April 20, 2014

Monday Morning News – Dec. 6, 2010

National News

Ohio News

Taliban, Iraqi Sunnis – Apples, Oranges

What I’m reading about President Barack Obama’s latest pronouncements on turning the tide in the war in Afghanistan makes me uneasy.

There is no doubt that U.S. and NATO fortunes have backslid in Afghanistan, through no fault of our troops on the ground – there just haven’t been enough to pursue any of a number of strategies effectively.  We also know that in many respects the “surge” in Iraq worked to some effect in that war.  The surge was not just about troops, it was also about effective counterinsurgency policy and tactics.  One of those tactics was to co-opt Sunni tribal elders and their followers who had fallen in line with al-Qaeda in Iraq.

22Now, as if Afghanistan is just like Iraq, we’re going to surge there as well.  More troops makes sense if those troops are protecting civilians and not leaving them prey to the Taliban.  More troops make sense if we are capturing or killing Taliban.  Paying off Taliban in the way we worked with Sunni leaders in Iraq is a suckers bet, however.

Too many Americans view the Islamic world through a single lens ground from the images of 9/11 and the Bush war on terror.  In this view all muslims are sixth century throwbacks who routinely take to the streets and chant death to America.

The truth is that most muslims want the same things most of us want – peace, prosperity, liberty.  Another part of the truth is that there is a very vocal, in your face segment of Islam, who are grounded in a medieval view of the world.  They are inherently evil.  Their most apparent incarnation is in the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

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Full Text: President Barack Obama Speech Camp Lejeune – Ending the War in Iraq

obama(Source: White House Press Office)

Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery
Responsibly Ending the War in Iraq
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Friday, February 27, 2009

Good morning Marines. Good morning Camp Lejeune. Good morning Jacksonville. Thank you for that outstanding welcome. I want to thank Lieutenant General Hejlik for hosting me here today.

I also want to acknowledge all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. That includes the Camp Lejeune Marines now serving with – or soon joining – the Second Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq; those with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force in Afghanistan; and those among the 8,000 Marines who are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. We have you in our prayers. We pay tribute to your service. We thank you and your families for all that you do for America. And I want all of you to know that there is no higher honor or greater responsibility than serving as your Commander-in-Chief.

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Obama Administration Will Allow News Media to Cover Return of the Dead from Iraq/Afghanistan

Being reported by POTUS on Sirrius/XM.  Look for Def Secy Gates briefing later today.  With this move and honestly funding the entire cost of Iraq in the next budget, we’re seeing the veil of lies and secrecy being lifted from the Iraq War.

Obama may be set to announce combat troop withdrawal from Iraq over next 19 months

During the campaign, President Barack Obama talked about an end to combat operations in Iraq within a sixteen month timeframe of his taking office.  Reports tonight from the media, including this one from the Washington Post, are saying the U.S. troop withdrawal may end up on a 19 month timetable.

I was a little surprised to hear a little disappointment from Rachel Maddow tonight on MSNBC over taking an additional three months to extricate our war fighters from Iraq.  She said there could be some outcry from anti-war liberals.  Why?

Three additional months is not much time when measured against a war that is now nearly six years old.  You can’t expect Obama to be bound by a candidate’s promise when this is ultimately a decision which can be made only by a president – with presidential information.  Three additional months is hardly an about face on a promise.

There are lots of us who believe the Iraqi war was folly, but believe it would be doubly so to leave the innocent people in Iraq – for whom we’ve created a climate of danger and instability – left completely in a lawless vacuum created by a hasty withdrawal.

From the Post:

President Obama is expected to announce as early as Friday that he will remove all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by August 2010, three months later than promised during his campaign, U.S. officials said.

Obama has not made a final decision on the matter, but it could come during a trip to give a speech in North Carolina on Friday, the officials said. …

… There are about 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, including 14 combat brigades of about 4,000 troops each and tens of thousands of support forces. The Obama withdrawal plan would leave a residual force of as many as 50,000 support troops that would advise Iraqi forces and perform other security missions, the officials said.