned about the situation of some 1,300 Sunni Arab Iraqis stuck near Sinjar in the no-man's-land between Kurdish security forces and ISIL.
Meanwhile, gross human rights violations continue to be documented in ISIL-controlled areas. Individuals suspected of disloyalty or of not conforming to the ideology of the group continue to be targeted, and there are reports of kidnappings and the burning and beheading of civilians. We have received reports that some 16 mass graves containing the bodies of individuals murdered by ISIL have been discovered in Sinjar.
We urge the Government of Iraq to investigate all human rights violations and abuses, including those committed against the Arab Sunni communities, to bring the perpetrators to justice and to ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies.
We also call upon the Iraqi authorities to ensure that the return of internally displaced people to their places of origin is carried out in accordance with humanitarian principles i.e. voluntarily, in dignity and safety without coercion or harassment of any kind, and that they are guaranteed access to essential services such as shelter, water, food, sanitation, and health services.

Nothing has changed.

US House Rep Adam Smith is correct on that.

So, by the answer Ash Carter gave, the US will be pulling its support for Haider al-Abadi.

No, that's not happening.

Haider's putting up a for-show fight about foreign fighters currently.


He's already agreed to the troops Barack's sending over next.

The public statements are to shore up support internally and the State Dept and Sean MacFarland have already given Haider the go ahead to make these statements.

It's all for show and fake.

On Haider's part, on the US government's part.

And, no, Ash Carter, no one's planning to pull support from Haider currently.

He doesn't need to protect the Sunnis any more than Nouri did.

Ash Carter is either stupid (he's not stupid) or he elected to lie.

His statements were for-show.

They weren't genuine.

They were meant to mollify, not to tell the truth.

The Iraq War was sold on lies and continues on lies.

Remember, as noted in yesterday's snapshot,  today on  SOJOURNER TRUTH WITH MARGARET PRESCOD, airs on Pacifica's KPFK out of Los Angeles, one of the planned topics for the roundtable discussion is the announcement of US ground troops to be in combat in Iraq and Syria.  SOJOURNER TRUTH was the only Pacifica program to devote a segment (see yesterday's snapshot) to that news this week.

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