Saturday, October 18, 2014
Dodging the bill again
FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O IS ALSO SOMETHING OF A DEADBEAT.
DINING OUT RECENTLY, THE O MADE A BIG SHOW ABOUT PICKING UP THE BILL ONLY TO PROVIDE A CREDIT CARD THAT WAS DECLINED.
HIS PARTY WAS PREVENTED FROM HAVING TO DINE AND DASH WHEN SHE-HULK PULLED OUT HER OWN CARD AND PAID FOR DINNER.
REACHED FOR COMMENT, BARRY O TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "HEY, A FREE MEAL'S A FREE MEAL."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
On the topic of the Iraqi police, Elizabeth Palmer (CBS News) observes, "Basic training lasts 45 days. The young recruits are almost done. In two weeks, they'll be sent into combat. They're called police, but they're trained like the military." A ton of money -- US tax payer money -- was already spent training the Iraqi police.
You may remember that the Minister of Interior said in the fall of 2011 that the US should find a better way to spend their money and that training wasn't needed.
You may remember that the man the US press insisted was the Minister of the Interior said that. He wasn't the Minister. The ministry was headless. Nouri al-Maliki, thug and prime minister, refused to nominate anyone to head the security ministries. Instead, he named flunkies 'acting ministers' which -- while unconstitutional -- allowed him to control the ministries.
So actually, the flunky was speaking on behalf of Nouri.
Now they need help.
One plan being tossed around was basically three sets of forces -- Kurds, Sunnis and Shi'ites -- making up a national guard.
The justification for this was probably best explained by Fareed Zakaria (CNN's Global Public Square), "Billions of dollar poured into it, because it was based on the idea that there was an Iraq, that there was a nation that there would be a national army for. Maybe we need a different strategy, which is to stand up sectarian militias, Shia militias, Sunni militias. They already exist. And the Kurds have their Peshmerga, that model. Send them into fight in their areas, not in other areas where they would be regarded as a foreign army."
That notion appears to be dead now. Tamer el-Ghobashy (Wall St. Journal) reports:
Momentum has swung against the proposal to create a national guard that would encompass local forces in Iraq’s provinces as rival political blocs expressed reservations over who would be allowed into the new service and how funding would be allocated.
The Obama administration has pushed the national guard proposal as a way to bring minority Sunnis closer to the Shiite-dominated central government after years of policies espoused by former Prime Minister Iraqi Nouri al-Maliki that excluded them.
So the police are being rushed through training, the national guard idea appears dead, Shi'ite militias terrorize Sunnis throughout Iraq. On those militias, NINA quotes Kirkuk's Sheikh Othman Agha calling for "a solution to the militias, which are spread in public roads and highways being contrary to the Constitution and detrimental to the national interest and harmony among citizens of one nation."
It's a shame the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Interior aren't addressing these issues and --
Oh, wait, again there is no Minister of Defense and there is no Minister of Interior.
All Iraq News reports rumors that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi intends to make new nominations for the post on Saturday: Khalid al-Ubaidi for Minister of Defense and the always controversial Ahmed Chalabi for Minister of Interior.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Barry needs his secrets
FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O REFUSES TO RELEASE TO THE PUBLIC THE COSTS OF ALL HIS FUNDRAISING TRIPS ON BEHALF OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
"LET THEM EAT CAKE! OR SOME WELFARE CAKE EQUIVALENT! A PRICE TAG CAN'T BE PUT ON MY JOY," INSISTED BARRY O TO THESE REPORTERS TONIGHT.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
As for boots on the ground, they really aren't part of Barack's 'plan' thus far (yes, there are US soldiers on the ground in Iraq, Barack splits hairs and pretends otherwise). On Meet The Press yesterday, Barack's national security advisor Susan Rice insisted that there would be no change to the plan in that regard, "The president has been very plain that this is not a campaign that requires or even would benefit from American ground troops in combat again. The Iraqi prime minister, the government of Iraq have said very plainly, they don't want American troops in combat. We are there to help build up the Iraqi capacity to sustain their territory and to hold their ground. "
So what is the plan?
To bomb and continue bombing. Maybe throw in a couple of prayers for success.
There is nothing else at present.
Which is why Barack should never have started bombing Iraq to begin with.
It was never going to solve anything. But once the bombing started, all talk of a political solution was set aside as war was treated as a game and bombs as toys by the White House.
It's really accomplished nothing.
On Meet The Press, NBC News' Richard Engel offered this evaluation of the 'plan:'
The Iraqi army is in no better shape now than it was when it collapsed. The new Iraqi government is not instilling confidence in the people. It is not instilling confidence in the armed forces. The U.S. spent years and years and billions of dollars to build the Iraqi army, only to watch it collapse and hand over so many of its weapons.
So it is completely unrealistic to think that now, with a little bit of outside help and a lot of American good will, that the army is going to fundamentally change and the Iraqi government, which is really just a reshuffle of the same characters, is going to fundamentally change and suddenly inspire the Iraqi people to be behind it.
Of the Iraqi military, Fareed Zakaria (CNN's Global Public Square) offers, "Billions of dollar poured into it, because it was based on the idea that there was an Iraq, that there was a nation that there would be a national army for. Maybe we need a different strategy, which is to stand up sectarian militias, Shia militias, Sunni militias. They already exist. And the Kurds have their Peshmerga, that model. Send them into fight in their areas, not in other areas where they would be regarded as a foreign army."
Meanwhile, Peter Symonds (WSWS) notes, "Haditha is reportedly the only major town in Anbar still firmly in government hands. Since the beginning of the month, ISIS forces have captured a series of towns including the provincial capital of Ramadi." The fall of city after city in Iraq has become almost as much a daily staple in the news cycle as the never-ending violence. In terms of today's abandoned base and takeover, Al Jazeera notes:
Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad, said that ISIL's takeover puts nearby towns including Amiri under threat.
"Amiri is a very key town, that is where the main supply line from Anbar province into Baghdad and the rest of the south of the country goes from," he said.
The fall of the base comes as residents of the area flee to other parts of Anbar. BBC News reports:
As many as 180,000 people have fled fighting between Iraqi forces and Islamic State (IS) militants in and around the city of Hit in western Anbar province, the UN says.The civilians - many of whom were already displaced - have headed east towards the war-torn city of Ramadi.
On the topic of refugees, UNHCR notes Mohammed Ali of Syria and that "He is one of more than 2,500 Kurdish Syrians from Kobane to have made the crossing since Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government opened the border to refugees last Friday, with the authorities predicting that tens of thousands more could arrive in the coming weeks."
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Monday, October 13, 2014
Elizabeth Warren adds her voice to the chorus
FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O GETS IT COMING AND GOING.
THE LATEST TO NOTICE THAT BARRY CAN'T WALK ON HIS OWN PISS?
MEDIA DARLING ELIZABETH WARREN (OR, TO USE HER NATIVE AMERICAN NAME, SPEAKS WITH FORKED TONGUE) HAS CALLED OUT BARRY O FOR BEING TOO COZY WITH WALL STREET.
REACHED FOR COMMENT, BARRY O RESPONDED, "THE WOMAN WHO CLAIMED TO BE A NATIVE AMERICAN? OH, THAT'S RICH!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Despite a BBC media whore spinning (we'll get to it), violence remains common place in Iraq.
For example, Baghdad was slammed by two bombings today. Reuters notes the car bombing left 19 people dead and twenty-nine more injured. AP reports one was a car bombing and the other a suicide car bombing. Al Jazeera adds, "Also on Saturday, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives belt in a market 28km north of Baghdad, between the towns of Tarmiyah and Mishahda, killing at least seven people and wounding 25 others. The area has been the scene of clashes between Iraqi forces and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters, who have taken control of large sections of northern and western Iraq this year."
AFP adds "The Islamic State group has executed at least four women, including two doctors and a politician, in their northern Iraq strongholds this month, relatives and rights activists said on Saturday." The politician was MP Iman Mohammed Yunnis, the name of the woman who was a law school graduate has not been released but the two doctors are Maha Sabhan and Lamia Ismail. Activist Hanaa Edwar, of Al-Amal Association. tells AFP, "After going after the ethnic and religious minorities, they are now hunting down Sunni members of civil society groups and anyone remotely connected with the government. [. . .] When you abduct and kill women, you are really spreading horror."
Along with the above, there was certainly much damage in bombs dropped from the sky. CENTCOM announced today:
In Iraq, an airstrike north of Tal Afar struck a small ISIL unit and destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle. Two airstrikes northwest of Hit struck two small ISIL units. These strikes, in which the Netherlands also participated, employed attack and fighter aircraft deployed to the Centcom area of operations.
All aircraft exited the strike areas safely, officials added.
At the Iraqi government’s request, U.S. aircraft from several air bases in the Centcom area of operations airdropped 36 container delivery system bundles containing 7,328 halal meals, 2,065 gallons of water and 16,000 pounds of ammunition to Iraqi security forces near Bayji, officials said, and left the airdrop zone safely.
The airdrops were intended to support the Iraqi forces, which continues to control Bayji, Centcom officials said, noting that areas outside the city remain contested, as ISIL continues to conduct operations in the area.
Oh, those 'precision strikes.' Another 'precision strike' has left 4 people dead. The four were Iraqi soldiers. Wounded Iraqi soldiers, in fact. Their killers?
The Iraqi militaty.
Al Jazeera explains, "The soldiers, who had been wounded by ISIL fighters, were being taken to hospital when Shia volunteer fighters mistook them for ISIL fighters and fired a rocket-propelled grenade at their vehicle, police and medical officials said."
And actually, that's Reuters explains -- specifically Ahmed Rasheed, Raheem Salman, Ned Parker and Raissa Kasolowsky -- though Al Jazeera forgets to credit the journalists.
Even when the not-so-precise 'precision strikes' hit their intended targets, there's still the problem with ensuring that the people targeted are indeed 'terrorists.'
The four Iraqi soldiers are just the latest in a long list of Iraqis who were wrongly killed.
On Friday, Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) reports that 197 people died in violence with another twenty left injured.
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