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Should the US support Sunnis or Shias in Iraq?

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Issue 26, Volume 18.

Iraq is a mess, ever since it was invented by colonial powers after WWI.

Bush ignored sectarian hatred that has kept Sunnis and Shias at war with each other for more than 1,000 years. When Bush took out the Sunni dictator, it unleased the rage of the repressed Shia majority.

Today I saw 2003 film clips of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and other Neo-cons spouting off their opinions of how the Iraq War would go. It would only last a few weeks or maybe months, but not years. It would only cost the US about $60 billion dollars (it’s over a trillion now and counting). They said there were active weapons of mass destruction and there was a connection to al-Qaeda. They said there were Advertisement
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no sectarian problems in Iraq. I could go on and on, but the Christian Science Monitor did an in-depth review of the war – the claims and outcome:

The Bush team blundered into the biggest foreign policy and military disaster since Vietnam. The only choice now is to just stand back and watch the two sides fight it out. To send in more military to support Iraq is madness, and like the disaster of Vietnam – the only thing left is to evacuate the US Embassy. The Iraq War, like the Vietnam War, was a total waste of American blood and treasure.

My heart goes out to the troops and families who sacrificed so much, for Bush’s lies.

Jon Monday



Comment Profile ImageDR DR
Comment #1 | Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 8:35 am
No - let them fight it out themselves. Been there, done that... and here it goes again...

spend the U.S. money on our own defense of our own country, upcoming attacks on our own land.
Comment Profile ImageReally?
Comment #2 | Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 9:01 am
Poor Jon, you just do not understand. Obama foreign policy is determined by sycophant focus groups. Jon is mired in old fashioned and old thinking focused upon the national interest. Foreign policy is all about Obama interest. Jon lives in the arcane world where foreign policy advisers examine issues from many perspectives and provide the leader with sufficient data for a national interest decision. Obama's world is Valarie Jarrett, and David Axelrod and political advisers seeking the political interest of Obama. Get with the program Jon!
Comment Profile ImageMargie
Comment #3 | Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 9:42 am
The Iraq War, like the Vietnam War, was a total waste of American blood and treasure
If your heart truly went out to the troops and families who have
sacrified so much, you would not put forth your opinion on people who are grieving. No one has the right to tell anyone that
their sacrifice was a waste. The only people that have that right
are the military families and the troops themselves. It seems that tolerance, kindness, and peace do not apply when some people make their judgements known. If you want to debate the war itself, then have a debate. But do not add to someone's sorrow and pain by expressing your views on their sacrifice.
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #4 | Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm
Hi Margie,

While I appreciate your statement, in terms of not adding to the misery and pain suffered by those who have born the brunt of the US blunders, the point of talking about it now is that we don't want more families and troops to be sacrificed in a blunder - as is being called for by those same people who put us there in the first place.

Like the Vietnam vets, eventually you have to face that it was for nothing - and then proceed to support policies that avoid making the same mistake again.

San Diego Veterans for Peace is doing a great job of reaching out to homeless and drug addicted vets, helping them through the night with sleeping bags and clothes, and supporting groups who operate as halfway houses to re-integrate vets into society.

Margie - this isn't about a history lesson. Every Sunday political talk show has on Cheney, McCain. Lindsey, and other neocons who are pushing to get the US combat troops involved in virtually every dispute. That's happening right now - and the most important voice in the push back, has to come from the families and troops who will be paying the price for their follies.
Comment Continued : The comment above was written from the same location.
Post Continued
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #5 | Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm
Hi Really?,

You seem to assume facts not in evidence.

I do not agree with Obama - I wouldn't have sent any troops - even as advisers.

I would recommend to Obama that he order the evacuation of our embassy, unless and untill there is a replacement unity government (which has already been dismissed by the Iraqi government).

This is a Sunni-Shia fight. Why do neocons feel a need to get involved?
Comment Profile ImageRedneck Bill
Comment #6 | Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 8:14 pm
Hi Margie,

I understand your point of view, and I share your concern for the welfare of our troops. It seems too many Americans simply don't grasp the nature and scope of the sacrifices our troops and their families make.

However I have another perspective, and since I am part of a military family and have a son on active duty, I hope that validates my point of view with you.

I am in total and complete awe of a young man or woman who is willing to make the sacrifices they do to be in our military. There has to be some innate goodness within these young people to answer what they perceive to be their call to duty. Especially when so many of their peers seem to be concerned solely with their personal well-being. And then to understand that during a time of war they may be in great peril or even be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice. These young men and women are my heroes. Nothing can take away from that.

However, there is a difference between the way our military members conduct themselves in battle, and the worthiness of the battle they are sent into. And thus the importance of everyday Americans making their views known about when and where we send our troops.

There is no number of troops to send to Iraq to alter the eventual outcome there, and so risking one more US service member makes no sense to me.
Comment Profile ImageGovernment idiots
Comment #7 | Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 at 8:34 am
If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote on who runs the government, you live in a country run by idiots.

If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy leaders in Egypt, you live in a country run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing and free cell phones, you live in a country run by idiots.

If the government's plan for getting people back to work is to incentivize NOT working, with 99 weeks of unemployment checks and no requirement to prove they applied but can't find work, you live in a country run by idiots.

If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more " safe" according to the government, you live in a country run by idiots.
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #8 | Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 at 9:17 am
To "Government idiots",

Since we live in a democracy, the government reflects the voter's will.

What has kept the government from changing, is the unwillingness of voters to get together and vote for real change.

So, Government idiots is created by voter idiots.

If left and right could agree on issues where we have common ground, then it would be a force that the political parties could not ignore. But, each side would have to be willing to compromise for the common good.
Comment Profile ImageReally?
Comment #9 | Monday, Jun 30, 2014 at 12:24 pm
"Since we live in a democracy, the government reflects the voter's will."

-We live in a democratic Republic, not a democracy. Learn the difference.

" the government reflects the voter's will."

- Absolutely right, so glad to see YOU acknowledge the Republican run congress was installed by the voters will to check this clown car administration. The Senate is going to flip Republican in Novemember to thwart any further damage done by Obama.

"But, each side would have to be willing to compromise for the common good."

-Well, as anyone who has raised a 3-year-old knows, when you are dealing with someone without experience, forethought, or humility - you have to say"no" a lot. Compromise is when you stand in the middle of the road and get hit from both sides
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #10 | Monday, Jun 30, 2014 at 1:29 pm
To Really?,

I know the difference, as does anyone who had eighth grade civics.

My point being, we elect our representatives and they vote (hopefully), in line with the platform they ran on. If not, they can be tossed in the next election.

Other than the fact that the Republicans Gerrymandered congressional districts to suit their short-term goals, I have no objection to the idiots the Tea Party being elected - it makes it easier to pick off the undecided and moderates.

What happened in Ohio is instructive. The delegation has a total of 16 members, with 12 Republicans (including current Speaker of the House, John Boehner), and 4 Democrats. But, Democrats got many more votes than Republicans, because of Gerrymandering. The Dems should have gotten at least 8 seats, if our democracy were not corrupted.

It's only a very short-term gain, as the demographics of the US are moving in favor of being a modern civilization, not a 18th Century model of Ayn Rand's dream.

The "No Comprise" stand in Congress is what earned them the all-time lowest rating - 7%. Obama's personal job approval rating stands at 41%.

in a new Gallup Poll, 80% of liberals have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party, along with 54% of Moderates. And only 48% of Conservatives view the Tea Party favorably.

Just because of the do-nothing Congress, the Republican Party is about to fracture. They can never win the White House again, with the Tea Party running the Republican Primaries.

Watch out for some changes in the Primary rules to address this.
Comment Profile ImageTerry Leather
Comment #11 | Monday, Jun 30, 2014 at 3:10 pm
A video caused the Benghazi attack … If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor … The website works for a vast majority of people … Not even a smidgen of corruption occurred at the IRS … Oops, we lost Lois Lerner's emails … Veterans don't wait long for health care … Watchdog journalism isn't a crime … Our administration protects whistleblowers … NSA doesn't collect any type of data hundreds of millions of Americans—at least not wittingly.

Head in sand....hmmmm ...its dark in here.....Jon Monday.
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #12 | Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014 at 9:33 am
To Terry,

Off topic. Nothing to say about Iraq?
Comment Profile ImageReally?
Comment #13 | Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014 at 5:52 am
Recommendation Monday: Look up the Carter Doctrine and Reagan corollary to the Carter Doctrine. Then read the UNMOVIC reports, & the UNSC resolution.
You routinely demonstrate your lack of depth when it comes to issues, and to save yourself further embarresment, I recommend you stay in the shallow end of the talking points pool.

You know nothing about Iraq, other than your Cindy Sheehan talking points.
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #14 | Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014 at 10:25 am
To Really?,

Well, from what I see, both the Reagan and Carter doctrines had to do with the Soviet Union, which no longer exists. Both are out of date.

BTW - did you know that Reagan almost was impeached (and would have been by a bi-partisan conviction) had he not agreed to fire his inner circle, as a result of the illegal actions he took with Iran and the Contra death squads. Not to mention that Reagan's policies would have prevented him from being nominated in today's hyper conservative primaries.

The UN reports had no indications that Iraq was a threat to the US, and Bush forced the inspectors to evacuate for his exciting "Shock and Awe" campaign.

The Bush sent in a special team who "knew" where to look for the WMDs that the UN had missed. After several months, they admitted that there were none, and that the intelligence was cooked (thank you Cheney).

I don't happen to like Cindy, although loosing a son for no good reason would put anyone over the edge.

I don't want to see another life wasted for a sectarian squabble that's been going on for over a 1,000 years. We should evacuate the embassy and tell any remaining US citizens to get out ASAP.

It's a mess created by the neo-cons and needs to be repudiated by everyone - left and right.

Comment Profile ImageRedneck Bill
Comment #15 | Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014 at 12:31 pm
Recommendation Really.

Look up the difference between knowledge and self serving, unmitigated arrogance. You're going to wear the skin off 'em dragging them on the ground as you do.

You beclown (why is there a red line under that word) yourself when you dismiss anyone with whom you disagree. Your one dimensional, militant view reminds me of Muslim extremists. They believe their world view is correct, and so they can dismiss, disparage and even kill those who disagree with them.

I know enough about Iraq to know how this will end. But you go ahead and hang on to your notion that brawn beats out brains. Someday you may even connect the difficulty you've had in life with your insistence upon being so rude, self-righteous and inflammatory.
Comment Profile ImageReally?
Comment #16 | Thursday, Jul 3, 2014 at 6:40 am
Well RB, I see your psychological projection is up, remnants of the victim status you "endured" as a blondy blue eyed boy in the barrio. Here is the deal. It's not a matter of disagreement, it is a matter of uninformed people- Like you, and Monday sputtering nonsense about something you and Monday know nothing about. In order to elevate your view of Operation Iraqi Freedom from simpleton propaganda to thoughtful criticism, and convey a fair criticism of America's decision on Iraq, you must place yourself in the contemporary context of the Executives at the decision point. Criticizing President Bush based on misunderstanding and hindsight while ignoring the set of choices we actually faced on Iraq is just parroting propaganda. Some of us are not going to be lectured by folks who know zilch about what happened, how it happened and then claim facts like "Bush Lied". Americans, especially those who served, lost loved ones, and deal with what happened to this day deserve to know that. So, contrary to Mr. Mondays false narrative that claims otherwise, and your puffed up silly notion of defending someone you feel is being cyber bullied, your fellow citizens selfless service in Operation Iraqi Freedom was for a justified, honorable mission.

Go back three paces, get smarter, learns some basic history. Read the UNMOVIC reports. Read the Duelfer report. Don't play with the big boys until you do. Good luck with your studies.
Comment Profile ImageBill Leach
Comment #17 | Thursday, Jul 3, 2014 at 7:48 pm
Jon Monday, haven't seen you on here in a few months..
What were you at your summer home in the Hamptons? I hate to bust your theory here but didn't ISIS just overrun one of Saddams chemical weapon factories? WMD there right? Conversation over.

Do you dispute that during Saddam's rule he used chemical weapons to kill thousands of Kurds?

Did you forget that he was attempting to produce nuclear weapons before the Israelis bombed his operation?

Bush is no conservative but he was a markedly better President than Obama.
Comment Profile ImagePaul
Comment #18 | Friday, Jul 4, 2014 at 8:14 am
Good points Bill. Liberals hate inconvenient truths though, Jon will probably reply with 30 paragraphs of gobbledegook that no one can read or understand.
Comment Profile ImageMike W
Comment #19 | Friday, Jul 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm
War is when the government tells you who the enemy is and revolution is when we decide that for ourselves

We are constantly reminded of our enemies, most of them fabricated and periodically switched or changed to suit the moment. It mostly has to do with countries without a central a bank who are responsible to no one, like our own Federal Reserve. Those last few countries unwilling bend over for the WTO or to accept loans from the IMF and World Bank, along with their usual list of austerity measures, and privatizations of their resources, those unwilling to forever wear the yoke of debt slavery, those who simply want to do “their own thing”. How dare they..? Doing your own thing, with your own money and not dollars is forbidden, those are the countries most in need of invasion and our brand of democracy, it seems.

I feel so sorry for those taken in by the weapons of mass destruction myth and especially the resulting, “Operation Iraqi Freedom” debacle and all the other fancy names for unbridled corporate aggression, including all the war on’s from terror, poverty and drugs, all of which have been proven to work against their stated goals. It looks like this country, and its economy, has no clue how to function without enemies and threat of war..
We have had at least one, and at times a few enemies for as long as I can remember, at least from when I was in grade school having to dive under my desk during the air raid drills, the origin of the “why do they hate us” question, that to this day has never been answered we, the American people have no enemies.
It has become evident over the years, enemies and wars are grease for the wheels of empire, nothing more.
After the fall of the Soviet Union we were left as the sole world superpower, there should have been world peace. Right? What happened is, some folks in high places felt that with the fall of the Soviet Union, we lost our big excuse to pump all that money into the war industry, we needed a new boggy man to take the place of communism and terror was its name, thanks to those cleaver neo-conservatives and war industry CEO’s and their long sought after plan for bringing their exceptionalism form of democracy to the world.

See General Wesley Clark (following video) who came to an insider's realization that American foreign policy had been
hijacked by those we know as neo-cons -- Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Richard Perl, Cheney et al.

To go along with the neoconservative’s world view and future plans, the U.S. Army Soldier’s Creed was changed by one neoconservative, Donald Rumsfeld in 2003. They had to replace, “a protector of the greatest nation on earth” with “I am a warrior”, and remove the part of “never doing anything that will disgrace my uniform, my unit or my country”

Pre-2003 Creed that I recited:
"I am an American Soldier. I am a member of the United States Army – a protector of the greatest nation on earth. Because I am proud of the uniform I wear, I will always act in ways creditable to the military service and the nation it is sworn to guard. I am proud of my own organization. I will do all I can to make it the finest unit in the Army. I will be loyal to those under whom I serve. I will do my full part to carry out orders and instructions given to me or my unit. As a soldier, I realize that I am a member of a time-honored profession—that I am doing my share to keep alive the principles of freedom for which my country stands. No matter what the situation I am in, I will never do anything, for pleasure, profit, or personal safety, which will disgrace my uniform, my unit, or my country. I will use every means I have, even beyond the line of duty, to restrain my Army comrades from actions disgraceful to themselves and to the uniform. I am proud of my country and its flag. I will try to make the people of this nation proud of the service I represent, for I am an American Soldier."

Post-2003 Creed:
"I am an American Soldier. I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself. I am an expert and I am a professional. I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life. I am an American Soldier."

It should be changed back, and who was Rumsfeld to mess with the soldiers creed, he, like Wolfowitz and the rest of the neocons never served their country.
Must-See Moment: Ex-Soldier speaking out against War, and the Mindset that causes it.
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #20 | Saturday, Jul 5, 2014 at 4:41 pm
Too Bill Leach,

Glad you stayed on topic. We were told:

Saddam had chemical weapons, ready to deploy within 20 minutes.
Saddam had an active chemical and nuclear weapon programs.
The war would cost the US $60 to $80 billion, and then it would pay for itself from Iraqi oil revenues.
We would be greeted as liborators.
Saddam had active ties to bin Laden.
The war would last weeks, possibly months, but not years.

All lies - not mistakes.

To directly answer your two questions:

Yes, yes. Everyone knew Saddam gassed the Kurds - but did you know it was Reagan (blessed be his name) was president and did noothing to stop him. 5,000 to 10,000 Kurds died from 1987 and 1988.

Daddy Bush left Saddam in power, which turns out to have been a sensible decision. As Cheney said at the time:

“If we’d gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn’t have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq. Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it – eastern Iraq – the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you’ve got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey. It’s a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq. The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families – it wasn’t a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.”

Regarding their abandon nuclear project, yes it was taken out by the Israelis in 1981. And no evidence turned up after the invasion of Iraq to show the program was being kept alive after the 1990 - 1991 Gulf War.

So, no WMDs, no connection to al Qaeda, no connection to 9/11, still going on, cost trillions and counting, cost over 5,000 lives and countless damage to our troops and their families.

The only winners in the Iraq War were the contractors like Halliburton and Blackwater.

Please, please, please - we all should be able to admit the truth of Iraq now - to prevent another useless war.
Comment Profile ImageMike W
Comment #21 | Saturday, Jul 5, 2014 at 5:38 pm
Sorry for the error, Donald Rumsfeld did serve, I was thinking of Chaney and Wolfowitz. Hard to tell these days, after all there so many unknown unknowns out there ~
Comment Profile ImageReally?
Comment #22 | Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014 at 6:13 am
President Bush inherited the intractable Iraq problem from Clinton. We were entangled with Saddam in a toxic status quo. The US was entangled with Saddam and the US status quo with Iraq was toxic before 9/11. Our Iraq problem was serious and needed to be resolved, with or without 9/11. 9/11 just made resolution of our Iraq problem more urgently needed

There was no easy way out of it for us, except for Saddam to comply. Saddam's noncompliance with the 1991 Cease Fire was true.

I take it then that you're not against the Iraq mission itself, just how Bush made his case to the public?
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #23 | Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014 at 8:56 am
To Really,

Afghanistan was maybe worth sending in teams of special forces to get bin Laden, other than that, boots on the ground in the region is predestine to failure.

The Iraq War was a total waste - launched on lies.

Everyone, including Cheney, knew the intelligence was fake (Cheney fabricated it), and they knew there was no reason to take Saddam out (see Cheney's statement above about why we left Saddam in power after the first Gulf War).

Saddam was keeping Syria and Iran apart - now we're seeing why that was a good thing for us, and the region.

Get US personnel out of Iraq now - before any more American lives are wasted.

Support our Veterans - that's the best thing to do about Iraq and its aftermath. And don't send out forces, unprepared, into a war that has no security interest for the US.
Comment Profile ImageReally?
Comment #24 | Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014 at 10:06 am
"The Iraq War was a total waste - launched on lies. "

O.K. armchair Clauswitcz, I'm glad that we now exist in a world of your undeniable absolutes and awesome geopolitical Tactical thinking. Newsflash Monday, that's just, like, your uninformed opinion.

I tried to engage you reasonably with my question. I.e. you're not against the Iraq mission itself, just how Bush made his case to the public. I guess your DNC talking points do not allow you to go past the..."But... but... Bush lied!!"

President Clinton, in this July 22, 2003 interview on CNN, cited his presidential experience with Iraq to justify President Bush’s decisions on Iraq:

"Let me tell you what I know. When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for. That is, at the end of the first Gulf War, we knew what he had. We knew what was destroyed in all the inspection processes and that was a lot. And then we bombed with the British for four days in 1998. We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none of it. But we didn't know. So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don't cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not just continued sanctions. I mean, we're all more sensitive to any possible stocks of chemical and biological weapons."

Again, I take it then that you're not against the Iraq mission itself, just how President Bush made his case to the public?
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #25 | Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014 at 12:40 pm
I was an am of the opinion that the Iraq War was and is a total waste of time, money, and lives.

And, Bush lied.

The UN inspectors went in after Clinton and found nothing, and were about to report that there was nothing, when Cheney and Bush decided to launch an unnecessary, and frankly foolish, war with an unprepared military and no real allies in the war.

After the war, Cheney and Bush hand-picked Pentagon and military specialists to find the WMDs they "knew" were there. They reported that nothing was found but old munitions from the Iraq/Iran War, that had totally deteriorated.

Does that make it clear?
Comment Profile Image2/6 Ramadi
Comment #26 | Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014 at 8:36 pm
You don't know jack- Do us who were there a favor and just shut it.
Comment Profile ImageReally? (the real one)
Comment #27 | Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 at 7:33 am
My dreams are of a field afar
And blood and smoke and shot.
There in their graves my comrades are,
In my grave I am not.
I too was taught the trade of man
And spelt the lesson plain;
But they, when I forgot and RAN,
Remembered and remain.

"Jazbo"— Does that make it clear Monday?

You authoring a sad tired blame Bush article and including the words the "Troops" and “Sacrifice” is a laugh!
Comment Profile ImageRedneck Bill
Comment #28 | Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm
So if this Really, #27 is the real one, that must mean the other Reallys are unreal Reallys, which would make perfect sense. Since Really buys all the neo-con stuff hook, line and sinker, it's kind of like Rumsfeld's known knowns, unknown knowns, unknown unknowns and similar attempts to explain the truth away.

Good job real Rally. I'm beginning to understand how you think.
Comment Profile ImageReally? (the Real One)
Comment #29 | Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm
RB, I really enjoyed your JV incoherent "Lee like" rambling..... thought it was interesting., not so much. I hope you enjoy the attention you so desperately crave, Lol....squids.
Comment Profile ImageRedneck Bill
Comment #30 | Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 10:12 am
Actually the incoherent stuff is pretty much word for word from Rumsfeld, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I also enjoy your ramblings, your inability to have a civil discussion, and your preoccupation with size.

With your great depth of understanding of all things but particularly psychology, you no doubt realize that people who constantly mention things such as playing with the big boys or JV (not Varsity like you) are saddled with a certain insecurity.

But it's OK. There is help out there. Just don't be like the lawyer who defends himself. Find a psychologist other than yourself for treatment.
Comment Profile ImageMike W
Comment #31 | Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 6:07 pm
That's a really low blow, even for you Really ..

Comment # 27, maybe # 26 .. Not everybody who has served thinks the way you do, in fact, most veterans don't think like you at all. That is why the US is making moves towards privatizing the military, mercenaries have no illusions about what they are doing and why, it’s a job that requires one to have absolutely no morals, belief system for justification other than making good money.

I see you do not realize that poem by a rather brilliant man that never witnessed war himself, only the oppression he experienced being homosexual in the late 1800’s England, But if that works for you, so be it. Never the less, this is an anti war poem and talks about the guilt and sense of unfairness felt by those who made it back alive while their comrades (they consider were more deserving) didn't. Not what you think. Do you really believe that because one sees the wars for what they are and chooses to not participate is a coward while one who gives his life unknowingly for the wrong reasons is a hero? Guess again.

In late 1965, after very little training I found myself in a large auditorium with 3,000 other 20 year old's waiting for our names to be called by an officer on stage so we could run up and take our orders for what ever infantry company we had been assigned to before shipping out to Vietnam. Most of the people were draftees who, like myself, had that look that set them apart from the few gung-ho individuals who enlisted. Not one of us knew what was going on in that part of the world. What does anyone really know at 20? All we knew was we were being called to fight and possibly die in a war for a land and people we knew nothing about.
To stay with the group, while every part of my being was telling me not to, is in no way a hero, to make it back alive when others didn't, is not a hero and to lose my life for a false cause does not make me a hero, only an unfortunate fool.
Comment Profile ImageReally? (the Real One)
Comment #32 | Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 7:13 am
Oh bless your little heart Popeye, someone’s been watching "High Noon" too many times.

I understand how upsetting this all is for you, given your Pavlovian slavering reaction to any criticism of your Marxist Buddies, but your eager prancing "I want to play too!!" golden retriever imitation, waiting for a grown-up to throw you the ball is hilarious...but just a tad creepy. If you take the time to read books on character aspects of cults, you just might see some frightening parallels to you own behavior.
Comment Profile ImageDan Barks
Comment #33 | Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 1:06 pm
Do you understand the perception of duplicity in your statement comment #31 regarding A.E. Housman's poem? The poem is about the cowardly nature of one soldier and the affect of it on himself and his comrades. The narrator is haunted by the guilt of deserting his comrades in battle. Housman authored dozens of poems about war. Get a clue.
Comment Profile ImageMike W
Comment #34 | Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm
Comment #33 "Get a clue" ?

My dreams are of a field afar
1st person point of view
Dreams- implies fantasy
Field- sets the scene of a battlefield
Afar- direct emphasis the poets friends are far from him since they died
( narratored by a survivor of the battlefield)

Housman would not be referring to "himself personally" as he himself was never IN a war
And, Poems, songs etc are rarely interpreted as the authors intended..
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #35 | Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 10:30 am
I've detailed where Bush/Cheney lied in the lead up to the war, and how the war turned out completely different than they predicted (but was predicted by liberals), and no one pushes back with facts.

Just opinions and poems.

My point in bringing up this topic to so we don't step in the same cow patty - again. We had no business going in, we have no business being there, and we should agree that doubling down on a very bad bet is just stupid.

Tell me (and especially all those who sacrificed so much) why we went to war in Iraq.
Why was it a good idea?
What was the expected outcome vs. the actual outcome?
Why should we put more troops in harms way there?
Comment Profile ImageRedneck Bill
Comment #36 | Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 9:31 pm
Hey Really Real,

I apologize up front for not having written this in time for your perusal first thing in the morning when you get to work. You must have a very understanding boss. You're not a civil servant are you?

Anyway, it's clear you prefer the personal attacks to discussion, but if I may, I'd like to return to the topic: the Iraq War. I attended a family reunion over the July 4th weekend. This side of the family is very conservative. Two members are Texans, one 4th or 5th generation, but there are also Carolinians, Ohioans and Pennsylvanians. During the course of the weekend the discussion turned to the turmoil in Iraq. Without exception, each and every person decried the fact that we ever went there and were very opposed to sending any troops back.

Now I realize that your position on any matter is the correct one, but it's telling to me that many folks who were so eager to invade Iraq have now realized what a terrible mistake it was.

As for the names--Popeye, squid etc.--they don't bother me. In fact Popeye is my hero. "I yam what I yam." And surely you recall what Popeye does to the bully Brutus. Do you see yourself as Brutus Really?

I must have not been paying close enough attention, because all along you've been calling my buddies Socialists. Now suddenly they're Marxists? How does that work? You do realize there's a difference between the two, yes?

So now I'm a golden retriever. Why pray tell do you keep throwing the ball if you think it's so creepy? This isn't connected to any of your other insecurities is it?
Comment Profile ImageReally?
Comment #37 | Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 10:04 am
Nice try at revionist histroy. Welcome to the lonely funeral of the liberal mantra, “Bush lied – thousands died!”

Democrats on Iraq & WMDs

Own it Democrats.

"In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more the very kind of threat Iraq poses now -- a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed.

If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program."

President Clinton
Address to Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pentagon staff
February 17, 1998

"I've never said that troops should be withdrawn. What I've said is, is that we've got to make sure that we secure and execute the rebuilding and reconstruction process effectively and properly, and I don't think we should have an artificial deadline when to do that."

Senator Barack Obama (Democrat, Illinois)
During an interview on "Chicago Tonight" with Elizabeth Brackett April 5, 2004

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members...

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well, effects American security.

This is a very difficult vote, this is probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make. Any vote that might lead to war should be hard, but I cast it with conviction."

Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York)
Addressing the US SenateOctober 10, 2002

America is threatened by an "unholy axis":

"We must exercise responsibility not just at home, but around the world. On the eve of a new century, we have the power and the duty to build a new era of peace and security.

We must combat an unholy axis of new threats from terrorists, international criminals, and drug traffickers. These 21st century predators feed on technology and the free flow of information... And they will be all the more lethal if weapons of mass destruction fall into their hands.

Together, we must confront the new hazards of chemical and biological weapons and the outlaw states, terrorists, and organized criminals seeking to acquire them. Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade and much of his nation's wealth not on providing for the Iraqi people but on developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them."

President Clinton
State of the Union address
January 27, 1998

"The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world.

The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government -- a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people."

President Clinton
Oval Office Address to the American People
December 16, 1998

"People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons."

Former President Clinton
During an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live"
July 22, 2003

"Iraq is a long way from Ohio, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."

Madeleine Albright, President Clinton's Secretary of State Town Hall Meeting on Iraq at Ohio State University February 18, 1998

"Imagine the consequences if Saddam fails to comply and we fail to act. Saddam will be emboldened, believing the international community has lost its will. He will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. And some day, some way, I am certain, he will use that arsenal again, as he has ten times since 1983."

Sandy Berger, President Clinton's National Security Advisor Town Hall Meeting on Iraq at Ohio State University
February 18, 1998

"No one has done what Saddam Hussein has done, or is thinking of doing. He is producing weapons of mass destruction, and he is qualitatively and quantitatively different from other dictators."

Madeleine Albright, President Clinton's Secretary of State Town Hall Meeting on Iraq at Ohio State University February 18, 1998

Regime change in Iraq has been official US policy since 1998. The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, signed into law by President Clinton, states:

"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

Iraq Liberation Act of 1998
105th Congress, 2nd Session
September 29, 1998

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California) Statement on US Led Military Strike Against Iraq December 16, 1998

"Saddam Hussein certainly has chemical and biological weapons. There's no question about that."

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California) During an interview on "Meet The Press"
November 17, 2002

"I come to this debate, Mr. Speaker, as one at the end of 10 years in office on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was one of my top priorities. I applaud the President on focusing on this issue and on taking the lead to disarm Saddam Hussein. ... Others have talked about this threat that is posed by Saddam Hussein. Yes, he has chemical weapons, he has biological weapons, he is trying to get nuclear weapons."

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California) Addressing the US House of Representatives October 10, 2002
Congressional Record, p. H7777

"There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the United States and to our allies.

If Saddam persists in thumbing his nose at the inspectors, then we're clearly going to have to do something about it."

Howard Dean, Democratic Presidential Candidate
During an interview on "Face The Nation"
September 29, 2002

"We stopped the fighting [in 1991] on an agreement that Iraq would take steps to assure the world that it would not engage in further aggression and that it would destroy its weapons of mass destruction. It has refused to take those steps. That refusal constitutes a breach of the armistice which renders it void and justifies resumption of the armed conflict."

Senator Harry Reid (Democrat, Nevada)
Addressing the US Senate October 9, 2002
Congressional Record, p. S10145

"It appears that with the deadline for exile come and gone, Saddam Hussein has chosen to make military force the ultimate weapons inspections enforcement mechanism. If so, the only exit strategy is victory, this is our common mission and the world's cause."

Senator John Kerry (Democrat, Massachusetts)
Statement on commencement of military strikes against Iraq March 20, 2003

Senator John Edwards, when asked about "Axis of Evil" countries Iran, Iraq, and North Korea:

"I mean, we have three different countries that, while they all present serious problems for the United States -- they're dictatorships, they're involved in the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction -- you know, the most imminent, clear and present threat to our country is not the same from those three countries. I think Iraq is the most serious and imminent threat to our country."

Senator John Edwards (Democrat, North Carolina)
During an interview on CNN's "Late Edition"
February 24, 2002

"Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be President, or the credibility to be elected President.

No one can doubt or should doubt that we are safer -- and Iraq is better -- because Saddam Hussein is now behind bars."

Senator John Kerry (Democrat, Massachusetts)
Speech at Drake University in Iowa December 16, 2003

"I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein. And when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him."

Senator John Kerry (Democrat, Massachusetts)
During a Democratic Primary Debate at the University of South Carolina May 3, 2003
John Kerry, while voting YES to the Resolution authorizing US military force against Iraq:

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."

Senator John Kerry (Democrat, Massachusetts)
Addressing the US Senate October 9, 2002

"Dear Mr. President: ... We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraq sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."


John Kerry, Carl Levin, Joe Lieberman, Frank R. Lautenberg, Dick Lugar, Kit Bond, Jon Kyl, Chris Dodd, John McCain, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Alfonse D'Amato, Bob Kerrey, Pete V. Domenici, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Mikulski, Thomas Daschle, John Breaux, Tim Johnson, Daniel K. Inouye, Arlen Specter, James Inhofe, Strom Thurmond, Mary L. Landrieu, Wendell Ford, Chuck Grassley, Jesse Helms, Rick Santorum.

Letter to President Clinton
Signed by Senators Tom Daschle, John Kerry and others October 9, 1998

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.

We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."

Al Gore, Former Clinton Vice-President
Speech to San Francisco Commonwealth Club
September 23, 2002

"Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance -- not even today -- of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace."

Dr. Hans Blix, Chief UN Weapons Inspector
Addressing the UN Security Council
January 27, 2003
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #38 | Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 10:15 am
To Really?,

You can quote all the people in the world who were wrong about Iraq, but it doesn't make it an less of a total waste.

The only group who gained from the Iraq War is the war profiteers, like Haliburton and Black Water.

I keep pounding on this point, because if we don't recognize that Iraq was a waste and bad policy, we will be in the same situation again.
Comment Profile ImageReally?
Comment #39 | Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm
"You can quote all the people in the world who were wrong about Iraq, but it doesn't make it an less of a total waste."

Nice backpeddling, delusional liberal. We might take you seriously once you admit your original article is intellectually dishonest, and intentionally misleading by weakly attempting to portray President Bush, & Republicans as the ONLY ones who supported the invasion of Iraq. Go peddle your shinola to somebody stupid enough to buy it.

Democrats, Kerry, Edwards, Clinton, Byrd, Kennedy, Fienstein, etc, and more in the house ALSO voted with Republicans to authorize the war in Iraq. Your screwy dancing isn't going to make this simple bit of reality go away...period.

"The only group who gained from the Iraq War is the war profiteers, like Haliburton and Black Water"

You conveniently forgot one....Perini (controlled by financier Richard Blum) That’s because Blum’s wife, Senator Dianne Feinstein DEMOCRAT (CA) , appears to have used her seat on the Military Construction Appropriations subcomittee to steer the $650 million environmental cleanup deal in his favor and had to resign her chair.

Guess your not used to getting called out on the hypocritical nitwittery you spout off in this forum.
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #40 | Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 at 9:58 am
To Really,

What's your point? Do you think the war was a good thing because everyone except me was for it?

It was Bush's war, and it was a failure. Period.

Bush and Cheney made up fake intelligence to justify the war, but no matter how it was justified, the war itself was a failure. A failure in planning, logistics, execution, and a failure of foreseeing the inevitable results - which is what we have now.

That was and is my point - and I'm making it here to hopefully rally people to be against future dumb wars.

If you had to do it all over again, would you spend $3 trillion, lose 4,000 American soldiers, to accomplish what Iraq is today?

I don't think so.
Comment Profile ImageMike W
Comment #41 | Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 at 2:12 pm
I think it's becoming obvious "Really the real" is here to disrupt discussion on the "real" issues and keep the infighting going between the R against L, which does little more than to keep us from looking to the real problems and causes like what is really happening in the Ukraine, Iraq and Iran and Israel. He doesn't give his stand on any issues other than bashing all things liberal. He says the president is bad but won't consider that in this day and age U.S. Presidents are temporary salesman for policies made and executed by others the general public knows nothing about. You will not hear him discussing Iran, Iraq and Sudan in any truthful context, nor that they are major targets of American military ambitions, not because of any humanitarian or anti-terrorism concerns (although that is the propaganda espoused most often), but because of the significant resources and strategic relevance of these nations.
You will never here Really discuss the fact that Neoliberalism is a system including free trade agreements, austerity programs and other measures that assure profitability is treasured above any other social value, and in the developing countries of the US Empire, it is backed up by the US military and its allies while being the principle cause for the massive immigration problems worldwide, not just here in the US. The nastiest of names and labels are instantly vomited out over those who feel that much of the the history we were taught in school was heavily revised to favor our own nation’s agenda while hiding its crimes. And in so doing, fostered an unrealistic sense of false patriotism used to manufacture our allegiance to a corporate entity masquerading as your government and propped up by their corporate owned media and Talking Heads

We all know something is wrong in our world, things just ain't right, our system here at home is broken and needs to be discussed openly, without reservation so hopefully "we" can find a way to take back control of our government from the war mongers and treat the world nicer, rather than sacrificing our military and funds we just don't have to tighten western corporate hegemony over all others.

So, "Should the US support Sunnis or Shias in Iraq?" is a valid question that needs to be discussed now, but not according to Really who brings out the usual derogatory remarks and tries relentlessly to shift it back to R against L, which of course goes nowhere, like a dog chasing his tail..

Nearly 50 years ago, Georgetown University historian Professor Carroll Quigley styled himself the librarian of the international bankers. In his 1966 book Tragedy and Hope, he wrote that their aim was “nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.” This system was to be controlled “in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert by secret agreements,” central banks that “were themselves private corporations."
What they didn't realize was that what they were proposing goes against the very grain of being human. I think it was Samual Adams or maybe Thomas Jefferson who said, "The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule."

How I wish we could just do that...
Comment Profile ImageReally?
Comment #42 | Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm
What's my point?

I’m calling you out on your annoying propensity to presume your liberal outlook is objective fare. Your use of the typical liberal tactic of selective outrage, by whitewashing the facts on who supported the lead up to the invasion & deliberately excluding any Democratic Party culpability, participation and responsibility then and now for Iraq. And I'm calling you out on authoring a disingenuous political article under the guise of faux compassion for our Sons & Daughters in uniform.

Here's a thought: maybe your contentions are so constantly "misunderstood" because you sound like a teenage girl while making them:

“Bush and Cheney MADE UP fake intelligence to justify the war”

"EVERYONE, including Cheney, KNEW the intelligence was fake (Cheney FABRICATED it)"

"The UN inspectors went in after Clinton and found NOTHING, and were about to report that there was NOTHING"

"when Cheney and Bush decided to launch an unnecessary, and frankly foolish, war with an UNPREPARED MILITARY and NO REAL ALLIES in the war."

Your breathtaking ignorance demonstrated in your above statements is on display, might want to tuck that back in. In what demented way do you think people cannot see right through that drivel? Do you not realize how ignorant you sound when you make these weasel worded sophomoric statements? You continuously demonstrate that you are not a serious person, nor interested in anything remotely resembling a serious factual discussion about what happened in Iraq, and what should or should not be done at this point in history.

When you start debating substantive serious issues and support them with unbiased facts you will have displayed a more serious attitude. We look forward to your paradigm.
Comment Profile ImagePaul
Comment #43 | Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 at 5:23 pm
Liberals are being hoist by their own petard.
Comment Profile ImageJuan Sunday
Comment #44 | Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 at 5:56 am
"you want to know war, buddy?....Do Ya?"

*downs beer*

"I fought on the front lines of the FBVN opinion sections for 10 years against the Neocons!"
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #45 | Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm
To Really,

I think Mike is right - you have no position on anything, except anti-Obama and anti-liberal.

The war was and is a failure - that is the only topic here - and my purpose in the post was to, hopefully, get agreement from those on the left and right that these kinds of "World Police" policies are dangerous to our nation, and we need to call out our failures, just as much as we celebrate our outstanding achievements.

All of the claims I made are fact and accurate. You pushed back with name calling and drivel, but you do not contest my assertions with facts. Facts like:

Bush's Iraq War was, and is, a total failure. No good came of it - and no good will come of it. History will judge it very harshly, as we have the video of Bush and Cheney saying that there was evidence of the WMD - and the report from the Bush White House search team that there were none, there was connection to al Qeada, and there was no threat to American Security.

Bush and Cheney made up fake intelligence to justify the war, but no matter how it was justified, the war itself was a failure. A failure in planning, logistics, execution, and a failure of foreseeing the inevitable results - which is what we have now.

It is well documented that Cheney set up his own intelligence operation and demanded that all reports go through. Both the CIA and the NSA warned that the intelligence sources were not reliable.

I was involved in the antiwar movement and listened to both right and left commentators correctly predict exactly how things would turn out. They knew the prediction made by the administration were false:

- War would last weeks or months, but not years.

- The War would cost $60 - $80 billion, and after that, the war would pay for itself from oil revenue.

- We would be welcomed as liberators.

- There were ties to al Qeada

- There was an active WMD program

- Saddam had stockpiles of nerve gas that could be made operational in 20 or 40 minutes

- There would be little loss of American lives

- The war would bring peace to the region

Like a drunk trying to get help at AA - rightwing supporters of Bush and the Iraq War first have to admit the truth of the war, then we can work on preventing future waste of American lives and fortune.
Comment Profile Imagereally?
Comment #46 | Friday, Jul 18, 2014 at 10:37 am
“It’s Shia vs. Sunni” and “Iraq’s Sunnis & Shia's have been at war for more than a thousand years ” Our mistake was taking out “dictator” Sunni Saddam from power and putting the “repressed Shia majority” in his place. Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. Phony weasel statements meant to produce nothing but a preamble to your article that basically says: “I don’t really care what the subject is or what the facts are, I just want to regurgitate how much I hate George Bush.” A simpleton vitriol view through the prism that treats all U.S. foreign policy as merely fallout of the Iraq war. In you and your ilk’s world no thought or comment on foreign policy is complete without the words “Bush”

Message posted. Irrelevance noted. Thanks for writing.

My issues are with your hypocrisy, disingenuousness, and selective outrage when it comes to the employment of American military power. Youhypocritical people who screamed about “Bush American warmongering”, and his “war crimes” of water boarding three self-confessed mass murderers, yet are strangely silent when Obama vaporized two thousand suspected terrorists — including American citizens — with Hellfire missiles. People who once decried the expansion of presidential power (including then-Senator Barack Obama) now defend almost unlimited war-making executive power. Guess Gitmo is no longer a Gulag, NSA and the patriot act is no longer shredding of the Constitution, huh Monday? Where is your outrage liberal, where is your article about these truths? Hypocrites. Cricket, cricket. This alone dismisses you.

As far as Iraq, let’s see who started that story about Iraq, WMDs, and Al Qaeda? Bill Clinton. That’s right, Clinton signed, the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, which made it the stated policy of the American government from 1998 and on. The decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power was like other bi-partisan ideas one that originated with the Democrats. Did Clinton Lie?

“Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade, and much of his nation's wealth, not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons -- and the missiles to deliver them. The United Nations weapons inspectors have done a truly remarkable job, finding and destroying more of Iraq's arsenal than was destroyed during the entire Gulf War. Now Saddam Hussein wants to stop them from completing their mission. I know I speak for everyone in this chamber, Republicans and Democrats, when I say to Saddam Hussein: You cannot defy the will of the world. And when I say to him: You have used weapons of mass destruction before; we are determined to deny you the capacity to use them again.” - Bill Clinton State of the Union Address January 27, 1998

The reasons for going into Iraq were spelled out by Clinton in the 90’s and later under Bush in the Senate and House which passed the authorizations for invasion on October 11-12, 2002. I suggest you read them. Congress, and the Bush administration, included WMD, and Saddam’s subsidies for terrorists, presence of terrorists in Baghdad, U.N. violations and armistice accords, oil for food violations, and the fact that he started a war against Iran and used mustard gas and nerve gas, a decade later Iraq invaded Kuwait, murdered thousands of his own people with WMDs, attempted to assassinate a U.S President, etc. It’s all there.

I commented that both parties (which you conveniently omit)—majorities in the Congress, Bill Clinton, etc.—argued that there was WMD in Iraq. That’s why Clinton signed an Iraqi regime change law in 1998, and Harry Reid and John Kerry howled for the removal of Saddam.

After cessation of major combat operations, please note that we facilitated and witnessed the installation of a democratic process, not a person, afterwards to lead Iraq, and did not pre-choose the winner.

And well Liberal, guess what? Under democracy, a Shiite majority may very well elect a Shiite leader…which is what happened.

Now I will play your silly game for now, against my better judgment, and address your simpleton article.

First, Iraq’s political and national Identity is way more complicated a division than Shia vs. Sunni. The problem with your simplistic labels and statements is the inadequate analysis, (which you have excelled in your article and comments.) First, when Obama kicked Maliki to the curb in 2011, it was foreseen that he would drift towards the Iranians. In Southwest Asia Geo-Political influence is conceded by reliability and a presence, which we lacked, thanks to Obama.

What should we do? In my opinion, the United States should not FULLY intervene militarily in Iraq's civil war, at least not yet. There is a decent probability that Iraqi security forces and the militia can keep ISIS in check. Force should only be applied if the U.S. embassy in Baghdad is threatened. What you need to understand is the Syrian based ISIS invasion of Iraq is part of a wider war between Shiites and Sunnis for control of the ENTIRE Middle East. The Sunni-Shiite divide coincides, with the divides between the Arab and Persian worlds, & geopolitically Iraq is at the center of these worlds- A Shiite majority but of Arabian ethnically. This is King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia’s dream come true, who has always regarded Maliki as an Iranian stooge. This is about Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iran and Iraq.

Second-IMO Iraqi politicians need to agree in principle, what the leadership of Iraq will look like going forward, who's will be the next prime minister, if deals will be with Iraq's minorities- Sunnis and Kurds. The next leader of Iraq must offer the Kurdistan Regional Government answers on oil issues, especially revenue-sharing which have been contentious. The Kurds are taking casualties now that the Iraqi army has fled tactical areas. This is where the United States can play a key role.

Third, because of lack of leadership in the White House, the U.S. is not a major player in the formation of Iraq’s next government. Our limited military footprint may help to return Iraqi control in some areas of Iraq and repelling ISIS, but Iran has supplied larger and quicker quantities of support to Iraq. This fact makes Iran a major player in the next Iraqi leader selection. Obama has been asleep at the wheel on all of this, too little and too late with both the opposition in Syria & the Iraqi government . The longer Obama pearl-clutches over here, the more force and dollars and political investment required to stabilize a disintegrating region. The Iranians are simply out-engaging the U.S. in Iraq and Syria. Sending advisors is of no use unless they are allowed to do their job with the Iraqi security forces at the tactical level, where they will be exposed to risk. Iranians have almost 3,000 advisors embedded at the tactical unit level with Iraqi’s, so again were already behind the power curve regarding influence. If our advisors do not get out and actually do their jobs with the Iraqi military, with the ability to coordinate support including – if necessary -- direct air strikes on ISIS forces, anything less is an empty gesture.

Additionally, there are two major areas of engagement in Iraq: Baghdad, and the less populace northern and western provinces. IMO we should avoid the complex Baghdad theater where Iraq is utilizing militias to defend themselves, and the less populated Sunni dominated regions where the Iraqi government is viewed as anti-Sunni. The fight for northern Iraq is where the United States may be able to provide the most effective stabilization assistance. The U.S. has worked with these same northern tribes, defeating al-Qaeda in the past, and the Iraqi government still holds air bases in the area.

The serious path and opportunity to mitigating the crisis in Iraq is probably in Syria, which is the base of operations of ISIS. Pressure should be applied there. We have long hand wrung on whether to equip and train the moderate opposition in Syria, now is a good time to entertain this idea. This will challenge ISIS and possible cause them to pull back forces from Iraq to secure its safe haven. Training and equipping the moderate Syrian opposition holds a key component to the U.S. strategy in Iraq and Syria.

You seem to be under the impression that we should do nothing. You are foolish and a god send to our enemies.

Yes, the Iraq problem is undeniably Bush’s legacy. Yes the United States and it’s allies made the decision to up end status quo in the Middle East. Whomever succeeded him was not going to have a pass at dealing with that fact. It required a leader, which we did not get. Obama wanted the job, and Obama deserves a Massive amount of blame for many reasons, lack of leadership being one, and you are intellectually dishonest in not acknowledging this fact in this forum.

The failure to secure a status of forces agreement leaving Iraq with adequate U.S. presence to prevent Maliki from abusing his power & subjugate the Sunnis, and deter ISIS from thinking about expanding outside of Syria was a massive failure of leadership. The sacrifice of our National security interests, and disregard of our military members wounded and killed during the Iraq war for a political slogan necessity i.e. end “Bush’s war” will be right up next there with dishonorable abandonment of the Vietnamese.

Regardless, You can start by remembering that defending our nation, and foreign policy is not a game.
Not being involved is not an option. Lives are at stake every day, including our own. You should debate and act with that in mind. You holding up a sign and bullhorn at a barricade doesn’t give you skin in the game, it only makes you look naďve and foolish. For some of us, it was a responsibility that rested heavily on our shoulders and is a greater burden than you apparently were willing to accept. Contrary to your simpleton point of view, every problem in the world doesn’t have a solution, but many of them do. Refusing to recognize either or both of those realities is simply naive. There are many more problems in the world than Iraq, and “George Bush” is not the default answer to all of them.

We live in the real world, not La-La Land, where screaming no blood for oil will make bad people go away.
Comment Profile ImageRedneck Bill
Comment #47 | Friday, Jul 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm
Either there are 2 reallys, or really is beginning to lighten up a bit.

"In my opinion"? Are you kidding me? The really I know and love doesn't opine. He KNOWS. He was the head man of a 2 man team and his geopolitical knowledge and expertise are beyond reproach. (As well as every conceivable discipline.)

You feeling OK buddy?
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #48 | Friday, Jul 18, 2014 at 7:36 pm
To Really?,

I'll just address one short statement from your post:

You say, "A simpleton vitriol view through the prism that treats all U.S. foreign policy as merely fallout of the Iraq war. In you and your ilk’s world no thought or comment on foreign policy is complete without the words “Bush”. Message posted. Irrelevance noted. Thanks for writing.

I did not say or imply or believe that "all U.S. foreign policy as merely fallout of the Iraq War".

It just happens to be the subject of this post and an excellent example of the results of neo-con schemes.

They forgot the lesson of Vietnam: Never get in a ground war in Asia. The other lesson should be to know your enemy. Is this a righteous war? One worth losing thousands of lives and trillions of dollars?

We should have learned it then, but had to go through it one more time. Hopefully, the last time.

Aside from everything else, the neo-cons never understood that Muslims love their religion. They pray to the Creator, the Source of All existence, God, just like us. They don't want our society or form of government.

Like Vietnam, the outcome of the Iraq War was predicted by the very people who helped get us into it. In 1964 Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara predicted that the Vietnam War would end with an ignominious defeat and retreat. And yet, he sent over 50,000 US service men to their death - for nothing. Vietnam was a country at war for its independence, first against the Chinese, then the French, then the US. It won its war because they were right in their fight. It was their country and the US supported a brutal, corrupt, Christian dictatorship in a Buddhist land.

Vietnam was never our war. We would never be able to defeat a population fighting for a righteous cause. And, BTW, they are doing fine without us - despite us nearly destroying their country.

Same thing in Iraq - the outcome was known from the beginning. A war launched on false pretenses, with inadequate resources to protect our troops, with misguided understanding of the internal disputes, etc., etc.

Again, my point is that we should avoid making the same mistakes.

Also, I don't advocate doing nothing. I like how Obama is using targeted strikes with drones, without ground troops. Minimizes collateral damages to civilians and infrastructure - AND is very effective in eliminating key players in the terrorist networks. No need for ground troops. I'm not saying never, but we should never do it alone, but with support and participation of our major allies - otherwise we look like Putin - just trying to be a world dominating empire. Read Chalmers Johnson.

Regarding the Status of Forces agreement - Iraq didn't want us there. They would not provide indemnity for our troops - and Obama rightly wouldn't expose them to that threat - being tried in an Iraqi court. The timeframe for withdrawal was set by Bush, not Obama.

I'm not the "bullhorn at the barricade" type (more of a press conference or face to face meeting type), but I have given a chunk of my life for what I believe in, and still hold dear the oath I took when I enlisted in the army in 1965. Protect and defend the constitution.

This is very serious - Cheney, McCain and other neo-cons are out there right now calling for US Forces to be involved in multiple squabbles, mostly to protect their ruined reputations. Not again, please.

Do you really want to see another 10 or 20 years fighting a losing cause?
Comment Profile ImageTerry Leather
Comment #49 | Monday, Jul 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm
Hmmmm.....All I know is the Bush administration is doing a terrible job of handling Iraq in his fourth term as president......oh wait.
Comment Profile ImageVDH
Comment #50 | Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm
Regarding the SOFA talks, it is the White House itself that would only consent to no more than 5,000 troops. Maliki was willing to accept a deal with U.S. forces if it was worth it to him for the Political heat he would take. The Iraqis understandably figured that the U.S. wasn't serious about a continued commitment for >5000k Troops, Obama wanted such a small force so that he could proclaim he "Bush's" war. Iraqi parlimental leaders may have been willing to risk a domestic backlash to support a substantial commitment of 10,000 or more troops. They were not willing to stick their necks out for such a puny force. In other words, it’s not correct that “the al-Maliki government wanted American troops to leave.” Hence the breakdown of SOFA talks.
Comment Profile ImageJon Monday
Comment #51 | Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm
You leave out the part about the US (Obama) rightly insisted that the government be more representative, and not just another US supported dictatorship.

We would be seen by most of the population as fighting for the minority Sunnis against the majority Shia.

We have not been seen as liberators, but as invaders choosing sides in an old inter-sect war.

We needed to just get out ASAP - like Vietnam, there was no path that led to a US victory. Best case, get out with the least casualties.

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