July 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton has "a comprehensive plan to defeat and destroy ISIS and keep America safe"?

That's the question I asked out loud as I watched Leon Panetta's speech last night.

I found this fact-checking at CBS:
Clinton has been touting her plan for months. It's hardly comprehensive.The three-part strategy, as described in November, involves crushing IS "on its home turf" in the Middle East, disrupting terrorist infrastructure on the ground and online, and protecting America and its allies. All are elements already included in Obama's anti-IS strategy. And none addresses the biggest gaps in the U.S.-led response to the Islamic State over the last two years, such as the lack of effective local troops to defeat IS in Syria. At what point should U.S. ground troops step in? What levels of civilian deaths are acceptable? How exactly does she propose to end Iraq's age-old Shiite-Sunni divisions? She hasn't said. She's expounded further, but mostly to reject suggestions by Trump and other Republicans.
And here's the full text from last November:  "The strategy Clinton outlined hinges on three main elements – defeating ISIS in Syria, Iraq, and across the Middle East; disrupting and dismantling the growing terrorist infrastructure that facilitates the flow of fighters, financing, arms, and propaganda around the world; and hardening our defenses and those of our allies against external and homegrown threats."

Let me start with the campaign to defeat ISIS across the region. The United States and our international coalition have been conducting this fight for more than a year. It is time to begin a new phase and intensify and broaden our efforts to smash the would-be caliphate and deny ISIS control of territory in Iraq and Syria. That starts with a more effective coalition air campaign, with more allied planes, more strikes, and a broader target set. A key obstacle standing in the way is a shortage of good intelligence about ISIS and its operations.

So we need an immediate “intelligence surge” in the region, including technical assets, Arabic speakers with deep expertise in the Middle East, and even closer partnership with regional intelligence services. Our goal should be to achieve the kind of penetration we accomplished with al Qaeda in the past. This would help us identify and eliminate ISIS’s command and control and its economic lifelines. A more effective coalition air campaign is necessary, but not sufficient. And we should be honest about the fact that, to be successful, air strikes will have to be combined with ground forces actually taking back more territory from ISIS.

Like President Obama, I do not believe that we should again have a hundred thousand American troops in combat in the Middle East. That is just not the smart move to make here. If we have learned anything from 15 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is that local people and nations have to secure their own communities. We can help them and we should, but we cannot substitute for them.

But we can and should support local and regional ground forces in carrying out this mission. Now, the obstacles to achieving this are significant.

On the Iraqi side of the border, Kurdish forces have fought bravely to defend their own lands and to retake towns from ISIS. But the Iraqi national army has struggled. It is going to take more work to get it up to fighting shape. As part of that process, we may have to give our own troops advising and training the Iraqis greater freedom of movement and flexibility, including embedding in local units and helping target airstrikes.

Ultimately, however, the ground campaign in Iraq will only succeed if more Iraqi Sunnis join the fight. But that will not happen so long as they do not feel they have a stake in their country or confidence in their own security and capacity to confront ISIS.

Now, we have been in a similar place before in Iraq. In the first Sunni Awakening in 2007, we were able to provide sufficient support and assurances to the Sunni tribes to persuade them to join us in rooting out Al Qaeda. Unfortunately, under Prime Minister Maliki’s rule, those tribes were betrayed and forgotten. So the task of bringing Sunnis off the sidelines into this new fight will be considerably more difficult. But nonetheless we need to lay the foundation for a second Sunni Awakening.

We need to put sustained pressure on the government in Baghdad to get its political house in order, move forward with national reconciliation, and finally stand up a National Guard. Baghdad needs to accept – even embrace – arming Sunni and Kurdish forces in the war against ISIS. But if Baghdad will not do that, the coalition should do so, directly.

On the Syrian side, the big obstacle to getting more ground forces to engage ISIS – beyond the Syrian Kurds who are already deep in the fight – is that the viable Sunni opposition groups remain understandably preoccupied with fighting Assad, who let us remember has killed many more Syrians than the terrorists have. But they are increasingly seeing the threat from ISIS as well.

So we need to move simultaneously toward a political solution to the civil war that paves the way for a new government with new leadership, and to encourage more Syrians to take on ISIS as well. To support them, we should immediately deploy the Special Operations force President Obama has already authorized and be prepared to deploy more, as more Syrians get into the fight. And we should retool and ramp up our efforts to support and equip viable Syrian opposition units.

Our increased support should go hand-in-hand with increased support from our Arab and European partners, including special forces who can contribute to the fight on the ground. We should also work with the coalition and the neighbors to impose no fly zones that will stop Assad from slaughtering civilians and the opposition from the air. Opposition forces on the ground, with material support from the coalition, could then help create safe areas where Syrians could remain in the country rather than fleeing toward Europe. This combined approach would help enable the opposition to retake the remaining stretch of the Turkish border from ISIS, choking off its supply lines. It would also give us new leverage in the diplomatic process that Secretary Kerry is pursuing.

Of course, we have been down plenty of diplomatic dead-ends before in this conflict. But we have models for how seemingly intractable, multi-sectarian civil wars do eventually end. We can learn lessons from Lebanon and Bosnia about what it will take. And Russia and Iran have to face the fact that continuing to prop up a vicious dictator will not bring stability. Right now, I am afraid President Putin is actually making things somewhat worse.

Now to be clear though, there is a role for Russia to help for resolving the conflict in Syria. And we have indicated a willingness to work with them toward an outcome that preserves Syria as a unitary, non-sectarian state, with protections of the rights of all Syrians and to keep key state institutions in tact. There is no alternative to a political transition that allows Syrians to end Assad’s rule. Now, much of this strategy on both sides of the border hinges on the roles of our Arab and Turkish partners. And we must get them to carry their share of the burden, with military, intelligence, and financial contributions, as well as using their influence with fighters and tribes in Iraq and Syria.

Countries like Jordan have offered more, and we should take them up on it. Because ultimately, our efforts will only succeed if the Arabs and Turks step up in a much bigger way. This is their fight and they need to act like it.So far, however, Turkey has been more focused on the Kurds than on countering ISIS. And to be fair, Turkey has a long and painful history with Kurdish terrorist groups. But the threat from ISIS cannot wait.

As difficult as it may be, we need to get Turkey to stop bombing Kurdish fighters in Syria who are battling ISIS and become a full partner our coalition efforts against ISIS. The United States should also work with our Arab partners to get them more invested in the fight against ISIS.

At the moment, they are focused in other areas, because of their concerns in the region, especially the threat from Iran. That is why the Saudis, for example, shifted attention from Syria to Yemen. So we have to work out a common approach.

In September, I laid out a comprehensive plan to counter Iranian influence across the region and its support for terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas. We cannot view Iran and ISIS as separate challenges. Regional politics are too interwoven. Raising the confidence of our Arab partners and raising the costs to Iran for bad behavior will contribute to a more effective fight against ISIS.

And as we work out a broader regional approach, we should of course be closely consulting with Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East. Israel increasingly shares with our Arab partners and has the opportunity to do more in intelligence and in joint efforts as well.

We should have no illusions about how difficult the mission before us really is. We have to fit a lot of pieces together, bring a lot of partners along, move on multiple fronts at once. But if we press forward on both sides of the border, in the air and on the ground, as well as diplomatically, I do believe we can crush ISIS’s enclave of terror.

And to support this campaign, Congress should swiftly pass an updated authorization to use military force. That will send a message to friend and foe alike that the United States is committed to this fight. The time for delay is over. We should get this done.

Now, the second element of our strategy looks beyond the immediate battlefield of Iraq and Syria to disrupt and dismantle global terrorist infrastructure on the ground and online. A terror pipeline that facilitates the flow of fighters, financing, arms, and propaganda around the world, has allowed ISIS to strike at the heart of Paris last week, and allowed al Qaeda affiliate to do the same at Charlie Hebdo earlier this year.

ISIS is working hard to extend its reach, establishing affiliates and cells far from its home base. And despite significant setbacks it has encountered, not just with ISIS and its ambitious plans but even al Qaeda, including the death of Osama bin Laden. They are still posing rape threats to so many. Let’s take one example. We have had a lot of conversation about ISIS in the last week. Let’s not forget al Qaeda. They still have the most sophisticated bomb-makers, ambitious plotters, and active affiliates in places like Yemen and North Africa.

So we can’t just focus on Iraq and Syria – we need to intensify our counterterrorism efforts across a wider scope. Most urgent is stopping the flow of foreign fighters to and from the war zones of the Middle East. Thousands, thousands, of young recruits have flocked to Syria from France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and yes, even the United States. Their western passports make it easier for them to cross borders and eventually return home, radicalized and battle-hardened.

Stemming this tide will require much better coordination and information sharing among countries every step of the way. We should not stop pressing until Turkey, where most foreign fighters cross into Syria, finally locks down its border. The United States and our allies need to know and share the identities of every fighter who has traveled to Syria.

We also have to be smart and target interventions that will have the greatest impact. For example, we need a greater focus on shutting down key enablers who arrange transportation, documents, and more. When it comes to terrorist financing, we have to go after the nodes that facilitate illicit trade and transactions.

The UN Security Council should update its terrorism sanctions. They have a resolution that does try to block terrorist financing and other enabling activities but we have to place more obligation on countries to police their own banks. And the United States, which has quite a record of success in this area, can share more intelligence to help other countries.

And, once and for all, the Saudis, the Qataris, and others need to stop their citizens from directly funding extremist organizations, as well as schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path toward radicalization. When it comes to blocking terrorist recruitment, we have to identify the hotspots – the specific neighborhoods and villages, the prisons and schools – where recruitment happens in clusters. Like the neighborhood in Brussels where the Paris attacks were planned. Through partnerships with local law enforcement and civil society – especially Muslim community leaders – we have to work to tip the balance away from extremism in these hotspots.

Radicalization and recruitment also is happening online. And there is no doubt we have to do a better job contesting online space, including websites and chat rooms where jihadists communicate with followers. We must deny them virtual territory, just as we deny them actual territory.

At the State Department, I built up a unit of communications specialists fluent in Urdu, Arabic, Somali, and other languages to do battle with extremists online. We need more of that, including from the private sector.

Social media companies can also do their part by swiftly shutting down terrorist accounts so they are not used to plan, provoke, or celebrate violence.

Online or offline, the bottom line is that we are in a contest of ideas against an ideology of hate – and we have to win it.

Now, let’s be clear though: Islam itself is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.

The obsession in some quarters with a “clash of civilizations” or repeating the specific words “Radical Islamic Terrorism” is not just a distraction, it gives these criminals, these murderers, more standing than they deserve and it actually plays into their hands by alienating partners we need by our side. Our priority should be how to fight the enemy.

In the end, it didn’t matter what kind of terrorist we called Bin Laden, it mattered that we killed Bin Laden. But we still can’t close our eyes to the fact that there is a distorted and dangerous strain of extremism within the Muslim world that continues to spread. Its adherents are relatively few in number, but capable of causing profound damage – most especially to their own communities throughout an arc of instability that stretches from North and West Africa to Asia.

Overlapping conflicts, collapsing state structures, widespread corruption, poverty, and repression have created openings for extremists to exploit. Before the Arab Spring, I warned that the region’s foundations would “sink into the sand” without immediate reforms. Well, the need has only grown more urgent.

We have to join with our partners to do the patient, steady work of empowering moderates and marginalizing extremists: supporting democratic institutions and the rule of law, creating economic growth that supports stability, working to curb corruption, helping train effective and accountable local intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism services.

As we do this, we must be building up a global counterterrorism infrastructure that is more effective and adaptable than the terror networks we’re trying to defeat. When I became Secretary of State, I was surprised to find that nearly a decade after 9/11, there was still no dedicated international vehicle to regularly convene key countries to deal with terrorist threats.

So we created the Global Counterterrorism Forum, which now brings together nearly 30 countries, many from the Muslim world. It should be a clearinghouse for directing assistance to countries that need it, for mobilizing common action against threats.

And let’s not lose sight of the global cooperation needed to lock down loose nuclear material, and chemical and biological weapons – and keep them out of the hands of terrorists.

At the end of the day, we still must be prepared to go after terrorists wherever they plot, using all the tools at our disposal. That includes targeted strikes by U.S. military aircraft and drones, with proper safeguards, when there aren’t any other viable options to deal with continuing imminent threats. All of this – stopping foreign fighters, blocking terrorist financing, doing battle in cyberspace – is vital to the war against ISIS, but it is also lays the foundation for defusing and defeating the next threat and the one after that.

Now the third element of our strategy has to be hardening our defenses at home and helping our partners do the same against both external and homegrown threats.

After 9/11, the United States made a lot of progress breaking down bureaucratic barriers to allow for more and better information sharing among agencies responsible for keeping us safe.

We still have work to do on this front, but by comparison, Europe is way behind.

Today, European nations do not even always alert each other when they turn away a suspected jihadist at the border or when a passport is stolen. It seems like after most terrorist attacks, we find out that the perpetrators were known to some security service or another, but too often the dots never get connected. I appreciate how hard this is, especially given the sheer number of suspects and threats, but this has to change. The United States must work with Europe to dramatically and immediately improve intelligence sharing and counterterrorism coordination.

European countries also should have the flexibility to enhance their border controls when circumstances warrant. And here at home, we face a number of our own challenges.

The threat to airline security is evolving as terrorists develop new devices like non-metallic bombs, so our defenses have to stay, at least, one step ahead. We know that intelligence gathered and shared by local law enforcement officers is absolutely critical to breaking up plots and preventing attacks. So they need all the resources and support we can give them.

Law enforcement also needs the trust of residents and communities, including in our own country Muslim-Americans. This should go without saying, but in the current climate it bears repeating: Muslim Americans are working every day on the frontlines of the fight against radicalization.

Another challenge is how to strike the right balance of protecting privacy and security. Encryption of mobile communications presents a particularly tough problem. We should take the concerns of law enforcement and counterterrorism professionals seriously. They have warned that impenetrable encryption may prevent them from accessing terrorist communications and preventing a future attack.

On the other hand we know there are legitimate concerns about government intrusion, network security, and creating new vulnerabilities that bad actors can and would exploit. So we need Silicon Valley not to view government as its adversary. We need to challenge our best minds in the private sector to work with our best minds in the public sector. To develop solutions that will both keep us safe and protect our privacy. Now is the time to solve this problem, not after the next attack.

Since Paris, no homeland security challenge is being more hotly debated than how to handle Syrian refugees seeking safety in the United States.

Our highest priority, of course, must always be protecting the American people.

So yes, we do need to be vigilant in screening and vetting any refugees from Syria, guided by the best judgment of our security professionals in close coordination with our allies and partners.

And congress needs to make sure the necessary resources are provided for comprehensive background checks, drawing on the best intelligence we can get. And we should be taking a close look at the safeguards in visa programs as well. But we cannot allow terrorists to intimidate us into abandoning our values and humanitarian obligations.

Turning away orphans, applying a religious test, discriminating against Muslims, slamming the door on every single Syrian refugee – that is just not who we are. We are better than that.

And remember, many of these refugees are fleeing the same terrorists who threaten us.

It would be a cruel irony indeed if ISIS can force families from their homes and then also prevent them from ever finding new ones. We should be doing more to ease this humanitarian crisis, not less. We should lead the international community in organizing a donor conference and supporting countries like Jordan who are sheltering the majority of refugees fleeing Syria.

And we can get this right. America’s open, free, tolerant society is described by some as a vulnerability in the struggle against terrorism. But I actually believe it is one of our greatest strengths. It reduces the appeal of radicalism and enhances the richness and resilience of our communities.

This is not a time for scoring political points. When New York was attacked on 9/11, we had a Republican president, a Republican governor, and a Republican mayor, and I worked with all of them. We pulled together and put partisanship aside to rebuild our city and protect our country. This is a time for American leadership.

No other country can rally the world to defeat ISIS and win the generational struggle against radical jihadism. Only the United States can mobilize common action on a global scale.

And that is exactly what we need. The entire world must be part of this fight, but we must lead it.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about coalitions. Everyone seems to want one. But there is not nearly as much talk about what it actually takes to make a coalition work in the heat and pressure of an international crisis.

I know how hard this is because we have done it before–To impose the toughest sanctions in history on Iran. To stop a dictator from slaughtering his people in Libya. To support a fledgling democracy in Afghanistan.

We have to use every pillar of American power – military might but also diplomacy, development aid, economic and cultural influence, technology, and the force of our values, that is smart power.

You have to work with institutions and partners, like NATO, the EU, the Arab League, and the UN. Strengthen alliances and never get tired of old-fashioned shoe-leather diplomacy.

And, if necessary, be prepared to act decisively on our own, just as we did to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. The United States and our allies must demonstrate that free people and free markets are still the hope of humanity....

126 comments:

tim in vermont said...

http://nypost.com/2016/07/28/a-democrat-finally-calls-for-defeating-isis-and-gets-booed/

CarlF said...

More interesting is that the Democrats booed when Panetta said we should destroy ISIS.

hawkeyedjb said...

So, is it a Comprehensive Plan, or a plan to talk about having a plan? In politics, they are often the same. In military terms, they are not the same.

tim in vermont said...

Her plan is a complex "flypaper" strategy to keep bringing military age men from Syria, whose backgrounds are impossible to accurately check, so that we can then crush them here at home!

rehajm said...

The United States and our allies must demonstrate that free people and free markets are still the hope of humanity....

Well, that's a significant difference from the current administration.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe she has a plan to go back in time, and as Secretary of State, convince Obama not to hand over Iraq to ISIS by withdrawing our troops, leaving a huge vacuum for them to fill?

Naaah! If she had a time machine, she would probably kill Trump's mother.

tds said...

a general instruction of producing French fries.

a lorry full of potatoes enters French fries factory from the left, after some time a lorry full of bagged French fries leaves factory from the right

Terry said...

I think I see the flaw in Hillary's plan.
It would require not allowing our embassy personnel to be torn to pieces by Muslim mobs.

Unknown said...

I thought that Obama and Hillary's plan to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria was to import all of them here, pay them government cheese, and pat them on the head as they gut as many Christians as possible.

Sebastian said...

@rehajm: "The United States and our allies must demonstrate that free people and free markets are still the hope of humanity.... Well, that's a significant difference from the current administration." Right. Which free people and free markets is she referring to?

Static Ping said...

The problem is she was one of the people in charge of the policy in the Middle East for years. ISIS and the problems we have now are a result of her approved policies, which have generally failed. It is a poor idea to take advice to get out of a mess from the person who bungled you into the mess in the first place and, for that matter, won't admit she made a mistake in the first place.

Tarrou said...

To focus on ISIS is to miss the forest for one particular tree. Black September was a problem for a while, then the PLO, then Hezbollah, then AL Aqsah Martyrs Brigade, then Islamic Jihad, then Hamas, then Al Qaeda, then AQAP, then AQI, now it's ISIS. We can target and crush individual organizations, but that does nothing to reduce the production line of ever more vile and violent groups. Our enemies are muslims. Nothing more, nothing less. 1.5 billion angry people who will, no matter what, try to kill us.

Any action against ISIS, no matter how thorough, is popping a pimple. We need Oxy.

The Bergall said...

Who will be her Libyan ambassador?

Kevin said...

Clinton: "The entire world must be part of this fight, but we must lead it."

Trump: "Wouldn't it be nice if we got together with Russia and knocked the hell out of ISIS?"

I leave it to the reader as an exercise to determine which approach is more likely to be effective.

traditionalguy said...

Sounds like a good plan. Just resurrect Khadafy by getting Mubarack's clone Sisi from Egypt to run both places, and give the Egyptians the same aid and support Hillary already gave to The Muslim Brotherhood when they murdered Khadafy and deposed Mubarack. That will actually work.

Oh, never mind. That can never be done since it would mean opposing Iran's plan which is THE ONLY PLAN ALLOWED that is designed to exterminate the Jews that Hitler missed.

Levi Starks said...

So her plan includes hyper vigilance in monitoring and controlling the Internet, and we know how great she and the Democrats are at that, while increasing military activity in already war torn areas of the world which will undoubtedly result in an increasing flow of military aged men and women from those countries to our nation as well as others.
I'm not saying I have beter ideas, but I wish there were a way to get the "good" Muslims to stick around fight for the "real" Allah using their own resources.
While is the strongest incentive for them to run like cowards to formerly Christian dominated nations, and then let the Christians deliver them from "extremist" Islam.

Balfegor said...

One problem for Clinton II is that from all reports, she is significantly more hawkish and more interventionist than Obama. She would, in fact, probably be our most hawkish president since, I don't know -- Kennedy? Some of the problems Obama created -- and that she has been blamed for -- seem to me to be the result of half-measures, where Obama articulated a hawkish stance (e.g. the "red line" in Syria) and then got cold feet when it came time to implement. I don't think Clinton II would have hesitated -- in Syria, I think she would have committed more resources more aggressively much earlier, possibly before all our "moderate" allies ended up turning to Al Qaeda (Nusra) and we ended up in the position of begging the Russians not to bomb Al Qaeda positions without checking with us first, since our "allies" are often coordinating closely with Al Qaeda (read between the lines of what Kerry is saying in that article -- he is rhetorically anti-Nusra but that's not the practical effect).

ANYHOW, that is not a winning argument for the Democrats. What's she going to say? "I'll be more hawkish than Bush II?" That's a loser not just with the Democrats, but with the electorate as a whole. "I'll articulate the same policies as our feckless, much-beloved president, only unlike him, I won't screw it all up?" She might win the votes of the foreign policy establishment, but at the cost of the entire Democratic base.

She's in a difficult position.

Levi Starks said...

Why is

Unknown said...

What is Trump's plan? Oh I know..."Believe me, only I can do it." He's short on details.

mockturtle said...

Wouldn't it be advisable to keep our ISIS strategy under wraps? Or does she propose the lay out the plan on her server?

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Unknown said...
What is Trump's plan? Oh I know..."Believe me, only I can do it." He's short on details.

7/28/16, 2:50 PM
---------------------------------------------------
Hillary's plan...appoint Bowe Bergdahl Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Brando said...

Too long, didn't read! If you want a plan to destroy ISIS, it should be very basic:

1) Infiltrate and assassinate.

2) Send flowers to their widows and a note reading "next time marry better".

3) Drone strikes (with judicial overview).

4) Repeat until ISIS decides to go into the ice cream business or something less likely to result in assassinations.

tim in vermont said...

Her first plan, to get the US involved in Syria's civil war, destablizing the Syrian govt at the same time as Obama withdrew our troops from Iraq, opening a huge new territory to them, didn't work that great.

Nor did her second plan of overthrowing, but not replacing the Libyan government, leaving another territory for ISIS, but the third plan? This one's a lead pipe cinch!

Nonapod said...

Maybe I'm overly cynical, but to me reading Hillary Clinton's plan for dealing with ISIS is sort of like reading a prison guard's plan for catching a group of prisoners who escaped under his watch.

At any rate, Democrats don't like to think about foreign policy in general, beyond concluding that everything that's wrong with the world is America's fault, whether due to excessive military adventurism, economic and/or cultural imperialism, or all of the above. I've always found that thought process a little reductive and weirdly ironic since that removes all agency of other nations and therefore end up aggrandizing the USA.

Unknown said...

Oh look, he has a plan!

Donald Trump Lays Out Foreign Policy Plan, Including How to Fight Terrorism

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump suggested that he would destroy oil fields in the Middle East, saying that they're a primary source of income for terrorist groups such as ISIS.

In an interview with the New York Times published online Saturday, the billionaire businessman argued that even though he was against the Iraq War, the government could have used that opportunity to seize the oil refineries. His call to "take the oil" now would require deploying U.S. troops on the ground, a move Trump is not in favor of.

"I would say knock the hell out of the oil and do it because it's a primary source of money for ISIS," said Trump. "We have to destroy the oil. We should've taken it and we would've have it."

EDH said...

I have worked ten years on this plan!

It is a very precise, and a compricated plan!

I am sick of you terrorists fucking it up!

Now take the weapons where I told you and wait for the *goddamn* signahr this time!

Goodbye!

The Drill SGT said...

That starts with a more effective coalition air campaign, with more allied planes, more strikes, and a broader target set. A key obstacle standing in the way is a shortage of good intelligence about ISIS and its operations.

Step 1. Fewer restrictive ROE on our SOF forces.
Step 2. Get the F'ing lawyers out of our OODA loop. 75% of our sorties never strike targets. The Job of our forces is to kill people and break things, while avoiding losses. I'm sorry, but collateral damage is a distant third.
Step 3. Ignore hurt Iraqi feelings, and provide direct supplies to the Kurds.
Step 4. put more boots on the ground

PS: A no fly zone is problematic with Russian SU-35's in the Air over Syria

Curious George said...

"The Bergall said...
Who will be her Libyan ambassador?"

It was going to be Bernie. But then he got his mind right.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

But but but Trump never explains his plaaaaans! He talks in generalities, he never gives specifics, no fair, no fair!
Mrs. Clinton, she's smart, she's prepared, she's got the experience to know it takes more than bluster to be President.
Oh, you want to hear the details of her super-smart plan? Well, let me get back to you on that...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"Details of Hillary's comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS will be released right after the transcripts of her highly-paid speeches to Wall Street audiences."

Unknown said...

We should all be comforted now that we know who advises Trump on foreign policy.

Trump: I consult myself on foreign policy.

Donald Trump finally shared the name of someone he consults on foreign policy: himself.

Asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” who he talks with consistently about foreign policy, Trump responded, “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things."
"I know what I’m doing and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people and at the appropriate time I’ll tell you who the people are," Trump said. “But my primary consultant is myself and I have a good instinct for this stuff."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

What a depressing set of "leaders" we have. Have there ever been so sorry a lot of "elites" in so great a nation?

Unknown said...

Details schmetails, who needs plans, who needs details, just trust Trump.

tim in vermont said...

No, I got Hillary's plans wrong.

Her first plan was to vote for the Iraq War "with conviction."

Her second plan was to destabilize Syria by getting the US involved in its civil war.

Her third plan was to kill Qadaffi then skedaddle.

So far the results are a huge refugee crisis in Europe and a summer of terror there, the most recent being the beheading of a priest who was presiding over a mass in a Catholic church in France.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Shot: Unknown said...Donald Trump finally shared the name of someone he consults on foreign policy: himself.

Chaser:

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

Marc Thiessen: In today’s Washington Post, I quote NSC spokesman Tommy Vietor as explaining why his boss has skipped more than half his daily intelligence meetings since taking office – including every day in the week leading up to the attacks on our diplomatic facilities in Egypt and Libya: Obama, they say, doesn’t need briefers because he is just so much smarter than everyone else.

American Liberal Elite said...

So I guess I should vote for Trump then?

Terry said...

I wonder what experts Hillary consulted when she decided to let Chris Stevens die at the hands of a terrorist mob?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I wonder what experts Hillary consulted when she helped create ISIS. I'm glad Trump isn't consulting them or her. The outcome could hardly be worse.

Unknown said...

DONALD TRUMP’S BRILLIANT PLAN TO DEFEAT ISIS: BREAK THE INTERNET

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/12/donald-trump-internet-isis-debate

But how, as Wolf Blitzer, asked, do you plan to do it? “Are you referring to closing down actual portions of the internet?” the CNN moderator asked. “Some say that would put the U.S. in line with China and North Korea."

“Well, look, this is so easy to answer,” Trump said, and then gave it:

"ISIS is recruiting through the Internet. ISIS is using the Internet better than we are using the internet, and it was our idea. What I wanted to do is, I wanted to get our brilliant people from Silicon Valley and other places and figure out a way that ISIS cannot do what they're doing. You talked freedom of speech. You talked freedom of anything you want. I don't want them using our Internet to take our young, impressionable youth. . .

We have to change it from every standpoint. We should be using our brilliant people, our most brilliant minds, to figure a way that ISIS cannot use the internet. And then. . .we should be able to penetrate the Internet and find out exactly where ISIS is and everything about ISIS. We can do that if we use our good people."


So in sum: Go to the Internet, where the ISIS is. Close down that Internet, using the brilliant people from Silicon Valley. (Later, he obliquely referred to the Internet in Syria, where, presumably, the ISIS is.)


Bob Boyd said...

Is this the longest post you ever posted?

eric said...

Blogger Unknown said...
Details schmetails, who needs plans, who needs details, just trust Trump.


Guys! Guys?!

I'm super serious guys! Forget Hillary, guys, Trump! Guys! Trump!

Cmon guys. Trump!

Guys? Guys!

tim in vermont said...

Hillary has a plan "We came, we saw, he died, we left the country to ISIS"

In Syria, we give weapons to the "good rebels" then when they fall into the hands of ISIS, we say nobody could have anticipated it.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"Blogger American Liberal Elite said...
So I guess I should vote for Trump then?"

Probably.

tim in vermont said...

Why did Hillary Clinton's State Department drag its feet on the terror designation in the face of near unanimous opposition from the rest of the U.S. government?

A recent series of reports exposes that a close Clinton family confidante -- and Hillary campaign bundler -- who profited from Nigeria's lucrative oil fields. He engaged in multiple illegal deals throughout Africa.

Also, other donors to the Clinton Global Initiative are deeply involved in Nigeria's corrupt oil industry.


She will just charge ISIS such big fees for helping them out that they will go bankrupt! It's a great plan!

DanTheMan said...

"The strategy Clinton outlined hinges on three main elements – defeating ISIS in Syria, Iraq, and across the Middle East;

So, the strategy to defeat ISIS starts with defeating ISIS where ISIS is. A tautology.

"disrupting and dismantling the growing terrorist infrastructure that facilitates the flow of fighters, financing, arms, and propaganda around the world"

Disrupting and dismantling your enemy's infrastructure. Obvious. What strategy would not include that?

"and hardening our defenses and those of our allies against external and homegrown threats."

Also meaningless. What strategy would involve weakening them?

This is not even remotely a strategy, or even a set of tactics. It's just buzzword blather.

tim in vermont said...

Members of Congress discovered in 2014 that the Clinton State Department intentionally lied and downplayed the threat from Boko Haram, and worked to kill bills in both the House and the Senate calling for their designation in 2012.

What a surprise!

the Obama administration was sitting on intelligence -- obtained as a result of the Bin Laden raid -- that revealed Boko Haram's direct connection to al-Qaeda and the international terror network in 2011 and 2012. In other words, Hillary's State Department was arguing that Boko Haram had no such connections, that it wasn't a transnational terror threat, even though the Obama administration -- and likely Clinton herself -- knew that was false.

Good plan Hillary. Terrorism, Oil, Clinton Foundation, Profits!

David Begley said...

Why hasn't Obama bombed the oil assets of ISIS to bits? Supposedly to protect the environment.

Right now ISIS makes BIG MONEY selling oil to Turkey. There is currently excess oil in the market that has bankrupted at least 100 American oil companies this year. So by not bombing ISIS's oil, they make money, another tyrant gets funded and American companies get shafted. Stupid.

Terry said...

"Hillary Clinton Took 6 Months to 'Get Over' Concussion, Bill Says of Timeline"
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/05/hillary-clinton-took-6-months-to-get-over-concussion-bill-says-of-timeline/

That explains the lack of details in Hillary's plan for Middle East conquest. She is still waiting for ambassador Chris Stevens to respond to her emails about it.

Paddy O said...

1. Steal ISIS's underpants.
2. ?
3. Peace!

traditionalguy said...

Trump is not ignorant of military strategy. He was a top cadet in an old fashioned hard nosed military boarding school.

Like MacArthur, Trump has a mind developed to include a national political strategy with winning Military strategy. The Military part is pure George Patton. The political part is basic Douglas MacArthur.

The only thing we need fear from Commander in Chief Trump is a Napoleonic Military Genius winning too much.

Alexander said...

The American people do not have the stomach to destroy ISIS at the current time. Because to destroy ISIS requires the following:

1. Recognition that "Radical" Islam is a myth, that Islamic culture will quickly "radicalize" if in any meaningful concentration. As such, Islam cannot be tolerated in the western world to any degree. They've all gotta go back. Massive deportations, if necessary western navies off the coast from Morocco to Istanbul ensuring that the boats land and come back empty.

2. That loyalties in the Arab world in particular and the Islamic world in general are entirely based on blood and tribe: there is no meaningful community or nationalism in the western sense. As such, the only retaliation that will deter terrorists is if their actions of punative effects on their families. Bombing "Syria" or "Libya" or w/e makes no difference because nobody cares about these things. Taking a sample of the next Islamic suicide bomber's DNA and then wiping out his closes 50 family members will make a meaningful impact on recruitment.

3. Arab men, aged 15-35, are the warrior caste of Islam. But they are just the tip of the spear. Older men train, mothers indoctrinate. You could wipe out every Muslim male old enough to grow a beard and the problem would be reborn in a generation. The women aren't innocent.

4. Just as the western concept of a national state is an alien concept, so are democracy, equality, feminism, individual rights, etc. etc. Attempting to put western institutions and ideologies in place is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

In conclusion: Don't invade the Muslim sandbox: if they want to put their women in tents, bugger goats, kill one another over tribal slights, that's their business. If they want to blow up their own cities, or pass laws against booze, or massacre their own people, that's their business. Remove them from our own people, and if they still insist on leaving the sandbox in the never ending quest to make Dar al Islam out of Dar al Harb, then reply in kind with overwhelming force, explicitly targeted at their bloodkin.

Anyway, until enough of us are blown up, beheaded, shot, stabbed, slashed, burned, mowed down by a truck, or whatever word succinctly described being castrated and then suffocated with your own genetalia - that we are willing to face the reality of what stopping this situation requires - presidential-nominee rhetoric is just that.

Nonapod said...

It's a little odd seeing these posters who seem to be desperately trying to convince people that Trump is a worse option than Hillary I guess?

I'd vote for a labrador retriever before I'd vote for Hillary Clinton... which is to say: I'll vote for Trump. I'm under no illusions about the guy. I'm not expecting a President Trump to be some great savior, or even just a particularly good president. I expect gridlock. I expect a generally recalcitrant Congress and Senate. I expect a press that critically savages the President on regular bases (and even actually does their job). I don't expect a "Wall that Mexico will pay for" or whatever. I don't expect a complete excising of Obamacare. In fact, I don't expect much.

mockturtle said...

Why hasn't Obama bombed the oil assets of ISIS to bits? Supposedly to protect the environment.

According to Kerry, we should be bombing air conditioning units and refrigerators! And with those newfangled drones, bombing could be that precise!

Terry said...

Attacking Trump on the grounds of security seems like a particularly stupid move on the Democrats part. It merely serves to remind people, not only of Hillary's email fiasco, but that the Clintons feel that they don't have to follow the law like everyone else.

mockturtle said...

I'd vote for a labrador retriever

Not a bad idea. According to the AKC:
The most distinguishing characteristics of the Labrador Retriever are its short, dense, weather resistant coat; an "otter" tail; a clean-cut head with broad back skull and moderate stop; powerful jaws; and its "kind," friendly eyes, expressing character, intelligence and good temperament.

traditionalguy said...

Again, If Trump with Congress gets done 25% of what he has told us he plans to do, The USA will be reborn as a wealthy World Hegemon. And then the Imperial Europeans and the Imperial Chinese, and the Insane Arab Caliphs will just have to forget conquering the World. To bad, so sad.

The Drill SGT said...

Alexander said...
2. That loyalties in the Arab world in particular and the Islamic world in general are entirely based on blood and tribe: there is no meaningful community or nationalism in the western sense. As such, the only retaliation that will deter terrorists is if their actions of punative effects on their families. Bombing "Syria" or "Libya" or w/e makes no difference because nobody cares about these things. Taking a sample of the next Islamic suicide bomber's DNA and then wiping out his closes 50 family members will make a meaningful impact on recruitment.


Hence the British approach in the 19th century to Afghan raids on the Raj. aka "Butcher and Bolt". Find the tribe of the raiders, find the villages, burn them out, "pour encourager les autres"

Hence the KGB approach to getting its kidnapped diplomats back in Lebanon, mid 1980's. Get the name of the head kidnapper, find his family, castrate a senior male, send the body parts, rinse and repeat till the hostages were returned. No more kidnaps.

rehajm said...

The woman left people behind.

Terry said...

It's as comprehensive a plan as Charlie Sheen's plan on "winning!"
How is that plan going? Let's consult the wikipedia!

On November 17, 2015, Sheen publicly revealed that he was HIV positive, having been diagnosed roughly four years earlier.[105] In an interview, he referred to the phrase HIV as "three hard letters to absorb".[106] He manages his condition with a triple cocktail of antiretroviral drugs, and said that it was impossible that he could have infected any of his partners.[107] Sheen noted, that since 2011, he has paid extortionists approximately $10 million to keep his HIV positive status secret.[107] A source indicates that Sheen had over 200 sexual partners after he learned he had HIV. Sheen stated that he was upfront about his HIV positive condition with all of his past consorts.[107]

In an episode of The Dr. Oz Show taped in late 2015 and aired January 12, 2016, Sheen stated "I'm [sic] been off my meds for about a week now," receiving alternative treatment in Mexico from Sam Chachoua, who claims to have an effective vaccine for HIV; according to his manager, however, after the episode was taped he resumed taking his medications.[108]

In April 2016, Sheen reduced the monthly child support that he had to pay to his two ex-wives, Brooke and Denise, from $55,000 to $10,000 after they demanded more child support money than he was currently paying.[109] The same month, it was announced that Sheen was under investigation by the LAPD stalking unit for threatening to kill his former fiancée Scottine Ross.[110]

I'm sure his sads are due to an anti-Islamic Youtube video.

mccullough said...

How many American troops are needed and for how long? How many non-American coalition troops will be sent and for how long? What percent of Iraqi and Syrian Sunnis are Salafists? How many residual US forces will be needed to keep the peace in Syria, Iraq (and possibly Libya) and for how long? How much is all of the above going to cost?

Unknown said...

Yeah, but at the DNC Michael Bloomberg said about about Trump:

"I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one!"

Like all great con artists (Trump) the conned (Trumpsters) don't know they are being conned.

khesanh0802 said...

I really tried to approach this as a serious read. The first thing I read was that we weren't going to send ground troops, but we needed to send a lot more special forces and loosen the restrictions on them so they could embed with the Iraqis(?). Last I looked most special forces were ground troops.

Then somewhere further along she was going to get tough on Iran (I think) probably by giving them nukes - whoops! Obama beat her to it. About there it just began to be Seinfeld's "yada, yada, yada". Platitude after platitude after platitude.

As Tim in Vt says look at what she did when she had the chance, not what she says now: acquiesced to the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq; blew up Libya; did nothing to assist HER ambassador in Benghazi ; etc, etc.

This was a speech by an academic not a serious doer - at least what I could get through.

AllenS said...

It was a bunch of bullshit from Hillary. Trump is way ahead on getting a handle on terrorism. He understand where it comes from. Islam. Hillary doesn't have a fucking clue on what to do.

AlbertAnonymous said...

65 paragraphs of BS is not a plan or a strategy. This woman learned NOTHING as Secretary of State.

Defeat ISIS by defeating ISIS indeed.

God help us all...

Terry said...

"I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one!"
Says the guy who was kicked out of the GOP for being a Democrat.

David said...

1. Why hasn't she been talking about this?
2. What would she do first? Read the plan to them?
3. How is this any different from what we are doing now?
4. Why do I have the sense that events have passed much of this by already? (Syria, Russians in Syria, Refugees)
5. Why hasn't she been talking about this?

Hilary can generate a plan a day with the money and staffing she has. Any sense that she means it? That she can lead the way to achieve it?

Why hasn't she been talking about it?

Jack Wayne said...

Nice post Althouse! I agree with you that this morass of words does not constitute an intelligible plan. Isn't it amazing that that there are a large number of Americans who consider her intelligent and competent?

Terry said...

I have a passing resemblance to Chris Stevens! Howzabout I get my hair cut like his, put on some pale makeup, and go to the convention tonight and just stand in the front during Hillary's speech, stony faced, pointing at her? I bet she would crack.
I think I saw that trick on the old Mission Impossible TV show.
How did Hillary manage to get a concussion that f*cked her up for six months? I don't believe the 'she fainted and hit her head' story.
Hey Russia? Can you tell us how Hillary cracked her head? Our press could use some help, here.

tim in vermont said...

It's hard for Unknown not to repeat herself. But we all know that Nanny Mike's word holds a lot of sway outside of Manhattan.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

DanTheMan said..."and hardening our defenses and those of our allies against external and homegrown threats."

Also meaningless. What strategy would involve weakening them?


You mock, but some would say a policy of letting tens of thousands of people from that region in, on top of hundreds of thousands of people from God knows where who come here as "undocumented immigrants each year," you know....some would say that's a deliberate strategy that weakens our defenses! A strategy, of course, that Mrs. Clinton fully intends to adopt and expand.

Bay Area Guy said...

ISIS -- captures people, beheads them, videotapes it to generate fear and anxiety in the Western World.

Hillary's response? = Lawyerly, verbose memo, revised often.

tim in vermont said...

.some would say that's a deliberate strategy that weakens our defenses! A strategy, of course, that Mrs. Clinton fully intends to adopt and expand.

Because Republicans are a bigger threat than ISIS.

Paddy O said...

Nonapod @3:41,

Exactly.

That's why it is weird so many keep trying to convince others how bad Trump is. Except for the sold-out born-again disciples (Hi, Tradguy!), people know Trump is bad. About 25% of this country likes Trump. The rest don't to varying degrees. He's loathsome.

But in everyway that Trump is an unfortunate choice, the Clinton machine is even worse.

That's the almost impossible challenge of this year's election. Trump is awful. So you don't need to convince us of that. It still doesn't make Hillary a better choice.

Marty said...

I fervently hope that Unknown/Inka/Garage is playing a uuuge role in Hillary's campaign strategy, because he/she/it has finally convinced me that sophomorific sarcasm aimed at people utterly impervious to it is a winning strategy.

Big Mike said...

This is a "boiling the ocean" type of plan. How do you force enemy submarines to the surface? Boil the ocean. How do you boil the ocean? Oh, that's just a detail.

If Hillary Clinton had any clue how to do any of the steps in her plan, I'd be amazed. Simply amazed. For example, where does she propose to find "Arabic speakers with deep expertise in the Middle East?" Are they on every street corner? How will we vet them? I mean, it's not hard to find "Arabic speakers with deep expertise in the Middle East" if you're willing to recruit people who don't much like the United States. But why would they help us? Wouldn't they intead undermine our intelligence efforts? Keep in mind that reliance on Arabic speakers with deep expertise in Iraq during the lead-up to the second Gulf War is a major reason why we got into that war since they convinced Tenet's people, who convinced Tenet, who convinced Colin Powell and George Bush that we needed to go in.

Her plan goes on to call for "even closer partnership with regional intelligence services." In order to assess whether this is doable, I'd need to know whether it's even possible to achieve a deeper partnership than that which we already have. (Not to mention that this is an implied slap at her old boss, Barack Obama, suggesting that there's more he could be doing if only he'd do it.)

She says that she doesn't want to put 100,000 troops on the ground, which is a good thing because after the hollowing out of the US Army I don't know whether the US could spare 100,000 troops on the ground. However I don't see how she's going to duplicate the Sunni Awakening without lots of American forces on the ground in Iraq -- we were averaging 150,000 troops, give or take, while that was going on. If she thinks she can duplicate that with vastly fewer troops than George W. Bush deployed then she's clearly mistaken

"As difficult as it may be, we need to get Turkey to stop bombing Kurdish fighters in Syria who are battling ISIS." Lots of luck with that, Lady. Lots of luck with that.

Unclebiffy said...

As prevalent as the meme is regarding the failure of President Bush’s policy in Iraq, I would like to point out that when President Obama took office in January Iraq was mainly pacified and was working diligently to establish workable power sharing institutions between the Shia and Sunni. Additionally, we had a military presence that was able to act as a check against Iran’s expanding influence. Finally, that same military could have quashed ISIS in its infancy.

President Bush’s military and foreign policy, although not perfect, was an overall success. President Obama, the Democrat Party and most importantly the US Media had to turn victory into a defeat in order to succeed politically. The Democratic Party and the MSM has been politically successful and has possibly put the world on the path to WWIII. They have set the world afire in order to rule over the ashes.

Mark said...

If we have learned anything from 15 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is that local people and nations have to secure their own communities.

That's her plan in response to genocide -- to tell powerless, defenseless, weak civilians who are being slaughtered, many of them women, children and elderly, that they need to stop the genocide themselves. A big FU to those being killed.

n.n said...

Well, abandoning people after bringing a belligerent dictator to justice didn't work.

Sodomizing and aborting a repentant dictator (and our ambassador) didn't work.

Backing a violent coup in Ukraine and antagonizing Russia didn't work. However, there may still be hope to reset the cold war.

Backing a violent "democratic" election in Egypt didn't work.

Creating and progressing refugee crises continues to pay dividends in blood and a rape-rape culture.

Perhaps the Democrats could try something other than progressive anti-native policies. They are overcompensating for the millions of wholly innocent human lives lost in abortion chambers and Planned Parenthood offices. No one is fooled.

eric said...

Ok, so unknown number 1, who is a copy and paste freak, must get off duty around 4pm eastern time.

Poor loser has the day shift. How does he wake up so early?

Unknown said...

I have no interest in convincing you folks of anything. I am merely presenting an alternative point of view. Why does it bother you so much? Do you take offense to an opposing opinion? Is this blog meant for only conservative points of view? You folks, never convince me you have a handle on the truth of the matter, so I guess we're even. I enjoy presenting my viewpoint and sharing viewpoints of others also. You people need to get some help with your epistemic closure. You'd never read articles from the publications I sometimes post. Many times I post articles from conservative publications. It doesn't seem to matter to you, if it runs contrary to what the current groupthink is here.

Balfegor said...

re: n.n:

Backing a violent coup in Ukraine and antagonizing Russia didn't work.

Our intervention in the Ukraine to back the protesters in the Maidan is one of those things that, honestly, still remains a total mystery to me. I cannot see what possible interest of ours was served by it. And, sort of the same way we kind of ended up supporting a Al Qaeda in Syria (the Nusra front, which is where all our "moderate" allies seem to end up), we ended up supporting some honest-to-goodness Nazis in the Ukraine. That, or Putin did a brilliant job of seeding Nazi symbols (like the Wewelsburg Black Sun of the SS) amongst the protesters.

Not saying Russia is our friend -- they are our biggest geopolitical foe, after all. But I have no idea how we thought backing the Maidan movement was supposed to strengthen our hand, as opposed to creating an opportunity for Russia to reclaim Sebastopol and destabilize the entire eastern half of the Ukraine.

n.n said...

Unclebiffy:

The presence of "honest brokers" was key. Our military performed remarkably well to quickly bring a belligerent dictator to trial. Then both our military commanders and diplomatic corp performed remarkably well as "honest brokers" in lieu of a dictatorship. Reconciliation between the diverse factions was not easy, nor fast, but there was positive progress. Then came Obama (and Clinton) and the Middle East exploded.

eric said...

Blogger Unknown said...
I have no interest in convincing you folks of anything. I am merely presenting an alternative point of view. Why does it bother you so much? Do you take offense to an opposing opinion? Is this blog meant for only conservative points of view? You folks, never convince me you have a handle on the truth of the matter, so I guess we're even. I enjoy presenting my viewpoint and sharing viewpoints of others also. You people need to get some help with your epistemic closure. You'd never read articles from the publications I sometimes post. Many times I post articles from conservative publications. It doesn't seem to matter to you, if it runs contrary to what the current groupthink is here.


Guys! For reals! It's me.

Guys? Guys!

For reals!

n.n said...

Balfegor:

Russia is not our friend. It is a competitor. It could be a bulwark in its sphere of influence. However, there is no cause for it to be our enemy. Russia is not the Soviet Union.

Alex said...

Ann will hem & haw for the next 3 months and then tell us why she HAS to vote for Hillary Clinton because... reasons.

Unknown said...

Eric, you are one of the most ignorant Trump sycophants here. "Guys guys"? How old are you? Late bloomer?

Paddy O said...

"Do you take offense to an opposing opinion?"

I don't. But hearing how bad Trump is isn't an opposing opinion for me. An opposing opinion would be a good argument why Hillary is somehow better. And I'd love to hear that, though I can't imagine it is possible.

This election, to me: "So, Paddy, do you want us to chop off your left arm or your right arm?"

mockturtle said...

Unknown, if you don't like our 'groupthink', find another group.

mockturtle said...

Does anyone else here remember Vietnam? Arming and training locals to fight a war that WE want never, ever works.

elcee said...

This point by Clinton is problematic:
"Now to be clear though, there is a role for Russia to help for resolving the conflict in Syria"

The fundamental flaw is the Russians view the anti-ISIS campaign foremost as leverage to protect the Assad regime in concert with Russia's ally, Iran. See:
https://kyleorton1991.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/russia-needs-the-islamic-state-to-save-assad/

Assad regime forces and Iran's terrorist "militias", supported by Russia, have caused much vaster harm than ISIS within Syria and Iraq. Their predominance on the ground, again supported by Russia, alienates (to put it mildly) Sunnis and other local populaces and prevents the long-term solution Clinton advocates. See:
http://warontherocks.com/2016/07/five-reasons-why-cooperating-with-moscow-on-syria-is-a-bad-idea/

That being said, Clinton is correct that the model solution to the crisis is the Operation Iraqi Freedom Surge+Awakening. As a new Secretary of State in 2009, Clinton witnessed first hand the real hope in Iraq established with the OIF Surge+Awakening.

But to even hope to re-establish those hard-earned conditions and equally hard-earned faith in strong-horse American leadership on the ground that the Obama administration, including Secretary of State Clinton, inherited from the Bush administration in 2009, then promptly squandered, requires dedicated US-led peace operations - likely with greater and longer commitment than the original COIN Surge needed to even fairly attempt restoring the status quo ante that the US had established with Iraq under Bush before Obama disastrously deviated course. See:
Answer to "Was Operation Iraqi Freedom a strategic blunder or a strategic victory?".

Unknown said...

No realturtle, I like it here, but if my presence bothers you, maybe you should take a break from the blog. I wouldn't want to upset you.

traditionalguy said...

Hi Paddy O... I never said Trump is a complete man deserving admiration from religious folks. He is just a superficial competitor that uses his God given communication skills and an excellent memory to win victories for himself, his family and his friends.

I have never hinted that Trump is a cultured gentleman and Semi-Saint like the Virginia Politician and Militia General, George Washington. He is a just a second generation Scottish Presbyterian smart guy with a God given desire to protect freedom for traditional Christians. To do that, he has offered himself for hire cheap.

Unknown said...

Eric:
"Every morning when I awaken from my slumber filled with dreams of my hero Mr.Trump, I endeavor to mold myself in his image. I comb my dyed yellow hair from back to front then empty a can of hair spray on it. I practice sucking air in through my teeth, just like he does. He looks so smart when he does that. I practice in the mirror, "Believe me!", "Only I can fix it!", "I love you Vladimir", "I am my own foreign policy advisor, because I have a good brain". Then I watch how he walks with his great lumbering stride, such strong legs! I hurt my groin trying to do that walk, but it was worth it. I watch him use his big sexy hands so poetically when he speaks, it sends shivers down my spine. I so long to be his son. Please adopt me Mr.Trump, I will worship you forever.

mockturtle said...

elcee, I disagree. An overthrow of Assad would result in another Libya. Just as we should have left Saddam alone, sometimes a dictatorship is better than the disastrous alternatives.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paddy O said...

tradguy, that was the best succinct statement about Trump from a supporter that I've heard. I appreciate you responding and hearing that from you.

Terry said...

If, as Bill Clinton said, it took six months for Hillary to recover from the head injury she incurred in December 2012, it must have been more traumatic than a simple concussion. She had to wear what looked like prism glasses. The vision problems that accompany a head injury aren't caused by the eyes not working, but by something wrong with the brain.

Jon Ericson said...

Welcome, Unknown #51!
You seem rather dim and dull compared to
last night's soul baring, eyelash fluttering #55.
That was exciting!

Paul Snively said...

"disrupting terrorist infrastructure on the ground and online..."

Haha. Hahahahahaha. Ha. HAHAHAHAHA. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Stop it! You're killing me!

Jon Ericson said...

Does she come on after your shift?
I can't wait!

AReasonableMan said...

Andrew Cuomo has a very whiny voice. That alone limits his political career.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Unknown said...
Yeah, but at the DNC Michael Bloomberg said about about Trump:

"I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one!"
-----------------------------

It takes one to know one.

AReasonableMan said...

Nancy Pelosi gave a completely uninspired speech. Looked like she'd like to be somewhere else. The Dems desperately need some new and younger leadership.

AReasonableMan said...

Much weaker lineup of speakers tonight than the previous three nights.

Terry said...

So I'm watching some of the convention speeches -- and it turns out Trump has been president for the last 7.5 years. Also, Barack Obama seems to have had ancestors who were American slaves.

Jon Ericson said...

Pajama boy #51 knocks off at 6:00, Althouse time.
Who will carry the torch tonight?

Terry said...

I don't know about you, but when I think of the phrase "ordinary Americans", I think of Ted Danson and Mary Steenbergen! I wonder how many jobs their environmental idiocy has cost America?

Rusty said...

mockturtle said...
Does anyone else here remember Vietnam? Arming and training locals to fight a war that WE want never, ever works.

It actually worked very well as long as there were American leaders to guide them.

CWJ said...

ARM @ 6:53,

She's made her nut. There're are no new checks to cash. Why should she care?

Jon Ericson said...

Seems to be a "newcomer" gap the same as last night.

Terry said...

Do you think Hillary will give her speech using her 'black' voice? 'Cuz I'll stay up for that. I may get tired, but she is no ways tired!
I love that bit. I did it at work for awhile, but the personnel lady made me stop.

AReasonableMan said...

One oft expressed theory on this blog is that liberal men are only liberals because it is the only way they can get laid. The last pair of speakers was good evidence for this theory.

Terry said...

"WHEN HILLARY GETS PAID A QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS FOR A TWENTY MINUTE SPEECH, WE ALL WIN!"

AReasonableMan said...

I have seen Jennifer Granholm speak before but it was still something of a shock to hear her start speaking. Great speech. Not sure I would want to live within voice range of her.

Terry said...

"I paid $30,000 for a college education, and I get paid minimum wage. Hillary is going to fix that by making college free and raising the minimum wage!"

AReasonableMan said...

Surprised that they haven't taken more advantage of the #NeverTrump crowd. They need to paint Trump as unacceptable to right thinking people in order to pick up more white middle and upper middle class voters.

khesanh0802 said...

We never fought a "serious" all out war in VN. I take the Sherman view of war. It's a terrible thing, but once committed you should proceed as hard and mercilessly as you can to shorten the war and thus reduce the misery. We did not do that in VN. We left North VN pretty much alone - air strikes, phooey! If you wish to crush an enemy you have to hit them where they live. MacArthur would have wanted to land in Hanoi and he would have been right.

What we are doing today in the ME is only nurturing the conditions that will keep us in danger. I hate the prospect of reintroducing ground troops in the ME, but have become convinced that we will have no choice in the long run. Until we start to drastically diminish all ISIS' capabilities and once again demonstrate to Muslims that we are" the strongest tribe" we are just inviting another 9/11. Drones and air strikes aren't going to do it. Long academic speeches aren't going to do it. Instilling fear might.

mockturtle said...

Rusty re Vietnam It actually worked very well as long as there were American leaders to guide them.

Not according to my brother, who fought over there. He said the South Vietnamese 'soldiers' had little interest in fighting compared to the Viet Cong. You are right about lack of proper leadership but I don't believe it would have helped.

We could have learned from the French mistakes in 'Indochina' but we didn't. We could have learned from the Russian experience in Afghanistan. But we didn't.

mockturtle said...

@Terry I love that bit. I did it at work for awhile, but the personnel lady made me stop.

Were you angling for an Affirmative Action promotion?

mockturtle said...

@ARM: One oft expressed theory on this blog is that liberal men are only liberals because it is the only way they can get laid.

Being liberal helps them get laid? Seriously?? Even when I was fairly young I found liberal men to be unattractive. Especially those who pandered to feminism. And I was, myself, a feminist at the time. ;-)

cyrus83 said...

If a candidate has a plan but never emphasizes it, does the public know about it?

Perception matters, and neither ISIS nor terrorism has been a major theme on the stump or at the convention for the Democrats, even though we've seen a number of attacks in recent months. If ISIS decides to keep making attacks with this kind of frequency, I imagine they are going to be a much larger factor on the election than they are at present.

Hillary should try and include her ISIS plan in her convention speech tonight. She cannot count on Obama, Europe, and Brazil stopping all potential attacks in the next 3 months, and as occurred in Spain in 2004, an attack very late in the election cycle can change the outcome if the current administration is seen as incompetent and dishonest in its response.

cubanbob said...

Imagine being a serviceman and knowing that your CiC valued national security so little that she ran the State Department from a homebrew server in her closet and knowing that the current CiC knew about this and didn't care.

Gahrie said...

We never fought a "serious" all out war in VN.

Sure we did. In fact we won the war. In 1973, when the peace treaty was signed, South Vietnam was still free and independent, the Viet Cong were totally wiped out, the North Vietnamese army was combat ineffective, and all of our strategic goals accomplished. We won every battle we fought in Vietnam.

The problem is, we lost the peace. When we pulled out in 1973, we promised to come back to South Vietnam's aid if needed. Then when North Vietnam re-invaded in 1975, the Democratically controlled Congress refused to honor our commitment, the USSR supported North Vietnam, and South Vietnam was conquered.

JamesB.BKK said...

I dunno. These ISIS guys don't seem so bad. Maybe we should have our government get them an embassy and some mosques in San Diego and elsewhere, and when their diplomats import, house, provide allowances to, and arrange for clothing and driver's licenses and flying lessons for a bunch of their "nationals" who then fly full commercial airliners into buildings and the ground in our country killing thousands of our people (and some foreigners), we and our press can just pretend it did not happen.

JamesB.BKK said...

It's a fine "plan." Here's what likely will instead occur: Me having to get permission from her government agents to remit funds offshore. Me having to report more transactions to her government agents. Me having to wait in ever longer lines outside of the "security zones" at risk of being blown up while doing so. Me having my rights to self defense curtailed. Me having to send more funds to her corrupt and feckless government ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hillarycli169140.html)

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
Surprised that they haven't taken more advantage of the #NeverTrump crowd. They need to paint Trump as unacceptable to right thinking people in order to pick up more white middle and upper middle class voters.

They have, and they do. However they have no real alternative to Hillary. So, as many have stated here, he's not Hillary so he will get the vote. While you must drape Hillary with attributes she does not have in order to make her palatable to you Trump voters don't have that burden. Trump voters here, that is.