By Larry Johnson on October 21, 2014 at 11:46 PM in Current Affairs | 51 Comments
What is going on in Iraq? Do not believe what you are seeing on the news. It is skewed and manipulated. Stick with the facts. First there is Kobani. It does look like US airstrikes have slowed the Islamic State advance. But they still control significant territory and have managed to get their hands on military supplies and weapons intended for the Kurdish fighters.
So, we are now providing Islamic State with more military power. Brilliant.
But the problem does not stop there. Baghdad is the real target and the situation is getting worse. Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on October 19, 2014 at 3:38 PM in Current Affairs | 85 Comments
I apologize for failing to post anything in the last three days. I have had some “puter” issues. All fixed, now back to battle.
Should you be afraid? No, not yet. But the chaos and confusion exhibited by the CDC and the rest of the Obama Administration was genuine. Their main problem is that they treat every issue thru the narrow lens of partisan domestic politics. Rarely does Barack Obama insist on doing something because it is the right thing. Instead, he carefully weighs whether or not it is good for him.
I have a unique insight into what is going on behind the scenes in the Ebola world, at least here in the United States. I cannot divulge more than that because it would compromise my source.
There are several issues we need to worry about. First, the west African countries where Ebola is spinning out of control need to be quarantined. That means no more commercial air flights in and out until the rate of infection starts to decline. That means those countries will have to rely on charter flights and military air lift.
But this creates some serious issues. Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on October 15, 2014 at 10:39 AM in Current Affairs | 172 Comments
No matter how incompetent and inept you think Obama is, it is worse than you think. The Ebola crisis is a case in point. Obama’s team decided it would be a good symbolic gesture to announce that they would start screening arriving passengers from West Africa. Great. Then what? Turns out that no one at CDC or HHS has planned for these details. For example, if you spot someone with symptoms, what do you do? Do you put them back on a plane? Do you have an isolation area set up at the airport? Which healthcare officials will be alerted? Will the person or persons be transported to a hospital? If so, which hospital? What about the other passengers on that flight? Will they be kept together and monitored?
These are fundamental planning questions that are unanswered. Failure to properly handle this can create additional risk to the public health.
I am not making this up. I learned about this late last night. Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on October 13, 2014 at 2:34 AM in Current Affairs | 80 Comments
The schizophrenia of the Obama Administration was on display this morning on the Sunday talk shows. First there was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, talking to ABC’s Martha Raddatz. General Dempsey conceded that the Islamic State’s advance in Iraq has been more effective and wider spread than previously reported. In addition, he admitted that the coalition air war against ISIS is failing to achieve its objectives.
The key takeaway for me is the dire situation in Anbar province, where the Islamic State is steadily advancing and closing in on Baghdad. Did you catch Dempsey off-handed acknowledgement that US Apache helicopters were employed in order to prevent the IS from overtaking Baghdad International Airport.
But that is not how the NSC bimbo, Ms. Susan Rice, sees things (Jesus!! She is embarrassing): Read the rest
By 1124 on October 10, 2014 at 9:44 PM in Current Affairs | 57 Comments
Self-delusion and denial are not a good military policy, tactic or strategy. But that’s where we are. The Islamic State aka ISIS aka ISIL aka DAASH is not a terrorist group. It is an army. A legitimate conventional military power. It is not invincible, but it is very well armed. Thanks to the inept Iraqi Army, who abandoned their weapons and their outposts, the Islamic State army acquired artillery, tanks, trucks, armored vehicles, anti-tank weapons, shoulder fired surface to arm missiles and counter battery.
Within the last two weeks the Islamic State has shot down two Iraqi helicopters. They are systematically sweeping thru Anbar province and consolidating their control of that territory. They are showing remarkable discipline. I initially assumed that their religious fervor would trump military strategy. I was wrong on that point. Instead, they are moving methodically and are surrounding Baghdad.
US airpower has been very ineffective in sapping the will of IS to fight or preventing them from taking territory. Our airstrikes are essentially an empty symbolic gesture. Yes, we are there. But we are not hurting the bad guys.
One of the problems we face in getting an accurate assessment of what is transpiring in Islamic State controlled territory. There are no embedded reporters. The only thing the American public is seeing are the images from Kobane, as IS, despite US bombing runs, has taken over the city and is now mopping up. Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on October 9, 2014 at 8:14 PM in Current Affairs | 29 Comments
I am genuinely shocked by the ignorance and naiveté being demonstrated by a host of pundits and policymakers with respect to Turkey. The Turks are not going to invade Syria to fight ISIS/ISIL. Ain’t going to happen. They will not use their air assets to kill ISIS/ISL fighters. Nope.
Erdogan has only one key interest–get rid of Bashir Assad and put Iran on its heels. And the Kurds? He does not care. As far as Erdogan is concerned, ISIS/ISIL can kill as many Kurds as they wish. Fewer Kurds, fewer future problems for Erdogan.
Do you understand? Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on October 7, 2014 at 8:57 PM in Current Affairs | 114 Comments
If you did not get a chance to watch Bill O’Reilly’s interview of Leon Panetta, I have two words for you–HOLY SHIT!! Seriously, Panetta destroyed Obama. “The US is in crisis and Obama will not lead.”
Panetta was polite. He maintained the claim that Obama is a “smart” person. But anyone who watched or listened to Panetta came away with a clear picture that Barack Obama is incompetent and asleep at the wheel.
Here is Part II.
Devastating. Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on October 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM in Current Affairs | 19 Comments
Obama has failed to learn the first rule of crisis management–if you are in a hole, stop digging. The public’s perception of Obama is gelling around the image of a lightweight, feckless weakling. Jimmy Carter was toast once the picture emerged of him waving a canoe paddle to fend off a swimming rabbit. With respect to Obama, the public sees a guy playing golf wearing goofy shorts while American citizens are getting their heads chopped off by Islamic madmen.
We now have the spectacle of Vice President Joe Biden committing the most serious crime one can do in Washington. He told the truth.
Speaking last week at Harvard, Biden correctly noted:
He said that the regional allies of the U.S, determined to take down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, “poured hundreds of millions dollars, and tens thousands of tones of weapons into anyone who would fight against al-Assad, accepted the people who would be in supply for Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and extremist elements of jihadists coming from other parts of the world.” Read the rest
By W Patrick Lang on October 6, 2014 at 9:21 PM in Current Affairs | 37 Comments
(NOTE FROM LARRY JOHNSON–Posted with Pat Lang’s permission. Pat’s website, sic semper tyrannis, is must read territory.)
“Without forward air controllers in Kobane, fighter pilots likely find it difficult to distinguish friend from foe, particularly as the IS militants seek to move among civilians to conceal their location, said Ben Connable, a retired Marine Corps intelligence officer.
“We probably don’t have good enough intelligence to separate all the prospective targets from friendly fighters,” Connable, now a senior anlayst at the RAND Corporation think tank, said.
Even with the advanced cameras and sensors on US warplanes, clearly identifying an enemy target remains difficult, and even more challenging in poor weather, Connable said.
“It’s hard to tell,” he said. “You may think you have identified something in a video, but you may not have.” Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on October 3, 2014 at 10:32 PM in Current Affairs | 123 Comments
Well, Obama has opened a new front on incompetence. We will soon have almost 4000 troops from Africom in West Africa. This is a damn fool decision by Obama. The Army is not a social work outfit. They are not development specialists. They are not a medical expeditionary force. It is a military force designed to fight. They are supposed to be a killing machine. But not in Obama’s fantasy world.
The Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland has been ordered to prepare to receive soldiers with Ebola. The odds are high that the soldiers of Africom will contract Ebola. When, not if, but when that happens, the combat effectiveness of Africom will be degraded.
You do not use a hammer to paint a room. You do not use an Army to fight a medical catastrophe. Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on October 1, 2014 at 11:15 PM in Current Affairs | 79 Comments
Well, we can see how effective the pinprick US air strikes are in thwarting ISIS/ISIL. USELESS!!
Here’s the headlines and story from 18 September:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Three suicide car bombs were detonated in the Shi’ite Baghdad neighborhood of Kadhimiya on Thursday followed by 12 mortar rounds fired in from outside the district, killing at least 16 people, security sources said.
The area in northern Baghdad is the site of a major Shi’ite shrine. A mortar round landed near the shrine, the sources said. They added that gunfire was heard in the district.
So, what is happening two weeks later? Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on September 29, 2014 at 12:38 PM in Current Affairs | 101 Comments
Barack Obama is hoping that most Americans are morons or seized with a terminal case of Alzheimers disease. He and his sycophants are busy making the rounds and saying the most astonishing nonsense. Some of you already have pointed out in comments on other posts some of the more egregious examples, e.g., blaming ISIS on an intelligence failure.
One of the other audacious claims (and it is not made by Obama alone, Republicans like John McCain and Lindsey Graham also are on board) is that Syria’s Bashir Assad is responsible for the rise of ISIS and that we need to take him out in order to get rid of ISIS. This is a lie and smacks of something that Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, might have cooked up.
The rise of ISIS coincided with Obama’s embrace of the Arab Spring coupled with pressure from Saudi Arabia to destabilize other authoritarian regimes it viewed as rivals and/or a nemesis. It also stems from Obama’s domestic campaign strategy to get re-elected by taking credit for ending “wars” and eliminating the threat from Islamic extremists. The central message of Obama’s reelection campaign–Osama is dead and al Qaeda is on the run. Let me connect the dots for you using mostly publicly sources.
Let us start with Obama’s January 2012 State of the Union address. That marked the first rollout of his catch phrase about trouncing the muslim jihadists.
President Obama last night in his State of the Union address signaled what he’ll run on this year, and he’s going to take that message on the road with stops in five battleground states over the next three days. Last night’s speech, focused on economic fairness with the president trying to sound like an optimistic populist. He delivered the speech with the confidence of a president who, in his most complete way yet, took credit for what he believes are his best accomplishments — killing Osama bin Laden, ending the war in Iraq, the auto industry’s turnaround, private-sector job growth (especially in manufacturing), cutting the deficit by more than $2 trillion, and new rules for Wall Street.
He also insisted that “Al Qaeda was on the run.” Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on September 28, 2014 at 10:35 AM in Current Affairs | 77 Comments
The following (starting at “Good Morning”) is an excellent compilation of germane news articles covering various facets of the debacle that is Obama’s policy provided in a comment by “JOHN FRANK” in the post, Obama’s Slow Motion Trainwreck. I believe it is worthy of your attention.
After watching the Obama flacks on the Sunday morning talk shows, principally Anthony Blinken, it is now clear that the Obama team is relying on clever words and political spin rather than an actual strategy in confronting ISIS. Example? They insist that unlike George W. Bush, Obama has assembled a massive international coalition. This is laughable. Getting people to sign their names to a petition is one thing. Actually committing military force and resources is a completely different matter. Self-delusion is becoming the hallmark of the Obama administration.
Obama’s biggest problem is that he and his team of children insist this is a counter terrorism strategy and mission. No, it is not. ISIS/ISIL is fielding a force of more than 30,000 fighters. That is a conventional army and must be defeated conventionally, which means “boots” on the ground. Obama’s “no boots” mantra is akin to him insisting that the Sun rises in the West. The persistent repetition of that phrase does not change the reality that the Sun rises in the East. “No Boots” on the ground means No Victory over ISIS/ISIL.
1. In related news: Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on September 26, 2014 at 2:20 PM in Current Affairs | 112 Comments
If judged only by rhetoric and photo ops, Barack Obama is having great success in waging his new war in Iraq. But this is delusional. When you match up actions on the ground with the rhetoric, the picture is not one of success but failure. Take the so-called “international” coalition. A large number of countries agree, in theory, the ISIS/ISIL is bad. Several of these countries have committed combat aircraft to fly missions over Iraq and Syria. But these airstrikes are largely useless–ISIS/ISIL, while operating in some facets like a conventional army, does not hold or occupy the kinds of fixed installations that can be easily destroyed by air power.
If you listened to the press conference with Secretary Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Dempsey today then you would have heard Dempsey confirm a critical point that I made more than a month ago–ISIS/ISIL cannot be defeated nor destroyed through air power. In fact, Dempsey reiterated it will require a ground force. ISIS/ISIL must be confronted with an army.
Here is where the delusional mindset of the Obama crowd becomes apparent. Obama insists that we will not put US combat forces on the ground. Okay. Who is going to provide the troops? The answer? Nobody knows.
Dempsey expressed hope that Iraq’s government would be able to persuade Iraqi Shias, Kurds and Sunnis to come together to fight ISIS/ISIL. Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on September 24, 2014 at 5:07 PM in Current Affairs | 124 Comments
So, which is it? ISIS/ISIL, with over 30,000 fanatics under arms, are not as dangerous as the Khorasan Group, which has about 50 people. Seriously? Reminds me of this great scene from True Lies:
Looks like Obama has adopted the Bush fear fantasy in a desperate bid to bolster his sagging domestic political fortune. What next? The “Black Sand Spider of Death?” Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on September 23, 2014 at 5:08 PM in Current Affairs | 81 Comments
You cannot make this up. Per the Pentagon briefer today–a three star Army General–we launched a $1.4 million dollar cruise missile to take out a $5,000 antennae array on top of a building in Syria. Yeah, that’s cost effective.
The absurdity of the Obama war will become increasingly apparent in the coming weeks. ISIS/ISIL will continue to advance and, despite the delusional claims of great international support, the US effort will fail to deliver a fatal blow to the muslim extremists now in control of a large swath of Iraq and Syria. Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on September 23, 2014 at 10:33 AM in Current Affairs | 26 Comments
We never learn a damn thing. Can you remember all of the excitement and breathless reporting that accompanied the first air strikes in Baghdad way back in March of 2003? Despite all of the political spin and cheerleading bullshit at the time, the actual effect of those air strikes was modest and inconsequential. Here we are again. The White House spin machine is in full gear and insisting the United States has won a great victory with a magnificent international coalition.
Obama has cut a deal with Saudi Arabia–he’s promising to get rid of Bashir Assad in exchange for Saudi political cover in going after ISIS. Don’t believe me, just listen to Obama. He just finished his “address” to the world justifying his latest war crime. He specifically states that:
… we will move forward with our plans, supported by bipartisan majorities in Congress, to ramp up our effort to train and equip the Syrian opposition, who are the best counterweight to ISIL and the Assad regime.
What the hell are we doing? This is a most dangerous time. Not a single person surrounding Obama at the White House has military or intelligence experience of any consequence. Their sole concern is domestic politics and the are oblivious to the international implications of what they are doing. Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on September 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM in Current Affairs | 119 Comments
Had to bring this up from below (thanks to “John Frank”)
Obama is restarting the war that never really ended. He, with help from Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, Susan Rice and Valerie “Jarrat”, launched a similar crazy military campaign in Libya. How did that turn out? Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on September 18, 2014 at 8:03 PM in Current Affairs | 91 Comments
Just because Congress wants to do something insane and illegal does not mean that the President must be complicit in breaking the law. But Barack Obama is all in with violating international law and engaging in a public act of war against Syria, a country that has not threatened us or attacked us.
Hiding behind the fig leaf of arming “moderate” Islamic rebels, who want to oust Bashir Assad, to fight “radical” Islamic rebels, who also want to get rid of Assad, Obama is actually committing America and her stature to ousting the Syrian leader. If there is such a thing as karma, we are totally screwed.
Rand Paul is one of the few politicians in Washington with the courage and integrity to stand against this madness:
We Americans really need to take a good hard look in the mirror. We are the biggest goddamn hypocrites and bullies in the world. Read the rest
By Larry Johnson on September 17, 2014 at 9:19 PM in Current Affairs | 67 Comments
He’s the President and he gets the blame. He has presided over the complete collapse of consensus in America about what is our national interest and what is worth dying for. Just like the fish, which rots from the head, the trouble with the Obama Administration starts in the Oval Office. We have watched the mental gymnastics of Barack Obama over the last six months–first he described ISIS as Junior Varsity and now he believes they are Death Star Storm Troopers. They have been magically transformed in Obama world from humble farmers and bankers to cold blooded religious warriors.
The confusion does not stop there. Susan Rice and John Kerry, for example, have claimed it is not war and then, within hours, reversed themselves and gravely conceded we need to wage war on ISIS. When John Kerry is getting pilloried by Jon Stewart for the newest set of flip flops you know you’ve reached critical mass. The reversals and flips by the Obama team put to shame the work of the Russian and US Olympic gymnastic teams in the last two Olympics.
We have witnessed the equivalent of two Olympics’ worth of floor gymnastics in terms of the political acrobatics going on in Washington.
Obama compounds the problem of trying to decide on a strategy for defeating ISIS by persisting in the foolish, myopic quest to dethrone Syria’s Bashir Assad. But this foolishness also is laid at the feet of many Republicans. Read the rest