Iraq: Pentagon Sends Aircraft Carrier to Persian Gulf

WikicommonsWikicommonsIraq is chaos as the government battles with an Al Qaeda splinter group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has responded to the situation by ordering an aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, to the Persian Gulf. It is supposed to arrive sometime tonight.

The Defense Department explains in a press release that "the order will provide President Barack Obama additional flexibility should military options be required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq."

Reuters notes that the carrier "will be accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun."

WikicommonsWikicommons

President Barack Obama stated earlier this week, "We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces, and I'll be reviewing those options in the days ahead."

"Iraq's military claimed Saturday it had regained key northern territories, including most of Salaheddin province, which includes Samarra, from ISIS, a claim that conflicted with reports from security officials in Baghdad and Samarra, who told CNN that 60 percent to 70 percent of the province remains in the hands of ISIS," reports CNN.

Reason's J.D. Tuccille explained a bit about ISIS yesterday:

Founded in 2004 and originally affiliated with al-Qaeda, ISIS fell out with its parent organization, which it may now be overshadowing. ISIS is said to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians. The group has since expanded into Syria, and flourished during that country's civil war. The organization's goal is to establish an Islamic state in the region—an accomplishment that it appears to be much closer to accomplishing than most people would have believed just weeks ago.

For more Reason coverage of Iraq, click here.

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  • Sevo||

    Man! The fields must need plowing EARLY tomorrow!

  • C. Anacreon||

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has responded to the situation by ordering an aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, to the Persian Gulf.

    And maybe this time George H.W. Bush won't chicken out and instead actually finish the job in Iraq.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Maybe my sarcasm detector's busted, but just in case, all the reasons not to get invade Iraq in 1991--were still excellent reasons not to invade Iraq in 2003.

    One of the best reasons to oppose Junior's war was because removing Hussein played directly into Iran's interests in the region--and that was an excellent reason for Bush the Greater to hold back in '91, as well.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Maybe my sarcasm detector's busted, but just in case, all the reasons not to get invade Iraq in 1991--were still excellent reasons not to invade Iraq in 2003.

    Except for the part where America had to leave thousands of troops in the area to mount a never-ending war with a forever-PO'd Hussein. That part made finishing the job totally worth it.

    I'd also like to hear the invasion of Iraq by a crazy Sunni fanatic group is somehow in Iran's interests.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Except for the part where America had to leave thousands of troops in the area to mount a never-ending war with a forever-PO'd Hussein.

    No it didn't.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So then what? Hope Sadaam just lets bygones be bygones? Before or after he helped bomb the WTC in 1993?

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Hussein was in no position to realistically threaten any of his neighbors after the Gulf War. Southern Watch and Northern Watch were there to enforce a no-fly zone that for the last almost ten years was a FYTW that had little military value and zero to do with defense of surrounding countries.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In fact, one of the better explanations for why Hussein resisted weapons inspections--despite not having any WMD to speak of--was because he feared Iran seeing how weak he was more than he feared an American invasion--which just goes to show how sorry of a position he was in at the time.

    The best explanation for why Hussein didn't want the world to know he didn't have any WMD?

    It's because megalomaniacs are crazy--who knew?! I was as surprised as anybody to find that he didn't have the goods.

  • ||

    You think he gave a damn about those no fly zones? He consistently disregarded those.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    And how did stationing thousands of troops in Turkey, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia stop the WTC bombing?

  • Cytotoxic||

    It didn't, which is why he had to be removed from power after the US pissed him off. War is like karate is like walking on a highway: fully committed to war = can work
    committed to not war = can work
    half-way war = splat!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Um...Yes...we did.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Disregard. Misread your post.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    I'd also like to hear the invasion of Iraq by a crazy Sunni fanatic group is somehow in Iran's interests.

    Perhaps this is a concept you could get acquainted with to start off then.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Ah yes Regional Hegemony the thing that Iran has singularly failed to achieve since the liberation of Iraq.

  • Sevo||

    Cytotoxic|6.15.14 @ 12:34AM|#
    "Ah yes Regional Hegemony the thing that Iran has singularly failed to achieve since the liberation of Iraq."

    And someone else can help them do so. Sorry, not my problem.
    You want to contribute? Help yourself.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I sure do love it when people attribute stances and statements to me that I don't have or have never made.

  • R C Dean||

    I'd also like to hear the invasion of Iraq by a crazy Sunni fanatic group is somehow in Iran's interests.

    That's the same crazy Sunni fanatic group that Iran is fighting in Syria, you know.

    This is a Sunni v Shiite thing. Full stop. Iran is supporting the Shiites in Syrian and (now) Iraq. They had hoped to get Iraq in their orbit on the cheap, and had largely done so, but now their war in Syria has jumped the border.

    Nobody is saying Iran is happy that their Sunni enemies have widened the war to Iraq and forced Iran to commit troops there.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "That part made finishing the job totally worth it."

    Totally worth what?

    All the American casualties?

    $2.5 trillion?

    And what benefit did we get out of it if it strengthened Iran?

    Iran actually is a state sponsor of terror with a WMD program--and has a mature long range missile program. They're already launching satellites with multistage rockets!

    What benefit did we get again? What benefit that was worth the cost of 4,500 dead American troops, 32,000 Americans wounded, and--at least--$2.5 trillion in taxpayer money?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Stop that. Finishing the job = removing Sadaam, not the nation-building imbroglio. Should have bugged out as soon as Saddam was out of his spider-hole.

    BTW Iran has had a nuclear program going on for years before Sadaam's removal. Hussein didn't do shit to 'contain' Iran.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The Pottery Barn rule isn't something Powell just made up.

    Once Americans die in an operation, leaving without leaving something worth their sacrifice becomes extremely difficult to do--from a political perspective.

    See Vietnam for further examples.

    Why was it especially easy to leave Libya behind?

    Because no American troops died there.

    And if we'd just taken out Hussein and left, Iraq would look a lot like it does now.

    P.S. Cleaning up after our invasions is the one thing the UN is really good for. Chastising the UN was foolish in that instance--Bush bet it all on red, with no exit plan other than seeing democracy quickly flower in the desert like it never had before--which was utter foolishness.

  • robc||

    Reagan and Lebanon suggests the Pottery Barn rule is Bullshit.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I won't claim that there aren't any exceptions to the general rule--but that's the way the rule works. Again, we're not talking about some legal mandate; we're saying that when one things happens, you typically have to deal with another.

    In regards to the specifics of Lebanon, it's important to remember that we were there as our contribution to a peacekeeping force. In fact, the terrorists that attacked us (and eventually coalesced into Hezbollah) almost certainly attacked becasue we crossed that peacekeeper line in Lebanon and became belligerents--in the eyes of the Shiites.

    In other words, when Reagan pulled out of--our participation in the peacekeeper force--he was deciding not to follow through and become an active participant in that war rather than a peacekeeping force.

    In other words, we weren't invaders. We never invaded. Pulling out meant deciding not to invade--and it was a great decision! There wasn't anything about Lebanon (or American interests) that was about to be fixed by us becoming fully engaged belligerents rather than peacekeepers.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The naval gunfire support Colonel Geraghty referenced was from four U.S. warships: the USS Virginia, USS Arthur W. Radford, USS Bowen, and USS John Rodgers. Prior to September 19, the USS Bowen had fired an interdiction mission on September 7, and the USS Bowen and USS John Rodgers had together fired another interdiction mission on September 16 to intimidate Syrian and Druze militia firing on the Marines.[40]

    Some authors, including Thomas Friedman, point to the use of this naval gunfire on September 19 as the beginning point of the U.S. forces being seen as participants in the civil war rather than peace keepers and opening them up to retaliation.[41][42] In his memoir, General Colin Powell (at the time an assistant to Caspar Weinberger) noted, as Colonel Geraghty had already projected, that "When the shells started falling on the Shiites, they assumed the American ‘referee’ had taken sides."[43] Some analysts subsequently criticized the decision to have U.S. warships shell Druze and Syrian forces. They claim that this action forced a shift in the previously neutral U.S. forces by convincing local Lebanese Muslims that the U.S. had sided with the Lebanese Christians.[44]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1.....sion_Creep

  • GILMORE||

    The debate under GWB was whether 'finishing' with saddam would create a vacuum that would be filled with Iranian proxies, or whether a 'moderate sunni/shia
    ' partnership could stabilize that would provide a bulwark against Iran and also pressure Assad's regime to similarly make peace with Israel (now lacking any real friends on any borders)

    It was a gamble that ending the regional stalemate would result in something 'better'. It resulted in something worse.

    Ken thinks the bet was never worth taking. I think at the time (2001-2003) the case could be made that there was never a better opportunity.

    If Obama had fully appreciated the situation and made more effort to retain some influence, its possible it wouldnt be turning into full on shia-sunni civil war. But i think that's too late now.

    No one gets away from the current situation going "I told you so". Nothing was inevitable.

    IMO nothing was singularly more completely catastrophic than Bremer's decision to disband the Iraqi army in May 2003. before that, success of a kind would have been possible.

  • GILMORE||

    Anyway - my point was i think ken was right that the reason no one went in to 'finish the job' in round 1 was THIS was the feared outcome. (if shia take over Iraq, sunnis will rebel and involve iran and saudi-arabia in proxy wars across the region)

    I don't think that necessarily means that the 2003 *invasion* or deposing saddam guaranteed a disastrous outcome. However I think that's where its going.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "IMO nothing was singularly more completely catastrophic than Bremer's decision to disband the Iraqi army in May 2003. before that, success of a kind would have been possible."

    I agree that was a huge mistake, but I'm not convinced any Iraqi government collapse was going to end in a stable anti-Iranian ally of the U.S.--so long as U.S. troops were occupying Iraq.

    Yeah, the Nazis screwed up in the way they invaded the Soviet Union, but that doesn't mean the whole idea of invading the Soviet Union wasn't also a mistake. They would have been better off if they just hadn't invaded.

    And remember, when American occupied Iraq first held an election, the government the Iraqis elected was dominated by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq--a political party that was founded in Iran and financed by the Iranian government.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....il_of_Iraq

    Hell, the Badr Brigade was their military arm--Like the IRA was the military arm of Sinn Fein.

    No invasion that produced a democratic government was going to produce a Sunni led secular government--it was always going to produce a religious led Shia affiliated government. And wasn't that always going to lead to some kind of civil war?

  • GILMORE||

    While I agree with your assessment about why it should have never happened, i think your certainties about the inevitability of some kind of disaster are a little much.

    No one made a case for a secular sunni leadership. The best case scenario envisaged by the people who thought this dumbass thing was a good idea was that the Hashemite sunnis would negotiate power sharing with the Shia/Kurds in some kind of tripartite power structure.

    Whether this was ever possible is all speculation. After Bremer screwed the pooch, i believe it was not. I do not agree with the below comment about iraq not having an army left. This is contradicted by numerous sources (see: Cobra II by Michael Gordon, others) Even if one claimed there were no ground forces to 'mobilize' the leadership structure was the basis for some kind of future independent regional power sharing. Disbanding the army guaranteed the result you describe more than anything else IMO.

    for the record, i'm somewhat splitting the difference between you and Cyto. More on your view than his. But I give the case for getting rid of Saddam at least the benefit of considering the prevailing POV at the current time, and the existing plan they had (based on the input from the Israel-centric PNAC types).

  • Cytotoxic||

    I used to think that disbanding the Iraqi army was a mistake but John convinced me otherwise. There was nothing left of that army. It was also hated by a bunch of that country.

    There is nothing really bad for us in having all these people fight each other.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "There was nothing left of that army. It was also hated by a bunch of that country."

    It wasn't just the people in the country who hated them--it was the army themselves. Hell, they should have at least kept them on the payroll.

    Early on, Rumsfeld used to call them "dead-enders"--because they were out of a job and had no future. He seemed to understand everything--except the likely consequences of his own decisions.

    The running up of the insurgency and the progress of de-Baathification was not a coincidence.

    http://tinyurl.com/pw64kha

    One of Obama's greatest accomplishments is making the Bush Administration seem relatively competent by way of comparison. But that's only by way of comparison--like eating the most delicious shit in the sewer. Blech!

  • ||

    For all it's faults, keeping a few bases and ships in the Persian gulf appears to have been WAY cheaper than removing Saddam and having to deal with threats like ISIS.

    The situation in the 90s was stable and completely manageable.

    Bush I did exactly the right thing. And nobody recognized it. IMO, he's been completely vindicated.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    So Obama is actually trying to do something 'better' than Nixon?

    Back in 1969, the Columbia was supposed to be picked up by the USS Kennedy. Nixon had it switched to the USS Hornet.

    Yea, it is a bit of a tenuous analogy.

  • ||

    I think this whole thing may cause us to draw two conclusions:

    1. Bush I was right. Leaving Saddam Hussein in power was far more preferable, and more managable than removing him.

    2. Obama was wrong. We should never have tried to topple Assad, as the effort to do so only succeeded in destabilizing the uneasy peace in Iraq.

    In general, It seems like we were better off with Baathists running the place in both cases.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You know what I think the big concern here is?

    I think Obama is concerned about looking feckless.

    Obama doesn't want it to look like the Iranians have more say about what happens in Iraq than Obama does--but just for the record, the Iranians have more say about what happens in Iraq than Obama does.

    We've got midterms coming up--and Obama's doing the political calculations again, much like what happened after Benghazi. Obama's not trying to figure out what's in Iraq's best interests or even what's in America's best interests. He's trying to figure out the low risk reaction to save face for himself ahead of the midterms.

  • Sevo||

    "Obama's not trying to figure out what's in Iraq's best interests or even what's in America's best interests. He's trying to figure out the low risk reaction to save face for himself ahead of the midterms."
    Would we expect otherwise? I think not.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think more people need to hear it said out loud.

    Obama doesn't even know what's in his own best interests. Now he's moving a carrier group into the Persian Gulf?

    To do what and why? And for how long?

    Do people on the left even ask such questions of Obama anymore?

    Or is the purpose of every aspect of government, now, just assumed to be for the sake of making Obama look good somehow?

    If Obama drops bombs in Iraq just to make himself look better ahead of the midterms? That'll be worse than Clinton executing a retard just to prove that he was tough on crime.

  • Otis B. Driftwood||

    Do people on the left even ask such questions of Obama anymore?

    Anymore? When did they ever?

  • Sevo||

    No.
    BOOOOSH!
    See that slime-ball shreek.

  • GILMORE||

    "If Obama drops bombs in Iraq just to make himself look better ahead of the midterms?"

    I think from the technical polls-results type analysis, there would be no actual benefit to Obama personally or the Democrats by engaging in an air war over Iraq.

    I agree with your assessment that they have no fucking clue what they're doing and are just 'doing something' to respond to headlines to seem like 'everything's being dealt with'.

  • Ken Shultz||

    They don't want to make it look like they were sitting on their hands and breathing through their noses while the Iranian army is cleaning up Obama's mess.

    Life is a marginal analysis, and I'm sure the Obama Administration is hoping they can get away with doing nothing--but if the midterms call for action, they want to be ready.

    What a shitty way to run a country!

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    They don't want to make it look like they were sitting on their hands and breathing through their noses while the Iranian army is cleaning up Obama's mess.

    Particularly because you know the Warboner crowd will be doing their damnedest to punish him politically if he doesn't. I'm sure McCain, King, and Bolton are furiously working on talking points to spout on Fox as to why American need to stick it in one more time.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Obama should withdraw the carrier group and announce that America will never play in an Olympics held in Iran.

  • ||

    The low-risk reaction for the mid-terms may be the high-risk reaction for the 2016 election.

  • ||

    Why the fuck didn't we just give the Kurdish lands to the Kurds?

    Looks like they will probably get it now...but a shit pot more people are going to die that didn't need to and Turkey is going to be pissed either way.

  • Sevo||

    Corning|6.15.14 @ 12:01AM|#
    "Why the fuck didn't we just give the Kurdish lands to the Kurds?"

    'Cause "we" don't own the lands to give?

  • ||

    So who owns it?

    Xerxes?

    Give me a fucking break Sevo.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I blame the British, primarily, but the one state solution after the Iraq War was always a joke.

    Actually, if you look at the Iraqi Constitution, it really is like a three state solution with an oil revenue sharing agreement attached.

  • Sevo||

    Corning|6.15.14 @ 12:24AM|#
    "So who owns it?"

    I'll give you a break; WE don't own it.
    When you find out who does, why you can convince them to offer it to the Kurds.
    And I want to be clear: I was hoping that there would be a Kurdistan not long after Bush started the war. I was wrong, and I hope the Kurds finally get a nation.
    But WE DON'T OWN it and have no authority to give it to anyone.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Under the situation that obtains no one has authority in any meaningful sense about a potential Kurdish state beyond Turkey. If the Turks and Kurds hammered something out that let the Turks believe that their own Kurdish subjects would not flip the fuck out if the Iraqi Kurds declared independence I believe that Kurdistan would come into being swiftly.

  • GILMORE||

    Except the iranians have their own kurdish minority problem, and arent keen on the idea either.

    I think expecting turks and kurds to come to terms is like expecting the turks to stop insisting the Armenain genocide never happened.

  • Sevo||

    "I think expecting turks and kurds to come to terms is like expecting the turks to stop insisting the Armenain genocide never happened."

    Agreed, and the Iraqis aren't gonna be happy either.
    And let them work it out; it is none of our business.

  • GILMORE||

    The kurds also have something like 60-70% of Iraqs untapped oil reserves.

    No one's letting them have that by themselves.

  • Sevo||

    GILMORE|6.15.14 @ 12:57AM|#
    "The kurds also have something like 60-70% of Iraqs untapped oil reserves."

    They don't "have it", but they live over it, and I have a suspicion that the Turks, on top of 'controlling' the Kurds, would be interested in moving the Turk border a bit south in that area.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    I think expecting turks and kurds to come to terms is like expecting the turks to stop insisting the Armenain genocide never happened.

    Strange things can happen in statecraft and that region is getting messier by the day. I agree that it's unlikely, but I'm not putting it quite outside the realm of possibility, either, particularly if the Middle East devolves into a wider regional war, which is definitely possible.

  • GILMORE||

    Yes.

    The WSJ did a story yesterday about their increased partnership.

    I think its all well and good until there is actually 'kurdish independence' - which no one in the region except the kurds themselves are keen on.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    I think its all well and good until there is actually 'kurdish independence' - which no one in the region except the kurds themselves are keen on.

    The big question is if the situation in Iraq gets worse, and it certainly could, and the Kurds say F it and declare independence then who stops them?

    If Turkey and/or Iran (and this scenario pre-supposes that things in the rest of Iraq are quagmire-ish) invade to prevent it from happening it could blow up in their faces due to their own unhappy minorities.

    The whole situation is a nightmare to try and analyze. I can conceptualize scenarios from things remaining fairly contained with Iran as the first among equals in partnership with a pacified Syria and Iraq to a full-scale Sunni-Shiite deathmatch across the whole region. I have no idea what is most likely, and I doubt that anyone really does. I hope it stays small but I have a feeling something will come along to make it worse. I just hope that that thing is not the US government.

  • Cytotoxic||

    They already have that independence in effect in Iraq and Syria. Turkey is more scared of ISIS and Iran might be too. They'll just have to fight. A lot.

  • GILMORE||

    The irony here is that Obama may take the one Pony still in this pile of poop (an independent Kurdistan allied with turkey) and shoot that thing in the knees as well.

    I wouldn't put it past him.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    'Cause "we" don't own the lands to give?

    When has that ever stopped a Western power from adjudicating land ownership in the Middle East?

  • Sevo||

    "When has that ever stopped a Western power from adjudicating land ownership in the Middle East?"
    For pete's sake I hope it does this time, but there's that Peace Prize winner sending the fleet to, well, do something.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Why are you limiting this to the West and Middle East?

  • Homple||

    When the open border folks here are whooping up their cause, nobody "owns" a country - anybody who wants to move in and do what he pleases gets a pass to do so. So who says we can't help the Kurds do what they want in the Kurdish lands?

    I am confusal.

  • Sevo||

    "When the open border folks here are whooping up their cause, nobody "owns" a country - anybody who wants to move in and do what he pleases gets a pass to do so. So who says we can't help the Kurds do what they want in the Kurdish lands?"

    I think you may be confusal.
    WIH does using the military to 'help' someone invade a land have to do with suggesting that labor is an economic good and should be freely traded?
    Are you sure you're posting on the site you intended?

  • Homple||

    But wait. If borders have no meaning, what is a "land".

  • Sevo||

    Homple|6.15.14 @ 12:55AM|#
    "But wait. If borders have no meaning, what is a "land""

    But wait! What is the meaning of "is"?
    Sorry, not interested in sophistry this evening.

  • Homple||

    Perhaps some day someone will divulge the double secret libertarian theory of what, if anything, "nation" or "borders" mean, but today is not that day.

  • Bobarian||

    "Is" has something to do with a blow-job.

    I think.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Fuck off Tulpa.

  • Homple||

    Do you get paid on a piecework basis for typing this or are you on salary?

  • R C Dean||

    We owned it after we conquered the country.

    The reason we didn't is the Turks would have pitched a fit.

    You remember the Turks? Who refused to let us open a northern front, giving the Baathists time to go underground and fight a guerrilla insurgency? Naturally, as such good friends, we wouldn't want to upset them.

  • Cytotoxic||

    We don't need to give it to the Kurds, they're already taking it. They've seized Kirkuk (forever I bet) and are in towns to the south too. The only Iraqis that fought back was a SWAT team and then they ran away. The Kurds should seize Mosul and use it as a big bargaining chip or annex it and declare independence.

    Interesting thing about Turkey is that they are in a very close very friendly relationship with Kurdistan. They need their oil and Kurdistan needs the export line through Turkey to bypass Baghdad. The Iraqi government hates this and is incensed but what are they going to do? FIGHT the Kurds? The Kurds would probably take over the country by accident in a fight with the Iraqis.

  • Sevo||

    Cytotoxic|6.15.14 @ 12:31AM|#
    "We don't need to give it to the Kurds, they're already taking it."

    And we better not send in troops to keep them from doing it.

  • ||

    Mosul is majority Sunni.
    The whole problem is that the Sunnis are in revolt against Maliki's government. ISIS wouldn't be able to hold any territory if the Sunni population wasn't supporting it.

  • R C Dean||

    Interesting thing about Turkey is that they are in a very close very friendly relationship with Kurdistan.

    You've got to be kidding. Turkey is violently opposed to "Kurdistan", and has been bombing it off and on for years to keep it from coming into existence. Yeah, there's been a truce declared on the Turkish side of Kurdistan, but we're not fools, we know what "hudna" means to Islamists.

  • ||

    They had the governor of the Kurdish region on NPR the other day and I was shocked at how competent and rational he seemed.

    He talked about how the Kurdish police and Peshmerga had secured all the necessary infrastructure, including power plants, water treatment, oil refineries, and so forth. And then when the NPR person asked what would happen if Iraq disintegrated he basically came right out and said. "If that happens, then I think the Kurdish people have every right to declare their own future."

    I couldn't disagree, especially since they seem better able to defend their own people than the Iraqi government. Which is the ultimate trump card.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    ordering an aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, to the Persian Gulf

    Irony Alert! Irony Alert! All hands man your snark stations and brace for impact!

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    ISIS-controlled territory in red.

    Shouldn't that be in green?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Evil Green.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Off Topic: For Heroic Mullato's interest:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ma.....-disorder/

    Two patients who were given Bluebird Bio’s experimental gene therapy for the rare blood disorder beta-thalassemia were able to stop receiving blood transfusions within 12 days of receiving the treatment.

    Bluebird’s treatment uses a modified HIV virus, known as a lentivirus, to replace the defective gene for beta globin in the blood-producing stem cells found in these bones. Since the 2010 Nature publication, Bluebird has improved both the ability of this virus to insert the corrected gene and the process by which it extracts the blood-forming stem cells. Both improvements are thought to account for the seemingly better track record so far.

    Bluebird is planning to enroll another five patients in this trial, and to conduct another study of 15 patients in the U.S. and around the globe. Then, it had been assuming, it would do larger studies to get the treatment approved. But Leschly says that discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could begin sooner if these results continue to hold up.

  • SusanM||

  • John||

    You guys miss the important question: how long before Obama reads about this in the newspaper and what will he do when he finds out?

  • RBS||

    Good question, when was his tee time?

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    If it is in reason, he will never see it in The Worker.

  • ||

    Thread winner.

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