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As President Obama prepares to send 300 military "advisers" to Iraq, a few quick points need emphasizing. The first and most important is this: you cannot win an already lost war. The war was lost during the Bush-Cheney maladministration. It was lost the moment the Bush-Cheney team successfully lied the nation into waging it, but Bush-Cheney incompetence made it even worse. President Obama inherited a lost war. It was not fixable. It was not winnable.

The second key point is that President Obama did not decide to pull out all U.S. troops. The Iraqi people and the Iraqi government told the U.S. to leave. They didn't want to extend the date for the pullout that was set during the Bush-Cheney years. President Obama gets neither blame nor credit. He couldn't win an already lost war, he didn't set the timeline, and Iraq wanted the U.S. to leave.

To underscore the depth of the problem, we have this:

As Iraqi army forces try to rally on the outskirts of Baghdad after two weeks of retreat, it has become increasingly clear to Western officials that the army will continue to suffer losses in its fight with Sunni militants and will not soon retake the ground it has ceded.

Recent assessments by Western officials and military experts indicate that about a quarter of Iraq's military forces are "combat ineffective," its air force is minuscule, morale among troops is low, and its leadership suffers from widespread corruption.

As other nations consider whether to support military action in Iraq, where the situation continued to deteriorate Sunday, their decision will hinge on the quality of Iraqi forces, which have proved far more ragged than expected given years of U.S. training. Even now, fighters with the militant Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, are consolidating their gains, extending their hold on towns, securing access routes between their bases in Syria and the front lines in Iraq, and pressuring other Sunni groups to fight with them.

This was always the case. Despite years of U.S. training, the Iraqi military never became capable of defending Iraq. The Bush-Cheney maladministration failed there as it failed everywhere. Despite all those lives and all that money, they never created a viable Iraqi military.

More beneath the fold.

While Republicans and their hawkish enablers in the traditional media tear their hair and rend their garments over the implosion of the Iraq they attempted to create in their own image, the reality is that success was never possible, for the war was sold on lies, the war was the bloodbath they said it wouldn't be, and the aftermath was disastrously mismanaged. As the hawks try to make the case for what necessarily would be more bloodbath and more failure, and the Obama administration sends "advisers" and warships, the questions are these:

How long is the U.S. supposed to be engaged in Iraq? It is not Germany or South Korea, which are not hot war zones.

How many more lives and how much more money is it supposed to cost?

What is the endgame, and when does it come?

And finally: if all the money and lives already spent failed to create a viable Iraqi government and a viable Iraqi military to defend it, why would spending more money and more lives succeed?

The answers are obvious. So should be the policy. No more U.S. war in Iraq.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What the Iraqi armed forces need is (17+ / 0-)

    bold fearless leadership .
    Cheney / Rumsfeld / Rice .
    With the backing of some or all of the oil companies .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:27:43 AM PDT

  •  It's broken cant fix it; Cheney/Bush & Iraq (6+ / 0-)

    tied Obama's hands. Fine with me, the entire disaster was a waste.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:31:08 AM PDT

    •  Obama had six years (4+ / 0-)

      to get it right.  He failed also. This is a jointly-owned disaster, frankly.

      •  Completely unfair (11+ / 0-)

        Obama came into office with forces in a place where they shouldn't have been.

        Shia-Sunni's have been fighting since what like 656? They haven't gotten it "right" ("The Battle of Camel").

        If getting it right is having a stable Iraq. Only Saddam did. And Saddam did by killing or bribing opposition and being a brutal dictator, that's the only way he held it together.

        I don't know what "fixing" was other than leaving in a way to cause the least amount of deaths?

        Obama can't resolve a rift that came about after Mohammad died? Because those are the people you are forcing, forcing to live together. Why? And I doubt he could partition it and that would be viewed as "right".

        He inherited how to get us out.

        •  Why do we still have resources there (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q, greenbell

          that need protecting? Leaving more personnel there than could fit on a commercial airliner or two was a huge mistake.

        •  Saddam was not the only one, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TJ, oldhippie

          To rule a stable Iraq, and a Iron Hand and Heavy Rod was not required.

          Obama could have started " fixing" Iraq, the problems and solutions were well known at the time,

          And the first rule of thumb when you find yourself in a hole, is to stop digging,

          But that would have required a 180 turn on almost every program and policy in Iraq, the gutting of State, CIA and the Pentagon, and and an admission that American Exceptionalism is nothing but hubris, ignorance and Nationalism.

          Obama wouldn't even prosecute War Crimes, so, it was politically easier for the US in Iraq to keep digging until the clock ran out, than stop digging, or change course.

      •  He did the right thing in pulling out (14+ / 0-)

        I would have liked it to happen faster, but getting out was the right thing to do. Hopefully he won't renege on the promise to get out of Afghanistan.

        No War but Class War

        by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:08:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did we pull out? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbell, native

          Most of our military may have left, but it seems like there are still an awful lot of Americans there that need protection. This unrest wouldn't be much of an issue if we had truly pulled out.

          •  The Us personnel in the "embassy" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell, Roger Fox

            or massive fortress if you prefer, are relatively safe because they're in Baghdad and ISIS will have to pull off something pretty amazing to make it through Baghdad to the US embassy.

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:33:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then why the 300 troops sent to protect them? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              We should instead be using these troops to help load everybody onto military cargo planes and get them ALL out of there ASAP.

              Just moving personnel around and sending in protection forces doesn't seem like we are planning on truly leaving anytime soon. The whole situation smells fishy to me.

              •  Because the president has to do something (0+ / 0-)

                for political reasons. The folks at the embassy are not in any real danger currently. It's the most well protected place in the entire country. We aren't leaving any time soon.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:44:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Color Guard. (0+ / 0-)

                And some intell spook types.

                .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                by Roger Fox on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 02:19:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  They don't look very safe to me. (0+ / 0-)
              •  When they hit Baghdad (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roger Fox, native

                they're going to go toe to toe with the Mehdi Army, asSadr's militia. MA will have the home turf advantage, as well as having experience fighting the Americans for a good number of years. They're also four times the size of ISIS.

                The current fighting has been in an area where the population is relatively sympathetic to ISIS and it's allies, if the fighting reaches Baghdad then this wont be the case. Baghdad prior to the war was Sunni dominated but after the fighting between sects in the Aughts the Shi'a did a pretty thorough job of ethnic cleansing various neighborhoods. And it's a city of more than seven million people. It simply isn't comparable to the other fights that ISIS has been in.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 02:04:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes but how sympathetic would the Mehdi army (0+ / 0-)

                  be to Americans stranded in Baghdad? If they were to be the last line of defense, I would not like to be under their protection. There's no love lost there.

                  No, If I were resident in the city now, I'd skeddadle.

              •  ISIS are Sunni fighting in Sunni neighborhoods (0+ / 0-)

                that wont be the case in Baghdad.

                .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                by Roger Fox on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 02:21:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  He didn't break the word of the evil doers; we (5+ / 0-)

        left on time.

        "We" broke it. Can't be fixed, was a stupid evil disaster, from the beginning.

        I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

        by a2nite on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:29:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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

          But again all it took was Saddam getting assassinated and not having the Shiite dominance by brute force.

          Probably why Bush I stayed out of Baghdad. This was going to happen.

          The only dynamic to watch how far/how is ISIS and the Tribes.

          And in reality we broke it, just like Yugoslavia, in carving out spoils etc. from WW's.

      •  You're assuming there was a way (4+ / 0-)

        to "get it right."

        "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

        by jrooth on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:32:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  All ya gotta do is find a way (0+ / 0-)

          to stop Sunni from fighting/hating/despising Shia. And Vice a Versa.

          Easy Peasy Lemon Squeazy.

          .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 02:23:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Gimme a fuckin' break (12+ / 0-)

        What was he supposed to have done to "get it right?" There's no "right" to get, it was a clusterfuck and remains a clusterfuck. The irony is that the most likely brokers for obtaining future stability will be Iran.

        •  Getting it right would have been leaving entirely. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q, oldhippie

          If we had nobody on the ground there then we wouldn't have to argue about whether or not to send troops to protect them.

          •  Yeah, no. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            akze29, oldhippie

            The core to getting it right, was to build a strong Nationalist, inclusive Federal Government. Everything else would have followed from that.

            But see my post above, strong, inclusive Nationalist Governance is contrary to all current US Political Theory.

            Can't have Governments setting up protectionist tariffs to develop the economy.

            The neocon plan was always to have a weak, divided, powerless and always in conflict Iraqi Government so that Iraq could be defacto ruled from The Embassy,

            And the goal was to always build a parade Military for the Iraqi's because a strong, effective Iraqi Army would probably, as first course of business, kick the US out.

            Obama had 6 years to work with the Iraqi's but politically, it was easier to keep doing the counterproductive SSDD until the clock ran out.

            •  OR, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, oldhippie

              we could have just left as soon as we were physically able to get all of our people out.

              The neocon plan could have been any number of things, but we didn't elect neocons in 2006 and 2008. We elected people that we thought were going to end the wars.

               Who are we to presume that the Iraqi people want us to "build" any kind of government for them, or that this is even possible in the first place? We should have left, apologized profusely, and offered money to help repair the damage we did to that country. Our continued involvement helps nobody but the defense contractors getting richer at the expense of the Iraqi people and the American taxpayers.

            •  This is the easy part, right?? (0+ / 0-)
              to build a strong Nationalist, inclusive Federal Government.
              I suppose that same model could work with the KKK and African Americans.

              .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 02:26:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There were lots of Cantidates, (0+ / 0-)

                All Obama had to do is pull the arrest warrants, let them out of jail, bring them back from exile, put them in a room with some hot sweet coffee and have them get on with it,

                Oh, and gut the neocons and neolibs from their rat holes from which they dominate all aspects of US Policy, and maybe hang a war criminal or two.

                Instead the Obama plan was to continue the SSDD, with a permanently weak Iraqi Government and Military,  bring most of the troops home and hope it wouldn't blow up until after he was out of office.

                Of course the Obama Neocons and Neolibs arming, training and funding of ISIS pretty much guaranteed that wasn't going to happen.

                Doing the hard thing is easy, all you do is start, and then, day by day, keep going.

      •  Pah, the point of no return was when Saddam (0+ / 0-)

        was taken out. He held these 3 factions together as a state called Iraq.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 02:17:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Iraqi History started long before Saddam (0+ / 0-)

          And it was held together with a lot less repressive tactics and brutal violence than under Saddam, or the US, ( who actions and programs make Saddam look like Mother Theresa),

          A strong , unified Iraq was not the game plan, and still isn't.

  •  When Baghdad falls it's gonna get interesting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  The Plan. (14+ / 0-)

    1. Liberate oil.
    2. Military stuff (don't bother me).

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:36:33 AM PDT

  •  If we can't afford the VA, we can't afford to send (23+ / 0-)

    our Troops anywhere in the world. Our Military is "cooked."

  •  But, but, but (11+ / 0-)

    I aint got nothin

    "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

    by LaFeminista on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:37:30 AM PDT

  •  My only suggestion for what we as a country (18+ / 0-)

    can do in response to this policy disaster is to declare the day we invaded Iraq, March 20, National Face Palm Day.

    Seriously, this is bad and gonna get worse.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:39:02 AM PDT

  •  I'm not sure how one (19+ / 0-)

    could even define victory.  

    More and more, it looks like Biden was correct: Iraq will split into three nations: Shia, Sunni, and Kurd.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:40:07 AM PDT

  •  I disagree. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, shaharazade, artmartin, Johnny Q
    As Iraqi army forces try to rally on the outskirts of Baghdad after two weeks of retreat, it has become increasingly clear to Western officials that the army will continue to suffer losses in its fight with Sunni militants and will not soon retake the ground it has ceded.

    Are aren't these the same Western officials who have been so wrong for so long? Now suddenly they're right?

    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 Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:45:47 AM PDT

  •  They cant win in Kurdistan.. they cant win (15+ / 0-)

    in Southern Iraq;  Iran will back that up.

    Ergo, the best that can happen right now is to say.. ok. Iraq is now Three Iraq's. We can flail and agonize all we want, but the idea that there is a new State: Syria/Central Iraq is a fait accompli.

    The thing to do is to shore up that arrangement with support or guarantees to the Kurds, if they even want it, support to the Turks, from NATO, if they want it, and support and give tacit approval to Iran. (Maliki made this a fact several years ago... no going back on that one)

    Ladies and Gentlemen, we have De Facto Partition, and yes, the Liberals were right all along.

    Let us now list the people who were right all along, and those who were delusional, and go forward by rewarding the CORRECT thinkers and devaluing those who are idiots. Its the Market Solution as applied to politics. I am sure the Oligarchs will approve of that.

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

    by OregonOak on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:47:07 AM PDT

    •  Thats probably ISIS' plan (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, gffish, AoT, ivorybill

      Theyre not going to batter themselves to death trying to take Baghdad. They'll allow themselves to be pushed back just a bit, taking their booty with them, to retrench and strengthen their hold on the solidly Sunni areas.

      •  I am sure they PLAN to take Baghdad.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But in their fervor, I dont think they calculate correctly. They might be able to reduce the city to a pile of smoking rubble, but in the end, it would be owned by Iran.

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

        by OregonOak on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:00:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There are huge Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gffish, AoT, Johnny Q, Roger Fox

      ISIS is going to eventually try to take the city.
        That will be the end of their offensive, successful or not.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:53:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am doubtful that Iran will stand by... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit, Johnny Q

        Because... it would only be a matter of time before the Shiite NeoBaathists would make a try for Teheran.

        This is more of an existential threat to Iran than anyone else in the region.

        We would be wise to help the Iranians, AND the Kurds out by word or deed. That would help create a check on Syriaq and their intentions for a Caliphate.

        It seems only a matter of time before Assad in Syria suffers the same fate as the moderates and secularists in the Central part of Iraq.

        Dick Cheney: "You're Welcome!"

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

        by OregonOak on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:58:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roger Fox
        First, consider the brute demographic reality. Unlike in Syria, Sunnis are a relatively small part of the Iraqi population, about 25 percent — though they are a majority in some areas of the west and north. And in Baghdad their numbers are minuscule.

        The reason for this lies in an earlier Sunni revolt triggered by the second gulf war. Baghdad was the target then, too, and its Sunni population was about 35 percent. As the Sunnis asserted themselves militarily, Shiites struck back; by 2008, when their fury was largely spent, Sunnis were reduced to as little as 12 percent of the city’s population.

        "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

        by Superpole on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:10:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know where they're getting those numbers (0+ / 0-)

          because everything I've seen shows Sunnis at least as 32% of the country and a majority in Iraq when the war started, but a minority now. Although I agree with his overall point.

          No War but Class War

          by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 02:14:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What? (0+ / 0-)

            from Wikipedia:

            Islam 99% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christianity 0.8%, Mandaeism and other less then 0.1%.

            The Sunnis were never a majority in Iraq-- that was part of the problem with Hussein/Baath Party.. they were a minority governing the majority Shi'a.


            "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

            by Superpole on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 02:32:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oops, I meant a majority in Baghdad (0+ / 0-)

              But that 32% is significant;y larger than the number you cite.

              No War but Class War

              by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:21:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There isn't a recent Baghdad cencus (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                But there are population distribution maps that show the changes over time in Baghdad,

                Mixed population areas are down 82% from Saddam's day and Sunni dominant enclaves currently amount to 23% of Baghdad and it's suburbs,

                So, unless the Sunni's are crammed into those areas in twice the population density of Hong Kong, which they are not, they are probably less than 20% of the population of Baghdad.


                They also have several enclaves in the middle of the city surrounded by Shia areas, and the major continuous  enclave, is flanked on both sides by Shia areas.

          •  Sunni's were only a majority in Iraq (0+ / 0-)

            Under Saddam's polling.

            They have always been a smaller minority than the Kurds and the Shia, since at least the mid-Ottoman era.

  •  where is Iraq's air force? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    groups of terrorists in pickup trucks should easily be defeated by a few fighter jets.

    •  Of note, the Iraq troops also abandoned 6 (8+ / 0-)

      made in the US attack helicopters when they fled the field in Mosul.

    •  Doubtful that the US left them with any more air (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      than was necessary for police work?

    •  They have none (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayBat, mmacdDE, InAntalya

      We made sure of that. They have a few helicopters. There is much to be said about what weapons the Iraqui army has and why and what contracts service them.

    •  What makes you think the Iraqi air force (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      artmartin, Johnny Q

      is any more inclined to fight  than the Iraqi Army? In Mosul, the Iraqi army outnumbered ISIS fighters by at least 15 to 1. The Iraqi army fled.

      In any case:

      • If overwhelming air superiority alone assured victory, the US would have had a glorious victory in Viet Nam. Air power is good for killing lots of people, but it doesn't win wars.
      • As skillet and Iberian have already pointed out, the Iraqi air force currently is for transport only. They have no significant attack capability beyond a handful of attack helicopters.

      •  Well, the air force wouldn't really be facing the (0+ / 0-)

        same risks as the army is. They could fly over and drop bombs without much risk to themselves.

        No War but Class War

        by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:29:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No Air Force to speak of, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They had 24 Hind gunships, but 6 have been shot down and 12 very badly shot up.  21 pilots have been killed or very badly wounded. Because the US Military decided to not allow the Iraqi's upgraded Hinds, with standoff munitions, the Iraqi a Pilots have to attack, on the deck, and in close, against opponents with smaller caliber, rapid fire AA guns and MANPADS.

          The Iraqi's had about 75 Mil6, Blackhawks and utility Bell Helicopters, an unknown number have been shot down, a number were captured in Mosul, and only the MIL6's are armed, and that's just with a single LAW door gun.

          The Iraqi's just recently received the first shipment of Turcano Light COIN aircraft and trainers from Brazil, but it is unclear if any aircraft and crews are operational yet, or even if the have the weapons for the hard points. it ususally takes about. 6 months of flight training, tactical training, combat training and lots of flights over the bomb and gun ranges to transition to a new aircraft.

          The Iraqi's have some Cessna and Embrauer ELINT and Survelliance aircraft, and from what I understand, they are in the air as much as they can be and are pushing well past safe operational limits.

          The Iraqi's also have some light and medium transport aircraft, which have already been improvised to drop barrel bombs and old munitions.

          But jets, bombers, precision strike aircraft, nope, Iraq does not have those.

          In the East, SAF Mig29's are flying top cover and launching air strikes for Iraqi Forces, but the MIG's are limited by range.

    •  You mean those F-16's (0+ / 0-)

      the first few were just delivered, well the gotta learn how to fly them first.

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 02:45:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If 1 more neocon reads the 'S Korea script' (18+ / 0-)

    I will puke.
    We havent kept troops there for more than half a century  because the country will explode into anarchy if we leave.
    Theyre there because their nearest neighbor is a feudal state run by a nutbar combination of the Godfather and that weird fat kid in 6th grade who ate bugs and school paste.

  •  We could eventually fix Iraq (7+ / 0-)

    But we would go broke in the process while getting thousands more Americans killed.
       The investment necessary to fix Iraq is far more than anyone is prepared to admit or agree to. It's simply not worth it.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:49:00 AM PDT

    •  we'd need at least a million troops (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, Yonit, highacidity, Wolf10, Johnny Q

      and another star on the flag.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:55:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How could we fix Iraq? (7+ / 0-)

      And what does fix mean in this case? We don't want to 'fix' Iraq for the Iraqi people. We want to 'nation build' (destroy)and control this oil rich nation. The neocon's global geopolitical wet dreams of power and profit are always going to be met with resistance. Our puppet governments in the ME are not supportable as the people who live in these so called militant failed states will find a way to throw us out if we do not continue to militarily occupy them. Endless wars for the global 'oligarchical collectivist's' who's only concern is ruling the world and burning up the planet.

      They don't call this the war on terra for nothing. We lost this war and we seem bound and determined to keep losing these preemptive aggressive  wars which only serve the vampire squid on humanities face. The US is creating blow back and an endless supply of militant's insurgent's terrorist's extremist's.  Isis, AQ, Taliban or any other name you hang on these reactionary factions in the ME are  just going to keep forming until we stop with the PNAC, Bush Doctrine, neocon great game. What ever happened to sovereign states and their self determination?

      Droning, invading occupying and building giant fortresses passed off as embassies isn't making the world less dangerous. Humans throughout history resist empire's that seek to conquer and rule the world. Cloaking the US's neocon aggression and wet dreams of ruling the world as national security/ interests doesn't make us safer it just feeds the vampire squid. Here in der Homeland whose going to keep us safe from the dark side which is not containable and has turned it's ugly eyes on us?

  •  "Bush-Cheney incompetence"? (14+ / 0-)

    I don't really think so.  General Dynamics, Raytheon, KBR Halliburton, Blackwater/Xe/Academi made the stacks of cash incompetence never gets.  Just a matter of knowing what the goals of the competence are, yes?

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:52:59 AM PDT

  •  I am amazed at the ease ISIS has had (5+ / 0-)

    in taking over so much territory. The Iraqi military has failed miserably despite having greater numbers, weapons etc.

  •  Holy Wars need no interference from the US (6+ / 0-)

    Raining missiles on the country will not change a thing -- except creating more hatred toward america and more terrorists. But maybe that's the plan that came down from MIC Mountain.

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

    by CitizenOfEarth on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:58:40 AM PDT

  •  Which makes John Kerry a liar (6+ / 0-)

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:01:41 AM PDT

    •  Mr. Munich (0+ / 0-)

      lost his credibility a while back.

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:01:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Of Course the Current Administration (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, Simplify

      has to spin the ongoing U.S. caused debacle in Iraq as "not the fault of the U.S.; Maliki should have created an inclusive government".

      They have to spin it because of the massive amount of blood and treasure we expended there. Imagine the feelings of families who lost loved ones, what exactly did they die for if an extremist group can come in and rip the nation apart in a few weeks, possibly leading to a years, decades long civil war?

      The irony here is Kerry, who fought in Vietnam, come home to protest the war-- and we now know 55,000 of our people died there for nothing.

      "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

      by Superpole on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:19:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  These conflicts have been going on for a thousand (13+ / 0-)

    years. We cant settle anything that deep rooted. Certainly not with military force.

    It might seem harsh to stand idly by while people kill each other, but that is the best of all options. Their religious war/ethnic conflict/geopolitical game is none of our business. If Iran and Saudi Arabia want to duke it out in Iraq...go ahead and knock yourself out.

    Theyre going to have to fix their own problems.

    •  When people are suffering and dying (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivorybill, JayBat, Justanothernyer

      it is always our business.

      We may be powerless to prevent it -- or at least powerless to prevent it without causing worse problems for them and for us -- but that doesn't mean we shouldn't care, or seek ways to stop the bloodshed that wouldn't make more problems.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:23:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When they are ready to stop the bloodshed, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, Johnny Q

        then ill be bothered to care. Until then, ill care about the United States.

        •  As much as I hate to say this... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Indexer, JayBat, Justanothernyer, mkor7

          the phrase fits in this case:

          "Check your privilege."

          The people dying and the people killing may be an intersecting group of people but they are not the same group of people. A lot of those dying are innocent people caught in between warring factions. A lot of them are children. A lot of them would love to stop the bloodshed. Their only crime was the accident of being born around a group of people who are interested in killing each other.

          You can't be "bothered to care" because these innocent people are, in your eyes, not innocent, because you lump them in ethnically, religiously, or nationally with their murderers. That's a mighty privileged point of view, BBB, and I think you need to rethink it.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:52:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let me think for a minute... (7+ / 0-)

            For me, caring means action. Not sympathetic feelings which cost me nothing. If I care, im going to do something. So, what can be done for all those innocent people you speak of? What can the United States do?

            Lets say we sent in a million doctors and a million tons of food and medicine. Would the warring parties sieze that stuff for their own purposes and kill or kidnap our doctors? Yes they would as they already have when we send that sort of thing. Then what must we do...send in forces to protect the aid? Once you decide to get involved in national discord, their problems all become your problems. So, do you care enough to do anything for all those innocents? If so, what? Because if the answer is little to nothing, your brand of caring is just talk to make yourself feel good. A very selfish, high-minded sort of caring.

            Actually, its your sort of long distance caring from comfort that is the sign of privileged upbringing.

            That is quite different from sorrow or sympathy for the fate of innocents. But that is their fate, and thats sad. But the bottom line here is that there is nothing we can do about it. Nothing. Not until those folks decide theyve had enough of killing each other...then I have good cause to care, which again means doing something about it.

            I know enough about Iraq to know that nothing we do will make any difference until the people themselves decide they want peace. And until that day comes, while im sad they have to suffer, I will mind my business. The President understands that and so do the American people. So, I do nothing. Or, I dont care. Which is honest and without insult to the people there.

            •  quoth: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              But the bottom line here is that there is nothing we can do about it. Nothing. Not until those folks decide theyve had enough of killing each other
              Notice you said it again? "They kill each other." Not "These innocent people are being murdered."

              You can't let go of grouping them together, which is part and parcel of why you insist the rest of the world is powerless to do anything.

              Or to put it in Yoda's terms, "So certain are you. Always with you, it cannot be done."

              People out there aren't killing other people for murder's sake, you know. They want something, or need something. This isn't a "We love killing people because killing! We're psychopaths! Yay bloodshed!" situation. There may be ways to stop the violence, or at least reduce it, that don't involve making the problems worse, and we should be seeking those out, actively, like I said earlier. (Nuts to your "long-distance-caring-from-comfort" rot.)

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:13:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, I see them separately. (5+ / 0-)

                Quite frankly i dont care what they want if they seek it using violence.

                But I am not lumping innocent civilians in with militants. Im telling you theres nothing to do for those civilians because of the militants on all sides of this. Until the militants stop fighting, the civilians are fucked. Which im sure the civilians get even if you dont.

                But if you can find a way to solve a 1000 year old secterian conflict from half a world away, be my guest! Lets hear it.

                My position has the benefit of clarity and common sense. Those of you with more high horse morals need to show and prove. So, lets hear it.

              •  "There may be ways to stop the violence," (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q

                If you have a way that the violence can be stopped then I think we'd all like to hear it. Most of us are very skeptical that this is possible. Without actual specifics I'm doubtful, especially given the involvement of ISIS. They may not murder for the sake of murder, but they do murder Shi'a for the sake of murdering Shi'a.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:10:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Is it your position (0+ / 0-)

                  that lacking a path now means we should stop seeking one? Self-fulfilling prophecy ahoy!

                  Here's one: Fund and staff refugee camps in safe locations. This violence always displaces far more people than it kills, and the displaced need food, shelter, medical care. With the rest of the international community, surely we can do that much, can't we?

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:35:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's my position that if we are lacking a path (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Johnny Q

                    we shouldn't just do something anyways, which is what is happening.

                    Supporting groups that help refugees is a good plan, but that's not the US taking action. Throwing some money at NGOs is not action, although it may help some.

                    No War but Class War

                    by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:41:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's not the US taking action? (0+ / 0-)

                      I don't believe the US taking action begins nor ends with military response.

                      I agree with you that doing something just to do something isn't a good idea. Where I disagree sharply with BBB's position is that lacking a clear path to help right now, we should simply not give a fuck and let "them" kill "each other", as BBB would put it.

                      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                      by raptavio on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:57:43 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Giving money to NGOs is not stopping the conflict (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kj in missouri

                        nor is it "doing something" in any substantial sense. I always support helping refugees, but what you're talking about is doing something to stop the fighting, and no one has presented anything that will do that at all that I've heard or read. Unless you have a novel solution to the problem, or know of one that someone else has, then doing nothing is the right thing.

                        No War but Class War

                        by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:05:13 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You're narrowing what I said. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          kj in missouri, AoT

                          I said doing something to stop or limit the violence. People who are displaced and then die to starvation, thirst or disease are also victims of the violence. Helping ensure they have the resources to live helps prevent that -- also, offering them succor and showing them compassion helps inoculate against the next generation of people to be radicalized, so it is a step, however small, toward the long-term goal.

                          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                          by raptavio on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:24:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Keeping the US from further enflaming (6+ / 0-)

            conflicts around the world, which is what our intervention in Iraq would do, is the first step in the US helping the world. History has made perfectly clear that we do not help in the long term when we intervene in armed conflicts, we in fact hurt. This idea that we have a moral obligation to intervene half way across the world is based solely on the fact that we have such a massive military that we can intervene, but the existence of that military is immoral and a massive waste of resources.

            I don't like that people are being killed in Iraq, but there's plenty of people being killed here in the US. We can focus on fixing that instead of poking our nose where we don't belong.

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:18:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree completely to an extent (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              primarily based on the belief that things will stabalize and that is how the country should be (absent a dictator killing opposition).

              Also, this is not a case of Serbians ethnically cleansing. While war is terrible, this is not a fix like the former Yugoslavia.

              Or the many African nations we should've maybe helped.

              Especially as "who is our ally"?

              Yes there is some thought as to humanitarianism. But, how often do we do that when Oil is not involved?

              If it were a truth that we cared about people being slaughtered then yes. But we don't (we as people might but the MIC doesn't). If there was Oil in Africa we'd be everywhere. Oil in Bosnia we'd have been there a lot sooner.

              Here there really is no gain, and it is not exactly a humanitarian crisis, there are far more we could consider and better, this is a divide that NEOCONS have less understanding than ppl here.

              We have nothing to win in Iraq. The tribes are fighting for a reason. When the Shiites have a reason to fight they will. Then it'll probably stabalize if we stay out and just let them have their own states. If one side is a threat to us then well help out the other to have some regional protection.

              But this is a battle that happens if we simply drop a bomb on Saddam's head. Or Bush I goes into Baghdad. You can't make them agree on religious divide.

          •  My privilege is to be an AMERICAN citizen (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q

            Check your Constitution.

      •  We the People of the United States (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q

        Just keep your eyes on the first seven words.  That is our contract and we haven't finished fulfilling it here and until we do I for one am not modifying it to include anyone else with the possible exception of the few allies we have that would actually die for us which is about three and none of them are anywhere near the middle east.

      •  I guess the point of discussion (0+ / 0-)

        Is what can be done by US military intervention.

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

        by koNko on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:37:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why are Oil Prices FALLLING? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, gffish, AoT

    I talk to my father all the time about Politics. For years he and I had said (him first I was too young) why is there not just three states, who cares.

    We were talking yesterday, and I simply do not understand why after the kind of  news of Oil Fields set ablaze we see falling prices?

    My comment was (I have no clue really) - "well you hear nothing that it is our "ally" the Saudis funding ISIS- so maybe we basically said we'll pretend we don't really really know but you better not raise oil prices o we're coming to you?"

    Anyone have any real idea?

    •  Prices are down a little today (5+ / 0-)

      But still well over $100/bbl. There was about $10 to $15 of price built in over Iraq in the last few weeks.

      Remember, Iraq was only producing a fraction of her capacity even before this ISIS run, so the hit to global supply is not as large as it might have been with a fully functional State.

      "Who is John Galt?" A two dimensional character in a third rate novel.

      by Inventor on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:28:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well in Cleveland they have gone down over the (0+ / 0-)

        the last two months (not basing on data just observation) as I paid for the first time less than $40.00 to fill up at 3.65.

        I am just surprised as generally while you present the truth, OPEC used any reason it seemed however tangential to Jack up prices. I am sure there are a ton of examples from the ears passed when we invaded Iraq and really there was no connection to the Consumer end. The news was just used.

        So I am surprised and don't understand why to the uninformed (you are clearly) they have not used the situation as an excuse to give us 5 dollar gas.

    •  I'd bet in part because the conflict with Russia (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ClevelandAttorney, Johnny Q

      has calmed down. Now that the US has common cause with Russia, Iran, and Syria the likelihood of increased output is much greater.

      No War but Class War

      by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:03:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We shouldn't have a single soldier in Iraq. (7+ / 0-)

    Bring those 300 soldiers back now. Our soldiers aren't advisers, they'll soon be forced into combat at some level, only a matter of time. Obama is betraying his own idea of a dumb war, he made a dumb decision.

    Only Iraqis can fight for Iraq. No one else.

  •  The only way we can fix our credibility is to (10+ / 0-)

    lock up the architects of the mess.   I am truly surprised the UN has not called for the arrest of these people.
    Bush..Cheney.. Rumsfeld...Rice...Wolfowitz...Powell ...  Blair and demand accountability.....Since when do we move forward when our forward is taking shape like the past.. We can only  move forward after dealing with the past which resulted in a direct impact on the illegal invasion of a soverign nation and our own financial downfall...  I am not an elected official but I get how this war caused us and those returning soldiers so much harm not to mention those that came home in boxes and the innocent loss of lfe in a nation that posed no direct threat to us.

    Just how much Koch do Right Wingers want in their life? . United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:23:23 AM PDT

  •  ISIS will almost certainly not take Baghdad. (0+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't be opposed to US tactical air support for Iraqi government forces as needed.
       The problem is not that ISIS is going to take over all of Iraq, it is that ISIS will carve out its own country consisting of 1/3 of Iraq and 1/4 of Syria, cripple Iraqi oil exports, and set up decades of war with the Iraqi government.

    •  If they don't intend to have a war (0+ / 0-)

      How is it a problem to carve out?

      The only way that Iraq stayed together was because of a Dictator killing or bribing Sunni opposition.

      I don't think the tribes would support ISIS for endless war. And without Sunni Tribal support ISIS has no chance.

      Let the SUNNI's have their own country. Why do we care?

      I think it will just set up three states. As maybe it should so you DON'T need a brutal dictator to keep opposition at bay. Or bribery. Why does it matter at all if there are 3 states.

      Again why did it matter (other than WWII reward) that there was a "Yugoslavia"?

      The tribes won't allow it. It's a tenuous relationship as it is because ISIS is far more radical.

      Three states is how it should've been.

  •  I am fighting the urge to say Fuck it! (0+ / 0-)

    Let them kill each other.

    ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

    by tommy2tone on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:41:37 AM PDT

  •  I doubt Obama will bomb ISIS. (0+ / 0-)

    Not with Saudi Arabia and Qatar opposed.

    •  lol! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mkor7, Roger Fox, oldhippie

      Mr Obama said: "Right now the problem with ISIS is the fact that they're destabilising the country. That could spill over into some of our allies like Jordan."

      (the same Jordan in which we were training ISIS in 2011 in order to bring down Assad)

      US support for Iraq's security forces battling a militant insurgency will be "intense and sustained," John Kerry has said.

      Gee, just the other day we weren't going to 'take sides'.

  •  You forgot the most important question... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    artmartin, schumann, Laurence Lewis

    ...(politically speaking) of all: Who's taxes must be raised or what spending must be cut to pay for it?  Asking this one question could be enough to poison the Republican't well on Iraq.  Every time they demand (DEMAND!) we do something about Iraq to "save Bush's victory", the obvious and correct response is "How are we going to pay for it?"  Oh, they might answer, "We shouldn't have to worry about paying for a vital national security crisis response right now!"  The follow up should always be, "Hey, those are your rules, not mine!"  When they trot out the tried and true, "We'll simply cut the fat out of the budget!" or the equally tried and true appeal to cut the "Waste, fraud and abuse!"  The only follow up to that can be, "Yes, I agree we must eliminate all corporate welfare and tax subsidies to billionaires, because there sure as hell isn't enough food stamp money to fund another war in Iraq!"  And once we're finished with that we can offer them a ride to the Army recruiter's office so that they can put their ass where their big, fat mouths are...

    Recommended by:
    AoT, scott5js

      •  It may be their plan but (0+ / 0-)

        the reality is as discussed above these are WW carryovers. It is just a Secondary benefit to Israel.

        I just bear in mind that Saddam kept the country together by brute force killing, and bribery. That is not really a country. Yugoslavia split up. Luckily my Bosnian friends don't tell me about their families getting slaughtered.

        If it had a secondary benefit to another power, so be it.

        Are the Sunni's and Shiites going to simply stop and agree on who the successor to Mohammad was after what 1500 years?

        I doubt it. And it's been a good enough reason to fight for 1500 years. Let them have their own states, like Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia.

        Who benefits from an Iraq that is held together by bribing sunni tribes? Really? If it stops the fighting who cares if it plays to Israel's favor?

        •  It's actually a primary benifit for Israel. (0+ / 0-)

          Dividing the county up, divides up the assets resources and the infrastructure.

          The little Balkanized states would spend decades fighting over the infrastructure and resources,

          And economically, they would all be weak and poor compared to an Iraq where they share all the resources.

          Look at California, with out other states electricity and water, it would have a fraction of it's current economy.

          Besides, historically, Israeli plans for the region, like neocon plans, if the goal is peace and stability, you could do much worse than always doing the opposite.

  •  You're wrong about the troop withdrawal. (0+ / 0-)

    Far from the Iraqis asking the US to remove all troops, Malaki approached the U.S. asking to extend their presence.

    Your diary is fatally flawed by your need to settle old scores over arguments you lost and predictions you got wrong.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:04:11 AM PDT

    •  Really? (5+ / 0-)

      Iraq’s Government, Not Obama, Called Time on the U.S. Troop Presence

      Oct. 21, 2011

      In one of his final acts in office, President Bush in December of 2008 had signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government that set the clock ticking on ending the war he’d launched in March of 2003. The SOFA provided a legal basis for the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq after the United Nations Security Council mandate for the occupation mission expired at the end of 2008. But it required that all U.S. forces be  gone from Iraq by January 1, 2012, unless the Iraqi government was willing to negotiate a new agreement that would extend their mandate. And as Middle East historian Juan Cole has noted, “Bush had to sign what the [Iraqi] parliament gave him or face the prospect that U.S. troops would have to leave by 31 December, 2008, something that would have been interpreted as a defeat… Bush and his generals clearly expected, however, that over time Washington would be able to wriggle out of the treaty and would find a way to keep a division or so in Iraq past that deadline.”

      But ending the U.S. troop presence in Iraq was an overwhelmingly popular demand among Iraqis, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appears to have been unwilling to take the political risk of extending it. While he was inclined to see a small number of American soldiers stay behind to continue mentoring Iraqi forces, the likes of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, on whose support Maliki’s ruling coalition depends, were having none of it. Even the Obama Administration’s plan to keep some 3,000 trainers behind failed because the Iraqis were unwilling to grant them the legal immunity from local prosecution that is common to SOF agreements in most countries where U.S. forces are based.

      •  Yes, really. Look at the last sentence in yr quote (0+ / 0-)

        Obama was the one who demanded the legal immunity. Furthermore, he didn't just demand it as part of the negotiations - he insisted on it as a precondition before negotiations even started.

        So, Malaki's effort to get the SOFA extended foundered on a precondition of Obama's.

        We've all seen what happened when Obama wants a negotiation to succeed - he gives concessions on the sticking points in order to get to yes.

        We've also seen what happens when Obama doesn't want a negotiation to succeed - he (somewhat unusually) stands firm on the main point of disagreement (such as the tax increases in the Grand Bargain talks).

        This was the latter. He demanded the poison pill, and he refused to budge from it.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:37:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maliki may have asked us to stay (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, Laurence Lewis

      but he is not a dictator and the government of Iraq would never agree to US conditions for a SoFA. The US requires that host countries allow members of the US military be tried by the military and not by the host government. Iraq rejected this and thereby rejected our troops.

      No War but Class War

      by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:15:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the Iraqi Parliament would never agree... (0+ / 0-)

        to immunity.

        And through a bizarre coincidence, that one demand of Obama's, which he made a precondition before negotiations could even happen was the sticking point on which the negotiations failed.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:39:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is a precondition in nearly every (0+ / 0-)

          SoFA the US has in places like Iraq that have active militants. It's why the Philippines kicked us out not to long ago. It's not 11th dimensional chess, it's a standard part of a SoFA. The US military would never stay in Iraq without immunity as a condition. Period.

          No War but Class War

          by AoT on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:08:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Whole thing is heart breaking. Before Bush 43, ... (5+ / 0-)

    Whole thing is heart breaking.

    Before Bush 43, before sanctions, before Operation Desert Storm, city dwellers in Iraq could come to any U.S. city and be comfortable because they were familiar with a "first world" lifestyle.

    That was my experience.

  •  I like the scare quotes around advisors. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox

    Lord knows, they aren't actually 300 advisors.

    Nope, we're sending a 300 man force to try to win a war.

    I wish this community was a little more reality-based when it comes to military affairs. There isn't even the slightest effort made, by many, to bring anything into play but the ideological gut check.

    Here, now it's time for you to say that everything is Just Like Vietnam, Man.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:07:38 AM PDT

    •  It was never just "300" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q
    •  The scare quotes are there because the US (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, Johnny Q, koNko, Laurence Lewis

      has a penchant for calling all sorts of troops advisers when in fact they may be doing other things as well. We can't know if they're just advising or if they are directing or participating in combat operations. As such the quotes are there to signify that the government calls them advisers. That's reality based.

      No War but Class War

      by AoT on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:16:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that's why the scare quotes r there. (0+ / 0-)

        In the context of the diary, it's a statement that of course we're not really going to just send 300 advisors, that of course it's going to escalate JUST LIKE VIETNAM, MAN.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:43:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even news articles use the quotes (0+ / 0-)

          Ninety of those troops, organized into four teams, arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday to begin establishing a "joint operations center" with the Iraqi military, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said. They join 30 "advisers" already there on secondment from the US embassy.

          No War but Class War

          by AoT on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:03:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, the problem goes deep. (0+ / 0-)

            The scare quotes around "joint operations center" are even odder.

            It's not a joint operations center?

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 07:03:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm guessing they use quotes because they (0+ / 0-)

              don't know what actual role the troops or the center play. The "advisers" are almost certainly trainers as well, and since they're all special forces, or most are, it doesn't seem out of left field to say that they may be used in some role that many would consider combat, like painting targets for bombers.

              The US has a history of sending in members of the military and calling them "advisers" when they are really much more hands on. Ignoring that history is foolish as far as I'm concerned.

              No War but Class War

              by AoT on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:25:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm guessing they use quotes because they (0+ / 0-)

              don't know what actual role the troops or the center play. The "advisers" are almost certainly trainers as well, and since they're all special forces, or most are, it doesn't seem out of left field to say that they may be used in some role that many would consider combat, like painting targets for bombers.

              The US has a history of sending in members of the military and calling them "advisers" when they are really much more hands on. Ignoring that history is foolish as far as I'm concerned.

              No War but Class War

              by AoT on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:37:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Well, some things are comparable to Vietnam (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis

      And others not.

      Same: "Military Advisors" supporting doomed armies

      Different: US got out of Iraq before the home team got over-run, but didn't abandon the embassy, it built a larger one.

      "Lessons Learned"?

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

      by koNko on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:24:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, not the same. (0+ / 0-)

        In Vietnam, we didn't actually have a small advisory force supporting the South Vietnamese Army. It was, right from the beginning, a cover for a troop commitment.

        That's not what's going on here. There isn't the slightest evidence that they are there to do anything else, or that they represent just a down payment on a larger commitment.

        Anyway, the idea that Baghdad is going to be overrun is part of the ideological gut check, in place of reality-based thought and actual knowledge, that I'm talking about. There is no plausible reason to believe in this analogy, except that it conforms to a beloved narrative.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:46:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well well well, so how's that "Allah" working? (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, this must be exactly what "Allah" wanted, Muslims to be ripping each other apart.  Killing each other.  Assassinating their brothers.  This is just the bottom of the 2nd inning.  The real fun hasn't even started.  

    With each muslim screaming, and defending their god "Allah" and all of the "God be willing" in every statement, is this a good time to simply reject religion?  I sure think it is.

    How on earth could "Allah" want this much death ?  

    I spoke directly with the one and only true god, and asked him why people from all over the planet are so confused over this god, or that god, and we all ready know what the smartest have concluded about "God"  

    My god, responded with " Who cares, I am hungry"  It's time to feed me.  Then he threw in the "It's time to clean my litter box"    

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:10:56 AM PDT

  •  In November, the last election Obama has any (0+ / 0-)

    reason to care about happens.   I expect he will try to hold Iraq together with duct tape and chewing gum until election day, then GTFO.   At least I hope he will.   It's hard to predict because we've never seen Barack Obama not have an upcoming election to plan his whole life around.   It will be an unusual sight.

  •  Newspapers are being very quiet (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, Johnny Q, Laurence Lewis

    about the immunity aspects for the 300 advisors.

    The only place I've seen so far bringing it up, is DailyBeast.

    In Iraq, no such diplomatic immunity is on offer for the special operations teams, according to U.S. officials briefed on the negotiations. These sources say the special operations forces being sent to Iraq would not be covered under the diplomatic immunity provided to U.S. military personnel still attached to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
    It's a pretty obvious and important question, to get so little discussion.
  •  Chinatown (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, Johnny Q

    Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi politician who peddled falsehoods to persuade the United States to invade Iraq, is now attempting to take over as Iraq’s prime minister, Iraqi and American sources say.

    His most famous feat was to play Washington against itself and win the support of the neocons in the Bush administration. Could he now win the power he’s always wanted under Obama?

    “It’s Iraq,” said a former CIA official, “Anything could happen.”

  •  Who could have foreseen this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whizdom, Johnny Q

    Locals Say Iraqi Airstrike Killed Civilians in Tikrit
    Army Dubs All Slain 'Sunni Extremists'
    by Jason Ditz, June 22, 2014

    Underscoring the nebulous nature of Iraq’s latest war, as well as the growing sectarian divide it is creating, locals in Tikrit are complaining that a recent military air strike against their town killed a number of innocent civilians.

    The locals of the overwhelmingly Sunni Arab town say that the strike killed combatants, but also seven civilians, and wounded at least 12 other civilian bystanders.

    Iraq’s military, itself overwhelmingly Shi’ite, denies the claim, and insists everyone killed was a “Sunni extremist,” which doesn’t necessarily preclude non-ISIS victims, but does reflect how the Maliki government sees its Sunni minority.

    In addition to being a war crime, killing civilians is extremely counterproductive for the Maliki government, which is trying to present itself as a “unifier” of Iraq’s various ethnic and religious minorities, but which in practice seems to view them all as enemies.

  •  Isis now controls (0+ / 0-)

    The border with Jordan.  We have troops in Jordan.  That is worrisome.  Tripwire.  

  •  Sounds just like Vietnam to me (6+ / 0-)

    military forces are "combat ineffective,"
    air force is minuscule
    morale among troops is low
    leadership suffers from widespread corruption

    We could not Nation Build then and we cannot Nation Build now. The only way would be the same as it always was, brutal oppression.

    What a mess Dick Cheney has gotten us into, let's not get dragged all the way back in just as we were getting ourselves out.

    The nine most terrifying words in the english language . . . "I'm George Bush, we're here to liberate your country"

    by TiredOfGOPLies on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:13:37 AM PDT

  •  Foreign policy 101 = more war, more oppression (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Kerry Assures Egypt Junta of More Military Aid
    Emphasized 'Strong Support' for Peaceful Assembly
    by Jason Ditz, June 22, 2014

    Visiting Egypt’s military junta, Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly expressed “strong support” for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, while assuring the junta, which has been massacring people who participate in peaceful protests, that they’ve got even stronger support still.

    Kerry assured President Sisi of billions of dollars in continued US military aid, and in particular promised that ordered helicopter gunships would be sent to Egypt’s junta “very, very soon.”

    Sisi, for his part, promised to continue to move against “terrorism,” which pleased Kerry. Since the junta has designated most public protesters as terrorists, however, it suggests the policy of crackdowns will continue.

    The former defense minister, Sisi orchestrated a military coup last summer against the elected government, and has since been elected president, albeit in a vote in which all significant opposition parties were banned from participating, and indeed, during which many opposition figures were imprisoned pending execution for “terrorism” related charges.

  •  It's the Global War for Hegemony we're losing. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, waiono, Laurence Lewis

    Iraq just one of its fruits. The neo-con agenda (with neo-lib support to this moment), stated publicly and in plain English, was to remake the Middle East and North Africa.

    Iraq was supposed to be a conquest, giving us a base to destabilize Syria, Libya, and Iran, all under the guise of humanitarian democracy-promotion. It's all turned into the jihadis dream come true. (And here's a joke: ever hear of anyone wanting to force our Beloved Friends and Beneficent Saudis and Gulf States into being anything but the vicious tyrannies they are now?)

    In fact, if our foreign policy were anything close to rational, and had the results we see, we could only conclude that al-qaeda types were in charge of forming it. But our foreign policy -- global hegemony through force of arms and destabilization isn't anything close to rational.

    Everywhere we interfere around the world turns into hell for the locals, and a benefit to our enemies. That's because our foreign policy-forming class is composed of imbeciles, lunatics, the vain, the timid, and the ignorant.

    Here's the result of all our Democracy-promotion: a jihadist state in formation, and by people who got training and access to weapons by the US and it's 'allies' (Saudi Arabia requires quotes when called an 'ally') to go against Syria; except when the training and arms come from the dozens of new jihadi training camps in Libya and the hundreds of thousands of weapons released there.

    And from Libya, weapons and trained killers go to Syria, Iraq, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Yemen....

    We've lost the war. All of them. Doesn't mean our political class isn't going to keep pissing away everything valuable to keep fighting them, and expanding them.

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

    by Jim P on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:50:48 AM PDT

  •  It's impossible to "win the War" when NO ONE (4+ / 0-)

    can tell us what defines "winning".

    I don't understand how repeating a mistake from our past (think Vietnam and "advisors") is a move in the #forward direction that this President has been touting since he took the Office.


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:47:22 PM PDT

  •  Agree 100% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    This was going to happen sooner or later and the only way to get beyond this is to let the Iraqi's see for themselves what a civil war is really like.  There are no winners or losers.  Everyone loses, some just more than others.  Then maybe, just maybe, they will realize why it is important to work together on a solution.

    IMHO, the only thing we can do is protect our own interest as to what is required to defend the security of the US.  No more American blood should be spilled solely in the interest of big oil.

    Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?

    by Tx LIberal on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 01:18:14 PM PDT

  •  This sort of sectarian violence was always goin... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    This sort of sectarian violence was always going to be the end result of operation Iraqi freedom and many of us here said as much then. L. Paul Bremer should be manning the main gate at our embassy in Baghdad for his role in this morass! In passing CPA orders #s 1(which disbanded the Bathist party and removed, immediately, all bathists from their employment with the government of Iraq) and 2 (which dissolved the Iraqi armed forces, there by disenchanting thousands of armed and trained young men) he ensured that Iraq would devolve into sectarian strife and his superiors in the Bush misadministration not only backed his asinine decision to pass both of those orders but gave him the presidential medal of freedom. Regardless, your absolutely correct...we lost this war the minute shock and awe began and it's disgusting on a level I'm not really ready to contemplate for those of us who were right about about this foreign policy disaster all along!

  •  Saddam and ISIL (0+ / 0-)

    Can anyone doubt that if Saddam was still in power, ISIL would not control parts of Iraq. This is not good or bad, it just is.

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