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What’s up with Obama administration’s lack of intel? Continual surprise by global events, discovering things by watching the news?

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Editor’s note: I watched Mary Katherine Ham‘s appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor” and was disheartened to see Ham interrupted mid-sentence, “listen, listen”, O’Reilly repeated. Once he had the floor, it was only to return to flogging the same rhetorical question, to guests M.K. Ham and Juan Williams, punching the theme of that segment of the show (hammering Ham in the process) Essentially: “What’s up with Obama administration’s lack of intel? Continual surprise by global events, discovering things by watching the news?” A good question with no reliable answer.

I’d like to have heard M.K. Ham’s commentary, she’d just hit her stride when she was cut off. Perhaps some of Ham’s unsaid remarks ends up in this article, “9 Quotes from Obama’s 2011 ‘Remarks on the End of the War in Iraq’ That Show His Total Lack of Foresight” written after the broadcast. Read the whole thing here.

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For Hot AirMary Katharine Ham writes:

I had occasion to rewatch this speech today before I went on “The O’Reilly Factor.” Given Dec. 14, 2011 at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, its contents are gut-wrenching.

1. This one, in which Obama concedes that you’d take post-surge 2011 Iraq over pretty much any other major country in the Middle East post Arab Spring and Obama presidency

“It’s harder to end a war than begin one. Indeed, everything that American troops have done in Iraq -– all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building, and the training and the partnering -– all of it has led to this moment of success. Now, Iraq is not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations.”

2. This one where Obama describes just how much we’ve lost.

“This is an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making.”

Obama-Troops

3. Then, he enumerated our victories, which our withdrawal swiftly turned into losses, one by one, starting with the insurgency.

“We remember the grind of the insurgency -– the roadside bombs, the sniper fire, the suicide attacks. From the ‘triangle of death’ to the fight for Ramadi; from Mosul in the north to Basra in the south -– your will proved stronger than the terror of those who tried to break it.”

4. The sectarian violence.

“We remember the specter of sectarian violence -– al Qaeda’s attacks on mosques and pilgrims, militias that carried out campaigns of intimidation and campaigns of assassination. And in the face of ancient divisions, you stood firm to help those Iraqis who put their faith in the future.”

Sure, sectarian divides would not have disappeared entirely, and Maliki is to blame for alienating Sunnis, but this was not inevitable(read more)

Hot Air

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