Friday, June 19, 2015

Hillary responds







US Defense Secretary Ash Carter declared Wednesday that he found it hard to believe that Baghdad would fall to the Islamic State because so many of the Iraqi forces were being used to surround it and he did not believe Shi'ites would allow it to fall.

He was speaking to Congress, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee in a joint appearance with Gen Martin Dempsey, the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"That's why we're there right now," Dempsey quickly added to Carter's response.  "I mean the threat to Erbil was what drew us into the kinetic portion of this fight as well as the threat to Baghdad and the fact that we have our diplomatic presence there in the form of our Embassy and thousands of American citizens.  So -- Look, we will always protect our national interest with -- uh, unilaterally.  And some of the recent special operations strikes and some of the other kinetic strikes that you have seen us conduct -- both manned and unmanned -- and let's not forget that . . ."

As Dempsey meandered on and on, droning from one point to the next, rarely landing  on an actual point (were he a singer, we'd say he sang all around the note without ever actually hitting it), it became clear that US President Barack Obama's plan or 'plan' was as muddled as Dempsey's answer.

Which may be why, today, the US State Dept's John Kirby tried to stay far, far from the hearing.

QUESTION: Yeah. A follow-up on Iraq is you have been talking about the reforms in the Iraqi army, but there are reports also, the Foreign Affairs and International Crisis Group. They are talking about the fragmentation among Peshmerga also, the politicizing by the PUK and KDP forces. There are also a plan by the minister of Peshmerga to reform, and the ministry of Peshmerga too. Would you support this kind of reforms, or are you also concerned about the fragmentation among the Peshmerga forces?

MR KIRBY: I don’t think I’m going to make any statements here today about the reform of the Peshmerga. I mean, our focus is fighting against ISIL inside Iraq and in Syria. It’s a broad coalition. We’re working through the government in Baghdad. That’s how the support is getting to the Pesh, is through Baghdad, and I think we’d let the Iraqi Government speak to reforms in there.
What I will say is, writ large, we are constantly as a part of this mission looking for ways to help Iraq improve the capability, competence and the battlefield performance of Iraqi Security Forces. And two, a measure of that has been our support to help advise and assist Peshmerga as well.
I’ve got just time for a couple more. Back here.

QUESTION: Just on yesterday’s comments made by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at the hearing. He said a couple of things, one about Iraq. He said the United States did have a policy for the possibility of the disintegration of Iraq as a country. He said we will enable the local forces and they will not be a single country at that time. Can you elaborate more on that and do you really believe that Iraq is going to disintegrate, that’s why you have a policy for it?

MR KIRBY: I didn’t see those particular comments, and again, I am not the spokesman for the Secretary of Defense. So it’s not my place to speak to what he said or what he meant. Again, I’ll go back to – our policies remain unchanged, that the – we’re working with Prime Minister Abadi’s government, the elected Government of Iraq, which is a sovereign nation, and the support that we provide them militarily and otherwise goes through the government in Baghdad.

QUESTION: Also on Syria --

MR KIRBY: Now, I will – I do want to add that one of the things that – about Prime Minister Abadi’s leadership that we have noted with respect is the fact that he is trying to decentralize a little bit and he is trying to empower governors to act more on their behalf.

QUESTION: You do support a decentralized system of governance for Iraq, right?

MR KIRBY: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: You do support a decentralized system of governance?

MR KIRBY: We support Prime Minister Abadi’s efforts to decentralize some control in a federal-like way. But ultimately, these are his decisions that he has to make and obviously to be responsive to his electorate, the Iraqi people. But yes, we support his efforts – and these are his efforts. We’re – it’s not – we’re not making him do it; he’s doing this.

They support Haider al-Abadi.

How very sad.

They supported thug Nouri al-Maliki before.

They don't support the Iraqi people, please grasp that.

Please grasp the stupidity of mistaking a leader (a puppet) for the object of support.

Thug Nouri was supported.

So much so that when he lost the 2010 elections, Barack backed Nouri in his refusal to step down as prime minister.

So for eight months, the country was brought to a standstill (this is the political stalemate) and it only moved forward after the US government strong armed Iraqi leaders into signing off on The Erbil Agreement which went around the Iraqi voters, went around the Iraqi Constitution, and decreed loser Nouri would have a second term.

Again, the US government does not support the Iraqi people.

Instead, it's support whatever psychopath or loser they install as the head of the Iraqi government.

They support this thug until it's too embarrassing on the international stage to continue to support him.

Then they put the rabid dog down and move on to another.

Barack has no real strategy or plan.

For months, the press has lied about it and covered for him.

When they have allowed criticism to seep through, they've portrayed it as part of 'madman' John McCain's attacks and those other Republicans who stand with him.

Certainly, the media lie insists, no Democrats are opposed to Barack's plan.

US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard: You know we've heard a lot about this first line of effort that you outlined in your opening remarks to address the political and the sectarian situation in Iraq.  And I think it's important as we look at this question of what is our strategy to defeat ISIS, it's important that we operate in the world that actually exists -- not the one that we hope or we wished could exist or would exist in the future.  It's important to recognize that while these ideals are good to have, we're operating in the world that exists today.  So even as we look at this administration's policy, the previous administration's policy, the billions of dollars and the thousands of lives that have been spent in holding onto this unified central government policy -- even as we hear rhetoric from Prime Minister Abadi, the reality is that experts both who wear the uniform and those who have studied the Middle East for very long time all say for practical purposes you have three regions in Iraq, it's a fractured country with the Kurds in the north, the Shias have their strong hold in Baghdad essentially and you have the Sunni territories largely to the west.  So when you look at this question and you look at, Mr. Secretary, your answer to Mr. O'Rourke's question with regards to give us an example how there has been a plan or there is a plan in place to allow for this and support governance and the ability, for example, for the Sunni tribes to secure themselves.  And you talked about how this would happen in the future, help the Iraqi people put a plan in place for governance as territory is recovered.  But my question goes to Tikrit.  This is an offensive that took place not that long ago.  I questioned before this offensive occurred two members of the administration: What was the plan?  And there was no plan at that time.  And we saw as a result, once Tikrit was taken, Sunni families were terrorized by Shia militias, homes were burned down, businesses were looted and, as a result, you continue to see why these Sunni people have no motivation to go and fight for this so-called Iraqi security force, this Iraqi government that shuts down bridges when they're trying to run away from ISIS.  So, as you say, it's essential Sunni fighters are brought into the fold, I think we all recognize that the Sunni people need to be empowered but this is why there's no faith by many in Congress and the Sunni tribes most importantly that there is a plan in place to empower them.

Secretary Ash Carter:  I, uh, very much respect your expertise and your perspective, uh, on-on this and one of my favorite sayings is that "Hope is not a strategy."  And this is a strategy, uh, the strategy, the particular part of the strategy which has to do with the integrity of the Iraqi state is a challenging one, no question about it, for all the reasons you described. It is -- if it can be achieved -- better than sectarianism for the Iraqi people and for what we want which is ISIL's lasting defeat.  Is it difficult to achieve?  Yes.  Does it involve as an essential ingredient empowering the Sunnis and giving them the will to participate?  Absolutely.  Is Tikrit a good example of what we're trying to achieve?  No.  It wasn't.  That's the whole point. That was a -- That was not an ordered operation under the exclusive control of the Iraqi government, uhm, and it did -- it had the kind of aftermath that exactly incentivizes us in trying to get Sunnis into the fight because if you put Shias into the Sunni fight, you know how that ends.  That is not lasting, uh, defeat.  So that's why we're trying to get the Sunnis into the fight.  I think you are uh-uh-uh asking exactly the right question.  I think it's more than hope.  I think there's some prospect that we can do this.  We're determined to do it.  There are plenty of Iraqis that say that they will support that strategy and that, uhm, uh, we can make it succeed. 

US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  I would just continue to urge the administration to -- to consider changing its policy on supporting this government in Baghdad.  You mentioned sectarianism is the problem.  I would argue that this government in Baghdad is further adding fuel to the fire of sectarianism by allowing these Shi'ite militias, by allowing this sectarianism persecution and oppression to continue  which only allows further oxygen for ISIS to continue to exist and continue to grow in Sunni territories.  Thank you.

That's Iraq War veteran and Democratic House Representative Tulsi Gabbard.

And she's making strong remarks.

She's noting that the current actions of the Iraqi government are "further adding fuel to the fire of sectarianism" and encouraging support for the Islamic State.

The exchange also made clear that Ash Carter doesn't understand what a political solution is.

Gabbard referred to US House Rep Beto O'Rourke's earlier remarks.  O'Rourke is also a Democrat.  He's also bothered by the plan or 'plan.'

And many would be bothered by it if the press would get honest about it.

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Barack wants Gulf states to send ground troops int..."
"That's an endorsement?"
"Hillary always needs a man date"
"fake ass bernie sanders is not doing s**t"
"Your turn Hillary"
"My nominee for Truest statement of the week"
"Real leadership"
"More wasted tax dollars"
"Will the real Cranky Clinton please shut up, please shut up"
"Are you really surprised"
"She's been there, she's been everywhere!"

No comments: