Iraq: Is This The Beginning? (Again)

We all have heard our prez tells us that there will be NO ground troops to Iraq to fight ISIS……our only mission is to train and arm the Iraqis so they can do the hard lifting in the liberation of their country from the grasp of ISIS.  (snicker…..snicker)……

First, you do realize that if we send American troops to train the Iraqis in combat strategy we then have combat forces in the fray, right?

Second, the Iraqi army has proven that it cannot stand by itself against ISIS…….as a matter of fact there are indications that they will not stand….period!

I have complained that the US has NO plan for dealing the death blow to ISIS……and the Obama makes an announcement……..

Instead of trying to help Iraqi forces recapture the city ISIS seized a year ago, the US has decided to focus on helping them capture the city militants seized less than a month ago. Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province, and the White House is expected to approve a Pentagon plan to establish a new base in the province and send up to 500 more military trainers there, the Wall Street Journal reports. American officials say there had been some debate about how much of a priority recapturing Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, would be, but the recent fall of Ramadi settled the question; now Mosul may have to wait until 2016, reports the New York Times. Defense Secretary Ash Carter blamed the fall of Ramadi on Iraqi forces’ lack of will to fight.

Critics say the proposed modest expansion of the US role is nowhere near what’s required to defeat ISIS, the Journal reports. “One has to wonder whether this president just wants to wait out the next year and a half and basically do nothing to stop this genocide, bloodletting, horrible things that are happening throughout the Middle East,” Sen. John McCain told fellow senators Monday. The new troops will bring the number of US advisers and trainers in Iraq to around 3,600, but there’s a shortage of people for them to train in at least one site, the Hill reports. Defense officials say it has been more than four weeks since the Baghdad government sent any recruits to Al Asad air base, although 2,601 Iraqis are being trained elsewhere.

Ever so slowly the US is building the amount of ground troops in Iraq…..is this the beginning of our return to a combat mission?

As promised, the United States will send up to 450 more troops to Iraq to boost the training of local forces, in a response to recent setbacks at the hands of ISIS and Baghdad’s appeals for more help. Under the plan, the number of US training sites in Iraq would increase from four to five, enabling a larger number of Iraqis to join the fight against the Islamic militant group.

Most of the fighters would be Sunni tribal volunteers; as CNN notes, the hope is to inspire what one White House official calls a secondary Sunni uprising, similar to that of 2013. The White House says President Obama made the decision at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and based on advice from Pentagon leaders. Obama continues to resist demands for combat troops or for more US soldiers on the ground to call in air strikes.

So it begins……AGAIN!

Assassinate, Assassinate…..Dance To The Music

Can anyone recall where you were when you heard the news of the death of Osama?  And then the idolizing of the SEAL Team that brought the number one terrorist down, SEAL Team 6.

Then recently there was a story by Sy Hersch about the team and its glorified story……some say it is not at all true……and others seem to think that it makes a lot of sense……

But as they always say….it is only the tip of the iceberg…….

The killing of Osama bin Laden made SEAL Team 6 the stuff of legends, but a New York Times report says the special-ops unit has “transformed … into a global manhunting machine,” with troubling claims that the once-elite team is now being overused for day-to-day death missions, carries out unnecessary civilian killings, and is almost impossible to keep tabs on, given its uber-secret status; the US government doesn’t even publicly recognize its Team 6 name (it is officially the Naval Special Warfare Development Group). Oversight by the Joint Special Operations Command also appears lax, at best. “JSOC investigates JSOC, and that’s part of the problem,” an ex-military officer experienced in special ops says. Notes a Syracuse University expert on national security law: “If you’re unacknowledged on the battlefield, you’re not accountable.”

The report is gruesome at times, citing stories of troops sneaking into militants’ homes and killing them as they sleep, making sure they “slice and dice every major artery” to ensure death, and taking out civilians during undercover missions with the CIA. Critics say Team 6, trained to carry out the riskiest operations, shouldn’t even be involved in some of these smaller-scale missions. “The most highly trained force in the world, chasing after street thugs,” one ex-unit member scoffs. Former Sen. Bob Kerrey notes “they have become sort of a 1-800 number anytime somebody wants something done.” And the Times notes more unit members have died over the past 14 years than in all years prior. “War is not this pretty thing that the United States has come to believe,” a retired senior member of SEAL Team 6 tells the Times. “It’s … one human being killing another human being for extended periods of time.” (Read the entire Times piece.)

Back in the day, the 1970’s, the CIA was ass deep into regime change in other countries to include assassination…….Pres. Ford came to office and wanted to change things……..

Gerald Ford’s 1976 executive order on foreign intelligence activities (issued after the disclosure that the CIA had plans to do in Fidel Castro) explicitly prohibits government employees from engaging in “political assassination.” This certainly rules out killing heads of state through covert means……..

This EO proved to be a pain in the butt for Reagan and his desire to rid the world of “Mad Dog Qaddafi”……..and like everything dealing with lawyers….legal-ese makes anything possible…….

Then in 2001 GW made it a little more murky……..

The 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, a congressional resolution that grants the president the right to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against those who helped commit the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, arguably licenses the CIA to go after terrorists with impunity.

Now the argument is whether terrorism is a war or not……after all it is called “WAR ON TERROR”…..that should answer the question….in a commonsense way.

Now the question still remains……Is the Federal government sanctioning assassination?

My answer is YES….it never stopped!

Voice your opinion…….

Remember The Authorization For Use Of Military Force (AUMF)?

When Obama committed US assets for use against ISIS the Congress went batcrap crazy saying that it was NOT his place to authorize military force without involving Congress…it was unconstitutional (there is that word again) ……….Obama decide to do the right thing so he sent the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to the Congress in January of this year and so far the cowards have refused to act on the request…..it being an election coming up and they do not want to crap on their chances……..one brave Congressman, Rep. McGovern, has decides that the Congress needs to act on the request and is shaming the cowards into action (trying to at least)…….this is his speech before the Congress….

Mr. Speaker, President Obama needs to turn this interminable conflict over to the Afghans. As of yesterday, 2,153 members of our Armed Forces have died in Afghanistan since 2001; another 19,526 have been wounded; and every Member of this Chamber knows that tens of thousands of our troops have returned home with invisible wounds to their minds and spirits. Suicide rates among our veterans are among the highest ever, and they continue to climb. For many, the care required to help heal these wounds will last a lifetime.

It is estimated that health care and veteran benefits for the men and women deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost trillions of dollars. In both human and fiscal terms, we simply cannot afford to waste more lives and dollars in Afghanistan.

The President has not made a case about how any number of troops remaining in Afghanistan after 2014 can improve the confidence of Afghan forces when our current greater and more intensive engagement over the past decade has not been able to do so. It is completely unclear whether the April elections will improve the Afghan Government, given its ingrown corruption, sectarian divisions, and Taliban insurgency. There are no compelling reasons to remain.

We need to turn Afghanistan over to the Afghans now, not 10 years from now. We need to bring our troops home by no later than the end of 2014, just as President Obama promised. If this is the so-called “zero option,” then it is the best option. We do not need to keep another 10,000 to 12,000 American troops in Afghanistan for another 10 years at the cost of about $80 billion or more each year. They will continue to be in harm’s way; they will continue to be carrying out dangerous operations; they will continue to be wounded body and soul; and they will continue to be killed.

For what? So one of the most corrupt governments in the world can continue living off of our blood and treasure? So military contractors can continue lining their pockets? We are cutting programs right and left in the budget, but we are supposed to keep pouring tens of billions of dollars into Afghanistan for another decade? All of it is borrowed money charged to our national credit card. I say enough is enough.

In June, 305 Members of this House voted in support of an amendment that I offered along with Congressmen Walter Jones and Adam Smith to bring our troops home by the end of 2014 and to accelerate that process if possible. It clearly stated that if the President determined to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014, then Congress should vote on authorizing that mission. Senators Merkley and Lee were ready to offer a similar amendment in the Senate when the defense bill was to be taken up over there. They had more than a dozen bipartisan cosponsors on their amendment.

Instead, the FY14 NDAA went into conference negotiations without debate by the full Senate. In those negotiations, the principal Senate conferees demanded that the House amendment be completely watered down. The conference language only requires the President to “consult” with Congress about any post-2014 deployment of troops. That is worthless. It is absolutely worthless, Mr. Speaker. We don’t need consultation. What we need is a vote. I call on Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi to take seriously the call of 305 Members of this House and schedule a vote next year on keeping thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Whether or not you support such a decision, the House needs to vote on it.

It is time for us in Congress to do our job. It is time we stop asking our troops and their families to sacrifice their lives in a war that has outlived its purpose. It is time to bring our troops home. It is time to get out of Afghanistan.

Now read his bill linked below and if you like it lets help him shame the elected cowards in the Congress to do the right thing…..what say you?

Text – H.Con.Res.105 – 113th Congress (2013-2014): Prohibiting the President from deploying or maintaining United States Armed Forces in a sustained combat role in Iraq without specific, subsequent statutory authorization. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress.

Hillary’s Opponents

Since she left the SecState position she has been crowned as the next Dem nominee for the presidency……..everyone is crowning her with the exception of FOX and few thinking people could give a sh*t what FOX reports……and then there are those that have stepped up on the Left to challenge her, like Bernie and Chafee.

People like Bernie but pretty much dismiss him outright…..the problem there is that his issues are right on point with the thinking of most American….hard to say if that will translate into a victory but it will make debate on fiscal issue so much better.

Then there is Lincoln Chafee…..since his announcement most people have been snickering under their breath at the thought of him taking on Clinton.  Personally, I think they are wrong.  No, he will not be the Dem nominee but he will make her life a misery as long as he can especially on her vote for the original Iraq invasion……..

In the vote to authorize the Iraq war, precisely one Republican senator came out against it. His name was Lincoln Chafee, now a Democrat running for president, and that vote is why he “could prove Hillary’s most intriguing challenger,” writes Peter Beinart at the Atlantic. Beinart doesn’t think Chafee has a prayer at winning the nomination, but Chafee will go after Clinton with the argument that anyone who voted for the war—as she did—doesn’t deserve to be president because of the mess it has unleashed.

“He will talk about the collapse of Iraq and the rise of ISIS in a way she can’t,” writes Beinart. This may not be a problem for Clinton in the primary because national security isn’t a big issue for Democratic voters in this election. But it is for Republicans, who blame the Obama administration for bungling the war’s aftermath. For Clinton, “if there’s one policy question that could prove dangerous, it’s Iraq,” writes Beinart. “On that subject, Lincoln Chafee is the canary in the coal mine. If Hillary can’t find an effective answer to his attacks, it may be a sign of trouble ahead.” Click for his full post, or to read about a more unusual campaign platform from Chafee.

God yes…..he is a super long shot……..but he has the capacity to give Hil Hell during the debates for as long as he can stay in.  And that is what I like about him and Bernie both……they will be superb debaters against Hillary’s positions and her changes on her positions.

Kaplan’s Cure for the Middle East: Imperialism | The Progressive

Everyone in the world of international relations, especially in the field of conflict management is looking for a solution or a cure to the problems in the Middle East.

So many opinions and so few listening…….do you have a plan? If so then by all means share it with us mere mortals…….is war the only way to solve the problem?

There has got to be a way to bring all this death and destruction in the Middle East to an end, right?

 

Kaplan’s Cure for the Middle East: Imperialism | The Progressive.