“The 800”

Nope not some history lesson about the Greeks butchering those Muslim Persians (wait to see how long it takes for some to grasp the idea)…it is not a tale of undying heroism…..nope it is about a saga that took 2 years and countless hearings and a final 800 pages of document…..the infamous Benghazi Affair……

The Select Committee on the Benghazi Incident has finally issued a final report……it was released to the press before it was released to their colleagues min the Congress….aren’t the political games just fascination?

If my reader would like a synopsis of the report then here’s your link……plus if one would like to read the whole thing (highly unlikely for most Americans do not have the attention span it takes to rational read)……

Source: Select Committee on Benghazi Releases Proposed Report | Select Committee on Benghazi

For the more lazy out there…..

Two years after they began an investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Libya, Republicans on the House Benghazi Committee on Tuesday unveiled an 800-page report laying into the White House for its handling of the incident and presenting previously undisclosed facts from testimony.

The document is heavy on details from the night itself, in a report Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign dismissed as a redux of discredited “conspiracy theories.”

We all recall that were told the Qaddafi and his supporters were pricks and not to be trusted, right?
Part of this report, all 800 pages, that most Americans will not read or hear……

Americans rescued from the facility in Benghazi were saved by Gaddafi loyalists — not the Libyan government or the militia group contractually obligated to provide security, the final report from the House Select Committee on Benghazi reveals.

After lethal mortar attacks, a special operator in Benghazi testified that: “We decided that the situation we had was untenable to stay at the compound. We didn’t have enough shooters and there were too many wounded, and we were definitely going to lose our State Department wounded if we had stayed there much longer.”

The Americans in the annex, though, did not have the security vehicles and “gun trucks” necessary to evacuate to the airport in Benghazi.  Help would eventually arrive.

“The forces that arrived at the Annex shortly after the mortar attacks were able to transport all State Department and CIA personnel safely to the airport. The forces, known as Libyan Military Intelligence, arrived with 50 heavily-armed security vehicles,” the select committee’s report says.

(Daily Caller)
So Americans were saved by the very people that we spent so much time and resources trying to eliminate…..go figure!

The Great Congressional Sit-In

Last week the Dems in the House did something special….they had an old fashion sit-in.  They took it upon themselves to protest the old fashion way….some techniques never grow old.

Democrats are calling their sit-in protest on the House floor a success, even though it hasn’t led to the votes on gun-control legislation they demanded. About two dozen lawmakers were still taking part Thursday morning, even after House Speaker Paul Ryan adjourned the chamber about 3am until after the July 4 holiday. It was unclear how long they’d stay, but the Hill says it has the potential to be a “days-long demonstration.” If nothing else, Democrats say the protest is raising awareness of the issue around the world, the AP reports. “We crossed one bridge,” says protest leader and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. “We have other bridges to cross.” In other coverage:

  • Ryan made a move to end the standoff with what the New York Times calls the “remarkable step” of calling a vote on an appropriations bill around 3am without any debate. The bill, which includes $1.1 billion to fight Zika, passed 239 to 171.
  • Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts came up with the idea for the sit-in and recruited Lewis to lead it, reports the Washington Post. Lewis “gave us all the resolve and the grit and determination to see this through when we are back in July,” Clark says.
  • Republicans shut off House cameras after the sit-in began just before noon Wednesday, the Hill reports, but C-SPAN used Periscope and Facebook Live to keep broadcasting the protest. The protesting Democrats ignored GOP leaders’ reminders that lawmakers are banned from using electronic devices to broadcast House proceedings.
  • Ryan told CNN Wednesday night that the protest was a “publicity stunt” that would do nothing to make America safer. “This is not about a solution to a problem. This is about trying to get attention.”
  • Politico looks at how Democrats angered by the lack of action after the Orlando mass shooting planned and carried out the dramatic protest. “We said at the beginning of this week that we would use every tool in our toolbox,” says Rep. Steve Israel. “We said some of those tools involved hammers. Some of those tools involved screwdrivers. Some are blunt, some not. We’re going to keep using every single tool.”

This was all the rage for a couple of days and it ruled the news cycle……and then with this “success” under their belt the Dems ended the protest on Thursday of last week……

Democrats ended their gun-control sit-in at the House of Representatives on Thursday after more than 25 hours on the floor, the AP reports. According to Reuters, Democratic lawmakers, who had stayed overnight while chanting and singing, were trying to force a vote on legislation to expand background checks and stop people on terror watch lists from buying guns. They left hours after Republicans shut the House down for the Fourth of July holiday (a move that resulted in chants of “shame”). By the time the sit-in ended, not as many Democrats remained on the House floor as had started the protest, and the energy from Wednesday was missing, Politico reports.

Democrats rallied with supporters outside the House after ending the sit-in and declared victory despite failing to get Republicans to hold a vote on gun-control legislation. “Just because they cut and run in the dark of night, just because they have left doesn’t mean we are taking no for an answer,” the AP quotes Rep. Nancy Pelosi as saying. Rep. Steny Hoyer says the Democratic lawmakers will use the holiday to increase support for gun-control legislation in their districts. “We are going to win this struggle,” the AP quotes Rep. John Lewis as saying. Meanwhile, the Senate will vote Thursday on two competing pieces of gun-control legislation introduced by Republicans, Politico reports. Both focus on stopping people on terror watch lists from buying guns, and both votes are motions to table the opposing legislation.

They were getting the message across pretty well….then why end it after 25 hours?  Would it have been more dramatic to keep it up for awhile longer?

They ended it because their theatrics was about to be overshadowed by the “Brexit” vote…they figured they could not compete with the news of that vote.

But more because it was going to cut into their weekend…..you see Congress ends on a Thursday for travel home and reconvenes on Tuesday allowing Monday for travel also….

I sorry but I feel I need to agree with Ryan…this was only a stunt…..none of them wanted to continue into the weekend and cut into their time off…..amusing considering that they are a part-time body anyway……again…what did they accomplish?

I would have been more impressed if they had continued….now they just look silly to me.

I mean if wave after wave of gun violence involving deaths cannot bring a sane discussion what part of a sit-in would do it?

Seriously……

Between Iraq And A Hard Spot

For several weeks now there has been a running battle in Iraq….Fallujah to be exact……the process has been slow but slow…..some say they are winning….I will not clarify that statement because everyone has their own opinion on this…all I can do is let you know what I know……

ISIS has had several setbacks or if you want defeats…..and that is good news right?

While the administration continues to publicly tout their progress in the ISIS war in both Iraq and Syria, claiming that the Islamists are suffering massive territorial losses and major defeats on the ground, a growing number of US officials are warning that the group isn’t at serious risk yet.

The comments in many ways mirror a recent UN report on the ISIS war, which similarly concluded that the “setbacks” they are suffering on the ground aren’t amounting to much, and that the group remains in a strong position regionally.

Is any of the so-called “successes” really gone to do any good?

President Barack Obama and some administration officials have hailed recent military gains against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, but other U.S. officials and outside experts warn that the U.S.-backed air and ground campaign is far from eradicating the radical Islamic group, and could even backfire.

While Islamic State’s defeats in Iraq and Syria have erased its image of invincibility, they threaten to give it greater legitimacy in the eyes of disaffected Sunni Muslims because Shi’ite and Kurdish fighters are a major part of the campaign, some U.S. intelligence officials argue.

A second danger, some U.S. officials said, is that as the group loses ground in the Iraqi city of Falluja and elsewhere, it will turn increasingly to less conventional military tactics and to directing and inspiring more attacks against “soft” targets in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.

Source: Gains against Islamic State not yet enough, could backfire: U.S. officials | Reuters

So just how would you think that the US will handle this Iraqi situation?

From “no boots on the ground” in Iraq to 4,100 US troops officially there, and 5,000 there by most realistic estimates, the US has added a huge number of troops to the ISIS War in Iraq over the past two years. President Obama’s reluctance to see that buildup publicized has meant a lot of very small deployments, just adding up to a large on in aggregate.

Quoting Pentagon officials in the Washington Post, Josh Rogin suggests that the top commanders in Iraq, despite having just gotten a few hundred more troops not that long ago, are pushing hard for “dramatically” more ground troops to be sent to the country.

Throughout this war, the military leadership has been pushing for more troops, and faster deployments, and increasingly they appear to be willing to publicly complain about Obama’s slow reaction. With the November elections looming, this could well turn the war into a major campaign issue.

There you go…the answer today is the same answer from 1968 from Westmoreland…..”Need More Troops”……

That is always the answer to these types of situations……?  MORE TROOPS!

 

The Great Battle for Aleppo

When I worked in the Middle East back in my younger days I lived in several countries…..Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordan……my fondest memories were of the Syrian city of Aleppo….did you know that the concept of a coffee cafe began in Aleppo?

Sorry I digressed….the city was beautiful and very cultural….then the civil war started in Syria and I lost touch with my friends in the city and then I saw the first pics of the damage to a great city…..

Before…….

After…….

It breaks one’s heart to see a glorious city reduced to rubble…..

I read a good piece about the Battle of Aleppo……

Jordan’s Arabic daily al-Dustour [Constitution] is reporting on what it calls ‘the Great Battle for Aleppo.’

Such a battle isn’t, ideally, supposed to be taking place, by the terms of the cessation of hostilities reached in late November. The rebels in East Aleppo (pop. 300,000) and surrounding areas should have ceased attacks, and the regime in West Aleppo (pop. 2 mn.) should have ceased artillery fire. Both should have prepared for new elections in which they could choose members of parliament to their liking.

The cessation of hostilities never included the radical al-Qaeda affiliate, the Nusra Front or Support Front. It kept attacking regime-held areas south of Aleppo, trying to cut supply lines to West Aleppo. Unfortunately, some of the US-backed Free Syrian Army remnants allied with al-Qaeda in these offensives. Russia used air power to hit back hard, sometimes striking not al-Qaeda but US-backed rebels. Those attacks led US Sec. of State John Kerry to warn a couple of weeks ago that the US was losing patience with Russian and Syrian regime attacks on Free Syrian Army units. But Russia complains that Kerry, despite his promises, has been unable to separate the FSA fighters from their al-Qaeda allies, so it is inevitable that some of the former would get hit in Russian airstrikes on the latter. Last week the Russians said it is they who are losing patience, with the failure of the US-backed ‘vetted’ groups to dissociate themselves from al-Qaeda and its offensives, which break the cease-fire.

Source: The Great Battle for Aleppo | Informed Comment

This may not be much that too many people would be interested in…that really does not matter….it means something to me and that is what is important……but for me it is a shame that men have to make war and destroy…..the city of Aleppo may never return to its beauty….all the history and culture will be lost…..