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U.S. does damage control after defense chief’s remarks on Iraq

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By KEVIN FREKING and SAMEER N. YACOUB

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U.S. does damage control after defense chief’s remarks on Iraq

Why? We should never have been in Iraq in the first place, and simply unleashed a sectarian conflict that had been suppressed by Hussein's ruthlessness. We've done all we can do, and should stop spending more of our tax dollars to prop up a government that's soldiers won't fight for. Whether we like it or not, folks there identify themselves first with their sect -- shia versus sunni -- and not with their country. And nothing we do, or say, is going to change that.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"US need wars"

Not during the 90s. America enjoyed peace and prosperity and an improved global stature during Clinton administration, not to mention budget surpluses, as opposed to deficits.

The US does way, way better when its presidents aren't waging destructive and poorly conceived wars.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So much US international policy seems to work along these lines.

A is bad.

B is anti-A.

Therefore B is good.

Let's support B.

Oh dear, B is worse than A. Let's stop supporting them.

Think about this and see how many substitutes for A and B you can think of. For example A could be communist and B a dictator such as Noriega or Marcos.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@Texas A&M Aggie

Okay, so now you change the subject to Obama without skipping a beat.

And now its suddenly all his fault IS has risen, and nothing to do with full scale invasions of M.E. countries under Bush's watch.

Next you will be declaring that it was Obama who conceived of IS, and is in fact, a Sith Lord and their leader.

In fact, I am positive there is no way IS could have taken Ramadi under Saddam's leadership. Whatever happened to him?

No dude. IS made themselves and they choose their own direction. And the direction they chose is the path blazed for them by Bush jr. when he destabilized Iraq.

Your complaint? That Obama does not further destabilize or inflame the M.E. at a point in time that Americans have no fighting spirit because it has become abundantly clear to them how two wars have failed and how at least one of them was pure lies, greed and corruption. Perhaps if war junkies had not squandered the spirit of the American people, we would not be in this situation. Perhaps Obama could actually do more. But you, a person who most certainly supported draining our bank accounts, now complain that no money is spent in the new problem while refusing to admit the money is gone or your own role in squandering it.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I saw some film footage of Iraqi soldiers behind a wall holding up their semi-automatics over the top and firing wildly. It might not be representative of how they all fight, but it sure didn't inspire confidence.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Politically correct BS as usual. If they had the will to fight, Ramadi would not have fallen. Its not like the Iraqis are suffering for lack of equipment.

@Texas A&M Aggie

Heh, nice rewrite of history.

But your response is just as bad. While you correctly point out Bosnia and Somallia, characterizing one- off attacks on embassies, the U.S. military and the WTC as "happening under Clintion's watch" (as if they were his fault) makes your response just as bad, if not worse.

The 90s were RELATIVELY peaceful and prosperous. The amount of debt racked up was paltry by comparison. And you are equating what amounts to peace keeping operations to full scale invasions of countries. Plus those one-off attacks thrown in. Very forced. Very bitter. And very sad.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

“We should not judge the whole army based on one incident,” al-Hadithi told The Associated Press.

So they did run away then...

Stranger: Please tell us why you think Obama is the best president ever. Many of us are curious.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

US has trained Iragi force for spending multi billions and many years. When IS has advanced to their bases, most of them ran away and leaving their weapons for IS trophy. Unlike them Kurdish women fighters fought until their last breath. They are not professional soldiers unlike Iragi force.

Difference between US back Iragi force and Kurdish women fighters are one is fighting for making living. One is willing to die for their people and homeland.

It is so embarrassing for Defence secretary Ash Carter. He should ask Kurdish women for becoming trainers of Iragi force. Except Gulf war 1991, US plan in Middle East has failed. It has cost more lives, reputation and fortune comparing with WWII.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Iraqis have no fighting spirit because the Sunnis secretly want to join the Caliphate. Keep trying to make this a US issue, though, know-nothings.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Strangerland

Considering he's one of the best presidents the US has ever seen

Please tell me you're not serious. He's ordered the extra-judicial murder of US citizens via drone strike, issued more Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda (combined) than his predecessors to skirt the legislative process, and supported actions that have destabilized the legitimate government of Syria directly leading to the rise of ISIS in the first place. He's a sock puppet for Wall Street and the military-industrial complex, just like his predecessor.

And like I've said elsewhere, this whole conflict is basically the Muslim version of the Thirty's Years War. Just let the Sunnis and Shias fight until they exhaust themselves and realize the futility of the conflict......which might take a while.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You're just jealous Bass 'cause you know that Obama is the best president, and that you've never voted for anyone who came anywhere close.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Nah, just trolling.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Here's how I see it: It's not an Iraqi army, it's a Shia army increasingly under the influence of Iran. Saving the Sunni from themselves would, in their eyes, be spending their own blood to aid their enemies. Iraq is a very tribal society, and when the ISIS sweeps in and the Sunni tribal elders must either acquiesce or be killed, either way their legitimacy is lost.

Anyone with any historical knowledge knows that the ISIS is a flash in the pan. It lives on expansion, and once that ends, it will contract explosively - and its expansion is limited to Sunni areas in Syria and Iraq, already mostly filled. Its demise will leave behind a smoking ruin of the historically dominant Sunni culture in the region, and guess who will be there to fill the vacuum?

I'm not saying that this is a bad thing. Iran is a regional power with no real animosity to the US beyond antipathy towards what it perceives as US prevention of its historical influence. In fact, just as competition leads to innovation and excellence in economics, a revitalized Shiite culture would force the Sunnis to shape up a bit.

Ironically, this would be the greatest contribution of Bush's misadventure: that he created the opportunity for Iran that a decade of warfare with Iraq could not. Bravo.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Considering he's one of the best presidents the US has ever seen, you show your ability to discern good from bad to be particularly lacking.

Such is life in the Texas bubble.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I was trolling Bass.

I don't know if he is the best president ever, as I don't know all the presidents. But there is no logically denying that he has been an excellent president.

I'm sure someone will come up with a reason why he isn't, but you'll notice my usage of the world 'logically'.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Although the Clinton days were better compared to both of the Bush's days, the Carter days were the best. Those were the times when the US was truly peaceful, and it's unfortunate that there are many Americans (conservative warhawk types) who despise Jimmy Carter. Post-presidency, he continued his legacy by doing charities that have huge impacts, like the simple distribution of mosquito nets and water filtration in Africa. It saved many lives.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There is a neologism, a newly coined word, in here somewhere.

Trollogical, defined as "an outstanding blend of logical and illogical sentences, with a twist of snark for flavor."

Please credit me when it hits the dictionaries in the year 2021.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Besides killing OBL

You've written this twice now Bass. So is safe to say you don't believe Seymour Hersh's article?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Quote: “We should not judge the whole army based on one incident,” al-Hadithi told The Associated Press.

Er, this the second giant incident I believe. The first one allowed IS in to invade half of Iraq. Each time the fleeing Iraqi forces have donated some nice modern equipment to the opposition without bothering to spike it.

Still, the US has refused for good reasons to put US troops' boots on the ground, refused to allow the Iraqi government to order Shiite militias into the Sunni areas, and also refused to arm the Sunni opposition with appropriate weaponry. So it could be argued that the Iraqis are fighting with one hand tied behind their backs.

IS on the other hand can shout BOO, and aim a few rounds between the opposition forces to get them all blaming each other and the US. A bit like here on JT really.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Political correctness once again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stand to the side, watch and blame. Leaders belong in charge.

Exactly! This is precisely why Obama should step aside and let the GOP-led Congress direct the way forward. Oh - wait: It's been nine months since the U.S. began bombing the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and they still haven't done their job to authorize the use of military force as the Constitution requires? Ah, well, it's probably not that important to Senate Majority Leader McConnell anyway; he can't even manage to ram the NSA spying bill through.

http://www.hngn.com/articles/90550/20150507/sen-tim-kaine-after-nine-months-congress-still-hasnt-done-its-job-and-authorized-war-against-isis.htm

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Considering he's one of the best presidents the US has ever seen, you show your ability to discern good from bad to be particularly lacking.

I feel bad for anyone deluded enough to believe that Obama is "one of the best presidents the US has ever seen". Talk about drinking the cool-aid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please tell me you're not serious.

Serious as a funeral on Sunday.

He definitely has areas where he could have improved - less warmongering and drones, but overall, he's been an excellent president.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I don't know why you would laugh or shake your head at God's own truth. We all know Obama has been an excellent president that saved your country from economic collapse.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

US was hunting Saddam and then Bin Laden but after accomplishing this there is still no peace in Middle East. And even gets worst Bin laden ghost created ISIS which is taking control over Arab territories. US just supplying more weapons and advice but no direct action to solve the conflict is at the root of Middle East problems.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"U.S. Vice President Joe Biden reassured Iraq’s government on Monday of U.S. support in the fight against the Islamic State group,"

Any other world leaders reassure Iraq of support in the fight against IS?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree that Obama is one of the best Presidents ever, if not the best in my lifetime. He's a pragmatic centrist which is what the US and the world needs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

anybody who is oblivious the string of disasters that Obama has caused can not be serious.

Agreed my friend. How can one deny the unmitigated decision by Obama to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein and engulf the region in flames? Ditto for Afghanistan. And then Obama took the troops out. And then created, financed and armed Daesh!!!!

And the lying MSM went along with it all, possibly, just to make Israel look bad...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

10/11/2000, George W. Bush, Candidate for President:

“I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation building.”

Bush's War, America's problem, AWOL Bush leaves the bill and a region in chaos. Mission Accomplished.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"So far, the American approach to the conflict has been to launch airstrikes as part of an international coalition it leads, as well as equipping and training Iraqi forces." - article

"Obama's foreign policy is a tragedy of failure and incompetence?"

At leaste give some credit to the author, architect and liar in chief who created Iraq, George AWOL Bush.

Like Rodney Dangerfield always said, "I tell ya I get no respect from anyone. I bought a cemetery plot. The guy said, "There goes the neighborhood!"

In this case the neighborhood was Bush's Middle East and the cemetery reportedly holds some 100,000 innocent Iraqis. Mission Accomplished?

The GOP-Tea can't stop blaming the administration that inherited Bush's disaster and continues in their war on America. Brave and loyal war profiteers marching off to the bank. Patriots all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Bass, speaking of putting food on things, are you telling us you don't sit up at night mulling over Bush's promise to put food on the family? If we elect Jeb, will he be able to surpass his big bro's way with words?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Obama's foreign policy is a tragedy of failure and incompetence. He is handing the fate of the Middle East over to Iran and ISIS.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

strangerland:

" You're just jealous Bass 'cause you know that Obama is the best president "

US party politicial fanaticism at its best (or worst, in this case).

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Judging by the national debt, the Middle East crisis, the greater racial divide, the most divided political parties in my life, police v civilian tensions, Israel, stagnant wages, and the low cost healthcare favoring the nobody but the poor which had it prior to obamacare anyway.

Pragmatic centrist.....can't convince me.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yes the U.S. In this case must. Be in Iraq the ISIL is an evil State and if left alone to do what they. Plan the will be many. More 911s in the U.S. And yes their military has run every time it gets tuff for them. The U.S. Need to go in full force and end it now.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Remember about how he talked about energy conservation and alternative resources? Imagine how the world would be different today if people had listened.

So how is that helping to put food and money on the table for people?

Although the Clinton days were better compared to both of the Bush's days, the Carter days were the best.

I never would have thought EVER in my life I would hear that kind of a statement. ROFL

Those were the times when the US was truly peaceful, and it's unfortunate that there are many Americans (conservative warhawk types) who despise Jimmy Carter.

What were Carter's greatest accomplishments besides building up the US armed forces, which is basically the ONLY real good thing he did during his presidency or did I leave out something?

Post-presidency, he continued his legacy by doing charities that have huge impacts, like the simple distribution of mosquito nets and water filtration in Africa. It saved many lives.

All the other presidents recently from Carter, Bush and Clinton all contribute as they should, so I don't get what is your point? Because Carter distributes mosquito nets, that is what made him a decent president???

omg!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Under Obama's watch ISIS has hit the equivalent of the Islamic Extremist lottery/powerball jackpot. Their total force strength and land area control/influence has exploded.

As is now evident, ISIS has grown steadily during the Obama years in office because of his lack of leadership and his own non-foreign policies and decisions. He did nothing to address the "JV" problem other to proclaim the end of combat operations in Iraq in December 2011. We are now witnessing the results of Obama doing nothing.

Obama belongs on the sidelines. That's all he ever does and all he knows how to do: Stand to the side, watch and blame. Leaders belong in charge. Obama isn't a leader.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Considering he's one of the best presidents the US has ever seen, you show your ability to discern good from bad to be particularly lacking.

When you make that kind of statement, I think you are referring to the far-far left, then you might be right, so you are talking about a fringe group of Americans.

Such is life in the Texas bubble.

He definitely has areas where he could have improved

Never even noticed he was doing anything positive, Yes, he did get OBL.

less warmongering and drones, but overall, he's been an excellent president.

Warmongering??? The man that won't even put ground troops in Iraq?! Give me a break!

he's been an excellent president.

Some said the same thing about Carter as well. LOL

They may be in a bubble, but at least unlike California, Chicago, NY, Texans don't have to worry socialism and socialist policies taking everything they've earned, so how is my former state doing financially? Oh, I keep forgetting, thousands are fleeing the state because of the growing crime rate and out of control taxes just to scratch the surface of ongoing growing problems within that state.

Exactly! This is precisely why Obama should step aside and let the GOP-led Congress direct the way forward. Oh - wait: It's been nine months since the U.S. began bombing the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and they still haven't done their job to authorize the use of military force as the Constitution requires?

Funny, your president doesn't even see the urgency to mobilize a ground campaign, even if it's a smaller advanced special forces team.

Ah, well, it's probably not that important to Senate Majority Leader McConnell anyway; he can't even manage to ram the NSA spying bill through.

And who was it that ramped it up and put the entire program on steroids 6 years ago?

Okay, so now you change the subject to Obama without skipping a beat.

Why is it that liberals just hate go jittery when hearing the truth?

And now its suddenly all his fault IS has risen, and nothing to do with full scale invasions of M.E. countries under Bush's watch.

If you want to criticize Bush for going into Iraq, then have the John's to do the same for Obama creating ISIS on his watch for the last 6 years and unlike Obama, Bush listened to his general advisors. Remember, Bush gave a stable and partially functioning Iraq to Obama and all he had to do was keep a sizable force, establish a SOFA with Iraq and oversee the transition, but he chose not to at that time ISIS wasn't born yet. So yes, Obama does get the other half of the blame, most definitely!

In fact, I am positive there is no way IS could have taken Ramadi under Saddam's leadership. Whatever happened to him?

Where he should be. 6 Ft under.

No dude. IS made themselves and they choose their own direction. And the direction they chose is the path blazed for them by Bush jr. when he destabilized Iraq.

And Obama, don't forget that, dude.

Your complaint? That Obama does not further destabilize or inflame the M.E. at a point in time that Americans have no fighting spirit because it has become abundantly clear to them how two wars have failed and how at least one of them was pure lies, greed and corruption.

So basically, you are saying, we don't mess with them, submit to them, let them slaughter or intimidate our allies, then this should all go away?

You have just proven why libs are painted as yellow.

Perhaps if war junkies had not squandered the spirit of the American people, we would not be in this situation.

And what about how over the last 6 years the dovish left junkies with their NON-involvement, how did that work out so far in the ME. Gee, seems like they still want to kill us at every angle. So now the priority of the American people has grown to dealing with the ME a much higher priority, so now the tide is changing once again.

Perhaps Obama could actually do more.

You mean to tell me, he has been doing something else besides destroying the country. What else more can he possibly do?!!!

But you, a person who most certainly supported draining our bank accounts, now complain that no money is spent in the new problem while refusing to admit the money is gone or your own role in squandering it.

Who drove up the National debt? It's over $18 Trillion and then there is Obamacare, NASA, 47 million people on food stamps and on and on....yawn...

The one good silverlining in all of this is that in 532 days, we can all breath a sigh of relief!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

You're just jealous Bass 'cause you know that Obama is the best president, and that you've never voted for anyone who came anywhere close.

Jealous??! ROFL! Sorry, absolutely not. I have to be jealous of, but I am ashamed and I am sad for the millions of Americans that are on food stamps and the unemployed and that over 48% of graduate students move back in with their parents, for the Blacks that have the highest unemployment since this president took office. I could go on, but it would take about a week to finish outlining all his negatives. Definitely NOT jealous, but saddened, embarrassed and ashamed, deeply. But this too, shall pass.

But there is no logically denying that he has been an excellent president.

When people like you say outrageous statements like that, I'm not sure if I should laugh or shake my head. Besides killing OBL and screwing up our healthcare system, what are the things that Obama should be hailed for in the halls of glory? Logically speaking.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

strangerland:

" I don't know if he is the best president ever, as I don't know all the presidents. But there is no logically denying that he has been an excellent president. "

Still trolling? I mean seriously, anybody who is oblivious the string of disasters that Obama has caused can not be serious.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

speaking of putting food on things, are you telling us you don't sit up at night mulling over Bush's promise to put food on the family? He already does a lot for Africa and for our veterans.

If we elect Jeb, will he be able to surpass his big bro's way with words?

Wouldn't have an idea, they are different people, different way or thinking and doing something. He left office with an over 80% popularity, that should say something positive.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Why? We should never have been in Iraq in the first place.

US need wars, it can't live without it, self appoint Global Bully Policeman US government.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Not during the 90s. America enjoyed peace and prosperity and an improved global stature during Clinton administration

Heh, nice rewrite of history. Obviously, you never heard of Somalia, the '93 World Trade Center attack, America's involvement in Bosnia, the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa and the USS Cole all done under Clinton's watch.

But, hey, go ahead and keep parroting your Jr. High School proggie history teacher's opinion. Those of us who actually lived during that time know better.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

$18 Trillion debt, 47 million people on food stamps for 37 months, for Blacks 36.8% unemployment the highest ever

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/15/ten-california-cities-in-distress/2076217/

Saving the country doesn't mean, he's saved the society or the people. Just because you can pay your rent, doesn't mean, you can eat or live well, it just means, you don't have to wake up on the streets. So yes, he did save the country from financial collapse, can't argue with that, but with the debt, the ongoing war, the Student loan programs are way out of control which Obama wants to forgive, so the tax payer takes on the burden, furthering our debt.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/10/06/student-debt-8-states/2927415/

Funny, these are all Blue States...hmmmmm...

But why should he care, he's leaving in 532 days, so he'll just roll that can over to the next president. Obama: failed policies, failed presidency and the hope and change definitely faded a very long time ago.

Ironically, this would be the greatest contribution of Bush's misadventure: that he created the opportunity for Iran that a decade of warfare with Iraq could not. Especially with the help of Obama, Bravo.

There, I fixed it for you.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Right. It was Clinton's appetite for the young Monica Lewinsky and not his appetite to engage the growing threats in the ME at that time. This was when al-qaida rose and amassed its intel and evil plots.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

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