CRANKY CLINTON IS IN THE MIDST OF ANOTHER FIRESTORM AS REVELATIONS EMERGE THAT NOT ONLY DID SHE REFUSE TO TURN OVER E-MAILS TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT FOR THEM TO DETERMINE WHAT WAS OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND WHAT WAS PERSON DURING HER TIME AS SECRETARY OF STATE (WHEN SHE REFUSED TO USE A GOVERNMENT E-MAIL WHICH WOULD HAVE RECORDED ALL OF HER E-MAILS FOR THE HISTORIC RECORD), BUT DESPITE THE STATE DEPARTMENT HAVING ASKED HER TO TURN OVER ALL E-MAILS LATE LAST FALL, SHE DID NOT.
NOT ONLY DID SHE REFUSE TO TURN THEM OVER, IT HAS EMERGED THAT SHE ALSO WIPED HER SERVER POSSIBLY MAKING WHAT WAS ON IT LOST FOREVER.
REACHED FOR COMMENT BY THESE REPORTERS LATE TONIGHT, CRANKY CLINTON REPLIED, "OF COURSE I WIPED! WHAT KIND OF HUMAN BEING WOULD I BE IF I DIDN'T WIPE! I ALSO FLUSH!"
WITH THAT, CRANKY HUNG UP.
Egypt announced its support for UN efforts to seek a political solution to the conflict in Libya, yet warned of the possible ‘lengthy’ time period needed for peaceful negotiations to conclude.
“We cannot ask the Libyan people to endure the fire of terrorism until a political solution is reached,” President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said Saturday, in his opening speech at the Arab League Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh.
The Libyan people shouldn't have to, no. But haven't the Iraqi people been forced to?
And not just for a few months or even for a year but for years -- plural.
The US government (under Bully Boy Bush) demanded in 2006 that Nouri al-Maliki be made prime minister. From 2006 through 2010, he accomplished nothing and his failures were somewhat hidden by the fact that US boots were on the ground. They were misused, to be sure. They were used to provide stability for a government that was non-inclusive and that was accomplishing nothing. The 'surge,' you may remember, was supposed to be the US troops providing stability and security which would free up the Iraqi government to focus on the political process. While the US military carried out their task, Nouri failed at his.
By 2010, Nouri was a divisive figure whose failures were welol known -- as were his secret prisons where he torured people. In March 2010, the Iraqi people voted for Iraqiya ahead of Nouri's State of Law. This was the Iraqi voters choosing a national unity and a national identity and rising above thug Nouri's sectarian policies. Iraqiya was welcoming to all Iraqis, representing men and women, Shi'ites, Sunnis, Kurds and various religious and ethnic minorities.
Even the Bully Boy Bush administration -- one not known for keen insights or even basic smarts -- would have realized this was a move to be backed up and endorsed.
But they didn't promise to pull out all troops from Iraq. Barack had.
And Samantha Power and others insisted that the deal they wanted (which was already a plan to keep a few thousand troops in Iraq) could only be pulled off with the support of Nouri.
The CIA profile on Nouri in February of 2006 had noted Nouri's intense paranoia and this was seen as an asset, a way that the US government could control him.
In 2010, Samantha Power made a similar argument: Barack should back Nouri because Nouri was so divisive and unpopular and he would need American support to remain in office so they could leverage that support to get what they wanted from Nouri.
So instead of supporting the Iraqi people, Barack backed Nouri. And he had US officials in Iraq negotiate a contract -- The Erbil Agreement -- to give Nouri a second term.
The contract was nicely known as a power-sharing agreement. And while that was one aspect of it, there was also the fact that that it was a bribe list.
Political leaders agreed to give Nouri a second term as prime minister and, in exchange, Nouri agreed to give them various things. Ayad Allawi, leader of Iraqiya, would be put in charge of a national security commission, the Kurds would finally see Article 150 of the Iraqi Constitution implemented, etc.
And Nouri embraced the contract and was all for it. To get his second term.
But he got named prime minister (designate) and said the contract would have to wait a bit -- the rest of it -- to be implemented.
That was November 2010.
He never implemented it.
He never honored the promises he made in that contract.
And as political parties demanded the contract be honored, the tensions grew and grew.
From 2010 through 2014, there was little concern about the terrorism the Iraqi people were living under. The world turned a blind eye with few exceptions.
When it became undeniable, the world paid attention long enough to see Barack finally pull the rug out from under despot Nouri al-Maliki and begin (publicly) sending US troops back into Iraq.
Stepping onto the global stage last June, addressing the world, Barack declared that the only answer to Iraq's various crises was a political solution.
Where's that political solution?
Nearly a year later, where's that political solution?
Thursday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing. We covered some of it in that day's snapshot. Today, we're focusing on the key concern of how the operation against the Islamic State is failing.
Appearing before the Committee were the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL John Allen as well as Brig Gen Michael Fantini and Brig Gen Gregg Olson.
John Allen is a retired general who, despite having taken a job of envoy which is under the State Dept, insists upon being called "General." As a general rule, we go by what people call themselves here.
There was a Rolling Stone employee who created a title for himself.
The title didn't exist.
The New York Times ran with that title.
We did not.
When we gave his title, we gave the title that he actually had. (And I told Jann Wenner what was going on and the employee was told to stick to the title he had which finally led the Times to use the correct title. I also ratted out the stooge who went along with the RS employee -- NYT stooge who was the employee's friend -- to the paper and got the stooge packing. Facts are facts, I don't tolerate lies and I don't tolerate them when press outlets try to claim "it's just entertainment coverage." If it matters enough for you to cover it, it matters enough for you to cover it correctly.)
Allen is an envoy. He is under the State Dept. He is supposed to be heading Barack's diplomatic effort.
That makes him an envoy.
If that title is beneath him, and he acts as though it is, too bad.
John Allen has done an awful job as an envoy and possibly Barack, years from now, will be able to point to Allen's disaster moves to mitigate the blame he (Barack) faces for Iraq.
A diplomat was needed to work towards a political solution.
Instead of a diplomat, Barack appointed a retired general and one who has no sense of history or perspective on Iraq beyond bombs and guns.
John Allen started out an embarrassment, he's become an impediment.
Barack should find someone quickly to replace Allen and use it to create a "restart." The latter would be especially helpful to him politically since June is approaching and his remarks from last year will be revisited then.
From Thursday's hearing, we'll note this exchange.
US House Rep Ted Deutch I want to actually start with the news about our strikes in Tikrit. The coverage in the New York Times today included a paragraph which said, "If the Americans did not engage they feared becoming marginalized by Tehran in a country where they had spilled much blood in the last decade, the official said speaking on the condition of anonymity." Is -- If you could speak to the strikes in Tikrit, the air support that the United States is providing, is it different than the support we've had in the past? And is it being offered in part because there were concerns about being marginalized by the Iranians? And in answering that question, it gets to the broader point of, again the same article "the preponderance of 30,000 fighters on the Iraqi side had been members of the militias fighting alongside the Iraqi military and police men. Of those 30,000, how do we -- Gen Allen, following your last response -- how do we view it in a nuanced way to distinguish between the Iranian-backed militias and Sistani's popular mobilization forces?
Brig Gen Fat : Congressman, so I think the answer to your question is "no." We work by, with and through the Iraqi government. And so through the Iraqi government and the Iraqi security forces, the-the, uh, the Iraqis came back and asked for support and we adjudicated that decision to the highest levels and decided to engage there. It's within the Iraqi interest and the coalition's interest to be successful in Tikrit cause we don't want to have another success for Da'ash or ISIL. And, uh, we anticipate that the, uh, support that we're providing the Iraqi security forces with the Ministry of Defense, uh, in -- with the Ministry of Defense in in charge of the command and control of, uh, that operation that we're in a position where we can provide that support to be successful.
US House Rep Ted Deutch: General Allen?
Envoy John Allen: With regard to the command and control the, uh -- There's a difference between, uh, the role of the, uh, the traditional Shia elements that are aligned directly with Iraq and support directly with Iraq and those elements of the PMF that have provided, uh, uh, a larger force posture and a larger force generation capability, uh, they are not -- They don't intend to be or -- are not intended to be a permanent part of the Iraqi security force entity. They are -- They are viewed as a temporary organization that have played the role ultimately of blunting and halting, uh, the forward progress of Da'ash. And as we continue to build out the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces across the board and, uhm, we can provide you, I think, significant detail about the forces that are engaged right now in Tikrit. It's-it's-it's actually quite encouraging. Uhhhhh, to give you a sense of when the PMF elements are going to be in play and when they won't be in play -- and as we continue to force generate the regular forces they will play an increasing role ultimately in the counter-offensive to liberate the populations.
US House Rep Ted Deutch: General Allen, are you -- are you confident that the Iraqi people view this action in Tikrit as one taking place against ISIS by the United States through air strikes and Iraqi security forces or is it viewed as one that is a combination of US air strikes and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias?
Envoy John Allen: Uh, that's a good question. Uh, we've -- again from my time on the ground just last week there, uh, I made a point to meet with the provincial leadership in Salahuddin Province in which Tikrit is the largest population center. Uh, at the time, the leadership in Salahuddin and-and even recently have talked about focusing on the liberation of Tikrit, uh, and have applauded the role of American forces in supporting the central government and the Iraqi security forces in liberating Tikrit from Da'ash. So my sense is that on the ground in Salahuddin, their view is that the United States as we have done in other places, multiple other places in Iraq, are providing the kinds of both enabling to the use of information to command and control -- support to command and control -- and ultimately fire power that will facilitate the Iraqi government and the Iraqi security forces in accomplishing the mission of defeating Da'ash and liberating this population center. So my sense is that at least the Sunni leadership -- key Sunni leadership -- the Speaker, the Vice President and others but also the Sunni leadership of Salahhudin have been clear that they support the role of the United States in this particular fight, sir.
Mr. Chairman, I just hope then that that translates down to the Iraqi people as well and I yield back.
We'll note another exchange from the hearing in a moment.
But first off, that's Speaker of Parliament who would be Salim al-Jabouri and Vice President Osama al-Nujafi.
As the chief US diplomat, Allen should know those names and titles.
Allen doesn't have a clue.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"