The Problem with Telling the Truth

by lizard

George Ochenski anticipates displeasure from the political operatives for stating that Montana’s congressional candidates don’t offer voters much of a difference when it comes to the issues of cataclysmic climate change and perpetual war.

Ochenski, though, isn’t trying to win a popularity contest. He writes a column and gets to call it how he sees it. A politician, like Joe Biden, is not suppose to do the same thing, which is why Joe had to go around apologizing for calling it like he sees it with regards to the origin story of ISIS:

Vice President Joe Biden apologized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday for saying the Turkish leader had conceded that his country mistakenly assisted foreign fighters, including extremists with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), seeking to depose the Syrian regime.

The White House says Biden spoke to Erdogan on Saturday “to clarify comments” the vice president made on Thursday during an question-and-answer session at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

So what did Biden say? The truth, and for a politician, that’s hardly ever a good thing. Here’s how a piece from the Daily Beast puts it:

Vice President Joe Biden is apologizing again for speaking the truth. After talking for an hour and a half at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Forum last Thursday, he took a question from a student who asked a wise question: “In retrospect do you believe the United States should have acted earlier in Syria, and if not, why is now the right moment?”

Biden, predictably, said “the answer is ‘no’ for two reasons.” The first being the unreliability, incompetence and radicalism of the forces the United States would have been supporting on the ground. No real surprise there. But then he said what everyone in the region knows and The Daily Beast has reported extensively:

“My constant cry was that our biggest problem is our allies — our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria,” Biden told his listeners in remarks subsequently posted on the White House YouTube channel (go to 1:32:00 if you want to skip the earlier speech).

“The Turks were great friends,” he notes, adding that he recently spent considerable time with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and they have “a great relationship.” Ditto the Saudis and the Emiratis. But when it came to Syria and the effort to bring down President Bashar Assad there, those allies’ policies wound up helping to arm and build allies of al Qaeda and eventually the terrorist “Islamic State.”

“What were they doing?” Biden asked rhetorically. “They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad — except that the people who were being supplied were al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”


At Counterpunch today, Michael Whitney describes how America’s “Terrorist Academy” in Iraq Produced ISIS Leaders. Whitney goes into much more detail regarding how ISIS came to be. The quote I’ve selected isn’t from Whitney—it’s a quote he uses from an article at Alakhbar English:

“We have to ask why the majority of the leaders of the Islamic State (IS), formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), had all been incarcerated in the same prison at Camp Bucca, which was run by the US occupation forces near Omm Qasr in southeastern Iraq….. First of all, most IS leaders had passed through the former U.S. detention facility at Camp Bucca in Iraq. So who were the most prominent of these detainees?

The leader of IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, tops the list. He was detained from 2004 until mid-2006. After he was released, he formed the Army of Sunnis, which later merged with the so-called Mujahideen Shura Council…

Another prominent IS leader today is Abu Ayman al-Iraqi, who was a former officer in the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein. This man also “graduated” from Camp Bucca, and currently serves as a member on IS’ military council.

Another member of the military council who was in Bucca is Adnan Ismail Najm. … He was detained on January 2005 in Bucca, and was also a former officer in Saddam’s army. He was the head of a shura council in IS, before he was killed by the Iraqi army near Mosul on June 4, 2014.

Camp Bucca was also home to Haji Samir, aka Haji Bakr, whose real name is Samir Abed Hamad al-Obeidi al-Dulaimi. He was a colonel in the army of the former Iraqi regime. He was detained in Bucca, and after his release, he joined al-Qaeda. He was the top man in ISIS in Syria…

According to the testimonies of US officers who worked in the prison, the administration of Camp Bucca had taken measures including the segregation of prisoners on the basis of their ideology. This, according to experts, made it possible to recruit people directly and indirectly.

Former detainees had said in documented television interviews that Bucca…was akin to an “al-Qaeda school,” where senior extremist gave lessons on explosives and suicide attacks to younger prisoners. A former prisoner named Adel Jassem Mohammed said that one of the extremists remained in the prison for two weeks only, but even so was able to recruit 25 out of 34 inmates who were there. Mohammed also said that U.S. military officials did nothing to stop the extremists from mentoring the other detainees…

No doubt, we will one day discover that many more leaders in the group had been detained in Bucca as well, which seems to have been more of a “terrorist academy” than a prison.”

The cost of fighting ISIS is estimated to be between 7-10 million dollars a day. Insane.

Conservatives, like this out-of-touch DC blogger, have jumped on the Panetta bandwagon, framing the ISIS problem as a result of the Obama regime’s failure to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement that would have kept boots on the ground in Iraq. It’s weird that people are so ideologically incapable of grasping how US foreign policy created the conditions for ISIS to thrive and how our “allies” directly support radical jihadists, even while they pay lip service to now fighting the Frankenstein they helped to create.

For voters in Montana it won’t make much difference who wins the election next month. The insanity of our foreign policy will continue while the looming catastrophe of climate change will take a back seat to coal and pipeline jobs.

  1. There is problem with telling the truth.

    “It’s the peak of hurricane season, and right now, meteorologists are tracking only one tropical system on Earth.

    Over Labor Day weekend, there were exactly zero tropical cyclones anywhere in the world—a very rare late-summer respite. (1500 GMT on Aug. 29 to 2100 GMT on Sept. 1—78 total hours—to be exact, according to data compiled by University of Miami meteorologist Brian McNoldy.) It’s been several decades since there’s been such a lull on the first day of what’s normally the season’s most active month:

    Since then, the tropics have picked up just slightly. The single storm currently plying the world’s oceans is Hurricane Norbert, forecasted to make a close brush with Mexico’s Baja Peninsula over the next few days and possibly bringing some soaking rains to the drought-stricken deserts of California, Nevada, and Arizona next week. And that’s it. For the whole planet. In a normal year, there’d be as many as six or eight.”-Slate

    So much for your “catastrophic climate change”.

    • JC

      Stale news. And you make the mistake of conflating weather with climate. Nor do you understand the cyclic nature of hurricane development and how other global patterns affect it,

      As to hurricane seasons, in case you haven’t been following the news (and I know you haven’t or you wouldn’t make statements like you have) the eastern pacific is on track to have a record breaking season.

      Simon says: I’m a major hurricane!
      In the Eastern Pacific, Hurricane Simon put on an impressive burst of rapid intensification Saturday [Oct. 4], topping out as a Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds at 11 pm EDT Saturday. Simon is the eighth intense hurricane so far in the Eastern Pacific (east of 140°W), putting this year in a tie with 1992 for the highest number of of major hurricanes in one season. The 2014 Eastern Pacific hurricane season tally now stands at 18 named storms, 13 hurricanes, and 8 intense hurricanes. An average Eastern Pacific hurricane season sees just 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes during the entire year, with two of those named storms and one hurricane occurring after October 10. Simon is expected to recurve to the northeast, and bring rains of 2 – 4″ to the central coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula as it dissipates near landfall on Tuesday. Deep moisture from Simon will flow northeastward across Mainland Mexico and into the Southwest U.S. this week, and… heavy rainfall from Simon’s moisture will begin to affect the Southwest U.S. on Wednesday.

    • Steve W

      Is this a rare photo of Big Swede at the key board…?

  2. JC

    Joe had to call the UAE bigwigs and apologize to them, too.

    Biden called Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and Deputy Defense Minister Mohammed bin Zayed on Sunday to reaffirm the allies’ shared perspective on terrorism, the official Emirates news agency WAM reported.

    Earlier on the same day, the UAE’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Gargash accused Biden of making remarks “which are far from the truth, especially with relation to the UAE’s role in confronting extremism and terrorism and its clear and advanced position in recognizing the dangers, including the danger of financing terrorism and terrorist groups.”

    “The UAE’s counter-terrorism approach reflects a pioneering national commitment that recognises the extent of the danger posed by terrorism to the region and to its people,” said Gargash in a press release.

    I expect another apology to the Saudis will escape western media and be prominently reported elsewhere, very soon.

    Somehow, i think that Biden”s “loose lips” are really a part of the super-secret master foreign policy plan that Obama has been implementing all along. Probably trying to shame those countries into compliance.

    • The master plan was picking Biden for impeachment insurance.

    • Steve W

      That makes sense, you use the guy who is famous for loose lips to press on the big picture via a “big mistake.” heh heh

    • JC

      Yep, here we go. Biden apologizes to the Saudis, as diligently reported in RIA Novosti.

      “”Vice President Biden spoke today with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Saud al-Faisal. The vice president thanked the foreign minister for Saudi Arabia’s strong support in the shared fight against ISIL [the Islamic State, IS] and he clarified his recent remarks regarding the early stages of the conflict in Syria. The two agreed that the issue was closed,” Tuesday’s statement read.”

    • JC

      Ok, to be fair, even the western MSM loves a good Joe Biden gaffe story. Even the NY Times lets out a few precious nuggets:

      “There are factual mistakes, and then there are political mistakes,” said Andrew J. Tabler, an expert on Syria at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “This is a political mistake.”

      Which is another way of saying that Joe “the gaffer” Biden spoke the truth about all of the help ISIS, et. al was getting from our allies. It’s just that he made the political mistake of saying it the way he did (or was it really all just orchestrated to come out like that…?).

      So let’s blame it on the speechwriter:

      Mr. Biden’s gaffe overshadowed what was meant as a major foreign policy address, in which the vice president sought to put the multiple upheavals in the world — the Islamic State, the Ebola outbreak and the confrontation with Russia over Ukraine — into a broader context.

      The vice president just hired a new national security adviser, Colin H. Kahl, a former Pentagon official and a Georgetown scholar who specializes in Iran. Mr. Kahl, who worked as a foreign policy adviser to the 2012 Obama campaign, had a major hand in the speech.

      But this one takes the cake, Biden on equating the U.S.’s allying with Stalin to defeat Germany with the U.S.’s allying with the Saudis to defeat ISIS:

      “I’m being a little facetious,” he said. “All generalizations are false, including this one I’m about to make.”

      Seriously? These are the sorts of people we vote into office and then pay them to represent us to the world?

  3. steve kelly

    Smokin’ Joe is just brushing up for the 2016 Democratic presidential primary debates. He was for it before he was against it. He has also publicly blurted out the real ME plan: Divide Iraq into three parts, Kurdish, Sunni and Shia, which is, and has been, the master plan all along. It’s identical to the (Israel’s) “Yinon Plan.” Coincidence?

    Now that’s the kind of global warming — perpetual war — you can hang your hat on, eh Swede?

    • lizard19

      I just read that this morning and made sure to cc James Conner when I retweeted the link.

      • Steve W

        Funny, i thought about Jame’s wrong words on Ukraine as I read it and watched the video.

        James Conner’s brain has probably managed to figure out how to protect him from examining the data, analyzing the data, and pondering the implications of the data as regards the downing of the civilian airliner over Ukraine.

        James is all but incapable of consciously understanding he was completely and totally propagandized. It would be equivalent to his ego death.

        He doesn’t even accept the possibility, much less the reality, of that situation. He can’t go there. He can’t follow the evidence.

        I read the report the Russians released which concluded the plane was shot down by another aircraft. A victim with an oxygen mask is far more consistent with the Russian report than with the West’s missile scenario.

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