August 14, 2014

Signs, clear and unclear, of progress in Iraq.

1. "Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki on Thursday night said he agreed to relinquish power, state television reported, a move that came after days of crisis in which Mr. Maliki’s deployment of extra security forces around the capital raised worries of a military coup."

2. "Yazidi leaders and emergency relief officials on Thursday strongly disputed American claims that the siege of Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq had been broken and that the crisis was effectively over, saying that tens of thousands of Yazidis remained on the mountain in desperate conditions." Obama said: "The bottom line is the situation on the mountain has greatly improved and Americans should be proud... We do not expect there to be an additional operation to get people off the mountain."

68 comments:

Beldar said...

Yes, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Everything is under control. We're not doing dumb things.

Gahrie said...

As long as they can keep the television cameras away, there is no tragedy occurring on that mountain.

m stone said...

This is typical of this administration on world events. Do something cosmetic, declare success, throw a blanket on news coverage (this NYT report will be the last), and move on to more important issues like the Ferguson shooting and those obstructionist Republicans.

Birkel said...

We're making a wonderful new Leftist omelette over here. Would you lot please quit bitchin' about the damned broken eggs?

Is this a tragedy or a statistic? At this point, what difference does it make?

David said...

My son recently described to me his superiors in a good sized American university. He said the school was a blame factory and the administrators were all playing dodgeball. American politics has become the same thing. Obama (and others) have spent so much energy deflecting responsibility for bad news over the years that it's no longer possible to trust them. I do not believe the statements about the refugees.

Jane the Actuary said...

Here's the deal: whenever I've got some leftovers in the fridge and I'm not sure if they're good to eat or not, or some lunchmeat or produce, I just let it sit there until it gets good and moldy and I can throw it away without worrying that I'm wasting perfectly good food.

That's Obama's approach: "If I sit on this for long enough, they'll all be dead, or otherwise disposed of and I won't have to do anything."

Jason said...

Why the fuck would this idiot paint himself into a corner by saying something like that?

Humperdink said...

Early July went to Staten Island for a week to assist homeowners still trying to re-build after Hurricane Sandy - which occurred in Oct 2012. For the arithmetically challenged, that would be nearly 2 years ago.

If you leave the affected area, the populace thinks FEMA did a wonderful job. If you ask the actual displaced homeowners about FEMA, you'd better duck and run. It's all about PR.

richard mcenroe said...

"If you leave the affected area, the populace thinks FEMA did a wonderful job. If you ask the actual displaced homeowners about FEMA, you'd better duck and run. It's all about PR."
My brother was a Sandy--can't call him victim because he won't hold still for it--casualty, I guess, and he documented FEMA's fecklessness and obstructionism all the through the aftermath of the storm.

Basically, the only difference between FEMA and an actual natural disaster is FEMA moves slower...

Beaumont said...

Has anyone presented a reality based plan that outlines how much of a U.S. presence will be needed in Iraq, for how long, and at what financial expense before Iraq will be a non-malignant, functional, unified, and self-sustaining nation? If so, who?

Hagar said...

al Maliki may be the designated fall guy in Washington (and New York), but I do not think whoever nominally gets to be prime minister for Shia Baghdad will make much difference. It is still Tehran that pulls the strings.

And anyway, it is all Booosh's fault.

I think this must be a calculated decision that the MSM will stay loyal and put a news black-out on this.

And anyway, it is all Booosh's fault. He was the one who withdrew all our military from Iraq so that now we are quite powerless and nobody will listen to me anymore.

Hagar said...

It is not about Iraq. Immediately it is about the area north of the equator, south of Russia, and from the Atlantic to the Chinese border.

After that, we will see.

The Drill SGT said...

The people left on Mt Sinjar are the weakest (oldest/youngest). They will not be able to leave under their own power. This is genocidal behavior by the WH. RtP be damned

Chef Mojo said...

Has anyone presented a reality based plan that outlines how much of a U.S. presence will be needed in Iraq, for how long, and at what financial expense before Iraq will be a non-malignant, functional, unified, and self-sustaining nation? If so, who?

I dunno. Did anyone do that for Germany, Japan and South Korea? Sometimes you just have to recognize the fact that some commitments have to be open ended in order to secure the peace.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Jason,
Apparently they have never heard the saying "When you're in a corner, stop painting."

John Lynch said...

Maliki gets off easier than Diem did.

John Lynch said...
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Lori said...

The parents cutting their hands to give their children blood to drink were unavailable for comment.

khesanh0802 said...

It is fascinating how Ozero, himself, has to rush in front of the cameras to declare the crisis over. If he had any sense at all (I know) he would send one the expendables out to muse over how he thought the problem had solved itself, but maybe not.

This is sure to blow up again. If you read the fine print those left behind are too old and infirm, or too young to make their way out of the danger area. Which tells you they need somebody to protect them, feed them and ultimately evacuate them. Perhaps the Kurds can accomplish that, but if ISIL begins to pressure Erbil or wherever, the Kurds are going to have other things to occupy their time. Now that the international press is with the Yazidis, the NYT's silence can't last.

Maliki is replaced by someone who sounds like the same guy in a different suit. Everything is hunky dory- oh yes!

Revenant said...

Did anyone do that for Germany, Japan and South Korea? Sometimes you just have to recognize the fact that some commitments have to be open ended in order to secure the peace.

And more often, you just have to recognize that not all problems are solvable by the US military.

Hagar said...

But they have done pretty well though, in past times.

Kevin said...

" Obama said: "The bottom line is the situation on the mountain has greatly improved and Americans should be proud... We do not expect there to be an additional operation to get people off the mountain."

Translation: "Oh look, a SQUIRREL...!"

HoodlumDoodlum said...

All is well.

Cedarford said...

Lori said...
The parents cutting their hands to give their children blood to drink were unavailable for comment.

==============
It is becoming a stupid punctuation point of both the left and right.

Yeah, white liberals and black racists....Trayvon Martin was "not available for comment" when the jury found Zimmerman innocent.

Yeah, neocon scum, "4 dead heroes of Benghazi are not available for comment.", but what does that have to do with bombing Iran or Syria.

It was supposed to be droll and witty to help remind people the dead can't speak, but SURELY would back whatever asshole uses "not available for comment". But it is so overused by people still thinking it is the height of wit.

Similar to "Tell it To!!" as in:

1. Tell it to the heroic 9/11 Victim Families supporting John Kerry that he isn't right!!
2. Tell it to the mothers of children butchered in Obama drone strikes..
3. Tell someone suffering from lung cancer that taxpayers shouldn't pay 400,000 dollars to extend their lives one more week. Tell it to them!!


Cheap emotional blackmail tactics or people posing as champions of some dead person or on behalf of animals that they speak for them ...since the dead person or live animal is not available for comment..

Beaumont said...

Did anyone do that for Germany, Japan and South Korea? Sometimes you just have to recognize the fact that some commitments have to be open ended in order to secure the peace.

Open ended or not, has anyone presented a reality-based analysis of what we are up against and what we need to do, open ended or not? It sounds to me that what some are proposing is a U.S. force that is indefinitely present in the region and must perpetually and vigilantly position itself to limit the existential threat posed by malignant Islamic-middle eastern forces. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to how long the U.S. would have to function in this role?

LarsPorsena said...

Okay. We rescue them from the top of the mountain.
Then what do we do with them?

jono39 said...

Progress in Iraq? What are you smoking?

Anonymous said...

@Cedarford I think Jim Taranto started it with "Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment." Which is pretty funny. But things become cliche very, very fast these days.

SteveR said...

Okay. We rescue them from the top of the mountain.
Then what do we do with them?


If they were part of a large enough demographic, you could pluck them down in a few swing states and get them citizenship. and free stuff

CWJ said...

#1. True. Because that is what al-Maliki wants to be true and perhaps no Shia will dispute it because no Shia were harmed in the making of this movie.

#2. True. Because ... Because ... Oh hell there's nothing that anyone could say that could justify this other than the US won't go to bat for these people.

It won't happen but I really hope that one day somehow the members of this administration find themselves in a life threatening situation, crying for help, and no one comes.

CWJ said...

Every last one of them!

Anonymous said...

"Beaumont said...
Has anyone presented a reality based plan that outlines how much of a U.S. presence will be needed in Iraq, for how long, and at what financial expense before Iraq will be a non-malignant, functional, unified, and self-sustaining nation? If so, who?"

Big order. Aspects of it could be achieved in milliseconds, the rest maybe later after a cooling period.I defer to those with more knowledge.

Skeptical Voter said...

Whoopee frikkin; doo doo.

The Yazidis situation on the mountain is "substantially improved". Mission accomplished and all that. The Bamster has won the 24 hour news cycle. Now back to the first tee!

n.n said...
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Lori said...

Cedarford,

Far from an emotional appeal, in this case it is a fact that once all the people die, there is no need to further trouble ourselves about them. Dying of thirst takes only a matter of days.

My point for the post was that, in newsspeak where you are supposed to present opposing views in a balanced piece, in this case the people who desperately need relief cannot be quoted. Very convenient for Obama.

I'm not saying the U.S. could evacuate them. I'm saying it's patently absurd for Obama to pronounce with such certainty that the crisis has passed. And I'm saying that the press doesn't even attempt to find the truth.

n.n said...

The US military had achieved their primary post-war objective to stabilize Iraq. The American soldiers built a rapport with the Iraqi people. What remained was a transition from operations within population centers to the wilderness, where they would sustain a military governance to mitigate intra-national insurgency and intrusion by illegal (aka "undocumented) aliens, which threaten to disrupt and displace native Iraqi people, institutions, economies, and governments.

Obama can be forgiven for waffling. Progress is a notoriously unqualified concept, which has a long history of sponsoring insidious harm.

Cedarford said...

Lori - I was reacting off your cliched usage. Not your points, which are excellent, especially in your second post..

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Obama has made a Gesture, so the situation's in hand and 'we don't need to do anything more'.

Nice work if you can get it.

Revenant said...

Something people keep forgetting is that the Iraqi government asked us to leave. The Iraqi people overwhelmingly wanted us to leave. For that matter, the AMERICAN people overwhelmingly wanted us to leave.

Could we have stayed? Sure. Obama could have ignored the American people (it wouldn't be the first time), told the Iraqi people to suck it, and strong-armed their government into letting us keep forces there. We could have kept sacrificing American lives and money in the probably vain hope that Iraq would eventually transform from a kludged-together relic of the British and Ottoman Empires into something resembling a unified and viable nation.

But I'm glad we didn't.

Beldar said...

I don't understand the furor. After all, we've always been at war with Eastasia.

Michael K said...

"Something people keep forgetting is that the Iraqi government asked us to leave."

So did the young South Koreans who don't remember why we are there. They rioted a few times, in case you forgot.

We could retreat to our own borders except they aren't there any more.

Revenant said...

I'm not sure why you think your statement is relevant, Michael. Both the South Korean government and a majority of South Koreans want us there. That is the exact opposite of the situation in Iraq.

Paul said...

Once again the Obama administration gets a 'oh look, it's a squirrel' moment with the shooting in Missouri.

That is the administration's way to manage it's series of scandals ans failures.

But sooner or later it's all going to catch up with them.

Only question is.. will it catch up with them before the mid-term elections?

Birkel said...

Revenant:

One wonders what the people who are dying at the hands of murderous IS agents want. Yes?

Revenant said...

One wonders what the people who are dying at the hands of murderous IS agents want. Yes?

What they want isn't our problem.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
And more often, you just have to recognize that not all problems are solvable by the US military.

and some problems are. ISIS is a military problem solveable by military means.
They seem to understand that military action spreads their agenda. They will also learn then that military defeat ends it.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
Could we have stayed? Sure. Obama could have ignored the American people (it wouldn't be the first time), told the Iraqi people to suck it, and strong-armed their government into letting us keep forces there. We could have kept sacrificing American lives and money in the probably vain hope that Iraq would eventually transform from a kludged-together relic of the British and Ottoman Empires into something resembling a unified and viable nation.

the Iraqis were ultimately malleable to us staying, but were put off by his indifference. Read about the behind the scenes negotiations. Moat Iraqis behind the scenes did want us to stay, and were even caving on the idea that we would be held accountable in their courts. He could have gotten us to stay in Iraq. However, he simply didn't care about the results of us leaving.

Anonymous said...

When a million people are murdered, but no one of the lefty outrage factory deems it worth for expression of outrage, did it really happens? Does it matter?
(I'm thinking of Darfur here. But Southern Sudan can also serve as example. Another example would be Cambodia under Pol Pot, or China under Mao, or the Red Fuhrer slave state of North Korea, or ...).

It's a pity, but it seems the left holds the key to expression of outrage. See for an example "The War on Women".

Jaske said...

I wonder if all citizens were eligible (draft), the outcome.

Humperdink said...

If there was ever a hashtag moment for the administration, this is it. They must be keeping their powder dry, so to speak.

Humperdink said...

Bow or burn.

The trapped Christians are having their Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego moment (Daniel 3).

Rusty said...

Revenant said...
Something people keep forgetting is that the Iraqi government asked us to leave. The Iraqi people overwhelmingly wanted us to leave. For that matter, the AMERICAN people overwhelmingly wanted us to leave.

Could we have stayed? Sure. Obama could have ignored the American people (it wouldn't be the first time), told the Iraqi people to suck it, and strong-armed their government into letting us keep forces there. We could have kept sacrificing American lives and money in the probably vain hope that Iraq would eventually transform from a kludged-together relic of the British and Ottoman Empires into something resembling a unified and viable nation

We kinda agreed to.



The Strategic Framework Agreement and the Security Agreement with Iraq


Leftists seem to forget that Iraq held three elections largely without violence and and more fraud free than a Chgicago Mayoral election.

But the real point you're trying to make is:
Fuck em. They don't vote Democrat

Hagar said...

Saddam Hussein wass defeated in 3 weeks.
Stabilizing the country took a little longer, but we did it.
They held 3 peaceful elections. Remember the purple fingers?

Since then we fought a low-level proxy-war with Iran - in Iraq and Afghanistan both.

This war has not been won, and we have abandoned not just the Iraqi, whom we promised to "stand by," but our land base in the middle of the problem, accessible from international waters and airspace, and in the process we have managed not just to encourage our continuing enemies, but to disappoint and dismay our friends and cause them to seek other allies.

How is this going to improve matters?

Hagar said...

40-50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, with bases loaded and equipment maintained, and none of this would have happened.

Perhaps not even the Ukraine.

As it is, I think there is going to be war, and a lot of people are going to die amid a lot of misery.

And I think the chances are that we will not escape being "drawn into" it.

Tank said...

Hagar said...

Saddam Hussein was defeated in 3 weeks. Stabilizing the country took a little longer, but we did it.


A small country is not stable if it requires 150,000 American troops to periodically surge around fighting various factions.

Let's concentrate on killing bad guys and not trying to create stabilized countries.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Obama said: "The bottom line is the situation on the mountain has greatly improved..."

Delivered with the overweening certitude of a junior lecturer in Political "Science" at a third rate community college - the advance dismissal of any possible contrary belief or opinion - that so alerted and annoyed some of on first exposure to it in 2008.

grackle said...

… lefty outrage factory …

There's a similar factory on the right but it can't fabricate near as much product because the lefties have a lock on distribution, i.e., NYT, MSNBC, etc.

Outrage is like money – counterfeiters debase the currency.

Open ended or not, has anyone presented a reality-based analysis of what we are up against and what we need to do, open ended or not … what some are proposing is a U.S. force that is indefinitely present in the region and must perpetually and vigilantly position itself to limit the existential threat posed by malignant Islamic-middle eastern forces. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to how long the U.S. would have to function in this role?

reality-based analysis: The Islamic terrorists want to kill Americans, among others, as many as they can, every man woman and child.

what we need to do: Kill them first. Diplomacy doesn't work, "smart" or otherwise. Apologizing, bowing and kissing their asses doesn't work. Giving them money doesn't work. Even abandoning Iraq and Afghanistan didn't work. We could end any US presence whatsoever in the Middle East but I doubt that would end their deadly shenanigans.

You may not like the Caliphate but the Caliphate likes you.

How long? Impossible to say. Pointless to ask. For the most part "how long" is up to the terrorists, not the US. I doubt it will end soon.

Hagar said...

You need to get your tunnel vision of Iraq and see the region.

And other than in the actual invasion period, I don't think Iraq ever had 150,000 G.I.s in it.

When I did my miltary service - 10 years after the shooting war ended - the U.S. had 350,000± personnel in West Germany alone, but there was no more large-scale shooting war(s), which there most asssuredly would have been if the U.S. had gone home.

Birkel said...

Tank:
I like that plan but will contend that enough killing of bad guys tends to make a country better.

As an aside, I'm not sure the definition of stable is secured. One imagines it means, at the very least "no civil wars" but could also mean "peaceful transitions of power". By those definitions the USSR was stable. That its collectivism was inherently evil makes me think stability is not the goal no matter what.

Revenant said...

and some problems are. ISIS is a military problem solveable by military means.

No, ISIS is just the latest manifestation of a cultural problem. Definitely not solvable by military means.

Revenant said...

the Iraqis were ultimately malleable to us staying, but were put off by his indifference.

Their government told us to get out and that the matter wasn't negotiable.

Revenant said...

Leftists seem to forget that Iraq held three elections largely without violence and and more fraud free than a Chgicago Mayoral election.

But the real point you're trying to make is: Fuck em. They don't vote Democrat

You must be new here.

Thanks for the laughs, though. The bit about the Iraqi government being less corrupt than Chicago was funny, but calling me a Democrat topped it. :)

Birkel said...

Revenant:

What is your prescription when somebody, anybody, attacks the United States directly? US Embassies?

Hagar said...

"They had a choice between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They shall have war!"

Winston Chuchill, 1938.

Hagar said...

and here we go again.

Rusty said...

e bit about the Iraqi government being less corrupt than Chicago was funny,

And,sadly, true.

Rusty said...

Their government told us to get out and that the matter wasn't negotiable.

Yes it was.
The United States and Iraq signed two agreements to that effect.

Hagar said...

With a substantial force outside the gates, a lot of things are negotiable that aren't when you only have a corporal's guard.