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Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

ISIS – JV to Dangerous American Enemy in One Year

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 12, 2015

Yesterday President Obama sent a request to Congress to authorize the use of military force against ISIS who has created a country in parts of Syria and Iraq.  During their land grab ISIS has murdered American, British and Japanese hostages and killed many civilians.

The debate on Obama’s request to Congress is in full swing.  Some suggest that he should have requested the authorization when he initiated the current limited bombing campaign against ISIS.  Others are concerned about mission creep that often accompanies authorizations.  Still others feel that the authorization is not broad enough or that the President has not come up with a goal and/or strategy for the military campaign.

While the above debate is necessary, it masks a more serious issue concerning President Obama’s exhibited skills as Commander-in-Chief of the military.  In January 2014, only 13 months ago, Obama showed a total lack of understanding of ISIS, its ability, or threats.  When asked about ISIS’s and its gains Obama compared them to the JVs stating: ‘The analogy we use around here sometimes and is accurate is if a JV team puts on Laker uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”

How do they go from being JV to one of the most dangerous terrorist forces in the world in less than a year?  The answer is that they were not JV when Obama made the inappropriate comparison.  It was obvious than that ISIS was a much greater threat.  Since then Obama has been slowly ramping up not only his perception of the ISIS threat, as well as increasing the use of military force against them.  This has culminated in his current request to Congress.

Why did the President get the ISIS threat so wrong?  It could not have been lack of intelligence given the gains they already made in Syria and Iraq.  It is likely that Obama did what he so often does; ignore reality and dither.

This is not the first time the President made the wrong call on Iraq.  His miscues include:

Opposing Iraqi Surge – As a senator, Obama opposed President Bush’s surge stating:  “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there.  In fact, I think it will do the reverse.  I think it takes pressure off the Iraqis to arrive at the sort of political accommodation that every observer believes is the ultimate solution to the problems we face there.  So I am going to actively oppose the president’s proposal.”  History proved Obama wrong.  The surge worked.

Withdrawing all Troops from Iraq – Since before being elected president, Obama made a commitment to withdraw all American troops from Iraq quickly.  This has been a cornerstone to his policies and politics since, ignoring potential consequences.  His statements include:

  • “….. with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008.”
  • If we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am President, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home.  We will bring an end to this war.  You can take that to the bank.”
  • Let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.”
  • Today I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.”

Adding an explanation point to his promise to get out of Iraq, Obama said in the fall of 2012:  “I said I’d end the war in Iraq,  I ended it”.  It is evident that Obama did not end the war in Iraq.  Instead, by withdrawing all assets he left a power vacuum that has been filled by Islamic terrorists.  Now he is forced to reintroduce assets from a degraded strategic position and at greater cost.  The request for authorization to use military force in Iraq includes:

“The President is authorized, subject to the limitations in subsection (c), to use the Armed Forces of the United States as the President determines to be necessary and appropriate against ISIL or associated persons or forces as defined in section.” … This is a broad authorization.  The request proves that Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq was premature and led to increased violence in that country, as well as the greater region, and now requires that the United States go back in to clean up the mess.

Obama’s naïve view of America’s role in the world, foreign policy and the Middle East is now apparent.  He came into office believing that by merely changing the way we project power will improve not only America’s worldwide stature, but are security.  These conclusions have been proven fallacious.  The Middle East is more dangerous to American interests than it has been in modern history.  In addition, America has thrown so many allies under the bus in the past six years that are stature worldwide has declined.  Incredibly, President Obama continues to maintain that his policies have been successful.  This is either an indication of delusionary thinking or blatant misrepresentation.

Posted in Iraq, Syria | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama’s Doubletalk on Ending Iraq War

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 12, 2014

Barack Obama ran for his first term promising to end the war in Iraq. After becoming president Obama often bragged about fulfilling that promise.  Unfortunately, the President’s often repeated claim was false.

Six years after Obama took office it has become more apparent what he meant by “Hope and Change”.  He would hope for events to make positive changes in the country and world.  Unfortunately, hope is not a plan.

While President Obama did indeed pull US troops out of Iraq and called the war over, wars are between at least two parties. They cannot end unilaterally.  The war in Iraq continues.  While it was started by Bush, it is now Obama’s war.

Posted in Iraq | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Current Iraqi Turmoil Predicted in 2011

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 19, 2014

Below is a posting originally included on this Blog on November 6, 2011. For President Obama and his administration to now act as if the current catastrophe in Iraq was not predictable strains credibility.

U.S. Fears Surge of Qaeda Terror in Iraq (Originally Posted November 6, 2011

The New York Times published an interesting and disturbing story on Iraq and the potential for future terrorism emanating from that country. Following are quotes from the Time’s article:

  • As the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from Iraq by year’s end, senior American and Iraqi officials are expressing growing concern that Al Qaeda’s offshoot here, which just a few years ago waged a debilitating insurgency that plunged the country into a civil war, is poised for a deadly resurgence.
  • I cringe whenever anybody makes a pronouncement that Al Qaeda is on its last legs,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the American military’s top spokesman in Iraq. “I think one day we are going to look around and say it’s been a long time since we have heard from Al Qaeda, and maybe then we can say it is on its last legs.”
  • Iraqi analysts express fears that ties between Al Qaeda and members of the former ruling Baath Party may be re-forming.
  • According to General Buchanan, there are 800 to 1,000 people in Al Qaeda’s Iraq network, “from terrorists involved in operations to media to finance to fighters.”
  • A Defense Department official familiar with the Qaeda affiliate said that the group’s leaders and foot soldiers are Sunni Arabs from central, western and northern Iraq.

The Times articles both is curious and perplexing. This publication, along with many Left-leaning news media, was quite vocal during the Bush Administration with their position that Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had no connections to international terrorism. Now, the media takes a contradictory position. While disappointing, this is not surprising for the mainstream media that has become a mouthpiece for the Left.

Posted in Iraq | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama Sending US Troops Back to Iraq

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 19, 2014

Here we go again.  The New York Times reported that President Obama has announced he is sending 300 military advisers back into Iraq.  Obama said: “We will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action if we conclude the situation on the ground requires it”.

Then the President did his typical two-step, indicating he will not send combat troops to Iraq, but that the US advisers will help Iraqis “take the fight” to the insurgents.  It is hard to comprehend the difference between combat troops and advisers who will “take the fight” to the government of Iraq’s enemies.  US soldiers entering that combat zone become combatants.

If protecting the current dysfunctional government of Iraq is so important to America’s interest, why then did President Obama remove all US soldiers from that country in the first place?  More leading from behind?

Posted in Iraq | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

American Troops to Stay in Iraq; Another Broken Obama Promise

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 26, 2011

Since the early days of his campaign for the presidency, Barrack Obama has been big on the rhetoric and light on action.  One of the most promoted themes of his campaign was the promise that if elected, he would bring all troops home from of Iraq by the end of 2011.  As late as August, 2010, the President said:

The bottom line is: The war is ending. Like any sovereign independent nation, Iraq is free to chart its own course.  And by the end of the year (2011), all of our troops will be home“.

Like so many other promises of the President, it looks like this one is gang to be broken too.  Stratfor.com today reported that:  “The United States told the Iraqi government last week that if it wants U.S. troops to remain in Iraq beyond the deadline of Dec. 31, 2011”.  The bottom line is that the U.S. now wants its forces to stay in Iraq given the instability occurring in the Middle East.

Don’t look to the adoring press to ask Obama the tough questions on yet another one of his broken campaign promises.  However, look to the Radical Left to become some of Obama’s biggest critics in the months ahead.

Posted in Iraq, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christians Fleeing from Iraqi Persecution

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 13, 2010

On October 31, 2010, a church in Bagdad was seized by Muslim terrorists who killed 51 worshipers and 2 priests.  This escalation in the violence against Iraqi Christians has quickened their mass exodus from Iraq.  According to the New York Times about half of the Christians living in Iraq have fled the country in the past decade.

With over 500,000 Christians fleeing Iraq due to violence the world hears hardly a word from the United Nations.  While President Obama is quick to condemn Israel for constructing a few buildings in Palestinian claimed areas, he says nothing about the ethnic cleansing of Arab Christians in Iraq.  Such selective morality is typical of Progressive thought where right and wrong is defined by politics, not a higher moral code.

 

Posted in Iraq, Islam | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »