Quotes of the day

posted at 8:01 pm on June 15, 2014 by Allahpundit

A Shiite militia seized control of an Iraqi town Saturday, blunting the advance toward Baghdad of radical Sunni fighters in a sign that the widespread mobilization of paramilitary forces may be starting to have an impact…

In the town of Muqdadiyah in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, residents said that the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia had made the difference and that fighters with that Iranian-backed paramilitary movement were in control…

The Sunni and Shiite groups are now facing each other on the northern outskirts of the town, he said, marking a new front line in what is fast becoming a Sunni-Shiite war.

Both sides in the conflict claimed Saturday to have inflicted large numbers of casualties.

***

With just a few thousand fighters, the group’s lightning sweep into Mosul and farther south appeared to catch many Iraqi and American officials by surprise. But the gains were actually the realization of a yearslong strategy of state-building that the group itself promoted publicly…

Though the group got its start battling the Americans in Iraq, its success after the occupation ended was largely missed — or played down — by American officials. In the middle of 2012, as the group strengthened and United Nations data showed civilian casualties in Iraq on the rise, Antony J. Blinken, the national security adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., wrote that violence in Iraq was “at historic lows.”…

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who argued in favor of arming Syrian rebels, said last week at an event in New York hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, “this is not just a Syrian problem anymore. I never thought it was just a Syrian problem. I thought it was a regional problem. I could not have predicted, however, the extent to which ISIS could be effective in seizing cities in Iraq and trying to erase boundaries to create an Islamic state.”…

The group’s rise is directly connected to the American legacy in Iraq. The American prisons were fertile recruiting grounds for jihadist leaders, and virtual universities, where leaders would indoctrinate their recruits with hard-line ideologies.

***

Iraqi-Americans staged a protest asking the United States to return to Iraq and keep their government from collapsing

Those gathered warned that if American’s don’t return, Iraq will fall to a group even worse than Al-Qaeda.

“This group is bloody, this group is tremendously violent, and this will signal an era that is not good, it will signal the dark days in Iraq,” said Ishak.

***

Sen. Rand Paul on Saturday signaled openness to air strikes in Iraq even as he stressed his reluctance to entangle Americans too deeply in an Iraqi fight…

“I think we aided the Iraqi government for a long time, I’m not opposed to continuing to help them with arms,” said Paul, a libertarian-leaning lawmaker.

“I would not rule out air strikes. But I would say, after 10 years, it is appalling to me that they are stripping their uniforms off and running. And it concerns me that we would have to do their fighting for them because they won’t fight for their own country, their own cities.”

***

Iraq War veterans in Michigan and across the country are watching with dismay, bitterness and even sadness as the same insurgency they fought against took control of two major cities — Mosul and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit — last week…

“We spent a lot of time and effort to secure that region of the world and to have it kind of just fall apart,” said Christopher Kolomjec, an attorney from Grosse Pointe Farms, who was a Marine major during heavy fighting in Fallujah in 2006 and 2007.

“You can’t help but be extremely disappointed and frustrated that the sacrifice we made might be in vain. For every veteran who has been to Iraq, it is a constant battle to not become bitter.”…

“The one thing we can’t do is nothing,” he said. “You can’t just turn your back on them.”

***

Most of Obama’s detractors engage in what I call “woulda/coulda/shoulda” criticism. That is to say, if the President had only invested more time and effort in negotiating a status of forces agreement with the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, left a residual presence there, enforced his chemical weapons red line in Syria and backed the moderate opposition there, we wouldn’t be seeing the ISIS jihadi rampage playing out in both countries.

But given the limited amount of intervention this administration, Congress, and the public would support, even under the best of circumstances, the U.S. could not have stopped the dynamic that is occurring…

As for Iraq, the al-Maliki government’s insistence on maintaining Shia dominance and privilege, and repressing Sunnis, created the perfect ferment for ISIS’s spread. No amount of U.S. military power summoned by any administration could have compensated for this kind of bad sectarian governance. That and the weak institutions of the Iraqi state have allowed ISIS to thrive.

No matter how much progress the U.S. made in Iraq between 2003 and 2011, the dysfunction that now shapes Iraq’s future was driven by factors set into motion by the very act of the invasion, Iraq’s nature and its location. And those same factors limit now what the U.S. can do; they should make Washington wary of getting sucked back in.

***

Iraq is very probably going to divide into three. This is not a good thing, but the window of opportunity for avoiding it may have closed. Yes, to Obama’s shame, he lifted scarcely a finger to keep it from closing. But that is irrelevant to discerning the policy-choices before us. Neither the Sunnis nor the Shia seem able to trust the other to hold the government, a trans-sectarian nationalist civil society identity simply has not emerged in strength (neither has a trans-sectarian party), and most Kurds are merely waiting for the best chance to leave (which I think has to be now). That is, the real question is not whether partition happens, but how. Does it as India’s did, with sectarian violence that kills nearly a million? Does it leave one the Sunni portion governed by ISIL, which will enslave its population, gobble up most of Syria, and carry war into Jordan, Lebanon, Manhattan, etc.? Or does it happen more on our terms, with the most reasonable Sunni militias and strongmen relying upon us for support? With, perhaps, a government admitted by all three sides to be one intended to transition them to partition? If ISIL has to fight against Sunni groups, against the Kurds, against the Shia, and against our help, it has no chance. But if by dumb policy we make the choice for the Sunnis (and the Kurds) to be one of living with ISIL or living under Maliki-ism, its prospects grow immensely…

So a bloody war of partition, which some will call a civil war, is quite possible. If that happens, U.S. policy should be to do what it can to keep the leadership of the Sunni side out of Islamist hands, to encourage the continuance of certain parliamentary democracy and at-least-rhetorical independence from Iran by the Shia side, and everything it can short of NATO-admission to guarantee the security of the Kurds, our natural allies and friends. Behind the scenes, we can hold out the carrot of aid to both sides, and threaten to withhold it or switch if they start slaughtering Christians or other minority groups.

***

Obama’s recent miscues are of little relevance to today’s mess. Yes, he was wrong not to arm moderate Syrian rebels earlier in their struggle against the Assad regime. It was worth a try, as he now realizes. And it’s true that the ISIS filled a power vacuum created by the war inside Syria. But Syrian moderates are fighting Assad, not the ISIS. And even if moderates had taken power from Assad with American help—a huge if—they would hardly have been able to discourage the ISIS from crossing the border into Iraq. Were they to somehow have such influence over the ISIS, it would by definition mean that many of these so-called “moderates” are actually like-minded Sunni extremists, just as Obama has feared.

It’s not even clear the situation would be much different if U.S. forces hadn’t left Iraq, under terms negotiated by President Bush, in 2011. There was only so much multi-billion dollar chewing gum and baling wire that could be applied to a country that fundamentally doesn’t want to be a country. Contrary to neocon analysis, our refusal to be drawn in again doesn’t auger a post-Iraq era where we won’t ever use force around the world—a new Vietnam Syndrome in which a generation of liberal Democrats sour on all assertions of American military power.

The U.S. is simply getting more prudent about intervention. In their studies of 19th century imperialism, the British historians Ronald Robinson and John Gallagher found that when the “client state” (South Vietnam or Iraq in our time) threatens to collapse, the major power feels forced to intervene. This allows the weaker power to call the tune in the relationship. After all we’ve been through in Iraq, Obama is rightly insistent that we reverse that dynamic. He wants the Maliki government in Baghdad to get its act together on genuine power-sharing before commencing U.S. military action. It’s the only leverage we have…

The president thought his legacy would include withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq. By the time this plays out, he’s more likely to be remembered for inserting U.S. diplomats into Iraq, where they’ll revise Gertrude Bell and draw a new map of the region. It’s hard to imagine now, but that may come to represent the strong presidential leadership we all still crave.

***

Barack Obama had a legacy earlier than any other American president. He was the first black president before he was even inaugurated. Very shortly after that, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. From the start, he was supposed to go down in history as “the Peace President”. This has all turned into a tremendous disadvantage…

Mr Obama is not a pacifist. He sees the utility of force in individual tricky situations. It would not be at all surprising if he uses a bit of it soon, in drone or aerial form, in Iraq. What he does not see is its strategic value. He does not grasp, apparently, that the Pax Americana, under whose protection we have lived since 1945, has existed because it has always been backed by the credible threat of force. Weakness is provocative to bad actors, and some of the world’s worst have now been provoked. This seems to have come as an almost complete surprise to the Obama White House. The Peace President is starting to leave a legacy of war

All my life, many people, by no means all of them on the Left, have complained about the extent of American power. They have seen it as bungling, bullying, crude, even oppressive. Sometimes, particularly in regard to the Middle East, they have been right. Europhiles have sought to counter American power by building up the EU’s strength. Nationalists have sought to expel it and be “ourselves alone”. But they have said these things and made these gestures in the knowledge that US power has been real. Will they be pleased if what they thought they wished for is actually happening? It feels as if the world is in for a more dangerous time than any since the Carter/Brezhnev era of the late Seventies – or worse, because more unpredictable.

***

[T]he revolution was never going to be straightforward. This is the true lesson of Iraq. But it is also the lesson from the whole of the so-called Arab Spring. The fact is that as a result of the way these societies have developed and because Islamism of various descriptions became the focal point of opposition to oppression, the removal of the dictatorship is only the beginning not the end of the challenge. Once the regime changes, then out come pouring all the tensions – tribal, ethnic and of course above all religious; and the rebuilding of the country, with functioning institutions and systems of Government, becomes incredibly hard. The extremism de-stabilises the country, hinders the attempts at development, the sectarian divisions become even more acute and the result is the mess we see all over the region. And beyond it. Look at Pakistan or Afghanistan and the same elements are present…

However more than that, in this struggle will be decided many things: the fate of individual countries, the future of the Middle East, and the direction of the relationship between politics and the religion of Islam. This last point will affect us in a large number of ways. It will affect the radicalism within our own societies which now have significant Muslim populations. And it will affect how Islam develops across the world. If the extremism is defeated in the Middle East it will eventually be defeated the world over, because this region is its spiritual home and from this region has been spread the extremist message.

There is no sensible policy for the West based on indifference. This is, in part, our struggle, whether we like it or not.

***

***


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 9 10 11

What is your goal bluegill? What do you hope to achieve? You must be saying these things about the bloggers because of a reason other than it’s my opinion?

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 2:55 AM

Those are good questions. My goal is to influence the site. To let it be known that people preferred the direction and ideology of the site when Malkin was running things. I want it to be clear that amnesty is an important issue to many people. A position as blogger or editor at this site would give someone a big megaphone to talk about the issue, and the fact that we get people who don’t do that, and often instead don’t do a quality job in general, irritates me. I believe it is a missed opportunity and that others could affect so much positive change if they were in the place of these other people.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:02 AM

kcewa,

I’ve got us winning it in 2022.

Christien on June 16, 2014 at 2:55 AM

We may be playing at home in 2022.

kcewa on June 16, 2014 at 3:03 AM

Since you don’t care what I think

Because I pointed out that you act like you’re God, you drew this conclusion? lol

You can’t take criticism. You think you’re something extra-special. You are too sensitive for me. And not just me-the overwhelming majority of HA, too. =)

it shouldn’t bother you at all that I can clearly see your double standard and weakness in being unwilling to call out utterly inappropriate, vulgar behavior.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 2:58 AM

You don’t know how to separate your opinions and observations from facts. You bore me the same way cr does. I can’t take you seriously, either.

non-nonpartisan on June 16, 2014 at 3:04 AM

KoolAid1 start little arguments when none existed.

blueballs on June 16, 2014 at 2:12 AM

…there ^ you go again meth-head!…’bring up’ my little arguments (like Hornet Sting did for you)…so that I can remember the things I say… that you interpret wrong…or ‘misread’!

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 2:23 AM

…here honey!…since your phone must be jammed!…I still need for you to give me examples “of little arguments I start when none existed”!……….do you need a little more time?

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:07 AM

If someone sees the criticism once they let it slide. When it starts taking over their threads they start thinking you are losing it. It is a natural thing for them to feel. You need to control your impulses to post those comments. If you don’t it will consume you.
coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 2:55 AM

And the intended or assumed audience of my comments is not just comprised of the bloggers and the other commenters. It is everyone reading. As for taking over threads, that is never any kind of goal. Sometimes people will take turns taking shots at me after I have been critical of an article, and that is what takes space. Anyway, it’s hardly unusual here for commenters to be critical of the bloggers.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:08 AM

…Sue!…what does he say?

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 2:53 AM

Koolaid is vile, rude and a bully. I can agree that bluegill is obsessive. but you are vicious. You were probably not that popular in a real high and you are using hotair to boost your ego. You have found your clan and you will do anything to belong. Even trample over others for their entertainment. I’ve got your number.

You think bluegill is weak and you are right. The constant need to get approval and prove his conservativeness is being used against him/her. Hotair is not your cafeteria table. It is the pink ladies and you are not Betty rizzo.

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 3:09 AM

You don’t know how to separate your opinions and observations from facts. You bore me the same way cr does. I can’t take you seriously, either.

non-nonpartisan on June 16, 2014 at 3:04 AM

Grand, do I really bore you? I will try harder to be more entertaining. :-)

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 3:11 AM

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 3:09 AM

…have your number too troll! Vicious huh?

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:12 AM

…have your number too troll! Vicious huh?

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:12 AM

Yeah! Vicious.

I am glad we have each other’s number. Call me anytime. Unlike bluegill, I never bring a knife to a gun fight. I bring freaking grenades.

But I forgot. You called for a trollcot. Oh well.

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 3:15 AM

OH yes. At work I never broached the subject…well, I can’t say never. In the smoke room we had a fabulous blowout with a real dumbazz that was actually defending socialism and communism thinking there was no difference, and the problems with it were all the fault of the west.
That woman didn’t last long at all. Gone a couple weeks after that business.
Diluculo on June 16, 2014 at 2:58 AM

In the past I worked with people who, over their desk, would put up anti-bush calendars. It was so inappropriate. But I never said anything. It wasn’t a problem for them, since most people agreed. But if I had put up a pro-Bush calendar, you better believe people would be whispering.

In college discussion sections I would argue with people, though. I wonder why I didn’t worry about it affecting my grades. I probably should have. The thing that I noticed, too, was that many liberals were surprised that they would be challenged on something, or that someone would actually disagree. I remember a class I took on “race and the criminal justice system” (must have fulfilled some requirement), and I really disagreed with a lot of it.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:17 AM

You were probably not that popular in a real high and you are using hotair to boost your ego….

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 3:09 AM

…are you real high?

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:17 AM

I never bring a knife to a gun fight. I bring freaking grenades.

But I forgot. You called for a trollcot. Oh well.

coldpubichair on June 16, 2014 at 3:15 AM

…you already pulled your pin…go ahead and throw it!

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:21 AM

You don’t know how to separate your opinions and observations from facts. You bore me the same way cr does. I can’t take you seriously, either.
non-nonpartisan on June 16, 2014 at 3:04 AM

Well, the same thing was done to petunia and Anneinca and many others. That is one thing I don’t like. And the same thing was being done to Coolrepublica, who I know doesn’t need anyone sticking up for her. It’s just the ganging up on people that I don’t like. That’s also why I said something about how the usual suspects were dumping on Lourdes and some others.

It’s okay if people don’t like me here or if I annoy them, but my purpose is more to get my point across and my opinion heard than to be liked here. I will criticize others, but I’m not out to make people feel bad.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:28 AM

I will criticize others, but I’m not out to make people feel bad.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:28 AM

…I know honey!…you just like to lie…and not back up what you say…and not take criticism well…and everybody else is a vulgar bully and viscious…I know…I know!
…Feel better now?
.
.
.

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:34 AM

You can’t take criticism. You think you’re something extra-special. You are too sensitive for me. And not just me-the overwhelming majority of HA, too. =)
non-nonpartisan on June 16, 2014 at 3:04 AM

Whether I can or cannot take criticism, I certainly get a lot of experience receiving it while on here.

As for the repeated statements of opinion or criticisms that I post, I certainly get why it is annoying to regular commenters. Sorry about that, but you can just skip over my comments when you see my name. However, I am not doing it for the benefit of a small group, but for everyone else reading. It’s like a few years ago during the primaries, I wanted to make it darn clear that Romney had strong supporters. When I got my account here, I told myself that I would put it to use.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:38 AM

I never bring a knife to a gun fight. I bring freaking grenades.

coldpubichair on June 16, 2014 at 3:15 AM

…you already pulled your pin…go ahead and throw it!

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:21 AM

…must be time to go. Someone fell on their grenade?

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:40 AM

Koolaid is vile, rude and a bully. I can agree that bluegill is obsessive. but you are vicious. You were probably not that popular in a real high and you are using hotair to boost your ego. You have found your clan and you will do anything to belong. Even trample over others for their entertainment. I’ve got your number.

You think bluegill is weak and you are right. The constant need to get approval and prove his conservativeness is being used against him/her. Hotair is not your cafeteria table. It is the pink ladies and you are not Betty rizzo.

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 3:09 AM

Do you bring this silly kind of drama for entertainment purposes, or do you really mean it? If you mean it, move on, grow up, and graduate from high school already. Most of us here did decades ago.

Well, the same thing was done to petunia and Anneinca and many others. That is one thing I don’t like. And the same thing was being done to Coolrepublica, who I know doesn’t need anyone sticking up for her. It’s just the ganging up on people that I don’t like. That’s also why I said something about how the usual suspects were dumping on Lourdes and some others.

It’s okay if people don’t like me here or if I annoy them, but my purpose is more to get my point across and my opinion heard than to be liked here. I will criticize others, but I’m not out to make people feel bad.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:28 AM

You don’t understand why certain people like you are so disliked. You think it’s one thing, yet you’ll be told by those who dislike you that it’s another. Then you’ll insult them for not agreeing with you while you fail to understand how the dynamic works lmao

You’re high maintenance-who would prefer to deal with people like you when so many others around are easy to deal with?

non-nonpartisan on June 16, 2014 at 3:43 AM

KoolAid1 start little arguments when none existed.

blueballs on June 16, 2014 at 2:12 AM

…there ^ you go again meth-head!…’bring up’ my little arguments (like Hornet Sting did for you)…so that I can remember the things I say… that you interpret wrong…or ‘misread’!

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 2:23 AM

…here honey!…since your phone must be jammed!…I still need for you to give me examples “of little arguments I start when none existed”!……….do you need a little more time?

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:07 AM

…night!

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:44 AM

…must be time to go. Someone fell on their grenade?
KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:40 AM

Looks like it’s you and me left all alone here now. What do you feel like doing?

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:45 AM

(:->)

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:49 AM

Whether I can or cannot take criticism, I certainly get a lot of experience receiving it while on here.

As for the repeated statements of opinion or criticisms that I post, I certainly get why it is annoying to regular commenters. Sorry about that, but you can just skip over my comments when you see my name. However, I am not doing it for the benefit of a small group, but for everyone else reading. It’s like a few years ago during the primaries, I wanted to make it darn clear that Romney had strong supporters. When I got my account here, I told myself that I would put it to use.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:38 AM

“Whether I can or cannot take criticism”? Like it’s somehow not relevant here that you can’t take it? lmao

You may not be a blithering idiot, but you sound and act like one. You are clueless and self-absorbed to the point that it’s fair to call you stupid. And now I believe I’ve given you as much of my attention as you’ve deserved. =)

non-nonpartisan on June 16, 2014 at 3:51 AM

You’re high maintenance-who would prefer to deal with people like you when so many others around are easy to deal with?
non-nonpartisan on June 16, 2014 at 3:43 AM

Here’s the thing: the whole point of getting an account was to blast out my opinions. I read this site since day 1, and I always wanted to be able to say what I thought here. I never really wanted to chat or become welcomed or make friends. I just didn’t see commenting in that way. Well, here I am chatting.

Anyway, like I said, the point is to get my opinion out there. In order to make sure you are heard, you often have to repeat yourself or express yourself in a very strident way. It’s not a way to “win hearts and minds,” but you will be heard. It’s no mystery at all why people are annoyed by some of the things I say, but the overblown reaction to it seems a little bit odd. On here, who I am as a person to people is unimportant, but what I say or my opinions are what really count to me.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:52 AM

non-nonpartisan on June 16, 2014 at 3:51 AM

I think we just approach the commenting in different ways. I will play along and pantomime sometimes, but the goal is only to get heard. If someone hears my opinion and considers it, even if they disagree and think I am out of my mind, then I still consider it a success.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:57 AM

Iraq violence
52s

NATO’s Rasmussen calls for the immediate release of Turkish diplomatic and security staff held by insurgents in Iraq’s Mosul – @Reuters
========

Iraq violence
4m

US Embassy in Baghdad: ‘Some additional US government security personnel will be added to the staff in Baghdad; other staff will be temporarily relocated’ – @USEmbBaghdad
Read more on usembassy.gov
===========================

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Announcement of Relocation of U.S. Embassy Staff
June 16, 2014

As a result of ongoing instability and violence in certain areas of Iraq, Embassy Baghdad is reviewing its staffing requirements in consultation with the State Department. Some additional U.S. government security personnel will be added to the staff in Baghdad; other staff will be temporarily relocated – both to our Consulate Generals in Basrah and Erbil and to the Iraq Support Unit in Amman. Overall, a substantial majority of the U.S. Embassy presence in Iraq will remain in place and the Embassy will be fully equipped to carry out its national security mission.

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Iraq because of current safety and security concerns. U.S. citizens concerned for their safety should make plans to depart by commercial means. U.S. citizens will be responsible for arranging their own travel out of Iraq. International Airports in Baghdad, Erbil, and Basrah are open and commercial flights are operating. Travelers should check with their airlines prior to traveling to verify the flight schedule.

We advise U.S. citizens in Iraq to exercise caution and limit travel to Anbar, Ninawah, Salah ad-Din, Diyala and Kirkuk provinces; make their own contingency emergency plans; and maintain security awareness at all times. We also encourage all U.S. citizens in Iraq to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at http://step.state.gov in order to receive the latest updates from the Department.

U.S. citizens living and working in Iraq should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks. Those who remain should prepare to depart at short notice. This includes ensuring that travel documents for all family members are available and up to date. U.S. citizens with valid passports and foreign dependents with valid passports or visas should not/not contact the Embassy for travel arrangements. Rather, they should make their own arrangements directly with transportation companies or travel agents.

The ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide consular services to U.S. citizens throughout Iraq, including Baghdad, is particularly limited given the security environment. U.S. citizens should be aware that the Embassy does not offer “protection” services to individuals who feel unsafe. Due to disruptions caused by the current environment, consular services, including American Citizen Services, could experience unusual delays. Routine visa services will be curtailed. Changes to appointment schedules or the inability of the public to reach the Embassy may occur on very short notice and the Consular Section’s capacity to respond to inquiries will be impacted. We regret the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we strive to provide efficient service while prioritizing your safety.

The U.S. Consulates General in Erbil and Basrah remain operational at normal staffing levels. U.S. citizens in need of American Citizen Services in Erbil must make an appointment with the Consulate on-line, either through the Embassy’s website or the website for the Consulate in Erbil. The Embassy’s website includes consular information and the most recent messages to U.S. citizens in Iraq. U.S. citizens in Iraq who need emergency assistance should call 0770-443-1286 or 0770-030-4888. The U.S. Consulates in Basrah and Kirkuk cannot provide routine services such as passport applications, extra visa pages, and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.

U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad or U.S. Consulate General Erbil. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

http://iraq.usembassy.gov/em-06162014.html

canopfor on June 16, 2014 at 4:40 AM

https://twitter.com/AP

The Associated Press @AP · 54m

MORE: Sunni militants capture Iraqi town of Tal Afar just before dawn: http://apne.ws/1jttY6J

The Associated Press @AP · 2h

BREAKING: Residents and mayor say Sunni militants have captured northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar.

canopfor on June 16, 2014 at 4:49 AM

The sky is getting light in the east, the little birds are crowing..

God help the people in Iraq.

God damn islam.

davidk on June 16, 2014 at 4:58 AM

By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

http://iraq.usembassy.gov/em-06162014.html

canopfor on June 16, 2014 at 4:40 AM

In case of an emergency?

davidk on June 16, 2014 at 5:00 AM

non-nonpartisan on June 16, 2014 at 3:51 AM

I think we just approach the commenting in different ways. I will play along and pantomime sometimes, but the goal is only to get heard. If someone hears my opinion and considers it, even if they disagree and think I am out of my mind, then I still consider it a success.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:57 AM

We are so blessed.

davidk on June 16, 2014 at 5:03 AM

I never bring a knife to a gun fight. I bring freaking grenades.

coldpubichair on June 16, 2014 at 3:15 AM

…you already pulled your pin…go ahead and throw it!

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:21 AM

…must be time to go. Someone fell on their grenade?

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2014 at 3:40 AM

It is hard to type when you have a live grenade in one hand and its pin in the other.

davidk on June 16, 2014 at 5:08 AM

http://iraq.usembassy.gov/em-06162014.html

canopfor on June 16, 2014 at 4:40 AM

And tattoo your SS number on your arm.

crankyoldlady on June 16, 2014 at 5:43 AM

Those are good questions. My goal is to influence the site. To let it be known that people preferred the direction and ideology of the site when Malkin was running things. I want it to be clear that amnesty is an important issue to many people. A position as blogger or editor at this site would give someone a big megaphone to talk about the issue, and the fact that we get people who don’t do that, and often instead don’t do a quality job in general, irritates me. I believe it is a missed opportunity and that others could affect so much positive change if they were in the place of these other people.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:02 AM

gill, I can remember when you were a lib talking head. Everybody was down on you because of your spouting of liberal talking points.

Then your POV began to shift to the right, and some have you a hard time. I defended you from those giving you grief during that metamorphisis and commended you for your change of ideology.

But the pendulum has swung and now you are bustin’ people for not being conservative enough. You make the accusation that the bloggers are defiling the legacy of Malkin.

Malkin does not own the place, and sentimentality is poor currency in the debates that affect people’s lifestyles and, indeed, their very lives. Malkin got paid handsomely for the rights to Hot Air.

For me to be upset that someone is not treating “my” car right after I sold it to them is silly. Even more silly is for someone else to be upset that the new owner is mistreating “davidk’s” car.

Yes, for some reason certain commenters have made it a point to come after you. But just like trolls, they can be ignored. Simply don’t engage them. There are a couple-three-four commenters (whom I don’t consider trolls) that I avoid because of past frictions.

Anywhere people are grouped socially or professionally, personalities will clash. Not because one is right and the other wrong. It’s just life.

You say you just want to get your POV out there. Great. That’s what this blog is about. What it is not about is me, or you, or INC, or canopfor, or Bishop, or schadenfreude, or any one of the hundreds of commenters. We all bring a piece of the puzzle to the debate.

So, unless you just enjoy the mudslinging (which is fine, I’ve enjoyed a flame war now and then [if I may mix my metaphors]; what’s a ballgame with out a good rhubarb? [another mixed metaphor]), quit defending yourself. Let your POV speak for itself. If someone attacks your POV, be ready to defend it. If someone attacks you personally, rise above it.

davidk on June 16, 2014 at 5:46 AM

Good morning everyone. Some hot weather coming up. I think I might start cleaning out the shed. I’ll have to find some things to sell.

crankyoldlady on June 16, 2014 at 5:50 AM

davidk on June 16, 2014 at 5:46 AM

What a sensible fellow you are, David. I usually skip over “conversations” where people are just calling each other names.

crankyoldlady on June 16, 2014 at 5:54 AM

Good morning HA.
What will obama pivot to today?

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Good morning HA.
What will obama pivot to today?

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Shudder

esr1951 on June 16, 2014 at 6:06 AM

Politico is a good lapdog this am…puff piece on Obama and having to deal with all the issues inherited from bush. …poor baby don’t blame him for all of the woes in the world six years in and they still want to blame W…..puhleeze

Leading from behind has been a failure
-joe

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 6:13 AM

donnie doesn’t want this to be political. both sides are to blame.

yeah riiiiiiight. anything to save obama’s bacon

renalin on June 16, 2014 at 6:15 AM

Hotair is not your cafeteria table. It is the pink ladies and you are not Betty rizzo.

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 3:09 AM

Kids, never drink and blog.

(Coo-Coo for CocoaPuffs)

hawkdriver on June 16, 2014 at 6:17 AM

you know obamas not doingg well when they devote a big old slot to the passing of casey kasem.

oh……paul bremer is coming up on the 7 o’clock hour.

no wonder.

renalin on June 16, 2014 at 6:25 AM

What is one of the great lessons that Iraq taught us?

To drive out an insurgency or terrorists you stand up local militias that are rooted in local society and accountable to their friends and families. That helps to cement local society and make it resistant to and actually fight back against such oppressive gangs that are there for their own reasons.

This is now happening in Mexico where local civil society has decided to ignore the ‘rule of law’ put forward by the corrupt government and actually arm up against criminals who have decided that they are better at being warlords and corrupting government and prefer a cowed population to a civil society.

When we sought to demobilize the local militias in Iraq to ‘stand up the government and its military’ we did a disservice to the Iraqi people. Now without the solidarity of local militias and the failure of a central government to actually govern fairly and equally, a few thousand terrorists step in to assert their will to kill to power over a population that is no longer supported in self-defense by its own government.

This is what you get when you lose the will and ability to organize locally for your own self-defense. The chaos comes from OUTSIDE not INSIDE and civil arms are the best defense against man gone savage against his fellow man. We taught the wrong lesson that militias are only an emergency need, not a permanent fixture, and that is because we have been in the bosom of civilized life for so long that we think it is the NORM and not the EXCEPTION to the history of mankind. Our preconceptions are proven wrong, yet again, and if the Iraqi people suffer it is because we are unwilling to learn the simple, basic necessities of being civilized.

No surer path to barbarism is ever created than by thinking being civilized is the normal state of mankind: it isn’t.

ajacksonian on June 16, 2014 at 6:29 AM

Renalin……damage control

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Good, Jacksonian. I’m still waiting for the states to secure the border since the feds won’t.

crankyoldlady on June 16, 2014 at 6:33 AM

Mika actually reporting on the missing Lerner emails

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! And, Trolls.

Today, old adversaries are at peace, and emerging democracies are potential partners. New markets for our goods stretch from Asia to the Americas. A new push for peace in the Middle East will begin here tomorrow.

- President Barack Hussein Obama, 8/31/2010

My take: Obama to Iraq: Here’s the Book. Here’s the Phone. See You Later. It’s Tee Time!

kingsjester on June 16, 2014 at 7:25 AM

MJ panel going hard against Bremer. ..I thought he held up well….

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Great take KJ

Winning!

Don’t blame me in chief

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 7:38 AM

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 7:38 AM

no mention of obam’s golf outing so far.

i won’t hold my breath.

renalin on June 16, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Renalin crickets indeed

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 7:55 AM

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Thank you, ma’am.

The schmuck’s own words convict him.

kingsjester on June 16, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Yepper KJ

cmsinaz on June 16, 2014 at 8:05 AM

I think you misread my comments. I’m the one who said that the terrorists likely wouldn’t play by any rules.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 12:45 AM

Do you ever accept responsibility, for anything?

cozmo on June 16, 2014 at 8:37 AM

non-nonpartisan on June 16, 2014 at 2:20 AM

If a liberal or someone you didn’t agree with behaved the way the Cozmo does on here, what would you say?

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 2:27 AM

NNP is neither an idiot, nor a troll.

You sweetie, are both.

So much for trying to be nice to the idiot troll.

cozmo on June 16, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Dayam, the presence of two trolls doubled the length of this QOTD.

That is the reason trolls get more leeway.

cozmo on June 16, 2014 at 9:00 AM

cozmo on June 16, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Not any more.

thatsafactjack on June 16, 2014 at 9:35 AM

If that happens, U.S. policy should be to do what it can to keep the leadership of the Sunni side out of Islamist hands, to encourage the continuance of certain parliamentary democracy and at-least-rhetorical independence from Iran by the Shia side,

Just precisely why do we care about “rhetorical independence”?

RINO in Name Only on June 16, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Good site for U.S. House/Senators’ voting records, 2014 Elections/Dates and Issues.

http://votesmart.org/elections

May be a good time to call House members on our choice of Majority Leader. As far as I know the Special Election is this Thursday,June 19th.

bluefox on June 16, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Goodness gracious, so much highlight reel material on one thread. I’ll update your blog Susan by end of day hopefully.

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Even her slobber swapping troll was a little taken aback by the level of stupidity she was showing.

Her rant was almost lourdes worthy.

cozmo on June 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Monday’s Obama Schedule
10:00 am PT || Departs Palm Springs
5:30 pm ET || Arrives White House

Must be nice…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Marines are on the move, USS Mesa Verde was ordered into the Persian Gulf with her Ospreys

PJ Emeritus on June 16, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Dayam, the presence of two trolls doubled the length of this QOTD.

That is the reason trolls get more leeway.

cozmo on June 16, 2014 at 9:00 AM

The many responses to these two trolls is ruining the flavor of the QOTD thread…

OmahaConservative on June 16, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Marines are on the move, USS Mesa Verde was ordered into the Persian Gulf with her Ospreys

PJ Emeritus on June 16, 2014 at 1:02 PM

.
I thought the Ospreys had all been “grounded”.

listens2glenn on June 16, 2014 at 1:43 PM

News reports are specifically mentioning the Ospreys aboard. Seems they are setting up some sort of evac-option. If they remain reliable for it, the Osprey is actually a good choice.

PJ Emeritus on June 16, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Harris Faulkner just reported on FOX
that a Iraqi army helicopter just got shot down..
no report on deaths or the type of craft..

“Or would the helicopter be shot at?”

“Of course not. They’re not allowed to shoot at the helicopters.”

guess that debate is settled..
(yes HD I know you were on full sarc on that..)

going2mars on June 16, 2014 at 4:18 PM

going2mars on June 16, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Meanie!

cozmo on June 16, 2014 at 5:09 PM

cozmo on June 16, 2014 at 5:09 PM

I am glad it didn’t take long on that debate…
I was up all night wondering…
has anyone ever thought of shooting down a helicopter…
now I wont have to loose sleep over it again today…

going2mars on June 16, 2014 at 5:13 PM

going2mars on June 16, 2014 at 5:13 PM

I felt pity for her, until she crapped on a peace offering.

cozmo on June 16, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Comment pages: 1 9 10 11