Friday, August 8, 2014

President Obama Makes a Statement on Iraq, 7 August 2014; Cease Fire Broken in Gaza by Hamas, 8 August

To read full statement of President Obama, please click here.

Next question is if Republicans are on board or are they as usual supporting the President while at the same time saying he didn't go far enough.  A lot of us have seen McCain in action enough to know this has been his SOP for years.  Politicususa had the answer to that question:
Breaking news. Not every single Republican elected to office took to the TV to decry President Obama last night or this morning after he announced authorizing targeted strikes in Iraq in what looks to be a perpetual clean-up of former President Bush’s misguided invasion
McCain is bitter and wants more war, Boehner is confused and walking both sides of the fence, but a few Republicans have managed to hold onto their sanity and are not using a crisis as an opportunity to explore their bitterness. All in all, Republicans managed to look like they were supporting action they obviously support, while still sticking the knife in and blaming the President for Bush’s actions. 
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FLA) said it was the right decision, tweeting, “Action against ISIL in #Iraq to save #IraqiChristians is the right decision.”
Representative Pete King (R-NY) tweeted, “It is essential that we support President’s decision to authorize air strikes”. 
Both Boehner and McConnell’s offices admitted that the President had told them of the decision prior to the announcement, so the inevitable hearing on Obama’s use of his executive power may be delayed. Josh Lederman of the AP tweeted, “Aides to Boehner, McConnell tell me the White House notified them of Obama’s decision before he announced it today”. 
But there is always room for criticism, so Lederman summed it up in a tweet, “Reaction from most Republicans to Obama Iraq decision so far seems to be ‘Yes please, but not enough’”. 
Read more from Sarah Jones at Politicususa
When I watched the President make his speech to the Country, noted that he talked about notifying both Houses of Congress who are on a five-week recess about his proposed action.  That didn't stop McCain from getting in his two cents worth as usual but he has a slight problem that Wonkette pointed out:

So here’s a heck of a thing: Back in May 2013, Forever Warmonger John McCain was really excited about the prospects of arming the Syrian moderates who were fighting to free that country from the iron grip of Bashar al-Assad. He even sneaked into the country to meet with the head of the Free Syrian Army, Gen. Salim Idris, the fellow in the striped shirt there (Idris was ousted in February of this year). 
Only one small problem with the little photo-op: In addition to Idris, some of the other guys in the pic are apparently members of a slightly less “moderate” group: ISIS, the guys who are currently bringing down Iraq, and the photo is reportedly being circulated by ISIS as proof of their legitimacy. Oops.

Read more at Wonkette
Think OOPS sums it up nicely.  McCain should have remembered he met with ISIS (ISIL) when criticizing the President for doing nothing while Obama was meetings with advisers to plan a strategy.  Shame on Obama in the Republican World for not rushing to the nearest microphone to spout rhetoric but actually taking time to make a rational decision unlike the grandstander McCain and others whose best friend is a microphone.

Only Republicans like McCain seem to want troops back in Iraq just like the first time and forget Iraq is the Bush/Cheney war they lied to get us to invade Iraq and totally blew the peace after with appointing a civilian, Paul Bremer, to head reconstruction who was out of league and made one big mess of the situation.  Does McCain forget that this is still the Bush/Cheney mess as he rewrites history?  Read his statement and thought vintage McCain who is nothing but a bitter old man who needs to retire from the Senate like years ago with the statement he released:
In a statement, McCain wrote, “A policy of containment will not work against ISIS. It is inherently expansionist and must be stopped. The longer we wait to act, the worse this threat will become, as recent events clearly show. 
“We need to get beyond a policy of half measures. The President needs to devise a comprehensive strategy to degrade ISIS. This should include the provision of military and other assistance to our Kurdish, Iraqi, and Syrian partners who are fighting ISIS. It should include U.S. air strikes against ISIS leaders, forces, and positions both in Iraq and Syria. It should include support to Sunni Iraqis who seek to resist ISIS. And none of this should be contingent on the formation of a new government in Baghdad. 
And by the way, this is all Obama’s fault for ever trying to leave Iraq, “If ever there were a time to reevaluate our disastrous policy in the Middle East, this is it. Because of the President’s hands-off approach, the threats in the region have grown and now directly threaten the United States. We are already paying a very heavy price for our inaction, and if we do not change course, the costs of our inaction will only grow.”
If McCain wants ground soldiers in Iraq, let him and the rest of the neo-cons lead the way.  Too many Americans died in Iraq because of lies told to the American people by Bush/Cheney and we don't need any more soldiers killed on the ground.

For all the people yelling why don't we do something about Gaza, there is a key element in the President's speech that some people forget and it is protecting Americans which the US Government is doing in Iraq.  The United States does not have an embassy or an official presence in Gaza which is controlled by Hamas who is on our terrorism list.  It is a humanitarian disaster of huge proportions which is what the United Nations is for and not a US problem except as a member of the UN.  We have people in Baghdad representing the US Government and Americans working in Iraq we need to protect and thus the airstrikes on convoys of ISIS if they move toward where Americans are located.

The other part of the equation in Iraq that the Iraqi Government asked for United States help including humanitarian aid to a religious group that ISIS has surrounded on a mountain top without food and water where the US is dropping them food and water to stay alive.  The Iraqi Government which is reforming wants our help but the Hamas Government in Gaza is a totally different story.

Looks like an extended cease fire effort in Gaza led by Egypt is going to be set back again as after three days of calm in Gaza, Hamas starts shelling again.  Does Hamas not care if they get their own people killed?  At the same time Israeli doesn't seem to mind killing civilians even children as collateral damage. What a horrible situation it is right now in Gaza with so many killed including children with their Government run by Hamas who are on the US terrorist list not seeming to care.

Israeli's seem to be swatting flies with a shovel as they bomb UN facilities in Gaza.  Bibi, the neo-cons dream leader, was not the person to put in charge again IMO.  Saw a spokesman on TV trying to spin Bibi is actually a moderate and thought to myself, this guy would fit in perfectly with the American press that spins rather then reports facts so many times.

We have two very dangerous situations in the Middle East, Russians saber rattling on the border with Ukraine, and Congress on a five-week recess once against abdicating their duties while McCain and other Republicans add nothing meaningful to the discourse just more saber rattling.

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