ANGRY OLD WHITE MAN KEVIN DRUM IS SPITTING MAD.
JORGE RAMOS, AT LAST NIGHT'S DEBATE, "BADGERED" POOR OLD CRANKY CLINTON.
"BADGERED," OLD MAN DRUM HOLLERS.
CRANKY DID NOT ANSWER JORGE'S QUESTION.
AND IT UPSETS KEVIN DUM-DUM DRUM THAT SHE WAS FORCED TO.
IN THE FUTURE, NO CANDIDATE KEVIN DUM-DUM SUPPORTS WILL BE FORCED TO ANSWER A QUESTION BECAUSE, WHEN THE QUESTION IS ASKED, KEVIN DUM-DUM WILL STREAK ACROSS THE STAGE STARK NAKED AND THE BELLY LAUGHS THAT GREET THAT ACTION WILL DROWN OUT ANYONE'S MEMORY OF A QUESTION BEING ASKED.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Changing topics . . .
In Iraq, the Iraqi Security Forces, which include Iraqi Army and Counter-Terrorism Services (CTS) forces, Kurdish Peshmerga, and various Sunni and Shia volunteer elements, with the support of U.S. and Coalition air operations and advisors and materiel donations, have effectively halted ISIL's advance . The enemy is now almost exclusively focused on defending his strongholds rather than projecting combat power. Additionally, ISIL's counter-attack capability has been reduced as a result of battlefield losses, although we see the group conducting deadly terrorist attacks against Iraqi forces in Anbar and west of Baghdad, and, worryingly, civilian targets -- including in areas far from its control, in Baghdad and parts of the Shia-populated south.
That's US CENTCOM commander Gen Lloyd Austin speaking at Tuesday's Senate Armed Services Committee which we covered in Tuesday's Iraq snapshot and this morning in "Magical Bernie trumps Tired Hillary."
Austin was one of three generals appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee to offer testimony in the hearing. The other two were Gen Joseph Vogel (Special Operations Command) and Gen David Rodriguez (US Africa Command). The Chair of the Committee is Senator John McCain, the Ranking Member is Senator Jack Reed.
The quoted section in bold above was from Austin's opening remarks.
The opening remarks are sometimes also referred to as the prepared remarks or the written testimony because witnesses are supposed to submit those to the Congressional committees in advance. This allows members of Congress (and their staff) to pour over that prepared testimony in advance and to come up with questions to expand on issues being raised in that testimony or questions on issues that they see are not being covered in the written statements.
When Secretary of State John Kerry was a Senator, if he headed a Committee (such as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee), he would urge witnesses to summarize (briefly) their pages of written testimony instead of reading them word for word.
He was the exception.
(And as Secretary of State, he himself reads every word dully and in monotone, eating up time and dragging each hearing down. Were he the Chair of a Committee he was testifying before, he would cut himself off and tell himself to summarize the statement to save time.)
In most hearings, most witnesses still read every word. They may alter a word or two -- often due to getting lost while reading out loud from the pages before them -- but they don't usually introduce new ideas. There's a time limit for these opening statements and non-government officials will sometimes see the warning light flashing (indicating time is almost up) and try to quickly summarize the rest of their pages.
But for the most part, people stick to the written testimony when reading word for word.
So this is from Austin's prepared remarks:
We are making progress militarily in our efforts to defeat ISIL, as demonstrated by the recent victories in Ramadi and Shaddadi . However, military success will be lasting only if corresponding political progress is achieved in both Iraq and Syria . The Government of Iraq must take the necessary steps towards greater inclusiveness. Iraq will not remain a unified state long-term without the support of the major ethno-sectarian groups.
And we are noting that because it's important and it's something the State Dept (and that includes Barack's Special Envoy Brett McGurk) repeatedly forget to address publicly.
The White House continues to supply the Baghdad-based government in Iraq with weapons, US troops and money.
And it never says, "Haider al-Abadi, you've been prime minister since 2014 and we're not seeing any progress on inclusion. If you don't stop the persecution of the Sunnis, we're not sending use these jets" or whatever.
Under Barack, the US State Dept doesn't do diplomacy.
While Austin's point is very, very important, he made another remark that was also highly important.
Gen Lloyd Austin: Of note, the Kurish Peshmerga remain critical to our efforts on the ground in the northern part of the country. They are irreplaceable and we must do all that we can to support them.
Some readers will agree with him on that, some won't.
Most members of the US Congress -- Democrats and Republicans -- will agree with that remark.
Does the White House?
Actually, no, it does not.
Nor does the US State Dept which tries to pretend it's being 'impartial' while toadying to the Baghdad-based government.
That makes the statement important.
You know what else makes it important?
It appears no where in his written testimony.
He wasn't two minutes into his opening remarks when he made this comment, reading from a version of his opening remarks that was pretty much word-for-word what he submitted (and what will be in the official record -- the written testimony is put into the official record).
But that passage?
His comments on the Peshmerga did not appear in the submitted remarks.
Because the remarks would not have been cleared for submission had the statement appeared in them.
The official position of the administration goes against those remarks -- as is clear in every State Dept press briefing.
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