U.S. can’t solve Iraq’s problems alone, Obama says

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters continued their rapid gains, capturing four more towns in western Iraq.
TNS Regional News
Jun 23, 2014


The radical Sunni Muslim group advancing in Iraq, though it puts the Middle East’s stability at risk, is “just one of a number of organizations” in the region that pose a threat to U.S. interests, President Barack Obama said Sunday.

Obama said the rapid advances by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq could spill over into Jordan and that the group “could amass more arms, more resources” in Syria. But the president, likening ISIS to other groups such as Al Qaida in Yemen, once again said it was not a problem that U.S. troops could solve.

“And this is going to be a global challenge and one that the United States is going to have to address, but we’re not going to be able to address it alone,” Obama said in an interview excerpt aired on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And as I said yesterday, what we can’t do is think that we’re just going to play whack-a-mole and send U.S. troops occupying various countries wherever these organizations pop up.”

The debate took place as ISIS fighters continued their rapid gains, capturing four more towns in western Iraq, and as Secretary of State John F. Kerry arrived in Cairo in part to try to find a solution to the escalating crisis. Obama has agreed to send as many as 300 U.S. special forces troops to Iraq as advisers, but has not yet committed to further action, such as airstrikes.

Obama said the extreme ideology of ISIS could prove its undoing.

“The thing about an organization like this is that typically when they control territory, because they’re so violent, because they’re so extreme, over time the local populations reject them,” he said. “We’ve seen that time and time again.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said U.S. intelligence did not foresee the group’s rapid advance in Iraq.

“This is a different culture. It’s very difficult to pierce,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” calling it “a real wake-up call for the United States.”

She said Obama is right to be “circumspect” but said that time is running out on a negotiated solution that could prevent Iraq from unraveling.

The dispute inside the Republican Party on intervention also continued on Sunday. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he thought the U.S. should avoid getting involved in a civil war between the “feckless” Iraqi government, allied with Iran, and militants allied with al-Qaida..

“You have to ask yourself, are you willing to send your son, am I willing to send my son to retake back a city, Mosul, that they weren’t willing to defend themselves,” Paul said on “State of the Union.” “I’m not willing to send my son into that mess.”

In his own appearance, Obama said the notion that he could have changed the outcome in Syria by doing more to arm rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government is a “fantasy.”

“I think this notion that somehow there was this ready-made, moderate Syrian force that was able to defeat Assad is simply not true. … The notion that they were in a position suddenly to overturn, you know, not only Assad but also ruthless, highly trained jihadists if we just sent a few arms is a fantasy.”


By Joseph Tanfani - Tribune Washington Bureau (MCT)

©2014 Tribune Co.

Visit Tribune Co. at www.latimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services



Re: "Obama has announced plans to send 300 special operations forces into Iraq to train its military,"

Yea, 'that' should help to stem the large number of Iraqi army desertions.

“Mr. President, the bad new is, the Iraqi soldiers we spent years training are abandoning their positions. The good news is, they run faster than we thought.”

- National Security Advisor Susan Rice (satire)



...unfortunately for the judge who condemned Saddam Hussein to death ...he failed to outrun them...

Cliff Cannon

The worst part----for me. Is that,in the first Iraq war, George Bush the dad ,left Saddam in power, so a civil war wouldn't destroy Iraq.

So for reasons, known to no one. The younger Bush as well as Obama wasted American lives,America's treasury and untold Iraqi lives, for what ?

Just to watch Iraq fall into the civil war, his dad wanted to avoid. Dirty Bleepers ought to be shot, in my viewpoint. Perhaps,even worse, Bush & Obama ought to have explain to the parents of these dead & horribly wounded brave Americans----why they did this to their children


...I think you are right, Cliff ...with Iran threatening the middle east (especially Israel) leaving the monster and his two sons for round three would have made more sense
...Afganistan was a mistake as well
...most of the 911 terrorists were Saudi
...we should have nailed them, then Iran
...but, oh no, don't rattle the gas pumps


Re: "Saudi...we should have nailed them"

One word: Petrodollar

As my late father-in-law used to say:

The nerve that's connected to the hip pocket controls the body.


...your father in law was right ...its all down to greed


There are two basic motivators:

Joy of gain and fear of loss.

In my experience, fear of loss is the more powerful of the two.

In the case of the Petrodollar, more like fear of loss.

Cliff Cannon

" The nerve that's connected to the hip pocket controls the body. "

No doubt your father in law was correct. In fact,one of my favorite Twain quotes is this ( much paraphrasing) " Some men seek honor or glory or power or God. One thing they have in common is that they all love money"

In fact, just yesterday in conversation. The discussion was D.C. politicians being so flagrantly ran by money. I gave my opinion that is nothing new.

Then carried it step further and said as far as I am concerned money has always been America's " God " since perhaps 90% of all immigrants yesterday and today came here in search of it. So truly, little has changed.

Once again, I've got say your father in law was a wise man


Re: "money,"

A means of exchange; nothing more, nothing less. In and of itself it has no value. It's much more convenient than barter.

The Petrodollar has an interesting history. After Mr. Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard, the Saudis agreed to use the USD as their reserve currency.

All oil transactions world-wide with a few exceptions use the USD.

Worth noting:

A 2014 U.S. dime has a face value of 10¢.

A 1964 U.S. dime has a face value of 10¢.

A 1964 U.S. dime has a melt down value of $1.52.

When (not if), the U.S. dollar loses it's reserve currency status, our country can no longer continue to use inflation to help us climb out of debt - game over.

Cliff Cannon

" When (not if), the U.S. dollar loses it's reserve currency status, our country can no longer continue to use inflation to help us climb out of debt - game over "

No doubt ! Scary to contemplate, yet I've read ( and do not know if it is true ) that the Chinese,Russians & Saudi's have had 'serious discussions' concerning their ability to come up with their own 'reserve currency' for oil


Re: "Scary to contemplate,"

I wouldn't sweat it too much. IMO, odds are against it occurring in your lifetime. Dibs are off after that.

However, there's always those "black swan events." Who knows?

Every currency that has ever existed has been ultimately trashed.

Anyway, the Petrodollar IMO, is one of the major reasons we even give a crap about the Middle East.

Actually, all this oil and nat-gas fracking might eventually make the U.S. into a net-exporter. Nice game changer.


Cliff re: immigrants ...really? 90%? ...I can't say I have any metrics to back that up
...my impression was, most of the immigrants that came into the nation, in the early days, were in pretty bad shape
...greed and just wanting a better life for the family are two markedly different driving factors
...gotta be honest with you, I never turned down a raise, nor eased up on seeking one, when it came to providing a better life for my family...


Re: "greed,"

Greed is based on one's perception. As in:

YOUR greed, MY wanting a better life for me and mine.

Not to worry, the vast majority of family fortunes don't survive past the third generation.

Old saying: Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.

Cliff Cannon

T.G.W. The 90% estimate is my own. However, I do not think it was 'greed' to come here for any immigrant. I agree with you, it was in search of a better life.

However, THE DRAW of that better life was 'free land' in the settlers days or a paycheck with the chance to climb the ladder of success. ( A ladder, that quite often was not available in their homeland)

Which brings me back to my assertion that 'money' in whatever form was the driving factor in America being settled and correct me if I am wrong ;That is hugely different from any other country's form of settlement.


...not sure I can agee with your point, cliff, on America as the sole nation with money as the driver, 300+ years ago many nations were agressively colonizing and settling lands worldwide
...the brits, the french, spanish, dutch, etc., colonized and exploited aboriginals in australia, africa, canada, latin america south america, hawaii - free land and the money to be made generated a huge economic ($$$) surge that led to global industrialization
...the middle east suddenly became the pivotal world player, when sheiks became breathtakingly rich with the most oil in their wheelhouse...

Cliff Cannon

Morning T.G.W. : " ...the brits, the french, spanish, dutch, etc., colonized and exploited ...." Totally agree.

My point about America and money is that from the beginning of our country till now. Virtually everyone that came here, came because of the opportunity to better themselves through making more money than they could have in their homeland and that drive to improve has been a very good thing for America

Obviously,the wealth those immigrants carved out for themselves, has been passed along, leading to magnificent lives for countless millions of Americans as well as our lofty title of the wealthiest nation on earth.

So my point is that we were built in almost an entirely different way, than any other nation and because of "money " it has given us a very different national character, than most other nations.

After all, how many other places can a person rise to the level of his or her's own ambitions ? How many country's can have books like " The Millionaire next door " (where the millionaire rides around in a pick up truck with a rifle in the back window ) written about it ?

I am not even close to saying anything bad about the settling of America or the American drive to carve out their own fortunes. What I am saying is that in a country so constituted as ours. We should not be to surprised, to see ( in my viewpoint) "Wall St." calling the shots in D.C. or implementing their will into protecting " petro dollars "


...great points, Cliff, especially the wall street comment
...truly, huge fortunes were made (and lost) in our first two centuries by venture capitalists, making America the global vanguard of wealth building
...however, it seems, other nations are now hot on our heels in corporate growth, due in large part, by stealing our intellectual property and manufacturing goods in conditions that would give our osha folk c#*kstrokes
...meanwhile, middle east oil fuels it all...

Cliff Cannon

@T.G.W. Personally, I want all our troops home where they belong, protecting who they are supposed to protect---Americans.

Also, I feel that in the second Iraq fight it was absolutely none of our business if Saddam is a 'monster' to his own people or not. Because, if that 'monster' is our business. Then what 'monster' wouldn't be our business and when would we ever quit fighting monsters ?

I do think, the Afgan Al-quieda training camps needed to be destroyed to the best of our ability back in 2001. Yet, a long occupation, which promises internecine civil war once we leave, sure as hades can be called " a mistake as well " in my book.

As to the Saudi's 911 connection. As we were told then and it makes sense to me. Those Saudi's were hand picked from countless volunteers because they were Saudi's and the hope was to enflame as many America's as possible against Saudi Arabia. So I have no problem not 'nailing them,then Iran'

Can't remember if I am quoting from the CIA or FBI. However,here are the numbers. In the Muslim world 10 % of the people are sympathetic or supportive of Al-Quieda. 1 to 2 percent are Al-Quieda active. So the hijackers could have realistically came from anywhere in the Muslim world.

Al-Quieda seems to make their message very clear : American's go home. Being an isolationist I wish D.C. would get the message. Then fix America's problems and to a very large extent, let the rest of the world take care of themselves.


Re: "I feel that in the second Iraq fight it was absolutely none of our business,"

Point: The allies were ALREADY in Iraq. In the north with the Kurds (who love the U.S.) and the two no-fly zones.

It was only a matter of time before an Iraqi SAM got one of our patrol aircraft - then what?

Cliff Cannon

" It was only a matter of time before an Iraqi SAM got one of our patrol aircraft - then what? "

Probably, the answer would be similar to the Russians knocking down the " U-2 " or the N.Koreans taking the " U.S.S. Pueblo " or countless other military adventures gone wrong. A lot of heated 'diplomacy' followed by nothing ( except another family would have to bury a brave son or daughter )


Re: "Probably, the answer would be similar,"

A supposition.

Too much historical recency.

Remember: Tensions were high, wounds still bare after 9-11.

Also, Saddam was paying suicide bombers.


Again: Public opinion for the invasion was 70%.

Why do you think so many Dems supported it.

Reminds me somewhat of the old saying:

Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.

Cliff Cannon

" Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. " Aw, you remembered JFK using this quote after the " Bay of pigs " debacle. I just knew you were a secret Kennedy fan. :)


Re: "secret Kennedy fan"

The fictitious Corleone family had some good qualities as well.

(Ya know Vito desired that Michael go into politics?)

Wealthy hypocrites.


Talk about failures: Gallipoli

What a comeback for Churchill!


I wonder how much longer we will keep killing our troops for that oil? Which is more cost effective, to drill and use reserves or keep going more in debt? Canada is now shipping oil to China. In 1969 NASA at Glenn was running a 350/v8 GM engine on hydrogen as smooth as silk !


Re: "Canada is now shipping oil to China."

China has large nat-gas and oil shale deposits. They're learning fracking technology from the U.S.


Peak oil is a myth.


...agree, Cliff, the Iraq war was a terrible error; wish Bushjr would never have ordered our troops into Iraq
...even if we had gone in earlier and caught Saddam with chemical weapons, it still would'nt have justified the loss of American troops
...and now, when we need to halt the nuclear proliferation in Iran that is most certainly looming as a threat, we've run out of any credibility to act, until, as usual, its too late...


Re: "wish Bushjr would never have ordered our troops into Iraq,"

At the time, public opinion in favor of invasion was 70%.

Funny, how so many are against the Iraq War now.

20-20 hind sight is a beautiful, comforting thing.

Cliff Cannon

" 20-20 hind sight is a beautiful, comforting thing " Always has been,always will be.

However, not being in the 70 % as well as having long been an isolationist and not to mention a student of W.W.1 . ( Which of course, is the root of so many middle eastern problems)

It will always burn my buns that we went back into Iraq as well as I will forever ask this simple question: Why ?


Re: "Why ?"

Again for one: Saddam a danger to the House of Saud - Petrodollar

The U.S. military is the modern day condottieri.


An aside in the present:

CNBC picked TX the no. 2 state for business and OH came up 10 spots from 2013 to 18th.

Looks like Mr. Kasich is doin' a few things right.


Cliff Cannon

" Looks like Mr. Kasich is doin' a few things right. " Very glad to hear that. I wonder, when he's going announce his presidential bid ?

Will always disagree that a flat on their back was a threat to the Saudi's. Personally, I thought the whole invasion was about having base's to confront Iran with. Obviously, I was wrong.