As the WashingtonPost describes Iraq as “on the brink of disintegration,” the Prez says “all options are on the table.” Based on our refusal to help Iraq the last few months, despite their ever-more-urgent pleas for airstrikes, it seems we’re going with the “let the whole thing go to Hell” option.
The Islamic extremists carving their “caliphate” out of Syria and Iraq, ISIS, are so radical and so violent that they were kicked out of Al Qaeda! Think about that…
Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki refused to reach out to his Sunni population, running a purely Shiite show, so now his Sunnis won’t fight for him, and the American weapons and armored vehicles they abandon as they flee are going to the jihadists. Your tax dollars at work… You can train and equip soldiers, as we very expensively did in Iraq, but if they have no loyalty to their government and won’t fight for it, what are you gonna do?
We have been unable to bring Afghanistan out of the seventh century. Now Iraq seems about to join them.
I am someone who would like to get out of Afghanistan yesterday, in terms of attempting to bring democracy or even stability to that medieval hellhole.
But today’s front-page story in the NYT* convinces me that we need to leave some troops. Without them, we can’t have our drone bases, which means we can’t reach Al Qaeda targets in Pakistan’s frontier region and we’ll have a much bigger challenge if (when?) there’s a nuclear weapons crisis in Pakistan.
OK, you’ve scared me enough. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has so far refused to sign the agreement for us to leave troops beyond the end of this year. Just wire the money he wants into his Swiss bank account and let’s be done with it.
“Afghan Exit Is Seen As Peril To Drone Mission,” David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt
Both the U. S. and our enemy Shiite Iran are on the same side in Iraq — supporting Shiite al-Maliki against Sunni Al Qaeda.
To a large extent, our frenemy Maliki brought his Anbar province troubles on himself by mistreating the Sunnis there and creating an opening for Al Qaeda. Now he’s struggling to get the Sunni tribal leaders to turn against Al Qaeda and turn back to him, hoping they hate his guts a little less.
The violence spreading out from Syria shows that the Mideast right now is just fighting the Sunni-Shiite battle that’s been going on since the seventh century. At this moment, it’s led by Saudi Arabia and Iran fanning proxy wars, just as the U. S. and Russia had their client states during the Cold War. The Sunni Saudis are trying to fight both the Shiites and Al Qaeda, a monster they helped create. Good luck with that.
We have to fight Al Qaeda and its affiliates, and we have to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons, which would lead to Saudi Arabia’s getting nuclear weapons. Resolving the Sunni-Shiite thing? Fuhgeddaboudit.
The NYT has an in-depth, knock-your-socks-off, must-read story about Benghazi by David Kirkpatrick:
“Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.
“The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”
I’m sure Darrell Issa and Fox News will be quick to apologize!
I watched Rand Paul’s response to President Obama’s Syria speech on Fox News, which cut in a little late on the live speech, so all Fox viewers missed the opening. I didn’t think anything of it until I later read the first sentence of his speech. Now I wonder if Fox, with an advance copy of the text, purposely delaying switching to him.
Paul begins, “Twelve years after we were attacked by Al Qaeda, 12 years after 3,000 Americans were killed by Al Qaeda, President Obama now asks us to be allies with Al Qaeda.”
Basically, Paul says the President isn’t just wrong-headed about Syria, he’s a traitor, he’s a terrorist. It’s not about upholding international abhorrence of chemical weapons, it’s about actively helping Al Qaeda.
And this guy is widely viewed as one of the front runners for the GOP nomination in 2016.
American diplomatic personnel from our embassy in Sana, Yemen were hastily airlifted out of the country on a cargo plane. Private American citizens in Yemen were told to leave immediately. The British have done the same.
The action was taken after a drone strike believed to have killed four Al Qaeda terrorists.
“It is my belief, shared by many lawyers who have followed the legal battles over Guantanamo, that the president could have shut the prison down if he had really been determined to do so. One reason the prisoners can’t get out is that the courts have essentially ruled that a president has an absolute right to imprison anyone he wants during a time of war — with no second-guessing from either of the other two branches of government. by the same legal logic, a president can free any prisoner in a time of war. Had the president taken that stance, there would undoubetdly have been a court fight. but so what? Aren’t some things worth fighting for?”
“I think the dam is about to break on Benghazi. We’re going to find a system failure before, during, and after the attacks. We’re going to find political manipulation seven weeks before an election. We’re going to find people asleep at the switch when it comes to the State Department, including Hillary Clinton. The bond that has been broken between those who serve us in harm’s way and the government they serve is huge — and to me every bit as damaging as Watergate.”