Tag Archives: John McCain

Obama: We Will ‘Do Our Part’ in Iraq, But Won’t Send Troops

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The U.S. will not send troops to Iraq amid the deteriorating situation there, President Obama reiterated Friday, but America will “do our part” to help the troubled nation.

Obama spoke as radical Sunni fighters continued their rapid advance across Iraq, raising fears of a sectarian civil war.

“Over the last couple of days, we’ve seen significant gains by the ISIL terrorist organization that operates in both Iraq and Syria,” Obama said. “Iraqi security forces have proven unable to defend in a number of cities.”

“Now Iraq needs additional support to break the momentum of these extremist groups,” he said.

But that support won’t come in the form of sending combat troops back to Iraq. Obama said he has asked his national security team to “prepare a range of other options” for the U.S. to consider that he will look at over the next several days.

“Over the past decade, American troops have made extraordinary sacrifices,” he said. “Any actions that we may take to provide assistance to Iraqi security forces have to be joined by a serious and sincere effort by Iraq.”

The chaos “should be a wakeup call to Iraq’s leaders,” he said, and “could pose a threat eventually to American interests as well.”

The president’s remarks came a day after he told reporters “I don’t rule out anything” when it comes to a U.S. response to the violence.

“This is an area we’ve been watching with a lot of concern, not just over the last days but the last several months,” Obama said Thursday. “What we’ve seen indicates Iraq’s going to need more help, from us and from the international community.”

Iraq asked the U.S. for air assistance in tempering the militant uprising, U.S. officials said earlier this week. The Iraq ambassador to the United States repeated that call Friday, saying the Americans had the experience and the will to respond to the “terrorist threat.”

The developments in Iraq have prompted leading Republicans to call for action. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., voiced security concerns, urging U.S. involvement as militants encroached on the capital.

“I have never been more worried about another 9/11 than I am right now,” Graham said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., echoed that worry, calling this “the gravest threat to our national security since the end of the Cold War.”

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Boehner : Obama ‘Taking A Nap’ as Violence Tearing Iraq Apart

John A. Boehner

John A. Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner ripped the President for not doing more in recent days to prevent Sunni jihadist militants from taking control of key Iraqi cities, including Mosul and Tikrit. Insurgents have been advancing through Iraq’s heartland with their eyes set on Baghdad, the country’s capital.

“They are 100 miles from Baghdad,” said Boehner Thursday. “And what’s the president do? Taking a nap.”

“It’s not like we haven’t seen this problem coming for over a year,” he added.

Boehner believes the U.S. should provide “the equipment and technical assistance that the Iraqis have been asking for.” The U.S. has rebuffed requests by the Iraqi government to order airstrikes in extremist areas, according to The New York Times. The Obama Administration has been reluctant to engage the recent extremist uprising as the American public largely endorsed withdrawing the last of its troops from Iraq in 2011.

Boehner said he did not know “enough of the details” to comment on whether or not the U.S. should engage in airstrikes.

Some of Boehner’s Republican colleagues in the Senate were also critical of the Obama Administration on Thursday, none more so than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). McCain told reporters that Obama’s entire national security team, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should be replaced.

President Obama said Thursday that his team is looking to identify how the U.S. can provide greater assistance to the Iraqis.

“Over the last year we have been providing them with additional assistance to try to address the problems that they have in Anbar, the northwest portions of the country, as well as the Iraqi and Syrian border,” said Obama. “That includes in some cases military equipment, it includes intelligence assistance, includes a whole host of issues.”

“What we’ve seen over the last couple of days indicates the degree to which Iraq’s going to need more help,” he said. “It’s going to need more help from us, and it’s going to need more help from the international community…So my team is working around the clock to identify how we can provide the most effective assistance to them. I don’t rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria.”

‘US uses mercenaries where it wants its hands clean’

http://rt.com/op-edge/mercenaries-us-operate-ukraine-532/

As the US says there is “no confirmation” that American mercenaries are operating in Ukraine, Iraq war veteran Michael Prysner told RT that private US armies have been covertly operating globally wherever there is “dirty work” needs to be done.

RT: Could US contractors indeed be operating in Ukraine?

Michael Prysner: Well, of course they could. There is no law in the world that the Pentagon recognizes or will follow for its own soldiers let alone its dirty little secret with its corporate hitmen it had.

I do know that mercenaries of this type, especially that have gone out of Blackwater, have been illegally operating in countries all around the world. We can assume that wherever there is dirty work to be done, where the US wants its hands clean and be able to say it has no connection to it, we can expect that private mercenaries could be there. Because it is part of a shift in US strategy over the last decade or more towards special operations on one hand and the private military contractors on the other.

RT: If this is the case, why would the Kiev government need to deploy them?

MP: The new government in Ukraine is very unpopular in large parts of the country and the uprisings that we are seeing all over are threatening the new rule of this semi-fascist government that is willing to sell off the entire country to the West.

So the crashing against these popular uprisings is all this new power has to be able to maintain its power. The US and the EU very much want to secure the results of their operation to bring Ukraine into their sphere of influence. Neo-cons like John Kerry and John McCain of course have already been pushing for arming these, largely dominated by right wing forces who have taken control, and of course we know them to be wanting to favor even with direct military intervention.

But direct military intervention creates all types of risks and problems for the administration. So short of a direct military intervention, they’ll be able to exert the military force that they want with just a different type of a situation where they can revoke themselves from the responsibility.

RT: Should the authorities in Kiev and people in Ukraine be worried that a mercenary force is let lose in their country?

MP: Absolutely. First of all it is important to point out – where did these mercenaries come from? It is estimated 150 of these mercenaries are operating in Ukraine. These aren’t 150 regular soldiers, people who served in the US or other foreign militaries, just as rank and file soldiers like myself and then got their contracts end up.

These are soldiers who are coming out of the special operations forces of the US military and other militaries. Those who are highly trained in ambushes, in sabotage, in psychological operations. Really the most unique troops in the world are the once that are recruited up to these very lucrative positions at private sector. And not only do they come from these sectors of the military, but those who are in mercenary forces are known to be a very rare breed of ultra-violent individuals.

Myself, when I was in Iraq in 2003-2004, regular army soldiers hated the mercenaries that were there because they were known to be so reckless, just driving around, shooting people at random and really angering the population against them and everyone else who was there. And the history speaks for itself. Massacres like Nisour Square, situations where they used excessive force in response to an attack, situations where they were straight up sitting there murdering people that were just walking down the street. This is the conduct of the people there. Absolutely anyone who is in their area of operations should be very concerned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9iIWj96qgo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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Coups for export : US has history of supporting anti-govt upheavals

US Assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (2ndL) distributing cakes to protesters on the Independence Square in Kiev on December 10, 2013.

US Assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (2ndL) distributing cakes to protesters on the Independence Square in Kiev on December 10, 2013.

The US has been selective in supporting the self-determination of nations. It continues to dismiss Crimea’s choice to reunite with Russia, while at the same time backs the coup in Kiev. And the idea is hardly new for Washington.

The current situation in Ukraine has something in common with the one in Colombia, James Petras, a political analyst and Professor (Emeritus) at Binghamton University, New York, believes. The common part is the US role in what’s going on in both countries, he suggests in his op-ed, recently published at the website of Montreal-based Centre for Research on Globalization.

“The two paths to 21st century empire-building-via-proxies are illustrated through the violent seizure of power in the Ukraine by a US-backed junta and the electoral gains of the US-backed Colombian war lord, Alvaro Uribe,” Petras says. “By rendering democratic processes and peaceful popular reforms impossible and by overthrowing independent, democratically elected governments, Washington is making wars and violent upheavals inevitable.”

The US has quite a history of meddling in Colombia since encouraging the breakaway of Panama, in the early 20th century. The US was then able to negotiate favorable conditions for the creation of the Panama Canal. The most recent example comes from 2013, when The Washington Post published an article revealing that the CIA actively helped the Colombian government to locate and kill guerrilla leaders.

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to people at the Shrine of the Fallen in Kiev on March 4, 2014.

While preaching non-interference to Russia, Washington has been very active in showing its support for, first, protesters in Kiev and then to the coup-appointed government. The US participation in events in Ukraine did not confine itself to distributing snacks to rally participants, or friendly gestures of support.

We’ve invested over 5 billion dollars to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine,” Victoria Nuland, Assistant US Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia said in December, 2013.

The announcement has drawn criticism.

The West spent 5 billion dollars destabilizing Ukraine. This is something that is a mess that’s put on Russia’s doorstep by the West,” a US writer and activist, Daniel Patrick Welch, believes.

International law professor at Georgetown University, Daoud Khairallah, says there are many more examples of the US meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.

The Middle East is an example,” he told RT. “What is known as the Arab Spring is method of self-destruction, achieving political goals through having societies destroy themselves.”

US Senator John McCain (2nd L) signs a military helmet for a protester at Independence Square in Kiev on December 15, 2013.

Quite a number of post WWII coups are believed to have been US-assisted, like the one in Iran in 1953. Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, who sought to turn Iran into a full democracy was ousted with the help of the US and replaced by the Shah, who then ruled as absolute monarch for the next 26 years.

It was the potential… to leave Iran open to Soviet aggression – at a time when the Cold War was at its height and when the United States was involved in an undeclared war in Korea against forces supported by the USSR and China – that compelled the United States [REDACTED] in planning and executing TPAJAX [the code name of the coup operation],” reads the CIA document, declassified in 2013 and cited by the Foreign Policy.

Similarly the US’s hand is seen in the 1954 coup in Guatemala, the in the Congo 1960, in South Vietnam 1963, in Brazil 1964, and Chile in 1973.

Latin Americans have always believed themselves to be a major target of the US over the years. A popular joke there says: “Why will there never be a coup in the US? Because there’s no US Embassy in Washington.”

We have examples of outside intrusion in the internal politics of states like Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Grenada,” the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, said in one of his RT interviews. “Repeated attempts of a coup in Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and Bolivia. There was no coup in the 150-year-old history of Latin America, that the US government did not apply its hand to.”

For more opinions on the role of the US in “regime changes” throughout the world watch RT’s Anastasia Churkina’s report.

 RT News.

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Dictator Obama- WaPo’s Modest Proposal .

Barack-Obama-and-Joe-Biden-SC-504x250“It’s time to put that power back where it belongs,” explains Jonathan Zimmerman in today’s Washington Post, “Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him. Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves.” The 22nd Amendment, limiting the Presidential term, according to Zimmerman, reflected “a shocking lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the people.” Of course, in the increasingly ‘entitled’ America, it would only cost a few hundred million to bribe all the newlydowngraded Middle-to-Lower class Americans with Obamaphones in order to finally get a “dictatorial democracy” by indirectly funding the lower common denominator with $400 in free money every election cycle.

End Presidential Term Limits (Jonathan Zimmerman),

Via WaPo, I’ve been thinking about Kilgore’s comments as I watch President Obama, whose approval rating has dipped to 37 percent in CBS News polling — the lowest ever for him — during the troubled rollout of his health-care reform. Many of Obama’s fellow Democrats have distanced themselves from the reform and from the president. Even former president Bill Clinton has said that Americans should be allowed to keep the health insurance they have.

Or consider the reaction to the Iran nuclear deal. Regardless of his political approval ratings, Obama could expect Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.) to attack the agreement. But if Obama could run again, would he be facing such fervent objections from Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)?

Probably not. Democratic lawmakers would worry about provoking the wrath of a president who could be reelected. Thanks to term limits, though, they’ve got little to fear.

Nor does Obama have to fear the voters, which might be the scariest problem of all. If he chooses, he could simply ignore their will. And if the people wanted him to serve another term, why shouldn’t they be allowed to award him one?

Read More at Zero Hedge . By Tyler Durden.

Dictator Obama- WaPo’s Modest Proposal – Sound Money Institute.

Obama refused to accept NSA chief’s resignation after Snowden leaks — RT USA

The director of the National Security Agency attempted to resign shortly after Edward Snowden revealed himself as the source of leaked NSA documents in June, the Wall Street Journal now reports, but the White House refused to let him leave.

It was previously announced in mid-October that Gen. Keith Alexander would walk away from his roles atop both the NSA and US Cyber Command next March or April, but an article penned by the Journal’s Siobhan Gorman and published on Sunday suggests that the actually severity of a scandal sparked by the unauthorized disclosures attributed to Mr. Snowden almost ended the four-star general’s career early.

Citing an unnamed senior US official, Gorman wrote that the NSA chief offered to resign “shortly after” the 30-year-old former intelligence contractor outted himself on June 9 as the man behind the leaked documents that started to surface just days earlier and continue to be released to the media, as evident by new reports published as recently as last week.

The source’s claim comes in sharp contrast to the NSA’s official explanation offered last month when it was reported by Reuters that Gen. Alexander would be resigning early next year.

This has nothing to do with media leaks, the decision for his retirement was made prior; an agreement was made with the (Secretary of Defense) and the Chairman for one more year – to March 2014,” NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines told Reuters at the time.

General Alexander has served an extraordinary tenure and capably led these agencies through critical periods of growth and transition,” White House spokeswoman Laura Magnuson added to The Hill in late October. “The president looks forward to continuing to work with General Alexander until his term is complete and thanks him, and the men and women of the NSA, for their patriotism and dedication as they work every day to keep us safe.”

According to the officials who spoke with the Journal, however, the Snowden revelations indeed shook the intelligence community severely and almost caused one of the most secretive agencies in the world to undergo a spontaneous leadership change amid one of its biggest blunders yet.

It was cataclysmic,” Richard Ledgett of the NSA’s special Snowden response team said of the disclosures to the Journal. “This is the hardest problem we’ve had to face in 62 years of existence.”

Asked by reporters at the Huffington Post to comment on the Journal’s article over the weekend, White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden directed journalists to remarks made by press secretary Jay Carney after Alexander’s plans to resign were reported one month earlier.

The president has full confidence in General Alexander and the leadership at the NSA and in the rank-and-file at the NSA who do extraordinary work on behalf of every American citizen and on behalf of our allies in keeping them safe,” Carney said on Oct. 28

Outside of the White House, however, other lawmakers haven’t had such nice words. Speaking to Germany’s Der Spiegel earlier this month, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) said, “The head of the NSA, the president of the United States, the Congressional Intelligence Committees [and] all of these contractors we pay that were responsible for performing the background checks” should be reprimanded for the security lapse that allowed for Snowden to access and leak classified materials.

When asked how they should be punished, McCain told the magazine, “they should resign or be fired.”

Meanwhile, the White House has been working at what to do early next year when Alexander does exit his helm and the government is short-staffed by two: Alexander’s resignation will leave vacancies at the top of both the NSA and CYBERCOM, and administration officials are apparently floating the possibility of splitting those jobs up among two individuals. .

Obama refused to accept NSA chief’s resignation after Snowden leaks — RT USA.

For Obama, Nothing Succeeds Like Failure | FrontPage Magazine

obama meeting security team

Rasmussen reported last Friday that 52% of likely voters approve of Obama’s job performance. This number is both astonishing and depressing. The avalanche of Obama’s failures both domestic and foreign should have buried this presidency months ago. Yet despite the slow-motion implosion of Obamacare now catching the attention of even the court-journalists of the mainstream media, millions of American voters still think one of the worst presidents in modern history is doing a good job.

In any other administration, even without Obamacare, the litany of scandal and bungling would have politically crippled not just Obama but the Democrats as well. The murderous gunrunning of the Fast and Furious debacle, Attorney General Eric Holder turning the Justice Department into the Democrats’ Luca Brasi, the out-of-control EPA waging its economy-killing war on carbon, the National Labor Relations Board unleashed to browbeat business and revive a moribund labor movement, the SEC shaking down banks for billions, the IRS targeting political opponents, the trillion-dollar “stimulus” spent to achieve the worst economic recovery in history, the trillions more borrowed and created out of thin air to finance entitlement spending and payoffs to political cronies––and that’s just domestic policy.

Add the outrageous incompetence and indifference that got 4 Americans murdered in Benghazi, the subsequent lies and cover-up for political advantage, the waste of American money, toil, and blood in Iraq by the precipitate withdrawal of our forces, the likely reprise of that malfeasance in Afghanistan, the alienation of allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, the cozying up to the genocidal Muslim Brotherhood, the appeasement of the equally genocidal mullahs in Iran, the groveling to a rampaging Russia, the whole Syria “red line” humiliation over chemical weapons––any one of these foreign and domestic fiascos would have inflicted serious political damage if we weren’t living in the alternative political universe in which we suddenly found ourselves on January 20, 2009.

It’s easy to blame an obviously biased and politicized media determined to ignore or downplay Obama’s incompetence. Skeletons in the closet like Jeremiah Wright and terrorist Bill Ayres have been ignored, gaps in Obama’s personal biography left unfilled, and evidence for his alleged brilliance like college test scores and transcripts left in the dark. By fiat he has been declared the most intelligent president ever, the media reflexively agreeing with his estimation of himself as the smartest guy in every room despite ample evidence to the contrary. More mysterious are the assertions of his rhetorical prowess, which are average at best when he reads a teleprompter, but non-existent whenever he speaks ex tempore, when every third word is followed by “uh-uh-uh.” Barefaced lies, obviously duplicitous spinning of mistakes and scandals, blatant double standards, passing the buck to George Bush, and shameful self-contradictions have all been rationalized, ignored, or explained away by the media. The self-proclaimed watchdogs of the public weal have become lapdogs, fawning over their master while snarling and snapping at his political enemies.

So yes, a corrupt media have contributed to Obama’s continuing popularity. Just compare the media’s treatment of the Watergate scandal with their indifference to the IRS’s use of its power to give the Democrats a political advantage during a presidential election. Watergate was a minor political scandal of the sort that can be found on every page of American history. It didn’t make a difference politically, as Nixon was on his way to a landslide victory in any case. The same Europeans who would later snicker at America’s high dudgeon over Bill Clinton’s sordid sexual hijinks with an intern felt the same way about our hysterical reaction to Watergate––another sign of America’s provincial moralism and naiveté. Yet self-righteous liberals and their media hacks elevated this two-bit scandal into the greatest threat to the republic since the Civil War. Watergate became a mythic narrative illustrating the fascist instincts of Republicans and the nobility and bravery of the media, even though all the Washington Post did for the most part was give the public information fed to reporters from a disgruntled FBI functionary.

Compare that to the IRS’s using its regulatory power to intimidate and silence political rivals of the president, betraying the public trust and tarnishing their duty as public servants. And unlike Watergate, the IRS did have an impact on the election by taking many Republican-friendly organizations out of the game. Yet here we are months later, and all that’s happened is Lois Lerner is now enjoying a cushy retirement after pleading the Fifth before a House committee and lying serially to the country. No one has been held accountable, and the media have spent more time on Miley Cyrus’s twerking prowess and Kim Kardashian’s impending nuptials than on getting to the bottom of this blatant misuse of taxpayer-financed government power.

Having said all that, however, we still can’t let those 52% of likely voters off the hook. These days too many alternatives to the mainstream media, from Fox News and NRO to Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, exist for anyone truly interested in learning the truth ignored or distorted by the legacy media. Those who want to know will know. Yet many Republican Party operatives, refusing to hold the people accountable, have been more eager to blame some in their own party rather than admit that millions of Americans simply don’t want to listen to the Republicans’ message. Old Senate dinosaurs like John McCain validate the media caricatures of the Tea Party as extremist “wacko-birds” and slack-jawed racists, and then settle down to try and cut deals with the Democrats over big-government monstrosities like comprehensive immigration reform. Or Republican consultants, presumed masters of political tactics and strategies, call for better “messaging,” as though millions of Americans just don’t know about Benghazi, the IRS, the cancerous national debt, or the myriad other scandals.

They know all right. They just don’t care. And if they don’t know, explaining it to them won’t make much difference. Either they’re on the government dole and happy to stay there, or they have drunk the Progressive kool-aid and are intent on committing intellectual and political suicide.

Saying this angers many Republicans, who think these folks just need some explaining to see the light. But too many alleged conservatives have forgotten the profound distrust of the people underlying the Constitution. The Founders endorsed the maxim of Machiavelli: “It is necessary to whoever arranges to found a Republic and establish laws in it, to presuppose that all men are bad and that they will use their malignity of mind every time they have the opportunity.” That’s why the Founders gave the people freedom, but limited it with numerous checks and balances, many of which have been weakened, not the least being the limited government that makes it difficult for ambitious elites to corrupt the people with government handouts and redistributed property.

That Constitutional horse obviously left the barn a long time ago. We have become what Churchill once called “Government of the/by the/for the dole-drawers.” So as long as the government checks fill the mailboxes, the EBT cards work, satellite television delivers the shows, the Cineplex offers the latest special-effects extravaganza, and the shelves of Walmart and Whole Foods stay stocked, the people will shrug off Obama’s lies and failures and keep on amusing themselves to political death.

Republicans need to drop their mantra that this is a “center-right” country of natural conservatives who just need some tutoring to recognize their own best interests. And they need to accept that Obama’s failures won’t damage his success until the grievous costs of those failures start concentrating enough people’s minds by hitting their wallets. The rolling disasters of Obamacare look more and more like they may do the trick. Then people might be more receptive to our founding ideas of limited government and fiscal prudence.

For Obama, Nothing Succeeds Like Failure | FrontPage Magazine.

GOP presses Obama to salvage Saudi ties, address ‘loss of credibility’ in Mideast | World Tribune

Sen. John McCain, left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham. /AP/J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON — The Republican leadership in Congress has pressed President Barack Obama to improve U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia.

Leading Republican members of the House and Senate have called on the Obama administration to respond to Saudi concerns over Iran and Syria. They said the U.S. crisis with Riyad reflected the loss of confidence in Obama’s leadership.

“The United States is experiencing a serious failure of policy and loss of credibility in the Middle East,” two senior Republican senators wrote.

On Oct. 27, Sen. John McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote a column in the Washington Post that criticized Obama’s policy toward U.S. allies in the Middle East.

“Events in the region are headed in a perilous direction, and there is little reason to feel confident that the Obama administration has a strategy to secure U.S. interests and values in this vitally important part of the world,” the two senators said.

The column marked a series of statements by Republicans on the Saudi
crisis with Washington. Media reports have quoted senior Saudi officials as
saying that the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom would conduct an
independent policy regarding Iran and Syria.

“Those are critical issues to the Saudis, to the Qataris, to the
Jordanians and to others in the Arab League that I think rattled their faith
in the administration’s ability to protect them in a very dangerous world,”
House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers said.

In an interview with CNN, Rogers warned that Saudi Arabia retained
options to cooperate with allies other than the United States. He cited
reports that Riyad was working with France and Jordan.

“So what you see is that friction starting to take hold and we have to
repair this and repair it soon,” Rogers said. “They’re going to find other
friends. I argue that’s not good for the United States.”

GOP presses Obama to salvage Saudi ties, address ‘loss of credibility’ in Mideast | World Tribune.