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  •  My guess is that drone strikes will be the next (11+ / 0-)

    step.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:23:25 AM PDT

    •  drone strikes vs. bomber strikes-- (16+ / 0-)

      a distinction without a difference, to the people on the ground.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:26:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Apparently people just can't appreciate (17+ / 0-)

        the freedom they are receiving via the drones.

        Look, I tried to be reasonable...

        by campionrules on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:28:25 AM PDT

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        •  just ask people in Afghanistan, or Pakistan, (13+ / 0-)

          or Yemen, or the other half-dozen countries where we're raining down missiles on a daily basis.

          Drone warfare is only "antiseptic" for the side using the drones. And it's not "surgical" as its proponents claim--it's not like we actually check the accuracy of the "intelligence" we use to decide who gets taken out. If some tribal chieftain wants to settle a personal grudge, all he has to do is drop a dime on his rival to the CIA and poof! the guy goes up in smoke. The safer course for us is to bomb first and ask questions later.

          People were outraged when it came out that Nixon was secretly bombing Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Now we're secretly bombing everywhere, daily, for years and years and years, and we barely blink an eyelash.

          All because it's a drone doing the bombing, and not an airplane.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:35:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  However, it's an acceptable use of force (8+ / 0-)

            by a Democratic President(See: Clinton and cruise missiles) and is tolerated by the Party because it's not 'real' war.

            I'm sure the parents of the dead, brown kid have a didn't opinion, but hey! Surgical!

            Look, I tried to be reasonable...

            by campionrules on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:38:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why was it necessary to say "brown kid?" (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KingBolete, hooper, dinotrac, AlexDrew

              We bombed Germany and western Europe in WWI and II. I don't understand the need to add race to an already terrible situation.

              We did nothing in Rwanda to the tears of many. Had we gone in, there would be people who claimed that we killed brown and black people.

              You can't fight terror with words! You can't fight people who are bent on killing their own with words and good thoughts!

              The people of this world have not advanced far enough to be able to stop warmongers without killing some innocents.

              It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

              by auapplemac on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 10:52:25 AM PDT

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          •  I need an explanation of the anti-drone debate... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hooper, freakofsociety

            ...if you have good intelligence upon which to act and you can act without putting an American in harm's way then you do it.  There's no difference between a drone, a bomber, or a soldier with a gun in her hand.  

            If we're going to have a debate, let's have a debate on why the drones are being used, not the nature of the technology itself.  

            No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

            by CrazyHorse on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:21:46 AM PDT

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            •  Why not the nature of the technology? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              frostbite, maryabein, enhydra lutris

              Seems to me nobody objects when you talk about nuclear weapons -- and that's very specifically a discussion about the nature of the technology itself.

              When you make war antiseptic (even to only one side), don't you change the nature of war?
              Don't you isolate and insulate people from its effects?
              Does that not alter the moral equation?
              Does that not make war a more acceptable "solution"?

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:36:04 AM PDT

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              •  I think you are right that insulating the actors (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dinotrac, WilliamE, PurpleElectric

                (drone operators) from the actual field of combat presents a new problem with regard to their judgment, as has been proven by the videotaped released by Manning.

                Also, knowing that a US pilot won't be in harm's way changes the equation for the tactical command of the operation.

                I think the President is showing awareness of these issues in how he deals with this crisis.

                Doing nothing and letting ISIS launch a bloodbath in Baghdad or allowing another wave of sectarian slaughter to take over as in 2006-7 is also unacceptable.
                I also think Maliki's recalcitrance is showing that he's a puppet of Iran, and if the Iranians have their way, they will have their proxies slaughter anybody who gets in their business vis a vis Assad, Syria and Lebanon/Hezbollah.

                I'm not sure I have enough knowledge to decide what is the best policy here, I'm not advocating anything. I do think the Pres. is aware of these issues and is proceeding as cautiously as possible, rather than doing this "cowboy" style.
                I think the President's focus here is on a political solution that keeps total civil war from breaking out again, and that may involve de-clawing ISIS in the most surgical way possible, which would include drone strikes.

                I fully respect anyone who is opposed to any kind of war anywhere, no exceptions, but I'm not sure where I stand on this yet. I am glad President Obama is in charge and not Nuke McStinkypants.

                You can't make this stuff up.

                by David54 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:05:27 PM PDT

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                •  I'm really glad that I'm not in charge. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  David54

                  There is an opportunity to come through as a real hero here, but I don't know how, and I suspect the biggest component to looking the hero will be:

                  a) Not doing something just plain butt-ugly stupid,
                  b) getting real damned lucky.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:45:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  yes no difference in scale or scope (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            freakofsociety
      •  You keep saying this like it was a fact (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        craiger, CrazyHorse, askew

        Not condoning either, but there is a vast difference between the two.

        Frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing from angry America. I’m also less than fond of knee-jerk America. And when you combine the two with the Internet, you too often get stupid America, which is really annoying.

        by jsfox on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:41:59 AM PDT

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        •  Not to the dead people. nt (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tardis10, snoopydawg, limpidglass, corvo
          •  Look... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            88kathy, hooper, anshmishra

            ...I am more than willing to allow this use of force to be done in my name if it prevents attacks against Americans.  You imply that everyone who is dead was innocent.  We'd have an objective to accomplish whether we had a drone or not.  If we had to send troops - the chances of even more death goes UP.  

            The objection seems to be not that we kill people, but HOW we kill people.  It's life if they can't kill us back, it's not fair.  

            No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

            by CrazyHorse on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:24:00 AM PDT

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            •  Presumptions to kill (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oldhippie

              if it prevents attacks against Americans.

              Preemptive murder works so well!

              Lets apply that here at home. let's all buy guns and shoot our neighbors before they shoot us!

              You imply that everyone who is dead was innocent.

              Are you implying "collateral damage" is cool?

              It's OK to murder Arabs because they aren't worthy of a trial? of any justice? Dead by association is co cool!

              geez, there's a party that starts with "R" that will welcome you with open arms.

      •  Drone strikes spend much more money (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, freakofsociety

        with favored defense contractors. Defense contractors are important people, natives are only there to serve us. Target practice is one of the few roles we give the natives.

    •  The overreaction army here (3+ / 0-)

      Could defeat any foe, using just hot air, blown hard.

      From 300 people in a country the size of California we get to 'drone strikes' and 'ground forces.'

      Gee, you would think Hillary the Evil was in charge instead of just Obama the Less Evil a Little Bit!

      Wasn't it he who has gotten us out of there?  You really expect him to go back in?

      •  With that small a number of forces (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tuffie, METAL TREK, PurpleElectric

        the likelihood is that they are there to verify targets, for one thing. That's just a fact of current military practice.
        The drones will likely be there in any case for surveillance regardless of whether we go on to use strikes.
        The President has already made it clear that our assistance is contingent upon Maliki getting his head out of his ass and making moves to reconcile the shia /sunni divide (at least as far as immediate practical political needs in Iraq are concerned.)

        I have confidence in the judgment of the President to be as cautious as possible in handling this crisis.
        That will probably involve "de-clawing" ISIS and that will probably mean the use of drones as the most surgical and effective tool they have.

        Beyond managing this crisis as carefully as possible, no I do not see President Obama "going back in".

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:19:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The really effective tool (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          METAL TREK, corvo, enhydra lutris

          would be to tell King Saud to go fuck himself and quit supporting ISIS. And it wouldn't cost a penny. Which is one reason it won't be used

          •  That was probably done back when the concern (0+ / 0-)

            was getting Assad out of Syria.
            Hasn't worked.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:36:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem is that the policy is incoherent (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              ISIS and all the other Sunni/Wahhabi forces in Syria were supposed to eat livers, do some beheadings, and remove Assad. Then they would magically disappear. Never made any sense at all.

              •  Or they were supposed to stay (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                oldhippie

                and then remove Iran's buddy in Iraq.

                oops . . .

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:32:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am having a very hard time understanding (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo, CenPhx

                  this as an intentional plan gone astray. I am also having a hard time understanding this as a plan unfolding as intended. Either way, or any other way, things seem somewhat out of control. The notion that we have bright capable people working hard on this project and doing smart stuff is beyond laughable. My belly doesn't hold enough Kool-Aid I could believe that this is one more example of brilliant policy and brilliant leadership.

                  Unless the whole object is just scorched earth. Scorched earth we do pretty  good. Iraq is already in a horrible drought, has millions of maimed and wounded, military chemicals everywhere, depleted uranium, refugees, deformed babies and women who don't want to reproduce, etc. etc. Not much to fight over. Except oil.

                  •  "scorched earth" = disaster capitalism. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    oldhippie, waiono

                    Not so hard to believe in a certain degree of intentionality.

                    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                    by corvo on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:55:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Perhaps a mental replay of "Lawrence of Arabia" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    oldhippie

                    might help.
                    I.E. the idea that this is "a" plan doesn't fit the terrain. There are a lot of "plans" going on in the middle east.
                    The Saudis have a plan, every other tribe has a plan, Assad has a plan, al Qaeda has a plan...Maliki, Iran, Israel, Russia, Europe, Dubai, Quatar, , the CIA, the Pentagon., etc.

                    Maybe the best minds in the world can do no better than stop the ISIS from committing bloodbath after bloodbath for now and try to get the Sunnis and Shia to temporarily stop vying for absolute power.

                    You can't make this stuff up.

                    by David54 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 02:07:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  The reason the President didn't go wholesale (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PurpleElectric

                into arming the rebels as John McCain wanted him to was because they were being flooded with jihadists .  Otherwise we'd really have a mess on our hands.

                You can't make this stuff up.

                by David54 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 02:11:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Take a look at photos of Homs. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo

                  If that's not wholesale I don't know what is. We may not have used USAF but Syria has not been  a minor battle. And we have been 100% in bed with mercs and religious freaks since day one.

                  You sincerely think we are not yet 'really' in a mess? Hypothetical scenario. I doubt this will happen because I doubt Maliki has much imagination. But suppose the Russian ambassador approaches Maliki and says, my friend, the Americans are about to depose you. The Americans have been playing rough lately and this may not go so well for you and for your family. Just close the US Embassy and throw out the Americans. Russia will stand behind you. We are the only protection you can have from the Americans. We have protected your compatriots in Iran. We have fought the Wahabbi in Chechnya. We can help you too. If you join us it will also much comfort to your friend Syria. Together we can win in Iraq, in Iran, in Syria, in Ukraine. And when I leave you to think this over you should call China. China will be less straightforward but I am sure they have had discussion with you about oil. China does not want Iraq in chaos, China wants orderly oil markets and improved access to Gulf oil.  You will find the Chinese are encouraging.

                  The Russian ambassador should be making this pitch. He might be. How could we counter the Russian ambassador? I don't think we could really do much but threaten to unleash absolute Hell on earth. Which the Iraqis have already been experiencing for 11 years now.

                  Can you say imperial overreach? I think we are really in a mess. I don't think we have gamed this one at all. Russia and China have a better position on the board than they have at any time in history. I am not quite ready to bank on the Russians or the Chinese playing brilliant strategy and I definitely do not see them working together seamlessly. But US has moved from a position of great strength to a defensive posture and no good recourse but a heaping helping of ultraviolence.

        •  You have confidence in a man that hasn't slowed (0+ / 0-)

          his murderous drone carnage a whit. Now he has singlehandedly destabilized Pakistan to the point where NW Pakistan is in a full blown civil war because of US drone carnage. Pakistan is now in danger of going the way of Iraq except Pakistan has between 100-200 nukes that will be up for grabs...

          It seems many Democrats are hell bent on loyalty to Obama no matter what carnage he wreaks.

          Didn't Libya teach us anything?

          Name a country in the ME where our imperialism and warfare is working.

      •  No, he was the one who was finally (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        thrown out, kicking and screaming and pleading to be allowed to stay.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:47:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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