I’m a Rambling Man

Posted on Sun 09/14/2014 by


TLeeHumphrey_AvatarIt’s been a hectic summer since I last wrote 2 articles about ISIS/L quickly moving into Iraq and the release of Bowe Bergdahl. I wrote those pieces during the first half of June. While the Bergdahl story has all but disappeared as we await the decision by military investigators on whether or not to court martial him the ISIS/L story has grown to a point that President Obama has had to make a prime time address to the nation about his decision to order a comprehensive and long term air campaign against the group in both Iraq and in Syria.

In June I wrote about his failed policy decision in 2010 and 2011 that led to the morphing of ISIS/L from a defeated entity in Iraq into a bi-country terrorist army occupying much of the Levant region so I won’t bore you with a rehash of my thoughts on how ISIS/L came into being but I thought I’d take a rambling look where we are now. I’ve decided to ramble in honor of President Obama’s rambling foreign policy.

The administration has frequently said it was surprised by ISIS/L and well, by most world events. The President himself has often been quoted as saying he’d heard about something on the news like the rest of us…I’m sure the CIA just loves it when he throws them under the bus. I actually believe he’s surprised that al-Qaeda and their affiliates, the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and now ISIS/L still exist and are still fighting against western and US interests. The reason I truly believe he’s still surprised goes back to his foreign policy ideology expressed during his first election which was in essence I’m not George W. Bush and as a guy who lived in a Muslim nation as a kid and has a Muslim father (who I never knew was left out when needed) I understand you, I get your pain and I will treat you differently. He clearly expressed his reset with the Muslim world during the Cairo speech on 04 June 2009. This was his first foray into telling the world how he was different.

He said “I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.  Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

What he was really saying was the other guy didn’t respect you as I will and this was the crux of it for him. Like the reset with Russia he was convinced that just not being George Bush was enough to motivate those who don’t just hate Americans or westerners in general but hate all non-believers and any Muslims who have ever supported or accepted the non-believers.

Perhaps he’ll someday discover that attending grade school in Indonesia and hearing the call to prayers and having a father of the Muslim faith that you never knew or working in Chicago neighborhoods that have American Muslims in them as a community organizer gives you little to no understanding of the broader faith than the rest of us and absolutely no additional insight into the extremists. Thus his belief that a speech would do the trick is not surprising. His campaign speeches and the failure of the US main stream media to question him seriously had worked wonders during the 08 election so why wouldn’t it work in 09 on the International stage where he was adored even more.

After Cairo President Obama, the man who would win a Nobel Peace Prize began the largest increase in drone attacks in US history on Pakistan and in Yemen. He ended the policy of capturing terrorists and sending them to Gito and publically stated that he would close the detention facility within a year. While the killing of bad guys is often good, the capturing of high value targets is even better as you can interrogate them and learn more about upcoming attacks, planned attacks, and how the organization has changed. That source of human intelligence was gone. Almost overnight the US went blind and worse high value targets like al-Baghdadi, the now Emir of ISIS/L were released from custody and went back to the battlefield.

In Cairo in 09 President Obama said the following about Iraq “Today, America has a dual responsibility:  to help Iraq forge a better future — and to leave Iraq to Iraqis.  And I have made it clear to the Iraqi people — (applause) — I have made it clear to the Iraqi people that we pursue no bases, and no claim on their territory or resources.  Iraq’s sovereignty is its own. And that’s why I ordered the removal of our combat brigades by next August.  That is why we will honor our agreement with Iraq’s democratically elected government to remove combat troops from Iraqi cities by July, and to remove all (my bold) of our troops from Iraq by 2012.  (Applause)  We will help Iraq train its security forces and develop its economy.  But we will support a secure and united Iraq as a partner, and never as a patron.”

He was clear in 2009 that he wasn’t interested in negotiating a new status of forces agreement to allow a residual force to remain after 2012. Recently when confronted by a reporter about the possibility that ISIS/L would not exist today had a residual force remained in Iraq he stated flatly that this was a false premise as Iraq would not agree to the US’s demands for immunity for all troops and contractors and therefore it was the Iraq government who refused to allow American troops to stay in Iraq. Administration spokespeople have been tying themselves into pretzels walking back statements made by the President, Vice-President and other senior officials on the record over a period of years bragging that it was their decision to end the war and bring the troops home. Now that it’s obvious that the decision to remove all US troops ended any leverage the US government had over al-Maliki as I made clear in the Rise and Fall of the Biden Obama Foreign Policy in June of this year has led directly to the rise and success of ISIS/L.

In Afghanistan he pulled a classic Obama, he agreed to surge the troops but demanded the generals reduce the requested number and then cut the minimum required number of troops to complete the assigned missions by 25% and announced an end date for the surge in order to placate his base.  Not enough troops and not enough time is a great way to tie your general’s hands behind their backs and then when they fail blame them.

Whether it’s playing verbal gymnastics by ending the Global War on Terror and calling it Overseas Contingency Operations, or calling Major Nadal’s terrorist attack at Fort Hood on his fellow soldiers a work place violence incident or pretending he didn’t call ISIS/L a junior varsity team, or arguing over the difference between a “stand down” order and a “wait” order or whether it’s pretending that al-Qaeda is on the run or decimated and then having to change that to core al-Qaeda when your own intelligence analysis’s demonstrate that AQ is larger today than it was before 9/11 and larger than it was when President Obama took office, the President and his administration has done everything possible to pretend that his philosophy or his ideology matches up with what’s happening in reality.

President Obama recently said that the world is a safer calmer place. This occurred while ISIS/L was on the march and before limited US airstrikes stemmed their advance through Iraq, while Israel and Hamas were in round 3 of their heavyweight battle, while Russia was occupying large chucks of the Ukraine, just after a civilian airliner was shot down at 36,000 feet by Russian supported Ukrainian separatists and while Boko Haram was holding some 200 young girls which only generated a twitter hashtag attack in response.

As Senator Obama, he once called the coalition of countries supporting the US in Iraq hollow and a coalition of the unwilling. That coalition was made up of some 37 countries that provided 26,000 combat troops or as the mainstream media likes to say “boots on the ground”. Today President Obama has signed up 8 NATO countries and Australia willing to put 0 combat troops on the ground. Some have committed Special Forces for training missions and France has agreed to drop bombs but none, zero, zip are willing to put their boots where their mouths are. He has also signed up 10 Arab countries to provide financial support, again not a single country has agreed to fly combat missions or deploy troops. The Saudi’s agreed to allow US military trainers to use two bases to whip the Free Syria Army into shape. Turkey, the only Muslim nation in NATO has refused to allow the US military to use its bases within Turkey to launch strikes against ISIS/L targets in either Iraq or Syria. Bush’s coalition was hollow, Obama calls his broad…you decide.

Some 34 days ago he called the idea of arming the Free Syria Army a fantasy countering a remark made by his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who wanted everybody to know that she, along with CIA director Petraeus and Secretary of Defense Panetta had been overruled by Obama 2 years earlier when they recommended moving forward with that plan. A month ago President Obama said they were just farmers, doctors and pharmacists unable to even be worthy of light weapons, now they are the A-Team.

In mid-2013 the President gave a speech in which he suggested the Congressionally issued Authorizations for the Use of Military Force issued in 2001 for Afghanistan and in 2002 for Iraq should be repealed and that if extended he would not sign them, just two days ago he said that the AUMF issued in 2001 against al-Qaeda and those who support AQ gave him the authority to attack ISIS/L in Iraq and Syria. Hard to believe that he’s legally going to use the 2001 AUMF that he wanted to get rid of to attack a group that didn’t exist when the AUMF was created or against a group that is not affiliated in any way with AQ having been kicked out of AQ very publically some 2 years ago. It’s also odd that the President feels that he can bomb a sovereign nation (Syria) with the approval of that nation and without a United Nations Security Council resolution. While ISIS/L may poise a regional threat and a longer-term threat to the US here is no imminent threat so as to claim self-defense. How does this Constitutional Law Professor square that circle?

The President mentioned that his current strategy would mimic his successful efforts in Yemen and Somalia. If Yemen and Somalia, two of the most unstable states on the planet are his bar for success than he should leave Iraq and Syria right now and claim success as both Syria and Iraq are as stable as either Yemen or Somalia.

The President also said that a successful agreement on a new coalition government in Iraq was critical in securing his willingness to expand the US military effort in Iraq…funny that, it was his administration in Jan 2011 that worked its magic that resulted in Nouri al-Maliki remaining Prime Minister after finishing second in parliamentary elections. Yes the US team led ably by Vice President Biden himself, cajoled, arm twisted, threatened and bribed for two months and in March 2011 announced a new stable representative coalition government led by the man, the legend, al-Maliki. Biden was singing his praises as a leader who had led Iraq during its dark days and that had led the final assaults on the Shia Mahdi Army in 2008 personally, thus proving his non-sectarian chops were real. He may be a Shia but he had no problem commanding an attack on an extremist Shia militia said Joe.

After the US walked away and left him holding the bag he knew that he (al-Maliki) was only able to be non-sectarian when he had the US army on call so he quickly rediscovered his Shia roots and turned to Iran for support. They had a few favors attached to their support including the dismantling of the Sons of Iraq program which left 20,000 armed Sunni’s unemployed and 20,000 more facing a 40% pay cut…wonder where ISIS/L got all its support and men from. He also imprisoned or fired most Sunni military commanders from Brigade level on up…ever wonder why the US trained Iraqi army collapsed so quickly…that happens when all those US trained non-sectarian battle hardened commanders are replaced with political appointees of the Shia sect and then assigned to places like Mosul which are Sunni majority areas. The minute ISIS/L showed up the Shia units and commanders couldn’t run fast enough for the safety of Baghdad leaving behind every piece of shiny military hardware the US ever gave them. I’m told the road from Mosul to Baghdad looked like the retreat from Moscow.

Now that a new government has been appointed things will be different…don’t fret that the new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadiis is from the same party as al-Maliki and is a Shia or that he appointed al-Maliki as the First Vice President…what you say, al-Maliki isn’t in jail or living in excel in Iran or Qatar…no he’s the 1st Veep but that doesn’t matter President Obama said the Iraq government needed to clean up its act and now he can pretend they did because the MSM doesn’t ask to many hard questions about the shuffling of the deck or the parliamentary vote that was held before the Kurds had a chance to say yes or no on the who would be in the cabinet representing them, you know the only guys who stood and fought.

As my final ramble I’m going tactical…back to my roots as the guy in the mud trained to guide those smart bombs dropped by the really well paid air force guys in the planes. In Kosovo US President Clinton, UK’s Prime Minister Blair and Canada’s Prime Minister Chretien put together a 3 nation coalition that defied the UN and bombed the Serbs for 80 days. They (the Serbs) didn’t bend until 50,000 NATO ground forces were massed on the Macedonia border. With British Army Gurkhas in the lead, just as they were about to cross the start line the Serbs said no mas (honestly having worked closely with Gurkhas over the past decade I would have too) and began an unconditional withdrawal out of the province of Kosovo never to return, but then again those western boots on the ground in Kosovo haven’t left either. Earlier when the US bombed the heck out of the Serbs in Bosnia the result was the same, until Clinton agreed to put tens of thousands of combat troops on the ground the Serbs refused to agree to end the fighting in Bosnia and guess what those troops are still in Bosnia 16 years and 3 President’s later. During the first Gulf War the air campaign lasted some 36 days with no talk of Iraqi surrender even with some 150,000 coalition troops in 1500 tanks sitting on the Kuwait/Saudi border…100 hours after starting the ground campaign the Iraqi’s surrendered. The Second Gulf War known as Operation Iraqi Freedom saw a similar outcome although it took 45 days to occupy the entire country. The point is that air power never works by itself, second, smart bombs are only smart when guided and if they aren’t being guided by guys on the ground they tend to go astray and kill innocent people. Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan proved that you can defeat a superior force (the Taliban supported by al-Qaeda) and drive them from power by using a combination of air power mixed a small number (roughly 600) of special forces coupled with an indigenous force but without coalition troops on the ground to bring intelligence, communications and close air support coordination to the table you won’t be successful.

President Obama is a hypocrite who has been forced to do something because of the horrible deaths of two Americans while he has ignored the plight of thousands of Syrians and Iraqi’s for years. His world view has been proven to be ignorant and foolhardy and his solution as proposed is hollow and is militarily unobtainable. He has dithered, lied, and has been more flexible than Gumby when it comes to foreign affairs since being elected so it comes as absolutely no surprise that Democrats who were for http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d4/George-W-Bush.jpeg/181px-George-W-Bush.jpegthe Iraq war and then against it are now for it again and it also comes as no surprise that the MSM are providing top cover and any suggestion by Republicans that some boots will be needed on the ground is met with administration talking points that contend that such a suggestion means that they are demanding a US military occupation of Iraq or a repeat of the failure of the Bush Iraq war strategy of a full scale invasion.  This President has blamed every calamity that he has failed to correct on President Bush and continues to do so with the media as his wing man and will continue to do so long after he leaves office a hero, regardless of how many more Syrians and Iraqi’s have died while the next President tries to solve the problem.

Nero Fiddled-Obama Golfed_RWA_d2a6c72a-5249-431f-a3b4-340120f101d7Truth - keep spreading it!_42692b13-fc79-43d0-ae55-58b9fff8ff71








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