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Obama Asks Congress for $500 Million to Arm and Train Syrian Militants

President Obama is asking Congress for $500 million to arm and train "moderate" rebels in Syria.

An Obama national security aide said the $500 million should be used to help Syrian rebels topple Assad, while at the same time defeating militants who call themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

“As we have said many times before, Assad has lost all legitimacy to rule Syria and must go,” Bernadette Meehan, a National Security Council spokeswoman, told McClatchy. “The request to Congress reflects our assessment of the time needed to launch such a program and our view that building the capacity of Syrians for stabilization and counterterrorism operations will be necessary both during the (current) conflict and after a negotiated settlement.”

This is just throwing money down the drain. [More...]

It's misguided on so many levels. The U.S. hasn't trained rebels in a long time. Are our efforts likely to succeed? How is Obama going to vet the "moderate" rebels? For one thing, these groups switch alliances all the time. For another, Syria's battle has been going on for three years. Aren't we a little late to the party?

The Wall St Journal brings up another point: where is this training going to take place? Some say Jordan, but there are indications Jordan may want no part of it. The Journal also points out even if Congress passes the request, it will be 6 to 8 months before the training starts. By then, the Middle East will either be a Caliphate state, or someone else will have taken ISIS out.

Our Government has a very short memory, which is too bad, since history has a tendency to repeat itself. Not only was the War in Iraq a mistake, so was the first Gulf war.

The writing is on the wall. Iraq is history. This is like a deja vu to the fall of Saigon.

We should just stay out of it. Too bad we can't get an up or down vote by taxpayers on this funding request. Or have Congress tack a "Gitmo" rider onto the pending overseas funding bill that prevents any funds from being used to provide military training, equipment or secret ops to countries in the Middle East (and Africa.)

Since that's not possible, and Congress is likely to approve, how about finding a creative way to fund this foolhardiness that doesn't touch taxpayer dollars? We could legalize and tax all drugs and let the cartels foot the bill. Or we could disband the DEA -- with the savings, we could pay the $500 million and have $1.5 billion left over.

Except we should all know by now that the $500 million won't be the end of our spending, it will just be the beginning. In order to "vet" the groups, the U.S. will want to do "intelligence." That's another small fortune. And then, once we're "in", the U.S. is likely to feel comfortable moving on to air strikes.

There's also the question of how the non-moderate, militant groups will feel about our butting in -- from ISIS to AQAP and everywhere else in that region of the world. Our getting further involved will only fuel extremist hatred of us. Right now, the U.S. is not in ISIS's cross-hairs. And while they don't have the capability to run roughshod here like they have in Iraq, once we intervene and choose sides, they may ramp up their internet recruitment efforts in the U.S., looking for "lone wolf" homegrown terrorists to cause major damage. Or at least that's what our elected officials will tell us, in order to justify even more intrusive domestic surveillance programs. Our government has already encroached way too far on our civil liberties. Enough is enough.

If we have $500 million sitting around, let's use it for health care, education and to protect social security here at home. It's time we got our priorities straight.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Oh good grief. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 08:53:43 PM EST
    Arming them never works.

    Not to worry! (none / 0) (#176)
    by Romberry on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 08:56:25 AM EST
    It was explained to me by an Obama fan over at FDL that this is just more Nth dimensional chess. The theory goes like this: Republicans won't go anything Obama asks, so he asked for money for this in order to make sure that the US doesn't actually do it...or some pile of caca like that.

    Parent
    If we mean to put ISIS down in Iraq (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 08:58:55 PM EST
    How does this compute?  "Moderate" Syrian rebels share recruits with ISIS.  They aren't distinctively different groups.  They don't really have ideological differences.

    It appears fighters migrate freely between the Sunni rebel groups of Syria, and ISIS is one of those.  This is giving ISIS $500 million dollars while also sending in 300 military advisors to fight them.

    Someone is cracked

    Is the plan to (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 09:03:50 PM EST
    Arm everyone and hope they kill each other?

    Parent
    That's how it is beginning to look (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 09:10:12 PM EST
    Hey...you guys have a bit of a fire going here....need some gasoline?

    We are arming both sides.

    This must be the Halliburton plan

    Parent

    Tracy, you might (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Zorba on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:08:02 PM EST
    appreciate The Borowitz Report.
    ;-)

    Parent
    You are a hit (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:03:49 PM EST
    I read this to spouse.  He requested I put it on his facebook so he can share it with 8th Army.

    Parent
    Priceless (none / 0) (#112)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:58:19 AM EST
    That was hysterical (none / 0) (#168)
    by Jack203 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:00:03 PM EST
    Thanks

    Parent
    Well, we... (none / 0) (#10)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 02:40:07 AM EST
    "This is giving ISIS $500 million dollars while also sending in 300 military advisors to fight them."

    ...loan money to banks at an interest rate of X and they turn around and use the money to buy Treasury notes and bonds that pay an interest rate greater than X, so I guess we're just trying for consistency.

    Parent

    It's depressing isn't it (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 09:53:52 AM EST
    We are pawns....everyone

    Parent
    What should the US do if ISIS (none / 0) (#104)
    by Green26 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:40:42 AM EST
    goes after Jordan next, which ISIS is already signaling they may do? Should the US just stay out, even as Jordan asks for help? What will happen if Jordan asks Israel for help? What is ISIS turns towards Lebanon. Remember that ISIS, tho small, is well-trained and experienced, and now has more money and more good weapons, due to what they've seized in Iraq.

    Parent
    I would ask Netanyahu (none / 0) (#105)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:44:46 AM EST
    You studiously avoid his take.  You stick your head in the sand.

    I think the Israelis would annihilate ISIS before it got even close.....The Israelis are not too worried right now.

    Parent

    Amen. (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 09:48:20 PM EST
    If we have $500 million sitting around, let's use it for health care, education and to protect social security here at home. It's time we got our priorities straight.

    $500 million could also go a long way to giving our veterans the care they deserve - instead of them having to wait for months and months for treatment.

    I don't know what's lurking around the corner - but I am really and truly ready to see the end of the Obama administration. Come what may.

    Obama (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:56:46 AM EST
    Do you really think that Obama is any different from the rest of the D's and R's who will come after him?

    This recent requests is longstanding US foreign policy. What was unusual, imo was the fact that Obama nixed Hillary Clinton/Petraeus plan to arm the Syrian Rebels a year and a half ago.  

    Or that the US Joint Chief's of Staff, warned Obama about his plan to bomb Syria in 2013, because they crossed the red line, and congress was not going to give him the vote :

    Obama's move for congressional approval quickly became a dead end. `Congress was not going to let this go by,' the former intelligence official said. `Congress made it known that, unlike the authorisation for the Iraq war, there would be substantive hearings.'

    From The Red Line and the Rat Line
    Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels
    .... Hersh continues:

    The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a `rat line', a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: `The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.')


    Parent
    You are right Squeaky (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:08:49 PM EST
    Obama has been way above average, way way above average in the Commander in Chief department.

    This plan leaves me befuddled.

    Why would he choose this at this point?

    Parent

    Advisors (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:23:14 PM EST
    Worth reading the Hirsh piece...  seems like Obama listens to his intelligence advisors.. the same folks that told him that the red-line was not crossed in August 13, because it was a false flag op by Turkey meant to get US air power in play.

    What I do not understand is why Obama is announcing this, and going to congress about it. It seems that out of the $68.5 billion already appropriated to fund operations around the world, $500M
    could easily be siphoned off to train rebels in Syria.

    Parent

    To box in Congress (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by christinep on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:25:38 PM EST
    If Congress supports the "advisors" request, they cannot really be heard to complain; if Congress turns it down, then the hawkish naysayers have nowhere to go.  So ... the move befuddles those who look for something to complain about but really have nothing to add.  It is a variation of a Van Heuvlen call out to Kristol today on "Meet the Press" where she stated to K that if he was so eager to go to war, then he should enlist in the Iraqi army.  It is also a practical, savvy recognition that many may have a vague sense of wanting to "do something" but not too much ... because, with large majorities of war-weary Americans showing resistance to anything that resembles war, the short term (thankfully) does not favor any response that goes too far militarily.  At least, that is my opinion.

    Parent
    He wants the GOP to share the blame? (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:43:04 PM EST
    Doubt It (none / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:57:56 PM EST
    There has been little difference in D and R regarding foreign policy...  apart from all the posturing..

    My first guess would be transparency as it is already happening, but Obama has not been big on transparency save for his lip service,
    second guess is that it would be for the 2016 election, but sending military aid is not a popular idea particularly for D voters...

    We are spending $2billion in aid to Syria, so if I were an optimist regarding US Foreign Policy, I would think that the new funds are to protect workers and insure the the humanitarian aid is protected against military strikes..  but I doubt that..

    More likely that this has been in the planning for some time and it is being slowly dribbled out to the American public..  Hillary and Patreus were prescient..  a woman ahead of her time... hahahaha

    It also reflects a scramble by the administration to try to put some form to the president's surprise announcement last month of plans for a $5 billion counterterrorism fund to provide training for operations in vulnerable countries in the Middle East....

    The White House is asking for $4 billion to go to the Pentagon and $1 billion to the State Department for other counterterrorism operations, including training and equipping partner countries. Some of the money, administration officials said, would cover increased costs of Special Operations Forces that have deployed around the world, while $1.5 billion would go toward counterterrorism efforts in the neighborhood around Syria: Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq....

    The president also wants to set aside $500 million to "address unforeseen contingencies" in counterterrorism, namely Iraq, an administration official said.

    NYT

    Parent

    I have not wanted to look (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:13:38 PM EST
    At the fact that if Sunnis took Syria, things would likely calm.  I hate to think we would play God in this fashion but that could be what is going down.  We plan to remove Assad and work with the Sunni government that would fill that space to control extremists.

    Russia pitched a big fit over the notion in the past and threatened us but Pootie is a little tied up in the Ukraine now.  We are probably making that move.

    Playing God always seems to blow up in our faces though....sigh..and blood on our hands...all that good stuff.

    Parent

    Would emailing my Dem. (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:51:21 PM EST
    congressional rep.make the slightest difference?

    Parent
    Doubt it (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:57:04 PM EST
    The CIA probably has this lined up

    Syrians likely already chosen and trained

    It takes many months for dollars to equal military action or military anything unless things are already in the hopper

    Parent

    If Assad falls in the next 60 days (none / 0) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:51:56 PM EST
    He is looking for the GOP to share some of the responsibility :)

    Parent
    Oh, perhaps Obama is (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 02:30:48 PM EST
    Trying to make Hillary look good? Vv

    Parent
    Surely you jest :) (none / 0) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:11:06 AM EST
    Maybe it's a ruse... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 12:58:04 PM EST
    to satisfy the men behind the curtain, while secretly hoping Congress refuses for no other reason than it's Obama's "idea".  Ya know, Machiavellian sh*t.  

    Because surely you're right, if the president really wanted 500 million to arm shady characters, he's never needed Congress before.  The money is there somewhere, and if not the CIA just starts slinging cocaine to finance this kinda stuff.

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:04:40 PM EST
    It seems to be some kind of play

    Parent
    Not again (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by koshembos on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 11:29:10 PM EST
    How many times can we make the mistake? We armed Osama, we armed and trained Malaki, We armed Sisi, etc.

    Obama should stick to enriching the rich, he is great at it, and leave foreign policy alone.

    Where is a do-nothing Congress (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 09:53:02 AM EST
    when you need it?

    C'mon dudes, filibuster something worthwhile.

    My thoughts exactly... (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:28:07 AM EST
    the party of No can come in handy here...but when it comes to the military industrial complex gravy train, bipartisanship typically rules the day.

    We'll see how much the isolationist tea-party wing of Brand R really has...the "moderates" and neo-cons will be definitely be down with this horrible idea.  Brand D doves, if there are any, will fall in line with what the pres wants.

    Parent

    Jon Stewart's take on the party of (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by ZtoA on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:59:40 AM EST
    He!! NO! The Warfare Queens

    Parent
    Warfare Queens... (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:00:24 PM EST
    excellent pun, embarrassed I didn't think of it.

    Parent
    I also liked (none / 0) (#46)
    by Zorba on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:43:40 PM EST
    "The culture of defendency."  

    Parent
    "Profifearing"? n/t (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:47:55 PM EST
    Bizarre trying to plan a military retirement (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:40:41 PM EST
    Right now.  Are we really downsizing while nurturing an insurgency? Will the bread winner of the family be possibly unemployed soon or chained to an aircraft soon :). It feels just a little bit crazy

    Parent
    This is a proxy war with Russia ... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:51:56 AM EST
    over pipelines.

    Once you understand that the geopolitics becomes clear. And you can draw all the easy parallels to imperial proxy wars throughout history. And, of course, they fit like a glove.

    If you muck around on the ground, arguing the difference between Isis, Shazam and Super Friends (or whatever other Saturday Kids Shows are in play) you've lost the plot.

    Ignore those kid vid shadow puppets and look to the puppeteers.

    Without (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:44:14 PM EST
    going into the political pointing, I hope we stay out of this entirely. Its civil war, with no option I see other than to back off, REDUCE the flow of arms into the mess, and hope to make peaceful agreements with whoever settles out on top.

    I don't think any outcome at this point will be remotely something we could call good for the region, or US relations, but it might be stable enough for the killing to slow down.

    What havoc the Iraq war (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:50:10 AM EST
    effected on Christians in that land. link

    "Dear Neo-Cons:" (4.80 / 5) (#25)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:49:02 AM EST
    Why we're not Sending Combat Troops to Iraq no matter how much you Pout:

    There are only three things wrong with the idea of sending combat troops to Iraq at this time, as a range of hawks from Bill Kristol to Sen. John McCain has suggested. It is foolish obedience to bad allies. It abandons President Obama's wise doctrine of self-limited commitment. And it prematurely commits us to one side of what may become a region-wide war.

    Beyond doubt, the current Sunni uprising is the fruit of abuses by Iraq's President Malaki. Equally beyond doubt, he has done this despite years of earnest US warnings that exactly this would happen. Now, instead of demanding he rectify his misrule, we are supposed to kill and die to support it?

    [snip]

    Obama has done better.{...] Self-limited commitment gives US power the flexibility to craft actions to fit real world needs. It finally tears the US out of the isolationism/empire dilemma that our most troublesome friends have exploited all to long, and all too well.

    Practical flexibility is what we need to match clarity of principle in the Middle East right now. In principle, we genuinely support moderation and coexistence in the region. Even if this fails today, we may be remembered for it when bloody exhaustion sets in some years down the road. As a practical matter, committing American blood would increase the polarization, and harness us to one side or the other long before the shape of the regional alignments is truly clear.

    And which side should we choose? The Malaki regime is Shia dominated and allied with Iran. Fighting for Malaki (instead of twisting his arm if he wants even limited support) means fighting on the side of Iran and their allies, Syria's Assad regime. The Sunni uprising is still diverse but ISIS, the militant core, is an al Qaeda inspired group. It is also on the same side that we are in Syria.

    Are we supposed to say, "okay, in this country, we'll give you money and arms and training to help you topple a bad government, but if you cross the border, we're going to drone your a$$?"  Does no one realize that sooner or later, whatever we're doling out is going to end up in the "wrong" hands?

    We never learn.  

    Obama has had my support as Commander (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:53:34 AM EST
    Until this.  I can't imagine what he is thinking. Who is advising him on this?

    Parent
    Am I being irrational when I say that (4.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:33:49 AM EST
    I have some qualms about John Kerry?  That I worry that Kerry may be listening to some of the wrong people?

    I don't know what you might be hearing, and I haven't explored this to any extent, but do you see or sense or feel a change since Kerry took over for Clinton?

    I just don't have any idea what to think anymore on this subject - I can feel my brain starting to shut down whenever I hear the drums of war.

    Parent

    I was thinking (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:15:32 PM EST
    about the question you posed:

    ...do you see or sense or feel a change since Kerry took over for Clinton?

    I had the impression when Clinton was Secretary of State that she basically did what I think the job description has become - she would affirm and sell whatever the White House was putting out there.

    There were moments where she could express an independent opinion, but not about the matters at hand. Her image was, for me, not much different that that of a press secretary.

    I personally don't feel any differently about Kerry.
    His job is to sell and justify whatever foreign policy pronouncements are emitted from the White House. And that is what he does.

    I will say, however, that within the parameter of totally adherence to the party line, Kerry manages to exude an extra dose of zeal.
    He seems to have less of an independent identity than Clinton.
    in as much as both of them slavishly adhere to the script, I don't know how he manages it.


    Parent

    Irrational (4.25 / 4) (#43)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:15:38 PM EST
    or not - who could not have qualms about John Kerry after his abysmal run in 2004 against Bush - the worst and stupidest president in history - or in memory.

    He couldn't bring himself to confront that s.o.b. about that lies he laid upon us. And why? Because he went for them.

    i have nothing but contempt for Kerry.

    And, if I'm not mistaken, t'was he that suggested that Snowden "man up".

    Ick.
    Yech!

    You know - I know that you know - that there are people who don't have to listen to other people. People like Anita Hill. They listen to their hearts and their intellect.

    At this point, Kerry has neither heart nor intellect.


    Parent

    Yes (3.00 / 3) (#52)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:52:50 PM EST
    Kerry was painted as a girlieman, french speaking, and way too educated to go up against cowboy Bush, with his malapropisms and stupid smirk. And the GOP played it out well: Kite surfing Kerry was an effeminate wimp?

    It was amazing to watch..  Kite Surfing, wind surfing and most of Kerry's sports were in fact seriously dangerous and macho, yet he would up being painted as the girlieman candidate against Bush. But Kerry could not compete against the Cowboy, an American mythic Icon.

    Election campaigns in particular have become ritualized performances of masculinity wherein candidates demonstrate gender ideals perceived as requisite for public office, particularly as U.S. president. Wahl-Jorgensen (2000) suggests that since the earliest American presidential contests, the definition of a candidate's gender traits has been one of the most important facets of electoral news coverage. Indeed, American political figures since Thomas Jefferson (accused of timidity and vanity) and Andrew Jackson (nicknamed ``Miss Nancy'' and ``Aunt Fancy'') have defended themselves against any suggestion of femininity in their public persona. Theodore Roosevelt, nicknamed ``weakling,'' ``Jane- Dandy,'' and ``Oscar Wilde,'' achieved political success in large part through a concerted effort to reinvent himself as a man's man, connected to the rugged American West and militaristic conquest. (2007, 134-5)....

    George W. Bush worked hard to project his own masculine image as a decisive, straight-talking man of the American frontier, while portraying John Kerry in symbolically gendered terms: as a flip-flopper, an effete intellectual, a wind surfer (Fahey 2007). Again the Democratic candidate inadvertently assisted these Republican efforts, this time with an ill-advised photo opportunity of John Kerry looking awkward in brand-new hunting gear.

    PDF

    The US voters, and apparently you, prefer candidates who posture a macho style, are not overly educated and can do standup comedy when needed, manly standup that is..  It is tough to be an american..

    No worries because Hillary fits the bill. She is tough, not girly in the least. Her stint at State, and tough talk regarding war, primed her to be POTUS and her hawkish no nonsense persona will more than compensate for her lady parts, imo.

     

    Parent

    Bush was called a windshield cowboy (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 05:52:10 PM EST
    by Mexico's president, Vicente Fox.  A windshield cowboy is a cowboy who prefers to drive.  

    He recalled a meeting in Mexico shortly after both men had been elected when Mr Fox offered Mr Bush a ride on a "big palomino" horse.

    Mr Fox, who left office in December, recalled Mr Bush "backing away" from the animal.

    Bush was a fake on so many levels.


    Parent

    C'mon now... (none / 0) (#100)
    by unitron on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 07:12:45 AM EST
    ...that brush Bush was always clearing down in Crawford* could have achieved sentience and started fighting back at any time, and it had the Secret Service vastly outnumbered.

    *that was what we mostly elected him to do, right?

    Parent

    Something seems to have changed (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:03:28 PM EST
    Wish I knew specifically what.  He is not making a rational informed decision here when compared to his past decisions on use of force.

    Parent
    Maybe (none / 0) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:04:10 PM EST
    Hillary was the one making the decisions and he was just going along. Obama apparently does not have the same relationship with the military that Hillary had/has.

    Parent
    Really? (none / 0) (#63)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:12:56 PM EST
    That does not make sense to me..  do you have examples? For one, I do not think anyone works alone in the WH..  all committee and advisors. And I would imagine that Hillary and Obama were on the same page and got military intelligence at the same time.. at least.

    The two biggest news items that relate, were Hillary/Petraeus wanting to train and arm Syrian rebels and Obama said no, and the other one was that Obama was going to bomb Syria over the use of Sarin Gas (aug '13) but after speaking to the joint chiefs he backed down, because they told him it was a turkish false flag op..

    sounds to me that Obama has good relations with the military brass...  do you have other examples?

    Parent

    Just suggesting (none / 0) (#67)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:16:25 PM EST
    I do know that Hillary could actually explain things where Obama seems unable to.

    Uneasy relationship between Obama and the military

    Parent

    OK (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:43:39 PM EST
    Well the WaPo piece seems very GOP..  and absurd in its bias. Considering that most GOP senators are all for dropping bombs ASAP, the fact that this WaPo piece quotes BushCo retirees as being aghast that Obama wanted to take action is laughable.

    The purported sarin gas attack by Assad on his own people is a Red-Line that demands military action. What was discovered after Obama made his statement about bombing Syria, was that the sarin gas attack was a false flag attack by Turkey. IOW the red-line was not crossed.

    The WaPo article is basically a hit piece, IMO.  Obama listened to Joint Chiefs to attack and then backed down when they provided intelligence that it was a Turkish false flag op. Seymour Hersh wrote a very informative piece on the incident.

    This was the red-line statement:

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States and its allies are not seeking to "take over" Syria's civil war by carrying out an anticipated American-led air strike to stop President Bashar al-Assad's regime from using poison gas again.

    But he said the alleged chemical attack on August 21 that killed more than 1,400 people - including 426 children - in areas outside Damascus populated by opposition supporters had crossed an "international, global red line."



    Parent
    She does have what you could (none / 0) (#114)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:08:35 AM EST
    Call a working relationship with those in the military she works/worked with.  She certainly picks her crowd there though, thankfully, and then is labeled a hawk.  If she were truly a hawk though who she chose to support and promote for certain jobs in military leadership would have been much different.  

    Having a close relationship with Wes Clark certainly doesn't hurt either when attempting to understand what force is capable of and incapable of in the Middle East.  In some realms of the Democratic Party, knowing who to talk to and who to avoid in the military complex is akin to being Satan though :)

    Parent

    Yes Irrational, IMO (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:09:52 PM EST
    but do you see or sense or feel a change since Kerry took over for Clinton?

    That is why I think you are irrational, if your question was serious.

    Clinton wanted to arm the rebels a year and a half ago.

    There is no difference between Kerry and Clinton, save for the fact that Clinton has 1000% more style than Kerry..

    And style is quite superficial, in this comparison.

    Parent

    I realize that I gift-wrapped that one (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:55:30 PM EST
    for you, but if you could set aside your [irrational and obvious] animus toward me, and understand that I am searching for some way to make sense of what is happening - just as many others are - perhaps we could get somewhere.

    But, no.  Heaven forbid you should read the entire comment I directed to Tracy, sincerely seeking her input and casting about for reasons for the madness...

    I'm not concerned with the superficialities of style, but with policy.  That Clinton wanted to arm the rebels over a year ago just confirms for me that even with the overabundance of style you seem to think she has, she is far too hawkish and authoritarian for me.  And if Kerry's just another pea in that pod, well, then you can have them both.

    Nothing about what has been happening lately makes much sense to me.  If you have all the answers, I suggest you hightail it to the WH: they are sorely in need of your help.  Perhaps a nice sayadieh will help get everyone in the right frame of mind.

    In the meantime, I'll just continue to hope that Obama's not giving in to the constant screaming refrain of DO SOMETHING!!!  NOW!!! and squidging his way more and more in that direction.  Because I think that way lies a brand of madness we haven't seen yet.

    Parent

    Well said. (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by lentinel on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 04:03:57 AM EST
    That Clinton wanted to arm the rebels over a year ago just confirms for me that even with the overabundance of style you seem to think she has, she is far too hawkish and authoritarian for me.  And if Kerry's just another pea in that pod, well, then you can have them both.

    My sentiments exactly.

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#116)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:15:20 AM EST
    And compared to the alternatives (GOP) Kerry and Clinton are doves.

    I would not be surprised if the Clinton/Petraeus plan to arm and train the rebels was a strategic move. Strategic not for Syria but to gain traction for  Hillary's 2016 POTUS run as a tough Hawk.....  IOW a sneak preview DNC POTUS advertisement.

    Glad to see that they are thinking ahead.

    Parent

    No Animus (none / 0) (#56)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 02:05:37 PM EST
    Really, I only respond to your comments, and I do believe that the answer to your question is that your are irrational in this case.

    And you brought up the comparison to Hillary, which I thought was odd, considering that she advocated what Obama is advocating now.

    I do not have any answers, but I do believe that this is long in the making. First mention was Obama's west point graduation speech, and now a little more details..

    And for me, this seems business as usual. The only curious part, for me, is why Obama is bothering to make a statement about it.

    Parent

    Rabbit hole...here we come! (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:29:14 PM EST
    There is nothing odd at all about bringing Hillary - Kerry's immediate predecessor - into the conversation in an effort to suss out what is different now.  How do you ask what is different without bringing her into the conversation?

    How is he functioning in the position - the same as she did?  Has he changed anything?  Is he relying on different people, putting more - or less - weight behind this person's views versus that person's views?

    I'm sure they share many of the same views and opinions, so are the differences strictly in the events on the ground, in the dynamic between and among these countries and the various tribal and religious groups that are at odds?

    DS Wright at the FDL News Desk:

    President Barack Obama appears determined to keep Al-Qaeda and ISIS well supplied with weapons. After bypassing a terrorism funding law, Obama sent arms to the weak to non-existent "moderate" Syrian rebels. Not surprisingly, the arms quickly were taken by Al-Qaeda and used for their operations. Yes, President Obama bypassed a rule about arming terrorists and then ended up unintentionally arming terrorists. Turns out it was a good rule.

    However, that epic blunder has not slowed Obama's resolve to do stupid things in the Middle East. He now is proposing to spend $500 million to send more weapons into Syria where they will surely end up in Al-Qaeda and ISIS' hands once again.

    Coming on the heels of a decision to send 300 military advisers to Iraq, the Syrian rebel training elevates the U.S. role in the Middle East. The proposal amounts to a major U-turn by the administration, which had sought until now to limit its involvement in the war.

    [snip]

    The "surge" in Afghanistan was a complete failure and amazing waste of life - both American and Afghan.  The drone strikes have fueled anger all over the world and jeopardized due process rights for American citizens. And now Obama is doubling down on a program in Syria that already blew up in his face - literally arming and strengthening Al-Qaeda and other groups he continually claims are terrorists and enemies of the United States.

    I'm sorry, but the answer to everything isn't that no matter who the players are, they're all the same and interchangeable, and this is just business as usual.

    What piques your curiosity is indeed a curiosity to me.

    Parent

    OK (none / 0) (#71)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:51:30 PM EST
    I guess I was not clear:

    There is nothing odd at all about bringing Hillary - Kerry's immediate predecessor - into the conversation in an effort to suss out what is different now.  How do you ask what is different without bringing her into the conversation?

    What is odd is that you ask if you are being irrational about having qualms about Kerry when the topic here is Obama's wanting to fund training rebels. And you imply that things were better when Hillary was SOS.

    Hillary as SOS wanted to train rebels in Syria a year and half ago. Obama said no.

    Maybe I am missing something here, but everyone here, including me, is against Obama wanting to spend money training Syrian Rebels, but when Hillary said it it was OK?

    Not for me, then or now. And I do not see any difference in SOS between Kerry and Clinton..  

    Parent

    Stop just stop. (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 09:32:40 PM EST
    Why is it you must nickpick over everything Anne says? She's entitled to her opinion and she really has legitimate questions. Yes, it does seem like things are different with Kerry at the helm than Hillary. Frankly, it seems to me that the SOS office is much more responsive to pressure from the GOP now than it was under Hillary for whatever reason that might be.

    Parent
    It wasn't what you said... (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by unitron on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 07:09:15 AM EST
    ...it was how you said it.

    Or, more exactly, how you didn't say it.

    "Anne, sooner or later everyone's a little irrational about something (even we Vulcans : - ), and, no insult intended, I think this is one of those times where you are, just a little."

    Then you go on to explain the reasoning behind your opinion.

    Parent

    Thx Unitron (none / 0) (#113)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:06:32 AM EST
    Probably should have answered the question without using the word irrational, as it was not a serious question... the irrational part anyway..

     

    Parent

    squeaky, leave your view (none / 0) (#65)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:14:33 PM EST
    of Anne's rationality out of this. Either respond to the point she makes or let it go.

    Parent
    OK (none / 0) (#68)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:27:46 PM EST
    Sorry, I took Anne's question literally and did not realize that it was rhetorical.

    Am I being irrational when I say that I have some qualms about John Kerry?


    Parent
    If you are about to bring about the (none / 0) (#175)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:43:22 AM EST
    Fall of a country's leadership you have to make statements and get other people to sign on because there will be blood.  It could easily be argued an over reach of his power too.

    Parent
    Well (none / 0) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:08:49 PM EST
    it seems to me that Hillary could explain what was going on and what the goals were. Obama can do neither. He just does it and then you don't hear anything. It's like Bergdahl. He just went ahead and brought him home without really explaining everything and thought that everybody would know what was going on by osmosis.

    Parent
    Poor Example IMO (none / 0) (#72)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:58:54 PM EST
    Obama was straight forward in the speech that he gave at the Rose Garden in front of Bergdahl's parents, imo

    Could not be clearer. But the GOP smear machine went full on attack. I seriously doubt that Hillary would have done better, or handled the GOP BS  any differently.

    Here is the speech, what more do you think Obama needed to explain?

    Parent

    The smear machine is turned on ten (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by jondee on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:35:19 AM EST
    at all times and all instances. It's about victory, revenge and vindication for the Right; whether it's good for the country and the world or not.

    If Obama turned water into wine, they'd accuse him of mocking Jesus and promoting alcoholism and underage drinking.

    Parent

    I'm talking (none / 0) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 09:26:45 PM EST
    about the reaction. He totally did not anticipate the reaction that he got. You would think he would have learned by now and gone on the offensive over bringing him home but no. And nobody listens to his speeches I hate to tell you. He just does not communicate ideas well or whatever. It's like he thinks what he says is going to be the last word on something.

    Parent
    Anticipation of reactions like a pro? (none / 0) (#119)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:53:59 AM EST
    link

    link

    Here is an example. Ga6thDem clearly has her standards!
    (Sarcasm alert).

    Parent

    I'd love to see ... (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:57:45 AM EST
    ... the results of you taking a Rorchach test ... or a word-association game.

    Parent
    John Kerry... (none / 0) (#49)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:51:10 PM EST
    is the poster child for how the DA's office and the Senate can poison a man's mind and soul.

    Parent
    poster child also (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by jondee on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:30:47 AM EST
    for what happens when you rub elbows (and other body parts) for too long almost exclusively with the 1%.

    That abstract, rarified atmosphere has too few actual human beings in it. The "big picture" neocon theorists had the exact same problem.

     

    Parent

    For once I somewhat agree with some of (2.00 / 1) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:40:31 AM EST
    you.

    Don't give anything to either of the three sides in Syria.

    Let'em fight. They are all our enemy.

    In Iraq bomb bomb anything that even looks like ISIS and follow anything that runs into Syria and wipe that out. This is not because I love Iraq's government. But we made a lot promises that we need to keep.

    Perhaps we need an American Viceroy to run the place.

    I'm confused (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 08:59:20 PM EST
    Isn't Assad on our side against ISIS?   I need a flow chart

    When an administration is not paying enough (none / 0) (#7)
    by Green26 on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 10:38:08 PM EST
    attention, celebrating premature pullouts (not supported by various groups including the military), and generally timid and slow to react--and then gets caught completely off guard--the choices are tough and more limited. Tough situation and choices, but ignoring the problems doesn't make them go away or subside.

    I thought you were going to (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 11:43:51 PM EST
    look forward?

    What is your suggestion? What should we do?

    Parent

    I've previously said what I would do (2.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Green26 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 08:50:01 AM EST
    and that would include airstrikes and other immediate action.

    And you've said you would do nothing, and apparently let ISIS take over portions of Iraq, push for repressive rule, develop further strength in Syria, and continue to execute the opposition. And you would apparently ignore that the county and part of the world that has the 4th or 5th most oil reserves.

    As I said, as naction continues, options get fewer and tougher.


    Parent

    Since ISIS is mixed in with civilians (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 09:19:28 AM EST
    How will you conduct air strikes?  Does it matter if you kill civilians?

    You are going to have to be clearer than just other immediate action.  What immediate action?

    You say if inaction continues options get tougher, what options. You don't even seem to know what the options are.  Why should anyone listen to anything you have to say when at this point it is rhetoric and uninformed opinion?

    Parent

    MT, no one (2.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:32:29 AM EST
    wants to kill anyone.

    But when the enemy is mixed with civilians and we see no resistance, perhaps the civilians are also the enemy.

    I seem to remember we invaded France, undoubtedly killing many civilians.

    I seem to remember we bombed and attacked Germany, undoubtedly killing many civilians who didn't agree with Hitler.

    The purpose of war is to defend and protect OUR citizens. We have the capability to win.

    The question is, will people like you, with your worrying and harping over such things, give the enemy a victory?

    Parent

    Hmmmmmm (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:43:08 AM EST
    My husband fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.  When home he sometimes teaches a class to soldiers who often have veterans of those wars in it.  He asks a question in that class that goes like this, "You have 100 insurgents and you kill three and that nets you 103 insurgents to fight in the end....but when you have 100 insurgents and you kill 20 civilians how many insurgents do you have?"

    You have not fought in these wars.  You don't understand what or even who you are fighting.  Your analysis is worthless.  It has been proven worthless too.

    Parent

    MT, that is a false analogy (none / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:37:53 PM EST
    What you do is kill 100 insurgents and as many civilians who are with them.

    Your husband is merely parroting what he has been taught.

    And yes, the Cold War was different.

    But war is war. In the end the one who has the power and the political will to win....does win.

    You are opposing our political will.

    BTW - My dad was in the Marines during WWII so don't try the old "my relative" trick.

    lol.

    Parent

    It is not a false analogy (5.00 / 6) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 01:49:50 PM EST
    My husband is not parroting anything he was taught Jim.  He was one of the first Americans on Al Asad air base.  He was in the Sunni Triangle the first year of Dubya's Iraq War.  He watched each act that involved collateral damage to the people of Ramadi and Fallujah lead to Sunnis pouring over the borders of the neighboring nations to fight us.  He watched Fallujah be bombed to dust twice and the insurgency only grew.  He watched Ramadi become a bombed out shell and the insurgency only grew.

    You are the parrot in this conversation.   You understand nothing about who you are arguing for someone else to go fight or why anyone would even fight them.

    Parent

    MT, all collateral damage will (none / 0) (#77)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 04:55:06 PM EST
    and always has resulted in anger at who ever caused the damage.

    But, and this a very big BUT, if you want to win you have to break the enemies will to fight.

    Look at the damage we inflicted on Germany and Japan. Think that may have angered a few people??

    We are trying to conduct war as a nice guy who has come to get rid of the mean Sunni dictator and now find ourselves with a mean Shia dictator.

    Might have worked if we had left troops in place and  had a Viceroy in place to insist that the two sides worked with each other.

    Alas and alack we cut and ran because Obama didn't want to be there and was looking for a reason to leave. The result is what we have now.

     

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#80)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 05:05:32 PM EST
    Vietnam would be like Florida vacation land had we not cut and run.. And Iraq would have been just like Las Vegas... dancing girls galore (boys too)

    We could own the world...  If only Obama had given up his real birth certificate all would be well with the new world order.

    Parent

    squeaky, you become more and more (none / 0) (#86)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 09:28:46 PM EST
    irrational every day.

    But just for grins I'll try to engage you.

    I ask you this.

    If, by the actions of our duly elected officials enter into a war is there ever a situation in which you think we should lose?

    Parent

    Where did you fight, Jim? (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by MKS on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 05:07:11 PM EST
    Wow, what a bunch of trash about Tracy's husband.

    Parent
    MKS, you evidently cannot read (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 09:42:46 PM EST
    My comment was that IF MT wanted to use a relative as a source then she should understand that my father was in the Marines during WWII.

    Of course I never do that but MT continually uses her husband as a source. Fine with me but I don't accept that a Warrant Officer knows a much more about what is going on from a world view than I.

    Local situations excepted. But then again we aren't talking about local situations.

    And that doesn't mean that I don't honor his service. I do.

    As for my service I have never said anything beyond the fact that I served 10 years in Naval Aviation.

    And that is 10 years more than you.

    Parent

    And, what is odd (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by MKS on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:20:13 PM EST
    is that you do not admit you were not in combat.

    All of my male relatives in the generations before mine, i.e. father, uncle, grandfathers (both) served as U.S. Army officers.   My dad was a mustang, worked his way up the ranks.  As did his father, who had been cleared for promotion to General Officer.

    And those who never faced combat say so quite readily without it being dragged out of them. I have never served but I grew up on Army bases and around career Army officers, so I do know the unwritten rules and etiquette.  And, rule number one, is no one is cute about whether they faced combat or not.  Because it is rank dishonor to be a pretender on that score.  

    Why not just say you were never in combat?

    Parent

    In all your time... (none / 0) (#101)
    by unitron on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:20:43 AM EST
    ...in and around military bases, where there any deaths due to something going wrong during training?

    Were they less dead than if they'd been killed in combat?

    Parent

    Not remotely the same (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:14:22 AM EST
    There is a risk of death is any profession, but the risks associated with being a combat soldier are much greater than a peacetime soldier in training.

    Parent
    Not me, personally (none / 0) (#102)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:33:43 AM EST
    My Dad did have that experience with the test pilots in his father's unit.

    The Military does treat accidental death a little differently.   In its most concrete terms, you do not get a CIB for getting killed in a training accident.  

    Parent

    MKS, I do not make any (none / 0) (#122)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 11:24:36 AM EST
    comment beyond the easy to understand comment that I spent 10 years in Naval Aviation.

    I do so because I do not care to argue over what I did or not do which would follow immediately.

    The fact that I served speaks for itself.

    You did nothing.

    This describes you very well.

    "Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accept the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay-and claims a halo for his dishonesty."

    ― Robert Heinlein"

    Parent

    I am Pacifist (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 11:30:50 AM EST
    for not agreeing with on War?   Good grief.

    Yeah, Jim, I knew you would not answer whether you had been in combat.   Gotta drag it out of you.  Just trying to blur the lines?  See by not coming clean you borrow from those who have been in combat.  Not cool.

    Parent

    not agreeing "with you" on War (none / 0) (#126)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 11:31:37 AM EST
    Hooey (none / 0) (#139)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:24:12 PM EST
    By not answering you proves what??

    It proves nothing.

    OTOH your lack of service means that someone else served for you.

    That is a proven fact.

    Parent

    It proves MKS is right (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:45:17 PM EST
    Many combat veterans - heroes even - refuse to talk about their military service.  Someone who regularly and proudly proclaims his "10 years in naval aviation", OTOH, would proudly announce their combat service.... had they actually served in combat.

    The fact that you won't a simple question says it all.

    Parent

    Yman the Parser (none / 0) (#159)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:50:35 AM EST
    You can do nothing but parse, make wild claims and act wildly.

    The facts are simple. I served 10 years in Naval Aviation.

    Whatever I did was more that what you and MKS did.

    Go ahead now, make some more wild claims. They so define you.

    lol

    Parent

    Jim, you haven't the slightest clue ... (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:21:41 AM EST
    ... what anyone else has done.

    ... and the reason you phrase your own "service" the way you do is obvious ...  :)

    Parent

    I await everyone's (none / 0) (#170)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:13:55 PM EST
    information.

    I have seen none so I say there is none.

    Parent

    You always do (none / 0) (#171)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:22:44 PM EST
    ... say whatever you want ... without the slightest bit of evidence to back it up.

    BTW - The reason you always keep your statements vague is still obvious ...

    Parent

    nothing beyond (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by jondee on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:45:08 AM EST
    "ten years in Naval Aviation and that's more than you"

    Over and over and over again.

    As the bard said, thou dost protest too much.

    Parent

    And as I have said (none / 0) (#123)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 11:25:28 AM EST
    You have done nothing.

    Parent
    Well, except ... (none / 0) (#132)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 02:47:12 PM EST
    ... expose you.

    Parent
    Expose me to what?? (2.00 / 1) (#137)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:19:33 PM EST
    Saying the same thing since 2003??

    And shaming you and MKS for your lack of service??

    Really??

    lol

    Parent

    Jim, you haven't a clue ... (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:32:26 PM EST
    ... who's served and who hasn't, or what else they've done that puts your "service" to shame.

    You've "said the same thing" and make vague claims about your "service" without answering a simple question for one simple reason ... the very reason MKS pointed out.  So, yeah ...

    ... exposed you.

    Not that the reason wasn't already obvious.

    Parent

    "Service" (none / 0) (#177)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 03:58:05 PM EST
    is doing something for your fellow man.

    Not jacking it to jingoist Longest Day fantasies.

    Parent

    And, boy, do you (none / 0) (#90)
    by MKS on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:13:59 PM EST
    tell people about that ten years.

    I tell you warrant officers who fly in combat do get my attention.  From what I understand, he flies helicopters.   Those guys took a lot of fire in Vietnam, I do know.  I tend to think the lowly warrant officer who flies combat missions is going to be more informed than arm chair wannabes.

    You pro war hawks got it so wrong about WMD and Iraq.  And it was lies that Cheney spewed, saying there was "no doubt" that Saddam Hussein had WMD.  "No doubt."  Lie. Lie. Lie.

    And, your team is at it again advocating more war.  No one in their right mind should listen to any such thing.

    Parent

    Warrant officers who fly in combat (none / 0) (#121)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 11:18:34 AM EST
    should get your attention when they speak of tactics, ground conditions, etc.

    But when they speak of geo politics, etc., then they know no more than anyone else who is following the news.

    And no, we were right about the WMD's and Iraq. As David Kay showed Saddam was trying to get back into the WMD business. Plus, we have the second in command of the Iraq air force stating that WMD's were shipped to Syria.

    Were have the chemical weapons used there came from?

    Bush acted on the best information that he had. I can only pray that future Presidents will do the same. In the meantime Obama is allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons. He is failing on the most basic duty of a President. He is deliberately making this country weak.

    Some call that treason.

    Obama calls ISIS ISIL. Look up the difference. I have no idea as to why he does this unless he was want to go give de facto recognition of an Islamic county that includes most of the ME.

    We can fight now or we can surrender later.


    Parent

    Shipped to Syria? (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 11:36:48 AM EST
    Oh my.  No one believes that.

    I think the fairies took them away to the Moon....

    Cheney said there was "no doubt" Saddam Hussein had WMD.   Do you know what "no doubt" means?   He lied.  There was plenty of doubt and controversy within or intelligence services about the issue.   And, guess what, the doubt was deserved because there was no WMD.

    Parent

    I really don't care what Cheney (none / 0) (#140)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:27:34 PM EST
    said.

    And I don't care if there disagreements within the intelligence services.

    The consensus was that Iraq had WMD's.

    And having a consensus is all we need to turn the country on its head, right?????

    lol

    Parent

    The liars drove the decision (5.00 / 3) (#144)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:19:26 PM EST
    A monumental strategic blunder.  Perhaps the worst military decision the U.S. has ever made.

    Parent
    The only source was curveball (5.00 / 3) (#145)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:41:46 PM EST
    And no check was preformed on his claims, completely counter to protocol.  And his " information" was sexed up :). It is all documented.

    Parent
    Oh please MT (none / 0) (#158)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:45:12 AM EST
    Show some proof.

    I mean no one looked at Saddam had done?? Wondered why he had tried to purchase yellow cake from Niger?

    Wondered why he was offering UN people bribes?

    Saddam Hussein's regime offered a $2 million (£1.4 million) bribe to the United Nations' chief weapons inspector to doctor his reports on the search for weapons of mass destruction.

    Rolf Ekeus, the Swede who led the UN's efforts to track down the weapons from 1991 to 1997, said that the offer came from Tariq Aziz, Saddam's foreign minister and deputy.

    Link

    Hmmm let me see... I ain't doing anything wrong but here's $2,000,000 to not tell anybody.

    lol

    Parent

    This ... (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:27:22 AM EST
    Show some proof.

    Followed by THIS winger myth ...

    I mean no one looked at Saddam had done?? Wondered why he had tried to purchase yellow cake from Niger?

    You're at your funniest when you're trying to be serious, Jim.

    Parent

    So the UN inspector was (none / 0) (#172)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:33:23 PM EST
    lying????

    And then we have Joe Wilson:

    The CIA's DO gave the former ambassador's information a grade of "good," which means that it added to the IC's body of understanding on the issue, (                    ). The possible grades are unsatisfactory, satisfactory, good, excellent, and outstanding, which, according to the Deputy Chief of CPD, are very subjective.                      SENTENCE DELETED                      The reports officer said that a "good" grade was merited because the information responded to at least some of the outstanding questions in the Intelligence Community, but did not provide substantial new information. He said he judged that the most important fact in the report was that the Nigerien officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999, and that the Nigerien Prime Minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium, because this provided some confirmation of foreign government service reporting.

    Link

    Was Wilson also lying???

    Is everyone but Yman lying??

    lol

    Parent

    I thought you didn't believe (none / 0) (#178)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 04:06:06 PM EST
    in consensus, Jim?

    Or does the rule that only apply to that new-fangled, whattaya call "climate science" consensus..

    Parent

    He's an eegit (none / 0) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 04:39:58 PM EST
    Come now, MT (none / 0) (#138)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:20:53 PM EST
    Since you cannot respond because you are wrong my feelings are hurt that you can't come up with a better insult.

    lol

    Parent

    This is just evil (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by Jack203 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 08:00:22 PM EST
    "No one wants to kill anyone.

    But when the enemy is mixed with civilians and we see no resistance, perhaps the civilians are also the enemy."

    Seriously. Pure evil.

    Parent

    Answers for you too (none / 0) (#94)
    by Green26 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:50:35 PM EST
    See prior answer above.

    Target ISIS. If there are civilians with them when they are on the move, then, no, I don't care much about the collateral damage.

    I don't care if anyone listens to me, but my views are much more informed than yours. You just use the same mantra of staying out of Iraq, and the fight, and doing nothing (head in the sand).

    When year was your husband in Iraq? What did he do? Was he a shooter?

    Parent

    Target ISIS? (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:37:19 AM EST
    So you do understand that by weakening ISIS you are strengthening Iran?

    This is the same strategic blunder that Bush and Cheney made by invading Iraq in the first place.

    And target ISIS exactly how?  Just enough to kill their little brothers and sisters but not enough to erode their fighting capability to any significant degree?

    You do not sound like you know what you are talking about.

    Parent

    Do you understand (2.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 01:00:08 AM EST
    that by not supporting Iraq against ISIS sooner, the US has allowed Iran to gain greater influence in Iraq, and to starting bringing military assistance, leadership, and money?

    Target ISIS just like the military "targets" any other target. The military is in the business of analyzing targets. Sometimes it's not to hard; sometimes its hard. Can't wait to see more of your weak excuses for the US not being able to assist Iraq in stopping the advance of ISIS.

    Parent

    To "start" (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:11:44 AM EST
    It "started" long before ISIS.

    You assume there was some mythical, pure Iraq to protect that was not influenced by Shia Iran.  Believers in fairy tales... That is how we got into this mess.

    This was a long-coming proxy battle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.  Sunni v. Shia.

    Parent

    "Targeting" military targets (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:15:36 AM EST
    means killing civilians too.

    So, we bomb ISIS and kill a number of civilians.  Their relatives will hate us forever and become terrorists.  

    And what have we accomplished?  We prop up Maliki?  Heckuva job, there.   We strengthen Iran?  Fantastic.

    You do know, do you not, that Netanyahu does not agree with you?  His primary concern is Iran, not ISIS.

    You get a "2" for your condescending insult.

    Parent

    Don't just stand there (none / 0) (#109)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:24:19 AM EST
    Bomb something

    Parent
    I love this (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:49:25 AM EST
    I don't care if anyone listens to me, but my views are much more informed than yours.

    Based on what, exactly?

    Parent

    Based on what he has written (none / 0) (#124)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 11:26:43 AM EST
    versus what you people have written he is 100% correct.

    Parent
    Thanks! (none / 0) (#131)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 02:46:16 PM EST
    ... for proving him to be completely and utterly wrong ...

    Parent
    Would you coordinate those (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by MKS on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 05:01:39 PM EST
    "airstrikes" with the Quds forces?

    What targets would you hit?

    What the hell is "other immediate action?"  

    You do not really have much of a plan there.

    Parent

    Answers for you (none / 0) (#93)
    by Green26 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:45:55 PM EST
    Air strikes not with Quds forces.

    ISIS targets.

    Defend Baghdad and important oil facilities. Put more pressure on Maliki to be inclusive.

    My plan is way better than your head-in-the-sand and blame it on Bush non-plan.

    Parent

    Brilliant plan Green (5.00 / 2) (#190)
    by Jack203 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 08:15:51 PM EST
    "and that would include airstrikes and other immediate action."

    Airstrikes on who?  Iran's proxy Shia government in Iraq or ISIS? Considering we're just setting up in Iraq....What if the ISIS targets are weak and mixed with civilians.  Should we just start reigning hell and let God sort them out?

    And oooh.  "Immediate action".  You are sooo decisive and strong.  Give me a break.
    If anything Obama did move fast in assisting the Iranians...(I mean Iraq's government)

    "apparently let ISIS take over portions of Iraq"

    You may want to send 150k  American troops to police the Sunni areas of Iraq again.  I, and the majority of American don't.  

    "push for repressive rule"

    Geez...And here I was thinking we stood for inclusive Democratic rule.

    "develop further strength in Syria, and continue to execute the opposition."

    Wait...what?  Who do you want to execute now?  Assad, ISIS or both?  

    "And you would apparently ignore that the county and part of the world  that has the 4th or 5th most oil reserves."

    While I'm not sure I want to "ignore" them.  I'd prefer that than to just killing everyone.  
    And forget about the oil.  China has much more of a stake in Iraqi oil than we do.

    How about this.  If China wants to protect their oil investment. How about we let them repress the Sunni's instead of us?

    Parent

    Actually, I said, specifically, (none / 0) (#197)
    by Green26 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 01:28:38 AM EST
    that the US should bomb the military vehicles/equipment seized by IS and being taken back to Syria. If there are civilians involved in that, then I don't care about them at all. Also, all other good IS targets would be fine too.

    Not sure I understand any of your other ramblings.

    Parent

    Bombing (none / 0) (#198)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 08:57:40 AM EST
    mobile trucks, armor, equipment?

    And you know that can be done easily without too many civilian casualties?

    And, it is still a zero sum game.   Weakening ISIS or IS only strengthens Iran.  Let Iran worry about the mobile equipment.

    And where did ISIS get all that equipment?

    Parent

    Like I said, i have no problem (2.00 / 1) (#200)
    by Green26 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 11:07:20 AM EST
    with bombing an armored vehicle, or any other military vehicle, headed for the Syrian border--when it is know that IS is taking seized vehicles and equipment from Iraq to Syria. You sure are good at coming up with every weak or silly excuse not to be more aggressive against IS.

    I don't agree that going against IS strengthens Iran, in any significant respect. Many things the US has and hasn't done, have benefited Iraq considerably more. Not assisting Iraq now, and leaving a void for Iran to get much more involved in Iraq, strengthens Iran's influence in Iraq more than fighting IS. And there are many other important reasons to fight IS.

    Parent

    Civilian casualties (none / 0) (#202)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 11:19:55 AM EST
    are not "silly."

    My question was also a technical one about the actual ability to target in effect mobile trucks.  

    Close Air Support might do that, maybe drones....but do you really know?  Do you know what you are talking about militarily?

    Maybe Tracy knows if you can actually target mobile trucks like that.   I guess you can send a bunch of Apaches to just fly around looking for trucks and mechanized artillery.  But then our guys are at risk.

    Parent

    You think the risk of civilian casualties (2.00 / 1) (#204)
    by Green26 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 11:27:19 AM EST
    is high by bombing an armored vehicle being moved across the
    Syrian border? I don't. Your concern on that one is silly, in my view.
    I'm not particularly concerned about bombing seized military trucks crossing the border to Syria either. I wonder what the dozen Russian jets recently sent to Iraq are doing now. Sitting in the hanger?

    Parent
    You do not know what you are talking about (none / 0) (#206)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 03:03:09 PM EST
    But live on in the fantasy that we can hit military targets without hitting civilians....

    We did catch the Republican Guard out in the open on their retreat up the highway towards Baghdad out of Kuwait during the first Gulf War.  But are you assuming that that very thing is happening?

    I assume the military targets are next to all kinds of things....

    You are just pulling this armchair military advice on tactics out of your arse.  

    Parent

    Here's more info on seized equipment (none / 0) (#207)
    by Green26 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 03:06:27 PM EST
    Russian-made T-55 tanks, U.S. M-1 Abrams tanks (in one report), numerous Humvees (being transported on flatbed trucks). There are apparently photos of transporting that IS has released. IS also claimed to have seized 5 US helicopters that were fairly new. I also saw some indications that IS had claimed to have some Blackhawk helicopters, but the US has never provided Blackhawks to Iraq. IS had previously warned those doing to the transporting or driving, to watch out for US air strikes. Reports of hundreds of millions having been stolen from banks in Mosul and other places. Still haven't learned how to link properly, so feel free to say this can't be accurate because it's not in a link, or use Google. Took me seconds to find this information.

    Parent
    Yes (none / 0) (#199)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 10:24:20 AM EST
    The gorilla in the room, Iraq has now become the battlefield for the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

    Parent
    Which administration? (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Yman on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 06:31:53 AM EST
    The one that created the power vacuum and actually set the timetable for withdrawal, or the one you don't like?

    BTW - "celebrating premature pullouts (not supported by various groups including the military)"

    What "groups" are you talking about here, and where is your evidence?  It's certainly not the group that matters - the American people.

    Parent

    The Obama administration (1.50 / 2) (#14)
    by Green26 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 08:57:07 AM EST
    At some point, a president and his followers (like you) need to take responsibility for what is occurring now and deal with the current situation. While you can blame Bush, Bush is no longer in power--Obama is--and it is up to Obama to make decisions and take appropriate action.

    Let's just stipulate that every foreign policy and domestic problem was caused by Bush if that will make you happy. Now what is Obama going to do. He's the president, not Bush.

    Parent

    "Take appropriate action" (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by MKS on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 05:04:08 PM EST
    In other words, Obama should just do something.

    I hope he does nothing.  However, this bit about money for training etc is not what I would do.

    You have been watching Fox for too long.

    Parent

    Not an answer (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by Yman on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 07:54:17 PM EST
    You're complaining about "premature pullouts", while blaming the Obama administration for the schedule and SOFA that was set by the Iraqi government and the Bush administration.  You're saying we shouldn't look to the past to assign blame but instead should look forward ... while blaming Obama for not magically renegotiating Bush's SOFA - something no one wanted to do.  You're claiming that the military and "various" groups didn't support the pullout, without the slightest bit of evidence to support your claims.

    Your newer, straw claims are even more ridiculous, if that's possible.  I'm not remotely an Obama "follower" and Bush didn't cause every foreign policy problem ... but he - and those who supported him - did cause the mess in Iraq.  Complaining that someone else isn't doing a good enough job cleaning up the mess you created by making a bigger mess isn't very convincing.

    Parent

    Some answers (2.00 / 4) (#95)
    by Green26 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 12:04:06 AM EST
    Obama has been the president for over 5 years. It's time for you to acknowledge that he is the president and he pulled out of Iraq, he has done little to deal with Syrian problems, and he has done little to deal with current ISIS and Iraq problems.

    Negotiating the SOFA would not have been hard if Obama had tried. Jeez, he just negotiated a favorable one in a week or two. Those of you who bring up the SOFA truly don't understand what is going on and how things work, in my view. Pls stop with the silly non-substantive talking points.

    I am blaming Obama for what he was not done in recent months. Recent months is the time period in which ISIS has gone on the march.

    There is and was considerable info on internet of how the military did not support the total pull out that Obama authorized. See the recent articles on Bob Woodward's interview entitled "Woodward: Generals Were on their Knees Begging Obama to Keep Some Troops in Iraq".

    I'm not discussing who caused the mess in Iraq (in fact, I've stipulated that Bush has caused every foreign and domestic problem; now let's figure out what to do now and going forward). I'm trying to discuss, and get some of you to discuss, what should the US do about Iraq, Syria and the Middle East now. So many of you just want to look backward and blame Bush.

    Parent

    Heh (5.00 / 4) (#106)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:05:10 AM EST
    This ...

    Negotiating the SOFA would not have been hard if Obama had tried. Jeez, he just negotiated a favorable one in a week or two. Those of you who bring up the SOFA truly don't understand what is going on and how things work, in my view. Pls stop with the silly non-substantive talking points.

    Followed immediately by this ...

    I am blaming Obama for what he was not done in recent months. Recent months is the time period in which ISIS has gone on the march.

    Funny stuff.

    The fact that you think we "don't understand what is going" is - while also amusing - completely irrelevant.

    BTW - You keep bringing up the recent agreement as evidence that Obama could have easily renegotiated Bush's SOFA and withdrawal schedule, which is also funny stuff.  Do you think the Iraqi government's willingness to accede to our conditions just might have something to do with the active civil war in Iraq at the moment - that the government would be willing to agree to almost anything under the present circumstances?

    Heh.

    There is and was considerable info on internet of how the military did not support the total pull out that Obama authorized. See the recent articles on Bob Woodward's interview entitled "Woodward: Generals Were on their Knees Begging Obama to Keep Some Troops in Iraq".

    So a bunch of winger websites are pushing a Woodward article years after the pullout claiming to be excellent Monday-morning quarterbacks is supposed to be convincing?  Where's the evidence the military didn't want to pull out at that time and what were other "various groups" you didn't cite?

    Parent

    Total pull out (5.00 / 3) (#130)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 02:17:29 PM EST
    The SOFA that was being negotiated was for 2,500 troops. That was it.

    At some point, Iraq needs to stand on its own....The problem is that it is a fake country to begin with, and what is happening now was inevitable....

    You seem to think that propping up a pro-Iranian undemocratic regime is a good idea in the first place.  You are doing no analysis....and I think I can tell where you get your talking points:  the wacko military guests on Fox....

    "Blaming Bush" is the dumpster that allows you to ignore the mistakes of the past.  Understanding the blunder of Bush and Cheney is important in knowing what to do now.

    You do not get it.  It is not a good idea to support a pro-Iranian government in Iraq.   If we kill civilians as inevitable collateral damage--to prop up Iran, what have we accomplished?  We have not bettered our national security, and we have created more potential terrorists who hate us because we killed their children.

    You assume we have to do something.....And, say you want to goad us into discussing what we would do, but you do not say what you would do, other than Blame Obama First and do some "bombing."

    You are new here. Everyone here discussed these issues years ago.  

    Parent

    You do realize that the Bush timetable (2.00 / 2) (#148)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 01:29:17 AM EST
    contemplated leaving a decent amount of troops in Iraq at the end of the pull out? "Either way, no one expects the American presence to end soon, clearly not Defense Secretary Gates. When asked by Charlie Rose in a PBS interview last week how big the American "residual" force would be in Iraq after 2011, Mr. Gates replied that although the mission would change, "my guess is that you're looking at perhaps several tens of thousands of American troops." NY Times 12/21/08


    Parent
    So what? (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:50:36 AM EST
    But it interesting that on the one hand you say we should only look forward, while on the other hand you strain for the most minute scrap to defend Bush.

    It was always a bad idea to invade.   Doing so, did not change the fundamentals of the strife there.  Doing so, did not make us safer.   Do soing, or doing so, got a lot of people killed.

    No reason to repeat the mistakes of the past.  

    Parent

    "Blaming Bush" is mostly done... (none / 0) (#150)
    by unitron on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:58:45 AM EST
    ...because he waded into this mess in total and voluntary ignorance of all of those mistakes of the past, going back to Sykes-Picot and before, and that he had always intended to because oil, and used 9/11 to try to blind people to the fact that he was lying about the justifications.


    Parent
    When I said "blaming Bush" (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:55:18 AM EST
    I meant that the way it is used by the Fox crowd that is here:  That it is just playing the blame game, petty politics, to blame Bush when we should look forward.  Thus, they have a little mantra--we're just "blaming Bush"--that they repeat to encapsulate and dispose of any rational discussion of what caused the mess in the first place, which is always good to know when you are trying to fix that mess.

    I totally agree we need to remember the ineptitude and lies that go so many killed for so little gain.

    Parent

    Did you ever notice (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:00:17 AM EST
    conservatives talk in slogans with each other?  They trade slogans rather than actually discuss anything.....

    "Blame Bush" has replaced "Blame America First" in their lexicon.  It is all meant to stifle thought and debate....Just spout the slogan instead.

    They learn the slogans at Fox, then come here and repeat them over and over again--mindlessly, as an answer to everything--until it becomes deja vu all over again.  The sheer tenacity in repeating the slogan is effective propaganda.

    Parent

    Ok (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Jack203 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:18:53 PM EST
    So apparently this is what you read....

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2014/06/22/Bob-Woodward-The-Generals-Were-On-Their-Knees-Beggi ng-Obama-to-Keep-Some-Troops-In-Iraq

    Some generals wanted an insurance policy of 10k troops to be safe.  Well ok.  Was this dependent on the SOFA?  Probably.  Get me a link BEFORE this crisis if you want any credibility.
    Hearing it NOW means very little.  

    And then McCain and Lindsey Graham coming out NOW how the Iraqis didnt want the SOFA is a total and complete joke.

    Red meat for the Fox News crowd.  It's utter crap.  Get me some real proof the SOFA was negotiable.

    You want to talk about what to do now.  I have no problem with that.  Obama is doing the minimal cost, minimal military force option.  It sounds about the best option in my mind at the moment.  But I'm not going to argue with those that would prefer to do nothing.
     I will argue with people that want to go in guns blazing with another invasion though.  So if that's what you want....just come out and say it.

    Parent

    It does no good to give you (1.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Green26 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 12:04:58 AM EST
    (and a few others) a link, because you will just come up with some weak or silly reason to dismiss it. You believe what you believe, and you're not going to let facts or statements by players who were there at the time stand in your way. Not much reason to try to have a discussion with you.

    Parent
    The same could be said ... (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 06:32:52 AM EST
    ... for your opinions offered with no evidence to support them or (at best) statements offered now by some (partisan) "players who were there at the time".

    Parent
    Much of what I post on this subject is factual (none / 0) (#182)
    by Green26 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:15:22 AM EST
    It comes from having followed the situations in real time, with additional reading and with consultation of my former Ranger son and his friends. When you have a son deployed in Iraq on more than one occasion and in harms way, you tend to pay alot of attention to what's going on in Iraq. I have provided considerable backup for much of what I've said. Opinion is just opinion, of course. While I may look at someone else's support or links and question whether it supports the premise, I rarely challenge or attack the author or source (like you do). Statements offered now by people who were there and involved at the time, whether partisan or not, are generally much better than information from people who were not there and who are now just trying to spin what is going on. For you to say what you just said, shows that it's not worth even arguing with you. The statements in that category are actually terrific sources. You will never learn much, or even be able to support your own views well, because you just want to think that everything you say is right, and everything someone else says to the contrary is wrong.

    Parent
    You Missed This (5.00 / 2) (#183)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:22:31 AM EST
    Iraq rejects US request to maintain bases after troop withdrawal
    Obama announces the full withdrawal of troops from Iraq but fails to persuade Nouri al-Maliki to allow US to keep bases there

    The US suffered a major diplomatic and military rebuff on Friday when Iraq finally rejected its pleas to maintain bases in the country beyond this year.

    Guardian Friday 21 October 2011

    So I guess you are suggesting that Obama should have done a Bush and said something GOPish like: F' you Maliki, we own you.

    Parent

    I didn't miss that (2.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Green26 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 08:09:53 PM EST
    That's not accurate. The Obama administration didn't even try, half-hearted attempts. You apparently missed the parts where various US congressman, who had direct communications with Maliki at the time, said that he told them, essentially, that he would offer the immunity and sign the agreement. The Obama administration never even provided Iraq with the specific number of troops they wanted to keep. I would talk the word of senior congressman who had the actual conversations with Maliki over the Guardian. They obviously weren't involved with any of the conversations with Maliki. They probably just took the spin of the Obama people.

    Parent
    BS (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:24:36 PM EST
    Those "senior US Congressmen" are the same ones that were wrong about virtually everything from day 1 in Iraq and have every reason to make unsupported allegations.

    BTW - Even if someone wants to accept their claims as fact (i.e. you), why don't you provide quotes from them, instead of rephrasing your own version of what they "essentially" said?

    Without even knowing what "quote" you're referencing, I can answer that question.

    Because that's not what they claimed ...

    Parent

    Because i've already provided the quotes (2.00 / 1) (#201)
    by Green26 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 11:15:46 AM EST
    previously. Also, this occurred recently, and the quotes are easily found on the internet (if you can't find them in this or other similar thread

    Parent
    Some other quotes from the Guardian article (2.00 / 1) (#203)
    by Green26 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 11:21:56 AM EST
    The first quotes below are from Obama. Those don't exactly look like they're from a person who just worked hard to secure a new agreement to keep residual troops in Iraq, but was stymied by Iraq.

    "The United States is moving forward to a position of strength. The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year. The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward and our troops are finally coming home," he said.

    "Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq, tens of thousands of them, will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home," he said.

    "The last American soldier will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops," he said. "That is how America's military efforts in Iraq will end."

    But Republicans criticised the failure to secure a deal with the Iraqis, describing it as a setback for the US.

    John McCain, one of the leading foreign affairs specialists in the Senate and Obama's Republican opponent in the 2008 White House race, said: "Today marks a harmful and sad setback for the United States in the world. I respectfully disagree with the president: this decision will be viewed as a strategic victory for our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime, which has worked relentlessly to ensure a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."

    "Mitt Romney, front-runner in the race to take on Obama in the 2012 White House race, said: "The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government."


    Parent

    This is funny (5.00 / 3) (#184)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 05:54:47 PM EST
    You will never learn much, or even be able to support your own views well, because you just want to think that everything you say is right, and everything someone else says to the contrary is wrong.

    From someone who regularly claims to be right on Iraq and attacks others as wrong or ignorant, simply because they don't reach the same conclusions.  Moreover, having a relative who served in Iraq doesn't mean you are better informed than anyone else, and virtually everyone "followed the situations in real time", whatever that silly claim is supposed to mean.

    Finally, the credibility of any author or source is always an issue when evaluating what they are claiming.  You cite Graham's partisan, biased, unsupported claims about private conversations as though they are facts ...

    ... they're not.  

    Parent

    Have never called or indicated that (none / 0) (#188)
    by Green26 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 08:12:38 PM EST
    anyone was ignorant on this board. Normally, just offer my view without saying someone was wrong, but do occasionally say someone was incorrect (but only when they clearly are). Why can't you stick with the facts? I suppose you need to exaggerate because you know you can't actually make your point otherwise.

    Parent
    No exagerration at all (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:34:38 PM EST
    I don't care if anyone listens to me, but my views are much more informed than yours. You just use the same mantra of staying out of Iraq, and the fight, and doing nothing (head in the sand).


    Those of you who bring up the SOFA truly don't understand what is going on and how things work, in my view.

    You will never learn much, or even be able to support your own views well, because you just want to think that everything you say is right, and everything someone else says to the contrary is wrong.

    I don't know why you want to ignore the views of people who had a seat at the table at the time, like Gates and Graham. Using the term you used in your above post, the term "fool" comes to mind


    Parent
    Green, you told me I was (none / 0) (#196)
    by fishcamp on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 08:11:45 AM EST
    ignorant regarding my statement about the Redskins, which was more stupid than ignorant.  BTW I should have finished my statement about the Redskins name not bothering me much by adding it doesn't seem nearly as bad as the thousands of pejoratives about race, religion, and other subject matter.  I do respect your work regarding the Redskins name change and regret my statement.

    Parent
    Yes, and you were ignorant on that issue (none / 0) (#205)
    by Green26 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 11:31:46 AM EST
    I chose that word specifically because ignorance is often an element of racism. I have no tolerance for racism, especially in Native American matters. In the Iraq war discussions, don't believe I've called anyone ignorant or done any name-calling, even though I've considerable some of that thrown at me.

    Parent
    Are you blind? (none / 0) (#185)
    by Jack203 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 07:50:53 PM EST
    Because you couldn't....I was the one that posted a link to support your crap.  I'm very open to hear opinions that differ from mine.

    I do not believe any general would recommend keeping thousands of American troops without a SOFA guaranteeing immunity and open to Iraqi jurisdiction and prosecution.  We all know they are corrupt as hell.  The idea that a general recommended American troops with a SOFA is borderline preposterous.

    The article from the Guardian that squeaky posted was what I remember from the time.

    Iraq rejects US request to maintain bases after troop withdrawal
    Obama announces the full withdrawal of troops from Iraq but fails to persuade Nouri al-Maliki to allow US to keep bases there
    The US suffered a major diplomatic and military rebuff on Friday when Iraq finally rejected its pleas to maintain bases in the country beyond this year.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/21/iraq-rejects-us-plea-bases

    You have zilch and are proving to be a complete waste of time spouting BS you hear from right wing hacks.

    Parent

    The Guardian article authors (none / 0) (#189)
    by Green26 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 08:15:20 PM EST
    weren't involved in the discussions. The various senior congressman were, so you had to pooh pooh what they said about their discussions with Malki. As I said, I would take the word of the senior congressman over a newspaper article like this. The newspaper people didn't talk to Maliki. You just won't listen to facts. You just want to believe what you believe.

    Parent
    Many people were ... (5.00 / 3) (#193)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:45:06 PM EST
    ... directly involved in the SOFA talks, and they don't support McCain's/Graham's unsupported claims.

    BTW - Why do you keep using the phrase "various US Congressmen" when talking about McCain and Graham?  Do you think it makes their bias less transparent by not mentioning their names?  Do you think it makes them sound more numerous than just these two, Republican Congressmen?  You did the same thing when you claimed "various groups" opposed the withdrawal from Iraq, but only mentioned one - the military (and didn't even cite any evidence to support that claim).

    Very transparent ...

    Parent

    Excellent (none / 0) (#194)
    by Jack203 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:15:13 PM EST
    I am patiently waiting for Green to prove us and all the sources we've cited wrong considering his self proclaimed brilliance and how stupid he considers us all to be.

    I mean he WOULD cite his own credible sources proving his theories...but he knows we believe what we want to believe and will just ignore them.

    Parent

    please put your links in html format (none / 0) (#195)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:28:05 PM EST
    otherwise they skew the site and I have to delete the entire comment as I can't edit comments.

    There's a link button at the top of the comment box you can use.

    Thanks.

    Parent

    Yman, the facts are that (1.00 / 2) (#89)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 09:45:05 PM EST
    Obama was President.

    Obama pulled the troops.

    I know it is painful to find your hero has feet of clay but that's the world in real time/

    Parent

    I like your new standard (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:06:46 AM EST
    Yman, the facts are that Obama was President.

    GW Bush.

    9-11.

    Parent

    Bill Clinton (none / 0) (#128)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 11:44:15 AM EST
    WTC '93.

    USS Cole.

    Bush ----

    Second point is that the Clinton administration had a strategy in place, effectively dating from 1998. And there were a number of issues on the table since 1998. And they remained on the table when that administration went out of office -- issues like aiding the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, changing our Pakistan policy -- uh, changing our policy toward Uzbekistan. And in January 2001, the incoming Bush administration was briefed on the existing strategy. They were also briefed on these series of issues that had not been decided on in a couple of years.

    Two years is a long time.

    So, point five, that process which was initiated in the first week in February, uh, decided in principle, uh in the spring to add to the existing Clinton strategy and to increase CIA resources, for example, for covert action, five-fold, to go after Al Qaeda.

    Link

    Parent

    What happened to your new standard? (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 02:53:00 PM EST
    You keep posting the same, tired quote from Clarke when he admitted himself he was just doing his job - spinning as Bush's spokesman.

    But I'd be more than happy to compare the WTC in '93 and the Cole attack to 9-11.

    Well stick with your newly-discovered standard.

    9-11.

    Bush was President.

    You elected him.


    Parent

    The question is simply this (none / 0) (#136)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:17:28 PM EST
    Was he lying then or was he lying later to promote his book sales.

    "Follow the money" would dictate the latter.

    And of course the information I gave you is a matter of public record. Clinton had not resolved the problems mentioned for two years and Bush did increase the CIA's budget.

    Parent

    "Follow the money" ... (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:36:42 PM EST
    ... would mean he was spinning when he was being paid by the Bush administration.  I don't fault Clarke ... he was doing his job.  I do fault those who present his spinning as fact, while ignoring his statements when he was free to give his unfettered opinions ... supported by facts and numerous other people.

    Bush was President.

    Your candidate let 9-11 happen on his watch.

    Parent

    Uh yes, as a matter of fact (none / 0) (#160)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:56:42 AM EST
    he was being paid by Bush.

    Of course the point is that what he said is supported by public records.

    Clinton did not resolve the problems and Bush did increase the resources.

    Parent

    Is that so (5.00 / 3) (#163)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:28:40 AM EST
    And yet you can't produce a single link to these "public records".

    Complete and total lies ...

    Parent

    Good grief (none / 0) (#169)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:12:42 PM EST
    Clarke's interview speaks.

    Are you saying he was deliberately lying about Clinton's failures and Bush's increasing the CIA's resources??

    Well, if you want to insist that a fellow Democrat was lying who am I to disagree??

    And you can keep your doctor if you want to.

    lol

    Parent

    Clarke's interview ... (none / 0) (#173)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:37:50 PM EST
    ... is not a "public record".  Unless you want to claim that simply saying something makes it true.

    Funny stuff.

    BTW - What Clarke actually said:

    So, point five, that process which was initiated in the first week in February, uh, decided in principle, uh in the spring to add to the existing Clinton strategy and to increase CIA resources, for example, for covert action, five-fold, to go after Al Qaeda.

    So it was decided in the Spring - in principle - to add to the Clinton strategy - to increase CIA resources, for example, five-fold, to go after Al Quaeda.

    Now even you should be able to figure out that Clarke - even while spinning talking point number 5 for Bush - did not claim they had increased spending to go after Al Quaeda by five-fold.

    On second thought ...

    BBTW - Interesting that you call Clarke a Democrat - as always without the slightest bit of evidence.  Strange, considering he's worked for far more Republican Presidents than Democrats.

    Parent

    Who received the memo (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:03:47 AM EST
    with the heading:  "Bin Laden Determined to attack in U.S?"  

    But, golly gee, Bush kept us safe!

    Only in your universe can both these statements co-exist.

    Parent

    Glad you brought that up (none / 0) (#164)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:46:46 AM EST
    Let's review the meeting on July 5th in which:

    "At the special meeting on July 5 were the FBI, Secret Service, FAA, Customs, Coast Guard, and Immigration. We told them that we thought a spectacular al Qaeda terrorist attack was coming in the near future." That had been had been George Tenet's language. "We asked that they take special measures to increase security and surveillance. Thus, the White House did ensure that domestic law enforcement including the FAA knew that the CSG believed that a major al Qaeda attack was coming, and it could be in the U.S., and did ask that special measures be taken."

    Link

    That's some 69 days before 9/11.

    So the appropriate people were warned.

    Since 9/11 there have been numerous attacks foiled.

    But only four that killed Americans.

    A Muslim attacked and killed two and injured 5 at El Al's counter in LAX.

    An Army recruiter was killed and one injured in Little Rock by a Muslim terrorist.

    Thirteen were killed at Ft Hood by a Muslim terrorist.

    Three people were killed and 264 injured at the Boston marathon by Muslim terrorist.

    Only the LAX attack occurred in the 7 years after 9/11 of the Bush Presidency.

    The other three happened in the first 4 years and three months of the Obama Presidency.

    Is there a lesson there????

    Yes. Yes there is.


    Parent

    There IS a lesson (5.00 / 3) (#165)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:51:38 AM EST
    Thousands more were killed under GW's watch than Obama's.

    ... and all you can cite is a single meeting which focused on overseas threats, where no plan was provided, and in which the participants weren't even allowed to share the vague threats they were given.

    Heck'uva job, Bushie!

    Parent

    Uh Yman, the NSA's job is not to (none / 0) (#167)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:59:42 PM EST
    provide a defense plan.

    We have dedicated resources for that.

    Of course you had to have something to say so you make something up.

    lol

    Parent

    Guess you forgot to count ... (none / 0) (#174)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:39:04 PM EST
    ... the number of dead under your boy GW's watch before making that silly claim, huh, Jim.

    Oops!

    Parent

    Green26, Yman will never ever (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:35:46 AM EST
    admit that Obama is responsible for anything.

    After all, since George and the evileeeee Cheney had the power to call down a hurricane on New Orleans how can anyone doubt that they are responsible for Obama's failures?

    ;-)

    Parent

    You may be right, but (1.50 / 2) (#96)
    by Green26 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 12:08:10 AM EST
    I'm still going to try to get some of them to discuss what the US should the US do now and going forward. I've already stipulated that Bush has caused every US foreign and domestic problem. So, now what should the US and Obama do. Let's figure out a way to get/keep the US going in the right direction (and clean up Bush's messes-ha).

    Parent
    "Some of them" (5.00 / 3) (#129)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 02:08:16 PM EST
    What a condescending snotty comment.

    You have no plan, no idea what to do, and just landed here from some Fox news show, spouting what the talking heads there say.

    I doubt many here want to do anything in Iraq right now.  Been there, done that.

    Go back to Fox News.

    Parent

    Sorry, but I don't watch Fox News (1.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 12:53:54 AM EST
    Talkleft, NY Times, Wa Post and LA Times, is where I get the basics each day.

    I like how when some of you have nothing to say or to counter a point you don't like, your response is the other poster is just spouting "talking points" and "go back to Fox news". To me, those statements are a key indicator that poster truly has nothing of substance to say.

    Parent

    I do not believe you (5.00 / 3) (#155)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:07:17 AM EST
    You haven't said anything except don't Blame Bush, Blame Obama, and bomb ISIS.   You repeat it endlessly.

    You do not acknowledge the existence of Iran and its influence in all of this.  You have not really brought any substance.  

    Parent

    Oh (none / 0) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:12:52 PM EST
    man I find that hysterical coming from the biggest Bush apologist we have around here.

    Parent
    Obama is responsible for a lot (none / 0) (#84)
    by Yman on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 07:56:17 PM EST
    ... just not the ridiculous list of right-wing fairy tales that you're always pushing.

    But coming from the world's biggest, Bush apologist, that's pretty funny.

    Heck'uva job, Bushie!

    Parent

    And, it looks like the joke (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 08:43:02 AM EST
    That John McCain had his photo taken with ISIS might not just be a joke.

    My first thpught exactly when I saw (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 09:50:32 AM EST
    the thread.

    effing hell, he is listening to McCain.

    Parent

    The only (none / 0) (#19)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:20:39 AM EST
    good thing that Obama ever said was that this was a "dumb" war.

    So what does it say about his IQ that he wants to throw another 500 million into it?

    Wish I knew (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 10:32:02 AM EST
    IQ? (3.50 / 2) (#28)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 11:25:28 AM EST
    Considering that Obama's IQ towers above yours, the question is: what does this say about your IQ...  Really silly personal attack, no?  

    Your comment has a nasty streak going.
    You don't seem to simply be able to express a contrasting opinion without demeaning the person to whom you are referring to.

    Back to the issue, I am not sure why you think that we have not already been training rebels already as part of the $2+ billion in Humanitarian aid we are providing to Syrain.  Training Syrian rebels has been percolating for a long time. To me it looks like Obama is just making it public.

    The new money for the Syrian rebels was contained in the administration's request to Congress for funding for the country's military operations abroad, in a supplement to the budget request known as "overseas contingency operations."

    The administration requested $68.5 billion overall, including for the Afghanistan war, a new counterterrorism fund and money to shore up European allies. The money to train Syrian rebels would come out of the $5 billion counterterrorism fund that includes another $1.5 billion for Syria's neighbors--including Turkey, Jordan and Iraq--to help those countries secure borders and deal with Syrian refugees....

    The proposed Pentagon program would supplement or replace a covert Central Intelligence Agency-led arming and training program, which President Obama authorized last year but which critics inside and outside the administration said was too small to make a difference on the battlefield. "The CIA doesn't do this en masse. That is what we do--train militaries," said a senior defense official.

    WSJ

    (Reuters) - A plan developed last summer by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA Director David Petraeus to arm and train Syrian rebels was rebuffed by the White House, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

    The Humanitarian Aid to Syria is over $2billion..  Do you think that this money should not be spent, or do you think that this money is only providing non-lethal aid?

    Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced on June 4, 2014 the United States will provide $290 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance to help those affected by the war in Syria. With this additional funding, the United States' humanitarian assistance since the crisis began is more than $2 billion to help those suffering inside Syria, as well as refugees and host communities in the neighboring countries.

    non-lethal aid v lethal aid:

    Washington is supplying some Syrian rebels with both "lethal and non-lethal" aid, according to National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who confirmed the longstanding suspicion that the Obama administration is arming anti-Assad forces.

    I think that the horse has left the barn quite some time ago..

    WASHINGTON -- The United States is significantly stepping up its support for the Syrian opposition, senior administration officials said on Wednesday, helping to train rebels at a base in the region and for the first time offering armed groups nonlethal assistance and equipment that could help their military campaign.

    NYT February 27, 2013

    And yes I think that this is a big waste of money, but apparently business as usual for US foreign policy. I think that it is unlikely that we will send troops to Syria, although protecting strategic interests in the mid-east has been a priority during my lifetime and before.  So who knows...

    Parent

    lentinel, (none / 0) (#64)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 03:13:33 PM EST
    please avoid gratuitous personal attacks on Obama. Oppose his policies and actions, fine, but there's no need to address his IQ.

    Parent
    Sorry. (none / 0) (#98)
    by lentinel on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 04:10:49 AM EST
    Obviously, Obama's IQ is high.
    That is what attracted so many to him.

    I will try to frame my question differently and in a more civil manner.

    Parent

    Bomb ISIS military equipment (none / 0) (#208)
    by Jack203 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 11:17:36 AM EST

    Green wrote
    "that the US should bomb the military vehicles/equipment seized by IS and being taken back to Syria. If there are civilians involved in that, then I don't care about them at all."

    Geen - I think it's a wrong assumption that we are omniscient and just know exactly where all this military equipment is.  Neither of us know what exactly the military know with their best intelligence.

    Reigning hell from the sky and hope we're hitting the targets that in your head are worth hitting may not be a wise military strategy.

    What I do know is the three major warring factions in that region are ISIS, Assad, and Iraq's government, which is a proxy of Iran.  We could be fighting ISIS today and helping Assad and Iran today, while doing the exact opposite tomorrow.

    We should proceed very cautiously.  Our only priorities should be to reduce fighting and atrocities from occurring.  More bombing will not accomplish this.

    We have already failed miserably in attempting to "nation build" in that region.  Trillions of dollars lost and thousands of US soldiers.  

    No more.

    203, it isn't very hard for the US (none / 0) (#209)
    by Green26 on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 10:00:36 PM EST
    to pick out our tanks being driven over the Syrian border. Nor is it hard to spot Humvees on flatbed trucks being driven over the border. That's how some of the Humvees were taken to Syria. Can you can come up with anymore flimsy excuses?