The most important words from President Obama to the Russians (Putin) have already been said:
...VA Assistant Inspector General Linda Halliday said her office substantiated claims of data manipulation at a Philadelphia benefits office. She said dates were changed for old benefits claims to make them appear new...
...Monday’s hearing came hours after the VA released its latest processing numbers, showing that the agency had reduced its inventory of longstanding claims by 56 percent since the inventory reached a high of 611,000 cases in March 2013.
Asked whether she trusts the new figures, Halliday said: “At this point, I would say no, I can’t trust those numbers.”...
Time to burn the whole thing down and start over.
Seriously. Read a freaking history book. While I'm sure its not malicious, knock it off. [the third time I heard it said that way...it was by Chris Wallace of FoxNews Sunday]
Also, let's be honest. These advisors are there to select targets. And until force is authorized, they will be vulnerable.
Last, it will be WAY more than 300 "troops"...add in all of the contractors and support people. Double or triple the number.
President Obama is learning a lesson about strategy, but the price is beig paid by the Iraqi people (and the Afghans for that matter). You can declare a war to be over, or ended responsibly, and then pat yourself on the back for it. But if the enemy doesn't agree, their vote counts more than yours.
The enemy voted in Iraq and the results of that are dreadfully evident in the decapitated corpses lining the streets of several of Iraq's major cities. To make it worse the Iraqis dialed that global 911 number that is supposed to ring at the Pentagon, but it has been disconnected for five plus years now. So they called in the local Sharif and his deputies from Teheran. That's right, Iranian Revolutionary Guards are now busy doing the job Americans won't do- Killing Islamist terrorists in Iraq. The irony of that is sublimely painful since it is not that long since the Revolutionary Guards were sending Explosively Formed Projectile IEDs over the border to shred armor and the flesh and bones of our troops.
Obama's decision to cut and run from a responsible peace led to a complete withdrawal of US forces. He torpedoed negotiations that would have allowed us to stay and help them learn how to run their new democracy. To be clear, yes Bush agreed to a full withdrawal of troops, but that was understood by both us and the Iraqis as a temporary way to allow the Iraqi groups to assert their independence. When Obama went in to finalize a deal, he required that it be ratified by the Iraqi Parliament instead of an Executive Agreement. That was the kiss of death as there was no way many Iraqis in favor of our continued help could go on record voting for it and be seen as American stooges. Obama had been told this and knew it would kill the deal, but if your goal is to simply get us out of Bush's war it is easier if you have no agreement to stay.
Now the war our troops won in Iraq is being lost in their absence. The black flag of a group even al Qaeda disowned is flying freely. And the chance to have an ally in that troubled region is also being lost as the Iraqis see who they can count on, and it isn't us. Wars can't be ended with empty words; they are won or lost. That is the advice I gave in this video to a freshly minted Commander in Chief right after his first inauguration. He didn't listen about Afghanistan and sent troops there with no intention of fighting to win. Their blood and that shed in Iraq as well is on his hands.
Leadership is hard. Harry Truman wasn’t the best president ever, but at least he knew his job.
When it came time to decide in 1945 after the Potsdam Declaration, "Bomb or No bomb," he made the call and did the right thing, which was a very hard thing. When General MacArthur and he began to have significant differences of opinion on policy and operational conduct, he did the hard thing and relieved MacArthur. In both of these cases, he dealt with extraordinary pressures and demands and through it all, still made a decision.
Contrast that with what comes from the Occupant in Chief; lots and lots of "I just learned about this the same time you did" followed generally by "It was/wasn't a youtube video" "It was (insert policy maker/leaders' name here) decision" followed closely by not doing anything of significance or involving competence and then pivoting to solving the student loan crisis.
My guess is that Barack is going to say he learned about all of this Al-Qaeda movement from the media. At least, that will be his excuse. Might be a good one, since he doesn't attend his daily briefings.
Fox News has poses the question of whether or not this administration was "taking a nap" on this current rollback of freedom in the Middle East. I would say that is the understatement of the century.
This is what “leading from behind” without any leadership experience at all combined with the view of an unenlightened academic who was put in charge by the unintelligent looks like. This is the picture of incompetence, combined with a dangerous soup of a lack of forethought and foresight and an inability to make any decision regarding anything more complicated than ordering lunch.
This is not the failure of Bush, as much as the trolls and the uninformed want to hope and wish that it is; this is the failure of Obama. Failure. Utter and complete failure as a leader. Failure on so many levels that I can’t even mention them all. All this guy had to do was negotiate a SOFA so that we could secure any gains made in Iraq and build a lasting peace. That was it, work with our allies to tie up the loose ends. Instead, he tied his shoelaces together and now, we get to watch as ISIS and Al-Qaeda drive heavy equipment into city after city in Iraq. Cities that good men and women bled and died in.
So much has been undone by the actions of this feckless horse’s ass who talks out of both sides of his mouth and means none of it, along with his incompetent handmaidens in his administration working hand in hand with the "Amen Chorus" that is the state run media to try to convince everyone how bad is good, up is down, and enemies are friends.
Thanks Barack. Scientists can't measure how awesome this is. Maybe you should head to Baghdad and read them a copy of your Cairo speech. I am sure ISIS will be impressed.
Hubris and narcissism are arguably the two largest failings of a leader. This president has them both in such abundance that even his friends and allies can no longer tolerate him, his polices and his decisions. They know, even with their stupid politics that ultimately, leaders take responsibility, they don’t spend their time excuse making and blaming anything bad that happens on Youtube videos, the other party in Congress, or farming it out to another senior leader and saying “it was his decision.”
It is too high a bar I guess to expect him to know that leaders don’t blame fix blame, they fix the problem.
There are so many parallels of the past here that they are crashing into each other. The march of so many enemies, so many failures and so many excuses. It is starting to look like a bad combination of 1913, 1933, and 1950 all rolled into one giant exploding excrement pile that is going to cover most of the free world.
These years of my life are turning out to be the worst of them as a veteran. I never understood the anger of the Vietnam veterans and their generation until I was older and watching what is happening now. It puts many things about that time into perspective. This must be exactly what veterans of the Vietnam War felt like. All of our friends and comrades killed and maimed so that Iraq could have to opportunity to live as they choose, even if we didn’t agree with 100 percent of it, and now we get to live long enough to watch all that they fought and died for evaporate before our eyes.
Mosul 2014 looks like Da Nang in 1975 and Baghdad 2014 is starting to look a whole lot like Saigon in 1975.
There is this sickness in my stomach watching what passes for leadership in my country do what they are not doing. I keep hoping that I am going to wake up and find it was all a terrible nightmare.
Watching this happen makes me angrier and sadder than I have ever been.
The DoD counsel in the hearing was also the DoD counsel under the Clinton administration. His stunning admission:
...At the Bergdahl/Hagel hearing going on in the House today, Democrat Rep. Adam Smith asked DoD General Counsel Stephen Preston for a specific example from the past where the United States “dealt with non-state actors who are holding a service member in order to achieve their recovery.” Preston cited the release of Michael Durant, the Army helicopter pilot of Blackhawk Down fame, who was held prisoner for eleven days by Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid after his helicopter was shot down in 1993. Preston suggested Durant was released in exchange for a number of Adid’s fighters who were captured during the same battle...
Of course, non-state actors could mean any third party negotiators or go-betweens...Read the whole piece at the National Review.
I also think it's pretty damn safe to say the Sergeant Bergdahl was no Chief Durant.
While Jimbo is telling us to not get distracted with SecDef taking the fall for the Bergdahl Trade for Terrorists when State was the most likely orchestrator, we need to keep one thing in mind...Secretary Hagel is a member of the E4 Mafia.
...Hagel also remarked that, as a former enlisted man, he understood aspects of military life that elude most career officers, including how the Army’s supply lines, physical training, distribution of labor, and maps work. He is not without skeletons however, including his rumors of association while an Army Specialist with the E-4 Mafia, a suspected but unconfirmed league of conspirators, gamblers, and smugglers...
First, did I miss something and the Cleveland Cavaliers management is now working prisoner swap deals for the Obama Administration?
Back to John Kerry's latest gaffe...
Yes, he said on CBS that more troops (or Americans) will NOT be in danger from these people...maybe he's hoping (or is confident) that we won't find out about it.
..."These guys pick a fight with us in the future or now or at any time at enormous risk. And we have proven what we're capable of doing with al Qaeda," he said. Though Kerry did not go so far as to say the U.S. would kill them, he declared, "No one should doubt the capacity of America to protect Americans."
He said it was "baloney" to suggest that more U.S. troops will end up in danger from the Taliban because the administration has demonstrated its willingness to engage in a prisoner swap...
Enormous risk? You think the Taliban are worried about enormous risk?!
The enormous risk is trusting John Kerry and the Obama administration.