Not that I blame him, but President Obama definitely is slow walking if/how we will get involved in Iraq again.
As ISIS takes the fight to Baquba, just forty-five minutes from Baghdad, Obama is planning to meet with Congressional leaders (Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, McConnell) tomorrow afternoon. So not exactly urgent…
Aside from protecting our embassy personnel, the Prez really doesn’t seem eager to join the fray.
Especially if you’re President Obama, and “some people” are conservative politicians or Fox News commentators.
Having bashed Obama for not capturing those responsible for the Benghazi attack on 9/11/12 that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead, the right is now beating up on him because he’s captured the ringleader, Ahmed Abu Khattala. They don’t like the “timing.”
Special Forces planned and practiced the raid on Khattala’s compound for a year, and now he is heading to the U. S. for trial in a civilian court.
But instead of celebrating the news, the right is dismissing it as an effort to distract from Obama’s other problems and to promote Hillary’s book tour!
I was reading about ISIS capturing a bunch of air force cadets who were fleeing their base outside Takrit, and letting the Sunni ones go, but keeping (killing?) the Shiite ones. And I was wondering how the hell they know who is Sunni and who is Shiite in a mixed setting like that.
I found a Slate article from 2006 by Daniel Engber that says it’s not that easy to tell. Some surnames are usually one or the other, but there’s been a lot of inter-marriage, so you can’t be sure. He says some first names are traditionally one or the other — Ali, Hassan, and Hussein are Shiite, while Omar, Abu Bakr, and Yazid are Sunni. But if a guy’s named Mohammed, you got nothing.
As we wonder whether the U. S. will join with Iran on Iraq, we face the threshold question of whether the Pentagon will join with the State Department.
Secretary of State John Kerry says that “We’re open to discussions” on military cooperation with Iran.
But at the Defense Department, not so much. A spokesman there says, “There are no plans to consult with Iran on military actions inside Iraq. We are not planning to engage in military-to-military discussions with Iran.”
UPDATE — The White House is with the Pentagon on this one, saying there will be no military coordination with Iran. So that seems to be an, um, “red line” for the Administration.