Remember Ukraine?

View from a tortured keyboard of Chuq

Funny thing happened on the way to an election…….a subject that garnered many hours of airtime back in the day is all but forgotten.  Russia’s deal with Ukraine has all but gone from the media….well the American media…….does that mean it is no longer a problem of which to  worry?

Think again!

If you thought Ukraine was in for a better summer than last year, think again. “Vladimir Putin’s drip-drip invasion continues” and “a summer offensive is inevitable,” write Michael Weiss and James Miller at the Daily Beast. They back up the claim with news from Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko that Russia has 50,000 troops on the border and more than 40,000 separatist fighters in Ukraine for “a combined 50% increase in possible invaders over July of last year.” Plus, in less than three months, Ukraine says it has lost 28 towns to Russian-backed separatists. Ukraine has deployed three tanks in government-controlled territory in violation of a ceasefire signed in Minsk, but 30 separatist tanks have also been spotted moving toward the front lines.

Separatists claimed the movement was linked to military parades in honor of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, but the tanks haven’t retreated since. There’s also “the presence of advanced Russian surface-to-air missile systems near the contact line in blatant violation of the Minsk agreement,” a diplomat says. A NATO commander said last month Russia was perhaps using the ceasefire to train and equip separatists and to “reset and reposition” their forces. Others note the separatists appear ready to “launch an all-out offensive against the Ukrainian military on little notice and without direct military assistance,” Weiss and Miller write. Meanwhile, Ukraine announced today it has captured two Russian soldiers in Ukraine and plans to prosecute them for “terrorist acts,” Reuters reports. Russia denies it has soldiers in the country.

This is a slow simmering pot that will eventually boil over and as usual the US will be caught with its pants down and its wanker in its hand……..

Then what?

Just wondering.

 

The Truth About Iraq

Everyone is looking for the TRUTH about Iraq and the war that began in 2003……..it seems that NO GOP candidate can explain anything but they blame it all on Obama……..

The answer is pretty simple…….CAN’T FIX STUPID!

 

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The New Lie About Iraq | The American Conservative

You read it right! I am pressing something from a conservative magazine.

We were scared into supporting a war in 2003 that did NOT need to be fought.  That game is being played again…….the media is doing all it possibly can to scare the American people into yet another ill fated war in Iraq.

The last line of the piece says it all……… “All Americans should be aware and suspicious of again being panicked into supporting more wars”

Good advice that we ALL should heed!.

The New Lie About Iraq | The American Conservative.

Why Did We Invade Iraq? – The Atlantic

The 2016 election is heating up already and all the focus seems to be on the Iraq War…..the second one not the first…….and the one question that has been asked is…..”Knowing what you know now would you have authorized the country going to war”?  A paraphrase but you get the idea.

It is a question that needs to be asked…..but there are others that would have been better…..the answers would be more telling of what type of president we would get with this person or that.

 

Why Did We Invade Iraq? – The Atlantic.

Iraq: Same Game, Different Country

Iraq is proving to be a country that the US will be a part of for generations……..we have invaded twice and added to the woes of the population….time and time again.

The next door neighbor to Iraq, Syria, was the beginning of what is being hailed as the battle for the soul of the Middle East……ISIS starting grabbing territory after the uprisings against Syria’s strong man Assad and it spread from there to become the major war on terror site.

The US is conducting airstrikes because the American people will not accept a return to combat ground troops in the country……that is for now…..when needed the case will be made and the troops will be sent.

Syria the big plan is to train certain rebel factions to fight ISIS….the problem is most of them want to fight and remove Assad…..ISIS is just an after thought.  But that plan is being employed in Iraq also.

Is this the best way to fight the ISIS insurgency?

Propaganda would have us believe that it is…..like a recent piece in the WaPo……..

More than 1,000 recruits stood at attention in fatigues, their heads held high, during a ceremony Friday for what Iraqi officials hope marks the formation of a force to push out the Islamic State militants who control most of Anbar.

After routing al-Qaeda-linked militants nearly a decade ago, U.S.-backed Sunni tribesmen in Anbar and other provinces faced sectarian-driven discrimination from Baghdad. Many of them eventually sided with the Islamic State, a switch that facilitated the group’s sweeping advances throughout Iraq last June. Also, analysts and diplomats warn about the divisive role of powerful Shiite militias, which Sunnis in Anbar and elsewhere accuse of sectarian-driven attacks.

As usual the MSM is acting as the press agent for the government…….by putting a smiley face on anything that can be used to make it look as if all is going well on the ground against ISIS……

The problem is that the Sunni tribes do not see the central Iraqi government as their friend…….

Top Iraqi Sunni leaders are expressing growing disquiet today about their lack of role in the Abadi government, despite the Shi’ite-dominated leadership’s promises of inclusion.

The problem is all the promises of inclusion in the government have not been delivered……in 10 years the tribes have been marginalized……but they want to join in the fight….will it be successful?

As reported in McClatchy……….

“These programs tend to have about a 40 to 50 percent attrition rate,” he said, speaking only on the condition of anonymity because he didn’t want to risk his employment by being publicly pessimistic. “So even if they get 1,000 guys vetted from reasonably pro-government tribes – and let’s be honest, every Sunni tribe hates the government – these are paltry numbers that are likely to fall even further.”

“The numbers at present are still too small to break the overall stalemate,” said Aymenn Tamimi, an analyst on Iraq for the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, who also noted that the recruiting for the program was taking place in an area of Anbar that’s been a government stronghold. “Much more work needs to be done.”

In 2006 the surge was promoted as a huge success…..and the US is trying to use that limited success as the template for the fight…….and keeps telling the world of their mounting successes against ISIS……..
“We believe across Iraq and Syria that Daesh is losing and remains on the defensive,” said Marine Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley, chief of staff for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the name of the international campaign fighting IS. “Daesh” is the Arabic acronym for the militant group that swept into Iraq from Syria last June and swiftly took control of much of Iraq’s north and west.
All sounds good in the interviews and the sound bites that are released to the public…….(there is always a but)……

The Islamic State on Friday took control of the provincial government center of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s largest province, and appeared to be in control of most of the city in a major defeat for the Iraqi government.

Islamic State forces also appeared to be closing in on government positions in two other key locations in Anbar province, the towns of Baghdadi and Karmah, in a broad offensive that if successful would end the government presence in all of the province’s major population centers. The capture of Baghdadi also would cut the supply lines to the Iraqi garrison protecting the strategic Haditha Dam.

Civilians were fleeing the fighting along the perilous highway towards Baghdad, much of which is also controlled by Isis. Iraqi officials in Ramadi said they had pleaded for help ahead of the attack and now feared that the rest of the city would soon fall: a result that would give the terror organisation its biggest victory in Iraq this year.

It would also mark a significant defeat for Iraqi forces, who had allied with several powerful Sunni tribes in a bid to defend Ramadi and stop Isis from taking control of the highways west to Syria and Jordan, as well as the water supply to southern Iraq which is regulated by a dam on the Euphrates river that runs through the city.

ISIS is fighting from a defensive position…..according to the military mouthpieces……but the truth seems to be a slight variation on their story.  It is a little difficult to sell the rosy scenario when ISIS is making gains……even with all the airstrikes that according to the Pentagon are putting the group on the run and fighting from a defensive position.

The Iraq theater is in NO better shape than the Syrian theater……..

 

ISIS……Yet Another One Bites The Dust!

ISIS leader has been seriously injured and the number 2 dude is dead during an airstrike and now the leader of ISIS in Syria dealing with finances has been killed and his wife and laptop in US hands……

Last Friday night, US Special Operations attempted to capture a senior ISIS commander and his wife in Syria. The rare raid didn’t go as planned. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter today said that Abu Sayyaf fought back and was killed; the US troops involved were unharmed. They did manage to capture wife Umm Sayyaf, who is being held in Iraq. CNN notes that “Abu Sayyaf is not a name familiar to many ISIS watchers.” Carter gave context: “Abu Sayyaf was involved in ISIL’s military operations and helped direct the terrorist organization’s illicit oil, gas, and financial operations as well.”

NBC News reports that a young Yazidi woman had apparently been enslaved by the couple; she was rescued. The raid, which took place in al-Amr, was carried out on orders of the president, which were given on the “unanimous recommendation” of his national security team. The AP notes this is only the second time troops have carried out a ground raid in Syria……the first one did not go as well as this one…..

This is good news…..the leader can and will be replaced but the intel and the wife during interrogation could be a gold mine of financial data that could help dry up so of the monetary sources for ISIS.

This by NO means spells the end of ISIS but it does aid the fight considerably……