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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The War Against ISIL Is Being Lost While Obama Vacations...Again

Links: A. Iranian Militia-Leader Killed In Iraq
           B. ISIL Retakes Baiji In Iraq 
           C. Russia Steps Up Involvement In Syria

I read in today's Washington Post that President Barrack Obama's favorability rating had improved up to 47 percent.  I guess we should infer that the American people approve of the President acting unilaterally for the sole purpose of creating voters to support his political ideology.  And, if the Amnesty issue wasn't irksome enough, Obama has decided (again, UNILATERALLY), to start the process of normalizing relations with Cuba.  Obama announced this effort in his usual fashion.  By declaring that the United States would be making all of the compromises and that in order to gain our friendship, Cuba would have to do....nothing.  No, they were not required to release political prisoners, or legalize opposition parties, or end detention without trail.  They weren't even asked to end their campaign of terror against U.S. citizens living in Florida who happen to oppose the Castro dictatorship.  Obama makes two huge unilateral decisions and goes on vacation, and his approval jumps to 47 percent.  Obviously he has this country figured out and I'm living in the past.

Lets cool off a bit by discussing the Islamic State (ISIL) and its offensives in both Syria and Iraq.  Link C details very recent Russian efforts to get diplomatic traction in Syria.  Not surprisingly, the EU bent over and greased up for Putin, I guess to reward him for not snatching another piece of Ukraine this week (I shouldn't complain....and least it was the EU and not Uncle Sam taking it south-ways this week).  Putin's recent interest in Syria comes on the heels of recent unexpected military disasters for the regular Syrian Army in battles with ISIL.  Remember, you heard it hear first (at least two months ago); Putin will not forsake Bashir al-Assad, at least not until he can replace him with another sycophant who will provide the Russian navy with a full-size (read: ballistic submarines) naval facility on Syria's Mediterranean Coast.  What were John Kerry and the U.S. State Department doing while Putin was snuggling up to the EU? Probably smoking celebratory cigars with the Castro brothers.  Since Obama enjoys adulation so much, I predict a trip to Havana is in the planning stages (again, remember you heard it here!).  I wonder if he will think twice about the hundreds, maybe thousands of political prisoners that are rotting in Cuban jails without any kind of due process, some as young as thirteen years old. While Putin was re-establishing his Bona Fides vis-a-vis the Syrian conflict, the United States was continuing its illustrious Air Campaign against ISIL.  In all honestly, the ineffectiveness of this military initiative has been a shock.  Knowing the capabilities of the U.S. Air Force, I fully expected that ISIL would be suffering by now from supply problems.  Our Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan, using drones and ground troops to locate and verify targets, made it impossible for the enemy to move, let alone refuel, rearm and resupply.    As I woke up this Sunday morning and read the news before Mass, I was reminded that ISIL has devastated regular Syrian Army positions in Eastern and Western Syria, and also retaken the town of Baiji, which was surrendered by the Iraqi Army without so much as fart in the direction of the enemy.  But the Oil Refinery was heavily defended, which illustrates the priority of the Iraqi government.  Let the people in Baiji get abused and in some cases, murdered by ISIL, as long as the money-maker keeps pumping.

Lately I've been very impressed with the willingness of the Iranians to take on ISIL in Iraq.  The truth is, they recognize the threat that this group represents.  Link A details the assassination of an important Iranian militia leader, who was active in Iraq's Diyala Province.  Well, Diyala is in Eastern Iraq, just outside of Baghdad, and could not be more strategic.  I was a bit perplexed by the number of individual Iranian-backed Shiite militias that were active in Iraq.  These include, but are not limited to, the Mukhtar Army, Hezbollah Brigades (Hezbollah in Iraq, not Lebanon), Badr Brigades, Asaib al Haq, and something called the Peace Brigade.  C'mon, Ayatollah whoever you are, don't you realize how much more effective to would be if you just merged these groups together?  Each militia, fighting separately, with its own politically-focused leader, will have a miniscule impact on the conflict as opposed to what could be accomplished with one, well-equipped and properly led militia.  At least the Iranians are recognizing the seriousness of the situation.  The Iraqi Army cannot gain any traction.  After publicizing the recapture of one or two towns, they pray that the local press won't also announced that four towns were occupied by ISIL during the same time period.  Something tells me that the Iranians will be forced to launch a full-scale military  intervention in Iraq.  Its obviously something they would like to avoid, or at least delay until Obama finds a way to diplomatically allow them to enrich as much uranium as they want. Since Obama has been in office, the Iranians have moved closer and closer to complete independence for their nuclear program.

ISIL is on the offensive in Syria, and giving the Iraqi Army and the Iranian militias fits in Iraq.  What about our bombing campaign?  Where are the figures?  I want to know how much ordinance has been expended and what the enemy has lost.  You know the military has those figures at their fingertips.  Normally I wouldn't care, but I'm trying to understand how a ragtag group of terrorists, totally without air support (except for a few drones, we're told), is moving around Iraq and Syria with impunity?  How was ISIL able to reoccupy a town as large and strategic as Baiji, under the nose of the air coalition led by the United States Air Force, and including elements from France, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE?  Anyone?  I don't see any slowdown in ISIL, so how about we save the U.S. taxpayer billions of dollars and just pull out?  John Kerry should understand the policy.  Its what he advocated for when he returned from Vietnam, remember?

On a separate note, I want to acknowledge all the media reports of Fidel Castro announcing Cuba's refusal to move one inch away from its Communist principles.  I'm shocked that anyone would be surprised.  Cuba isn't going to change, folks.  What will happen, is a bunch of rich businessmen who donated money to Obama (and possibly Rand Paul as well), will build new, flashy resorts around the island, and make a ton of money.  The Cuban elite will get their cut, the black market that runs the Cuban economy will get its due, and Obama's base will hail their icon as the man who saved the Cuban people (from the mean, ol' USA).  Folks, the reality is, no one gives a shit about Cuba or the Cuban people.  If Obama thought about Cuba even once while trotting from the sixth hole to the seventh, I will eat my hat.  The goal isn't to change Cuba.  ITS TO CHANGE THE UNITED STATES.  More damage has been done to our Constitution in the last six years than has been done in the previous two hundred.  This Imperial Administration is allowed to ignore an obvious electoral mandate, and just sideswipe Congress to enact monumental legislation.  And the nut-less wonders Boehner and McConnell got over on us again, as nothing as yet to be even suggested in opposition to Obama's actions.  Well, the GOP will have a nice surprise come 2016.  I'm not sure about the Presidential Election, but conservative and moderate independent voters will either split the primary or not vote.  The GOP rhinos have called the bluff of their own voters one too many times.    

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