FRIDAY, FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O IS SCHEDULED TO MAKE A STUNNING ANNOUNCEMENT THAT WILL SHOCK THE NATION.
EVER SINCE SHONDA RHIMES DECIDED TO USE HER WINTER BREAK WITH HANDLING NARRATIVE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE, IT'S BEEN ONE TWISTER AFTER ANOTHER.
AS BARRY O ANNOUNCES HIS NOMINEE FOR THE NEXT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE.
YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS THE FINAL 2 MINUTES OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT WHERE BARRY O ANNOUNCES THAT NOT ONLY IS IT JOHN KERRY BUT THAT HE'S ALSO DECIDED TO DECLARE WAR ON MARS.
AND DON'T MISS THE STUNNING MOUTH-ON-MOUTH KISS THAT WILL END THE PRESS CONFERENCE.
BARRY O'S WINTER FINALE.
ON THE ROSE GARDEN.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Today, CENTCOM announced, "In Iraq, four airstrikes near Mosul destroyed five ISIL bunkers, two ISIL-occupied buildings, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL fighting position and two heavy weapons. In addition, those airstrikes also struck a large ISIL unit and a tactical ISIL unit. Near Ramadi, two airstrikes destroyed four ISIL vehicles. Near Tal Afar, an airstrike destroyed an excavator and struck a tactical ISIL unit."
The US-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State has killed many and, though the US government would like to pretend otherwise, that includes many civilians. Chris Woods (Foreign Policy) reports:
The United States is not planning to grant compensation for civilians killed in airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, Foreign Policy has learned, despite claims by credible groups that at least 100 noncombatants may already have died in the 16 weeks of U.S.-led bombings.
The decision, confirmed by a senior spokesman for U.S. Central Command (Centcom), the military command organization in charge of the air war, marks a significant departure from recent conflicts, in which payments have regularly been made to civilians negatively impacted by U.S. military actions.
What a proud moment for Barack Obama. Even Bully Boy Bush's administration compensated some for Iraqi civilians killed by US military actions.
Let's stay with the US government for a bit. At the State Dept press briefing today, spokesperson Marie Harf noted, "The Secretary [of State John Kerry] is on travel in Europe today. This morning in Brussels he participated in the Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at NATO, had meetings with EU High Representative Mogherini and Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi, participated in a meeting on Libya with European foreign ministers and the EU, a meeting on the U.S.-EU Energy Ministerial, and he held a press availability which I’m sure many of you saw. Tonight he arrives in Basel, Switzerland for meetings at the OSCE, the first of which will be with Swiss Foreign Minister Burkhalter."
That Counter-ISIL Coalition meeting? John Kerry wandered around the topic in public remarks to the press today in Brussels:
Secretary John Kerry: [T]oday was an opportunity for representatives from about 60 members of the anti-ISIL coalition to come together, share their views, receive updates on coalition efforts, make suggestions about the roadmap ahead, and discuss as carefully as possible the pluses and minuses of the strategy engaged and what needs to be done to accomplish our goals going forward.
It was absolutely clear in the comments of everybody, particularly the prime minister of Iraq and his team, that we have made already significant progress in two and a half months. But we also acknowledge there is a lot more work yet to be done. Daesh is still perpetrating terrible crimes, but there was a consensus that the momentum which it had exhibited two and a half months ago has been halted, that it has been forced to modify its tactics – and some of those modifications severely hampering their ability to operate in the way that they were, certainly – that their hold on territory has been challenged already, and their finances have been strained, and in almost every media market that exists, and certainly within the region, their message is being denounced. Their message of hate is being challenged in public meeting places, in mosques across the globe. This clearly represents a multifaceted effort, which is precisely what we defined in the earliest days of suggesting that we would build a coalition and the coalition would take on Daesh.
Now, while airstrikes may capture the headlines – and there have been more than 1,000 of them thus far – this is far more than simply a military coalition. And it will not be successful, we all agree, if it were to rely on military alone, which it does not. Destroying Daesh is going to require defeating the ideology – the funding, the recruitment, and the devastation that they’ve been able to inflict on people in the region. And these are the areas that were really the primary focus of today’s discussion.
During this morning’s meeting, we reviewed the progress in each of our five lines of effort and came together in issuing a joint statement, all countries signing on, that underscores our unity and our firm support for our partners and our absolute determination to succeed. Participants noted the gains that we have made across all of the lines of effort – defeating ISIL on the battlefield, restricting its finances, enacting laws to restrict the flow of foreign fighters, and countering its toxic ideology.
The long-term success of the effort in Iraq is key to the success of the coalition. And today we heard directly from Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi, whose government yesterday revealed and reached a long-sought agreement, a landmark oil deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government. The prime minister also provided an update on the fight against Daesh in Iraq and on his broader reform agenda, including an executive order that he just issued to begin important changes in the criminal justice system of Iraq. Nothing will do more to defeat Daesh than an Iraq that is united and has more representative and effective security forces.
Now, obviously there’s a lot more work ahead. But the prime minister has taken steps to unite the country, including outreach to Sunni tribes. He has taken steps to root out corruption and to reform the Iraqi Security Forces and to take on the threat that Daesh represents. I think it’s fair to say that all of the foreign ministers, ambassadors, representatives who were there today came away impressed by Prime Minister Abadi and by what he has accomplished today, which is the down payment on the roadmap that he laid out for the future.
I like John Kerry -- supported his presidential run in 2004 -- but sometimes he's just too pathetic for words.
Should of been his crowning moment of the year today. It's been a bad year for John. Not like when he was in California and shot off his mouth thereby destroying any hopes of a 2008 run for president. That was weeks of bad. Weeks of embarrassment. 2014 has just been him forgetting he's Secretary of State and not of Defense.
He's gone crazy trying to play administration tough guy.
Today, he finally did something that was actually a job for the Secretary of State.
Despite the press traveling with him, the foreign ministries meet-up today received very little attention from the press.
And that's his fault.
When he had the microphone today addressing the press, he couldn't stay on topic.
I don't give a damn what he thinks about Libya or China. We didn't include it.
I used to think, "Some day John will find the self-confidence to stop trying to show off and just focus on the task at hand." The closer he gets to death, the less likely he'll ever arrive at a moment of self-confidence or self-awareness.
He has the world's attention for one brief moment and can speak for the administration and finally note something on the diplomatic front with regards to Iraq but that's for people who want to do their job.
It's not good enough for a John Kerry who wants to overwhelm you.
He killed his own moment.
That's on him.
He let down the administration because he couldn't stop strutting.
His task today was simple, to stay on topic (Iraq) and assure the world that the US had a diplomatic plan -- something in the works that would help bring Iraq to the "political solution" that Barack Obama has repeatedly said was the only answer for Iraq.
That was what was needed from the Secretary of State.
Kerry couldn't pull it off because he couldn't stay focused.
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