One of President Bush's arguments for invading Iraq was the strong Hussain-al Qaeda connection. The anti-Iraq invasion group said there was only very skimpy evidence of that and much stronger evidence that such an arrangement couldn't exist;. After several extensive post-war investigations, it turns out the anti-Iraq War group was right ... there was no connection.
As a consequence of Bush's Iraq War, the brutal al Qaeda was able to set up shop in Iraq to replace the brutal Hussein found hiding in a rabbit hole. The ISIS currently overrunning Syria and Iraq is the even more brutal transformation of al Qaeda that remained when America left Iraq.
There were all kinds of falsehoods being spread about before the war in Iraq took place. Bush always had a short attention span as evidenced in abandoning the Afghanistan war to stir up things in Iraq. Bush knew as most Republicans know that war is good for the economy. Since WWII we have evidence showing that we prosper in times of war. Look at John McCain. If he was elected we would be involved in about a half dozen conflicts by now. Oil is a good reason but China is getting most of the oil from Iraq. China is even trying to edge out Exxon/Mobil to capture a bigger share of the oil produced there. So my best guess is that we are all to blame and not just Bush because we keep electing the slimebags who make these decisions for us.
I said it then and I say it now, leaving Afghanistan for Iraq ranks as one of the worst strategic mistakes in American history; regardless of whether Bush could substantiate his facts or not; which we all know now, and I highly suspected then, that he couldn't.
The one thing I was certain of, however, was we had neither the troops nor the material to carry out a drawn out conflict in Iraq, because in 1997, it was my job to know and things only got worse after I left that position.
The US has been throwing money at these conflicts for years only to exercise the military economy and line the war machine corporations pockets. An extended war is never something a single country should take on as it hobbles their economy with debt. A shared conflict is almost as hard but at least there is the finger pointing afterwards that the politicians can defray the blame with.
Oh what a golden opportunity to take on the anti-Bush folks. But I better not risk it, because in my view the answer to your title question is a simple yes.
Is Barrack Obama's weakness in Syria responsible for emboldening the same terror group in Iraq? Shouldn't that be the question? Weren't we finished with Iraq? If we weren't why didn't we work with the freely elected government in Iraq to craft a plan to prevent this very event? Is it because Obama is no where near as BRILLIANT as he thinks he is?
Because the freely elected government in Iraq didn't want to work with us. Obana tried very hard, but they said no, so we left. Now the Rs answer would be to shoot the neysayer and try the next guy in line and keep doing it until we found someone who said yes; but that is not Obama's style.
It seems to me that it was Congress that was weak in Syria. Obama did what Congress and the People wanted and went to Congress, and look what happened; now he simply by-passes them where he lawfully can because he knows nothing he wants will ever get by the Rs.
Incorrect, the Status of Forces Agreement negotiated by the Bush Administration called for 25,000 troops to remain in Iraq to support the new Iraqi government, continue training its military, supply intelligence and air support and act as a deterrent to Iranian actions through the Revolutionary Guard Corps. Obama dropped that number to 3000 and the Iraqis said that was insufficient.
Like so many recent world events, it is Obama incompetence in diplomacy that will cost the United States dearly. Obama and many other Democrats voted against the "Surge" that, ultimately, tipped the balance and ended the effect operations of the opposition in Iraq. They also resisted efforts to secure Iraq with sufficient man power to guarantee the peace. Liberals are inept and foolish.
Liberals resisted supporting the South Vietnamese government resulting in its collapse and the subsequent SLAUGHTER of 2 million Vietnamese ( not counting the Cambodians who also suffered because of liberal ineptitude) in the years following the capture of Saigon. The slaughter in Baghdad, because of Democrat ineptitude, will be horrifying - if the leftist media in America bothers to actually cover an Obama failure.
Actually you are wrong, Yes, there was a Status of Forces agreement with the temporary government but it was not valid with the new government. A new agreement was needed and the Iraqi government would not agree to protect American soldiers from trial in Iraqi courts, a requirement Obama would not back down from. Now that might be OK with you and Senator McCain, but it wasn't with President Obama. That was the main stumbling block to an agreement that would have left American troops on Iraqi soil, something I thought was needed, but not at any cost which the Right seems to have been willing to do.
You need to fluff out your history a bit and include all the facts. Yes, Obama opposed sending 20,000 more troops in; he was right it would have been pointless ... IF they had been used in the same manner as they had in the past and what most of the rank and file military hierarchy wanted to use them for. What made it work, in this case, which Obama continued in Iraq and tried to replicate in Afghanistan is a new way of fighting under Gen Petraeus. Obama's correct analysis that 20,000 new troops were worthless UNLESS they solved the underlying problem of either 1) stopping the Sunnis from supporting the resistance or 2) actually getting them to support our side as well as getting the Shia to accept Sunni's as part of the government. Bush stopped listening to Cheney and Rumsfeld and the voices of conventional warfare and began accepting those who knew you had to fight unconventional warfare with unconventional methods. When Bush did that, we started winning, Rumsfeld lost his job, and Obama dropped his opposition. When Obama won the Presidency, he completed the change in military focus by completely integrating the Special Operations into the top echelons of military hierarchy and cemented their place in the power structure.
With Vietnam, you are talking my era. Eisenhower made the first mistake by picking the wrong side between the French and Ho Chi Minh, who was not a Communist, just a left-leaning Nationalist at that time. It was our rejection of him that drove him into the Communist camp for support. Kennedy started doing the right thing by fighting unconventional with unconventional, but Johnson, Nixon, Sec Def, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff blew that big time by fighting Vietnam as if it were WW II with rules; and then you had this little anti-war thing going on in the 60s once they allowed cameras into the battlefield - damned 1st Amendment (they should do away with 9 of them and just keep the important one, the 2nd)
I was and am a supporter of Vietnam and Afghanistan. Iraq, on the other hand, as the worst political and military strategic mistake in American history. I knew, the second Bush invaded Iraq, that we had lost. Why did I know? It was my job in the Pentagon to know if we had sufficient forces, material, and reserves to fight a second major regional conflict; we didn't. If fact, we hadn't for quite some time. Then all one had to do was read a little history, or a lot of it for that matter, the time frame doesn't really matter for the Middle East; to learn that NO foreign power can successfully impose its will, by force, in that region of the world. The Allies in WW I created the modern Iraq, and it has been basically at war with its imposed governments ever since; America would be no different.
The idea that one can impose a thought process other than resistance upon another through force is ludicrous. With Viet Nam we were fed the domino effect whereby communism would take over the whole area if not opposed and squashed. Look how that ended. Johnson wanted so desperately to have the Gulf of Tonkin to be real so that he could mount major offensives for his theory to be tested.
With Afghanistan we should have come down on Al Qaeda and the Taliban like the Banshees from Hell after 911 just to show them their actions would have dire consequences. And then get the hell out of there. Nation building is a joke without the will of the people in country.
Iraq! Forget about it! A humongous waste of human life and resources. Bush and Blair should be in front of the World Court in the Hague for the crap they pulled and the lives they ruined.
It hasn't ended yet, Myanmar/Burma is still in upheaval. It took the wanton slaughter of 2 million Vietnamese by the Communists to settle Vietnam and impose that thought process on the Vietnamese people. The falling domino of Cambodia resulted in the horrors of Pol Pot. Look how that turned out.
Unchecked Islam will claim millions of lives and there will be blind Americans saying the same garbage as they did about Vietnam. The Vietnam War was being won by the United States, South Vietnam and the UN until American lefties sabotaged the war. The Tet Offensive was a huge military victory - FOR THE UNITED STATES, but Walter Cronkite and American leftist media treated it like a defeat.
If the American left had been as powerful during the 1940s, they would have ended WWII after Kasserine Pass.
Look how that ended for us was the message. You seem to think that the sky is falling. Intervention in other countries is calculated by the loss to profit margin. Acceptable losses are weighed against possible profits as the oligarchy continues towards world dominance. The US uses its military to fight the corporate war as evidenced by the battles we choose. Why is Iraq more important to the leaders of the free world than say Myanmar/Burma or Darfur? Because profits drive the interest. Why is Somalia still in civil war? Because there is nothing to exploit there as the UN led intervention proved disastrous. You can run all the sky is falling Islamist communist mumbo jumbo you want but in doing so you have fallen into the trap the right want you too as that is where the money is made through the use of our children's lives to uphold the lies while corporate profit marches on.
Because Iraq had the largest land army in the Middle East, an open hostility toward all of its neighbors, an abundance of weapons, WMD production and storage facilities ( as evidenced by reports on one captured by ISIS two days ago) oil that flows to India, China and points East and a terrorists who have been making Iraq their home for decades.
What does Darfur have except a Muslim run central government that is hostile to it and no interest among Westerners to identify the problem as Islam itself? What does Myanmar have? Is it your contention that the US should invade Burma/Myanmar to depose the government? How aggressive of you.
LOL! The sky is falling! the sky is falling! It was never about Iraq's army. We beat them in three days in the first war. What a joke. And you are so afraid of the Islamist Radicals yet you think we should continually poke them in the eye with support for Israel. I know you want to go here. There is no other good reason we should be in the middle east other than Israel. They are our eye in the sky and one who spies on us. We import most of our oil from Canada anyway. If we withdrew from the middle east then your precious Keystone Pipeline could go through. Just as Iran had a hard time fighting Iraq in their 8 year war we could squash them too. Why don't we do it then? Because it is too profitable to carry this out the way it is selling war and all of its accessories.
It was about Iraq's army, the Saudis would crumble like bleu cheese if Iraq decided to attack them. We easily beat them back but what could the rest of the feckless Arab world do? Iran is not Iraq and the Iranian military is considerably more professional than Iraq's. Iranians are Persians, not Arabs and that makes a world of difference.
As for the Iran-Iraq War, you have no idea what you are talking about. The Iranians had just overthrown the Shah and their military was in disarray when the war started. They were blowing up Iraqi tanks with RPGs from the backs of mopeds. It isn't the weapon it is the man. Iran is a much more intractable enemy and the Iranian people have always been more friendly to the West, despite the Muslim crazies who run the government.
Obama was presented with the perfect opportunity to topple the Iranian government and, typically, blew it, not because he is hopelessly stupid(though I am increasingly convinced he is) but because he has a visceral and deep seeded hatred of America that becomes ever more obvious.
As for Israel, why would we want to abandon the only free country in the Middle East? As for being afraid of Muslim radicals, more accurately called, just, Muslims, I am not afraid of them, I just think we should kill the hell out of them now before they figure out another way to murder more innocent people - especially Americans just going to work on a clear Manhattan Tuesday morning.
You fill the conversation with always one solution. War! War! War!. What are you so afraid of? We have the ability to blow the world up a hundred times over. As far as the EIGHT YEAR war with all the Persian know how they were not able to defeat Iraq. What am I missing. They chose to stop because they knew they were better than Saddam Hussein and did not need to defeat him? Their Persian intellect got them how far over the Arab intellect? So by your reasoning if you double the "advantage" the Persian intellect has over the Arab intellect and it took us three days to defeat Iraq would it be safe to assume it might take us six days to defeat Iran? You really have a comical reality you wish me to subscribe to don't you. Please make a sensible argument and not one based in fear and loathing.
You make the same mistake that Hitler did.
"If the USSR had such a hard time with Finland, and since we are clearly greater than Finland, clearly we will be able to defeat the USSR!"
You fail to account for the resulting insurgency, the diplomatic fallout in the region, the economic resources that would have to be spent. Its essentially this sort of arrogance that caused the Soviet Union to fail in Afghanistan and subsequently collapse.
You should learn a little about the Iran/Iraq War. It isn't chess where one side has white and the other black and there is no difference in all the other pieces.
I get it now! A thought pops in your head and then it just comes out uncensored and then later you think of something else but then it becomes authoritarian and then insulting. You have been most entertaining and your wanting me to study more on what you can't explain is the crème de la crème. Maybe you need study a little more.
Thank you for a clear analysis. I am a little concerned that you still think that liberals support all 10 Amendments in the Bill of Rights. I am pretty certain that the only one they support, conditionally, is the First. I love the First Amendment every time I write something on line. I suppose that is why Obama wants an "internet kill switch," damned inconvenient those natural rights enshrined into actual limits on liberal power.
I am not a fan of the Iraq invasion, though it should never have been (or appeared) necessary. At the conclusion of Desert Storm there was a cease fire, not a peace, declared and limits placed on Iraq. Among the conditions to which Iraq war subject wasproof that they had destroyed their WMDs and any production capability. They refused to do either. That should have triggered a far more aggressive response.
Iraq also targeted and even fired upon coalition aircraft, that should have triggered a more aggressive response.
Iraq slaughtered Kurds using WMDs, that should have resulted in a more aggressive response than no fly zones and a few cruise missles.
Iraq targeted a former President of the United States for assassination. That should have triggered a more aggressive response.
Iraqi intelligence was in contact with multiple terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda and Bin Laden - having met with him in Sudan in 1998. Though no proof of material support exists, the status awarded by cordial meetings lends valuable credibility and tacit approval.(Al Qaeda bombed American Embassies that same year)
Iraq permitted( like Syria - another Bath Party stronghold) terrorists to reside and even train within its borders.
Iraq was pursuing uranium supplies, despite former Ambassador and CIA asset outer Joe Wilson's lie. 77 metric tonnes of enriched Uranium were discovered by Polish troops.
Clinton's passivity; Saddam's refusal to reliably demonstrate his destruction of WMDs and their production capability; the possibility that the same Muslim terrorists who just murdered over 3000 Americans could gain access to WMDs - as intelligence agencies around the world believed possible all served as a reasonable cause to take control of Iraq.
The initial plan in Afghanistan was a Special Forces operation involving American operators and the Northern Alliance. The invasion of Iraq was severely hampered by the swiftly tilting allegiance of a Turkish government facing its own internal Muslim problems and refusing to permit the 4th Infantry Division to act as the Northern spear of the Iraq invasion. That was a significant blow to the plan.
Political will matters as much as men and material, American liberals have lost the will. Limitations, attacks, criticism all serve to blunt military ability and liberals provided all three in every conflict since WWII.
“Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:
1 He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
2 He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
3 He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
4 He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
5 He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.”
If anything, it is our government, Republican and Democrat(see #5), that needs to understand Sun Tzu. Iraq ( and Vietnam) should never have been difficult. In the case of Vietnam, the NVA understood these 5 principles better than LBJ.
Incorrect? Are you sure?
I have looked and looked, (admittedly my "look" was one my infamous "20-minute" Google searches), but I cannot find anything that contradicts the reality that Bush's agreement ended in 2011. And everything I did find reenforces the "fact" that it was the Iraqis that would not agree to a new SOF agreement. I could not find anything about the Iraqis thinking 3,000 was insufficient.
So, whether it was your purported Bush 25,000, or Obama's 3,000 - the Iraqis would not agree to an agreement we could accept without putting our troops under Iraq's judicial power.
Help me out here, where is your authority that Obama screwed-up Bush's SOFA?
ps. I do appreciate your contributions to these forum discussions, even if you do tend to turn every topic into an opportunity for a left vs, right, conservative vs. liberal rant. Hopefully a little nudge here and there can help us all to stay on topic.
Actually, by your logic, it was George Washington's fault, because if hadn't won the revolutionary war there wouldn't be a United States that could have ever invaded Iraq anyways.
Seriously, you'll do anything you can to deflect rightful blame or praise from the current administration won't you?
I believe you can say that he is responsible for the current situation. If we had never gone over there and stirred up a hornet’s nest and let the CIA quietly go about its business, Osama bin Laden would have eventually been captured and brought to justice. Most people agree that Bush’s invasion was to protect big oil interests, and now the oil is really in jeopardy. You mentioned Syria and Iraq, but don’t forget Kuwait. But then again, if we had stayed home, all this may have happened sooner. Who is to know? Maybe the question should be asked, "if he had left bin Laden along, would ISIS have gained the power to take his place?"
The U.S. can’t take care of its own home right now, much less fight religion-crazed people. If we were to help Syria, then Israel would protest. President Obama is keeping a campaign promise by pulling U.S. troops out of the Middle-East, and he is being criticized for it. Even John McCain, who ought to know better, is making political hay out of it. Politics seem to have a way of scrambling the brains of otherwise intelligent people.
does anyone think there's any possibility that Presidents are intentionally deceived by the government officials they work with? That they are a tool, and that when they make decisions, a lot of times it is because they are intentionally misled?
Just food for thought. You all seem well educated in politics so I thought I'd ask.
Personally, I have know doubt; or at least biased to think one way or another.
My dear it is all a deception. That is the way to make money in the US. Just think the stock market is trading over 16,000 and yet we still have a lukewarm economy and slow growth problem. Why is that? A manipulation is all we see any more and there are plenty of characters who participate..
As to the stock market, the "why is that" is that the market is a predictor. People are making bets on future outcomes, not past events. When a stock is priced, in theory, it is priced at the company's book value per share multiplied by some expected rate of growth over some period of time. Each buyer has a different rate of growth and period of time in mind and the ultimate selling price reflects the aggregate of these and the owners willingness to sell at the price.
Just prior to the Great Recession the Price to Earnings ratio of the S&P 500 was just shy of 70; today it is 19. In 2002, around the beginning of that crash, it was 48. Today's level is actually the median for the last 20 years; although it is climbing, indication higher growth is expected in the future.
That is a very good definition of what is historical and the meanings that are associated with it. Unfortunately we have a Fed that is pumping money into the bond market at a staggering rate and numeration. This is a phony market. The mere hint of a hike in rates sends the market plummeting. This is not merely an indicator but a precursor to what is going to happen when the Fed does hike the rates. The sell off will be humongous. That is because we now trade based on borrowed debt and nothing tangible as the dollar is worthless. The predictor is useless in this case for those on the outside. When it does crash will the government have the ability to "sell" the idea of more debt and worthless paper called money to bail it out? This last foray into no mans land cost trillions of dollars and made the in trouble banks bigger and wealthier than ever with not even a slap on the wrist. What is standing in the way of the too big to fail. Don't give me a banks and the market are two separate systems when the big banks were trading in the market as well against past regulations.
Well, after the first to or three scares which put the market into a panic last year, it seems to have gotten use to the reduced bond purchase policy that Bernanke and now Yellen is pursing; I think we have had three rounds of it with no ill effect ... yet.
If they were to stop the bond purchases altogether, then your scenario might be understating the consequences a bit, but doesn't seem to be the plan.
In my opinion the problem is this. What the Fed did should have worked - in a normal political environment; but it hasn't been one for the full term of Obama's presidency. The first to years were spent trying stop a depression and the last four trying to overcome the Rs determination to defeat a recovery at every turn. Until government can get on the same track, more or less, business is going to sit on its hoards of cash and be as cautious as a rabbit in wolf country. All of the QE in the world isn't going to make banks lend or businesses invest and since all of the cash is being sat on in savings, inflation is still under control.
That is my story and I am sticking to it.
I agree with everything you state except the ill affect has been the US Government holds useless paper called bonds that the banks turned into cash. Banks and big business have been buying out the government for years as the corporations have gained person status with the subsequent rights of the individual as the banks have robbed the Fed by selling useless paper. How did this happen? Because the electorate don't give a damn in their short sighted conciseness. One day they will wake up only to find they will need to give their house over to the bank or government to get out from under the debt. Notice I said give.
Being short-sighted is definitely a terminal condition for any society if enough people have the condition. Fortunately those who stuck around to sign the Constitution didn't have that malady.
No doubt corporate profits play a role, but I do believe there are much deeper reasons and corporations are just a beneficiary of our inefficient, corrupt bureaucracy. As to the Middle East, not just Iraq, there are two fundamental things that drive our foreign policy, 1) our alliance with Israel and 2) the stability of the American economy which, in this case, means oil prices. Who controls the Middle East controls the American economy, as the 1970s so amply demonstrated.
Further, along with the evaporation of Israel (Israel is good, but not that good), if we withdraw our influence from the region, the political stability of Europe comes into play as Turkey becomes the next target of the fundamentalist Islamists (by this time, Iran will have The Bomb, of course.
None of that is mumbo jumbo, it is today's reality; whoever controls the Middle East, controls the American economy.
That is not a recent phenomenon, nor is it just strictly an American problem. The refusal of Western Governments to permit the aggressive production of oil has disproportionately enhanced the value or Middle Eastern reserves and the value of countries that would be poor and backward if not for Petro-dollars. America gets most of its oil from itself and Canada. It is the global production of oil and therefore, the global market price and supply of oil that is the real issue. If we want oil to become less important when dealing with the unstable Middle East, then the West must become aggressive producers of all energy.
Given the oil reserves in the United States and Canada dwarf those of Saudi Arabia, it is absurd that the West still places such importance on Middle Eastern oil but that is the price we pay for global warming lies and permitting our governments to control far too much of our energy production.
By the way, watch as Putin makes Europe dance for his natural gas this winter. They have been cutting their own throats for years and are about to pay the price for destroying their own energy production.
It seemed to me obvious that our goal in the Middle East is to muzzle independent behaviors and affordable access to open energy resources, the rest is politics. The problem is when in between civilians are MASSACRED, when children serve to experiment an attack with sarin gas (Syria)... Freedom and liberty are not part and parcel of our constitution. Has it ever been? Banks, lobbies govern our country. And I will give them less and less power. I pay my taxes but the rest goes in my pocket EXCLUSIVELY. They want us to be slave. Let's see how far they will go and how far I will go. The last election was the last one for me. It is OUT of the question that I will be manipulated by either the Democrats or the Republicans. Obama's investiture, tenure taught me that Webster Griffin Tarpley was right in his book "Obama : the post modern coup".
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