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Last night, Bill Maher had a New Rule on how we simply cannot change Iraq.

And finally, New Rule: Now that Iraq is falling apart again, someone needs to drill it into the American psyche that broken nations are a lot like broken people — you can't fix them.  Look at Afghanistan and the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan.  Look at Denise Richards and the lawless tribal areas of Charlie Sheen.


Don Rumsfeld once said we could fix Iraq in six months.  "Fix" Iraq.  America's like one of those women who always think she can "fix" the bad boy.  And Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Somalia, these are all the bad boys we couldn't resist trying to fix.

We think, "You know, if they just got to know us, I know they'd straighten out.  If I just spend time with him, he'll see how happy he is, and he won't want to drink and chase whores anymore!"  (audience laughter and cheering)  "I'm going to smother him with love, that's what I'm gonna do!  And then he'll realize what he really wants — to be a secular democracy."

Video and full transcript below the fold.

And finally, New Rule: Now that Iraq is falling apart again, someone needs to drill it into the American psyche that broken nations are a lot like broken people — you can't fix them.  Look at Afghanistan and the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan.  Look at Denise Richards and the lawless tribal areas of Charlie Sheen.  (audience laughter)

Lately, there's been so many calls for American intervention in Syria, Ukraine, north Africa, now Iraq again.  Maybe America is the one that needs an intervention.  Maybe America needs Dr. Phil to come by and ask us, "How's that nation building workin' for ya?"

Now I know we're Americans, which means that when this nation was founded by Jesus (audience laughter), he made us exceptional.  But we're not miracle workers.  We have to realize that some nations — much like Nick Nolte's pants — are never going to change.  (audience laughter)  Some of them aren't even nations, they're just tribes that we threw together like reality show contestants on a sex boat.  And when Presidents of both parties have dealt with them over the decades and got bad results, we always blame the President.  But maybe it's not the President, maybe it's the place.

It's like how, you know sometimes there's one place on a street where every business that goes in there fails?  You drive by, it's a Quiznos.  You drive by again, it's a nail salon.  Drive by again, it's a pawn shop.  It's not failing because it hates freedom, it's just a shitty location.  (audience laughter and applause)

I'm sorry, Iraq!  Not to be mean, but you're a shitty location.  Which is why it's so frustrating to now hear "if only we had stayed".  This is the delusion that launched the war in the first place.  Remember the plan?  We were going to go into Iraq, we'd be greeted as liberators, then we'd install an American-style democracy that we'd then use as a model for the rest of the Middle East to become democratic.  Then after lunch....  (audience laughter)

Don Rumsfeld once said we could fix Iraq in six months.  "Fix" Iraq.  America's like one of those women who always think she can "fix" the bad boy.  And Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Somalia, these are all the bad boys we couldn't resist trying to fix.

We think, "You know, if they just got to know us, I know they'd straighten out.  If I just spend time with him, he'll see how happy he is, and he won't want to drink and chase whores anymore!"  (audience laughter and cheering)  "I'm going to smother him with love, that's what I'm gonna do!  And then he'll realize what he really wants — to be a secular democracy."

Dr. Phil?

DR. PHIL McGRAW: Don't think they're going to be different with you. ... You love who you wish he was, not who he is. ... These people typically don't improve.
(audience laughter and applause)

Oh so right you are, Dr. Phil!  I mean, sure, bad boys are exciting — the hot sex, the rug burns, the missing money from your checking account.  (audience laughter)  What girl could resist that?

I mean, we've all seen how even big stars,

beautiful, rich, successful women,

women who could have anybody,

chose to get with dirtbags!

Why?  Because it's human nature to think you can change human nature.  Remember in that movie As Good As It Gets when lifelong asshole Jack Nicholson tells Helen Hunt, "You make me want to be a better man"?  Yeah, that happens never.  (audience laughter)  Just like President Maliki isn't going to call Obama tomorrow and say, "You make us want to be a better country."

Originally posted to BruinKid on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 05:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (140+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, undercovercalico, SCFrog, TexDem, crystal eyes, NonnyO, gizmo59, JeffW, Egalitare, InAntalya, Lily O Lady, Raggedy Ann, orlbucfan, jimstaro, Terre, rubyclaire, Darwinian Detritus, Stripe, statsone, RFK Lives, artisan, onmyknees, OLinda, Sybil Liberty, Heart of the Rockies, buffie, jasan, nzanne, Its a New Day, leeleedee, tofumagoo, on the cusp, Yellow Canary, ATFILLINOIS, eOz, ChemBob, SuWho, palantir, CitizenOfEarth, Shotput8, dle2GA, earicicle, nocynicism, Debs2, JML9999, Siri, Trotskyrepublican, niteskolar, rapala, thomask, 88kathy, GreenPA, jaf49, dagnome, mjd in florida, paradox, Silencio, Laurel in CA, Wolf10, collardgreens, Lefty Coaster, OregonOak, mbh1023, lineatus, maggiejean, Empower Ink, belinda ridgewood, puakev, Byron from Denver, Rashaverak, Sapere aude, La Gitane, howarddream, Knucklehead, Texknight, dansmith17, bill warnick, RichterScale, side pocket, shrike, viral, dewtx, GreatLakeSailor, Liberal Mole, VA Breeze, Chi, WattleBreakfast, Angie in WA State, BlueMississippi, ColoTim, democracy inaction, MarkInSanFran, GAS, Mr Robert, Chaddiwicker, Nisi Prius, yoduuuh do or do not, Alumbrados, skepticalcitizen, SteelerGrrl, camlbacker, Carolyn in Oregon, implicate order, ontheleftcoast, offgrid, Pam LaPier, vjcalaska, codairem, HappyinNM, steelman, bigrivergal, Johnny Q, ichibon, flowerfarmer, sebastianguy99, ladywithafan, Eric Stetson, HoundDog, allenjo, Yo Bubba, splashy, sciguy, DruidQueen, artmartin, dasher3, agiftagain, Loudoun County Dem, cowdab, Rita5018, Robert Naiman, meinoregon, millwood, Iron Spider, sendtheasteroid, silverfoxcruiser, dewolf99, enufenuf, Morningglory, SherrieLudwig, bobcat41702
  •  Crude but effective... n/t (16+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 05:33:59 AM PDT

    •  Not really (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sk8eycat, hokieduck13, Tidyus, RGalli

      What do the nations he mentioned have in common?
      Every damned one of them is in the shape that they're in due to US interference during the Cold War.
      Somalia, the US supported a corrupt regime when Ethiopia became a client of the Soviet Union.
      Pakistan, became a US supported mess during the Soviet-Afghan war.
      Afghanistan, the mess it has been because of US support and training of Afghan and foreign forces fighting the Soviet invasion.
      Iraq, again, supported by the US during the Cold War and egged on to fight Iran. Then, when politically convenient, attacked and the government shredded.
      Iran, a mess because the US sponsored an overthrow of the democratic government as a favor to British oil interests. Interestingly enough, Operation Ajax was refused by Truman, but Eisenhower supported and authorized it. Teddy Roosevelt's grandson ran that operation, which then installed the corrupt Shah and supported him. Iran has asked for an apology since their revolution and Obama came within inches of actually doing so, to then be blasted by republicans.

      So, we messed up our room, the world.
      When an unruly kid messes his or her room up, they then have to clean it up.
      Or, we could ignore it, letting it eventually rain skyscraper parts and burning aircraft parts again.

      •  It goes back much farther than that (10+ / 0-)

        Most of these unstable regions are former colonies of European nations.  Iran & Iraq are multi-ethnic inventions of the British - and many of those ethnicities want independence and self-rule.  Due to the meddling from the West, achieving peaceful self-rule is extremely difficult. Why does the West seem to want instability? Because unstable nations' governments are in a bind and need outside help - and that means Western corporations get good deals!

        There is an argument that the Western powers should take a hands off approach and allow the ethnic groups to establish the countries they want.  It won't be bloodless, but if we do not supply them with weapons they probably will do it with less bloodshed than if we were involved.

        But then our oil companies will lose their near monopoly on the world's oil reserves - and will have to rely on things like negotiation and free market economics, instead of gunboat diplomacy.

        -- illegitimi non carborundum

        by BadBoyScientist on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:45:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do this (0+ / 0-)

          Maybe our military should attack the headquarters of the multi national corporations instead of people and countries who just want to go about there business. Pretty much every war the U.S. has been involved in since the Spanish American War was pushed by corporations and the very wealthy. Heck, we wouldn't even have to send troops against them, just evacuate everyone who's not a CEO out of the buildings and send in drones and blast the hell out of them.

      •  So how do you clean this room? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cowdab, RGalli

        Isn't another method to finally sit down with the kid, look them in the eyes and say "Look, we screwed up and can't undo all the bad we did.  You have every right to get even but that's not in your own self-interest cause we'll do our best to protect ourselves and everyone looking on will see you're no better than we are and will do what they can to contain and isolate you.  I'm sorry.  I'll try not to do any more harm."

      •  You had me up until... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enufenuf, dcnblues

        ... the part about cleaning up their rooms.  

        While the sentiment is laudatory, the reality is that our insertion into the internal politics of these countries is doing nothing except serving to breed heightened enmity for the US in the region.  Our military interventionism needs to stop.  Now.

        Our fear of terrorism in the United States is something which cannot be stopped through military intervention or even domestic security measures.  Terrorism will always be something that will randomly be successful.  If people are willing to strap bombs on their bodies or fly planes into buildings, we can stem that tide through security measures and military might but we can only hope to stop it in the long run by working to change the living conditions and opportunities of those who hate us.  Foreign and domestic.

      •  You are blaming the US for problems that go back (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        much further.  Pakistan was a mess before it became a nation - check the history of how it split from India.  Afghanistan was invaded by the USSR, not the USA - we gave some help, that was all. And it was a mess when the USSR went in.  Many N and S african "nations" were created by colonialists for their convenience and profit - no thought of stable independent nations.  
        The US did not have to "egg Iraq on" as the dispute was old, and Saddam loved to go to war.  

  •  The right does not grasp history (34+ / 0-)

    Their dream of a christian inspired ideology on a mission to transform thinking in the Mid East by force of arms has been tried before.

    How did the Crusades work out?

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 05:49:42 AM PDT

  •  He's funny and it's great that he wants the (30+ / 0-)

    US to stop trying to 'make Iraq a better country'


    Iraq isn't a shitty country, it's a country that the US has shit all over while fucking it over.

    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 21, 2014 at 05:59:00 AM PDT

    •  I agree--the "bad boy" metaphor isn't really fair (10+ / 0-)

      Iraq isn't innately a "bad boy" that we tried to "smother with love" to fix.

      It's more like we raped and abused Iraq, and no wonder it screwed up the country.

      I agree we should stop trying to "fix" other countries, and Bill Maher is funny and a necessary voice out there, but our efforts have tended to be attempts more to exploit than to fix.

      "Fix" is just the sugar coating for the public.

      And the public has grown tired of the sickening sweet taste.

      Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

      by Happy Days on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:05:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely right, but... (17+ / 0-)

      this comment is generically correct:

      Some of them aren't even nations, they're just tribes that we threw together like reality show contestants on a sex boat.
      Again, crudely put, and not academically accurate, but look at his audience - they get the drift.

      Iraq was the home to civilization, a beautiful place - a great location - and yes, we fucked it over. But so did the British, etc. (not excusing us, btw).

      “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” Thomas Edison, 1931

      by nzanne on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:20:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only in the sense that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        like Syria, the modern country was set up by Britain with a minority in power, who felt compelled, rightly or wrongly, to use brute force to maintain that power, and who knew/know if they give up that power, they'll be slaughtered.  It's tough to build a democratic country based  upon "ethnic cleansing."

        •  No, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw, Meteor Blades, Johnny Q

          The Alawites began to gain power in Syria long after the French left.

          When the French were forced out Syria was run by the majority Sunni Arabs.

          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 21, 2014 at 09:32:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess Fareed Zakaria (0+ / 0-)

            lied about the British role in Syria, then.

            Larger point being that ethic minorities running governments in absolute dictatorships tend not to want to give up power, and if they are forced out, it's not only ugly, it really can't form the basis for the establishment of a viable democratic country.

            •  All the Old War Pimps are back (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Johnny Q, InAntalya, gffish


              The only reason that Syria is not a liberal democracy, is because we wanted it that way.

              •  I guess, given what has (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                happened n Iraq, I wouldn't contend we are able to force a certain kind of government on anyone else.  As far as the history of Syria is concerned, in the post-World War II era, Syria was an ally of the Soviet Union and we weren't likely to have much influence.  The Iraq war was bound to destabilize the region, and since the Bush administration literally had no clue what it was doing, I'm surprised the entire Middle East isn't even more fucked up than it is right now and that's saying something.

                •  Technically, (0+ / 0-)

                  From Independence until 1964, Syria courted everybody but the French,

                  Syria was a troubled democracy until 1949, when a CIA coup brought al-Zamiy to power, who lasted less than a year as a succession of military coups ended Civillian government in Syria until 1954, then the first Syrian Spring forced Shishkali into exile, and it was a civil Democracy again until another US sponsored coup, in 1958, brought the Nasserites to power, briefly, the Nasserites and Baathists swapped office several times.

                  In 1956 the Syrians signed a series of treaties with the Soviet Union, but that was more about arms and training than anything else. The arms flow caused tensions with the Turks, and that allowed a rise in the fortunes of the Syrian Communist Party,

                  But the formation of union with Egypt, into the United Arab Republic, in 1958, the communists were suppressed, and still are to this day.

                  But another coup in 1961, broke up the union. It was coup and counter coup until 1963, when military members of the Baathist Party established the current regime.

                  In 1964, Syria joined the Non Aligned Nations.

                  Historically, Syria has co-operated with US Foreign Policy on many issues in the Middle East, (Suez Crisis, drug smuggling, Lebanese Civil War, Gulf War) and opposed US Policy in the Middle East, (Palestine and Israel).

                  Historically, when Bush the Lesser said you are either with us or against us", he was just restating the long history the US has had with the Non Aligned Nations.

                  •  Your comment is quite impressive, (0+ / 0-)

                    other than not actually addressing what I wrote.

                    •  Technically, (0+ / 0-)
                       As far as the history of Syria is concerned, in the post-World War II era, Syria was an ally of the Soviet Union and we weren't likely to have much influence.  
                      Syria was not in the Soviet Bloc, ever.

                      Sadat 180'd Egypt for a discount on US arms, became the US's second largest "dependent", to get the Sinai back, a fricken desert.

                      Syria would have gladly given up many positions and policies for the Golan and a highway to be named later, the US never offered.

                      In a large part, that is because, when it comes to Middle East Policy, since before the Liberty Incident, The US is Israel's biache,

                      And Israel ain't giving up the Golan, ever.

                      •  " Syria was not in the Soviet Bloc, ever. " (0+ / 0-)

                        Whoever said Syria was in Eastern Europe, duh.

                        I don't need to ever read anything else you write after that absurdity.

                        •  You said, (0+ / 0-)

                          Syria was an Allie Of the Soviet Union, that's what you said,

                          My point, is, no they were not.

                          There was no requirement to come to the aid of the Soviet Union, there were no requirements to support the Soviet Union on trade, politics or economics.

                          There was a deal, where in exchange for  a major discount on Soviet hardware , advisors and technology, the Soviets got a lease on a Naval Base.

                          No different than Afghanistan back in the 70's, until Zbigniew Brzezinski launched his "Bear Trap", otherwise known as Operation Cyclone.

                          Like I pointed out earlier, Bush the Lesser was not the first to point out that as far as the US was concerned, " you are either with us, or against us", so at times,  120 nations of the NOM were "officially" enemies of the US.

                          As far as the US is concerned, even today, there is no such thing as neutrality, or independence.

                          •  What's an "Allie"? Other than (0+ / 0-)

                            a girl's nickname, I mean.

                            Just keep stepping in it.

                            I lived through a lot of this and paid attention and you're just cutting and pasting from Wikipedia.  I'm done here.

                          •  Apparently not, (0+ / 0-)

                            Otherwise, you wouldn't have replied,

                            And in a worst case, would have hired a troll to  run a diary to leave this place or tried to get some kind of LGF bonus for HR's.

                            My point is that Syria was for the most part, neutral, but for Israel and Palestine ,

                            Which, as Israel's biache since at least, 1973, has made Syria the US's enemy, even though that's not the way it had to be.

                      •  To be fair it would be nice to remind people WHY (0+ / 0-)

                        Israel keeps the Golan - because the arab terrorists shell and rocket the hell out of Israeli farms from the Golan heights.  I like to see terrorists lose, and Israel sure made that happen.  

    •  Iraq under Saddam wasn't exactly a "great" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      La Gitane, gffish

      country. It's not like we invaded Denmark or something.

      It's more like we raped and abused Iraq, and no wonder it screwed up the country.
      Iraq was fundamentally screwed up because the majority population was being brutally held down by a minority Sunni government.

      Iraq was also fundamentally screwed up because the current borders joined Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish areas somewhat randomly and expected everything to work out fine.

      The Bush administration was too stupid or willfully ignorant to realize that invading would actually make things worse.

      They also screwed up the post invasion by trying to install a libertarian paradise for no particular reason.

      But lets not act like Iraq was a beautiful, happy prosperous secular democracy before the US intervened.

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:10:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Earlier in the show... (14+ / 0-)

    ... the Republican pollster woman on the panel argued that if the media were to exclude those who were wrong on Iraq in 2003 and beyond, there will be nobody left!

    First off, was everybody wrong about Iraq?   Yeah, maybe in that woman's world.   Not in the real world!

    Second, she doesn't seem to think that being so hopelessly wrong should be a disqualification!  

    (-7.75,-5.64) If you like your $50 a month "healthcare plan"... you are an idiot!

    by Whirlaway on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:27:45 AM PDT

    •  As I recall, the polls at the time showed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CitizenOfEarth, gffish

      90% favored the war.  I think a lot of people edited their own view of the war after it went "south."

      •  not true (19+ / 0-)

        your recollection, that is. I recall very well because i wrote about it a lot back then: including this piece, which was published in print locally and online at Buzzflash:

        October 2002: "U.S. Polls: 2/3 Oppose Unilateral Invasion"

        Link is no good anymore, although it comes up in search results.

        But polls taken by mainstream polling organizations starting the summer before the invasion and right up until the drums of war started beating loudly that spring consistently showed 2/3 of the American people did not want to invade Iraq until the United Nations got on board.  Once it became apparent that American soldiers were going into combat, the polls changed some - for a while.

      •  Not nearly 90% (9+ / 0-)

        The invasion had the support of a minority early in 2003. Then beginning with the State of the Union lies, the neocons began to gather more momentum. But it was after a nonstop propaganda war from September 2002 until the invasion in March. Fox was in triple overdrive.

        The reason I bring this up is that I clearly remember how hard they had to twist arms and lie in the final 2 months. Public support was not on the side of a unilateral invasion. I remember inadvertently tuning in to Rush in February 2003 and he basically spent the entire half hour begging people to support an invasion.

        They eeked out their majority support, but it was pretty thin and based on false pretense.

        See this timeline.

        Wiki link: Public Support for 2003 Iraq War

        •  From your Wikipedia link, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          which was quite instructive.  Thank you for posting it.

          March 2003[edit]
          Days before the March 20 invasion, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll found support for the war was related to UN approval. Nearly six in 10 said they were ready for such an invasion "in the next week or two." But that support dropped off if the U.N. backing was not first obtained. If the U.N. Security Council were to reject a resolution paving the way for military action, 54% of Americans favored a U.S. invasion. And if the Bush administration did not seek a final Security Council vote, support for a war dropped to 47%.[1]

          An ABC News/Washington Post poll taken after the beginning of the war showed a 62% support for the war, lower than the 79% in favor at the beginning of the Persian Gulf War.[2]

          May 2003[edit]
          A Gallup poll made on behalf of CNN and USA Today concluded that 79% of Americans thought the Iraq War was justified, with or without conclusive evidence of illegal weapons. 19% thought weapons were needed to justify the war.[9]

          •  it's like remembering a horrible accident (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            It was a painful few months/years. A slow motion realization that the body snatchers had arrived and were taking coworkers and family members. Logic and facts were suddenly worthless. Talking to them and reciting facts had zero value. Fox and their ilk calling people traitors for being in opposition.

            It's still a very sore wound.

          •  PS (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            I'm not in the habit of reading user ID numbers, but I'm certain you understand the sentiment in my 2nd comment about the body snatchers and also discovering DailyKos around the same time and realizing you weren't alone.

            Cheers to Kos and the Kos community.

      •  The polls are deliberately mashed up (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Support for the war and support for the troops, they are all mixed up deliberately and the result is announced as "70% or 80% or 90% favor the war".

        Same thing with the word "terrorist".  In any civil war, any warlord or gangster who terrorizes people is by definition, a terrorist.  But that is somehow distorted by the corporate to mean that he is out to get YOU (and THAT is why you should support military action).

        (-7.75,-5.64) If you like your $50 a month "healthcare plan"... you are an idiot!

        by Whirlaway on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:00:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Gee, the 3 members of Congress representing me (5+ / 0-)

        must have ignored the polls which had the advantage of them actually representing ME when they voted agaist the war and not pollsters.

      •  People all over the planet (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q, Dallasdoc, gffish

        marched in protest of that war. 5 million I think was the count. Jesse Jackson noted that it was the largest number of people who had ever protested anything, in history.

        Our current President gave an emphatic speech against it.

        "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

        by Chi on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:12:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. Here's Gallup March 17, 2003... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, 3goldens
        According to the poll, 64% of Americans are in favor of invading Iraq with ground troops in an attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, while 33% are opposed. The level of support on this basic question is up from the most recent reading taken about two weeks ago, March 3-5, when 59% favored an invasion. Support has generally been in the mid-to-high 50% range since last June, with one exception being a 63% reading shortly after Colin Powell's Feb. 5 address to the United Nations on Iraq. [...]

        Support is slightly lower, at 58%, when the same question is asked with the added stipulation that the invasion would take place "in the next week or two." With this question wording, 40% of Americans are opposed to military action. [...]

        • Seventy-eight percent of Americans say they would favor invading Iraq if the United Nations passes a new resolution that sets specific conditions for Iraq to disarm, and just 19% would be opposed under these circumstances.

        • If such a resolution were submitted, but the United Nations rejected it, 54% of Americans would favor military action and 43% would oppose it.

        • If the United States decides not to offer any new resolutions on Iraq and goes forward with military action without a new U.N. vote at all, half of Americans would oppose an invasion of Iraq, while 47% would be in favor.


        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:48:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Where I lived there were rallies on the green to (0+ / 0-)

        discourage Bush from attacking Iraq.  This was Bar Harbor Maine, and the rallies were well attended.  No 90% favored the war.  There is a clear record of the rallies.  Would you like a copy of the letter I sent to the president?
        The problem is, with a republican president, what can you do when he decides to attack someone?
        Obama on the other hand actually changes his mind if enough people advise him not to attack.  
        This is why we really need the democrat who will WIN to run for president, not the democrat who we would like but who will lose.

    •  the Iraq War Resolution passed 3:1 in both (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenPA, Angie in WA State

      the House and Senate -- including plenty of Dems. I think that was her point.

      And not that I liked her. She couldn't get a word in edgewise because that Vet guy was barking at Greenwald all night. hahaha

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

      by CitizenOfEarth on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:01:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Biden: "Told Ya So!" (7+ / 0-)

    For Biden, Iraq Crisis Offers Timely Vindication

    21 June 2014 -  In 2006, Biden was a senator from Delaware gearing up for a presidential campaign when he proposed that Iraq be divided into three semi-independent regions for Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. Follow his plan, he said, and U.S. troops could be out by early 2008. Ignore it, he warned, and Iraq would devolve into sectarian conflict that could destabilize the whole region.

    The Bush administration chose to ignore Biden. Now, eight years later, the vice president's doom-and-gloom prediction seems more than a little prescient.>>>>>

    At the time there were many growing variables already that it might work or even if it might minimize the sectarian divide, except for the Kurds,  that the bushco and their rubber stamping congresses already had caused by totally destroying that pandora's box! Having led the cheering country into Quickly abandoning the missions and those sent to accomplish after 9/11 the growth and spread of the al Qaeda type of international terrorism had already began, recruiting to build the ranks and spreading outside of that region were the gifts bushco gave to the once CIA assets and good friends bin Laden and Saddam who couldn't stand each other.

    By the time the administrations changed, with this country walking away from any and all accountability and leaving everything on the table, including spying on our own, it was way too late. Bushco had their puppet, second choice as they wanted Chalibi, who they thought they could control, wrong as he went towards Iran and he was now embedded in the power with the bushco helping him in the choices of sectarianism!!

    The spread of the ideologies, seeking blowback in any form, and their numbers had grown!!

    Bush: "Great job cheney!!"

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:32:23 AM PDT

    •  I wish the VP had been so prescient in 2002 (7+ / 0-)

      on the IWR vote.  Granted, he had lots of company back then, but let's not give him too much credit on Iraq.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:59:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Love, Not (0+ / 0-)

        How those served are so quick to lay blame, 70%plus were cheering on abandoning the missions and those sent to accomplish so quickly after 9/11, just as they collectively walked away from any and all accountability and quickly started laying blame on the incoming executive administration, them rubber stamping congresses love ya as ya all gave them back the House only a few years later and left the obstructionist numbers in the Senate, all that red and blue stuff,, while also leaving everything on the table done under that bush!!!!!!!!!

        "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

        by jimstaro on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:26:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thing is, (7+ / 0-)

      it's none of our damn business.  Saddam was a bad guy but he kept a lid on the sectarian resentment.  It was never any of our business how they run their country.  It's called sovereignty.  

      While Biden may have been right in theory, the United States has no business drawing lines on the map in other parts of the world.

      They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

      by CharlieHipHop on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:10:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Saddam Like (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slatsg, on the cusp, rapala, Johnny Q, gffish

        bin Laden was not only ours, CIA assets, but great buds of the daddy bush clan, them all around him who joined in baby bushes regime!! Reason he had to be taken out and done so in Iraq and not the Hague!!

        "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

        by jimstaro on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:21:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is an oversimplification (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Sovereignty is not the 11th commandment. If we should learn nothing else from all this it is that is a mistake to impose national borders against the will of the people.

        Sovereignty was the excuse to do nothing when the Rwandan genocide occurred. It slowed the eventual resolution of the Balkan crisis.

        No, this should not teach us "whatever goes on inside national borders is of no concern to us" anymore than a man beating a woman in a house is a family matter.

        The issue is that we do not have an international order based on some equivalent of the UN that can mediate conflict and insert real peacekeepers, not the ineffectual blue helmets, when necessary.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:59:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nobody brought up Soveriegnity (0+ / 0-)

          In the Rwanda Crisis,

          There were already UN Peacekeepers on the Ground and the dangers were well known in advance.

          There were four major issues at the UNSC,

          First, France was for the Hutu, was complicit in the assassination, and was okay with the genocide,

          Second, Countries that were willing to send additional Peacekeepers, didn't have the money and the the UNSC, (US and Britain) were unwilling to spend the money,

          The lightly armed Peacekeepers on the ground needed a few more boots, but more importantly, heavier weaponry and APC's. The Country (US) that had both the equipment and the rapid heavy lift capability had no interest in doing so, and was unwilling to provide heavy lift for countries that had the equipment and were willing to commit it.

          Fourth, in the early days a proposed action by the UN Peacekeepers on the ground was proposed, that could have forestalled the genocide, but, it required changing the Rules of Engagement and three members of the UNSC, France, Britain and the US, refused to do so.

          •  Apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

            First of all, nobody did shit about the Rwanda problem because there was no oil.

            Second, Saddam was not doing anything remotely like that to his own people, propaganda aside.  

            Third, there was no UN green light to invade Iraq.

            Yes, sovereignty means something and it's a good idea.  Why bother having nation states at all if we're not going to respect it except in cases when the international community determines that gross human rights violations are underway.

            They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

            by CharlieHipHop on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:28:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Bad analogy and straw man (0+ / 0-)

          I never said we shouldn't do anything if gross human rights violations are underway and the international community has collectively decided that something must be done.  

          Neither of those conditions had been met when we invaded Iraq.

          They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

          by CharlieHipHop on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:30:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I just went back and re-read "I, Claudius." And... (8+ / 0-)

    I just went back and re-read "I, Claudius." And the Romans looked at the Middle East exactly the way we do. Claudius describes some of the hundreds of little factions constantly warring with each other, bemoans that everything the Romans try to do just helps one set of warlords at the expense of others, and concludes that there's nothing Rome can do to "fix" the region. The best they can do, he concludes, is just to keep the factions warring with each other so they never unite to threaten Rome. Rome didn't have oil to worry about, but otherwise the situation appears unchanged.

  •  I generally enjoy Maher, but he got this wrong (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CitizenOfEarth, Wolf10, Chi

    The US is not the good guy. All the nonsense about fighting for freedom and democracy is just that ... nonsense.

    We intervene politically and economically in other countries to promote and protect our corporate interests. We bribe them with military aid. If they don't fall in line, we attempt to organizer a coup. If that doesn't work, we send in the troops.

    Sorry Bill. The US is the bad boy.

    A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

    by slatsg on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:48:23 AM PDT

  •  i find this somewhat obtuse and offensive, (5+ / 0-)

    Bill Maher's analysis/skit that is, because we sure as hell did change Iraq. with the Iraq invasion. let alone all the manipulations of Western powers in that area before that.

    "Iraq, you're a shitty location"?  wtf?

    There's no argument that the position of Iraq's women was worsened thanks to the unilateral U.S. invasion of Iraq that removed Hussein from power: Hillary Clinton was one of many acknowledging that 10 years ago:
    Hillary: Iraqi Women Better Off Under Saddam

  •  "if only we had stayed" (5+ / 0-)

    Same exact players on the Right who insist we stay in Iraq also swear we'd have won Vietnam if we stayed.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:22:04 AM PDT

  •  What an asshole. (4+ / 0-)

    One hundred years of white man imperialism.
    Yes, it can be fixed, to think not is racist.
    But of course it can't be fixed the American way of bombing and killing.  

    "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 21, 2014 at 08:22:26 AM PDT

  •  Fixing the world is in our DNA according to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, Dallasdoc

    Hillary in her 2010 "American Moment" speech on foreign policy. Let's hope she has experienced a mutation since then and evolved.

    “[A]fter years of war and uncertainty,” the secretary of state informed her audience at the Council on Foreign Relations, “people are wondering what the future holds, at home and abroad. So let me say it clearly: The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century.”
    Americans have always risen to the challenges we have faced. That is who we are. It is in our DNA. We do believe there are no limits on what is possible or what can be achieved.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:24:56 AM PDT

    •  We ought to nominate the author of that critique (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wolf10, Johnny Q, Dallasdoc

      I do so believe HRC is just going to be the total embodiment of every foreign policy cliché of the last 70 years which means the expiration date on her strategic thinking was about 50 years ago.  

      When was the last time she had an original thought?

  •  analogies are human nature (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    seems to me we humans always want to figure things out, and the sooner and cleaner the better. as soon as we satisfy our personal threshold for accuracy, we accept that the equation is solved, and move on, risking hoisting ourselves upon Occam's Razor

    "we're flying high on affluenza, mounting severed servants heads on the credenza" -Sanctuary City of the Rich

    by Xavior Breff on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:30:01 AM PDT

  •  Maher's Words Will Be Lost . . . (0+ / 0-)

    On those who need to listen most.

    I miss Speaker Pelosi :^(

    by howarddream on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:45:02 AM PDT

  •  And today we hear from this fuckhead: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Johnny Q, Dallasdoc

    A high-level Shiite cleric in Iraq issued a warning to American military advisers bound for Iraq Friday, hours before Sunni militants captured a crossing on Iraq's border with Syria and Shiite militia members paraded in Baghdad and other cities.

    Sky News reports that Nassir al-Saedi, a cleric loyal to the firebrand Muqtada al-Sadr, referred to America as "the occupier" in a sermon during Friday prayers and added "We will be ready for you if you are back."

    Why are we sending advisors to this place again? I can think of a lot better ways to spend our money.
    •  Al Sadr, was pretty much the only (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett, Johnny Q, Dallasdoc

      Inclusive, neutralist and inclusive Iraqi leader early on, until the Surge and the US sponsored Ethic Cleansing.

      He was wary of Iran, dismissive and suspicious of the Exiles,Western and Iranian, supported the Sunni and the Kurds,

      But, he is a socialist, a Nationalist, believes in Social Justice and Democracy, doesn't like Israel, Saudi Arabia, the US or Iran, doesn't like people messing about in his country, is proUnion and believes that the Oil is Iraq's birthright,

      So of course, for quite a while, he was Enemy Number One.

      •  Good. Sounds like he can handle things (0+ / 0-)

        all by himself. No need for our help.

        •  Would have been possible back in the day, (0+ / 0-)

          And maybe some time in the future,

          But  the US spent too much money, time and effort killing and torturing his people, trying to destroy his organization, putting a price tag on his  head, making sure that he got zero support,

          While they built up Maliki, Allwalli, Chalibi and a host of others with arms, money, positions and privilege, looted sectors of the economy,

          And paid the Sunni uprising pallet loads of cash,

          And of course, unconditional support to the Kurds,

          So, lot's of hurdles to overcome to just get to the place where he can start fixing things, if he ever gets there.

          The US deliberately built Iraq to be broken, and stay broken.

  •  OMG (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think Bill Maher just talked me into leaving my boyfriend! He is just like Iraq!

    How will I tell him.? Oh, I just did. By the way, he did not have a WMD.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 10:25:39 AM PDT

  •  Bill gets it right that the U.S. should not... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, Claudius Bombarnac, killjoy

    ...reinvade. But it was with the usual anti-Arab, these-people-are-unsalveable crap that he's been laying out for a decade. My kids, raised in Libya, watched this guy a few times years ago until his biases made them sick of him.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:59:19 AM PDT

  •  didnt iraqi soldiers also run during Saddam (0+ / 0-)

    When the US invaded Iraq,  didnt Iraqi soldiers also abandoned their post?

    So I think Iraqi soldiers are either not trained well or are a coward.

    When the ISIS came,  they again abandoned their post.

    wall Street Casino is the root of the problem. Don't call them banks.

    by timber on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 12:42:59 PM PDT

    •  Iraq's Military (0+ / 0-)

      Was a Conscript Army, poorly trained and poorly armed, late 80's tech at best, due to the Sanctions,

      No real air cover or air defense due to the decade long "no fly zone", no command and control, no satellite recon, no gps, spotty cell phone service, and a Government that tried to avoid war,

      the "best" of their military,  and that's not saying much, was poorly used, for example, the day before US main forces arrived in Samarra, the Republican Guard, a supposed "elite" unit, was moved out of fortified positions inside the city, into hastily dug positions in open ground, outside the city. not even camouflaged.

      Rumours were, and later confirmed, that Special Forces had visited some of the Iraqi top brass, and pointed out, as the Cartels say, "you can either take our silver, or take our lead".

      In the initial contact, the Iraqi Soldiers massively mauled the Apache's with nothing more than heavy machine guns and RPG's, and that is at a range where the Iraqi soldiers were well within the killing range of the guns and hellfires, before they could even shoot back.

      Once the JDAM's were deployed however, it became a turkey shoot for the US Military.

      It was basically a case of a late 70's Army,  starved for weapons, ammo and supplies, going up against the State of the art Military.

      Over 10,000 died, and they didn't 't have a single weapon that could put a dent in an Abrahms.

  •  Iraq's great curse is actually its great location. (0+ / 0-)

    In antiquity it had water and fertile soil. The gods, however, having a sick sense of humor, gave it no defensible borders. This made for centuries of struggle for control of the territory by one bloodthirsty empire after another, none of which managed to hold on to it. Then oil came along and the same story played out again. What we really need to accept is that Iraq now is a mess because of us, and we cannot repair the damage we've already done.

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