Saturday, January 16, 2016

She couldn't protect classified information how can she protect you?

I hope you caught Andrew P. Napolitano's "Two Smoking Guns: FBI on Hillary's Case" (Information Clearing House) which notes:

Last weekend, the State Department released two smoking guns – each an email from Clinton to a State Department subordinate. One instructed a subordinate who was having difficulty getting a document to Clinton that she had not seen by using a secure State Department fax machine to use an insecure fax machine. The other instructed another subordinate to remove the "confidential" or "secret" designation from a document Clinton had not seen before sending it to her. These two emails show a pattern of behavior utterly heedless of the profound responsibilities of the secretary of state, repugnant to her sworn agreement to safeguard state secrets, and criminal at their essence.

Hillary's not fit to be president.

If you ever doubted it for even a minute, read the paragraph above slowly.

She's not fit.

It's that simple.

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

Friday, January 15, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the US continues bombing Iraq, Ramadi still not fully 'liberated,' THE NATION tries to have it all ways, and much more.l

Starting with THE NATION magazine which wants credit for "Is It Time for the US to Pull Out of Iraq and Syria?" -- three different friends with the magazine lobbied for the article to be linked to.

They got their wish -- even if only one of the three realized sometimes that's not a good thing.

The piece is the sort of crap the magazine loves to do because it lets them cherry pick in ten years.  "As we said a decade ago . . ."

Because the article presents four views and they can grab whichever one to make themselves look good in ten years.

Taking an actual stand?

That's too much for the rag.

Jeff Faux may offer the strongest take:

The war is already lost. None of the US governing class’ shifting war aims—stabilizing the region, defending human rights, ending terrorism, establishing democracy—can be achieved. There is no future “diplomatic” solution that justifies continuing the waste of life, treasure, and national honor.
Our ongoing intervention in the Middle East cannot succeed for the same reason that it could not succeed in Vietnam: We are foreign invaders, brutal enough to alienate the people of Iraq and Syria but not brutal enough to subjugate them. By expanding and re-escalating the war with enough US troops and bombs—and bribes to every warlord in sight—we might (with or without the Russians) degrade and perhaps even destroy, the Islamic State organization in Iraq and Syria. But it would leave the region an even more ungovernable wasteland of death and destruction and hatred of Americans.
ISIS is but one of many groups using that hatred as a ladder to power. 

Muhammad Idrees Ahmad speaks like an idiot -- we have to stay, we have to help, we have to -- Save the crap.  The US government isn't helping anyone.  As for the Yazidis, they can learn to fight.  There his proof that the US is needed.  Without the US, they could have been trapped on the mountain so much longer.

Those 'peaceful' Yazidis have since targeted Sunni civilians, killed them, for 'retaliation.'

Clearly, they know how to kill and murder.

And, point of fact, the rescue of the Yazidis was done by the Peshmerga -- the elite Kurdish fighting force.

Then there's Phyllis Bennis embarrassing herself.

Does she have a position?

We have to talk about what we owe the people of Iraq and Syria who continue to face the consequences of years or decades of horrific wars. We have an obligation to help support reconstruction, humanitarian relief, diplomacy, compensation, and much more.
But first, the United States needs to stop the airstrikes. They kill civilians and undermine the goal of ending popular support for ISIS. Bombing destroys cities, so ousting ISIS becomes a pyrrhic victory. 

Yes, good to be against bomb strikes.

Sad that our discourse is so degraded and dumbed down that being opposed to dropping bombs is now considered 'radical' and/or 'peaceful.'

But the US has to this and has to that and blah blah blah?

“Pulling out” is what we do with troops, planes, bombs and drones. But crafting a serious strategy does not end with pulling them out; we also need to take the money now being spent on a failing war and redirect it to serve domestic needs and to assist the countries and peoples we’ve been bombing for so long.

I'd love to get behind Phyllis but . . .

December 2, 2004, we published "SHOULD THIS MARRIAGE BE SAVED?" which was about how this sort of 'we must' thinking just continues war and occupation.

We've also repeatedly noted that if you spill red wine on someone's white carpet, they're not wanting you to dab at it with a towel, they just want you the hell out.

If all that's too confusing for Phyllis, let's try this.

If a man is beating a woman, you get the man out.  You don't say, "Let's work out the community property settlement and then we'll work on getting him out."

Phyllis is against bombing civilians.


I'm glad.

I'm sad that we're so whorish as a nation these days that we have to pat someone on the back for being against bombing civilians.  I'm sorry that the 'position' is even seen as risky today.

But applause, Phyllis, applause.

Now lose the laundry list of what you want for Iraq.

Negotiating those wants is only going to continue an ongoing war.

All US troops out of Iraq now.

And, Phyllis, I'm being real easy on you and not slamming you for your silence on the IMF's take over of Iraq -- even though we both know you're silent on it and have been silent for months.

Even though the IMF will be yet another form of occupation.

So, ten years from now, THE NATION will grab one of the four positions their article presents and trumpet the one opinion as proof of the magazine's 'insight' and 'wisdom' and 'bravery.'

Even though the article is nothing but THE NATION trying to have it all ways -- not both ways, all ways.

Let's note some Tweets.

Shiat militias backed by torturing Sunnies by cutting them alive in

  • Shiite militias kill hundreds of Sunni Arabs citizens in .These actions increase terrorism in the world

  • The persecution of the Sunnis in Iraq continues.

    And the world begins to take notice even if the White House does not.

    Since August 2014, Barack's 'plan' for Iraq has been implemented.

    But the US President's plan has been short on diplomacy and short on addressing the root causes.

    Barack Obama has been, however, happy to drop bombs on Iraq.


    Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, bomber, fighter, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Hit, two strikes struck two ISIL bomb-making facilities.

    -- Near Kisik, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Mosul, four strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache, an ISIL vehicle, seven ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL-used culvert and disabled an ISIL front end loader and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 14 ISIL fighting positions, destroyed two ISIL recoilless rifles, 12 ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL sniper positions and an ISIL tactical vehicle.

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

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

    -- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL weapons cache and five ISIL assembly areas.

    -- Near Beiji, one strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL weapons caches.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, one strike destroyed three ISIL fuel tankers and an ISIL command-and-control node.

    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.

    What has been the result of Barack's 'plan'?

    Civilian deaths to be sure.

    A country ripped apart.

    The recent Ramadi bombings have been so bad and so destructive that experts outside of Iraq are beginning to weigh whether the 'success' from bombings is worth the destruction that they inflict.

    And Ramadi, despite all those bombings, despite non-stop claims of liberation, remains to be fully liberated from the Islamic State.

  • |i army loosing more ground in north after stormed & took 8 more barracks in al-Jarayshi..

  • Heck of a job, Barry.

  • The following community sites updated:


    Friday, January 15, 2016

    Wildflower (Drew Barrymore)

    What am I reading?

    I just finished Drew Barrymore's Wildflower last night.

    It was a Christmas gift.  I got six books from family members for Christmas (along with a lot of clothes and perfume) and this was the first one I made time for.

    I really enjoyed it.

    Cameron Diaz fans should read it.

    Drew has a lot of nice things to say about Cameron and she and Cameron do a lot of things together.

    There's a whole chapter where Cameron, Drew and Lucy Lui are doing this outward bound type of thing in the wilderness and Drew's the negative one and totally destroying the moment until, two days in, she finally begins to get into it.  She explores how we create our own worlds -- negative or otherwise.

    She remembers her family in the book -- really loved what she wrote about her maternal grandfather.

    It's a really nice book that seems like a few shared stories until you put it down and realize the larger points and then are so grateful that she let you draw the conclusions instead of hitting you over the head with a hammer.

    She trusts you as a reader to get there.

    It's a really strong book and I would say it's a graceful one as well.

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

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Barack Obama still has no plan for defeating the Islamic State, but he is sending more US troops to be boots on the ground, Hillary Clinton lashes out at Bernie Sanders and creates a windfall of support for Bernie, and much more.

    Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Kisik, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL bunkers, an ISIL-used tunnel, eight ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL supply cache and six ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Mosul, seven strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, an ISIL headquarters building, an ISIL weapons storage facility, an ISIL security headquarters building, and an ISIL-used bridge, and destroyed an ISIL command-and-control node and nine ISIL fighting positions and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    -- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL bunker, an ISIL vehicle bomb, two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL vehicle and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    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.

    More military action from Barack Obama.

    Did the US president miss Tuesday's House Armed Services Committee hearing?

    How about when former CIA deputy director Mike Morell told US House Rep Tom MacArthur, "We really can't have military success without political solutions.  That has to come first."

    That has to come first.

    But the White House isn't working on that.

    Wally covered the hearing at Rebecca's site with "Bungler Obama:"

     The main takeaway from yesterday's House Armed Services Committee hearing?

    That there's no plan.

    When it comes to addressing the Islamic State, there's no plan.

    None at all.

    "What is the real strategy?"

    US House Rep. Loretta Sanchez asked that.


    But no one has an answer.

    Barack stated his 'plan' -- bombing -- in August of 2014.

    There is no plan.

    There is no strategy.

    Forget that the emperor has no clothes on, he's not even breathing!!!!

    US House Rep Loretta Sanchez was the Acting Ranking Member at the hearing and she did repeatedly ask where the plan was.  She's been doing that publicly for some time.

    And yet the White House still doesn't have any real plan or strategy.

    This was clear today when Secretary of State John Kerry laid out the State Dept's 2016 priorities in a lengthy speech.

    Like a stupid elderly fool who would have plastic surgery to look younger (which he did), he babbled on endlessly about military and territory and all the other crap that has nothing to do with the State Dept.

    We get it, John, Secretary of State isn't good enough for you.  You want to be Secretary of Defense.

    How sad for the State Dept that they're headed by a moron who doesn't even value diplomacy.

    First, Iraq.  I visited Iraq a couple of months ago.  It was my first time on the ground in five years.  I was there in Iraq for five years with the American embassy and before that with the Coalition Provisional Authority.  My sense is that, in Iraq, on the military side, there is progress.  But there are too big challenges. Two big challenges.  First, on the resource side, both the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government in Erbil -- both are heavily dependent on oil and oil sales.  And low oil prices are really crunching their ability to mobilize resources against the fight against the Islamic State.  It was very noticeable to me that the Kurdish leadership, who I have known since 2004, were generally concerned about their budget  abilities to sustain the fight against the Islamic State.  Some of the Peshmerga fighters had not been paid for three months.  But even in Baghdad, the authorities were concerned about the resources.  Second issue on Iraq, the politics of national reconciliation.  Mike Vickers just mentioned the importance of devolution and decentralization.  I certainly agree with that and I'm hopeful on that because the Sunni Arab leaders -- again, whom I have known since 2004 -- have really come around 180 degrees. They used to be in favor of a tight, strong central government. And now they are arguing for devolution of power.  That is what the Shia and the Kurds always wanted ten years ago.  For the first time, I have actually seen the Sunnis, the Shia and the Kurds in Iraq all talking about the same form of government.  That's new and that's hopeful. But at the same time, as events in Diyala, northeast of Baghdad, yesterday  showed, there is serious sectarian tension. The Islamic State yesterday exploded several car bombs in the weary city of Baquba and there was immediate concern among the local Sunni population that Shia -- irregular Shia militia -- would retaliate.  There was actually fear that they would attack Sunni Arab mosques. In order to mobilize Sunni Arabs to contain the Islamic State there must be efforts at national reconciliation.  And this is important because we don't want the Islamic State to be put down militarily and then revive as happened between 2011 and 2013.  I really don't want to see an Islamic State version 2.0.  It is important for the Americans to therefore maintain pressure on the Shia militia problem in Iraq.  There are Iraqis such as prime minister [Haider al-] Abadi,Ayatollah [Ali al-] Sistani -- a superb religious leader in the Shia community -- people like, on the Sunni side, Speaker [of Parliament Salim al-] Jabbouri who are all working or national reconciliation.  And so, in Iraq, we need to help mobilize resources for both the central authorities in Iraq, Baghdad, for the Kurdish regional government in Erbil.  And we have to be engaged on the national reconciliation, working with the gentlemen I have pointed out.

    No, that's not John Kerry.  That's the former US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford testifying at yesterday's hearing.

    Never once in his long, long speech today did John Kerry note the issues that bred the Islamic State, the issues that let it take hold in Iraq.

    Instead, he just made a fool of himself yet again and should go down in history as a very lousy Secretary of State.

    When John was a US Senator, he believed in checks and balances and soft power and diplomacy and could go on and on about them.

    These days, he's just a bully.

    What John Kerry couldn't be bothered with, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter noted in a throwaway today, "It's the diplomats and development experts who are helping the Government of Iraq follow through on rebuilding and restoring opportunity to Sunni regions so the local people have a future worth fighting for themselves."

    Carter delivered his speech at Fort Campbell.  The main section of his remarks getting attention are these:

    Throughout Iraq and Syria we are significantly constraining its ability either to defend or attack, and we are working with our partners to take advantage of every opportunity this presents. And the specialized expeditionary targeting force I announced in December is now in place and is preparing to work with the Iraqis to begin going after ISIL’s fighters and commanders, killing or capturing them wherever we find them, along with other key targets. 

    SPUTNIK notes that the number is supposed to be less than 100 and that "The announcement goes against the Obama administration’s pledge to not place any additional 'boots on the ground' in the Middle East, as well as his stated goal of withdrawing from Iraq."
    It's mission creep.
    The numbers keep climbing and the amount of interaction on the ground keeps increasing.
    PRESS TV notes that section of the speech as well:
    The United States has deployed about 200 special operations forces to Iraq “to work with” the Iraqi military in the fight against the [Islamic State] terrorist group, according to US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
    "The specialized expeditionary targeting force I announced in December is now in place and is preparing to work with the Iraqis to begin going after ISIL's fighters and commanders," Carter said at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, on Wednesday.
    Like PRESS TV, REUTERS goes with the number of approximately 200: 

    While the force was expected to number only about 200, its deployment marks the latest expansion of U.S. military pressure on Islamic State. It also exposes American forces to greater risk, something President Barack Obama has done only sparingly.
    CLARKSVILLE NOW has a photo essay on Carter's visit to Fort Campbell.
    When does the White House plan to work on a political solution?
    Barack insisted in June of 2014 that it was the only answer to Iraq's political crises.  
    But he's never put an emphasis on it in what he insists is a plan to confront the Islamic State.
    At the United Institute of Peace, Fred Strasser has a piece which opens:

    Three years of public polling in Iraq by Mercy Corps has put hard figures to an often-cited theory about the spread and attraction of violent extremism. More than poverty, joblessness or any other dispute or social ill, it is the perception—or reality—of injustice that fuels support for armed opposition groups.
    Sectarianism threatens stability and can feed on itself, but it’s incorrectly blamed as a key source of violence, according to a Mercy Corps report released last week and explored by an expert panel at a U.S. Institute of Peace on Jan. 6. The NGO’s data from face-to-face surveys shows that citizens primarily are driven to support armed opposition by feelings of exclusion from government decision-making and the poor services those authorities deliver.
    The report, entitled “Investing in Iraq’s Peace: How Good Governance Can Diminish Support for Violent Extremism,” also outlines how civil society—a sector that didn’t exist in Iraq before 2003—is gaining the trust of Iraqis as a “growing medium for citizen action and voice.”
    The report was released as Iraq wrestles with rolling back the extremist self-styled Islamic State, also known as ISIS, which controlled about a third of the country in June. Amid the fighting and displacement of 3 million people from ISIS-held areas, sectarian militias are gaining ground, taking advantage of the government’s weakness, according to Mercy Corps. Corruption remains rampant, and a fiscal crisis brought on by low oil prices threatens to further erode the government’s capabilities, the group said. The question of how to improve governance to curb support for violent extremism is critical to the future of Iraq, where the war effort has cost the U.S. more than $2 trillion, according to one study.
    The most revealing aspect of the Mercy Corps research emerged from the resignation of Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki in August 2014, which occurred in the middle of the study, said Michael Young, a Mercy Corps senior advisor.
    “This allowed us to see how opinions changed from before the resignation to immediately after,” said Young, who presented the report at USIP. “The most interesting finding to focus on is the group of people who identified themselves as Sunni Iraqis.”
    From 2013 to 2015, Iraqis’ overall perceptions of government, civic engagement, health care, electricity provision and corruption registered steep declines. In the surveys, Iraqis said their ability to influence government had diminished and lawmakers didn’t properly represent them. Most Iraqis felt the government discriminated against their ethnic or sectarian group.
    “The vast majority of people thought things were basically getting worse in their country,” Young said. Al-Malaki, who is a Shia Muslim, had been accused by Sunni Muslim politicians of, among other offenses, freezing them out of government, failing to provide services to Sunni areas of the country and attacking and killing demonstrators.
    After al-Maliki quit, expectations for government performance rose and support for armed groups plummeted, even though the new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, also is a Shia. Among Sunnis, support for armed opposition groups immediately fell to 26 percent from 49 percent, and expectations jumped for how well government would deliver for them.
    The results suggest that identity politics itself wasn’t the primary driver of support for armed violence, Mercy Corps said in the report.
    “The government’s negligence in addressing underlying grievances and poor governance in areas where populations felt marginalized were significant factors in ISIS’s ability to gain control in parts of Iraq,” Mercy Corps reported. Even so, support for ISIS in the 2015 survey was generally very low.
    In a failed state like Iraq, you can probably factor in that many more are disgruntled and aggrieved than will admit it to a pollster.
    But when's Barack's so-called plan going to address any of the issues being raised?
    Having committed the US to remain in Iraq past the point that he will be president, Barack seems to have little interest in addressing the problems.
    Americans need to be asking what the strategy is?

    They need to be asking what the end game is?

    The world needs to know what it's going to take to finally get the US out of Iraq?

    Or is it just that the US will never leave?

  • army crimes destroyed Sunni mosque () in crimes

  • When will the perceptions of Sunnis be addressed?

    In the US, the 2016 presidential race is underway.

    Jeff Zeleny Tweets:

  • Near silence in Pensacola arena when says Iraq was grave mistake. I recall being here for Bush in '04--loud cheers for Iraq

  • On the Democratic side, war monger Hillary Clinton wants the nomination. At REASON, Sheldon Richman explores Hillary's war mongering:

    Many things in her career could impose this special disqualification. Her vote for George W. Bush's criminal and lie-based Iraq war, for example, would be more than enough to rule her out. That political ambition now prompts her to express regret for her vote should count for nothing, especially in light of what is to be discussed below. When she says she learned her lesson, she lies.
    Likewise, her declaration of open-season on Syrian President Assad gave a boost to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliates.
    But if no other horrors were on her record, one should be enough to bar her from office: Libya. It would be hard to find a better example of how one person can wreak havoc on a society and create far-ranging catastrophes beyond.
    In 2011 the U.S. government led a NATO air assault on Libya under doubly false pretenses. Falsehood number one was that Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi was threatening to wipe out hundreds of thousands of residents of Benghazi. As was noted at the time, including by the Defense Intelligence Agency, there was no evidence for this claim and much reason to disbelieve it. Falsehood number two was related to the first: that NATO's mission was to protect civilians, when in fact it was to help the rebel opposition overthrow Gaddafi's government, after which he was murdered extra-judicially by rebels.

    The result of the Libya intervention is well-known. The country is in chaos, with al-Qaeda- and ISIS-affiliated guerrillas running wild. With U.S. oversight, heavy arms from Gaddafi's arsenal flowed freely to rebels in Syria who either were bin Ladenites or alleged "moderates" eager to sell the arms to ISIS. Clinton brags that the intervention is a good example of "smart power," which speaks volumes about her.

    As polling indicates that Bernie Sanders is a viable candidate in the Democratic race, Hillary has begun attacking him.

    The attacks have apparently helped . . .

    Helped Bernie.

  • Clinton’s Attacks Backfire as Bernie Sanders Hauls in $1.4 Million in One Day