Tag Archives: Iraq war

US Marine Corps commandant openly blasts CIC Obama

Dr. Eowyn:

Retired U.S. military officers and a former secretary of defense have spoken out against Obama, but this is the first time that a still-serving officer is openly critical.

And not just any officer, but the 4-star commandant of United States Marine Corps — a significant indicator of the profound alienation of the military from their commander-in-chief.

Thank you, Gen. Amos, for speaking the truth.

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

USMC Gen. James AmosU.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos

On July 15, 2014, speaking at the Brookings Institute think tank in Washington, DC, the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, 4-star Gen. James Amos, openly and publicly criticized Commander-In-Chief Barack Hussein Obama.

Reporting for The Fiscal Times, David Francis observes that “It’s highly unusual for a high-ranking soldier, let alone a high-ranking Marine, to publicly question White House and Pentagon policy. Yet that’s exactly what four-star Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, did yesterday in Washington.”

Speaking at the Brookings Institute, Amos criticized the Obama administration for:

1. Paving the way for the emergence of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) by completely withdrawing American troops in 2011. Amos said: “I have a hard time believing that had we been there, and worked with the government, and worked with parliament, and worked with the…

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Obama Sends Combat Troops to Iraq

It’s déjà vu all over again.

Three years after U. S. troops had withdrawn from Iraq, finally ending America’s war and occupation (2003-2011) of that benighted country, our soldiers will be sent there again.

This evening, June 16, 2014, after a weekend of golfing and political fundraising in California, President Lucifer declared, in a letter to Congress, that U.S. ground troops “equipped for combat” are being sent to Iraq.

The troops’ “only purpose” is to protect US personnel and the US Embassy in Baghdad from the ISIS militants — and not join in the fierce fighting raging outside the Iraqi capital. Blah. Blah. Blah.

In so doing, Obama directly reversed what he had said merely 3 days ago. Last Friday, he clearly said that while the U.S. will “do our part” to help, no troops will be sent to Iraq.

ISIS or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is an extremist Sunni jihadist group that aspires to create a caliphate — a theocratic pan-Islamic state — in the New Levant of Iraq, Syria, southern Turkey, Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel. (See “ISIS: the savage jihadists laying waste to Iraq“)

New LevantAbout 160 American soldiers are already in Iraq, including 50 Marines and more than 100 Army soldiers. Some of those soldiers have only recently arrived. Under tonight’s authorization, the U.S. will put an additional 100 soldiers in a nearby third country where they would be held in reserve until needed.

The POS did not give a deadline for the troops’ exit, only that the 275 soldiers will remain in Iraq for as long as they are needed to protect US interests. The White House says the U.S. military personnel are entering Iraq with its government’s consent.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John “snake-tongue” Kerry says Washington is “open to discussions” with Tehran about military cooperation. Iran has hinted that it is prepared to cooperate with the United States, whom Iran has called the Great Satan, to shore up the beleaguered Iraqi government against the savage ISIS jihadists. Iran already has sent 2,000 advance troops to Iraq.

Kerry also said U.S. unilateral air and drone strikes against the ISIS “may well be” an option.

Last Saturday, June 14, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered an aircraft carrier moved into the Persian Gulf.

jihadist with Stinger missileJihadist with Stinger missile

Today, unnamed Obama administration officials with access to the latest U.S. intelligence on Iraq told Fox News it “appears likely/probable” that ISIS militants got hold of U.S.-made Stinger missiles from Iraqi army bases they have taken over in recent days. The Stinger missile is a shoulder-fired surface-to-air weapon that is used against aircraft.

Iraqi intelligence officials said ISIS fighters managed to take control of two big weapons depots late last week holding some 400,000 items, including AK-47 rifles, rockets and rocket-propelled grenades, artillery shells and mortars. A quarter of the stockpiles were quickly sent to Syria in order to help ISIS militants there.

According to a report from the West Point Combating Terrorism Center, the ISIS “now possesses scores of Iraqi military equipment originally provided by the United States, from Humvees and cargo vehicles to small arms.”

In addition, after taking over Mosul, the second most populous city in Iraq, ISIS is now the richest terror group in the world from looting US$429 million and a large quantity of gold bullion from Mosul’s central bank.

~Eowyn

No Christian left in Mosul, Iraq

A USA Today/Pew Poll from January 2014 shows that Americans now believe by a 50%-38% margin that war against Iraq and the subsequent U.S. occupation (2003-2011) was stupid.

And the events of the last few days in Iraq are proving those Americans to be right.

One after another city in Iraq has fallen to the ISIS jihadists, which means:

  • 4,487 of our soldiers died for nothing.
  • 32,226 of our soldiers got wounded, some having lost their limbs, for nothing.
  • More than $845 billion of taxpayers’ money was spent for nothing.

ISIS territoriesThe Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a terrorist organization linked to Al-Qaeda and in control of key areas of northwest Syria. In other words, the ISIS are also part of the Syrian “rebels” whom Obama’s CIA is funding and training. (See “Insanity: Obama admin considering closer ties with Syrian jihadists”; “CIA expands Obama-approved training of Syrian militants”; and “Pulitzer-award journalist says Obama admin made up intelligence for war on Syria”.)

On top of it all, Christians are fleeing from Iraq, knowing full well what life under the ISIS would mean.

ISIS beheadingISIS butchers are leaving roads lined with decapitated police and soldiers

Under Saddam Hussein, Christians at least lived in peace in Iraq. But there isn’t a Christian left in the city of Mosul today.

Zenit.org reports, June 11, 2014, that speaking to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Mosul’s Chaldean Archbishop Amel Nona gave a graphic account of the Islamist take-over of Mosul and the people’s desperate struggle to flee to safety.

Nona said he thought Mosul’s last remaining Christians had left Mosul that until 2003, had been home to 35,000 faithful.

The Christians are among 500,000 thought to have fled Mosul, which was overthrown Tuesday, June 10. That event is now followed by news of militant attacks on the Iraqi city of Tikrit, 95 miles north of the capital Baghdad.

Describing reports of attacks to four churches and a monastery in Mosul, the archbishop, 46, said: “We received threats… [and] now all the faithful have fled the city. I wonder if they will ever return there.”

The archbishop, who in the ensuing crisis sought sanctuary in Tal Kayf, a village two miles from Mosul, described how the local community was doing its best to provide for crowds of people flooding out of the city and into the surrounding Nineveh plains, where there are a number of ancient Christian villages.

“Up at 5am yesterday [Tuesday, 10th June] morning we welcomed families on the run and we have tried to find accommodation in schools, classrooms and empty houses. We have never seen anything like this – a large city such as Mosul attacked and in chaos.”

He said that in the 11 years following the 2003 US-led overthrow of Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein, Christians in Mosul had declined from 35,000 to 3,000 and that “now there is probably no one left.”

BBC reports have described ISIS ambitions to create an Islamist caliphate spreading from northern Iraq across to northwest Syria.

From ISIS-controlled regions in Syria have come reports of Christians being asked to pay the Islamic Jaziya tax and pressure to convert to Islam.

Many thousands of Christians have fled the region.

See also “Attacked by Muslims, Christianity is going extinct in Middle East

~Eowyn

Americans are sick of U.S. wars – here, there, and everywhere

mad as hell

Poll after recent poll find that the American people are simply sick of it.

We are sick of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

  • A USA Today/Pew Poll from January shows that Americans now believe by a 50%-38% margin that war against Iraq was stupid.
  • Support even for the Afghanistan war has collapsed. Only 35% of all Americans support the Afghanistan war, according to a 2011 CNN poll.

We are sick of the never-ending “war on terror”:

We are overwhelmingly opposed to more war in Ukraine, Syria, Iran and elsewhere.

We don’t want the U.S. to go to war for the “heroic rebels” (who really are Muslim jihadists) in Syria:

We oppose the U.S. getting into a war with Russia in Ukraine:

  • A Pew/USA Today poll conducted over the weekend found that Americans  oppose – by a 2-1 margin – any U.S. military aid to Ukraine.
  • A YouGov poll conducted last month found that only 14% of Americans said the U.S. has “any responsibility” to get involved in Ukraine, and only 18% think the U.S. “has any responsibility to protect Ukraine if Russia were to invade.”
  • Huffington Post reports that pluralities of Americans — whether Democrat, Republican, or independent — agree that the U.S. does not have a responsibility to protect Ukraine.

We don’t want the U.S. to go to war against Iran.

We are sick of the “war on drugs.” A new Pew poll found:

  • 63% of Americans think that we should stop mandatory prison terms for drug law violations.
  • 54% are in favor of marijuana legalization.
  • 67% say the government should focus more on providing treatment for people who use drugs like cocaine and heroin, and only 26% think the focus should be more on prosecuting people who use such drugs.

We are sick of the interminable “war on poverty” (which Obama renamed a “war on inequality“) at home — a war, begun half a century ago by Lyndon Johnson in 1964, which we’d obviously lost because there are more “poor” people than ever before:

We are simply sick of being the policeman for the world:

  • A Pew poll from December found a majority of Americans – more than ever before in Pew’s 50-year history of polling this question – think the U.S. “should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along as best they can on their own.”
  • A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows that Americans in large numbers want the U.S. to reduce its role in world affairs even as a showdown with Russia over Ukraine preoccupies Washington. In a marked change from past decades, nearly half of those surveyed want the U.S. to be less active on the global stage, with fewer than one-fifth calling for more active engagement—an anti-interventionist current that sweeps across party lines.

But the Obama administration and the elites of both ruling parties want all these wars not only to continue but extend to places in which the U.S. currently are not in a war. Every day, they beat their war drums, agitating for a war in Ukraine and in Syria.

All of which mean that the American people are profoundly disaffected with the governing elite. Neither mainstream political party represents the interests of the people, as revealed by polls:

H/t ZeroHedge and Washington’sBlog

~Eowyn

Look what 8 y.o. Gold Star boy Myles Eckert did for a soldier

Myles Eckert "pays it forward" to Lt. Col. Frank Dailey

Myles Eckert “pays it forward” to Lt. Col. Frank Dailey

This story is, at once, uplifting and sad . . . .

Steve Hartman reports for CBS News, Feb. 28, 2014:

At the Ohio Air National Guard base near Toledo, Lt. Col. Frank Dailey still can’t believe the honor recently bestowed upon him. “It’s incredible being recognized in such a manner,” he says.

It happened at a Cracker Barrel, of all places. As the security camera shows, Dailey entered the restaurant on Feb. 7 for an early lunch. At about the same time, 8-year-old Myles Eckert came in with his family.

Myles was very excited. He’d just found a $20 bill in the parking lot. He’d started thinking of what he could spend it on. “I kind of wanted to get a video game, but then I decided not to,” Myles says.

He changed his mind when he saw the guy in uniform. “Because he was a soldier, and soldiers remind me of my dad,” Myles explains.

And so, with his dad in mind, Myles wrapped the $20 in a note that read, “Dear Soldier — my dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now. I found this 20 dollars in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It’s your lucky day! Thank you for your service. Myles Eckert, a gold star kid.”

myles-note

Army Sgt. Andy Eckert was killed in Iraq, just five weeks after Myles was born. All the kid has ever had are pictures and dog tags, other people’s memories and his own imagination. “I imagine him as a really nice person and somebody that would be really fun,” Myles says.

The dad he imagines must also love a good story. Because after lunch that day, Myles asked his mom, Tiffany, to make one more stop.

“He wanted to go see his dad,” Tiffany says. “And he wanted to go by himself that day.”

She took a photo from the car. Follow the footsteps and you’ll see Myles standing there behind the flag, presumably telling his dad all about it. And whether heaven heard him or not, his good deed continues to impress here on earth.

Myles visits dad's graveLittle Myles is standing behind the American flag

“I look at it every day,” Dailey says of the note Myles gave him.

It turns out Myles gave him a bigger gift than $20.

“A lifetime direction, for sure,” Dailey says.

Dailey says he’s already given away that $20 and plans to do much more. He also hopes that little green Post-It will inspire other people across the country to give — to give as sincerely and dutifully as that father and son.

Sgt Gary Andy EckertArmy Reserve Sgt. Gary “Andy” Eckert

Erica Blade reports for The (Toledo) Blade, May 17, 2005, that (Myles’ dad) Sgt. Gary “Andy” Eckert was the first member of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 983rd Engineer Battalion in Monclova Township killed in action since World War II. He was only 24 years old.

It was his second tour overseas, the first one ended after he sustained injuries for which he received the Purple Heart.

Sgt. Eckert left a wife, Tiffany, a 2-year-old daughter, and a newborn son, Myles.

At Eckert’s funeral service at the Calvary Assembly of God Church, Brig. Gen. Michael Beasley, commander of the Army’s 88th Regional Readiness Command, said: “Andy didn’t have to go back to war. He came back a Purple Heart recipient. He wanted to go back to serve our nation, with our soldiers. He served after the birth of [his daughter] Marlee Freedom. He served knowing [his son] Miles Manning was on the way. He was a wonderful soldier and a brilliant patriot. He was someone who taught us a whole lot about wearing a uniform, about being a father, about being a husband, and about being an American.”

Here’s the CBS video on Myles’ “paying forward”:

Would you believe that on the video’s YouTube site, 236 people gave the video a thumbs down?

H/t The Blaze and FOTM’s Wild Bill Alaska

~Eowyn

Triple amputee veteran’s withering letter to Obama

Senior Airman, Brian Kolfage Jr., is the most severely wounded Airman in US history—a triple amputee.

On September 11, 2004, while serving his second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Brian Kolfage lost both his legs and an arm when a 107 mm rocket exploded three feet from the Airman, throwing him into a wall of sandbags.

Brian Kolfage

Kolfage miraculously survived the blast and after eleven months at Walter Reed Medical Center, he returned to serve in the Air Force at Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. Kolfage is no longer on active duty and receives monthly VA benefits compensation for the wounds he received serving our country.

Incredibly, Kolfage was informed last year by the Veterans Administration Debt Management Center that he would be back charged $4825.00 because, according to the VA, they had been overpaying Airman Kolfage for several years and they want their money back.

Brian Kolfage1Brian Kolfage was awarded the Purple Heart 

Here’s Brian Kolfage’s letter to the POS on Presidents’ Day, February 17, 2014, pointing out Obama’s hypocrisy and privileged elitist upbringing and schooling. (I colored the words and phrases in dark red.)

My Open Letter to Obama on Presidents day.

I nearly died in a war that you and most of your colleagues supported overwhelmingly, including the two presidents who came before you. Many citizens may not agree with waging war in Iraq to free the oppressed Iraqi citizens, but it’s something that warriors like myself have zero control over. I joined to serve my country and to better my life. I’ve seen things that you could never imagine, and they have made me the person I am today.

Mr. Obama, even though we share extreme opposite views, we have one thing in common, we both attended school in Hawaii. However, that’s where the similarities end. You see, as you attended your exclusive, private school, I would ride my bike to Kaimuki High school in one of the roughest areas in Hawaii every morning and would ride past Punahou, the exclusive private school you attended. I would notice the Bentleys, Maserati’s, and fancy foreign cars that all the kids were dropped off in; wow it must have been extremely rough in Hawaii living that life, right? I could only imagine what it was like to have that kind of money. Fortunately for you, not many people are aware of the school and the upper classcitizens who attended it. The tuition to attend your exclusive, private school was more than it cost me to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Arizona. You talk a big game when it comes to financial inequality, yet I’m quite sure you have no idea what it’s truly like to have sacrifice. You were one of the elitist children in Hawaii.

After High School, we each chose very different paths. You were able to attend Ivy League schools, and I sought out a military career to in hopes of earning a degree. What we have in life as children usually sets the tone for what we will face later in life that will make us successful. I worked to get where I am today, and YOU WERE HANDED IT….Mr. Inequality.

I volunteered to go to Iraq on both of my deployments, and the second time I begged to go even after I wasn’t selected, which ultimately got me placed on the team where I would lose both legs and my dominant arm. I’ve never asked myself was losing 3 limbs in a war worth it, even though many Americans were against it.

I am frequently reminded of the many young Iraqi children who would beg me for water, food, and toys while I was stationed in Iraq. Children, who in all aspects made the poorest of poor American children look rich. You have no idea what it really means to be poor. It’s laughable that you, who would have no idea what it means to be poor would so frequently play the inequality card.

While I was in Iraq, our mission was to liberate the Iraqi citizens from a tyrant and that’s what we did. Never forget, it was your people who sent us there, like the Clintons, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi & Carl Levin. However, since the day you busted onto the scene you’ve been talking about ending the war and pulling the troops out, not understanding the blood sweat and tears that so many Americans and Iraqi’s invested. And with complete disregard for every life sacrificed, every limb lost, and every broken family, you bailed on our mission to pursue an agenda that was completely centered on your re-election in 2012. If you didn’t bail on Iraq you were worried that you may not get re-elected and that’s a fact. Just before elections on Oct 11, 2012 you said “Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.” Look at Iraq now, they are in shambles and the Al Qaeda flag is flying freely. Clearly, you’re unfit for duty as a Commander in Chief. You put your own agenda ahead of America’s agenda, and now you have single handedly ruined and destroyed nearly everything we gained in Iraq. It clearly means nothing to you, because the only thing that you’ve personally invested in that country was a promise to bail on them. However, people like me gave limbs, friends have died, and we’ve watched families destroyed by war’s aftermath.

I’m not placing blame on you for the war, I’m placing blame on you for destroying what we’ve worked so hard to build. You’re not a leader, you’re a community organizer. A leader would have stood up regardless of the situation and put America’s agenda first and that is ensuring a secure Iraq even after 10 years of war. But, you placed Barack first, just as Robert Gates confirmed in his new book. I can’t help but think of those poor kids who I gave water and toys to 11 years ago. They’re probably 15 or 16 years old now, and I can only imagine what it’s like for them to have their nation being torn apart yet again; all because of your poor leadership qualities. Regardless of why we went to Iraq, its water under the bridge. We went there, we waged war, and we not only owed it to our KIA’s but we owed it to the citizens of Iraq. We invaded their country and turned it upside down, and you bailed on them. You bailed on our soldiers and you’ve wasted every death and every limb, it’s all for nothing. And to make matters worse you blame others for your failures

You’re just another elitist rich thug who’s pretended to live the rough life growing up in the inner-city. You’re only worried about your own agenda and furthering your party instead of taking care of Americans. Your inability to be a leader at some of the most critical points has caused both of our wars to fail. You’ve been a joke to most of our veteran community and we have no faith in your ability to lead.

Senior Airman Ret Brian Kolfage USAF

Interestingly, Kolfage’s letter posted on Secrets of the Fed received 1315 thumbs up and 3130 thumbs down. I gather from some of the comments I’ve read that the thumbs down votes are by readers who think the United States should never have gone into Iraq in the first place.

See also:

H/t FOTM’s Wild Bill Alaska.

~Eowyn

The story of a dog named Tank

This is the story of how a kind-hearted person adopted a shelter black labrador and discovered the dog’s true name.

Have a box of tissue ready. You’ll need it.

tank1tank2

tank3

tank4

tank5

Wiping away my tears, I was about to hit “Publish” on this post but decided to search on the web for more info on Tank’s original owner, the soldier “Paul Mallory.”

 Alas, the tear-jerking story is not true. Sigh ….

 From jacksonville.com:

This Tank e-mail was first sighted in August 2008, according to Snopes.com, a well-respected nonpartisan fact-finding website that confirms or debunks rumors and urban legends.

The first clues that the story is unlikely are the rather implausible ideas that a shelter would agree to indefinitely hold a dog and that the new owner would accept a sealed letter from the previous owner and not bother to open and read it, Snopes.com points out.

Even if those things could have happened, the other details don’t check out. First of all, Snopes.com found no “Paul Mallory” on any casuality list on websites that list the names of all U.S. service personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count’s iCasualties.org and the Washington Post’s Faces of the Fallen. A double-check of those sites, plus The Associated Press’ Iraq and Afghanistan casualty databases, confirms that.

Even if you assume that “Paul Mallory” is a pseudonym, Snopes.com notes some other discrepancies. The e-mail says that Tank’s new owner remembered reading about the local kid Paul Mallory, and knew that he had received the Silver Star posthumously. The soldier’s letter said he was never married and had no living parents, siblings or other relative with whom he could have left he dog. Snopes.com looked at all the service members posthumously awarded a Silver Star on the Silver Star database at the HomeofHeroes.com website and every one listed some combination of parents, siblings, wives or children.

I also went on the website “Hall of Heroes: Silver Star Operation Iraqi Freedom.” There is no Paul Mallory listed as a Silver Star recipient in the Iraq War.

So why am I posting this any way? – to warn others not to fall for this hoax.

People who perpetrate these Internet hoaxes deserve a special ring in Dante’s Inferno.

H/t to FOTM’s joworth

~Eowyn

The contempt U.S. elites have for our soldiers

Exhibit A: 

Kerry tongueKerry flicks his snake tongue

On October 30, 2006, then Senator John Kerry was a headline speaker at a campaign rally being held for Democratic California gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California. Speaking to an audience composed mainly of college students, Kerry said, beginning at the 0:17 mark:

“We’re here to talk about education, and I want to say something. Well, education … If you make the most of it, study hard, do your homework and make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you can get stuck in Iraq.

Kerry almost became president and commander in chief. He is now President Lucifer’s minion as U.S. Secretary of State.

Exhibit B:

Henry Kissinger

Then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is quoted in Kiss the Boys Goodbye as saying, “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”

Kissinger was National Security Advisor (1969-1975), then concurrently Secretary of State (1973-1977) in the Nixon and Ford administrations, after which he ran his lucrative international consulting firm, Kissinger Associates.

Although the POWs he abandoned no doubt are long dead, Kissinger still lives. He is 90 years old.

POW4

Kiss the Boys Goodbye is the bestselling exposé of a major political scandal by two award-winning journalists Monica Jensen-Stevenson and William H. Stevenson. The book reveals heartbreaking evidence of American POWs abandoned in Vietnam, of official obstruction and missing files, censored testimony and thinly veiled threats from government sources. Monica had been a producer at CBS’s Sixty Minutes for 5 years.

Here are screenshots I took from Amazon’s free sample of Kiss the Boys Goodbye — on the duplicity of Kissinger and the U.S. government:

POWsPOWs1POWs2 USMC PFC Robert GarwoodPOWs3

H/t FOTM’s joworth and JesusIsSavior

~Eowyn

After thousands of U.S. soldiers paid with their lives, Iraq again descends into violence

Arlington CemeteryArlington Cemetery

The costs of the Iraq War – the U.S.-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, 2003-2011 — to America are steep. They include:

  • 4,487 of our soldiers (not including civilian contractors) were killed.
  • 32,226 soldiers were wounded.
  • More than $845 billion of taxpayers’ money spent.

But now we are told that Iraq, once again, is spiraling into out-of-control violence.

Pamela Dockins reports for Voice of America (via GlobalSecurity.org), September 19, 2013, that Iraq is grappling with its worst violence in years with almost daily bombings and attacks undermining the country’s fragile framework and rivaling the dark days of civil unrest in 2007 and 2008.

The violence has escalated steadily after U.S. troops largely pulled out of the country at the end of 2011. Civilian deaths in Iraq have more than doubled in the last year, according to statistics from the United Nations Assistance Mission, from 2,000 in 2012 to 4,800 in 2013.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appealed for help this week. In a televised speech on Wednesday, he urged “citizens, politicians and journalists” to support security forces as they try to chase down what he called “the terrorists.”

But analysts say much more than terrorism is at play. The violence is largely sectarian, fueled by many complicating factors including a political deadlock in Baghdad and a spillover of al-Qaida activity from the conflict in Syria.

The Iraqi government has been stalled for months amid a Sunni-Shi’ite political and social divide. Center for Strategic and International Studies analyst Anthony Cordesman said Maliki may have contributed to the unrest when he moved broadly to consolidate power in his Shi’ite-dominated government, leaving Sunnis feeling disenfranchised.

Cordesman, who co-authored a September report on Iraq’s violence, said the unrest is also fueled by social discontent brought on by high unemployment, little industry growth, and a poor distribution of oil revenue amid a dispute between Baghdad and the Kurdish minority in the oil-rich north.

Besides internal strife, Iraq is facing a fallout from Syria’s civil war.

Carnegie Middle East Center analyst Paul Salem said Iraq’s Sunnis may feel emboldened by the Sunni opposition in Syria: “If the Sunnis in Syria make more headway there, the Sunnis in Iraq feel that that might empower them to push back against Maliki and a sort of Shi’ite – dominated government.”

Salem said al-Qaida militants* fuel unrest in both countries: “Al-Qaida takes advantage of discontent among the Sunni community [in Iraq] and it can express the more radical discontent, the more militant discontent as in Syria. The protests began as unarmed and rather civil. As the protests turned into an armed conflict, al-Qaida certainly found a foothold.”

*Note from Eowyn: These are the same al-Qaida jihadists whom Obama is arming in Syria.

Iraqis in general say they fear a descent into chaos, which could lead to further destabilization in an already volatile Middle East.

~Eowyn

Memo to Obama from intel officials calls claim about Syrian chemical attack a FRAUD

VIPS1The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), formed in January 2003, is a group of current and former officials of the United States intelligence agencies that include the CIA, the U.S. State Department‘s Intelligence Bureau (INR),  and the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The VIPS’ Steering Group is comprised of:

  • Richard Beske
  • Gene Betit, Arlington, VA
  • Ray Close
  • Patrick G. Eddington, former CIA imagery analyst
  • Larry C. Johnson, former CIA analyst
  • David MacMichael, former CIA analyst
  • Raymond McGovern, retired CIA officer who had served under 7 U.S. presidents and presented the morning intelligence briefings at the White House to many of those presidents.
  • Greg Theilmann, former State Department intelligence official

On September 6, 2013, twelve members of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity — all former or retired officials of various U.S. intelligence agencies including the CIA, FBI, DIA, NSA, State Department, U.S. Army, and U.S. Marine Corps — wrote a letter to Obama stating that the information they’ve gathered disputes the White House’s claim that Syria’s Assad regime had perpetrated the chemical weapon (sarin nerve gas) attack that allegedly killed hundreds of civilians in a suburb of Damascus on August 21.

More than that, the VIPS letter states that the claim is a fraud by CIA Director John Brennan.

President Lucifer, his three henchmen, and the warmongers in Congress (most notably John McCain) are using the alleged Assad chemical attack to justify a U.S. “military strike” war on Syria, in the name of “humanitarian intervention” — never mind that in so doing, America precisely will inflict untold human pain and suffering on exactly those same Syrian civilians, as a heart-rending letter from Trappist nuns in Syria points out.

First published on ConsortiumNews.com, here is the VIPS memo in its entirety. For the love of God, please help disseminate this to as many people as you can, via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.

Thank you,

~Eowyn

world-on-fire

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Is Syria a Trap?

Precedence: IMMEDIATE

We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this. In writing this brief report, we choose to assume that you have not been fully informed because your advisers decided to afford you the opportunity for what is commonly known as “plausible denial.”

We have been down this road before – with President George W. Bush, to whom we addressed our first VIPS memorandumimmediately after Colin Powell’s Feb. 5, 2003 U.N. speech, in which he peddled fraudulent “intelligence” to support attacking Iraq. Then, also, we chose to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt, thinking he was being misled – or, at the least, very poorly advised.

The fraudulent nature of Powell’s speech was a no-brainer. And so, that very afternoon we strongly urged your predecessor to “widen the discussion beyond …  the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.” We offer you the same advice today.

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

Our sources confirm that a chemical incident of some sort did cause fatalities and injuries on August 21 in a suburb of Damascus. They insist, however, that the incident was not the result of an attack by the Syrian Army using military-grade chemical weapons from its arsenal. That is the most salient fact, according to CIA officers working on the Syria issue. They tell us that CIA Director John Brennan is perpetrating a pre-Iraq-War-type fraud on members of Congress, the media, the public – and perhaps even you.

James ClapperJames Clapper

We have observed John Brennan closely over recent years and, sadly, we find what our former colleagues are now telling us easy to believe. Sadder still, this goes in spades for those of us who have worked with him personally; we give him zero credence. And that goes, as well, for his titular boss, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who has admitted he gave “clearly erroneous” sworn testimony to Congress denying NSA eavesdropping on Americans.

Intelligence Summary or Political Ploy?

That Secretary of State John Kerry would invoke Clapper’s name this week in Congressional testimony, in an apparent attempt to enhance the credibility of the four-page “Government Assessment” strikes us as odd. The more so, since it was, for some unexplained reason, not Clapper but the White House that released the “assessment.”

This is not a fine point. We know how these things are done. Although the “Government Assessment” is being sold to the media as an “intelligence summary,” it is a political, not an intelligence document. The drafters, massagers, and fixers avoided presenting essential detail. Moreover, they conceded upfront that, though they pinned “high confidence” on the assessment, it still fell “short of confirmation.”

Déjà Fraud: This brings a flashback to the famous Downing Street Minutes of July 23, 2002, on Iraq, The minutes record the Richard Dearlove, then head of British intelligence, reporting to Prime Minister Tony Blair and other senior officials that President Bush had decided to remove Saddam Hussein through military action that would be “justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.” Dearlove had gotten the word from then-CIA Director George Tenet whom he visited at CIA headquarters on July 20.

The discussion that followed centered on the ephemeral nature of the evidence, prompting Dearlove to explain: “But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” We are concerned that this is precisely what has happened with the “intelligence” on Syria.

The Intelligence

There is a growing body of evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its supporters — providing a strong circumstantial case that the August 21 chemical incident was a pre-planned provocation by the Syrian opposition and its Saudi and Turkish supporters. The aim is reported to have been to create the kind of incident that would bring the United States into the war.

[See “Article cited by Limbaugh on Syrian chemical attack being a U.S. false flag,” Sept. 4, 2013. ~Eowyn]

According to some reports, canisters containing chemical agent were brought into a suburb of Damascus, where they were then opened. Some people in the immediate vicinity died; others were injured.

We are unaware of any reliable evidence that a Syrian military rocket capable of carrying a chemical agent was fired into the area. In fact, we are aware of no reliable physical evidence to support the claim that this was a result of a strike by a Syrian military unit with expertise in chemical weapons.

In addition, we have learned that on August 13-14, 2013, Western-sponsored opposition forces in Turkey started advance preparations for a major, irregular military surge. Initial meetings between senior opposition military commanders and Qatari, Turkish and U.S. intelligence officials took place at the converted Turkish military garrison in Antakya, Hatay Province, now used as the command center and headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their foreign sponsors.

Senior opposition commanders who came from Istanbul pre-briefed the regional commanders on an imminent escalation in the fighting due to “a war-changing development,” which, in turn, would lead to a U.S.-led bombing of Syria.

At operations coordinating meetings at Antakya, attended by senior Turkish, Qatari and U.S. intelligence officials as well as senior commanders of the Syrian opposition, the Syrians were told that the bombing would start in a few days. Opposition leaders were ordered to prepare their forces quickly to exploit the U.S. bombing, march into Damascus, and remove the Bashar al-Assad government

The Qatari and Turkish intelligence officials assured the Syrian regional commanders that they would be provided with plenty of weapons for the coming offensive. And they were. A weapons distribution operation unprecedented in scope began in all opposition camps on August 21-23. The weapons were distributed from storehouses controlled by Qatari and Turkish intelligence under the tight supervision of U.S. intelligence officers.

Cui bono? [Who stands to gain? ~Eowyn]

That the various groups trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have ample incentive to get the U.S. more deeply involved in support of that effort is clear. Until now, it has not been quite as clear that the Netanyahu government in Israel has equally powerful incentive to get Washington more deeply engaged in yet another war in the area. But with outspoken urging coming from Israel and those Americans who lobby for Israeli interests, this priority Israeli objective is becoming crystal clear.

Reporter Judi Rudoren, writing from Jerusalem in an important article in Friday’s New York Times addresses Israeli motivation in an uncommonly candid way. Her article, titled “Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria,” notes that the Israelis have argued, quietly, that the best outcome for Syria’s two-and-a-half-year-old civil war, at least for the moment, is no outcome. Rudoren continues:

For Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad’s government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis.

“‘This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,’ said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. ‘Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.’”

We think this is the way Israel’s current leaders look at the situation in Syria, and that deeper U.S. involvement – albeit, initially, by “limited” military strikes – is likely to ensure that there is no early resolution of the conflict in Syria. The longer Sunni and Shia are at each other’s throats in Syria and in the wider region, the safer Israel calculates that it is.

That Syria’s main ally is Iran, with whom it has a mutual defense treaty, also plays a role in Israeli calculations. Iran’s leaders are not likely to be able to have much military impact in Syria, and Israel can highlight that as an embarrassment for Tehran.

Iran’s Role

Iran can readily be blamed by association and charged with all manner of provocation, real and imagined. Some have seen Israel’s hand in the provenance of the most damaging charges against Assad regarding chemical weapons and our experience suggests to us that such is supremely possible.

Possible also is a false-flag attack by an interested party resulting in the sinking or damaging, say, of one of the five U.S. destroyers now on patrol just west of Syria. Our mainstream media could be counted on to milk that for all it’s worth, and you would find yourself under still more pressure to widen U.S. military involvement in Syria – and perhaps beyond, against Iran.

Iran has joined those who blame the Syrian rebels for the August 21 chemical incident, and has been quick to warn the U.S. not to get more deeply involved. According to the Iranian English-channel Press TV, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javid Zarif has claimed: “The Syria crisis is a trap set by Zionist pressure groups for [the United States].”

Actually, he may be not far off the mark. But we think your advisers may be chary of entertaining this notion. Thus, we see as our continuing responsibility to try to get word to you so as to ensure that you and other decision makers are given the full picture.

Inevitable Retaliation

We hope your advisers have warned you that retaliation for attacks on Syrian are not a matter of IF, but rather WHERE and WHEN. Retaliation is inevitable. For example, terrorist strikes on U.S. embassies and other installations are likely to make what happened to the U.S. “Mission” in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, look like a minor dust-up by comparison. One of us addressed this key consideration directly a week ago in an article titled “Possible Consequences of a U.S. Military Attack on Syria – Remembering the U.S. Marine Barracks Destruction in Beirut, 1983.”

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Thomas Drake, Senior Executive, NSA (former)

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan

Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)

W. Patrick Lang, Senior Executive and Defense Intelligence Officer, DIA (ret.)

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)

Todd Pierce, US Army Judge Advocate General (ret.)

Sam Provance, former Sgt., US Army, Iraq

Coleen Rowley, Division Council & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)

Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret); Foreign Service Officer (ret.)

******

The VIPS also wrote a memo on August 30, 2013, to General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on “Syria and Our Oath to Defend the Constitution.” Here’s the link to that memo.