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Here we go again. The US is sending a naval task force into the Persian Gulf that will provide options for some form of military intervention in the situation in Iraq. It  includes the aircraft carrier the USS George H W Bush. Oh the irony.

US sends aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf as Obama considers air strikes in Iraq

The US is sending an aircraft carrier and two guided missile ships into the Persian Gulf, bolstering sea and airpower before a possible US strike on the jihadist army in Iraq in the coming days.

Defense secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the USS George HW Bush into the Gulf on Saturday, a day after President Barack Obama indicated he would soon decide on air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis), whose seizure of Sunni Iraqi cities has violently upended the region.

This is beginning to sound like not if but when. Any military intervention would have potential links to both Syria and Iran as well. The Sunni forces are based in Syria and Iran is sending Shia troops to support the Iraqi army. Meanwhile the Kurds are making their move. It is the same political instability as two wars ago. Nothing that the US has done before has managed to create sustainable political stability.

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Comment Preferences

  •  unfortunately still a target-rich environment (6+ / 0-)

    and provides cover for covert air operations into Syria

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:40:28 AM PDT

    •  Be careful. (6+ / 0-)

      It is one thing to support our new ally Iraq, and another to broaden the war to Syria. That represents a further destabiliztion risk, involving Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia more than necessary in my view. We can help the Kurds via Turkey, and we can help the government in Iraq and get a new government at the same time, but to broaden the conflict with air power is a very very difficult thing to game out, as if this thing were not difficult to start with.

      I would recommend NOT doing anything in Syria, despite their obvious butchery and export of it to their neighbors.

      This is Iran's problem as much as ours. They are the ones supporting the insurgency in Syria's extreme elements, and now they must help control them. To bomb Syria lets Iran off the hook for their duplicity.

      Only my humble opinion. I have no special knowledge or influence, so it is only an opinion.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:52:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Covert air operations in Syria for what? (6+ / 0-)

      The enemy du jour is ISIS, which is the major fighting force among the Syrian rebels. So, do you think we would be helping ISIS in Syria while helping them in Iraq?
         Actually, the partition of the major Arab states into warring ethnic enclaves has been the wet dream of the neo-cons (that is to say, our foreign policy establishment) for twenty years.
        It's finally happening before our eyes.

      •  "The Ralph Peters solution to the Middle East" map (0+ / 0-)

        The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

        by lotlizard on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:30:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  exactly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Unduna, unfangus
          Regarding Iraq, he wrote, "might it not have been wiser – as several of us suggested in 2003 – to shake off Europe's vicious legacies and give Kurds their state, Iraqi Shias their state, and the country's Sunni Arabs a rump Iraq to do with as they wished?" Regarding all these countries, he wrote, "We needn't launch an endless war to fix the mess Europeans in pinstriped trousers left us – but we'd damned well better accept that, when we expend blood and treasure to prop up phony states, we're standing on the tracks in front of the speeding train of history.

          Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

          by annieli on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:42:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  And here I am listening to Die Fledermaus from (18+ / 0-)

    Chicago Lyric Opera as if it's New Year's in Vienna.

    Our militarism disgusts me, even as I listen to the product of another militaristic culture. With really horrible dialect, I will add.

    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

    by commonmass on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:46:10 AM PDT

  •  obviously, airstrikes are in the offing (14+ / 0-)

    I think it's only a matter of time.

    Obama's ultimate goal is to stabilize things just enough so that they won't blow up until he is out of office. That's why the Democrats are saying things like "it's ultimately up to the people of Iraq"--that's political cover for when they declare they've done enough and wash their hands of the whole mess.

    Airstrikes are a key element. Not sure what role the sea power plays--maybe a naval blockade of some kind? Although given the porous borders between Syria and Iraq, I don't see what good a naval blockade could do. Probably the ships are there to supply the planes and also to launch missiles.

    The other elements of the other strategy are not clear. Iran has sent troops into Iraq, perhaps we're supporting them with supplies, information, etc. (Probably not weapons). We are probably strengthening the Iraqi "armed forces" in the same way. And...what else?

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

    by limpidglass on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:49:43 AM PDT

  •  Former PM of Iraq... (18+ / 0-)
    "An American intervention would not be helpful. It will probably put oil on the fire. I think the Americans have lost their effort to, and their capability to, influence things in Iraq especially after they left and departed in 2011.

    “There are two players now in Iraq, two measured players: Iran and Turkey. But again they can't come nakedly in to Iraq".~Ayad Allawi

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:49:50 AM PDT

  •  Of course we have to defend our interests there (6+ / 0-)

    so this is not a surprise.   Remember, we still have a few hundred American soldiers that guard the embassy there in Iraq and we must be able to fly close support if needed.  Nothing to see here so don't get all pissy pants about it.

    •  Thousands, not hundreds, our embassy is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM

      the biggest in the world. Anything that big is very difficult to defend, many points of access to defend. I would do it for no other reason than to let everyone know we will not tolerate attacks on Americans working in the area, especially in light of what happened in Benghazi. We are not re-invading Iraq with just a naval task force moving in the area.

      Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

      by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:01:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Numbers from WP (4+ / 0-)

        There are now about 250 U.S. troops in Iraq, Pentagon officials said. That’s down from 157,800 at the height of the U.S. military surge there in 2009. About half of those who remain are Marine Corps embassy security guards who protect diplomatic compounds. Many others work for the Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq, which still provides some advice to the Iraqi military.

        A State Department official said in January that it still had about 5,000 contractors working in Iraq at the embassy in Baghdad and at consulates in Basra and Irbil. About 2,000 were U.S. civilians.

        "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

        by smiley7 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:26:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not a single contractor left behind! snark (6+ / 0-)
          •  why shouldn't people (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM, koNko

            working on contracts for the government be protected by that government as much as those who work directly for the government?

            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:48:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because they are already (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jim P, snoopydawg, Lepanto

              getting a risk premium. That is why they left government employment and became private contractors.

              •  many didn't follow that path. (0+ / 0-)

                There are all sorts of contractors over there.

                Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:54:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  My neighbor's kid who is an IT tech is over there (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kingsmeg, Jon Says, AaronInSanDiego, koNko

                  doing some software stuff. Never met him but people work all over the world who need the work or they're unemployed. Don't fault Americans for working where they have to make a living. It's one thing to hate Bush and the idea we invaded Iraq (I know I do). But it's not amoral to work in Iraq and possibly assist them to get their economy up to speed. It's not like the Iraqis are evil people we should never work with. After all, we were kind of responsible for destroying whatever little they had.

                  Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                  by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:45:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  They are mercenaries. In my mind, (5+ / 0-)

              "mercenary" is an evil, ugly word.

              There are few troops, but the State Department operates its own private military including air force and army. Black Hawk helicopters, armored vehicles, artillery. All operated by mercenaries.

              Our State Department. You know, the executive department whose duty is diplomacy.

              We have a very fucked up government.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:11:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  It is the contractors that are doing the (0+ / 0-)

              protection for any US military as well as those working for the US government in Iraq. According to reports, there are at least 5,000 contractors working in the country as analysts, military trainers and security guards.

              •  are analysts mercenaries? n/t (0+ / 0-)

                Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:20:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  They could be classified as such if they were (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lepanto, InAntalya, AaronInSanDiego

                  employed in a military role.

                  Predator Military Contractors: Privatizing the Drones

                  "Drone-Sourcing? United States Air Force Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Inherently Governmental Functions, and the Role of Contractors,"

                  Captain Keric D. Clanahan,  U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate Generals Corps

                  "In the decade-long conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has used military troops, federal civilian employees, and private military contractors to sustain and perform UAS missions. Now, after the end of the war in Iraq and entering the twelfth year of war in Afghanistan, we must ask: Exactly what jobs are individuals performing in UAS operations? Who provides logistics and maintenance for unmanned aircraft? Who performs video and imagery analysis? Which individuals operate drones on strategic intelligence, tactical intelligence, and targeted strike missions? And, most importantly, if private contractors are supporting UAS missions, are they performing tasks that should be reserved exclusively for government personnel?"
                  ...
                  "According to a paper released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence ("DNI") on July 19, 2010:

                  The Intelligence Community does not condone or permit contract personnel to perform inherently governmental intelligence work, as defined by OMB Circular A-76 . . . . Core contract personnel may perform activities such as collection and analysis; however, it is what you do with that analysis, who makes that decision, and who oversees the work that constitute the "inherently governmental" functions.

                  Conversely, many scholars opine that participation in intelligence collection, particularly tactical intelligence, constitutes direct participation in hostilities, a status reserved for combatants under international humanitarian law and laws of armed conflict. Because of this possible link to a combat role, many scholars view tactical intelligence as inherently governmental."
                  ...

      •  The embassy isn't a big deal in the scheme of (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, terabytes, Lepanto, koNko

        things. Bushco foreign policy, pretty much adopted by Obama, was to break up the major Arab states. Iraq was doing pretty well from a neo-con point of view. It was a tottering "democracy" that had lost control of Kurdistan. An autonomous Sunni homeland is probably acceptable to American policymakers. But a consolidated Sunni jihadi state controlling Iraq and a large chunk of Syria would be the neo-con's worse nightmare.
           If ISIS takes Baghdad, it will be an American humiliation on the scale of the fall of Saigon.

    •  You're forgetting about the oil. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue in NC, Kingsmeg

      That's the most important thing of all.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:25:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From the USA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        katiec

        and Canada's point of view (and Russia), instability in the region is just as good as direct control.  Keeps the prices high, prevents Iraq from turning up the spigot to '11' and driving down the price by flooding the market.  If OIL goes to $150/barrel, the USA, Canada and Russia all stand to make hundreds of billions.  

        Of course it's the OIL oligarchs who rake in the cash, and the gov'ts that pay out for security.

        190 milliseconds....

        by Kingsmeg on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:56:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You are correct but some don't seem to care. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Baculum King

      You'd think that after Benghazi it is a good idea to make sure you have forces to support,defend, and/or evacuate safely our embassy in Iraq.

      You don't need a carrier to bomb the heck out of any place on the globe but some folks haven't thought much about that.

      The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

      by sebastianguy99 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:56:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The USS George H. W. Bush carries relatively (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Lyon, Roger Fox, terabytes

        few helicopters. And many of those helicopters are not suitable for evacuations. They're intended for other purposes.

        The carrier could perform some evacuations, but in the case where a quick large scale evacuation were necessary, they'd be sorely challenged. The most commonly deployed carrier transport copters have an 11 passenger capacity. That's not many when you have thousands to move.

        But bombs?  Oh, there are plenty of bombs aboard. Along with plenty of aircraft to deliver them.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:25:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Iraq: one of the biggest messes left behind (13+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:51:02 AM PDT

  •  Carriers in the Persian Gulf (5+ / 0-)

    are a pretty routine thing.  There is always some type of hysteria about possible strikes especially when two carriers are near the gulf as they relieve each other on a schedule.

    "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

    by ParaHammer on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:55:21 AM PDT

  •  I think they are going there to help (7+ / 0-)

    evacuate the Americans who will be fleeing.  

    All we have is wild supposition and this is my uneducated guess.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:55:23 AM PDT

    •  Americans who work for private companies? (5+ / 0-)

      You betcha.

      SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

      by commonmass on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:57:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You need missile ships for evacuation? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Johnny Q, blue in NC

      Get real!

      •  So called missile ships (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Militarytracy

        Are there to protect the carrier.

        "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

        by ParaHammer on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:20:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why would you send a carrier for (5+ / 0-)

          evacuation?

          •  They carry helicopters and (4+ / 0-)

            guarantee air superiority during an evacuation.  I expect Bush to be joined by an amphibious Assault ship carrying more helicopters.  You can learn a lot at the US Navy website, both about doctrine and hardware.

            "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

            by ParaHammer on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:31:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Except that if you read the article (7+ / 0-)

              linked in the diary the Pentagon spokesperson is saying that the purpose of the deployment is to provide the president with more options for military intervention. You can learn a lot from reading the diary.

              •  An evacuation is military intervention (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chuckvw

                You need to get to Baghdad to get people out safely, possibly while under fire.  I doubt the rose petal scenario of 2003 will be in play.  
                Your fundamental concert was about the guided missile ships and I explained that.

                "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

                by ParaHammer on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:42:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Consider changing the title (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jjohnjj, TheHalfrican

                The military is already in the Persian Gulf.  We have facilities in Kuwait and Bahrain so the military is already there.

                "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

                by ParaHammer on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:45:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  No offense but if he allowed that embassy to be (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fou, koNko

                overrun and Americans are killed during this episode, he would be criminally negligent. The number 1 duty as commander in chief is the safety of American lives. I would call for his impeachment if he didn't do everything in his power to protect those American lives in harms way. When you have thousands of Americans in a country ready to explode, I'd have four naval task forces in that region to safeguard and show all parties they threaten our people at their own peril. Let's not assume or declare exactly that Obama is war mongering. If you have that kind of muscle in striking distance, all sides will think twice before they act against US lives regardless of what Bush did to put Iraq in this situation. Give BO a little slack here. After all, he did end our invasion and occupation of Iraq.

                Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:51:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The quickest way to get the embassy staff (5+ / 0-)

                  out of Baghdad is to send places to the airport. It is still open.

                  •  Turkish civilians are being flown out (6+ / 0-)

                    on commercial flights (THY). The Turkish government has even very generously announced that those leaving will only have to pay the cheapest rate for their tickets. :)

                    The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
                    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                    by InAntalya on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:57:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  So you are assuming getting thousands of (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ParaHammer, TheHalfrican

                    Americans to Iraqi airports guarantee not only there will be priority seating and airplanes on those runways just for Americans as well that they will be safe either getting to airports and while waiting for all those planes only reserved for Americans will be safeguarded. Ok, then, everyone here declaring Obama is going to to start shock and awe redux in Iraq is 100% right and some of us navy vets who understand the purpose of naval movements are wrong. Give BO a little credit here, as well as time.

                    Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                    by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:03:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I gave him my vote twice. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      limpidglass, TheHalfrican

                      That is as far as it goes.

                      •  Then I have to ask you, if American lives are lost (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        defluxion10

                        during this totally chaotic situation and he did not prepare or deploy everything he could to protect American lives, you would be ok if repubs (and Dems) impeach his ass and we wind up with President Bush III or President Christie in 2016 who would bring back ground troops and re-invade? I mean Bush is the guy whose brother caused all this bs and Christie exposed tens of thousands of lives when he had his minions shutdown the busiest bridge in the world. BO had to deploy that naval task force. And if American lives were lost because he did not act in this regard, then American response would be a million times worse with much more loss of life.

                        Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                        by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:19:55 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Except that I don't believe for one minute (0+ / 0-)

                          that a military intervention would stop and evacuating American citizens. You can believe what ever you want to believe.

                          •  Who said anything about intervening? (0+ / 0-)

                            Sorry I must have missed it, Obama said he was militarily intervening in that chaos? That's not what I heard him say on TV. If anything, he intimated Iraq was kind of on its own to clear up this mess.

                            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                            by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:29:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Obama says that he is considering (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            YucatanMan

                            a range of options including air strikes.

                          •  I'm not going to argue because we got to this (0+ / 0-)

                            point because Bush invaded a foreign country and BO is left cleaning up his mess. We agree we can't restart the war. The only thing I can dispute is that BO's first instinct is escalating this thing. You think the movement of a carrier and it's support ships is an indication he is going to blow the hell out of the place again when I know as former Navy it's standard military operating procedure. He has to say everything is on the table.

                            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                            by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:43:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  nope, obama's fault, no war for oil (0+ / 0-)

                            "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

                            by TheHalfrican on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:02:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Obama Said Nothing Is Off The Table... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Richard Lyon, YucatanMan

                            Then he said nothing is off the table except "boots on the ground".

                            I think it is possible to "intervene" without boots on the ground.  So yes he said intervening was an option.

                      •  LOL! (0+ / 0-)
                        That is as far as it goes.
                        You voted for him for each of his only two terms, but no more! That's it! You won't vote for a President who can't run again ever again!
                    •  Questions: (6+ / 0-)

                      Why are there thousands of Americans still in Iraq?

                      Why are some of these in places which you seem to imply are dangerous?

                      Why weren't they urged to leave weeks/months ago when it became clear that the ISIS was on the march?

                      Is it really that difficult for aircraft to be chartered?

                      Isn't the Baghdad airport still safe (other countries are still flying there) and aren't there enough US forces in Iraq to help make sure it stays that way long enough to get US citizens out?

                      Wouldn't flying US citizens out be much better than a military evacuation?

                      The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
                      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                      by InAntalya on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:14:36 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's a damn good question that I can't answer (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        InAntalya

                        that would make or me happy. They aren't there because we or even Obama wanted them there. Remember, Bush and Cheney are greedy bastards who gave their corporate raider buddies the keys to their oil and financial coffers. That and supporting the biggest embassy in the world that Bush had built = a lot of American lives at risk.

                        Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                        by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:26:02 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  After being POTUS for 6 1/2 years (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          InAntalya, limpidglass, YucatanMan

                          they are there because Obama chose to keep them there.

                          •  I think you're going a little overboard here (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fou

                            Obama has no control over private business interests in a country that happens to now being a trading partner with economic interests. He ended our military involvement there and you still see fault and his hand in all that is not right there? Unless I am mistaken, unless there is a ban on travel and trade with a foreign country, how does the president stop Americans from traveling to any country?

                            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                            by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:47:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  See Cuba and Iran n/t (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            YucatanMan
                          •  We set up the government in Iraq during Bush (0+ / 0-)

                            please, you make really cogent arguments and I agree this is an extremely dicey situation, but let's not compare apples to Molotov cocktails. We need to get Americans out of there. BO made a strategic move. He has not bombed them yet so let's try to keep cool, which we both hope BO does as well. Instead of assuming the worst, try to stay positive.

                            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                            by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:17:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How much of Iraq's economic interests are (0+ / 0-)

                            controlled by the Iraqis?

                            The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
                            Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                            by InAntalya on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:02:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sunnis, probably none which is probably (0+ / 0-)

                            why the shit hit the fan and they are rebelling. I'm sure the US and the governments of Halliburton and Bechtel are driving their economy. Doesn't mean BO can control that. But he can control how the US responds to threats to Americans who need to get out. That doesn't mean he's going to bomb Iraq to kingdom come like Bush did.

                            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                            by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:11:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Business interests? They've made some (0+ / 0-)

                            poor decisions if that's what they are doing there.

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:32:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Some Are Contractors... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        koNko

                        Several hundred were evacuated from an air base and tank facility in the Mosul-Tikrit area as it was being overrun.  I think they were flow to a stable country in the Persian Gulf.

                        If Baghdad is overrun the airport will look like the fall of Saigon.  Did you see the traffic jam of cars leaving Mosul?

                        I doubt that ISIS will be very successful in Shia areas.  Even though ISIS is very violent they have a lot of support in the Sunni areas.  I read a news report about a Mosul gas station being blown up by Shiites.  ISIS got a local Sunni to repair the gas station.  The Technician's sister was concerned that someone would take her brother's picture and he would be targeted if Baghdad regained control.

                        This is more of a Civil War than terrorism.

                        •  No, (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          YucatanMan, Jon Says
                          Even though ISIS is very violent they have a lot of support in the Sunni areas
                          This is more of a Civil War than terrorism
                          it is being sold as a civil war because the US can then point the finger and say 'Look, it's not our fault'.

                          The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
                          Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                          by InAntalya on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:22:56 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Military transports or chartered aircraft could (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      InAntalya, Jon Says

                      easily be sent to the airport.

                      The only reason for an aircraft carrier is to provide firepower.

                      Baghdad is still firmly in "friendly" hands. In fact, there may be thousands of Iranian troops protecting the city. Nominally our enemy, they're helping keep our embassy safe by protecting the city.

                      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                      by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:30:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I remember the around clock (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        YucatanMan, Lepanto

                        operations of World Airways getting all the people who mattered out of Vietnam. Who can forget the magnificent footage of Ed Daily personally stomping on the hands of the rabble clutching to the last plane out. Now that is what made Amurika the great nation that it is.  

                        •  Those were certainly stomach-churning days. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Richard Lyon, koNko

                          It only took us several years to attempt to do something for the many Vietnamese refugees who began streaming into many other nations. Some languished in jungle camps for years and years.

                          A couple of my friends today were among those in the refugee camps in Thailand.

                          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                          by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:54:14 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Where do those military transports come from? (0+ / 0-)

                        The closest place those transports come from and the fastest way to deploy them to a situation that is quickly getting more dangerous are aircraft carriers. Plus those transports need fighter support to keep the airwaves clear. I realize many people hate every single thing about anything military, but you all seem to be assuming the worst and there are some people in the world who still hold out hope that we will not re engage in a war in Iraq. Excuse me for wanting to keep some semblance of hope and not cry chicken little the sky is falling. We have deployed massive naval task forces before without blowing a country away.

                        Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                        by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:34:06 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The safest route is probably over Iran. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          YucatanMan

                          The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
                          Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                          by InAntalya on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:45:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm sorry, but you apparently are not aware (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Richard Lyon, KenBee, koNko

                          of the limits and capabilities of aircraft carriers.

                          They do not handle large passenger aircraft or military transports of more than a handful of passengers at the very most. Large passenger aircraft need longer runways than are available on aircraft carriers.

                          This is absolutely false:

                          The closest place those transports come from and the fastest way to deploy them to a situation that is quickly getting more dangerous are aircraft carriers.
                          Our transports would come from military bases in Germany and Italy and arrive within hours. Commercial chartered aircraft could arrive from airports in several nearby countries within a short period of time. Even one commercial jet would hold more passengers than possible by multiple flights by a few helicopters.

                          The aircraft aboard a carrier such as the USS George H. W. Bush are meant for military purposes only.  A few helicopters are available for search and rescue. The vast majority of the aircraft are intended for attack and defense.  Only a very few are capable of carrying passengers at all and then less than a dozen at a time, if that.

                          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                          by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:29:42 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  No offense but I'm retired navy (0+ / 0-)

                            And my son currently serves on a carrier, not going to argue with you or go into classified assets, so I waited until this diary was basically over because it's not worth playing this who knows more kind of crap. Carriers can handle all kinds of of military assets. Btw, the main air craft and helicopters deployed to evacuate US personnel during the fall of Saigon came from naval vessels. But that's ok, if you want to think the US carriers are that limited to deploy evacuation assets, keep thinking it.

                            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                            by tazz on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:27:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Are you serious? (0+ / 0-)

                    You think people in a country under siege can just go to the airport?

                    Good Lord.

                    You're right. Obama is a war monger, and he's sending mongers over there just to piss you off and laugh at your two votes for him.

            •  A carrier has a limited number of helicopters and (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jon Says

              several of those are dedicated to ASW and other purposes. Yes, they have some capable of evacuation, but the common capacity is 11 passengers, plus crew.

              Eleven people at once, with only a handful of helicopters, isn't going to be a very fast evacuation for our massive embassy presence.

              They need large capacity aircraft to evacuate thousands of people in a reasonable time.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:28:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  They send in whatever is available (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CenPhx

        and can get there fastest.

        And yes, they can evacuate civilians. We were in Turkey during the last Cyprus blow up in the 70s, and they sent home all the Greeks stationed at NATO facilities - like in HOURS. Pack a suitcase and LEAVE.

        They had us on standby for ship evacuation. We got a list of what to take. And that we would have at most 2-3 hrs notice.

        It didn't come to that, thankfully. But it can happen.

        Normally it's air evacuation, because most people are closer to an airport than a harbor.

        •  Baghdad is several hundred miles from the sea. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jon Says

          In fact, it is near the limit of helicopter range from a carrier.

          "The fastest available" would be commercial airliners for evacuation purposes. Those would have arrived within hours, not days as with ships.

          The carrier and support ships are intended for military purposes, not humanitarian evacuations.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:38:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Shock and Awe II? (8+ / 0-)

    Now if we just happened to mistakenly hit the Iranian forces in the region, that would be good for both McCain and HRC but bad for the rest of the world.

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 11:56:18 AM PDT

    •  Yep... Utmost Care and Utmost Restraint.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, blueoasis

      To hit any element of the Iranian Army might be misinterpreted by Teheran, and they have anti-ship missiles ready to try out in the gulf on... oh I dont know... oil tankers? Alliance Navy Ships? I shudder to think about it.

      I hope the carrier aircraft are there to do a Saigon, with video cameras rolling, and get the Allied personnel out of the way.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:06:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I dont think theyd be misinterpreting it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Lyon, Just Bob

        The US should just use the carrier to ferry embassy personnel and its CIA spies, I mean, private security contractors out.
        Start buzzing around with drones and some 24 yr old sitting in an air conditioned office is liable to blow up the Al ‘Askarī Mosque or something.

    •  An Iranian helicopter which was (6+ / 0-)

      supporting Iraqi Kurdish forces who were battling ISIS forces near Mosul killed 2 Kurdish fighters today when it dropped a bomb in the wrong place.

      The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:24:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Friendly Fire" Will Be a Huge Problem For... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, InAntalya

        the President if he orders air strikes without "Boots on the Ground".  

        He is between a rock and a hard place.

        •  Yes, without spotters - meaning American (0+ / 0-)

          military forces on the ground - we'd be bombing "stupidly" rather than knowing we were hitting the enemy.

          Of course, Obama has ordered lots of stupid strikes, including a large number of wedding parties and teenagers having a BBQ.  So, you know, he's not immune from making horrific mistakes and killing the wrong people.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:40:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  War Haiku (13+ / 0-)

    War, War, Glorious War
    Even when we don't know
    what we're fighting for.

    Restore the Fourth! Save America!

    by phillies on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:02:31 PM PDT

    •  we're fighting to get this Iraq situation (8+ / 0-)

      off the front page. It's a PR eyesore.

      Obama is livid that this is happening in an election year, he wants to go back to talking about his bold plans for the economy, like infinitesimally raising the minimum wage. This is a huge embarrassment--he proudly touts himself as the president that "ended the war in Iraq" and now it turns out it's not over after all. What's worse, it could spill over into Syria and Iran and cause him even more headaches.

      Remember when an exasperated Obama said "Plug the damn hole" during the Gulf oil spill? It's the same attitude. He just wants this PR nightmare over with and off the front pages and he's no doubt busting his aides' chops to get this done pronto. Do some bombing, pacify the natives, declare victory and move on.

      We are fighting for Obama's political success and his "legacy". And what could be more important than that?

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

      by limpidglass on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:35:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hillary's legacy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, Kingsmeg, snoopydawg

        I can hardly wait.

      •  The Iraq War is over (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scribe, mjd in florida, Unduna, fou, Tony Situ

        The last US troops left 30 months ago.

        What is happening now is not a failure of Obama foreign policy or diplomacy. It is not a US military failure.

        It is a failure of the political leaders of Iraq to want peace. Period. They refused Obama administration advice to be more inclusive of the Sunni's, who allied with the US against al-Qaeda in the 2000s, realizing that they could not likely win a civil war with the Shia.

        But Maliki spoiled that possibility for peace, and now we have a civil war, with Sunni aligning with extremists because that is the only hope they have to combat the Shia.

        What McCain and other Hawks believe is that a continued military presence would have preserved peace. But it wasn't peace while we were there. 150 US deaths in Iraq in 2009 and hundreds more US wounded. The surge: almost 100 US deaths PER MONTH over 500 US wounded PER MONTH.

        A continued US presence would not have forced the Shia to cooperate with the Sunni. The continued oppression by the Shia would have forced the Sunni to the point where we are today, with more US soldiers in the cross-fire. The US military would have to decide: fight the Sunni uprising to support a stubborn Shia majority who has no interest in peace, or stand on the sidelines while the civil war erupted.

        A continued US military presence - something the Shia led government didn't want - could not have forced a Shia-Sunni reparation. Nor could it have prevented a civil war. In fact, it was already a civil war before we left.

        •  It certainly is an utter failure of the US (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kingsmeg, snoopydawg, Lepanto

          "intelligence community" and subsequent failure of our political leadership.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:45:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ISIL in Anbar for a while (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fou

            Current fighting goes back to at least December. Iraqi military fought then and local tribes joined the military, not ISIL, as recently as May. US increased military aid to Iraq starting in January.

            Not sure how anyone could have anticipated entire companies/battalions of the Iraqi military shedding their uniform and running.

            Also not sure what changed in the last 6 weeks. Money? Bribes?

            •  Fallujah fell in January. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              InAntalya, phillies

              Why is everyone surprised today that they've made headway in so many other places?

              Fallujah is only about 50 (+/-) miles west of Baghdad.  And the US wasn't alarmed back then?

              The problems with the Iraqi security forces have been well known for a while, particularly the yanking of decent commanders to appoint political allies (who are apparently cowards).

              And no one expected continued failures?

              “I could not have predicted the extent to which ISIS [the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria] could be effective in seizing cities in Iraq and trying to erase boundaries to create an Islamist state,” Clinton told Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass during a conversation hosted by CFR in New York. Referring to the conflict in and around Syria, she said, "Now the wicked problem has gotten even wickeder."
              It is disingenuous to say the least. She was Secretary of State when the Syrian problems began.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:23:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  How so very American-centric of you. (0+ / 0-)

            How is Irag not being able to govern itself a "subsequent failure of our political leadership"?

            And you talk of failure of the intelligence community, at a time when progressives are demanding that the US terminate all intelligence gathering, both foreign and domestic, unless we are in a declared war, and even then we're only to spy on "military installations" (making sure to not spy on the civilian leadership of the country we are at war with).  That is Snowden doctrine, from his own mouth, and is what progressives have been demanding, but now you talk of "failure of US intelligence community".  I wish you guys would make up your minds.  Is spying an evil that must be terminated or isn't it?

      •  More bombing will only serve to increase (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smiley7, Kingsmeg, koNko

        attention here.  But the fall of the embassy would be a massive black eye for Obama and Democrats in general. It would be spun as "Those people weak on defense are throwing away the sacrifices of our American military dead."

        This is a very ugly situation. How our intelligence services didn't know that ISIL/ISIS was such a huge threat in both Syria and Iraq is shocking.

        We're spending billions upon billions on "intelligence" and we don't know what armed forces are doing in the most volatile region of the world.  What the hell good are the CIA, NSA, and DIA?

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:43:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think it's shocking (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roger Fox, Claudius Bombarnac, HCKAD

          I think our government deliberately turns a blind eye to the activities of Saudi-funded Sunni zealots in order to avoid embarrassing the House of Saud and other powerful Gulf state leaders whose cooperation we need to keep the price of oil down and production up.

          Those countries have a surplus of unemployed, and their leaders stay in power by making uneasy alliances with religious fanatics. To kill two birds with one stone, they pay to send these unemployed abroad, to fight and die in jihad. This way they satisfy the religious fanatics' desire for violent action, while solving their unemployment problem. This practice is now threatening to engulf the entire Middle East in chaos.

          The US government has turned such a blind eye once before, at great cost to the nation. It was when George W. Bush's administration ignored the infamous CIA report that warned them that Osama bin Laden was planning to strike inside the United States. Another "inexplicable" failure to look at what our intelligence services were telling us.

          When you learn that Bush's family did $1.477 billion worth of business deals with the Saudi royal family, the "inexplicable" suddenly becomes far more understandable.

          I think we're still turning a blind eye. That is why we're in the absurd position of siding with ISIS when it opposes Assad, and fighting against it when it invades Iraq. We didn't want to hear about it until it became so huge that it threatened Iraq and we had no choice but to acknowledge it.

          The other explanation is total, gross incompetence. And that doesn't make any sense whatsoever. No one with half a brain and a network of spy satellites can miss a giant army massing in the desert and moving across national borders. That's impossible, which is why that didn't happen.

          It must be that our intelligence services (assuming they haven't been totally politicized during the Bush era and Petraeus' tenure) are simply ignored when they provide inconvenient information.

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

          by limpidglass on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:31:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I never realized the full intensity of some on the (0+ / 0-)

        left's loathing of the President until i read your sorry excuse for a comment.  The level of loathing and contempt dripping from every word you wrote is what one finds on RedState about the President.  Actually, that's being too kind; it's more like what one finds on FreeRepublic.  Congrats.

    •  War Haiku Mod Two (0+ / 0-)

      War, War, Glorious War!
      Why should we care
      what we're fighting for!

      Restore the Fourth! Save America!

      by phillies on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 01:41:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's not forget that this does put Americans (9+ / 0-)

    In harm's way, again. Those fighters and bombers aren't drones, and now those militants in Iraq are armed with billions of dollars of the best American arms we could supply them, taken from the Iraqi military who abandoned them. I don't know for sure that AA weapons are some of them, but it's certainly possible.

    Let's hope that if American flyers are shot down and captured, they'll meet the new Republican standards of being 'acceptable' POWs.

    "Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail." - My President

    by Fordmandalay on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:07:26 PM PDT

  •  No biggie, (7+ / 0-)

    The US always has a Carrier Task Force in the Persian Gulf, or close by. The Bush was in the Med off Greece and Turkey from late Feb to late March, then transited the Canal, supported operations off Yemen, where it relieved the Truman, then was in the Gulf in late April and since then has been cruising back and forth between the North Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

    In addition, there are 35,000 troops in the Gulf, ranging from a Marine Amphibious Task Force, to a squadron of F22's.

  •  Its like a WWF wrestling match (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    In one corner radical militants that hate America and in the other corner Iranian backed militias and military that hate America.  Pass the popcorn.

    "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

    by ParaHammer on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:15:51 PM PDT

    •  Except the blowback will always affect us. (0+ / 0-)

      Check the gasoline prices in the next few weeks. And that's the peaceful blowback.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:47:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd rather pay higher has prices (0+ / 0-)

        than have American ground forces in combat again.

        "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

        by ParaHammer on Sun Jun 15, 2014 at 03:14:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Heeeeeeeere we go again! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, Johnny Q

    Better fasten your seat belts. It could be a bumpy ride.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:31:11 PM PDT

  •  Supporting a failed al maliki government??? (0+ / 0-)

    hoping the President means it when he says, there must be political changes on the ground in Iraq in exchange for support.

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:38:56 PM PDT

    •  There isn't a political solution (9+ / 0-)

      for stabilizing a "nation" that is a collection of people with irreconcilable enmity.  

      •  Spliting in to three may be an answer... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ypochris

        supporting a government that can't get but about a third of its parliamentarians to a meeting to declare an emergency with a military that dissolves by the tens of thousands doesn't seem to be to be prudent move by the US.

        And i agree with the former Ambassador, our involvement will cause more American resentment.

        From reports, ISIS is entrenched in the cities and towns they control, airstrikes mean the probability for civilian deaths.

        Before warring, let's ask the fundamental question, what for?

        "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

        by smiley7 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:06:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is maintain Iraq (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smiley7

          in its present configuration that seems hopeless.  

          •  I think we may talking around each other (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fou

            al Maliki is in this bed, mostly by his own making; notwithstanding Bush and company and Syria.

            More words from Ayad Allawi
            "What has happened in Syria has spilled over into Iraq and what happened in Iraq has spilled over into Syria."

            "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

            by smiley7 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:18:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The alternative is Syria and full balkanization (0+ / 0-)

            These were and are unsustainable borders, purposefully drawn up by Colonial powers experienced in the tactic of "Divide and Conquer". They were never MEANT to be stable.

            But don't think for a second that there is an alternative to holding this failed state together that doesn't involve years of total sectarian war. (as opposed to low-level guerrilla war, which they already had obviously) Divide the country? Yeah, so they can better organize their future wars and genocides. Whatever.

            Too often on the Left I hear these "have the cake and eat it too" solutions to our quagmire nightmares. It aggravates me. Like once we disappear these people will sing around a campfire.  Sometimes ending OUR war does mean making THEIRS worse. That's life. I'm a realist about this. I wanted us OUT, but I fully expected a BLOODBATH to result. Did you?

            Its the Kobayashi Maru. You have to sit outside the Neutral Zone and watch the Maru's crew and passengers......die.

            I am fine with that, personally. Not my problem. It's a cold world.

            And Bush bears the ultimate responsibility for this anyway.

            "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

            by TheHalfrican on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:20:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds Good On Paper, But... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Claudius Bombarnac

          Have you ever seen the enmity dividing up the assets in a divorce?

          Same here.  Most of the oil is in Shia areas, then Kurdish areas.  The Sunni area has much less and is landlocked.

          And the Turks will not allow a Free Kurdish State.  Iranians either.  The Kurds are spread in four countries and are a minority in each.

  •  Who could ever have imagined such a (4+ / 0-)

    course of events?

    Anybody want to take bets on whether, and if so, how soon one of the escorts takes down a commercial airliner "just to show 'em who's boss"?

    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 Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:44:32 PM PDT

  •  Sigh. And for this I campaigned for President (10+ / 0-)

    Obama and voted for him twice? Well, at least I was (and still am) too broke to contribute to his campaign.

    And now we're already looking down the barrel of having to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 because she will be better than Ted Cruz. Or Jeb Bush. Or Rand Paul.

    Imperialist war. It's what 'Murka does.

    Sigh.

    "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

    by blue in NC on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:47:10 PM PDT

    •  ...wait, what the hell did Obama do wrong here? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tazz, VickiL, fou

      The hell is he supposed to do? Ignore it and not say anything? Go on vacation? Tell the military to not evacuate people?

      If there was ever a mess on his watch that he didn't start, its IRAQ.

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:49:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I know, it's so disappointing. (0+ / 0-)

      Better to have Iraq descend into chaos and a wider regional conflict then for him to disappoint you.

      And you probably knocked on doors even.

    •  So nice to see the excuse-making ConservaDem™ (0+ / 0-)

      hawks coming around to share their opinions!

      Your concern is noted.

      "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

      by blue in NC on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:32:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We're Sending the U.S.S. George W. Too (8+ / 0-)

    Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

    by The Baculum King on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:52:13 PM PDT

  •  Obama has no authority for airstrikes. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, CitizenOfEarth

    Just like he couldn't bomb Syria when he wanted to, he won't be able to bomb Iraq.
    Remember, the U.S .is a nation of laws.

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:54:16 PM PDT

  •  Can we just skip to redrawn borders? (5+ / 0-)

    In the end the borders of this region will be drawn along ethnic and religious lines, the way any sane process would have done in the first place. But (as I understand it) colonial powers created nations out of rival factions specifically to make them easier to control.

    So Can we just skip the war and murder and death and destruction and refugees part of this process and just sit down the major powers to draw new borders now? The Sunni powers in Saudi Arabia and Syria, the Shia in Iran, the Turks, the Kurds (am I forgetting anyone?) need to negotiate borders that give everyone a share of the resources and traditional territories that they need for a sustainable economy. A referendum process should also be created for populations to choose whether they want independence or to join their neighboring ethnically and religiously aligned states.

    The group cut out of this process will be the Islamic radicals. And it will create a unified front against them since they can only scuttle the peaceful transition to self-determination desired by most people in the region.

    There's a difference between a responsible gun owner and one that's been lucky so far.

    by BeerNotWar on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 12:54:49 PM PDT

  •  Engelhardt, A Record of Unparalleled Failure (12+ / 0-)

    Engelhardt, A Record of Unparalleled Failure

    summary of last 50 years

    So here are five straightforward lessons -- none acceptable in what passes for discussion and debate in this country -- that could be drawn from that last half century of every kind of American warfare:

    1. No matter how you define American-style war or its goals, it doesn’t work. Ever.

    2. No matter how you pose the problems of our world, it doesn’t solve them. Never.

    3. No matter how often you cite the use of military force to “stabilize” or “protect” or “liberate” countries or regions, it is a destabilizing force.

    4. No matter how regularly you praise the American way of war and its “warriors,” the U.S. military is incapable of winning its wars.

    5. No matter how often American presidents claim that the U.S. military is “the finest fighting force in history,” the evidence is in: it isn’t.

    Tomgram: Engelhardt, A Record of Unparalleled Failure
  •  Oh crap (6+ / 0-)

    The oil is in danger again. The "speculators" on Wall Street will be using this as an excuse to raise the price of oil.  Just watch.  

    Warning: this comment may contain sarcasm

  •  My Middle East Proposal:Not one additional soldier (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell

    should be deployed to the Persian Gulf or Iraq until every soldier who has previously served in Iraq  but is now waiting to get VA care receives the care and treatments they need

  •  Oil, sometimes... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon

    we overlook the simplicity of oil, doesn't matter who has it, or where it is; whoever posses it is going to be determined to sell it sooner or later, and at the best price the global market will allow.

    But, we must protect the oil is a mantra we will here over and over again to justify, "our interests."

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 01:53:14 PM PDT

  •  Looks like having Sadaam Hussein there (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Wizard, Lepanto

    Was not too bad after all.

  •  Bomb, rinse, repeat. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon

    Our neverending story of Iraq.

    "Let's stay together"--Rev. Al Green and President Obama

    by collardgreens on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 02:44:24 PM PDT

  •  Blow-Back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HCKAD, Claudius Bombarnac

    We did it. This is blow-back. Congratulations George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice and Company. You finally did it. You created a large force that is extreme even relative to AQ. How did they get trained, where does the monetary support come from, where did they get the weapons? We have created so much hate of us that these things have come to be. Why do they hate us? Is it because of our freedoms? Or is it that we have killed, maimed, incarcerated, tortured, defiled and destroyed their infrastructure?

    That worked so well the first time, lets have some more. Is President Obama going to do the ethical and the geopolitical smart thing of keeping hands-off, or will he make war to fend off the Republican criticism of his "weakness"? He has the perfect role-model of what not to do: Lyndon Johnson. Please sign a petition, talk to friends and family and convince people that making more war is madness.

  •  if we gave a flying fek about this we wouldn't (5+ / 0-)

    bother with yet more military intervention

    we'd just pull the ears of our mates Saudi A. and Qatar who have backed and financed Isis and other extremist groups in Iraq and Syria all along

    and give a strong, swift kick up the ass of the persisting Neocon elements in the State Department and other bodies who are behind it as well

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:15:09 PM PDT

  •  Sure Obama, Dump 10s Billions more down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snoopydawg

    the Iraq Shit Hole. Because yeah sure, we'll fix it THIS TIME -- even tho we just spent a decade and apparently achieved nothing.

    And don't you dare come back to me talking about Austerity and how you need to rob me of a modest, dignified old age (aka Social Security).

    THERE ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE MORE MONEY (THAT CAN BE BORROWED AND SQUANDERED) TO FEED THE MIC.


    No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

    by CitizenOfEarth on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:39:28 PM PDT

    •  that what will happen? That how much it'll cost? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladasue

      I read the news, Iraq is in crisis, verge of civil war. Ok.

      I come HERE, all of the sudden Obama is invading Iraq again, JUST LIKE BUSH!

      Lol Christ.

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:52:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I honestly would love to eat those words. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheHalfrican

        Sadly, I doubt that I will. Lest we forget, US Oil companies have interests in Iraq -- of course the US taxpayers will have to pay to protect them.

        I will gladly accept an "I told you so" after the dust settles. But just Wait For It...


        No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

        by CitizenOfEarth on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:14:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's more than one way to get oil... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CitizenOfEarth

          They'll deal with anyone, after all. Once ISIS has the oil wells, I'm sure there will be some suit from BP ready to talk turkey. School girls being beheaded isn't their problem after all.

          "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

          by TheHalfrican on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:54:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  this is not a useful strategy (0+ / 0-)

    not at all.

  •  Iraq war 3.0. Dumb. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  A bug or a feature? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, Claudius Bombarnac
    Nothing that the US has done before has managed to create sustainable political stability.
    Anybody remember the "Policy for a New American Century" of the neo-Cons? And now adapted by the neo-Libs. They were pretty explicit about desired outcomes; the conquest rather than destabilization of Iraq in particular having gone sour on them.


    A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

    by Jim P on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 05:43:05 PM PDT

    •  Hillary Clinton's "America's Pacific Century" (3+ / 0-)

      Didn't work out so hot, did it?

      Guess she didn't plan on quite so many opportunities to project American military prowess popping up at once, a body hardly knows which capital to bomb lunch in these days.

      Fortunately, John Kerry got left holding the bag as she ducked-out the back door wearing shades and texting with that awesome BBY.

      No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

      by koNko on Sun Jun 15, 2014 at 03:33:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Probably precautionary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon

    Obviously a carrier based force could be used to launch bombing raids but I think this might be a contingency to provide cover for evacuations if it come to that and it's not out of the question.

    I really doubt Obama wants to get engaged in another war in Iraq since it's a total loser but with so many Americans still there and, um, Benghazi, doubt he wants to get caught unprepared to evacuate.

    No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

    by koNko on Sun Jun 15, 2014 at 03:16:00 AM PDT

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