Saturday, December 5, 2015

Project Censored Radio



This week's Project Censored Radio was a really great one.


They interviewed Mark Lane and talked about how the CIA worked overtime to protect itself in the JFK assassination, how they attacked those who questioned the laughable Warren Commission report and so much more.


We learned about CIA asset Max Holland who wrote an attack on Lane and that The Nation printed.


And Lane was glad that The Nation no longer published Holland.


However, I looked it up


Contributing Editors: Kai Bird, Robert L. Borosage, Stephen F. Cohen, Marc Cooper, Mike Davis, Slavenka Drakulic, Bob Dreyfuss, Susan Faludi, Thomas Ferguson, Melissa Harris-Perry, Doug Henwood, Max Holland, Richard Lingeman, Michael Moore, Christian Parenti, Eyal Press, Joel Rogers, Karen Rothmyer, Jeremy Scahill, Robert Scheer, Herman Schwartz, Bruce Shapiro, Edward Sorel, Jessica Valenti, Jon Wiener, Amy Wilentz, Art Winslow




The Nation is such trash.


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








Thursday, December 3, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, the silence on Iraq continues as we examine the craven and whorish was of so-called 'independent media' in the United States, and much more.



At Tuesday's US House Armed Services Committee hearing, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter declared:


 Next, in full coordination with the government of Iraq, we're deploying a specialized, expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and put even more pressure on ISIL.  These special operators will, over time, be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders.   



Such huge news would surely result in massive coverage from the collective that self-describes as "independent media"; however, they made sure to affirm Ava and my charge that they're the beggar media, whores and smut merchants who couldn't get work elsewhere and are nothing but Panhandle Media begging you for money so that they can continue their worthless actions which include insisting on accountability for the corporate media while having no ethics of their own.


It's nothing but talking points as a circle jerk takes place in an echo chamber.

And they want free speech  . . . when not attacking free speech.

Free speech actually translates to the smut merchants wanting to embrace their hatred of women -- that's what goes on at  Pacifica's WPFW where Scooter played a hideous 'song' that was an attack on the vagina and a demonization of women but which Scooter insisted was a song that "told the truth."  At WPFW, homophobia and sexism reign free on the airwaves.  I don't know if that's because the idiots on the air are considered too stupid to be held accountable or just because they think the audience is that vile.

Let's move to Pacifica's high point when it came to the news about Iraq.

Margaret Prescod:  And we are now going to shift our attention to Syria, Turkey and Russia.  It's being reported that the Pentagon will increase special operation forces in Iraq.  And, according to the NEW YORK TIMES, they further said that these new forces would be involved in targeted raids in Syria.  And that a slow ramp up of forces should be repeated.  This is in stark contrast with what President Barack Obama has said about limiting boots on the ground in the region.

Prescod was speaking on Tuesday's broadcast of SOJOURNER TRUTH WITH MARGARET PRESCOD which airs on Pacifica's KPFK out of Los Angeles.  She was then joined for the segment by Gareth Porter who wanted to talk about everything but Iraq.

Even so, she tried.  And she actually noted Barack Obama (something the co-opted and corrupted Amy Goodman couldn't and wouldn't do when she reduced the major news to a headline -- not even the lead headline -- on Wednesday's DEMOCRACY NOW!).

Equally true, she plans to have the news as one of her topics for Friday's roundtable discussion on SOJOURNER TRUTH.

That was Pacifica Radio's highpoint of 'coverage.'

You might think, for example, that KPFA's FLASHPOINTS would be all over the news.

You would be wrong.

Dennis Bernstein had other issues this week -- no, not more charges of sexual harassment -- he was interested in Korea and climate change and this and that and blah blah blah.

Well FLASHPOINTS isn't the only show on Pacifica Radio's KPFA, right?

There's the hour long, weekly VOICES OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA.

Certainly, that show, which airs Wednesdays, would be all over this news, right?

Wrong.

Well that's the Bay Area.  What about Houston?  Home to Pacifica Radio's KPFT.

Wednesday nights, they offer ARAB VOICES.

Right away, you knew this was going to be a serious broadcast as you were informed that they weren't going to spend time on the community calendar because they had so much to cover.

So much to cover.

Exactly.

This announcement is major, ground troops in Iraq --

Oh, wait.

They didn't address that.

They used the entire hour to air recordings of a gala.

Such bad radio as an old, tired man saying his wife told him -- after his warblings -- not to quit -- yes, you know this is coming because it's so old and so damn tired -- his day job.


In times of war, never forget, the most important thing is to air a recording of a gala.


Well they also have Thursday's PROGRESSIVE FORUM and surely that two hour program devoted time to Iraq and this week's --

Oh, wait.

It didn't.

Houston's KPFT needs to raise $150,000 by the end of this year (roughly in the next 27 days).

With programming like they offer, they make it very hard to donate.

In fact, they really make the case for pulling the plug on the whole operation.

They offer nothing.

Hour after hour of nothing.

Crap.

Nothing but crap.

The announcement about Iraq was made at a Congressional hearing.

In DC, for those who don't know.

What about Pacifica's DC station?


WPFW's programs ignored the news.

But they do produce their own news, WPFW.

So, surely, as CNN and other real news outlets -- corporate or not -- were reporting on it, since this was DC, you know WPFW was all over it.

Right?

Wrong.

One hour after CNN, BLOOMBERG NEWS, NPR and other news outlets were reporting the news, WPFW did a news break that never noted it.

Apparently, you can't include fluff and still have room for news.

The news break included a lot of nonsense.  Here's about as much of one 'report' in that 'news' break that I can stomach.


Askia Muhammad: First Lady Michelle Obama has kicked off the holiday season at the White House by welcoming this year's Christmas tree.  Tomeka Smith reports.

Michelle Obama:  Christmas!  Merry Christmas!  What's going on?  We've got this fabulous tree!

Tomeka Smith:  The First Lady welcomed a Fraiser fir, grown in Pennsylvania.  It arrived by horse-drawn carriage on . . . 



Robin Leach and LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH & FAMOUS lives on over the airwaves of WPFW.


Please note, this 'report' aired on WPFW 'news.'

Aired the day that the announcement was made of US troops going into ground combat in Iraq.

Aired an hour after all the real news outlets were reporting the news.

WPFW had time for that garbage but not for news about Iraq.

Again, it's past time to stop supporting beggars who need to get real jobs.


We're not done with Panhandle Media but let's look to our 'activists,' for a second, to our 'leaders.'

CODESTINK Tweeted the following Tuesday.






  • . and are in Congress at a hearing on military intervention in ! Stay tuned for updates!



  • There must be over 45 Tweets since that one went up.

    Not one notes Iraq.

    Now I was at that hearing.  We've reported on it here -- and for those late to the party, I'll include links before the end of this snapshot.

    But I was there and that hearing that CODESTINK falsely says was on Syria -- just Syria.

    The title of the hearing was "US Strategy for Syria and Iraq and its Implications for the Region."


    Thanks, CODESTINK, we can always count on you to lead the world to disappointment and ignorance.


    Back to the beggar media.

    Circulation for THE NATION, THE PROGRESSIVE and IN THESE TIMES has plummeted.

    The lie that Katrina vanden Heuvel loves to pimp is that when Republicans are in power, circulation increases because the readers are interested in accountability.

    No, the readers are always interested in accountability.

    They abandon crap ass magazines like THE NATION when a Democrat is in the White House because crap ass magazines like THE NATION abandon ethics and accountability and turn themselves into pleasure maidens for the White House.


    Trina's "It's disgusting,"  Kat's "That Crap Ass Nation Magazine" and Betty's "That useless Progressive magazine" addressed the craven silence of our so-called 'left' and 'independent' press.


    Nothing's changed since the three did their posts.

    But we can add that IN THESE TIMES is also ignoring the news about US ground troops in Iraq.


    Now these rags and the Pacifica Radio programs have been all about attacking free speech.

    They're blaming one of the multitude of shootings in the United States in the last two weeks on the Republican Party.


    They're doing that because they're filthy trash.

    Anything the Republicans -- and non-Republicans -- said with regard to abortion and Planned Parenthood is protected speech, it is the speech that's required in a democracy.

    We are supposed to debate.

    It is a free market of ideas.

    It is the public square.

    If you can't win the argument, that's on you.

    I support abortions.

    Liars and whores want to tell me I have to support Planned Parenthood.

    No.

    When five Planned Parenthood clinics -- or in five states, who can understand Cecile Richards ridiculous bulls**t -- are giving/donating fetal tissue?

    They've betrayed women's health.

    That is a whole other conversation.

    I say that as someone who supports stem cell research.

    But I'm smart enough to know that protecting women's health and women's health rights are important and they're under attack -- not just from Republicans.

    In that climate, you don't decide you're going to also be donating fetal tissue.

    You're begging for trouble.

    And there's no honesty among the left on this topic.

    Maybe because we're in the eternal election cycle or maybe because too many whores that should be starving instead are living off your donations and wasting them with bad coverage in print, online and over the airwaves.


    Is Planned Parenthood going to be defunded?

    It should be.

    It should not get tax payer money while it endorses presidential candidates.

    Cecile Richards needs to be held accountable.

    Instead, Panhandle Media's telling us we need to rally around her.

    No.

    I'm not going to rally around some idiot whose stupidity is putting women's health at risk.

    She should have resigned as president of Planned Parenthood.

    But like Nancy Pelosi, who remained leader of the House Democrats even after overseeing the huge loss of the 2010 elections, Cecile's not held accountable.

    But they're all on board, the circle jerk is, with the notion that the public discourse caused a shooting in Colorado Springs.

    Political speech is protected speech.

    If you can't grasp that, I don't know why you're making political comments in America unless it's just to flaunt your ignorance.


    Bombings?

    Bombings and shootings are not political speech.


    Today, the US Defense Dept announced:




    Strikes in Iraq
    Bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 18 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Huwayjah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles and two ISIL heavy machine guns.

    -- Near Fallujah, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.

    -- Near Mosul, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Ramadi, eight strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed an ISIL tunnel, three ISIL vehicle bombs, nine ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL light machine gun positions, three ISIL heavy machine gun positions, an ISIL recoilless rifle, and an ISIL tactical vehicle.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and two ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Hit, a strike destroyed an ISIL-used bridge.

    -- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, wounded an ISIL fighter, and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL weapons storage facility.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.



    Violence in the United States.

    Hmm.

    We're appalled that X number of Americans are shot dead in the US.


    But we don't feel obligated to be outraged by the civilians in Iraq who are being killed by US bombs.


    And we want to talk about actions and consequences while denying that maybe -- just maybe -- the US government's constant war, perpetual war, has an impact.


    A government that resorts to dropping bombs -- not diplomacy -- over and over is a government that tells its people that violence isn't just a means, it's an answer.


    Possibly, some unhinged Americans are more likely to respond to such a message?

    And let's talk the very real consequence of Panhandle Media failing to speak out against war.

    That is what's going on, it is what has been going on since Barack Obama was first sworn in as US president.


    What are the consequences of the silence?

    The never-ending silence that allows Pacifica, THE NATION, THE PROGRESSIVE, etc. to ignore Iraq and avoid calling out Barack?


    Poll after poll demonstrates that this silence has allowed support for war to increase.

    Click here for a series of different outlets' polls.  We're going to emphasize CBS News' polling because they've asked one question since September 2014.




    "Do you favor or oppose the U.S. sending ground troops into Iraq or Syria to fight ISIS militants?"
     
    Favor Oppose Unsure/
    No answer
       
    % % %    
    11/19-22/15
    50 42 8    
    Republicans
    66 29 5    
    Democrats
    43 48 9    
    Independents
    45 46 8    
     
    7/29 - 8/2/15
    46 45 9    
    3/21-24/15
    43 46 10    
    2/13-17/15
    57 37 6    
    10/23-27/14
    47 46 6    
    10/3-6/14
    44 50 5    
    9/12-15/14
    39 55 6



    In September 2014, only 39% favored US ground troops.


    Support has climbed to 50%.

    It has climbed because cowards, smut merchants and whores have misused their positions -- and donated money -- to focus on everything but the realities of war.

    It has climbed because this sewage has refused to hold War Criminal in Chief Barack Obama accountable.


    Actions do have consequences.

    And those consequences are evident in the polling.

    It's time these cowards, smut merchants and whores were held accountable.

    Stop donating to them.

    Make them seek real employment.



    ADDED:  Tuesday's Armed Services Committee hearing was covered in Tuesday's snapshot  and Wednesday's snapshot and other community coverage:  Cedric's "Hank Johnson's sexual obsession with Barack" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! HANK HIS JOHNSON!" covered US House Rep Hank Johnson wasting everyone's time to profess his strangely sexual obsession with Barack and Carter and Gen Joe Dunford refusing to indulge Johnson,  At Rebecca's site, Wally reported on Ranking Member Adam Smith  in "Even House Democrats are criticizing Saint Barack.(Wally)," at Trina's site Ava reported on the obsession with oil that was at the heart of the hearing in "It's still about the oil," Mike reported on US House Rep Niki Tsongas offering some realities about the so-called coalition in "US Armed Services Committee hearing offers a little bit of reality," Ruth reported on US House Rep John Kline's questioning which established that there was no cap on the number of US troops that could be in Iraq "Iraq still matters,"  Kat took on the surreal aspect with "The US just declared war on everyone but Santa," and Elaine covered one time anti-war US House Rep Jackie Speier making an idiot of herself in statements and dress with "The idiot Jackie Speier,"












    Wednesday, December 2, 2015

    Project Censored

    bills bucket list




  •   
    Above we have   Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Bill's Bucket List" which went up Sunday along with Kat's "Kat's Korner: Tracy Chapman collects the best."

    I also hope you caught Project Censored's radio broadcast last week.

    The guest was David Talbot and the topic was his new book The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America's Secret Government.

    It was really riveting radio.

    And, in talking about the JFK assassination, they talked about how people worked overtime to demonize people as 'conspiracy theorist' to discredit them.

    He also noted how JFK's friend Ben Bradlee refused to use the Washington Post resources to investigate the assassination of JFK and insisted that to do so would be to risk being accused of misusing the paper.

    I've ordered the book at my local Barnes & Noble but it's not in it yet.  When it is, I'll try to note it here.


    This week's show -- which I haven't listened to yet -- is an interview with Mark Lane -- this should be really interesting.




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


    Wednesday, December 2, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Barack's broken promise on Iraq get's some press attention, US House Rep Beto O'Rourke asks what is success in the war on the Islamic State and how do we know when it ends, and much more.


    Barack said he'd end the war in Iraq.  (More often, in his 2007 and 2008 stump speeches, he'd yell, "We want to end the war in Iraq!"  A line they were so impressed with, they featured it heavily in TV ads during the Democratic Party primaries of 2008.)


    But then, he also swore he'd close Guantanamo.

    And he promised to walk on that picket line.

    But never did that either.

    He swore he'd filibuster any bill, while he was still a US senator, that gave tech companies immunity from fines for 'helping' the government spy on a citizen without a warrant and he didn't keep that promise.

    Not to mention that, as Jake Tapper (CNN) pointed out, this was the 7th year in a row that Barack broke his promise that he would use "genocide" to describe the Armenian genocide.


    And his promise to be the sunshine president -- open and transparent?  Karen J. Greenberg (LOS ANGELES TIMES) explains:


    Obama's self-professed aim was to restore trust between the people and their government by pledging to promote accountability and provide "information for citizens about what their government is doing." Toward that end, the president quickly released a number of previously classified documents from the Bush years on torture policy.
    But that, as it happened, was the end of the sunshine. In the five years since, little of note has occurred in the name of transparency and much, including a war against whistle-blowers, has been pursued in the name of secrecy. The administration has also, even after Edward Snowden's devastating revelations, continued for the most part to defend the NSA's massive, secret, warrantless surveillance.




    So are we really that surprised that the third and fourth term of Bully Boy Bush has broken yet another promise?

    All those broken promises?







    And all those promises
    that you made and left behind
    were filled with emptiness
    You were never really mine
    Every sweet caress
    was just your second best
    Broken promises

    Baby, I'm amazed
    at how long I still believed
    How many lies it takes
    before someone like me sees
    All the tears you cry
    never can deny
    that you make love a lie
    All the tears you cry
    they never could deny
    that you make love a lie
    -- "All Those Promises," written by Janis Ian, appears on her album Folk Is The New Black


    At yesterday's US House Armed Services Committee hearing, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter declared:


     Next, in full coordination with the government of Iraq, we're deploying a specialized, expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and put even more pressure on ISIL.  These special operators will, over time, be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders.   




    Amy Goodman (DEMOCRACY NOW!) pimped and whored for Barack, destroyed her good name, used the 2009 inauguration as a fund raiser for her program, so it's not that surprising that she basically ignored this huge development, reducing it to a headline -- not even the headline:



    Pentagon officials have announced the U.S. is deploying more special operations troops to Iraq and Syria. Speaking to Congress Tuesday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the U.S. special forces are authorized to conduct raids, gather intelligence, free hostages and capture members of ISIS. He also said the troops would conduct unilateral operations inside Syria. 


    Tom Bowman (NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED) offered a more substantial report which clocked in at over three minutes and included US House Rep Barbara Lee's statement that, "The deployment of additional special operations forces to Iraq should be a wake-up call to Congress.  It's past time to hold a serious debate on the costs and consequences of yet another war in the Middle East."

    It is past time for a serious debate and this should be a wake up call -- however, it's clearly meaningless to Amy Goodman so-called 'left' 'leader.'


    We'll note Barbara Lee's statement in full:


    Additional Troop Deployment Demands Congressional Action



    Washington, DC – Yesterday, President Obama ordered the deployment of additional specialized “expeditionary” forces to Iraq and Syria. Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement:
    “Everyone agrees that ISIL is a barbaric terrorist organization that must be degraded and dismantled. As this conflict expands, Congress must be actively involved in addressing ISIL.   
    The deployment of additional special operations forces to Iraq should be a wake-up call to Congress – it’s past time to hold a serious debate on the costs and consequences of yet another war in the Middle East.
    294 days ago, President Obama sent Congress a draft military authorization; it has remained on the Speaker’s desk ever since.
    It is simply unacceptable.
    Every day, this war escalates and more American troops are placed in harm’s way. Congress must live up to its constitutional duty to give the American people a voice on matters of war and peace.
    National security experts are clear, there is no military solution to this conflict. Only a comprehensive, regionally-led strategy that addresses the underlying political, economic, diplomatic and humanitarian issues in the region will ultimately be effective.  
    My legislation, H.J. Res. 30, lays out a comprehensive strategy while ending the blank checks for endless war that have allowed this conflict to escalate unchecked by Congress.
    ###
    Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.







    WSWS treated Carter's announcement as real news with Niles Williamson and Thomas Gaist reporting:


    Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced Tuesday that the US plans to deploy a new contingent of Special Forces to Iraq to carry out military operations against ISIS targets throughout the country as well across the border in Syria. The US ground force will include at least 200 commandos, according to an AFP report published late Tuesday.
    Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee alongside Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Carter said a “specialized expeditionary targeting force” would be deployed to assist the Iraqi military and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in retaking territory from ISIS.
    According to Carter, these soldiers will work with Iraqi and Kurdish forces to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIS leaders throughout Iraq. They will also, Carter said, conduct “unilateral operations” in Syria. “We are at war,” he told the assembled House of Representatives members.

    Dunford told the committee that the new force would increase the effectiveness of military operations in Iraq and Syria and accelerate the collection of intelligence on ISIS operations. “We’re fighting a campaign across Iraq and Syria so we’re going to go where the enemy is, and we’re going to conduct operations where they most effectively degrade the capabilities of the enemy,” he stated.



    We covered the hearing in yesterday's snapshot -- emphasizing Carter's Iraq remarks, US House Rep Loretta Sanchez's line of questioning and US House Rep Walter Jones embarrassing himself.

    Ann offered her thoughts on the hearing's big news in "Yeah, I blame Jill Stein," Stan offered his in "Thanks for screwing up TV, Barack," Marcia with "New and old" and Betty with "Barack's a damn liar."

    And reporting on the hearing, Cedric's "Hank Johnson's sexual obsession with Barack" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! HANK HIS JOHNSON!" covered US House Rep Hank Johnson wasting everyone's time to profess his strangely sexual obsession with Barack and Carter and Gen Joe Dunford refusing to indulge Johnson,  At Rebecca's site, Wally reported on Ranking Member Adam Smith  in "Even House Democrats are criticizing Saint Barack.(Wally)," at Trina's site Ava reported on the obsession with oil that was at the heart of the hearing in "It's still about the oil," Mike reported on US House Rep Niki Tsongas offering some realities about the so-called coalition in "US Armed Services Committee hearing offers a little bit of reality," Ruth reported on US House Rep John Kline's questioning which established that there was no cap on the number of US troops that could be in Iraq "Iraq still matters,"  Kat took on the surreal aspect with "The US just declared war on everyone but Santa," and Elaine covered one time anti-war US House Rep Jackie Speier making an idiot of herself in statements and dress with "The idiot Jackie Speier,"



  • Today, we'll cover another exchange from the hearing.

    The Iraq War is the never-ending war.

    When does it end?

    That was an issue raised in Tuesday's hearing.



    US House Rep Beto O'Rourke: Mr. Secretary, if we are indeed at war, how will we know when we have won?


    Secretary Ash Carter:  The destruction of ISIL involves their destruction from any territory they claim to uh-uh claim to occupy and their destruction elsewhere around the world -- including their various branches and so forth -- that's the --

    US House Rep Beto O'Rourke: So as long as ISIL's in Iraq or Syria or Libya or Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world, we will still be at war?

    Secretary Ash Carter: I believe that in today's world uh-- One -- It -- uh -- These treats are difficult to confine to one place and that is the reason why we have to go there and why we have to go to Syria and Iraq and strike at it and strike at other places where it is.  It's in the nature of today's world: Mobility among people you see this underlying this and, above all, mobility of information which can radicalize people who've never gone anywhere except in there -- on their keyboard.


    US House Rep Beto O'Rourke:  I think it's important if we are at war to define the clearest and the most precise terms of what victory looks like.  With 15 years of Afghanistan in mind, with the fact that we've been in Iraq off and on since 2003 -- or you can take it all the way back to 1991, to keep us out of perpetual war, I think it's really important that we explicitly define the objectives and the outcomes for which we're fighting.  I think we owe that to our service members, I think we owe that to ourselves.  And I would hope that we could come up with a better definition of victory and success.  I appreciate that you acknowledge the importance of political and diplomatic components of a solution in Iraq or in Syria, but I'm interested in your response to a question asked by Mr. Gibson in terms of conditionality.  There's so much in those countries -- I'll just use Iraq as an example -- that we do not control, cannot control and will not be able to predict when it comes to the political outcomes and so when we say we are going to set conditions on our aid, when we say we are going to set conditions on our military presence, do we really mean that?  Is that a viable threat?  Will we really walk away from Iraq if the government there doesn't meet those conditions?  And I think that's an important question because if, in fact, we will not, then I wonder what the motivation is there for the Iraqi government to take the very important and very difficult steps to integrate these other minorities -- whether they be Kurds, whether they be Sunnis -- into a functioning government -- decentralized or otherwise?



    Secretary Ash Carter: Uh, first of all with respect to the first part of your question, uhm, the -- It -- The -- Your point gets back -- is exactly the military and the political going together.  In addition to the -- The only end state that involves the lasting defeat of ISIL is one in which there are -- whether there is local governance that cannot be once again supplanted by ISIL.  That's why once again the political and the military go together -- that's the heart of the strategy and that's why enabling committed, capable forces who can make victory stick is the other part of the definition of victory, critical --


    US House Rep Beto O'Rourke:  Yes.


    Secretary Ash Carter (Con't):  -- to the strategy. With respect to the leverage, I'll start there in Baghdad but the leverage involves offering to do more for those who are pursuing the same objectives and withholding our support from those who are taking a different path or not going down the path they're supposed to.  So we find alternatives, we find people that can act.  If-if-if the people that we're dealing with are not capable of -- because we have to act and we will find such forces that are capable.


    US House Rep Beto O'Rourke:  Very quickly, for General Dunford, what does ISIS want us to do and how does that factor into our strategy for confronting them.


    Gen Joe Dunfurd:  ISIS wants us to be impetuous right now as opposed to being aggressive and they would love nothing more than a large presence of US forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria so that they could have a call to jihad. 





    In Brussels today, US Secretary of State John Kerry was asked about Iraq.



    MR KIRBY: Our first question today will come from Arshad Mohammed from Reuters.


    QUESTION: Secretary Kerry, my question is about the fight against Islamic State both in Syria and Iraq. Leaving aside the British parliamentary vote today and the German commitments yesterday, what tangible commitments did you get from other NATO partners to fight Islamic State in Syria?
    And on Iraq, Prime Minister Abadi issued a fairly ambiguous statement yesterday about the planned U.S. Special Ops deployment, saying he didn’t see a need for ground troops, he would have to approve any deployments. Was he fully consulted about this? Would he have to approve movements of the Special Operations forces in Iraq? And can you live with those kinds of constraints?



    SECRETARY KERRY: Well, the answer – let me take the first part first. We’re very pleased with the efforts by Prime Minister Cameron to go to the parliament and to ask for the right for Great Britain to join us in striking against ISIL in Syria. This is a very important step. We applaud his leadership on it and I hope that the parliament will vote to grant that because it is important for the world to join together in this initiative, and we welcome Germany’s efforts. I just met with Foreign Minister Steinmeier who has just left here to go back to Berlin in order to speak to this issue in the Bundestag later today. And we welcome Germany’s efforts to contribute to this.
    Other nations are indeed stepping up and considering exactly what they will do. There are a number of countries, and I need to let them have the space to go back and speak to their parliaments and talk with their leadership. But they are committed to be helpful in various different ways. We have asked for the participation of special forces of people to provide police training; people to provide ammo, military assistance; people can provide enablers – there are various ways in which countries can contribute. They don’t have to necessarily be troops engaged in kinetic action. There are medical facilities, there are other assets that could be deployed, there is intelligence gathering, there is all kinds of support structures necessary to this kind of endeavor, whether it’s flying refueling or flying defensive. There are many things that countries can do. And a number of countries will leave here today prepared to go back to consult with their governments, and we will be in touch with them on a military-to-military basis as well as diplomatic basis in order to secure additional help in this effort.
    What I was impressed by, and in fact, moved by was the absolute broad-based understanding that Daesh represents not a threat just to Syria or to Jordan or to Turkey, Lebanon, but Daesh is now a proven reality and a threat throughout the world. Because any one person has the ability with the – with certain instructions, if they’re prepared to go die, to unfortunately do great harm in that process. And we’ve seen that in many different places. So we are all engaged in this effort. Countries can help us with traveler information, with exchange of information, and other kinds of security efforts and initiatives with respect to public events and security, travel, migration, and so forth. So we are anticipating that there will be a very constructive response to this, and over the days ahead.

    With respect to Iraq, the Government of Iraq was of course briefed in advance of Secretary Carter’s announcement. And we will continue to work very, very closely with our Iraqi partners on exactly who would be deployed, where they would be deployed, what kinds of missions people would undertake, how they would support Iraqi efforts to degrade and destroy ISIL. We have full and total respect and work with, for Prime Minister Abadi’s leadership. We work very closely with him. And we strongly support his efforts to restore Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity against ISIL attacks, and I can assure you that as the plans are developed, it will be in full consultation and with the full consent of the Iraqi Government. And I have no doubt that this announcement should be viewed entirely in the context of what we have announced a year ago. It’s the same mission – not a different one – but we need to provide greater assistance in ways that meet with the Iraqis’ both consent and needs.




    Arshad Mohammed and Sabine Siebold (REUTERS) report on Kerry here.  Kerry's comments were raised in today's US State Dept press briefing moderated by spokesperson Mark Toner.



    QUESTION: Mark, can you clarify a statement that the Secretary made earlier today in Brussels? This was in reference to Iraq. He was asked specifically about Prime Minister Abadi’s comment about foreign ground combat troops not being needed in Iraq. And in his response, the Secretary mentioned having respect for the work of Prime Minister Abadi’s leadership and a close relationship with Iraqi partners, but he didn’t specifically address Abadi’s statement. So how exactly is the U.S. responding to what Abadi is saying about there not being a need for foreign ground combat forces in – on – in Iraq?


    MR TONER: Again, I don’t have Prime Minister Abadi’s statements in front of me, but my understanding is that he said any kind of deployment would have to be under – with the approval and with the coordination of the Iraqi Government and Iraqi military, Iraqi armed forces. And I think that Secretary Carter said as much in responding to a question on this last night, or he spoke to it – addressed it and said that absolutely, we are – excuse me – any additional forces that we would put into Iraq or on the ground in Iraq would be taken in full coordination with the Government of Iraq.


    QUESTION: So the U.S. does not believe that Iraq is against ground forces in spite of this statement, but just wants coordination – but Iraq is asking for coordination?


    MR TONER: That’s our assessment, yeah.
    Yeah.


    QUESTION: But he was clear today that there are not a need for U.S. troops.


    MR TONER: Again, what’s – I just want to be clear on this and would refer you to the Department of Defense for any other details, but – because I don’t want to speak on behalf of them, but any steps, any additional troops that we would send into Iraq would obviously be done with the coordination of the Iraqi Government.


    QUESTION: On the word that they used, expeditionary force.


    MR TONER: Forgive me? I didn’t hear what you said.


    QUESTION: Expeditionary force. Is that – the term they used, expeditionary force. I mean, that takes us – that harkens back, like, to the Spanish-American War. I mean, this is – what does that mean, really?


    MR TONER: I can’t begin to – again, I’m going to refer you to the Department of Defense to elaborate on why that’s different than, for example, Special Operations Forces, but I’m sure there’s very clear lines drawn between the different aspects of them.



    We'll again note Scott Atran and Nafees Hamid's "Paris: The War ISIS Wants" was published by THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS a few weeks ago.  From the essay:

    Indeed, ISIS’s theatrical brutality—whether in the Middle East or now in Europe—is part of a conscious plan designed to instill among believers a sense of meaning that is sacred and sublime, while scaring the hell out of fence-sitters and enemies. This strategy was outlined in the 2004 manifesto Idarat at Tawahoush (The Management of Savagery), a tract written for ISIS’s precursor, the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda; tawahoush comes from wahsh or “beast,” so an animal-like state. Here are some of its main axioms:

    Diversify and widen the vexation strikes against the Crusader-Zionist enemy in every place in the Islamic world, and even outside of it if possible, so as to disperse the efforts of the alliance of the enemy and thus drain it to the greatest extent possible.
    To be effective, attacks should be launched against soft targets that cannot possibly be defended to any appreciable degree, leading to a debilitating security state:

    If a tourist resort that the Crusaders patronize…is hit, all of the tourist resorts in all of the states of the world will have to be secured by the work of additional forces, which are double the ordinary amount, and a huge increase in spending.
    Crucially, these tactics are also designed to appeal to disaffected young who tend to rebel against authority, are eager for for self-sacrifice, and are filled with energy and idealism that calls for “moderation” (wasatiyyah) only seek to suppress. The aim is

    to motivate crowds drawn from the masses to fly to the regions which we manage, particularly the youth… [For] the youth of the nation are closer to the innate nature [of humans] on account of the rebelliousness within them.
    Finally, these violent attacks should be used to draw the West as deeply and actively as possible into military conflict:

    Work to expose the weakness of America’s centralized power by pushing it to abandon the media psychological war and war by proxy until it fights directly.

    Eleven years later, ISIS is using this approach against America’s most important allies in Europe. 





    On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights), Nafees Hamid addressed the Paris attacks and his belief that the Islamic State's goal is "the eradication of the gray zone," forcing people to choose sides.  From the broadcast:



    Nafees Hamid: One goal is to polarize society -- is to make -- to convince Muslims that they just can't be happy in western lands, that they will always be second and third class citiznes, living in these areas, that they will always be persecuted, that the humanism of western ideals is just a fantasy, it's a lie.  And by creating those atacks, they want -- there's sort of this tacit alliance between hard right-wing groups and the Islamic State.  On the one hand every time an attack happens hard right-wing groups in France, for example the National Front, benefits from this.  It feeds into their narrative that, "Look, we have to not accept these Syrian refugees.  We have to close down our borders, we have to limit immigration, we have to have stricter laws in the banlieues where the majority of the people are Muslim, [. .. .]"  So it advances the far right cause and it polarizes society more and the hope of ISIS is that it pushes someone in the center into the hands of groups like ISIS>



    Heidi Boghosian:  We've read a lot about attemtps to appeal to so-called disaffected youth.  Would you say that is a primary target of this whole agenda?


    Nafees Hamid:  Yes.  But it's also important to know that disaffected youth -- It's not necesarrily that they're poor, for example.  When we think about disaffected youth, we often sometimes think of somebody who does not have a job, someone who is struggling economically.  And it's true that right now you see more people coming from in and out of prison and people who have  a little bit of a criminal background or are poor but historically that hasn't been the case.  And there are plent of people who are middle class, educated people who had career prospects.  Whereas like 20% of them don't even have an Islamic heritage at all -- they're converts.  So, yes, I would say disaffected and open to political consicousness.  As they ascribe in THE MANAGEMENT OF SAVAGERY that there's an inherent rebellion that we need to tap into rebelliousness -- a passion that exists in young people that we need to tap into.  And right now, many of those people in western culture are not feeling that way -- and it's not just jihadi movements.  It's sort of a little bit of a stereotype.  People wanting to find purpose and meaning in their life.  People wanting to have an impact feel like they can do more than just go get a job and have security in their life.  So this -- this spirit is kind of what they're trying to tap into.




    How does the US government address that?  Apparently, it doesn't.  But they did continue bombing Iraq today with the Defense Dept noting:




    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, bomber, fighter, remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 15 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Albu Hayat, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Ramadi, nine strikes struck three ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL mortar position, 10 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL tactical vehicle, five ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL rocket-propelled grenade positions, an ISIL tunnel, an ISIL anti-tank position, an ISIL vehicle bomb, an ISIL staging location, two ISIL buildings, an ISIL command and control node, cratered an ISIL-used road, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL mortar position, an ISIL fighting position, and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL vehicle bomb facility and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.




     






    wbai
    law and disorder radio
    michael s. smith
    heidi boghosian
    michael ratner



    Yeah, I blame Jill Stein

    In one way or another, the following all deal with Iraq:




  • And Stan's "Thanks for screwing up TV, Barack" and Betty's "Barack's a damn liar."

    As C.I. reports in the snapshot below, Barack's sending US troops into combat on the ground in Iraq.

    Barack's a liar -- breaking yet another promise.

    I'm reminded that at the end of Sept. 2012, Tim Arango had an article about a brigade of US special forces being sent back into Iraq.

    But the idiot Jill Stein never raised the issue.

    She was too busy trying to protect Barack after he got beat by Mitt  Romney in the first debate.

    Jill Stein -- of the hashtag White Entitlement -- thinks she deserves another shot at the Green Party presidential nomination.

    I'd say this new announcement is yet another reason why that hag should step aside and let a real leader like Cynthia McKinney run.


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



    Tuesday, December 1, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, the United Nations announces their count for the death toll in November, US Secretary of Defense announces US troops will be boots-on-the-ground in combat, the House Armed Services Committee seems underwhelmed by the announcement, US House Rep Walter Jones re-embraces the crazy, and much more.


    Ash Carter is the US Secretary of Defense.  We'll open with some remarks by him today.


    Secretary Ash Carter:  As I've discussed with you in the past, the United States strategy requires leveraging all of the components in our nation's might to destroy ISIL, every instrument of national power -- diplomatic, military, intelligence, law enforcement, homeland security, economic, informational -- is engaged and every national security agency is contributing to one of the strategies, lines of effort.  We're defending the homeland, acting to defeat ISIL in its core in Syria and Iraq, and taking appropriate action where ever else in the world this evil organization metastasizes. Now the Defense Dept contributes to nearly all the lines of effort but protecting the homeland is among our highest priorities.  We're adapting to meet ISIL's threat -- including ensuring the security of Defense Dept installations and personnel. And just last week, I hosted some of the top national security law enforcement individuals at the Pentagon to discuss efforts to cut off the flow of foreign fighters.  But we at the Defense Dept, of course, are centrally responsible for the military campaign which will be the focus of my statement to this community. Through our own action, and those of our coalition partners, the military campaign will destroy ISIL's leadership and forces, deprive it of resources and safe haven and mobility.  All the while, we seek to identify and then enable motivated, local forces on the ground to expel ISIL from its territory, hold and govern it and ensure that victory sticks.  That's the right strategic approach for two particular reasons.  First, it emphasizes the necessity of capable, motivated, local forces as the only force that can ensure a lasting victory.  Such forces are hard to find but they do exist and we are enabling them and we're constantly looking for ways to expand doing so -- and I will describe some of them -- but we cannot substitute for such forces. And second, this strategic approach sets the conditions for a political solution to the civil war in Syria and the crippling sectarianism in Iraq which are the only durable ways to prevent an ISIL-like organization from re-emerging.  And that's why the diplomatic work, led by Secretary [John] Kerry and the State Dept is the first and absolutely critical line of effort in our strategy.  We're gathering momentum on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq.  And today, I'll describe how the US is continuing to accelerate the military campaign against ISIL and what more we're asking of our global partners. While I can't describe everything in this unclassified setting, I do want to take a few extra moments this morning to give as much detail as possible about the new things that we're doing to accelerate ISIL's defeat. We're at war.  We're using the might of the finest fighting force the world has ever known.  Tens of thousands of US personnel are operating in the broader Middle East region -- more on the way.  We have some of our most advanced Air-Naval forces attacking ISIL.  US troops are advising and assisting ground operations in Syria and Iraq.  I'll briefly describe some of these efforts and how we're accelerating them.  First, in northern Syria . . . [you are reading an "Iraq snapshot," our focus is Iraq].  In northern Iraq, Peshmerga units with the help of US air power and advisors have retaken the town of Sinjar cutting the main line of communication between Raqqa and Mosul -- the two largest cities under ISIL's control.  To move people and supplies, ISIL must now rely on backroads where we locate and destroy them.  Elsewhere in Iraq, we have about 3,500 troops at six locations in Iraq in support of Iraqi security forces, the ISF.  There we've been providing increased lethal fire and augmenting the existing training, advising and assisting program.  And we're prepared to do more as Iraq shows capability and motivation in the counter ISIL fight in resolving its political divisions.  The progress in the Sunni portions of Iraq, as mentioned by Mr. [US House Rep Adam] Smith, as the campaign to recapture Ramadi shows, has been slow -- much to our and Prime Minister [Haider al-] Abadi's frustration. Despite his efforts, sectarian politics and Iranian influence have made building a multi-sectarian Iraqi security force difficult with some notable exceptions such as the US-trained counter-terrorism forces We continue to offer additional US support of all kinds and urge Baghdad to support, enroll, train and arm and pay Sunni Arab fighters as well as local Sunni Arab police forces to hold territory recaptured from ISIL.  All these efforts -- from northern Syria through Iraq -- have shrunk the ISIL controlled territory in both.  Importantly, we now have an opportunity to divide ISIL's presence in Iraq from that in Syria.  This could be important because, while both countries are plagued by ISIL, each, as I said earlier, has different political pathologies that provide the opportunity for extremism and they ultimately require different kinds of political progress to ensure lasting victory. Next, in full coordination with the government of Iraq, we're deploying a specialized, expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and put even more pressure on ISIL.  These special operators will, over time, be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders.  This force will also be in a position to conduct unilateral operations in Syria. That creates a virtuous cycle of better intelligence which generates more targets, more raids, more momentum.  The raids in Iraq will be done at the invitation of the Iraqi government and focused on defending its borders and building the ISF capability.  Next, we're also significantly expanding US attacks on ISIL infrastructure and sources of revenue -- particularly its oil revenue. Over the past several weeks, because of improved intelligence and understanding of ISIL's financial operations, we've intensified the air campaign against ISIL's  war-sustaining oil enterprise -- a critical pillar of ISIL's financial infrastructure.  In addition to destroying fixed . . . 


    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    The key moment above is:

    Next, in full coordination with the government of Iraq, we're deploying a specialized, expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and put even more pressure on ISIL.  These special operators will, over time, be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders.  


     Remember when this was supposed to Iraq's fight?

    And no US forces would be in combat?


    Remember those words from US President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama?



    This was a key moment.  It sailed right over everyone.

    Carter was speaking



    "In full co-ordination with the government of Iraq, we're deploying a specialised expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces,"


    Carter was speaking at today's US House Armed Services Committee hearing.  Also offering testimony was Gen Joe Dunford, Chair of the Joint Chiefs.  The Committee Chair is US House Rep Mac Thornberry, the Ranking Member is US House Rep Adam Smith.


    US House Rep Walter Jones:  Before I get to the question, I want to remind the American people what James Madison said, the power to declare war -- including the power of judging the causes of war -- is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature -- not the executive branch, but the legislature.  I would like to ask you and Gen Dunford, in this undertaking of trying to defeat the evil group ISIL, would it help your cause if the Congress met its Constitutional responsibility of debating a new AUMF [Authorization for the Use of Military Force]? [. . .]

    Secretary Ash Carter: It would show to our troops that their country was behind them.  I think they know we're behind them [gestures to himself and Dunford].  I think they know you're behind them.  would this show that the country was behind them in their effort?  I think they deserve to know that and for that reason I think it's desirable to have an AUMF.  The only thing I'd say is the lawyers tell me  that we don't technically need one.  We can conduct what we need to do within the law.  But I think it would be helpful principally because I-I-I think you can't do enough to show the troops that we're behind them.


    So Carter doesn't think the military believes the American people support them?  He thinks they believe that he does support them and the Congress does but not the American people?

    Hmm.

    Well let's pretend that's a valid thought -- exactly how does Congress voting on an AUMF alter that alleged belief?

    It doesn't.

    He was a real stooge.

    And I find it really telling that these people, paid by the US taxpayers, go out in public and insult the American people.

    I find it really telling that they openly display their contempt and disregard for democracy.

    And "they" includes Walter Jones who apparently shoved a freedom fry in his brain.

    No one needed him to come to the hearing with his prepared talking points.

    I guess actually listening and asking about what is being discussed was too much for the little tyke so instead he has his staff look up a quote and he pretended he gave a damn about it.

    But if he gave a damn about the Congress' right to declare war, he would need to give a damn about the American people and when Carter's playing the card of you-and-me-we-support-the-military-but-that-stinking-public-doesn't, if Jones actually understood the points Madison was making, he would've objected to Carter's smear on the people of American instead of grinning like an idiot and nodding along.

    Apparently, all that mattered was he got his prepared comment -- passed off as a question -- before the cameras.

    So unimportant was the whole thing to him -- including the deployment of more US forces and their role in combat in Iraq -- that he rushed to boast he was going to yield 51 seconds back.

    What a proud moment for Walter Jones -- a man who spent the last years apologizing for his idiotic support of the illegal war but so quick to jump back on board with it today.

    And, of course, yet again the lie is pimped that you can only back the military by supporting war.

    I thought Walter Jones rejected that in the aftermath of his freedom fries nonsense.


    Apparently, any intelligence he later showed was somehow transitory and vanished in his lust for more war.


    Not everyone was avoiding all issues.  We'll note this exchange.


    US House Rep Loretta Sanchez:  You said that we are arming the Kurds.  The last time I spoke to [KRG President Mahmoud] Barzani, he suggested that they needed heavier duty weapons versus light arms.  And so my question -- my first question -- would be what are we arming them with?  I mean, is this really for the battlefield that they find?  Secondly,  I'd like you to address this whole issue with respect to the Iraqi army and the inability for us to get integrated -- or for Iraq's government to get it integrated.  I remember back in the -- under the Constitution and the whole issue of, for example, having a vote on the Kurd area being an independent entity, for example.  That was something that I continued to ask our military leaders at the time who were overseeing Iraq and the reality was they kept saying, 'That's the hardest part, that's the hardest part, we're going to get to it.'  And we never got to it before we were gone.  Now we see the fruits of that in that we are still not able to have a military that -- or police force -- that's very integrated.  So what do we do about that?   Uhm, so we've been taking back territory in Iraq and one of the issues that we had is it always takes additional -- I mean, we need to leave troops there or we need to leave somebody there in order to hold onto it. Otherwise, we end up losing that territory.  So what is our strategy to do that?  And the recruitment effort.  I would like -- and I'm sure that it would be not within the public realm, but I would love to get briefed on the cyber issues and how we're countering the recruitment with respect to ISIS, ISIL, whatever you want to call them. these days, from a global perspective.  But in particular are we doing anything that you can talk about in this setting with respect to the recruiting effort in the region itself?  And lastly, DIME -- Diplomacy, Intelligence, Military, Economic.  You know, it's not just military that we need here.  So, Secretary, if you could speak a little to what are some of the other efforts we're doing to counter-act what is really something we need to eliminate which is ISIS.  Thank you.

    Secretary Ash Carter: Uh-uh, Congresswoman Sanchez, I'll touch two of the points and ask-ask the Chairman especially with respect -- with-with respect to arming the Kurds -- if you don't mind, Mr. Chairman -- and-and-and generally the Iraqi security forces.  Uhm, you talk about DIME?  Absolutely, it is essential that we recognize even though we -- uhh-uhh, I believe this is absolutely true -- are the center of the campaign because there must be a military defeat of ISIL.  And I also believe that, uh, Iraq and Syria since it is the heart of ISIL, we have to defeat it there.  That said, this is a global fight, it's a multi-dimensional fight, it's in the intelligence sphere, it's in the homeland security sphere, it's in the law enforcement sphere.  And I'm not going to [have] much more to say about that except that I have begun to convene, uh, with Secretary Kerry -- and I appreciate his cooperation, in this regard -- all of the agencies and going through what we're all doing -- making sure that the right hand knows what the left is. So in cyber, you're right I can't talk about it here.  I'm happy to come give you a classified briefing.  But we are linked up.  That's very important.  The FBI.  Jim Comey. Homeland Security.  The intelligence community.  Uh-uh and-and our DoD people.  Last thing I'll say is you ask, we thought about a hold force, a-uh-ugh necessity for a hold force is at the root of our strategy. Our strategy is to find, identify and enable forces that can not only take territory but hold territory because we are -- we know from the last fourteen years that that's the tricky part.  The hard part about getting victory to stick is to find people who can hold territory and govern it decently so that the likes of ISIL don't come back.  And-and as I said, they're hard to find.  They do exist but they're hard to find.  And we're going to try to make a snowball and get more.  Chairman?

    Gen Joe Dunford: Congresswoman, with regard to the Kurds, the Kurds have, as you know -- you've been there many times, a full range of weapons and heavy vehicles and [. . .]

    There was nothing to answer her question regarding what the Kurds were being supplied with and time ran out so he was shut down.


    As for Cater's remarks?


    How nice that, all this time later, 16 months after the US started bombing Iraq, Carter has "begun to convene, uh, with Secretary Kerry."

    In fairness to Carter, the failures of State are Kerry's failures and Barack Obama's failures since John wanted to play like he was Secretary of Defense and Barack didn't have the spine to tell him to instead to do his job.


    We'll probably note more from the hearing in the next snapshot but, again, the key moment was this remark/announcement by Carter:


    Next, in full coordination with the government of Iraq, we're deploying a specialized, expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and put even more pressure on ISIL.  These special operators will, over time, be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders.  


    As CBS News' Rebecca Shabad points out, Carter's announcement of US forces in Iraq on the front lines 'assisting'  "comes after Hillary Clinton told CBS News on Monday that she couldn't 'conceive' any circumstance in which the U.S. should send troops to fight ISIS on the ground in the Middle East."

    That should probably read "comes after even Hillary Clinton -- even Hillary Clinton -- told CBS News on Monday that she couldn't 'conceive' any circumstance in which the US should send troops to fight ISIS on the ground in the Middle East."

    Even.

    Even Hillary.


    And the bombs go on . . .

    The US Defense Dept announced today:

    Airstrikes in Iraq
    Bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 13 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
    -- Near Huwayjah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL building.
    -- Near Makhmur, a strike denied ISIL access to terrain.
    -- Near Ramadi, five strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL command and control nodes, an ISIL staging area, and an ISIL weapons cache, damaged two ISIL command and control nodes, two ISIL buildings, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
    -- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions.
    -- Near Qaim, a strike struck an ISIL vehicle bomb facility.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike struck inoperable Coalition equipment denying ISIL access in support of Coalition operations.


    Still on violence, the United Nations published their woeful undercounting of the dead and injured for the month of November:














  • US House Rep Loretta Sanchez asked about recruitment by the Islamic State in today's hearing.


    "The eradication of the gray zone."  Scott Atran and Nafees Hamid's "Paris: The War ISIS Wants" was published by THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS a few weeks ago.  From the essay:

    Indeed, ISIS’s theatrical brutality—whether in the Middle East or now in Europe—is part of a conscious plan designed to instill among believers a sense of meaning that is sacred and sublime, while scaring the hell out of fence-sitters and enemies. This strategy was outlined in the 2004 manifesto Idarat at Tawahoush (The Management of Savagery), a tract written for ISIS’s precursor, the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda; tawahoush comes from wahsh or “beast,” so an animal-like state. Here are some of its main axioms:
    Diversify and widen the vexation strikes against the Crusader-Zionist enemy in every place in the Islamic world, and even outside of it if possible, so as to disperse the efforts of the alliance of the enemy and thus drain it to the greatest extent possible.
    To be effective, attacks should be launched against soft targets that cannot possibly be defended to any appreciable degree, leading to a debilitating security state:
    If a tourist resort that the Crusaders patronize…is hit, all of the tourist resorts in all of the states of the world will have to be secured by the work of additional forces, which are double the ordinary amount, and a huge increase in spending.
    Crucially, these tactics are also designed to appeal to disaffected young who tend to rebel against authority, are eager for for self-sacrifice, and are filled with energy and idealism that calls for “moderation” (wasatiyyah) only seek to suppress. The aim is
    to motivate crowds drawn from the masses to fly to the regions which we manage, particularly the youth… [For] the youth of the nation are closer to the innate nature [of humans] on account of the rebelliousness within them.
    Finally, these violent attacks should be used to draw the West as deeply and actively as possible into military conflict:
    Work to expose the weakness of America’s centralized power by pushing it to abandon the media psychological war and war by proxy until it fights directly.

    Eleven years later, ISIS is using this approach against America’s most important allies in Europe. 



    Hamid has argued that recruitment -- for all the talk of cyber -- is not done by the computer but by peer-to-peer, people that recruits already know.

    We'll note that and his belief that the Islamic State's goal is "the eradication of the gray zone" in the next snapshot.



    Again, today's key moment regarding Iraq was Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announcing Barack's new move:


    Next, in full coordination with the government of Iraq, we're deploying a specialized, expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and put even more pressure on ISIL.  These special operators will, over time, be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders.  


    The announcement, of course, came after it was implemented.  It was Monday, for example, that
     Fazel Hawramy, Shalaw Mohammad and David Smith (Guardian) reported:



    The US military denies any special operations forces involvement in combat on 11 September or in three other other incidents listed by the peshmerga. Yet in interviews with the Guardian, a dozen Kurdish fighters and commanders said that US special forces troops have been participating in operations against Isis for months.
    [. . .]
    Karwan Hama Tata, a peshmerga volunteer, showed a Guardian reporter a video which appeared to show two Americans in the midst of the battle accompanied by three peshmerga fighters. He said: “They fight and they even fight ahead of the peshmerga. They won’t allow anyone to take photos of them, but they take photos of everyone.”
    The American special forces arrived in Kirkuk earlier this year to train, advise and support peshmerga forces fighting Isis. According to a Kurdish peshmerga commander, about 30 American special forces operatives set up an operations room in the city.

    A senior peshmerga commander, who did not wish to be named, said: “In February, for the first time, four American snipers came to south Kirkuk because we had lost several peshmerga to the Isis snipers.


    Whether or not today's announcement would have been made by Carter without that report being filed yesterday is a question worth considering.










    Blog Archive