A guest on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry show, Iraq war veteran Earl Catagnus Jr., seems to believe that the number of military advisors President Obama is sending into Iraq (300) is extremely significant. He said:
“I have to just mention this about the 300, and what the significance of that number is, it’s symbolic. The movie now, 300 with the 300 Spartans, is an East versus West fight. I don’t know if this is where the sophistication - why the President chose 300, and I don’t know but it signals maybe to Iran, because we see that because the movie was a big downer, and Iran it wasn’t allowed to be played because it shows the Persians in this negative, barbarous state. Again, it’s an example of something, if it isn’t intended, and it’s an unintended consequence, you’re thumbing your nose at another part of the region just because of your ignorance of what that means, that 300 military advisers, American Spartan warriors that are the special forces and, again, I don’t know if that was intended or unintended, but it will signal a message to Iran.”
Yes, that’s someone trying to claim that President Obama’s decision to send 300 military advisers to Iraq is somehow tied with the movie 300 starring Gerard Butler.
I’m sure in the midst of an extremely tense situation developing in Iraq, President Obama sat there thinking to himself, “You know, let’s send 300 troops over to Iraq in a symbolic gesture like the Spartans used against the Persians in that movie 300. That way, we’ll not only be advising Iraq on how to handle these Islamic insurgents, but we’ll be sticking it to Iran at the same time.”
So much for the stereotype of submissive, powerless Muslim women. Sounds like she took some ISIS assholes with her before she went. Added emphasis is mine.
The daughter of a prominent Sunni tribal leader killed by al-Qaeda seven years ago, she was said to have been wielding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher when she was hit by a sniper. […]
Her father, Sheikh Naji Jabara, was assassinated with a car bomb by al-Qaeda in Iraq, a forerunner of Isis, in 2007. He was the leader of a provincial branch of the so-called “Sahwa” or Awakening Councils, tribes which although Sunni eventually joined forces with American and British troops to take on the increasingly extremist insurgency in Sunni Iraq.
Her uncle, Abdullah, was also killed by Isis earlier this year while fighting to withstand an attack on the provincial council building in the major Salahuddin city of Samarra, home to an important Shia shrine. […]
Miss Jabara was the adviser on women’s affairs and social welfare to the governor of Salahuddin province. According to local reports, she had already killed a number of Isis fighters before she died. […]
“We have a request from the Iraqi government for air power,” Dempsey told a Senate hearing in Washington. Asked whether the United States should honor that request, he said: “It is in our national security interest to counter ISIL wherever we find them.”
As always comments welcome to go with your vote.
Submitted without comment.
O decision on Iraq is right one. I was open 2 staying if he made the case it wld help w Iran, but Iraq war is over. It's time
Last American combat troops leave Iraq. I think President George W. Bush deserves some credit for victory.
If I can think of three human beings on this planet who shouldn’t be giving any kind of advice or opinions as it relates to national security, our military, the loss of American lives or foreign affairs, they would be George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
In fact, they should all be on trial for war crimes right now - but that’s a topic for another article.
So when I ran across an interview Rumsfeld did with Fox News about Benghazi, I was completely disgusted and enraged. How can someone who was a leading figure in sending over 4,400 Americans to die in Iraq based on a lie sit there and lecture someone else about four Americans dying in Benghazi? Don’t get me wrong, every loss of life is tragic, but when you’re largely responsible for 4,400 deaths for which you’ve never once apologized, it’s extremely hypocritical to try to fake outrage over four deaths.
Even Fox News host Neil Cavuto questioned Rumsfeld on his hypocrisy on botched intelligence, considering the Iraq war was a massive intelligence failure by the Bush administration. Rumsfeld had the nerve to say, “That’s a totally different question to me.”
Of course it’s a different question. One because, while Benghazi is tragic, it wasn’t botched intelligence to such a degree that an entire country was sent to war costing thousands of Americans their lives. Secondly, because Rumsfeld sure as hell doesn’t want to discuss the massive failures he and his fellow Republicans subjected this country to during Bush’s eight years in the White House. So yeah, they’re completely different - the crap Republicans put this country through during Bush’s eight years was much worse.
There are two major planks to Salam’s argument, and they will ring familiar to anyone who lived in the immediate post-9/11 world: that America must have an aggressive and powerful army, first because our strength is required to bring stability to a vulnerable world, and second because there is so much evil in the world, we are required to defeat it. These are not, let’s say, the freshest of arguments when it comes to the defense of neoconservatism. But since he’s brought them back up, they should be addressed.
In essence, both arguments can be refuted with three words: should implies can. For the argument towards stability, I ask simply: we have endured a war in Iraq, we still have thousands of troops in Afghanistan, we have waged secret wars in Pakistan and Yemen. I ask you: how stable do you find the world? How stable was the world at the height of the Bush Doctrine? What possible evidence can be offered that neoconservatism brings stability in fact, rather than merely in rhetoric?
Nor is it clear that the enduring American military dominance Salam advocates for can be achieved. I would certainly oppose American military hegemony even if I thought such a thing were still possible, but it’s irrelevant, because I don’t. To quote Matthew Yglesias, relative decline is not a choice. That the United States cannot maintain its status as unipolar power forever should be obvious to anyone who has studied history and anyone with a newspaper subscription. The rapidly developing economies and massive populations of countries like China and India make that plain enough. That’s not to say that there will necessarily be a new dominant superpower, but it’s a reason you should bet on the field.
In the past seven days, we’ve seen a major terror attack on Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad Iraq where 500 prisoners, including senior members of al Qaeda were freed by terrorists, and now we’ve got reports of a major attack on a prison complex in Pakistan has meant several hundred more terrorists and Taliban have been freed.
Pakistani Taliban disguised as policemen attacked a prison in the country’s northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan, freeing more than 300 prisoners late on Monday.
The jail officials said that several of the prisoners, four security personnel and two assailants were killed in the attack. The prison was housing at least 5000 prisoners, 250 of them hardcore militants.
Malik Qasim Khattak, advisor to the ministry of prisons, said that around 50 to 60 gunmen attacked the jail with bombs and guns before entering into the detention facility. “They detonated about 60 bombs inside the facility which caused the collapse of prison wall. The assailants succeeded in freeing more than 300 prisoners,” Khattak said, adding that the militants blew up two electricity transformers which created complete darkness.
While accepting responsibility for the attack, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed that their attackers had freed around 300 inmates.
Bill Roggio indicates at least 30 of those escapees were hardcore militants. Roggio further indicates those responsible are the Ansar al Aseer, a joint Taliban and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan unit that has been designated to free imprisoned jihadists.
At the time of the attack on Abu Ghraib (now called the Baghdad Central Prison), I warned that those freed would not only rejoin the insurgency in Iraq, but could spread across the region causing mayhem in Syria’s civil war, or spark violence in Jordan, Egypt, or Turkey.
Now, we’ve got a second high profile incident involving attacks on detention facilities where high value al Qaeda and/or Taliban prisoners have been held - in a single week.
That doesn’t just happen out of thin air, though this is not the first time that the Taliban have attempted attacks on detention facilities with the goal of freeing Taliban/ and/or al Qaeda leadership. It’s part of a long term trend to bolster their numbers by taking on a major offensive. High profile attacks against detention facilities would do the trick.
The breakout in Pakistan means that terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the frontier provinces that are nominally under Pakistani control are likely to be emboldened to carry on further attacks, including against detention facilities. They may also seek out attacks against the ISAF in Afghanistan, the supply lines, as well as India. This doesn’t bode well for those countries as the terrorist attacks have largely resulted in significant civilian casualties.
American infantry carry automatic weapons but most of the time they fire one precise shot at a time. In Afghanistan and Iraq the locals quickly got to know when American troops were fighting in the area. They were the ones firing single shots. The other guys fired their AK-47s on full auto. But it was the sparser American firepower that dominated. Better training, and high tech sights, made the U.S. troops very accurate. This led to wider use of snipers, with up to ten percent of American troops qualified and equipped for this kind of shooting. Snipers alone have greatly changed American infantry tactics. Using night vision scopes, small UAVs, and personal radios for every soldier American infantry battalions can quickly deploy a dozen or more two man sniper teams that will turns a large area into deathtrap for enemy forces.