June 12th, 2014

Further thoughts on the fall of Iraq

I started this blog right before the 2004 election, and for the first few years a large percentage of my posts were about Iraq. That remained true through all the ups and downs of the surge and the Bush administration. There were times I thought all was lost and there were times I thought that country might stay out of the woods.

But I’ve never wavered from the idea that, had the US and our allies had the understanding of how vitally important it was to set up a functioning post-Saddam government there—to keep it from becoming a haven for terrorists or a satellite of Iran, and to give us a base in the region—the venture could have (not would have) been at least a modest success. It was clear early on, however, that we as a country and the west as a whole lacked the determination to do what it would take, which would have involved—among other things—an occupation that lasted a long time.

Even the Bush administration was unwilling to do that, and the American people were not interested either. But it was with the election of Barack Obama in 2008 that it became crystal clear that it was over. Obama signaled that he would abandon Iraq, and the opposition knew it and bided its time, waiting.

Now it’s almost unbearable to read articles like this one describing the situation there and our willful abdication of even the most minimal help:

White House spokesman Josh Earnest deplored ‘despicable’ acts of violence targeting civilians in Mosul. Mr Earnest said the group has gained strength from the situation in neighbouring Syria.

But the White House is not saying what additional military assistance the US might provide Iraq in response to the siege. Mr Earnest said the US is committed to its partnership with Baghdad but is urging Iraq’s government to take steps to be more inclusive of all Iraqis.

The New York Times, of all papers, has described the situation and Obama’s position on it in very stark terms:

As the threat from Sunni militants in western Iraq escalated last month, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki secretly asked the Obama administration to consider carrying out airstrikes against extremist staging areas, according to Iraqi and American officials.

But Iraq’s appeals for a military response have so far been rebuffed by the White House, which has been reluctant to open a new chapter in a conflict that President Obama has insisted was over when the United States withdrew the last of its forces from Iraq in 2011…

The Obama administration has carried out drone strikes against militants in Yemen and Pakistan, where it fears terrorists have been hatching plans to attack the United States. But despite the fact that Sunni militants have been making steady advances [in Iraq] and may be carving out new havens from which they could carry out attacks against the West, administration spokesmen have insisted that the United States is not actively considering using warplanes or armed drones to strike them.

So there was a chance to have staved off this calamity with drones, and Obama refused. Why allow our drones to attack terrorists in Pakistan and not in Iraq? My guess is that Obama figures that whatever bad stuff happens in Iraq can be blamed on Bush, and he can position himself as the un-Bush. Because even if you think that Obama is secretly rooting for the jihadis, that wouldn’t explain this differential reaction.

The WSJ points out:

Since President Obama likes to describe everything he inherited from his predecessor as a “mess,” it’s worth remembering that when President Bush left office Iraq was largely at peace. Civilian casualties fell from an estimated 31,400 in 2006 to 4,700 in 2009. U.S. military casualties were negligible. Then CIA Director Michael Hayden said, with good reason, that “al Qaeda is on the verge of a strategic defeat in Iraq.”

Fast forward through five years of the Administration’s indifference, and Iraq is close to exceeding the kind of chaos that engulfed it before the U.S. surge….

…[The Obama Administration’s] promise of a “diplomatic surge” in Iraq to follow the military surge of the preceding years never materialized as the U.S. washed its hands of the country. Mr. Obama’s offer of a couple thousand troops beyond 2011 was so low that Mr. Maliki didn’t think it was worth the domestic criticism it would engender. An American President more mindful of U.S. interests would have made Mr. Maliki an offer he couldn’t refuse.

All this should serve as a warning to what we can expect in Afghanistan as the Administration replays its Iraq strategy of full withdrawal after 2016. It should also serve as a reminder of the magnitude of the strategic blunder of leaving no U.S. forces in Iraq after the country finally had a chance to serve as a new anchor of stability and U.S. influence in the region. An Iraqi army properly aided by U.S. air power would not have collapsed as it did in Mosul.

In withdrawing from Iraq in toto, Mr. Obama put his desire to have a talking point for his re-election campaign above America’s strategic interests. Now we and the world are facing this reality: A civil war in Iraq and the birth of a terrorist haven that has the confidence, and is fast acquiring the means, to raise a banner for a new generation of jihadists, both in Iraq and beyond.

The WSJ had more faith in the Iraqi troops than I do—I think we would have had to keep some forces there for decades. At any rate, once it became clear there would be no backup, it was all over and just a matter of time.

From Daniel Henninger:

The fall of Mosul, Iraq, to al Qaeda terrorists this week is as big in its implications as Russia’s annexation of Crimea. But from the Obama presidency, barely a peep.

Barack Obama is fiddling while the world burns. Iraq, Pakistan, Ukraine, Russia, Nigeria, Kenya, Syria. These foreign wildfires, with more surely to come, will burn unabated for two years until the United States has a new president. The one we’ve got can barely notice or doesn’t care…

…[T]he Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) isn’t a bunch of bug-eyed “Mad Max” guys running around firing Kalashnikovs. ISIS is now a trained and organized army.

The seizures of Mosul and Tikrit this week revealed high-level operational skills. ISIS is using vehicles and equipment seized from Iraqi military bases. Normally an army on the move would slow down to establish protective garrisons in towns it takes, but ISIS is doing the opposite, by replenishing itself with fighters from liberated prisons…

One might ask: Didn’t U.S. intelligence know something like Mosul could happen? They did…[cites report]…But to have suggested any mitigating steps to this White House would have been pointless. It won’t listen…

In March, Gen. James Mattis, then head of the U.S. Central Command, told Congress he recommended the U.S. keep 13,600 support troops in Afghanistan; he was known not to want an announced final withdrawal date. On May 27, President Obama said it would be 9,800 troops—for just one year. Which guarantees that the taking of Mosul will be replayed in Afghanistan.

Let us repeat the most quoted passage in former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s memoir, “Duty.” It describes the March 2011 meeting with Mr. Obama about Afghanistan in the situation room. “As I sat there, I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his,” Mr. Gates wrote. “For him, it’s all about getting out.”

It’s hard to even read this stuff.

Seen in one of the WSJ comments:

Osama Bin Laden is dead, and Al Qaeda is on the run. Sadly, they are running in force towards Baghdad.

Actually, it’s not al Qaeda, it’s a group that’s supposedly worse.

Denouncing ISIS as ‘one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world, Stuart Jones, the nominee to be the next US envoy to Baghdad, told US politicians the United States ‘will continue to monitor the situation closely, and will work with our international partners to try to meet the needs of those who have been displaced’…

The White House National Security Council said only: ‘President Obama promised to responsibly end the war in Iraq and he did’…

That’s the “National Security Council” in the Orwellian sense.

The left no longer counts the bodies in Iraq—that was only of interest when Bush was president. And all of this is, of course, his fault.

Before Obama, no matter who was president, other countries had faith that we would stick with what we started. Except for Vietnam, which was the exception. Now, under Obama, it has become the rule.

68 Responses to “Further thoughts on the fall of Iraq”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    “Will the fall of Baghdad to insurgent forces be listed on Hillary’s resume?”

  2. carl in atlanta Says:

    This may go without saying on this blog, but one of the fundamental mistakes made in Iraq during the Bush years was the widely held assumption or belief that we were dealing with a nation-state. We were not and are not, and that applies to every so-called Arab world “country” in the Middle East and North Africa. I thought that perhaps we’d learned that lesson under Petraeus, Keane, et al, but if we did, it’s been forgotten since 2009. These folks need to read their Bernard Lewis (instead of blacklisting him).

  3. colagirl Says:

    Worst. President. Ever.

  4. Artfldgr Says:

    neo: But it was with the election of Barack Obama in 2008 that it became crystal clear that it was over. Obama signaled that he would abandon Iraq, and the opposition knew it and bided its time, waiting.

    i explained a long time ago, that the opposition always had control of the US in this matter because of the left in the US and the lefts assistenace from russia and china in that it was in their interests that things went.

    but, in any of this stuff, whether it be AQ, ISIS, Boko Haram, the issue here is: how does one have a ware with an opposition that one cant reach?

    you have to engage… you have to do things that cause that enemy to come to you.

    if the mountain wont go to mohamed, then…

    so they knew that any time that they stopped for any length of time, the left in the US and the world would force us to leave..

    all they had to do was bide their time, and do minimal things so that it would not be so blatant as to be guessed (and not like german retreats)

    so once they found out the US president was who he was, they only had to tone it back… and they knew, that such a person, would want to claim victory and remove people which would let their friends in other places take over.

    i said Obama is using a play book from the 1930s, so its reall easy to play him. the people like rebel are not even aware of such things, so they think its new and genius not older than the status quo and idiotic… bu them again, they think that they are to win, not be in acontrolled loss that reults in their losing all that they think they have.

    now… once the troops were withdrawn… the money the US brought to fix things and help out with, is now available to be stolen.

    in this case. 430 million

    think how easy this is
    so easy boko haram is now trying it

    steal black girls, torture them, etc.
    then idiot will want to interfere, that brings a few people
    then attack the few people which then brings more
    then play games
    the visitors will not just bring weapons, but they will ring equipment, supplies, and lots of money they wiull put in the local banks to use to pay for things locally..

    then pull out…
    be silent
    what the heck are we there for if nothing is going on
    then leave
    then they take the money and stuff


    now they have a reason to hurt more.

    same with the left in general
    if the left would not be bleeding hearts about things, then obama could not and would not murder mexican children in the desert to get his way…

    ie. as socioathic leaders they dont care, but they know you care, and so if you care and cant stand it, then they will do things to innocents to control you

    only another sociopath would not be controlled this way, or a caring man with the hardness needed to go the distance knowing that it would only lead to more and more of this once successful

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    I wish i could blast an email to the leftist academics i know and dont know and ask how they feel that they enabled the murder of children from mexico, children with boko haram, children in ukraine, and children in mosul..

    that their votes can be traced as the impetus that made all that death possible. that rather than save the world, they enabled the murder of children by the thousands around the world… (not that stopping ddt didnt do that already and this just ups the scale)

    the lefts problem is that they are the murders they are trying to stop… and if they stopped trying to help, then they would stop many of the mass killings, murders, starvations, dehyudrations, and more

  6. blert Says:

    Maliki destroyed the morale of his Sunni commanders.

    Near as I can tell, at least some of his northern officers changed horses and bugged out.

    1) The rumour mill has it that some Iraqi formations received orders to withdraw. (or run for your lives)

    2) Casualties among Iraqi Army leaders appears to be zero.

    Iraq has essentially no over head assets of any kind. Its air force is still in nappies. The few F-16 fighters it has are all still in America. An operational squadron is still months away.

    Ultimately, ALL of the factions have concluded that a full blown civil war is erupting. So military formations fell apart along sectarian lines.

    ( The US Army rebuilt the Iraqi Army with diversity foremost in its thoughts. Hence, no Iraqi formation has unit cohesion when the call to jihad goes up. )

    I expect that the next period will feature a rapid wind down of this particular campaign — as the three sides totally reconfigure their military arms along sectarian lines.

    The Kurds and Sunnis are both going to be exporting oil via Turkey. The Kurd’s pipeline has just been completed — on the hurry up. Additional parallel pipeline expansion will now follow.

    Hence, the Sunnis and Kurds will be financially independent.

    The nexus player in all of this is Qatar not KSA.

    So naturally, Qatar is hosting the Taliban ‘pentagon.’


    Folks, this is what you get when a Gonnabee is making executive decisions.

    In the end-game one should expect total failure.


    Kept off the news screens, you can bet your last dollar that Barry is throwing tantrums around the White House.

    And just think, Barry is STILL trying to get the MB back on top in Cairo.

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    New rules for the occupied areas:

    • “For women, dress decently and wear wide clothes. Only go out if needed.”

    • “Our position on Shrines and graves is clear. All to be destroyed basically.”

    • “Gatherings, carrying flags (other than that of Islamic State) and carrying guns is not allowed. God ordered us to stay united.”

    • “For the police, soldiers and other Kafir institutions, you can repent. We opened special places that will allow you to repent.”

    • “No drugs, no alcohol and no cigarettes allowed.”

    • “We warn tribal leaders and Sheikhs not to “work with government and be traitors.”

    • “We ask all Muslims to perform prayers on time in the mosques.”

    • “Money we took from Safavid government is now public. Only Imam of Muslims can spend it. Anyone who steals hand will be cut.”

    • “For those asking who are you? We are soldiers of Islam and took on our responsibility to bring back glory of the Islamic Caliphate.”

    • “People you tried secular rulings (Republic, Baathist, Safavides) and it pained you. Now it is time for Islamic State Imam Abu Bakr El Qurashi.

    the Kurds have captured Kirkuk

    Russia sends 3 T-72 main battle tanks into Ukraine via rebel-held border crossing near Dyakove, Lugansk after Ukraine fails to recapture border region from Moscow

    Ukrainian military engages 2 T-72s near town of Horlivka

    4 Russian Bear H bombers intercepted over Aleutians on June 9

    2 TU-95s continue flight across N. Pacific, repelled 50 miles off N. California coast

    6,500-troop deployment with units from Russian Navy’s Baltic Fleet

    Young Russians yearn for glory days of Soviet Union…

    Russian Communists urge referenda on changing names of St. Petersburg, Volgo- grad back to Leningrad, Stalingrad, Putin expresses support for initiative

    founder Shushkevich writing memoirs, “shocked” to find historic document declaring death of Soviet Union missing CIS archivist chief in Minsk: “We don’t know where the original is”

    Qata and Saudi Arabia Reportedly Funding and Sponsoring ISIS

    al-Zawahiri lives under Iran and Russia’s protection

    Isis is to Al-Qeada as the Weathermen were to SDS

  8. Mac Says:

    I was pretty ambivalent about the Iraq war. Not at all sure it was a good idea, very mindful of the lessons of Vietnam (many lessons, not just one). But sympathetic to Bush’s apparent hope of lancing the boil, and hoping it would succeed. Later on, 2008 or 2009 or so, I saw it as a tragic mistake. This piles tragedy upon tragedy–again, like Vietnam: first the horror of war, then the decision that renders the sacrifices pointless. If I had lost a son (or daughter) in Iraq I would be in a white-hot rage.

  9. Tonawanda Says:

    BO does not deserve an angstrom of wiggle room, but here goes.

    Bush never approached his policy with a sense of resolve, because he never knew islam, or cared to.

    He conceded all the ground before he ever sought to fight.

    Bush never understood the concept of the war of ideas, because to the Bushes ideas are embarrassing things, not what noblesse oblige does.

    Beloved Reagan understood.

    “Your idea is evil” has to be the basis of American wars, or do not get in them, or fight them on a kumbaya basis, as Bush decided to do.

    Crush them, force them to civilize, dishonor their evil, and get it over with in a year, or forget about it.

    The only hope for an American type polity in Iraq was total victory, quickly, complete, forceful.

    The highly intelligent folks in Iraq would have understood and approved, and have been provided a path to human freedom.

    Bush took the multicultural approach, the arid, self-centered noblesse oblige approach which is the philosophy of his family, no less arrogant and condescending as the BO approach.

    Bush I had what?, 80 % approval ratings, and could have pushed through an economic plan of “sustainable growth”? No. He pissed it away on stuff I do not even remember, other than it was absurdly caught up in being the village magistrate honored by his lessers for his coveted recognition.

    And Bush II could have solved the world for many years if he had a Thatcher/Reagan pov.

    But he was kinder and gentler.

    How precious.

  10. Ymarsakar Says:

    It’s hard to even read this stuff.

    Already knew something like this would happen in 2007. The hints were there.

    But few people thought so. They believed in… whatever they believed in.

  11. Ymarsakar Says:

    ( The US Army rebuilt the Iraqi Army with diversity foremost in its thoughts. Hence, no Iraqi formation has unit cohesion when the call to jihad goes up. )

    Diversity Casey’s influence I would guess. The “Iraqi face” he showed us in Fallujah I was full of AWOLs and desertions in the face of the enemy.

  12. Tonawanda Says:

    There is nothing which makes me more angry politically than Bush I saying he would bring a kinder gentler America after the unkind, ungentle era of Reagan. Harry Reid invoking the Koch brothers does not seem more hateful or absurd, or out of touch with reality, or narcissist.

    It is all ridiculous Bush noblesse oblige stuff. It is no different from “bitter clingers” stuff.

    Iraq was noblesse oblige writ large.

    We will prance in daintily and treat the villagers in a way so they will simply have to adore us.

    Let me tell you about a Bush fraud which no one has ever noticed.

    It is about the ridiculous phrase, “compassionate conservative.”

    Everybody, meaning everybody, regarded the phrase as phony. But everybody, everybody, thought it was phony because of the word “compassionate.”

    The noblesse oblige mentality was smarter. The phony word was “conservative,” falsely assumed by all on every side as the sincere word, as intended.

    BTW, I like George Bush II a lot. He is a flawed human like the rest of us, and he seems to realize that.

  13. parker Says:

    Islamic societies are beyond reform. If the West is to survive it must take this simple truth to heart. All that can be done is produce a lot of rubble, back off, and prepare to produce more rubble at a later date.

  14. Artfldgr Says:

    it wasn’t bush… there is a back-story here to the thing your talking about, and its the SAME thing going back to the Vietnam war, and sometime after Korea.

    your idea is kind of right but your vision is too short, and doesn’t go back far enough, and it looks to a person as if what they always do is their ideas, and not others.

    Remember, war and conflict is a subject that the vast majority that talk about it do not know about it. And i am not talking about the ‘experiential’ or the ’emotional’, but how they work, why they work, and why today they don’t work.

    Reagan understood because Reagan served in WWII. While WWI was a meatgrinder of technology and stalemate, WWII was the first time total war (as invented by guess who), was executed.

    Its interesting to note that in and out of fashion have been the ideas and self imposed limits of various eras and peoples as to what is proper in war, and what is not proper. usually the one that is more proper, loses (as you note).

    Tonawanda “Your idea is evil” has to be the basis of American wars, or do not get in them, or fight them on a kumbaya basis, as Bush decided to do.

    Crush them, force them to civilize, dishonor their evil, and get it over with in a year, or forget about it.

    Bush decided no such thing.
    What you propose is verboten by the left!
    and so certain 3rd rail items, are to be avoided, even if your the winner, and have the things in your corner!!!

    You are not allowed to admit there are different IQ performance levels and aggression level among different genetic groups… (which is why people from India who also have dark skin are not in the same basket as sub-Saharan African lines. and that Han Chinese out do Caucasians like Ashkenazim do to. See Watson of Genetic fame and what happened to him, and Larry Summers, etc)

    your not allowed to inform women that their fertility gets progressively sour and negative the longer they wait, and that for every woman that does not have children, another has to have 5 for stable population. And definitely do not inform them that they cant ever perform like men in certain areas, and so we hide the stats on injuries, suicides, change of careers, and on and on and on… (not to mention telling them what the lifestyle they have created for society does to their kids who do seem to be shooting up the place unlike in the past where they could walk in the street with guns, get some rabbit, or just plink… and the neurotic nihilistic mal adjusted death worshiping person would seem sick to them. not to mention that the idea of it would be aweful to them, and not even something one would want to even toy with)

    anyway… so what gives here? easy… the left AFTER WWII, changed the rules of war… they changed the ideas behind what made war something bad enough to be a crime against humanity, and what would make it ok enough that we could accept it as a necessary evil on some level.

    however, the actual ideas of things in it go back to Augustine and the ideas of “Just war theory”

    Just War theory postulates that war, while very terrible, is not always the worst option. There may be responsibilities so important, atrocities which can be prevented or outcomes so undesirable they justify war

    and so from that you have to decide, what is ok. this stuff became very popular just after WWI with the Geneva convention laying out what is ok and what isnt (japan didn’t sign it… ), and later the Nuremberg principals.

    you may start to realize that if it looks like a communist and talks like a communist and dresses like a communist, its a duck…

    the point being that this all lead to “International criminal law” which is different than classical international law..

    International criminal law is a body of international law designed to prohibit certain categories of conduct commonly viewed as serious atrocities and to make perpetrators of such conduct criminally accountable for their perpetration. Principally, it deals with genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, as well as the crime of aggression. This article also discusses crimes against international law, which may not be part of the body of international criminal law.

    ah… so… guess what? out of all this big countries like us have this humongous burden so as not to violate or seem to violate such things and so, the leadership, under agreement would be subject to such…. (sovereignty? whats that?)

    that would lead you, as noted to the crime of aggression…
    is a crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The definitions and the conditions for the exercise of jurisdiction over this crime was adopted by consensus at the 2010 Kampala Review Conference by the States Parties to the Court.

    however, we are talking pre 2010… 🙂

    For the purpose of this Statute, “crime of aggression” means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations.

    So you cant go in and pound them…

    and it has nothing to do with bush, it has to do with a whole world of stuff that i would say most people dont know… if they do, they certainly never clued me in that they know and i did too… not even by reference to it!!!

    the main definition of this was put out on December 14 1974 by the United Nations General Assembly (resolution 3314)

    “act of aggression” means the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations

    so really..
    if your going to tar and feather someone for an issue, please do due diligence and nail the right person, organization, entity, etc…

    this is why we always try for a stalemate now…
    its what changed between korea and vietnam
    though not the point above

    given i am always in the heat for posts that are way too long, i will have to leave it at this. for me to add more detail would take volumes more than the other stuff i talk about, its a whole area that people are only vaguely aware of, and certainly not in terms of understanding how it drives elite people like presidents and not teachers, bus drivers, or occupy wallstreet protesters…

  15. Martel Says:

    The last helicopters flying out of Saigon comparison seems painfully apt.

    As you’ve described before, Vietnam was essentially won. However, the left had such a huge emotional investment in it being a failure that they had to make it into one, even if it would have been very easy to prevent it.

    Had South Vietnam remained independent, could the former protesters have been able to pat themselves on the back with “We stopped a war!” quite so easily. Ignoring Cambodia is easy, but had Vietnam been WON, lefty delusions shattered.

    Thus with Iraq. It had to be a failure, just had to be. There’s no way all that Bush-hatred could be justified unless Iraq becomes worse off than ever.

    And now they have their wish.

  16. Oldflyer Says:

    Tonawanda, I just don’t know where you get your ideas.

    To review; and this is documented.

    Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld envisioned a quick overthrow of Sadaam and a relatively quick turnover to an Iraqi regime. Their candidates to head the new regime were Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress (exiled). They envisioned retaining a vetted core of the Iraqi Army.

    Colin Powell and Richard Armitage opposed Chalabi. For some reason, they prevailed. The State Department took responsibility for the liberated Iraq, and named the feckless Paul Bremer as virtual Czar. He dismantled the Army, with nothing to replace it other than an American Caliphate. Finally, G.W. Bush replaced Bremer with the competent Ryan Crocker, and eventually named General Petraeus to head U.S. military forces. After two or three years of increasing chaos, Iraq was fairly well stabilized when Bush left office.

    Of course the Sunni-Shia split still existed but was controlled as long as the U.S. military was on the ground.

    For reasons that reside only in his head, Obama decided to abandon Iraq. He and his apologists cite PM Maliki’s refusal to negotiate a workable “status of forces” agreement. Most observers believe that is a phony excuse.

    Now, many will rush to say that Chalabi was corrupt. It is true that a concerted effort was made to discredit him, so that Powell, et al could bypass him. How many of the charges against him are valid, I do not know. I would be shocked if a Middle Eastern politician was corrupt (he said tongue in cheek.)

    One thing we do know is that he was competent; he had a plan; and had contacts within Iraq.

    We will never know how history would have played out if the original Bush/Rumsfeld plan had been executed. I do know that after the Valerie Plame/Scooter Libby debacle I would not trust either any further than I could throw Armitage’s considerable bulk. Too bad that Bush did trust them.

    People can argue until the cows come home whether Iraq was worth the effort. I happen to trust Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Others will argue that Iraq should never have been a consolidated nation. That may be; but, that decision was made long ago.

    The best possible scenario now is that the Islamists can be held to the Sunni area of Iraq, and that the southern area will become a stable, independent, oil producing country. The more likely scenario is that Iran will come to the rescue of Baghdad, and the Shia portion of Iraq will be aligned with Iran against Israel, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, et al.

    A few things are almost certain. There will be an Al Qaeda dominated Islamist pan-state from Syria across Sunni Iraq. There will be an Iran oriented Shia state in part of Southern Iraq. The Taliban will control Afghanistan, and western Pakistan–as a minimum.

    Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, and perhaps Saudi Arabia will be under dire threat. Turkey will hang in the balance. India with a huge Muslim population and a Muslim Pakistan on its border, may as well. The face of the world could undergo cataclysmic change in the very near future.

    Hillary Clinton will claim that she was a great success as Secretary of State; and as he leaves office Barack Hussein Obama will blame George Bush.

  17. Artfldgr Says:

    Oldflyer, that was really good… and accurate..

  18. Oldflyer Says:

    In my poorly constructed and inadequately proof read sentence above, it could be construed that it was Bush I did not trust.

    Actually, the sentence should have read like this:

    “I do know that after the Valerie Plame/Scooter Libby debacle I would not trust either Powell or Armistage any further than I could throw Armitage’s considerable bulk”

  19. Bob From Virginia Says:

    What comes next?

    There will certainly be a terrorist onslaught against western targets in the world. The Iranians will probably fly Iraqi commercial airliners into our aircraft carriers and let ISIS take credit allowing the US to fret and do nothing.

    Sooner or later Iran or some other group of nuts will get their hands on an A-bomb and we can, at the least, expect to lose NYC.

    Can anyone see anything glaringly foolish in these predictions? I am getting old and if I am I losing it I want to start seeking help for Alzheimer’s.

  20. Mike Says:

    Parker-“Islamic societies are beyond reform.”

    Good thing you are not in England or you would be called a “hater”.
    I think Churchill in 1899 had a clear view of things that deal with Islam. Too bad our current crop of “leaders” look for guidance from the “Peace in our time” Chamberlain crowd. 🙁

    “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic
    apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

    A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

    Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

    No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the
    science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”

    Sir Winston Churchill; (Source: The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-50 London)

    Or remember how Pope Benedict was called on the carpet for quoting the 14th century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaiologos.

    “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

    With the hundreds of beheadings taking place, I guess the question asked by Palaiologos is still valid today. 🙁

  21. neo-neocon Says:


    I knew it when I realized Obama would be elected. I’m not sure when that hit me forcibly, but it might have been spring 2008.

  22. Ymarsakar Says:

    I was busy deconstructing the Left’s tactical and strategic resources in the US. But the Left had enough by 2007 (like the union connection, which didn’t seem solid until the unification of CF something in 1995 under Clintons) that no matter which next President was up in 2008, America had an internal enemy far more powerful and malicious than AQ to deal with first.

    And the combat knowledge gained in Afghanistan and Iraq would be useful or even necessary, to combat that. No matter what war people are involved in, whether it is right or wrong, experience is experience. Where there is life, there is hope. Where Ayers is alive, there is hope for their cause.

    In 2008, I discovered that not only the Left had strategic level assets in the US ready to launch, but that the Republican party (the anti Sarah Palins) were already corrupted at a very high level.

    At first, before and during the surge in 2006, I thought the US gained strength in Iraq and Afghanistan could be used to fight terrorism over seas (civilian security is better for anti terrorist defense in the US, and federal FBI prevention is better than police swat raids ala Marathon bombing). After 2006, I realized America was fundamentally broken and that stuff was needed here, in Chicago for example. Chicago being cleaned out like Falluajh II would do a world of good for American stability and liberty. A lot of Democrat slaves living in there Republicans paid 0 attention to.

    He and his apologists cite PM Maliki’s refusal to negotiate a workable “status of forces” agreement. Most observers believe that is a phony excuse.

    ME people like to haggle. And they always tell you not to take the first deal when haggling. It was merely a pretext. The Iraqis couldn’t throw away their real position on the first dice, but they couldn’t withdraw their position either when the first offer was refused. Hussein was busy playing Golf and Michelle was going vacationing, as usual. The “rebels” out there must think they’ll get a slice of that Cake, when Hussein destroys US military forces overseas.

  23. parker Says:


    I’m afraid you may have correctly predicted the near future. If so, let it happen during BHO’s inattentive watch.

  24. Matt_SE Says:


    If Obama and the left think they can easily blame this on Bush, why is the NYT jumping ship? Why are they pointing out that Obama refused to use drones when asked? DRONES…his favorite weapon, because he can strike without risk of American casualties.

    I’m not sure all the left is willing to carry Barry’s water anymore. I think maybe part of them will blame Obama for the fall of Iraq, because the rest of the world is doing just that.

    Once again, he’s making them look bad.

  25. Matt_SE Says:

    For all the comparisons to Nixon, maybe Obama’s legacy will be compared to LBJ’s. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

  26. Ymarsakar Says:

    Drones are for Afghanistan and America. The Left’s triggers are for Afghan, they don’t really care about who dies in Iraq now.

  27. NeoConScum Says:

    6:23pm…Oldflyer: amen..Amen..AMEN..A*M*E*N..!!!

    GWB handed Obama a huge, costly, hard fought Victory in Iraq. The Boy King promptly abandoned that victory and left that free-breathing country to the Islamist Butchers now flooding its cities. LOATHSOME. Unforgivable.

  28. Artfldgr Says:

    Can anyone see anything glaringly foolish in these predictions?

    not so much foolish but too much surface not enough depth.

    crazy people dont get to organize and run groups, regardless of what one thinks to explain their actions. what they do is calculated for purposes, and certainly the actual purpose is not to remove the cork on the bottle that prevents a free for all land grab all round.

    I learned a long time ago, that i always have to watch out for the little guy, not the big guy. the little guy is the one that will try to use a big guy for benefit. if he starts a fight and you beat the crap out of him, everyone sympathizes with the little guy and your an ogre. if he starts and wins, he gets his benefit, and you lose your reputation (but if your big enough you have to want to lose). so the best you can offer is stalemate… just tire them out…

    what nuclear weapons afford is to not be afraid of being knocked out. if Saddam had them, we would not have put so many tanks down, and so on…

    nuclear weapons ruin the end game in this chess match.

    so they make playing to the end point fruitless, but they dont make playing for gain fruitless.

    that’s why they want them…

    to actually hit us with one would be tactically idiotic.
    the country is way too large to be undone by one or even a few.
    our response would be to go directly after them with a lot of well trained soldiers with brand new terms of engagement. if they still have nukes, then we wont bother with that, we will just neutralize the threat where it stands.

    that’s the whole point of the lefts game… they know you cant take over a country like the US or England by any kind of force in history as they have the card that ruins the end game.

    you have to first denoue them of the things that would allow response, and so forth… you know… like a population that can function and do things handily like before feminism…. and healthy people, like before feminism destroyed the food system… and well educated, like before feminists broke homes and left kids with the state by necessity… and a hearty population, like before feminism dropped us to below replacement level in one group, and borders to make up the difference (lots of kids coming now i hear).

    once they were denoued of those things you could do things like make sure they have no manufacturing capacity, and the expertise for it, and infrastructure behind it, and dont forget demoralize the functioning workforce ,hasten the older ones out who have other educations, disarm, run up the credit so there is no money to borrow to function during conflict, replace the generals and other officers, militarize the police force, keep people in the dark, disarm the public, and so on.

    so dont worry too much… 🙂

  29. Ymarsakar Says:

    It’s not whether terrorists can use nukes to kill America. It’s what the Left will do while terrorists are giving them a reason to declare martial law and confiscate all the guns, that can and will destroy America.

  30. Beverly Says:

    ISIS — those wonderful folks who run human slaughterhouses in Syria. See this:

    “Walid Shoebat has been researching this for the past two weeks and tells me he’s never seen anything so horrific in his life. If you’ve ever been to his site and seen the atrocities he’s exposed, you should understand he doesn’t say this lightly.

    “What he’s found through first-hand testimony and actual video footage that he’s posted on his site are human slaughter houses in Syria used to exterminate Christians and Muslims. Yes, Muslims. They are run by Syrian rebel Takfiri Jihadists groups. One such group is called ISIS, which stands for the Islamic group of Iraq and Syria. Another group is called Umm Muhammad.

    “These rebel groups were rounding up Christians and Muslims who disagreed with the Takfiri ideology, decapitating them from the root of their necks and hanging them upside down like cattle.

    “The Umm Muhammad slaughter house was run by the Free Syrian Army in its infancy but it was closed three years ago when the Syrian Police found it.

    “Walid has found evidence of three different slaughter houses in Syria, but there’s no telling how many more exist even today:

    ” ‘We report this story because of the silence on the systematic killing of Christians, Shiite minorities and even Sunni Muslims in Syria who disagree with the Takfirist theology. The story is reminiscent to the initial reporting on the extermination of European Jewry and other minorities when little coverage was given to the truth in these days.’ ”

    No photos at link. Descriptions are horrific enough.


  31. Ymarsakar Says:

    Beverly, that’s only a small taste of the complete human repertoire on historical torture techniques and ruthlessness.

    They are very crude at it and only utilize a small, a very small, slice of the total.

  32. Matt_SE Says:

    Ymarsakar said, “[the left] don’t really care about who dies in Iraq now.”

    Undoubtedly true. But they care very much if they get blamed for it.

    That’s another, less appreciated comparison to Viet Nam: the bloodbath that results from following leftist foreign policy. It’s a stigma they’ve (deservedly) never lived down. To this day, you can still see references to “Hanoi Jane,” et. al.

    The left doesn’t care about being good. They care about appearing good.

  33. Don Carlos Says:

    I haven’t read your whole piece yet.
    But PLEASE do not say “We the country” or “the USA”. it was never so, not at any time under W or Hussein. As long as the Left “runs” things, it is not my country.

  34. Beverly Says:

    I agree with Don Carlos. We are in the hands of a hostile occupying power, allied with the worst elements living in our nation.

    Someone at The Belmont Club (Wretchard’s piece on the fall of Iraq, “The Day of Reckoning,” is worth reading as always) posted this, Oliver Cromwell’s speech to the Rump Parliament:

    It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place,

    which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

    Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

    Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would, like Esau, sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas, betray your God for a few pieces of money.

    Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

    Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

    Ye sordid prostitutes, have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

    Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

    Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

    I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

    Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

    In the name of God, go!

    Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

  35. Beverly Says:

    Actually, Cromwell’s speech cheers me up, in a darkly humourous way. We have been here before, people. And yet we’ve had golden times as well, and known great days.

  36. Ymarsakar Says:

    But they care very much if they get blamed for it.

    Do you care if a bunch of ants blame you for stepping on them?

    And the Left will care that you blame them because…. because what?

  37. Matt_SE Says:

    The left doesn’t care what the right thinks. They care what the rest of the world (really, mostly Europeans) think.
    Their god is being exposed as having feet of clay, and that reflects poorly upon them for having put so much faith in him.

    Leftists are snobs. But you can’t pass yourself off as “elite” if nobody else thinks you’re elite.

  38. Beverly Says:

    Artful, I can’t resist saying, Samson let Delilah cut his hair. So, it takes two to tango, and it’s not All our fault.

  39. rickl Says:

    After the 9/11 atrocity, my immediate opinion was that we should have nuked Mecca before sundown. We had all of these expensive nuclear weapons sitting around unused since 1945, and along comes an attack that was worse than Pearl Harbor. It would have been the ideal moment to make a point that the Muslim world would never forget.

    But President Bush decided to be nice about it and attempt to bring Western-style democratic government to the Middle East. I was eventually convinced that it was a noble effort, and worth a try. Afghanistan was the location of the worst terrorist elements, and Iraq was a strategic beachhead. Look at a map. It was a central location in the Middle East, and together with Afghanistan formed a pincer around Iran. So I could see the value in the strategy that was chosen.

    But the American Left sought to undermine our war effort from the start. The “peace movement”, which we know was a Communist front from the Vietnam era, the Democrat Party, and the media all conspired to delegitimize our national strategy and sow discord among the American populace. The Left used that to bring themselves to power in 2006 and 2008. As with Vietnam, they then proceeded to stab our allies in the back.

    Islam has been at war with the entire non-Islamic world for 1400 years. There is no possibility of peaceful coexistence between Western Civilization and Islam. Either we live and they die or they live and we die. About the best we can hope for is to cordon off the majority Islamic countries, and ban Islam from the Western world. That means no immigration and no mosque construction. I propose a Constitutional amendment declaring Islam a totalitarian political ideology that is not protected by the First Amendment. If that is not done, then this will eventually become a war of extermination.

    We cannot hope to treat Islam as the threat that it is until we first defeat Leftism. Leftism is a form of mental illness, and it is the real cancer that is eating away at Western Civilization.

  40. Matt_SE Says:

    rickl said,
    “We cannot hope to treat Islam as the threat that it is until we first defeat Leftism. Leftism is a form of mental illness, and it is the real cancer that is eating away at Western Civilization.”

    Proximate causes. Once again, nothing can be done until the citizens are convinced. The problem with the citizens are:
    1) Apathy and cynicism. I think TPTB have purposefully encouraged this, though some of it comes from natural human laziness.
    2) Entertainment. LIVs aren’t going to pay attention while Game of Thrones is on.
    3) Security, of many types. Wrong thinking is a luxury that can only be indulged in times of peace and prosperity.

    The people need to get burned, in multiple ways, good and hard. That’s coming real soon.
    The important thing is to be ready with an explanation as to why all this happened.

  41. Cornflour Says:

    Just want to add my appreciation of Oldflyer’s remarkably concise summary.

  42. Eric Says:


    Good stuff.

    Most of my in-depth OIF knowledge is law and policy-based on the question of ‘Why Iraq’, with some insight to the grunt’s eye view on the ground. I’m less knowledgeable about the inner-circle wrangling.

    A lot of folks, including here, talk about Iraq like it was always a doomed project because of religion, sectarian factions, etc.. Based on my research and people I’ve spoken with, including Iraqis and OIF veterans, that simply isn’t the case.

    Iraq isn’t Afghanistan. Nation-building Iraq was viable. Would Iraq ever look like the platonic ideal of the US? Probably not. Did we need Iraq to look like that in order for us to achieve our long-term strategic objective? No. Japan and Korea don’t look like the US either. Their democracies are funny looking, but it works for them, and more relevantly, they’re compatible with us. That’s all we needed to achieve in Iraq. A compatible state with us that works for them.

    Yes, the nation-building process required outside help, but not a different level of commitment than the US practiced in Europe and Asia. (Vietnam is not the end-all/be-all failed intervention that somehow negates every successful US intervention.)

    I mean, I was serving as a US soldier in Korea on the 50th anniversary of the Korean War, in a ROK far different than the Korea we first took stewardship of from Japan – because we stayed the course.

    I’ll add to your assessment that our missteps in Iraq seem magnified only because of the short time frame. We didn’t stay in Iraq long enough to see the job through. 8 years is much too little time for any post-war nation-building project, even ones that develop more placidly than the distinct challenges we faced in Iraq.

    I can’t think of any large-scale dedicated US military engagement ever that didn’t include major missteps. They’re part of our normal learning curve. The US military has always screwed up, figured out how to win, and then won big.

    The COIN “Surge” won big in Iraq. Factoring the distinct challenges and the short time we were there, we accomplished a hell of a lot in Iraq, in no small measure because of the Iraqis. Iraq was in a good place when we left it, however it was only good relative to a dedicated nation-building project at the 8 year mark recovering from a nasty insurgency, not good relative to a premature abandonment in a region growing sharply more volatile.

    On that point, since when does an ISIS terrorist invasion equate to popular political incompatibility? Yes, Iraq is dealing with internal sectarian conflicts, but ISIS is a security problem involving an apparently superior invading force. ISIS is not a popular rejection of the state.

    You know, when I served in Korea, we didn’t touch the local politics. We were in Korea as security guarantors. For the ISIS crisis, Iraq needs our security help, not internal political help. Maybe they’ll eventually need internal political help, too, but that’s not a dead-line emergency issue like fighting a terrorist invasion.

  43. Eric Says:

    Neo: “it would take, which would have involved—among other things—an occupation that lasted a long time. Even the Bush administration was unwilling to do that”

    Certainly more than 8 years. Building the peace always takes a lot longer than winning a war. 8 years is just about long enough for the 1st step of a post-war nation-building project anywhere, even Western Europe.

    The COIN “surge” actually more or less got us back on schedule in Iraq. It was an amazing achievement. Then, Obama.

    I don’t know that it’s fair of you to blame Bush for not committing to a longer occupation in Iraq only because I don’t know that SOFAs work like that. I only know SOFAs are regularly renegotiated bilateral agreements, eg, the brouhaha that flares up over the Okinawa base every time we renegotiate the SOFA with Japan.

    FDR didn’t commit us to a long term presence in post-WW2 Europe and Asia. Truman set that up and his successors followed through. Truman didn’t commit us to a long term presence in Korea. Ike set that up and his successors followed through.

    In that regard, it makes sense that a long term presence in Iraq was always up to the next President, whether Obama or McCain, to set up the long term presence of the US in Iraq, irrespective of Bush’s view of the matter.

    In other words, it seems to me that Bush did his part regarding a long term presence in Iraq by recovering the post-war nation-building project with the COIN “surge”, but the next step was always up to the next guy.

  44. parker Says:

    “the country is way too large to be undone by one or even a few.”

    Nope! The country will be undone by just one in NYT or DC or elsewhere. Just one at any location will collapse the financial system and end the petro dollar. All your knowledge of the minutia of history blinds you to recognize that just one single, horrible, blow lays low the remaining pillar of Western Civilization.

    “One punch and you knocked me down, tore my defenses apart. One round took me out of the game,you did me some permanent harm.”

    17+ trillion (not counting local & state) in up front debt, 200+ trillion in unfunded liabilities, and hundreds of trillions in derviative junk looming like a flock of vultures over the carcass. One blow to the body will bring about a dark age beyond the imagination of artfldger.

  45. J.J. Says:

    In 1975, when Congress pulled the funds from the South Vietnamese, it struck me like a bolt of lightning that the seven squadron mates and friends who died there had died in vain. I went into a long term period of barely contained rage that eventually led to a psychiatrists office. We are going to see some of that among our new veterans as they realize what has happened.

    Since that day, I have always said that if you are going to war, you must decide to use all your power and to win it as quickly as possible. War is too brutal and savage to be done in a half-assed manner. Which is what we’ve continued to do in spite of the lessons of Vietnam. We had Saddam on the ropes in 1991 and showed mercy. What a mistake! We had AQ down but not out in Iraq. And we let them rest, rearm, and reconstitute. When will we learn?

    As I said on the earlier post, we had best get ready, because the jihadis will be coming. While we are rebuilding (we are a shadow of what we were in 2008), we need to interdict them, keep them off balance, and cut off their money. Third and fourth generation warfare cannot operate without money. That, IMO, is one of the keys to neutering them.

  46. Don Carlos Says:

    Old Flyer: Yesss!
    Bob from Virginia: Don’t sweat the small stuff, Meds taken for Alzheimer’s make the family feel something is being done. But the drugs are ineffective and have the odd side effect.

    Omnia Iraqia in tres partes divisa est. Do not forget or dismiss the Kurds. They merit support.

  47. parker Says:

    “After the 9/11 atrocity, my immediate opinion was that we should have nuked Mecca before sundown.”

    That was my immediate thought after the seizure of our Tehran embassy in 1978. So don’t forget Medina, Qom, Tehran, Riyadh, Islamabad, Damascus, Cairo, etc. What the world needs now is lots of glass parking lots. Until we, the West, realize we are engaged in a war of survival with Islqm, we are doomed to defeat.

  48. Ymarsakar Says:

    Based on my research and people I’ve spoken with, including Iraqis and OIF veterans, that simply isn’t the case.

    Afghanistan was considered an economic hellhole because there was no sea port (Crimean problem for Russia) nor a rail system that links it to China or India. A rail system in those mountains would require nuclear demolition, which is what I recommended but people were too smart to think outside the box.

    Iraq has similar problems, but Kuwait isn’t hostile and they have a significant port or two. It’s how we invaded Iraq to begin with. Iraq also sucks in a lot of terrorists so US forces can fix them and kill them, losing only a few, and those only to IEDs and various other stuff.

    Compared to 1 Ft. Hood incident in the US… the people who wanted to avoid Iraq, think they will have their hands clean back home and that nobody will make them pay for that decision.

    I went into a long term period of barely contained rage that eventually led to a psychiatrists office. We are going to see some of that among our new veterans as they realize what has happened.

    Certainly. And if they choose the right targets, I won’t blame them. If they go to the office and Major Hasan is there, they can go all out.

    (we are a shadow of what we were in 2008)

    As I told the military armchair fools, they were going to see a “real broken and over stretched military soon” and it wasn’t Bush’s war that did it. Wars improve military readiness. Democrats looting the military to fill their bank accounts, do not.

    Third and fourth generation warfare cannot operate without money.

    For that, you need to destroy Saudi Arabia and Iran’s oil exportation. But without fracking and various other technologies, the US won’t have enough energy to sustain the economy. Which is why the Left doesn’t allow nuclear power. So that their Islamic allies can get more funding, and kickback some of that to Hollywood in the form of anti fracking movies. See how that works. The Leftist alliance has a thousand such deals every day.

  49. J.J. Says:

    Ymarsakar: “For that, you need to destroy Saudi Arabia and Iran’s oil exportation.”

    We have been playing softball with Saudi Arabia because of their oil. We need to start pushing them on all the sheiks that are funneling money to jihadis. By pressure, I mean reminding them that we are now a growing producer and will eventually put them in the shade,. As well as reminding them that we have been their protectors all these long years. Remind them of what we did for them against Saddam in Kuwait. Remind them that if we wanted to we could obliterate Mecca and Medina. Remind them that the jihadis are looking at them with murder in their hearts. The Saudis are a weak, corrupt people. Only their oil has kept them above the fray. Time to get them down off their high horses.

    As for Iran’s oil, their production is declining and they are spending their money on nuclear bomb making. They are not funding ISIS, a Sunni gang. In fact, they’re sending QUDs to help Maliki, their Shiite buddy.

    This is a Sunni – Shia civil war. However, the Saudi royal family is hated by the Sunni jihadis because they have been under the protection of the USA for so many years. There are many different angles in this game. If we had competent people in the government they would be working all of them.

  50. Oldflyer Says:

    J.J. you nailed it. It is immoral, it borders on evil, for a country to send its young men (and they still do the fighting) to war without the will to win; and the commitment to stay the course until victory is complete.

    I have never felt quite the same about the U.S. since Vietnam. I know it is the best country available. I know that we have a magnificent heritage, although we seem hell bent on disavowing it. Still, I will never quite trust the populace again. Let alone the politicians.

    I think it is now even worse than during the Vietnam era in some respects. At least the draft gave a percentage of the populace some stake in the effort. Even the ones who dodged the draft were engaged in their own bizarre way. But, now the cliche “The U.S. is not at war. The Armed Forces are at war, and the country is at the mall (or ball game, or movie)” is absolutely true. One would think that we have been engaged in the kind of maximum effort of WWII when few families were not directly affected; and every neighborhood had its share of gold star flags in the windows.

    My heart aches for the lost, the crippled, and the people who care for them. All for naught. It just makes me so angry.

  51. Ymarsakar Says:

    People knew the daily Iraq casualties. Ask them for the daily Afghan casualties and see their reaction.

  52. Bovsnsyon Says:

    Let the entire middle east beg for intervention.

    We are in a position of power. Make them meet our conditions or learn the hard way.

    You can’t form corrupt governments and just substitute a different person taking a different side each time.

    If you want to live under barbarian terrorists that is the other choice. Time for the real awakening.

    We can’t hold your hand forever either.

  53. rickl Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    June 13th, 2014 at 1:52 am

    My heart aches for the lost, the crippled, and the people who care for them. All for naught. It just makes me so angry.

    Even though I never served, I’m angry too.

    About the best we can hope for now is that the younger generation of Iraqis will have memories of the good deeds that American servicemen did for them. The seeds they planted may yet take root.

  54. Artfldgr Says:

    We pause in our discourse for another report on the negative outcomes of feminism recommening vegetarianism… which now the upper crusties are also recommending…

    From the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity:
    Vegetarians displayed elevated prevalence rates for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and somatoform disorders. Due to the matching procedure, the findings cannot be explained by socio-demographic characteristics of vegetarians (e.g. higher rates of females, predominant residency in urban areas, high proportion of singles).

    The analysis of the respective ages at adoption of a vegetarian diet and onset of a mental disorder showed that the adoption of the vegetarian diet tends to follow the onset of mental disorders. …

    In Western cultures vegetarian diet is associated with an elevated risk of mental disorders. However, there was no evidence for a causal role of vegetarian diet in the etiology of mental disorders.

    We now return to our previous discourse…

  55. kaba Says:

    Thank you JJ and OldFlyer.

    In April 1975 I watched in great sorrow as the helicopters evacuated the embassy in Saigon. So much loss and suffering betrayed. So many allies and friends left to suffer the consequences of our changing political landscape.

  56. Ymarsakar Says:

    The politicians never suffer. They order others to their deaths, conveniently freeing up the Democrat rolls.

    The Leftist alliance won’t allow the US to destroy Islamic Jihad’s alliance. And Islamic Jihad won’t allow their Leftist allies to die either.

  57. Harold Says:

    This is the third war that America’s elites have refused to win politically (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq/Afghanistan). The military wins then the elites (mainly the left) betrays the military victories.

    The natural reaction is to no longer support any more wars. This of course is exactly what the left and isolationists want. It is bad for America and the world, but I don’t see how we can guarantee one term wars. Altogether confusing.

    Let’s hope that the remaining Americans don’t get trapped in Iraq.

  58. NeoConScum Says:

    Bush Bashing amongst many here takes my breath away. Neoconservatives or Reagan Conservatives using that steadfast man’s name in a sentence with The Infantile Majesty Obama is laughable, vapid and absent critical thought.

  59. RickZ Says:

    Eric Says:

    Nation-building Iraq was viable. Would Iraq ever look like the platonic ideal of the US? Probably not. Did we need Iraq to look like that in order for us to achieve our long-term strategic objective? No. Japan and Korea don’t look like the US either. Their democracies are funny looking, but it works for them, and more relevantly, they’re compatible with us. That’s all we needed to achieve in Iraq. A compatible state with us that works for them.

    To nation-build, you first have to nation-destroy. Just look at what we did to Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan before we created governments that are “compatible with us.” We kicked the shit out of those places, destroying from on high everything we could that helped the war effort, including people. We had no such policy in Iraq. In fact, we allowed shari’a to be enshrined in the new Iraqi Constitution. That’s quite a departure from destroying Nazism and hanging those leaders who held to its beliefs and making the Emperor Hirohito no longer a god. We altered the German and Japanese societies — for the better. We did no societal alterations in Iraq.


    J.J. Says:

    We had Saddam on the ropes in 1991 and showed mercy. What a mistake!

    Unfortunately, Gulf War I was under UN auspices. After the massacre on ‘The Road of Death’, it was the UN which called a halt to military operations, leading to the no-fly zones in the north and the south, violations of which led to Gulf War II. Then President Bush acceded to UN authority and had our troops stop in place. The UN is directly responsible for what has transpired in Iraq since 1991, including propping up Saddam post 1991 with the Oil-For-Food corruption.

  60. Don Carlos Says:

    RickZ: you make a mistake by blaming the UN. The USA had the bullets and the guns and chose not to properly use them. Wars are not fought in courtrooms by lawyers fussing about UN’s or other’s rules. Wars are properly fought by warriors.

    My solution in 1991 was to let Iraq divide into (oil-less) Sunni, oily Kurd and Shia. That will still happen despite our fumbled intervention and craven desertion.

  61. mousebert Says:

    Did the intelligence agencies really miss the threat, or are they being thrown under the bus to cover the POTUS ass?

  62. neo-neocon Says:


    I think they’re under the bus.

    Perhaps they didn’t foresee every detail, but from all reports I’ve read, Obama was warned months ago. And Maliki also warned him months ago, and asked for drone help to get the ISIS guys in their staging areas. That’s what this article was all about. Obama didn’t do it, and that’s not because he didn’t know about it.

  63. RickZ Says:

    Don Carlos said,

    you make a mistake by blaming the UN.

    Sorry, but 1990-91 was a UN operation, just like Korea (another no win), so they do get the blame. While “the USA had the bullets and the guns,” we did properly use them and kicked Saddam’s ass. Again, the UN called a halt to military operations. Now whether G.H.W. Bush should have defied the UN is another argument; he didn’t, though, like I said acceding to the UN’s authority in that war. Personally, I think he should have told the UN to pound sand and march right into Baghdad and taken out Saddam as the way was wide open, but that scenario would have led to a whole host of different problems than the one with which we did end up. Who knows whether those problems would have been good or bad? Remember, getting Saddam wasn’t the mandate for the 1991 war: Getting Saddam out of Kuwait was. Bush should never have agreed to the UN’s entire premise for the war, but he did, being the internationalist that he is. The UN is like our Democrats: They just hate decisively winning wars.

  64. Eric Says:

    Neo: “Obama was warned months ago.”

    Fallujah fell in January. One would think that event passed the bar to qualify for a warning.

  65. Artfldgr Says:

    Artful, I can’t resist saying, Samson let Delilah cut his hair. So, it takes two to tango, and it’s not All our fault.


    but god did warn man not to trust women…


    (tongue in cheek)

  66. NeoConScum Says:

    Eric…Good stuff!!

    Obama is and has been an unprecedented catastrophe. Many of us believed he would be a human shipwreck for our country and others. That said, even we who knew where he came from and what he most likely planned sold the Infantile Majesty short on the magnitude of his carnage. And, there are more than 2 1/2 years remaining. A friend of SDS-Weathermen; a man who called the Liberation Marxist Rev.Jeremiah Wright his “spiritual advisor” for 2-decades; a worshiper at the altar of Saul Radical Alinsky; a hater-loather of American strength and liberty, etc, etc.

    This 30+year neoconservative and traveler from the Dark Side has never feared for my country anywhere near where I do now. Never.

    Jimmah Cawtah must be the happiest former title holder of the Worst President of the Last 100-Years.

  67. Artfldgr Says:

    if you do a search on EACH of the things that are largest and most influential, you will find a gaggle of women behind it, and another gaggle being quiet.

    if your expecting some white men to go with arms and stuff into black neighborhoods and fix em, your crazy – what woudl the left do?

    if you expecting your men to have policed women to not do this, your double crazy, as it was this idea that empowered them in the first place, created chauvanist pigs, and basically made them persona non grata pretty much everywhere.

    the ONLY people that could do anything about it and stop it were women. either the ones doing it would stop, or the ones watching would stop them. either way, they are the only ones society will permit to have a voice, take action, and so on.

    i mean really…

    To Learn Who Rules Over You, Notice Who You Cannot Criticize

    Heck, women argue both sides telling their side AND what men think too!
    Just go read the stuff…

    Who screwed up the schools and removed men, and drugged the boy kids?

    where are the male teachers? not their because we believe they do to children what the women teachers been doing a heck of a lot of!!!! (and they do it cause some idiot told them thats what men do, and to be like men, they rape boy kids)

    then you have the teachers blog where they discovered them trading notes as to how to hurt the boys and cripple them so grrrrlllllssss win…

    why dont you go spend a month over at pand a gon and let us know what you think..

    who changed the work force? (the lie as to what women earn, and now, they are pushing income equality – ie. communist salary settings… how many small businesses had to close cause they cant afford 3 out of 5 employees home with pay on maternity leave they took the job to get and was illegal to ask to prevent )

    who changed medicine? (billions on breast cancer, a few million on prostate cancer and the constant lie that more is spent on men)

    who changed the schools? (men said, drug my son but promote my daughter. cheerleading is not a sport, for if it was, title ix could not crush mens sports)

    who changed the family? (yes. men kicked themselves out and said, take what i own, hurt the kids, demonize me even if i pay up in spades…)

    who changed holidays? (no men, no family, no traditions, no holidays)

    who even changed bathroom design, naming objects, names of titles, added ms to the language, and a huge list of stuff…

    EVERY one of that and more are feminist initiatives…

    oh… us men? we are not allowed to have an all male organization like women can have all women organizations..

    heck, we cant even walk in the park in ny…
    when men complained they expanded the law to childless people

    you think the men came up with that one?

    you better do a whole lot of research as us guys havent been able to be guys since about 1970…

    now were spornosexual or something..

    problems fixing itself..

    More young women choosing dogs over motherhood

    and population collapse articles..

    and who were the ones who would have sex if the guys were socialist, but not if they were conservative as a way to convert men?

    you gots a heck of a lot to learn bev
    i guess you believe them when they say they are helpless
    but heck, i cant even say manhole cover any more

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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