Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) reports the White House thinks it has another 'plan' for addressing the Islamic State in Iraq. This one would be termed a "battle plan" and a sure sign of its weakness can be found in the belief that it will take place "gradually."
described as methodical and time-consuming, will not begin in earnest
for several months and is designed to ensure that Iraqi forces do not
overextend themselves before they are capable of taking and holding
territory controlled by the militants.
It may also
include U.S. advisers in the field with the Iraqis, should that be
recommended by American military commanders, said the official, who
updated reporters on administration strategy on the condition of
anonymity under rules imposed by the White House. The advisers, the
official said, would not participate in combat. President Obama has said
repeatedly that no U.S. ground forces would be deployed to Iraq.
You can be sure that the "may"s will disappear after the start of the next month when Barack will no longer have to worry about the immediate voter fallout.
As for letting Iraqis suffer for months while the Iraqi military tries to learn to stand and take baby steps? Shashank Joshi (Gulf News) reminds everyone of the current state of the Iraqi forces:
However, those local forces were, and remain, so inept, so weak and so
demoralised that this was always going to be a Herculean task. In June,
four entire divisions of the Iraqi army disintegrated in the face of the
Daesh advance, despite the militants’ relatively feeble numbers. A team
of US advisers concluded that just half of Iraq’s 50 brigades were
Apparently, when Barack was talking about this being a long operations, the biggest time extender was the time needed to (once again) train the Iraqi forces.
(Title of entry a nod to the Robert Altman film classic.)
The following community sites -- plus Black Agenda Report -- updated:
Tuesday, October 21, 2014. Chaos and violence continue, the US 'precision' drops from the air results in the Islamic State getting a cache of weapons, the Yazidis may be facing genocide (didn't Susan Rice claim they were a success story?), new scare tactics regarding the US mid-terms should be rejected, doomsday scenarios actually contain some possible seeds of change, and much more.
Jordain Carney (National Journal) explains, "The U.S. military is trying to determine if an air-dropped bundle of
weapons intended for Kurdish fighters in Syria is now in the hands of
ISIS militants.A video posted Tuesday to a YouTube account affiliated with the Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria appears to show militants with the weapons
bundle, which included grenades and mortars." Diaa Hadid (AP) adds, "The cache of weapons included hand grenades, ammunition and
rocket-propelled grenade launchers, according to a video uploaded by a
media group loyal to the Islamic State group."
Q: On Kobani, as well, there was a video that was released earlier
today on YouTube that showed -- seemed to show some ISIS fighters and
they -- with one of these bundles. Have you been able to in any way
verify, has the U.S. military verified that? Was that the one that went
astray and then was later blown up? Do you have any details?
REAR ADM. KIRBY: The short answer is, Courtney, we don't know. The
analysts in Tampa and here in the Pentagon are examining that video
right now, as a matter of fact, and we're still -- we're still taking a
look at it and assessing the validity of it. So I honestly don't know if
that was one of the ones dropped and whether it is, in fact, or the
contents of it are, in fact, in the hands of ISIL. We just -- we don't
know. We're still looking at it.
Q: Can you even say whether -- like, it shows some mortars, some
grenades, like some RPG parts. Were those the kinds of things that were
REAR ADM. KIRBY: They are -- they are certainly of the -- of the kinds
of material that was dropped, was small-arms ammunition and weaponry. So
it's not out of the realm of the possible in that regard. But, again,
we're taking a look at this, and, you know, we just don't know. And when
we have something definitive that we can provide in terms of an
assessment on that, we'll do that. I do want to add, though, that we are very confident that the vast
majority of the bundles did end up in the right hands. In fact, we're
only aware of one bundle that did not. Again, we'll -- if we can confirm
that this one is or isn't, we'll certainly do that and let you know.
QUESTION: Can we go back to the air drops? MS. HARF: Yeah, and then I’ll go to you. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Yeah. Yesterday the Pentagon said that it
had tried to deliver 28 bundles of weapons from the Iraqi Kurds to the
fighters in Kobani. Twenty-seven made it; the twenty-eighth went off
course. They destroyed it so that it wouldn’t fall into people’s hands.
MS. HARF: And – yeah, mm-hmm.
QUESTION: Now there’s YouTube video of ISIL fighters
claiming that they, in fact, did recover that wayward bundle, and they
have grenades and RPGs and other small weapons. Given that the Pentagon
says no, we took that out because we did not want that to happen, how
prepared is the U.S. and its allies to deal with the propaganda value of
whatever it is ISIL will do to try to change what the coalition says
are the facts?
MS. HARF: Well, a few points: The first is we’ve
seen that video, and we can’t confirm that what is in it is actually
accurate. There’s obviously a lot of false information, particularly
propaganda on the internet, and this may fall into that category. We’re
seeking more information at this point, though. So can’t confirm it;
seeking more information. We know that part of ISIL’s strategy here is to wage a propaganda
campaign. And that’s why one of our lines of efforts has been
delegitimizing ISIL’s propaganda. And so that is something other
countries can do; it’s something religious leaders can do. But that’s
why, if you look at our five lines of effort, that’s one of them, which I
think is pretty extraordinary.
One of the things, the most obvious points, no reporter appears able to make?
An operation that can misdrop weapons?
They also have a struggle hitting targets.
An operation that can't even get weapons into the hands of the side they're supporting? They really can't be trusted to drop bombs on populated areas.
As the US government tries to spin the wrongly dropped weapons, Al-Shorfa reports the Islamic State has seized more than an air drop and quotes Anbar Provincial Council spokesperson stating, "The terrorist group seized nine trucks loaded with humanitarian and food aid for about 40,000 citizens in Anah, Rawah and al-Qaim, attacking the accompanying relief workers."
While the radical group appropriates various items in Iraq, Daily Sabah and Anadolu Agency report the Islamic State is awash in cash: According to the US based energy consultancy firm IHS's report, annual
revenues of the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS)
militant group from oil production reached up to 800 million USD. The report states that the illegal production and sales of crude oil and
petroleum products by the terrorist group brings a 2 million USD daily
income. Around 50-60 thousand barrels of oil is being produced per day in the
areas controlled by the ISIS in Iraq and Syria out of a 350 thousand
barrel potential cannot be used due to technical capabilities.
Turning to some of today's reported violence, Iraq Times reports that the Islamic State hit the Green Zone in Baghdad with mortars.
Yesterday, Karbala saw five car bombings. Today, Alsumaria reports,
Karbala Provincial Council member Mohammed Hamid al-Moussawi has
announced he is resigning to protest the weak security situation in the
province. Al Mada reports more is going on than just a resignation. The paper reports that the council is planning to present a motion that the governor of the province be fired. And there are charges and counter-charges flying back and forth amid the council. The strongest charge comes from a group that is berating a number of members from failing to show for council meetings. Today's attempted council meeting, for example, did not take place because so few attended that the council wasn't able to form a quorum.
In other news, AP quotes United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic stating the targeting of the Yazidis may be "an attempt to commit genocide." AFP adds, "In the case of the Yazidis, he said the killings could be qualified as
an attempted genocide because there was evidence of an intent to
exterminate them if they refuse to convert."
Earlier this month, the White House's official liar Susan Rice took to NBC's Meet The Press to specifically cite Mount Sinjar as one of the "very important successes" in Barack Obama's 'plan' to confront the Islamic State. Yet just yesterday, Alsumaria reported that Yazidi MP Haji Kndorjsmo is calling for the government to rescue 700 families who are still trapped on Mount Sinjar.
The Yazidis were raised in the Pentagon press briefing.
Q: Admiral Kirby, staying in Iraq, could you confirm that ISIS have
taken three villages, Yazidis' villages in the Mount Sinjar in the last
few hours? Also, if you could give us a broad picture in Iraq, how
successful were the airstrikes since they have begun in August 8, I
think, until now? Can we talk about success? And I have a follow-up
question. REAR ADM. KIRBY: I don't have any detail on the towns you're talking
about. That said, we certainly have been tracking ISIL's interest in and
around Mount Sinjar. And you've seen of late -- there's been a couple
of airstrikes done in and around there, so we're watching that. I don't
have anything today to confirm whether this village or that town has
been retaken, but we do know ISIL continues to operate in that area and
continues to want to grab ground and territory. They want to ground --
they want to grab ground and territory elsewhere in Iraq, too. So I appreciate the question. And I'll try not to get too longwinded
here, but it's a good one. If you looked at the press release that
CENTCOM put out earlier today, you'll notice that virtually half the
airstrikes that were conducted over the last 24 hours were in Iraq. Now,
it wasn't a great number. It was -- you know, I think, seven and five
or seven and six, something like that, but -- but just about half of
them were conducted inside Iraq. And if you take a look at the ones that were done in Iraq and look at
where they were, you had one near Fallujah, you had -- you had one up by
Mosul Dam, you had another near Baiji. And what that tells us -- a
couple of things. One, the weather is starting to get better, so we're
getting -- we're getting ISR platforms, intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance platforms are able to fly a little bit more now. The
weather's gotten better. So we get more eyes on, which is permitting
more freedom from the air, and so that's some -- one indication you're
seeing. The other thing that I want to point out about that is that if you look
at where we're hitting, that's where ISF is, too, right? The ISF is --
and the -- Kurdish forces specifically are still in control of the Mosul
Dam complex. ISIL wants it back. And they still threaten it. They don't
have it, but they still threaten it. And the one strike was up there. Fallujah, we've talked all about Anbar and Fallujah and Ramadi and all
that, so one of the strikes was in Fallujah in direct support of ISF
that are on the move inside Fallujah. And then the other one near Baiji,
the -- General Austin talked about this last week, Iraqi security
forces are advancing to try to help reconnect to Iraqi forces that are
in control of the oil refinery there. Their advances over the last few days have been slowed by the weather,
which is clearing, and so they're moving again, but it also has been
slowed by IEDs, almost 30 IEDs that they found and cleared, which has
slowed their advance. So they are moving. They are taking the fight to the enemy, and those
strikes last night are indications that we're trying to support them,
too. So the whole narrative out there that we've just turned our back on
Anbar is completely false. There have been real challenges in terms of
what we can do there largely because of the weather, but also because of
some of the defensive mechanisms that ISIL has thrown up in the way. So, you know, things are starting to -- things are starting to move.
And I think you're going to continue to see that momentum there inside
Yes, all those words that followed his admission of 'I don't know' were an attempt to distract from the plight of the Yazidis.
John McCain, who has been calling for ground troops in Iraq will, after November, continue to call for ground troops in Iraq.
Yes, that's right.
He's already calling for troops in combat in Iraq.
(And, yes, ground troops -- US ground troops -- are already in Iraq and US troops flying missions where they drop bombs in Iraq are already taking part in combat missions. Don't say it too loudly, though, it might lead Kathleen Miles to piss her panties in public.)
No one's expecting or predicting a huge swing in the Senate.
It's thought that two seats may be in seriously play and could go to the Republicans giving them control of the Senate.
47 or 48 Democrats (we'll count Bernie Sanders in that number) can't stand up to the GOP?
Can't or won't?
If Miles wants to panic, she should panic over the fact that Democrats in the Senate are most likely poised to sell out the American people yet again on Iraq.
And, shocker, that's probably true regardless of who controls the Senate after the mid-term elections.
Shame on anyone who believes the crap Miles is churning out.
Shame on anyone who believes the Democratic Party when it comes to Iraq.
It was, after all, the 2006 mid-term elections that proved the Democratic Party is a craven whore who will say anything -- while doing nothing.
Ahead of the election, Nancy Pelosi (and others) declared that if the voters gave the Democrats control of even one house of Congress, the Democrats would end the Iraq War.
The voters gave them control of both houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate.
January 2007 saw that Congress sworn in and, November 2007, all US forces left Iraq and the war was declared over and . . .
The Democrats did nothing.
The war ground on.
The Democrats did nothing.
Nancy likes to blame Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
I was present when she insisted to the San Francisco Chronicle that she did everything she was supposed to do but Harry Reid refused to rally support in the Senate and, in fact, quashed any efforts to end the war.
I wasn't the only one present. And audio exists of her remarks.
But somehow we're the only site that's ever managed to report what Nancy said, to acknowledge her accusations.
Miles appears to want to use the Iraq War to scare up votes for the Democratic Party.
I believe America bought that game in 2006. I don't think anyone's still wanting to play it today.
The GOP Senate would be a great thing.
It would allow whores like Medea Benjamin and CodeStink and Robert Parry and all the others to rail against power.
They don't now.
They haven't in years.
They are War Hawks in their own silence and in their own refusal to call out Barack Obama who is the President of the United States but for whom they've made excuses for six years now.
It was Hillary's fault and then it was this person's fault or that person's fault (or the conspiracy cabal that loony Robert Parry is seeing yet again -- when he plays like the contra story got him drummed out of the real press, he forgets to talk about his wild eyed, nutty conspiracy tales he presented as fact at Sarah McClendon's home over and over and over and over . . . . I have over twenty letters from Sarah stapled in journal volumes from those years where she documents Parry's 'creative' thinking.).
A GOP-controlled Senate could let these lazy ass whores pretend they're taking on the power again as they railed against the legislative body (while still failing to hold Barack accountable for his own actions).
A GOP-controlled Senate could also expose the whorish nature of the Democratic Party.
The power of "no."
We wrote about it before Barack came into power.
As I noted years ago, in the entertainment industry, the "no" is the only power you may ever have.
If a project doesn't feel right at the start, you say "no."
Bad things don't tend to get better, they just get worse.
And, industry truism, it wants what it can't have. Your "no" not only speaks of power -- the power to walk away no matter how much money is on the table -- it also attracts a fascination (if not respect).
Now Tom Hayden mocks the power of no.
Of course, he would.
Speak to any woman Mr. Grabby Hands has gotten too 'friendly' with and you'll understand just how much he disrespects the power of no.
But it's not to be disrespected.
It is true power and it is real power.
Just as we can affirm, we can also negate.
And instead of whining that the GOP has been 'obstructive,' real leaders (obviously not Tom Hayden) of the left would be asking the very obvious question: Where were the Democrats when the Iraq War was being started?
They could have used the power of no.
Instead, they whined that they were out of power, they didn't control either house of Congress, they didn't this and they didn't that and . . .
It's all lies.
They could have buried the war before it started in so many ways.
Former US Senator Mike Gravel, in 2007 and 2008, repeatedly listed ways the Democrats in Congress, if they wanted to end the war, could.
They didn't follow his suggestions.
But then, he wasn't saying anything they didn't already know.
They knew they had the power but they chose to do nothing.
So if the GOP takes control of the Senate and John McCain gets his way, the reality is that this will be further proof of how corrupted the Democratic Party has become. It will be further proof that letting money grubbers like Nancy Pelosi rise to power because she could haul in large amounts of money was a huge mistake.
A good pimp's Gonna rob you blind Money money money I feel like a pawn In my own world I found the system And I lost the pearl
-- "Money," written by Laura Nyro, first appears on her album Smile.
The Democratic Party deosn't stand for the safety net today. It doesn't stand for the workers. It doesn't stand for the environment. It doesn't stand for peace.
And if the Republicans win control of the US Senate by one or two members and the Democrats can't stop more US troops from being sent to Iraq?
It will only reveal just how hollow the party has become.
It's time for someone to emerge with something more than platitudes (ocean's rising and other garbage should be scoffed at). The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee should be someone who does in the Democratic Party what Jesus is said to have done in the money changer tent.
From the Book of Matthew: Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.
From the Book of John:
So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.
It's amazing how, for example, Hillary Clinton will self-present as pious and a follower of the Bible yet she feels no need to emulate the hero of that book even though I believe that was the whole point of the book?
(I'll be honest, I never read the last chapter.)
Hillary's not going to change the party.
She'll continue the corruption of the party. She won't take it on, she won't try to root it out.
And each year, there will be less and less reason for the Democratic Party to exist as it moves further and further from the core beliefs that were supposed to be the heart of the party.
Yesterday's snapshot contained me calling out the idiot Brit 'of the cloth' who'd come over to the US to tell Americans how to vote.
Some thought I was offended that he (or anyone) would campaign for Republicans.
I have no problem with people advocating on behalf of the Republican Party -- or the Democratic Party or the Green Party or the Socialist Party or . . .
I have real problem with foreigners who can't vote in the US election thinking their voices are needed or wanted.
Take your nose out of everyone else business.
Surely there's some other problem in the world that you can focus on instead of attempting to tell people how to vote in an election you can't vote in.
It reminds me of all the whiners around the world focusing on Bully Boy Bush. The Australian blogger -- you know who I mean if you've been around long enough -- who blogged venom at BBB daily . . . while staying silent on his own prime minister John Howard who sent Australian troops into Iraq.
It sure is easy to hold the leaders of other countries accountable, isn't it?
Easy and safe.
It's far more difficult to hold your own leaders accountable. But thing is, doing that is at the heart of democracy.
Then there were the self-impressed members of a US bordering country.
Remember them throughout the BBB years, especially the contingent that moved there from the US?
They couldn't stop bragging.
Even though they had a conservative leader.
Bully Boy Bush is gone. But somehow that nation still has a conservative leader -- the same one.
And they've sent troops to Iraq.
And I don't hear the boasting from the north these days. Do you?
But maybe if, instead of obsessing over the leader of another country, they'd gotten to work in their own country, they might not have a conservative leader (still).
In "On voting," Mike shared his thoughts last night and I agree with him 100%.
But I would add that those who can't vote in an election shouldn't be sticking their nose in.
We could also apply that to Gary Younge -- the closet Socialist who calls Barack out in (some) Socialist publications while fawning over him in The Nation and other rags. The same Gary who is not an American citizen and really needs to find something to obsess over.
Black Agenda Report has been bringing you news, commentary and
analysis for all of eight years now. It's time for us to ask you, our
friends, readers and supporters for money. Black Agenda Report was the first
to blow the whistle on the Obama administration's participation in the
bipartisan campaign to privatize public education, when in December 2008
we told our national audience who Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
was and what he stood for. Black Agenda Report was the first, and among
the only places to ask why the closing of 40 mostly black public schools at a time in Philadelphia was not national news.
Black Agenda Report has been nearly alone in pointing out first lady Michelle Obama's leveraging her image to boost Wal-Mart as the solution to urban food deserts. The Black Agenda Report crew was writing about mass incarceration back in 2005,
a full five years before the debut of Michelle Alexander's book on the
subject, and long before the black attorney general allowed the phrase
to pass his lips. We were also the first to run a pre-publication
interview with Michelle Alexander as well.
Black Agenda Report has been nearly alone in pointing out first lady Michelle Obama's leveraging her imageback in 2005,
a full five years before the debut of Michelle Alexander's book on the
subject, and long before the black attorney general allowed the phrase
to pass his lips. We were also the first to run a pre-publication
interview with Michelle Alexander as well. to boost Wal-Mart as the solution to urban food deserts. The Black Agenda Report crew was writing about mass incarceration Black Agenda Report also pointed out how the Congressional Black Caucus has leased itself out to banksters, telecommunications corporations, for-profit colleges and other interests. Unlike many, who only reprint stuff published elsewhere, Black Agenda
Report manages, on a minimal budget, to produce five to seven pieces of
original written content each and every week, along with original radio
commentaries and interview shows each week. Right now we are upgrading
and migrating our site and its eight years of archives to servers under
our own management, which will enable us to deliver our product in a
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For that, click the "DONATE" button below. Or, better yet a recurring
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And if you're in NY this weekend, join us for After Ferguson, a
penetrating inquiry into the current political terrain and the role of
the black political class. For that, click here, or on the graphic
I'm plugging them for a number of reasons.
1) They don't whore.
2) They sometimes piss me off.
Not weekly, but probably every six or so weeks.
And that's good.
I don't want MSNBC giving me comfort food.
3) In a hugely White web, they are a Black voice.
I run a little site here. And my first three years, this was a comic
novel about how Nicholas Kristoff and Thomas Friedman 'helped' and
'rescued' a woman from another country (kidnapped an American woman
working at a super store in New Jersey).
Then I set that aside and now this is about other things as well.
But I suffer no pretense that I'm some amazing blogger or some site that changes the world.
But I had the sweetest e-mail from a 14-year-old who told me she's going
to start her blog when she's out of high school and she is glad that I
and twelve other Black bloggers (she listed them) are out here because
we show it can be done.
I may not do much else but, girl, I can represent.
Black Agenda Report does so much more than just represent but the represent is not to be overlooked.
We need Black voices.
The Root is too corporatist for me but I'm glad it's there and I try not to rip into it.
But BAR is the outlet that speaks to and for so many of us and that's important.
4) BAR also speaks for non-Blacks. They cover Latino issues and do so
seriously. They cover environment and ecology issues. They cover
They cover so many important issues and the issues really are universal ones.
5) They cover war.
Not like fake ass Amy Goodman, they cover real war.
They were among the very few loudly calling out Barack's attack on Libya.
6) I don't want to think of a web without an active and present Black Agenda Report.
Yesterday, Karbala saw five car bombings. Today, Alsumaria reports, Karbala Provincial Council member Mohammed Hamid al-Moussawi has announced he is resigning to protest the weak security situation in the province.
On violence, the western press gushes over things that can't be backed up with facts and they call the gushing reporting.
X number of 'terrorists' killed in this US aerial bombing, Y in this British one . . . .
They are the real drone war, droning on constantly about 'success' that anyone with a brain can grasp is not happening.
And the press prints the claims (lies) of the government and lulls the public into stupidity as if the US, England, Australia, France, Iraq and other armies can all be dropping bombs daily, killing people daily and no bomb ever, ever kills a civilian.
There are some readers who are upset that we're not all over the daily claims of the various governments about how many kills they had today.
We've been through this nonsense before.
I'm not interested.
I'm especially not interested in the 'we got the leader in our bombing!' lies. We saw those claims under Bully Boy Bush and who knew there were so many leaders that they could be killed daily -- sometimes even multiple times a day?