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 21 
 on: December 19, 2014, 03:46:48 PM 
Started by G M - Last post by objectivist1
Senators Vow to Halt Obama’s Castro Odyssey

Posted By Matthew Vadum On December 19, 2014

Lawmakers opposed to President Obama’s sudden move to cozy up to Communist Cuba are vowing a full-court press to prevent official diplomatic recognition of the tropical prison republic from going forward.

But it is far from clear if lawmakers will be able to do much about Obama’s Cuban escapades. Presidents typically enjoy great latitude in foreign policy, especially concerning recognition of foreign governments. Lawmakers are probably on stronger ground in resisting repeal of the trade embargo that has been in place since the 1960s. On the other hand, Obama has a pen and a phone, as he likes to say, a reference to his brazen contempt for the rule of law and the strictures of the Constitution.

Obama’s dramatic actions are setting off a feeding frenzy as American companies salivate at the prospect of doing business in Cuba. Little do they realize that Cuba, a dilapidated Stalinist state that, thanks to the absence of good paying jobs, serves largely as a seedy sex tourism destination for Europeans and hardly has an economy at all. Some business restrictions were already eased by the U.S. around 2000. Some companies are allowed to sell medical equipment to the Cuban government. There is not much money to be made, at least not initially.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who are both of Cuban ancestry, have made strong statements about their intentions.

Rubio said it mattered not a whit to him if “99 percent of people in polls” disagreed with his position. “Appeasing the Castro brothers will only cause other tyrants from Caracas to Tehran to Pyongyang to see that they can take advantage of President Obama’s naivete during his final two years in office.”

Rubio said he reserved the right “to do everything within the rules of the Senate to prevent that sort of individual from ever even coming up for a vote,” a reference to confirmation proceedings for a prospective U.S. ambassador to Cuba.

Menendez said he was “deeply disappointed” and that it was “a fallacy to believe that Cuba will reform because an American president opens his hands and the Castro brothers will suddenly unclench their fists.”

The chill in relations between the two countries has its roots in the Cold War.

Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, whose forces overthrew the comparatively mild authoritarian regime of Fulgencio Batista, tried to start a nuclear war with the United States and in 1963 openly called for the assassination of President John Kennedy and his brother Robert, the U.S. attorney general. War was only narrowly averted after the Soviet Union turned around ships that were carrying nuclear weapons to Cuba. A short time later one of Castro’s followers, a man named Lee Harvey Oswald, murdered President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Cuba is a longtime state sponsor of terrorism and has meddled militarily and otherwise in the affairs of its neighbors and in faraway countries such as Angola. President Reagan ordered an invasion of Grenada after its Marxist dictatorship grew too close to Cuba and he struggled heroically to aid the anticommunist contras in their war against the Cuban-backed Communist regime in Nicaragua.

Many conservatives in Congress and elsewhere are saying Obama is a weak leader.

For example, former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said on the Fox News Channel on Wednesday that Obama’s moves on Cuba constitute “appeasement” and are a “very, very bad signal of weakness and lack of resolve by the president of the United States.”

Bolton and others are correct in terms of how the U.S. is perceived abroad under Obama but this does not reflect weak leadership on Obama’s part. This president knows what he is doing and when given the opportunity to do the right thing reliably chooses to do the wrong thing. Obama is taking the country’s foreign policy in exactly the right direction in terms of his sinister ideology. Obama does not mean well. He does not, unlike traditional U.S. presidents, think of himself as the leader of the free world. He wants to fundamentally transform America inside and out and is quite content to enfeeble the nation by crippling its military, betraying its allies, and embracing its enemies.


All of this excitement follows the sudden release Wednesday of Alan Gross, a U.S. development worker held in a Cuban prison. (An intelligence operative loyal to the U.S. was also released as part of the deal. Details about that individual are scarce.) Gross is a garden-variety leftist who is being used by President Obama to justify establishing diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba.

Obama is repaying a debt to his Marxist friends and allies. Just as President Bill Clinton rewarded his neo-communist supporters by pardoning Marxist Puerto Rican terrorists, Obama is rewarding his Castro-admiring base by freeing Communist spies working for a hostile foreign power.

Gross was reportedly a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is frequently a home for meddling left-wing activists. He reportedly worked on a program aimed at improving Internet access for Cuban Jews. Why the Obama administration would knowingly send an American into Cuba to perform services they had to have known were considered illegal by Cuban authorities is not clear. The free flow of information is a threat to any totalitarian regime, so a Cuban court convicted Gross of crimes against the state in 2011, sentencing him to a 15-year prison term.

Under a deal that Pope Francis, among others, helped to facilitate, Gross was exchanged for the remaining three members of the so-called Cuban Five — Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, and Ramón Labañino — who had been held in U.S. prisons.  All five Cuban nationals were convicted of spying in 2001. They gathered information on Cuban exiles in the U.S. in order to lay the ground for violent action against them in the future. Hernández was also convicted of conspiring to commit murder.

As Gross prepared for his press conference Wednesday, there was a portrait of  Communist mass murderer Che Guevara clearly visible in the Washington, D.C. office of Gross’s lawyer, high-profile attorney Scott D. Gilbert of Gilbert LLP. The bloodthirsty Guevara was minister of industry and president of the Cuban National Bank. He also administered kangaroo courts that condemned enemies of Fidel Castro’s regime to death. In other words, as Gross prepared his statement about being freed from a Cuban jail, an iconic photograph honoring Cuba’s most infamous jailer stared down at him.

Guevara, incidentally, wanted to annihilate the United States.

“If the nuclear missiles [from the missile crisis] had remained [in Cuba] we would have fired them against the heart of the U.S. including New York City,” he said. “The victory of socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims.”

In the press conference Gross maligned the U.S., pulling a cowardly pox-on-both-your-houses stunt. Gross drew a moral equivalency between the U.S. and the ruthless authoritarian regime he just escaped:

I also feel compelled to share with you my utmost respect for and fondness of the people of Cuba. In no way are they responsible for the ordeal to which my family and I have been subjected. To me cubanos, or at least most of them, are incredibly kind, generous and talented. It pains me to see them treated so unjustly as a consequence of two governments’ mutually belligerent policies.  Five and a half decades of history show us such belligerence inhibits better judgment. Two wrongs never make a right. I truly hope that we can now get beyond these mutually belligerent policies and I was very happy to hear what the president had to say today. It was particularly cool to be sitting next to the secretary of state as he was hearing about his job description for the next couple of months. In all seriousness, this is a game-changer, which I fully support. [Emphasis added.]

Who condemns his own countrymen as imperialist warmongers after they cut a deal to get him repatriated from the clutches of a dictatorship? And why would he use his opportunity in the spotlight to praise President Obama’s decision to normalize relations with the regime that he believes unjustly imprisoned him?

The whole thing doesn’t smell right. Clearly it was in the works for a long time.

Interestingly enough, Gross thanked Jill Zuckman of left-wing PR firm SKDKnickerbocker for helping to free him. SKDKnickerbocker also employs former resident Maoist in the Obama White House, Anita Dunn, and Democrat operative Hilary Rosen. Gross also thanked Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Communist-friendly lawmakers Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) for freeing him.

Those who follow President Obama’s policy initiatives already know that he delights in trading Americans who hate America for foreign terrorists and murderers who also hate America. Not so long ago there was the swap of U.S Army deserter and Taliban collaborator Bowe Bergdahl for five members of the Taliban’s high command.  Not exactly a good deal for America.

What’s next for Obama, who is hellbent to knock America down a few pegs?

Diplomatic recognition for Iran? At first glance such a development might seem unlikely, but Obama does harbor deep affection for hardline Islamic states. He aided Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and during anti-government unrest that began in Iran in 2009, Obama effectively propped up the Islamist regime there by doing nothing to oppose it.

Anything could happen with Obama in his final two years in the White House.

 22 
 on: December 19, 2014, 11:52:17 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Would love to have your thoughts on the Cuba thread on the Noonan piece I posted there.

 23 
 on: December 19, 2014, 11:51:00 AM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Spelling corrected.

BTW, would someone please find and post the info on some consumer agency that was created with its own source of funding (i.e. uncontrolled by Congress) and Obama had her as acting head to set it up but with some fictitious title because Congress would not approve her nomination?

 24 
 on: December 19, 2014, 10:59:18 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
Michelle O already used her target story for a different purpose.  She told Letterman the lady asked to help because she was tall, not because she was black.  She was giddy about not being recognized, not a victim of a non-existent racial stereotype.

But can you imagine if she had been mistaken for someone common who WORKED for a living?  OMG!

And her husband, voted twice by the American people to be Commander in Chief and leader of the free world, was mistaken for a valet car-parker because of his race!

I didn't know it was racial disparaging to associate blackness with working for a living.  This is good news, but not backed up in Obama administration (un)employment data.  In fact, Barack Obama has never parked cars and Michelle Obama has never worked in a Target store.  They are lifelong, liberal elites.
---------------------
http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2014/12/19/mrs-obamas-tall-tales-of-racialized-victimhood-n1933873/page/full
From overjoyed Regular Mom to Oppressed Martyr, can Mrs. Obama's shopping fable get any more absurd?

Mrs. Obama, perpetual victim, hopped from Princeton to Harvard to prestigious law firms, cushy nonprofit gigs, an exclusive Hyde Park manse and a crony corporate board appointment before landing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
--------------------
Racism is tough!

 25 
 on: December 19, 2014, 10:31:47 AM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by DougMacG
Absolutely.  You may need further tweeking to fit in the full spelling of forked tongue.  The Cherokee scandal has faded back to just an earlier indicator of zero personal or public integrity.  Now she is just a bitter, big mouthed, dishonest liberal elite of the worst kind.  I would prefer to just take on the principles of liberalism.  But no one ever presents it honestly.  So we have to answer liberalism's deceiving practitioners.

speak with forked tongue - to make false promises or to speak in a way which is not honest
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/speak+with+forked+tongue

intent to mislead or deceive   http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forked%20tongue

The factory owner, good for him, does not pay his fair share of taxes to build the public roads and schools that benefit his business??!  What a bunch of BS.  The factory owner who stops paying MORE than his/her share of the public goods is the own that has to close or move because of dishonest liberalism's punitive policies.

 26 
 on: December 19, 2014, 10:05:11 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
"I forget her name... but she was a big fundraiser and her husband worked for Bill.  Something had happened and she was afraid for her husband's job and she came to the White House to plead for it.  Working from memory, she has formally stated that Clinton pushed her up against the wall and forcefully groped her.  Turns out that while she was there, her husband was commiting suicide."


Kathleen Willey was a White House volunteer aide who, on March 15, 1998, alleged on the TV news program 60 Minutes that Bill Clinton had sexually assaulted her on November 29, 1993, during his first term as President.  Willey's second husband, Edward E. Willey Jr., committed suicide on November 29, 1993 — the day she claimed Clinton's sexual misconduct took place.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Willey

Who knows the veracity of that story or any one encounter.  The point with the analogy to Bill Cosby is that there is too many unrelated incidents in a pattern to just shrug it off.  The point with Hillary Clinton is that she knew or she should have known.  Juanita Broaddrick alleged very strongly that Hillary knew.  http://www.apfn.org/apfn/Juanita.htm

NBC News held the Lisa Myers Juanita Broaddrick interview for 35 days, played it opposite the Grammys - after the Senate had acquitted Clinton in his impeachment trial.  http://observer.com/1999/04/nbcs-vetting-of-juanita-broaddrick-clintons-accuser-discusses-agonizing-weeks-as-nbc-dragged-it-out/

There was Whitewater, the FBI files scandal, travelgate, and the hurried removal of documents from Vince Foster's office.  There was the failure of her healthcare task force and of all their own policies before adopting the success of the Gingrich initiatives.  But none of it matters.

 27 
 on: December 19, 2014, 09:26:20 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
Having large national issues decided by one man (or 5 justices) is not what the founders intended.  

That said, we have tried opposite policies in different places, a trade embargo against Cuba for 50+ years and a trade opening with China since 1972 to end oppression in both places and neither worked.  Shaking up a failed policy is tempting, but this is not the answer.

What is Rand Paul's answer to Rubio's point?  If this is the policy that the regime of Cuba has wanted and needed all these years, what did President Obama get in return for surrendering our principles?  As usual, nothing.  

This isn't surrendering principles to Obama; it is the gaining of a new friend.  Coercive, oppressive government that uses the agencies of power like the IRS and DOJ to shut down opposition is not offensive to this administration.

Libertarians including Rand Paul have a foreign policy history of not giving a rip about liberty outside our borders.  They forget that at least a couple of foreign powers helped us gain ours.

 28 
 on: December 19, 2014, 08:48:42 AM 
Started by buzwardo - Last post by ccp
And surely Obama wants much lower energy prices (sarcasm emphasized).  How is this for liberal spin and twisting logic on its head?:

How Obama (and Bush) helped drive down oil prices
Yahoo Finance By Rick Newman
21 hours ago

 In this Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 photo, Quick Trip clerk Roxana Valverde adjusts the gas price sign numbers at a Tolleson, Ariz. QT convenience store as gas prices continue to tumble nationwide. The price of oil has fallen by nearly half in just six months, a surprising and steep plunge that has consumers cheering, producers howling and economists wringing their hands over whether this is a good or bad thing. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
.
View photo
In this Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 photo, Quick Trip clerk Roxana Valverde adjusts the gas price sign numbers at a Tolleson, Ariz. QT convenience store as gas prices continue to tumble nationwide. The price of oil has fallen by nearly half in just six months, a surprising and steep plunge that has consumers cheering, producers howling and economists wringing their hands over whether this is a good or bad thing. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Few people foresaw the nearly 50% plunge in oil prices this year. But the forces reshaping the oil market have been aligning for nearly a decade, with part of the impetus coming from Washington.

In 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which President George W. Bush promptly signed. The EISA raised federal mileage requirements for passenger cars for the first time since 1990, in an effort to reduce U.S. gas consumption and make America less dependent on foreign oil.

The new rules required automakers to achieve average fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon among all the new vehicles in their fleet by model year 2020 -- up sharply from a requirement of 27.5 MPG for cars and 22.2 MPG for light trucks (pickups and SUVs) at the time.

President Obama raised the MPG goal further in 2012, requiring average fuel economy of 54.5 MPG for all new vehicles sold by model year 2025. Automakers argued that the technology developments necessary to reach those levels would add thousands of dollars to the cost of a car, but so far they've been making progress without causing sticker shock for car buyers. A combination of electric vehicles, hybrids, diesels and far more efficient gas engines has helped improve overall average fuel economy by 5.3 MPG during the last seven years, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. That's a big improvement that would cut the typical driver's gas consumption by about 70 gallons a year.

Overall, the MPG improvements have been working, with lower U.S. oil and gas consumption achieved, as this chart shows:

View photo
.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
The consumption decline that began in 2007 is partly due to people driving less during the recession of 2008 and 2009. However, gas consumption continued to fall until 2012, before ticking up in 2013. Even with that slight increase, gas consumption last year was at 2002 levels. When adjusted for population growth, consumption has fallen to levels of the late 1960s, when there were far fewer cars per household.

Reduced gas consumption in the United States is hardly the only factor affecting the price of oil, which trades globally and is determined by many variables. A surge in U.S. crude production has added to global supplies and aided in pushing down prices. Saudi Arabia has kept its own production levels steady rather than decreasing output -- as it has done during past gluts -- to prop up prices. Meanwhile, a sluggish global economy has kept demand for oil lower than many producers expected.

Still, weaker demand for gasoline in the world's largest economy accounts for some of the slack demand for oil. With the government's performance generally poor during the last decade of partisan fighting, the hike in MPG standards is a rare example of a policy with bipartisan support accomplishing what it was supposed to.

That's helping now in political confrontations with long-time foes such as Russia and Iran. Bush and Obama couldn't have foreseen the way cheap oil is inadvertently helping the West turn up the pressure on Russia in response to its role in Ukraine's civil war. But Iran and other oil producers, such as Venezuela, are U.S. antagonists that policymakers have long sought leverage over. Score one for Washington.

Fuel-economy improvements should continue and even accelerate, since the biggest gains are slated for the years approaching 2025. From 2020 through 2025, for instance, the MPG goal will rise from 41.7 MPG to 54.5, a 31% increase. From 2009 through 2014, it rose from 27.5 to 34.1, a 24% improvement. (MPG figures are slightly different from the Michigan numbers, which measure actual fuel economy of vehicles on the road.) That will continue dampening U.S. oil and gas consumption for the foreseeable future.

Demand for oil and gasoline will rise elsewhere, as more people drive in emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil. But those nations also will benefit as technology developed to reduce gas consumption in America proliferates and becomes cheaper. And that's an American export they won't even have to pay for.

Rick Newman’s latest book is Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback To Success. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman.

 29 
 on: December 19, 2014, 05:39:46 AM 
Started by prentice crawford - Last post by Crafty_Dog

By
Peggy Noonan









 Dec. 18, 2014 6:49 p.m. ET
187 COMMENTS

If a change in policy is in the American national interest, then it is a good idea. If it is not, then it is a bad idea, and something we should not do.

In another era that would be so obvious as not to bear repeating. But seeing to our national interests (just as we expect other nations to see to theirs) has been rather lost along the way by our leaders the past dozen years, and now sounds almost touchingly quaint.

But with that guiding principle, some questions on establishing new and closer ties with Cuba:

Was it ever in our nation’s interests to have, 90 miles off our shore, an avowed and active enemy?
 
No.
 
Is it now in our nation’s interests to have, 90 miles off our shore, an avowed and active enemy?
 
No.
 
Is it in the national interest to attempt to change this circumstance, if only gradually and hopefully, but with a sense that breaking the status quo might yield rewards?

Yes. If the new policy succeeds and leaves an old foe less active and avowed we will be better off, and it’s always possible, life being surprising, that we’ll be much better off. If the policy fails we’ll be no worse off than we were and can revert back to the old order, yanking out our embassy and re-erecting old barriers.

Great nations are like people. We get in habits of affection and enmity. What is needed is a practice of detached realism. Sometimes those for whom you have affection are disappointing. Sometimes those toward whom you feel enmity are, you realize, an essentially defeated foe, and a new attitude might be constructive. The key is to keep eyes sharp for changed situations, and adapt.

Fidel Castro is a bad man who took an almost-paradise and turned it into a floating prison. In replacing a dictatorship whose corruption was happily leavened by incompetence, he created a communist totalitarian state that made everything in his country worse. He robbed it of wealth, beauty and potential freedom. He was also a thorn and a threat to the United States, which he hated and moved against in myriad ways. He did all this for more than half a century.

Soon he will die, and his brother supposedly has taken his place. That is a changed situation.
 
Normalizing relations with Cuba will not, as Sen. Marco Rubio passionately put it in these pages, grant the Castro regime “legitimacy.”

Nothing can grant it legitimacy.

Fidel Castro ruined his country for a dead ideology and the whole world knows it. It may be closer to the truth to see the Castro brothers’ eagerness for normalization as an admission that they’re run out their string. They’ve lost everything that kept them alive, from the Soviet Union to once-oil-rich Venezuela. The Castro government is stuck. Their economy is nothing. They have no strength. They enjoy vestigial respect from certain quarters, but only vestigial. They’ve lost and they know it.
 
So why not move now?

Nothing magical will immediately follow normalization. The Castro brothers will not say, “I can’t believe it, free markets and democracy really are better, I had no idea!” Nothing will make Cuba democratic overnight. But American involvement and presence—American tourists and businessmen, American diplomats, American money, American ways and technology—will likely in time have a freeing effect. With increased contact a certain amount of good feeling will build. And that could make Cuba, within a generation or even less, a friend.
 
And that would be good for the American national interest, because it’s better to have a friend 90 miles away than an active and avowed enemy.

The opening to Cuba may also spark a re-Christianizing effect among a people who’ve been denied freedom of religious worship for generations. That would be good too, for them and us.
 
There is no reason to believe increased engagement between America and Cuba would encourage a post-Castro government to be more antagonistic or aggressive toward the U.S. More movement and commerce, including media presence, will not give that government more motive to embarrass itself by abusing and oppressing its people. As for the military, it wouldn’t be long, with lifted embargoes, before captains in the Cuban army found out what managers in the new Hilton were making, and jumped into hotel services.
 
With a real opening, including lifted embargoes, all the pressure year by year would be toward more back-and-forth, greater prosperity, and more freedom squeaking in by Internet and television.

In a rising Cuba all the pressure will be toward freedom. It will not be toward dictatorship.

In America, attention has rightly been paid to the Cuban-Americans of Florida and their reaction. They were cruelly displaced by the communist regime and forced to flee Cuba. They lost everything, came here penniless, and through gifts and guts rose to economic and political power. The oldest, who came in 1960, feel bitterness—and are loyal to that bitterness. Their children, a little less so, and the next generation less still. Because everything changes. You can’t let a foreign policy be governed by bitterness even when that bitterness is legitimate. Advice to the U.S. government: Attempt in time to create some kind of U.S.-Cuban framework whereby those whose property was expropriated can reclaim it.

President Obama’s opening seems so far cleverly done and well wired. He has major cover from the involvement of the most popular pope in recorded history, and also from the government of Canada, an ever-popular country whose prime minister, the sturdy, steady Stephen Harper , is the most quietly effective head of government in the Northern Hemisphere.
 
It is to be stipulated that the particulars of the deal will prove, on inspection, to be unimpressive, because Mr Obama was the negotiator. Fair enough, but he said when he first ran for president, in 2008, that he hoped for a new kind of engagement with Cuba, and he is producing it.

Something to watch out for: When an administration goes all in on a controversial policy it tends to spend most of its follow-up time not making sure the policy works but proving, through occasionally specious data and assertions, that it was the right policy. All who judge how the new opening proceeds will have to factor that in and see past it.

A closing note: I always thought, life often being unfair, that Fidel Castro would die the death of a happy monster, old, in bed, a cigar jutting out from the pillows, a brandy on the bedside table. My dream the past few years was that this tranquil end would be disturbed by this scene: American tourists jumping up and down outside his window, snapping pictures on their smartphones. American tourists flooding the island, befriending his people, doing business with them, showing in their attitude and through a million conversations which system is, actually, preferable. Castro sees them through the window. He grits his teeth so hard the cigar snaps off. Money and sentiment defeat his life’s work. He leaves the world knowing that in history’s great game, he lost.
 
Open the doors, let America flood the zone and snap those pictures. “Fidel! Look this way!” Snap. Flash. Gone.

 30 
 on: December 19, 2014, 05:36:37 AM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by Crafty_Dog
second post

http://www.wsj.com/articles/haider-al-abadi-a-united-iraq-is-pushing-back-the-islamic-state-1418946399?mod=hp_opinion


By
Haider al-Abadi
 Dec. 18, 2014 6:46 p.m. ET
13 COMMENTS

Baghdad

Iraqis are fighting back against the transnational terrorists on the battlefront and on the home front. As we move forward to free every inch of our territory and every segment of our citizenry from ISIS—known in Iraq by its Arabic acronym Daesh—we are also addressing the discontents that give rise to terrorism.
 
While military action is essential to expel ISIS from the land that we love, there can be no lasting victory without governmental reform, national reconciliation, and economic and social reconstruction. Exclusion breeds extremism, so our new government includes Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, as well as representatives of the major political parties. In order to root out terrorism and its causes, we are determined to ensure that every ethnic group, every region and every religious confession feels that it has a stake in Iraq’s survival and success.

Our government just approved a long-sought, long-term agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government. This historic understanding states that Iraqi oil belongs to all Iraqis. It provides for fair sharing of oil revenues, as well as sharing the resources and responsibilities to defend and serve all our people. As we confront our common enemy, we want to fight alongside our Kurdish brothers. This agreement provides them with the weapons and support they need.
 
We are restoring relationships with the Sunni tribes that are based in areas now under ISIS domination. These tribes are being armed and are currently fighting alongside Iraqi security forces.
 
Because Iraqis need to put the past behind us, we are amending the Accountability and Justice Law, which will provide relief from de-Baathification that took place after the fall of Saddam and his Baathist Party. Our goal is to ease the reintegration into society of a large number of former government employees who haven’t committed crimes against the Iraqi people.
 
Because every citizen must have confidence in our system of justice, I have signed a decree requiring our security forces and the Ministry of Justice to safeguard the constitutional and human rights of the detainees in Iraqi jails. There will be a central record for all detainees, including the reason for their arrests and the timeline for their trials.

As we rebuild our security forces, we are combating corruption, incompetence and fragmentation. We have removed about two-dozen generals, as well as 24 officers of the Ministry of Interior. There will be no more “ghost soldiers” on the payroll, no more corrupt commanding officers and no more battalions who flee from the battlefields.
 
We are establishing a national guard that will fight alongside the Iraqi army. And we fully support efforts to train and equip the Kurdish forces to ensure that they can work seamlessly with the Iraqi Security Forces.

We are working with the U.S. and our international partners to train and equip tribal fighters who are currently fighting alongside Iraqi security forces. Where possible, some individuals from these groups will be integrated into the Iraqi Security Forces or the national guard.

In order to guarantee respect for the rule of law, we are bringing all armed groups under state control. No armed groups or militias will work outside or parallel to the Iraqi Security Forces, and no arms will be permitted outside the control of the government.

With support from the international coalition and closer coordination with the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, the Iraqi Security Forces and their partners are pushing forward, recapturing strategic roads and other locations and liberating entire towns.
 
Iraqis are doing our part to defeat the best-funded, best-equipped, and best-organized terrorists on Earth. But the challenge is greater than any country can answer alone.
 
We need air support, training and armaments for Iraq’s security forces. We need our neighbors and allies to stop the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq. And we need the international community, through its financial institutions, to freeze the funding of ISIS.
 
We also need the international community to help us assist the two million refugees within our borders who have been displaced by the terrorism of ISIS and the civil war in Syria. With winter approaching, they need humanitarian aid, as will the residents of the areas that we are liberating from Daesh.
 
Only by rebuilding a secure and stable Iraq can we defeat the terrorists who draw upon discontent and feed on failure. Just as ISIS is the international community’s common enemy, defeating violent extremism, on the battlefield and the home front, must be our common endeavor.

Mr. Abadi is the prime minister of Iraq.

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