August 25, 2010

"Coordinated Attacks Strike 13 Towns and Cities in Iraq."

Obama's war.

55 comments:

DADvocate said...

Entirely predictable and expected. (Am I being repeatedly redundant?)

Calypso Facto said...

But President Obama has declared victory! Or something.

blake said...

Mission deconstructed.

Scott M said...

Anyone in even the middle levels of leadership in Iraq, regardless of agency, that didn't anticipate a spike in violence around this "pullout" should be canned immediately. It took minimal observation skills to predict it.

My guess is that they knew it was going to happen and tried to mitigate it as much as possible beforehand. There could easily have been 26 town targeted or 52, all thwarted, but we'll never know about it and doubt the validity of the data if it does become known. That's just the nature of the beast.

Christopher said...

I blame Bush.

PatCA said...

Devastating.

I won't say "hopeless" because that's what they want, but...

Michael said...

Obama fled people bled.

rdkraus said...

This may interfere with the argument about who won the war.

Jason said...

At least we still have combat troops there to kick ass and take names.

Oh, wait!

Jason said...

How's that "end to combat operations" workin' out for ya, there, Mr. President!?"

Ya betcha!!!

HDHouse said...

@jason..

no way of telling. i doubt Bush reads this blog.

GMay said...

I'm shocked, absolutely shocked that a large scale coordinated attack would occur after you clearly announced your intentions to withdraw.

This is about as unexpected as our rising unemployment and stalling economy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know what, I don't blame Obama for this (or Bush for that matter). If after seven years they can't manage to stop blowing each other to small pieces than there's no hope really and we shouldn't have to be the grown ups in the room to keep pulling Abdul and Achmed apart and try to get them to play nice.

AllenS said...

Hoosier,

A big part of the problem is the neighborhood that Iraq lives in. Check out the neighbors to the east.

Big Mike said...

Blaming Obama for the attacks is simply childish. Sooner or later the last American combat troops were going to be pulled out, and whenever that happened whatever's left of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was going to launch hit and run attacks to test the current government.

The question that AQI wants answered is whether the Iraqi government is capable of responding effectively. If not, then, a degree of blame attaches to both administrations, with IMHO the larger blame attaching to Obama's administration (and Hillary's State Department in particular) since they were supposed to be evaluating the ability of the Iraqi government's ability to respond to attacks before they finished pulling the troops.

But at this point we know neither how nor how effectively the Iraqi government will respond.

Big Mike said...

@AllenS, good point. Not to mention that Iran-backed Hezbollah has close relationships with the leadership of Syria, to the northwest.

Now if Iraq captures and displays Iranians who were involved with these attacks then I think AQI will come to regret them.

AllenS said...

Yeah, if the nation to the west was Catholic and to the east Lutheran, and to the north Amish, they might have a chance. The problem for the neighbors is that if Iraq becomes a democracy it will threaten their Islamic governments, and they won't tolerate that. I see no happy future for Iraq. Just more and more violence until someone (strongman) takes over and gets brutal with anyone who goes against the grain. Kinda like the fella that used to run the country.

Skyler said...

We lost our opportunity in 2004 and 2005 to use Afghanistan and Iraq as bases to crush the Iranian government. The Iranians were still afraid back then. They're not now.

I wish we would fight a war as though we wanted to win it. I'm tired of part time battalions doing punching their 7 month or 14 month time clocks and then going home. Send us ALL there at one time, and keep us there until we destroy the will of the enemy to fight. Unleash us. We'll finish it with no doubts.

We let the primitives decide the pace and the rules of the war. That's why we haven't broken them yet.

Skyler said...

Christopher said...
"I blame Bush."

He's as much to blame as anyone for not putting in a total effort.

Bob said...

Skylar, have you actually been in combat? I am sorry that we didn't all just stay for seven years.

Alex said...

Gotta love the 101st Fighting Keyboardists on this one!

jr565 said...

Hmmm, so when we announce we are going to leave a place, regardless of detalis on the ground, our enemies base their plans of attack on the timetable we've announced.
Who would have ever guessed?

Skyler said...

Alex, you don't need to be in the military to have some common sense on why this may be a flop.

EDH said...

I think a more apt caption would be "Obama's peace."

It was Bush's war and -- despite mistakes and costly setbacks, but because of his steadfastness -- Bush's military victory.

EDH said...

Whether "Obama's Peace" proves to be a compliment or sarcasm is up to Obama, as it should be.

jr565 said...

It must be really frustrating for General Betrayus to look at all his handiwork go up in flames and all the work undone. And wonder when Afghanistan is similarly going to be thrown under the bus.

Skyler said...

I think some people are over reacting, though, including some Iraqis.

The nature of terrorism is that you cannot stop the bombings if they want to keep bombing. It's virtually impossible to do without destroying each and every would be bomber. The Oklahoma bombing was done by just two or three men, for example.

The important thing is to not over react to the bombing. Yes, you should use it as an impetus to kill more fanatics, and to unite against them, but you should never give in to the fear and despair that the terrorists are trying to foment.

The success of the war/peace will be not in whether there will be bombings, but in how the country reacts to the bombings. After they stop reacting badly, eventually the bombings will diminish. It's only when they think they will be effective that they will continue to terrorize.

Fen said...

Alex: Gotta love the 101st Fighting Keyboardists on this one!

Well Alex, I'm a former Marine who's served in Iraq.

By your own logic, anyone who's not military cant have an opinion about the war.

So STFU

Cedarford said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
"You know what, I don't blame Obama for this (or Bush for that matter). If after seven years they can't manage to stop blowing each other to small pieces than there's no hope really and we shouldn't have to be the grown ups in the room to keep pulling Abdul and Achmed apart and try to get them to play nice."

The point people were making when Bush was seduced by Sharansky and the Neocons was Bush was a clueless idiot forcommitting 1 trillion in lost treasure and 28,000 casualties to Nation-build the Noble Iraqis into purple-fingered democracy-creating freedom lovers.

People were screaming in 2003 to get the heck out. It wasn't worth it. No WMD? Saddam caught? Great - lets leave!

===================
EDH - "It was Bush's war and -- despite mistakes and costly setbacks, but because of his steadfastness -- Bush's military victory."

Hard to frame two wars that deeply damaged America's finances, its diplomatic and military reputation ...as a military victory.
We are a weaker nation after 8 years of Bush than we were before him. If we were so victorious - why is that? And saying - "Yeah, but Obama is REALLY bad too! Is no answer.
China ate our lunch in the last 12 years, our future jobs...all while Bush was doing one of his many "heroes and evildoer" speeches and pointing out our expanded role as Global 9/11 service. All fueled by our unlimited money. Neocons assembled a list of 7 new nations they wanted attacked to serve Israel's interests. Now those 7 nations basically just laugh at US bluster. Iraq and Afghanistan tied us down for 8 years. They could ignore us then, and can still ignore us.
It was the King of Pyrrus who supposedly said of a ruinious battle he won - "After another such victory, I am lost".

edutcher said...

Not sure where I saw it (maybe here), but I recall that the Army's combat arms brigades in Iraq are merely being reflagged (renamed), but are still there. If so, it's just window-dressing for The Zero.

The article doesn't say much about casualties, so how 'withering' it really was remains to be seen. As the article suggests, it may be more symbolism than substance (to paraphrase Rush).

For those who were into exit strategies and timetables 4 years ago, this is what they get you.

LarsPorsena said...

apropos edbutcher:

AP..Kabul - US plans to begin drawing down forces in Afghanistan from next July are "invigorating" insurgents, Afghan officials said on Wednesday, agreeing with a blunt assessment given by the top US Marine.

US Marines General James Conway said on Tuesday President Barack Obama's plan to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan from July 2011 had given a morale boost to the Taliban, who believe they can wait out Nato forces.

Fen said...

So... this is the big "exit strategy" the Democrats were harping about for 7 years?

Really?

Almost Ali said...

The beauty of Islam:

On the one hand, these are tribal conflicts, therefore the killings are considered legal based on common custom (like our common law).

On a similar hand, the opposing tribes view each other as traitors, technically apostates, therefore the killings are also legal based on Islamic law. A Muslim insurance policy.

In Mecca they call it kill-kill, can't lose... in the eyes of Mohammad.

Saint Croix said...

It is really frickin' stupid to announce that you are removing troops. Just take them out. You don't have to announce anything. It's like having a p.r. consultant run a war.

Scott M said...

It is really frickin' stupid to announce that you are removing troops. Just take them out. You don't have to announce anything. It's like having a p.r. consultant run a war.

Wrong. A PR consultant would know how some preplanned move would play...unlike this current crop of amateurs we've got running things.

Dead Julius said...

Jeez... I'm too young to have any memory of Vietnam. But from what I've read, Obama sure seems to be pulling out of Iraq in a way that is stunningly similar to Nixon's pullout from Vietnam. Nixon, after all, was elected on a promise to turn the fighting over to the Vietnamese and bring the American troops home.

Consider Afghanistan to be the new Cambodia, and update the old phrase "Democrat Wars" to be "Bush's War"... you could go on and on with the analogies.

Fen said...

But from what I've read, Obama sure seems to be pulling out of Iraq in a way that is stunningly similar to Nixon's pullout from Vietnam.

this current crop of amateurs we've got running things

Yup. Even with the luxury of historical examples to learn from, THIS is the grand "exit strategy" the Left lectured us about for 7 years.

Is anyone impressed?

jr565 said...

Dead Julius wrote:
Consider Afghanistan to be the new Cambodia, and update the old phrase "Democrat Wars" to be "Bush's War"... you could go on and on with the analogies.


You might even say that it's unfair to compare Iraq to VIetnam, considering the casualties in vietnam were infinitely higher. Yet, since the dems and libs spent their whole time comparing Iraq to VIetnam why not?
If the analogy holds we will have the dems yank funding when Iraq needs it the most. Then there will be some killing fields that the left will largely ignore as they move on to their next operation of undermining the US. Sorry Cambodians, but we're just not that into you.

Fen said...

And while we're on the topic...

how's that "smart diplomacy" been working out with Iran?

AllenS said...

By the time we pulled out of Viet Nam, the South's armed forces were holding their own. Once OUR Congress decided to not supply them with what they needed to defend themselves, is when they collapsed. We have a track record, and it ain't pretty.

Dead Julius said...

Oh man, I think I just had my first LSD flashback. It was 2007. The debate over the drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq was just beginning. And Bush was warning us about another Vietnam:

President Bush drew parallels between the aftermath of the Vietnam War and the potential costs of pulling out of Iraq in a speech Wednesday.

"Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left," Bush told members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, at their convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

"Whatever your position in that debate, one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens, whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like 'boat people,' 're-education camps' and 'killing fields,' " the president said.


Joe Biden offered a different take:

Sen. Joe Biden, Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, invoked his own Vietnam analogy in a statement released after the speech:

"It's the president's policies that are pushing us toward another Saigon moment -- with helicopters fleeing the roof of our embassy -- which he says he wants to avoid."

Biden said Bush continues to cling to the premise that Iraqis will rally behind a strong central government, but he believes that will not happen.

"There's no trust within the Iraqi government; no trust of the government by the Iraqi people; no capacity of that government to deliver security or services; and no prospect that it will build that trust or capacity any time soon," Biden's statement said.


I wonder: What has changed since 2007? The situation in Iraq might be a little bit better because of the reinforcements that Bush sent there, but is it significantly better? I don't think so.

Biden's got a new job, tho'. Perhaps that's the reason for his change-of-mind? Maybe he and Obama are pulling out despite thinking that Iraq won't be able to survive, because it is politically expedient... especially with mid-term elections coming up and not a lot to show for a year and a half of work.

edutcher said...

LarsPorsena said...
apropos edbutcher:

AP..Kabul - US plans to begin drawing down forces in Afghanistan from next July are "invigorating" insurgents, Afghan officials said on Wednesday, agreeing with a blunt assessment given by the top US Marine.

US Marines General James Conway said on Tuesday President Barack Obama's plan to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan from July 2011 had given a morale boost to the Taliban, who believe they can wait out Nato forces.


I was impressed by how forthright the Commandant was about The Zero's policies. He seems to be taking his career in his hands.

Or maybe he'd rather stand by his people.

Semper Fi.

Dead Julius said...

Jeez... I'm too young to have any memory of Vietnam. But from what I've read, Obama sure seems to be pulling out of Iraq in a way that is stunningly similar to Nixon's pullout from Vietnam. Nixon, after all, was elected on a promise to turn the fighting over to the Vietnamese and bring the American troops home.

Nixon at least tried to sock the NVA hard enough that it would take them years before they could hit South Vietnam. Fifth columnists in the Democrat Party, among other things, knocked that into a cocked hat.

Skyler said...

I was impressed by how forthright the Commandant was about The Zero's policies. He seems to be taking his career in his hands.

Or maybe he'd rather stand by his people.

Semper Fi.


I think that too much forthrightness is dangerous. We can't have generals undermining the commander in chief, or politicizing the military. In the past 15 years, the military has become dramatically more open about politics. I don't think this is a good thing.

However, I also think that the military leadership needs to ensure that military tactics and strategy are openly talked about within reason and the constraints of national security.

A lot of younger Marines are getting killed. I don't give a spit for a general who would be afraid to risk his merely his career. When something is wrong, and blatantly wrong, General officers are obliged to speak up.

This is part of the reason for my contempt of so many army generals. And some Marine generals, too. When the war in Iraq was going so poorly, few or none spoke up against Rumsfeld to point out that fewer soldiers and Marines doesn't equal success. Special forces and mercenaries do not win wars. Precision bombing has its place but will not bring an enemy to its knees. None risked their precious careers by giving their professional candid views on these rather obvious matters, they were willing to get plum jobs in the hope of getting in the history books. Let's hope the history books remember them with curses.

General Conway seems to have been very careful in his comments. It would seem to have been a wise way to address the topic, but it would have been nicer had it been addressed several years ago.

bagoh20 said...

All this bombing proves is that Iraq is an Islamic Middle East nation. This will continue even if they are a relatively stable, democratic and useful ally. It's just a sick part of the culture now. We have our dysfunctions and they have theirs. I certainly prefer our much less common bombings and serial killings, but it doesn't mean they are hopeless or even failing at this point. They have a different yardstick than us.

Bob said...

Whats funny in all of this is that this withdrawal is EXACTLY what was negotiated by Bush. Just six months behind schedule. Obama didn't "do" anything except follow the Bush timeline and added a few months waiting for the Iraqis to sort out their elections.

And to those who wonder the "advisory brigades" are combat brigades with some extra intel, CA, and logisticians added. And those intels assets are just focused within Iraq either.

Next year is when Obama shows his real hand and all US troops leave or Iraq becomes the new Germany and we guard the Iraq-Iran border just like we sit on the Korean DMZ and the old IGB (inter-German border).

Skyler said...

Next year is when Obama shows his real hand and all US troops leave or Iraq becomes the new Germany and we guard the Iraq-Iran border just like we sit on the Korean DMZ and the old IGB (inter-German border).


If only . . .

Beau said...

Cedarford: POTD

At least more than a few rich US people and corporations got a whole lot richer out of the last 8 years.

Neocons 1 Everyone else 0

Almost Ali said...

We can't have generals undermining the commander in chief

Yes we can.

The general's first duty is to the Constitution. Therefore, pointing out the seditious policies/actions of the President is a soldier's most necessary form of patriotism.

Granted, we still have a lot of Obama supporters in denial, which has allowed the president to persist in his plan to destroy our country.

If the deniers pause for just a moment, they'll see that everything Obama has done has undermined America.

We need more General Conways, enough to remove Obama from office.

Skyler said...

The general's first duty is to the Constitution. Therefore, pointing out the seditious policies/actions of the President is a soldier's most necessary form of patriotism.

Sedition is a tricky thing to define. The man was elected to be commander in chief. His opinion alone decides strategy and tactics as a matter of law and the Constitution.

It would take more than simple timing of withdrawal from a theater to constitute sedition. I may not like it and you may not like it, but it's not so clearly seditious when the people elected him knowing of his intent and philosophy.

Bob said...

"His opinion alone decides strategy and tactics as a matter of law and the Constitution. "

Wrong, as there are two other branches which also hold sway "as a matter of law and the Constitution. "

Skyler, you didn't seem to read my post too carefully. Don't be surprised when thousands of US troops remain in Iraq on 1/1/12.

Skyler said...

Bob, I'm not sure why you presume I've even read your post. I don't recall citing it.

Tactics and strategy are the province of the commander in chief exclusively. This is why we have a commander in chief. Congress has the power of the purse but that concerns training and equipping the military. Once the congress authorizes the use of force, the commander in chief is in charge of tactics and strategy. The constitution was designed so that committees would not be in charge.

Congress might state its opinion about tactis and strategy, but it's purely a political issue as to whether the commander in chief decides to listen and comply.

Skyler said...

Oh, I see the post you mean Bob.

My point is that leaving a strong presence on the Iranian border is probably the best we could hope for from this administration. Even better would be for those two forces to drive through and meet in Teheran.

peter hoh said...

All we need now is for the vice president to insist that the coordinated attacks prove that the insurgency is in its last throes.

Allen, re. Iraq's neighbor to the east: you might recall that the first President Bush opted not to invade Iraq when he had the chance. Why not? In part to keep "the neighbor to the east" in check.

Here's a guy from that administration -- probably some kind of liberal commie -- arguing that invading and occupying Iraq would lead to a quagmire.

Technically, Iraq did not break into several pieces, but the goal of the surge -- creating space for a political solution -- has not been met. The various sides haven't been able to work together.

Would 100,000 US troops have prevented 13 strikes? Maybe -- for a while -- but at what cost?

Skyler said...

"The various sides haven't been able to work together."

Not like the republicans and democrats at all.

jenne said...

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I really like the "Mission deconstructed" comment.