Saturday, April 01, 2017





As we noted in Wednesday's snapshot of Liar Kevin Liptak (CNN) ridiculous lie that the US is not in combat in Iraq:

It wasn't clear what fighting?  Combat mission ended in 2010?  Primarily advise and assist?
I'm sick of liars, I'm sick of whores.
The US is in combat in Iraq.
By any definition that's reality.

More to the point, former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (2/15 through 1/17) spoke of this reality repeatedly to Congress when he served as Secretary of Defense.
I'm getting damn tired of your all bulls**t and lies because you hate Donald Trump.
It became combat the minute war planes -- US war planes -- began bombing in August of 2014.
It was combat before that for the special-ops left behind after the December 2011 drawdown, it remained combat when Barack sent another brigade of special ops in the fall of 2012.
Does Liar Liptak not know what Tim Arango (NEW YORK TIMES) reported in September of 2012:

Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.        

All of that's before August of 2014 when then-President Barack Obama begins the daily bombings of Iraq. 

Need another definition?

This is Gen Joseph Votel:

The Counter-ISIS (C-ISIS) Campaign has entered its third year and we are on track with the military plan to defeat the terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria. Our "by, with, and through" approach and operational level simultaneity strategy are working, and our partner forces continue to build momentum across the battlespace as we pressure the enemy on multiple fronts and across all domains. Together we are forcing the enemy to deal with multiple simultaneous dilemmas (e.g., ground operations, airstrikes, cyber activities, information operations, and discrete interdictions of resource flows). This is putting increased pressure on their operations and command and control capability while stretching their limited resources. 

Kevin Liptak is an embarrassment.

He's not a reporter.

And we should all hope he's a liar because the alternative would be that he's too stupid to understand what combat is.

Wednesday, the commander of CENTCOM, Gen Joseph Votel, appeared before the House Armed Services Committee.

We'll note these opening remarks.

US House Rep Adam Smith:  The only issue I want to highlight and hopefully have the General discuss a little bit as we continue in Iraq the problem to my mind continues to be that the Baghdad government is not inclusive enough of the Sunni population.  Uhm, I met with a Sunni tribal leader yesterday.  Uhm, you know, certainly Prime Minister Abadi is trying whereas Prime Minister al-Maliki did not.  But there's not been much improvement. There is still a feeling amongst the Sunni population that Baghdad is more -- is closer to Iran than it is to their own Sunni population.  And to my mind, until we fix that problem, whatever happens in Mosul, whatever happens elswehre, if you have a disgruntled, dissatisfied, pushed aside Sunni population in Iraq, you are going to have fertile ground for ISIS, al Qaeda or whatever extremist groups want to exploit is.  So I'm curious to hear what we're doing to try and re-integrate the Sunnis into the Baghdad government so that it is not a Shi'ite sectarian government but a government for Iraq. I think that will be a great challenge going forward.

US House Rep Adam Smith is the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, US House Rep Mac Thornberry is the Chair.

We'll focus on this exchange.

Ranking Member Adam Smith:  If you could answer the question I'd raised in my opening statement about where the Sunni population in Iraq is at right now because it sounds like it's still a very deep divide.  Uhm, and while I concur with the Chairman's comments about the civilian casualties in Mosul, I know that the Sunni population is concerned about the fight that's going on there and the loss of life that is going on there from both sides.  They're also concerned about the Shi'ite militias, Iranian-backed militias, and basically the general feeling that this continues to be a Shia run country that is not making room for the Sunnis.  And that, you know, undermines our entire effort, I think, to defeat these groups.  Is that an inaccurate portrait?  Is it better than that?  And what are we doing to try to -- to try to fix what problems we may have?

Gen Joseph Vogel:  Congressman, the way that I would -- the way that I would characterize is I think in the near term here is -- is as Iraq and assisted by the coalition confronts the ISIS that they're dealing with, there has been some level of local accommodations, some cooperations, some collaborations between different groups really focused on doing this.  I would cite to you our continued efforts to raise tribal forces to bring -- uh, hold forces into -- into these areas -- particularly Sunni areas as, after they have been cleared, we have seen some success with that.  But I would agree with you that, longterm, there is still much work to be done.  I know in my interactions with the prime minister, we frequently talk about this, he is very concerned about it and, uh, and, uh, but also I think recognizes -- uh, uh, the-the balance that will have to be achieved here in the region with a variety of different interests that are ongoing and, uhm, so I-I think he-he-he clearly recognizes that.  But I would agree with you that more will need to be done to ensure that the Sunni population feels, uh, engaged, empowered and, uh, and, uh, a part of -- a part of Iraq and the, uh, Iraqi people. 

Ranking Member Adam Smith: Quick question on that, the issue of arming the Kurds or Sunni tribesmen, there was frustration expressed that they weren't able to get those arms directly and that it is our position -- our country's position that all of that has to go through Baghdad, basically.  Then I understand that.  Is that accurate?  And how is that impacting our ability to arm the Kurds and the Sunni tribesmen that we want to fight with us?

Gen Joseph Vogel: In, uh, I-I-I believe that made -- we've made some good progress on that in the last year.  There certainly were some, uh, some issues with that in the past in terms of how it was done but particularly, uh, as we got focused on the operation for Mosul, I think we had a high level of collaboration and cooperation between the, uh-uh, Kurdistan Regional Government and, uh -- and, uh, government of Iraq, particularly as they prepared their plans and prepared their forces for that operation.  I would highlight to you that I think one of the -- one of the key successes here and I think this has influenced the, uh, government of Iraq is the high - the high level of the coordination that took place at the military levels and the security levels as that operation gets under way -- and that continues to this day. And I do believe that is a basis for moving forward. That said, it's something that we continue to keep our -- to keep our eye on.

You'd stammer through your replies to Adam Smith as well if you were forced to sell no progress at all as some form of progress.