January 4, 2014

"A rejuvenated al-Qaeda-affiliated force asserted control over the western Iraqi city of Fallujah on Friday..."

Reports The Washington Post.
“At the moment, there is no presence of the Iraqi state in Fallujah,” said a local journalist who asked not to be named because he fears for his safety. “The police and the army have abandoned the city, al-Qaeda has taken down all the Iraqi flags and burned them, and it has raised its own flag on all the buildings.”

At Friday prayers, held outdoors and attended by thousands of people, a masked ISIS fighter took the podium and addressed the crowd, declaring the establishment of an “Islamic emirate” in Fallujah and promising to help residents fight the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Iranian allies....
Most residents of Fallujah do not support the al-Qaeda fighters, the journalist there said, but they also lack the means to oppose them, and they also oppose the Iraqi government.
The article makes no mention of President Obama or anyone in the Obama administration. What is our response?

ADDED: Here's the corresponding story in the NYT.
The group’s fighters cut power lines in Falluja late in the day and ordered residents not to use their backup generators. In one area of Falluja, a militant said over a mosque loudspeaker: “We are God’s rule on Earth! No one can defeat God’s will!”

The group advanced hours after a short period of calm had returned to the city, where the traffic police and street cleaners resumed work during the day and mosque loudspeakers exhorted stores to reopen so hungry residents could buy food.

The calm evaporated when the militants appeared at the close of Friday Prayer — which had been moved by local imams to a public park, away from the combat zones — and seized the stage, waving the Qaeda flag and daring the authorities to evict them.

“We declare Falluja as an Islamic state, and we call on you to be on our side!” one fighter shouted to the crowd, according to witness accounts.
Also this:
The fighting that has been going on for days has proved to be a crucial test for Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s Shiite-led government, which is facing an escalating Sunni-led insurgency that threatens to tear the country apart. The unrest and the seeming inability of the Iraqi government forces, who were trained and equipped by the United States at a cost of billions of dollars, to quell it underscores the steady deterioration of Iraq’s security since the last American troops left two years ago.

134 comments:

Michael said...

What do you mean, what is our response? What difference does it make at this point?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Is he back from Hawaii yet?

AReasonableMan said...

Althouse says:
'what is our response?'

This is the kind of mindless thinking that lead us into a war in Iraq in the first place.

Why do we need a response? The Iraqi government insisted that we leave. We both literally and figuratively dodged a bullet on this one. The Iraqi's have come to regret this decision but I bet you can't find one sane member of the US military who regrets leaving.

Rockeye said...

The only surprise now is that anyone could be surprised that this is exactly what would happen. The only mystery left now is just how much trouble this will cause everyone outside the borders of Iraq.

David said...

We will have no response because we can't respond. We have destroyed all ability to respond through our complete withdrawal from Iraq. AQ has correctly read our resolve, and that of the Iraq government that we created, and then deserted.

It's South Vietnam all over again.

khesanh0802 said...

Most anticipated something like this happening when an agreement could not be reached to keep some forces in Iraq. With no infrastructure in place I imagine we can do nothing. Maybe that's good from the point of view of not expending any more blood or treasure on Iraq.
Unfortunately I think it is a harbinger of similar occurrences to come in Afghanistan, Lebanon and, perhaps, Egypt. Maybe there is nothing as definitive as the last chopper leaving the embassy roof, but the results are going to be the same - a lot of useless deaths in the civilian population and one more unfriendly country for us to deal with.

David said...

Reasonable Man, the Iraq government did not insist that we leave. They wanted us to stay but entered into a negotiation on the authority of our force. This negotiation was part substance and part face saving. The Obama Administration used bridgeable disagreements to cause the negotiations to fail, and then skedaddled. Likely it's what they wanted all along. Certainly the departure was avoidable.

SteveR said...

Yeah the administration was all too willing to bail out. Our response was to elect Obama in 2008, this was an entirely predictable outcome. Once you push a rock over the cliff, a "response" is not the right word.

Illuninati said...

"“The police and the army have abandoned the city, al-Qaeda has taken down all the Iraqi flags and burned them, and it has raised its own flag on all the buildings.”"

The journalist is lying. Obama already defeated Al-Qaeda. We know that is true because Obama and the Democrats all told us so. We know Democrats never lie.

AReasonableMan said...

From the NYT:
"In a moment of candor, Mr. Zebari offered a piece of advice to president Karzai that would have been unthinkable from an Iraqi official just two years ago: Get over your differences with the Americans and sign the deal.

“Don’t be under the illusion that no matter what you do the Americans are here to stay,” Mr. Zebari told Mr. Karzai. “People used to say that about the American presence in Iraq, too. But they were eager to leave, and they will be eager to leave your country as well.”

When the last American troops departed Iraq in 2011, after the collapse of a similar security agreement, many Iraqis reveled in a moment of national pride, expressing faith in the government’s ability to maintain security. Since then, the country has fallen back into hellish violence, with thousands killed in sectarian attacks this year."

Clearly the US held the upper hand in any negotiations. That the Iraqis were too stupid to see this is not Obama's fault.

You Repubs need to grow some balls on foreign affairs. We should not ever be again the stooges of foreign internal politics that we became during the Bush administration.

cassandra lite said...

Hard to believe that this won't sink Hillary's chances in '16.

Paul said...

"It's South Vietnam all over again."

Yup.

The democrats never tire of rendering spilled American blood for naught so that bloodthirsty repressive regimes can take root to spill the blood of our former allies.

Somehow they imagine they are the good guys too.

Jason said...

And so ARM's bigotry is revealed:

IT'S THE JOOOOOOOOOS!!!

Hagar said...

The "Middle East" - from Algeria to the Chinese border - will go up in flames, and even if it does not go nuclear, we will be back in, in a much larger way than the Bushies ever dreamed of.

AReasonableMan said...

Jason said...
And so ARM's bigotry is revealed:


So you win the complete fucking idiot award. I was talking about Iraqi internal politics. Read up a little on Chalabi before you make a complete fool of yourself again on the internet.

Bob said...

Remember back in 2008 Joe Biden, then campaigning for President, said that Iraq should be partitioned so that Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds all had their own areas? Seems like pretty wise advice now, doesn't it?

Illuninati said...

AReasonableMan said...

"Clearly the US held the upper hand in any negotiations. That the Iraqis were too stupid to see this is not Obama's fault."

Of course it is not Obama's fault. Nothing is ever Obama's fault. Who do those pesky critics think Obama is anyway -- the president or something?

David said...

Note that the WAPO reporters are reporting from Beruit and New York. Iraq is too dangerous.

Note, by the way, that about a year ago Exxon entered into an agreement to sell its interest in Iraq oil fields to Petro China. Exxon management is very good at big picture long term analysis. They were very clear where this was heading.

War for oil indeed. What bullshit.

Michael K said...

"You Repubs need to grow some balls on foreign affairs. We should not ever be again the stooges of foreign internal politics that we became during the Bush administration."

Yes, everything to do with Iraq is Bush's fault just as it was Nixon who got us into Vietnam.

A memory is a terrible thing to waste.

We elected Obama and he will send us into a world war. Of course, the war may not begin until he leaves office just as 9/11 occurred after the feckless Clinton left office.

We should get out of Afghanistan as it is indefensible without Pakistan and Pakistan is no friend.

Iraq was won and thrown away.

Drago said...

ARM: "The Iraqi's have come to regret this decision but I bet you can't find one sane member of the US military who regrets leaving."

What "test" would you use to determine military member sanity?

Let me guess: Agreement with you.

David said...

So, reasonable Man, a bunch of Iraqis dance in the street and this tells you that their leaders overplayed their hand? And so what if that's true? If the Iraq leaders are overplaying the hand, the Obama administration should have found a way to convince them of this. Like by Obama taking some personal role in the discussions, which he did not. Or by extending the process, which they did not.

The whole idea of diplomacy is to persuade others to act in your interest, and often to persuade them to act in their own. What you described as Obama's excuse is a classic diplomatic fail.

Drago said...

ARM reminds me very much of how the Soviets used an Insanity diagnosis for those individuals/refuseniks who desired more freedom and the ability to emigrate.

Leftists are all alike.

David said...

ARM, I know a number of American military officers who served in Iraq, including some quite senior one. None that I know (or know of) are pleased that we exited Iraq the way we did.

Sorun said...

I'm glad we're out of there. Fuck 'em.

Drago said...

Michael K: "Yes, everything to do with Iraq is Bush's fault just as it was Nixon who got us into Vietnam."

Remember candidate Kerry's characterization of Vietnam as "Mr Nixon's War" during the 2004 campaign?

David said...

cassandra lite said...
Hard to believe that this won't sink Hillary's chances in '16.


No impact whatsoever. She has insulated herself from everything of substance done on her watch at State.

Gahrie said...

At some point we are going to have to realize that modern western liberal civilization cannot co-exist with Islam and the primative tribalism it demands. When that time comes, things could get pretty ugly for Muslims.

Robert Cook said...

Of course, it was our invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Hussein that has led to Al Qaeda making inroads into Iraq.

Every time we blast open Pandora's Box things get ever more fucked up--as one would expect, yet we never seem to.

Robert Cook said...

"I'm glad we're out of there. Fuck 'em."

Wouldn't you be so much gladder, then, if we had never gone in, (as we shouldn't have and had no basis to do)? They certainly would be.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
just as 9/11 occurred after the feckless Clinton left office.


Talk about attempts to duck responsibility.

During George W. Bush's presidency 2,977 US civilians were killed in a single attack by foreign terrorists. Some variant on that line will start every assessment of Bush's presidency from now until eternity. I would get used to it.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
Yes, everything to do with Iraq is Bush's fault


Yes everything is Bush's fault. It was a war of choice, a very stupid choice.

Hagar said...

Things are pretty ugly for "Muslims" right now because they can't live with each other in their own countries; never mind the "Western Crusaders."

Oso Negro said...

No Robert Cook, I would not be happier if we had never gone in, nor do I think the Iraqis would be. I saw my son off to the fight three times. The Iraqis I have met personally have expressed gratitude for our efforts. The Marines worked so hard to take Fallujah, clearing building after building with too few men, and then turning around and going back through it a second time. This is not happy news.

Steve said...

The inevitable happens and we wait for a comment from Obama?

He knew this would happen and it was probably the plan. A narcissist President cares not for anything other than his pet programs. Iraq belonged to Bush any effort to maintain Iraq as democratic or free would be effort not advancing Barack Obama and therefore effort wasted.

El Pollo Raylan said...

In one area of Falluja, a militant said over a mosque loudspeaker: “We are God’s rule on Earth! No one can defeat God’s will!”

Isn't it "high time" that Obama returned from his choom reunion to resume the war at home on Christians?

Gahrie said...

Wouldn't you be so much gladder, then, if we had never gone in, (as we shouldn't have and had no basis to do)? They certainly would be

Well, except for the ones being tortured, raped and thrown into wood chippers.

Illuninati said...

There is probably some truth to the argument that Iraq was a war of choice but it was not necessarily a stupid choice. Bush probably believed that Islam is a religion of peace which had been hijacked. He probably also believed the argument that Muslims hated us because we supported dictators who were suppressing them. Leftists are still using that type of argument to excuse Islamic crimes. Bush was trying to rectify that situation by deposing a dictator and by setting up a free democratic Iraq so that the true peaceful nature of Islam could bloom. That is not stupid.

On the other hand, if we assume that that Islam is a religion of violence which is incompatible with liberal Western democracy and that Islamists view us as decadent and weak, then the dream that Iraq would become a freedom loving ally was indeed stupid.

Jason said...

Obama: "Now watch this drive!"

Hagar said...

That Exxon sold of its interests in Iraqi oilfields to the Chinese is very interesting old news that I don't remember being reported.
Also note that China sent a destroyer - that is one of the new-fangled ones, all full of electronics gear - into the Mediterranean in response to "the Syrian crisis."

Very interesting, indeed.

FullMoon said...

Just makes me feel kinda sick.

AReasonableMan said...

Illuminati, you can spin this anyway you want but the algebra remains the same: Bush + Iraq = stupid.

AReasonableMan said...

Hagar said...
That Exxon sold of its interests in Iraqi oilfields to the Chinese is very interesting old news that I don't remember being reported.


I was reported widely with much hand wringing by right wing pundits.

Jason said...

Of course, it was our invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Hussein that has led to Al Qaeda making inroads into Iraq.

There's Cookie, going on with the libtard illusion that Al Qaeda wasn't in Iraq prior to 2003.

That's right. Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. Al Qaeda was in Canada. Al Qaeda was in Spain, England, Israel and Egypt. Al Qaeda was in Sudan, Algeria, Libya and Jordan. Al Qaeda was in Turkey and Russia. Al Qaeda was in Turkmenistan and Albania. Al Qaeda was in Yemen. Al Qaeda was in Thailand, the Phillipines and Bali, for Chrissakes.

But by some fucking freak of nature, Hussein had sprinkled some sort of magic faerie dust over his country and Al Qaeda was no problem. Al Qaeda was actively targeting every other secular regime in the Muslim world, and yet, somehow, they left Hussein alone. They just weren't an issue. They were engaging in running gun battles in the streets of Riyadh, trying to kill members of the Saudi Royal family, but gave Hussein a pass.

Curious, that.

Chef Mojo said...

Illuminati @ 3:39...

^^^ This.

Bush's problem was that he stopped at the Iraq-Iran border.

tim maguire said...

declaring the establishment of an “Islamic emirate” in Fallujah and promising to help residents fight the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Iranian allies....

So here's my plan: since they declare war on Iran, let Iran deal with it. Then we elect a president who understands the duties and responsibilities of a United States President. He or she can proceed with a solution to the entire Iran/Iraq mess by supporting the Iranian people.

Sorun said...

"Wouldn't you be so much gladder, then, if we had never gone in, (as we shouldn't have and had no basis to do)? They certainly would be"

You don't know that at all. Saddam may have retired, and Uday might be in charge. Would the Iraqis prefer to have their own Kim Jong-Un?

20/20 foreign policy hindsight is easy.

Illuninati said...

AReasonableMan said...

"Illuminati, you can spin this anyway you want but the algebra remains the same: Bush + Iraq = stupid."

The most stupid outcome will be if we ignore the lessons we should have learned about Islam and go back to the original assumptions which led Bush into Iraq in the first place.

eric said...

Does anyone really expect this administration to do anything worthwhile to help the Iraqi's?

C'mon.

It's going to take a Republican administration if we want to help anyone in the world. This administration is filled with "just words".

Because, as we all know, words are powerful things. Like, it's Bush's fault. And when nothing is every your fault, and you have no consequences for your decisions, then your decisions tend to be pretty disastrous.

Hell, these idiots couldn't even get a website up and running. They've already screwed up our military by adding women to the front ranks.

It's all a show to them. One that will work itself out and when it doesn't, it's Bush's fault.

Lyle said...

People... we are at War with Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda now occupies a safe area in western Iraq and across the Syrian border. This is like a two day drive from Germany.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Oso Negro said...This is not happy news.

It not be happy news for ARM & Cook but their Schadenfreude is on full display. I wonder how they will react to the reversion of Afghanistan. Seeing how both are allied against Christians in this country, it's not hard to figure which side they're on.

Chef Mojo said...

Bush's other great problem was "good intentions." He saw action in Iraq as a sort of Christian charity. If only we could give them freedom! Then democracy would follow. A charmingly naive notion.

America has become a failure at warfighting. There should be only one type of war; total war. There should be only one goal of war; unconditional surrender of the enemy. You fight the war to achieve that goal. Then maybe you can think about "nation building." Maybe.

The "civilized" Western notion of warfare is a recipe for failure in this world.

Lyle said...

Hagar,

Exxon actually has oil interests in Iraq today. I know because a friend of mine works for Exxon and does work on their Iraqi oil fields.

AReasonableMan said...

eric said...
Does anyone really expect this administration to do anything worthwhile to help the Iraqi's?


It's as though no one here paid any attention at all to anything that happened during the Bush administration.

AReasonableMan said...

El Pollo Raylan said...
Seeing how both are allied against Christians in this country, it's not hard to figure which side they're on.


Only a dumb cunt would write something like this.

El Pollo Raylan said...

ARM wrote: Only a dumb cunt would write something like this.

I must have hit a nerve.

Michael said...

ARM. The great thing about the dumbest motherfucker ever, GWB, was that he tricked the entire world into thinking that weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq. He personally hatched the plot and pulled it off. Bipartisan gulls took the bait.

ARM, be advised that many many people you think are dumber than you are tricking you and likely taking, unjustly, your personal share of the wealth.

Michael said...

ARM. The great thing about the dumbest motherfucker ever, GWB, was that he tricked the entire world into thinking that weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq. He personally hatched the plot and pulled it off. Bipartisan gulls took the bait.

ARM, be advised that many many people you think are dumber than you are tricking you and likely taking, unjustly, your personal share of the wealth.

AReasonableMan said...

El Pollo Raylan said...
I must have hit a nerve.


No, every now and then I feel obliged to speak a truth that I normally refrain from expressing.

PB Reader said...

"Most residents of Fallujah do not support the al-Qaeda fighters, the journalist there said, but they also lack the means to oppose them"

This is the whole point of disarming the people. It will be repeated elsewhere and closer to home every day.

Lydia said...

Maybe Maliki can turn this around, since, according to Al Arabiya, it happened because he withdrew the army from the area a few days ago. And he did that because of political pressure after he'd had the army dismantle the main Sunni Arab anti-government protest camp:

"Prime Minister Maliki said on Tuesday Iraqi troops would pull out of cities in Anbar province, of which Ramadi is the capital, in a move apparently aimed at defusing high tensions in the wake of the camp’s closure.

The withdrawal was one of the demands that 44 Iraqi MPs made on Monday during a news conference where they announced they had submitted their resignations."

He's now sent the army back in.

And from Al Jazeera:

"The Iraqi army is on the outskirts of the town, negotiating with tribal leaders to go and fight the ISIL. They need cooperation from the leaders to go in and root out the militants.

The military had a base just outside, from where they were shelling the city. They have withdrawn from that base and the tribal leaders have moved in, claiming a victory, but it isn’t clear yet from the army if it was rather a tactical withdrawal."

Sorun said...

It may be the case that most Iraqis are much happier. I don't know. We hear shit about Baghdad and Fallujah, but that may be like judging Americans by what's said about Detroit and Hollywood.

Does anyone ever do follow-up stories, or is it only yesterday's car bombing?

Inga said...

It's time for the Iraqi's to help themselves, the Afghans too. How much longer are we going to sacrifice our country's treasure, our sons and daughters, for people who hate us and will never appreciate anything we ever did for them.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Inga said...
How much longer are we going to sacrifice our country's treasure, our sons and daughters, for people who hate us and will never appreciate anything we ever did for them.

How much longer? Long enough to make sure they refester into a terror state exporting death to our shores.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Inga said...
How much longer are we going to sacrifice our country's treasure, our sons and daughters, for people who hate us and will never appreciate anything we ever did for them.

How much longer? Long enough to make sure they don't refester into a terror state exporting death to our shores.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Is it really hard for liberals to understand that some malignant forces want to kill us?

Inga said...

There are plenty of other countries that have festering pockets of Al Queda, how many countries must we involve ourselves with in order to feel safe?

EDH said...

Now that al Qaeda has raised their flag over Fallujah, maybe they'll do something stupid.

Like adopt Obamacare.

AReasonableMan said...

Inga said...
It's time for the Iraqi's to help themselves, the Afghans too. How much longer are we going to sacrifice our country's treasure, our sons and daughters, for people who hate us and will never appreciate anything we ever did for them.


I guess this would be another one of El Pollo's dreaded leftists going all in for the mullahs.

In reality, christian fundamentalists most readily see eye to eye with our muslim brothers on a range of issues. An always awkward fact for wing-nuts attempting McCarthyist style islamophobic smears against the left.

Inga said...

It's easy for some to send our troops to these countries, "to help" or to feel safe. There IS no safety b keeping our troops in "festering" countries. How many terrorist attacks have been foiled since 9/11? Plenty.

Original Mike said...

"The Iraqi government insisted that we leave."

Are nominations for the Complete Fucking Idiot Award still open?

AReasonableMan said...

The main point here is that the American public has seen the 'results' of Republican foreign policy and have rejected it entirely. A complete failure both strategically and politically.

But hey, without Bush there would not have been the votes to pass Obamacare. Good things can still happen.

Inga said...

One more thought, our troops are not the general population of America's sacrificial lambs, they don't need to "take the beating" for the master. If the draft were reinstated and all youth, rich and poor alike were at risk, the rush to send troops into such countries might not look like such a good idea to some.

AReasonableMan said...

Original Mike doubling down on stupid.

Lyle said...

ARM,

Christian fundamentalists are warring with people or something? Comparing them with violent Islamists is just so wrong.



Michael said...

Inga. Agree with your last point. Would be in favor of Israeli style universal conscription. Men and women.

ken in sc said...

ARM does not know any Christians.

El Pollo Raylan said...

ARM said: I guess this would be another one of El Pollo's dreaded leftists going all in for the mullahs.

No, it would be Inga usurping the role you assigned to me.

Inga said...

Yes Michael, men and women.

paminwi said...

a reasonable man says: In reality, christian fundamentalists most readily see eye to eye with our muslim brothers on a range of issues.

You are a fucking idiot and it shows when you make comments like the baove.

James said...

"Al Qaeda is on the run..."

Original Mike said...

"Original Mike doubling down on stupid."

There was no way in hell Obama was staying, no matter what the Iraqis did.

William said...

I give both Bush and Obama a pass on the Middle East. How do you negotiate with people who are religiously opposed to acting in their rational self interest......We have tried different tactics in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. All three countries went to hell, and Egypt will probably join them. Maybe the problem isn't us but them........NSA has broken the code used in AQ's internal communications. AQ no longer uses fractions when making requisitions. They are strictly on the decimal system. So Obama's observation about Al Qaeda having been decimated was on the money.

cubanbob said...

The lesson here is that we aren't good at being colonialist nor at civilizing savages. Next time we should stick to old school tried and true tactics like butcher and bolt.

Big Mike said...

Have Democrats won any war since 1945? Iraq was basically a won war but Obama managed to lose it anyway.

Ken_L said...

Out of interest, to those who believe America should still have enough troops in Iraq to keep the peace: how long would you continue to support them? Another 5 years? 10? 60, as in the case of South Korea? Bearing in mind their very presence would guarantee continuing resentment and resistance on the part of many Iraqis.

Sometimes there are no good foreign policy options. The USA has no vital interests at stake in Iraq and if the locals are determined to fight a civil war, so be it. After all I seem to recall there was a bit of unpleasantness in the USA about 150 years ago, which would not have been resolved more positively if the "international community" had intervened.

Chef Mojo said...

Next time we should stick to old school tried and true tactics like butcher and bolt.

If only.

JSF said...

Once upon a time, Democrats believed in Free Speech (now proven a lie i.e. attacks on Fox News and Talk Radio, et. al) and Free peoples.

ARM is a typical Liberal, he cares not one whit about people dying under dictators outside the borders of Europe or East of the China Sea.

FDR, Truman, and LBJ believed dictators are bad. I guess ARM would like to live in a one party system where Government controls everything like North Korea.

No opposition to the leader there!

B y the way, when is President Obama at fault for anything bad that happens in the world?

There is always an excuse for his failures.

Inga said...

I wonder what Rand Paul would say about some Republicans clamoring to go back into Iraq.

Sorun said...

"I wonder what Rand Paul would say about some Republicans clamoring to go back into Iraq"

Which Republicans?

Fen said...

The frustrating thing is I remember the conversations here on Althouse when Obama started pulling troops out. We warned this was exactly what would happen, the Leftists here said we were crazy armchair warmongerers.

Now it turns out we were right. Any mea culpa from the Left? Of course not. They are never around when the bill for their idocity comes due.

cubanbob said...

"There is always an excuse for his failures."

JSF what is the exuse for an electorate that elected him twice?

I suspect that in the end the winners will be the Kurds and most of the oil in Iraq is in the Kurdish areas. The Arabs will slug it out-Sunni vs Shia while the Kurds become a defacto state selling oil to the Chinese. The Kurds for now have gotten smart. They are playing nice with the Turks to keep them out and as long as they don't antagonize the Turks they will quietly come out on top.

Chef Mojo said...

Inga, who are the Republicans clamoring to return to Iraq?

As usual, you've missed the point.

What those of us on the right are saying is that it was a mistake to leave in the first place, regardless of who caused the war and all its attendant bullshit.

We know that eventually, because of Obama's withdrawal, we'll have to go back there, kicking and screaming, with no bases or military infrastructure and start from scratch. We'll be back with the lawyers in charge again, fighting a pathetic PR war while American men and women pay the price of lawfare again.

Think it won't happen? Just watch.

As to how long you occupy? As long as it takes. The Germans, Japanese and South Koreans may not much like us, but we've given them over 60 years of peace and a semblance of democratic rule with which to order their lives in relative freedom.

What boils my bones is the lefties can't seem to get it through their heads that there are future consequences to throwing putative allies under the bus. Our abandonment of the the Iraqi people will come back to haunt us in blood and treasure that'll make Bush's and Obama's wars seem like a skirmish with Pancho Villa's banditos back in the day.

Inga said...

Does anyone here think that Obama should've accepted the SOFA with Iraq? Do yo think it's stipulations were a good deal? Really!

Ken_L said...

"Think it won't happen? Just watch."

Ah, the old "the evidence for my belief is my ability to foresee the future" argument. Well there's no way to dispute faith-based beliefs so I won't bother trying. However I will certainly not hold my breath while I watch and wait for American troops to go back to Iraq.

"there are future consequences to throwing putative allies under the bus"

Good lord, which "allies"? Al-Maliki? He's an ally of IRAN. He's an ally of ASSAD. If people really want to treat Maliki as an "ally", the obvious first step is for the USA to restore friendly relations with Iran and help Syria defeat its insurgents. Yet conservatives have consistently opposed both measures.

I don't read much factual analysis in this thread ... just mindless criticisms of Obama. Not everything that happens in the world is the result of American domestic politics, you know.

Lydia said...

Does anyone here think that Obama should've accepted the SOFA with Iraq? Do yo think it's stipulations were a good deal? Really!

The excuse the Obama administration (and the media) gave for not renegotiating the SOFA was that the Iraqis did not want to grant legal immunity to U.S. forces. The Bush administration faced the same thing, but they were somehow able to find a solution in the original SOFA. Obama could have done the same, but he didn't want to renegotiate the SOFA; he just wanted out.

SteveR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FullMoon said...

If Carter had not betrayed the Shah, the world would be at peace now.

Democrats always make things worse, wheter in the White House, or in control of congress.Look it up if you don't believe me

Michael said...

Ken L. Saudi Arabia, egypt and israel are all having a good look at the underside of the bus. Russia benefits.

Old school thinking of course in a new world where everyone is basicslly nice.

Ken_L said...

Notorious lefty Charles Krauthammer in 2009: "[Bush's] vindication is being expressed not in words but in deeds ... the repeated pledge to conduct a withdrawal from Iraq that ... adheres to the Bush-negotiated status-of-forces agreement that envisions a U.S. withdrawal over three years".

Cue predictable "Oh Krauthammer's such a RINO" responses.

I can imagine the outraged conservative cries if Obama had suggested renegotiating Bush's SOFA back in 2009 or 2010. It may well have caused John McCain to expire of apoplexy. But now of course, it's all Obama's fault that he didn't tear up Bush's agreement and demand a new one. Tearing up recent agreements is apparently how to "stabilise" things.

Conservatives have lost any credibility on foreign policy for precisely the reasons on display in this thread: their only consistent purpose is to find excuses to heap scorn on the president. Rational analysis of American interests is almost completely absent.

Ken_L said...

Michael the comment to which I responded was clearly discussing Iraq, not "Saudi Arabia, egypt and israel".

jr565 said...

A Reasonable Man wrote;
Why do we need a response? The Iraqi government insisted that we leave. We both literally and figuratively dodged a bullet on this one. The Iraqi's have come to regret this decision but I bet you can't find one sane member of the US military who regrets leaving.

Why do we need a response? Um, becase Al Qaeda is taking over a state and turning it into a terrorist state.
Um because we are at war With Al Qaeda. Um, because if we don't deal with it and allow them to gain a foothold, they will do untold damage to the ME which will pull us back in.
Um, because we had gotten a peaceful stable Iraq after much loss of blood and money. AND OBAMA WRECKED IT THROUGH NEGLECT. And then you ask why do we need a response?
Just because you don't want there to be a war on terror and just because you think we can do nothing and not expect consequences from our inaction doesn't make it so.
The next president will need to deal with Iraq as it stands. And as it stands its' an ignited powder keg. And a budding terrorist state.

jr565 said...

inga wrote:
There are plenty of other countries that have festering pockets of Al Queda, how many countries must we involve ourselves with in order to feel safe?

If the state becomes a terrorist state and we are at war with Al Qaeda then a response is needed to deal with a strengthened Al Qaeda.
Note that doesn't mean we must engage in an out and out invasion. We could supply arms. We could send in some trainers, do covert ops.
Burying your head up your ass is usually not a good policy. But that seems to be the liberals policy now.
And who cares what Rand Paul says. If he thinks we can trade with Al Qaeda and all will be well then he should go to Code Pink and speak that trash there. Become a spokesman for the anti war right like his daddy. Al Qaeda isn't a nation, how are you going to trade with them?
So that options out of the way. I know,lets do absolutely nothing. Lets pretend like Al Qaeda doesn't even exist. That will show them.

Fen said...

"their only consistent purpose is to find excuses to heap scorn on the president. Rational analysis of American interests is almost completely absent."

Irony and projection. We aren't looking to heap scorn on Obama, we are looking to heap scorn on the one who caused the mess in Iraq. Who happens to be Obama.

You, on the other hand, are the one who's gone tribal - defending everything Obama does, not because you agree with the outcomes, but because he is your "guy"

To pretend that Iraq was not situated to become a vital ally in the ME is ridiculous. We had that opportunity, to turn Iraq into another ally on par with the UK. Obama squandered that to get political traction with people like you.

Michael said...

Ken L. Rational analysis of American interests is almost completely absent.

So provide some.

"Michael the comment to which I responded was clearly discussing Iraq, not "Saudi Arabia, egypt and israel"."

So you agree that absent Non-existent allies in Iraq, actual allies elsewhere have been tossed under the bus?

1/4/14, 7:29 PM


Cedarford said...

We are broke and tired of playing the global hegemon and free 911 service.
We cannot invade and occupy every country that might harbor "terrahist evildoers".
We are sick of doing the bidding of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and whatever exile group du jour demands American blood and treasure "cure" the problems in their country they ran from.

There is an Islamist Revolution underway. A lot of it will involve Shiites and Sunnis killing one another, so why get in the way when Shiite military goes in to kill the Sunni AQ claimants occupying Fallujah??? Al Qaeda is just one small part of radical Islam...and all Muslim terror does NOT somehow trace back to that small group. We do not "owe" Americans dying, getting maimed, and bleeding treasure to "free" any foreigners.

Crying "Munich" is stupid old cliche` crap.
Saying "We are all Nenas and Iraqis now!" is more old WWII boilerplate propaganda bullshit. We are not. We owe them nothing.

Its not just the neocon scum that need to understand this, it is the activist do-gooder liberals like Samantha Powers. If course she and others of her ilk like Obama were slapped silly when they read the polls on what Americans thought of a splendid new war to "save the noble Syrian freedom lovers and holy mujahadeen warriors (al Qaeda clones) from the evil Assad.

Drill, get off Arab oil. Have a law to cap domestic price if Arab oil is cut off from Europe and Asia until THEY are forced to send their own troops in to turn the spigot back on. And stop immigration to the US by Muslims from lands with strong Islamist ambitions. Leave the vipers back in the sand dunes, don't bring them to Virginia or Minneapolis.

David said...

Lyle said...
Hagar,

Exxon actually has oil interests in Iraq today. I know because a friend of mine works for Exxon and does work on their Iraqi oil fields.



Exxon started out with a 60% interest in the West Qurna oil field. The balance was held by Shell and the Iraq national oil company. In fall of 2012 Exxon agreed to sell all but 25% of the interest in the field to to Petro China. That transaction closed in November 2013, and accordingly Petro China now holds a 35% interest in the venture. Exxon has 25%. That makes Petro China the largest partner, and together with Iraq national oil they have a majority.

There are still plenty of Exxon employees in Iraq and this will continue for some time. Exxon will have a management role even if it ends up selling its entire interest in Iraq, which is likely if Exxon follows its previous pattern. Exxon is in a real sense a technical services company. They get paid for their expertise in exploration and operation, even where they have a small ownership interest in an oil field. Often they do not, because the national oil companies hold that for themselves. Any buyer from Exxon will insist that they remain to operate the field for a substantial period of time.

Exxon is on its way out in Iraq. They can't just sell and go away, since their ownership interest loses substantial value if they do not agree to stay and help with operations, even after they sell.

I am sure there are many Exxon employees in Iraq, and that will continue. They must stay there even after all ownership is gone if Exxon is to avoid a huge loss on its investment.



David said...

Inga said...
Does anyone here think that Obama should've accepted the SOFA with Iraq? Do yo think it's stipulations were a good deal? Really!


No, not in the form which was offered. But the offer was a political cover for the Iraq leadership. There was a dance going on, which eventually would have resulted in more concessions, since they really did not want us to leave.

But Obama permitted a phony deadline to be established, and then stopped dancing. He was perfectly content to let the talks end and pull out. He avoided personal engagement in the negotiations. he actively discouraged extending talks. It was a sham.

He fooled you, Inga (again.) But not everyone has to be fooled.

Ken_L said...

Actually Michael I do bloggers the courtesy of limiting my comments to the issues on which they have posted, and avoid changing the subject just to indulge other commenters with bees in their bonnets. I've been commenting online for many years, so I have long since learned to ignore idiotic questions from other commenters who think they are in some kind of debating contest where they score points to the cheers of the imaginary audience in their heads. Find someone else to throw the stick for you.

Arguments based on alternative histories or wildly speculative predictions are all good fun, but no basis for decisions involving the use of deadly force. The truth is there are no vital American interests at stake in Iraq, and the onus is not on people stating this position to substantiate the negative. The onus is on people who want to do something to justify it - an onus they have not come close to satisfying. Still I suppose there's no harm in armchair warriors gasbagging about all the ways they'd love to use their country's military to rule the world, so I'll leave you in your onesies to drink your chocolate and enjoy it.

Michael said...

Kn L. So, in other words, you are full of shit.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

That was several trillion in fiat and hundreds of thousands killed and maimed for no purpose.

The Drill SGT said...

cubanbob said...
The lesson here is that we aren't good at being colonialist nor at civilizing savages. Next time we should stick to old school tried and true tactics like butcher and bolt.


LOL, normally my line, but I agree. Or the alternative:

"More Rubble, Less Trouble"

SteveR said...

That was several trillion in fiat and hundreds of thousands killed and maimed for no purpose.

Vote Kerry-Edwards 2004

El Pollo Raylan said...

Michael said...
Ken L. Rational analysis of American interests is almost completely absent.

I too call bullshit on Mr. Ken-L-Ration(al)

Ken_L said...

President Reagan's 4 principles for military intervention:

Reagan Rule 1: The United States should not commit its forces to military actions overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest.

Reagan Rule 2: If the decision is made to commit our forces to combat abroad, it must be done with the clear intent and support to win. It should not be a halfway or tentative commitment, and there must be clearly defined and realistic objectives.

Reagan Rule 3: Before we commit our troops to combat, there must be reasonable assurance that the cause we are fighting for and the actions we take will have the support of the American people and Congress.

Reagan Rule 4: Even after all these other tests are met, our troops should be committed to combat only as a last resort, when no other choice is available.

I invite the warmongers commenting on this thread to explain how the situation in Iraq satisfies Reagan's conditions.

Hyphenated American said...

Let's not forget what joe Biden, the smartest man in the Obama administration had to say about Iraq in 2010:


"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.

I spent -- I've been there 17 times now. I go about every two months -- three months. I know every one of the major players in all the segments of that society. It's impressed me. I've been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences."

Hyphenated American said...

If Iraq falls apart, Obama must be bka,Ed, he was in charge.

Hyphenated American said...

If Iraq falls apart, Obama must be held responsible, he was in charge.

AReasonableMan said...

Reading through this 'discussion' it is clear that Republicans aren't going to start making much sense until they acknowledge what a complete and total strategic disaster the Iraq war was and how it's failure absolutely undermines the credibility of Republican politicians and commentators on issues of foreign engagement. Rand Paul gets it. It's a shame the rest of the crowd can't learn from him. You guys need a 12-step program, the first step being apologizing to the rest of us for foisting this travesty on us in the first place.

AReasonableMan said...

Ken_L said...
President Reagan's 4 principles for military intervention:


Based on his response to the Beirut barracks bombing. His primary guiding principle was taken from Monty Python, 'Run away! Run away! Run away!'.

Humperdink said...

Based on his response to the Iraq victory. His primary guiding principle was taken from Monty Python, 'Run away! Run away! Run away!'. FIFY

Based upon his response to his red line. His primary guiding principle was taken from Monty Python, 'Run away! Run away! Run away!'.

Based upon his response to the Obmamacare debacle. His primary guiding principle was taken from Monty Python, "Fore on the green."

Based upon his response during the Benghazi tragedy. His primary guiding principle was taken from Monty Python, "Hey, let's go to a fundraiser."

AReasonableMan said...

ergo,
Obama = Reagan

Humperdink said...

Noble effort ARM, but no equivalency.

One was a true leader. The other coined the phrase: "Leading from behind".

Illuninati said...

AReasonableMan said...
"ergo,
Obama = Reagan"

Good one. Reagan collaborated with the Taliban in Afghanistan, Obama collaborated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Al Qaeda in Libya. The difference is 30 years and 911 which should have taught us something. The US had strategic interests in expelling the Russians from Afghanistan, we have no strategic interest in installing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or Al Qaeda in Libya.


donald said...

A quick google search for conservative insults of Obama's daughters produced one where somebody called his daughter a brat.

What an asshole, huh?

Freder Frederson said...

The Germans, Japanese and South Koreans may not much like us, but we've given them over 60 years of peace and a semblance of democratic rule with which to order their lives in relative freedom.

Bullshit. Our presence in those countries specifically prohibit providing internal security or meddling in their politics. The troops are there to protect external threats only (which begs the question why we still have troops in Germany, but things change slowly).

donald said...

Whoops wrong thread.

Rusty said...

Blogger Freder Frederson said...
The Germans, Japanese and South Koreans may not much like us, but we've given them over 60 years of peace and a semblance of democratic rule with which to order their lives in relative freedom.

Bullshit. Our presence in those countries specifically prohibit providing internal security or meddling in their politics. The troops are there to protect external threats only (which begs the question why we still have troops in Germany, but things change slowly).

You say that like it was a bad thing?
Other than providing post war Japan and Germany with constitutions to provide democratic institutions we didn't interfere with their internal workings. Much.

Clyde said...

"Welcome to Fallujah! Please turn your clock back 1300 years..."

Clyde said...

Blogger Rusty said...
Blogger Freder Frederson said...
The Germans, Japanese and South Koreans may not much like us, but we've given them over 60 years of peace and a semblance of democratic rule with which to order their lives in relative freedom.

Bullshit. Our presence in those countries specifically prohibit providing internal security or meddling in their politics. The troops are there to protect external threats only (which begs the question why we still have troops in Germany, but things change slowly).

You say that like it was a bad thing?
Other than providing post war Japan and Germany with constitutions to provide democratic institutions we didn't interfere with their internal workings. Much.


Three sets of quotes there.

Okay, I'll bite: After World War II, we went in and de-Nazified Germany and kept the Japanese militarists from retaking power. In the intervening time that we occupied them, Western-style representative government took place, based on the examples of our nation and those of our Western allies. And the Germans and Japanese became prosperous and politically freer than they ever had been before.

The most notable difference between Germany/Japan and Iraq is that Germany and Japan were TOTALLY defeated, and knew it. They were living in the rubble of what had once been their own land, and now survived only on the sufferance of America and it's allies like France and Great Britain.

Iraq, however, was NOT totally defeated. We used surgical strikes to achieve victory with very limited damage and casualties. That may seem more humane, but in the end, if you want people to change their behavior (which is what war almost always is about, when it isn't about territory and resources), you have to convince that they their old ways brought about their current hunger and misery. This worked admirably in Germany and Japan, but in Iraq, the average Mohammed wasn't really affected, other than maybe breathing in a little dust from one of Saddam's blown-up palaces down the street. There weren't "rubble-women" cleaning up the destroyed buildings. Surgical war doesn't destroy your enemy's population's morale and make them malleable to political change.

EMD said...

We will be back ... and the stakes will be much higher.

Kirk Parker said...

Oso,

"The Marines worked so hard to take Fallujah, clearing building after building with too few men, and then turning around and going back through it a second time."

Yep. If the Iraqi government does it a second time, it will be by Hama Rules. Only the Ingas and Somefellers of this world will think this is better.


Fen,

"We had that opportunity, to turn Iraq into another ally on par with the UK."

Minor nit: on par with Egypt (FIFY.)

Clearly, you and I agree on the Big Picture, but Iraq being an ally on Anglospheric terms like (Mother) England is centuries away; meanwhile I would completely satisified (for the time being) to have Iraq a la Egypt-under-their-military as a replacment for Iraq under Hussein.)


betamax3000,

"It is easier to Predict the Present. "

Jeez--says one who's never done it! ;-)

Kirk Parker said...

Ken_L,

60 years sounds like "barely a good start" to me. Yes, we should be willing. Yes, we should have pressured the Iraqi government into some SOFA that we could have lived with. NO, the entire experience of the British throughout the whole of the 19th century shows that you don't have to do a alot of actual fighting as long as you are willing to do it when needed.

And: "The USA has no vital interests at stake in Iraq"? Could you possibly be more pathetically insular and wrong?

Finally, regarding "I invite the warmongers commenting on this thread to explain how the situation in Iraq satisfies Reagan's conditions. ": Fully satisfied points 1-4 (do you have any idea how much ongoing hostilies there were between the cease-fire ending GW1 and the resumption of hostilities in GW2? Or how many UN resolutions S.H. was in violation of in the interim?

No, of course, I knew you didn't.

grackle said...

The great thing about … GWB, was that he tricked the entire world into thinking that weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq. He personally hatched the plot and pulled it off. Bipartisan gulls took the bait.

Since every intelligence organization in Europe also thought that "weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq," that makes Bush the Mastermind of the Universe. Think about it – Bush managed to "trick" the intelligence apparatus of every major European country … What a trickster the evil Bush was!

There are plenty of other countries that have festering pockets of Al Queda, how many countries must we involve ourselves with in order to feel safe?

See, readers, even the Left recognizes that Obama's claim to have defeated al Qaeda was pure crap. Al Qaeda, far from being defeated, is on a resurgence. As a complete coincidence, the resurgence just happens to coincide with Obama's withdrawal from the Middle East. Odd, that.

In reality, christian fundamentalists most readily see eye to eye with our muslim brothers on a range of issues.

This common Lefty assertion cries out for examples. I'll not hold my breath …

If the draft were reinstated and all youth, rich and poor alike were at risk, the rush to send troops into such countries might not look like such a good idea to some.

Typical Lefty silliness. The actual fact is that the US military is populated from all income levels: lower, middle and upper.

http://tinyurl.com/lkgwz9w

The transition to an entirely voluntary military billy-clubbed one of the Left's main anti-war messages; that US wars were immoral because they were conducted using conscripted youths who did not want to fight. They've been wistfully wishing for the draft to come back ever since