JUDD APTOWN AND THE WIFE HE PUTS IN MOVIES MET WITH FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O.
BARRY O SAID HE WAS THRILLED TO "ONCE AGAIN BE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PERSON IN THE ROOM! I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW GREAT IT WAS TO STAND NEXT TO THAT FAT PUTZ AND HIS HAGGED OUT WIFE. IT MAKES ME WANT TO JUST INVITE UGLY PEOPLE TO THE WHITE HOUSE FROM NOW ON. OR AT LEAST STAND NEXT TO JOE BIDEN FOR EVERY PHOTO."
AND SOME PEOPLE SAY BARRY O CAN'T STRATEGIZE!
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Mark your calendars, Ammar Al Shamary (USA Today) reports, "Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Tuesday that 'the liberation of Anbar is so close'. "
So close -- closer and closer
Feel your body next to mine
So close -- closer and closer
closer and closer and closer
I lose all sense of time
I want to stay here for the rest of my life
I want to stay here for the rest of my life
-- "So Close," written by Bill Wray, Rob Mounsey and Diana Ross, first appears on Diana's Silk Electric album.
And it may take the rest of our lives.
It certainly won't be "so close."
Anbar isn't a city, it's a province. And while Ramadi feel to the Islamic State this month, the province itself has been under IS de facto control since spring of 2014. The 'success' of Tikrit this spring was no 'success' at all.
The mission to retake the city from the Islamic State was supposed to be quick and last less than a week. It took them weeks just to get into the city itself. And today?
Tikrit is empty.
Refugees who fled the violence of the Islamic State refuse to return for the same reason that others fled the 'liberation' -- the Shi'ite militias (thugs) were looting and terrorizing.
And Iraq's prime minister responded how?
After denying the War Crimes were taking place, after photos surfaced proving that they were, Haider announced that from this moment forward those breaking the law better stop. Starting now. He's not kidding, mister. Right now.
No one was ever punished for anything despite the fact that the thugs were quite happy during their crime spree -- as demonstrated by their broad smiles in one photograph after another.
And yet no one was punished.
Even with photographs of the guilty, Haider and his forces were unable to figure out what the criminals looked like.
Tikrit was a failure in every way.
It revealed that the Iraqi forces were not ready for combat.
It also revealed that the Iranian help was no real help at all.
Despite -- or maybe because -- Iranian Quds Force ommander Qasem Solemani calling the shots, the mission faltered week after week and the Iraqi forces were only able to move forward (and into Tikrit) as a result of Solemani leaving and the US military dropping bombs from war planes.
So claims by Haider al-Abadi that liberation of Anbar Province -- the entire province -- are "close" are probably as dubious as every other claim the fool has made.
That includes, but is not limited to, when he tried to big boy on the international stage last fall by announcing that he had 'intelligence' on terrorist attacks on NYC's subways. Though the White House was indulgent, as always, on their child-like idiot, others -- especially NYC officials -- felt no obligation to treat crazy Haider with kid gloves and he returned to Iraq with the howls of laughter still echoing in his ears.
With that record dogging him, Haider wants to announce that not only is he initiating a mission to 'liberate' Anbar Province but that liberation is very close.
Hamdi Alkhshali, Nick Paton Walsh and Laura Smith-Spark (CNN) report, "Iraq forces have launched a major military operation to liberate Iraq's Anbar and Salaheddin provinces from ISIS, Iraqi state media and a key Shia militia group said Tuesday, a little more than a week after the militant group overran Anbar's provincial capital, Ramadi."
So the Iraqi forces are launching an operation --
Well, Iraq military adjacent at any rate. Ben Kamisar (The Hill) words it this way, "Iraqi-allied forces have launched a new offensive to retake two major provinces from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to local media reports." Simon Tomlinson (Telegraph of London) notes, "A spokesman for Iraq's Shi'ite militias boasted that the operation launched to retake the province from the Islamic State will 'not last for a long time' and that Iraqi forces have surrounded the provincial capital from three sides."
The Shi'ite militias -- noted for their abuses and their criminal actions -- are taking part in the action in Sunni Anbar?
No, they're leading it -- or saying that they are. Reuters reports, "Iraq's Shi'ite militia announced on Tuesday they had taken charge of the campaign to drive Islamic State from the western province of Anbar, giving the operation an openly sectarian codename that could infuriate its Sunni population." And the codename is Labaik ya Hussein to ensure that sectarian tensions rise even further. AP explains that the phrase "refers to a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and one of the most revered figures of Shiite Islam." Joshua Keating (Slate) elaborates further:
The Shiite militias have named the Anbar campaign “Labaik ya Hussein”—a slogan honoring the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad whose defeat and beheading in 680 A.D. is one of the defining moments in the history of Shia Islam and the schism between the Shiites and Sunnis. The name is not exactly designed to assuage the fears of Sunni locals who see the campaign as an Iranian-backed Shiite takeover. It also plays into the hands of ISIS, which portrays itself as fighting on behalf of Iraq’s beleaguered Sunni population.
Zee News words it this way, "Iraq`s Shi`ite paramilitaries announced on Tuesday they had taken charge of the campaign to drive Islamic State from the western province of Anbar, giving the operation an openly sectarian codename that could infuriate its Sunni population."
AFP reports, "The Pentagon has expressed disappointment over a decision by Iraqi militias to impose an explicitly Shia name for a military operation in Iraq’s Sunni heartland, saying it could aggravate sectarian tensions." Zee News words it this way, "Washington: The Pentagon on Tuesday said it was "unhelpful" for Iraq`s Shi`ite militia to have announced an openly sectarian code name for the operation to retake the Sunni city of Ramadi and added that, in the US view, the full-on offensive had yet to begin."
And these steps make the news at the same time that Iraqi Spring MC notes that southeast of Baquba, Shi'ite militias have burned ten houses and are telling people they must leave their village. The same outlets rushing to repeat the Baghdad propaganda shy from reporting those actions.
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