Author Topic: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread  (Read 235196 times)

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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #150 on: August 12, 2014, 20:12:59 »
Never a Vlad Tepes handy when you need one.
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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #151 on: August 12, 2014, 20:18:08 »
Never a Vlad Tepes handy when you need one.

Ah yes - Vlad and his allies the Poles....

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Offline YZT580

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #152 on: August 12, 2014, 22:56:13 »
Obama has actually had the nerve to blame G.W. Bush for the current situation and what he is now calling a premature pullout. 

Offline MCG

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #153 on: August 12, 2014, 23:12:16 »
130 more US military advisors are deploying back into Afghanistan.  Almost a 50 % increase to what is already there.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140812/DEFREG04/308120028/Pentagon-Official-130-Advisers-Heading-Northern-Iraq

Offline armybuck041

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #154 on: August 12, 2014, 23:12:35 »

Obama has actually had the nerve to blame G.W. Bush for the current situation and what he is now calling a premature pullout.

No comment on the premature pullout, but enough time has passed that I think it's fair to say that the Bush Administration's handling of the war in the first few months set the country on the path to where it is now. You can't destroy a country's government and key infrastructure with no plan the replace it, and not expect serious civil implications.
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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #155 on: August 13, 2014, 07:47:12 »
MCG's article partially reproduced here:

Defense News

Quote
Pentagon Official: 130 Advisers Heading To Northern Iraq
Marines and Special Operations Forces Sent To Irbil in Kurdish-Controlled Territory
Aug. 12, 2014 - 11:47PM   |   By TOM VANDEN BROOK   |

ABOARD MILITARY AIRCRAFT, OVER THE BERING SEA — The military has sent 130 advisers to northern Iraq to plan for the evacuation of refugees under siege by Islamic militants, according to a senior Defense Department official.

The Marines and special operations forces have been sent to the city of Irbil in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq to assess the humanitarian crisis in the Sinjar mountains and ways to end it, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly about the mission.

There are about 300 US military advisers currently in Iraq, as well as other troops there to protect the US Embassy in Baghdad.

(....EDITED)

« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 07:51:44 by S.M.A. »
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #156 on: August 13, 2014, 10:12:55 »
Obama has actually had the nerve to blame G.W. Bush for the current situation and what he is now calling a premature pullout.

You don't get to pull everyone from Iraq in 2012, declare that your administration had just scored a stunning victory, then when it all falls apart, blame the previous administration for your acts.

We can only wait to hear how former SoS Hillary Clinton spins this example of her foreign policy at work...
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #157 on: August 13, 2014, 10:24:45 »

We can only wait to hear how former SoS Hillary Clinton spins this example of her foreign policy at work...

Please save us from that possibility.  Her various 'cover ups', which include Benghazi, will all be hidden from the voters in her run for President.
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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #158 on: August 13, 2014, 17:25:30 »
Some boots already on the ground...

Quote

Military.com

Ospreys in Irbil for Potential Rescue Mission
osprey dust cloud 428x285
Military.comAug 13, 2014 | by Richard Sisk

Marine MV-22 Ospreys and Army helicopters arrived at an isolated airfield in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq Wednesday, poised to take part in a potential rescue attempt of trapped refugees from a mountain top.

Pentagon and White House officials said the Ospreys and the helicopters brought 129 additional U.S. troops – about 80 of them Marines -- to the Kurdish capital of Irbil Tuesday.

The aircraft were among the "options" being explored by the U.S. for rescuing thousands of members of the Yazidi sect trapped in the Sinjar mountains by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said that as many as four Ospreys were now at an airfield guarded by Kurdish peshmerga forces in the region. Warren declined to say how many Army helicopters arrived at the airfield, or whether they were Black Hawks or the larger Chinooks. He also declined to say how long the aircraft will remain in the region.

Warren said that recent U.S. airstrikes on ISIL targets around Sinjar "have slowed if not stopped ISIL's ability to inflict harm" on the refugees.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the new troops in the Kurdish region "will make recommendations about how to follow through on an effort to get the people off that mountain and into a safe place."

Obama has ruled out the use of U.S. ground forces for a combat mission in Iraq but Rhodes said U.S. troops might be used to aid a humanitarian mission.

(...EDITED)

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #159 on: August 13, 2014, 19:42:04 »
You don't get to pull everyone from Iraq in 2012, declare that your administration had just scored a stunning victory, then when it all falls apart, blame the previous administration for your acts.

We can only wait to hear how former SoS Hillary Clinton spins this example of her foreign policy at work...

The Iraqi's had quite a bit to do with that....
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Offline YZT580

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #160 on: August 13, 2014, 21:37:04 »
The Iraqi's had quite a bit to do with that....
Then blame the Iraqi but don't point fingers at your predecessor for decisions that were made on your watch.  It wasn't so long ago that he was twisting himself backwards in an effort to pat himself on the back for pulling everyone out.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #161 on: August 14, 2014, 09:03:26 »
The rescue mission won't be needed.SF have determined that most refugees have gotten out.What is really interesting to me is that Kurdish PKK fighters from Syria are turning the tide against the IS forces in northern Iraq.US air strikes have also contributed to the improved security situation.

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #162 on: August 14, 2014, 19:50:38 »
A political crisis averted in Iraq's Shia-dominated government? While the security crisis remains with ISIS still in control of large swathes of the country and besieging the Kurds in the north...

Quote
Maliki steps down, easing Iraq’s political crisis

BAGHDAD — Embattled Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki stepped aside Thursday, ending a tense political standoff and clearing the way for a new prime minister tasked with steering the country out of its security crisis.

Maliki appeared on state television flanked by senior members of his party, including rival Haider al-Abadi, who has been appointed to form a new government. Maliki said he would back “brother” Abadi for the sake of Iraq’s unity.

Maliki had provoked a political crisis by refusing to give up his position after eight years in power and ordering security forces into the streets of Baghdad. He had argued that the appointment of Abadi on Monday to form a government was unconstitutional and had launched a legal case against the president over the perceived breach.

(...EDITED)

Washington Post

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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #163 on: August 16, 2014, 11:15:41 »
More barbarism by ISIS:

Reuters

Quote
Islamic State 'massacres' 80 Yazidis in north Iraq: officials
By: Reuters
August 16, 2014 10:30 PM

BAGHDAD - Islamic State insurgents "massacred" some 80 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority in a village in the country's north, a Yazidi lawmaker and two Kurdish officials said on Friday.

"They arrived in vehicles and they started their killing this afternoon," senior Kurdish official Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters. "We believe it's because of their creed: convert or be killed."

A Yazidi lawmaker and another senior Kurdish official also said the killings had taken place and that the women of the village were kidnapped.

A push by Islamic State militants through northern Iraq to the border with the Kurdish region has alarmed the Baghdad government, drawn the first U.S. air strikes since the end of American occupation in 2001 and sent tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians fleeing for their lives.


(...EDITED)

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #164 on: August 16, 2014, 11:19:23 »
"Will this be enough to sufficiently to halt ISIS advances?" is the question that needs to be asked.

Military.com

Quote
Airstrikes Hit MRAPs and Humvees Captured by ISIL

Aug 15, 2014 | by Richard Sisk
U.S. warplanes on combat patrols over northern Iraq increasingly are hitting U.S.-made armored vehicles captured by Islamic militants from the fleeing Iraqi army.
In the latest airstrikes Thursday, the U.S. Central Command said that a mix of fighters and armed drones destroyed one of the heavily-armored Mine Resistant-Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that were a mainstay of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The MRAP was targeted after the warplanes destroyed two other armored vehicles northeast of the Kurdish capital of Irbil that were being used by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to fire on positions held by the Kurdish peshmerga forces, the Central Command said in a statement.

(...EDITED)

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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #165 on: August 17, 2014, 18:47:23 »
A question that needs to be asked: "Are the Kurds even ready for an offensive, considering they've been losing ground recently to ISIS?"

CBC

Quote
Updated: Sun, 17 Aug 2014 17:48:33 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

U.S. to expand air strikes to help Kurdish forces retake Mosul Dam

The U.S. is expanding its air campaign in Iraq with attacks aimed at helping Iraqi forces fully regain control of the strategic Mosul dam.

The White House said President Barack Obama notified Congress Sunday that the widened mission would be limited in duration and scope.

The White House says "the mission is consistent with the president's directive that the U.S. military protect U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq, since the failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians and threaten U.S. personnel and facilities — including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad."

The latest round of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group includes the first reported use of land-based bombers in the military campaign.

(...EDITED)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #166 on: August 17, 2014, 20:20:06 »
The Kurds are excellant fighters and with US air and SF,are already having success.Now if they can keep IS from blowing up the dam...

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #167 on: August 17, 2014, 21:22:51 »
And the Kurds score a major victory!

Agence-France-Presse

Quote
Kurds retake key Iraq dam, Sunnis hit jihadists
By: Serene Assir, Agence France-Presse
August 18, 2014 3:36 AM

AL-QOSH - Iraqi Kurdish fighters backed by US warplanes retook the country's largest dam from jihadists on Sunday, as Sunni Arab tribesmen and security forces fought the militants west of Baghdad.
The recapture of Mosul dam marks the biggest major prize clawed back from Islamic State (IS) jihadists since they launched their offensive in northern Iraq in early June when they swept Iraqi security forces aside.

IS militants, who have declared a "caliphate" straddling vast areas of Iraq and Syria, also came under air attack in their Syrian stronghold of Raqa on Sunday, a monitoring group said.

Syria's air force carried out 16 raids on the city of Raqa and several more on the town of Tabqa in Raqa province, killing at least 31 jihadists and eight civilians, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Two months of violence have brought Iraq to the brink of breakup, and world powers relieved by the exit of divisive premier Nuri al-Maliki are sending aid to the hundreds of thousands who have fled their homes as well as arms to the Kurdish peshmerga forces.

Buoyed by the air strikes US President Barack Obama ordered last week, Kurdish forces are fighting to win back ground they had lost since the start of August, when the jihadists went back on the offensive north, east and west of the city of Mosul, capturing the dam on August 7.

(...EDITED)

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #168 on: August 18, 2014, 16:30:37 »
Interesting source of support for airstrikes ....
Quote
Pope Francis on Monday endorsed the use of force to stop Islamic militants from attacking religious minorities in Iraq but said the international community — and not just one country — should decide how to intervene.

Francis also said he and his advisers were considering whether he might go to northern Iraq himself to show solidarity with persecuted Christians. But he said he was holding off for now on a decision.

(....)

On Iraq, Francis was asked if he approved of the unilateral U.S. airstrikes on militants of the Islamic State who have captured swaths of northern and western Iraq and northeastern Syria and have forced minority Christians and others to either convert to Islam or flee their homes.

"In these cases, where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor," Francis said. "I underscore the verb 'stop.' I'm not saying 'bomb' or 'make war,' just 'stop.' And the means that can be used to stop them must be evaluated."

But, he said, in history, such "excuses" to stop an unjust aggression have been used by world powers to justify a "war of conquest" in which an entire people have been taken over.

"One nation alone cannot judge how you stop this, how you stop an unjust aggressor," he said, apparently referring to the United States. "After World War II, the idea of the United Nations came about: It's there that you must discuss 'Is there an unjust aggression? It seems so. How should we stop it?' Just this. Nothing more." ....
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #169 on: August 18, 2014, 21:35:12 »
So long as the present administration is only willing to use half measures, then the situation with ISIS (ISIL or IS, depending on what source you use) will continue to deteriorate. It is interesting to see who the new regional power players are and the sorts of alignments that are evolving; Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States with the Sunnis, Egypt and Isreal working together to contain Hamas. As their interests align against Iran and the Shia's, things will change in the Middle East in ways we probably won't recognize or like much:

http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2014/08/16/the-agony-of-obamas-middle-east-policy/

Quote
The Agony of Obama’s Middle East Policy

As Nouri al-Maliki agreed to step aside earlier this week, and even though the U.S. doesn’t have a lot of confidence (“muted enthusiasm”) in his replacement, President Obama’s reluctant re-engagement with Iraq continued. It has been agonizingly painful for the man who made opposition to the war in Iraq the cornerstone of his national political appeal and who trumpeted his withdrawal from Iraq as a mission accomplished to recommit U.S. forces to the country, but President Obama has had little choice.

With Maliki is gone, his choices get harder. The biggest problem is going to involve the fight against ISIS. So far, the administration’s strategy seems to have three main components: bomb ISIS when it goes on the offensive beyond its current holdings, arm the Kurds, and use the carrot of more aid to persuade the Baghdad government to do a somewhat less awful job of running the country—less discrimination against Sunnis, less politicization of the army.

The trouble is that all these strategies so far are half hearted—and hedged about with the typical hesitations, restrictions and cautionary measures that are the hallmark of this president’s foreign policy style. Bomb ISIS—but not too much. Help the Kurds—a little. Those policies are more likely to produce a stalemate than anything else, and at this point, a stalemate is a huge ISIS win. Every day ISIS controls huge chunks of territory is another day that hundreds and thousands of radicalized militants will see the ‘caliph’ as their leader. It is another day of collecting taxes, training fighters, teaching bearers of Western passports to carry the fight back into their home countries and otherwise building the legend of ISIS. It is also another day in which ISIS can go on slaughtering moderate Sunni opponents in Syria.

The core problem with President Obama’s strategy isn’t, in this case, the ‘split the difference’ approach that undermined his administration’s effectiveness in Afghanistan and elsewhere. It’s about substance. The only way to beat ISIS and bring about some kind of stability in the Middle East is to reach out to conservative Sunni forces who favor stability. In Iraq, this would be the tribal leaders and military figures responsible for the Anbar Awakening. In Syria and Lebanon it is a combination of the remnants of the sane wing of the Syrian opposition with the forces who support people like Hariri in Lebanon. Ultimately, it is about working with Saudi Arabia and the UAE to stabilize the Sunni world.

This is probably the safest and the most practical course for American policy, but it’s likely that a solid U.S. commitment to this strategy would alienate Iran. The Obama administration up until now has consistently put the goal of reaching an accommodation with Iran ahead of its relationship with traditional allies in the region. This hasn’t produced a nuclear deal, much less a workable grand geopolitical bargain, but it has allowed negotiations to go forward—albeit at great cost to American influence in the rest of the Middle East.

Now, however, this always difficult balancing act is getting more expensive. Without the serious support of Sunnis in Iraq and Syria, ISIS cannot be crushed. But the Sunnis are feeling betrayed at the moment—by the Obama Administration’s record of hot words and cold deeds in Syria, and by its abandonment of the Iraqi Sunnis as part of the cut and run strategy in Obama’s first term.

History has handed President Obama one great opportunity after another, but he keeps throwing them away. Had he worked harder with Iraqi Sunnis early in his administration, his predecessor could have had the blame for the war while President Obama could have reaped the rewards of a stabilizing Iraq. Had he moved hard against Assad early on, Iran would have been under tremendous pressure to reach a compromise with the US—or watch its entire regional position collapse. Even in the last two months, the willingness of the Saudis and Egyptians to work with Israel offered an unprecedented opportunity for a different and much more productive approach to the peace process and to Israel’s relations with the Arab world.

It’s not clear how many more opportunities President Obama will have.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #170 on: August 19, 2014, 10:20:14 »
Seems these air strikes are not merely just "pinpricks" as mentioned earlier in this thread...

Defense News

Quote
US, UK Leadership Warn Iraq Mission Won't be Quick; US Escalates Air Offensive
Aug. 18, 2014 - 02:32PM   |   By PAUL McLEARY

(...SNIPPED)

But just 10 days later the White House sent a very different letter to Capitol Hill, in which it informed congressional leadership that the president had ordered the US military to “conduct targeted airstrikes to support operations by Iraqi forces to recapture the Mosul Dam,” which had fallen to the Islamist group about two weeks ago.

From Aug. 8 to 17, 35 of the 68 airstrikes conducted in Iraq were launched “in support of Iraqi forces near the Mosul Dam,” the US Central Command said in an Aug. 18 statement, with most of those coming in the past three days.

The 38 airstrikes over the past three days, including the 35 near Mosul in the fierce fight over the dam, were buttressed early Monday morning by Twitter posts from journalists in the area who reported jets circling overhead during continued fighting between Iraq and Kurdish forces and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

(...SNIPPED)

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #171 on: August 19, 2014, 20:26:24 »
ISIL/ISIS demonstrates their barbarism again:

Military.com

Quote
ISIL Beheads US Journalist over Iraq Airstrikes

Aug 19, 2014 | by Brendan McGarry
Video surfaced late Tuesday that purportedly shows Islamic militants beheading an American journalist in response to U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq.

James Foley, who once worked for the Defense Department's Stars and Stripes newspaper, among other outlets, was killed by militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the al-Qaida inspired Islamic group that controls portions of Iraq and Syria, according to video posted on social-media websites.
The news was later reported by other news and intelligence organizations.

(...EDITED)

Our Country
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"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #172 on: August 19, 2014, 20:48:39 »
Ah yes - Vlad and his allies the Poles....



We need to ressurrect old Vlad......and let him loose on the barbarians...... >:D
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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #173 on: August 19, 2014, 21:28:36 »
After James Foley was beheaded, it seems another western journalist is in ISIS hands...  :o

Reuters

Quote
Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

By Alexander Dziadosz and Oliver Holmes

BAGHDAD/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State insurgents released a video on Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago, and images of another U.S. journalist whose life they said depended on U.S. action in Iraq.
The video, titled "A Message To America," was posted on social media websites. It was not immediately possible to verify its authenticity.

(...EDITED)


At the end of the video, words on the side of the screen say "Steven Joel Sotloff" as another prisoner in an orange jumpsuit is shown on screen.
"The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision," the masked man says.

(...EDITED)
Our Country
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"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline Infantryman2b

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #174 on: August 20, 2014, 08:40:14 »
Things like this make me sick. Even more so that the killer spoke with a British accent. The fact that they have more people probably means were going to hear of a few more of these. RIP Foley, you didn't deserve that kind of death.