Obama to Make Statement on Iraq and Ferguson at 4pm ET

President Obama, who is in Washington today, will address the nation about Iraq and Ferguson at 4pm ET. You can watch live online here.

Update: Good for Obama, he talked about the racial disparity in our criminal justice system.

On Iraq, he again said no boots on the ground, He also said as to ISIS, "the wolf is at the door."

< Ferguson: Gov. Nixon Calls in National Guard | ISIS Response to U.S. Aiding Kurds at Mosul Dam >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Watching the events of this past week, ... (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:57:30 PM EST
    ... I began thinking cynically about how it's really too bad that law enforcement didn't unleash their all their military toys on Cliven Bundy and his deranged band of Überpatriots. While we like to believe that freedom is universal, the sad truth is that in our country, it apparently prefers to wear white.

    The doodle would have really hit the fan (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 07:20:32 PM EST
    If law enforcement showed up at Bundy's in MRAPs

    It was interesting (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:21:24 PM EST
    How freaked out everyone was that supposedly some people if ferguson actually had guns .

    Funny how all those 2nd amendment freaks aren't so excited about black people having guns.


    The Prez is spent (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:13:23 PM EST
    Expect a completely exhausted and oddly disconnected speech. Obama is not a cat who is made for the long trauma of this sort. Short haul, he can make it. But almost six years in now, he just doesn't have the desire anymore, IMO, at least when it comes to this medieval bloodlust. But really, who does?

    Peace to all.

    Apparently even some Democrats (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:20:53 PM EST
    in Congress are on the "he isn't doing enough" bandwagon.

    Amazing, isn't it, how ... (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:33:58 PM EST
    ... dysfunctional members of Congress -- who've turned their own lack of accomplishment into a type of performance art that would make Laurie Anderson green with envy -- are always among the very first to accuse others of not doing enough?

    Not so amazing (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:01:19 PM EST
    In an election year

    In our next life (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:10:30 PM EST
    Let's you and I be a political strategist team.  The $hit we could do :). And get paid :)

    Yes and that (none / 0) (#14)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:43:55 PM EST
    "not doing enough"  seems to entail more military intervention, more bombing. The more the better.  Criticisms for not re-negotiating the Bush status of forces agreement lamentsAS  the lack of muscular intervention to do so...not even now, with the "wolf at the door,"  earlier hurdles in the face of Maliki's recalcitrance go unacknowledged.   Or, observing that Maliki's standing up to the Americans at the time only solidified his political gains and popularity.  

    Doing more, to me, involves  doing more to find a decent exit, rather than, another entry strategy. As Pope Francis stated, "stop" does not mean bombs or make war, in his justification for doing something.

    And, a new war is not afoot only if infantryman put their boots on the ground. A US air campaign along with an operational hybrid of American, Kurdish and other Iraqi commands certainly should be able to check the ISIS militants and drain "the water in which the fish swim," as Chairman Mao called the intimidated/sympathizers that enabled  insurgents.

    But, we have recently seen the military performance of the Iraqi army, and only ten days ago, the routing of the Kurdish forces.  The pesh merga have shown themselves to be a dependent force.  How they will perform without the US support remains to be seen.  President Obama says it will takes months.

    New hope exists for a political resolution with al-Abadi, but that will require bitter rivalries and fights for the spoils to be balanced.  And, to achieve a military dedicated to protecting that political system.   Well, we are at it again... try, try, until we get it right.  Right?   Better luck this time.


    They've (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:51:39 PM EST
    been at it for 12 years now.

    I'll let Michael speak for me...


    lol; what will turn Laurie Anderson green... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 07:51:03 PM EST
    just plain green, is being mentioned in the same sentence as the parasitic infection we call Congress.

    ... a type of performance art.... (none / 0) (#20)
    by unitron on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 10:00:53 PM EST
    Channeling Charlie Pierce now?

    Actually that's a clever enough turn of phrase that I may need to steal it at some point.


    Midterm elections coming up (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 05:05:59 PM EST
    He couldn't do enough even if he did do enough :)

    It's sort of like being Iraq's military commander and trying to get your next door neighbor Iran's nod, handshake, friendship while the United States of America flies overhead :)

    The Ides of August


    He looks fine (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:57:21 PM EST
    Watching that news conference (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:58:51 PM EST
    It occurred to me that Mr Obama is going to make a very interesting former president.  
    I do not mean that in any snarky or ironic sub textual way.  His remarks about Ferguson particulary seemed so careful.   I under stand why he would do that.   But without the burden of the office he, I think, will become a powerful voice on these issues.  Not only in bringing attention to various injustices but in an ability to speak with tough love in a way very few can.

    That said, he seemed less drained and exhausted than the last time I saw him.  


    he's been on vacation (none / 0) (#7)
    by CST on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:02:20 PM EST
    at my favorite place on earth.  Does wonders.

    I mean it, I don't mean to be snarky, the Vineyard is special.  We all need a little R&R.


    President's need vacations too.... (none / 0) (#10)
    by magster on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:11:15 PM EST
    I thought Obama did just fine.... (none / 0) (#9)
    by magster on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:10:04 PM EST
    The first question (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:03:40 PM EST
    Was about the militarization of the police.  I thought the answer was pretty good. Except he seemed to blame 9/11 and we all know it's been happening longer than that.

    It was interesting (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:11:56 PM EST
    That he carefully made it clear it was the Gov and not him who wanted the National Guard and that they would be watching events closely.

    I had also not heard that Holder was going to Ferguson.

    Obama said today that there were be no (none / 0) (#21)
    by Green26 on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 11:00:25 PM EST
    mission creep. Time has a new article on that subject.

    "In 2003, George W. Bush was too quick to declare that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended." In 2014, Barack Obama may be too slow to admit that they are just beginning."

    "Fortunately for Obama, the public isn't creeped out just yet. Fifty-four percent of Americans approve of his airstrikes so far, according to an August 18 Pew Research Center-USA Today poll."

    "But that support may be fragile. Pew also found that 51 percent of Americans worry Obama "will go too far getting involved in the situation."

    if I recall correctly (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 11:51:30 PM EST
    during the q and a (I tuned in late) he tried to define mission creep and said it usually happens when one entity takes on all the burden and acts alone. He said when other actors join in (i.e. countries), it isn't as likely to occur.

    Ok, I just pulled the transcript. here's what he said on mission creep:

    Our goal is to have effective partners on the ground and if we have effective partners on the ground, mission creep is much less likely.

    Typically, what happens with mission creep is when we start deciding that we're the ones who have to do it all ourselves. And you know, that -- because of the excellence of our military, that can work for a time. We learned that Iraq.

    OBAMA: But it's not sustainable. It's not lasting. And so you know, I -- I've been very firm about this precisely because our goal here has to be to be able to build up a structure, not just in Iraq but regionally, that can be maintained and that is not involving us effectively trying to govern or impose our military will on a country that is hostile to us.

    That isn't a definition (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by sj on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 11:15:26 AM EST
    mission creep... usually happens when one entity takes on all the burden and acts alone.
    and mission creep happens under all sorts of circumstances.

    Agreed. (none / 0) (#32)
    by KeysDan on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 12:37:39 PM EST
    This is not a definition of mission creep, but, rather, the president's assessment of what conditions are likely to facilitate (going it alone) or circumscribe (going it with others) its happening.  

    A construct of keeping within previously agreed boundaries may be more likely to occur, given the checks and balances of the participating partners.   Unless, the participating partners have tacitly agreed to a creeping mission, either for starters or as needed.  The Iraq war under  Bush was more creepy than creep (coalition of the willing that included a potpourri of nations some with no armed forces)   And,  the mission was elastic and elusive.  

    In Libya, going it with others did not prevent mission creep, but then, when the tacit agreement among partners is to creep,  it happens.  

    In Iraq, the new and improved, the mission was constructed  in a manner that has mission creep built-in (e.g. save the dam or it will flood Baghdad).   The best partner for staying within bounds is an effective Iraqi government and military.  If such can be found.


    I assume you believe there has (none / 0) (#23)
    by Green26 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 12:03:14 AM EST
    already been significant mission creep. I felt that this expanded mission was probably going to be the mission after the first few days of bombing, but that Obama, as he did with LIbya, has a tendency to understate the actual mission.

    Obama's answers to the question of mission creep didn't answer the question. They answered questions that were not asked. Politicians seem to do that alot.


    Airstrikes have increased. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Green26 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 12:39:45 AM EST
    68 so far. 35 in past 3 days. 15 today (Monday). Includes both planes and drones.

    Mission creep is where mission goals (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:40:02 AM EST
    Change too Jeralyn.  Mission expansion isn't mission creep if the goal is the same. The military works by the mission, the mission in the Sunni triangle changed three different times the first year in Iraq.  Which is almost impossible to believe but it happened, and it was very stressful for soldiers on the ground.

    When deployed, they get up every morning focused on the mission.  They start the day with briefings on "the mission", they tear apart what happened the day before and analyze what was successful and met the mission goals and what wasn't.  Then they problem solve, this usually leads to another briefing for everyone to attend...and then the work day gets to start.

    Mission creep is pretty easy to spot and define, it is when the goal changed while you slept and you wake up to a new goal....that usually spawns at least ten briefings before a work day can even begin :)


    I don't know what the definition (none / 0) (#26)
    by Green26 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 09:11:28 AM EST
    of mission creep is, and what you just said may be right, but I took Jeralyn's posts to mean that the mission is increasing. The mission has certainly appears to have expanded significantly from Obama's initial limited stated goals. On the other hand, when I noticed the protection of US assets/personnel part, I thought (jokingly) to myself that that could turn into putting some US advisors in front of ISIS' advances and then protecting them. Even though Mosul dam could be justified under the initial goals, it seems like an expansion of the goals to me. I expected the expansion all along.

    "Mission creep" implies ... (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 11:54:49 AM EST
    ... a gradual and sometimes unconscious expansion of your originally stated mission, by which you wind up moving the goalposts on yourself of your own accord.

    It's a term I've long and frequently used in my own consulting practice with not-for-profit organizations, to caution them about taking on additional tasks and burdens which don't necessarily correspond with their own original mission statement. Because when that happens, you become focused on or distracted by ancillary matters which can cause you to deviate from your charted course, and quite often you find yourself unintentionally bogged down in the deep weeds.



    Thanks. A Question. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Green26 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 12:21:34 PM EST
    Do you think we are seeing mission creep in Iraq now, or merely the appearance of mission creep due to the narrowly stated mission (which Obama seems to like to do, i.e. Libya)? I realize that it really doesn't matter too much what it is, but I'm curious.

    I believe that ... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:08:34 PM EST
    ... those who would conduct our foreign policy should respect and honor the lessons of history, without being forever beholden to its ghosts or past practices.

    With regards to Iraq, I also believe that due to our ill-advised invasion and conquest of that benighted country 11 years ago, we need to acknowledge and shoulder our primary responsibility for what has since happened there.

    I understand completely the reticence of many Americans to get fully involved there again, given our recent very unpleasant experience. But that said, it's since become quite apparent to me that ISIS is a true horror show, and I believe that we owe it to the Iraqi people to not allow any of them to be forcibly subjugated under the brutal auspices of such a heartless and murderous regime.

    While I'm not certainly suggesting that we consider the military re-occupation of Iraq, I nevertheless have every confidence that we possess the capacity to stop ISIS from gaining a secure foothold there, and give the Iraqi people a chance to reconstitute themselves and decide their future.

    What we apparently lack at present is the collective will to do so. Rather, we are allowing ourselves to be beholden to history's ghosts, without taking heed of its lessons -- one of which says that failure to act is often the biggest failure of all.

    Further, I believe that we should neither fear to embrace change as circumstances might warrant, nor hesitate to alter our country's course as prudence may dictate, and also remember at all times that nature abhors a vacuum.

    And because the circumstances in Iraq have changed markedly and clearly not for the better, I think prudence now requires that we resolve whatever our differences with Iran presently are, and work with both the Iranian and Turkish governments to neutralize the threat to the region that's posed by the potential emergence of a medieval caliphate, freshly reincarnated from the 8th century.

    Iraq cannot be allowed to become a socio-political vacuum, to be filled by Heaven only knows what. Therefore, our immediate goal here should be to prevent that, and to offer that country's various peoples a real opportunity to chart their own destiny, which they've heretofore not enjoyed.

    We owe that much to them, at least, along with our further respect for whatever choices they make. And if that means the eventual division of the country along ethnic and sectarian lines, then so be it. But let that be a voluntary separation, and not a drawing and quartering.



    Mission expansion isn't mission creep (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 09:23:40 AM EST
    The defining parameters of the mission remain the same.  No boots on the ground, ISIS fighters and equipment  destroyed.

    I sort of think of what's happening as the (none / 0) (#33)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 12:43:55 PM EST
    equivalent of the GPS lady saying "recalculating" when you turn left instead of right: she's still trying to get you where you said you wanted to go, but via a different route.

    Mission"creep" would be the GPS lady giving you directions to get to a completely different location.


    How close was the officer to the kid (none / 0) (#31)
    by Green26 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 12:23:34 PM EST
    when the shooting occurred? I haven't noticed the distance mentioned in the few articles I've looked at. I have not been following the matter closely or reading many articles, so my apologies if it's already been mentioned on TL.

    That's a very important question (none / 0) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 01:04:32 PM EST
    Ballistics will tell this.  Close would support the cops version.  Not close would support the other version.

    We don't know because the place.ice have not released the information.

    Someone correct me if any of that is wrong.


    Um (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 01:05:18 PM EST
    The POLICE have not released the information.

    FOIA Requests (none / 0) (#37)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 01:25:53 PM EST
    Well if the many many FOIA requests for the initial video should be any indication of how things work in Ferguson, we should be seeing the ballistics report soon...

    I heard 30-35 feet (none / 0) (#44)
    by NYShooter on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 03:23:53 AM EST
    But, what was not stated was whether that was a static distance. What I mean is that the weapons person doing the talking/writing didn't say that the shooting started at 5-10 feet, and, expanded to 30-35 feet. Nor did he say whether Wilson was shooting all that time.

    I know this is a lousy post, and, confusing, but, that's what you get with so many people posting (speculating) and, such a dearth of information coming out of the police dept.

    I don't recall, exactly, the main point of the talk, but it had to do with how accurate the shooter, or, any shooter would be be at such a distance? And, that distance was 30-35 feet.

    I hope you can make some sense out of this, Howdy.


    In all the photos/videos of the aftermath (none / 0) (#40)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:10:51 PM EST
    the SUV Wilson was driving looks like it is at least 40' from the body.

    However, it seems likely that Wilson pursued Brown on foot for at least a short distance, and Brown may have come back toward Wilson as well, so who knows at this point what their final distance was.


    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:39:13 PM EST
    Close would support the cops version.  Not close would support the other version.

    At least, as I said yesterday, according to former homicide prosecutor and defense attorney Paul Callan on CNN yesterday.  He said that most officer-involved shootings (don't remember if it was just in his experience in NY or in general) are at distances greater than 20 feet.


    As I understand it (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 01:06:13 PM EST
    There were two phases to the shooting. First shot or maybe 2 shots fired rather close while 'the struggle' was occurring, and then the rest from around 30 ft when Brown had started walking away, and according to the police, turned around and started to approach the officer again.

    I may not have the latest info either, but that is the current state of my understanding.


    I have not seen reports (none / 0) (#38)
    by Green26 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 01:48:27 PM EST
    that shots were fired during the struggle at the vehicle.

    Google around a little, you'll find them. (none / 0) (#39)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:05:40 PM EST
    One of the witnesses (none / 0) (#42)
    by ruffian on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 04:21:37 PM EST
    reported thinking that Brown got shot in 'the side' near the police truck, and then walked away holding his side.

    Now seeing these autopsy reports, perhaps it was really the shot in the lower arm?

    Unfortunately I have the feeling we are never going to get to the bottom of any of this.