Saturday, September 6, 2014

On high alert

Here's the latest from friend and radio colleague Larry Johnson, who is posting from Europe. (As previously noted, Larry was formerly employed by the CIA and the State Department; today he's consultant and frequently quoted on counterterrorism, intel and international matters.) This appeared on his blog, No Quarter. A seasoned and reasonable observer/commentator, Larry discovered something -- unreported elsewhere -- while in Paris.

Paris on High Alert, But Baghdad the Target
Something is going on in Paris, at least last night. Police were out in massive numbers surrounding the U.S. Embassy and the British Embassy. No public warning was issued, however.
I happened to be walking with the wife along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées on the Champs Elysee last night heading towards Place de La Concorde. Couple of blocks west of Place de la Concorde we ran into a gauntlet of police. Vehicles parked bumper to bumper. Officers kitted out, some with body armor and automatic weapons.
But the real concern is with the Americans still in Baghdad. The first tell was Obama finally authorizing the deployment last week of an additional 350 troops to the Green Zone. The threat from ISIS is not abating. Chatter is hot and heavy about something happening on the anniversary of 11 September.
I am not enjoying the delicious irony of Mr. Nobel Peace Prize Obama (granted that prize for simply being a nice looking black man with no accomplishments) conducting more drone strikes than George W. Bush and reversing course on carrying out military operations in Iraq. It is just the reality. Unfortunately, Obama is worried more about managing the domestic political consequences of taking action against ISIS than he is in crafting a genuine strategy to deal with the menace.

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