Friday, August 7, 2015

As Doris Day sang . . .

Note this Tweet:



  • Fears amongst liberals in that next Friday protests will take another direction after many people claiming ownership.


  • That's hours away now.

    So I guess we'll see.

    "Whatever will be, will be, the future's not ours to see . . ." as Doris Day sang.


    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


    Thursday, August 6, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, 7 US troops have died in Barack's year-long actions against the Islamic State in Iraq, Iraq is a big topic in today's GOP Presidential debate, and more.




    Today, Fox News hosted the Republican Party's presidential nominees debate from Cleveland (Facebook partnered with Fox News for the debate).  The top ten contenders for the party's 2016 presidential nomination gathered on stage.

    The top ten contenders, as Fox News announced ahead of time, were:



    Real estate magnate Donald Trump; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. 

    Those ten made it onto the stage.  They are not the only candidates competing for the Republican party's nomination.  Fox News also noted:


    But former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and several others will not be on the prime-time, 9 p.m. ET stage. The seven who did not make the top 10 will be invited to a separate 5 p.m. ET debate. Aside from Perry and Santorum, this includes Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; former HP head Carly Fiorina; South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham; former New York Gov. George Pataki; and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.



    Fox News hosts Megyn Kelly, Brett Baier and Chris Wallace were the moderators for the debate.
    Yahoo offers Gideon Yago, Leslie Sanchez, Matt Bai and Jon Ward analyzing the debate.  Fox News offers "voter reaction" here.  (Both links are video.)

    Baltimore Sun media critic (and National Press Club award winner this year, Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism-print) David Zurawik critiqued the debate in terms of, among other things, the performance of the moderators and offered:



    Kelly versus Trump was a matchup many tuned in to see. Kelly’s persona is built in part on her ability to take down self-important, sexist, windbag men. Trump is all three of those things and then some.
    “Mr. Trump,” Kelly said, “you’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. Your Twitter account …”
    “Only Rosie O’Donnell,” he said interrupting Kelly.
    “No, it wasn’t,” Kelly said as the audience applauded and whistled at Trump’s line.
    Once the applause died down, Kelly, sounding like an attorney on cross examination, resumed by saying, “For the record, it went well beyond Rosie O’Donnell.”

    “Yes, I’m sure it did,” Trump said dismissively. 

    “Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women. You once told a contestant on ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of someone we should elect as president?”



    Iraq came up frequently during the debate and some of the remarks received actual media attention.

    Some.


    Ben Brody (Bloomberg News) notes: Senator Lindsey Graham maintained that the answer for Iraq was to send US troops into Iraq (and into Syria) to defeat the Islamic State and that he did not believe there were partners in the region who could help with this, "These mythical Arab armies that my friends talk about that are going to protect us don't exist.  If I am president of the United States, we're going to send soldiers back to Iraq, back to Syria, to keep us from being attacked here and keep soldiers in Afghanistan because we must."

    For any questioning where Graham stands on the issue, The Daily Caller offers video from the debate of Graham insisting, "We need more ground forces in Iraq."


    Lauren Barbato (Bustle) notes that Jeb "Bush called the Iraq War a mistake" and stated, "I wouldn't have gone in."  This was in direct contrast to his spring remarks that he would have done the same thing his brother did.  After making those remarks -- red meat to Republicans who would be voting in the primaries -- he came under intense criticism and the campaign attempted to have surrogates attempt the what-he-meant-was before he finally disowned his earlier statements.

    Barbato feels he was making "a calculated" response today in an attempt to appeal to Americans.  He may have been.  Or he may have just been trying to avoid a media beating.

    A little over half of Americans feel the Iraq War was a mistake.  That's in the general population.  That number drops when you are polling adults who identify themselves as Republicans.


    Dylan Matthews (Vox) explains Donald Trump insisted he'd opposed the Iraq War and done so since July 2004:

    "In July of 2004, I came out strongly against the war with Iraq because it was going to destabilize the Middle East. I am the only one on this stage who knew that and had the vision to say it. And that's exactly what happened. The region became totally destabliized.

    Of course, the Iraq invasion began on March 19, 2003 — more than a year before the denunciation Trump is bragging about. That's still earlier than most of his fellow GOP candidates, but it's a bit much to brag about one's "vision" in saying that something was going to be a disaster after it had already happened.



    From the debate, we'll note the following exchanges on Iraq:


    BAIER: Senator Paul, you recently blamed the rise of ISIS on Republican hawks. You later said that that statement, you could have said it better. But, the statement went on, and you said, quote, "Everything they've talked about in foreign policy, they've been wrong for the last 20 years."
    Why are you so quick to blame your own party?

    PAUL: First of all, only ISIS is responsible for the terrorism. Only ISIS is responsible for the depravity. But, we do have to examine, how are we going to defeat ISIS?
    I've got a proposal. I'm the leading voice in America for not arming the allies of ISIS.

    (APPLAUSE)

    PAUL: I've been fighting amidst a lot of opposition from both Hillary Clinton, as well as some Republicans who wanted to send arms to the allies of ISIS. ISIS rides around in a billion dollars worth of U.S. Humvees. It's a disgrace. We've got to stop -- we shouldn't fund our enemies, for goodness sakes.


    PAUL: So, we didn't create ISIS -- ISIS created themselves, but we will stop them, and one of the ways we stop them is by not funding them, and not arming them.


    [. . .]

    KELLY: Well, I want to move on, because I have -- we're gonna get to you, governor, but I -- I really wanna get to a Facebook questioner. His name is Alex Chalgren, and he has the following question:

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    QUESTION: My question is, how would the candidates stop the treacherous actions of ISIS -- ISIL and its growing influence in the U.S., if they were to become president?

    (END VIDEO CLIP) 

    KELLY: Senator Cruz, I wanna talk to you about this, because many of the Facebook users and -- and -- the -- the folks on Facebook wanted the candidates to speak to ISIS tonight.
    You asked the chairman of the joint chiefs a question: "What would it take to destroy ISIS in 90 days?" He told you "IISIS will only be truly destroyed once they are rejected by the populations in which they hide." And then you accused him of pushing Medicaid for the Iraqis.
    How would you destroy ISIS in 90 days?


    CRUZ: Megyn, we need a commander in chief that speaks the truth. We will not defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as we have a president unwilling to utter the words, "radical Islamic terrorism".


    (APPLAUSE)


    When I asked General Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs, what would be required militarily to destroy ISIS, he said there is no military solution. We need to change the conditions on the ground so that young men are not in poverty and susceptible to radicalization. That, with all due respect, is nonsense.

    It's the same answer the State Department gave that we need to give them jobs. What we need is a commander in chief that makes -- clear, if you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, then you are signing your death warrant.


    KELLY: You don't see it as...

    (APPLAUSE)


    KELLY: ...an ideological problem -- an ideological problem in addition to a military one?


    (APPLAUSE)


    CRUZ: Megyn, of course it's an ideological problem, that's one of the reasons I introduce the Expatriate Terrorist Act in the Senate that said if any American travels to the Middle East and joining ISIS, that he or she forfeits their citizenship so they don't use a passport to come back and wage jihad on Americans.


    (APPLAUSE)


    CRUZ: Yes, it is ideological, and let me contrast President Obama, who at the prayer breakfast, essentially acted as an apologist. He said, "Well, gosh, the crusades, the inquisitions--"
    We need a president that shows the courage that Egypt's President al-Sisi, a Muslim, when he called out the radical Islamic terrorists who are threatening the world.


    (APPLAUSE)


    KELLY: Governor Bush, for days on end in this campaign, you struggled to answer a question about whether knowing what we know now...


    BUSH: ...I remember...


    KELLY: ...we would've invaded Iraq...


    BUSH: ...I remember, Megyn.


    (LAUGHTER)


    KELLY: I remember it too, and ISIS, of course, is now thriving there.
    You finally said, "No."
    To the families of those who died in that war who say they liberated and deposed a ruthless dictator, how do you look at them now and say that your brothers war was a mistake?


    BUSH: Knowing what we know now, with faulty intelligence, and not having security be the first priority when -- when we invaded, it was a mistake. I wouldn't have gone in, however, for the people that did lose their lives, and the families that suffer because of it -- I know this full well because as governor of the state of Florida, I called every one of them. Every one of them that I could find to tell them that I was praying for them, that I cared about them, and it was really hard to do.
    And, every one of them said that their child did not die in vain, or their wife, of their husband did not die in vain.
    So, why it was difficult for me to do it was based on that. Here's the lesson that we should take from this, which relates to this whole subject, Barack Obama became president, and he abandoned Iraq. He left, and when he left Al Qaida was done for. ISIS was created because of the void that we left, and that void now exists as a caliphate the size of Indiana.
    To honor the people that died, we need to -- we need to --- stop the -- Iran agreement, for sure, because the Iranian mullahs have their blood on their hands, and we need to take out ISIS with every tool at our disposal.


    (APPLAUSE)


    KELLY: Governor Walker, in February you said that we needed to gain partners in the Arab world. Which Arab country not already in the U.S. led coalition has potential to be our greatest partner?


    WALKER: What about then (ph), we need to focus on the ones we have. You look at Egypt, probably the best relationship we've had in Israel, at least in my lifetime, incredibly important.
    You look at the Saudis -- in fact, earlier this year, I met with Saudi leaders, and leaders from the United Arab Emirates, and I asked them what's the greatest challenge in the world today? Set aside the Iran deal. They said it's the disengagement of America. We are leading from behind under the Obama-Clinton doctrine -- America's a great country. We need to stand up and start leading again, and we need to have allies, not just in Israel, but throughout the Persian Gulf.

    [. . .]


    KELLY: Well, I want to move on, because I have -- we're gonna get to you, governor, but I -- I really wanna get to a Facebook questioner. His name is Alex Chalgren, and he has the following question:

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    QUESTION: My question is, how would the candidates stop the treacherous actions of ISIS -- ISIL and its growing influence in the U.S., if they were to become president?

    (END VIDEO CLIP) 

    KELLY: Senator Cruz, I wanna talk to you about this, because many of the Facebook users and -- and -- the -- the folks on Facebook wanted the candidates to speak to ISIS tonight.
    You asked the chairman of the joint chiefs a question: "What would it take to destroy ISIS in 90 days?" He told you "IISIS will only be truly destroyed once they are rejected by the populations in which they hide." And then you accused him of pushing Medicaid for the Iraqis.
    How would you destroy ISIS in 90 days?


    CRUZ: Megyn, we need a commander in chief that speaks the truth. We will not defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as we have a president unwilling to utter the words, "radical Islamic terrorism".


    (APPLAUSE)


    When I asked General Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs, what would be required militarily to destroy ISIS, he said there is no military solution. We need to change the conditions on the ground so that young men are not in poverty and susceptible to radicalization. That, with all due respect, is nonsense.

    It's the same answer the State Department gave that we need to give them jobs. What we need is a commander in chief that makes -- clear, if you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, then you are signing your death warrant.


    KELLY: You don't see it as...


    (APPLAUSE)


    KELLY: ...an ideological problem -- an ideological problem in addition to a military one?


    (APPLAUSE)


    CRUZ: Megyn, of course it's an ideological problem, that's one of the reasons I introduce the Expatriate Terrorist Act in the Senate that said if any American travels to the Middle East and joining ISIS, that he or she forfeits their citizenship so they don't use a passport to come back and wage jihad on Americans.


    (APPLAUSE)


    CRUZ: Yes, it is ideological, and let me contrast President Obama, who at the prayer breakfast, essentially acted as an apologist. He said, "Well, gosh, the crusades, the inquisitions--"
    We need a president that shows the courage that Egypt's President al-Sisi, a Muslim, when he called out the radical Islamic terrorists who are threatening the world.


    (APPLAUSE)


    KELLY: Governor Bush, for days on end in this campaign, you struggled to answer a question about whether knowing what we know now...


    BUSH: ...I remember...


    KELLY: ...we would've invaded Iraq...


    BUSH: ...I remember, Megyn.


    (LAUGHTER)


    KELLY: I remember it too, and ISIS, of course, is now thriving there.
    You finally said, "No."
    To the families of those who died in that war who say they liberated and deposed a ruthless dictator, how do you look at them now and say that your brothers war was a mistake?


    BUSH: Knowing what we know now, with faulty intelligence, and not having security be the first priority when -- when we invaded, it was a mistake. I wouldn't have gone in, however, for the people that did lose their lives, and the families that suffer because of it -- I know this full well because as governor of the state of Florida, I called every one of them. Every one of them that I could find to tell them that I was praying for them, that I cared about them, and it was really hard to do.

    And, every one of them said that their child did not die in vain, or their wife, of their husband did not die in vain.

    So, why it was difficult for me to do it was based on that. Here's the lesson that we should take from this, which relates to this whole subject, Barack Obama became president, and he abandoned Iraq. He left, and when he left Al Qaida was done for. ISIS was created because of the void that we left, and that void now exists as a caliphate the size of Indiana.

    To honor the people that died, we need to -- we need to --- stop the -- Iran agreement, for sure, because the Iranian mullahs have their blood on their hands, and we need to take out ISIS with every tool at our disposal.

    (APPLAUSE)


    KELLY: Governor Walker, in February you said that we needed to gain partners in the Arab world. Which Arab country not already in the U.S. led coalition has potential to be our greatest partner?

    WALKER: What about then (ph), we need to focus on the ones we have. You look at Egypt, probably the best relationship we've had in Israel, at least in my lifetime, incredibly important.

    You look at the Saudis -- in fact, earlier this year, I met with Saudi leaders, and leaders from the United Arab Emirates, and I asked them what's the greatest challenge in the world today? Set aside the Iran deal. They said it's the disengagement of America. We are leading from behind under the Obama-Clinton doctrine -- America's a great country. We need to stand up and start leading again, and we need to have allies, not just in Israel, but throughout the Persian Gulf.




    Though Iraq came up frequently in the debate, it was a topic ignored by State Dept spokesperson Mark Toner and those attending the State Dept press briefing today.

    With US President Barack Obama spending billions on Iraq -- largely just on bombing Iraq -- it's amazing that the State Dept -- or the reporters covering it -- would ignore Iraq.

    But ignoring Iraq is how the current crises came about, remember?


    I don't have a lot of respect for the Republicans on stage today because they  ignored the gross betrayal of the Iraqi people by Barack.

    Nouri al-Maliki's second term led to the current problems.  We've documented that at length here and done so in real time.

    But Nouri didn't win the 2010 election.

    And until politicians are ready to point that out, US politicians, and that Barack used a legal contract (The Erbil Agreement) to overturn the votes of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi Constitution, I don't really have a lot of use for them -- and certainly no trust for them.

    Supporting Iraqiya was supporting a new Iraq.

    Barack chose to strip Iraqiya of its victory and back thug Nouri.

    This isn't a minor point.


    Nor is Barack's decision to bomb Iraq daily or the year-plus of sending US troops into Iraq minor points.

    Leo Shane (Military Times) explains today, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

    Is anybody else registering those deaths?

    Is anyone else even noting them?

    On the topic of deaths, Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 62 violent deaths across Iraq today.



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