Careful What We Ask For

President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor was in the People’s Republic of China earlier this week. Among other things, Susan Rice broached the idea that the PRC’s help in dealing with ISIS would be useful.

There’s always a quid pro quo, though. The PRC is likely to want our help in dealing with the separatists among the Uighurs in western China and in Tibet. It’s also unclear what practical use the PRC could be against a terrorist group in the Middle East that’s targeting Western security and not Eastern.

Getting the PRC involved here doesn’t seem a good idea.

Obamacare and Health Coverage Cost Growth

President Barack Obama promised us, all those years ago, that if only Obamacare were enacted, a family’s health plan premium would drop by $2,500 per year, and no one would lose their employer-provided health plan. Period.

These two graphs from The Wall Street Journal draw a different…picture.ObamacareCost

These graphs cover the period since 1999. As the upper graph shows, the premiums for employer-provided health insurance and, since Obamacare’s passage in 2010, for employer-provided health plans, have risen at a steady pace—unchanged by Obamacare, and specifically, no drop in premium cost. It’s the same with the employee’s share of those premiums; that share’s pace of increase also has been unaffected—that is, no drop in cost—from Obamacare.

Continued VA Cover-Up

This time with the VA’s IG participating. It’s an unfortunate side effect of having an organization’s inspection/watchdog function be an internal one, even if it works for the organization’s boss and not for anyone further down the totem pole.

Crucial language that the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General could not “conclusively” prove that delays in care caused patient deaths at a Phoenix hospital was added to its final report after a draft version was sent to agency administrators for comment….

With Whom Among the Kurds Should We Work?

How about with all of them?

President Barack Obama appears, finally, to be agreeable to arming the Pershmerga of the Kurds’ Iraqi Kurdistan in northern Iraq and to be working a little more closely with them in where the US takes its potshots against ISIS forces—the Mosul Dam effort comes to mind in this context.

But that can’t be all of it, if ISIS is to be destroyed. That will require attacking ISIS in Syria as well as more serious efforts against ISIS in Iraq. That more serious effort in Iraq also will require working along the Kurds’ Iraq border with Turkey in addition to working with the Peshmerga to the west of Iraqi Kurdistan.

A Thought on Support for Iraq

To a significant degree, the failure of the Russian-trained and equipped Iraqi army when the US invaded that country is on Russia. To a significant degree, the failure of the US-trained and equipped Iraqi army when ISIS invaded Iraq is on us.

But given the fact that both of those failures occurred under two independent and dissimilar training, doctrine, and equipage régimes, the abject performance of the Iraqi “army” is on Iraq and that army. This is an army that has demonstrated empirically that it has no stomach for defending itself and its members’ families, much less defending its country. This is an army that has demonstrated empirically that it has no stomach for fighting.

Meandering Expansion

And it would have done LBJ proud. Now the US is taking potshots at ISIS terrorists threatening the Haditha Dam in Iraq’s al Anbar province. This dam on the Euphrates River backs up a large reservoir and holds a major hydropower plant.

The US’ first move was to take potshots at the terrorists who had trapped Yazidis, for humanitarian reasons.

That was followed, ad hoc, by US potshots at the terrorists who were holding the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River, with that dam’s even larger reservoir and hydropower plant. Those potshots were in support of the Kurds’ Peshmerga who were pushing the terrorists off the dam, and these potshots also were for “humanitarian reasons.”

Words Have Consequences

KT McFarland pointed out some of their consequence in a Friday interview on Fox NewsHappening Now program against the backdrop of the Russian-supported “rebellion” in Ukraine and the just being agreed “cease fire” between those “rebels” and Ukrainian forces.

It seems that President Barack Obama, while spending a day in Estonia, had assured the Estonians that NATO would, of course, rush to their defense in the event of “an attack” on Estonia. The next day, Obama repeated that assurance, sort of. This time, he said NATO would rush to Estonia’s defense in the event of “an armed attack” on Estonia.

Jobs

According to Friday’s jobs report, the headline number, the unemployment rate, dropped a skosh to 6.1%. But there’s more to it than that.

  • the long-term unemployed dropped to 3 million, but they’re still over 30% of all of US unemployed
  • the employment-population ratio was 59% for the third consecutive month

and

  • the civilian noninstitutional population was 248,229,000, up 206,000 from July, but
  • the civilian labor force was 155,959,000, down 64,000 from July

Then there’re these data:

  • nonfarm employment was up 142,000, against economists’ expectations of an increase of around 225,000 jobs

Obamatalk

President [Barack] Obama on Friday sought to fine-tune his response to the growing Islamic State terror* threat, vowing to “degrade and ultimately defeat” the network—seemingly abandoning, at least publicly, his previously stated goal of making them a “manageable problem.”

“We are going to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL, the same way we have gone after Al Qaeda,” Obama said in Wales, during a press conference at the close of a meeting of NATO allies.

And

Obama on Friday claimed “there was unity” at the NATO summit over the belief that ISIS poses a “significant threat to NATO members” and regarding a readiness to take action.

Resign, or Resigned?

The parents of a SEAL lost in Afghanistan, on seeing the butchery of ISIS and President Barack Obama’s decision not to respond, have written an open letter to him, via World Tribune. Here is their letter.

Billy and Karen Vaughn

After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace.