Obama’s Unfilled Promises

President Obama has his wishful thinking mixed up with reality.  We have learned, (while no one has been able to release the university courses he took nor his grades nor why he was chosen as editor of the Harvard Law Review while never having  written a single article for the prestigious journal.) he was as a student and still is fascinated with the world’s religions, including Buddhism, Hindu, Jewish, Shinto,  various African sects, Shiite and Sunni as well as his own Christianity.  His idealistic dream of raising up the American poor is a failure of his own doing as he rushed to leave Iraq and trying to deal with a prime minister who marginalized all religions but his own.  The United States should have been threatening we will be walking out on you, if you continue to destroy the democracy we sacrificed with our blood for you, Mr. Maliki.  Obama’s attempt to avoid further trouble has ironically invited in the Syrian radical Sunnis who now control more of Iraq than the new Baghdad government.  Obama’s not the fireman who would quickly put out a little blaze before it became a raging fire like this one is presently.   His unfulfilled threat to bomb Syria if it used poison gas showed the world the United States no longer says what it means.  This year, Mr. Obama’s repeated declaration that there would be “no American boots on the ground in Iraq,” is an  impossibility any buck private in the U.S. Army knows.  This Tuesday Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey confirmed as much saying, “I would not foreclose the possibility of asking Mr. Obama to send American troops to fight the militants on the ground.” The U.S. Air Force has for years said bombing doesn’t complete the job–unless a nuke is used as in Hiroshima-Nagasaki and we know we don’t want to do that.  Hitler made the mistake, thinking he could bomb London into surrender.  We know the president wants to get back to domestic issues, but he can’t because of his own un-kept promises, and anxious exit from Iraq.  He’s made a real mess, inadvertently encouraging the growth of ISIS. His idea that there would an enthusiastic coalition of Arab nations to lead the fight against the terrorist organization is falling flat.  But if anything is done against ISIS, it looks like: “You first United States and we’ll follow,” not the other way around.  That once again makes the United States look like the invader.  Not good for political reasons. The president left Iraq too quickly to get back to solve our problems here at home…and now it’s almost impossible to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

The NFL and CBS can’t hide from Domestic Violence

The last I looked, I’m a man but I’m 100% with the women on this one.  CBS Corporation is learning the hard way the spotlight’s on domestic violence.  Songstress Rihanna was scheduled to sing at this Thursday night’s NFL game , the first game Ray Rice would have played if not for indefinite suspension charges of sexual abuse taken against his wife Janay Palmer.  CBS should know by now hiding the truth brings more light to any lie…once it’s found out.  Now Rihanna, a victim herself of domestic abuse in 2009, has  front stage and CBS can’t tone down the black eye anymore:   “CBS you outed my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? No, Fuck you! You all are sad for penalizing me for this.”   CBS Sports sent out a meaningless PR statement that the song was dropped because it didn’t seem serious enough  about domestic violence.   Figure that.   So Rihanna and her song are gone. To the contrary Rihanna’s song is pointedly raw, very serious about domestic violence where 1 out of 5 American men admit they have physically hurt women.  The truthful lyrics were obviously too much for CBS, but it would have been over and done with by now had Rihanna been allowed to sing “Run this Town” first time last week:  “Feel it coming in the air. Hear the screams from everywhere.  I’m addicted to the thrill. It’s a dangerous love affair….”   Isn’t it amazing?  CBS  chose to punish the victim side and not the attacker.  After receiving the blunt resignation e-mail, CBS Sports within an hour announced there would be a new pre-game theme without Rihanna starting this second Thursday and continuing through the rest of the season.  

Middle East Leaves the ISIS Fight up to the U.S.

In the daily intrigue of Middle East politics, it’s difficult to know which side which country is on.   Iran, a dominant Shia nation which had been interested in helping prime minister Maliki’s Shiite Iraq next door has turned against the new government, set up by the United States, with Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying yesterday he had a “hobby” listening to the Americans at the Paris peace conference making statements trying  to combat ISIS–“really amusing!”   In other words, the Ayatollah thinks the allies are no match for the present 31-thousand man army of ISIS which seems to be growing by the day.  A new report shows thousands of young Turks crossing the border to fight  loyal American Kurds in northern Iraq.  Meantime, in Paris at the international peace coalition  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has the near-impossible task of building and keeping a coalition of Arab countries willing to lead the fight, first in Iraq and finally into Syria.  Saudi Arabia and several UAR states said they would not attend if Iran showed up.  A few  regional countries have offered to use air power, but no country with the exception of Jordan has offered any ground troops.  The Obama plan of having Arab troops lead the fight isn’t working very well.  Under President Obama’s plan the U.S. needs a coalition of Mid East ground troops and so far isn’t getting them.  The U.S. talks about “moderate” Syrian troops, but no one has been able to define that, least of all seen them. Are they the Al Qaeda troops the U.S.  was using against Assad in one accidental but common effort last year?  The U.S. wants to stay away from Assad’s government troops but with each passing day seems to be drawn to them  as both the U.S. and Syria have the same objective; to defeat ISIS first in Iraq and then in Syria.  The building of an anti-ISIS coalition seems a near impossibility at the moment with only moderate anti-ISIS talk from the leaders of most nations in the Middle East.  Qatar. known for working both sides of the street, from drugs to guns, as we explained last week, is siding with the U.S. in speech at least.  Not much of a coalition with only Qatar and Jordan off dead center.  Some other Arab nations offering air power for moving supplies and possibly troops, but the bombing would be left to the United States.  Back in Paris, John Kerry, doing his best isn’t ready to close the door on an Iranian invite, saying, “Just because Iranians are not invited to the Paris conference, doesn’t mean that we are opposed to the idea of communicating to find out if they will come on board or under what circumstances or whether there is the possibility of a change.”   Any takers for Kerry’s job?  No one steps forward.

Israeli Intelligence Unit Refuses Duty

Forty-three veterans of a highly vaunted Israeli intelligence unit have said never again will they participate in what they consider unethical physical treatment of Palestinians.  This is a first for any Israeli intelligence unit, though some combat units have refused certain assignments in the past.  Unit-8200  members issued a joint letter which in part says, “After our service we started seeing a more complex picture of nondemocratic, oppressive regime that controls the lives of millions of people.”   The unnamed member for his own clandestine unit went on: “There are certain things that we were asked to do that we do not feel deserve the title of self-defense…against the things we believe in and we’re not willing to do these things anymore.”  The recent Gaza incursion was not specified, claiming the ill-treatment of Palestinians had been going on for several years.  The Israeli military shot back, stating the consequences for refusing to serve would be dealt with on an individual basis, with criminal prosecution a strong possibility for some in the unit.  The ordered killing of 14 civilians along with the assassination of a Palestinian commander in 2002 is an example of  what sickens the present refuseniks. One member wasn’t specific, but said there were similar killings of totally innocent civilians in Gaza this summer.  A 29-year-old Unit 8200 former captain was awakened  when he saw East German police in the 2006 movie, “The Lives of Others,” performing the same torturous acts his Unit 8200 had been committing against the Palestinians.  “I felt a weird confusing sense of similarity, I identified myself with the intelligence workers in the movie.  That we were similar to the kind of oppressive intelligence in oppressive regimes really was a deep realization that makes us all feel that we have to take responsibility.”   

Profits and Joan Rivers’ Life

For-profit medical facilities have another black eye with the death of Joan Rivers who died a week after being admitted to Yorkville Endoscopy on  August 28 for what she was told would be minor surgery  to find the cause of her raspy voice.  The death is being investigated by the New York State Department of Health and the facility isn’t revealing much, expecting a negligence lawsuit.  Yorkville, unlike NOT-for profit hospitals is being run by a salesman, investment banker and  gynecologist who state the facility is out to gain the most possible profits for doctors through Frontier Healthcare, the management firm, promising “favorable reimbursement market trends,”   Meantime, pharmacist Glenn Adam Chin is arrested at Boston’s Logan airport while trying to slip back to Hong Kong on September 4th.  While many more arrests are expected, it was Chin who was in charge of sanitary conditions at the now bankrupt New England Compounding Center where fungal contamination had lead to the meningitis deaths of at least 48 patients in 23 states last year.  NECC ignored the rule of providing single prescriptions to patients by going into direct competition against large pharmaceutical corporations.  The hospitals bought into the compound’s lower prices.  Joan spoke of “going in for a little procedure,” the evening before she went to Yorkville Endoscopy.  “We had a lovely, festive dinner,” says friend and collaborator Jay Redack.  “She laughed it off. It was a thing like she’d go in for plastic surgery, not something that had been of any concern to her.”  Before the dinner that night, Joan Rivers performed her last cabaret act in New York’s theatre district

President Obama advises a Long Fight Against ISIS

President Obama’s tells the nation to be ready for a long fight to rout out  ISIS militants and apparently the American public understands and is backing him.  A Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll taken between the 3rd and 7th of this month indicates about half the American public feel the United States is now more at risk than it was in the days before 9/11, just 13 years ago.   Over 60 percent surveyed are backing his plans to counter attack with U.S. air strikes against ISIS targets Syria.  Long-term ally Saudi Arabia will allow a training program to be held in its country.  Yet the United States is entering what is promised to be a long effort that will not end with Obama’s presidency in 2-years.  Yet there is no clear exit strategy and without one, lead to the current problems in Iraq.  The President says “inaction would lead to death and chaos.”  His defense secretary Chuck Hagel backs this assessment saying, “ISIS poses an imminent threat to every interest we have.”  In contrast the National Counter Terrorism Center says ISIL (same as ISIS) is not Al-Qaeda pre-9/11 with cells in Europe. Southeast Asia and the U.S.  What is of greater threat is the successful recruitment of about 100 Americans and a thousand Europeans who can freely move in and out of their countries with their western passports.  While some talk shows ratchet up the public’s fears, there is no evidence of any terrorists crossing into the United States from Mexico or anyone trying to spread the Ebola virus here.  Former CIA analyst Kenneth Pollack. now at the Brookings think tank reflects the thinking of many if not most Americans who were first overwhelmingly in favor of invading Iraq; then regretted that as Pollack has and now is with the public saying ISIS must go.  There will be many more White House and Pentagon announcements on the fight against ISIS.  This is the beginning of a long journey.

This blog is dedicated to bringing back the commitment of professional journalism. As a former network news editor, major market news director and anchor, BILL DEANE gives you the inside story often missed by media more interested in Hollywood gossip. OUR MISSING NEWS gets into the WHY of the day's significant events.