FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O STOOD TODAY IN FRONT OF SIX -- 1,2,3,4,5,6! -- AMERICAN FLAGS IN AN EFFORT TO SHORE UP HIS CREDIBILITY AS HE TICKED OFF SOME GENERALITIES HE CALLED "REFORMS" WHICH ARE SUPPOSED TO ADDRESS THE ILLEGAL SPYING.
ALREADY HIS NSA 'REFORMS' ARE BEING COMPARED TO HIS (FAILED) PROMISE TO CLOSE GUANTANAMO.
REACHED FOR COMMENT BY THESE REPORTERS, THE DAHLI BAMA SNAPPED, "I STOOD IN FRONT OF SIX FLAGS! SIX! WHAT MORE DO YOU PEOPLE WANT!!!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Iraq is in so many crises that even the US can't ignore it (continue to ignore it) these days. It was an issue raised repeatedly yesterday in the House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee. We covered the hearing in yesterday's snapshot, Ruth covered it in "Benghazi addressed in Congress," Kat in "Homeland Security Committee hearing," Wally in "Beto O'Rourke talks about Iraq" and Ava in "US Rep Brian Higgins weighs in on Iraq." US House Rep Michael McCaul is Committee Chair and US House Rep Bennie G. Thompson is the Ranking Member. The Committee heard testimony from former US Senator Joe Lieberman, former US House Rep Jane Harman, retired General Jack Keane and the RAND Corporation's Dr. Seth Jones. We're going to drop back to the hearing for these remarks from Keane during US House Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee.
Retired General Jack Keane: I disagree with you, Congresswoman, on Iraq. The fact of the matter is that the immunity issue was not a serious issue, it was a false issue presented by Maliki as face saving because the United States envoy came in after the military had recommended 24,000 soldiers stay in Iraq. The president's envoy put 10,000 on the table. Maliki knew that was not a serious proposal and it eventually got down to nothing. The immunity issue got brought up at the end. And was more face saving for him inside Iraq than anything else. The fact of the matter is that is a significant strategic blunder -- not leaving forces there -- much as we did post-WWII, not for security reasons but for influence. And we lost this influence over Maliki. And even further than that, it's more than just the troops. We disengaged geo-politically with Iraq in terms of partnering with them which they wanted very much so. They forced a Strategic Framework Agreement on us. We wanted to have a Status Of Forces Agreement on the troops and they said no. Maliki said we're not doing that until we agree to have a strategic partnership that will last twenty years. That was their idea. We walked away from that as well. And now we have this debacle on our hands.
We're including that because a simplistic memory has replaced actual history. Just last week, The National Interest was mocking Senator John McCain over accurate remarks that McCain was making. The idiot at National Interest wasn't even aware that McCain had been making those accurate remarks publicly since November 2011. McCain knows a great deal about the political mood in Iraq during the negotiations for a new SOFA.
I didn't support another SOFA. I also don't think the lack of one is what's responsible for Iraq's problems today. Those are my strongly held opinions. My opinions do not allow me to lie about McCain or anyone else. It's a shame The National Interest has standards lower than mine.
Keane's facts on the negotiations are solid. His interpretation of the facts you can agree with or not.
But the notion that has taken hold has been a huge lie. On the 'left,' for some (the ya'll drawling radio host for one -- whose Libertarian, not left) the lie was Nouri defeated the US!!!! WE LOVE NOURI!
Which is why Antiwar Radio has been the biggest joke for years -- unable to call out Nouri al-Maliki because the host was too busy sucking his knob. Nouri didn't do anything wonderful to end a war.
Nouri's plan was to renew the SOFA, that is known. It became more difficult due to political considerations on the ground. When the numbers dropped from what he wanted (at one point, the US State Dept was aware Nouri wanted 36,000 US troops to remain in the country), it became, for Nouri, not worth the risk of the SOFA. But he was saying for that time and planning to pick the topic back up. This was testified to Congress by Leon Panetta.
A lot of people who have heard none of the Congressional testimony on this issue have weighed in with half-baked b.s. So much so that The National Interest thought they could mock John McCain for telling the truth. There are a lot of times I have mocked John McCain in the past -- and I'm sure will do so in the future -- but I've never mocked for speaking the truth.
We may come back to the hearing tomorrow, we may not. But for the record, my belief is and has been that the current crises in Iraq stem from the White House's refusal in 2010 to support Iraqi voters and instead back Nouri for a second term as prime minister even though his State of Law came in second to Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya. From Ned Parker's "Who Lost Iraq?" (POLITICO):
It was the April 2010 national election and its tortured aftermath that sewed the seeds of today’s crisis in Iraq. Beforehand, U.S. state and military officials had prepared for any scenario, including the possibility that Maliki might refuse to leave office for another Shiite Islamist candidate. No one imagined that the secular Iraqiya list, backed by Sunni Arabs, would win the largest number of seats in parliament. Suddenly the Sunnis’ candidate, secular Shiite Ayad Allawi, was poised to be prime minister. But Maliki refused and dug in.
And it is here where America found its standing wounded. Anxious about midterm elections in November and worried about the status of U.S. forces slated to be drawn down to 50,000 by August, the White House decided to pick winners. According to multiple officials in Baghdad at time, Vice President Joseph Biden and then-Ambassador Chris Hill decided in July 2010 to support Maliki for prime minister, but Maliki had to bring the Sunnis and Allawi onboard. Hill and his staff then made America’s support for Maliki clear in meetings with Iraqi political figures.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke with Piers Morgan (CNN -- link is text and video) last night and declared of Iraq, "I think that we succeeded in the mission in 2008 and 2009 in terms of being able to turn over to the Iraqis a fragile, but real, democratic government . . . as well as security and stability in the country. We basically handed them their future on a silver platter . . . I think we accomplished our mission, and we withdrew in a way that was not a strategic defeat with global consequences for us." So if Iraq was, in Gates' opinion, handed "a fragile, but real, democratic government," what changed that? Maybe in 2010, the White House refusing to endorse the election results and demand that the voters and the country's Constitution be followed?
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