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US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at H
No matter how many times McCain is wrong, he just won't go away.
John McCain and his good buddy Senator Lindsay Graham are back at it, saying we must "Confront ISIS now."
But ultimately, ISIS is a military force, and it must be confronted militarily. Mr. Obama has begun to take military actions against ISIS in Iraq, but they have been tactical and reactive half-measures. Continuing to confront ISIS in Iraq, but not in Syria, would be fighting with one hand tied behind our back. We need a military plan to defeat ISIS, wherever it is....A comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS would require more troops, assets, resources and time.
In the full op-ed piece, McCain and Graham offer a rationale that sounds very much like the Bush doctrine of "preventative war." Do we really want to do that again? Let's take a brief stroll through recent history.

The Bush Administration told us in 2002 that Saddam was a grave threat, and that we must confront him now. We took him out. Our invasion birthed al-Qaeda in Iraq, a branch of which is now, wait for it, ISIS. No invasion of Iraq, No ISIS.

How about a little more history? In 1953, the United States believed that the democratically elected government of Iran, led by Mohammad Mossadegh, posed a threat to us. We took him out. We put the Shah in power. His repressive regime birthed the Islamist fundamentalist movement that took over Iran in 1979, and which still rules today. No coup, no Ayatollahs. How different would Mesopotamia be today if we had just avoided mucking it up.

The point here is that we have a president in the White House who needs to remember what he said about Iraq in 2002, about the "undetermined consequences" that might result from a "dumb war." One of those consequences was ISIS.

Mr. President: "Don't do stupid stuff" really is a smart mantra when it comes to foreign policy. It means don't rush to action because people like John McCain and Lindsay Graham—men who see a threat that requires military action at least twice every day before breakfast—demand it. You were right in 2002. Rely on that same judgment now.  

Originally posted to Ian Reifowitz on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The best that can be said about John McCain is (15+ / 0-)

    that he is an old war horse. Given that, please, please put him out to pasture.

  •  Simple answer: NO ; he's such a one note (23+ / 0-)

    dangerous asshole.

    He & the other evil war mongering Rs are why we don't have nice things. They destroy everything they touch.

    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 Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:11:37 AM PDT

  •  THAT'S GREAT NEWS!!!FOR JOHN McCAIN!!!!!1!!!111!!! (8+ / 0-)

    :3

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:19:58 AM PDT

  •  Headline needs corrected. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz
  •  You're Asking the Wrong Guy (22+ / 0-)

    Look, by now we know McStumpy, Elmer Fudd Graham and most of the rest of the GOP are terminal warmongers, and want us terminally meddling in the middle east.

    The real question is: did congressional democrats learn anything from the Iraq disaster?

    We'll soon find out-- when congress returns to "work" after their summer vacation. we'll see what democrats want to do about ISIL.

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

    by Superpole on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:31:29 AM PDT

  •  Ian, your characterization of McCain and (22+ / 0-)

    Lindsay Graham sounds about right to me.  

    They pick up a news event, slather it with militaristic propaganda and fear-mongering, and then pimp it on the Sunday news shows.  

    I'll take President Obama's cool-browed consideration over George bring-it-on Bush's shallow bullying any time.

    It's never been an easy world out there.  As presidents go, I'd rather have a problem-solver than a tantrum-thrower.

    "...the baffled king composing 'Hallelujah'..." (Leonard Cohen)

    by Remediator on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:34:04 AM PDT

  •  I can never tire of that Reuter's photo (14+ / 0-)

    of Obama and McCain.  

    Based on their demeanor in that picture, it's not hard to decide which one of the two men you'd want at a desk with launch codes.  

    "...the baffled king composing 'Hallelujah'..." (Leonard Cohen)

    by Remediator on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:37:34 AM PDT

  •  McCain just likes seeing stuff blow up (18+ / 0-)

    He's like a child that way.

    Lindsey Graham, on the other hand, is just a coward. How many threats, real or imagined, is this man scared of? I'm surprised he doesn't spend all his days at home cowering under his bed.

    Oh, wait. He can't. There's the threat of monsters down there.

  •  Give these two Relics some props (6+ / 0-)

    for surviving from the 19th Century. They can't help themselves for their stale, outdated, and ancient rhetoric.

  •  Well, it's not like there's just one lesson... (6+ / 0-)

    ...to be taken from it.  You could say the lesson is never to get involved again. It could be to do a better job at it. It could, perhaps most relevantly, be to stick to raining fiery death from the sky rather than using ground troops.  We always make it sound like there's only one self-evident lesson, and that's a caricature of how learning from past disasters works.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:43:04 AM PDT

    •  The primary lesson is don't go to war unless you (10+ / 0-)

      absolutely have to. War should be a last resort, when there are no other options.

      •  so what other resorts do we have for ISIS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lordcopper

        then?

        Leaving it be isn't a great option.

        Giving arms to folks in the region isn't a great option, other than maybe the Kurds, but that opens up it's own can of worms.

        I'm fine with a joint multi-national effort and it looks like that's what Obama is doing.

        •  Yup. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unfangus, mosesfreeman

          There are a whole lot of countries all around Syria and Iraq.  Between the US, Britain, France, and Russia (and a few other countries) they've bought or been given a whole lot of weaponry.  Some of them have sizable armies too.

          The countries in the area have the most to lose and the US has pretty much proved it can't find its ass with both hands and an instruction manual in this particular area (a lot of other areas too - but I'm trying to stay on topic...)

          •  and if they cant (0+ / 0-)

            or wont do it?

            Then too bad for all those poor folks?

            The US can do the job, so long as the leaders do their job.

            •  I am going to invoke the Dan Rather Rule (5+ / 0-)
              I will hear you out if you tell me you are prepared to send your son, your daughter, your grandson, your granddaughter to that war of which you are beating the drums, If you aren't, I have no patience with you, and don't even talk to me."

              One does not simply walk into Mordor! One invites a gas driller in, and one’s land becomes Mordor. Chris From Balloon Juice

              by Mr Stagger Lee on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:53:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Then they can't or won't (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ian Reifowitz, magsview, mosesfreeman

              "The US can do the job" - what exactly is "the job"?  If the job is "f'n the Middle East up even worse" - well, you're right, the US has definitely shown an aptitude for that.  As have "the leaders" like Cheney, Bolton, and the rest of the whackaloons that got us into the latest mess in the first place.

              Tell you what - let's not worry about can't or won't till we FIND OUT if they can't or won't.  Then we can look at plans B, C, D, etc.  I'm personally pretty pleased that President Obama is not going "Yeehaw" and whipping out his, um, "gun".

              •  it's called a hypothetical (0+ / 0-)

                IF they can't do the job, then what?

                Either you are saying oh well, or you are saying plan B, and what is plan B?

                The idea that because we've done bad or even dumb things under one administration we cannot do good things under another is not very logical.

                •  Hypotheticals... (0+ / 0-)

                  Are a lot of fun - I love them.  My favorite is "what happens if the sun goes supernova tonight.  It's a really great one because there is no plan B.

                  Now, with the understanding that you are asking an old software engineer about strategic diplomatic and military planning and seem, even to me, not particularly serious:

                  1)  Plan A - which has to be put in place regardless, is to get serious about tracking terrorists and their funding as an international organized crime investigation.  It's been an open secret for quite a while that a lot of the funding for radical Islamist organizations comes from mostly from Saudi Arabia and Qatar (with other sources - all oil powered).  Hunt those flows down, arrest the agents, and grab any of the financiers the moment the travel outside of their countries.  If they stay in country, blow up a number of princely palaces - much more effective in my opinion than going after the infinite "number 2s" in terrorist organizations funded by SA and Q.

                  2)  No US intervention can be successful long term UNLESS the local powers can stand up to keep order.  This has been proven pretty thoroughly over the last 50 years.  So - my plan B would be to work with Turkey, the new government in Iraq, the Kurds, Iran, and any Sunni groups getting more disgusted with ISIS/ISILs brutality than the Iraqi Shia government's brutality to stand up better troops with local ME backing.  US provides some "death from above" assistance but requires specific local approval.

                  3)  Plan C is massive funding for renewable resources and power storage options.  We've massively subsidized coal, oil, and nuclear power.  Time for our renewable Manhattan projects.  Reducing need for carbon based power reduces the money in the hands of the financiers of fanaticism (abroad and here in North America) and helps slow climate change (too late to prevent - but we might be able to avoid Eocene level warming).

                  4)  Plan D?  Go nuts, gazplm - I'm not doing all the work for you...

            •  The point is, the US can't do the job (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Greenfinches

              It's counterproductive. Further US involvement would only create more allies for ISIS among the Sunni. Local forces are handling things pretty well these last couple of weeks, and ISIS is on the way down.

              I'm not opposed to a few airstrikes, but American ground troops aren't necessary.

              Didn't your mama ever teach you not to spit in the wind?

              … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

              by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 10:54:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  no one is talking about (0+ / 0-)

                ground troops, so apparently you are spitting into the same wind as I am.

                •  I never spit in the wind. (0+ / 0-)

                  My mama taught me better than that.

                  … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

                  by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 05:44:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The thing is unless the administration can put ... (0+ / 0-)

                    The thing is unless the administration can put a lid on ISIS and soon the rubes are going to keep beating the drum of inaction and 'leading from behind' then sell the public on the notion that John Wayne and company can easily defeat them and we end up with one of the cowboys in the Whitehouse who with a rube congress and rube scotus will reinstitute the draft and send hundreds of thousands of kids over there barely armed, barely trained and a copy of some fundy bible translation of mcc's Vietnam memoirs of how he singlehandedly ALMOST defeated the NV army from a pow cage after he caved, came home a 'hero', but was meet by liberal hero spitters.

          •  So you don't have a problem with war! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Justanothernyer

            Just a problem with us being involved. I think this helpfully clarified the debate, and I mean that non-snarkily.  We should look at why US, opposed to others', military intervention is some kind of special problem to be avoided.  I assume part of it is that US military intervention kills our own people, but is that all of it?  

            It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

            by Rich in PA on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:55:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And reading Huffington Post today makes one (0+ / 0-)

            Believe this is more about the House of Saud and Wahhabism than anything about US.

            I'm in the Henry Wallace part of the Democratic Party.

            by CTDemoFarmer on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 06:27:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  To me (4+ / 0-)

          Leaving it be looks like a far better option than going to war.

          Going to war is guaranteed to create thousands more terrorists who want to destroy America.

          Leave it be and its own local troubles may well keep it from ever being a real threat to the West.

          One thing is for certain. It is not an imminent threat to the West right now, no matter what the warmongers might try to tell you.

          •  what terrorists (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kane in CA

            are there that are going to be created in this situation?

            This is an organization so extreme that even AQ and Hamas denounces them. This is an organization that unites Iran, SA, Iraq, and Syria against them.

            This is an organization that both Shia and Sunni now fear and want gone.

            I don't think you can leave it be when whole ethnic/religious/cultural groups are being killed and women are being sold into slavery.

            Leaving ISIS be is going to be eventually allowing a large swath of land to be turned into a terrorist state, and yes that's a threat to everyone. I don't think hoping it all implodes on itself, which yes, it could, is a good strategy.

            I think working together with the countries in the region and globally to stamp them out now is.

            •  You can never "stamp them out", (4+ / 0-)

              that is part of the problem. And in the course of futilely attempting to "stamp them out", countless will be 'only' maimed. Them and the relatives of those we kill will become further radicalized.

              And if it's the subjugation of women that concerns you, are you all for US military aggression in Nigeria too then? To go after Boko Haram & his fellow extremists? Why not? Africa has resources, I mean, people to save from terror too.

              And don't you find it a coincidence that the neocons seem to have found a way to justify dropping bombs in Syria? Just like they always wanted to? We fund rebels then, ooops, find our 'interests' are threatened by said rebels. Who could have foretold? Oh, but look! A silver lining, now we can, I mean, we should, move into Syria! Yay, bonuses for the MIC.

              http://www.upworthy.com/...

            •  ISIS is the proverbial flaming bag of poop (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              magsview, angry marmot

              left on the doorstep. "Stamping it out" is exactly what they want, thus the grandiose claims and very public executions.

              US intervention would help them enormously. If US troops were on the ground, the local Sunni tribes and militias would support them, Sunnis in regular army formations might be tempted to stand down, and wealthy Gulf donors would keep the cash flowing.

              As it stands, they are wearing out their welcome with the local Sunni, and other forms of support are tepid. The best option for the US would be limited air support, some drone strikes, and material aid/intel/coordination with local forces opposed to them. The Kurds, the Syrian Army, the Iraqi Army and Iranian forces have all made significant headway against ISIS.

              US help is working, but it has to stay off the frontline.

              … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

              by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 11:29:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You answer your own question (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mosesfreeman, magsview

              Everyone wants them gone. So they are going to be tied up in their local area, so no need for American involvement.

              The one thing America could do to ruin that scenario is to get involved militarily, kill people there, and thus give credence in the eyes of the locals to ISIS propaganda against the West, ie exactly the mistake Bush and co made.

      •  I don't see that as the self-evident lesson at all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa

        It would, for one thing, preclude lots of wars that I think are pretty positive in how History reckons them

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:54:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wish someone woulda told Dubya that, Ian. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz
    •  Of those three, all have been tried (10+ / 0-)

      except staying out of it. invade better?  ok... surge! just air power?  ask Clinton if that worked. in fact, ask Obama if it worked in Libya, which is a god awful catastrophe.

      Nobody ever has tried 'lets mind our own business' but I suspect that would work rather well. cheap,  too.

      •  Cheap, but not "satisfying" enough for some. (5+ / 0-)

        Yet those same still dominate the discussion.

      •  Didn't we try that in Syria (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rich in PA, Justanothernyer

        At least for awhile. Eventually we decided it wasn't working out so well, so we started trying to arm the good rebels, but it was too late to help them enough.

        The Empire never ended.

        by thejeff on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:50:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The "good rebels"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz

          You mean the ones that were only shooting at Syrian troops?

        •  If ISIS and the 'good rebels' (0+ / 0-)

          were both fighting Assad, why do think they would turn and fight alongside Assad against ISIS at America request? Wouldn't they be more persuaded by the guys fighting alongside them? Rather than us 10000 miles away?

          Arming them would have been a disaster. ISIS would have those weapons and all of Syria. Then wed have another Israeli problem.

          Our people don't think these through. The world is little surprised we are gun freaks.

          •  Because civil wars are messy (0+ / 0-)

            And the Islamists and more moderate rebels have been clashing for quite awhile now.

            Besides, did I say they would? I said we pretty much tried doing nothing in Syria, which you said hadn't been tried. It hasn't worked out all that well.

            The Empire never ended.

            by thejeff on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 03:53:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Its worked out perfectly well! (0+ / 0-)

              We aren't involved in their civil war. Hasnt cost us blood amd treasure. That's perfect success. Us not involved. The future of Syria is a Syrian matter and a regional matter. It is not an American matter unless folks just want to muck about in other peoples problems and accept the usually shitty, bloody, and expensive consequences.

              And on the matter of chemical weapons, which neocons said was the reason to meddle, they've all been removed. Through diplomacy. No shots fired. No dead Americans. That's stunning success.

              What you're saying is we should be fixing their internal politics and we can't do that unless we try. Otherwise its bad for Syria. Or failing to try is terrible. I say say not meddling in their internal politics is a great success for America. Fuck Syria.

              •  Well, by those standards (0+ / 0-)

                Libya's been a success as well. It just cost us the actual cost of the military operations, which was minimal in blood and not much more in treasure.

                Who cares how it actually turns out, as long as it doesn't involve dead Americans.

                The Empire never ended.

                by thejeff on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:50:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Libya is an obvious failure by the same standard. (0+ / 0-)

                  We spent a billion bucks bombing Libya and its a god awful catastrophe. We should have stayed out of it and kept our money. Libya is a clear example of what happens when you get half-ass involved in the internal politics of nations....you have no control over the outcome of your involvement. Its either full commitment (Iraq), half assed intervention (Libya), or staying out (Tunisia). Guess which one of those is not a complete mess?

                  That's right...no dead Americans, no American money, no American political fallout. That's success. That's what matters.

                  •  We define success differently (0+ / 0-)

                    If you define success as "no dead Americans, no American money, no American political fallout", then yes, only staying out can possibly be success.

                    Of course, that's an argument for isolationism.

                    That's not judging success or failure based on any outcome, just on defining intervention as failure.

                    The Empire never ended.

                    by thejeff on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 06:03:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  First we need to exclude our all to Americanize... (0+ / 0-)

                      First we need to exclude our all to Americanized 'morality' and stop pretending their method of killing is much more repulsive than our method, drop the propagandizing of every beheading as IF it's a new concept and much worse than the electric chair.

                      In this country some guy gets a fucked up lethal injection and takes awhile to die then half of us gasp in horror and the other half tells you to just give them any torture device and they'll volunteer to slowly kill the guy with as much pain and terror as they can possibly imagine and suddenly we're supposed to send hundreds of thousands of kids to Syria to knock off blood thirsty killers? With what? More humane lethal injection soldiers?

      •  Staying out of it is tried all the time! (4+ / 0-)

        We just don't pay attention. Syria, Sudan, Rwanda, Bosnia until we changed our mind, etc.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:58:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Afghanistan in the 1990s. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          killjoy

          Which obviously backfired pretty badly.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 10:11:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  None of those situations is the same. (0+ / 0-)

          Not a single one. But they all do have one thing in common: No Imminent threat to America. That's why we never for see the blowback that comes from biting us in the ass. The only places we have no blowback is the places we did not intervene militarily. No problem in Rwanda or Sudan...for us.

          •  I guess the moral is that when people are... (0+ / 0-)

            ...potentially dangerous to us, we shouldn't do anything.

            It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

            by Rich in PA on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 01:46:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Unless you like preemptive war, that works. (0+ / 0-)

              But I prefer actual imminent threats to conjured ones that come from faulty intelligence.

              Next you'll be telling about potential mushroom clouds being the smoking guns. I'm sure that's what's coming next: ISIS obtains WMD's!!!! Invade NOW!!!! BOMB!!!

              Ugh...no. Had quite enough of that under Bush.

      •  Actually, we tried that in Afghanistan in the (0+ / 0-)

        1990s, when Afghans were imploring us to help.

        It also didn't work out too well...

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 10:11:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Soviet "help" didn't work in the previous (0+ / 0-)

          decade, our "help" wouldn't likely have made any difference either. The Taliban was virtually unstoppable at that point, due to the situation on the ground, and in any case, the Taliban was bank-rolled by our "ally" the KSA.

          I will never forget the "100% pure Islam" meme those fucktards used to circulate.

          … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

          by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 12:21:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We weren't being asked to provide the type (0+ / 0-)

            of "help" the Soviets provided, ie. we weren't being asked to have our special forces first assassinate their president and then send in 100k of our regular troops.

            It was about some financial assistance, especially about know-how and civil assistance, and some assistance with arms.

            Yeah, and putting pressure on KSA and Pakistan to quit supporting the most conservative/reactionary elements may have helped too.

            And no, the Taliban were not unstoppable.  Not even close.  Massoud proved that, even though he had virtually no assistance.  

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 03:06:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think the Taliban proved that they were (0+ / 0-)

              unstoppable, as evidenced by history. Don't discount their appeal, at the time, they were viewed as rescuers.

              … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

              by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 03:15:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Only by the Pashto, who make up about 40% (0+ / 0-)

                of Afghanistan's population.

                They were hardly popular at all amongst the Tajiks, Uzbeks, and definitely not amongst the Hazara.

                The reason they were able to dominate large parts of Afghanistan was because they received so much support from Pakistan's military and intelligence services, including thousands of Pakistani soldiers directly active in Afghanistan.

                And because the international community provided virtually no help to the forces in Afghanistan that were attempting to create a democratic Republic.

                You are right that the popularity of seeming anti-corruption element of islamist movements should not be underestimated, though.  Not with the Taliban and not with IS either.

                "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                by Lawrence on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 04:24:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

          We had been involved in Afghanistan since the 1980s. And the 1990s were the natural result of our direct involvement. You need an example where we did not get involved at all.

          •  That right there is highly speculative. (0+ / 0-)

            The 1990s were a result of the Soviet invasion and killing of an estimated 1 to 2 million Afghans.

            The most successful in fighting the Soviets, ie. people like Massoud, received little to no assistance from us and U.S. assistance wasn't near as influential as the Reagan Admin. would have had us believe.

            The Afghans were going to fight the Soviets, whether we were involved or not.

            And then we turned around and ignored it all.

            As I said above, that didn't work out too well.

            Ignoring shit won't necessarily make it go away.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 02:54:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It wasn't the Taliban that was our problem. (0+ / 0-)

              The Taliban didn't strike us on 911. They were a problem for their people, not ours. Our involvement in Afghanistan had to do with us birthing All Qaeda, which was our problem. We didn't ignore it when they turned to jihad. Clinton noted this dozens of times how often he tried to destroy All Qaeda and he was saying back in the 90s that it was blowback from our involvement. It was his top security concern that he noted to the incoming Bush Administration. They did ignore it despite warnings.

              The Taliban, however, was never an international problem for us but a local problem for Afghans. Again, their problem, not ours. We fucked up when we went with Bush's 'terrorists and anyone who harbors them' with us or against us stupidity. Then we made them as well as the foreign fighters from All Qaeda the enemy.

              Afghans were never our problem. All Qaeda was. Failure to see the difference was the fuck up on our part. The Taliban issue had nothing to do with us.

              •  The Taliban and Al Qaeda were basically joined (0+ / 0-)

                at the hip in Afghanistan.  That was ignored.  Massoud's pleas for assistance also were ignored, probably because he was too independent/had too many leftist ideas.  

                The joining at the hip is why Al Qaeda assassinated the Taliban's greatest adversary, Massoud, two days prior to 9/11.

                The Taliban always were a problem for the international community.  We ignored that problem and we suffered the consequences of doing so.

                "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                by Lawrence on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 04:31:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  As a general rule, listen to what JohnLindsey says (5+ / 0-)

    for the particular reason of doing the exact opposite.

    Bush had a videogame back in 2000: "Grand Theft Election" - David Letterman

    by lotac on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:45:24 AM PDT

  •  A strategy? Why dont we have a strategy already... (5+ / 0-)

    A strategy? Why dont we have a strategy already?!!

    Possibly because the President isnt constantly thinking of grand plans for the middle east. thats a good thing, a healthy thing.

  •  We learned plenty from the Iraq War. (14+ / 0-)

    Namely, that none of the perps would be punished, and the usual suspects (contractors, corporations, lobbyists, war profiteering congresscritters) would make a killing on that war.

    Which is exactly why we keep warmongering.

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

    by corvo on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:49:09 AM PDT

  •  I don't know. (7+ / 0-)

    John McCain is ipso facto wrong just by virtue of being John McCain, and nobody sane wants another war; but the question is what if anything the world can do about these murdering thugs.

    There are no easy answers here. What I'd be wary of is complexity paralysis, throwing up our hands and saying there's nothing to be done.

    That's the debate inside the Obama administration, the question of what our goals in this conflict are and which tools we can use to effect them. Odds are we're not talking about asking ISIS over for tea either, so the question becomes what price America is willing to pay in blood and treasure and what the political framework will be.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:50:29 AM PDT

    •  I'm worried about extreme lessons (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC, Kane in CA, Lawrence, Greenfinches

      yes, Iraq was a really really really stupid dumb idiotic murderous thing to do by Bush et al.

      But to me the answer is not, never ever use the military again for anything ever, which seems to be the lesson many here advocate.

      •  It's a hard choice. (4+ / 0-)

        On the one hand, we don't want needless death, on the other, that is what ISIS is dealing out. In the most barbaric way imaginable, stonings, beheadings, all that in public and across social media.

        But can America change that? Is that our job? I'm not sure.

      •  JQ Adams suggested (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native, Ian Reifowitz, mosesfreeman

        that A,erica go not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.  To be the sympathizer of rights and liberties everywhere, but to be vindicator ONLY OF OUR OWN.  We didn't like Qaddafi, so we've uinleashed this--what?--in Libya.  We don't like Assad and were about to bomb the only military force that has imposed significant setbacks on ISIS.  Actions have consequences.

        “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” —Aldous Huxley

        by ActivistGuy on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:48:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, the answer is (5+ / 0-)

        Never, ever, ever have a war of choice again.

        If you are forced into it because someone has invaded your territory, fine, go and kick them out.

        But don't ever, ever, go into somebody else's country, pick sides in a centuries-long conflict you don't understand, kill a few tens of thousands of people, and then wonder why you haven't created a paradise on earth.

        •  so genocide (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kane in CA, Lawrence

          the holocaust, none of these involve someone invading your territory.

          So if another holocaust is happening, we sanction and complain but no war of choice?

          Sorry, can't sign on. Not all "wars of choice" are created equal, and just because my neck isn't on the line but the neighbor's neck is doesn't mean I automatically sit it out.

          Wars of choice as you call them which I guess means all wars except invasion, are not all created the same and just because some are dumb or even criminal doesn't mean they all are.

          •  I get where you are coming from (0+ / 0-)

            But.

            Korea

            Vietnam

            Afghanistan

            Iraq

            Every single one has been a disaster that did way more harm than good.

            I do understand the concept that if the world saw a situation like Nazi Germany and its extermination of innocent people, intervention should be on the cards. But there is so much history since WW2 of the US using that as a precedent and ending up making terrible mistakes that I really think that line of thinking should be ditched.

            •  whoa wait a minute (0+ / 0-)

              Korea? The North invaded, we along with the UN defended.

              That's wasn't a US only action, that was a UN mission. Sorry but lumping that in with Vietnam is wrong.

              I'll disagree on Afghanistan as well. The problem was not going in, the problem was Iraq. If we'd only focused on Afghanistan, gone in, got AQ and bin laden, and gotten out, that mission would have been a success.

              The two big ones are the 2nd and 4th. It's those two that I agree with you on. I don't think ISIS is those two, and I don't think Obama is Bush.

              •  Partly with you (0+ / 0-)

                I accept your point about Korea. It can be reasonably compared to Gulf War 1: a country had been invaded, the rest of the world came together to repel the invader. Once the country had been freed from the invader, the job was done. Clear reasons, clear enemy, clear, defined goals, clear end point.

                But I can't agree with you on Afghanistan. The source of al Qaeda was Saudi Arabia. That is where almost all the terrorists came from, and most of the funding. Attacking Afghanistan was just a wounded beast lashing out blindly. There was only the outlines of a clear reason, the enemy was vaguely defined and impossible to identify and distinguish from the "good guys" in a war scenario, the goal was fuzzy and ill-defined beyond some soundbite headlines which just don't serve for that purpose, and there was absolutely no clear end point.

                With both Iraq 2 and Afghanistan, the question I kept repeating and never got an answer to was "What does victory look like?" If you cannot describe in crystal clear terms precisely what needs to be achieved for you to say that we have won and this is over, you should stay the hell out.

                And the ISIS situation is very much of the same nature as Vietnam, Iraq 2 and Afghanistan.

                •  no not blindly (0+ / 0-)

                  that's where AQ was. We didn't just throw a dart at a map and it landed on Afghanistan.

                  The problem was that we put it on the back burner while we went on the ridiculous craziness that was Iraq. If we'd gone in, gotten BL and co and gotten out, much much better all around.

                  Victory would have looked like AQ dismantled, and BL dead in short order. Instead, we got AQ sorta dismantled a decade later, which is more than enough time for new groups to spawn.

                  The ISIS situation is not like Iraq, it's like Afghanistan only early. How we respond in the early going will determine how things end up...and "we're gonna sit this one out" is not going to help anything.

      •  Use Military when ROI is High (0+ / 0-)

        And ROI is low in the Middle East.

        For the first time ever, as of last May, the Middle East ships more oil to China than the USA.

        Where to use our military?

        In Southeast Asia, to contain China.

        China is asserting territorial claims on land that belongs to our allies.  And she believes that the South China Sea, and East China Sea, through which 40% of global commerce travels, belongs to hers.

        Clearly, the US can not allow that to happen.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:12:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmmm... (0+ / 0-)

          I'm a lot more into the idea of using our military to stop ISIS than getting into any sort of military confrontation with China.

          •  Again, 40% of global commerce travels through.. (0+ / 0-)

            ..the South China Sea and East China Sea.

            The US has MUCH MORE to lose in Southeast Asia than in the Middle East.

            And it's not the US looking for a confrontation with China.

            It's China looking to confront the US, as playing "chicken" against the USS Cowpens demonstrates.

            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

            by PatriciaVa on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:29:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Bull (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz, Patango

        Just because some of us don't think we should be further entrenched in the Middle East does not necessarily mean that we never use the "military again for anything ever".

        Although, it does irk me to see the US Coast Guard patrolling in the Persian Gulf, shooting at Iranian dhows.

        http://www.cbsnews.com/...

        Guess calling them the Coast Guard will soon be seen as quaint. International Marine Patrol may be their new name some day.

    •  Nuance is important (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC

      There tends to be a knee-jerk reaction to any recommendation that comes from John McCain. If McCain wants it, it must be wrong. But the fact of the matter is, the Islamic State is not Iraq. And because McCain was wrong about Iraq does not mean he is necessarily wrong about ISIS. His precise plan to deal with ISIS might not be the best plan. But he's not wrong about the risk they present, both to the immediate geographical region (they've already proved that), and eventually to Europe. Doing nothing might not make much of a difference in the near term. The near term being weeks. But doing nothing even in the intermediate term could present an existential threat to some NATO countries and other allies. Sit still and watch is not an option.

      •  I couldn't disagree more strongly (4+ / 0-)

        McCain is, as usual, dangerously wrong.

        Yes, these people present a near-term threat locally to where they are.

        They pose no threat to the West whatsoever.

        There is no realistic prospect of them posing a significant threat to the West any time soon. They are going to have enough trouble just holding on to their recent gains, let alone expanding significantly.

        And there is virtually no action the US could sensibly take, perhaps apart from very limited airstrikes, that would not be exponentially worse than doing nothing.

      •  Didn't we give Saudi Arabia over 250 jet fighters (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patango, Ian Reifowitz

        Including 150 F-15s?

        If ISIS is as dangerous as McCain says it is, why doesn't Saudi Arabia begin to take them out?

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:21:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't disagree (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PatriciaVa, native, Ian Reifowitz

          I'll take your word for it on what we've supplied to SA. It is their problem too. They are a threat to every stable government in the region, democracy or not. I don't know that it is the US that must do something. But if nobody does anything, the instability will spread. And just as economic instability in the EU spills over into the US economy, government instability in the middle east will spill over into the EU, and eventually to the US. Anyone who believes that ISIS does not have plans more grand than Iraq and Syria has their head in the sand.

        •  Beause "IS" is to a large degree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz

          a creature of KSA's whacky theology. There's a power sharing agreement of long standing between the house of Saud and the Wahabi mullahs.

          But I think the royal family might be getting worried about "!S" right about now.

    •  "IS" can be defeated only if the nations (4+ / 0-)

      that are most directly threatened by it undertake coordinated military action. Primarily Iraq and Syria, but also Lebanon, Jordan, and KSA. The Kurds can and will take care of themselves.

      US diplomatic and economic pressure could help to achieve such a coalition, if the will was there. It could also provide limited air support.

      Somehow, Erdogan needs to be persuaded to seal the Turkish border, and somehow Qatar and KSA need to be persuaded to cut off the funds they are providing. Again, diplomatic pressure.

      All this would be a very tall order, but I think it is at least a general goal, or semi-strategy, or direction. Obama might already be working along these lines, for all I know.

      •  Funds from the KSA and Qatar (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native

        are most likely being provided by factions on the "outs" with the governments themselves, thus the perception of "double-dealing".

        Erdogan could likely seal the border, but I wonder about Turkey. I've heard reports that more than ten percent of ISIS' forces are Turkish nationals, add that to the rumors of training camps/assembly areas in Turkey, and the known fact that ISIS operatives usually enter from there. I'm not sure about the role of the Turkish gov't in all of this, or what leverage they have. I do know that Erdogan could shut them down IF he wanted to.

        Regarding the nations fighting ISIS, I have heard that the US is sharing intel to facilitate/coordinate their actions. Limited air support is happening. I think the plan you outline seems to be coming into place.

        Lebanon was just sent the first installment of new weapons for it's army from the US, with which to oppose ISIS. As you may remember, ISIS made a limited incursion into Arsal a few weeks ago, and there have been border clashes in the same area recently. Critics say that what the US sent amount to "firecrackers" in the face of ISIS, so far 1500 assault rifles and 450 of what are described as AT rockets, presumably AT4s. Photos show 81 and 120mm mortars being off-loaded as well, plus some Hummers. These are actually "firecrackers", but they say that the next load will have more substantial systems.

        The good news is that ISIS isn't that sophisticated either. An AT4 can knock out a truck-mounted autocannon without much difficulty, in the right circumstances.

        … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

        by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 01:33:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's entirely possible, even likely, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mosesfreeman

          that Erdogan has made some kind of a deal with IS. If true, this would be highly irresponsible behavior by a NATO member state. I believe the US and other NATO allies could effectively pressure him to end it, if they so desired. But do they?

    •  The Baath party is composed of thugs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      but they are secular and tolerate minorities (in the sense that they oppress people equally). Baathists aren't by any means a perfect solution, but by dislodging/weakening them we have unleashed a shitstorm in both Iraq and Syria.

      Doing nothing would have been the best choice. Second best is doing as little as possible.

      Going forward, any government that deigns to govern Iraq (or Syria) needs to be able to either unite or subjugate the various religious and ethnic groups that compose these regions. Subjugation is expensive and difficult, uniting them is better, yet how feasible?

      I think the Baathists are the best possible scenario in Syria. It's too late for Iraq, but the current system is doomed due to institutional oppression of the Sunnis, I predict more conflict there until some other solution is devised, ie either a new political movement or fragmentation.

      … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

      by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 12:50:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One Note Johnny (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Ian Reifowitz

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:56:18 AM PDT

  •  Still stuck in the Brutal Dictatorships better (5+ / 0-)

    than "Chaos"

    Gee that's worked out well...

    I don't see how we can drop as much as a firecracker on Syria without a formal declaration of war.

    Bombing ISIS helps Assad

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

    by JML9999 on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:10:13 AM PDT

  •  Well, most of us have, but... (4+ / 0-)

    Mr. I Graduated at the Bottom of My Class doesn't catch on so fast.

    I trust President Obama to do the right thing, even when he wears -- horrors! -- a tan suit.

    Actions -- or inaction -- will have consequences.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:10:17 AM PDT

    •  I really don't get the tan suit scandal-I guess... (0+ / 0-)

      I really don't get the tan suit scandal-I guess because it looks like it would be comfortable in the summer and warm climates. I would definitely wear one to the ME, a blue wool suit would be fucking miserable.

  •  I learned something from the Iraq War (3+ / 0-)

    Whatever McCain wants is not only wrong for America, but wrong for most of the rest of the world, too. The only people who benefit from McCain are the military-industrial complex.

    Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor. - John Dickinson ("1776")

    by banjolele on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:17:38 AM PDT

  •  Obama would do well to watch what may be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PurpleElectric, Ian Reifowitz

    going on among potential domestic terrorists.  Those who are disaffected here pose a more immediate threat.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:18:59 AM PDT

  •  we do need to fight them in Syria (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, Ian Reifowitz

    just not on the ground. It makes no sense to bomb them in Iraq then give them a safe haven in Syria.

    McCain would likely have us invade, which is idiocy, but if he's just talking about air attacks, then for once he's correct.

    ISIS is an extreme threat to a lot of people in the region who cannot defend themselves from ISIS. If they were just dictators who took over land and imposed a regime I'd say no, that's the region's problem.

    But these are folks who clearly believe in genocide, and if they had the means would kill a whole lot of people in brutal fashion.  They need to be cut down in size so the region can handle them.

  •  "Keep troops there 100 to 10,000 years" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz, a2nite

    Wheres the fun if it's not a good, solid Forever War, right?

    The DKOS oath; The cake is a lie, there is only Pie. Through Pie I gain calories. Through calories I gain fat. Through fat I gain a belly. Through my belly, my belt is broken. Sweatpants shall free me!

    by Fordmandalay on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:30:22 AM PDT

  •  Nope, learned nothing (0+ / 0-)

    Libya either, so well situated now after our "humanitarian" intervention and "regime change" there.   But we're "exceptional", so we can go around doing that.

    “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” —Aldous Huxley

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:36:06 AM PDT

  •  In answer to the question posed in the title, (5+ / 0-)

    yes "we" have learned. The problem is he, like many in leadership, have not.

    I am entirely with Markos (and others) on the matter and believe the middle east needs to clean up their own mess. I am perpetually disturbed by the idea that the Saudis support Isis and funnel money to them which helps to keep the region in chaos. If it wasn't Isis--a brutal group--it would be another similar group. WE cannot fix this.

    It's like whack-a-mole.

    The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ and canyonbirds.net

    by cany on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:39:22 AM PDT

    •  Yes!! (0+ / 0-)

      And thank you for reminding me of that little bug in the soup, how Saudi Arabia is part of the puzzle:

      Saudi Arabia is increasingly feeling the heat of the Sunni hardline blowback. While the Saudi government technically doesn’t sponsor Isis, it has promoted a fundamentalist Salafi interpretation of Islam that has encroached into the mainstream Sunni space. This has created the conditions, inside and outside the country, for extremism to breed.

      The clergy is a powerful force in Saudi Arabia. Its influence derives from the fact that the royal family has entered into a formal pact with the sheikhs, under which the understanding is that the House of Saud can hold on to political power, while the religious establishment gets to dictate the national character of Saudi Arabia, one that has remained doggedly extreme.

  •  have we not learned anything from paying attention (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kayak58, Ian Reifowitz, mosesfreeman

    to what John McCain says

    Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

    by Murphoney on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:40:18 AM PDT

    •  The networks keep trotting him out (0+ / 0-)

      as an "expert". All the more reason to never watch cable/network news.

      … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

      by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 01:42:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Conflation of Bush's lies about Iraq.... (3+ / 0-)

    ....with the current situation is not a valid criticism.

    Iraq was not a threat to the US and it's allies, so Bush and his henchmen made it so.

    Just because Iraq wasn't a threat to the US before the George Butch Cabal wrecked the place doesn't mean that the result of their handiwork isn't a threat!

    I'm willing to give President Obama a lot more rope than I would to any of his opponents-which doesn't mean I blindly agree with him no matter what but I reject the criticisms that use the "well they lied us into Iraq (Cuba, Viet-Nam, etc) so they are lying now"....

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:41:21 AM PDT

  •  Actually, Kerry's op-ed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native

    said pretty much the same thing -- bombs within a broader "strategy." I hope that when President Obama starts illegally bombing Syria, you'll keep up your anti-bombing message.

    •  Syria, Iraq - Mesopotamia? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, Lawrence

      One problem is that ISIS/ISIL/IS don't recognize borders. BBC had a pic of graffito on a wall that said this caliphate has no borders, only fronts. Even the diarist had to resort to "Mesopotamia" to talk about the region that we f'ed up when we invaded Iraq.

      Does Iraq even exist at this point? Does Syria? I'm NOT advocating using this as an excuse to just go in with guns blazing or to listen to the scaremongers who are ginning up the case for another GWOT. The whole situation is also born out of the artificial and ultimately unsustainable nation-making of 100 years ago, not just during the the most recent decades.

      You can observe a lot just by watching. - Yogi Berra

      by kayak58 on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:24:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes a remnant of Syria still exists. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        magsview, mosesfreeman

        It still has an army, an air force, and a government that is fighting for its life. Against "IS". If our objective is to defeat "IS", it makes no military sense whatsoever to refrain from supporting Assad, in his efforts to do the same thing.

        To cooperate with Assad however, would require an embarrassing diplomatic about-face on the part of the US foreign policy establishment. I'm not sure it is capable of such a thing.

        •  It's quite a conundrum. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          native

          Now that so many high-profile people have gone so far over to the anti-Assad/pro-Syrian rebel side, it would make them look like idiots to admit that ISIS is at least one facet of those rebels.

          And we know how politicians just love to admit it when they are wrong...

          •  Do they ever. And now, if president Obama (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            magsview, mosesfreeman

            even hints that he might be unsure what the best course of action might be, the media is all over him like a ton of bricks.

            In fact, trying to overthrow Assad was a mistake. Not an immoral mistake, but a miscalculation of relative strengths, weaknesses, and influences in the region. Politically though, no one can afford to admit that. It's all about saving face.

            •  No, it's not a mistake. (0+ / 0-)

              It's only a question of order- who you want defeated first (of Assad/Hezbollah and IS), and to what extent.  

              If you let IS finish off Assad and Hezbollah, that solves the politically and militarily more complicated and more important problem.  The danger is that IS defeats the Kurds and invades Kurdistan, but that can be avoided by arming the Kurds.  (Which leads to problems later involving the Kurds and Turkey, but that was going to happen anyway sooner or later.)

              IS would largely expend itself militarily  fighting down Assad.  Like the Taliban, after victory in Syria and Sunni parts of Iraq IS will quite inevitably become really unpopular with its own civilians.  Thus become vulnerable to itself being toppled by an uprising helped along by neighbor states' militaries.

              That seems to me the chosen course of action in the White House despite lots of lip service to Fight ISIS Now.  Going the other way around is really retrograde and its horrors (Assad can only stay in power by continuing to kill people) would finally provoke full U.S. intervention.

            •  Bravo! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              native

              Brilliant comment! I'm no fan of Assad, but he's the best of bad options.

              I still can't figure out if the powers that be in the US are just mind-bogglingly stupid, or complicit.

              … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

              by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 01:55:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's not just one facet (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            native

            it's the inevitable result. Look at what we already have witnessed in Afghanistan, the Taliban's success was entirely predictable, once the Soviets withdrew.

            A year ago it was patently obvious that supporting people allied with extremists was a bad idea, it's why we all called our congresscritters, screamed as loud as we could and stopped the intervention.

            … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

            by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 02:01:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's already happened (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          native

          but you won't hear it on the MSM.

          … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

          by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 01:46:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I suggest "Patriot Bonds" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, Ian Reifowitz

    McCain and Graham can get out their own checkbooks first.
    Patriot Bonds to pay for previous wars.

    McCain is more like a lobbyist for military contractors than he is a statesman, it looks like.

    But, I'm not just here to complain today!

    I have a link to an amazingly helpful book:

    http://www.williampolk.com/...

    “This wise history-grounded book analyzes a dozen guerrilla wars from the American Revolution to Iraq, and in a brilliant conclusion, Dr. Polk lays out the enormous human and financial costs of trying to impose a foreign solution on people who do not want to be controlled by outsiders. A must-read for all thinking Americans.”
    —Former Senator George S. McGovern
  •  Please suggest replacement for McCain/Graham? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, Ian Reifowitz

    Time for a letter-writing campaign to the media.

    New and improved authorities on military affairs are needed.

    And military affairs experts who have a good track record about military and diplomacy and peace.

  •  You can't spend the rest of your life (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, killjoy

    Looking at EVERY SINGLE world event as if it's Iraq 2.0

    Genocide in Rwanda? MUST BE NEOCON WAR PROPAGANDA

    Al Qaeda is planning to attack us with planes while in Taliban controlled Afghanistan? MUST BE NEOCON WAR PROPAGANDA

    Osama bin Laden is hiding Pakistan? MUST BE NEOCON WAR PROPAGANDA

    •  But it is (0+ / 0-)

      Neocon war propaganda has cost this generation its prosperity, and will continue to do so as long as its allowed to. These stupid wars of choice accomplish nothing and cost us plenty.

      A smart foreign policy would encourage trade and prosperity, and not try to micro-manage the world. The world has a way of  destroying those who try to alter it too much. The Greeks called it hubris.

      … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

      by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 02:14:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We can't just ignore them either (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence

    We want to build cyber magicians!

    by VelvetElvis on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:03:02 AM PDT

  •  My kitty replies to John McCain's request for war: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz
  •  What about Egypt , Turkey, Jordan... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, Ian Reifowitz

    ...Saudi Arabia, etc, etc--and all the other the countries in the region that have a direct geographic and political interest in keeping ISIS from getting too powerful?  

    They have armies, they have air forces--and they have a far, far better cultural knowledge than we do--but somehow they expect to sit back on the sidelines, and let US Warmonger Leaders John McCain and Lindsay (served in military in South Carolina during Gulf War) Graham rally the US government to send US troops in to fight their fight for them.  

    And--McCain, Graham, and their mostly Chickenhawk neocon supporters agitate for yet more war for troops--and their families--fully exhausted from two decade + long wars.  They campaign for yet more wars from our country whose treasury has already been plundered by war expenses.  

    When does it end?

    •  ...Oh, and what's this "WE" John & Lindsay... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, Ian Reifowitz

      ...are you, and your closest family members volunteering to lead the charge?  No?  I didn't think so.

      Much easier to expect other people to fight your battles for you right?  And other people to pay for them too, since you won't.

  •  My Brother (5+ / 0-)

    My brother, the Navy Vietnam era pilot, said that McCain missed his first target and had to turn around and try again when he was shot down.  Remember Bushco would drop a bomb and make a buck.  McCain is always wrong the first time and then it gets worse.

  •  WWI taught us nothing, my grandfather told me (4+ / 0-)

    and he was in France 1917-1918.  VN taught us nothing so why should any subsequent event be considered a teachable moment to us as a nation?

  •  Well said, Ian! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz, mosesfreeman

    Of course frumpy old McCain wants a war--as long as he doesn't have to go.

    The people who beat the drums for war the most are the very ones that would rather chop off one of their feet than go over there and actually fight.

    They need to wash out their mouths with soap and shut the eff up.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:24:29 AM PDT

  •  The administration first and foremost... (4+ / 0-)

    needs to demythologize IS / Da'ish and realistically assess their threat to US interests over the short and long terms. My view is broadly in line with kos': their primary "threat" over the long term is to the regional order of nation-states. Cooperation among those states--putting petty squabbles aside--is essential to deal with IS' transnational threat. I can envision the US providing technological support (intelligence, logistics, et cet.) to a regional coalition, but the states in the region need to get their houses in order and deal with IS--a problem of their own ambivalence as much as manufacture--without the cover-their-ass rhetoric accruing from a US- or foreign-led coalition. If the official line from KSA, the GCC and the League is that IS is "enemy number one" then own it and act.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:30:24 AM PDT

    •  It's more complicated than that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry marmot

      the "nations" involved haven't got much nationalism, because they aren't "nations" in a real sense. ISIS has tapped into that.  ISIS offers what nations can't, an alliance of people across geography, who are committed to an "Islamic state". A couple of generations of Saudi education/propaganda has paved the way for ISIS.

      I agree with your statement, but know that the primary allegiance of most Sunni in the area is going to be to a particular interpretation of religion, not nationalism, a country,  or any other concern.

      This is why Lebanon's situation is so precarious, many Lebanese in positions of authority have greater allegiance to an idea, than they do to their own country. This is why we see so many military units stand down (elsewhere, not Lebanon, yet), and so much betrayal in the ME.

      The idea itself has to be either discredited or diverted. The Wahhabis can't be allowed to claim and define the idea of the Caliphate as their own. Redefine the Caliphate to the average Iraqi Sunni, and you'll gain big leverage in the region.

      … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

      by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 02:42:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  According to McCain (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, magsview, Ian Reifowitz, native

    And the GOP , we are to broke to even spend money on meals on wheels or education etc

    Home> ABC Univision>Elections
    Sen. John McCain Backs President Obama's Proposed Budget Freeze
    Jan. 26, 2010
    By MARK MOONEY via

    Sen. John McCain will support President Obama's plan to freeze much of the federal budget for the next three years

    The Obama administration estimates the freeze, which would be imposed on non-security discretionary spending, would save $250 billion over the next decade.

    Instead of spending more taxpayer funds in an effort to stimulate jobs, McCain said he would prefer to see Obama stimulate the economy by cutting taxes

    abc

    But some how the fiscal hawks think we have enough cash to start yet another 2 front war

    In Iraq, U.S. is spending millions to blow up captured American war machines
    By Jason Fields
    August 18, 2014

    And Islamic State’s  captured an enormous amount of U.S. weaponry, originally intended for the rebuilt Iraqi Army. You know — the one that collapsed in terror in front of the Islamic State, back when they were just ISIL? The ones who dropped their uniforms, and rifles and ran away?

    They left behind the bigger equipment, too, including M1 Abrams tanks (about $6 million each), 52 M198 Howitzer cannons ($527,337), and MRAPs (about $1 million) similar to the ones in use in Ferguson.

    Now, U.S. warplanes are flying sorties, at a cost somewhere between $22,000 to 30,000 per hour for the F-16s, to drop bombs that cost at least $20,000 each, to destroy this captured equipment.

    That means if an F-16 were to take off from Incirclik Air Force Base in Turkey and fly two hours to Erbil, Iraq, and successfully drop both of its bombs on one target each, it costs the United States somewhere between $84,000 to $104,000 for the sortie and destroys a minimum of $1 million and a maximum of $12 million in U.S.-made equipment.

    blogs.reuters.com

    So we cut HUD Housing assistance here in my town so our over flowing homeless shelter has now had to beg the community for more money , but at least profits are up

    As the ( sequester ) cuts come quick and fast, share prices have continued to rise. Lockheed Martin, for example, has seen its share price nearly double since 2010.

    “A great deal of the profitability that you see among some companies in our industry was unfortunately delivered on the backs of thousands of workers who lost their jobs,” said Chip Sheller, a spokesman for the trade group Aerospace Industries Association.

    8/26/14 ibtimes.com

    Yet the MSM refuse to point out how fiscally irresponsible the GOP are , and that their foreign policy does more harm than good while breaking our budget , because OVER SPENDING is The Dept of Educations fault

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:38:04 AM PDT

  •  John is so enamored.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    d3clark, Patango, Ian Reifowitz, sidnora

    with war, he should move to the Middle-east.  It's not like he gives a damn about anything going on here, except for maybe pissing on the middle class, and the dirt poor. Maybe they'll make him an honorary general, and he can bloviate on Sunday talk-shows there about how horrible President Obama is. Kind of like "Baghdad Bob". Since no one listens to him anyway, there won't be any language barrier.

  •  But according to McCain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    And the GOP , we are to broke to even spend money on meals on wheels or education etc

       

    Home> ABC Univision>Elections
        Sen. John McCain Backs President Obama's Proposed Budget Freeze
        Jan. 26, 2010
        By MARK MOONEY via

        Sen. John McCain will support President Obama's plan to freeze much of the federal budget for the next three years

        The Obama administration estimates the freeze, which would be imposed on non-security discretionary spending, would save $250 billion over the next decade.

        Instead of spending more taxpayer funds in an effort to stimulate jobs, McCain said he would prefer to see Obama stimulate the economy by cutting taxes

    abc

    But some how the fiscal hawks think we have enough cash to start yet another 2 front war

     

     In Iraq, U.S. is spending millions to blow up captured American war machines
        By Jason Fields
        August 18, 2014

        And Islamic State’s  captured an enormous amount of U.S. weaponry, originally intended for the rebuilt Iraqi Army. You know — the one that collapsed in terror in front of the Islamic State, back when they were just ISIL? The ones who dropped their uniforms, and rifles and ran away?

        They left behind the bigger equipment, too, including M1 Abrams tanks (about $6 million each), 52 M198 Howitzer cannons ($527,337), and MRAPs (about $1 million) similar to the ones in use in Ferguson.

        Now, U.S. warplanes are flying sorties, at a cost somewhere between $22,000 to 30,000 per hour for the F-16s, to drop bombs that cost at least $20,000 each, to destroy this captured equipment.

        That means if an F-16 were to take off from Incirclik Air Force Base in Turkey and fly two hours to Erbil, Iraq, and successfully drop both of its bombs on one target each, it costs the United States somewhere between $84,000 to $104,000 for the sortie and destroys a minimum of $1 million and a maximum of $12 million in U.S.-made equipment.

    blogs.reuters.com

    So we cut HUD Housing assistance here in my town so our over flowing homeless shelter has now had to beg the community for more money , but at least profits are up

       

    As the ( sequester ) cuts come quick and fast, share prices have continued to rise. Lockheed Martin, for example, has seen its share price nearly double since 2010.

        “A great deal of the profitability that you see among some companies in our industry was unfortunately delivered on the backs of thousands of workers who lost their jobs,” said Chip Sheller, a spokesman for the trade group Aerospace Industries Association.

        8/26/14

    ibtimes.com

    Yet the MSM refuse to point out how fiscally irresponsible the GOP are , and that their foreign policy does more harm than good while breaking our budget , because SUPPOSED OVER SPENDING is The Dept of Educations fault

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 10:06:14 AM PDT

  •  McCain and Graham are like figures (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sidnora, Ian Reifowitz, a2nite

    from central casting: they have their scripted lines and they show up in every drama AND in every farce offering up the standard tropes for the folks in the cheap seats.

    They aren't nearly as elegant as those same figures were under the skilled, scripted hands of the Bard. But they are, very old and very familiar figures.

    ;-)

    Forgive me Ian, for a brief interjection in the interest of promoting a diary that is a great example of a Kossack's on-the-ground organizing to promote progressive causes:

    Can everyone take a brief moment to rec up tmservo433's Live Blog of the Women for Kansas Convention this morning?
    Tips, recs, shares and tweets to your network are all appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Back to the excellent discussion about our stock players, now...

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 10:45:37 AM PDT

  •  Well, Graham and McCain are generally full of it, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    but they're only partially full of it on this one.  I thought this part was especially hilarious:

    One of the hardest things a president must do is change, and history’s judgment is often kind to those who summon the courage to do so. Jimmy Carter changed his policy on the Soviet Union after it invaded Afghanistan. Bill Clinton changed his policy in the Balkans and stopped ethnic cleansing. And George W. Bush changed course in Iraq and saved America from defeat.
    Odd how they failed to mention that Bosnia festered and grew out of control because of Bush Sr.'s negligence and Clinton pretty much became active from the get-go.

    As for Bush "saving America from defeat in Iraq"?  How could anyone be making recommendations for Iraq and fucking say that with a straight face??!  If we had been "saved from defeat" there then we wouldn't be having this problem now.  Idiots!!

    That being said, IS is a serious threat.  And it is not just a regional threat.  Like it or not, things don't work that way nowadays in this globalized world and IS's plans for a Caliphate are not limited to the region.

    I feel a bit sorry for President Obama, as I can't remember a President facing so many global crises at the same time, including a superpower invading another country and annexing part of it, IS in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, the Ebola outbreak, the continuation of problems in Afghanistan because of Bush's appointment of a total idiot as President there, Islamists making a power move in Libya, accelerating global warming, etc.  He's going to have to come up with some kind of strategy, though, as the IS thing isn't just going to go away and is likely to get worse if it grows and festers for too long.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 10:51:52 AM PDT

  •  "we" have learned plenty. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    McCain has learned nothing. I would be shocked if he had.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 11:00:20 AM PDT

  •  Can't someone just give this asshole a gun and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    some shitty armour like our real soldiers have and send him over there?

    I am pro-life. Bring our troops home ALIVE!

    by Doc Allen on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 11:03:36 AM PDT

  •  We fight them there so we don't have to fight them (3+ / 0-)

    on our beaches, our cul de sacs and our neighborhood Starbucks.

    It's as clear as the egg on my face.

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 11:16:56 AM PDT

  •  To the question in the diary title: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mosesfreeman
    Have we learned nothing from the Iraq war?
    WE have.  McCain (and many Rs like him) have not.  
  •  "So shall it be written, so shall it be done. " (0+ / 0-)

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 01:48:32 PM PDT

  •  Have GOPers ever learned anything? (0+ / 0-)

    They get their ass kicked in an election and all they can come up with is "our candidate was not conservative enough"..

    Conservatives only connect the dots per their ideology. They start from the conclusion and from there, they walk their way back to the "facts".

  •  Careful very careful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    If we go into Syria we could find ourselves at war with both ISIS and Assad.  This has to be worked out in the back channels with Assad.  We do not want or need him to be an ally but we do need him to stand down against any drones or planes we send into Syria.  Yes I am assuming that at some point we will attack them in Syria.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 05:03:32 PM PDT

  •  Glad we have the President we do. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 05:06:08 PM PDT

  •  The old saying... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    ..."to a hammer every problem looks like a nail" sums up McCain's (and Graham's) "thinking ability" <-- loose use of phrase -- when it comes to foreign policy.  Hell, when it comes to any policy.

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 05:10:05 PM PDT

  •  Well, ISIS is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    andrewj54, Ian Reifowitz

    already apparently threatening Russia with caliphates in Chechnya and the Caucasus. Between the current ISIS and Russia lies Turkey, a NATO member.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 05:12:44 PM PDT

    •  That being the case... (0+ / 0-)

      ...We might not have to go into Syria, if Russia is dragged into this fight.  I.S.I.S. wants Comrade Putin's head for supporting Assad.  If ISIS wants to take him down, starting with the Caucasus, what would it take for Putin to send troops or planes into Syria to engage ISIS directly?

  •  Notorious War monger (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Diane Feinstein agrees.

  •  Those wacky Republicans! (0+ / 0-)

    Just listen to them rattle those rusty sabers:

    "They should know we will follow them to the gates of helluntil they are brought to justice," he forcefully told an audience at an event on the New Hampshire-Maine border. "Because hell is where they will reside. Hell is where they will reside."
  •  Wasn't McCain pallin' around with ISIS... (0+ / 0-)

    not to long ago?

    I guess he doesn't care.  As long as the US is blowing shit up, he's happy.

  •  What's kid sister Kelly Ayotte (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    have to say on this?

  •  Why do you assume that what McCain learns and what (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    we learn are the same?  Obviously, what politicians learn about reward and punishment are entirely different than anything we learn and the faster we realize and act on that recognition, the better.  McCain is pursuing HIS best interests, in case the point needs making, and it shouldn't surprise that his best interests are not our best interests.  Never were, really, that's how politicians and their supporters roll.  That's what activists are about, to draw on another FP post.  Activists, for all the diversionary criticism they elicit, are supreme realists:  they understand how self-serving politicians are.

    If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu.

    by CarolinNJ on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 05:28:15 PM PDT

  •  Rep Frank Wolf (R-VA) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    wants to explicitly authorize forever war.

    This is even broader than the authorization initially proposed by the Bush administration – and rejected by Congress – in the heated days immediately following the September 11th attacks. Whereas the Bush administration sought to authorize the use force to “deter and pre-empt any future acts of  terrorism or aggression against the United States,” this proposal authorizes uses of force against emergent entities that “share a common violent extremist ideology,” without any requirement that the groups were even planning or plotting an attack on U.S. persons or the U.S. homeland.  And it authorizes the use of force to “eliminate” such groups — thus authorizing the continued uses of force even when the groups are so decimated that they no longer have the capacity or intent to do us, or even our allies, harm.

    In sum, the proposed legislation would, for the first time in history, authorize the use of force — virtually unlimited — against groups and individuals before they had struck us, or even attempted or planned to do so.  In effect, it would authorize the initiation by the United States of countless armed conflict around the globe.  Needless to say, this is not at all what Steve and I had in mind when we suggested a narrowly tailored authorization to deal with the specific threat posed by ISIS.

    Exhibit #1: How Not to Authorize Armed Conflict, Just Security

  •  I can't imagine President Obama giving one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz, CookyMonzta

    iota of a shit what McCain says.  He's like a Magic Eight Ball- "Bomb Someone" "Invade Someone" "Arm Someone". Too bad they left out "Not Clear At This Time"

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 05:38:23 PM PDT

    •  What worries me more is that... (0+ / 0-)

      ...soon enough one or more of those bozos (especially the extremists among them) is going to insist (with deluded urgency, no doubt) that Obama's administration itself represents a greater danger to national security than even ISIS, simply for the fact that he isn't doing what they want him to do, the way they want him to do it; and these bozos will sell the idea of impeachment or removal from office as a way to "restore public morale."

      Think it won't get as outrageous as this?  Remember; this is the party that tried to shut down the country last year and is now suing the White House.

      •  Even with the hyperventilating media (0+ / 0-)

        Americans still are done with war.  I think Obama could deflect this with a budget demand for X billions to prepare the VA system for a new influx of wounded warriors and an immediate return to a no-deferment draft.  

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Thu Sep 04, 2014 at 11:29:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Seems that no matter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    who is doing the bad deeds and to whom, or where the bad deeds are being done, if anyone bad does something really bad to anyone, anywhere, the United States needs to gear up, send the "boys" over and bomb away. This is nothing but a sure strategy to be engaged in a war or wars until the end of time. There would be no end to the spending and killing and injuring to our people. Just go wherever there is something bad going on, where two groups are hell-bent on destroying, and we'll be there, no questions asked.

  •  Don't do stupid stuff actually means (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    DON'T do what Grampy McCain & Lindsay Graham recommend!

    A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

    by METAL TREK on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 05:48:12 PM PDT

    •  And don't do it the way W. & Co. did! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      METAL TREK

      Which is why they are having a hell of a time coming up with a strategy for dealing with ISIS in Syria.  They don't want to make a deal with the devil; in other words, any strategy that keeps Assad in power, or is likely to save his ass, will probably be rejected.  Any strategy on Assad's terms will also be rejected.

      If there should be a plan that can scatter ISIS in Syria and send Assad packing or running, the U.S. would most certainly put the plan into action.  But once the rebels take power in Syria, the question will be, can they keep ISIS at bay and wither their ranks?

  •  Don't do stupid stuff (0+ / 0-)

    is a hypocritical platitude. As intelligent, rational, reasoning, and thinking humans we should not be settling for hypocritical platitudes. If we do, we are no better than tea baggers.

    Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering. If you like hypocrite Obama, you'll love hypocrite Hillary.

    by harris stein on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 05:49:39 PM PDT

  •  its time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    everyone stopped commenting on mccain's inane comments and just ignored him until he says something thoughtful and intelligent.

  •  What was the one before... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Oh my God! Obama has revealed our strategy! What a nincompoop! Obama say's we have no strategy as of of yet. Oh my God! What a nincompoop!

    Is there anything Obama can do that doesn't have these traitors spewing condemnation?

    Oh to be ruled by that bare chested Putin dude! Whilst riding horseback no less! Was that a bear he just wrestled? Oh my!

    The disjointed front that is shown from these ass clowns is unbelievable. They have no scruples, no honor, and no loyalty to the United States of America.

    They only know that making Obama look bad somehow scores points in the political realm and keeps them relevant. These Fucktards have done more damage than the Kenyan born secret Muslim ever could in his wildest dreams!

    Men with religious beliefs have killed more people than any god that they have created...

    by Mislead on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 06:43:33 PM PDT

  •  The network news programs are starting to beat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    the drums of war.

    And the President and VP are playing right into it.

    Regardless of ISIS's perceived capabilities, they are no more than a militia that happens to be operating effectively on familiar turf and willing to do ruthless, sensational actions such as beheading Americans foolish enough to place themselves in harms' way.  And now threatening Assad and Putin.  

    Can you say 'overreach'?

    No way should we use this latest bloody shirt to get ourselves entrenched in a no-win situation.

    Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps makes as much sense as trying to pick up a chair while you're still sitting in it.

    by Ammo Hauler on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 06:44:06 PM PDT

  •  We could always do what the Gipper did (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    tell the Iranians to keep holding hostages till after the election
    invade Grenada after the Beirut Marine barracks massacre
    give the mullahs arms for hostages

    Er... It's morning in America?

    Anyone? Hello?

    (I got nothin')

  •  What would Dems do without McCain and Graham? (0+ / 0-)

    Team Blue partisans are 100% addicted to hyping the jingoistic foreign policy of these two clowns because it's the only way Democrats can downplay their own warmongering and militarism.

    It's "Vote Democratic, because we're not as violent and bloodthirsty as John McCain!"

    Dems are undoubtedly living in dread of the day when McCain retires or drops dead.   Until then, Dems will keep playing the McCain card whenever liberals call them out for their hawkishness.  It's the only card they have left to play.

  •  I wonder if anyone has considered that ISIS doe... (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder if anyone has considered that ISIS does what it does for propaganda purposes only, not because every member is some blood thirsty killer. Shit, the US government in matters of war are about as blood thirsty as they come so why hasn't anyone suggested just asking them how this can be resolved with a minimum loss of life? Instead of propagandizing everything wtf is wrong with the idea of finding out if ISIS is capable of decent governance without the massive killing and drop the idea that everyone we as a nation don't like is a 'terrorist' state.. It's very possible that ISIS is quite capable and reasonable, but when war is involved we automatically have the fall back position that anyone fighting against the people we back politically are the bad guys and by default terrorist and must be dominized to the max.. No wonder it's nonstop war and the only ones who stand to gain own factories that manufacture weapons designed for one thing, death.

  •  So sick of these right wing conservatives (0+ / 0-)

    They have done nothing but rip the President apart and then they have the nerve to complain he is weak.  Yes guess what when you rip a President apart, that is picked up by the rest of the world.

    So what do we do?  It's not as clear as you may think.  Sending airplanes into Syrian air space may provoke their air defenses.  We don't need yet another conflict.

    This has to be thought through clearly.  I applaud the President for taking his time.  He tried to rescue the journalist but sadly they moved him.  I don't see anything else he could have done.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Wed Sep 03, 2014 at 08:26:41 PM PDT

  •  Man Up John McCain! If 7 foot tall, dialysis (0+ / 0-)

    patient Osama bin Laden can fight for his cause from cave hospital bed to cave hospital bed why not you, McCain?  Your age and war wounds didn't prevent you from campaigning to be Commander in Chief, and they don't stop you from throwing the dice at casinos, so why not suit up, re-up and put your luxury lifestyle up where your loud mouth is.

    Same for your sidekick, Goofy Graham.  And fellas, that's on the front lines like bin Laden, not behind a desk at a JAG office well behind front lines.  Stop volunteering our young to die in your adventures. ISIS awaits your coming glory.

    Whatever happened to the tempered leadership of the Republican Party from men who had gone to war, instead of this pair of crying war-mongers who cry "attack!  attack!" at every juncture?

    "You don't lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership"  President Dwight David Eisenhower

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Thu Sep 04, 2014 at 06:32:31 AM PDT

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