June 12th, 2014

Read Richard Fernandez on the debacle that is the Obama administration

Read it, but have a good stiff drink by your side.

And lock up all sharp objects. Because if you’re not already profoundly depressed, his essay will depress you.

I can’t quarrel with what he writes; it’s what I would write if I were more gifted. Here are some excerpts:

There’s nothing in place available to stop al-Qaeda. The forces that might have are locked up in the Southwest Asia, sustained at the mercy of Russia and Pakistan. Obama has been faked out; the AQ have gone around him for a layup to the basket. He may lose Iraq and its border with Syria before the year ends. Afghanistan’s fall will follow almost immediately thereafter, behind the last American troops, whose safe exit from the landlocked country is now by no means guaranteed. The Russians lost more than 500 men going out in 1989 — and they only had to cross a land border a short distance away.

The only way things could be worse is for US troops in Afghanistan find themselves trapped, denied passage by Pakistan or Russia. Of course that could never happen because the press never considers the possibility and it considers Obama too “respected” for that to occur.

When you add in the Eastern European crisis and the growing expansion of China to the Middle Eastern collapse, it is not hard to see the obvious. Unless a miracle saves Obama, the nation will be facing a global and existential security crisis within a short time…

Obama has presided over the destruction of American influence in the Middle East, the hollowing out of the US economy, the perversion of American intelligence assets and the maltreatment of American veterans.

The shield has been thrown away, the sword has been melted down, the senses dispatched on a leave of absence.

Whether in fulfillment of some childhood psycho-drama, in the service of some bizarre obsession or in pursuit of an imbecilic strategy, Obama has basically made every bad move it is possible to make. For a long time the press covered up this perverted process out of admiration for the creases in his trousers; and so it appeared Obama was going gradually bust. Now we’re in the “all of a sudden” part of the curve. The check’s come back from the bank, bounced.

Just read the whole thing, if you can bear to.

And this sentence expresses something I’ve been thinking ever since hearing about what’s happening now in Mosul:

It’s like Vietnam all over again, except this time the NVA are continuing the attack all the way to New York.

Actually, I’ve thought about that ever since it’s become clear that the left and the MSM would undermine the already difficult and risky Iraq and Afghan wars, and that the American people and its leaders did not have the resolve to resist. In fact, from the moment of 9/11 on, it became increasingly clear that, despite brief periods of exception, we had neither the correct mindset nor the understanding of the implacable nature of the enemy we faced.

Obama is merely the symptom of that—but oh, what a symptom! Very few politicians on left or right would have served us—and the world—so poorly and so malevolently.

The problem of Islamic terrorism and of the entire Middle East has been a knotty and dangerous one for a long, long time, much predating Obama and Bush. But after 9/11 it became clear, up close, and personal. After that it was obvious that it would take a realistic understanding, steely resolve, and unity of purpose to fight it. These we have lacked from the start (“religion of peace”?), although it’s only gotten worse since. Obama has not just been inadequate to the task: he has sabotaged it, eliminating even the very tenuous success that he inherited from the Bush administration.

What is happening in Iraq (and by no means limited to Iraq, but that’s the focus for the moment) is, frankly, a nightmare. These are very dark times, and I see no reason why they won’t get darker. I keep thinking—as I did after 9/11—of this poem by Yeats, written around the time WWII was beginning:


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

115 Responses to “Read Richard Fernandez on the debacle that is the Obama administration”

  1. Don Carlos Says:

    Gold and gold miners prices have been in a one-year slump but they are apoppin’ today.

  2. Old Rebel Says:

    The problem with terrorism is that D.C. imagines it can intervene at will without fear of reprisals.

    9/11 should have taught us a lesson.

    Obama’s withdrawals were in keeping with his campaign promises. Most Americans were fed up with George WMD Bush’s wars and rightly rejected the Neocon agenda.

    Maybe now we understand that people don’t like to be bombed or be ruled by puppets installed by foreigners.

  3. Artfldgr Says:

    Go back and read what i said when bush was still in office. this was intended to be a one country buffer zone

    (which is why russia knew and called the bush effort that as it copied their constant idea of a country between them and their enemies)

    now Iraq request Obama for “kinetic support.” Moments ago Obama gave his response:







    want to know whats very different this time?
    this time, when we go back, there will be AQ stinger missiles!!! and other stuff from the other wars and locations as any time there is a breather its stock pile time…

    they have surrounded the largest refinery…
    but i said way back with bush, that they were going to turn on all the burners and really really push for a war eventually given that this one country line in the sand ends up threatenihg russias control of africa with china and all the weapons and its ability to buy off the states around israel.

  4. Ymarsakar Says:

    Everyone who supported Hussein has blood on their hands. That’s not an original sin that can be erased by the next election.

  5. rickl Says:

    I’m at work and haven’t had a chance to read the post yet, but “read Richard Fernandez” is always good advice.

    Note also that commenter Subotai Bahadur has been calling 2014 “The Year of Consequences” for quite some time now.

  6. carl in atlanta Says:

    Hah! I should have known that Neo don’t noways need no news tip line….

    I can’t figure out who Fernandez really is. Is he the guy who lives in the Philippines? Same person who’s sometimes aka Wretchard, who was a very early blogger (maybe pre 9/11/2001) , or is that someone else? Former spook?

    Whoever he is, he’s a very gifted writer and incredibly perceptive. He’s almost always a great read.

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    Like a child throwing a tantrum, president Obama has deemed it clever to throw open the southern border, ascribing what any sane person would regard as territorial suicide to high-minded humanitarianism.

    To those that know better, he is basically using children, murdering some in the desert!!!

    So that we are sad and sorry and so on.

    ok libs, now you may learn if you read this far…

    if your sad and sorry, then you are creating the fertile ground for some mean person to murder children to get your sympathy…

    but if you did not wear your faux hearts on your sleeves, and they would not get anything, they would NOT murder the children as that would not work out well.

    Your bleeding hearts attract the despotic murders to gain from you… so please stop it…

    the more you react to such thigns, the more children the big O will murder in the desert…. its been happening for years but now at these rates, it will happen even more and faster…

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    carl in Atlanta:

    Yes, that’s who he is. I’m not sure if he lives in the Philippines any more, but that’s the guy.

  9. Eric Says:

    Old Rebel,

    I highly doubt ISIS’s invasion from Syria represents the popular will of the Iraqi people anymore than the AQI murderous onslaught was the people’s choice in Iraq.

    9/11 taught us, and Obama’s foreign policy has reinforced, the lesson that insufficient competition against your opponents has a reliable tendency to assist your opponents in defeating you.

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    Old Rebel:

    You’re imagining a world in which we didn’t invade these two countries and things would have been a lot better. But it ain’t necessarily so.

    The truth is that we have been in a very dangerous situation for a long time, and the alternatives were very dangerous as well.

    See this.

  11. Ymarsakar Says:

    A lot of people’s lives were saved by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, killing terrorists there to stop them from coming over here.

    Unless people here think they can take on several suicidal Hasans, Santa Rog (Rodger’s wealthy Oriental Gentlemen), when the state disarms you in the US.

    How many kindergartens were you willing to sacrifice again in the US to not go into Iraq?

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    Old Rebel:

    You write “Maybe now we understand that people don’t like to be bombed or be ruled by puppets installed by foreigners.”

    You know what they also don’t like? Being ruled by a tyrannical murderous tyrant. And what most of them like even worse is being slaughtered and then the survivors ruled by people like The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), who are currently overrunning the country.

  13. Ymarsakar Says:

    Maybe now we understand that people don’t like to be bombed or be ruled by puppets installed by foreigners.

    You think you’re talking about Hussein or some foreigner?

    You have no idea what other people in the world thinks. You’re still stuck in a nation that thinks it has freedom and that supporting Leftist causes makes people free. Think that’s better than being ruled by foreigners?

  14. RickC Says:

    We also need to remember all the generals and other military men Obama forced to retire. My suspicion is he did not like their advice.

  15. Artfldgr Says:

    Ymarsakar, what nation is that? russia?

    the US as a nation of people do not believe that, whichis why we are having all these fits all over… the left that you refer to is not even a majority, its a minotiry, but a very vocal, and manipulative one, with international help…

    the sad part about waht Rebel said is that its just a nonsense sentence since groups like AQ and ISIS, and more socilaist leaders are aliens to the nations they take over… that is, they are not part of it. from several americans that joined the group, to lots of them that have migreated from dozens of countries to fight in a war….

    so in essence what you have is a rag tab band of people who are foreign to every country as they have no home, trying to take over lots of places, with the lead people out front a combiation of people they been able to draw in, and fanatics, who LOVE the horror and all that..

    i remembe one saying… “of course i fight jihad, without that i would go to hell as i am a very bad person” (paraphrased)

  16. Eric Says:


    Old Rebel demonstrates why it remains urgently important to set the record straight on Iraq, despite that we left (abandoned) Iraq now-years ago.

    It’s not just a fixation on an esoteric episode of receding history.

    The popular view of OIF is a determinative – normative – pivot point for perspective on the fundamental premises of US foreign policy. The debate over OIF is patient zero.

    Leftists and libertarians cite to the false narrative against the Iraq mission as the chief justification for claiming the current course of world affairs forged by Obama is preferable to the alternative.

  17. Artfldgr Says:

    lets dog pile on the rabbit

    US Spy Agencies Heard Benghazi Attackers Using State Dept Cell Phones to Call Terrorist Leaders

    The terrorists who attacked the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 used cell phones, seized from State Department personnel during the attacks, and U.S. spy agencies overheard them contacting more senior terrorist leaders to report on the success of the operation

    note that this is how russian military works..

    and how our military now follows that same model, which is not all that good…

    ie. the person forwards is a robot, what they do and such is determined by a controller who has constant contact… see mumbai… veitnam war… especially korea dog fights… etc

  18. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Fernandez wrote in his blog a year or so ago that the best reason for Bush’s decision to bring regime change to Iraq is that the establishment of a democracy there places strategic pressure on Iran, Syria, and indirectly on the other members of the old Muslim world.

    Perhaps the idea was shaky at best, but the impending doom of that dream wouldn’t be anywhere so close as it is today, if not for Obama’s immaturity and resentment toward his predecessor, and his naivete and cluelessness regarding not only our international antagonists, but our allies as well.

    Don’t put it past this clown – who up till now has been all bluster without any real resolve behind it – to leap into the middle of the fray in Iraq, and for no other reason than to salvage his plummeting approval by making it appear as if he’s once again having to clean up a mess that GWB left him. Or because he’s scared shitless about what a significant rise in gasoline prices at this stage will do to him politically.

  19. rickl Says:

    “A puppet installed by foreigners” sounds like a damned accurate description of Obama.

    You’re right. I don’t like being ruled by him.

  20. Old Rebel Says:

    “You’re imagining a world in which we didn’t invade these two countries and things would have been a lot better. But it ain’t necessarily so.”

    Yes, if we hadn’t invaded two countries that were not threats to us, blowing $6 trillion, killing 4,000 U.S. troops, and over 600,000 on disability, we might have real problems.

    “You know what they also don’t like? Being ruled by a tyrannical murderous tyrant.”

    Then they should have taken action themselves. The all-knowing, all-loving U.S. elite thinks it can grok what people in distant lands really want. I’m sure the Iraqis are happier now that millions have become refugees and over 100,000 have been killed in the U.S. invasion.

    ISIS would not be in Iraq if WMD Bush hadn’t overthrown Saddam.

  21. Capn Rusty Says:

    Read Fernandez’s Three Conjectures. Radical Islam has taken a giant step toward obtaining, by capture or purchase, a deliverable nuclear device.

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    Old Rebel:

    You can imagine whatever alternative you want. But there’s nothing that indicates you’re right.

    I’m not going to re-argue the reasons for going into Iraq. In retrospect, knowing what we know now, I agree that it should not have been done. But there were very good reasons at the time.

    Even at the time, though, it should have been realized that this was a huge commitment that could not be done on the cheap, and that we would have to remain there for decades. Bush was not committed to that, and for that I fault him. The left and MSM made it much much worse, but without that initial commitment it was not going to work unless we got lucky.

    But Obama might have staved off the present escalation of the crisis with a minimal commitment (drones, for example), and he refused to do so. That’s why it has gotten so very much worse.

  23. KLSmith Says:

    Wasn’t this all predictable when Obama shrug off the SOFA with Iraq?

  24. Ray Says:

    It is indeed like Vietnam. In 1975 The democrats controlled congress and cut off funding to our allies in SE Asia and abandoned them to the communists. The foreign policy genius Chris Dodd said in congress that the Cambodians would be better off under Pol Pot. I’m waiting for some democrat to announce the Iraqis will be better off under ISIS.

  25. neo-neocon Says:


    Extremely predicable. Virtually inevitable, given his actions.

  26. Artfldgr Says:

    Maybe now we understand that people don’t like to be bombed or be ruled by puppets installed by foreigners.

    i guess he never saw the movie “the longest day”.
    a particular scene was when D-Day started and the radio messages went out, and the shelling on the shores started..

    the people celebrated the bombs that might kill them
    for if they didnt, the Soviets or Nazi’s would leave (given D-day, it was the nazis, but in other areas it was easily other places)

    he forgets Phan Thi Kim Phuc… who was being bombed by soviets in north vietnamese planes, and running to americans for help (the photographer saved her)

    from the book
    South Carolina Goes to War
    “one good lady of charleston almost welcomed the shelling of the city in 1863 because it promised to persuade many foriegners that the time had come to defend their lives and property”


    Despite his losses, Chiang Kai-shek reportedly welcomed the shelling, hoping it would drag the US into the conflict between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.

    Back then I had nightmares all the time, so I actually welcomed the shelling that allowed us to sleep so close that I wasn’t afraid anymore. In retrospect, I suppose the nightmares were a nightly processing of all the daily input that would have terrified me as an adult, but that I didn’t notice as a child. For months we stayed at home, listening to the shells outside. My mom once jokingly suggested I should tape them for my pen friend. We were experts in making out a launching from a crashing. The one was harmless: we knew we had time to get out of the way, and the closer it was to us the safer we were, since it meant that the shells would fall away from us (except of course, if they were so close that retaliation would hit us along with the cannons). The other was much scarier, not just because of its implications, but because of the sound itself. It was the difference between a clean THOOMP and a raging CRRRRAATSHH. We could also tell who was shooting, from the sound. We hardly paid any attention to them anymore — we felt safe, though we certainly were not.

    my family has similar experiences…

    francis Scott key wrote the star spangled banner over the shelling fort mc henry

    And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;

    O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    i can recite the part and win lots of bar bets with it…

    O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

    Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.

    Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land

    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!

    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”

    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave

    i can tell Rebel has never lived through such things, as he would not have said what he said…

  27. neo-neocon Says:


    I have tried to set that record straight for a decade. I have never seen anyone’s mind changed on it, not by me or by anyone else.

    Although I agree with you in principle.

  28. Old Rebel Says:


    Your quote from the Star Spangled Banner turned me around.

    I now believe we should go back into Iraq and finish the job. We can call it “Operation 51st Star.”

  29. Artfldgr Says:

    I’m not going to re-argue the reasons for going into Iraq. In retrospect, knowing what we know now, I agree that it should not have been done. But there were very good reasons at the time.

    and none of the reasons in the public sphere ar the real reasons, and so, all your doig is faulting their ability to convince you with “other reasons” that are for the public.

    there were several things that never ever came up to the public…

    like the CRYPTO AG situation…

    Crypto AG is a Swiss company specialising in communications and information security. With headquarters in Steinhausen, the company is a long-established manufacturer of encryption machines and a wide variety of cipher devices.

    The owner(s) of Crypto AG are unknown, supposedly even to the managers of firm, and they hold their ownership through bearer shares

    Crypto AG was established in Bern by Russian-born Swede, Boris Hagelin. Originally called AB Cryptoteknik and founded by Arvid Gerhard Damm in Stockholm in 1920, the firm manufactured the C-36 mechanical cryptograph machine that Damm had patented

    Iran and Iraq found out about this, and Saddam spilled the beans… as well as a lot of other things.

    this never dominated the press because the press desired what? the end of it in favor of the soviets… or russians… (which, if you havent noticed, are still doing the things they have always done, but more since borders are open)

    as far as the WMD…

    if you do some REAL RESEARCH, you will find the purchases of BT tanks… these tanks are used to make BT for farming, but within 24 hours, you can gear them up to make Anthrax.

    we have the receipts for the supplies bought.. including a very important ingredient that people like me with access to BSL-4 rooms, and other areas where the state watches…

    the special ingredient, which i wont mention, is made only by one company… the anthrax was combined with that material which helped keep it separated and in very fine form. in fact, us bio guys have discussed this and cant discuss a lot with anyone in the public.

    this material, is very hard to make, and is a key ingredient. the stuff that was made from it, was also statitcally charged so that it would repel itself.

    that is. the moment the pressure changes and there was an outlet, the stuff wold push against other material and spring forth like a jack in the box, and then ride currents around… this was why the buildings were so contaminated despite nothing moving around.

    we tracked all that down to, guess who?
    (though we also know that the aids thing was really to cover an anthrax esceape that killed hundreds in the soviet union!)

    but why would rebel believe that? or know that?
    or care bout that? he is a young man with all the answers…

    and age and treachery always outdies youth and enthusiasm…

    but the youth dont believe it…

  30. Eric Says:

    Various, from my blog:

    Dealing cautiously with unsavory competitors that are rational actors is normal for the US. However, Saddam proved to be an irrational actor with dangerously poor judgement. The US simply could not trust Saddam with any less than full compliance on all obligations, weapons and non-weapons related, especially after 9/11.

    Freeing a noncompliant Saddam was out of the question. The Duelfer Report confirms that Saddam was not rehabilitated.

    IR realists like to claim US interests, including regional stability, were better served with Saddam countering Iran. Their faulty premise is Saddam could be trusted, yet Saddam acting out of control, destabilizing, and against US interests is the reason for the US intervention with Iraq in the first place. Saddam was given opportunities throughout the Iraq enforcement to rehabilitate and stay in power, yet did not. The Duelfer Report describes Saddam growing increasingly irrational in his thinking even as he consolidated power. Moreover, Saddam was convinced Iraq needed WMD in order to counter Iran as well as Iraq’s other enemies. Iran’s WMD development is bad enough by itself. An irrational Saddam with dangerously poor judgement spurring an urgent Iran-Iraq WMD arms race was neither the way for the US to counter Iran nor a formula for regional stability.

    In hindsight, the Duelfer Report shows that a free Saddam meant a Saddam rearmed with WMD. Saddam’s motive was defeating the Iraq enforcement and rearming Iraq, not compliance and rehabilitation. He was already reconstituting Iraq’s NBC capabilities, with an active program in the IIS, and was intent on fully restoring Iraq’s WMD, which he believed was necessary for Iraq’s national security, countering Iran, countering Israel, countering the US, and advancing his regional ambitions.

    Re the post you linked in response to Old Rebel:

    General David Petraeus: “If we are going to fight future wars, they’re going to be very similar to Iraq,” he says, adding that this was why “we have to get it right in Iraq”.

    On the military side, GEN Eric Shinseki famously warned that 500,000 soldiers would be needed to garrison Iraq.

    I agree we should have had more troops available at the outset of the post-war, but I don’t believe we needed as many troops as GEN Shinseki said we did. In fact, our post-war troop level in Iraq peaked at 157,800 in FY2008. Our main problem in the post-war wasn’t the numbers. The main problem was insufficient method (strategy, plans, tactics, techniques, procedures, etc.) for an effective post-war occupation. Despite our history of successful post-war nation-building occupations, the regular Army of 2003 simply was not prepared to do a nation-building occupation of the kind needed for Iraq. The Army’s post-war shortcomings were mainly due to an institutional mindset deeply rooted in the fall-out of the Vietnam War, exemplified by the Powell Doctrine, that was averse to nation-building occupation. Before 9/11, when the Army was tasked to do a mission on the spectrum of civil affairs or peace operations, it was done ad hoc as an “operation other than war”. The only way the Army could develop a sufficient peace-operations capability and, more fundamentally, a proper civil-affairs mindset for occupying post-war Iraq was to actually occupy post-war Iraq and learn through necessity.

    That’s normal, though. The standard of perfect preemptive anticipation, preparation, accounting, and execution that critics apply to OIF is ahistorical. Consistent with military history, the learning curve for victory in Iraq was driven by necessity on the ground. Our military has always undergone steep learning curves in war. OIF just demanded a steeper learning curve for the peace operations of the post-war.

  31. Old Rebel Says:


    No, I do not have clearance to BSL-4 rooms. Is that some perk you get for staying at a Holiday Inn?

    As for Saddam’s secret stockpile of BT death-stars or whatever, I have to wonder: Why didn’t he use his WMD to defend himself? Was he saving them for something really special? A birthday parade for Uday, maybe?

  32. Artfldgr Says:

    I now believe we should go back into Iraq and finish the job. We can call it “Operation 51st Star.”

    thats not the point..

    what you dont get is what would happen if the US didnt go back… not what happens when we do!!!!

    most of the time, guys like you have zero ability to read situations from a military perspective. so down on it, you have no idea where you would be without it!!!

    having a puirile collective fantasy in which idiots belivee they are not idiots cause so many idiots share the same stupidity

    heck… halve the stuff they complain bout they have no real facts about, just believe they do!! but if you stick around here long enough, you will see me tear to shreds common knowlege…

    how much money does the US make selling weapons to african states?

    Russia eyes Africa to boost arms sales
    Moscow’s two main exports are natural resources and weapons.
    Africa has plenty of former and plenty of demand for latter

    its been russia keeping those poor africans down,and blaming the US…

    if africa was allowed to be developed, like the US helps other poor countries, then their raw materials would end up on the world market. yes?

    given russias despotism, its main money comes from raw materials, and so, if their price goes down, they become even poorer as they wont let their people develop products and so forth.

    so, given this very basic simple truth..
    would russia want the land bridge between its country and these other countries to be closed down so they cant ship weapons to get raw materials to sell? and to ship weapons so that raw materials cant get to the open market on their own from the people they sell weapons to?

    and what about israel? israel has access to a humoungous natrual gas range.. the leviathan… if that is allowed to come on line russias hegemonic energy games in europe woud stop…

    syra and that is well known who funded that take over, and i wrote about it here… but the point is that all that conflic blocks the arab pipeline and forced it throught he country that paid for the war so that the gas can be taxed and israels gas is off market for a bit

    in the US, russias leftist wonderfuls, and people like you, are fighting to prevent stuff from reachinfg market… now, you kinow that if you can get 5 times more for your stuff than normal, you can buy 5 times the material to make weapons…

    and this is how russia has funded the rebuliding of yamentau mointain, the new nuclear hardened battle tank, the new plaine, the new fleet, and lots of other shiny stuff thast suddenly appeared in the ukraine

    so..what would happen if saddam was left to stay?

    you figuyre it out as you have not been able to figuure out cui buono..
    russia and china have been benefiting to the tune of trillions to this

    and this includes everything from subsidized solar cells, mercury in floursecents (china has the most mercury), and no nuclear here (us has the most nuclear material, we could run our system on that for about 1000 years and not touch oil… but then how would the russians and others make money selling us oil?)

    and dont forget your lovely OBama… who with berkshire hathaways purchase of bsnf rail has a monopoly to ship the oil that keystone would carry!!! of course its a billionaires club as billionaire tom steyer pays 100 million aroudn the us to get that army to make him money…

    aftrer all. if he dups you and that iraq iran oil and bs, then your going to do what that will favor who?

  33. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Remember, probably not, Kissenger’s speech when Saigon fell? A blind man could see in 2008 that the left wing creep Obama wanted to give that speech about Iraq. This is almost one of the happiest days in Obama’s life.

  34. Artfldgr Says:

    No, I do not have clearance to BSL-4 rooms. Is that some perk you get for staying at a Holiday Inn?

    a BSL-4 room is the room you get to work on anthrax, ebola, 1918 flu and you wear the space suits to enter and leave… i dont work with that, btu have been in them and work with biosafety officers.. its related to my work in research computing..

    basically, you the public dont get spoon fed much other than leftist pablum. the minute you try to find this out and do, you wake up big time… and wonder why you never bothered to before and why you were so comfortable with ignorance.

    i guess cause ignorance is bliss… no?

  35. kaba Says:

    We tried Old Rebels “ignore them and they’ll go away” strategy under Clinton for eight years. That gave us the tragedy of 9/11.

    I’m not sure what the best post 9/11 strategy might have been. But I am absolutely sure that doing nothing was not the answer.

    My prayers to the people of Iraq. Especially those who were naive enough to trust and work with this nation.

  36. Eric Says:

    OlderandWheezier: “Fernandez wrote in his blog a year or so ago that the best reason for Bush’s decision to bring regime change to Iraq is that the establishment of a democracy there places strategic pressure on Iran, Syria, and indirectly on the other members of the old Muslim world.”

    Bush inherited the regime change policy.


    Q: The reasons for OIF seemed to change. Was OIF about WMD or democracy?

    A: OIF was about both. The issues of Iraq’s WMD and regime change in Iraq were tied together. There was a bundle of reasons in the body of US laws and UNSC resolutions on Iraq. The short answer to ‘Why?’ is ‘All of the above’.

    The regime change mandate in the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act was based on Clinton’s conclusion that achieving Iraq’s compliance on all of its obligations, weapons and non-weapons related, would require regime change either with a rehabilitated Saddam or Saddam removed from power. The source of the “clear and present danger” was not Iraq’s WMD, but rather the intrinsic nature of Saddam’s regime. Iraq’s WMD was a symptom only, albeit a very dangerous symptom, of the cancer afflicting Iraq: Saddam, unreconstructed.

    When Saddam failed to comply volitionally, the objectives set by President Clinton to resolve the Saddam problem were achieved by OIF: Iraq in compliance, Iraq at peace with its neighbors and the international community, and Iraq internally reformed with regime change.

    For America the liberal hegemonic leader of the free world, the regime change that brought Iraq into compliance meant shepherding post-Saddam Iraq to a pluralistic liberal society, commonly called democracy.

    Or, as Paul Wolfowitz responded to critics of President Bush’s post-war commitment to a liberal peace in Iraq,

    We went to war in both places because we saw those regimes as a threat to the United States. Once they were overthrown, what else were we going to do? No one argues that we should have imposed a dictatorship in Afghanistan having liberated the country. Similarly, we weren’t about to impose a dictatorship in Iraq having liberated the country.

  37. Artfldgr Says:

    As for Saddam’s secret stockpile of BT death-stars or whatever, I have to wonder: Why didn’t he use his WMD to defend himself? Was he saving them for something really special? A birthday parade for Uday, maybe?

    FINALLY a intelligent question from you…

    this is easy…

    depending on which weapon, he either did, or couldnt

    if your talking nerve toxin, and mustard gas, then he DID use them

    but on the helpless who didnt have nuclear TACTICAL weapons.
    (the icbms are strategic. tactical weapons are things like nuclear mortars)

    he was afraid the non leftist in office would USE them on him
    and he was very confident, up till he lost, that he would win.

    a cursory examination of the Battle of 73 Easting will inform you greatly…
    its the most studied tank battle in history

    the US had not actually used the stuff you see now in war yet.
    the abrams was not in its A1 version yet…
    and saddam had a hell of a lot of stuff, including things that you probably dont know
    [it was a special team that just priot to that conflict got a core of the russian armor]

    the people on the ground did not know about the global positioning system, which was still military only, unlike today… so they felt really safe facing certain directions.

    the military was dug in very well.. they had thousands of pieces of equipment and they had the T-72s… a very formidable machine, but not enough for the abrams

    with all that, saddam thought he would inflict lots of casualties, cause since the vietnam war, the americans cant stand dead coming home and give up on small numbers.
    50,000 died in vietnam (8 women), more than that died in one battle in the civil war!

    so that would explain the reason not to use it if you had it AND it was ready

    however, it wasnt ready

    the problem with such weapons, and its very well known, was that they are not easy to control. and some of them are even harder to weaponize…

    and THAT what was going on at the time…
    yeah… easy to put some stuff in an envleope and send it
    but to put it in a shell, have the shell fly, blow up without killing the stuff, and have it spread out and not come back your way, or make the area uninhabitable for too long.

    this is where nuclear has a big advantage…
    how long before hiroshima and nagasaki were inhabited and big again
    (and note that doesnt jive with the tales of not living there for hundreds of years)

    so while he could lob them into a town of helpless women, children and citizens whose poverty means they could not get a wet cloth over their faces let alone masks and tabs of antidote…

    if he used them against the US, then what? he could not use them effectively
    the americans would change their tactice of close engagement with their tanks
    and switch to air assaults, or nuclear tactical weapons…

    then what? he would not have them where he wanted to hurt them. close
    he would have sat there as wobbly goblins took out the tanks
    and or, mortar teams would turn sections of desert into glass.

    but the left never talks in any real terms
    take vietnam… when they attacked hue and lost, the left never really let you know that the north vientamese used the short time there to murder over 200,000 people sympathetic…

    or that after it was over, the vietnamese boat peopel came… ie. people who got into boats made for a lake and tried to sail to australia, or java, or even to the US… thousands upon tousands of families and children died.

    then there was the fact thye dont tell that the men fying the plaines in the fights were ruussian pilots (wh9o recently had a reunion and it was in the news), and so on

    its easy to fault people from a place of ignorance.
    you just do so, and there are no facts to stop you or make you think
    to other ignorants it seems like a person of passion and knowlege fighting
    but almost always, they are jjust hollering as they dont know the facts
    all they know is the argument points to script out, not real history to have an informed debate.

    mileage may vary

  38. expat Says:

    What a great post and comment thread. I read Wretchard earlier and had the same reaction as Neo. My optimist side notes that more and more former Obama supporters are starting to question him. My pessimist side says what are they going to do about him and isn’t it too late.
    I also read the post on Kundera, which was wonderful. We have been skating along on our wealth and ease for so long that we haven’t had to dig into who we are and what we value. We have gotten into the habit of thinking utopia might happen or have happened without Bush.

  39. Artfldgr Says:

    correction, i meant warthogs (A10 thunderbolt) , not wobbly goblins (new)

    The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is an American twin-engine, straight-wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic in the early 1970s. The only United States Air Force aircraft designed solely for close air support of ground forces, the A-10 was built to attack tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets with limited air defenses.

    it puts TIMEX to shame

    takes a beating and keeps on beating them up

    the plane can take incredible amounts of damage and continue to fly…

    the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk is another thing… sorry

  40. Old Rebel Says:


    You need to use your special Agent of Shield clearance to call George Bush and tell him about this, because he feels bad about no WMD being found in Iraq.

  41. Artfldgr Says:

    only the lefist socialist morons know THAT

    the rest of us know the other stuff, and that its real easy to hide stuff that is small enough to fit in one building.


    the airline jet in the ocean was a lot larger
    had transmitters on it, and radars were trying to track it and cant be found

    and as i said, ignorant people dont actually debate, they agitate, yell, try to push bottons, make snarky remarks (that only sound witty to another moron!!!!!)

    and i dont have an agent of sheild clearance, i work for a research hospital/college… some of them, like at ivy league places, like princeton, have BSL-4 labs for their researchers to work with. i write software and work with these people, and so know about that stuff as part of my job.

    now, if you want to know about my clearances, that comes through celebrity photography. i have photogrpahed presidents, their wives, family members, the hearsts, and so on.. just ask neo…

    your just so used to lefists lying to you that you cant imagine that the thing their lying about actually has people out there that do the kind of thing they try to get attention from you for.

    but note. you should not listen to me BECAUSE i have access, that was only a reference to where i got my information… and to belive me because of it, is argument by authority, and that is a false argument!!!!

    you should believe what i say as its impirical, and if you were not a lazy agitating get trying to be a gadfly, you could double check the stuff (stay away from tin hatter sites, they make erronous conclusions).

    given Bush is out of the running for president having served twice… why not ask me to tell the clintons? i know the family, and have gone clubbing with them and the hearst family (you know, patty hearst).

    they are or used to be professional relationships… though i know others on a more personal level, like bob from sesame street who i worked with when doing some consulting at kaufman astoria studios in Queens ny…

    but, i LOVE it when people like you do that.
    it reminds me of when i used to do fashion week and it was at the end of the season not the start as it was now. then it fell on my birthday… it was so much fun to go out on my birthday after hanging out with the models… cause karmen cass and i share birthdays, and we are from the baltics, so she used to invite me to the fun… i would get kisses from the models, and happy birthdays, and leave. then some person like you, would try to ding me by turning me down for a drink or something…

    your too young and have nothing to realize that as you get older, the people you knew who are nobody, end up growing up and sometimes others know them…

    i grew up knowing lots of famous people and luminaries, as my dad worked with them, my elder friend and his maurice seymore was very connected to international things, like russian ballet, and the chese club in ny… and i went to bronx science, so these people wanted their daughers to hook up with me and so on and so forth…

    one of my first girlfriends was a social rgister deb

    Specific to the United States, the Social Register is a directory of names and addresses of prominent American families who form the social elite. Inclusion in the Social Register has historically been limited to members of polite society, or those with “old money”, within the Social Register cities of Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., as well as ones for “Southern Cities”. In European countries, similar directories for the perceived upper-class, such as Burke’s Peerage & Landed Gentry in the United Kingdom, have been published for hundreds of years.

    your a real piss and a half…
    more piss than half…

  42. Eric Says:

    Old Rebel,

    You raised 2 distinct issues: One, Saddam’s threat to the US and, two, Saddam’s non-use of WMD to defend Iraq in OIF.

    The Duelfer Report touches on both issues.

    First, on the issue of threat to the US, the Duelfer Report states:

    Saddam had direct command of the Iraqi intelligence services and the armed forces, including direct authority over plans and operations of both. . . . The IIS also ran a large covert procurement program, undeclared chemical laboratories, and supported denial and deception operations.

    Now, the Duelfer Report does emphasize that, while Iraq had failed to account for its WMD with UNMOVIC, among other violations, which was the chief trigger for the military enforcement, Iraq was not found after the fact to possess a military/battlefield level of WMD stocks. (More on that below.)

    However, it’s important to distinguish that the most urgent threat consideration in the wake of 9/11 was not a military/battlefield application of WMD, but rather much smaller amounts of WMD in a terrorist application.

    Pre-9/11, the threat calculation in the ‘containment’ of Saddam was based chiefly on a conventional military, regional standard.

    The attacks of 9/11, coupled with the uncovering of a prolific international WMD black market, changed the threat calculation to focus on Saddam’s terrorist ties and unconventional capability, e.g., President Clinton’s statement, “I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, ‘Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process,” and Bush’s statement, “we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

    Judging with the WMD standard for terrorist application, the above excerpt from the Duelfer Report highlights that Saddam’s Iraqi intelligence services (IIS) were, in fact, running an active, clandestine NBC program. Note that the IIS was Saddam’s regime organ that worked with terrorists, handled Saddam’s in-house black ops, repressed the Iraqi people, and were famously notorious for all of the above.

    In other words, the distinct terrorist-related threat presented by Saddam was substantiated.

    Second, on the issue of Saddam’s non-use of WMD to defend Iraq in OIF, that can be blamed on Saddam’s “deception and denial operations”. During the course of the 1991-2003 Iraq enforcement, Saddam actually hid large amounts of WMD, ultimately failed to account for them, and also purposely fostered the notion he continued to harbor a military/battlefield level of WMD stocks, including with his own commanders.

    From the Duelfer Report:

    Following the destruction of much of the Iraqi WMD infrastructure during Desert Storm, however, the threats to the Regime remained; especially his perception of the overarching danger from Iran. In order to counter these threats, Saddam continued with his public posture of retaining the WMD capability. This led to a difficult balancing act between the need to disarm to achieve sanctions relief while at the same time retaining a strategic deterrent. The Regime never resolved the contradiction inherent in this approach. Ultimately, foreign perceptions of these tensions contributed to the destruction of the Regime.

    Early on, Saddam sought to foster the impression with his generals that Iraq could resist a Coalition ground attack using WMD. Then, in a series of meetings in late 2002, Saddam appears to have reversed course and advised various groups of senior officers and officials that Iraq in fact did not have WMD. His admissions persuaded top commanders that they really would have to fight the United States without recourse to WMD. In March 2003, Saddam created further confusion when he implied to his ministers and senior officers that he had some kind of secret weapon.

    Given the intel indicators of WMD activity, unaccounted for weapons, Saddam’s track record, the operative presumptions in the procedure of the Iraq enforcement, and especially the high stakes involved – Clinton and then Bush had no choice but to accept Saddam’s WMD deception at face value.

    As it turns out, it wasn’t all deception. The Duelfer Report corroborates that Saddam was broadly in material broach and his proscribed activities took him above the threshold of post-9/11 terrorist-based threat consideration.

  43. Eric Says:

    Fix: The Duelfer Report corroborates that Saddam was broadly in material breach (not broach)

  44. Eric Says:

    Add: Obviously, the Duelfer Report findings of Saddam’s “large covert procurement program”, “undeclared chemical laboratories”, and “denial and deception operations” each independently would have validated OIF if Saddam had been guilty of only that and nothing else.

    But that said, those findings were after the fact. Relevant to the decision point for OIF, the trigger by procedure was defined by Saddam’s failure to comply in his final chance to pass his Gulf War ceasefire test with UNMOVIC.

    Of course, neither UNMOVIC nor the Duelfer Report focused on Saddam’s non-weapons obligations, which were also triggers for OIF.


    There is, of course, no disagreement that Saddam remained in violation of UNSC resolutions on non-weapons issues, such as illicit trade outside the Oil for Food program and humanitarian and terrorism standards. They were also triggers for the military enforcement. Iraq’s non-weapons obligations are often overlooked, yet they were as serious as Iraq’s weapons obligations. For example, the no-fly zone was the most visible, dangerous, invasive, and provocative component of the pre-OIF ‘containment’, yet the no-fly zone was not part of weapons-related enforcement. Rather, it enforced UNSC resolution 688, which demanded an immediate end to the repression of the Iraqi civilian population.

  45. DNW Says:

    Eric Says:
    June 12th, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Fix: The Duelfer Report corroborates that Saddam was broadly in material breach (not broach)”

    Broadly, but what do the trolls care?

    I, as did Neo, I take it, had spent many hours compiling data and then detailing and dealing with the wild eyed and panting Bush Bashers’ on Iraq.

    Eventually you find that none of the contextual facts really matter to them. Compliance? Doesn’t matter. Killing his own people? Doesn’t matter. In material breach on weapons systems? Doesn’t matter: only the 13 words matter, and then only as if they were unconditionally and categorically stated. Violating the terms of the *cease fire* … doesn’t matter. Warned … doesn’t matter. Given ultimatum … doesn’t matter. Europeans enabling … doesn’t matter.

    It’s like the Valerie Plame deal. Turns out that nearly everything she and her husband claimed as central was false or misleading. She did suggest him, the internal memoranda and timelines invalidate claims otherwise; they met with Kristof at a Senate Democrat policy conference and deliberately precipitated the entire affair, while claiming the eventual attention they got as a result was was undeserved; David Corn was found to shilling and slandering; Joe Wilson was caught lying outright in print; the State Department gossip Richard Armitage was revealed as Novak’s source on Plame … but it was all still Darth Cheney’s fault, and let’s frog march Karl Rove out of the White House.

    There is no reasoning with emotionalists, in part because they don’t even take their own reasons and “reasoning” seriously.

  46. Ymarsakar Says:

    Then they should have taken action themselves.

    I’ll be sure to remember that when America’s death squad patriots cut off your left arm for siding with the Left.

    I’ll also remember that when the Left’s death SWAT teams cut off your right arm for not siding with Hussein and Kerry.

    You should have taken action yourself.

  47. Eric Says:

    Old Rebel: “ISIS would not be in Iraq if WMD Bush hadn’t overthrown Saddam.”

    In the biz, that fallacy is called attenuated causation.

    The circumstances and conditions for, one, the construction of ISIS in Syria that combined with, two, the US-abandoned vulnerability of Iraq all arose post-Bush in close relation to choices made by Obama.

    You need only recall the state of Iraq and the terrorists when Bush passed the presidential baton to Obama:


    “In the century we’re leaving, America has often made the difference between chaos and community; fear and hope. Now, in a new century, we’ll have a remarkable opportunity to shape a future more peaceful than the past — but only if we stand strong against the enemies of peace. Tonight, the United States is doing just that.”
    — President Clinton on the commencement of Operation Desert Fox, 1998

    When President Bush passed the presidential baton to President Obama, America was winning the War on Terror.

    To wit, David Schanzer, Director of the Triangle Center of Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, on the progress made by the counter-terrorism campaign:

    “As the 9/11 attacks demonstrated, al Qaeda was a powerful and dangerous organization 12 years ago, but is now a shell of what it once was. Central al Qaeda and its affiliate organizations around the globe still aspire to execute attacks inside America, but their capabilities to do so are dramatically diminished. The threat is present, but no longer acute.
    . . .
    In the months after the 9/11 attacks, there was a general expectation-and dread-that 9/11 was just the first of many terrorist attacks inside the United States. Yet the total number of attacks since then is relatively few. Why is that, do you think?

    The counterterrorism strategy against al Qaeda that has been executed since 9/11 has been extremely effective. We eliminated the safe haven that al Qaeda enjoyed in Afghanistan and captured or killed hundreds of senior leaders and thousands of rank and file militants. It is also important that governments in countries like Saudi Arabia and Yemen, who were on the sidelines prior to 9/11, joined the fight because they felt threatened by al Qaeda as well. . . . we have crippled the organization that attacked us on 9/11 to the benefit of the United States and the world.”

    In other words, Obama was handed a succeeding counter-terrorism campaign that had greatly reduced the physical terror threat of 9/11.

    In addition to resolving the Saddam problem, Operation Iraqi Freedom was a devastating defeat for the terrorists in the post-war contest. The terrorists who sabotaged the initial US-led peace operations and inflicted atrocities on the Iraqi people had planned for Iraq to be their Vietnam War defeat of America. Instead, the Iraqi-American alliance turned Iraq into the worst-case, nightmare scenario for the terrorists, who were decimated on the ground and, more consequentially, rebuffed in the war of ideas as Iraq’s Sunni Muslims chose to side with the Americans.

    In the context of the greater War on Terror, Obama inherited OIF from Bush as a strategic victory poised to realize Clinton’s vision of “a remarkable opportunity to shape a future more peaceful than the past — but only if we stand strong against the enemies of peace.”

    To wit, again, President Obama on post-Saddam Iraq:

    “Indeed, one of the broader lessons to be drawn from this period is that sectarian divides need not lead to conflict. In Iraq, we see the promise of a multiethnic, multisectarian democracy. The Iraqi people have rejected the perils of political violence in favor of a democratic process, even as they’ve taken full responsibility for their own security. Of course, like all new democracies, they will face setbacks. But Iraq is poised to play a key role in the region if it continues its peaceful progress. And as they do, we will be proud to stand with them as a steadfast partner.”

    In other words, by Obama’s own description, the emerging pluralistic, liberalizing post-Saddam Iraq was set to have “a key role” in a reforming Middle East.

    Bush set up Obama for victory in the War on Terror. Obama simply needed to stay the course from Bush to win the war and build the peace, like President Eisenhower stayed the course from Presidents Roosevelt and Truman. Instead, Obama claimed Bush’s liberal foreign policy goals yet disclaimed Bush’s rational, progressing means to achieve them, thus causing Obama’s irrational foreign policy and regressing foreign affairs.

    In sum, America was winning the War on Terror when President Bush left office. Operation Iraqi Freedom was a strategic victory that had resolved the festering Saddam problem (none too soon, according to the Duelfer Report), revitalized international enforcement in the defining international enforcement mission of the post-Cold War, demonstrated the mettle of American leadership and devastated the terrorists with the Counterinsurgency “Surge”, and provided the US with an emerging keystone partner in pluralistic, liberalizing post-Saddam Iraq to reform the region. However, since taking office, Obama has reversed the hard-won progress made under Bush by committing the gross strategic blunders of bungling the SOFA negotiation with Iraq and changing course from Bush’s foreign policy. Consequently, the terrorists have resurged in the gaps opened by the stumbling, diminished American leadership under President Obama.

  48. Ymarsakar Says:

    Choices made by Hussein?

    The Choices made by Rebel here is enough to render him guilty in my judgment of treason.

    Anyone, and I say Any One, that supports Leftist operations in the US, is a traitor and will receive the same treatment.

  49. Old Rebel Says:


    Leftist operations?

    Do explain.

  50. Old Rebel Says:


    Our blogmistress above admits that knowing what we know now the Iraq War was a mistake.

    Yet you still insist, in prose and grammar that say much about your reasoning abilities, that the war was the right thing to do.


    BTW, I’m neither young nor leftist.

  51. Eric Says:

    Ymarsakar, quoting Old Rebel, “Then they should have taken action themselves.”

    They did take action in 1991 solely out faith in the word of the US President.

    At that brief moment, at the fresh dawn of the post-Cold War in the defining international enforcement project, the word of the US President, the head of the leader of the free world, was at its peak value – perhaps ever – in the world.

    But Bush, faced with that pivotal moment, made a weak dishonorable decision, and the moment was lost to us forever when the Iraqis were massacred by Saddam. That moment in 1991 was the moment the course to 9/11 and beyond might have been turned aside.

    The Shia believed Bush and they rose up against Saddam. But the US military that was still in full force on the ground inside Iraq was ordered to turn away the desperate Shia who were begging us for help. To my understanding, our troops were ordered to provide zero assistance. No arms, not even medical assistance or shielding Iraqis under attack. Instead, this conquering, powerful military of the leader of the free world was reduced to a passive, up close, front row seat for the massacre brought on by the presidential callousness of Bush.

    UNSC Res 688 and the no-fly zone placated the world community but didn’t nearly compensate for Bush’s monumental cruelty of calling for revolt by implying US forces would help.

    In 2003, I marveled that the senior Shia leadership were willing at all to work with the US-led coalition given what happened.

    Moqtada al Sadr was not a senior Shia leader and therefore not accounted for, but I understand why he moved to become a passionately angry agent of Iran. As a boy, his father, uncles and (I believe) older brothers trusted us and heeded Bush’s call to action. They were killed.

    Had Bush acted honorably in 1991 and some, if not all, of Moqtada’s killed loved ones had lived by the grace of the US military, there’s a good chance Moqtada al Sadr with his family would have grown up to be a friend of the US instead of a hate-filled, destructive enemy.

    Beyond post-9/11 threat considerations and the need to resolve the long festering US-led enforcement mission with Iraq, America had a tremendous debt of honor to repay the Iraqi people for Bush’s history-changing moment of presidential weakness in 1991.

  52. Ymarsakar Says:

    Anti Iraq war beliefs are founded on Leftist propaganda. It is not a position people came about on their own merits or judgments.

    Hence the “neocon” trigger label, which is not something they encountered from their family so much as a cultural meme.

    Democrats also think they aren’t Leftists. The cannonfodder never believe they are being used, they always think they are autonomous and wise. But that will not save you when it comes time to pay the piper, because then you’ll have to do something about it. Just as the Iraqis are facing now.

  53. Old Rebel Says:

    Anti Iraq war beliefs are founded on Leftist propaganda. It is not a position people came about on their own merits or judgments.

    Yes, those of us who objected Iraq was no threat did so because we are gullible. And the people who snapped their heels and blindly believed George “WMD” Bush were thinking for themselves. Got it.

    BTW, “Neoconservatism” originated from the ideology of internationalist Trotskyites. Look it up.

  54. neo-neocon Says:

    Old Rebel:

    Yes indeed, “neocons” can be whatever boogeymen you want them to be.

    I’ve written many posts on the subject of the definition, origin, and meaning of the term. You can find them in the category “neocons” on the right sidebar.

  55. Eric Says:


    It’s the narrative contest of the Marxist-method activist game.

    My goal, when I show my work, is to correct the popular (mis)conception of the premises of OIF, especially for supporters, as much as to argue the merits of the case.

    The core premise that people, including supporters and supposed experts, get wrong on OIF?

    The burden of proof.

    At trial, burden-shifting changes the entire conduct and consideration of a case. For the 1991-2003 Iraq enforcement, the entire burden of proof was on Saddam, meaning if the US and UN had offered no intel or ‘evidence’ of Iraqi violations, even if the intel had even indicated Saddam has totally scrubbed his WMD program and sworn off WMD forever, the operative enforcement procedure would have been the same. Saddam had to prove it.

    In 1998, Clinton bombed Iraq based on the failed UNSCOM compliance test, not due to intel on Iraqi WMD. Based on Saddam’s failure to comply with UNSCOM, by procedure, Iraqi possession was presumed and the threat was imputed.

    Yet in the popular narrative, even with supporters and supposed experts, the false premise predominates that the burden of proof was on the US to demonstrate Iraqi possession. That’s the opposite of the truth.

    The truth is the entire burden of proof was on Saddam. The shift of burden in the popular narrative has corrupted the whole consideration of OIF in the zeitgeist

  56. neo-neocon Says:

    Old Rebel:

    But I agree that it was the right thing to do at the time. Because decisions always must be made on the basis of what is known at the time.

    It even could have still been the right thing to do if the left had not been intent on sabotaging it from the start, and won the PR war, and if (as Old Flyer has described) the original plan had been followed rather than putting the State Department in charge. I can think of a host of times decisions could have been made after the war that could arguably have made it turn out more successfully. It was always a difficult and perilous undertaking, but so was doing nothing, and at the time it looked like the latter was worse (and perhaps it was).

    But on the whole, knowing what we NOW know, I would say don’t do it. And “what we now know” includes the sabotage by the left, and the abandonment by Obama. You see what I’m talking about? I’m talking about the entire chain of events, including the left’s determination to repeat its own role in Vietnam, what it considers its own finest hour, and which I consider one of the darkest.

  57. neo-neocon Says:


    Excellent points about Bush I’s actions during the earlier Gulf War.

    That was awful, awful—and it certainly affected a great deal of what happened later.

  58. Ymarsakar Says:

    BTW, “Neoconservatism” originated from the ideology of internationalist Trotskyites. Look it up.

    Unless your family were a bunch of Trotskyites, your “authority” ain’t up to snuff, the source you got your info from. Because it’s all “somebody else told me it” stuff”.

  59. Ymarsakar Says:

    I spent the entire time from 2008 to 2012 never saying one word about Iraq and Afghanistan being a failed war, because people were still fighting and I did not want it to be a self fulling prophecy.

    Now that the Left and their cannonfodder operatives have engineered that collapse, I don’t take lightly their coming up from their zombie caves to gloat to us about it.

  60. Matt_SE Says:

    Yes, quite a depressing piece though there is a lot to be depressed about.
    However, as I and others have been saying for a while, Obama is a symptom; the real problem is the voters. This will be another chapter in their education.
    It was bound to get worse, and here we are.

    If great nations commit suicide, then all that’s required is the will to live.
    In this case, that will probably mean the will to kill on a wholesale level.
    I, for one, am willing to “do what’s necessary.”

  61. Matt_SE Says:

    Ymarsakar said, “Everyone who supported Hussein has blood on their hands.”

    True, but that’s not the way you persuade people to join your cause; by vilifying them. Instead, point out their mistakes, assumptions and poor logic, then invite them to join you in fixing the problem.
    There’s no problem this country, when thinking correctly, cannot solve.

  62. parker Says:

    Attempting to engage the old rebels of the world in a rational, fact based conversation is a fool’s errand. I suspect old rebel is in his/her/its early 20s sipping hot chocolate in mommy’s basement taking orders from the BHO/Soros headquarters. Or it is actually a member of my generation who is frustrated that the Age of Aquarius has yet to come and fill the world with fragrant unicorn farts.

  63. Eric Says:


    When I was in college, I participated in a television special with a discussion between American and Iraqi college students, satellite teleconference, between NYC and Baghdad.

    A question I was asked by an Iraqi student is, if the US was going to invade for regime change, then why didn’t we do it in 1991 when it would have been a relatively simple nation-building project, and instead made them suffer under Saddam plus our sanctions for 10-plus more years?

    They believed in America in 1991. Because of what followed Bush’s ‘anti-war’ decision, that faith was largely replaced by 2002-2003; again, I marvel that we were able to work with the Iraqis at all.

    A false premise is we broke a functional state, at least in terms of civil society, when we invaded Iraq in 2003. The truth is the already corrupt civil society with which Iraq had entered Desert Storm was broken by the time of OIF. And we had a hand in breaking it with our ‘containment’ of Iraq.

    We’re taught that after WW1 the Germans weren’t bitter so much about losing the war. Rather, they blamed the Allies for the society crippling they had to endure due to the reparative and containment conditions imposed by the Allies after WW1. We repeated a version of that mistake with Iraq between 1991 and 2003.

    Which leads me to this question, Neo:

    You say that knowing what you know now, based especially on the cost of the rewarded betrayal by the Democrats and Left (I’ll add Paul-type libertarians), that you don’t approve of OIF in hindsight.

    I understand your reasoning, but I still want to clarify what you’re saying.

    To wit, we only had 3 choices with Iraq by the close of the Clinton administration:

    By the close of the Clinton administration, the US-led Iraq enforcement had been reduced to 3 choices:
    A. Kick the can on the toxic and crumbling ‘containment’ status quo, and hope.
    B. Free a noncompliant Saddam, unreconstructed.
    C. Resolution by giving Saddam a final chance to comply under a credible threat of regime change.

    According to the Duelfer Report, option A was a fast-approaching dead end because the ‘containment’ status quo was on the verge of imminent defeat by Saddam. Option B or freeing a noncompliant Saddam, unreconstructed, on top of abrogating the defining international law enforcement of the post-Cold War, most likely would have resulted in, as President Clinton had warned in 1998, “a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors; he will make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them”.

    Alternatively, if the US had backed down when Saddam failed the compliance test, and thereby discredited the threat of regime change, the failure to follow through on the law enforcement would have restricted our choices to the dead ends and greater threat promised by option A and option B. In addition to the dangers of a victorious Saddam, the failure of law enforcement in Iraq would have severely undermined, if not altogether killed, the effectiveness of law enforcement over rogue actors and WMD proscription.

    In other words, setting aside Saddam’s failure on his compliance test and the terrorist threat via his active program in the IIS, the Duelfer Report indicates that all the alternatives to following through on the credible threat of regime when Saddam triggered it most likely would have led to Saddam rearmed with WMD, most likely in short order. (He had intent, capability, means, and was already advanced in the process.)

    Just to clarify, knowing what you know now but adding the Duelfer-supported expectation (if not assumption) Saddam would have rearmed with WMD had Bush not followed through, you still don’t approve of OIF in hindsight?

  64. Ymarsakar Says:

    True, but that’s not the way you persuade people to join your cause; by vilifying them.

    You must be under a sad mis-impression that my goal is to “persuade” people of anything.

  65. Matt_SE Says:

    It’s going to be lonely out on the ramparts by yourself.

  66. Ymarsakar Says:

    You think you’ll have a choice about it when the Leftist alliance kills all of your family, don’t you.

    They will convince you. Don’t bother getting me to convince you.

  67. Ymarsakar Says:

    The fear of dying alone, being alone, that’s what weakling pukes living in a society need to rely on as a crutch.

    Ohhh, don’t go it alone, cowboy, you’ll die, you need to stay under this here Regime and Obey, do as you are told.

    If you fear dying alone so much you want people to crowd around you and make you feel safe in numbers, so be it. It has nothing to do with me, I have no duty to “convince” people of anything.

    They will be convinced of the Truth, by Evil, whether they like it or not… whether you like it or not.

  68. Old Rebel Says:


    Of all the fantasies the pro-war, any war crowd cannot let of, the one about how “the left” was against the Iraq War is the lamest.

    Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, Charles Johnson, and the wretched Trotskyite Chris Hitchens ALL supported that war.

    And many real conservatives (as opposed to the big-government Neocons) opposed the war, including Pat Buchanan, Tom Fleming, and Charley Reese. And little ol’ me.

  69. Ymarsakar Says:

    I’m sure Rebel thinks he opposes the Afghan, Libya, and Syrian wars too. At least, that’s what the brainwashing procedures would have him think.

  70. Matt_SE Says:


    Fear has nothing to do with it. It’s about numbers.
    If you/we fail to persuade a sufficient number to join the fight (whatever form that takes), we will fail. No matter the strength of our beliefs.

  71. Old Rebel Says:


    Unless your family were a bunch of Trotskyites, your “authority” ain’t up to snuff, the source you got your info from. Because it’s all “somebody else told me it” stuff”.

    How about from the mouths of the founding Neoconservatives?


    There are links in the above article you really need to read.

    You, too, nn.

  72. neo-neocon Says:


    To answer your question and expand on my response about “knowing what I know now”—

    I know that stuff about the Duelfer Report, and in fact wrote about much of it, at length.

    But when I used the phrase about knowing what I know now I meant it literally—in other words, the implication is that even now I only know what DID happen. I don’t know what did not happen—in other words, what would have happened without the invasion. It might have been even worse, but I don’t know that. And I also don’t know the end result of what’s happening in Iraq at the moment, although I think it will be very very bad.

    So I was not referring to trying to compare what might have happened had we not invaded (was Saddam indeed on the brink of reconstituting his weapons of MD program?) with what might happen now that Obama has withdrawn and Iraq is being overrun by very very bad guys. Will they end up running the show and getting weapons of MD too? Will they be even more inclined to use them than Saddam was? Etc. etc. and so forth; one can speculate on and on.

    Knowing only what I know now, if I could go back in time with that knowledge, I probably would recommend against starting the war in the first place. But that doesn’t mean my position on that is right, even knowing what I know now.

    I hope that was clear. It’s a bit complicated to try to explain.

  73. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “A nation can survive any mistakes in its pasts provided it is willing to learn, but it cannot survive willful mistakes in its future because it is unable to admit error. If Hillary has been described as Barack Obama’s Third Term, then she is proof of what we everyone distressingly knows: the only error progressives ever admit is not trying their ideology hard enough. It will be double-down until the end.” Wretchard

    Once again Richard Fernandez gets to the heart of the matter.

    “Yes, quite a depressing piece though there is a lot to be depressed about. However, as I and others have been saying for a while, Obama is a symptom; the real problem is the voters.” Matt_SE

    Indeed, that is the real problem and the cure will be… brutal reality.

    “Political ideas that have dominated the public mind for decades cannot be refuted through rational arguments. They must run their course in life and cannot collapse otherwise than in great catastrophe…” Ludwig von Mises

    There shall be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Consequence is a natural component of stupidity.

    “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” Abraham Lincoln

  74. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Regarding the US invasion of Iraq;

    It was not going into Iraq wherein the mistake was made.

    Bush’s first mistake was in accepting the lie that Islam is a “religion of peace”.

    Bush’s second mistake extended from the second, that a ‘religion of peace’ would naturally be open to democracy and minority rights.

    Bush’s third mistake was in underestimating the treasonous mendacity of the democrat party and the MSM.

    All of the above led to Bush’s actions.

  75. neo-neocon Says:

    Old Rebel:

    What makes you think I give a hoot what Irving Kristol says? “Neocons believe” is a statement with no meaning, because there’s no unanimity of opinion. He does not get to define what all neoconservatives think, any more than any particular conservative would get to define what all conservatives think. I am a small government advocate. And many neocons, likewise, are conservative in the sense of being small government advocates. Some—such as Irving Kristol, at least when he wrote that back in 2003—are not.

    The word “neocon” has been used many different ways by many different people, some of them neocons themselves and some of them people writing about them (some of those, in a hostile manner). My adoption of the term has been defined and explained many times in those pieces I referred you to. First and foremost, I use the term in its literal meaning: a newly-hatched conservative.

    Read the rest of the posts if you’re interested.

  76. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Oops. Should read; “Bush’s second mistake extended from the first”,

  77. neo-neocon Says:

    Old Rebel:

    You call that “the left”? Don’t make me laugh.

    Read this. And also read this, written by Tom Hayden in November of 2004.

  78. Old Rebel Says:

    What makes you think I give a hoot what Irving Kristol says?

    Because he is the godfather of Neoconservatism, and you call yourself “Neoconservative.”

    If you are indeed a small-government conservative, then you should turn in your Neocon membership card (or better yet, burn it). “Neocon” is the term for big-government, pro-interventionist, stealth progressives.

    How far would I get if I called myself a “socialist” and tried to re-define the term? Would I be in fact re-defining socialism, or would I be obfuscating for the sheer perverse joy of it?

  79. Ymarsakar Says:

    How about from the mouths of the founding Neoconservatives?

    Are the Neo cons your “authority” now, that you can’t defend your Source?

    A pathetic transition, if I may add.

    The idea that you can get us to Obey, because you brought up the Irving K “trump card”… what a blundering act of projection. Using your own weaknesses as an attack on others.

    If you are indeed a small-government conservative, then you should turn in your Neocon membership card

    I see the wannabe storm trooper has delusions of grandeur. A proper sycophant to the Leftist overlords and Hussein the Amoral King.

    At least you could have tried to (first) shield yourself with “military service”, and “patriotism”, and the various other stuff you people use to shadow walk through the walls and open the gates to the barbarians.

    Fear has nothing to do with it. It’s about numbers.

    It’s about numbers because you fear to go it alone, yes I see that.

  80. Ymarsakar Says:

    If patriots need to be “convinced” to fight, they are worthless as such and deserves to be annihilated by those stronger.

    Freedom can only be achieved by people who exercise freedom of judgment. They ain’t “convinced” to do somebody else’s dirty job.

    When the Left changes the world, that will convince people automatically, but it won’t redeem those people of deserving their own destruction. They made their choice. If they wish for redemption, they will have to fight, but the price they pay is already going to be collected.

  81. Matt_SE Says:


    Did you have a point to make besides hurling childish taunts?

  82. parker Says:

    I see many are still engaging in a discussion with old rebel. That is like GWB stating that Islam means peace or the messiah declaring Ft. Hood an instance of work place violence. One must make a clear choice. Either use overwhelming force to make the enemy accept abject submission or stay home and continue to suffer the enemy’s wrath. Either you make them piss their pants or you allow them to piss down your back and convince you it is raining.

  83. Ymarsakar Says:

    Did you have a point to make besides hurling childish taunts?

    Do you have a point other than trying to make me do your bidding? Because if you want to convince people, that’s your business. But never assume you have the power to make me agree with you.

    Your pretentiousness annoys me.

  84. Ymarsakar Says:

    When you can’t even convince me, let that be your future “wisdom”, Matt.

    Better work on that a little.

  85. Eric Says:


    Thanks. That matches what I thought you meant. I agree it’s complicated and I accept your answer is about as clear as I can expect with that question..

    Corralling conflations such as hindsight is why I normally take a contextual tack to set cognizable parameters:

    Whenever I debate OIF with anyone, I challenge that person to step into President Bush’s shoes in the wake of 9/11 and defend their preferred alternative for resolving the Iraq problem. Most will refuse and, instead, double-down on criticizing Bush and OIF in hindsight. For those who have the integrity to try defending an alternative in context, it becomes apparent that Bush’s decisions regarding Iraq were at least justified.

    It’s a speculative debate. At the decision point, all 3 of Bush’s choices on Iraq were ugly and speculative.

    However, it was known that the status quo, ‘containment’, was toxic and unstable. It was failing.

    So, Bush’s choice really came down to 2 options: free Saddam, unreconstructed, or finally resolve the Iraq enforcement either with Saddam’s compliance or regime change.

    Bush chose to resolve the Saddam problem rather than free a noncompliant Saddam. The only other guy who understood the Saddam problem as well as and probably better than Bush, Clinton, endorsed Bush’s choice to resolve.

    Politically, do you think the other option – removing the enforcement from a noncompliant Saddam with some control – was a realistic option?

    Or, do you think Bush should have stayed with the status quo of ineffective sanctions, no-fly zone, etc, allowed the ‘containment’ to fail with no control, and freed a noncompliant Saddam by omission?

  86. Matt_SE Says:

    “…make me do your bidding?”
    Make you? I don’t remember coercing anyone.
    Bidding? What actions have I suggested you take?

    I think I expressed an opinion about how best to garner support. You can take or leave that opinion as you wish.

    “Better work on that a little.”
    Probably not necessary in your case.

  87. Ymarsakar Says:

    Since I’m not going to be convinced by you Matt, and looking at you is an eyesore, I’m going to stop reading your messages for a time. Then you’ll be invisible, which is about the same as your convincing people repertoire.

  88. Matt_SE Says:

    Good, I was going to do the same thing.
    See? We can agree on something.

  89. Mike O'Malley Says:

    Old Rebel Says:
    June 12th, 2014 at 9:04 pm… “Neocon” is the term for big-government, pro-interventionist, stealth progressives.

    I don’t know Old Rebel. Are you sure you know what you are talking about. The authoritative American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia has a five page entry for Neoconservatism. That long entry seems to differ with you substantially.

    On page 612, the entry describes the careful rigorous research and writing characteristic of Neocons and says “their conclusions reflect skepticism of new, large federal programs, and thus ran counter to accepted liberal wisdom”. It continues, Neocons “resisted costly new programs that they believed had only dubious chances of success.” Instead they wanted to “(take) administrative authority from federal agencies and (place) it in local hands whenever possible and by maximizing the choices of individuals”.

    Regarding foreign policy pages 613 and 614 might be summarized characterizing Neocons not as “pro-interventionist” but anti-Communist, anti-Socialist, anti-isolationist and hostile to Third World demands for economic transfers to the Third World.

  90. Ymarsakar Says:

    The best suicide robot they have, is one where the robots think they are fighting for liberty.

    AQ has a lot of them, or used to before they used em in Iraq.

  91. Mike O'Malley Says:

    Old Rebel Says:
    June 12th, 2014 at 2:43 pm
    Yes, if we hadn’t invaded two countries that were not threats to us, blowing $6 trillion, killing 4,000 U.S. troops, and over 600,000 on disability, we might have real problems.

    Well, now that is heavy on bombast and unbearably light on reality!

    No threat to the US? Now that assertion is divorced from reality. Saddam’s Iraq was an ongoing threat to the US whether by invading Kuwait, using AQ to attack US interests around the world, or by sanctions running and continuing its WMD research among other matters. Both countries actually struck the US mainland: Saddam supported the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in NYC. Afghanistan supported September 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in NYC. [How on earth did you make those facts go away?!]

    If I recall no serious person took Joseph Stieglitz seriously when he cooked-the-books and came up with a $3 trillion price tag for the war in Iraq. The CBO calculated the actual cost of the war in Iraq during the entire Bush presidency. The CBO’s figure for the gross cost of the war was around $786 billion or so. Now that is not the actual net cost of the war because one needs to consider and account for the cost of alternative policies choice.

    For example continuing Pres. Clinton’s reasonable but failing no fly zone and sanctions regime would have cost 40% to 60% or perhaps 80% of the gross Iraq war costs. In that case the net cost of the war might have been lower than $160 billion over 7 years, or equal to 2 months of Pres. Obama’s failed 2009 Stimulus Plan.

    An alternative policy would have to go to war later at a time of Saddam’s choosing. Such a war would certainly have cost us significantly more in casualties and treasure.

    The other major alternative, favored by isolationists such as Ron Paul would be to withdrawal from the Middle East. However to cost of such a blunder would have be incalculably high. Pres. Obama’s current failure in Iraq promises to show us just how high.


    Old Rebel Says:
    June 12th, 2014 at 2:43 pm
    ISIS would not be in Iraq if WMD Bush hadn’t overthrown Saddam.

    But these very same elements of AQ were in Iraq before the 2003 invasion. They were conducting the illegal sanctions busting black market smuggling that kept Saddam’s regime alive during the UN sanctions years.

    Rather ISIS would not be Iraq today if we had garrisoned northern Iraq with US troops and air-power much the way we garrisoned South Korea. ISIS would likely also not be in Iraq if Pres. Obama had not provided AQ with up to a half a billion dollars of military weaponry to fight Obama’s proxy war in Syria.

  92. J.J. Says:

    The collapse of the Iraqi army is very similar to what happened in 2003 when we invaded. Most of the Arab troops don’t really want to fight for Saddam or Maliki or Gaddafi or any other Arab “Big Man.”

    The jihadis are another breed of cat. I’ve seen a couple of them up close and personal. They have this “Dead Man Walking” look in their eyes. They actually thirst for that glorious martyr’s death. And the hatred they exhibit toward infidels is palpable. They want to murder as many as possible before they go to their reward. Very scary dudes. Not to be taken lightly. That’s why this is a serious deal. They’ve got territory, money, weapons, and recruiting is going way up. They will be coming here again.

    We had them down, but just like Papa Bush in 1991 we gave them room to rest, recover, and rearm. We have to quit judging them by our standards. They do not thirst for liberty or peace. They are fighting for Allah and all you have to do is look in the eyes of these jihadis to see they are not like us. If 10% of the Muslim world are radical, that’s 150 million of them. As I said, they will be heading our way after they consolidate their gains. Unless we begin to use their tactics.

    They don’t have air power. We do. With some good intel and special ops in country we could interdict their ops. We could make quick strikes, keep them guessing. Move forces into the area like Kuwait and Jordan. Keep up a psy ops campaign. Make them guess what our intentions are. But keep hitting them with air strikes. Just that would help put some backbone into the Iraqi government. We also need to get the Saudis, Jordan, Turkey, and Israel on board. They are potential targets of this burgeoning jihadi army. Whatever we do we have to keep them too busy to consolidate and become more dangerous. Then we need to work on cutting off their money. Without money these groups are unable to operate with any strength. That’s the keystone. No money for them! Not easy I know, but a much better plan than an army in the field hunting them down one by one over a long period.

  93. Don Carlos Says:

    Good one. Agree 100%.

  94. Ymarsakar Says:

    It’s the old Sunni vs Shia vs Kurd problem again.

    I just got an update on military strategic status for Iraq as of the last 5 or so days.

    ISI was already in Fallujah around January of this year, and they were shelling them. The alliance between Sunni Al Anbar militias and tribes, with the Shia dominated federal government began to break down because the military shelling strategy was killing Sunnis along with the ISI. I presume. For whatever reasons, the Shia strategy failed, and Fallujah fell. The Shia felt betrayed by the Sunnis, and started to send Al Sadr’s death squads to Sunni places like Mosul. Mosul then fell to the ISI as Sunnis called for reinforcements.

    Now Quds force has been called in from Iran to defend Maliki’s gov. Iraq’s special forces are busy defending shrines because of some religious holiday or something.

    As for people that wanted Muslims to kill Muslims, they can enjoy this party. Even though Muslims have been killing each other for awhile, and that’s why they have terrorist forces to attack the US to begin with. They keep recruitment, morale, and the loot up with Sunni vs Shia practice. If an org can strike America, they can get more Sunni or Shia recruits, which means they can kill more Shia/Sunni Muslims. It’s like one evil vs another evil, the Blood War, and everybody else are merely supports and recruitment posters for it.

    But the cartels in Mexico seem not to speak Islam, and vice a versa, so they don’t have a logistics base there… yet. Once they do, Islam will make the Mexicans look like upstanding American citizens.

  95. Mike O'Malley Says:

    JJ: If they have oil, they will have money. One of the largely ignored results of the 2003 Iraq invasion is our discovery of how the UN Oil for Food program was subverted by Saddam into funding continued Saddam WMD development. If ISIS controls oil fields and/or petroleum transit someone will pay them for oil.

    If they conquer Baghdad they will have national sovereignty in short order. If not and if they hold their current gains national sovereignty will come it will just take longer.

    We are watching a catastrophe unfold before our eyes.

    The entry for Neoconservatives, on page 613, describes early concerns of the original Neocons,

    the neoconservatives were further concerned by what they viewed as the liberal elites’ loss of willingness to defend themselves after the Vietnam disaster. Political scientist Robert W. Tucker, for example, believed that 1973 Arab oil embargo was an indication of a loss of nerve.

    By now the evidence confirming those fears is overwhelming.

    Perhaps the reason Neocons are vilified and marginalized as warmongers and “interventionists”, vilified from both left and extreme right, is that like the Prophet Daniel, Neocons disturb the grand (final) celebration of the good life, the final opulent party of the Western elites.


    BTW: we won the war in Vietnam and as own Neo-neocon will tell, in 1975, our elites vindictively threw that victory away … and millions died.

  96. Ymarsakar Says:

    So long as their children inherit the Earth, the Dems care not who dies in the process.

    What difference would it make to HRC when Chelsea is the one being left at the embassy in Libya?

  97. Mike O'Malley Says:

    Ymarsakar, I’m unsure whether demographics bear that out. Our Western elite don’t seem to be particularly interested in making children. 😉

  98. Ymarsakar Says:

    Democracy is 1% controlling the 99%. They don’t need more children, especially since they can abort the lower classes’.

  99. Ymarsakar Says:

    The whole point of an elite is that they aren’t as numerous as the masses.

  100. Mike O'Malley Says:

    Less numerous? Yes.

    Faithless and self satisfied?

  101. Eric Says:

    Mike O’Malley: “One of the largely ignored results of the 2003 Iraq invasion is our discovery of how the UN Oil for Food program was subverted by Saddam into funding continued Saddam WMD development.”

    It’s all in the Duelfer Report, which is freely available on-line. Go here and do ‘find’ searches for “OFF program” and “WMD”. The results pop. Just a small sampling:

    The successful implementation of the Protocols, continued oil smuggling efforts, and the manipulation of UN OFF contracts emboldened Saddam to pursue his military reconstitution efforts starting in 1997 and peaking in 2001. These efforts covered conventional arms, dual-use goods acquisition, and some WMD-related programs.
    … From 1999 until he was deposed in April 2003, Saddam’s conventional weapons and WMD-related procurement programs steadily grew in scale, variety, and efficiency.
    … The procurement programs supporting Iraq’s WMD programs and prohibited conventional military equipment purchases were financed via a supplemental budget process that occurred outside of the publicized national and defense budgets.

    An all-time propaganda coup has been the popular characterization of the Duelfer Report – despite its free and easy availability on-line – as discrediting the case for Operation Iraqi Freedom, when the findings actually do the opposite.

    The Duelfer Report corroborates that Saddam was guilty across the board on WMD except for possession of a military/battlefield level of stocks and activated production. Saddam was in broad violation, yet propagandists and complicit media (inasmuch they’re distinct) have successfully implemented the false narrative that the one missing piece means Saddam was innocent, despite the heavier weight of the findings that Saddam was guilty.

    Of course, I’ll remind that the findings of the Duelfer Report, while corroborative and validating, are procedurally irrelevant to Bush’s decision to order OIF because the trigger at the decision point was Saddam’s failure to pass his compliance test.

  102. neo-neocon Says:


    I agree about what was done to the Duelfer Report.

    Did you know, though, that something similar was done with the Pentagon Papers? Please see this.

  103. Eric Says:


    I do, because I read about it on your blog.

    Knowing how the activist method has worked before doesn’t make it less effective. If anything, practice makes perfect in propaganda. Like, say, cooking.

    The Pentagon Papers at least weren’t one click away for anyone to read for themselves. The Duelfer Report is, yet it’s been spun anyway.

  104. neo-neocon Says:


    Agreed. They are very practiced now.

    Plus, each story reinforces the next one as a story and makes a belief system. Vietnam plus Iraq means “don’t intervene, it’s doomed to failure.”

  105. Eric Says:


    That’s another reason I advocate for the Right to take up activism in earnest.

    You know as well as anyone the optimism at the beginning of the blog phenomenon that exposing propaganda with critical thoughtfulness and intelligence on the free internet – the ‘sunlight disinfects’ ideal – would change the zeitgeist.

    Blogs like yours, and I’ll add alternative media to the mix, have made a difference and matter. It’s a piece. But it doesn’t neutralize propaganda.

    A sobering moment was when I researched my term paper on OIF and answered all my questions with google. No FOIAs, other special requests, or interviews were needed, which my professor believed would be. It confirmed to me that the truth is there for anyone – free, easy to access, and one click away – yet it’s hardly dented the narrative contest.

    In the narrative contest of the activist game, truth is just a narrative option and narratives are elective truth.

    There’s just no way to circumvent the activist game, and it must be competed in the arena. The contest for the general will and zeitgeist requires a much more muscular effort and a different process, ie, genuine activism, than just shining a light on propaganda.

  106. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Left intervenes. Honduras. Egypt. Libya. Syria.

    The only reason the Left’s propaganda arm is growing is because people won’t kill it.

  107. Eric Says:

    Neo: “was Saddam indeed on the brink of reconstituting his weapons of MD program?”

    It’s difficult to arrive at any other conclusion reading the Duelfer Report even by eliminating his presumption of guilt and gracing Saddam with the benefit of the doubt.

  108. Artfldgr Says:

    Yet you still insist, in prose and grammar that say much about your reasoning abilities, that the war was the right thing to do.

    of course i do, as i know a hell of a lot on this…
    and all you and most others look at is the surface..

    your tactical and strategical conceptual on it are pretty null and void as they are not there.

    how do you stop Russia and China from transporting hundreds of thousands of pounds of weapons and explosives to Africa, the middle east, and across to Pakistan and India?

    since this all goes by land in regular trucks that ride the roads, how do you know how much, when, and what to stop and keep out – and if the states along the way are not friendly to stopping explosives, and equipment, how do you do it then?

    how do you finally end the weapons that prevent African people from bringing their raw materials to the market and improving their lives and world and ours as well, while not so good for Russia, who is supplying them weapons to suppress their market so they can sell raw materials, which is their economy

    turkey waffles based on who has pressure on it… but it prefers the west over Russia… however if you combine it with Iran, Afghanistan, and the countries in conflict, what you have then is a one country wide friendly set of states that can stop land transport of material.

    one one side of that line is Russia and china and all that material
    on the other side of that line, is Africa, Israel, the middle east…

    unless you can stop the supply of weapons and material practically handed out like candy so that the place never stabilizes and so threatens the economy of the maker of the weapons, your not going to get very far in terms of halting much of any of this stuff. Russia and its satellite leaders and such have BRAGGED openly that this crap is their stuff…

    but lets say your right…
    your about to see your fuel oil go up a heck of a lot
    but your also going to see businesses cut back
    at some point the state cant pay you welfare..
    and then lenins quote comes in loud and clear
    you dont work, you dont eat.

    you see… if you cant stop the land bridge, you cant stem the tide
    and if you cant stem the tide, your going to have to deal with the tide coming in.

    just ask anyone here that knows me..
    you really want to get into a debate with me on it. then let it rip
    but it better be a real debate as i have better things to do than educate
    you will find yourself wholly unprepared as to how deep this can get

    and it will all boil down to whether you understand the poem by Martin Niemöller…

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    the long ending to the debate would be what would happen if not.
    and that would end up being what we have now happening
    and what will be happening soon if not…

    the left has caused upscaled death tolls wherever it applies itself and ideas..
    this includes the idea that you can bean count war to a win, and so on..

    Given your not really going to bring anything interesting to the table in the debate other than an emotional appeal and some arbitrary moral position, its not really worth debating. without the ability to see the outcomes other than wishes by what happens tactically and strategically, your positions are going to conveniently ignore all the lives of africa, the middle east, and ultimately israel

  109. neo-neocon Says:


    I’m not at all sure whom you were addressing in your above comment. If it was me, though, perhaps you missed the following fairly lengthy discussion yesterday about whether the Iraq war was the right thing to do.

    Please see this, this, and this comment of mine on yesterday’s thread.

    I don’t think anyone believes the Iraq War would have solved the sort of worldwide problems you describe. It’s not an either/or thing, though. There’s a lot more we should have done and should still do, and aren’t doing.

    Russia has long been supplying our enemies, for example. We used to understand that; that’s at least part of what the Cold War was fought about. Russia has a big hand in the Middle East, and has had for a long long time. We don’t have an effective strategic long-term approach to that fact any more (if we ever did), I think, even before Obama came to power. And of course Obama isn’t interested at all in stopping Russia, to say the least.

  110. Orson Says:

    Neo at 2:42PM – “I’m not going to re-argue the reasons for going into Iraq. In retrospect, knowing what we know now, I agree that it should not have been done. But there were very good reasons at the time.”

    I am and I’m going to point out that Bush’s reasons (his June 2002 West Point grad Speech) were correct, and world changing ones.

    It’s seems to be me alone, but no one in recent years has pointed out the FREAKIN OBVIOUS: “no Bush led war in Iraq = NO ARAB SPRING!”

    The Arab Spring has been bloody and painful, but ever since Napoleon invaded Egypt the issue in the West’s view of the Arab ME has been: “Why can’t they modernize?”

    It was the subject of the late-great Ernst Gellner’s PhD thesis in the 1950s, for instance – he’s the Cambridge philosophical anthropologist and expert on nationalism who wound up as the savant of civil society when Communism Fell in the 1990s.

    Now it has begun. And remember, it took the US 20 to 45 years to get popular sovereignty workably correct. And Europe centuries. Obviously, in an age of galloping globalization, the Arab ME stands out as incapable of imitating the best place for Arabs to live, democratic Israel.

    What Bush did was give Muslim Arab’s hope and example that they, too, can enjoy the fruits of democracy – and for people to see it with the proof of those purple stained fingers – proof of REAL democracy. And as the Arab spring proves, they did.

    And it happened about a decade earlier than I or anyone expected. The reason for this Bush success is getting the timing of the Arabic demographic bulge – lots of young idle males becoming teens with nothing to do – right, combined with the domestic and FP disaster of 9/11.

    The early positive result? A successful constitutional Morocco and Tunisia.

    Experience with success, as opposed to the Islamist failure, takes bloody time. It takes time. And I share Neo’s fears. But let’s not loose sight of the Wisdom of our elders, including the visions of Bush – so re-read that seminal speech, June 2002 at west Point.

    A dozen years have proved his rationale for war correct. Even if Iraq falls to AQ.

    What’s different this time is something within Islam that’s very old, very ancient: the Sunni-Shia Schism.

    That Iraq was able to keep this balance going for so long still amazes me. Lessons on how to overcome it remain to be learned, conveyed, and institutionalized. That’s what’s coming for the Arab ME and the world that surrounds it.

    Thus, from my perspective. there’s lots of progress. But classic Arab ME regress will long, long persist and recur. (It’s their history to repeat failure a lot.)

    The huge benefit of Iraq was the diminished appeal of AQ-style exporting terrorism.

    When will the GWOT end? Thomas P. M. Barnett in his C-SPAN seminar of a dozen years ago on “The Pentagon’s New Map” argued that when women control their reproduction and can work outside the home – as opposed to traditional submission to patriarchy – is the game-changer. Even the AQ strategists, building on Qtub, agreed that this was the end-game they need to avoid to escape modernization and save their sacred doctrine from eclipse.

    One measure of it is when reproduction in Arab ME reaches replacement levels (TFR=1 per person). So by that measure, the end game looked to be in 2040s.

    But the decline in the Arab ME of fertility rates – especially within Iran, I know not technically Arab ME, already – it’s already closing fast, and close to 1 in Iran. And the level of church going within that Fundamentalist Theocracy is lower than England’s!

    Thus, going by recent revisions to the end-game metric and diminishing fertility levels, it could be early 2030s that GWOT-terrorism becomes a small appeal. The appeal of terrorism will end with women’s empowerment within Arabic Islam, despite the ideological vulnerabilities within Islam itself. The sociological levers of family power will have shifted from Patriarchal inflammation to more Matriarchal pacifism.

    Thus, there are multiple reasons to admire Bush’s foresight and idealism and his War in Iraq.

    It changed the levers on Arabic Islam – and since among the universal religions – Islam is the only one to dominate its geographic birth place, and to have a deeply militaristic place, and potentially atavistic, doctrine of Jihadism (SEE “Understanding Jihad” by david Cook), my admiration for Bush’s timely vision is huge.

    My bottom line is THIS: no Bush war in Iraq = no Arab Spring. Ergo, no long-0term diminishment of the appeal of AQ-style exporting of terrorism to the West to solve the problems of the demographic bulge (explosion of youth and testosterone driven young men). And their problem is “how to reform” their societies to provide jobs and economic growth consonant with modernity? – peacefully or through war?

    This was Bush’s brilliant answer: give the Arab ME an example. Prior to Bush, they only had theocracies (Saudi or Iran), police states (like Egypt) or failed states (like Somalia). Now they have a new Contender on the block. And it’s there that their real needs can be met in time, with practice overcoming their tribalistic propensities for failure.

  111. neo-neocon Says:


    Did you see my subsequent comments explaining more fully what I meant? This and this.

  112. Eric Says:


    President Clinton, statement on signing the Iraq Liberation Act, 1998:
    “Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else.”

    President Bush, USMA, 2002:
    “The peoples of the Islamic nations want and deserve the same freedoms and opportunities as people in every nation.”

    Check out Bush’s 2004 speech at the USAFA graduation:

  113. Don Carlos Says:

    I think artfldgr was addressing a point the sorry Old Rebel made against art some time ago in this thread.

  114. neo-neocon Says:

    Don Carlos:

    Oh, thanks.

    That’s why when I reply to someone I always try to address that person by name. Otherwise it can get very confusing to wade through a thread.

  115. Eric Says:

    I thought artfldgr was talking to me but I couldn’t figure out what he was responding to.

About Me

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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