The news coverage given by the mainstream media about the growing violence between the different factions in Iraq has been very slanted in order to shield the Shiite Muslims from responsibility for mass violence while heaping all of the blame upon the Sunni Muslims and especially al-Qaeda terrorists. The only groups being covered fairly are the Kurds who are, as much as they are able, living their lives independent from any governance from Baghdad while exercising as much autonomy as they possibly are able. During the past week there was reported in some of the international media of the Shiite commanders in the military ordering their troops to disperse unarmed groups of Sunni protesters using live fire from the main machinegun of Abrams M1A1 heavy battle tanks. Also not given much coverage at the time was after United States President Obama allowed the Shiite leadership of the Iraqi government to order the segregation of the United States military forces to an isolated base out in the middle of the dessert and restrict any United States military movements or maneuvers under restrictions allowing only those actions approved by the Iraqi Shiite dominated government that charges were drawn up for treason against the Sunni Vice-President of Iraq. Following soon behind this was the purge of most of the Sunni and Kurdish representatives within the government, especially any who held positions of consequence. The United States backed candidate to lead Iraq, President Nuri al-Maliki, has taken complete and unchallengeable control over the reins of power and now rules as the Shiite version of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
The most evident difference between al-Maliki and Iraq under Saddam Hussein is that under Saddam the Christians were among those who were protected along with the favored Muslims who were the Sunnis while they are the Shiites under al-Maliki. Surprisingly, in many ways al-Maliki is just as vicious and strident in his hatreds as Saddam ever was. The main consequence of this along with numerous other positions supported by President Obama is that the Sunni Muslims, who are over seventy percent of all followers of Islam, will never again trust the United States to stand behind their promises and protect those whom they promised security when their assistance was necessitated by the tactical situation. The Sunni were the Iraqis who assisted the surge troops brought into the Sunni Triangle in order to take on al-Qaeda in Iraq on their home ground and drove them from Iraq enabling the establishment of the Iraqi’s first honestly and freely elected government. This brought al-Maliki to power with the blessings of the United States under both President George W. Bush and then under President Barack Obama.
What was even more troubling was the fact that as time passed it became unavoidably evident that al-Maliki was really a puppet willing to do the bidding and give his loyalty to Iran. One might have expected his showing his allegiance to Iran would have made al-Maliki a nonstarter for any position supported by the United States considering the efforts by the United States and their allies to prevent the Iranian nuclear program from reaching its goals. Despite this, al-Maliki has consistently moved closer and closer to Iran to the point that he has blessed with protection the Iranian transfers of supplies across Iraq in order to bolster the dictator Bashir Assad in his fight against the rebel forces in Syria. This travesty and complete waste of all the efforts which were committed in the removal of Saddam Hussein simply to allow al-Maliki to make Iraq into a subsidiary nation under Iranian control is an insult to the brave Americans who fought and even died to free Iraq from one oppressor only to place them under a new and different oppressor. This also completed the Iranian dream of a Shiite crescent reaching from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea along the path starting in Iran and passing through Iraq and Syria and terminating in Lebanon which is controlled through Hezballah. The two weakest links in this chain are Syria and Iran as both have sizeable non-Shiite populations. What we have witnessed in Syria where Christians are being targeted by all sides while there is a fight between Bashir Assad as the pro-Iranian influence, against two rebel forces one of which is pure Sunni Islamists represented by the al-Nusra Front, and the Muslim Brotherhood represented by the Free Syrian Army. What is often left out is that even should Bashir Assad fall it would not automatically mean the end of the Iranian influence as Iran has also built a semi-rebel force consisting of Basenji Militia, IRGC and Hezballah who would continue to be content to control as much area as they were able with a concentration on connecting Damascus and its international airport with the coastal Alawite and Shiite areas of Syria.
Meanwhile, in Iraq the Sunni are likely to revolt and to form around al-Qaeda on one side and possibly with Saudi Arabia Wahhabi influence as another front similar to the Muslim Brotherhood rebel forces in Syria and the latter will attempt to forge an alliance with the Kurdish forces in the north of Iraq. The Kurds would be well served to stay out of such a revolt and instead declare themselves a state using the Palestinian Authority as their precedent for establishing Kurdistan in an area which minimally includes the northern forty percent of Iraq and pull as many of Kurdish ancestry from within eastern Turkey and northern Iran to solidify their new country in the north of a fractured Iraq. What is actually the most ironic, sarcastic and completely insane quality is what likely lies just over the horizon for Iraq, the distinct possibility that Iraq will end up splitting into three states, Shiite Iraq, Sunni Iraq (also could be called Southern Iraq and Northern Iraq), and Kurdistan, just as Joe Biden had suggested it should have been divided up to start with. Who knew that Biden was not just somewhat strange and spoke insanities from time to time, but could actually be prophetic. Wait a minute, let’s not get carried away just because old Joe finally got one right, after all, a stopped clock is correct twice a day.
Beyond the Cusp
If President Obama and his cohorts in gun-grabbing were also concerned with the fashion industry and the effect on public aesthetics through the donning of camouflage military style clothing, what would the ensuing speech to the country and congress sound like? I can almost hear President Obama banked by his Hollywood elites dressed to the nines. There the President stood at the rostrum all arrayed in a splendid fine silk tuxedo. After making a call out to some of the finer dressed of the people who were draped on each side in a perfect bend of styles, colors and arranged by height with each side tapering away from the President accentuating his position standing tall in the center, look over the attending giving them a slight and approving nod and then proceed to deliver his speech. The backdrop was festooned with brightly colored streamers billowed by fans before lights which slowly slid from one hue to the next accentuating the stage with a magical appearance. The President straightens the cards with his notes, clears his throat and begins.
His speech covers the seeming endless list of Executive Orders, most of which simply demand that he express a desire to various agencies concerned with dress code enforcements and approvals of styles for public use to continue doing their appointed responsibilities, just to do them with more flare and drama as such would make the entire style enforcement appear to have greater importance. Then the President turned to those who have insisted on committing style offensives by wearing drab and ugly military style clothing. He denounces the wearing of those dreary greens from forest to olive to pale green splotches and the dessert tans with hints of beige and taupe and finally the worst offenders wearing the grey, white and black arctic camouflage, a distinct insult to the stylish tastes of the general public. The President condemned these camouflaged insults to the art aesthetic sensibilities of the more style sensitive members of our society. He tells of the near nervous breakdown suffered by some when confronted with these style miscreants. He points out that military style attire has its place where the vulgarities of violence are practiced which makes such outerwear improper and an insult on the visual beauty society has managed to acquire through years of striving towards more stylish and civilized clothing.
The President demanded that the Federal Clothier and Designer Secretary to update the acceptable styles every season instead of only twice a year in order to further enhance the appearance of people in public. There was the demand that the national cloth producers be licensed and that any black market providers of camouflage cloth or clothing be given a mandatory reeducation and style corrective training to instruct them in the emotional and social advantages and enhancements that research has found that proper clothing of the population is capable of producing. The President also called for more importance to be placed in the education of the country’s youth in the reasons and harmony that proper style brings to the general mood and interactions in our society. There also will be more funding on the BATF (Bureau of Appropriate Tailoring and Fashion) to bring those who deal and produce in military style clothing and attire to justice and put an end to their deleterious effect on society.
The people in the latest polls have shown general support for the President’s setting of style and fashion at the head of his agenda as a worthy cause that should be fully funded. There was almost no opposition in the standard polling for the new standards requiring more frequent style changes so as to minimize complacency and the possibility of some styles of becoming staid. There was a disturbing increase in those who expressed the idea that the arctic camouflage clothing was not all that offensive and should not be treated as harshly as those caught wearing the green or tan camouflage military style clothing. Over all, the President appears to have made a sensible package of programs and enforcement that should enhance the general fashion and style of the society thus leading to a maximizing of the color and mood enhancing attire standards. It will be interesting to see if the Congress, especially those from the drab unicolor party, follows the President’s lead or will once again become mired in the minutia of minor style coding. The President was likely correct in his statement that the Congress often acted as if they had no concept of societal benefits of his programs. Hopefully we can all look forward to the coming of a colorful spring issuance of fashions that will likely be brighter than last year’s overuse of pastels.
Beyond the Cusp
It is almost universally accepted that Mitt Romney pretty much beat President Obama mercilessly in the first of the three Presidential debates. Tonight is the Vice Presidential debate which usually would garner little interest except for the hard core political hounds like us, but this one has had a larger build-up. Some are predicting a bland though fact and number filled performance by Congressman Ryan and others are calling for a count the Uncle Joe gaffes. Either way, this may be an exception for Vice Presidential debates, but I am not expecting anything near to the reactions to the results from the first Presidential debate. What is a promise is that the remaining two Presidential debates will likely draw even closer scrutiny from an even larger television viewing audience that even the near record setting first debate. The first of the remaining Presidential debates will cover domestic and foreign policies and be of a general nature with the final third debate focusing solely on foreign policy. That final debate could very well also be a must win, crucial, last chance for the Obama campaign if the numbers continue on their recent trending and the debates continue to showcase a side of Romney which belies all the accusations and denunciation thrown at him by the Super PAC advertisements. This may place President Obama needing a complete knockout performance in the final debate which is in an area where he is extremely vulnerable.
Yes, I am aware that President Obama single handedly went in and took out al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but that one decision and action does not a foreign policy make. With all the dust-ups between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as almost anything that concerns Israel will be examined and used to exemplify President Obama’s foreign policy shortcomings. One can be pretty sure that every single time President Obama has bowed before another World Leader or misspoke or things did not go as well as we were led to believe will all be run in loops in political commercials. What this writer fears is that President Obama may feel that before the final debate, which will concentrate on foreign policy, he might try to find a decisive foreign policy move which would erase all the ill will that has been perceived between he and Israel and make a definitive statement that President Obama is a leader who takes on foreign problems by grabbing the horns and doing what must be done. There is one move that could be used to show that there really is no space between President Obama and the Israeli leadership and that the United States under President Obama truly does have Israel’s back. President Obama could order between the second and final debate a full, all-out multiple sorties strike on almost all of the Iranian nuclear sites which tactically could be struck without causing massive civilian casualties and other collateral damage to non-military targets in the surrounding vicinities. It is unlikely that should President Obama contact the Israeli leadership and offer to make a joint strike provided it be carried out before the last debate that Prime Minister Netanyahu and many of the others within the Israeli leadership who have called for striking Iran earlier rather than later would look a gift horse in the mouth. As Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated repeatedly when pressed to take a side on the Presidential elections, he has no dog in the fight and will work with whoever is elected to be the next President of the United States. Prime Minister Netanyahu has gone to great lengths to minimize publically any disconcerting thoughts or doubts he may have had over actions taken by President Obama and has kept any differences between the two of them and kept such differences out of the press. Unfortunately, this has not prevented many in the liberal press from playing up the angle that the Israeli leader does favor one side over the other and has actually acted in a way to influence the elections for President. The proof has been that he received Mitt Romney when he visited Israel very graciously and with respect and full honors one would show a potential next President of the United States. They claim that the way Prime Minister Netanyahu reacted to Romney was in complete contrast to the way he has treated President Obama during the campaign. The one small fly in the ointment of this comparison is that thus far during the campaign, President Obama has not visited Israel. Truth be told, President Obama has not visited Israel since before he was elected to the office of President. President Obama has made numerous trips to the Middle East, throughout Eastern Europe, but has not stopped in Israel in all of his travels. So, how the press anywhere can compare the treatment shown to Mitt Romney to that shown a President who has not actually visited Israel is beyond real. I would stake everything that should President Obama visit Israel he would be given, at the minimum, treatment that would easily match that shown Mitt Romney.
I am also fairly certain that if President Obama were to visit Israel and in a private meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the inner cabinet, or whoever is necessary to make a decision concerning Iran and their nuclear program, and presented a full and complete set of plans for a United States strike on the Iranian nuclear sites and requested reasonable assistance from Israeli forces and resources, the Israelis would likely review the plans quickly and offer every assistance requested and beyond. I am concerned that such a scenario of just this type may become reality should President Obama feel the necessity of such boldness to reaffirm him as a President who takes actions that are necessary, just as he made the call on Osama bin Laden. I can assure you that the Pentagon and the Israelis have likely even discussed different scenarios and reached accords on who would be responsible for what and all the particulars and planning has been gone over numerous times. The one thing both American and Israeli militaries do is make plans for virtually any scenario or possibility no matter how obscure or improbable the scenario may be. This pretty much assures that both countries have numerous plans all completely fleshed out with all consequences and alternatives fully defined and accounted for. This would make a decision by President Obama to take action against the Iranian nuclear sites, with or without Israeli assistance, cooperation, or support; this would be fully operational likely within forty-eight hours and very likely almost immediately. My bet is that the assets have been in place for such a strike for quite some time now and have likely been briefed repeatedly on the most likely of sorties that would be incorporated in such a strike. That leaves one question, would President Obama use a cooperative strike on the Iranian nuclear sites with Israeli cooperation? My fear is should President Obama be facing a nearly guaranteed defeat in the election and the polling and other predictive sciences all pointed to an attack upon Iranian nuclear sites, especially if Israel were included and assisted, was extremely likely to affect the elections sufficiently to produce his reelection, then the President might avail himself of just such an option. Should President Obama actually travel this route, then the question that must be pondered is whether or not the American voting public is really that easily swayed by such a shallow and obvious act? Let’s hope we never need to find out, though ridding the world of most of the Iranian nuclear sites definitely qualifies as a positive event, it would still be much preferable that it was carried out as a serious reaction to the threat a nuclear armed Iran would pose to the world and not as a campaign event to win votes.
Beyond the Cusp