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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
Number of posts: 14,554

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Guardian: Iraq crisis: Kerry vows 'sustained' US support for Iraqi forces

As our live blog coverage continues, here's a summary of where things stand:

• The United States will provide "intense and sustained" support for Iraqi forces in their fight against insurgent militants, secretary of state John Kerry told a news conference in Baghdad. He said Iraqi forces must be armed and trained.

• Kerry said Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki had committed to convening a new government on 1 July and that new leaders would be chosen shortly thereafter. Kerry and Maliki met for 100 minutes Monday.

• In a CBSNews /NYTimes poll, 50% of respondents said the US had no responsibility to act on violence in Iraq, while 42% say the US did have a responsibility.

• Militants held border crossings into Syria and Jordan and appeared to win the battle for the northwestern Iraqi city of Tal Afar. The Iraqi military said "hundreds" of Iraqi soldiers had been killed fighting Isis.

• Before Isis militants took the border crossing into Jordan at Turaibil, Jordanian officials had said the border was under their control.

• Sixty-nine detainees of the state were killed in a militant attack on an Iraqi convoy south of Baghdad, AFP reported. The circumstances of the prisoners' deaths were unclear.

• The president of Iraqi Kurdistan said peshmerga fighters were in control of Kirkuk and "the time is now" for the Kurds to determine their own future.


Can someone explain why we in Iraq in the first place? NT

I hope everyone understands that once Obama starts Iraq War III, everything that

transpires in the future, or has ever transpired in the past, regarding the Middle East, will forever and always be blamed on Obama and us Democrats.

I hope he's not foolish enough to pursue this fools errand.

"Next: president Obama's war on terror in the Middle East" - David Gregory, meet the Press, 6/22/2014

When Obama says we are going to fight for "American Interests', he means the oil, right???

While "American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq," Obama said that the U.S. "will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region and American interests as well."

Or is it something else?

Can we all agree that Iraq has been a fruitless war? That nothing positive has come from it thus far


At least for the Iraqi & American people?

Sure, Cheney & his buds have made lots of money. The oil profits that used to go to Iraq have now been privatized....

But overall there has not been any positive gains from the war and I would submit there will continue to be none, no matter how small Iraq War III may be.

It's high time we recognized that WE are the problem. Not the disenfranchised Iraqi's.

No to escalation. It's a fools errand. Let's not play the fool for big oil & big war.

"Dick Cheney Should be Rotting in The Hague, Not Writing Editorials"

...But Cheney’s hypocrisy on Iraq is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the reasons why he’s probably the worst person ever to listen to for advice on, well, everything. Remember, Cheney was the guy who almost bankrupted Halliburton by exposing it to asbestos liabilities and then used his position as Vice President of the United States to bail the company out with no-bid contracts during the Iraq War, all while owning millions in Halliburton stock options.

Remember, Cheney was the guy who played a key role in the Bush administration’s illegal torture program. You know - the illegal torture program that was based on tactics invented by Maoist China and turned our country into a pariah state. And remember, Cheney was the guy who was supposed be on the lookout for terrorist attacks in the summer of 2001, but was too busy plotting out ways to attack Iraq to listen to warning after warning about how Al Qaeda was about to kill thousands of Americans.

Cheney let 9/11 happen on his watch.

American history has had its share of villains - J. Edgar Hoover, Joe McCarthy, and Richard Nixon come to mind as some of the worst - but there is no one in recent history who has disgraced our country quite like Dick Cheney has. He lied his way into an illegal war, profited off that war, and shredded the Constitution. He’s a war criminal and has the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent people on his hands.

Dick Cheney should be rotting in a prison cell at The Hague, not writing editorials for the Wall Street Journal.

- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2014/06/dick-cheney-should-be-rotting-hague-not-writing-editorials#sthash.n3Fow1og.dpuf

Here's Who Is Fighting in Iraq and Why (VICE)

Team Sunni

The big name on the Sunni side is ISIS. The insurgent group originally started in the mid-2000s during the Iraq War, where the group developed a lot of close relationships and affiliated closely with local al Qaeda franchises. But ISIS really hit its stride in the Syrian Civil War, gaining some notoriety as the folks who were so psycho that they got dumped by al Qaeda. It’s not entirely clear whether psychopathy was actually the reason for the split, or whether it was an administrative and bureaucratic turf fight that got of hand, but you’re likely to hear both claims in the coming days.


Team Shia

Maliki has been beating on the Sunni and the Kurds in much the same way that Saddam was beating on the Shia and the Kurds, except for two things. One, Maliki hasn’t been putting a non-sectarian, nationalist political frosting over the top of it. Two, Saddam was only broadly known and understood to be a proxy for the Saudis and Gulf Arab States; Maliki and has been a lot more open about getting in bed with his benefactors, the Iranians, relying on them for things like delivering key voting blocks to maintain his grip on power.


Team Kurd

One potential winner in all of this might be the Kurds, an ethnic minority in northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, northeastern Syria, and easternmost Turkey. Without their own state, they’ve been under the heel of the central government in just about every country they’re found in. However, one of the consequences of turmoil in Iraq in recent decades has been the establishment of a fairly autonomous Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq. Then, during the ongoing Syrian conflict, Syrian Kurds have also taken the opportunity to carve out their own chunk of territory, effectively managing a Syrian Kurdistan which has been able to protect its borders and largely avoid being drawn into the main fighting.


The only thing they left out was Team Corporate Oil (that would be us)

Obama can't declare a new Iraq war without approval. Even Bush knew that. Isis is not al-Qaida:

New war, you ask? Hasn't the United States already decided to use the military option to counter al-Qaida, and isn't the threat posed by Isis just a new version of the battle that Congress already authorized Bush and Obama to fight? The answer – contrary to what many have suggested – is very clearly no.

Sending drones to fight Isis isn't simply some new front on a disappearing border. Congress has only authorized, in the wake of 9/11 and before Reaper drones were even introduced, the use of force against al-Qaida – and potentially groups working in direct association with it. But Isis is very clearly not one of them.


But if you ask legal scholars and independent terrorism experts, you find a completely different reality – one that should give Obama pause before acting on any air strikes, even if the time to send in the drones is running short. Because there is minimizing civilian casualties before Isis reaches Baghdad, and then there is rushing into war with a public so badly misinformed by parts of the media and its own government.

On various legal blogs, academics such as Deborah Pearlstein and Jennifer Daskal have been at pains to show how Isis is not associated with al-Qaida – far from it. Fissures grew between the two groups last year when Isis "repeatedly refused" instructions and advice from the head of al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and outright opposed his goals and directives. This year, Zawahiri officially gave up and announced that al-Qaida would have nothing to do with Isis. Al-Qaida's senior leadership stated that it has "no connection" with Isis, and that Isis is "not an affiliate with the al-Qaida group and has no organizational relation with it."

So what about that black flag? As Professor Pearlstein notes:

errorist experts have regularly pointed out the popularity of the black flag with the white lettering among a range of Islamist groups across the region.

Of course, most Americans don't read legal blogs or research reports. Most Americans believe what they see on cable news. But the American public needs to understand from President Obama the choices ahead – and the enemy we are now apparently prepared to fight. And the president shouldn't just consult Congress on this one. He needs to receive our backing, too.


OMG! I just realized; it won't be Iraq War II, it'll be Iraq War III !!! Think about it,

how many times do we need to attack these poor people, burn their children?

How much hatred are we spreading?

Maliki tortured protesters, we tortured in Abu Ghraib!

What kind of evil is making these decisions that will foster generations of bloodshed.

No fucking Iraq War III. Isn't 2 enough already?

And this time, we're going to partner with the country they called the axis of evil, Iran, who people argued we needed to bomb just a year or so ago!

Sorry, just a little vent. OP yours people!

OK! I've thought of 1 positive thing if Obama maniacally starts Iraq War II -

Bernie Sanders will crush all pro-war chickenhawk challengers in any party in 2016.

Hillary will fold unless she comes out against the new war (unlikely).

And the R's will die as they elect Cheney or some other nut bag.

Spoiler: anti-war libertarian.

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