August 12, 2016

Gary Johnson agrees with Trump that Obama and Hillary are the co-founders of ISIS... unintentionally.

111 comments:

Curious George said...

He looks like he stopped for "a few" at the local tavern.

rehajm said...

Oopsie!

eric said...

He seems a bit distracted.

But I find it interesting that he agrees with Trump's assertion.

Does it matter if they intended to be the founders of ISIS?

We know Hillary's excuse for everything at this point is that she just doesn't have a clue. So of course she didn't purposefully create ISIS.

Chuck will be here any moment now to tell us how stupid Johnson is.

J. Farmer said...

Their bungling in Syria and Libya have certainly compounded the problem, but taking out the Hussein regime in Iraq is probably the most salient cause. Once the state of the pseudo-nation of Iraq collapsed, chaos and violence were certain to follow. This was the primary justification for not taking out Saddam during the First Gulf War.

rhhardin said...

Trump is making them take personal responsibility. They're denying personal responsibility.

rhhardin said...

Iraq was doing okay once the US was the strongman. All sides were nice because it was safe to be a snitch. The US protected you.

When that stopped, being a snitch became fatal again and the loons were free to fight each other.

Robert Cook said...

Well, the United States is generally responsible for the rapid transformation of a previous Islamic group ("The Organization of Monotheism and Jihad") into ISIS, and its rapid growth into what it has become today, in that our invasion-by-stages of the entire middle east (more or less) has radicalized many who were previously apolitical, among them former Iraqi military personnel, and has driven these radicalized persons to join ISIS (or other extremist groups).

AprilApple said...

Now that is how you handle the on-air talent at MSDNC.

Original Mike said...

Blogger rhhardin said..."Iraq was doing okay once the US was the strongman. All sides were nice because it was safe to be a snitch. The US protected you.

When that stopped, being a snitch became fatal again and the loons were free to fight each other."


You'd think the so-called smart people would understand that.

One of my biggest disappointments with Obama has been, for all his reputed brilliance, he really is a dumb fuck.

traditionalguy said...

Every time Obama/Hillary screws the USA with insane destruction that a 12 year old knows is totally destructive, it is....unintentional negligence that everybody else does too.


Meanwhile Trump is running on bringing competence in Government at every level until it is great again.

Ken B said...

This is a serious, substantive critique of US policy. I think it misguided, but that does not relieve me, or anyone mocking Trump for this, of explaining why. Indeed the mockers should explain how they can dismiss such a serious claim so blithely.

Good on AA for keeping on this.

AprilApple said...

Trump now saying it was all sarcasm takes the sting out of it. LAME!

Gary gets it right.

DKWalser said...

Their bungling in Syria and Libya have certainly compounded the problem, but taking out the Hussein regime in Iraq is probably the most salient cause. Once the state of the pseudo-nation of Iraq collapsed, chaos and violence were certain to follow....

No, "taking out the Hussein regime" was not the most salient cause of the rise of ISIS. Al Qaeda in Iraq (the predecessor to ISIS) had been defeated both militarily and politically by the successful surge campaign and the end of the G.W. Bush administration. It was the Clinton/Obama decision to abandon the nascent IRAQ democracy that allowed the defeated terrorists to reform. Obama and Clinton then compounded that error by their policy towards Syria and Libya.

Levi Starks said...

Hmmm. It'll let me watch the commercial, but an "error has occurred" and I can watch all of the clip.

Levi Starks said...

Can't watch

coupe said...

In that video he explains the theory rationally, and fully. He is speaking intelligently, and not due to the affects of amphetamines.

I don't think he's had sex with a naked Slav his whole life.

Bob Boyd said...

When talking to Johnson, this woman clarifies: "their policies led to the rise of ISIS...is that what you're saying?" Normal.

And that's obviously what Trump was saying too.
But the narrative is, "There is nothing normal about the Trump phenomenon." So they report it as Trump meant it literally. They respond to Trump's hyperbole as though he'd said Obama founded ISIS in a secret ceremony somewhere then they snark and smirk.
They all want to be John Stewart.

coupe said...

Levi it's on youtube:

Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson Getting More Attention

320Busdriver said...

One of my biggest disappointments with Obama has been, for all his reputed brilliance, he really is a dumb fuck.

But I thought "we are the ones we've been waiting for"

eric said...

Blogger AprilApple said...
Trump now saying it was all sarcasm takes the sting out of it. LAME!

Gary gets it right.


Before Trump explained to the slower amongst us, you thought he meant it literally? That Obama and Hillary founded ISIS?

PB said...

When Trump speaks, he is right and wrong at the same time. which causes the media to jump all over the wrong and ignore the right.

Normal politicians are skilled enough to never be wrong and never be right so the media has nothing to latch on to.

Hillary just lies and regurgitates the failed policies of the past and the media just doesn't care.

J. Farmer said...

@rhhardin:

"Iraq was doing okay once the US was the strongman. All sides were nice because it was safe to be a snitch. The US protected you."

Well, I guess if being a failed, fractured state unable to achieve political reconciliation is "doing okay," then sure, it was. The surge strategy was never simply about security. It was a counterinsurgency operation whose expressed goal was to provide space for political reconciliation, which never happened. The surge did smartly coops the Anbar Awakening, but that was provoked mainly by the presence of a large number of foreign troops making up AQI. Once they lost popular legitimacy in the west, a successful counter insurgency was possible. British success in Malaysia was due to similar factors (e.g. the insurgency was mostly Chinese, who were typically despised by the majority ethnic Malay population, therefore depriving the insurgency of the local legitimacy it needed to be successful).

The problem with Iraq is that there is no nation called Iraq. It's a collection of disparate groups who don't trust each other enough to make a national government workable. Nearly 20% of the population already lives inside of a de facto independent state (Iraqi Kurdistan).

AprilApple said...

eric-
Trump is inarticulate. Instead of landing a punch, everyone is talking about HOW he said it. and now he's back-pedaling. Lame.

AprilApple said...

Does Trump lack skill or are we being played?

Ken B said...

AprilApple
He's not back-pedaling. Trump is famous for speaking at a grade 4 reading level. He's explaining to those for whom a grade 4 level is a challenge.

Bobby said...

PB,

"Hillary just lies and regurgitates the failed policies of the past and the media just doesn't care."

That's not fair, at all. The media doesn't just ignore Hillary's regurgitation of failed policies. Sometimes she comes up with brand new failed policies and the media just doesn't care about those, either.

rhhardin said...

Trump is inarticulate. Instead of landing a punch, everyone is talking about HOW he said it. and now he's back-pedaling. Lame.

Trump is lame because he can't explain what he's doing, if he tries to. He has no background in literary criticism, which is where putting such stuff in words is learned.

The right lit crit words would land another punch instead of pulling the first one.

machine said...

Trump said:

"Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake. All right? … The war in Iraq, we spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, we don’t even have it. Iran has taken over Iraq with the second-largest oil reserves in the world. Obviously, it was a mistake. George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East. … I want to tell you. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction."

He was pretty clear then...

rhhardin said...

Trump is famous for speaking at a grade 4 reading level. He's explaining to those for whom a grade 4 level is a challenge.

Reading level is used to measure not the education of the writer but the comprehensibility of what he's saying.

A 12th grade level is deprecated; it means jargon has taken over.

Very low is bad if it's boring, but otherwise is a goal.

Trump combats boring with lese mageste homeric epithets, e.g. crooked Hillary.

It's not personal. He does not say strong-ankled Hillary.

damikesc said...

Their bungling in Syria and Libya have certainly compounded the problem, but taking out the Hussein regime in Iraq is probably the most salient cause.

Seems killing Khaddafy and setting up a shithole in Libya with a total power vacuum was a more probable cause. ISIS existed before 2012 and, per Obama, Iraq was fixed enough for us to withdraw all troops at that point.

ISIS cannot be pinned on anybody but Hillary, who championed this.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

As for who created ISIS, I've always thought Al Qaeda had something to do with it.

Blame Hillary is just the Blame America First principle - if America has enemies, it must be America's fault. We got a little bit of that from Ron Paul and Rand Paul, so it's not surprising that Gary Johnson is going there too. Trump is a great follower.

Hagar said...

You are being played.

AprilApple said...

Trump stated election strategy:

‘I Don’t Know That We Need To Get Out The Vote’

eric said...

Blogger AprilApple said...
eric-
Trump is inarticulate. Instead of landing a punch, everyone is talking about HOW he said it. and now he's back-pedaling. Lame.


I think he shouldn't explain, that is lame. Why explaining is called back pedaling I don't really get. He isn't going to stop saying they are the founders of ISIS. But it's lame because everyone knows it's sarcasm. And when he says what everyone knows, it gives another excuse for his detractors to say, "He is back-pedaling!" And again pretend not to understand.

So I agree. It's lame. He needs to stop explaining. We all know what he meant.

AprilApple said...

Eric- we do agree. (in different directions)
I never liked the way he said it. He said it the way he said it. Stick with it! Take "they created ISIS" to the bank.

Yancey Ward said...

Look, Trump clearly meant it was due to incompetence on the part of Obama and Clinton, and he is absolutely correct. It was also due to the incompetence of the previous administration, a point that Trump has made implicitly during the primary campaign, and is part of the reason the neo-conservatives have been livid, as pointed out by David Goldman in the Asia Times a few days back:

http://atimes.com/2016/08/trump-lacks-experience-but-his-detractors-lack-common-sense/

Yancey Ward said...

So, I see Trump has reiterated the point about the Bush Administration. Good for him! That should cause Bill Kristol have an aneurysm. Good!

Yancey Ward said...

To those who say Iraq was stable as long as the US kept a military presence, I say this- the US was never going to leave troops there no matter who won the election in 2008. At some point, and that point had already been reached by the end of Bush's term, the American people had had enough of Iraq, and even with what would have been minimal troops if Obama hadn't pulled out, you have the same thing today- proof of this is what is going on in Afghanistan today, a country Obama didn't pull out of.

No, the original mistakes were the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama and Clinton just doubled down on the policy by extending to the countries of North Africa and Syria. Now it is threatening to spread everywhere else in the Middle East.

AJ Lynch said...


Johnson strikes me someone who has smoked too much pot.

elcee said...

Trump's rhetoric of Obama as "founder" of ISIS is harmful in international perception because the distinction between President Obama and the US, as well as the particular details of Obama's errors, are blurred if not erased by Russian, Iranian, etc, propagandists, so that Obama is "founder" of ISIS becomes added to the enemy's narrative that the US is "founder" of ISIS.

For insight how Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime leverage ISIS, see https://kyleorton1991.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/russia-needs-the-islamic-state-to-save-assad/ .

That being said, pointed election language aside, Trump is substantively correct that President Obama's catastrophic course deviation was the American contribution to the development of the ISIS crisis.

Explanation here. EXCERPT (sans links):

___ISIS did not form as a direct consequence of Operation Iraqi Freedom. ISIS formed in the Syrian civil war which is part of the disintegration of the Arab Spring that started after President Bush left office. For the ISIS crisis, the decision for OIF is less relevant than President Obama's feckless approach to the Syrian civil war, the Arab Spring, and Iraq.

The terrorists did not start the Syrian civil war. The Syrian civil war started with the Assad regime's violent reprisals against the peaceful protests by moderate reformers in 2011. In fact, the Assad regime, with the backing of Russia and Iran, is responsible for much vaster harm than ISIS. The Assad regime and its allies appear to be using ISIS as leverage to neutralize the moderate opposition to the Assad regime.
...

Blaming OIF for current events in the Middle East relies on the fallacy of attenuated causation. Operation Iraqi Freedom was not the disease. Until President Obama disengaged the peace operations, Operation Iraqi Freedom was working as the cure. When President Bush left office, the Arab Spring hadn't happened yet, while Iraq was stabilized, compliant, and progressing following the Counterinsurgency "Surge" and Anbar Awakening.
...

The Iraq praised by President Obama and the US Embassy in Baghdad as an emerging "strategic partner" was the post-Saddam Iraq that had been developing with US intervention.

The proximate causes of the subsequent crisis in Iraq are, one, the construction of ISIS in Syria in the degeneration of the Arab Spring that combined with, two, the Iran encroachment upon the US-abandoned vulnerability of Iraq. Both conditions arose from post-Bush events that are related to fundamental errors made by President Obama, such as the 'lead from behind' approach to the Arab Spring, appeasement of Iran, and contravening the Strategic Framework Agreement with premature disengagement from Iraq, that sharply deviated from President Bush's course.___

elcee said...

Yancey Ward:
"the original mistakes were the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama and Clinton just doubled down on the policy by extending to the countries of North Africa and Syria."

It's misleading to conflate the Iraq and Afghanistan interventions with Obama's subsequent interventions. For that matter, it's misleading to conflate OIF and OEF under Bush with Obama's subsequent course deviation and errors.

In that regard, President Bush's decision for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) was demonstrably correct according to the controlling law, policy, and precedent that defined the operative enforcement procedure for the "governing standard of Iraqi compliance" (UNSCR 1441) and, in the operative context, the determinative fact findings of the Saddam regime's breach of the Gulf War ceasefire that triggered enforcement with OIF: Explanation.

In the explanation, make sure to see the epilogue answer to "Was Operation Iraqi Freedom a strategic blunder or a strategic victory?".

Yancey Ward said...

Elcee,

It was a strategic blunder, both invasions. The problem that was overlooked is that it required a decades or more commitment to keep significant troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was clear by the end of 2008 that such commitment was not tenable given how unpopular those wars had become. Even if McCain had won in 2008, he would have eventually been forced by public opinion to withdraw enough of the troops that Iraq would have eventually devolved exactly how it has. We still have troops in Afghanistan, and, at some point the commitment there will draw down enough that the Taliban simply take the whole country over again, and nothing will have been accomplished.

That is the problem- area, while despotic, was largely stable under the authoritarians the people there seemed tolerate. Upsetting that balance created the vacuum in which groups like ISIS and Al Quaida flourish in. Extending this chaos to Syria and Libya, and probably eventually to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, is just fucking stupid.

Ron said...

"I was trying to see if I could make a barbershop quartet in the Middle East...and I got this thing! WTH!"

Achilles said...

Once again Trumps problem here is he didn't take sides in the scam the uniparty set up. He is supposed to say it is Obama's fault OR it is Bush's fault. Instead Trump is using the magical AND. Just like everything in DC both parties are really just one party.

Achilles said...

Yancey Ward said...

"It was a strategic blunder, both invasions. The problem that was overlooked is that it required a decades or more commitment to keep significant troops in Iraq and Afghanistan."

There was also the issue that we were never allowed to defeat our enemies. We caught the same guy 3 times in a 2 month span. As long as they hid their weapons they knew they would be released fairly quickly with a full belly.

buwaya said...

The latest Judicial Watch email strings are very interesting.

They are showing Clintons Foundation leadership, a non-government private entity - directing Clintons State Department personal staff Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, government employees, to take various official actions, to organize hires, and to exert influence on behalf of various foreigners.

This stinks unto heaven of course, whats new is merely the light upon the mechanics of it.

We all know this is how the current administration works, based on various official and unofficial acts, and how the Clinton administration will work, but we also know what the chain of command is - Clinton foundation had authority over the Secretary of State's staff, they being there merely to pass on directions.

Sebastian said...

@DKW: "It was the Clinton/Obama decision to abandon the nascent IRAQ democracy that allowed the defeated terrorists to reform. Obama and Clinton then compounded that error by their policy towards Syria and Libya." Correct.

@YW: "area, while despotic, was largely stable under the authoritarians the people there seemed tolerate." Ah, yes. Afghanistan was "stable" under the Taliban, and Iraq was "stable" under Saddam. The Iraqi people "seemed to tolerate" it, except for maybe a few Kurds and Shiites here and there.

It is a fair question whether the U.S. can undertake any major venture without long-term public support, but of course both invasions were strongly supported at the outset. Bush gestured at the long-haul commitment, O undermined the US position both by precipitous withdrawal in Iraq and the rhetorical derogation of the significance of gains, real and to be achieved, in both places. When there is no direction except retreat, there's nothing for public opinion to latch onto, and a pox-on-all-their-houses results.

The alternative to US intervention is not "stability."

Achilles said...

Nobody seems to remember 2012 very well. Remember "GM is alive and Al Quaeda is dead?" Remember the numerous speeches by Obama Biden and Hillary about what a success Iraq was?

But do not think Bush gets off the hook. Because of COIN we were never allowed to defeat the true enemy. It is clear through history a war is not over until one side chooses to stop fighting. This is almost always Achieved by killing 30% of military age males. Bush's strategy was doomed from the start and everything we did was a waste because of that.

AprilApple said...

Achilles - Nobody is stopping Trump from pointing your points out.

Effective communication is part of winning.

Robert Cook said...

"Al Qaeda in Iraq (the predecessor to ISIS) had been defeated both militarily and politically by the successful surge campaign and the end of the G.W. Bush administration. It was the Clinton/Obama decision to abandon the nascent IRAQ democracy that allowed the defeated terrorists to reform. Obama and Clinton then compounded that error by their policy towards Syria and Libya."

A self-serving and self-satisfying fantasy. The terrorists didn't have to "re-form," as they had never been defeated or eradicated. We left Iraq according to our obligations as negotiated by the Bush administration. Obama wanted to stay--to his great disfavor--but the Iraqis wouldn't have us unless we made our soldiers subject to their laws if they violated them. A reasonable request, but we rejected it.

Our multiple wars, (or the one mega-war) in the Middle East amounts to 14 years of simply pouring lighted kerosene into anthills and bashing hornet's nests with sticks.

elcee said...

Yancey Ward,

A basic flaw in the narrative that Saddam was a counter to terrorism is the fact that Saddam was a world-leading terrorist. The Saddam regime worked with the al Qaeda network with "considerable overlap" (IPP). In its own right, the Saddam regime was a leader of "regional and global terrorism" (IPP), including jihadists, that at least rivaled al Qaeda. Saddam ruled Iraq with "widespread terror" (UNCHR). Saddam's people adapted their terroristic rule, together with their terrorist network, to their terroristic insurgency against the peace operations.

Reference:
https://kyleorton1991.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/the-islamic-state-was-coming-without-the-invasion-of-iraq/

Another flaw in your thesis is your conflation of Bush and Obama's foreign affairs into a mash that blurs the course of events and the significance of Obama's deviation and errors.

Your notion that the American public would have forced McCain to withdraw from Iraq, despite Iraq's apparent progress upon the OIF Surge+Awakening and obvious importance of "Iraq emerge as a strategic partner in a tumultuous region ... that can act as a force for moderation ... in the national security interests of the United States" (State Dept), is a retro-fitted imputation to the public and policy-making of your personal view.

Or perhaps your imputation reflects your high regard for enemy propagandists influencing the public and policy-making no matter the progress occurring and the importance of maintaining Iraq's progressive course as a keystone strategic partner.

Otherwise, your imputation belies the record of 20th-21st century American leadership of the free world with various analogous strategic partnerships and peace operations that currently continue - including the OEF peace ops which started before, continues after, and whose progress has been significantly less apparent than the OIF peace ops - albeit American leadership has been degraded by Obama's course deviation from Bush.

Unknown said...

"Does Trump lack skill or are we being played?"

Both, however he is unskilled in playing people. We know what he is up to. Intelligent people refuse to play his game, he says something nuts, which he actually means. When all hell breaks loose, he back peddles and denies it or says he was being sarcastic. The man is too stupid to be good at this game. He is unstable, stupid, and wants to be the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, that makes him dangerous. Don't be played.

Unknown said...

If Americans are having difficulty "understanding" (lol) him, just think of the misunderstanding that could happen between the leaders of other powerful countries and this clown. The man is a menace.

buwaya said...

"simply pouring lighted kerosene into anthills and bashing hornet's nests with sticks.'

This is simply saying that these aren't really people, but ants and hornets.
And that is very likely true. They are pests that really shouldn't be left on their own but ruled for their own good and that of everyone else. They aren't fit to make their own decisions, else they will make trouble under any circumstances.

Leave them alone and they will obtain nuclear weapons or whatever substitute their grasp of technology and funding permits, and they will use them as their limited minds dictate, or bring violence of other kinds on everyone.

And that is a proper and defensible position. This was the real logic of empire, the real white mans burden. Most empires expanded because the people at the borders were annoying.

It is a burden but a necessary one, that is a global interest - as we see. The world, however, has been unwilling to take it, and the US is no longer willing to.

buwaya said...

And, another implication of "ants and hornets" - you really don't want to bring any home with you.

Robert Cook said...

"The Saddam regime worked with the al Qaeda network with 'considerable overlap.'"

No, Saddam Husein did not work with Al Qaeda.

Robert Cook said...

"And, another implication of "ants and hornets" - you really don't want to bring any home with you."

If you don't pointlessly bash their nests with sticks or pour lighted kerosene down their anthills, you won't have to.

elcee said...

Achilles:
"Bush's strategy was doomed from the start and everything we did was a waste because of that."

COIN succeeded under Bush. What "doomed" it was Obama's course deviation. If Eisenhower had disengaged from the peace operations in Europe and Asia like Obama disengaged the peace operations with Iraq at approximately the same stage of development, Roosevelt and Truman's strategy would have been "doomed from the start", too.

The terrorists in Iraq were in fact decimated by the Americans and Iraqis in the OIF (COIN) Surge+Awakening, albeit your point has merit insofar surviving terrorists did have refuge in Syria and Iran, from which they re-surged in the subsequent conditions related to Obama's course deviation with Iraq and the Arab Spring.

Robert Cook:
"We left Iraq according to our obligations as negotiated by the Bush administration."

Actually, "our obligations" were defined by the overarching long-term conditions-based Strategic Framework Agreement, not the SOFA. The 08-11 SOFA was within the context of the SFA.

As such, when the SFA and SOFA were signed, given local and regional conditions, there was an expected path for the US and Iraq to establish a long-term US-ROK-like relationship, even before the risk factors added by the Arab Spring. As expected, the negotiation for the next SOFA took place per the SFA, but Obama passive-aggressively deviated from the expected path.

See the sources and commentary about Obama's irresponsible exit from Iraq.

buwaya said...

The White Mans burden is a warning, and technology is making it a necessity.
The Middle East fits the description precisely -

On fluttered folk and wild—

Your new-caught, sullen peoples,

Half devil and half child

The new world of technology makes all these peoples your neighbors, they are "caught" by circumstance, there really is no need to send gunboats and Gurkhas, or A-10's and the Marines, up the Tigris . They will come to you, in fact, on their own, if you let them, and maybe even if you don't.

Most of these arguments are one species of denial fighting viciously against another species of denial.

Ref. "Camp of the Saints", Raspail.

buwaya said...

"If you don't pointlessly bash their nests with sticks or pour lighted kerosene down their anthills, you won't have to."

But they will, and are. Not a lot of actual Syrians broke into Europe in 2015, most were "others". And there are huge numbers of "others" coming in across the Med daily. No need to poke.

buwaya said...

Your choice, long term, is simple, but unappealing -

- Rule them where they live, for their own good and yours, so they are prevented from invading you or otherwise upsetting your arrangements.

- Let them in and try live with them.

elcee said...

Robert Cook:
"Saddam Husein did not work with Al Qaeda."

Actually, the fact record is clear that Saddam worked with al Qaeda.

Reference:
https://kyleorton1991.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/a-myth-revisited-saddam-hussein-had-no-connection-to-al-qaeda/

Keep in mind Saddam didn't need to formally partner with bin Laden to work with al Qaeda because Saddam reached directly to al Qaeda groups in his own right as a terrorist leader. Saddam's terrorism was at least on par with bin Laden's terrorism. Saddam's terrorism was older with greater reach and means. For the OIF decision, Saddam's terrorism breached UNSCR 687 of the Gulf War ceasefire and was a principal element of the Congressional authorization to use force in the 2002 AUMF.

Sample from the November 2007 Iraqi Perspectives Project report, "Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents":
http://fas.org/irp/eprint/iraqi/

___Because Saddam's security organizations and Osama bin Laden's terrorist network operated with similar aims (at least in the short term), considerable overlap was inevitable when monitoring, contacting, financing, and training the same outside groups. This created both the appearance of and, in some ways, a "de facto" link between the organizations. At times, these organizations would work together in pursuit of shared goals but still maintain their autonomy and independence ... evidence shows that Saddam's use of terrorist tactics and his support for terrorist groups remained strong up until the collapse of the regime.
...

Despite their incompatible long-term goals, many terrorist movements and Saddam found a common enemy in the United States. At times these organizations worked together, trading access for capability. In the period after the 1991 Gulf War, the regime of Saddam Hussein supported a complex and increasingly disparate mix of pan-Arab revolutionary causes and emerging pan-Islamic radical movements.
...

When attacking Western interests, the competitive terror cartel came into play, particularly in the late 1990s. Captured documents reveal that the regime was willing to co-opt or support organizations it knew to be part of al Qaeda-as long as that organization's near-term goals supported Saddam's long-term vision.___

Hagar said...

I think Obama intended to set up Iran as the hegemon in the Middle East from the beginning, since his actions all seem to point that way. I think he deliberately let the forces negotiations with the Iraqi governmnt fail so that he could pull out the American garrison which would then cause al Maliki to take refuge with his fellow Shia in Iran and Iraq would become Iran's Austria, so to speak. This worked as planned but then a number of the Iraqi Sunni joined up with al Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq to to form ISIS, and here we are.
The Democrats as usual cry "but we did not mean for this to happen," but you are responsible for the results of your actions; your intentions are irrelevant.

Hagar said...

And likewise with their fomenting the "Arab Spring" in Egypt and elsewhere, which has now set almost all of North Africa aflame, meddling now on one side, then on the other in Syria's civil war, and on and on.

sunsong said...


"...What are we to make of all this? At this stage, some will argue that it isn’t worth the effort to interpret Trump’s misstatements, or to point out the truth of the matter—in this case, that a Jordanian named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi founded isis, in 2004. At the very least, it should be obvious to everyone by now that Trump doesn’t deal in reality; he deals in mythmaking, demagoguery, and carnival barking...

"...If establishing such a following, and bringing about a historic realignment on the right, was Trump’s real intention—rather than moving into the Oval Office next January—some of what he has been saying lately would be more comprehensible. Not more accurate or less odious, but more explicable on its own terms...

"...Trump has been arguing for months that the Obama Administration, in withdrawing almost all U.S. troops from Iraq, helped bring about the conditions that enabled isis to seize territory and create a self-styled caliphate. (He fails to point out that the Bush Administration initiated the troop withdrawal.) He first suggested that Obama and Clinton created isis seven months ago, long before this week’s comments. At a rally in January, he said, “They’ve created isis. Hillary Clinton created isis with Obama.”..."


New Yorker/John Cassidy

Titus said...

I think he is kind of hot in a weird way.

Achilles said...

elcee said...

"COIN succeeded under Bush. What "doomed" it was Obama's course deviation. If Eisenhower had disengaged from the peace operations in Europe and Asia like Obama disengaged the peace operations with Iraq at approximately the same stage of development, Roosevelt and Truman's strategy would have been "doomed from the start", too."

Absolute garbage. I was in Iraq and Afghanistan. All COIN succeeded in doing was pad some OER's. While we were there the social structures in those countries were disgusting and needed to be purged. It was the theocracy of Islam that needed to be defeated.

But you neocons didn't have the guts to tell the truth. The middle east is going to be a shithole until Islam modernizes or is eliminated. If you want to argue this i will start posting stories about the abject moral depravity of the general population in those countries.

tim in vermont said...

Hey look! Sunsong is all in for the warmonger!

What discipline the party shows when power is at stake!

tim in vermont said...

Maybe sunsong could explain to us how leaving a huge military vacuum in Iraq and backing rebels in a civil war that was none of our business had nothing to do with the creation of ISIS. That would be interesting, not forthcoming, but if some Hat-Trick Hillary (Iraq, Syria, Libya) supporter could do it, I would love to hear it.

That's a free one for you Donald "Hat Trick Hillary"

HoodlumDoodlum said...

sunsong quoted "he first suggested that Obama and Clinton created isis seven months ago, long before this week’s comments. At a rally in January, he said, “They’ve created isis. Hillary Clinton created isis with Obama"

Hey, that's right, sunsong, this is something Trump has been saying for a while now. Isn't it weird that it blew up into a story now?

Unknown said...

Achilles, please go ahead with stories, but don't take that as disagreement with your point. My only question is, short of Joseph Conrad's "exterminate all the brutes," how do you purge their social structures? Let's say I'm fine with you exterminating all the brutes, but what short of that would work? The only solution that I've heard that sounds like it would work is going after families clans and tribes of The Killers, which Trump correctly suggested, and has been beaten back on by howling brigades of moralizers.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...Well, the United States is generally responsible for

Let's be fair, Robert Cook--you could just put "all the bad things that have happened and will happen in the world" after that part of your comment, right?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Everyone knows our precious president is never responsible for bad outcomes. Even if the outcomes are related to his decisions made under his watch. It's just unfair to expect him to be responsible for anything but his summer playlist choices.

buwaya said...

"which Trump correctly suggested, and has been beaten back on by howling brigades of moralizers."

Long term this will escalate into the next generations set of troubles, and the moral atmosphere will be very different in many directions. You can't solve a problem until enough people are convinced that it is a problem, and serious enough. Who knows what the howling brigades will be howling about.

Unknown said...

ISIS wouldn't have happened if that first domino wasn't knocked over. That domino was Iraq. Place the blame where the blame lies. Your man Trump has blamed Bush for the mess in the Mideast previously.

damikesc said...

ISIS wouldn't have happened if that first domino wasn't knocked over.

So Carter supporting the overthrow of the Shah caused the issues. Got it.

That domino was Iraq.

Intriguing theory. Can you back that up with...anything?

Place the blame where the blame lies. Your man Trump has blamed Bush for the mess in the Mideast previously.

Nobody said Bush is without fault.

But you're pretending Obama and Hillary are.

It's pretty telling.

Chuck said...

ALL of this -- the damage to the Trump campaign, the distraction from serious problems with the Clinton campaign, the intraparty Republican bloodbath -- would certainly have been avoided, if Trump had answered Hugh Hewitt's questions by saying, "Yeah, that is exactly what I meant, Hugh. Obama/Clinton policies led to a power vacuum in which ISIS grew and thrived. My saying that they were 'founders' of ISIS was shorthand for that. Some people like my shorthand. Some people don't. I can speak intelligently to both groups. So let's talk about that. Because I need every single Republican on my side in November, and I want to earn their votes."

buwaya said...

"That domino was Iraq."

That domino was about the one-hundred-fortieth. Fundamental problems were in place very long before and many events. ISIS is just one of the later consequences of long standing defects that increasingly affected the whole world.

Consider that the Iranian revolution and the Soviet coup/invasion of Afghanistan (1979) were earlier ones. 9/11 was another domino.

Unknown said...

Ask your man Trump to explain it to you.

n.n said...

Islamic State happened because Obama removed the honest brokers from Iraq after Hussein's trial for invading Kuwait and violating the ceasefire. Then he ran amuck throughout the Middle East in a social justice-inspired daze. Followed by the Libya-ISIS Affair, including a sodomized ambassador, and dead Americans. It reached its apogee with the refugee crises that is a coverup for their social justice-inspired humanitarian disasters. Bringing Gaddafi to "justice" through a sodomy and abortion session probably didn't help. Undeterred, they progressed to the Ukraine where Obama/Clinton reset the cold war with Russia.

Choose life, not abortion.

Comanche Voter said...

Ah Geez Unknown, you are a one trick pony. Maybe two tricks; Bush Bad, Trump Worse.

But that said, Obama (well maybe just Slow Joe Biden) declared Iraq to be one of the great successes of the Obama Administration--and kept that up, until it wasn't (one of the great successes of the Obama Administration.

Which in turn leads one to ask "Is You is, or is You ain't"? [insert Obama achievement here].

Achilles said...

Unknown said...
"Achilles, please go ahead with stories, but don't take that as disagreement with your point. My only question is, short of Joseph Conrad's "exterminate all the brutes," how do you purge their social structures? Let's say I'm fine with you exterminating all the brutes, but what short of that would work? The only solution that I've heard that sounds like it would work is going after families clans and tribes of The Killers, which Trump correctly suggested, and has been beaten back on by howling brigades of moralizers."

Lets just start with it is the norm for husbands to beat their wives. It is the duty of the husband to keep the wife in line. Other men cannot touch the woman, but if a woman gets out of line in the community the husband does the beating.

Full face burkas were not the norm until the men figured out when we saw a woman with black eyes we started kicking the shit out of people.

My solution is the proven solution. 30% of military age males. To be honest that would still leave a large number of wife beaters alive and may be insufficient.

Unknown said...

Here it is, from your brilliant leader's mouth. Maybe he was just being sarcastic. Run the USA on sarcasm.

During a CNN town-hall event Thursday, Trump appeared to walk back his earlier assertion that the Bush administration lied about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He sidestepped the question when a voter asked him to clarify how Bush lied.

"I don't know. Whether he lied or not, it was a terrible decision," Trump said.

When pressed by CNN host Anderson Cooper several minutes later, Trump hypothesized that there may be other reasons Bush decided to invade Iraq. Trump suggested those included Bush's loyalty to his father, former President George H.W. Bush, who deployed US troops to fight former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War.

"I'd have to see the exact wording. Look, I don't know. I'd say that something is going on," Trump said. "I will say I don't know why he went in. Honestly, there was no reason to go in."


http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-george-w-bush-iraq-2016-2

donald said...

Well, Yancey, on the Thursday after 911, George Bush went in tv and said that big things were about to happen and just like Europe and Japan after WW2, this would be a multiple decades thing.

He was clear and everybody knew it. If you and others are too fucking stupid to remember or worse lie about it for political purposes, well you know, fuck you.

Achilles said...

God bless stupid people. Half the posts on this thread are idiots saying it is either bush's fault or Obama's fault. You have to be a special kind of stupid to make this partisan.

The only person that is consistently wrong on every single possible decision is Hillary. She voted for invading Iraq, for pulling out, for arming Syrian rebels, for pulling down mubarek, against pulling down the Muslim brotherhood, for removing khaddafi, for selling arms out of our Libyan embassy, against adding security at the Libyan embassy. This all while selling influence on an unprecedented and brazen scale.

donald said...

Well, in all fairness, if your just too fucking stupid to remember and then parroted despicable talking points, then bless your heart.

Unknown said...

Achilles you have to be a special kind of stupid to be as much of a Trump sychophant as you are. I don't want a clown or carnival barker for a president and neither does most of America, hence Trump's plummeting poll numbers.

Unknown said...

Maybe Trump needs to be more sarcastic. He hasn't been funny enough.

Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton has opened up commanding leads over Donald Trump in several critical battleground states, including North Carolina and Colorado, according to a new poll Friday.

Clinton leads Trump 46%-32% in Colorado, 44%-39% in Florida, 48%-39% in North Carolina and 46%-33% in Virginia, according to new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls.


http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/12/politics/clinton-trump-swing-state-polls/

BDNYC said...

Did George Bush Create ISIS?

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/did-george-w-bush-create-isis

Spiros Pappas said...

More of this and Trump will (unintentionally) stop his slide in the polls. Trump won the day for the first time in weeks.

Unknown said...

Oh, is it polls again?

General Election: Trump vs. Clinton LA Times/USC Clinton 44, Trump 43 Clinton +1

Trendlines moving in the "right" direction

Media fluffers can't outsuck reality?

J. Farmer said...

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/did-george-w-bush-create-isis

I think this article makes a central mistake by putting America at the center of gravity. Suddenly, whatever happens in Baghdad is explained in terms of what the US has done or has not done. Iraqi agency is largely ignored except in terms of its reactivity to American actions.

"Americans like Barbero—and a number of Iraqis, as well—argue that the mere presence of a small number of American troops, not in combat roles, could have made a crucial difference. The idea here is that after the American invasion, which destroyed the Iraqi state, the Iraqi political system was not stable enough to act without an honest broker to negotiate with its many factions, which is the role that the Americans had played."

Plausible theory without a scintilla of evidence beyond baseless assertions, and apparently the view of a "a number of [unnamed] Iraqis." And what is the evidence that the US was widely viewed by the parties as an "honest broker." Look at how quickly violence spread and escalated even while the US had tens of thousands of troops in the country. And again, all of the problems plaguing Iraq today were protected at least a decade before the war.

One of the most significant contributors to ISIS rise was the collapse of the Syrian regime. A residual American force in Iraq would not have been able to stop this. And in fact, our stupid policy has encouraged it. The biggest thing Obama has done to help ISIS grow was not the troop withdrawal from Iraq but the idiotic decision to support radical Sunni rebel forces against the Syrian state.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The Left has been saying "Bush lied!" for so long now it's beyond a cliche. Trump says the same thing, and reacts the same way the Left does when pressed for specifics, and Unknown thinks that's some sort of giant deal. Like...you've been saying the same thing about Bush that Trump is now saying, Unknown--he agrees with you!

buwaya said...

"A residual American force in Iraq would not have been able to stop this."

At least, a residual American force could have prevented the fall of Mosul.
The Iraqi military morale collapsed and a larger force fled or surrendered before a smaller one. Most Iraqi casualties seem to have been those surrenderees being executed.

A small-ish number of Americans, a battalion or fewer in a reaction force (heck, there were less than a thousand ISIS troops involved) could certainly have prevented this.
Also the US had the credibility to call Kurdish reinforcements that the Iraqi government was unwilling or unable to do, since the Kurds had poor relations with Maliki.
Besides this the Americans would have much improved Iraqi morale. Most troops flee if they can't trust each other, and these Iraqis, though mostly Shiites, had lost all faith in their own officers. They would have had faith in the Americans. This sort of thing had happened repeatedly 2003-2008.

More, the honest broker argument is true based on all I have heard. The Iraqi Sunni depended on the US to protect their interests from the Shia. This is an ancient role of the colonizing power, and in many cases it is the basis of their rule. My own family has done this (served as honest broker as a representative of the colonizer).

Robert Cook said...

"This is simply saying that these aren't really people, but ants and hornets.
And that is very likely true. They are pests that really shouldn't be left on their own but ruled for their own good and that of everyone else."


No, it says nothing of the kind. Perhaps you're not familiar with the idea of comparing things with other things to make a point.

It is to say that if one does not disturb a hornet's nest or anthill, one will most likely not be bothered by them. If one does disturb the nest or anthill, one will not be likely to destroy the population of ant or hornets, but will simply disperse them into an angry horde that may very well swarm and cause one harm that would not otherwise have occurred and that is not easily or quickly defended against.

It is to say, bluntly, that our military invasions of the middle east have caused people to hate the USA who previously may have been indifferent to us, or even have admired us, but who now want to do harm to us.

How would you react if Britain were to invade your town or state and do to it what we have done in Iraq and elsewhere? Of course, you would never become angry enough to want to fight back against the invaders who were killing you and your and destroying your society, would you?

Unknown said...

Friday, August 12
Race/Topic (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton LA Times/USC Clinton 44, Trump 43 Clinton +1
Florida: Trump vs. Clinton NBC/WSJ/Marist Clinton 44, Trump 39 Clinton +5
Florida: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein NBC/WSJ/Marist Clinton 41, Trump 36, Johnson 9, Stein 4 Clinton +5
North Carolina: Trump vs. Clinton NBC/WSJ/Marist Clinton 48, Trump 39 Clinton +9
North Carolina: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein NBC/WSJ/Marist Clinton 45, Trump 36, Johnson 9, Stein 2 Clinton +9
Virginia: Trump vs. Clinton NBC/WSJ/Marist Clinton 46, Trump 33 Clinton +13
Virginia: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein NBC/WSJ/Marist Clinton 43, Trump 31, Johnson 12, Stein 5 Clinton +12
Colorado: Trump vs. Clinton NBC/WSJ/Marist Clinton 46, Trump 32 Clinton +14
Colorado: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein NBC/WSJ/Marist Clinton 41, Trump 29, Johnson 15, Stein 6 Clinton +12

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...It is to say that if one does not disturb a hornet's nest or anthill, one will most likely not be bothered by them.

I sometimes wonder why it is that everything--everyone else's feelings and actions, etc--are always our fault. I mean don't get me wrong, it's great that we're so important! Those causal lines are sure interesting, though:

ISIS was caused by our 2nd Iraq invasion, which was caused by our overreaction to 9/11 and fighting people in Afghanistan, which was caused by our stationing troops in Saudi Arabia, which was a consequence of our first Iraq war (well, really of having to keep troops there to enforce the UN sanctions regime post-Iraq war), which was caused by our over reaction to/failure to prevent/going back on our agreement that Saddam could invade Kuwait, which...well, anyway, it goes back and back and back. It's all our fault, and we deserve it; thanks for the reminder there Robert Cook.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...How would you react if Britain were to invade your town or state and do to it what we have done in Iraq and elsewhere?

That's definitely why the Belgians & Germans & French have been subject to terrorist attacks by the way--the Belgians & Germans & French invaded the towns and states where those terrorists' families lived and that pissed the terrorists off, and so of course the terrorism was the natural product of the Belgians & Germans & French people's actions. It's their fault. Clearly. [That's sarcasm; we all know it's the fault of America.]

Bobby said...

Achilles,

"Full face burkas were not the norm until the men figured out when we saw a woman with black eyes we started kicking the shit out of people."

I thought you said you were a Batboy, circa 2005-2009 or so? Which province were you in where the women only started burqas during that deployment?

buwaya said...

"If one does disturb the nest or anthill, one will not be likely to destroy the population of ant or hornets"

The problem here is that these ants and hornets had indeed been troubling the US and its allies and interests.

You certainly can destroy these populations. The US (and Britain, etc.) chose not to. The Russians and the Soviets did so repeatedly.

And these populations have all this stinging, ant-ing and hornet-ing nature built in. Thats why they are treated as ants and hornets, by everyone else and each other. There is no end to their trouble because there is no trust that can be expected from them.

Bobby said...

buwaya,

"You certainly can destroy these populations. The US (and Britain, etc.) chose not to. The Russians and the Soviets did so repeatedly."

Whether the Russians and Soviets did or did not "destroy" these populations, I believe the Russians and Soviets nonetheless lost, did they not?

buwaya said...

"I believe the Russians and Soviets nonetheless lost, did they not?"

No, they won. At least in those bits of their wars.
Russia massacred or expelled their biggest 19th century Caucasian enemies, the Circassians.
No more Circassian troubles.
Stalin massacred or expelled the Crimean Tatars. No more Tatar problems.
Ditto Kazakhs, Chechens (in various places), etc.

All these places modern Russia still holds or dominates.

Bobby said...

Buwaya,

Ah, yes, now that is quite true. Might I submit that- as you guys were writing purely in the abstract and avoiding any specifics- I believe you and Cookie are actually discussing very different problem sets in terms of time, geography, culture, political objectives, capabilities, feasibility, etc. etc. Until now I didn't realize you were suggesting ethnic cleansing of the Middle East as a viable American foreign policy- I wouldn't have bothered replying if I had. Sorry for the intrusion!

Unknown said...

Bobby, as I've said, I'm OK with that as a last resort, and frankly, if that is the only way, it's foolish to drag it out. Achilles, who like you and unlike me has seen it close at hand, thinks at least 30% of fighting age males. Trump says we can simply target the killers' associates (family/clan/tribe). You I guess are happy with the ROE as it is.

I say that people like you and Achilles are too valuable to be expended in draining the ocean with spoons. I'd rather we solve the problem more efficiently. What would you recommend? Where is the Islamic schwerpunkt?

buwaya puti said...

It would have been quite feasible to partition Iraq, and more important and brutal, manage a population exchange. That would have left the US with three more or less homogenous client states, mutually dependent (a matter of geography) all dependent on the US, mutually distrustful, and most important, each perfectly capable of managing its internal security.
Divide et impera.

Unknown said...

Buwaya, what do you think of a greater Kurdistan? It would annoy everybody in the region worth annoying.

Unknown said...

The downside of a homogeneous Shia segment of Iraq is that it pretty much goes to empower Iran.

Why did we connive at or let happen the destabilization of Libya and Egypt, instead of Syria and Iran? Why didn't we start with them? Gaddafi and Mubarak were useful.

Unknown said...

Apparently liberals hate population transfers. I've never understood why. What is absolutely needed is to get all those Russians in Europe out of those frozen zones, for instance.

Achilles said...

@Bobby

Later. 2008 Iraq
2009, 2010 and 2011 Afghanistan.

I don't want to be too specific. We were mostly in Iraq earlier and after Iraq calmed down they sent us to A-stan. The biggest change in activity started in 2009. By my last deployment we were playing catch and release.

It was weird being in a country that had modern buildings and however you want to describe Afghans. They didn't belong in modern buildings. The whole situation was truly ducked up.

Achilles said...

Unknown said...
"Bobby, as I've said, I'm OK with that as a last resort, and frankly, if that is the only way, it's foolish to drag it out. Achilles, who like you and unlike me has seen it close at hand, thinks at least 30% of fighting age males. Trump says we can simply target the killers' associates (family/clan/tribe). You I guess are happy with the ROE as it is.

I say that people like you and Achilles are too valuable to be expended in draining the ocean with spoons. I'd rather we solve the problem more efficiently. What would you recommend? Where is the Islamic schwerpunkt?"

The point of our existence is the elimination of the enemies of our country. To be completely honest if we were freed up to kill the taliban not many of us would die. It would however require that we wanted to win and accept the realities of war.

It was only the requirements of people who hated us, I.e. Obama, that put us in poor situations. Even Bush held us back. They applied the western concept of civilians to Muslims. It should be pretty fucking clear that Muslims have no concept of civilians. Trump is the only politician that doesn't have his head shoved up his ass when it comes to this.

But the bush's and Obama's were sitting in air conditioned palaces in DC. Reducing civilian casualties sounds really great when you are thousands of miles from the fight and you don't really care about winning. The people who were there know exactly how many innocent civilians there actually are.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

What, precisely, would it mean to "win" in Afghanistan?

The whole notion that we had to defeat the Taliban because Afghanistan was a "base for terrorism" was always idiotic. You don't need a "base" to pull off a 9/11-style attack. Hell, most of the preparation for that attack occurred within the United States.