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Fore, Three, Two, One …

August 11th, 2014 - 4:24 pm

As a Russian “humanitarian” convoy readies to launch itself at the Ukraine under Moscow’s version of the “responsibility to protect”, the Washington Post describes how Obama decided to help the Kurds after he was assured ISIS was meeting the legal requirements for genocide.

(Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Monday Russia is sending an aid convoy to eastern Ukraine despite urgent Western warnings against using humanitarian help as a pretext for an invasion.

With Ukraine reporting Russia has massed 45,000 troops on its border, NATO said there was a “high probability” that Moscow could intervene militarily in the country’s east, where Kiev’s forces are closing in on pro-Russian separatists.

I used to think that either of two events might trigger a serious effort to impeach the president: an invasion of Ukraine or an invasion of Taiwan. But now I doubt that even both together would pull him off the golf links. What might coax him from his pastoral settings is a legal document. The president seems to be one of those individuals who regard words on paper as the ultimate reality.

Just after 10 a.m., Obama met with advisers for 90 minutes in the White House Situation Room.

What was happening to the Yazidis, they concluded, was potential genocide under the legal definition of targeting an entire ethnic or religious group for extinction. In briefings from intelligence and State Department officials, “there were stories of mass executions, reports from the mountain of people dying potentially of thirst,” the official said. “Women being essentially enslaved.”

Ding. Ding. There was apparently a winner.  The joint power of those pushbutton words, “ethnic”, “women” and especially “enslaved” was hard to resist.

By the end of the session, Obama had made his airstrike decision, and discussion turned to how it would be shared with Congress and announced to the American people. “The president was very clear that he wanted to continue to have limiting principles on our engagement,” the official said. “He would not be putting U.S. combat forces back on the ground. . . . He did not want to create a slippery slope. He wanted to identify clear objectives that are in our national interest, in support of our strategy in Iraq, but don’t lead us in a direction that we don’t want to go.”

It is not that humanitarian considerations are trivial or not good enough. But strategy can be important too. The president can read a legal document, but ISIS can read a map.

The Institute for the Study of War Syria Updates says ISIS is mopping up pockets of resistance as it consolidates its new northern front. It is preparing to create the Caliphate.

ISIS is eradicating pockets of resistance that fall within the territory ISIS seeks to claim for its Caliphate, including the Iraqi city of Sinjar near the border in Ninewa province. … Significantly, these operations have proceeded in tandem with a campaign to remove internal threats to the Caliphate posed by isolated Syrian regime bases in ar-Raqqa province, and it appears ISIS is quickly moving toward a successful consolidation and hardening of its exterior borders in Northern Syria….

In order to achieve its goal of establishing a functional, viable state ISIS must continue to leverage its military capabilities to consolidate its interior lines across Iraq and Syria and form a set of identifiable and defensible borders. Eliminating interior vulnerabilities is a key component of this effort and is likely to remain a primary objective for the ISIS military campaign in ensuing weeks. The victories in ar-Raqqa, Hasaka, and Ninewa suggests that ISIS operational objectives prioritize setting the stage for the consolidation of control over logistical lines of communication from the Iraqi border and the current operational zone in southern Hasaka to strongholds in ar-Raqqa province in order to secure freedom of movement between currently separate systems. As continued military successes from increasingly unified theatres of operation fuel the ISIS war machine, a hardened ISIS exterior line is likely to allow ISIS forces to pursue further expansion.

The New Caliphate's Northern Border

The New Caliphate’s Northern Border

In the end Obama will have his piece of paper and ISIS will have its borders. And Kurdistan will be in the wind. For the map shows that Kurdistan is landlocked and will be unlikely to survive as a viable entity if surrounded on all sides by hostiles.

I say old chap. D'ya think we're to be genocided then?

I say old chap. D’ya think we’re to be genocided then? Legally, I mean …

The image of the lawyerly Obama parsing words is extremely disturbing. “Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell said the current strategy being carried out by the Obama administration is ‘not going to destroy’ ISIS.” He notes that the administration strategy is to apply band aids.

“The goal in the short-term is to keep the ISIS fighters from taking over Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan in the north and to free the religious group that has been trapped in the mountains there. That seems to be working. But what is going to take a lot more work, Charlie, is to actually degrade the group and to destroy the group. What we’re doing right now is not going to do that,” Morell said.

Rose then asked what it would require to destroy the group.

“I think two things,” Morell responded. “One, it’s going to require us with our capabilities to take out the leadership of the group while the Iraqi army and the Kurdish army, fights on the ground against these guys. That latter piece is going to take a political agreement in Baghdad, which we see this morning is even more difficult to get.”

Saving the situation would, in other words, require altering the situation on the ground. Any damn fool can see that. What is frightening is that a former CIA deputy director has to point out the obvious. But the president, besides being a lawyer, may need the someone to paint him a picture.

He also appears to believe in the leech theory of diplomacy by which he can achieve negotiated solutions by bleeding one party until their strengths are equalized. Then peace comes. For example, the Jerusalem Post’s Gil Hoffman looks at Obama’s recent New York Times interview in which the president appeared to conclude that Israel was too strong to make peace.

Netanyahu’s “poll numbers are a lot higher than mine” and “were greatly boosted by the war in Gaza,” Obama told the newspaper. “And so if he doesn’t feel some internal pressure, then it’s hard to see him being able to make some very difficult compromises, including taking on the settler movement. That’s a tough thing to do.”

Obama then contrasted Israeli politics with the internal politics in the PA, where there has not been a presidential election since January 2005.

“With respect to Abu Mazen [Abbas], it’s a slightly different problem,” he said. In some ways, Bibi [Netanyahu] is too strong [and] in some ways Abu Mazen is too weak to bring them together and make the kinds of bold decisions that Sadat or Begin or Rabin were willing to make. It’s going to require leadership among both the Palestinians and the Israelis to look beyond tomorrow….

And that’s the hardest thing for politicians to do is to take the long view on things.”

So why not make Israel weaker? James Kirchick, writing in the National Review says “Pity America’s Friends”. Pity anyone who’s about to get the treatment from Barack Hussein Obama, Juris Doctor. Taking “the long view on things” is apparently his way of rationalizing otherwise absurd decisions. It will work out in the long view.

But people live in the short run. Much of the world is on shorter rations than the people vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard. Did you know that when Liberia lost 3 physicians to Ebola it lost 2.5 percent of all the doctors in the country? There are 120 doctors in all of Liberia. The equivalent impact on the United States would be the death of 21,000 doctors in a single outbreak. The Kurds, Yazidis and Christians in the region may lead a lousy life, but it’s the only one they’ve got.

The view from a piece of legalistic paper on one of Obama’s breaks sometimes different from that on the ground.  Fore!

Update:

Robin Williams is dead by suicide and the Russian humanitarian/invasion(?) column has now started to roll towards Ukraine.


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Top Rated Comments   
I have this theory that truly bad people are never depressed. Many, many years ago I knew someone who committed suicide in a fit of guilt and could not help but contrast him to the many people who never feel guilt over anything, let alone punish themselves for it.

Public life in particular seems full of wicked old men whose appetites are insatiable; animated by a kind of dark vitality that makes them nothing but a giant maw seeking one last morsel unto their last breath.

Sensitive and intelligent men know something is wrong with the world that consumption cannot fill. They have the sense of incompleteness that is our birthright. It is only the most fully human that live for something more than the present. But that is only the half of it. The trick is to realize that the earth is incomplete without it being empty.

Perhaps the hardest thing of all for the honest man is to do is love himself. As we get older, there is less that is obvious in us to like, until it seems that the world is best served, and our sensibilities least offended by effacing ourselves from the earth. And perhaps we may reach the point when all that holds us up is the promise that someone loved us -- though for what reason we do not know -- and that improbable promise is enough; and we take ourselves on faith.




18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Light Bringer ain't got no plans. He just reacts when he has to, and only when he ABSOLUTELY most respond, and plans the next vacation.

A bunch of the Constitutional violations, e.g. IRS Scandal, Fast and Furious, the illegal Immigration debacle, are merely Obama policies run by someone he delegated authority to. We can guess who is running what, e.g. the IRS employee union almost certain ran the Lerner policy, Holder and his deputies ran Fast and Furious, immigration will eventually show up as a La Raza or other Latino/leftist group operation, but Obama is I expect, truly out of the loop on the details and day to day operations.

Remember what he said, early on, that he's just the blank canvas upon which the hopes and dreams of others (not to mention, policies), are written.

Whatever complicated skullduggery you imagine about the world might in fact be ongoing in the background, but Obama isn't the author nor controller. The book on Obama has been written, the verdict is in. He is simply an narcissistic ignoramus, in the White House for the stash and honors, and has no wider agenda that he's personally directing. Think of the most incredibly incompetent national leader, e.g. the N. Korean Kim's, the Duvalier's of Haiti - you name it, and THAT approaches the competency of the one who occupies the White House at the current moment.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama is not much of a lawyer. Frankly, he's not much of a mediator, he's not much of a leader, he's really not much of a politician and he's absolutely not much of a President.

He never did the hard work of any of them. He always found a way to shirk responsibility and mostly just "played the role". He gets off on the title, he enjoys the perks and he loves to ruminate, pontificate, bloviate.

But that's all Frank Abagnale stuff.

Obama is thimble deep. He's a surface skimmer.

Bathed in doctrinaire "soft communism" and blended with sprinkles of black militancy, he goes no deeper than the racial/class warfare hostility inbred in those two animations.

I was in the federal courthouse nearly every day he was "lawyering" supposedly, federal issues. Never once saw him. Not once. Saw members of his firm repeatedly.

Obama is a mask. The reason his past is so tightly blocked, so hermetically sealed, is that Obama is not his image, his persona. He is a manufactured storyboard.

Our mistake is we keep expecting him to behave as if there is a real person behind the facade. There isn't. Obama is a small c communist holograph.

Well someone told me about him
How would I know, why should I care
Well, someone told me about him
I tried to find him
And he's not there
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (102)
All Comments   (102)
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I am currently listening to the celtic musics on TV, a report on Lorient Festival of celtic musics, and the music that Wtretchard brought some days ago on a march was played by our marine crew, the bagdad de Lann Bihoué, was recorded

I feel that this music is my soul (hey remember, I was born Britton from the the Gallo region of Vitré, half between Rennes and Laval

for those that supposed I'm MC, of course, for some reason my nic was banned within the highjack of the "Belmont Club"

hey the Pyjama's monitors are some clumsy managers, now we can open a new count with the multy mail addresses
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great quote today from Catherine Herriage of FNC.

She said that a Pentagon insider told her, "We don't have a strategy in Iraq. F-18's are not a strategy."

Wish I had said that, but I guess I did. On this site I said some time ago about our efforts in Afghanistan, "Using Predators to plink terrorists is not an actual strategy; it's a substitute for an actual strategy."

All the politicians and pundits express shock over how the New Iraqi Army just melted away. To them a military is no more than numbers of tanks and men. They genuinely do not understand leadership, elan, morale, espit'd corps, unit cohesion, and price.

Indeed, they mostly are now people who have never had to do something as simple as get a balky lawnmower running so they can cut the grass. The parts are there. The gasoline is there. So the grass must be as good as cut. Right?

Even in the Pentagon, among senior officers, I encountered again and again those who did not realize that the sum must become more than the parts. I used to brief my people that if you look at all the parts in a space booster you have to conclude that the probability of success is exceedingly small if you just assemble them and punch it off. The difference between success and failure is what human beings add to that stack of hardware.

Obama figured that the Iraqis had all the parts so they had an effective military. He wanted out of Iraq and he genuinely did not understand what American troops would add to the mix.

"F-18's are not a strategy." That sums it up.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
True, but they're awesome airplanes.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
3 hours of Robin Williams Stories on Dennis Miller

Available here in 30 Minutes:

http://tunein.com/radio/The-Dennis-Miller-Show-p123379/
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, I finally gave up scrounging for a free site and subscribed for a month @Dennis's site.

Never having seen Mork and Mindy, i didn't know Jonathon Winters was there also.
The funniest man ever, for my taste.
Glad so many fellow actors cared for him in Santa Barbara.

The take by EVERYONE on Robin:
Always kind to Everyone, esp the "little people."
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
2014. The year we realised Putin was Putin and that Russia was Russia and not the fantasy we had been slowly building since 1989.

2014 - is it the year when we realised islam was islam and not the fantasy we had created and hoped for, that it could be rational, wise and benevolent, not the vicious violent brute from eras long past?

http://tinyurl.com/lvdokgd

and of course, from those islamic leaders, as from Russias' NATO liason - just static on the line.

You know summer is drawing out when a sudden gust of wind knocks a wineglass off the garden table..........

18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
And the British love affair with Muslims hasn't changed at all from what it was in the 1930s and 1940s. Whether Israel will learn that national defense cannot be farmed out, even piecemeal, remains to be seen.

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/UK-says-to-suspend-some-Israel-arms-exports-if-Gaza-truce-fails-370873
UK to suspend military exports to Israel, if fighting in Gaza resumes
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"the British love affair with Muslims' has changed beyond all recognition. In the 30s 40s it was to do with preserving Suez, preserving India and the Empire.

In the 1990s the Labour government allowed vast immigration, much from Pakistan, in order to boost the Labour vote. Sound familiar?

Post 2005, there has been a cooling of ardour and post the islamic school infiltration plot, we are seeking divorce.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps I should have said the British anti-Semitism of the 1930s and 1940s has not changed.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
W: "The image of the lawyerly Obama parsing words is extremely disturbing."

Our countrymen thought that a thoughtful and famously even-tempered Obama pursuing legal words will deter the bad guys and raise our image around the world.

Can we fault them? He survived two elections and declared POTUS twice.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."
Charles Bukowski
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble.
It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

Mark Twain
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Time to call for the levee en mass and to live free or die.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
allen said: What does worry me would be the dribbling of material into Kurdistan, piecemeal. They need the best equipment available and training specialists to quickly get them into shape to punch ISIS with greater weight.

I like the Kurds better than any other group I know of in the Middle East outside of Israel *but* I would go very slowly and carefully about giving them major weapons, I would never give first line stuff to anyone outside of Israel and might hold back just a little even there, well, unless it has secret defeat codes or expiration dates. And of course Turkey wouldn't really like the Kurds heavily armed, nor would Iran but I don't care about that. Note that our training of the Iraqi army hasn't worked worth a damn nor the Afghans, in neither case is it clear that we've been able to form even a single competent batallion, or if we did it is probably held up by the political system. The Kurds might be better - but they might not. I am more than peeved about our selling even close to first-line stuff to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, again unless it has defeat codes and we give Israel those defeat codes and even tell Sauds and Egypt that Israel has those codes.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Kurds have on several occasions put their lives on the line when summonsed by the US. In the past, we have let them down, literally in the middle of battle. So, I have no fear of Kurdish treachery. Be that as it may, the Kurdish people have strong affections for both Americans and Jews. Prior to the CIA's most recent supply chain program, I am convinced that Israel has been helping off the books. Your point is well taken otherwise. I too have questioned why suicide chips are not embedded in systems that could cause the US headaches if found in the wrong hands.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I believe it was Karl Rove who pointed out the other day that Obama insisted on Iraqi legislative approval of the Status of Forces Agreement (not just leadership approval) - something that the Iraqi govt was unable to do at that point - and something that we have not required elsewhere.

As I have said before, Obama consistently refuses to make contingency plans and prepare resources for anything - and then when something happens, regretfully concludes that we have no options.

But relative to the SOF agreement, he went to a new level; he committed outright sabotage.

18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Netanyahu’s “poll numbers are a lot higher than mine” and “were greatly boosted by the war in Gaza,” Obama told the newspaper. “And so if he doesn’t feel some internal pressure, then it’s hard to see him being able to make some very difficult compromises, including taking on the settler movement. That’s a tough thing to do.”"

It is impossible to compromise with those dedicated to your eradication. This isn't an academic exercise, which Dear Liar does not understand.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
He most certainly does.
He's been doing it for US for almost 6 years.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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