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Morning Musings

  • Iran’s meddling in Iraq, ongoing for years, will become the subject du jour for the chattering classes this week. Maybe this is what the United States wanted all along, an excuse to work with the Iranians. A rather odd confidence-building measure, such a project will lead to most certain complications that will reverberate throughout the entire region and will reach our shores sooner or later. On a brighter note, the Kurds will enjoy their new-found freedom and flexibility in the North. The GOP will try to blame President Obama for this mess. Indeed, a feckless vision of the world and the region has exacerbated the matter in the greater Middle East. However Republicans share a lot of the blame as well for not using the power of the purse, as well as Congressional holds on U.S. equipment transfers to Iraq, to compel the Obama Administration to do better.
  • Can Congress resist the latest distraction? Benghazi Select Committee (a process that, for now, will most assuredly fail, but not because it should), Bergdahl and the Taliban 5, IRS e-mail ‘disappearing‘ on Friday, Veterans Affairs vet care (the scandal goes beyond hospital care), ObamaCaregate, Senate staff removing classified material from a CIA facility in Virginia a few months ago (forgot about that one, eh?) Congress has plenty of oversight Committees with a lot of staff. An oversight hearing a week, or two, or three, would be a good thing.
  • The POLITICO reports this morning that the ‘Congress-intelligence pipeline is broken’. That’s rather generous because it is more like non-existent.
  • So much for ‘export controls’ … the Iraqi Army should’ve never been trusted with any U.S. equipment. Humvees, advanced helicopters, and tanks are now in the hands of some bad seeds. Take it to the bank, especially when it comes to the helicopters, a foreign power or two will make a run at stealing some U.S. tech. Makes you wonder, if the U.S. does decide to get involved in this latest battle, will U.S. warplanes now need to target U.S. equipment? Yes, it is a huge waste of taxpayer monies.
  • Mitt Romney: Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy ‘clueless
  • Some folks think its time to re-arm the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and let them loose in Iraq. The group is no longer considered by the United States a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).  They do not like Nouri al-Maliki either …
  • The Washington Times: Border agent laments gang members entering U.S.: ‘Why are we letting him in here?’ Indeed. Why, indeed. And for the “why,” you need to look south. The people coming over are the poorest of the poor who have given up. They have given up on the endemic failures of the host country governments. Decades upon decades of endemic poverty, corruption, and abuse of civil society leads to things such as people voting with their feet and heading north. It is somewhat amusing to listen to Republicans and Democrats wail about the ‘coming humanitarian crisis.’ Folks, it has been like this for a long time. Go to the border. Rather than complain or play politics, hold these countries accountable. For example, pass legislation that conditions foreign assistance on border control efforts. As tough as this may be to do, do not allow anymore people to enter the United States, including children. Call these Ambassadors to task and advise them that the Washington two-step (say one thing here and another on Spanish TV) has to stop. There is a lot more you could do. If you tried. Border control is a national security issue, first and foremost. Start treating it that way.
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