Monday, February 22, 2016

Trump-eting one of the many GOP lies

So, Trump, and the other Republican candidates for that matter, all claim we have done nothing against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, Trump most notably so in his recent comments re Pope Francis. 

And this, after chastising Ted Cruz for lying; more of the pot calling the kettle black!

This lie is in sharp contrast to the reality that we have been hitting ISIS hard for a long time, along with our allies, doing considerable damage to them. From this week's STrib indicating that ISIS is going broke, because of those airstrikes led by the good ol' US of A under the leadership of President Obama.
photo from the AP, circa 2014
IS faces budget crunch, cutting perks and trimming salaries:

FILE - In this summer of 2014 photo released on a militant social media account, a convoy of Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria. The extremist group that once bragged about minting its own currency is now accepting only U.S. dollars in Raqqa, slashing salaries across the board and imposing �exit fees� for those trying to leave its domain. BEIRUT — Faced with a cash shortage in its so-called caliphate, the Islamic State group has slashed salaries across the region, asked Raqqa residents to pay utility bills in black market American dollars, and is now releasing detainees for a price of $500 a person. The extremists who once bragged about minting their own currency are having a hard time meeting expenses, thanks to coalition airstrikes and other measures that have eroded millions from their finances since last fall. Having built up loyalty among militants with good salaries and honeymoon and baby bonuses, the group has stopped providing even the smaller perks: free energy drinks and Snickers bars. Necessities are dwindling in its urban centers, leading to shortages and widespread inflation, according to exiles and those still suffering under its rule. Interviews gathered over several weeks included three exiles with networks of family and acquaintances still in the group's stronghold in Raqqa, residents in Mosul, and analysts who say IS is turning to alternative funding streams, including in Libya. In Raqqa, the group's stronghold in Syria, salaries have been halved since December, electricity is rationed, and prices for basics are spiraling out of reach, according to people exiled from the city. "Not just the militants. Any civil servant, from the courts to the schools, they cut their salary by 50 percent," said a Raqqa activist now living in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, who remains in close contact with his native city. But that apparently wasn't enough close the gap for a group that needs money to replace weapons lost in airstrikes and battles, and pays its fighters first and foremost. Those two expenses account for two-thirds of its budget, according to an estimate by Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, a researcher with the Middle East Forum who sources Islamic State documents, Within the last two weeks, the extremist group started accepting only dollars for "tax" payments, water and electric bills, according to the Raqqa activist, who asked to be identified by his nom de guerre Abu Ahmad for his safety. "Everything is paid in dollars," he said. His account was bolstered by another ex-Raqqa resident, who, like Ahmad, also relies on communications with a network of family and acquaintances still in the city. Al-Tamimi came across a directive announcing the fighters' salary cuts in Raqqa: "On account of the exceptional circumstances the Islamic State is facing, it has been decided to reduce the salaries that are paid to all mujahedeen by half, and it is not allowed for anyone to be exempted from this decision, whatever his position." Those circumstances include the dramatic drop in global prices for oil — once a key source of income — airstrikes that have targeted cash stores and oil infrastructure, supply line cuts, and crucially, the Iraqi government's decision to stop paying civil servants in territory controlled by the extremists.
And it's not like this is only recent damage to ISIS; from the International Business Times back in September 2014. This pretty much brings us to the choices that the GOP candidates are liars, so bone ignorant on the realities of the regional conflict as to disqualify them from serving in any office more demanding than dog catcher; or both. :

US Airstrikes In Syria Cripple ISIS Funding By Hitting Oil Refineries
ISTANBUL -- U.S. airstrikes in Syria targeting oil refineries controlled by the Islamic State group are cutting heavily into the group’s profits, which at one point were, on average, between $2 million and $3 million a day, analysts say.
“It is crippling for ISIS,” Luay al-Khatteeb, director of the Iraq Energy Institute, said of the destruction of oil refineries. After more than a week of U.S. and coalition bombings targeting the Sunni militant group in Syria, “profits [for ISIS] are out of the equation." The group’s profits are now in the thousands rather than millions of dollars per day, Khatteeb said in a discussion on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Istanbul. Khatteeb said before the airstrikes, ISIS was making anywhere between 30,000 and 40,000 barrels a day in just Iraq, and in Syria, they produced 50,000 barrels. Now, they are making on average 20,000 barrels a day.
Over the past three months the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has gained control of large parts of Syria and Iraq, including oil fields on the edges of Iraqi Kurdistan. The extremist group began selling oil, turning itself into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. The group has sold both crude and refined oil to locals in Iraq and Syria, and purportedly on the black market in Turkey. According to Khatteeb, ISIS sold the oil for prices ranging between $20 and $40 a barrel. Each truck transporting oil through the border via what Khatteeb said was an already well established "smuggling network" was worth about 7,000 barrels.
The money has been used to finance, at least in part, the group’s weapons, ammunition, soldier salaries and procure other resources needed to fight.
Describing ISIS as a “network of death” at his speech at the United Nations last week, President Barack Obama said the U.S.-led coalition would starve the group financially.  
Lying is for losers -- like Trump; THIS damage to ISIS is what winning looks like, regardless of polls or primaries, and this is what it looks like to be the president instead of a reality tv celebrity. If Republicans want to win the general election and get the White House back, they need to stop being such eager consumers of lies and the liars who peddle them.

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