Open thread: New Obama statement on Iraq at 12:30 ET; Update: Moved to 1:15

posted at 12:01 pm on June 19, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

What might this mean? Six days ago, as ISIS marched on Baghdad, Barack Obama insisted that he would weigh the options for response to this crisis — and then promptly took off for some fundraisers and a round of golf. Yesterday, he briefed Capitol Hill honchos on his thinking, complete with a photo spray, and also told them that he didn’t see the need to get authorization for action, to which the top Congressional leadership concurred. Now Obama wants time in front of the cameras at 12:30 ET this afternoon [Update, 12:50 – moved to 1:15].

If he doesn’t come prepared with a plan, it will be … par for the course, no?

When Obama met with Eric Shinseki the first time, he blew the opportunity to look decisive and presidential, and ended up waiting a week to finally do what everyone knew would have to happen anyway. In a sense, that’s what is dogging Obama here, too. He conducted a presser in the shadow of Marine One to say nothing much at all when the crisis had been unfolding for days already. The only action that Obama took by the end of the weekend was to send 275 Marines for embassy protection and transfers of personnel to Basra and Dubai. The lack of urgency in dealing with ISIS has to have captured the attention of the Iraqis, our allies, and especially our enemies.

According to the AP, the only change will be adding another 100 Green Berets as advisers to the Iraqi armed forces:

That wouldn’t really require a presidential press briefing, would it? The Iraqis have publicly requested American intervention by air, and this might end up being an implicit rejection — a pocket veto, in a way, by just ignoring it.

In a spot of good news (if confirmed), the Iraqis have won the battle for their biggest oil refinery:

Iraqi forces regained full control Thursday of the country’s biggest oil refinery after heavy fighting with Sunni militants attempting to seize it, Agence France-Presse reported officials as saying.

“The security forces are in full control of the Baiji refinery,” Lieutenant General Qassem Atta, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s security spokesman, said in televised remarks.

The announcement came after Iraqi government forces battled Sunni militants for control of the country’s biggest refinery on Thursday as Maliki waited for a U.S. response to an appeal for air strikes to beat back the threat to Baghdad.

The sprawling Baiji refinery, 200 km (130 miles) north of the capital near Tikrit, was a battlefield as troops loyal to the Shiite-led government held off insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and its allies who had stormed the perimeter a day earlier, threatening national energy supplies.

Live video of Obama’s statement will be here, but don’t expect it to start exactly on time:

Update: Thank you, Captains Obvious:

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his German counterpart discussed Iraq during a meeting Thursday in which both parties agreed Iraq is “primarily” responsible for dealing with Sunni Islamist insurgents.

“First of all, yes, the movement of [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] is a real and concrete threat for all of us,” said German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen.

“And we are aware of the fact that of course it’s primarily the Iraq government that is on duty to take care for the security of the country.”

And tsunamis are generally wet, too.

Update: Yep, looks like Iraq’s request for air strikes has either been denied or will wait for a while longer:

Again, not sure why this couldn’t have gone out in a Defense or State briefing.


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kingsjester on June 19, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Go tell the Spartans.

dogsoldier on June 19, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Anyone else get the feeling that Obama is just using this as an excuse to send 100 green berets to their death? What difference does it make?

dominigan on June 19, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Again, not sure why this couldn’t have gone out in a Defense or State briefing.

Those routine briefings don’t support the illusion that Obama is actually doing something the way making a spectacle of doing things that amount to nothing will.

novaculus on June 19, 2014 at 2:47 PM

dominigan on June 19, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Those terrorists are not well trained and seldom take on real soldiers. They excel at murdering the weak and helpless.

dogsoldier on June 19, 2014 at 2:49 PM

I missed the speech, did Obama do the right thing and resign?

Ellis on June 19, 2014 at 2:39 PM

No. But, Alas! There will be some sort of feigned illness in the coming days – maybe Sandra Fluke can loan him some of her free t@mpons to help him through his period of reflection.

Key West Reader on June 19, 2014 at 2:51 PM

I missed the speech, did Obama do the right thing and resign?

Ellis on June 19, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Do you hear car horns blowing, people running around screaming with joy, or anything out of the ordinary?

BobMbx on June 19, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Meh, where I am you might have witnessed all that if Obumbles came out and publicly announced he’s declaring himself to be pResident for Life.

hawkeye54 on June 19, 2014 at 2:51 PM

I have no freaking clue what just happened. Lol

coolrepublica on June 19, 2014 at 12:31 PM

.
I haven’t read through all the comments, so it’s possible someone(s) already beat me to this.

listens2glenn on June 19, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Did Moochelle get over her gas attack?

celtic warrior on June 19, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Hey KJ, why does he keep using the term ISIL instead of ISIS? Have you noticed that?

Key West Reader on June 19, 2014 at 2:01 PM

because the group refers to themselves as both the islamic state of iraq and al sham and the islamic state of iraq and al sham. So two names.

Timin203 on June 19, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. It’s an alternative translation.

Barnestormer on June 19, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Yeah, embolden the enemy Obama. Good job, Barry…..

Well, if you are trying to harm irreparably this country.

*sigh* I guess I’ll have to add biochem suits to my kit now. Getting the EpiPen(tm) might be trickier….will see if my doctor is more than just upset by Obamacare and other things.

ProfShadow on June 19, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Did Moochelle get over her gas attack?

celtic warrior on June 19, 2014 at 2:55 PM

.
Who gassed her, and with what kind of gas ?

listens2glenn on June 19, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Send Hillary. One glimpse of the Pastel Pantsuit will save Iraq. For it is written that The Maid shall crown the Dauphin and lead us to victory.

spiritof61 on June 19, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. It’s an alternative translation.
Barnestormer on June 19, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I still say it’s misogynistic… #WarOnWomen

Newtie and the Beauty on June 19, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. It’s an alternative translation.

Barnestormer on June 19, 2014 at 2:56 PM

So. Obama has a higher understanding of the Caliphate than his sycophants in the MSM?

/Color me shocked.

Key West Reader on June 19, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Who gassed her, and with what kind of gas ?
listens2glenn on June 19, 2014 at 2:58 PM

White House Kitchen Staff…Methane…Bo and Sunshine hardest hit…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 19, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Key West Reader on June 19, 2014 at 3:03 PM

You can tell where he stands by the direction the wind is blowing in

Roy Rogers on June 19, 2014 at 3:05 PM

wasn’t isis more syria initially and isil iraq?

dmacleo on June 19, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Anyone else get the feeling that Obama is just using this as an excuse to send 100 green berets to their death? What difference does it make?

I hate to say it, but that was exactly the first thing that occurred to me, too. I hate even more to say, on further reflection I believe it even more than I did on first thought.

God have mercy on us in these dark days.

Dirty Creature on June 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/iraq-violence/

Iraq violence
Iraq

24m
Obama administration official: US now capable of round-the-clock aerial reconnaissance of key areas of Iraq by both manned and unmanned aircraft – @markknoller
see original on twitter.com

Iraq
47m
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce, R-Calif., says President Obama’s plan for Iraq ‘underestimates the seriousness of the threat’ – @edatpost
see original on twitter.com

Iran
1h
President Obama on Iraq: Iran can play a constructive role if they’re sending the same message we’re sending, that Iraq must be inclusive – @NatSecCNN
see original on twitter.com

Iraq
1h
President Obama says fate of Iraq hangs in the balance; says Prime Minister Maliki facing test – @markknoller
see original on twitter.com

Syrian civil war
1h
President Obama: Key to both Syria, Iraq is working with moderates in country and laying down more effective counter-terrorism strategy – @KellyO
see original on twitter.com

Iraq
1h
President Obama says sending advisers to Iraq ‘does not foreshadow a larger commitment of troops to fight’ – @peterbakernyt
see original on twitter.com

Iraq
1h
President Obama says targeted, precise military action in Iraq is still an option – @AP
End of alert

Iraq
1h
President Obama on Iraq: It is in our national security interest to not see an ‘all-out civil war’ in Iraq and make sure we don’t have a safe haven that continues to grow for ISIL, other extremist groups – live video
End of alert

Iraq
1h
President Obama on whether he has confidence in Iraq Prime Minister Maliki: ‘It’s not our job to choose Iraq’s leaders’ – @MichaelMathes
see original on twitter.com

Iraq
1h
President Obama announces Secretary of State John Kerry will depart for meetings in region this weekend to push diplomatic efforts on Iraq – live video
End of alert

Iraq
1h
President Obama says US is planning to send small number of advisers, roughly 300, to bolster Iraqi security forces – @JimAcostaCNN
see original on twitter.com

Iraq
1h
President Obama: US forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq; US will lead a diplomatic effort to support stability in Iraq – live video
End of alert

Iraq
1h
President Obama: Working to secure embassy, increase intelligence assets in Iraq, increase support to Iraqi forces – live video
End of alert

IRS flagged conservative political groups
2h
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, criticizes Obama administration on Iraq, Veterans Affairs and IRS scandals, immigration in weekly press conference; ‘You look at this presidency, and you can’t help but get the sense that the wheels are coming off’ – @thehill
Read more on thehill.com

Iraq
2h
President Obama Iraq statement delayed until 1:15 pm ET – @OKnox

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

dispatch Kerry to the region

Can he please stay there?

22044 on June 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Send Hillary. One glimpse of the Pastel Pantsuit will save Iraq. For it is written that The Maid shall crown the Dauphin and lead us to victory.

spiritof61 on June 19, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Well done.

Key West Reader on June 19, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Can he please stay there?

22044 on June 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Perhaps we should send him in Uniform to fight? He served in Vietnam, he said.

Key West Reader on June 19, 2014 at 3:13 PM

McCarthyism is alive and well.

Schadenfreude on June 19, 2014 at 3:13 PM

https://twitter.com/markknoller

Mark KnollerVerified account
@markknoller

CBS News White House Correspondent
Washington, D.C.
cbsnews.com

Tweets
Tweets and replies

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 23s

Sr Admin Official says US not at the stage of preparing for airstrikes on targets in Iraq. “The president hasn’t yet asked us to do that.”

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 55s

At East Room ceremony, Pres Obama clasps Medal of Honor around the neck of Cpl William “Kyle” Carpenter. pic.twitter.com/kuE0DYUEG5
Embedded image permalink
View more photos and videos

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 49s

SAO says up to 300 US mil personnel will help US track situation in Iraq and also help Iraqi forces improve capability in the field.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 29s

SAO says US now capable of round-the-clock aerial reconnaissance of key areas of Iraq by both manned and unmanned aircraft.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 41s

At lectern in Briefing Room, Pres Obama explains policy decisions on Iraq situation. (CBS Photo by @KTBaskerville) pic.twitter.com/zELYwT0e4K
Embedded image permalink
View more photos and videos

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 1m

US barring entry by some Ugandan officials for human rights & corruption; stop aid to Ugandan police & public health agencies.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 33s

WH announces additional punitive actions against Uganda for its Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 43s

Pres Obama now heading to East Room for Medal of Honor presentation to Cpl William “Kyle” Carpenter, USMC (Ret.). For valor in Afghanistan.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 3m

Pres Obama spent 30 minutes in the Briefing Room outlining his decisions on Iraq and answering questions from 5 reporters.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 5m

POTUS says Iran “can play a constructive role,” if it supports view that Iraq must be inclusive and serve interests of shi’a, sunni & kurds.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 8m

Pres Obama says the fate of Iraq hangs in the balance – on whether the Iraqi sects can overcome their mistrusts. Says Maliki facing test.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 16m

Pres Obama also says US to be part of Joint Ops Center with Iraqi forces to share intelligence and coordinate planning.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 17m

Pres Obama also announced steps to secure US personnel and Embassy in Iraq and conduct intelligence and reconaissance on ISIL/ISIS.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 21m

Pres Obama says it wasn’t his decision not to have left a residual US force in Iraq. It was decided by the Iraqi Govt.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 22m

Pres Obama says US has humanitarian interests, strategic interests and counter-terrorism interests in the situation in Iraq.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 24m

Obama adamant: “We always have to guard against mission creep. American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.”

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 26m

Pres Obama says US has made it clear to Iraqi PM al-Maliki that shi’a, sunni and kurds must all feel oppty to advance their interests.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 28m

Pres Obama says the most important question he keeps “front and center” is what is in US national security interests in Iraq.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 29m

Pres Obama says US will not support one sect in Iraq at the expense of another.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 30m

Pres Obama says “above all,” Iraqis must rise above their differences as shi’a, sunni and kurds.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 1h

Pres Obama’s statement on Iraq delayed until 115pm/ET.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 2h

National Security meeting running long. Pres Obama to make his statement on Iraq when it wraps.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 2h

The only option Pres Obama has ruled out for US action in Iraq is deploying US troops in a combat role.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 2h

Taking part in national security meeting with Pres Obama: The Vice President (via secure hookup from (cont) http://tl.gd/n_1s26ij3

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 2h

Pres Obama now meeting in the WH Situation Room with his national security team – making decisions on Iraq options.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 3h

Pres Obama offers congrats to King Felipe VI on the occasion of his investiture as King of Spain. Calls Spain a “valued ally” of the US.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 3h

Pres Obama expected to announce first steps US taking to counter ISIS attacks and aggression in Iraq. .

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 4h

JUST IN: Pres Obama to make a statement on Iraq at 1230pm following a meeting with his national security team.

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Rep. Kevin McCarthy elected House majority leader
20s
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is elected House majority leader – @WesleyLowery
see original on twitter.com

Bids to replace Rep. Eric Cantor in House leadership
5m
The Majority Leader’s vote is being tallied right now; winner will be announced to the press and then whip vote begins – @jeffzeleny
see original on twitter.com

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:17 PM

The Associated Press @AP · 51s

BREAKING: House Republicans elect California Rep. Kevin McCarthy as majority leader, party’s No. 2 post.

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:19 PM

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:16 PM

IOW, Iraq, you’re screwed.

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 3:20 PM

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Same ol’ same ol’

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Much Ado About Nothing once again from that man with no clothes…

McCarthyism is alive and well.

Schadenfreude on June 19, 2014 at 3:13 PM

You can say THAT again!!

Scrumpy on June 19, 2014 at 3:26 PM

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:16 PM

IOW, Iraq, you’re screwed.

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 3:20 PM

davidk: Exactly,

a message needs to be sent to the Goons, in the Oil Field Grab as an example.

Not about the oil,..but to deny them Iraq’s treasure (whats left),and
keep hitting them, till there on the run,, and then keep the hammering
up!!

The message Hopey is sending, is, have at it!:)

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:27 PM

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Same ol’ same ol’

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 3:24 PM

davidk: Agreed, no new blood,..its who’s next in the senority of the GOP!:)

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:28 PM

https://twitter.com/AP

MORE: House GOP elects California Rep. McCarthy majority leader, replacing Eric Cantor in No. 2 post: http://apne.ws/UinaTV

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:30 PM

With so much of Obama’s remarks about Iraq being the need for a new government in Iraq, isn’t that what ISIS is trying to do? They’re going to bring about a new government, unless someone stops them.

So, what’s the problem? Obama is getting what he wants, right?

Joseph OHenry on June 19, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 50s

“I am proud to be a Marine,” Cpl Carpenter tells reporters, after ceremony at which he received the Medal of Honor.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/479707357052952576/photo/1

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:32 PM

With so much of Obama’s remarks about Iraq being the need for a new government in Iraq, isn’t that what ISIS is trying to do? They’re going to bring about a new government, unless someone stops them.

So, what’s the problem? Obama is getting what he wants, right?

Joseph OHenry on June 19, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Joseph OHenry: From last nights WSJ:)
=====================================

Maliki getting the Booty????????????????

So, its not the ISIS Goon’s,..but Maliki’s Sunni connection (s) causing all the KAOS,……………….WTF???

Iraq violence
Iraq
47m
Report: US signals Iraq’s Maliki should go as insurgents continue to make progress, officials tell @WSJbreakingnews
Read more on t.co
=================

U.S. Signals Iraq’s Maliki Should Go
The White House Is Convinced the Shiite Leader Is Unable to Reconcile With the Nation’s Sunni Minority and Stabilize a Volatile Political Landscape.

By
Jay Solomon and
Carol E. Lee
connect
Updated June 18, 2014 8:38 p.m. ET

VIDEO:
******

“We believe that Maliki’s sectarianism and exclusion of Sunnis has led to the insurgency we are seeing,” said a senior Arab official. “He unfortunately managed to unite ISIS with the former Baathists and Saddam supporters.”

President Barack Obama and his national security aides are in deliberations over the creation of a new strategy for stabilizing Iraq, with a clear road map expected in the coming days.

Mr. Obama has discussed the possibility of using air power and drone strikes to weaken ISIS, say U.S. officials. But he has been particularly focused on developing a political process to heal the widening rift between Iraq’s Shiite and Sunni communities that officials see as feeding the support for ISIS’s insurgency in western Iraq.

Mr. Obama met Wednesday with the top Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate to update them on administration plans.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), the chamber’s minority leader, issued a statement afterward, criticizing Mr. Obama’s past policies on Iraq and saying it was important to apply the experience to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in two years.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), the House Democratic leader, said Mr. Obama didn’t need any further legislative authority to pursue options in Iraq. But officials said Mr. Obama told the congressional leaders he would continue to consult with them.

Earlier Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cautioned senators at a hearing against expecting quick U.S. military strikes, because of the difficulty of developing targets. “It’s not as easy as looking at an iPhone video of a convoy and then immediately striking it,” said Gen. Dempsey.

To support the administration approach, Secretary of State John Kerry and his aides have consulted with Iraq’s neighbors—particularly Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran—to find a formula to create a more inclusive government in Baghdad.

The State Department’s point man on Iraq, Deputy Assistant Secretary Brett McGurk, has concurrently been meeting with Iraqi politicians and religious leaders in Baghdad to promote this political process, say U.S. officials.

The State Department wouldn’t say if the Obama administration was specifically discussing the issue of removing Mr. Maliki during these talks. But Arab diplomats and policy advisors who have talked with the White House in recent days said it was clear the administration was “casting about for somebody better” than Mr. Maliki.

Mr. Kerry was even more pointed in his criticism of Mr. Maliki on Monday, arguing his removal could help stabilize Iraq’s sectarian divide.

“If there is a clear successor, if the results of the election are respected, if people come together with the cohesiveness necessary to build a legitimate government that puts the reforms in place that people want, that might wind up being very salutatory,” he told Yahoo News.

Mr. Maliki’s State of Law Party won a plurality of seats, 94 out of 350, in Iraq’s parliamentary elections. The country is waiting for Iraq’s Supreme Court to ratify the results, after which the parliamentary speaker will call on the leadership of Mr. Maliki’s party to form a new government.

Mr. Maliki is still viewed as in a strong position to retain his post. In fact, many Shiite leaders have rallied behind the Iraqi prime minister in the wake of the ISIS gaining control of the cities of Mosul, Tal Afar and Tikrit in recent days and launching an offensive on Baghdad.

Still, the formation of governments in Iraq has seen significant horse-trading—and the involvement of American, Iranian and Arab diplomats—since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The Shiite politician Ayad Allawi’s political party won the most seats in 2010. But he failed to form a government after some Shiite and Kurdish parties backed Mr. Maliki.

Current and former U.S. officials said Iran will be crucial a player in efforts to form a new government in Baghdad and potentially remove Mr. Maliki, and will push for any new government to be friendly to its interests.

Tehran and Washington are Iraq’s most important diplomatic, economic and military partners. And both the U.S. and Iran have pledged in recent days to support the Iraqi government in its fight against the ISIS.

Former U.S. officials said both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations communicated regularly with Iranian diplomats in Baghdad during the political deliberation in 2006 and 2010 that previously elected Mr. Maliki. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns discussed Iraq’s political reform process with Iranian officials on Monday in Vienna, according to the State Department.

“Iran can play a positive role,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2005 to 2007. “Sometimes, on a tactical level, there can be an opportunity for cooperation. It’s happened in the past.”

The sequencing of the U.S.’s deliberations with Iraq and Iran will be crucial in determining whether progress can be made in driving ISIS out of the territories it’s already claimed, according current and former U.S. officials.

Mr. Obama has signaled that he’s going to hold back on launching any major military operations inside Iraq until he get assurances from the Iraqi government that it will take meaningful steps to reach out to its Sunni community.

But there are concerns within the administration that ISIS could continue to make military gains as Mr. Maliki and other Iraqi politicians jostle for power in Baghdad.

“The question is if the U.S. needs to do something [militarily] while waiting for a political settlement,” said Mr. Khalilzad.

—Michael R. Crittenden, Jeffrey Sparshott, Ellen Knickmeyer and Dion Nissenbaum contributed to this article.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-signals-1403137521

canopfor on June 18, 2014 at 9:50 PM

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:34 PM

When you stand back and think about it, I wouldn’t be surprised if the White House gang made a deal with the sunnis and gave them the weapons. They don’t seem interested at all in helping either the shiites or the kurds. And we know they have always promoted the interests of the sunnis.

crankyoldlady on June 19, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Must have been a really great speech. Between the comments here and the ones at Tweety. Wow!

Bmore on June 19, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Iraq violence
3m

First wave of US Special Forces will begin arriving in Baghdad and surrounding areas ‘very soon,’ senior US officials say – @ABC
see original on twitter.com

https://twitter.com/ABC

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 3:52 PM

I listened to the speech. I guess that all can be said is, let the partition of Iraq proceed.

SC.Charlie on June 19, 2014 at 3:59 PM

By calling for Maliki to step aside (earlier today), Obama has chosen his side. Is Obama a Sunni?

Key West Reader on June 19, 2014 at 3:59 PM

By calling for Maliki to step aside (earlier today), Obama has chosen his side. Is Obama a Sunni?

Key West Reader on June 19, 2014 at 3:59 PM

No. He’s a Piece of Shiite.

justltl on June 19, 2014 at 4:03 PM

He served in Vietnam, he said.

Key West Reader on June 19, 2014 at 3:13 PM

I thought it was Cambodia? I mean, doesn’t he have a hat from there or something?

GWB on June 19, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Iraq crisis: Isis jihadists ‘seize Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons stockpile’ – live

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10910868/Iraq-crisis-Obama-may-launch-air-strikes-without-Congress-amid-calls-for-Maliki-to-go-live.html

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 4:05 PM

It’s a good thing that those chemical weapons aren’t weapons of mass destruction.

justltl on June 19, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Naswar Khan ‏@AalooGosht 2m

Did you forget that you voted yes on authorizing military force in #Iraq @SenatorReid #hypocrite Where is our apology from you?”

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 4:12 PM

So who should the US support?

The ruthless, chemical weapon using, Assad regime and the Iranian-backed Shia-led Iraqi regime are both against ISIS but are both closely tied to Iran as each have signed agreements in 2011 with Iran to build a $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, thus allowing Iran to supply gas to Europe.

This pipeline also includes an agreement by Russia who has agreed to pay for the majority of the Iranian pipeline’s cost. Unfortunately the US failed in its negotiations to get both Iraq and Syria to deal with Saudi Arabia instead of Iran for a pipeline.

After the US led Negotiations failed, Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, vowed military action and said “whatever regime comes after” Assad, it will be “completely” in Saudi Arabia’s hands and will “not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports”.

It was immediately after the failed US led negotiations when Saudi Arabia began massively funding Al Qaeda in both the Syria and Iraq to oust Assad and the Iranian-backed Shia-led Iraqi regime.

In response Iran started increasing it’s funding to Hezbollah in Syria and began funding and supplying The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), to carry out attacks and assassinations. (Note: Iran has a long history of funding and supplying The Kurdistan Workers’ Party to overthrow Saddam and the US and its NATO allies have officially declared and classified the following groups as as “Tier III” terrorist organizations under the Immigration and Naturalization Act: The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK),.)

Because Turkey was extremely upset that Iranian funded KDP member Hoshyar Zebari was appointed in 2003 as now Iraq’s Foreign Minister, as he is an admitted KDP terrorist whom in several videos proudly committed, on camera, bloody terrorist attacks against civilians, Turkey, has been openly funding and supplying Syrian Al Qaeda rebels to fight the Kurds in Iraq.

Unfortunately the Kurds and the Iranian-backed Shia-led Iraqi regime are at serious odds. For example Large oil reserves in the region of Kirkuk are a major factor in the dispute over control of the city. Recently Yousif Mohammed Sadiq, the parliamentary speaker of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), said that the KRG has no plans to hand back control of Kirkuk, a city which has long been at the center of disputes between the KRG and Baghdad. But the Iraq government says if the Kurdish Peshmerga forces “refuse to return Kirkuk [to the Iraqi government] we will fight back“.

So who should the US support and who should the US attack and kill?

JustTheFacts on June 19, 2014 at 4:18 PM

By calling for Maliki to step aside (earlier today), Obama has chosen his side. Is Obama a Sunni?

Key West Reader on June 19, 2014 at 3:59 PM

KWR:0
========

Baghdad Scuttlebutt: Pssst! Obama’s a Shi’ite
By Bobby Ghosh / Baghdad Tuesday, Dec. 02, 2008
***********************************************

When he learns that I live in New York, Ridha Mohammed leans toward me and lowers his voice to a conspiratory whisper. “I will tell you a secret that the Americans don’t know,” he says. “Their next President is a Shi’ite.”

It’s not just right-wing kooks in Middle America who believe Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim:

conspiracy theorists across the Middle East have embraced the idea with the same fervor they bring to other bizarre notions. I am not a bit surprised when, later in the conversation, Mohammed assures me that Israel was responsible for the 9/11 attacks and that Saudi Arabia had agreed to bail out the U.S. economy in exchange for an American invasion of Iran.

A Pew opinion poll a month ahead of the Nov. 4 election showed that 12% of Americans still thought Obama was a Muslim. There are no reliable statistics on how many in the Middle East believe that, but there’s some anecdotal evidence that the notion is especially popular among poor, undereducated Shi’ites in Iran and Iraq.

Ridha Mohammed is an exception, however: he trained as an engineer at Baghdad University and owns a flourishing plumbing business. He lives just outside Sadr City, Baghdad’s giant Shi’ite slum, where preachers at several mosques routinely assure their congregants that Obama is a fellow sectarian. “When Obama won,” says Mohammed, “it was a big day in Sadr City. Many people felt, Now we have a brother in the White House.” (Sadr City — estimated pop. 2 million — is a bastion of anti-Americanism, where the radical Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his militia, the Mahdi Army, hold sway. Few Americans would dare visit the neighborhood without a massive military escort.)

The notion that Obama is a Shi’ite may be traced to Iran. In the run-up to the U.S. presidential election, state-run papers published articles claiming that the Democratic nominee’s paternal ancestors had hailed from southwestern Iran. In reality, of course, Obama’s father and his ancestors came from Kenya, where Shi’a Islam is rare. Most Kenyan Muslims are Sunnis and leaven their faith with pre-Islamic African traditions and beliefs. Obama himself has said he has no idea if his paternal grandfather (who converted from Christianity) was Sunni or Shi’ite.

Undeterred, some Shi’ite scholars trawled through ancient texts to find proof and came up with increasingly far-fetched theories linking the rise of Obama to important Shi’ite figures like the Imam Ali. Some pointed to a prophecy sometimes attributed to Ali that the arrival of the Mahdi — a messiah-like figure who, Shi’ites believe, will ultimately defeat evil — will be presaged by the appearance of a messenger, a tall black man who will rule the West. Others read meaning into Obama’s name. In Persian, O-ba-ma means “He’s with us,” and Barack Hussein can loosely be translated as “blessings of Hussein,” an allusion to Ali’s son, another imam revered by the Shi’ites. Obama’s strenuous denials made no difference to these theorists: they simply reasoned that he must be practicing al-Taqqiya, or dissimulation; Shi’ite jurists say believers may conceal their faith from infidels in order to protect themselves from harm.

By Election Day, these theories had become so commonplace that a prominent Shi’ite scholar based in Dubai felt compelled to issue a statement rejecting them. It made little difference.

Vali Nasr, a Tufts University professor and expert on Shi’ite history, understands why the theories are popular with some Shi’ites. Since they have historically been viewed as inferior to the dominant Sunnis, he says, Shi’ites are eager to claim ownership of “anything or anyone that can show them to be superior.” Since Obama is widely popular among Muslims, “assuming that he is Shi’ite and also the most powerful man in the world gives the Shi’ites pride and confidence,” Nasr adds.

Back in Sadr City, one community leader laughed off the Obama-as-Shi’ite theory but acknowledged it was popular. He suggested it might work in the U.S.’s favor. “The fools who believe this kind of thing, once their fellow Shi’ite is President, they will become less hostile to America,” he said.

Me, I sense the birth of a whole new conspiracy theory!
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http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1863363,00.html

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 4:18 PM


******** “Operation Shiite Storm.” *****************

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 36s

How bout “Bitter Reckoning”? RT @agearan: U wanna do this: Obama’s new Iraq operation needs name. http://wapo.st/1l7weFs via @washingtonpost
=================================================================

In the Loop
Obama’s new Iraq operation needs a name! A Loop Contest!
June 19 at 3:32 PM
*******************

President Obama’s announcement Thursday that he was sending hundreds of military advisers to help the Iraqi army — and leaving open the possibility of “targeted and precise military action” — does not have a name, it seems.

Most everything the military does has some cool name. Operations in Iraq have had a bunch. There was Operation Desert Storm in 1991 to kick Saddam out of Kuwait; Operation Provide Comfort that same year, to deliver relief and protect the Kurds in northern Iraq; Operation Iraqi Freedom, the invasion to kick out Saddam and bring democracy to Iraq from 2003-2011.

Then there was Operation Just Cause in Panama in late 1991, to kick out dictator Manuel Noriega. (Some wags starting calling it “Just Because.”) Back in 1983, we had Operation Urgent Fury, apparently to save some U.S. students in tiny Grenada. There have been scores of names for past military operations.

So far, it doesn’t seem Obama’s plan has gotten a moniker. But Loop Fans can help! What should we call this effort?

Send your suggestions to: intheloop@washpost.com. Subject line: Iraq Operation Name: The top 10 winners will receive an official — and highly coveted — “In the Loop” T-shirt.

Be sure to provide your name, profession, mailing address and T-shirt size (M, L or XL), in case you’re a winner. You must also include a phone number — home, work, or, preferably, cell — to be eligible. Submit entries by close of business Friday, June 27.

(Note: there will be 11 winners this time because we got an entry even before we launched the contest. The entry from a member of the Armed Forces who might not want to be identified.

His suggestion?: “Operation Shiite Storm.”)
============================================

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/wp/2014/06/19/obamas-new-iraq-operation-needs-a-name-a-loop-contest/

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 4:23 PM

https://twitter.com/APDiploWriter

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 46s

Here’a a surprise from Chuck Hagel: “I support Pres Obama’s decision to deploy US military personnel to advise the #Iraq security forces.”

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 4:24 PM

TIME throws on the towel (note–this was before obama’s concession speech): http://time.com/2899488/the-end-of-iraq/

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 4:31 PM

dispatch Kerry to the region

Wouldn’t it be better this way?

S. D. on June 19, 2014 at 4:33 PM

I didn’t see it, does he still have that fly on his lip?

Akzed on June 19, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Operation Shi’ite Hits the Fan

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 4:36 PM

TIME throws on the towel (note–this was before obama’s concession speech): http://time.com/2899488/the-end-of-iraq/

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 4:31 PM

davidk: At the rate of Obama’s InAction,..the whole M.E TiberBox,
is on the verge to blow up!:)

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Operation Shi’ite Hits the Fan

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 4:36 PM

davidk: Bypass’d,..”Desert Shield”!:)

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 4:37 PM

When you stand back and think about it… crankyoldlady on June 19, 2014 at 3:36 PM

What? Why? What is wrong with you!

Akzed on June 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM

R Peterson ‏@RightlyStated 28m

Obama the new Soloman cut the baby in half FAIL in #Iraq Split the 300 for each side? HE wants Malaki out Just say it liar #Teaparty #ISIS

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Too bad Obama can’t step down as well. Did he ever think of that?

garydt on June 19, 2014 at 4:46 PM

China’s Deafening Silence on Iraq

The Iraq crisis again shows that even as China demands major power status, it remains entirely unwilling to act like one.

http://thediplomat.com/2014/06/chinas-deafening-silence-on-iraq/

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 4:48 PM

China’s Deafening Silence on Iraq

The Iraq crisis again shows that even as China demands major power status, it remains entirely unwilling to act like one.

http://thediplomat.com/2014/06/chinas-deafening-silence-on-iraq/

davidk on June 19, 2014 at 4:48 PM

davidk: And didn’t China, get all the Oil Contracts?!:)

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 5:10 PM

The US wants Maliki out because he treacherously stabbed America in the back when he signed the agreement in 2011 with Iran and Syria to build a $10 billion pipeline plan from Iran across Iraq to Syria, with Russia agreeing to pay the construction cost of the pipeline.

The US has been desperately trying to stop the Iranian, Iraq, Syria pipeline.

It was immediately after Maliki and Assad signed the Iranian pipeline deal that the Arab spring began with the help of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the US funding Al Qaeda in Syria to oust Assad, like was done in Libya and has been on going with US funded Al Qaeda attacks and assassinations in Iran.

This is the second Iranian pipeline, funded by Russia, that the US has failed to stop.

The US tried to stop the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline with the American veto when The US, through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had floated the threat of sanctions should Pakistan go through with the proposal, (they did it anyway). The US has also been making use of back channels to put funding for the project into peril. A Chinese bank withdrew its promise of money for the pipeline after quiet US intervention. But Russia stepped in and picked up the tab and soon the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline will go on line therefore continuing Russia’s regional influence and monopoly on its pipelines supplying energy to US NATO allies.

JustTheFacts on June 19, 2014 at 5:17 PM

AppraisHer on June 19, 2014 at 2:36 PM

That’s 0′s plan?!?! Goodness gracious. Should work!

Bmore on June 19, 2014 at 2:39 PM

The delusional voices whispering in his head gave him the plan, so they know it’ll work just fine…and they’re for real, not fictional like military advisers.

AppraisHer on June 19, 2014 at 5:37 PM

AppraisHer on June 19, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Lolz! Good point! ; )

Bmore on June 19, 2014 at 5:44 PM

https://twitter.com/AP

The Associated Press @AP · 26s

In just over a week, insurgents have expanded their hold in northern Iraq. Here’s a guide to the fast-moving events: http://apne.ws/UiZ2Ap

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 6:25 PM

The Associated Press @AP · 7s

A look at ISIL advancement in Iraq, reactions from U.S. vets on the insurgency and a timeline of events: http://apne.ws/1nnA7DZ

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 6:28 PM

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 6:28 PM

If you are wondering why the One had a press conference today, he just needed to remind us he is large and in charge (smirk).

This guy is going to get a large number of Americans killed here in the “homeland” before it is all over with.

TxSaintFan on June 19, 2014 at 6:36 PM

I was typing this and the power went out so if it is a repeat, sorry. I have to say, begrudgingly, that The Won did a nice job with the Medal of Honor presentation today.

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Every once in a while he has to do his job.

Bmore on June 19, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Why should we send any advisors or special forces while al Maliki is in power. Though Obama said we shouldn’t chose sides, we are choosing sides by helping this Shiite-dominated government.

charlesbird on June 19, 2014 at 7:21 PM

http://www.breakingnews.com/

Iraq violence
8m
Report: US Secretary of State Kerry expected to travel to Iraq ‘soon,’ congressional sources say – @AFP
Read more on yahoo.com

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 7:50 PM

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Did he resign? No? Then there is really little he could say that interests me.

petunia on June 19, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Good Morning, Vietnam

steveracer on June 19, 2014 at 9:16 PM

What a Cretin. ISIS was in the open on the roads with no air support. They could have been droned of the face of the planet with no American combat casualties. Opportunity lost.

Just unimaginable. Evil got a free ride. I wonder what the eventual cost in American lives will be.

NoPain on June 19, 2014 at 9:56 PM

No boots, but green berets are OK. Exactly what is the Obama fashion-offensive expected to achieve?

Will the “advice” be “save yourselves!”?

virgo on June 20, 2014 at 12:50 AM

No ground troops will be deployed to Iraqi. This will be the third time in as many years that Obama has done such an end run and the the third time that the Pentagon has politely refused to obey an unlawful order.

jpcpt03 on June 21, 2014 at 6:05 PM

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