Obama Announces End of Iraq War

President Barack Obama today said the Iraq War is over and American troops will be leaving.

"After nearly 9 years, America's war in Iraq will be over," said Mr. Obama, who said the last American troops will depart the country "with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the american people stand united in our support for our troops" by January 1st. ..."Our troops are finally coming home,"

Iraq, he said, will now be our equal.

"it will be a normal relationship between sovereign nations, an equal partnership based on mutual interests and mutual respect."

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    Great news! How many contractors are left? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by republicratitarian on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:03:37 PM EST
    Still going to be lots of money going over there. But I give credit where credit is due.

    Now I don't have to worry about being mobilized to go back there. Now if we can just get out of Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Uganda, and .........

    Dude....the future is Africom :) (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:53:20 PM EST
    Tell your husband I'll see him there lol. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by republicratitarian on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:10:25 PM EST
    Sad but true (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:13:05 PM EST
    I'm sort of glad to see the Afghanistan deployment go by the wayside,  we are out of those particular weeds.  He won't be going, but that probably only means Africom in a year.

    Africom. Why? To protect their freedom? Hardly. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 03:31:56 PM EST
    Because they've got lots and lots of minerals.  Meanwhile, China has floated the hull of her first aircraft carrier.  And has half a dozen nuclear subs to boot.  Interesting times.

    Good. (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:12:52 PM EST

    The real Mission Accomplished (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:58:10 PM EST
    Everytime anyone plays George Bush's Mission Accomplished flight deck extravaganza my husband always says, "That is so embarrassing."

    Well, the GOP can take credit here, as (none / 0) (#103)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 08:04:41 PM EST
    as the withdrawal date was set by W.  Query:  why did Pres. Obama go along with the date and not w/d earlier?

    This is what they tell me too Donald (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 10:04:20 AM EST
    It isn't always easy for me and my heart to understand, but if you leave responsibly it means that you withdraw gradually and not create a large power vacuum that breeds lots of bloodshed fighting for the raw exposed available power.

    From Mitt Romney's recent public statements, (none / 0) (#110)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 09:19:48 PM EST
    he thinks U.S. should stay in Iraq and Afghanistan, and probably, Libya, until we "win."  

    What does "winning" look like? (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 10:08:48 AM EST
    Define it Mittens.  What is it that you want Mittens that you aren't getting?  This tired soldier wife really wants to fecking know.  When have we "won" in Afghanistan?  Someone please ask Mittens real questions.  Who would have ever thought I would come to associate the words Mittens and A$$ with each other?

    Someone should tell Romney, (none / 0) (#117)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 11:23:14 PM EST
    right wing whack jobs and some of the US foreign policy community that we CAN'T win.

    He sounds an aweful lot like John McCain. (none / 0) (#120)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 11:40:55 PM EST
    Do you find it as astonishing (none / 0) (#199)
    by cal1942 on Tue Oct 25, 2011 at 03:18:00 PM EST
    as I do that the word WIN is even imagined in these matters?  For these people it appears the last 50 years never happened.

    Yes, of course, "demobbing" takes time (none / 0) (#112)
    by Towanda on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 10:08:21 PM EST
    and I recall reading that demobilization of our troops after World War II took almost two years.  (Of course, there were many millions to bring home.)

    However, Donald, that begs the question.

    Had Obama made the announcement that he made today a year or two or more ago, the "demobbing" would be done long before this.

    And the economy well may have been better, too, with the trillion-dollar cost of this war -- and still counting -- down to only ungodly billions or so.  I also recall reading that the economic adjustment here after World War II took three years, until 1948, and of course far longer for many of our Allies.

    And you and I both recall how the Viet Nam War wrecked our economy for so long, since it was funded as is this one.  But, of course, you know better than most of us the far worse costs of that war.

    Now, I am taken back to the waning months of that war . . . and the question then that we can ask now:  Who will be the last American soldier killed in Iraq?  The war is not over.  This is just the announcement that the war may be over months from now.  


    WW II (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 11:25:38 PM EST
    Sixteen million.  

    My father was one of them.


    I'm sorry. (none / 0) (#123)
    by Towanda on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 12:25:09 AM EST
    I'm one of the lucky ones.  My father came home.

    So did four of my uncles.  All on different fronts.

    But they and my father never wanted to talk about it.


    My grandfather either (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 10:05:06 AM EST
    Sorry (none / 0) (#200)
    by cal1942 on Tue Oct 25, 2011 at 03:25:13 PM EST
    I must have worded that wrong or I misunderstood you.  I was referring to the peak armed strength - 16 million.

    My father did come home.  I can still see him standing at the front door with his sea bag flung over his shoulder.  I was 3 1/2.


    Not sure (none / 0) (#124)
    by NYShooter on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 02:47:45 AM EST
    What that number refers to. I was under the impression that the total number of military personnel killed from all countries was somewhere North of 20 million. Also, the total number of deaths, both military and civilian, was estimated to be about 60+ million. American military deaths were about 300,000.

    But, in any event, if your Dad was one of the casualties, my heart goes out to you. I don't even know you, and yet I want to extend my deepest gratitude to your father for his service, honor, and terrible sacrifice.


    16 million U.S. troops served (none / 0) (#127)
    by Towanda on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 08:42:53 AM EST
    and 405,000 U.S. troops died in World War II, I read.

    Yes, as usual in our wars, far more civilians in other countries -- especially women and children -- died than did military.  From the U.S., though, our greatest losses were men in the military.  (We also lost a lot of women, some in the military, but mainly in auxiliaries, such as the Red Cross.)


    and another startling fact: (none / 0) (#165)
    by NYShooter on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:25:12 PM EST
    over five million POW's died while in captivity.

    And we call it "humanity"


    Hmmm (none / 0) (#116)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 11:18:22 PM EST
    Three years to pack, eh?

    I'm happy for our President (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:55:48 PM EST
    I'm happy for the serving.  I'm happy for my country.  The Iraqis turned down our deal, it wasn't a bad deal, we are free to go.

    I am doubtful (none / 0) (#36)
    by waldenpond on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:12:52 PM EST
    that the numbers will reduce to the expected level.  They'll just run a couple more merc contracts through the state dept with attached diplomatic immunity for a work around not having immunity for troops.

    One reason I lost interest in Dems was their push to substitute troops with mercs.  I don't like private corporate owned mercs as our military.


    I don't like mercs (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:20:39 PM EST
    In fact, I have been labeled UnAmerican and evil and the guys at Black Five said that I must be a gross ugly wife because of what I have said about mercs.  That just crushed me :)

    When Obama took over though he did change things.  Contractors must go through troop train ups, they wear our flag on their uniforms, they are all under the UCMJ now.  They must obey the same laws that our soldiers do.  It isn't perfect, but it is better.  But with the new legalities concerning using them, they have to be under the same forces agreement with Iraq or that would be a no go through our State Department.  I don't think Obama wants to be in Iraq at all, and Iraq did him a favor refusing the contract.


    I would agree with this, except (none / 0) (#83)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:42:12 PM EST
    he didn't look or sound like a happy camper announcing this today at all.

    I'm a happy camper about this, though!


    I didn't get to see it (none / 0) (#89)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 06:07:13 PM EST
    I will look for it

    Probably not happy knowing (none / 0) (#92)
    by BTAL on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 06:10:27 PM EST
    that if/when Iran makes a power play regarding Iraq and/or coupled with the three major factions starting a civil war he may be faced with "re-deploying" the troops sitting in Kuwait.

    13 months prior to an election is a long time to hope that doesn't happen.


    Yeah, he looks like he was forced to (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 06:24:43 PM EST
    eat a lemon.  Oh well, they don't want us there if they can't do the commanding and we don't do that for anybody...not ever.

    Except....given everything that has transpired, (none / 0) (#98)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 07:03:07 PM EST
    isn't a somber, stern look appropriate?  (When I think about April 29th of 2004 and seeing the first images of abu graib, anything Iraq produces only "somber" for me.)

    That too (none / 0) (#128)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 09:15:09 AM EST
    I thought I did perceive some concern though on his part along with being appropriately somber.  There are risks.  There always was going to be, like regulating the banks though....you can fear the hiccup but it has to happen sometime soon.

    If it all goes ka-boom the Republicans are going to point at him and hiss, he is a horrible CIC.  Who got bin Laden, Awlaki, and other members of Al Qaeda and Haqqani too numerous to mention, but they will try.  They always do


    "We are free to go..." (none / 0) (#51)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 03:39:09 PM EST
    ... and let Iraq fight Turkey alone.

    So, if Turkey is still NATO, in a roundabout way we'll remain at war with Iraq.


    Well, you're just as positive as can be (none / 0) (#90)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 06:09:05 PM EST
    What about the buffer zone of Kurds?

    And they have plenty to defend themselves (none / 0) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 06:10:10 PM EST
    with.  We gave it to them

    Promises, promises.... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:06:55 PM EST
    "I will promise you this: that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do.  I will get our troops home.  We will bring an end to this war.  You can take that to the bank."

    October 27, 2007

    You betcha. They're just taking the long way home, through Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and probably Pakistan. But they'll get here. You can take that to the bank.

    Someday the president will close Guantanamo Prison, too.

    You can take that to the bank.

    After he's done restoring the rule of law: sorry, the the page you're looking for isn't here ( I mean has been scrubbed ).

    Uganda, Iran.... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:09:17 PM EST

    I am not calling them haters (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:31:09 PM EST
    But it's a weird situation when we get what we have all been asking for and instead of being happy, we immediately turn to being upset that it took too long to do.

    I am not saying that those that are doing that are haters, all I am saying is that they are wearing a haters uniform and it is confusing.

    What, pray tell, does a (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by nycstray on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:56:38 PM EST
    "hater's uniform" look like? Pajama bottoms, perhaps?

    Pajama bottoms (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by sj on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 03:33:05 PM EST
    and a flannel bathrobe.  With dirty coffee cups and piles of empty pizza boxes for accessories.  O lovers on the other hand probably wear Brooks Brothers.  LOL

    hater's uniforms (none / 0) (#58)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:16:04 PM EST
    are like the uniforms worn by the British royal guards.  You can't really describe them to someone randomly, but you always know them when you see them.

    I don't know what British royal guard (none / 0) (#61)
    by sj on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:21:18 PM EST
    you've been looking at, but I think this is pretty describable -- randomly or not randomly.  Whatever that means.  

    Heh (none / 0) (#69)
    by ks on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:51:03 PM EST
    Indeed.  They are probably one of the most unique and well known uniforms in the world and are easily describable.  I think ABG was going for a "I know it when I see it" type of thing but mangleded it.

    I know (none / 0) (#84)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:43:28 PM EST
    that uniform when I see it.
    Everyone does.

    I know a shill when I see it.


    That's the Beefeaters (none / 0) (#85)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:43:48 PM EST
    I may be wrong, but I think the Royal Guard is more like the Secret Service.

    If you notice, (none / 0) (#88)
    by sj on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 06:06:35 PM EST
    the search was for the British Royal Guard.  A quick check on the less and less useful Google doesn't turn up a specific British analog to the SS.  Maybe it exists, but for sure those are images of the British Royal Guards.

    I thought those in that uniform were also called "Beefeaters" but apparently that name goes to the Yeoman Warders.


    Heh. I stand corrected! (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 09:38:53 AM EST
    Possible, though, that the guys in the big hats are the public face of a larger unit.  But what do I know!

    I'm not calling you a hack. (none / 0) (#81)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:39:02 PM EST
    But.. we haven't gotten anything yet.

    And I'm not saying that what you wrote is naive or stupid, I'm just saying that that naive and stupid uniform you're wearing is confusing.


    Haters? (none / 0) (#119)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 11:38:25 PM EST
    Where in hell did you come up with that one.

    Obama's too young to actually remember Vietnam in a cognitive sense but the history is there for all to see. Taken in by the military as soon as he took office.  Not willing to rock the boat.  Not willing to do the right thing.


    wrt "haters" (none / 0) (#122)
    by sj on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 11:48:21 PM EST
    The first person I remember using the term was Palin.  It may have been in use before that, but I didn't notice it.  

    Haters (none / 0) (#125)
    by MO Blue on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 08:24:29 AM EST
    Standard discounting label deployed by Bush and his supporters against anyone who disagreed with GW's policies.

    Since ABG is the Obama equivalent of Dubya's supporters, it is only logical that he uses the same language.


    What a convoluted walk-back statement (none / 0) (#121)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 11:43:13 PM EST
    You and Herman Cain should join forces and become a comedy team.

    Chappelle Show (none / 0) (#126)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 08:26:47 AM EST
    Must not have been very popular around these parts.

    Pop culture reference fail.


    Whenever we avoid a war (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by KeysDan on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:33:53 PM EST
    or end a war, I am happy with our political leadership.  A feeling we get all too infrequently.   Getting out of Iraq was the linchpin of President Obama's 2008 campaign, and even if it took a little help from Muqtada Al-Sadar and some smoke and mirrors, it is still all to the good.  Now, if the Super-Duper Deficit Committee uses the money saved from continuing this war for another ten years, the $1.5 trillion can spare us cuts in social programs and permit increased spending to strengthen the economy.

    er... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:15:17 PM EST
    But negotiations will continue, and some of those troops might find themselves redeployed to Iraq in 2012 or beyond, an American official said on Friday. - NYTImes

    ...ie: after the election....

    I propose that we have presidential elections... (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by mexboy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 07:10:38 PM EST
    ...every year.

    So we can force the president to keep his promises.

    Let's be honest here, folks. (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by caseyOR on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 08:14:03 PM EST
    Yes, Obama is pulling the troops out of Iraq, at least the ones who are officially in the military. There is the matter of those 5,500 contractors who are staying on to protect embassy personal (that comes out to approx. one contractor/mercenary for every two embassy people.) Oh, and let's not forget the troops stationed in Kuwait who will see their ranks swell as soldiers move out of Iraq.

    So, yea! more troops leaving Iraq.

    Let us not make the mistake of assuming this withdrawal is what Obama wants. The troops are leaving because Obama was not able to persuade/strong-arm al Maliki into granting the U.S. military immunity for any Iraqi laws they violate. If this had gone Obama's way we'd be hearing all the reasons our national security, to say nothing of the welfare of the Iraqi people, meant we had to keep troops there.

    Obama, bless his heart, is sure trying to put a positive I-kept-my-campaign-promise spin on this, and who can blame him? The man has an election coming up. Still, let the rest of us not be clouded by the fog of campaign inspired rhetoric. Reality really is the best policy.

    Commander in Chief (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by vicndabx on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 12:01:57 PM EST
    I think he has some latitude in his choices.

    The troops are leaving because Obama was not able to persuade/strong-arm al Maliki into granting the U.S. military immunity for any Iraqi laws they violate

    Could be the admin wants to deal with the country as an equal?


    As an equal? (none / 0) (#137)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 12:25:26 PM EST
    You think he wants Iraq to invade America and kill a million and a half Americans? Should Iraqi troops be granted immunity from prosecution in the US too?

    Somehow I don't think you'll get much support for this idea. It's a little too far right of center. Over the edge, actually.


    Speaking of "over the edge," Edger.... (none / 0) (#146)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 02:25:24 PM EST
    Pretzel job on the word-twisting above.

    By the same token, (none / 0) (#111)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 09:58:15 PM EST
    let us not presume to know what--in fact--any person, including the President, does want. That would require mindreading. All we can judge by is what he is doing here...withdrawing the troops from a war that he did not start, and doing so as he promised. To attempt to mindread is something else entirely.

    Mind reading has nothing to do (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by caseyOR on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 10:12:11 PM EST
    with it.  The Obama administration has spent the past several months working furiously but unsuccessfully to convince the Iraqis to let American troops remain in Iraq with immunity from local laws.  Obama made his last pitch to al Maliki this morning. The Iraqis refused to give in. We do not keep out troops in countries unless they have that immunity. And that is why the troops are coming home.

    If you want to ignore the facts, be my guest, but please do not chastise others for facing them.


    He's not doing "as promised" (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by nycstray on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 10:28:02 PM EST
    he's doing "as forced" by a GWB agreement and failed negotiations. See my link from earlier today. It's really pretty straight forward . . . .

    How hard is it to promise to do something (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 10:33:29 PM EST
    that he was bound to by the Status of Forces agreement that requires our exit by the end of this year, and was already in existence when he took office?  What weight does one give a commitment to bringing the troops home if it is accompanied by months of working to keep them there beyond that date?  It was only the lack of agreement on immunity for our forces that stood in the way.

    And, call me crazy, but maybe not being able to get that immunity agreement is the reason the president who made that announcement today did not look like a happy president; he looked more like someone delivering bad news than one delivering good news.

    I have to say, christine, that I'm a little disappointed that you didn't apparently take the time to get beyond the headlines before you chose to lecture people about mindreading and negativity.


    There is behind the headlines, and more... (5.00 / 0) (#145)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 02:17:19 PM EST
    What I've learned about politics over all these years--among other things--is that "there ain't much binding."  Every country, empire, what have you can find a way out of something if it wants to. Then people can argue for decades or more "how binding is binding" and how extra-legal is extra-legal.

    Cynical? In some ways. But, there sure are a lot of examples.  So, when we get to the bottom-line--despite all appearances, meetings, and "leaks" to the press--I look at what happened.  This historians will decipher and maybe re-decipher what coulda been and all that.  Today, tho, here is what I see: What is.  Whether a President wants to really do one thing in the heart-of-hearts or whether this President did exactly what he promised to do & did...the subject of books to come.  In writing those articles or books, I would only ask one question: If this man is considered by some skeptics to act primarily in the interest of the political campaign, then doesn't it follow that he planned to do what he did all along? Because, if this withdrawal from Iraq is calculated to be politically beneficial (as it undoubtedly would be in view of the large majority known to favor that approach at this point), then a skeptic about Obama would be drawn by his/her own sense of things to believe that this is what the President really meant to do?

    I'm not that skeptical, as in the paragraph above, and I do believe that he made the announcement for the benefit of all, including himself.  Excellent timing as well.


    Christine, what part of "was bound by the (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:05:34 PM EST
    Status of Forces Agreement" do you not understand?  

    People like Leon Panetta are on the record describing the administration's efforts to come to an agreement with Iraq to stay beyond the 12/31/11 date - was he lying?

    And, here's another thing to consider: have you heard anyone in the administration denying that they were negotiating to stay?

    You and I agree that getting our troops out of Iraq is a good thing, but where you see the fulfillment of a pledge to the American people, one from which political mileage can be made, I see a president complying with an agreement that was in place before he took office.


    Which his admin. tried very hard, (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:08:28 PM EST
    but w/o success, to renegotiate.

    Anne, I too see a President (none / 0) (#153)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:27:50 PM EST
    who did not violate a significant agreement. And, as you must know, that act of keeping promises & adhering to extant agreements is important. Especially so because past Presidents have periodically demonstrated an ability to act at odds with promises & any manner of agreements. Presidents clearly have a degree of power & authority--historically & now--in the foreign policy and military arenas.

    Complying with an agreement (none / 0) (#160)
    by Towanda on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:13:58 PM EST
    that he didn't like and tried to change seems a far cry from your initial encomiums on this subthread.  Yes, for presidents to not violate agreements is a good thing.  Is it news?  Is that really all that this is about now?

    Fine; let's fill pages of newspapers daily with a list of all of the agreements that Obama is not violating!


    No far cry at all (none / 0) (#167)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:26:42 PM EST
    My point has been, from the beginning on this topic, that the President did what he said he would do.  Some have surmised all kinds of reasons...to which I responded that we only know what is. As to newspaper articles & all the surrounding thoughts/suggestions/acts leading up to the announcement...well, lets see. I say that because it is more usual than not to have an intricate tango in the area of foreign affairs. And, it is not unusual--in that same vein--for countries to rely on some document when it suits them and sometimes to develop amnesia/other constructs when it doesn't. Morgenthau had lots of commentary on that.

    In this case--insofar as war is concerned & insofar as I have witnessed in my life to date--I am pleased to have heard the announcement and pleased to see it carried out.


    Almost forgot (none / 0) (#147)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 02:30:37 PM EST
    As I noted earlier on this thread: Being somber, stern in talking about the conclusion of the Iraq invasion is appropriate. In view of all the horrors that we saw/had reported over the years there, I would be disappointed if he showed any smiles or pleasant look for such an announcement.
    (How he looked, Anne? Really?)

    If he thinks this (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 12:56:10 PM EST
    will get the OWS folks to fold their tents, pick up their drums and go home, he's got another thing coming.

    I'll have a beer tonight, nonetheless.

    Doubt he gave them a second thought . . . . (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by nycstray on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:08:29 PM EST
    According to a White House official, "this deal was cut by the Bush administration, the agreement was always that at end of the year we would leave, but the Iraqis wanted additional troops to stay. We said here are the conditions, including immunities. But the Iraqis because of a variety of reasons wanted the troops and didn't want to give immunity.

    "So that's it. Now our troops go to zero," the official added.


    Do you really think (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:52:04 PM EST
    he thinks they are a just a bunch of wanna be hippies from the 60s?  He does understand that a key component back then was that the status quo was conscripting our sons to die for full on lies and bull$hit?  Right?  It wasn't a volunteer crew dying for BS :)  I hope the man is smarter than that and understands that extremely successful growing protests with social icons being arrested are about CURRENT SHARED SOCIAL HARDSHIP!  Please God, let team Obama understand one Real American Life thing!

    I suspect he understands, MT (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:57:59 PM EST
    Heck, the President has never been accused of being dumb.  The Occupy movement has turned the national conversation firmly toward jobs--or, at least, Occupy has been instrumental in that focus now. Among many things, that focus is more beneficial to Dems than the "debt" imbroglio ever could be. Even Cantor's softening toward the movement--in a hard/soft way, that is--illustrates that the message is getting through at some level.

    This is grand news for those serving (none / 0) (#2)
    by vicndabx on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 12:59:25 PM EST
    and their families here.

    As well as us taxpayers.  Should be supported by all.

    About time. (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 12:59:30 PM EST

    We built a garagantuan permanent base there (none / 0) (#6)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:09:29 PM EST
    We're never really leaving the place we never should have invaded and attacked in the first place.

    But golly gee, hurray.

    It is mortared all the time (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:54:32 PM EST
    nobody is staying there in large numbers.  Turns out that the only thing that happens when you build something really big is that the mortars are promised a hit.

    Mortars? It needs an inflatable dome... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 03:43:36 PM EST
    ... Pump it up with O'promises and hot air.

    Good point (none / 0) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:18:25 PM EST
    When the base was being built there were some news articles about it, especially the unprecedented size, its unequalled fortifications, and its unmistakable sense of permanence.

    Now, trying to search for those stories, I can't find them. Not to be too paranoid, but it seems like a thorough scrubbing has taken place.

    If anyone has any news on this, I'd sure like to know.


    Ask and ye shall receive: (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:24:04 PM EST
    From Dan Froomkin:

    In a telling sign of how dangerous and chaotic Iraq remains more than eight years after President George W. Bush launched the war against Saddam Hussein, U.S. diplomats, military advisers and other officials are planning to fall back to the gargantuan embassy in Baghdad -- a heavily fortified, self-contained compound the size of Vatican City.

    The embassy compound is by far the largest the world has ever seen, at one and a half square miles, big enough for 94 football fields. It cost three quarters of a billion dollars to build (coming in about $150 million over budget). Inside its high walls, guard towers and machine-gun emplacements lie not just the embassy itself, but more than 20 other buildings, including residential quarters, a gym and swimming pool, commercial facilities, a power station and a water-treatment plant.

    Yet the embassy is turning out to be too small for the swelling retinue of gunmen, gardeners and other workers the State Department considers necessary to provide security and "life support" for the sizable group of diplomats, military advisers and other executive branch officials who will be taking shelter there once the troops withdraw from the country.

    The number of personnel under the authority of the U.S. ambassador to Iraq will swell from 8,000 to about 16,000 as the troop presence is drawn down, a State Department official told The Huffington Post. "About 10 percent would be core programmatic staff, 10 percent management and aviation, 30 percent life support contractors -- and 50 percent security," he said.

    As part of that increase, the State Department will double its complement of security contractors -- fielding a private army of over 5,000 to guard the embassy and other diplomatic outposts and protect personnel as they travel beyond the fortifications, the official said. Another 3,000 armed guards will protect Office of Security Cooperation personnel, who are responsible for sales and training related to an estimated $13 billion in pending U.S. arms sales, including tanks, squadrons of attack helicopters and 36 F-16s.

    There's more...enjoy.


    Hey, thanks (none / 0) (#17)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:49:14 PM EST
    Lemme dig into this and see if I can get an answer to the question that begs an answer: How can our "Leadership," simultaneously, be formulating an "exist strategy"  and building a "forever" base?

    Move over Wikipedia, we've got "Anne:)"


    Base versus embassy (5.00 / 0) (#80)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:35:46 PM EST
    The huge military base you asked about above is not the U.S. embassy.  Big as it is, the embassy grounds aren't big enough to launch military operations from.

    I have no idea what's happening to that gigantic base, but I assume it'll be turned over to the Iraqis.


    Yes, I realize it's not the embassy (none / 0) (#105)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 08:21:53 PM EST
    But does it seem plausible to you that a base of this size, this complexity, and this cost (again, in the articles I read they touted it as a base the likes of which had never been contemplated before) would be built as a "temporary" installation, to be turned over to the Iraqis after hostilities ended?

    Maybe, but I sort of doubt it.


    I'm sure you're right about that, but (none / 0) (#129)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 09:34:18 AM EST
    it was ordered up by the Bushies.  While I'm sure Obama would happily have made use of it, he seems entirely willing to let it go.  Not that he has any choice at this point.

    But I assume it was built more than anything else in expectation of having a staging base in a friendly (puppet) country smack in the middle of the region in case of some future war somewhere in the region there.  I expect that's still the hope.


    Of course the State Department wants (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 09:48:16 AM EST
    to stay, the fact that without the military forces they won't be able to secure an embassy of that size is the problem.  And maybe why Obama looks like he had to suck a lemon.

    It isn't safe though, never has been.  You can't be posted there with family.  With our soldiers gone it will be even less safe and impossible to serve all the people who State thinks they want to be there.  They have to get supplies in and out and a common plan of attack in Iraq is to destroy your means to power and water.  They did it to Al Asad regularly at the start.  I'm certain that we have found ways to make access to power and water more secure for our "fortresses" there but without soldiers to protect, that added security will be quickly undermined.


    I hope you're right (none / 0) (#148)
    by NYShooter on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 02:33:11 PM EST
    but Obama has doubled down on most of Bush's initiatives, and like I've said, this base isn't just another billion dollar boondogle. There's something spooky about it, and for Obama to take the position of "oh, well, it would've been nice, but, too bad. Here's a nice little, fortified, state of the art, city within a city for you folks."  

    Lets see how this plays out; as they say, "talks are continuing."


    Securing the embassy is what those (none / 0) (#154)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:33:10 PM EST
    private security contractors are for.

    From Spencer Ackerman at Wired:

    On January 1, 2012, the State Department will command a hired army of about 5,500 security contractors, all to protect the largest U.S. diplomatic presence anywhere overseas.

    The State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security does not have a promising record when it comes to managing its mercenaries. The 2007 Nisour Square shootings by State's security contractors, in which 17 Iraqi civilians were killed, marked one of the low points of the war. Now, State will be commanding a much larger security presence, the equivalent of a heavy combat brigade. In July, Danger Room exclusively reported that the Department blocked the Congressionally-appointed watchdog for Iraq from acquiring basic information about contractor security operations, such as the contractors' rules of engagement.

    That means no one outside the State Department knows how its contractors will behave as they ferry over 10,000 U.S. State Department employees throughout Iraq -- which, in case anyone has forgotten, is still a war zone. Since Iraq wouldn't grant legal immunity to U.S. troops, it is unlikely to grant it to U.S. contractors, particularly in the heat and anger of an accident resulting in the loss of Iraqi life.


    So far, there are three big security firms with lucrative contracts to protect U.S. diplomats. Triple Canopy, a longtime State guard company, has a contract worth up to $1.53 billion to keep diplos safe as they travel throughout Iraq. Global Strategies Group will guard the consulate at Basra for up to $401 million. SOC Incorporated will protect the mega-embassy in Baghdad for up to $974 million. State has yet to award contracts to guard consulates in multiethnic flashpoint cities Mosul and Kirkuk, as well as the outpost in placid Irbil.

    "We can have the kind of protection our diplomats need," Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough told reporters after Obama's announcement. Whether the Iraqi people will have protection from the contractors that the State Department commands is a different question. And whatever you call their operations, the Obama administration hopes that you won't be so rude as to call it "war."

    The bold is mine.


    Wondering why State Dept. needs (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:39:25 PM EST
    such a presence in Iraq post-war if Obama admins. doesn't anticipate re-sending U.S. military.  How much PR and negotiation is required?  

    and questions linger n/t (none / 0) (#163)
    by NYShooter on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:21:31 PM EST
    Not enought to secure the place (none / 0) (#186)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:49:43 AM EST
    for any real length of time IMO.  Iraqi police are full of Sadr loyalists and sympathizers.  They cannot be relied upon to give aid, and some of them may actually aid in attacks.  The first thing that will happen is that the embassy will begin to be mortared A LOT.  A whole lot more than it is now because we don't have 50,000 troops to patrol the perimeter with authority to defend.

    They may have the manpower to contain that for awhile, hunt the people down on the perimeter doing it and "deal" with them.  Will they be permitted to kill them though?  Or are we just talking about being able to have them arrested and what sort of justice is involved?  Will they be back on the streets in hours?  There is a reason why the SOFA was not agreed to, U.S. forces don't get to kill people anymore who attack them without having to answer to Iraqis and all that that may entail.

    Then the second thing that will happen is that every road they use for supplies or diplomatic travel of any kind will end up with more IEDs on it than we can imagine because there isn't the manpower to deal with that and being consistently mortared.  Everyday there will be just another day in hell and contractors get to quit.  So do State department employees for that matter.

    And they do, they don't have that same crazy dedication that soldiers in uniform do.  They quit all the time in Afghanistan right now.  Whenever fresh contractors get hit you  immediately lose three out of every four on the next plane out.  You will lose three out of every four over the course of a few months though once they realize what the real risks are and what can happen to them.  State department employees bail all the time when the going goes to $hit.


    My husband just got out of bed (none / 0) (#187)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 09:34:22 AM EST
    He says Marines secure our embassies and there's a reason for that.  And how long can we hold an embassy where we can't even get a SOFA that would allow for Marine protection?  There will be no more counter fire for mortars once the soldiers leave.

    What do you take from the State (none / 0) (#188)
    by Anne on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 11:17:49 AM EST
    Department's blocking of oversight on contractors' rules of engagement?

    The more I read and hear, the more I wonder how long we should give this whole war-is-over-everyone's-coming-home thing; and the biggest question I have is, will it end before or after the disaster of contractors operating under a State Department that doesn't have expertise in force management?


    It is there only protection (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 11:32:01 AM EST
    He brought this up fresh out of bed too.  They will demand that the contractors have the same immunity that the State Department has.

    Why Obama looks like he was sucking on a lemon seems a lot more obvious now.  Only a fool would want to leave and have no embassy at this point.  It his last toe hold in being able to have any sway over a civil war if one threatens.

    But embassies must be protected, all embassies are.  The Iraqis will not agree to a SOFA that would even allow him to do that so he is going to hire guns, call them State Department employees, and attempt to get some way to protect his embassy.

    I think he would be an idiot to leave our embassy without attempting to establish a U.S. embassy there of some kind.  That is not how you play poker or diplomacy.

    I do not see that being something that will pan out long term.  Things change though, Iraq could become peaceful and healthy and end up asking for us to give them their damned land back and allow us to build and have a reasonable embassy.  Right now though, that place is all that Obama has that might be able to sustain the attacks that are coming.


    May was leave Afghanistan now? (none / 0) (#190)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 12:29:54 PM EST
    I refuse to feed on anything (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 03:02:31 PM EST
    started by Lindsey Graham.  The Haqqani network is not and does not speak for or represent Pakistan, nor does the ISI.  This whole discussion to include Juan Cole is rock solid rhetoric.  We take out active members of the Haqqani network just about every other day and Islamabad has said what?  NOTHING

    The Pakistani military for the most part doesn't know what to do about the Haqqani network or the rogue elements of the ISI, but nobody should get that confused with the leaders of Pakistan supporting the Haqqani network or the ISI when it attacks the U.S.  They probably love it when the ISI attacks India though, but the ISI is Pashtun....used for their hatred and attacking of outsiders.  They are used and abused and Islamabad isn't going to protect them from us in any serious form if they are attacking us.  The government structure and nationalism structure of Pakistan should not be confused with the make up and structure of those elements in the United States.


    Great posts, MT (none / 0) (#192)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 03:42:38 PM EST
    You know so much about all this, and I'm always delighted when your informed comments confirm something I sorta suspected but have no expertise to back up. :-)

    Any reaction to Karzai's comments re (none / 0) (#194)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 04:32:34 PM EST
    if U.S. were to go to war against Pakistan (which won't happen, I gather)?  

    I think it is similar to asking us (none / 0) (#195)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:37:54 PM EST
    what would we do if someone attacked Canada.  Karzai really must appear strong and capable even though it feels doubtful how much he can hold together when we scale back and begin to stand down.  I think he must appear to defend his own people and Af/Pak is a sisterhood in a way.  I hope it becomes more functional, it needs to be more functional where Afghanistan is also important and not simply encouraged by Pakistan to be a Taliban stronghold in order to not have another leader nearby that they would have to deal with graciously.  I think what he said is all politics.  I don't take offense.  Mostly because I know how much he relies on us at the moment.

    It's pretty clear - (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by Edger on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:16:44 PM EST
    Karzai is acknowledging and reflecting the culture - it would probably be the end of him if he didn't.

    From its founding in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, Afghanistan has traditionally been dominated by the Pashtuns, who before 1978 constituted a 51% minority in the country. However, as a result of the 1979 Soviet invasion the population distribution in Afghanistan has changed. About 85% of the 6.2 million Afghan refugees who fled to Iran and Pakistan and around the World due to the Russian invasion and the war that followed it are Pashtuns. This, accordingly, lowered the percentage of Pashtuns inside Afghanistan temporarily and raised the percentages of the country's other ethnic groups. By the mid-1990s many of the refugees returned restoring the Pashtuns to their status of the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan constituting about 45% of the population.

    Of course, in the west we'll do our best to not understand.


    Shades of South Korea, Germany, and....? (none / 0) (#50)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 03:34:27 PM EST
    16,000 people in 1.5 square miles... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 03:46:23 PM EST
    ... which they can't leave, are gonna feel caged like rats.

    Why would they want to leave? (none / 0) (#65)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:40:49 PM EST
    when you've got Starbucks & triple lattes, and 24 hr. Burger King.

    Outside you've got camel dung wrapped in a tasty Samoon.


    How do you get (none / 0) (#132)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 09:53:19 AM EST
    all those supplies in and out without sizeable protection?  Believe me, Maqtada-al-Sadr has plans of action that can be much more easily applied if he can get all these fuggin soldiers out of the way :)  You think they can helicopter in all those supplies daily?  Once all the rest of the soldiers leave we are for the most part done.

    All those sillies at State with their big ideas and grand plans.....good luck with that


    Would it maybe make more sense (none / 0) (#193)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 03:44:04 PM EST
    to sell this thing to the Iraqis for whatever and acquire or build a more reasonably-sized embassy somewhere in Baghdad?  This thing is just nuts.

    It's pretty nuts (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 05:07:40 PM EST
    I don't know what kind of deal can be worked, but I have my doubts as to whether or not we can feasiby have an embassy in Iraq at this time.  I think a lot of money and people will be thrown literally into a black hole.  I suppose we have to at least make the attempt or a certain kind of accusation of negligence will be slapped on Obama if anything horrific happens to the people of Iraq due to the struggle for ruling power.  We have to be respectful of their sovereignty as well as respectful that we (BushCo) broke everything functioning in the country on purpose and it will  have to reform somehow now.  In the course of being honorable and doing the responsible thing we are doomed, our only destiny in this now is fecked, and none of it is going to be a fine or wonderful thing ever.

    It's easier to find the articles from (none / 0) (#15)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:29:49 PM EST
    the foreign press.

    The scale of the bases and the range of facilities offered to service personnel are impressive.

    Some 25,000 US military and civilian personnel are stationed at the Balad base, which boasts its own neighbourhoods and airline.

    At about 7km by 5km (four-and-a-half miles by three miles), the al-Asad base is so big two bus routes are needed.

    Oliver Poole, correspondent for the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper, last visited the base in January.

    "In many ways they've tried to recreate the set-up of a modern US suburban town, but obviously within the context that it's a military base within the deserts of western Iraq," he told the BBC News website.

    I'm so stupid (none / 0) (#25)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:55:59 PM EST
    I've got both BBC & Ajazeera  book marked as favorites, and like, an idiot, I'm looking for answers in the U.S. media.

    And to think I grew up making fun of Pravda.

    thanks for the "kick"  


    At this point, I do look (none / 0) (#30)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:58:35 PM EST
    for foreign news sources. The U.S. press is not reliable.

    The U.S. press is plenty reliable (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:07:59 PM EST
    if you want to know everything about Lindsay Lohan.



    Yep. Today a tray of 36 cupcakes was turned away (none / 0) (#101)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 07:39:55 PM EST
    by her L.A. Morgue boss. Damn they're mean to her.

    and in spite of all that (none / 0) (#16)
    by vicndabx on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:35:31 PM EST
    it's being transitioned to the Iraqis

    10/8/2011 - JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq -- Transitioning Joint Base Balad to the Government of Iraq is more than turning off the lights and handing over the keys.


    This article seems in direct contradiction (none / 0) (#20)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:53:00 PM EST
    to the one Anne posted, dated 9/16/11.



    Oops. (none / 0) (#26)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:56:50 PM EST
    Embassy is not the base. My apologies.

    I think (none / 0) (#27)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:57:21 PM EST
    they're two different bases

    How's he going to keep Iran surrounded now? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:13:15 PM EST
    Oh, right, by the end of 2012 after his Afghanistan "drawdown", he'll have twice as many troops in Afghanistan as there were there on the day he was inaugurated - more than at any point during former president George W. Bush's administration (while telling people he's reducing troop levels).

    They'll be handy when he decides to send troops back to Iraq...


    ...the United States maintains just 18 bases, with the rest either closed or turned over to Iraq. About 520 American troops depart Iraq each day, the Post reported.

    The U.S. security agreement with Iraq expires in 10 weeks. Iraqi government officials have requested that 5,000 or more U.S. military trainers remain in the country, the Post reported. However, supporters of anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have promised disruptions should forces remain in 2012.

    I see said the blind man... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:15:12 PM EST
    Thank you Iraqi govt. for not granting that immunity from prosecution...if not for that our continued presence would surely be greater.  

    I am curious to see how many CIA, mercs, and embassy fortress guards remain.  

    Hope I'm wrong and this is a legit end to it...either way less is better than more.

    Right but (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:18:14 PM EST
    those aren't "troops".  @@

    Where o' where... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:27:01 PM EST
    did I put the latest edition of the newspeak dictionary so I'd know what constitutes a "troop" as of today?

    Heh. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:28:33 PM EST
    Are drones troops?

    Bingo! (none / 0) (#102)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 07:40:51 PM EST
    Obama is having a good week (none / 0) (#18)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:51:50 PM EST
    Not "Here is my birth certificate and oh yeah by the way I killed Osama" kind of good, but close. Real close.

    A few more of these and he may just pull this thing out.

    Which "thing" would that be? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:54:42 PM EST
    Oh, right. His re-election. The only thing that really matters!!!!

    Yes his election (3.00 / 3) (#29)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 01:58:23 PM EST
    and no, that's not the only thing that matters.

    But he is ticking off those campaign promises, which has an impact on people's lives.

    As the saying goes:

    haters are gonna hate.


    It's sad how your immaturity (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:00:45 PM EST
    rules you. How criticism of "The One" eaquals hate in your childish little mind.

    And, yeah, his re-election is your life's mission, blah blah blah.


    Immature? (2.00 / 1) (#39)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:27:23 PM EST
    Let me break it down:

    I defend Obama approximately as much as others criticize him.

    I am an Obama supporter who can't see past my Obamabot status to see his flaws.

    The others are rational and logical thinkers unmotivated by any biases against him.

    Shorter: If you don't want me to call his most ardent critics haters, don't claim that his most ardent supporters are mindless followers.

    Works both ways. I reserve the hater tag for those  who attribute my comments to unthinking adoration as opposed to logical analysis.

    Golden Rule. If you don't like the crap you're getting, stop dolling out the poo sandwiches.

    This isn't necessarily to you. It's to anyone who counters a civil comment with "but that's because you love Obama and all you care about is him winning".


    See that's the thing: you do defend (4.20 / 5) (#42)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:39:00 PM EST
    him, while others criticize his positions - and you don't see the difference there.  

    You measure success in terms of whether it's good for him - the critics measure success in terms of what's good for the people - and you don't see the difference there, either.

    And, just a suggestion: you might want to tell the ABG that's reserving the right to put the hater tag on people that the other ABG is elsewhere in this thread saying that he's not calling anyone haters.  That kind of thing is an ongoing problem for you, and one reason much of what you say fails to get much traction.


    Gotta chime in here (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by vicndabx on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 02:48:05 PM EST
    and don't want to hijack the thread.  This part however:

    the critics measure success in terms of what's good for the people

    is highly subjective and as such really shouldn't be the lynchpin of the point you folks keep trying to make.


    Of course it's subjective (none / 0) (#46)
    by sj on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 03:29:53 PM EST
    And "us folks" know we're not interchangeable.  As for "lynchpin".  I do not think it means what you think it means.  Most of "us folks" have more than one issue which expresses our individual POV.

    Lynchpin or Linchpin: (none / 0) (#94)
    by vicndabx on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 06:24:43 PM EST
    Merriam Webster

    : one that serves to hold together parts or elements that exist or function as a unit <the linchpin in the defense's case>

    ergo - the thought that one persons policy perspectives are "better" than someone else's as the lynchpin of a statements like "I don't do what you do" is false.


    Okay (none / 0) (#96)
    by sj on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 06:45:06 PM EST
    But it is still, to me, a very strange way of looking at things.  I see things on a spectrum.  I don't see myself having a single lynchpin or linchpin in the way that you mean.  But even as I try looking at things through that lens, you are seeing something completely different than I am.  

    If we want to have a li[y]nchpin then what Anne is saying is not that her policy perspective is better (although we all think that of ourselves, yes/no?) but that her policy perpective is her focus.  While ABG has O's reelection as his focus/li[y]nchpin.


    Well hell Anne (none / 0) (#59)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:18:29 PM EST
    I defend his positions.  I could easily say that you attack him instead of his positions because you talk about his personal qualities regularly.

    Stop trying to fight me so hard.  It's a good week.  We can go at each other next week when Obama does something slightly imperfect and you rip him to shreds for it.

    But this week, this week he's done pretty well.


    The one itty bitty problem with your (none / 0) (#68)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:50:10 PM EST
    comment is that I haven't criticized Obama for complying with the Status of Forces Agreement negotiated under his predecessor's watch, and agreeing to pull our troops out by the end of the year; I've stated more than a couple of times that it's a good thing that we are leaving Iraq.

    I think there was a time, some time ago, when I said that the cadence of Obama's speeches grated on my ears, and so I chose to read them instead, but I most certainly do not talk about Obama's personal qualities on a regular basis, or any basis at all.  

    If, though, Obama's seeming inability to make decisions, to establish a position and not keep begotiating it away, are considered "personal" qualities, then yes, I have been critical.  Those are patterns, habits, styles that affect governance and leadership, which tie them to the choices he ends up making and the policies he ends up pursuing, so they are fair game.

    Maybe some day you will understand that Obama doing well for Obama does not necessarily translate to the people he purports to represent being well-served.

    I am not hopeful that that day is coming anytime soon.


    Bravo, ABG! (3.50 / 2) (#54)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 03:55:35 PM EST
    Didn't y'all grow up with that lesson: "Don't dish it out if you can't take it."  'Seems to me that there is a lot of piling on & fairly harsh verbal assaults directed toward ABG--on a fairly continual basis (& to the point where a kind of baiting in the form of "I wonder what ABG would say now...." included in some comments even when ABG isn't active in a thread)--but that when the tables turn, the outcry becomes that of a would-be victim. Sandbox...seems to me.

    On Iraq, the President is delivering on his promise. He did not get us into Iraq; he is getting us out.  That we have a gigantic warehouse of an embassy there (another inheritance from Bush II) is not the issue of whether Obama delivers on his promise to withdraw troops  Whether we should be deployed in other areas is also a separate issue. Whether any of us are "haters," well that is a matter that can't be determined by a serious of blog interchanges, IMO. Maybe it is simply apoplexy.


    As if ABG doesn't bait (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by nycstray on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:05:45 PM EST
    with most everything he posts . . . .

    I don't actually (none / 0) (#60)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:20:54 PM EST
    It's just that when the comments run so consistently in one direction, it seems like baiting.

    Nothing I say is terribly controversial in most democratic settings and this is, as Jeralyn occasionally has to remind people, a democratic blog.


    Meh (none / 0) (#140)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 12:51:39 PM EST
    a lot of times I think your comments are unfairly attacked, but your comment above about "haters," IMO, is a hair away from trolling.  It was a long, unnecessary, devastating war.  I'm glad Obama ended it, but it's hard not to reflect on the nature of this particular war.  I don't know what type of comments you expected to see about it, but I don't see a gratuitous hatred of Obama on this thread.  

    "Ticking off those promises" (none / 0) (#71)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:53:54 PM EST
    Heh - yeah - as long as someone makes him.

    Bush tax cuts
    Public option
    FISA "compromise"
    Open HCR hearings
    Lobbyist ban
    Free Choice Act
    importing prescription drugs
    comprehensive immigration reform

    etc., etc. etc...


    Funny how (none / 0) (#72)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:55:53 PM EST
    when people on one side list the promises, the exclude certain items and vice versa.  Since you gave us the list of promises that haven't occurred, let me give you the ones that have . . .

    then again, you know what they are.  His list of accomplished goals is long.  Either you acknowledge them or you don't, but we all know what they are.


    Oh, ... that wasn't a complete list ... (none / 0) (#100)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 07:10:53 PM EST
    ... of the broken promises - just some of the highlights.

    Yes - the list of "accomplishments" is long ... from getting his daughter a puppy to a POS health insurance reform plan that violated several promises at the same time.



    "May just pull this thing out" - heh (5.00 / 0) (#66)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:46:10 PM EST
    Wow - that's quite the drop from your bold predictions of victory from less than a year ago.  The fact that you're down to "may just pull this thing off" against a Republican field that includes the likes of Bachmann, Cain, and Perry says much more ...

    My bold prediction changed (none / 0) (#74)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:59:12 PM EST
    because the circumstances changed.  I did not anticipate the global downturn which is fundamentally what is fueling the economic softness we are seeing.

    Only an idiot would stubbornly stick to his position despite a change of facts.

    I put Obama's odds at winning re-election at somewhere in the 60% range. He's still an incumbent.  He is still has high personal favorables.

    Plus, don't look now but the economy started growing more than expected:

    "Our tracking model of third quarter GDP has been running well ahead of our former official estimate of 1.8% growth. Today, in our US economic weekly, we officially revise up our Q3 forecast to 2.7%. We expect some of this strong momentum to carry over into the fourth quarter. We bumped up our Q4 estimate to 2.3% from 2.0%."

    If things do start ramping up and the trends are good, his numbers will be a fair amount higher than they are now.  People want him to succeed, they just don't think he can.  He just has to restore a level of faith and let Romney open his mouth.


    "Level of faith" - heh (none / 0) (#97)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 06:51:39 PM EST
    I know that was unintentional, but still ...

    Only an idiot would stubbornly stick to his position despite a change of facts.

    Or, only an idiot would make claims of victory 1 1/2 years out from an election.

    BTW - You also keep making claims about the economy improving - and keep getting it wrong.  But it's nice someone is forecasting 2.7% growth for Q3 and 2.0% growth for Q4.  Of course, we know how those positive forecast have turned out over the past couple of years, and ....

    ... that's heading in the wrong direction ...


    Silly (none / 0) (#197)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 09:51:18 AM EST
    Waiting for Romney to open his mouth?  Uh, whether you like him or not, Romney is no Bachmann or Perry and the chances of him saying something dumb is about the same as Obama - they will do it - but Romney is a seasoned business person and politician.

    And that's what you're waiting for?



    apparently, i missed the huge (none / 0) (#47)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 03:31:11 PM EST
    celebration in time's square.

    I know. (none / 0) (#78)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:26:55 PM EST
    Usually, an announcement about a war being over occurs when a war is over.

    Well (none / 0) (#56)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:06:06 PM EST
    I certainly hopes this happens but we are now seeing "Campaign Obama" and "Campaign Obama" makes a lot of promises that don't materialize later on into actions.

    I think (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:25:56 PM EST
    it is worth noting that this withdrawal, if it happens, is due to the fact that pressure from the US to retain troops there for "training" purposes went nowhere.

    The US wanted not only to leave troops there, but wanted a guarantee from the Iraqi parliament that they would all be granted immunity from prosecution.

    The Iraqis didn't go for it.
    So - hopefully - adios. But Obama & Co. tried. It just didn't fly.

    And - I think it should be noted that, as the Times says:

    ...negotiations will continue, and some of those troops might find themselves redeployed to Iraq in 2012 or beyond.

    I'll be convinced that the war is over if all the troops are out by Jan. 2011, and are still out in Jan. 2013.

    When I see that, I'll believe it.
    Until then, I just see politics.


    This is (none / 0) (#79)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:32:04 PM EST
    the same position taken with DADT once its repeal was passed.

    It's going to happen because the deadline for various logistical hurdles to allow troops to stay is passing.

    It's a done deal.


    Usually, (none / 0) (#82)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:40:44 PM EST
    after a "deal is done", negotiations have concluded.
    It this case, they are continuing.

    I don't think untoward to be cautiously optimistic (none / 0) (#93)
    by sj on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 06:16:55 PM EST
    I think this is good news indeed, but there seem to be plenty of points where the plan could fall apart.  Starting with those on-going negotiations.  

    Nothing is a done deal until the deal is done.


    Romney & Iraq (none / 0) (#57)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:15:09 PM EST
    In glancing through news recaps today, an item about George Romney stood out:  According to the blurb--@ Politicalwire, I recall--Romney criticized President Obama's decision to withdraw all troops from Iraq by the end of the year, as he appeared to suggest that it would be too soon (cough, cough) & would leave what we had gained exposed.

    My god, this raised George from the dead? (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Towanda on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:48:30 PM EST
    And that wasn't the lead?

    Heh--Thanks for the catch (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:14:38 PM EST
    You know: All those Romneys seem alike to me.:)

    But, they have different planets. (none / 0) (#87)
    by KeysDan on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:48:54 PM EST
    Maybe the sun went over the yardarm (none / 0) (#70)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:52:28 PM EST
    a little earlier today for some than for others..."it's five o'clock somewhere."

    Or perhaps we're celebrating (none / 0) (#73)
    by Towanda on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:56:11 PM EST
    the Day of the Dead a tad too soon?

    I may need to nudge my clock to claim that the sun is over the yardarm here, so that I can have a drink to get me through reading some of this stuff.


    Christinep (none / 0) (#62)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:23:01 PM EST

    Obama announces a pull out, Romney says that if he were president, he'd keep troops over there, and everyone attacks Obama.

    Then I pull my hair out a little and go have a Friday stuff drink.


    stiff drink (none / 0) (#63)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:23:12 PM EST
    Maybe a little smile with that stiff drink, ABG (none / 0) (#64)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 04:33:38 PM EST
    when Romney joins Cain in the twisting-into-a-pretzel competition.  When the next reporter asks Mr. Romney directly if he opposes an Iraq pullout, he is going to do a quick mind-review about the percentage of those even in his own party who want a disentanglement from Iraq (Libertarians,anyone? Buchananites, anyone?) AND, oops, he will remember again the large number of those Independents who want us out.

    Contemplating the Poetic J for Mr. R will make that drink enjoyable.


    Showing our age (none / 0) (#86)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:45:27 PM EST
    It's Mitt Romney now.  (I made the same mistake just recently...)

    Good Lord (none / 0) (#138)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 12:30:33 PM EST
    I missed Friday night social, or what more honest people have come to call Friday night drinking.  But after hearing the highlights today, it would seem that the Republican base has gone and lost its damned mind.

    It was a bit much having to put up with Obama getting bin Laden, but aiding and abetting in the fall of Gaddafi?  Oh hell, they want his head either on a plate or a spike. It's god damned crazy.  They've gone rabid.  Some rabid Conservative soldiers called him Barry last night.  Careful now out there

    They went after the wrong "guy" (none / 0) (#139)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 12:43:52 PM EST
    It was Hillary Clinton who had a near orgasm on CBS News the other day gloating over Gaddafi's death.


    Of course, she forgets that her line on hearing of Gaddafi's death - "We came, we saw, he died" - was taken in part from Julius Caesar who jotted it down after one of his victories.

    What is generally not noted, however, is that Julius Caesar himself died three years later. Empires tend to be rather temporary things.


    You think Ms. Clinton didn't know the (none / 0) (#142)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 01:09:05 PM EST
    historic origins of her paraphrase?

    I'm sure she did (none / 0) (#143)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 01:17:58 PM EST
    Though she might have though better of it if she had remembered Caesars death only 3 years later.

    But anyway - the video might come in handy in drug rehab clinics. You know: "this is your brain on drugs (or power)" type thing....


    What the heck are you saying, Edger? (none / 0) (#151)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:16:38 PM EST
    Certainly, the words that you write about Obama's announcement to bring home the troops from Iraq by the end of the year...that those words are negative. In my read of those words, they also brim with a heavy emotion akin to anger or something like that.  But, now, you seem to want to imagine everything that could be wrong with this decision.  You have your reasons, I'm sure....

    Many of us were strongly opposed to the "Iraq War" at its inception & throughout. As citizens, we did what we could to protest it...I certainly did via organizing a protest seminar, marches, letters, what have you.  It can be hard to come to terms with Bush's War, very hard.  Tempus fugit. We have no choice but to move forward. Reflection, consideration...yes.  But, what does the lashing out against Clinton accomplish? Venting or what?


    We didn't do what we could do (none / 0) (#162)
    by Towanda on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:18:21 PM EST
    to protest war, sadly, since we did not force at least one of the political parties to put up a candidate who would end our wars immediately.

    While I agree in theory (none / 0) (#170)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:38:35 PM EST
    I'm not sure that the circusmstance of where we have been, as a country, would have allowed the right now/immediate/get the heck out of there that we would have liked to see. See, for example, MT's remarks.

    My supposition, also--no proof, just supposition--is that a Democratic President had to "show the sword" via macho and all that in light of the continuing cultural divide that rivets elections since 1968. Obama's real "alpha" with regard to bin Laden, al-Awlaki, Qaddafy, & any number of al-Qaeda had many effects, not the least of which is to undercut the longstanding & detrimental image of Dems as weak. I know it is silly, stupid & wrongheaded...but, a lot of people have voted based upon that image.  Case in point: The Bush II situation...the Mr. Bring em on-no nuance Texan that people flocked to for more than one term.  What would I like to see? The diminishment of that trap whereby one is considered weak if not a loud-mouth brute. To get there, the guys seem to respect the show of strength first...and, almost require that show in some instances. Not nice, not good; but, I've seen that over & over again in and out of politics. IMO.


    For someone who doesn't tolerate (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:45:55 PM EST
    any kind of supposition from anyone else, because you claim we just have to deal with "what is," you sure don't hesitate to share your own musings, do you?

    Once in awhile, I do suppose (none / 0) (#174)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 06:34:25 PM EST
    In this case, I shared my supposition with Towanda--after identifying it only as a musing/supposition. While I could argue that it is more than a supposition, it made more sense to label it what it is.  

    'Appreciate your keeping me honest, tho.


    I feel much safer (none / 0) (#141)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 01:05:03 PM EST
    with Obama as President than I did with GW.  Sometimes I wonder where we would be in terms of foreign policy if McCain was President, and I hear the phrase "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" and shudder.

    McCain (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 01:22:39 PM EST
    would probably be doing all the things Obama has been doing the past two and half years.

    And that would be a big problem.

    It would leave millions of 'democrats' in the position of having to start pretending to oppose war again instead of reveling in the vicarious sense of power.


    However, this point cannot be ignored: (none / 0) (#152)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 03:22:22 PM EST
    McCain is INSANE.

    As disillusioned as I am by Obama, I shudder to think of the condition this country would be in with McCain and Palin in the White House.


    Do you think Dems would have enabled (5.00 / 3) (#168)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:27:20 PM EST
    the McCain agenda, or made it more difficult for him to get what he wanted?

    I honestly can't make up my mind on that one, given that it seemed that, even with a Democratic majority, Bush managed to get pretty much what he wanted.

    I'm pretty sure, though, that the professional left would not have contorted themselves into humanly impossible positions in order to excuse and defend Republican policies the way they have contorted themselves for the Republican policies Obama's so comfortable with.

    Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...


    There is no doubt in my mind (none / 0) (#175)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 07:10:02 PM EST
    that the Dems would have fought hard against McCain, if for no other reason than partisan political expediency. I feel fairly certain that my own senator, Patty Murray -- who has disappointed me since becoming 4th most powerful Dem in the Seante leadership -- would have pushed back hard against McCain's thirst for waging war against Iran. After all, she has never been a war monger, and her 2002 speech against going to war with Iraq was the most thoughtful I heard from any senator. Plus, Washington state is home to Joint Base Lewis/McChord and she has always been a staunch supporter of vets, and reluctant to put them in harm's way in the first place. In any case, I am not among those who believe Obama wants a war with Iran.

    On economics, McCain is even more clueless than Obama. That is why his campaign went into the dumper in September 2008. And, as president, he would have hired an entire economic team of Tim Geithners. There would have been NO stimulus at all under McCain. There would be no jobs bill now under McCain. You know how incensed I was that Obama continued the Bush tax cuts last December. McCain would have probably tried to have the Bush tax cuts set in stone, as a constitutional amendment. That's how freaking nutty he is. My other senator, Cantwell (whom I haven't liked at all in the past) has been giving Obama tons of grief over not holding the banksters accountable for past behaviors and for what was expected from them since the bailout. She would have been at least as aggressive against McCain.

    And McCain would never have allowed DADT to wither. I'm sure of that. And I know for a fact my congressional rep would have gone to the mat on that one.

    I don't know for sure about other state's reps and senators, but I do know my own, and if McCain had ever made it to the White House, the pushback from mine would have been unrelenting. Because McCain would have had the bully pulpit, and he would have an entire cabinet full of wackadoodle neocons and criminals -- is it really that hard to imagine Eliot Abrams as CIA chief under McCain? I don't think so. Maybe Dems are just too pitiful to fight back against a crummy Dem president, but I bleive that over-the-top horrible policies across the board from McCain would have elicited a much different response from Dems in congress. Party politics.  

    Yep, jokers to the left of me, lesser of two evils, six or one half-dozen of the other, etc etc etc. But I still live in the real world, and in the real world, there's still a big difference between bad and frighteningly insane. I know which one Obama is and I know which one McCain is. And I think it's sheer folly for anyone to suggest that they are one and the same.


    The real world (none / 0) (#177)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 07:28:31 PM EST
    McCain isn't running in 2012.

    Obama is... maybe.


    You need to re- read Anne's question to me (none / 0) (#178)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 07:30:21 PM EST
    Clearly, you didn't understand it the first time.

    You're all over the map here shoephone (none / 0) (#179)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 07:33:18 PM EST
    I'd suggest a break from your keyboard.

    Instead of falling apart (none / 0) (#156)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 04:23:29 PM EST
    it might be falling apart?

    It's hard to believe (none / 0) (#157)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:03:39 PM EST
    you can't see any difference between Obama/Biden  and McCain/Palin.

    Therefore, I will not waste my time trying to convince you.


    That's fine (none / 0) (#158)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:08:03 PM EST
    you can answer my question privately to yourself if you'd rather not answer it here.

    It's a directionless rhetorical question, (none / 0) (#166)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:26:16 PM EST
    which is why I'm not wasting my time on it.

    No, it's not (none / 0) (#169)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:28:05 PM EST

    Do you think a Pres. McCain would (none / 0) (#159)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:11:52 PM EST
    be at war w/Iran by now?  North Korea?

    Who knows. (none / 0) (#161)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:17:27 PM EST
    He isn't president.

    And yet, (none / 0) (#164)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:24:53 PM EST
    you claim to know that he wouldn't have been any worse than Obama. You're losing credibility with me, Edger.

    I don't do the lesser of two evils trap, shoephone (none / 0) (#172)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:49:31 PM EST
    I case you haven't grasped it yet, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

    You think fear of republicans justifies your support of Obama?

    Republicans specialize in selling fear and you figure emulating them is the way to go?

    When a salesman tells you you should buy his product and the best reason he can give you is that the other guys product is crap, he may be right about the other guys product, but it also means he hasn't got anything worth buying.

    Obama is either utterly powerless to produce any positive progressive results, in which case he's not worth voting for, or he's got the power to produce progressive results and refuses to, in which case he's not worth voting for.

    Take your pick. Good luck. Are you an example of the best the democrats and obama have to offer now?


    And re Iran, Obama signed into law sanctions against Iran in 2010, and is now one upping himself and calling for what he calls the "toughest sanctions" against Iran.

    Sanctions do not hurt governments. They only hurt the populations of countries sanctioned.

    Do you know how many Iraqis died as a direct result of sanctions under Clinton? If, not you can look it up. It was more than the million or so Iraqis who died as a direct result of Bush's invasion, and it was mostly defenseless women and children.


    And I'll let you google for yourself (none / 0) (#173)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 05:59:04 PM EST
    the number of civilians killed by Obama's humanitarian drone "program", and how drastically that "program" has been expanded over Bush's use of drones.

    Your response to me proves that you have (none / 0) (#176)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 07:26:59 PM EST
    never paid an ounce of attention to any comment I have ever posted here. I am not a supporter of Obama and pretty much every other commenter here knows that. Thinking that McCain is a trigger-happy, crazy old coot does not equal thinking that Obama is a good president. But then, you knew that, right? Because equating McCain being horible with Obama being good is just stupidity amplified.

    And your blanket statement about sanctions, and who they hurt, conveniently forgets U.S. sanctions against South Africa, which, combined with sanctions by other nations, helped to convince de Klerk to release Mandela from jail.

    If you want to have a discussion, at least pretend you know something about the person you're arguing with. Because you just come off like a self-absorbed zealot. To wit, I really am finished wasting any more time on you.


    No, I don't think he's that stupid (none / 0) (#181)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:14:06 AM EST
    If the job was his he wouldn't be that insane.  He lived through the insanity called Vietnam.  I don't think he would have reined contractors and their lawlessness in though.  And I don't think he would have started to actually focus on and get Al Qaeda or been worried about having a plan to leave Afghanistan.  If he had been voted in it would have been made clear to him that he was free to extend the Bush failure.

    No, I don't think he's that stupid (none / 0) (#182)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:14:15 AM EST
    If the job was his he wouldn't be that insane.  He lived through the insanity called Vietnam.  I don't think he would have reined contractors and their lawlessness in though.  And I don't think he would have started to actually focus on and get Al Qaeda or been worried about having a plan to leave Afghanistan.  If he had been voted in it would have been made clear to him that he was free to extend the Bush failure.

    I do too (none / 0) (#180)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:09:00 AM EST
    I know he is a disappointment to much of the base in being good at making war, he has changed things though. I don't expect the best Liberals among us to ever be satisfied with important elemental changes in the making of war though.  But I feel safer with Obama too, much safer and much saner.

    I don't know what McCain would have done.  If his moral fiber ever had a say in his political doings, those days are long long long gone.  He can be just as crazy as the rest of the Republican party these days.

    I dislike drones though and was pretty disgusted with Bill Maher being so enchanted with them on Friday.  There is a lot of enchantment with having good war making skills among those who used to argue for peace often since some dick taters have fallen lately and some very bad guys dispensed with.  Anytime though when even troops don't have to show up to risk their lives in the taking of the lives of others, we are in danger of losing our souls.  Only wild fools would rejoice in it.  It is a horrible danger to our humanity IMO.


    "in danger" of losing our souls? (none / 0) (#183)
    by Edger on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:14:25 AM EST
    A remaining realm of American excellence
    Glenn Greenwald, Saturday October 22, 2011

    Everyone desires something to celebrate, to feel good about, and the country's political organs can now offer little more than Bad Guy corpses to enable those feelings.

    Putting bullets into people's skulls and exploding them into little bits and pieces by sky robots is one of the very few things at which America still seems to excel.

    We celebrate horror at the moment (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:23:45 AM EST
    It's creepy as hell.  I suppose it is hard not to since we all pack around not better angels too.

    I am fine with us defending ourselves.  I'm fine with killing Al Qaeda.  But it is vile evil work and that is the honest truth.  When you get up every morning bent on killing someone you are experiencing a LOW POINT in your life.

    When we celebrate it and when we celebrate having the excellent skill of being able to kill people without even having to acknowledge them enough to look them in the eye....we are well on the road to be truly phucked in the human being department.

    Just because Republicans are rabidly jealous doesn't mean it is time for us to lose our own hearts and minds.


    The cheering (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Edger on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:31:57 AM EST
    I've been seeing all week, is serious sickness.

    I cannot do it.