December 22, 2011

"A wave of coordinated explosions ripped across Baghdad early on Thursday, killing at least 63 people..."

"... wounding more than 180 and jolting a country already unsettled by a deepening political crisis and the absence of American troops."

I think it's 3 a.m. in Hawaii and a phone is ringing.

ADDED: Am I being unfair? I don't think Obama has left for Hawaii yet. Here's The Hill yesterday:
The president left the White House on Wednesday afternoon to do some Christmas shopping for his family, buying a Wii video game and other items. But he would not say if he would be there to hand-deliver the gifts or not.

Even if there’s no ideal time for a presidential vacation, this one comes at a particularly inopportune moment. For weeks, Obama has insisted that lawmakers stay in town to pass the tax extension. Otherwise, as he said earlier this month, “we can all spend Christmas here together.”

Now, with the payroll tax extension compromise unsettled, and members of Congress already back at home, does Obama up and leave, too? Or will the president be forced to spend the holidays at an empty White House with the Yule Log on TV, listening to Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas”?
Poor Obama! He's so lonely. And the press is even revealing what presents he bought.

55 comments:

pm317 said...

oh, now you quote Hillary! It may be necessary to remind you all that Hillary had all the military brass behind her campaign. Obama had that one guy whose name nobody remembers.

Freder Frederson said...

What exactly would you have us do? Keep troops in Iraq indefinitely (and btw, U.S. troops were pulled out of the cities, including Baghdad, quite some time ago)? Continue to fund them with borrowed money?

It is easy to criticize when you have no personal involvement in the situation. You haven't paid a cent for this war nor has it affected you personally.

David said...

And somewhere in Afganistan, helicopters are practicing landings on embassy roofs.

Moose said...

Sorry - this is all Bush's fault. Will be for the century or so. Then someone will notice that it was Obama who was actually at the helm when it happened. Then all this misty eyed crap will go away. But in the meantime - Aloha!

Ann Althouse said...

"What exactly would you have us do? Keep troops in Iraq indefinitely (and btw, U.S. troops were pulled out of the cities, including Baghdad, quite some time ago)? Continue to fund them with borrowed money?"

I have no idea. I haven't even been briefed and advised by highly informed experts. But I did vote for Obama for President so he'd make the decisions for me. He said he could do it, and I trusted him. Since there's no recall procedure, I need to wait until the next election to do anything other than see what he does.

Jay said...

I think it's 3 a.m. in Hawaii and a phone is ringing.


Well, you voted for him Ann knowing full well that OIF was still in full swing and this constitutional law lecturer knew nothing of foreign policy.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...

You haven't paid a cent for this war nor has it affected you personally.


And you haven't paid a cent for this war nor has it affected you personally.

Scott M said...

I think it's 3 a.m. in Best Buy and a phone is ringing.

There. Fixed it for you. Maybe the Duey Oxburger that was helping him yesterday can hand it to him when it does ring.

Do you suppose the terrorists involved play by the same "you bomb it, you own it" mentality we do?

bubbalicous said...

It's 3am but that number was disconnected some time ago.

pm317 said...

It was too good to pass -- to say it is 3 am in Hawaii and anyway, he would have been there if it were not for the pesky voters and congress critters.

LarsPorsena said...

"...I think it's 3 a.m. in Hawaii and a phone is ringing.

Mahalo, Mr. President.

Jay said...

Or will the president be forced to spend the holidays at an empty White House with the Yule Log on TV, listening to Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas”?


Something tells me this isn't exactly the way Obama spends his free time...

David said...

Jesus, Althouse, that video link!

Devastating.

(And nearly 60 years after the "end" of the Korean war, we still have about 30,000 troops in Korea. Would it be a good idea to withdraw those troops too? Does the long term success of South Korea provide any information that would have been useful guidance for troop retention in Iraq?)

Christopher in MA said...

"It's easy to criticize when you have no personal involvement in the situation. You haven't paid a cent for this war nor has it affected you personally."

Neither have you, you ignorant jackanape, but it didn't stop you and the rest of your treasonous party from doing everything in your power to destroy Bush and kneecap the troops for the duration.

Yes, I said "treasonous." And I meant it.

Writ Small said...

Obama said. . .

"I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history.

Rest easy friends. A man with Obama's record of historical accomplishment in foreign policy will see us through.

pm317 said...

Speaking of Hawaii, the WH won't release any information on Michelle's PRIVATE vacation there now. Only we pay for her private vacation.

bubbalicous said...

And nearly 60 years after the "end" of the Korean war, we still have about 30,000 troops in Korea. Would it be a good idea to withdraw those troops too? Does the long term success of South Korea provide any information that would have been useful guidance for troop retention in Iraq?)


And Germany, and Japan, and all throughout Europe. In Freder's small little mind though, we need to "bring them all home".

And yes, it's affected me personally. I've had to put up with all the mealy-mouthed, shrill proclomations from people like Freder for the past 9 years.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...
Continue to fund them with borrowed money?



I think it is so cute when you leftists go all budget hawk on us!

Freder Frederson said...

I have no idea.

So you're just criticizing based on pure ignorance.

Freder Frederson said...

And Germany, and Japan, and all throughout Europe.

When was the last time the troops in the regions you mentioned were actually patrolling the streets or actively involved in combat operations or defending the government of those countries?

The SOFAs for those countries specifically prohibit the U.S. troops from being involved in any internal operations in the host country. It is a completely different situation.

Freder Frederson said...

Neither have you, you ignorant jackanape, but it didn't stop you and the rest of your treasonous party from doing everything in your power to destroy Bush and kneecap the troops for the duration.

You don't know anything about me or my personal involvement in this war, so I suggest you STFU and read the constitutional definition of treason and explain how respectfully objecting to this useless, unnecessary war, based on deception, constitutes treason.

bubbalicous said...

When was the last time the troops in the regions you mentioned were actually patrolling the streets or actively involved in combat operations or defending the government of those countries?



Does Bosnia ring a bell? Your lack of logical and original thought is astounding.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...

You don't know anything about me or my personal involvement in this war


I know you have no personal involvement in this war.

Pete the Streak said...

Shorter Freder: blah, blah, blah.

Freder Frederson said...

I know you have no personal involvement in this war.

And how do you know that? As usual, you make comments that have no basis in fact.

Freder Frederson said...

Does Bosnia ring a bell?

Completely irrelevant to the point I was making.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...

And how do you know that?


It is quite obvious.

Otherwise, you should be cheering. Obama "ended" the War in Iraq. The troops are on their way home.

Isn't that great?

knox said...

The president left the White House on Wednesday afternoon to do some Christmas shopping for his family, buying a Wii video game and other items.

Jeez, SPOILER ALERT! Let's hope Sasha and Malia don't read The Hill.

Quaestor said...

Freder wrote:
And how do you know that? As usual, you make comments that have no basis in fact.

The most effective way to silence your critics is to explain exactly how your personal experience of war is gives you superior moral status to defend what appears to be another Obama failure.

Crimso said...

"When was the last time the troops in the regions you mentioned were actually patrolling the streets or actively involved in combat operations or defending the government of those countries?"

But you would agree the situation in Korea is relevant? And we cerainly didn't have to have troops stationed in the cities to keep the troublemakers from becoming fully active. Or is is just a coincidence that the instability appears to be increasing now?

IIRC, your wife served (serves). I believe she was in theater at one point (perhaps in Iraq itself). I don't believe that it gives you any particular moral authority, but I would agree it was (is) a personal stake. Again, working on memory here, so if you feel the need to correct, please do so.

Cedarford said...

Don't think we owe a thing to the "noble purple-fingered Iraqi Freedom-Lovers".
Unless we wanted to stay another 10 years and blow another 500 billion..it was predicable that the Islamoids would fall on one another like animals and bomb markets of enemy sectarian foes.
=======
Obama was right to pull us out of there.
They are not our allies.

Levi Starks said...

Here's the problem with the arguments that are had about foreign intervention.
We can look back and see the results of all the times we intervened, and we always imagine a narrative that says we saved the world from total destruction as a cover for the collateral damage we caused. But we can not look back and see what would have happened if we had made different choices.
There is a different narrative that we can never know. Its the one where we chose not to intervene. Human beings are by nature so smug that we create worse case scenarios to justify any past action we've taken.

Freder Frederson said...

But you would agree the situation in Korea is relevant?

No, our situation in Korea (as it was in Europe, pre-'89) is to help defend the South Korean government from North Korea. The SOFA specifically prohibits U.S. troops from internal activities to either defend or oppose the South Korean government or act as an internal security force. The assumption is that a U.S. force remained in Iraq it would be acting as an internal security force.

And you are right, my ex-wife (and she is my ex-wife precisely because of the war) served three tours in four years (two in Kuwait, one in Iraq). I do not claim moral superiority because of her service, only that unlike so many of the commenters here and Althouse herself, I did have a personal involvement in this situation.

Freder Frederson said...

Isn't that great?

Well, yes it is. What makes you think I am not cheering the end of a war I think we should have never started in the first place?

shiloh said...

hmm, as Bush43 said in so many words ~ "Mission Accomplished" on May 1, 2003.

And conservatives keep telling me that the surge was a success ...

btw, In a less publicized incident, Rumsfeld also declared an end to major combat operations in Afghanistan on May 1, 2003, a few hours before Bush's announcement.

take care

Christopher in MA said...

Respectfully objecting, Freddie?

The constitutional definition of treason includes it to consist of "adhering to their (the USA's) Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

I do enjoy listening to fools like you pretend that your shrieks of "Bush Lied!" and the parade of Democrat scum eagerly lining up before any available microphone to declare the war lost (Harry Reid), smear our soliders as Nazi clones (Dick Durbin), telling a commanding general that listening to him requires a willing suspension of disbelief (Hillary Clinton) or running guns to the Iraqi insurgency (Code Pink) is, somehow, not adhering to or giving comfort to the enemy.

And no, Bosnia isn't completely irrelevant. Your Syphilitic Hillbilly lied about Milosevich's mass graves, insisting we had to bomb the hell out of that country to take out the monstrous tyrant. But you said nothing. You just rustled your Sunday NYT and went back to the crossword.

Right now, your cokehead Little Black Jesus is authorizing drone strikes only on his say so, without any congressional oversight, but again, you have nothing to say other than a snort of "STFU."

Well, in the words of the SCOAMF, right back atcha, buddy.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...

Well, yes it is. What makes you think I am not cheering the end of a war I think we should have never started in the first place?



I'm glad you're cheering the death and destruction.

Freder Frederson said...

The constitutional definition of treason includes it to consist of "adhering to their (the USA's) Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

So you call my criticism of Bush policy treasonous and go on to make vicious personal attacks against a former president and the sitting president.

I would love to hear your definition of irony, because you apparently have no concept of what that is either.

Freder Frederson said...

I'm glad you're cheering the death and destruction.

I am cheering the fact that the Iraqis will have to work out their internal problems themselves.

Beta Rube said...

If Obama were the 5th or 6th best Prez ever, I would be concerned, but his top 4 status leaves me reassured at all times.

Quaestor said...

Freder wrote:
I am cheering the fact that the Iraqis will have to work out their internal problems themselves.

I'm sure the Kurds will feel much better about the Arab-led pogroms headed their way that it's all in a day's work, internal problems resolution-wise.

Obama-style smart diplomacy is one of those "can't make an omelet without breaking eggs" kinda things... But it does seem sorta odd that it takes a dozen eggs to make an one-egg Obamalet.

Quaestor said...

Obama's Short List of Greatest Presidents Evah:

1) James Earl Carter
2) Franklin Pierce
3) Millard Fillmore
4) Martin Van Buren

Yeah, Obama's definitely in the top five.

Robert Cook said...

"Yes, I said 'treasonous.' And I meant it." Yes, I'm sure you even stamped your foot for extra emphasis.

Christopher in MA said...

"I would love to hear your definition of irony. . ."

And I'd love to hear your exegesis on "remove the plank from your own eye," myself. In fact, google "Bush dry drunk," Bush chimp," "Bush moron" or "Bush lies," for a start, Freder, then come whine to me about "vicious personal attacks" on presidents.

Christopher in MA said...

Ah, Robert. I see the official mourning period for Dear Leader is over. Welcome back.

edutcher said...

COIN is a long process. You're talking about rearranging a society that Saddam turned into a Nazi state.

For the same reason, we stayed a while in Germany and Italy.

Freder Frederson said...

What exactly would you have us do? Keep troops in Iraq indefinitely (and btw, U.S. troops were pulled out of the cities, including Baghdad, quite some time ago)? Continue to fund them with borrowed money?

As opposed to WIC, ZeroCare, and Stimulus III?

It is easy to criticize when you have no personal involvement in the situation. You haven't paid a cent for this war nor has it affected you personally.

The word Taxes ring any bells?

shiloh said...

hmm, as Bush43 said in so many words ~ "Mission Accomplished" on May 1, 2003.

No, the crew of the Abraham Lincoln said it.

And conservatives keep telling me that the surge was a success .

It killed off the Baathists and the Al Qaedas.

MayBee said...

Maybe this whole payroll tax thing is a made-up stalemate so Obama can't go to Hawaii (where the new Kim can more easily get him).

Hoosier Daddy said...

This type of stuff didn't happen when Saddam was in charge.

I mean they didn't start blowing each other up until we got rid of Saddam helped them install an elected government.

shiloh said...

"No, the crew of the Abraham Lincoln said it."

No, the crew only put it up.

When he received an advance copy of the speech, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld took care to remove any use of the phrase "Mission Accomplished" in the speech itself. Later, when journalist Bob Woodward asked him about his changes to the speech, Rumsfeld responded: "I was in Baghdad, and I was given a draft of that thing to look at. And I just died, and I said my God, it's too conclusive. And I fixed it and sent it back… they fixed the speech, but not the sign."

Bush did offer a "Mission Accomplished" message to the troops in Afghanistan at Camp As Sayliyah on June 5, 2003 — about a month after the aircraft carrier speech: "America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat and to liberate an oppressed people, and that mission has been accomplished."

For critics of the war, the photo-op became a symbol of the Bush administration's unrealistic goals and perceptions of the conflict. Anti-war activists questioned the integrity and realism of Bush's "major combat" statement. The banner came to symbolize the irony of Bush giving a victory speech only a few weeks after the beginning of a relatively long war. Many in the administration came to regret the slogan. Karl Rove later stated, "I wish the banner was not up there."


take care

Freder Frederson said...

The word Taxes ring any bells?

None at all.

When were taxes raised to pay for the Iraq or Afghanistan war? In fact, Bush was the first president to lower taxes during a war.

For the same reason, we stayed a while in Germany and Italy.

The occupation of Germany ended in 1955. After that, Germany joined NATO. We remained in Germany to help defend Western Europe from the Russians, not provide internal security. Italy actually switched sides during WWII and the occupation of portions of Italy ended in 1947.

You really should get your history straight.

Crimso said...

"And you are right, my ex-wife (and she is my ex-wife precisely because of the war)"

I apologize for having raised the issue. I didn't know. I usually disagree with your comments, but have never intended injury.

Robert Cook said...

An alternative reporting of how Iraq got Bush to agree to remove our troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. (Obama can neither be blamed nor take credit for this too-belated departure).


http://consortiumnews.com/2011/12/17/
how-iraq-maneuvered-the-us-departure/

Synova said...

"What exactly would you have us do? Keep troops in Iraq indefinitely..."

We have troops in Germany.

We have troops in Japan.

We have troops in South Korea.

We ought to, YES, have a permanent base in Iraq.

Not that anyone was saying so, not even Bush. It wouldn't be politic to say so, but it would have been SMART.

Geographically it's more important than Europe or the Northern Pacific rim, no matter that idiot Murtha thought we could stage a middle eastern action from Okinawa.

And if the region dissolves into a morass every single dollar and drop of blood spent, ours AND theirs, is an outrage.

Synova said...

"This type of stuff didn't happen when Saddam was in charge.

I mean they didn't start blowing each other up until we got rid of Saddam helped them install an elected government.
"

I'm assuming that was sarcasm, but feel like I ought to check. On the internet it's so hard to tell.

Synova said...

I see that I wasn't the first to mention the obvious. Japan, Germany and S.Korea.

"When was the last time the troops in the regions you mentioned were actually patrolling the streets or actively involved in combat operations or defending the government of those countries?

The SOFAs for those countries specifically prohibit the U.S. troops from being involved in any internal operations in the host country. It is a completely different situation.
"

It's not a different situation at all. Had we "removed" to a leased base or two in Iraq, we'd have been there. Nor is the US military in Japan or Germany or S.Korea, or when I was there before the US closed it's bases in the Philippines, uninvolved with local militaries and communities. There are always joint activities and mentoring and cooperation. There are "civil affairs" activities, medical charities, and those sorts of things. Plus, to some extent, the stationed military (with or without dependents) interact with locals, providing a face to US/western cultures and values. (Which aren't anything to sneeze at, even accepting a certain measure of youthful male enthusiasm in the pursuit of entertainment.)