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Obama's bomb Syria strategy is really working…for ISIS that is. Kobani and now Baghdad are encircled by the jihadists

The US-led air attacks launched against the Islamic State on 8 August in Iraq and 23 September in Syria are failing. President Obama’s plan to “degrade and destroy” Islamic State has not even begun to achieve success. In Syria and Iraq, ISIS is winning and expanding its control, rather than retreating in fear or defeat.

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It should come as no surprise that President Obama’s ‘well thought out’ bombing campaign of Iraq (kind of) and Syria (yeah baby!), at the behest of his Royal Saudi masters, is not doing much at all…except helping ISIS conquer more cities and more land. Which actually makes perfect sense if you subscribe to the belief that ISIS if fully funded and supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey to begin with.
Zerohedge reports…

A week ago we noted how critical the seige in Kobani was (and why it suggested President Obama’s strategy was a fiasco given a lack of commitment from supposed allies such as Turkey). 7 days later.. and America’s plans to fight Islamic State are in ruins as the militant group’s fighters come close to capturing Kobani and have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Iraqi army west of Baghdad. While John Kerry has today stated, “Kobani does not define strategy against Islamic State,” the ‘loss’ is symbolic.

Meanwhile, The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn notes, in both Syria and Iraq, ISIS is expanding its control rather than contracting….

Isis reinforcements have been rushing towards Kobani in the past few days to ensure that they win a decisive victory over the Syrian Kurdish town’s remaining defenders. The group is willing to take heavy casualties in street fighting and from air attacks in order to add to the string of victories it has won in the four months since its forces captured Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, on 10 June. Part of the strength of the fundamentalist movement is a sense that there is something inevitable and divinely inspired about its victories, whether it is against superior numbers in Mosul or US airpower at Kobani.
In the face of a likely Isis victory at Kobani, senior US officials have been trying to explain away the failure to save the Syrian Kurds in the town, probably Isis’s toughest opponents in Syria. “Our focus in Syria is in degrading the capacity of [Isis] at its core to project power, to command itself, to sustain itself, to resource itself,” said US Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, in a typical piece of waffle designed to mask defeat. “The tragic reality is that in the course of doing that there are going to be places like Kobani where we may or may not be able to fight effectively.”
Unfortunately for the US, Kobani isn’t the only place air strikes are failing to stop Isis. In an offensive in Iraq launched on 2 October but little reported in the outside world, Isis has captured almost all the cities and towns it did not already hold in Anbar province, a vast area in western Iraq that makes up a quarter of the country. It has captured Hit, Kubaisa and Ramadi, the provincial capital, which it had long fought for. Other cities, towns and bases on or close to the Euphrates River west of Baghdad fell in a few days, often after little resistance by the Iraqi Army which showed itself to be as dysfunctional as in the past, even when backed by US air strikes.
Today, only the city of Haditha and two bases, Al-Assad military base near Hit, and Camp Mazrah outside Fallujah, are still in Iraqi government hands. Joel Wing, in his study –”Iraq’s Security Forces Collapse as The Islamic State Takes Control of Most of Anbar Province” – concludes:“This was a huge victory as it gives the insurgents virtual control over Anbar and poses a serious threat to western Baghdad”.
The battle for Anbar, which was at the heart of the Sunni rebellion against the US occupation after 2003, is almost over and has ended with a decisive victory for Isis. It took large parts of Anbar in January and government counter-attacks failed dismally with some 5,000 casualties in the first six months of the year. About half the province’s 1.5 million population has fled and become refugees.The next Isis target may be the Sunni enclaves in western Baghdad, starting with Abu Ghraib on the outskirts but leading right to the centre of the capital.
The Iraqi government and its foreign allies are drawing comfort, there having been some advances against Isis in the centre and north of the country. But north and north-east of Baghdad the successes have not been won by the Iraqi army but by highly sectarian Shia militias which do not distinguish between Isis and the rest of the Sunni population. They speak openly of getting rid of Sunni in mixed provinces such as Diyala where they have advanced. The result is that Sunni in Iraq have no alternative but to stick with Isis or flee, if they want to survive. The same is true north-west of Mosul on the border with Syria, where Iraqi Kurdish forces, aided by US air attacks, have retaken the important border crossing of Rabia, but only one Sunni Arab remained in the town. Ethnic and sectarian cleansing has become the norm in the war in both Iraq and Syria.
The US’s failure to save Kobani, if it falls, will be a political as well as military disaster. Indeed, the circumstances surrounding the loss of the beleaguered town are even more significant than the inability so far of air strikes to stop Isis taking 40 per cent of it. At the start of the bombing in Syria, President Obama boasted of putting together a coalition of Sunni powers such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to oppose Isis, but these all have different agendas to the US in which destroying IS is not the first priority. The Sunni Arab monarchies may not like Isis, which threatens the political status quo, but, as one Iraqi observer put it, “they like the fact that Isis creates more problems for the Shia than it does for them”.
Of the countries supposedly uniting against Isis, by the far most important is Turkey because it shares a 510-mile border with Syria across which rebels of all sorts, including Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, have previously passed with ease. This year the Turks have tightened border security, but since its successes in the summer Isis no longer needs sanctuary, supplies and volunteers from outside to the degree it once did.
In the course of the past week it has become clear that Turkey considers the Syrian Kurd political and military organisations, the PYD and YPG, as posing a greater threat to it than the Islamic fundamentalists. Moreover, the PYD is the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984.
Ever since Syrian government forces withdrew from the Syrian Kurdish enclaves or cantons on the border with Turkey in July 2012, Ankara has feared the impact of self-governing Syrian Kurds on its own 15 million-strong Kurdish population.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would prefer Isis to control Kobani, not the PYD. When five PYD members, who had been fighting Isis at Kobani, were picked up by the Turkish army as they crossed the border last week they were denounced as “separatist terrorists”.
Turkey is demanding a high price from the US for its co-operation in attacking Isis, such as a Turkish-controlled buffer zone inside Syria where Syrian refugees are to live and anti-Assad rebels are to be trained. Mr Erdogan would like a no-fly zone which will also be directed against the government in Damascus since Isis has no air force. If implemented the plan would mean Turkey, backed by the US, would enter the Syrian civil war on the side of the rebels, though the anti-Assad forces are dominated by Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate.
It is worth keeping in mind that Turkey’s actions in Syria since 2011 have been a self-defeating blend of hubris and miscalculation. At the start of the uprising, it could have held the balance between the government and its opponents. Instead, it supported the militarisation of the crisis, backed the jihadis and assumed Assad would soon be defeated. This did not happen and what had been a popular uprising became dominated by sectarian warlords who flourished in conditions created by Turkey. Mr Erdogan is assuming he can disregard the rage of the Turkish Kurds at what they see as his complicity with Isis against the Syrian Kurds. This fury is already deep, with 33 dead, and is likely to get a great deal worse if Kobani falls.
Why doesn’t Ankara worry more about the collapse of the peace process with the PKK that has maintained a ceasefire since 2013? It may believe that the PKK is too heavily involved in fighting Isis in Syria that it cannot go back to war with the government in Turkey. On the other hand, if Turkey does join the civil war in Syria against Assad, a crucial ally of Iran, then Iranian leaders have said that “Turkey will pay a price”. This probably means that Iran will covertly support an armed Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. Saddam Hussein made a somewhat similar mistake to Mr Erdogan when he invaded Iran in 1980, thus leading Iran to reignite the Kurdish rebellion that Baghdad had crushed through an agreement with the Shah in 1975. Turkish military intervention in Syria might not end the war there, but it may well spread the fighting to Turkey.

References:
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/war-against-isis-us-strategy-in-tatters-as-militants-march-on-9789230.html
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-12/americas-anti-isis-strategy-tatters

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Lori Loughlin’s daughter was aboard USC official’s yacht in Bahamas when mom was charged

Lori Loughlin’s daughter was on the yacht of USC’s Board of Trustees when her mom was accused in scheme.

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Via Fox News


Lori Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli was spending spring break on a University of Southern California official’s yacht when her mother was accused Tuesday of involvement in a college admissions scheme, reports said.

Giannulli, 19, was on Rick Caruso’s luxury yacht Invictus in the Bahamas, a report said. Caruso is chairman of USC’s Board of Trustees.

Giannulli, who currently attends USC, was with Caruso’s daughter Gianna and several other friends, the outlet reported.

“My daughter and a group of students left for spring break prior to the government’s announcement yesterday,” Caruso told TMZ. “Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interests to return home.”

Loughlin’s daughter has since returned to Los Angeles to face the allegations that could result in her getting expelled from USC.

USC’s Board of Trustees will not decide the status of Giannulli and the other students involved in the case, but rather, the university’s president will make the decisions, according to TMZ.

Business deals in jeopardy?

Giannulli is a YouTube beauty vlogger and social media star, but in the midst of her mother’s charges, she may lose the lucrative brand-sponsorship deals she has landed over the years, Variety reported.

HP, having cut ties with Giannulli, said in a statement, “HP worked with Lori Loughlin and Olivia Jade in 2017 for a one-time product campaign. HP has removed the content from its properties.”

Giannulli also cut brand deals with partners including Amazon, Dolce & Gabbana, Lulus, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Sephora, Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, Smile Direct Club, Too Faced Cosmetics, Boohoo, and Unilever’s TRESemmé, the report said.

Giannulli’s rep declined to comment, Variety reported. Estée Lauder Companies, which owns Smashbox and Too Faced, also declined to comment, while the other brands or companies the magazine reached out to did not immediately respond to their requests for comment.

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$250M Lawsuit Against CNN Imminent; Covington High MAGA Student Suffered “Direct Attacks”

CNN will be the second MSM outlet sued over their reporting of the incident, after Sandmann launched a $250 million lawsuit against the Washington Post in late February. 

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CNN is about to be sued for more than $250 million for spreading fake news about 16-year-old Covington High School student Nicholas Sandmann.

Sandmann was viciously attacked by left-leaning news outlets over a deceptively edited video clip from the January March for Life rally at the Lincoln Memorial, in which the MAGA-hat-wearing teenager appeared to be mocking a Native American man beating a drum. Around a day later, a longer version of the video revealed that Sandmann did absolutely nothing wrong – after the media had played judge, jury and executioner of Sandmann’s reputation.

CNN will be the second MSM outlet sued over their reporting of the incident, after Sandmann launched a $250 million lawsuit against the Washington Post in late February.

Speaking with Fox News host Mark Levin in an interview set to air Sunday, Sandmann’s attorney, L. Lin Wood, said “CNN was probably more vicious in its direct attacks on Nicholas than The Washington Post. And CNN goes into millions of individuals’ homes. It’s broadcast into their homes.”

They really went after Nicholas with the idea that he was part of a mob that was attacking the Black Hebrew Israelites, yelling racist slurs at the Black Hebrew Israelites,” continued Wood. “Totally false. Saying things like that Nicholas was part of a group that was threatening the Black Hebrew Israelites, that they thought it was going to be a lynching.”

Why didn’t they stop and just take an hour and look through the internet and find the truth and then report it?” Wood asked. “Maybe do that before you report the lies. They didn’t do it. They were vicious. It was false. CNN will be sued next week, and the dollar figure in the CNN case may be higher than it was [against] The Washington Post.”

Watch: 

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Rand Paul refuses to support emergency declaration, deepening problem

Rand Paul gives a principled reason for his refusal, and he cannot be faulted for that, but it leaves the borders open and unsafe.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Senator Rand Paul indicated he will vote to terminate President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration on Sunday. This continues a story that seems to want no resolution.

Weeks ago, the seed to this news piece started this way:

One 35-day partial government shutdown and almost three weeks later, the debate over a statistically tiny amount of money in the US budget for the building of a border wall drags on with no solution. On February 15th, if there is no agreement that is to President Trump’s satisfaction, the government will once again descend into a partial shutdown.

And on February 15th, the President signed a continuing resolution to keep the government open through the rest of the fiscal year. This CR gave sharply limited authority of funds with regards to the border wall. This prompted the President to take it a step farther and declare a National Emergency.

This is because very few people in the US government actually desire a solution to close and secure the American-Mexican border. In fact, what we see is a government that is largely aligned against the will of its citizens.

President Trump has made repeated statements and speeches in which he outlines a fair array of facts concerning the problems experienced in the US by illegal border crossings of both people and controlled substances.

However, the issue of border security remains something that Congress only supports with words. We saw this in action both last week and the week before with the Democrat led House of Representatives voting 245-182 to terminate the National Emergency declaration. While this was to be expected in the House, on March 3rd, libertarian Senator Rand Paul, a known strong supporter of President Trump, nonetheless penned an Op-Ed piece on Fox News in which he said he planned to also vote against the National Emergency in the Republican-led Senate (emphasis added):

In September of 2014,  I had these words to say: “The president acts like he’s a king. He ignores the Constitution.  He arrogantly says, ‘If Congress will not act, then I must.’

Donald J. Trump agreed with me when he said in November 2014 that President Barack Obama couldn’t make a deal on immigration so “now he has to use executive action, and this is a very, very dangerous thing that should be overridden easily by the Supreme Court.”

I support President Trump. I supported his fight to get funding for the wall from Republicans and Democrats alike, and I share his view that we need more and better border security.

However, I cannot support the use of emergency powers to get more funding, so I will be voting to disapprove of his declaration when it comes before the Senate.

Every single Republican I know decried President Obama’s use of executive power to legislate. We were right then. But the only way to be an honest officeholder is to stand up for the same principles no matter who is in power…

There are really two questions involved in the decision about emergency funding:

  • First, does statutory law allow for the president’s emergency orders,
  • and, second, does the Constitution permit these emergency orders?

As far as the statute goes, the answer is maybe — although no president has previously used emergency powers to spend money denied by Congress, and it was clearly not intended to do that.

But there is a much larger question: the question of whether or not this power and therefore this action are constitutional. With regard to the Constitution, the Supreme Court made it very clear in Youngstown Steel in 1952, in a case that is being closely reexamined in the discussion of executive power.  In Youngstown, the Court ruled that there are three kinds of executive order: orders that carry out an expressly voiced congressional position, orders where Congress’ will is unclear, and, finally, orders clearly opposed to the will of Congress.

To my mind, like it or not, we had this conversation.  In fact, the government was shut down in a public battle over how much money would be spent on the wall and border security.  It ended with a deal that Congress passed and the president signed into law, thus determining the amount.

Congress clearly expressed its will not to spend more than $1.3 billion and to restrict how much of that money could go to barriers.  Therefore, President Trump’s emergency order is clearly in opposition to the will of Congress.

Moreover, the broad principle of separation of powers in the Constitution delegates the power of the purse to Congress.  This turns that principle on its head.

Some are attempting to say that there isn’t a good analogy between President Obama’s orders or the Youngstown case. I disagree. Not only are the issues similar, but I think Youngstown Steel implications are even more profound in the case of emergency appropriations. We spent the last two months debating how much money should be spent on a wall, and Congress came to a clear conclusion: $1.3 billion. Without question, the president’s order for more wall money contradicts the will of Congress and will, in all likelihood, be struck down by the Supreme Court.

In fact, I think the president’s own picks to the Supreme Court may rebuke him on this.

Regardless, I must vote how my principles dictate. My oath is to the Constitution, not to any man or political party. I stand with the president often, and I do so with a loud voice. Today, I think he’s wrong, not on policy, but in seeking to expand the powers of the presidency beyond their constitutional limits. I understand his frustration. Dealing with Congress can be pretty difficult sometimes. But Congress appropriates money, and his only constitutional recourse, if he does not like the amount they appropriate, is to veto the bill.

This statement by Rand Paul is extremely – and painfully – fair. It marks not the actions of a liberal but of someone who is trying to do things truly “by the book.” He cannot be faulted for this.

But his “Nay” is very poorly placed because it comes in the context of a Congress that is full of people far less committed to the vision of America and its sovereignty than he or the President are. One of the reasons stated for lax border security is that cutting off illegal immigration also cuts off very cheap labor for several industries. Some of those industry leaders donate lavishly to political campaigns, ergo, corruption.

Rand Paul, in trying to fight for what is right by the letter of the law, may be correct, but in the short term it appears to exacerbate the problem of the porous US-Mexico border.

President Trump is trying to do the right thing in the company of a Congress who does not want this, for various reasons. Some of it is because some Congressmen and women are petty, Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer being the crabby National Grandparents in this aspect. But add to the “resist Trump because he is Trump” lobby those people who gain from illegal immigration in the short term, and those like the new socialist crop of Congressional members who are ready to change the very nature of the United States into something like their cannabis-induced dream of Sweden (which didn’t even work in Sweden!) and we see that border security is every bit the uphill climb that President Trump has shown it to be.

The government shutdown did one very good thing: It got the American focus on the border and some opinions on the matter moved – at least among the American people.

But since when did our representatives and senators really represent us, the American people?

It has been a long, long time.

 

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