Monday, July 23, 2012

Obama Praises Himself for Ending Iraq War on Same Day Insurgents Kill at Least 100 in New Offensive

The administration's badly flawed Iraq drawdown is coming home to roost, ironically on the same day that President Obama was conducting a round of gutsy call, football-spiking political events, including campaign ads and military speeches.

Jake Tapper notices, "President Obama Praises Self for Ending War in Iraq on Bloodiest Day of the Year in That Country" (via Memeorandum). It's not insignificant, Jake, not at all.

See the New York Times, "Iraq Insurgents Kill at Least 100 After Declaring New Offensive" (via Memeorandum):

BAGHDAD — In a coordinated display intended to show they remain a viable force, Iraqi insurgents launched at least 40 separate attacks throughout the country on Monday morning, setting off car bombs, storming a military base, attacking policemen in their homes and ambushing checkpoints, the Iraqi authorities said.

At least 100 people were killed and more than 300 wounded in the single bloodiest day this year, according to Iraqi officials in the many areas where attacks took place.

The attacks, coming in the early days of Ramadan, the monthlong Muslim religious rite, were predicted Sunday in an audio message attributed to the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakir Al Baghdadi, and posted on the group’s Web site. Mr. Baghdadi vowed that a new offensive, which he called Breaking Down Walls, would begin soon.

The offensive was without precedent this year at least in the sheer number of attacks, spread over so many locations in a third of Iraq’s 18 provinces, from north to south. It was sure to raise concerns about the government’s ability to contain the violence, six months after the last American troops left the country.

“I think Al Qaeda in Iraq made a big joke of the government and the Iraqi security forces,” said Khalid Fadel, a military analyst and former instructor at the Iraqi Military College. “They were so clear that they were going to launch attacks during Ramadan, and the government said that they have information of about 30 terrorist groups entering the country, but still the security forces are unable to prevent the attacks.”

Mr. Baghdadi said in the Qaeda statement that “we are returning again to dominate territories we used to dominate, as well as more.” He depicted the attacks as part of a battle launched by Sunnis against the country’s Shiite leaders and people.
Continue reading. And just a few minutes ago I caught a few minutes of the president's speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nevada. He looks almost deathly glum, and he's still speaking at the live feed right now, at 1:05pm.