ISIS Declares Califate State, Changes Name, Appoints Leader

On the first day of Ramadan, ISIS has declared a califate state in Iraq and surrounding areas. It is dropping "Iraq and al Sham" from it's name, and will now just be "The Islamic State", or "IS".It is calling for all Muslims to support the new state.

Spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani made the announcement. He said the decision had been made by the Shura Council. The new Caliph is Abu Bak'r al-Baghdadi. From its announcement: [More...]

We clarify to the Muslims that with this declaration of khalifah, it is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance to the khalifah Ibrahim and support him (may Allah preserve him). The legality of a1 emirates, groups, states, and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the khalifah's authority and arrival of its troops to their areas.

The khalifah Ibrahim (may Allah preserve him) has fulfilled all the conditions mentioned by the scholars. He was given bay'ah in Iraq by the people of authority in the Islam State as the successor to Abu Umar al-Baghdadi (Allah have mercy upon him). His authority has expanded over
expanded over wide areas in Iraq and Sham. The land now submits to his order and authority from Aleppo to Divala. So fear Allah, O slaves of Allah, listen to your khalifah and obey him. Support your state which grows every day - by Allah's grace - in honor and loftiness, while its enemy increases in retreat and defeat.

By Allah, if you disbelieve in democracy, secularism, nationalism as well as all the other garbage and ideas from the west, and rush to your religion and creed, then by Allah, you will own the earth, and the east and west will submit to you. This is the promise of Allah to you.

Under the Caliphate state:

The hudūd (Sharia penalties) are implemented – the hudūd of Allah – all of them....Prisoners are released by the edge of the sword. The people in the lands of the State move about for their livelihood and journeys, feeling safe regarding their lives and wealth. Wulāt (plural of wālī or “governors”) and judges have been appointed. Jizyah (a tax imposed on kuffār) has been enforced. Fay’ (money taken from the kuffār without battle) and zakat (obligatory alms) have been collected. Courts have been established to resolve disputes and complaints. Evil has been removed. Lessons and classes have been held in the masājid (plural of masjid) and, by the grace of Allah, the religion has become completely for Allah.

So the state is the Khilafah, and the leader is the Khalifah. The Khalifah's full name is:

Ibrāhīm Ibn ‘Awwād Ibn Ibrāhīm Ibn ‘Alī Ibn Muhammad al-Badrī al-Hāshimī al-Husaynī al-Qurashī by lineage, as-Sāmurrā’ī by birth and upbringing, al-Baghdādī by residence and scholarship.

Other interesting phrases: When referring to deceased leaders, they add "may Allah have mercy upon him." When referring to living leaders, they add "May Allah preserve him."

Somehow I think the war is just beginning. The announcement also contains this warning:

Be very wary of breaking the ranks. For you to be snatched by birds would be better for you than to break the ranks or take part in doing so. And if anyone wants to break the ranks, split his head with bullets and empty its insides, whoever he may be.

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    Thank You George W Bush (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 02:12:57 PM EST
    There was such thing in Iraq until you decided to bring it freedom...and democracy......and set a great example by making it clear that the most powerful nation in the world will also torture, wrongfully imprison, and commit genocide.

    Since there is nothing with integrity left for anyone to hope for we might as well have a caliphate.

    Bush Usurping MLK (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:37:03 PM EST
    "The Rev. King told us," he continued, "that `It is both historically and biologically true that there can be no birth and growth without birth and growing pains.'"

    "We are seeing those birth and growth pains as democracy takes root in the Middle East," the president declared.

    In a rebuff to detractors on the left, Bush said that "Those who advocate a course that I have called `cutting and running' have not studied the wisdom of the Rev. King. Peace, he understood, cannot come as the fruit of cowardice or of the failure of will.

    "As the great reverend warned us, so many years ago, `True peace is not merely the absence of some negative force-tension, confusion or war: it is the presence of some positive force-justice, good will and brotherhood."

    "The seeds of that positive force," Bush added, "were planted in the dry soil of Basra and Baghdad when American troops liberated the Iraqi people in 2003, and those seeds are now germinating, having been watered by the sacrifice of our young men and women in uniform."

    Bush's MLK Day Speech, 2007


    What would Martin do? (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:39:29 PM EST
    De-Baathification?  Of course

    Abu Ghraib?  Surely


    Thanks for the verp (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:38:21 PM EST
    Spotty Applause (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:41:15 PM EST
    Spotty applause from the some 1500 people in attendance, dignitaries and members of the Ebenezer congregation, accompanied these final lines of the president's address.

    Those seeds are indeed geminating. (none / 0) (#37)
    by desertswine on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:30:23 PM EST
    Don't forget Obama (none / 0) (#116)
    by Slado on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 03:08:32 PM EST
    Or is President Bush still in the White House?

    Didn't need Bush to screw up Syria by the way where this all got started.

    Does the ACA cover Bush Derangement Syndrome?


    "Where all this got started" (none / 0) (#120)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 05:10:56 PM EST
    Yeah - if you overlook the Iraq War.

    Pfftttt ....


    How did Obama screw up Syria? (none / 0) (#131)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:05:18 PM EST
    Dying to know

    Bush vs Obama is besides the point (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:52:30 PM EST
    and casting about for blame is not productive.

    The marginalization of the Sunnis occurred after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which resulted in a quest for autonomy. That happened under Bush:

    bq. Sunnis are a minority in Iraq but for decades held the reins of power under dictator Saddam Hussein. Many say they have felt marginalized since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam and paved the way for the rise of the Shi'ite majority.

    Under a "but for" test, had we not invaded Iraq in the first place, which Bush and Cheney did under the false premise that we needed to destroy Saddam's nuclear weapons, there would probably be no Sunni uprising or al Qaida in Iraq or ISIS. So again, that's Bush.

    The seeds of discontent had long been sown by the time Obama took office. At most, you can say he was unable to fix it. But that wasn't his job (keeping the U.S. safe from terror attacks is his job). It doesn't make him the cause.

    Withdrawing our troops from Iraq had strong public support in 2011 -- 75% of Americans supported the decision. How can you blame Obama for listening to such an overwhelming majority?  It was the right thing to do. We couldn't be expected to babysit forever and the financial cost was enormous.

    ISIS in Syria was just an expansion of ISIS in Iraq. It didn't make the move until April, 2013. (JN was there earlier.) I recommend this article by Aaron Y. Zelin, "The War Between Isis and al-Qaeda for Supremacy of the Global Jihadist Movement."

    al Qaida in Iraq was formed in 2006, Baghdadi became head in 2010. And the roots of the struggle go back to the Sykes-Picot border in 1916.

    Also, al Qaida has been weakened. It may now become second fiddle to ISIS. That happened under Obama. Whether he is responsible, or whether the infighting among the various AQ groups and off-shoots is the reason, is debatable. But if al Qaida decides to fight ISIS, they will both be weakened.

    Instead of focusing on blame, I prefer to focus on understanding the grievances of ISIS and similar groups. Ordinarily, I would also focus on ways to defuse the conflict, but that seems impossible at this point.

    It's up to those who live in the areas ISIS has taken and plans to take to decide if they want to live under its Caliphate state. If they don't, they should rebel. But it's not our place to to fight their battle for them, or to go to war to preserve the autonomy of the states surrounding Iraq. Putting troops in Iraq or Syria or anywhere else in the region will accomplish nothing but the loss of more American lives and the expenditure of more money.

    We certainly don't need to send arms (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:58:13 PM EST
    Well said (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:11:06 PM EST
    I wish you were in charge of our foreign policy

    A response to part of J's post (none / 0) (#39)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:42:20 PM EST
    I don't think the but-for test is necessarily valid. It's been 11 years since Saddam was overthrown. Many changes have occurred in the Middle East and the world. The Arab Spring has resulted in multiple dictators being removed. Major grassroots uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. The Syrian regime may or may not last. The continued expansion of the internet and users, as well as social media including twitter, has enabled and enhanced grass roots uprisings and political movement and parties. I believe the long-term process of political and social change and transformation will continue in this region. Saddam would be 77 by now. Would he still be ruling Iraq? Not sure his brutal sons would have able to take over for him.

    Al Qaeda was weakened under Obama, but it was also weakened under Bush. Al Qaeda of Iraq was pretty much defeated by Bush and his policies (Surge and Sunni Awakening). After Obama's complete pull out of Iraq, Maliki's polices changed, and the Sunni sheiks were no longer paid and Sunnis were repressed more again. This has led to significant problems in Iraq. When my (former) Ranger son saw that these changed policies several years ago, he said Iraq would go south again and violence and instability would increase.

    Withdrawing troops had strong pubic support in 2011, but I don't think that necessarily included or required support for taking out all troops. I'm talking about leaving the tens of thousands that Secretary Gates assumed would occur when he spoke in 2008. This was a mistake in my view.

    Note that the Russians are now sending a dozen Russian planes and some advisors to Iraq now, and expect them to be operational in several days.

    None of this is intended to minimize the amount of destabilization that occurred in Iraq and the region as a result of the 2003 invasion. Obviously, this occurred. However, I don't believe it is right to think nothing would have changed in Iraq or the region in the past 11 years if 2003 hadn't occurred. Obviously, many things would have changed and occurred, including the Arab Spring.


    whether it had strong pulbic support or not (none / 0) (#40)
    by cpinva on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:53:18 PM EST
    is irrelevant.:

    "Withdrawing our troops from Iraq had strong public support in 2011 -- 75% of Americans supported the decision."

    the bush administration entered into a treaty with Iraq, signed off on by congress, to remove all US troops in 2011. the polls could have been zero for it, it was still the law, and pres. Obama simply followed the law that was in place, while he was president.

    if there's any blame to go around for removing those troops, put it where it actually belongs: Pres. George W. Bush.

    with respect to the "Caliphate", I anticipate it will have a short shelf life. announcing victory is a whole lot easier than actually being victorious.


    Don't think you're correct on that. (none / 0) (#42)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:07:49 PM EST
    Secretary Gates believed tens of thousands of troops were remain after the pull out. I pulled this my post in a prior thread.'

    "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


    And? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:25:26 PM EST
    Gates can "believe" anything he wants - particularly when he's just offering a "guess" at "perhaps" troops remaining.  The term of the SOFA were clear:

    The agreement was a status of forces agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the United States, signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. It established that U.S. combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.

    From the terms of the agreement itself:

    Article 24

    Withdrawal of American Forces from Iraq

    Admitting to the performance of Iraqi forces, their increased capabilities and assuming full responsibility for security and based upon the strong relationship between the two parties the two parties agreed to the following:

    All U.S. forces are to withdraw from all Iraqi territory, water and airspace no later than the 31st of December of 2011.

    Sorry but what you are saying (none / 0) (#68)
    by Green26 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:04:23 AM EST
    is not accurate. The SOFA was set up to be changed later. It has a specific provision for amendment. This is why Defense Secretary Gates said he expected tens of thousands of soldiers to remain in Iraq at the end of 2011. This is why the Obama administration was having discussions with Iraq about the number and type of remaining troops after 2011. This is what was contemplated all along. While Maliki had said publicly a few times that he wouldn't provide the necessary immunity, he was privately telling the US that he would provide the immunity. According to LIndsay Graham recently, Maliki told Graham, McCain and another politician on a visit that he would do this. Graham says the agreement on the residual force and immunity wasn't completed because Obama would never provide a specific number and plan. Obama was negotiating only half-heartedly, as he not to be out of Iraq all along, in my view.

    Ha ha ha ha (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:24:51 AM EST
    Ex CIA spook who actually worked to foil the release of the hostages in Iran under Jimmy Carter says something about Barack Obama, it must be true :)

    There has never been anyone more self serving than Robert Gates.  One month I saw him crying in public about the senseless loss of American lives in Afghanistan, openly weeping on the Sunday shows....and a few months later Obama lacked enthusiasm for the mission in Afghanistan.  Ha ha ha ha ha, the man will say and do anything to remain considered relevant and in the headlines


    You want us to rely... (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:33:17 AM EST
    ...on a wink and a nod from Maliki for the safety of our troops?

    Not to mention I doubt if Maliki remains in power (or alive) forever, and I could easily see his successor saying "Secret agreement, I know nothing of a secret agreement."


    No, I wouldn't want to rely on winks and nods. (none / 0) (#88)
    by Green26 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:40:53 AM EST
    However, if Maliki was telling senior congressmen and others privately that he would sign a new agreement and provide immunity, then I believe it is likely that Obama would have been able to negotiate a new agreement had he not been only putting in half-hearted effort. Obama wanted out of Iraq, and he was probably fine with having little excuses like this to get out completely. However, getting out completely appears to have come back to bite him in the back side a bit. And, as has been pointed out, the US just negotiated the immunity it needed in a very short period of time. Yes, slightly different circumstances, but it also shows that negotiating such an agreement is really not that difficult.

    Telling them privately... (none / 0) (#101)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:32:57 PM EST
    ...that he'd agree to a new arrangement is not the same as merely telling them "Don't worry, we won't really enforce the old one."

    It's ENTIRELY accurate (none / 0) (#71)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:25:15 AM EST
    Every agreement can be amended, but Bush set the terms of the agreement they were operating under.  Anyone who makes an agreement with the expectation that they won't be held to the terms of that agreement - under the rationale that the agreement might/could be amended in the future - is a fool.

    I couldn't care less whether you think Obama was "half-heartedly" negotiating or not.  There was a lot of resistance in Iraq to a continued US military presence and there was huge support among the American people for withdrawal, regardless of your claimed support by "various" (unnanmed) groups for us to stay in Iraq.

    Graham's recollection of his alleged, private conversation with Maliki was pretty amusing, though ...


    Look at what was being said (none / 0) (#73)
    by Green26 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:05:09 AM EST
    at the time about the agreement and the intention to change or renegotiate it later. It provides the context for what the parties, especially the US, were thinking and expecting at the time. Again, this is why Secretary Gates was saying what he was saying in late 2008 about the expected residual number of troops.

    You want to focus on one short provision, and ignore the context and everything else. I negotiate agreements for a living. I assure you that it is common to enter into agreements with the expectation that the parties will change or amend them later.

    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. Even some of  the Obama people are not denying what people like Graham are saying.


    You know, (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:00:16 AM EST
    not citing or linking to your sources does make them even more suspect.

    All you are talking about is band aid stuff.  Bomb a little here, a little there.  And, for all the talk, quite disingenuous at that, about "stipulating" that it is all Bush's fault, you do spend most of your time blaming Obama.

    You refuse to acknowledge the fundamental instability of the area.  Iraq has not really been a country and it was not organically formed.  Totally unlike Iran in that regard.

    It is not our war.   Tinkering will only result in the U.S. killing more civilians without resolving the key Sunni v. Shia split.   And it is in our interests to have the two sides preoccupied with and balancing each other.  No need to mess with the situation.

    Why will you not comment on Netanyahu's realpolitik view of this--which is why interfere when your enemies are killing each other?


    If you weren't following what was (none / 0) (#90)
    by Green26 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:00:56 AM EST
    going on at the time, and don't want to do a bit of Googling, I'm probably not going to have time to pull together all the information for you. I've got to get back to work after 5 days of vacation, and need to work with squeaky to get the mini-link thing mastered.

    I completely agree that there is considerable instability in Iraq, as well as other places in the region. Feel free to point out anything I said that indicated I felt there was no instability.

    Obama is the president now. He has to figure out what to do now. I would be commenting on, and perhaps critical of, anyone who happened to the be the president now.

    My current concern now is the rise of IS. IS should be neutralized and put down. I don't know whether Iraq can be saved or not. It doesn't appear that Obama cares enough about Iraq to work to try to hold Iraq together anyway. He seems to be willing to let Iran and Russia have a bigger role in iraq right now. Previously, Obama didn't appear to want to take action to hold the gains that the US had made in Iraq, in the years after Saddam was run out of town--and most of those gains were lost. Yes, yes, i know that Bush made much of the mess in Iraq, so please don't use that as a counterpoint now.


    Forgetting Something? (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 11:06:57 AM EST
    Today, as conflict rages again in Iraq, four Blackwater guards involved in the Nisour Square shooting are on trial in Washington on charges stemming from the episode, the government's second attempt to prosecute the case in an American court after previous charges against five guards were dismissed in 2009.

    The shooting was a watershed moment in the American occupation of Iraq, and was a factor in Iraq's refusal the next year to agree to a treaty allowing United States troops to stay in the country beyond 2011. Despite a series of investigations in the wake of Nisour Square, the back story of what happened with Blackwater and the embassy in Baghdad before the fateful shooting has never been fully told.

    James Risen NYT..

    And regarding the Blackwater shooting:

    Today, as conflict rages again in Iraq, four Blackwater guards involved in the Nisour Square shooting are on trial in Washington on charges stemming from the episode, the government's second attempt to prosecute the case in an American court after previous charges against five guards were dismissed in 2009.

    And for those of you who forgot about Blackwater:

    "The management structures in place to manage and monitor our contracts in Iraq have become subservient to the contractors themselves," the investigator, Jean C. Richter, wrote in an Aug. 31, 2007, memo to State Department officials. "Blackwater contractors saw themselves as above the law," he said, adding that the "hands off" management resulted in a situation in which "the contractors, instead of Department officials, are in command and in control."

    Well worth a read


    My husband HATED them (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 11:19:23 AM EST
    Still hates them.  Considers them scum of the earth.

    Your husband is right. (none / 0) (#94)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 11:44:51 AM EST
    They are the lowest form of life, defenders of nothing but corporate profits.

    He could never understand why they (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 11:52:17 AM EST
    Were even there.  They showed up in country in 2003,  CACI, Dyncorp, Blackwater...it gradually became clear they were there to preform blatant lawlessness.  Take torturing interrogations, CACI did most of those, no pesky chain of command and soldiers carrying the Constitution in the pocket to deal with.  Just people that were willing to anything for dollars with no system to bring them to justice.  Their presence was by design, it is a feature, not a bug.

    Iraq is a sovereign nation (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 12:11:23 AM EST
    It isn't up to Obama to figure anything out for them, and to even believe that he can is an abuse of his power.

    "IS should be neutralized and put down." (none / 0) (#103)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:36:31 PM EST
    Sounds good to me.  Let's offer to hold Iran's coat for them while they deal with it.

    Hey, they're already in the neighborhood.


    I sincerely hope not (none / 0) (#105)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:45:29 PM EST
    In order to negotiate agreements, you need to be able to understand simple sentences.  I did not claim that people don't expect agreements to be changed out amended.  Agreements are changed out amended all the time.  What I actually said was that anyone who enters into an agreement with the expectation that they won't be held to the terms of that agreement simply because they think the agreement might/could be amended is a fool.  See the difference?  Anyone advising them to do so is seeing themselves up for a malpractice suit.

    Graham?? (none / 0) (#79)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 08:52:10 AM EST
    Mr. Impeachment?

    Can't trust anything the guy says.  


    Very well put (none / 0) (#129)
    by Jack203 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:56:47 PM EST
    Obama appears to be favoring the low political risk option of sending in a minimal amount of military at a minimal cost to make sure Baghdad doesn't fall.

    It seems wiser to do this then nothing at all at this point.  If he does nothing and things collapse, the Republicans will rake him and liberals over the coals for being soft on terror. It would probably be worse for everyone if the neocons were able to control the narrative that Obama and the Democrats blew it and we need to back in for another decade.


    The name change by ISIS (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:00:35 PM EST
    was beat to the punch, in a sense, by our policy.  In effect, we have split ISIS into IS-I and IS-S.  The later, is our strategic "ally" in the Syrian civil war. Our intelligence surely knows and expects the financial, military and other support provided to the "vetted" moderates to wind up in the hands of IS-S.  

    The struggle for power and sectarian rule by IS-S has the numbers on its side, with Sunni being the majority and the Alawites (Nusayri), a sect of Shia, comprising about 12 percent of the population.  This indirect, if not direct, support for IS-S will suit King Abdullah, helping to keep the edge for the Saudis in regional influence, or at least, in balance with Iran.

    in our minds, IS-I is our strategic "foe" in the Iraq civil war.  IS-I has, apparently, demonstrated success in its military adventurism and by its effective propaganda. The Iraq territory it has taken is primarily in Sunni areas.  

    The numbers are not on the IS-I side: Iraq is about 20 percent Sunni, 65 percent Shia and 15 percent Kurdish (most Iraq Kurds are Sunni).  However, the combination of Sunni territory and cooperation with left-overs of Saddanms regime have facilitated IS-I.  Again,  IS-I, as with IS-S is participating in regional influences between Saudis and Iranians.  And, we should also factor in influences between Russia and the US.  

     A possible outcome might be codification of the de facto tripartite: The Sunni seized area, the Kurdish area and the Shia area (Bagdad and the rest, including Basra).  A federation with semi-autonomous sectors.  The federation with border, defense and oil revenues.

    Movies come to mind in this scenario, firstly: the complexity of Roman Polanski's "Chinatown"--my sister, my daughter,  IS-I/IS-S, my friend, my foe.   And, Tom Cruise's "Risky Business."

    So what to do?   The Invasion of Iraq and the occupation de-stabilized Iraq and the region. A catastrophic blunder.  The present conflict, if not inevitable from our handiwork, created a ripe environment for Arab spring-like nationalism, rebellion--and terrorism.  

    No good option, only least bad.  The Iraq war was lost before it started, in my view, but for the die hards, maybe   in 2005.  You cannot bomb away a political movement. If bombing was the path to freedom, Iraq would be a beacon of love and tolerance.  

     In Iraq, my hope is that a federalist state can emerge.  As difficult as that may be, it seems more possible that Maliki doing what he should have done from the beginning--share power.  As for Syria, arming rebels against Assad offers the same outcome as we are seeing in Libya.

    Forget it, Jake... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:36:27 AM EST
    ...it's the Middle East.

    Grim (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 02:24:01 PM EST
    That's the only owed that comes to mind.  Are there Christians in Iraq?  

    According to wiki there is still (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 02:25:37 PM EST
    Almost a half million in 2013.  Grim.

    I would guess fewer than that (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Zorba on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:39:44 PM EST
    Maybe more like 300,000 or so, but nobody really knows.
    Virtually all of those Christians are either Catholic or Orthodox. We get occasional updates at church (I am Orthodox) and perhaps Catholics get the same, I don't know.
    But the mainstream media are not following this very closely at all, to say the least.
    OTOH, given what is currently happening there, the plight of a few hundred thousand Christians does not come up on most MSM radar.
    I do know some Iraqi Orthodox Christians who fled Iraq years ago.  About the time of the first Gulf War.  They had some interesting perspectives on Christians in the Middle East.  To say the least.  I know another family of Orthodox Christians who fled Egypt many years ago.  Similar stories from them.
    Both the Iraqi and the Egyptian Christian families still have relatives back there.  

    " the plight of a few hundred thousand" (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:13:08 PM EST
    Hard to imagine what they are thinking right now

    Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Zorba on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:42:46 PM EST
    And from what I can tell from my friends over here now, their remaining relatives and friends back there are either terrified, trying to figure out where they can go, or some have decided to brazen it out  because this is their ancestral homeland, from way before Islam even existed.
    Yet this is getting very little if any play in the press.

    They just aren't important enough (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:49:52 PM EST
    And it requires too much independent thinking, perhaps even deep thinking.

    22 veterans suiciding daily...not important enough to acknowledge.

    Christians trying to live and survive in a place where most Americans believe no Christian exists? That's confusing Zorba for the simple minded.  That's as confusing as having to imagine why Americas greatest heroes keep sticking guns in their mouths.


    Oh, and, BTW (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Zorba on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:10:40 PM EST
    Two Orthodox Christian Bishops in Syria were kidnapped by Syrian insurgents in April 2013.  They have not been seen or heard from since.  They may be dead, we just don't know.
    A group of Orthodox nuns and other women from the convent's orphanage were abducted in December, 2013.  By, again, Syrian rebels.  Fortunately, these women were returned in March of this year.  We still don't know about the two bishops.
    Has this been covered in the MSM?  
    Pretty much, no.  And we want to send arms to the Syrian insurgents?
    It's all way too confusing for most people.  
    And as well, if they really cared about the mental, physical, and emotional health of our returning veterans, the VA would have been doing a whole he!! of a lot better job caring for our vets.

    Are there Christians in Iraq? (none / 0) (#5)
    by unitron on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 02:43:34 PM EST
    Well, maybe for the time being.

    Of course what these people claim in a press release and what actually is aren't necessarily the same.


    Until not too many years ago (none / 0) (#58)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:45:24 PM EST
    there were also historic Jewish communities in Syria (fewer than two dozen remain today; 30% of 15,000 emigrated in 1950s) and in Iraq (fewer than a dozen remain; 90% of 125,000 left in 1951).

    Are you never going to stop (none / 0) (#4)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 02:33:00 PM EST
    blaming Bush--and ever going to be able to look forward? IS, in its current state, came out of Syria. Obama, not Bush, has been responsible for US policy towards Syria for over 5 years.

    Thinking that nothing would be happening in Iraq now, or that Iraq would be stable, had Saddam been left in power, is just plain wrong. Multiple countries in this part of the world have had uprisings and big changes in the past 5 years. Perhaps the same thing would have happened in Iraq. Tony Blair recently called your type of thinking, i.e. that Iraq would not be going through changes and instability, had the US (and others) invaded, "bizarre".

    Regardless of one's views on pushing out Saddam and Bush as the president, the US needs to deal with the current situation and look and move forward.

    The Bush Cheney regime destroyed (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 02:55:31 PM EST
    Iraqi Nationalism, not only that, we incentivized brutality toward Iraqi Sunnis.  We killed and traumatized and damaged, once you do that to people they live in the trauma parts of their brains.  The doors to higher order thinking close.  It is exactly what you see happen to your soldiers when they come home too, all that fight or flight/ life and death desensitization takes over and it is very hard to return the affected to more peaceful thinking and living.  As your soldiers have returned home, this is also the mentality Iraqis are left with too.

    You can't do the things to human beings that were done to human beings in Iraq and think there won't be incredible scars on deep social levels.  Bush created a people who will have a very difficult time getting beyond daily murder and bloodshed.

    When shock and awe was going down did you stop for one minute to grasp the torn corpses you were bringing these people to process as the bombs fell?  Do you ever wonder what sort of person you would evolve into if your streets were littered with dead bodies every morning and there was no safety, no social fabric, the infrastructure of your life was shredded?


    Iraqi nationalism actually declined (none / 0) (#9)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:05:43 PM EST
    significantly under Saddam's rule. A dictator. Repressive. Minority putting/keeping down the majority.

    "a severe undermining of Iraqi nationalism occurred when Saddam Hussein and his one-party rule prioritized pan-Arab concerns over those of Iraq's. This continued from the beginning of his rule in 1979 and ended when the United States decided to topple his regime in 2003." Dina al-Shibeeb, AL ARABIYA March 16, 2013


    This is an outright lie (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:15:50 PM EST
    And our country did the studies on it.  Just because YOU think something doesn't make it so.  Just because you post something doesn't make it so either.

    Note that I didn't write that article (none / 0) (#14)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:21:54 PM EST
    al Aribya did.

    What article (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:26:56 PM EST
    There is no link?

    I have a study done by this government, that was produced by experts and scholars and such.


    Link (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:01:22 PM EST
    See the 3d para in the article (none / 0) (#43)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:13:35 PM EST
    Links (none / 0) (#45)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:33:23 PM EST
    Link info on HTML links (none / 0) (#107)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:13:04 PM EST
    Link to HTML info

    BTW - Jeralyn asks that we do not copy just the URL and insert it because it skews the website.


    Pretzels Pretzels (none / 0) (#48)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:53:49 PM EST
    The "secularism" and "pan-Arab nationalism" of Saddam Hussein also depended on conjuring holy war imagery for public consumption. Saddam Hussein saw himself as a modern day Saladin who led Muslim armies against Christian invaders during the crusades and Nebuchednazzar who brought the Jewish people in chains or condemned them to slavery.

    I was against the 2003 invasion and am against any intervention in Iraq at this time. However, it is difficult for me to understand the pretzel like logic of some in the left that is used to defend reigns of dictators like Saddam Hussein, Basher Al-Assad or Muammar Al-Gadaffi. Why was the "secularism" or "nationalism" of Saddam Hussein any better than that of Reza Shah Pahlavi? If you have problems with the CIA installing puppet regimes, you should also have problems with the KGB and FSB doing the same.


    Nice Fantasy (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:10:39 PM EST
    You either give Saddam too much credit, or you drank the kool-aid that most Iraqi's did not partake in.

    He was a thug that the CIA propped up. To imagine that he thought of himself as anything but a ruthless thug, misses who he was completely, imo.


    What we did made nothing better (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:22:54 PM EST
    Social evolution takes time, but it was occurring.  Making yourself God-like in that part of the world is nothing new either.  They have Ayatollahs, they have the King of Saudi Arabia, the King of Jordan....considered divinity,  Assad is an Alawite so he's considered divinity, being a leader in that part of the world just about means you have to claim divinity or you are just to weird to lead.

    The South has horrible deep rooted racism and discrimination, will going to war and invading them help?  No, but some of us living here are challenging it and changing it one day at a time without bombs, without decapitated bodies laying about.


    Racism and discrimination (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by the capstan on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:59:49 PM EST
    Some of us who were born here have been working for equality for seventy years and more.  I see the results every day in my  college town and note the interracial couples.  Now we work for the end of gay prejudice and for better lives for those who live in poverty, as well as better lives for the handicapped.

    To borrow a phrase:  "We shall overcome...."


    Thanks for supporting my position (none / 0) (#96)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:05:30 PM EST
    re the Shah:

    Social evolution takes time, but it was occurring

    And I have no doubt that the South was changed by others long before you descended on it. So put down your cross and just live a normal life.


    Really bothers you doesn't it? (none / 0) (#106)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:54:07 PM EST
    There is a new migration into the South taking place now too.  Libruls moving in.  Climate change will likely speed that up too.  :)

    What bothers me is people such as (none / 0) (#108)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:15:36 PM EST
    you, living in a very small area totally different from the rest of the south making up BS comments.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha! (none / 0) (#111)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:36:16 PM EST
    Being exposed sucks to the rest of the world (none / 0) (#112)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:41:46 PM EST
    Not fun? :)

    I do break the hush hush rule :)


    Story...mishmashed (none / 0) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 03:06:44 PM EST
    Meant to post that being exposed to the rest of the world sucks

    The point is simple (none / 0) (#119)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 04:50:36 PM EST
    although you don't want to understand.

    You live near, or on, a military base.

    That is a tiny slice of culture that is highly influenced by people who are not necessarily from the south. The area is an enclave created by the military and the interaction between it and the locals.

    And sometimes the results aren't nice. Did you know that in Norfolk back in the 50's some people had signs on their lawns saying, "Dogs and Sailors Keep Off the Grass?"

    Do you think exposure to that meant that I thought all Norfolk citizens felt that way? (Hint. No.)

    Because of that you really aren't qualified to comment, although that has never stopped you on anything else.

    Go up and live in Memphis, Birmingham, Jackson, etc for awhile. Make your living there. Pay the taxes, send your kids to school, observe the local politics, go to some high school sports events.. Be part of the culture.

    Then come back and talk. Right now you don't have the information.

    In the meantime, spare me the regional condemnations and the whining whenever some local does something you don't like.

    Or do what I did when I got a transfer to Chicago one time. Get a transfer out of there.


    Soooooo ... (none / 0) (#121)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 05:13:38 PM EST
    Because of that you really aren't qualified to comment, although that has never stopped you on anything else.

    So by that logic, we should ignore all your comments cheering for others to go fight a war?


    Is that the best you can do?? (none / 0) (#122)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:06:05 PM EST
    I mean I know you feel that you must be your usual disagreeable self but really...

    The two subjects aren't even close to being related.


    Sure they are ... same "logic" (none / 0) (#127)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:54:39 PM EST
    According to you, MT isn't qualified to comment on the South because she hasn't experienced it.  Ergo, you're not qualified to comment on combat.



    Your problem is that (none / 0) (#138)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 10:40:29 AM EST
    I haven't commented on combat.

    In fact I have noted that MT's husband is qualified to do such, not me.


    Where's the link to your study? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:14:41 PM EST
    Who were the authors?

    This is the second time I've linked to it (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:08:18 PM EST
    Recently, which is fine.  This study is part of the Library of Congress.  Feel free to browse it via the table of contents


    The Shias continued to make good progress in the economic field as well during the 1980s. Although the government does not publish statistics that give breakdowns by religious affiliation, qualified observers noted that many Shias migrated from rural areas, particularly in the south, to the cities, so that not only Basra but other cities including Baghdad acquired a Shia majority. Many of these Shias prospered in business and the professions as well as in industry and the service sector. Even those living in the poorer areas of the cities were generally better off than they had been in the countryside. In the rural areas as well, the educational level of Shias came to approximate that of their Sunni counterparts.

    In summary, prior to the war the Baath had taken steps toward integrating the Shias. The war placed inordinate demands on the regime for manpower, demands that could only be met by levying the Shia community--and this strengthened the regime's resolve to further the integration process. In early 1988, it seemed likely that when the war ends, the Shias would emerge as full citizens-- assuming that the Baath survives the conflict.

    Where's the part that says (none / 0) (#53)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:19:14 PM EST
    the 2003 invasion destroyed Iraqi nationalism. Thanks for the link, but have to admit that I don't read all of your posts.

    Pretty sure (none / 0) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:26:34 PM EST
    That the constant sectarian murder means nationalism is gone.

    As I said, your study (none / 0) (#69)
    by Green26 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:06:24 AM EST
    doesn't appear to support your point at all.

    Try reading (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:09:42 AM EST
    Vali Nasr's book on the Sunni-Shia split and the Shia Revival.  A professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, he does know what he is talking about.

    Since Iraq is so safe (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:26:17 AM EST
    Why don't you go vacation there?  Why does your article writer choose to live in Canada now?

    If you go google (none / 0) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:36:33 AM EST
    You can find actual experts on Sunni-Shia relations who say the war destroyed unity.  Like here

    Real information, not just a sketchy puff piece


    Yes, I agree that the toppling (none / 0) (#89)
    by Green26 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:49:29 AM EST
    of the dictator Saddam allowed the Shiites to rise up in Iraq, unleshed the lingering hatred, and caused a huge amount of violence between Sunnis and Shiites. That was a huge negative, but the hatred of the majority Sunnis of Saddam and the minority Ba'th/Sunni party was always there. It's possible that Sunni-Shiiite flare up in Iraq also contributed to the Arab Spring, so that would have been a positive. The Arab Spring uprisings have also caused big problems between Sunnis and Shiites. I haven't noticed any of you complaining about that.

    I would guess.. and this is just a guess (none / 0) (#109)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:18:39 PM EST
    mind you, that Saddam's chemical weapons attacks, rape rooms and feeding people feet first through industrial paper shredders may have angered the Shia population a small amount.

    Don't you think?


    And the reporter of the article you cite (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:12:37 PM EST
    Her major complaint was that she grew up believing the best thing about her was that she was Arab via Baathist propaganda she had to recite every morning at school.  Okay, that's not exactly the greatest thing ever.  But our children are expected to say the pledge of allegiance every morning at school too and many of the them think it's a load of bull too and creepy and mindless and limiting.  It sure beats dead bodies all over the roads in the morning though.

    I wondered how long it would take (none / 0) (#54)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:21:54 PM EST
    you to start attacking the author or publication, whether or not with justification. The quote you provided for your study doesn't even support your point, by the way. Whether valid or not, my quote is directly on point.

    I didn't attack the author (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:24:49 PM EST
    I only noted that her complaint was something that American children endure every day in this country too.

    Your opposition to the pledge of (none / 0) (#97)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:08:19 PM EST
    allegiance is expected.

    Now can you tell me why it is improper for us to teach patriotism and loyalty? Neither, btw, genetically imposed.


    Allegiance, Patriotism? (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:23:56 PM EST
    If you exhibited the loyalty and patriotism you demand of others, you would not show such disdain and enmity toward the commander and chief, as you regularly do.

    He's loyal to Fox News (none / 0) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:28:22 PM EST
    What was it again that the wingnuts said the Obama's were doing to brainwash children?  I can't remember

    Huh?? (none / 0) (#110)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:23:05 PM EST
    Obama isn't the country... and for that I thank God.

    The Oath that immigrants take:

    "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

    The pledge:

    "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    Loyalty Patriotism (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:57:20 PM EST
    You are apparently unloyal to the leader and commander and chief of the United States..Imo your flag worship is an empty gesture meant to put down other's who do not share your views.

    You accuse others of needing lessons in loyalty and patriotism yet you have none yourself.

    Could it be that in your mind Americans who do not share your conservative mindset are not patriotic or loyal?


    Very well stated (none / 0) (#114)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 03:05:13 PM EST

    Hooey (none / 0) (#117)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 04:26:28 PM EST
    Neither you or MT have served.

    I have.

    I rest my case.


    Again (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by jondee on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 04:31:11 PM EST
    "Serving" means contributing an actual, concrete positive.

    Only in la-la land do people get to make believe that their job description automatically means they "served".


    Double hooey (none / 0) (#123)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:08:53 PM EST
    The lowest mess cook swabbing the mess hall floor has served.

    And much more than you.

    But your attitude intrigues me.

    Let me guess. They rejected you.



    Military service is not the only (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 03:10:54 PM EST
    service to one's country.

    So (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 11:29:50 AM EST
    it doesn't matter if they ever did any actual good in the world, all that matters is that they "served".

    What a walking advertisement for the intellectual-moral benefits of military service you are..

    And btw, not surprisingly, once again you've guessed wrong.



    What nonsense you three toss out (none / 0) (#139)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 10:49:27 AM EST
    If I listen to you "midnight basketball" is service.

    In life you are not allowed to make up your own definitions.

    Protesting is not service to the country. Although it does serve your own egos.



    Another imaginary right wing strawman.. (none / 0) (#140)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 12:30:02 PM EST
    you're talking about "protestors", and I'm referring to the invaluable service of generations of parents, teachers, scientists, doctors, nurses, artisans, fireman etc..that you apparently take utterly for granted.

    Service (none / 0) (#130)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:58:54 PM EST
    The only thing you served, ppj, is your ego.

    Service in the best sense is a lifetime effort, I do it every day as do most of my friends.

    Getting a gold star to put on your forehead so you can brag for the rest of may signify a service, imo, but chest thumping to put others down, belittles any good you may have done.


    I didn't say it was (none / 0) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:27:04 PM EST
    But Green26's reporter did.

    Oh, please... (none / 0) (#77)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 08:13:19 AM EST
    Saddam's only pan-Arab concern was how much of it he personally could grab.

    The fact you cannot blame everything on GWB (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:02:01 PM EST
    Does not exonerate him from anything. Moreover assuming your complaint against President Obama has any merit, the Syrian stage was set by GWB's Middle East policy, so it still goes back yo him. QED

    I can't imagine what President Obama could have (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:09:42 PM EST
    Done.  He broke the nation and people of the country so badly...there is no fix.  When can an abuser fix those he broke? The abuser has to be removed and then you hope and pray for those that remain that they heal enough to live well again.

    This is the same thing but on a larger scale.  No Iraqi was ever going to trust an American.  And why would they?

    I can't imagine what Obama could have done other than send the Bush Administration to The Hague.


    The Hague! Yes! (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:16:59 PM EST
    I can't imagine what Obama could have done other than send the Bush Administration to The Hague.

    I would have preferred that President Obama had sent W. and Cheney by rocket to the Hague where they would await trial for what they did to us and the world.

    Instead, we have him thanking W. "for his service".


    Bush serviced us alright.


    I agree, but he should have Hague'd them (5.00 / 7) (#34)
    by Dadler on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:52:39 PM EST
    Or at least gone after them here. When he chose to give Dubya and crew a pass, he kept this nation in a sort of devolved state of delusion and denial. His failure to address that criminality, his failure to show the world that we know when we  phuck up and we hold those people accountable for their lies and crimes, those were powerful missed opportunities, more than we seem to appreciate. He gave those criminals a pass and said we just had to march forward, not look back. That trite nonsense, that Hallmark Card bullsh*t, that cowardice (and it really was), still makes me sick. I realize and appreciate the mess Dubya made, but Obama made mistakes that, again, showed the world we didn't even care about the law at home, so why the hell would we care about international law or decency abroad? I would compare it, in a way, to the reaction of police to the Occupy movement. I could never understand why police in America were so willing to show the world they were no different than thug cops in any dime-store tyranny on earth. Stupid beyond belief, and damaging to us abroad as well (look at those American hypocrites, beating their own people in the streets and then railing about us!)

    Obama chose to be Gerald Ford pardoning Nixon, only worse by a factor of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of lives. He dropped the ball in a major way. Had a chance to be a genuinely strong and new and principled leader. And he bricked. Absolute failure.

    Just my 200 cents. ;-) Now, back to the floor and my heating pad.

    Just my opinion


    "Just my opinion." (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:22:29 PM EST
    I like your opinion. I wrestled for a long time on President Ford's decision to pardon Nixon--in advance.  The nation had gone through a great deal surviving the constitutional crisis inflicted upon it by Nixon.  It really was time for moving forward, but to do so, required completion of unfinished business.

    As difficult as that would have been.  It would have been better, as precedent, to have brought Nixon to trial (as were so many of his administration).  I would have no problem with a pardon if found guilty.  We do not want to be a banana republic or to criminalize political decisions, even bad ones.

    That would be a good time to move forward and not look backward.  Ordinarily, impeachment would deal with the serious political matters,but Nixon was alleged to have committed crimes.    Not considering impeachment in Iran Contra and taking it off the table for Bush, was, in my opinion, a wrong course.


    I love not catching a dangler (none / 0) (#35)
    by Dadler on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:54:44 PM EST
    Ahem. Cut that last "Just my opinion"  

    Obama could have been watching (none / 0) (#13)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:18:20 PM EST
    Syria more closely, and been more on top of the rise of IS. He could have dealt with Syria better or in a different (and probably more aggressive) manner in recent years. Obama could have left 10,000 or 20,000 soldiers in Iraq. He could have been more on top of forcing Maliki to keep paying the Sunni sheiks who helped defeat al Qaeda of Iraq, and not allowed Maliki to also target the Sunnis who had helped the US. He could have had someone other than Biden dealing with Maliki over the years on his behalf. He could have authorized military strikes several weeks ago in Iraq--even if only to take out US and Iraqi military vehicles/equipment being driven or taken from Iraq over the border to Syria. Just some thoughts.

    Bush left our economy on the razor (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:25:12 PM EST
    Edge of collapse.  He left us with taxation policy that we can't undo that left the nations infrastructure on the brink of collapse too.  He left Obama with a healthcare crisis moving toward collapse.....but you want the President doing what?

    Trying to prevent the what of what?  That he also inherited from the worst President this country has ever known?

    Those of your ilk are on your way out.  I have never been more certain of it than I am right now.


    Actually, Bush, Paulson and others (none / 0) (#70)
    by Green26 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:12:55 AM EST
    took quick action that saved the economy from collapse. I will refrain from commenting on your "ilk". My view is that your rudeness reveals that you are unable to discuss and debate the issues.

    Get used (none / 0) (#72)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:27:47 AM EST
    To it here.  

    Here conservatives are allowed (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:03:57 AM EST
    Show me a conservative site where liberals are allowed.

    Thanks, Green (none / 0) (#78)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 08:43:19 AM EST
    insults are deleted when I see them or they are called to my attention (as I don't read all the comments.)

    I took no offense from these very minor (none / 0) (#85)
    by Green26 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:30:27 AM EST
    insults. MT is fine. This board is very tame, compared to some athletic message boards I sometimes look at. .

    Bush "saved" the economy from (none / 0) (#81)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:03:09 AM EST
    collapse.  Wow.

    That is an interesting way to state it.  Just like he kept us safe.

    And on whose watch did these things occur?

    You are a full throated Bush apologist even while you deny it.  Bush has no credibility.  


    Yup, it's true (none / 0) (#84)
    by Green26 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:23:13 AM EST
    I followed the situation closely at the time and thereafter. The banking/financial system was surprisingly close to collapse following the Lehman collapse. A global financial meltdown would have been a disaster. The Paulson, Bernanke, and others acted immediately to avoid the collapse. TARP, while very unpopular, worked reasonably well, and actually resulted in more money coming back to the government than was lent out. The last figure I recall seeing was over $30 Billion more came back to the government. I have to follow these this area fairly closely as a result of my business.

    Yes, Bush and the same people who took the quick action to avoid a global financial collapse are the people who did not see the huge disaster coming. Don't recall anyone seeing it coming either.

    Was never particularly excited about Bush. Not an apologist in any respect.


    Green26 Yes, some one did see (none / 0) (#104)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:42:59 PM EST
    a housing collapse coming.

    In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.


    ''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''


    ''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''


    Both Bush and McCain later tried to get then back under control before they burst but was blocked by the Democrats.


    On July 14 2008 (none / 0) (#102)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:33:46 PM EST
    WASHINGTON -- Putting pressure on congressional Democrats to back more exploration for oil, President Bush today lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling that has stood since his father was president.


    The oil bubble burst. By the time Obama was crowned gasoline had dropped from a high of $4.12 to a low of $1.81.


    That didn't set well with Obama who had announced in an August interview on MSNBC that he was okay with high gasoline prices.


    And he acted almost immediately after his coronation.


    Facing gas prices near $4 a gallon and a pivotal national election, congressional Democrats allowed a ban on offshore drilling to lapse in September

    But times change, and on Tuesday, the Obama administration - with gas prices roughly half what they were and many Democrats' having been swept into office - blocked offshore drilling plans put in place at the last minute by the Bush administration, including plans to open the national outer continental shelf for drilling


    And gasoline started a long steady rise. And the economy has remained in collapse with fewer people in the workforce today than when Jimmy Carter was Prez.


    I'm not trying assess blame (none / 0) (#11)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:11:05 PM EST
    I'm trying to encourage some of you to try to look forward, and have a discussion on what US policy should be. I've already stipulated, on multiple occasions, that Bush has caused every US foreign and domestic problem. Maybe each topic could have 2 subsections: one to discuss what the US could or should do, and one to blame Bush.

    I think most of us can multitask (5.00 / 9) (#17)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:28:31 PM EST
    We can assess blame and discuss moving forward.  To move forward, we must  understand how we got here, including the bad advice from Cheney, and the neo-cons. JEB bears some responsibility for this as well.

    My concern with your view is in moving forward  is some might listen to the voices off those who got us here. Accordingly voters need to be reminded how wrong the GOP and other conservatives were/are. Reminded daily..


    Look forward toward what (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:32:12 PM EST
    You have through the use of force degraded other human beings to the point of being desensitized to the worst brutality in order to survive, and you think " force" of some kind fixes this.

    You have dehumanized an entire population, and all they need is a little more dehumanizing and it will all be better?  That's looking forward?


    Green26 - Trust me (2.00 / 1) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:48:15 PM EST
    You're wasting your time. The people here are dedicated Bush haters and Obama lovers.

    Heh, (none / 0) (#65)
    by ek hornbeck on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:23:08 PM EST
    Well, some people here are 'bots but not all of them and certainly not militarytracy.

    What grates is the willingness to give W a pass because of Obama.  Obama's behavior does not excuse W's and as far as I'm concerned they should both stand in the dock at the International Criminal Court.


    You are still trying to square the circle (none / 0) (#49)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:55:23 PM EST
    as did the Neocons....

    Yes, we need to know what Bush did wrong to not repeat it.

    The basic problem is that the Sunnis that had run  Iraq and are now IS or ISIS are natural enemies of Shia Iran.  They fought a long, bitter war.  And we supported Saddam Hussein in that war because he was enemies with Iraq.

    If you remove the Sunni oppressive government that had persecuted the Shia majority, what do think will happen?  

    What you fail to recognize is that there is no "nice" Iraq that is run by Shia Maliki but is fair to the Sunnis......Did not happen.

    Why would anyone really expect us as an outside to thread the needle and make it all work just perfectly?  It was a stupid idea that did not work.  And we have now strengthened Iran.

    There was no way to weaken Sunni Iraq without strengthening Iran.  Couldn't be done then; can't be done now.

    Study history--and yes that does mean blame Bush--to not repeat the same mistake.


    As to looking forward (none / 0) (#63)
    by themomcat on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:17:33 PM EST
    and US policy in the region, the least the US government can do, if they aren't going to prosecute Bush/Cheney for violations of US & international laws, is stop meddling on affairs of the region. Neither the US or Russia is helping by propping up the current Iraqi government with "advisers" and more weapons.

    The Sunnis hate the US and the Shiites hate the US. They hate each other. Let them sort it out for themselves and deal with the aftermath.

    Simple solution that saves tax dollars and makes mot everyone happy except Cheney & Co.


    Tony Blair (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 02:46:43 PM EST
    AKA Bush's sock puppet

    Tony Blair (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:45:32 PM EST
    Now most dislike PM in history

    The Embarrassing Uncle of British Politics

    Wins Worst Briton Poll

    We aren't the only people on the globe ready to fry some liars and cheats who once ran things!


    Bush's poodle, I think. (none / 0) (#38)
    by desertswine on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:32:57 PM EST
    Unnecessary smearing of poodles :) (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:27:26 PM EST
    What Me Worry? (none / 0) (#59)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:55:10 PM EST
    Before I work myself into a "let's intervene somehow" mode, I would want to know:

    1. Are these guys any more cuckoo than the ones who run Iran?
    2. How are they going to change the current Iraqi oil policies?
    3. If the real reason for their support is a desire to get rid of Maliki and Assad, can they rely on that support to keep in power if they screw up just as badly as those guys did?
    4. Do China and Russia want to intervene to foil IS?  After all, they have people in their own countries who want to live under a Caliphate.  That is not a significant threat in the US.

    Global Caliph (none / 0) (#62)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:29:19 PM EST

    Also on Sunday, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria released a 34-minute audio recording of a speech by its official spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who said that the insurgency's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was now the world's caliph and as such had declared all other jihadi organizations void and under his direct control, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremists' online presence.
    The ISIS announcement also revealed Mr. Baghdadi's alleged real name -- Ibrahim Ibn Awwad Ibn Ibrahim Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Badri al-Hashimi al-Husayni al-Qurashi -- and said he would be known as Caliph Ibrahim for short.

    Well, if he says so, (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:21:09 PM EST
    it must be true.  This level of narcissistic megalomania has not been seen in the leader of a large army in quite some time. Did Ibrahim happen to mention whether his caliphate/reich was destined to last a thousand years?  

    Soon to be known as (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:33:28 PM EST
    The late Caliph Ibrahim probably.  

    Just woke up and news channel surfing (none / 0) (#91)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:27:18 AM EST
    To see when this story shows up.  It finally arrived.  20 minutes into the hour.  

    I don't think they know what to say about it.  Not easily covered in three minutes so lets ignore it as much as we can.

    I am starting to understand (none / 0) (#124)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:12:22 PM EST
    The situation in Iraq is Bush's fault because he invaded Iraq and deposed a Sunni tyrant.

    Well, if you want to take it further back...

    It's Carter's fault because be deposed a Shia tyrant leading to the formation of the first terrorist state.

    I am starting to understand (none / 0) (#125)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:24:22 PM EST
    The situation in Iraq is Bush's fault because he invaded Iraq and deposed a Sunni tyrant.

    Well, if you want to take it further back...

    It's Carter's fault because be deposed a Shia tyrant leading to the formation of the first terrorist state.

    No, Jim (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:50:33 PM EST
    Please do not show your ignorance to people in this blog. Let me correct you

    (1)President Carter did not "depose" a Shia tyrant. The people of Iran deposed the Shah. President Carter even allowed the Shah an extended stay in the United States for medical treatment after he was deposed.

    (2)President Reagan (not President Carter) made deals with the leaders of what you have referred to as the "first terrorist state". Can you remember a scandal called "Iran-Contra"?



    I see that you have a weak (none / 0) (#136)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 10:36:20 AM EST
    response so you go personal.

    Oh well. Nothing new there.

    By withdrawing support for the Shah, Carter effectively deposed him. You may continue to parse but that is a fact.

    And let me see... If Iran Carter had not been the mid wife of the terrorist state...

    Iran Contra would never have happened.


    Jimmy Carter (or some other democrat) (none / 0) (#141)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 12:45:44 PM EST
    MADE Raygun's henchmen sell wmds to our enemies..

    Because liberals are both ineffective and omnipotent; like when Barney Frank's actions singlehandedly precipitated the financial crisis.


    It's not hard to understand (none / 0) (#128)
    by Jack203 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 09:43:44 PM EST
    "The situation in Iraq is Bush's fault because he invaded Iraq and deposed a Sunni tyrant."

    Yes.  This is accurate.


    And now there's no putting (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by desertswine on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:50:18 PM EST
    that egg back together again; no matter how may kings or horses.

    But the question at hand is (none / 0) (#137)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 10:38:18 AM EST
    who is at fault???