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Obama considers U.S. options for beleaguered Iraq

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By JULIE PACE and LARA JAKES

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"If you break it, you own it."

Former Sec. of State Colin Powell describing the Pottery Barn Rule and how it applies to Iraq.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

$12 million for one million people ($12 each) who were forced to flee their homes isn't going to do much.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just bring in multiple drones to kill the bad guys and ensure minimal civilian casualties.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

$12 million for one million people ($12 each)

That's probably enough for 2 or 3 weeks of food at local prices then...

Congress is reviewing a $1 billion order of arms, including Humvee vehicles, to Iraq. Etc. Etc.

... Good news for US industry, obviously. Worrying for people there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The only ones who win are the bankers and the MIC. Same as it ever was.

Now...shhhhhhhh. Obama's putting

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Quagmire. Spreading democracy at the end of a rifle barrel works so well.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Do you really believe that Iraq's problems will be solved by another military bombing campaign? Remember, Iraq is in the state it's in because of a false flag agenda by the US. Humanitarian aid and diplomacy are the only two ways of truly helping at this point, it's no solution but more guns bombs & missiles will never bring peace to this region.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Remember Joe Biden in 2010, after Obamas withdrawal from Iraq:

"I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government,"

Well Joe, still bragging about the success?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

A great lesson in how not to resolve a conflict - install a sectarian PM.

($12) That's probably enough for 2 or 3 weeks of food at local prices then...

It's Iraq, not Eritrea. Do you really think all those people fleeing Mosul in private cars can eat for less than a dollar a day?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

stormcrowJun. 13, 2014 - 07:56AM JST

"If you break it, you own it."

Former Sec. of State Colin Powell describing the Pottery Barn Rule and how it applies to Iraq.

Well, we need to tell this lesson to divorcing Americans in family court. Too many dead beat dads here, They want to do a "F", but they do not want to own them. So what does it mean to Iraq war? Still Americans want to leave the war behind. Obama has a hard job to do.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

After the insurgents take over Baghdad, they should build a huge statue of the late president Saddam Hussein, posed bent over and mooning in the direction of the Bush ranch in Texas.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Premature withdrawal and failure to secure U.S force in Iraq come to hound the no clue foreign policy in chief, and now Obama flip flops by aiding Iraq & Iran to bomb the Muslim extremists! All these are the results of Obama's failure as a community organizer in chief who handling world affair. Al Qaeda is not on the run, but on the rise- thanks to Obama.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

thanks to Obama

Why blaming Obama? The truth is American voters wanted to get out. I protested against the war at beginning on NYT, and I was a minority. My conscience is very clear on this.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Bgood1

Premature withdrawal and failure to secure U.S force in Iraq come to hound the no clue foreign policy in chief, and now Obama flip flops by aiding Iraq & Iran to bomb the Muslim extremists! All these are the results of Obama's failure as a community organizer in chief who handling world affair. Al Qaeda is not on the run, but on the rise- thanks to Obama.

The failure started with Bush's stupidity and Cheney's greed that got us back in Iraq in the first place. And after all that misleading, the still didn't secure any oil contracts which was all they wanted anyway. Not mention the US economy Bush helped to ruin as a byproduct.

Unfortunately , President Obama is the one having to clean up their mess on both fronts. While Bush is trying to come to terms with his failures by painting as a form of therapy and Cheney spending most of time trying to rewrite his legacy and attempting to now put the blame on Bush by claiming he was weak and incompetent. Something we already knew by the way.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It was a mess, we removed the dictator and then a worse mess, a withdrawal without a contingent plan, and now complete chaos! Same for Afghanistan Mr. Prez.? May as well your deadline offers no additional hopes to stabilize that nation either. I say leave now, same outcome either way.

And....Al Qaeda was on the run about ten years ago. After reassembling have been growing since. Obama lied.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Arm them in Afghanistan against USSR, bomb them in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Arm them in Libya, bomb them in Mali. Arm them in Syria, bomb them in Iraq.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

afroengineerJun. 13, 2014 - 10:28AM JST

Arm them in Afghanistan against USSR, bomb them in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Arm them in Libya, bomb them in Mali. Arm them in Syria, bomb them in Iraq.

Okay, you ready to go to a fire burning hell. Go ahead and sign up for service tomorrow.. Jesus said, "forgive those who know nothing;"

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@globalwatcher

Good points, and your right about Obama having a tough job to do. Do nothing...bad. Do something...bad.

It's not difficult to imagine Obama and Kerry playing rock-paper-scissors right now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government,"

That one's almost as good as "Iraq will pay for its own liberation," that came from the clowns who started that fiasco.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@WilliB

Well Joe, still bragging about the success?

When things were going well Obama took credit and deemed his work at cleaning up the mess he inherited a success. Now that McCain's assertion that it would be necessary to keep a residual force in Iraq have been proven to be prescient look for Obama to seek out someone else to blame for his own failed foreign policy - same as he always does. It's as if he has forgotten that he has been in charge the last six years.

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paulinusaJun. 13, 2014 - 08:29AM JST

Just bring in multiple drones to kill the bad guys and ensure minimal civilian casualties.

Appreciated your post. The truth is Iraq is very unique and we may need to send US troops back to do this job. The drones will not do a job as we are calculating.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The truth is Iraq is very unique and we may need to send US troops back to do this job. The drones will not do a job as we are calculating.

This would be throwing good money after bad. The US was stupid to go to Iraq in the first place, and going back again would be even more stupid.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Muslims kill Muslims while rich white people point their fingers at each other thousands of miles away.

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StrangerlandJun. 13, 2014 - 11:08AM JST

The truth is Iraq is very unique and we may need to send US troops back to do this job. The drones will not do a job as we are calculating.

This would be throwing good money after bad. The US was stupid to go to Iraq in the first place, and going back again would be even more stupid.

DITTO

All global leaders need to learn how to negotiate in diplomacy. That's what lawyers do for living. Bush was a less than average "C" student in Yale University. He was not even a scholar.

Bush was very poor at negotiation. He moved himself into a box by giving ULTIMATUM for no reason all the time. Who wants to do that? Bad! Well, how much money and lives did we trash because of his poor leadership performance? I was very glad when Bush doctrine ended for good.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Obama IS the best president in the last several decades

^ I fixed your typo. As is well known, the US has seen very few presidents who were better than Obama.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Something like war Superlib. The pawns pay the price while the powerbrokers call the shots. The pawns always loose. Meanwhile the powerpeople win financially.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Forward the problem to Bush, Dick, Rumsfiled and Blair.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

...McCain's assertion that it would be necessary to keep a residual force in Iraq....

McCain is seldom right about anything. How, Wolf, could America have done that when the Iraqi government clearly wanted them to leave? How would a "residual force" have prevented the current situation?

The fact is that the Sunnis are running roughshod over the Shia because they have the passion of liberating what even the Shia acknowledge is their traditional area; they will not fare well south of Baghdad. There is nothing anyone, least the Americans, can do about it without wholesale slaughter.

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StrangerlandJUN. 13, 2014 - 11:24AM JST Obama IS the Worst best president in the last several decades

^ I fixed your typo. As is well known, the US has seen very few presidents who were better than Obama. Time will tell Stanger. I am patient, we will see. When he was riding high, I said it. He has dropped off the horse several times since then, monthly it seems and I reiterate he still IS the worst!

Globlal- if your posts come from your heart and soul why do you support the destruction of the United States? I suspect you are an American. Do you think the current direction of the nation is correct for you, your children (presumed), your grandchildren (If you have them)? I look long range. Not for my here and now. The future generations.

I was in no wars Global, I oppose most military actions though I did support bombing Afghanistan to send the message to Al Qaeda and to supportive Taliban. Just as a retaliation for 9-11 then be gone. We didn't need to invade in numbers. If you served our nation Global I thank you. If you saw what most never do in war I sympathize for you. I will not assume anything such as yourself about anyone posting anywhere, that would be shallow minded if I did.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I remember reading sometime before Bush started HIS war, that, if Saddam is taken out of power, it is inevitable that when US troops leave, sooner or later, Iraq will fall into sectarian violence. This prediction was available to anyone with an open mind and didn't watch FOX news. Now I hope we all know that Bush and his gang really didn't care.

I'm sure Obama had been aware of this as well but he choose politics over American lives and money. If he would have pulled every American soldier out and all our support, he would never been reelected. But it would have been the smartest move if he truly had America in his interests.

So yes, IMO, Obama is just as much to blame for not getting out quickly, because Iraq was going to fall apart anyway as we are seeing today. Doing anything now will just be more of a waste money and maybe pilots lives.

We can bomb and drone all we want. The ISIS will just wait and wait and wait for the right moment again.

The only thing the average Merican can do is stop electing these war pigs....and throw Bush and his gang in prison.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Superlib: No, The West kills muslims. Who are we supporting in Syria? Who are we now going to start bombing in Iraq? Oh...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

" The failure started with Bush's stupidity and Cheney's greed that got us back in Iraq in the first place."

Not quite correct. Google "Operation Desert Fox". 1998. Before GWB.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

another view on this. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/it-was-better-to-live-in-iraq-under-saddam-9532742.html

no direct experience but I would agree that the average Iraqi probably felt safer and happier when he didn't have to worry about being killed on a daily basis.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It may have been Wakarimasen. Bush and Co. did not have the chaotic end intention. One point not mentioned, do you recall the joyous toppling of the Sadams and destruction of the murals when liberated?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Great job 'liberating' Iraq.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No time for finger-pointing.

While the world is chatting busily about who said what and whose fault it was, these ISIL fighters will be infiltrating their way to Baghdad. Shades of Vietcong move on Saigon, anyone? Once they are inside the capital, it'll be like the suburbs of Damascus, with these guys trained in street fighting.

Do you hit them while you can, or allow them in? The decision needs to be made ASAP, before fall of dark. Or maybe it is already too late.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Shades of Vietcong move on Saigon, anyone?

Worse, for America at any rate - at least the South Vietnamese welcomed American involvement. If America introduced a ground presence in Iraq, it would have to watch its back at least as carefully as its front.

Seems like the Shia in both Iraq and Iran are stirring, though. The WSJ has in informative article:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/islamist-rebels-vow-to-march-on-iraqs-capital-1402562192

2 ( +2 / -0 )

US loose another WAR in IRAQ, and list loosing the WAR continue with the next in the list is AFGANISTAN.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Just bomb the hell out of 'em. Forget the PC BS, international condemnation, etc. Bomb everybody-- women, children, insurgents and all. Sending them back to the Stone Age is the only way to nip this in the bud once and for all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@john galt

Not quite correct. Google "Operation Desert Fox". 1998. Before GWB.

Yes, but how many troops were on the ground? How many lives were loss? How much money did we spend? Did it lead to an economic depression?

The answers are 0 and No. One major difference, unlike Bush and Cheney's motivation, Clinton's motivation for "Desert Fox" had nothing to do with revenge and profit. It also didn't put the country in economic trouble. We had a surplus when Clinton left office.

What did we have when Bush and Cheney left office? Could you remind me again?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

President Bush and Cheney planned the invasion of Iraq to repay all their powerful friends for the election victory. They actually believed that the Iraqi people wanted to rid themselves of Saddam Hussein. But, the truth of the matter was that a handful of wannabe dictators were the ones that wanted him out. The US fell for the old okie doke and believed people like Ahmed Chalabi and his ilk.

The leaders of Iraq are as inept and confused as the Bush/Cheney strategy was in 2003. The new Iraqi army has no leaders to count on and they have shown this on the battlefield. The 250000+ Iraqi Army are running away with their tails between their legs from 5,000 ISIS fighters quicker than you can say "Mama!".

This isn't as bad as some may think, this is actually a golden opportunity to kill off a good number of ISIS fighters if the US plays it's cards just right.

Hope it turns out well and ISIS loses a huge number of their fanatics!

Next, finding the right dictator to get Iraq in shape again.

Gaijin DesiJun. 13, 2014 - 01:59PM JST US loose another WAR in IRAQ, and list loosing the WAR continue with the next in the list is AFGANISTAN.

This blames rests on the shoulders of the inept Iraqi leaders who would rather run than face an enemy that is smaller than them.

Cowardice is the true villain here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If Saddam Hussein still alive as powerful man among the Arabs, what would he do? What happen to M.E? And what happen if Obama did not pack the tent , what Al Qaeda and Muslim extremists would do? On the run or on the rise ? If things happen under your watch, please man up and taking responsibility, thus finding solution to crisis; cause peoples are dying while you are watching poll number with your self define conscience at star-buck with your smart phone! Obama's Afghan war also facing tent packing scenario, what else new? Indeed, no blood should be wasted in vain. Once Buddha said "the cause of suffering is due to ignorant". Obama's retreat contributes to the rise of Al Qaeda and.....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

YongYang: No, The West kills muslims. Who are we supporting in Syria? Who are we now going to start bombing in Iraq? Oh..

Yawn.

Muslims kill Muslims daily. Pick any country in the Middle East if you'd like and you'll see the same things. Or Africa. Or parts of Asia. Telling me that, "Oh, well in this one country, the fault likes with some Westerners" is starting to sound pretty dumb when it's happening everywhere. The fault lies with Islam being unable to reign in on it's extreme members and nothing else. They did it to themselves.

Just look at the comments here. Whose fault is it? Well, it's Bush's. No, wait, it's Obama's. No, wait, it's Blair's. Pick any writer and you'll see that whomever they are railing against is the same person they're always railing against and this is just another edition of the same thing.

There are some seriously sick people attached to radical Islam and they do what they do because they are warped and twisted. They would probably laugh if they saw your comments right before they start another day of slaughters. Sure, it's because of some white guy 15 years ago. That's why they'll kill a baby today and yell Allah's name.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

joe

for every ISIS "fanatic" killed 5 more will rise up to take his place. In a region where there is no work and no hope apart from fanatically believeing in a prmitive religious and social ideaology and getting fed and clothed for killing, how could it be otherwise?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And this is what happens when you start wars with the goal of "regime change". The regime was no doubt changed, and it looks like it will keep changing, ever for the worse.

When the military is to be used, and war is called for, it should be for nothing short of full force, and the goal should be total conquest. When Iraq was invaded, it should have been done with the goal of making it a US possession, otherwise it was not worth the cost of lives, money, and peace.

Now Al Qaeda is taking over the country, which is going to force a response from Obama. Once Iraq's oil is threatened, it will affect the world's energy markets, etc. If Al Qaeda spreads it's violence across the borders to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, then the world is in for trouble.

Obama has been implementing his middle-east policy from a position of weakness, to a world which above all respects strength and threat of violence. Since the revolution in Egypt, and following revolutions in Libya and Syria, the adminstration has sat in a corner with it's tail between it's legs, and let what might have been a golden opportunity for the middle east be squandered. While Obama has been dithering, the Taliban and Al Qaeda have strengthened their positions. Their motto has long been "death to America", yet Obama seems not to take this threat seriously. If Obama doesn't respond quickly and forcefully, he is only going to invite more unrest and violence, and the longer he waits, the more expensive the action is going to be.

Whoever the next president is, they will have a lot of work to do to repair the damage caused by the previous two administrations. Bush made the situation bad, Obama is making it worse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

for every ISIS "fanatic" killed 5 more will rise up to take his place.

Possibly. On the other hand, the ISIS has three things running against it:

It is making enemies of rival Sunni groups who will likely unite against it;

Its expansion is fueled by ransacking the armories and banks of the territories it conquerors; once expansion halts, so does its fuel (as with the Roman and Mongolian Empires);

It has shown no ability to govern. Alighting on a town in trucks and stripping it bare is quite different from dealing with the town's needs; it also requires that they be sedentary.

True, this is a bad situation, but in consideration of the above points, along with growing cooperation between the Kurds, Iranians, and Iraqi Shia, it is not as dire as it seems.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don't forget that ISIS/ISIL have taken some oil fields, consolidated their territory along major rivers and concentrated in a coordinated way on cities in a ring around their proposed new lands. They have imposed a version of Shariah Law. It feels as if they have been careful to keep Turkey sweet, (releasing their diplomats) and pre-negotiated with the Kurds, giving them what they always wanted, ie Kirkuk. Threats to attack Baghdad and the holy cities may just be a bluff to create a firescreen round their new borders.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sen. John McCain, a Republican and a frequent White House critic, called on Thursday for Obama’s entire national security team to resign

This is the same Sen McCain who said that we should support the rebels in Syria, who are on the same side as these guys who are taking over Iraq. Sen McCain should also resign along with some of the Obama cabinet.

This whole scenario reminds me of when I was just a wee lad of 10, watchting the fall of Saigon. Same thing is taking place, this time I am more fully understanging what is going on. Both parties are to blame in this fiasco. The nerve of the Iraqi President now asking for air strikes when a few years ago he wanted all of the Americans out.

And for those who will say we paid for oil in blood, we didn't get any oil from this guy only the contractors from Europe and China made out.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

afroengineer:

" Arm them in Afghanistan against USSR, bomb them in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Arm them in Libya, bomb them in Mali. Arm them in Syria, bomb them in Iraq. "

Exactly! That describes the brilliant American policy (of both political Partys) towards the Jihad.

Except, if Obama now proceeds and sends arms to Malikis Shia government, he is taking the insanity a to a new level by BOTH arming and and bombing "them" (i.e. the extremists of Sunni and Shia stripes) in Iraq and Syria.

Simply unbelievable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Willi, maybe that's why he is using both hands in the photo above. ie "I have a dastardly plan. We both arm them AND bomb them!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WakarimasenJun. 13, 2014 - 03:02PM JST joe for every ISIS "fanatic" killed 5 more will rise up to take his place. In a region where there is no work and no hope apart from fanatically believeing in a prmitive religious and social ideaology and getting fed and clothed for killing, how could it be otherwise?

Religious fanatics will continue to kill each other off. If those that are in Iraq right now are killed off that will effect their fighting ability. It will take a while before the "new" fanatics are real threats. So, why not kill off as many as possible?

Kill off their veteran fighters and they will be left with green forces. I don't know about you, but I would rather fight green troops than vets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Quick question if anyone here knows. Some news sources refer to this group as "ISIS", and others like Al Jazeera to "ISIL".

I understand that both are possible, but is there an underlying philosophy between the two usages, I wonder?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seems they're both alternative translations of the Arabic ad-Dawlat al-Islāmiyya fī’l-‘Irāq wa’sh-Shām.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@global

Why blaming Obama? The truth is American voters wanted to get out. I protested against the war at beginning on NYT, and I was a minority. My conscience is very clear on this.

Why blame Obama? Because he IS the president in charge occupying the White House, the buck stops with him or do you think it only applies to Republicans? Again, what happened , happened, but you don't have to make matters worse, which Obama did and I always had a feeling he would.

All global leaders need to learn how to negotiate in diplomacy. That's what lawyers do for living. Bush was a less than average "C" student in Yale University. He was not even a scholar.

But he still did better than Gore and not to mention knew what the consequences would be for Iraq should Obama decide to cut and run ( which he did ) and all that education didn't help Obama one bit. Obama is one of the best orators I have every heard, but that's about it.

Bush was very poor at negotiation.

At least he negotiated, the sainted anointed one won't even do that and by the looks of it, if he doesn't have his teleprompter, he can't do anything.

He moved himself into a box by giving ULTIMATUM for no reason all the time. Who wants to do that? Bad! Well, how much money and lives did we trash because of his poor leadership performance?

Do you feel that way about Obama's war as well?

I was very glad when Bush doctrine ended for good.

And Obama's can't be over soon enough.

@alphaape

And for those who will say we paid for oil in blood, we didn't get any oil from this guy only the contractors from Europe and China made out.

Exactly!

When things were going well Obama took credit and deemed his work at cleaning up the mess he inherited a success. Now that McCain's assertion that it would be necessary to keep a residual force in Iraq have been proven to be prescient look for Obama to seek out someone else to blame for his own failed foreign policy - same as he always does. It's as if he has forgotten that he has been in charge the last six years.

But that's the problem, now that things are falling apart, once again trying to shove the blame on Bush and the thing is, he can't do it anymore, 5 years of blaming Bush has gotten so old. When has Obama ever owned up to anything? When has he ever said, "I was wrong?" He never did, he never will. His foreign policies are a complete shamble and falling apart right before our eyes with the disentergration of Iraq and Afghanistan. Just like Bush has to live with starting Iraq, Obama will have to live with the aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan being left in ruins and having the terrorists reclaim it. Mission Accomplished?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It is not an easily solved situation now. Remember that it was Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others that pushed for the Iraq invasion and now this is what the result is.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

5 years of blaming Bush has gotten so old

I am here to praise Bush. George H.W. Bush. For having the sense to kick Saddam's butt out of Kuwait and then contain him.

I have to believe that those who cheered for the war when GW Bush proposed it, if the clock could be turned back now, would be joining the protesters opposed to it. The next best thing that can be hoped is to learn from history, but it doesn't look like the people placing all the blame on Obama are learning very much.

Obama has played the hand he was dealt in Iraq just as well as anyone could. And who do we see criticizing him? The same bunch who told us it would be a cakewalk, that oil money would pay for everything, that the population was ready for democracy... Just wow.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

“We do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold,” Obama said Thursday in the Oval Office."

Don't the Chinese have a stake in making sure these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Because I am writing something critical about President Obama's leadership, I expect to garner many thumbs-down reactions to my comment, so here goes:

We can all agree that the post-invasion situation in Iraq was poorly planned/executed, but stability was achieved in the 2007 and 2008 time frame. I know this from my friends and family who served tours of duty in Iraq and saw it for themselves.

What is important is that any new leader must play with the cards he is dealt, and there is growing doubt in my mind that the president took responsible ownership of the war he inherited, and now all that $1 trillion and 4,500 lives lost are going down the drain, not to mention the millions of Iraqi civilians whose lives are descending once again into chaos as ISIS fills the vacuum of power in the wake of an irresponsible full US withdrawal from Iraq.

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

The big Obama bet is that Americans' opinion-polled "fatigue" with the world frees him to create a progressive domestic legacy. Today Mr. Obama is giving a speech to the Sioux Indians in Cannon Ball, N.D., about "jobs and education."

Meanwhile, Iraq may be transforming into (a) a second Syria or (b) a restored caliphate.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Don't kick the U.S troops out then Iraq. It was made clear what could happen and that once there gone, there gone. Dumb Iraq gov trying to take control of the gov & rule country.

America made it clear they needed to stay there to keep them on the run, and that there intel would leave 2 "meaning" all the terrorist that got run out of the city then run out of the country side near the citys, would be for nothing.

That war was almost won and when America had to pull out, the death rate for U.S troops was 0 a week. They had there intel set up and working good after the strategys did there job, seeing the terrorist on the run and having to now go after them out in the country side, because they had crushed them in the citys. It was claer that, that war would be won "unto".

Dumb Iraq gov that was thinking about cling to power and that means getting American troops out. They really made the biggest mistake by forcing all troops and intel personel to leave Iraq. Intel was starting to crush them and was busting mass p[laned attacked even going deep into the "desert" becuase they run them out of the citys and desert near the citys. Attcks on Iraq police and so on were becoming less and less every month.

If America does not send back 5,000 troops, Iraq is doomed as the iraq Army is beyond a joke.

How can 30,000 cops and troops flee from 900 terrorist? Mind u the troops and police have bomb & bullet proof cars/mraps + mass weapons V toyota cars not bulletproof and no air support.

To set things right America will have to send 5,000 troops in with mass air support, that will clear the area first, then must use the iraq troops to come in behind them, holding the ground "because of small U.S troop numbers".

If U.S troops dont move in, that country will be back 2 what it was in 2005/6. America can bomb them from the air, but that will not clear them all out. They need to be cleared out and if 30,000 troopswith air support bullet and bomb proof cars cant hold off 900 terrorist, then there doomed,

America needs to force the iraq gov to sign a 30 year base pack, that will see 20,000 troops stay in iraq for 25 / 30 years. If not no deal.

America needs to set up that intel again ASAP and have number in iraq for 20 + years. GOOD TIME TO FORCE IRAQ GOV TO SIGN A DEAL TO HAVE TROOPS IN THERE UNDER THERE FULL TEARMS.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is not an easily solved situation now. Remember that it was Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others that pushed for the Iraq invasion and now this is what the result is.

And the because the Obama admin, didn't establish and maintain the SOFA agreement that was already set in place upon leaving and maintaining a solid relationship with the two countries and falling apart the way it is the result of him cutting and running.

If you are going to give credit for bungling, give credit where credit is due. Leave the partisanship behind.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

spahnmatthew, give it up. Iraq, Syria, Kurdistan - the entire region - was never America's to begin with. Look at the history and understand that only record-breaking hubris would be sufficient to suggest that America could somehow affect change there. These people are dealing with grievances spanning multiple empires, most of which had crumbled to dust before America even existed. For many of them, their raison d'être has been passed forth from over so many generations that even they do not understand.

Let it go. Despite the $1 trillion and 4,500 lives, Bush's mistake does not make this graveyard America's responsibility.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

For all you Bush-bashers claiming regeim change was ill concieved:

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

The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government -- a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people. Bringing change in Baghdad will take time and effort. We will strengthen our engagement with the full range of Iraqi opposition forces and work with them effectively and prudently."

* William Jefferson Clinton - Dec. 16, 1998*

Good idea until Obama decided to stop working with them.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

We can all agree that the post-invasion situation in Iraq was poorly planned/executed, but stability was achieved in the 2007 and 2008 time frame.

There is a kind of Western (American?) hubris behind this statement. For example, take the long term decline of a cancer patient. There will be times when it appears as though the disease has been stabilized, but ultimately whether or not the patient improves or dies is beyond anyone's control. The hubris enters when thinking that doing this or that would have changed where the political "water" sought its own level.

The big Obama bet is that Americans' opinion-polled "fatigue" with the world frees him to create a progressive domestic legacy.

The practical consideration involves the costs in light of a strained economy and with no clear outcome in sight. No matter what the situation is today with the jihadists, over time it will change, whether or not the United States gets involved.

Here's where I will fault President Obama as well as the Republicans and Democrats who preceded him: The United States has no clear long-term vision for the region. Please don't misunderstand me; I do not mean that the vision should be the United States' to bring about -- but rather, as much as to understand, accept, and communicate to the American people. One part of that vision should be a future homeland for the Kurdish people, who certainly aspire to and deserve one -- and would have one if short-term political considerations with Turkey didn't get in the way. I would love to see my country return to its role as being an honest broker when called upon to do so.

The Kurds, by the way, are the largest ethnic group in the world without a political state of their own. Having a state would make them better equipped to share in influencing events in the region. The U.S. and other members of the world community should take their case under special consideration, much as it did with a Jewish homeland after WWII.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Scott Ryan Yeah! You are a refreshing reminder for me, of being back in the States, talking to some of my old friends cackling...on..and on....and on......and on....about nothing

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

What a mess.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Iraqi "Troops"couldn't take their uniforms off fast enough!

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I think the "down the drain" part was already a done deal circa 2003 barring major participation from countries from around the world (like the first Gulf War with the UN resolution). There are only degrees of "crud" now for the situation in Iraq now (none of them good enough to justify this invasion in 2003).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

techall, good post! Glad to see SOMEONE was paying attention!

Only the naive think "it's all Bush's fault" when in reality it's a systemic disease in Washington DC where both parties are infected. Attempting to effect regime change, to better suit the "national interests" of the ruling elite in US(and UK) goes WAY back to the first discovery of black gold in the Gulf region. Look at how the Shah of Iran was installed after the CIA-led ouster of the DEMOCRATICALLY elected Prime Minister of Iran (from 1951 until 1953), when his government was overthrown in a coup d'état orchestrated by the British MI6 and the American CIA.

How little has changed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"For all you Bush-bashers claiming regime change was ill conceived"

Well, how George W. Bush--and not Bill Clinton--framed regime change in Iraq was extremely ill conceived. Bush managed to come up with quite possibly the least believable and most idiotic comparison ever made by anybody anywhere in history. I am referring, of course, to his infamous claim that the post-Saddam occupation of Iraq would end up turning out as well as the post-World War II occupation of Japan by U.S. armed forces.

Tokyo on the Tigris--George W. Bush seriously believed this was possible, stated it out loud, and pretty much everybody familiar with modern Japanese history and politics (from John Dower on down) threw up his/her hands in the air in disgust and amazement.

The idea that any kind of Status of Forces Agreement between Iraq and the USA would ever work was predicated on this ridiculous notion that Iraq in 2011 was somehow akin to Japan 1951. Iraqis NEVER broadly accepted the idea that U.S. armed forces should remain in their country indefinitely. And make no mistake, that is what critics of Obama are talking about now--the permanent, indefinite stationing of American soldiers in Iraq.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good comments here. People do need to study more about the complex history of Iraq. This wasn't about the freedom and democracy of the Iraqi people...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

John Galt:

" Only the naive think "it's all Bush's fault" when in reality it's a systemic disease in Washington DC where both parties are infected. "

EXACTLY!!! Trying to turn the ISIS disaster into US party political talking points is really beyond cheap.

Especially considering Obamas continued support for the so-called "vetted rebels" aka ISIS/Al Quaeda in Syria while at the same time bemoaning their success in in Iraq. Every single weapon the potus delivers to his beloved "vetted rebels" goes straight into the ISIS Islamic Caliphate inventory. Note that ISIS as we speak is removing border barriers between Syria and Iraq.

That some here claim that all this is Bushe`s fault alone is fricking beyond absurd.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@yabits

The hubris enters when thinking that doing this or that would have changed where the political "water" sought its own level.

I am thinking that the hubris you refer to is that of the Obama Administration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJy-dXuoM5s

The fact is that Bush handed Obama a stable situation in Iraq. Obama then tried to take some credit for that himself (see video). Now that Obama's failed anti-terror policy has led to a resurgence of terrorism throughout the region - including Iraq - it's suddenly Bush's fault again. Obama is become a joke.

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The fact is that Bush handed Obama a stable situation in Iraq.

I don't believe that Iraq at any time since the fall of Saddam could be described as "stable." The political situation was always uneasy at best.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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