IN A DESPERATE NEED TO GIVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SOMETHING TO CHEER, FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O DECLARED, "I HAVE NO MORE CAMPAIGNS TO RUN."
AFTER SIX YEARS OF SUFFERING, THE NATIONAL COMEDY IS COMING TO AN END.
The US-led occupation of Iraq continues with Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) reporting 175 violent deaths today. While the Canadian government acknowledges that combat took place for Canada and the Islamic State. Al Jazeera reports:
Canadian special forces have clashed with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group by exchanging gunfire in Iraq in recent days, in the first confirmed ground battle between Western troops and ISIL, a senior officer has said.
The Canadians came under mortar and machine gun fire while training Iraqi troops near front lines and shot back in what Canadian special forces commander Brigadier General Michael Rouleau described as self-defence, killing the ISIL fighters.
Rouleau said the melee had taken place in the previous seven days and was "the first time we've taken fire and returned fire" in Iraq, where the armed group has overrun large areas.
When did the exchange take place? Laura Payton (CBC News) offers it was "sometime in the last week when they went to the front lines following a planning session with senior Iraqi leaders, their commanding officer told reporters in Ottawa on Monday." BBC News quotes Brigadier General Michael Rouleau that the incident was "the first time we've taken fire and returned fire."
This wasn't supposed to happen. They were supposed to be advisors and trainers.
Steven Chase (Globe and Mail) points out:
The release by the Canadian military on Monday has triggered a debate about whether mission creep is afflicting what was supposed to be a relatively limited assignment for nearly 70 elite soldiers to offer military advice to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq.
The military and the Harper government insist these activities are not the kind of direct-combat ground operations that Canadians were assured troops would avoid in their role as instructors and trainers to peshmerga forces battling the Islamic State.
Mission creep is always a possibility. A point the American people should remember.
And as the news of combat for Canadian troops gets traction, There are calls for more foreign troops to be sent into Iraq. AFP reports, "US Senator John McCain on Monday urged the deployment of international ground forces to combat jihadists in Syria and Iraq, as he toured the Middle East with a Senate delegation."
While McCain called for more troops, Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with some US scholars. al-Abadi's office issued the following today:
PM Al-Abadi Discusses Developments in Iraq and the Region with American Think Tank Specialists
January 19 2015
Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi met today with researchers and specialists in Iraqi affairs and counter-terrorism from US-based think tanks.
During the meeting with Dr. Kenneth Pollack, Dr. Kimberly Kagan and Dr. Fred Kagan, they discussed security challenges facing Iraq and the region as part of the war against Daesh terrorists.
Prime Minister Al-Abadi stressed the need for greater awareness in the international community about the global threat of terrorist organizations. He called for greater efforts to dry up their funding streams, challenge extremist ideologies and develop more comprehensive intelligence mechanisms to monitor their movements and ultimately eliminate the threat posed to the entire world.
The American delegation in turn recognized the positive developments taking place in Iraq under Prime Minister Al-Abadi's leadership and welcomed the recent military successes achieved by the Iraqi Security Forces as part of the war against Daesh.
Kenneth Pollack is with the centrist Brooking Institute and right-wing Kim Kagan heads the Institute for the Study of War and her arm candy Fred Kagan is right-wing as well.
US President Barack Obama has no real plan for Iraq. He began bombing Iraq in August but bombing was never a plan.
It stopped being effective long ago.
And all these months later, Barack has nothing to show for the billion-dollars-plus he's wasted bombing Iraq.
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