THURSDAY, FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O DECLARED THAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAD NO PLAN FOR IRAQ OR SYRIA YET.
THE GUARDIAN INFORMS THAT IT'S COST THE U.S. TAXPAYER $7.5 A DAY FOR BARRY O'S IRAQ ADVENTURES SINCE JUNE 16TH.
THAT ADDS UP TO OVER A 1/2 BILLION DOLLARS SO FAR ($555 MILLION, TO BE PRECISE).
NO RUSH ON DECIDING ANY TIME SOON, BARRY O, BUT REMEMBER, TIP IS 15% MINIMUM.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Today on a KPFA newsbreak, Mark Mericle noted:
Oakland Congresswoman Barbara Lee is one of three lawmakers who have sent a letter to Republican House Speaker John Boehner calling for a debate and a vote on an authorization for the use of military force in Iraq when the House of Representatives returns on September 8th. In a statement, Lee says that it's clear that the current US mission in Iraq is extended beyond the limited, specific and targeted scope of preventing genocide and ensuring the security of US personnel there. Lee said the president must seek Congressional authorization before the situation escalates further. She was joined by Democrat Jim McGovern and Republican Walter Jones. The three were the principle co-sponsers of a resolution that overwhelming passed the House with 370 votes. It said the president should not deploy or maintain United States armed forces in a sustained combat role in Iraq without the specific authorization from Congress.
Time's Jay Newton-Small explains:
There are some in Congress who are calling on Obama to push through a War Powers Resolution. Article II of the Constitution grants the President the power to defend the country. But Article I gives only Congress the power to declare war. So, what in a post-war-on-terrorism era constitutes an actual war? In 1973, afraid of Vietnam mission creep, Congress passed the War Powers Act, which requires the President to consult Congress 60 days after engaging in hostilities. If you count bombing a foreign country as hostile — as the U.S. did against militants in northern Iraq on Aug. 7 — then the 60 days expires Oct. 7.
Theoretically, if Congress cares about not further weakening its oversight of the President’s ability to bomb whatever country he pleases, lawmakers will move to pass a War Powers Resolution in the next month. Presidents, including Obama, have argued that the War Powers Act is unconstitutional. But a turf fight over who gets to go to war is the last thing on Congress’ mind weeks before the midterm elections.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama insisted today that "throughout this process, we've consulted closely with Congress, and the feedback I've gotten from Congress is, is that we're doing the right thing."
He was speaking this afternoon at the White House -- in the suit that gave Cedric and Wally pause.
US President Barack Obama: Second, in Iraq, our dedicated pilots and crews continue to carry out the targeted strikes that I authorized to protect Americans there and to address the humanitarian situation on the ground. As Commander-in-Chief, I will always do what is necessary to protect the American people and defend against evolving threats to our homeland. Because of our strikes, the terrorists of ISIL are losing arms and equipment. In some areas, Iraqi government and Kurdish forces have begun to push them back. And we continue to be proud and grateful to our extraordinary personnel serving in this mission. Now, ISIL poses an immediate threat to the people of Iraq and to people throughout the region. And that’s why our military action in Iraq has to be part of a broader, comprehensive strategy to protect our people and to support our partners who are taking the fight to ISIL. And that starts with Iraq’s leaders building on the progress that they've made so far and forming an inclusive government that will unite their country and strengthen their security forces to confront ISIL. Any successful strategy, though, also needs strong regional partners. I'm encouraged so far that countries in the region -- countries that don't always agree on many things -- increasingly recognize the primacy of the threat that ISIL poses to all of them. And I've asked Secretary Kerry to travel to the region to continue to build the coalition that’s needed to meet this threat. As I've said, rooting out a cancer like ISIL will not be quick or easy, but I'm confident that we can -- and we will -- working closely with our allies and our partners. For our part, I've directed Secretary Hagel and our Joint Chiefs of Staff to prepare a range of options. I'll be meeting with my National Security Council again this evening as we continue to develop that strategy. And I've been consulting with members of Congress and I’ll continue to do so in the days ahead.
Barack was several minutes late for the appearance which is strange until you realize he was supposed to begin speaking at four but had been scheduled to meet, also at four, with US Vice President Joe Biden and the National Security Council. Barack is said to have met for four minutes ahead of the meeting. A quick four minutes. And, as he noted in his remarks, he was meeting with them later that evening as well.
"Them" was identified in this White House press release:
Readout of the President’s Meeting with the National Security Council on Iraq and ISIL
This afternoon the President met with his National Security Council to discuss the situation in Iraq, our ongoing efforts to support the Iraqi government, and our comprehensive strategy to counter the threat posed by ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The President will continue to consult with his national security team in the days to come.
Participants in today’s meeting included:
The Vice President (via secure video)
Secretary of State John Kerry (via secure video)
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (via secure video)
Attorney General Eric Holder
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson (via secure video)
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough
National Security Advisor Susan Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power (via secure video)
White House Counsel Neil Eggleston
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey (via secure video)
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Winnefeld
Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matthew Olsen
U.S. Central Command Commander Lloyd Austin (via secure video)
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shaun Donovan
Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken
Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco
Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Caroline Atkinson
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns
White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and Gulf Region Philip Gordon
Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs Katie Fallon
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran Brett McGurk
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft (via secure video)
Suzanne George, Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff of the National Security Council
In an embarrassing article for the Guardian (Barack is seen as torn -- deer in the headlights, little puppy, etc.), Spencer Ackerman does note, "Obama’s national security team convened at the White House Thursday afternoon to discuss the contours of a still-inchoate strategy. Administration officials have recently begun describing Isis in apocalyptic and near-hysterical terms, even as they decline to endorse additional military action against it, a discrepancy that has prompted confusion in Washington and beyond."
Maybe these sketchy meetings explain in part why the 'mission' in Iraq still lacks a mission?
Josh Jordan Tweeted the following today:
Pew Poll - Obama approval on the issues: Economy 39-55 Immigration 31-61* Russia/Ukraine 35-52 Israel 37-48 Iraq 35-56* * = all time low
Francis Matthew (Gulf News) notes:
This alarming lack of purpose is reflected in how the world’s superpower is confused about what it is trying to do. President Barack Obama has offered some deeply contradictory messages as he first authorised humanitarian support on a strictly limited basis, but then talked of refusing to allow Isil to continue and the necessity of a long drawn-out struggle.
It is clear that the growing acceptance of the importance of defeating Isil is creating some very uneasy alliances, as the Iranians and Bashar Al Assad regime in Syria offer to work with the Americans and Saudis. This fits into the new pragmatic search for stability that will dominate the Arab world for the next few years, as regional and world powers work with any non-Islamist who can regain control of a nation state and impose an end to civil war and chaos.
Here are some Tweets in reaction to Barack's speech:
Obama: 'We don't have a strategy yet' on ISIS. http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-statement-ukraine-russia-iraq-2014-8 … Okay Mr President, now tell us something we didn't know.
Be fair re: President's admission we have no IS strategy: only been in office dealing w Iraq 6 yrs, Syria for 3, IS took Fallujah in Jan.
Where are people getting that Obama is an isolationist? Drone wars, extended Iraq War, stay in Afghanistan until 2024, Syria, Libya, etc.
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