Archive for Barack Clausewitz Obama

I Hope the War Against Ebola is Going Better Than the War Against ISIS

It couldn’t be going worse:

BEIRUT — The Obama administration’s Syria strategy suffered a major setback Sunday after fighters linked to al-Qaeda routed U.S.-backed rebels from their main northern strongholds, capturing significant quantities of weaponry, triggering widespread defections and ending hopes that Washington will readily find Syrian partners in its war against the Islamic State.

Moderate rebels who had been armed and trained by the United States either surrendered or defected to the extremists as the Jabhat al-Nusra group, affiliated with al-Qaeda, swept through the towns and villages the moderates controlled in the northern province of Idlib, in what appeared to be a concerted push to vanquish the moderate Free Syrian Army, according to rebel commanders, activists and analysts.

Other moderate fighters were on the run, headed for the Turkish border as the extremists closed in, heralding a significant defeat for the rebel forces Washington had been counting on as a bulwark against the Islamic State.

A Jabhat al-Nusra base was one of the first targets hit when the United States launched its air war in Syria in September, and activists said the tensions fueled by that attack had contributed to the success of the group’s push against the moderate rebels.

“When American airstrikes targeted al-Nusra, people felt solidarity with them because Nusra are fighting the regime, and the strikes are helping the regime,” said Raed al-Fares, an activist leader in Kafr Nabel, in Idlib.

“Now people think that whoever in the Free Syrian Army gets support from the U.S.A. is an agent of the regime,” he said.

Doing to the Syrian opposition what he did to health care.

Obama does so many stupid things—I mean really numb-skulled, moronic, imbecilic things—I’m beginning to wonder if he’s as smart as they’ve been telling us. I’m thinking not.

PS: Didn’t Harry Reid declare Bush’s war in Iraq “lost”, when it was shortly after won? Where is he now (but on his way out, on his ass)?

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The Wartime President

Other than FDR going for his fourth term, I can’t think of a single president who won the office in the middle of a war. Which is to say wartime presidents are made by events, not by choice.

We joked the other day that Obama’s legendary self-confidence might stretch all the way to the military. But that’s the thing with Obama, he’s the biggest joke of all.

I’m a better general than my generals:

Top military leaders in the Pentagon and in the field are growing increasingly frustrated by the tight constraints the White House has placed on the plans to fight ISIS and train a new Syrian rebel army.

As the American-led battle against ISIS stretches into its fourth month, the generals and Pentagon officials leading the air campaign and preparing to train Syrian rebels are working under strict White House orders to keep the war contained within policy limits. The National Security Council has given precise instructions on which rebels can be engaged, who can be trained, and what exactly those fighters will do when they return to Syria. Most of the rebels to be trained by the U.S. will never be sent to fight against ISIS.

Making matters worse, military officers and civilian Pentagon leaders tell The Daily Beast, is the ISIS war’s decision-making process, run by National Security Adviser Susan Rice. It’s been manic and obsessed with the tiniest of details. Officials talk of sudden and frequent meetings of the National Security Council and the so-called Principals Committee of top defense, intelligence, and foreign policy officials (an NSC and three PCs in one week this month); a barrage of questions from the NSC to the agencies that create mountains of paperwork for overworked staffers; and NSC insistence on deciding minor issues even at the operational level.

“We are getting a lot of micromanagement from the White House. Basic decisions that should take hours are taking days sometimes,” one senior defense official told The Daily Beast.

War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.
William Tecumseh Sherman

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
George S. Patton

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
Winston Churchill

If you like your army, you can keep your army. Period.
Barack H. Ohama

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BTL’s Art of War

It’s sophisticated, but see if you can hop aboard the train of thought:

Military and White House officials said Friday that the fierce fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani has created an opportunity to take out large numbers of Islamic State fighters pouring into the battle.

Though the fighting has raised concerns that the vital town could still fall to the Islamic State, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of U.S. Central Command, claimed Friday that there’s an upside for the U.S. and its allies.

“The enemy has made a decision to make Kobani his main effort,” Austin said, claiming “manpower” is streaming into the area.

“Now, my goal is to defeat and ultimately destroy ISIL. And if [the enemy] continues to present us with major targets … then clearly, we’ll service those targets, and we’ve done so very, very effectively here of late,” Austin said.

Maybe it’s not the first thing you think of when you list the reasons you’re proud to be an American, but our ability to vaporize people we deem (correctly or not) to be our enemies is second to none. So, when we find such people in adequate numbers, it’s time to let ‘em fly and hit ‘em high.

Where’s my diploma from The Citadel, you ask? Who died and made me general? Fine, don’t take my word for it. Just recall the many posts from past years in which US forces squared off with Taliban goatherds and the casualty results were 100-0, 150-1, and suchlike. Again, maybe not our best trait, but we can kill with the best of them; when offered the opportunity, we should seize it.

There’s only one flaw in how Obama intends to go about it. Kobani is worth saving from ISIS because there are Kurdish “boots on the ground” (or sandals, flip-flops, rags) to take the ground (sand) that ISIS forces leave when they either explode or retreat. That does not appear to be the case in, say, Baghdad.

So, by all means, kill while the killing’s good in Kobani. (As if I need to encourage Obama to kill indiscriminately from the skies—he’s got a Death Ray, and he’s not afraid to use it!) But Kobani will be small consolation when the former seat of the caliphate returns to something that calls itself the Islamic State. It did no good to slaughter Afghan Islamists by the hundreds if we didn’t intend to hold the territory (by ourselves or through proxies); it’s doubtful the results will be any better in Syria or Iraq.

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Weighing Kurds

I admit I hadn’t heard of Kobani until last week, and I’ve never known a Kurd.

But what the [bleep] are we doing?

Islamic State jihadists captured the headquarters Friday of Kurdish fighters defending the Syrian border town of Kobani, with a UN envoy warning thousands would likely be massacred if it falls to them.

Outgunned Kurdish militia were struggling to prevent the jihadists closing off the last escape route for civilians still in the area, prompting an appeal for urgent military assistance.

U.S.-led warplanes have intensified air strikes against ISIS, which has been attacking Kobani for three weeks, but the Pentagon has warned that, without a ground force to work with, there are limits to what can be done.

Neighboring Turkey has so far refrained from any action against the jihadists on its doorstep, despite four straight nights of protests among its own large Kurdish minority that have left 31 people dead.

The jihadists’ advance has brought the front line to little more than three-quarters of a mile from the border.

ISIS now controls 40 percent of Kobani, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“The capture of the headquarters will allow the jihadists to advance on the border post with Turkey to the north of the town,” its director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

“If they achieve that, they will have the Kurdish forces inside Kobani completely surrounded.”

With predictable results.

We all have to understand that hundreds and thousands of people die around the world every day in the most miserable of circumstances. Like our own deaths, we cope with that knowledge by not thinking about it. But sometimes we rouse ourselves in some kind of outrage to do something. Do what? Something. Like putting on a bumper sticker about Tibet or Darfur.

We would have done just as much to save the Kurds by pasting “Save the Kurd” stickers on our F-16s as we have by blowing up sand dunes and camel stalls. It’s the most expensive theatrical bomb since Spiderman.

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OUT: Boots on the Ground, IN: Choppers in the Sand

Oh [bleep]:

The U.S. military is flying Apache helicopters against Islamic State rebels in Iraq for the first time, exposing U.S. troops to greater risk from ground fire as they help Iraqi forces battle the Islamist group that has overrun parts of the country.

U.S. troops flew helicopters against Islamic State fighters on Sunday and again on Monday as they struck at mortar teams and other units near Fallujah, said a spokesman for Central Command, which is responsible for U.S. forces in the Middle East.

“This was the first time rotary wing aircraft were used in coordination with and in support of ISF (Iraqi Security Force) operations,” Army Major Curtis Kellogg said in an email. “The Iraqi government asked for support with this capability near Fallujah to push back (Islamic State).”

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the helicopters that were used were Apache attack helicopters.

Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for a New American Security think tank, said the military’s decision to use Apaches “demonstrates that they’ve only achieved limited results with the air strikes from fighters and bombers and drones.”

Christopher Harmer, a former Navy aviator who is an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War think tank, said it was a significant escalation in the level of risk being taken by U.S. troops assisting the Iraqi military.

“Fixed-wing aircraft flying at 30,000 feet (9,000 meters) are completely immune from the type of weapons that Islamic State fighters have, but a helicopter is not,” Harmer said.

“When you’re flying a helicopter 150 feet (50 meters) above the ground, that helicopter can be shot with a rocket-propelled grenade or a heavy machine gun … so, yes, it is much more dangerous,” he added.

Obama channeling his inner Jimmy Carter.

Or his inner Bill Clinton:

What will we call the movie of this disaster, Black Chickenhawk Down? Obama swore that he wouldn’t put boots on the ground against ISIS. Chopper pilots will be issued Nike sneakers before every mission.

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Losing Our Heads

We’ve got ISIS desperate and on the run!

As it has lost battleground in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State group has ramped up its propaganda campaign by beheading hostages.

U.S. officials call it a sign of weakness that shows the militants are trying to use whatever they can to maintain support and inspire recruits, even as the group suffers military setbacks in its push to create a religious empire across the two countries.

Uh, no we don’t:

Islamic State militants have taken control of key cities in Iraq’s western province of Anbar and have begun to besiege one of the country’s largest military bases in a weeklong offensive that’s brought them within artillery range of Baghdad.

The Islamic State and its tribal allies have dominated Anbar since a surprise offensive last December, but this week’s push was particularly worrisome, because for the first time this year Islamist insurgents were reported to have become a major presence in Abu Ghraib, the last Anbar town on the outskirts of the capital.

“Daash is openly operating inside Abu Ghraib,” according to an Iraqi soldier, who used a common Arabic term for the Islamic State. “I was at the 10th Division base there two days ago, and the soldiers cannot leave or patrol,” he said, asking that he be identified only as Hossam because Iraqi soldiers are barred from speaking with foreign reporters. “Daash controls the streets.”

Hundreds of miles to the west, Islamic State forces continued their push into the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane, where it appeared unlikely that Turkey would intervene to stop the advance. Kurdish officials from the town said the Turkish government had yet to respond to their pleas for weapons, and reports from the Turkish-Syrian border said there was no evidence Turkey was preparing to take action.

Hossam, whom a McClatchy special correspondent interviewed in Baghdad, said he’d had a difficult time leaving Abu Ghraib for Baghdad to mark the Eid al Adha holiday Saturday. “I had to use a fake ID card that said I was Sunni,” he said, reflecting the concern among Shiite Muslim Iraqi soldiers about the Islamic State’s execution of Shiites it’s captured. “Daash controls the entire area except the army bases and prisons. They’re just a few (miles) from Baghdad.”

With weakness like that, who needs strength?

Without “boots on the ground”, we can know very little of what’s going on. The Obama regime may know more than it’s letting on, but I wouldn’t believe a word they said even if they were reading from the Bible.

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Shell Game

Those who have seen David Mamet’s brilliant movie, Wag the Dog, think they have seen the depths of cynicism and human degradation.

But they haven’t seen anything until they’ve seen the sequel: Eat the Dog (tough).

With respect to the so-called Khorasan Group, the overarching objection here is that we are really just talking about al-Qaeda. No one doubts that al-Qaeda, being an international terror network that has been at war with the United States for about 20 years, has an internal organizational structure as well as both franchises and smaller cells throughout the world. But the units, franchises, and cells are not independent, autonomous operators; they are al-Qaeda. That, in fact, is what separates them from the Islamic State, which has broken away from the mother ship, at least for the time being.

The Obama administration portrayed the abruptly emergent “Khorasan Group” as if it were a standalone terrorist organization — a jihadist-combat entity targeting the United States. In reality, the threat the administration was talking about was from al-Qaeda. The administration does not like to admit that al-Qaeda is still a formidable enemy because President Obama has made a habit of falsely claiming to have defeated it. That is why we are hearing about the “Khorasan Group.”

Khorasan may be new to us, but it’s old news to the Obama regime:

The upshot of Mr. Lake’s report is that back in June, U.S. military and intelligence officials assessed that “a shadowy network of al Qaeda veterans in Syria were planning to attack airliners flying to the United States.” The officials thus formulated combat plans for strikes against this terror cell’s key locations. These “targeting packages,” however, were not submitted to the president because, according to an unidentified senior intelligence official, military brass knew Mr. Obama would not authorize the strikes. They did not want to ask if the answer was certain to be “no.”

I have no doubt that this is the case. My focus, however, is on Mr. Lake’s description of the Khorasan controversy. As he frames it,

Some critics on the left and right have questioned whether the White House invented the threat from the so-called “Khorasan Group” in order to justify airstrikes that began in September against al Qaeda and ISIS targets in Syria.

Let me help you out: Khorasan is Al Qaeda, and Al Qaeda is Khorasan—like a McDonalds is always a McDonalds, regardless of where it is or who the manager is. But ISIS is neither; it’s Wendy’s, with a side of decapitation. Obama claimed to have put the former out of business (by terminating the CEO); the latter he dismissed as the JV team. He similarly changed his mind when he accepted the very same terms covering our troops in Iraq that he rejected in 2011.

But if such counter-terrorism sleight of hand seems irrelevant to you, let me introduce you to the new definition of “theater of war”:

U.S. airstrikes in Syria in September that were aimed at a faction of al-Qaeda militants said to be plotting attacks against the West failed to deliver a decisive blow against them, U.S. officials familiar with the operation said late this week.

While U.S. intelligence agencies are still assessing the results of the Tomahawk cruise missile strikes, three U.S. officials said indications are that many suspected leaders and members of the Khorasan Group escaped, along with high-tech explosive devices they were said to be preparing to attack civil aviation or similar targets.

‘They thought people were there but they were not there,’ said one U.S. official familiar with the Obama administration’s plan.

At the time of the strikes, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said they were conducted to ‘disrupt imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western targets’.

Federal Bureau of Investigations director James Comey told reporters on September 25 that he was ‘not confident’ that the plots against the United States had been disrupted.

In the aftermath of the strikes, U.S. officials have dialed back their warnings, saying that any planned attacks by Khorasan may not have been imminent.

The U.S. government still maintains that the group is sufficiently skilled and well armed to launch a surprise attack against the West.

The sources who spoke about the strikes said that since the raids apparently missed their main targets, Khorasan members are likely still actively planning attacks.

The U.S. attack on the Khorasan Group’s base was part of the first night of air strikes that were launched in Syria last month by the United States and allies.

Subsequent strikes have primarily targeted militants from Islamic State, which has seized territory in Syria and Iraq.

Again, let me help: we staged some very splashy bombing raids on Al Qaeda cells (by another name) who weren’t even there. And the imminent threat they (McDonald’s) posed may or may not have been so imminent. But it’s all okay because we’re now bombing the other terrorists, ISIS (Wendy’s), once dissed and dismissed by Obama.

Oh, and as we previously reported, ISIS probably wasn’t there either: reports on the ground say that they got while the getting was good as Obama dithered. In any case, they’re still serving decapitations.

Any questions?

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He Changed His Nonexistent Mind

Everyone’s a critic:

The Obama administration said on Monday that it has accepted from the Iraqi government the same sort of immunity agreement for newly dispatched Special Operations troops that it refused to accept in 2011, when it opted to withdraw all American troops from Iraq rather than keep a residual force behind.

Iraq’s government provided assurances in a diplomatic note that American troops being sent to help combat a growing Islamist insurgency will be exempt from Iraqi law, officials said Monday. But in 2011, American military lawyers deemed such assurances insufficient and insisted troops stay only if legal immunity was approved by the Iraqi Parliament.

By accepting the same sort of deal he turned down nearly three years ago, President Obama opened himself to further questions about whether he made the right decision to pull out all American troops at the end of 2011, a decision drawing fresh criticism in light of the rapid advances of Islamist extremists now threatening Baghdad.

Yeah, well, so?

Islamic State militants have carried out mass executions, abducted girls as sex slaves and used child soldiers in what may amount to systematic war crimes in Iraq that demand prosecution, the UN said today.

It said ISIS fighters had committed gross human rights violations of an ‘increasing sectarian nature’ against groups including Christians, Yazidis and Shi’ite Muslims in a widening conflict that has forced 1.8 million Iraqis to flee their homes.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said: ‘The array of violations and abuses perpetrated by ISIL and associated armed groups is staggering, and many of their acts may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity.’

The report said the ISIS atrocities ‘include attacks directly targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, executions and other targeted killings of civilians, abductions, rape and other forms of sexual and physical violence perpetrated against women and children, forced recruitment of children, destruction or desecration of places of religious or cultural significance, wanton destruction and looting of property, and denial of fundamental freedoms.’

In a single massacre on June 12, about 1,500 Iraqi soldiers and security officers from the former U.S. Camp Speicher military base in Salahuddin province were captured and killed by Islamic State fighters, according to the 29-page report by the UN Human Rights Office and the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

Women have been treated particularly harshly, the report said: ‘ISIL (has) attacked and killed female doctors, lawyers, among other professionals.’

In August, it said, ISIS took 450-500 women and girls to the Tal Afar citadel in Iraq’s Nineveh region where ‘150 unmarried girls and women, predominantly from the Yazidi and Christian communities, were reportedly transported to Syria, either to be given to ISIS fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves’.

I asked yesterday how many had died from Obama’s unconditional surrender of Iraq and Syria. We’re getting closer to the answer.

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Grim Milestone Watch

Boy, it’s been a while since we had one of these.

Good times:

The United Nations said Wednesday that at least 1,119 Iraqis died in violence in September but that the real figure was likely much higher since the reported death toll did not include killings in areas controlled by the Islamic State group.

So, the 1,119 dead Iraqis are only those killed by non-ISIS forces. Well, that sucks.

Iraq has been facing an unprecedented crisis — the worst since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011 — after the Sunni extremist group seized a third of the country in a lightning offensive over the summer.

Bush’s invasion of Iraq led to many deaths, American and Iraqi. Can’t the same be said of Obama’s surrender—at least of Iraqis? I realize no number of Iraqi deaths justifies one American death, but we had Iraq won. They had an ineffectual army, crooked politicians, sectarian violence—all you need for a modern Arab state. And Obama pi**ed it away.

The August death toll stood at 1,420. In June, 2,400 were killed as the Islamic State fighters launched their blitz. It was the highest figure since at least April 2005.

Silly me! If I had only read further, I would have noted that 1,119 is a marked improvement. My apologies. Carry on.

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No…Almost None…Few Some Civilians Were Harmed in the Prosecution of This War

But we’re progressives, so it’s okay:

The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.

A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria’s Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23.

The village has been described by Syrian rebel commanders as a reported stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front where U.S officials believed members of the so-called Khorasan group were plotting attacks against international aircraft.

But at a briefing for members and staffers of the House Foreign Affairs Committee late last week, Syrian rebel commanders described women and children being hauled from the rubble after an errant cruise missile destroyed a home for displaced civilians. Images of badly injured children also appeared on YouTube, helping to fuel anti-U.S. protests in a number of Syrian villages last week.

“They were carrying bodies out of the rubble. … I saw seven or eight ambulances coming out of there,” said Abu Abdo Salabman, a political member of one of the Free Syria Army factions, who attended the briefing for Foreign Affairs Committee members and staff. “We believe this was a big mistake.”

You can say that again, Abu. One almost six years old, and we’re still paying for it. As are more than a few innocent Syrian women and children.

Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, told Yahoo News that Pentagon officials “take all credible allegations seriously and will investigate” the reports.

At the same time, however, Hayden said that a much-publicized White House policy that President Obama announced last year barring U.S. drone strikes unless there is a “near certainty” there will be no civilian casualties — “the highest standard we can meet,” he said at the time — does not cover the current U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

The “near certainty” standard was intended to apply “only when we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we noted at the time,” Hayden said in an email. “That description — outside areas of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on the ground in Iraq and Syria right now.”

No, of course not. Furthest thing from our minds. I’m sure the seven or eight dead women and children understand (even though I don’t).

I won’t BS you: I know (and have repeatedly written) that when you go to war, you sign on for anything and everything, the very little good, the overwhelming bad, and the disgustingly ugly. War is hell, as the general said.

But will this pack of jackals similarly level with us? Does their “areas of active hostilities” make any sense? Doesn’t an area become hostile when you deem it so by firing a Hellfire missile at it?

Obama seems to believe in war by Marquis of Queensbury rules. No boots on the ground, no civilian deaths. And if some do occur, well, we never promised you a rose garden.

And about the “boots on the ground” promise…

PS: The howls of indignation from the Left will begin in 3…2…1…1…1…

PPS: Don’t hold your breath:

Dana Milbank, the liberal Washington Post columnist who can be tough on liberals, was at the White House for an antiwar demonstration in the wake of Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. A grand total of 22 people showed up.

Here’s what he quoted lefty activist David Swanson as saying:

“If George W. Bush were launching wars with Congress out of town, oh, it would be flooded. They would be screaming.”

Obama, said Swanson, “can get away with some abuses and worse and be forgiven because he engages in wars more eloquently and reluctantly, but the people who die in the wars are just as dead and the people who suffer from the sabotaging of climate agreements have their climate just as destroyed.”

Global warming? Seriously?

Medea Benjamin of Code Pink was asked why so few on the left oppose Obama. “‘He’s totally defanged us,’ she said, citing his party, his affability — and his race. ‘The black community is traditionally the most antiwar community in this country. He’s defanged that sentiment within the black community, or certainly voicing that sentiment.’”

Blaming the brothers. Again.

Andrew Sullivan, a conservative who largely became an Obama booster, is equally incredulous:

“The way in which Obama supporters have lamely acquiesced to this reckless war fomented by a dangerous executive power-grab is more than a little depressing. It strikes me as uncomfortably close to pure partisanship. I can’t imagine them downplaying the folly of this if a Republican president were in charge.”

Some of us knew they were full of it a decade ago and more.

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The 58.7% President

Illiterate or bullshi**er—we have our answer:

“Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” a former senior Pentagon official “who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq” told the Daily Beast.


C…A…very good, sir, just one more letter.

A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.

The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.

The GAI’s alarming findings come on the heels of Obama’s 60 Minutes comments on Sunday, wherein the president laid the blame for the Islamic State’s (ISIS) rapid rise squarely at the feet of his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” said Obama.

“It’s pretty well-known that the president hasn’t taken in-person intelligence briefings with any regularity since the early days of 2009,” an Obama national security staffer told the Daily Mail on Monday. “He gets them in writing.”

The Obama security staffer said the president’s PDBs have contained detailed threat warnings about the Islamic State dating back to before the 2012 presidential election.

“Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate predictions about ISIL have been showing up in the Oval Office since before the 2012 election,” the Obama security staffer told the Daily Mail.

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Islamist Pranks

Those ISIS rogues, talk about punking someone!

Nearly two months on since the US began air strikes against Islamic State (IS) positions in northern Iraq, there are signs that the militants are adapting to the new reality.

Witnesses and tribal sources in IS-controlled areas have reported a drop in the number of militant checkpoints and fighters using mobile phones less, apparently to avoid being targeted by air raids.

Militants have also been seen to ditch conspicuous convoys of armoured vehicles in favour of motorcycles, and there are reports of them planting their black flags on civilian homes and facilities to try to confuse target-spotters.

Darn, that was going to be my Halloween trick! At least I can still wear this costume:

Too soon? Sorry.

Many of the buildings already struck by coalition bombers are reported to have been evacuated prior to the strikes.

A tribal sheikh from a village south of Kirkuk said IS fighters had “abandoned one of their biggest headquarters in the village” when they heard the air campaign was likely to target their area.

“They took all their furniture, vehicles and weapons. Then they planted roadside bombs and destroyed the headquarters,” said the sheikh, who declined to be identified.

“It’s a well-tried and tested formula,” said defence and security expert Paul Gibson, a retired British Army brigadier.

“Once [militants] start facing air strikes, the first thing they’ll do is to reduce the targets available to the coalition forces. They will disperse and reduce their communications by mobile and radio so their electronic signature is reduced.”

I hope Obama ordered a mega-shipment of Allen Edmonds loafers. I don’t see how he’s going to keep that “no boots on the ground” pledge.

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