Must Read: Desert Storm Vet Hammers Obama Administration For Abandoning Iraq

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The approach of Veteran’s Day got Desert Storm vet Michael Banzet to ruminating about his decision to retire from the Air Force after the elections of 2008. He wrote a powerful oped, Why I quit… Desert Storm vet explains decision to leave Air Force after 22 years that was published in his hometown newspaper in Montana, The Daily Inter-Lake in November of 2010.

Four years later, he says, “the thing that prompted me to attempt to put thought to electrons was, oddly enough, the recent massacre of 770 young men around Camp Speicher, Iraq.”

Via The Daily Inter-Lake:

I served 22 years in the Air Force, and without a doubt, the most rewarding year in my career was the year that I spent on the ground in Iraq. I was able to witness the results of the sacrifice made by so many young Americans, young and old, men and women, of all colors. I was humbled by what I found. The desperately courageous Iraqis, who had to operate in the most dangerous of circumstances, depended on the steady presence of the American armed forces. And of course, the numerous allies.

I noticed that the news coverage didn’t match what I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears. Everything was negative. Every setback was trumpeted, every advance muffled or ignored. There were “grim milestones” for casualties updated daily. Even an esteemed senator from Nevada claimed, while young Americans were engaged in active combat, that they were losers. I was in Baghdad for some of that. Awesome. That used to be unheard of. But it gets you re-elected today.

And eventually, with the “heads it’s negative, tails it’s not positive” coverage, people began to believe that we should leave. And why not? It was the “wrong war,” it was going badly, at least until we needed a justification to leave, and then it was “strong and stable.” So the United States elected a man who promised that he would declare victory and leave. And for those of you who are sputtering, “But BUSH!” consider this:

So completely wrong was the “declare victory and leave” position that the current administration is not only using Bush’s 2001/2 Authorizations for Use of Force for legal justification, they are also embracing the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption. For gosh’ sake, the carrier that launched some of the first airstrikes is the USS George H.W. Bush. Talk about complete reversal.

Of course, anyone with the ability to think deeply about the subject would realize that changing a culture is a long proposition. Far longer than merely the end of combat. And that really should be the end game of any war that the U.S. gets involved in. The end game of war, for us, is supposed to be a free, potentially prosperous people emerging from the carnage of war. Someone who will make a good ally in the future. And that’s what was happening in Iraq. 

Iraqis, for the first time in their lives, were able to trust. That may be a small thing for you. You, who have never feared for your life from your government. You, who have never wondered if something you say is going to get you killed at the hands of your government. You, who have been able to trust your friends, neighbors and associates; if you haven’t, it wasn’t because you thought they were a government informant, ready to turn you in at the slightest misstep, perhaps to be fed into a paper shredder.

But as the year of my duty in dusty Baghdad wore on, they were starting to trust. They were starting to timidly reach out to report IED emplacements, rocket set-ups, and bad guys in the neighborhood. The thing that moved me to write my book, “A Flowershop in Baghdad,” was this simple fact. The Iraqis who had been bombed, shot at, and we had tried to kill (in one case, actually being shot down by us), all referred to us the same way: 

“The Friendly Side.”

I wrote 341 pages about the exceptionalism of this country, and how much we were changing the young men and women who were clever enough to avoid being killed for the audacity to sign up for service in the Iraqi Air Force. The 20-somethings were great at absorbing the moral compass that guides our military operations. But I also wrote about the challenge of the older officers. It’s pretty hard to change from a life of selfishness, self-preservation and fear to one of selflessness and courage. But it’s do-able; just takes some time to reinforce the goodness in the ones who can change, and supervise the transition out of power of the ones who cannot. All the while nurturing the new generation, keeping them from harm until they can take over. It’s not an easy process.

I know that it would be pretty hard for me to completely change my world view at my age. I can certainly take in new facts, but to change a significant part of my belief system would take constant reinforcement, both in issues big and small. That requires “presence.” The simple act of being around influences behavior. That’s why the police don’t all just sit at the station, waiting for a call to come in. They actively patrol; for presence. It doesn’t cost them any more to patrol; you’ve already hired them. It’s common sense. Constant reinforcement and influence until good behavior is the norm.

Due to the type of reporting from Iraq, you never knew the progress that was being made; the connections that were being completed, the goodness that exposure to the U.S. military brings. Trust. Selflessness. Leadership. Followership. Courage. And yet you voted all that away; leaves blowing in a dishonest wind. Which brings us back to the 770 young men massacred around Camp Spiecher.

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I knew those faces. Those confused, terrified young faces. About 175 of them were Iraqi Air Force recruits; the others, Army. This was precisely the process that I helped set up. Did I know personally this group? No. But they were the same young men, full of promise and hope. Capable of immense good, ready to be molded by whatever of our influence remained. But I wondered, as I looked at some of the pictures, why were they captured without uniforms? Without weapons? Why no resistance? It wasn’t until there were a couple of witness testimonies that it all snapped into place.

They were abandoned. First by us, then by the leaders, no longer influenced by “the friendly side,” that had fallen into their old habits.

One survivor talked of the young military recruits being told to change into civilian clothes, take no weapons: they would be loaded into trucks and sent to Baghdad. Another talked of their senior officers just disappearing. In both cases, the next organization that they met was ISIS. And then, they were taken out into the desert, and as an inevitable consequence of U.S. policy, slaughtered. Did ISIS pull the triggers, draw the knives across young throats? Absolutely. Did the rush to leave, for no reason other than it was Bush’s war enable them to do it? Absolutely.

If the police patrolling your neighborhood let it be known that they would no longer be patrolling your neighborhood, but that the neighborhood watch would be taking over, do you think bad behavior would go up or down? Is that because new people moved in? And in the absence of a strong presence for good, what will happen to evil?

 Read the rest, here.

Boots On The Ground: Former US Soldiers Join Kurds in Fight Against ISIS (Video)

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The Lions Of Rojava via Jordan Matson’s Facebook Page: 

Some of the first men to answer the call of the Lions of Rojava. Im honored to stand at there side. These men have given up everything to stand up for humanity. We will not stand idle while evil men murder the innocent and force there way of life on the masses. To all those joining the fight, I’ll see you soon. God bless, Jordan Matson

Even though most of America has figured out by now that air-strikes alone are not going to be sufficient to stop the deranged ISIS mutants who are currently rampaging through the Middle East, our feckless Golfer-in-Chief has “promised” there will be no boots on the ground.

That hasn’t stopped several American citizens from joining the Kurds in Northern Syria in the fight against ISIS – even though it’s illegal to join a militia in Syria.

A Kurdish official confirmed to Al Arabiya News that a former US soldier from Wisconsin, Jordan Matson, 28,  joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), who are battling advances by ISIS close to Syria’s borders with Turkey and Iraq. He is one of the first – if not – THE first American to join the fight. But he says hundreds more have contacted him wanting to join the fight.

“Yes it is true,”    YPG spokesman Redur Xelil said in an online message. “He is fighting in the Jazaa area.”

Jazaa is a town in Syria’s northeastern Hasaka province, close to the Iraqi border and has been the site of heavy fighting between the two groups.

The YPG said last month it has lost 35 of its fighters in a two-week battle for control of Jazaa and said Kurdish forces had killed hundreds of ISIS fighters.

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A friend of Matson’s said he told online gaming friends about two months ago that he was joining a “private army” to fight ISIS.

“He told us in the community that he was getting hired by a private army and he let us know two to three months in advance,” said Miguel Caron by telephone from Montreal.

“He sent me a personal Facebook message on the 16th of September saying ‘hey boss, I’m heading to Syria.’ He told me he dropped his girlfriend and stopped looking for a job,” Caron added.

Via The Daily Mail, Matson told CNN, ”I prayed about it for about a month or two and I really soul searched and said, “is this really what I want to do?” Eventually, I decided to do it.’

Matson flew to Turkey and was taken to Rojava, a Kurdish-controlled area of northern Syria. For the past month, he has been a volunteer fighter helping to defend three small statelets in the area.

He’s been contacted by many former soldiers from across Europe, America and Australia, he said. They are attracted to fighting for the Kurdish militia for the same reasons as he was.

‘ISIS has threatened all these countries… to push their agenda in those nations,’ he said. ‘And the veterans of those nations who love their countries don’t want to sit by while this is happening.’

Matson recently posted a message to his Facebook page, urging would-be fighters to ‘be patient as the outcry to join the fight is immense’.

“In the hundreds veterans are lining up to come over here because if our government won’t do anything, we will,” Matson said in the video below.

Of his own decision, he added: ‘These people threatened American citizens, and bring harm to us. I think I decided enough was enough, and I decided to come out this way.’

He had contacted the group online after ISIS captured Mosul in Iraq.

‘All the American veterans that have died over there and paid their lives for that country so they could have a democracy – that just resonated in my mind,’ he said. ‘And I couldn’t live with myself letting that country fall, and all my brothers’ lives be for nothing.’

But as well as fighting for Americans – ‘so [ISIS] can’t take it to us’ – he said he’s also fighting for the Kurdish people.

Here, USA and British Special Ops veterans are pictured with #YPG training for the battle against#ISIS in #Rojava, Syria.

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 Via Townhall: U.S. Special Operations Vets Launch Crowdfunding Campaign to Help Kurds Fight Against ISIS ‘Genocidal Caliphate’

A group of former U.S. Special Operations Veterans have launched a crowdfunding campaign, Operation Limitless Compassion, to help the Kurds fight off ISIS terrorists in Iraq. Castle International, a world-wide air ambulance company founded and operated by former special operations volunteers, is leading the way to provide pro-U.S. Kurdish fighters with desperately needed humanitarian aid, medical training, medical supplies, and combat training. Recon teams from Castle International have already deployed to northern Iraq to offer direct assistance to Kurdish fighters and more will head to the region in November. Castle International has launched two crowdfunding sites to gather donations,GoFundMe and YouCaring.com, with a goal of raising $100,000 for the operation.

Via Jordan Matson’s Facebook Page: Now ‪#‎Kobane‬ is a grave yard for the ‪#‎IS‬ monsters. The photo is taken, when YPG Forces are trying to clean the streets from their corpse.

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Jeanine Pirro: “This President Doesn’t Know The Difference Between Good and Evil” (Video)

“This president doesn’t know the difference between Good and evil,” Judge Jeanine charged in her opening statement, Saturday night. “Or maybe he does,” she added ominously..

Addressing Obama directly, she said, “your liberal delusions are putting Americans in danger, and instead of reversing course, you dig your heels in deeper. And that’s you’re biggest weakness – refusing to admit mistakes and refusing to change.”

“Your job Mr. President  is to fight evil. Your job is to protect the American people,” she continued. “And if you want to engage in Kumbaya politics – do it on your own time!”

She had former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on to discuss the president’s feckless foreign policies.

Pirro also had on former US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton on to talk about Obama’s collapsing foreign policies.

Marine Becomes First Casualty in Operation Inherent Resolve

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Thoughts and prayers for this brave young Marine and his loved ones.

New York Daily News reports that “a 19-year-old  Marine from California became the first U.S. military serviceman to die in Iraq while fighting Islamic State militants.” But goes on to note that “Marine Lance Cpl. Sean Neal died in Baghdad Thursday in a non-combat-related incident.”

So I’m confused… was he in a non-combat role or did he die fighting ISIS?

Neal was a mortarman assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Seventh Marine Regiment, according to the Los Angeles Times.

He joined the Marine Corps in July 2013 and was stationed at Camp Pendleton before he was sent to Iraq as part of the group assigned to boost America’s response to ISIS in the region.

The NYDN reports that “details about how Neal died were not immediately available.” (Wait until after the 2014 midterms.)

 

 

Posted in GWOT, Iraq, ISIS. 2 Comments »

Facing Genocide, Yazidis Cry Out For Help

Across the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, refugee camps, building sites and a sprinkling of Yazidi villages hold tens of thousands of Yazidi refugees who fled the advance of Isil in scenes of biblical exodus across Mount Sinjar in August.

But tens of thousands more were trapped behind the Isil lines.

Researchers adding together accounts of massacres in Yazidi villages as the jihadists attacked have counted a series of killings of more than 100 men each, with the total gunned down now thought to be up to 5,000.

An estimated 5-7,000 women are also being held in makeshift detention centres, where they are being taken away and either sold into servitude or handed to jihadists as concubines. The town of Tal Afar alone is thought to hold around 3,500 women and children in five detention centres.

Full story.

With the United States no longer engaged, ISIS  retook two towns on Sinjar Mountain Monday, “indicating that the Sunni militant group is advancing on territory that the U.S. had said that it had secured during its airstrikes on the region back in August.”

Via the International Business Times:

It was not immediately clear how many Yazidis were affected by the group’s takeover Monday. Some news reports said that as many as 700 families could have been displaced by the ISIS siege. Tens of thousands of Yazidis were forced to flee from the mountain this summer. Since then, many of those who fled have returned home, thinking that the U.S. had pushed back the militant group from the area.

Now ISIS is back in the area, looking to take back the towns it held before the U.S. airstrikes. One of the most vulnerable populations among the Yazidis are women. Earlier this month, ISIS said it had enslaved women and children in several villages on Mount Sinjar. In an article in its online magazine, ISIS claimed that the group gave women to soldiers who fought on the mountain.

Via the Washington Post, a desperate plea for help:

“We called asking for help with airstrikes, but nothing,” said Mohammad Khalil, a Yazidi and former member of parliament who has been fighting alongside the 2,000-strong volunteer force in the area since late August. “Now we are all trapped — the fighters are trapped, the civilians are trapped.”

Yazidis are facing “attempted Genocide” UN official says:

Strong evidence suggests that Iraq’s ethnic and religious minority, the Yazidis, face what could amount to “attempted genocide,” a top U.N. rights official said on Wednesday.

“The evidence strongly indicates attempt to commit genocide,” Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said after meeting with more than 30 displaced Yazidis across Iraq in a week-long visit.

Via The Daily Mail, a Yazidi woman taken prisoner tells a tale of terror, desolation, and despair.

A young Yazidi woman forced into sex slavery by the Islamic State begged the West to bomb the brothel where she was being held after militants raped her 30 times in just a few hours, it is claimed.

The unidentified woman is understood to have been kept as a prisoner of the jihadists somewhere in western Iraq having been captured by ISIS during the Sinjar massacre in early August.

A group raising awareness of ISIS’ persecution of women in the vast swathes of the Middle East under its control said the woman had contacted Kurdish peshmerga fighters by telephone to plead for the brothel to be bombed to put the women held as sex slaves out of their misery.

She allegedly told the fighters she had been raped so frequently that she could no longer use the toilet, adding that the ordeal has been so harrowing that she plans to commit suicide even if freed.

The UK Telegraph reports that “at first, reports of the massacres and the mass sexual enslavement of women were so extreme and apparently incredible that they went little reported compared to the very visible plight of those who escaped to the mountain.”

However, United Nations researchers have managed to verify many of the accounts beyond reasonable doubt: virtually every refugee family has male relatives who have been killed and women who have been kidnapped.

***

Matthew Barber, a scholar of Yazidi history at the University of Chicago who was in Kurdistan as the assaults happened, said it was thought 3-5,000 men had been killed.

He said he had also compiled a list of 4,800 names of women and children being held captive.

“In every place where Yazidi women or families are held, jihadists come and randomly select women that they take away,” he added. “A final total above 7,000 is perfectly feasible.”

“My 13-year-old sister was separated from my family,” said one man, Ahmed Naif Qasem, who is staying in the town of Ba’adre. He was away serving with the Kurdish armed forces, the Peshmerga, when the Yazidis swept through in the first week in August.

His parents, wife and extended family were seized from their home in Snuny, near Sinjar, and taken over the Syrian border to be converted to Islam at gunpoint.

When the family returned, his sister and his wife had been taken away.

His wife was later allowed to rejoin her family after having been “treated badly”, he said, but no one had seen his sister since.

What has happened to the women has been relayed in a series of phone calls from families, and in some rare cases by women and girls who had managed to escape.

Mr Khalaf said his 13-year-old niece had been among the members of his family seized, but she had escaped seven weeks after being “taken away”. She had so far been too distressed to describe what had happened to her, he said.

“She just cries when she tries to speak,” he said. Others escapees have told of being “married” to older jihadi leaders, in some cases raped, and made to watch acts of barbarity.

Pray for the Yazadis, Kurds, and Christians in the Middle East.  And pray for peace, but if there can be no peace, pray for lots of well aimed airstrikes hitting their ISIS targets.

For some reason, I can’t get this hymn “Cry of the Poor” out of my head.

Lt. Col Ralph Peters: NY Times Chemical Weapons Story a “Political Stunt”

In what some suspect was an attempt to deflect attention away from the president’s failures ahead of the midterms, The New York Times published a “blockbuster” piece Wednesday on an immense stash of chemical weapons that was allegedly kept secret by the Pentagon. The piece is very long and took days – perhaps weeks to construct – and aims to concoct a Bush era cover-up scandal.

Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades was mostly offended by the false weapons of mass destruction charge which most conservatives have ample experience refuting – but it goes to the heart of the dishonesty of the piece.

 Now, let me start by saying there are parts of this piece that are noteworthy, and those parts recount acts of valor and duty by U.S. service members. That’s not the despicable part. The despicable part is how the NYTimes writers have twisted what happened to these service members to their own end of rewriting the Iraq War.

According to the NYTimes, chemical weapons of mass destruction were indeed found in Iraq during the war, as has been a simmering, off-again-on-again open secret. But the NYTimes says these were not the chemical WMD that President Bush said would be found:

The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West.The New York Times found 17 American service members and seven Iraqi police officers who were exposed to nerve or mustard agents after 2003. American officials said that the actual tally of exposed troops was slightly higher, but that the government’s official count was classified.

The secrecy fit a pattern. Since the outset of the war, the scale of the United States’ encounters with chemical weapons in Iraq was neither publicly shared nor widely circulated within the military. These encounters carry worrisome implications now that the Islamic State, a Qaeda splinter group, controls much of the territory where the weapons were found.

The first sentence is an absolute lie, uttered at Bush 43’s expense, and made to justify the terrifying conclusion, laid at Obama’s feet, in the last sentence.

This NYTimes piece has an over arching political goal: to cement forever the lie that the Iraq War was directed solely at stopping an active weapons of mass destruction program in Iraq. As we know, the military never found an active weapons program, which makes this a particularly compelling slander.

Fox News’ Bill Hemer had Col. Ralph Peters on to discuss the report – which Peters called a perfectly timed “political stunt” meant to divert attention from Obama’s countless screw-ups.

“At the heart of this story, the US military may have mishandled one to two dozen cases of US troops – no fatalities – who had been exposed to chemical weapons during the occupation of Iraq,” Peters said.

“It looks like bureaucratic clumsiness – there’s no vast, right-wing conspiracy in all of this.”  He said the story tries to connect a lot of dots that aren’t there and “jumps to contusions as the Bowery Boys used to say.”

He continued, “I really believe that the timing is a pre-election attempt to divert attention away from Obama’s reckless deployment of 4,000 (not 2 dozen four THOUSAND) largely unprepared US troops to an Ebola country in West Africa, his utter screw-up of the air campaign against ISIS, his screw-up of Ukraine, the screw-up in Libya, and it’s just not going to work.”

Peters noted that the one time Obama made a prompt decision about sending US troops into a crisis zone it was about Ebola. “Premature, unprepared, and boy I hope they come home safe.”

Both the host, Hemmer and Peters indicated that they didn’t remember the military disclosing in 2006 that they had found chemical weapons, but a June 29, 2006 post at the Dept. of Defense website does just that.

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2006 – The 500 munitions discovered throughout Iraq since 2003 and discussed in a National Ground Intelligence Center report meet the criteria of weapons of mass destruction, the center’s commander said here today.

“These are chemical weapons as defined under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and yes … they do constitute weapons of mass destruction,” Army Col. John Chu told the House Armed Services Committee.

The Chemical Weapons Convention is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. It was signed in 1993 and entered into force in 1997.

The munitions found contain sarin and mustard gases, Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said. Sarin attacks the neurological system and is potentially lethal.

“Mustard is a blister agent (that) actually produces burning of any area (where) an individual may come in contact with the agent,” he said. It also is potentially fatal if it gets into a person’s lungs.

The munitions addressed in the report were produced in the 1980s, Maples said. Badly corroded, they could not currently be used as originally intended, Chu added.

While that’s reassuring, the agent remaining in the weapons would be very valuable to terrorists and insurgents, Maples said. “We’re talking chemical agents here that could be packaged in a different format and have a great effect,” he said, referencing the sarin-gas attack on a Japanese subway in the mid-1990s.

This is true even considering any degradation of the chemical agents that may have occurred, Chu said. It’s not known exactly how sarin breaks down, but no matter how degraded the agent is, it’s still toxic.

“Regardless of (how much material in the weapon is actually chemical agent), any remaining agent is toxic,” he said. “Anything above zero (percent agent) would prove to be toxic, and if you were exposed to it long enough, lethal.”

Though about 500 chemical weapons – the exact number has not been released publicly – have been found, Maples said he doesn’t believe Iraq is a “WMD-free zone.”

“I do believe the former regime did a very poor job of accountability of munitions, and certainly did not document the destruction of munitions,” he said. “The recovery program goes on, and I do not believe we have found all the weapons.”

The Defense Intelligence Agency director said locating and disposing of chemical weapons in Iraq is one of the most important tasks servicemembers in the country perform.

Maples added searches are ongoing for chemical weapons beyond those being conducted solely for force protection.

There has been a call for a complete declassification of the National Ground Intelligence Center’s report on WMD in Iraq. Maples said he believes the director of national intelligence is still considering this option, and has asked Maples to look into producing an unclassified paper addressing the subject matter in the center’s report.

Much of the classified matter was slated for discussion in a closed forum after the open hearings this morning.

Peters thought the weapons today would be too degraded to be put to much use, but there are reports coming out that ISIS have been used chemical weapons on the Kurds in Kobane.

Jonathan Karl And Josh Earnest Spar Over Obama’s JayVee Comment: “He Clearly Was Talking About ISIL”

We’ve all dealt with liars. We all know what it feels when someone tells a brazen lie to our face.  It’s an uncomfortable experience. Do you confront the person and risk embarrassing him, or do you let it slide? If you dislike the person – it’s not so hard to call them out. But if you like them – if they’re a friend – it is very difficult indeed. As far as the American press corps is concerned – they are much better at calling out lies (or what they perceive to be lies – usually just policy disagreements) of Republicans. It’s much harder for them to call out the lies of their Democrat friends.

That’s what the White House press corps is up against every day at the daily press briefings.

So kudos to the intrepid ABC reporter Jonathan Karl for calling Josh Earnest out on his lie about Obama not referring to ISIS (or ISIL as the WH likes to call them) when he called them JV. It must have been very uncomfortable for him.

Via Mediaite:

Karl brought up congressional testimony last November from Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk. In his statements to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee [PDF], McGurk spoke of multiple attacks ISIS had carried out last year, and explained how ISIS has been able to thrive: AQ/ISIL has benefited from a permissive operating environment due to inherent weaknesses of Iraqi security forces, poor operational tactics, and popular grievances, which remain unaddressed, among the population in Anbar and Ninewa provinces. It has also benefited from a sanctuary across the porous border in Syria, control of lucrative facilities there, such as oil wells, and regular movement of weapons and fighters between Syria and Iraq.

Karl asked, “Did this message get to the president? Did he believe it? Did he not hear it? What happened?

Earnest gave a long-winded answer attempting to absolve the the Regime of the charge of negligence, beginning with a favorite WH conceit – which is using peer pressure to shame a tough questioner – “this is something the president has discussed on a number of occasions.” (Apparently some reporters *cough* Jon Karl *cough* have been too dense to pick up on it.)

“Principally what we’re talking about here is the rapid advance of ISIL across the Iraqi desert and the success that they have had after that advance – of holding whole swaths of territory. That is not to say that the was not an acknowledgement of the risks that this organization posed…”

Karl interrupted Earnest right there and cut to the chase: “Let me stop you for a second because two months after Brett McGurk says this – the president calls ISIL the Jay-Vee team in an interview in the New Yorker….”

Earnest: (interrupting) “We’ve been through this and that’s not what – “

Karl “He was clearly talking about ISIL..”

Earnest: (interrupting) That’s not true.

Karl: “The question was specifically about what happened after ISIL took over Fallujah. The question was directly about” –

Earnest: “We can look at the transcript after the briefing – that’s not what it says.”

Okay, let’s look at the transcript from the New Yorker interview:

In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that Al Qaeda had been “decimated.” I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda (ISIS) is now flying in Falluja, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.

“Let’s just keep in mind, Falluja is a profoundly conservative Sunni city in a country that, independent of anything we do, is deeply divided along sectarian lines. And how we think about terrorism has to be defined and specific enough that it doesn’t lead us to think that any horrible actions that take place around the world that are motivated in part by an extremist Islamic ideology are a direct threat to us or something that we have to wade into.”

Obama knew exactly who  they were and what they were doing. *Anyone who was paying attention, last year,  knew they were a threat to humanity – and was appalled by the genocide they were visiting upon Christians and ethnic minorities in Syria. We wondered why the United States was doing nothing to stop it.

All those people died because Obama didn’t want to upset his base by “meddling” in “sectarian violence.” As if the wholesale death and destruction (mass-murders, beheadings, crucifixions) the insane murder cult ISIS was leaving in its wake –  could be described as “sectarian violence.” When the violence inevitably spilled over into large swaths of Iraq, Obama was forced to change his tune.

“Keep in mind I wasn’t specifically referring to [Islamic State],” Obama told Chuck Todd many months later on Meet the Press.

Even David Remnick, who did the interview with Obama and wrote the New Yorker profile, said, “I’m afraid this is spin; it’s disingenuous,” he said on CNN’s AC360.

At the time of the New Yorker interview, ISIL had recently seized Fallujah, as Remnick remembers: “It seemed to me, looking back on it, that yes, he murderswas referring to the group that had taken over Fallujah. I specifically said Fallujah, and that’s who it was, and he’s fully informed.”

“I think this denial is putting spin on the ball,” Remnick said. “I thought this piece of language, and his communication in general on foreign policy in recent months has been rather, and surprisingly, lax and out of key.”

The Washington Post and PolitiFact have both rated the Obama administration’s claim as false.

And you know for the factcheckers to rate this president’s claims as false, they have to be egregious – demonstrably false lies that can no longer stand up to any scrutiny.

Commentary‘s Pete Wehner  eviscerated the claim, calling it “demonstrably untrue.”

The problem is in this whole process the president of the United States is distorting the truth. He’s doing so willfully. But this deception will not only fail; it will further undermine his credibility, which is already at a low ebb. As Mr. Obama said in 2008, “I mean, words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up.”

Mr. Obama is at war with reality, and reality is winning.

Finally -After six years of daily beatings – reality is finally winning a few here and there.

SEE ALSO:

The Daily Beast: Why Obama Can’t Say His Spies Underestimated ISIS

* Previous posts on terrorism in Syria:

Analysis of Rocket Used in Syria Chemical Attack Shows “Administration Narrative Not Even Close To Reality”

 Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?

30 Bodies of Christians Massacred By Syrian Rebels, Last Month Found In Mass Grave

“Scandalous”: Israel Fuming About WH Leak Confirming Their Strike on Syria

Why Was An Al Qaeda Commander Photographed Inside a USAID Tent? (Video)

More Tales Of Woe From The Christians Of Maaloula Syria

Obama Waives Federal Law That Prevents Arming of Terrorists So He Can Arm The Syrian Rebels

Grief Stricken Christian Woman in Syria Lashes Out: ‘We Blame Obama!…He Is Helping The Rebels’…

Maaloula: The battle for Syria’s ancient Christian Village continues (Video)

Syrian Rebels Infested With ‘Muslim Brotherhood-Type Islamists and Al Qaeda Fighters

Video: Tearful Christian Woman Terrorized Out Of Her Syrian Village Begs Obama To Stop Arming The Rebel Jihadists

Iranians Warned U.S. That Syrian Rebels Had Chemical Weapons Over a Year Ago…

Hostage Released From Syrian Prison Says he Overheard Rebel Captors Admitting Insurgents Used The Chemical Weapons (Video)

Justin Amash: Obama “Embellished” Syria Information – Says Briefings Have Made Him “More Skeptical” (Video)

Video: Senator McCain Gets An Earful From Passionate Syrian Woman At Town Hall

Obama’s Smoking Gun Proof That Assad Was Behind Chemical Weapons Attack Was Doctored?

Putin Throws Down: How About Showing Us Some Convincing Proof Syrian Regime Used Chemical Weapons?

Post Holiday Weekend Link-Around: Will Congress Authorize ‘Operation Don’t Make Obama Look Bad’?

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