August 16, 2016

Why didn't we take Iraq's oil?

Trump said it in his terrorism speech yesterday:
I have long said that we should have kept the oil in Iraq – another area where my judgement has been proven correct. According to CNN, ISIS made as much $500 million in oil sales in 2014 alone, fueling and funding its reign of terror. If we had controlled the oil, we could have prevented the rise of ISIS in Iraq – both by cutting off a major source of funding, and through the presence of U.S. forces necessary to safeguard the oil and other vital infrastructure. I was saying this constantly and to whoever would listen: keep the oil, keep the oil, keep the oil, I said – don’t let someone else get it.

If they had listened to me then, we would have had the economic benefits of the oil, which I wanted to use to help take care of the wounded soldiers and families of those who died – and thousands of lives would have been saved. This proposal, by its very nature, would have left soldiers in place to guard our assets. In the old days, when we won a war, to the victor belonged the spoils. Instead, all we got from Iraq – and our adventures in the Middle East – was death, destruction and tremendous financial loss.
It sounds extreme — especially "to the victor belonged the spoils." The idea should be that the oil should cover the expenses of liberating and protecting the people of Iraq. Nearly everyone seems to have forgotten that the Bush administration talked about the Iraq invasion in these terms:
Ahead of and shortly after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, a number of officials, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz suggested the war could be done on the cheap and that it would largely pay for itself. In October 2003, Rumsfeld told a press conference about President Bush's request for $21 billion for Iraq and Afghan reconstruction that "the $20 billion the president requested is not intended to cover all of Iraq's needs. The bulk of the funds for Iraq's reconstruction will come from Iraqis -- from oil revenues, recovered assets, international trade, direct foreign investment, as well as some contributions we've already received and hope to receive from the international community." In March 2003, Mr. Wolfowitz told Congress that "we're really dealing with a country that could finance its own reconstruction." In April 2003, the Pentagon said the war would cost about $2 billion a month, and in July of that year Rumsfeld increased that estimate to $4 billion.

189 comments:

readering said...

Financing its own reconstruction different from paying reparations.

Unknown said...

Trump re-fighting battles from the early 2000's.

Even dim wits can claim perfect hindsight.

Lyle Smith said...

Gary Johnson is right... Obama's and Hillary's good intentions helped found ISIS.

coupe said...
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David Begley said...

"According to CNN, ISIS made as much $500 million in oil sales in 2014 alone...."

For the life of me I can't figure out why we didn't blow up all of the pumps, pipelines and trucks used by ISIS. Supposedly it was because we were concerned the Iraq environment. Screw that. ISIS chops off heads with the money they make from oil. Horrible trade.

Hagar said...

They did, and financing its own reconstruction is indeed different from paying reparations.
But the Bushies lost control of the bureaucracies, and the empire builders moved in followed by the grifters.

Sebastian said...

"Why didn't we take Iraq's oil?" 1. We didn't want it. 2. We didn't need it. 3. It would have undermined our stated goals 4. Iraq's oil was supposed to help Iraq and 5. Even if 1.-4. hadn't applied, we could have decided not to take it just to score an expensive ideological point, to refute the lefty war-for-oil crap and make the libtards take their ball and go home.

"Nearly everyone seems to have forgotten that the Bush administration talked about the Iraq invasion in these terms." In the sense that nearly everyone seems to have forgotten most things about most past events, yes. But the Bushies really were quite explicit about what they wanted to do. Mistakes were made etc. etc., but "taking Iraq's oil" wasn't on the table. Perhaps it should have been. Not defeating the real enemy, not taking some spoils, not asserting American power and strategic interests fully and vigorously risked wasting the sacrifice. I'm not assuming, of course, that what the Bushies wanted was in fact possible.

Unknown said...

The USA made oil-deals with the Kurds in Northern Iraq from which we benefit to this day.

The USA has oil-deals with the Iraq government to this day.

ISIS did take-over some oil-producing towns in Iraq but most were in Syria. ISIS was and continues to be funded through the smuggling of oil primarily in Syria and shipped through Turkey.

Unknown said...

So why didn't they pay for the war and their own reconstruction? What happened to the Bush's grand plan? Same thing that would happen to a Trump grand plan. Also using our troops to stay there and protect the oil? Really?

Robert Cook said...

As usual, Trump brays his ignorance.

We--or, Big Oil, for whom we invaded Iraq--have staked a claim on Iraq's oil.

Robert Cook said...

"'Why didn't we take Iraq's oil?' 1. We didn't want it. 2. We didn't need it. 3. It would have undermined our stated goals 4. Iraq's oil was supposed to help Iraq and 5. Even if 1.-4. hadn't applied, we could have decided not to take it just to score an expensive ideological point, to refute the lefty war-for-oil crap and make the libtards take their ball and go home."

OMG.

"But the Bushies really were quite explicit about what they wanted to do. Mistakes were made etc. etc., but 'taking Iraq's oil' wasn't on the table. Perhaps it should have been."

OMFG!!

eric said...

Remember the signs, "No war for oil!" And all the protests?

This is one of the things some of us Republicans are sick of when it comes to the Republican party. They make decisions based off of the spin of the media. Bush insisted we weren't going to war for oil. Or for profit. Instead we were going in defense and to spread democracy.

So taking the oil would have undermined his message and made it seem like No War For Oil was confirmed. The protesters would have felt justified and Michael Moore would have made a documentary about it.

But here is the thing. You never get any honesty or love from the media or the left or Democrats. So why cater to them?

This is why I appreciate Trump. #Nevertrump is filled with the losers who always think it's a good idea to listen to the protesters and try and appease the Democrats and the media.

SteveR said...

We are all great with hindsight. I can't imagine how we don't know how the oil gets to market, and the money goes back to ISIS, but clearly the Obama Administration is not up to dealing with it. Every president gets elected -- in part -- by pointing out what was done wrong before and how they would do better. Obama has picked the low hanging fruit of the mistakes made by Bush but 7+ years in, he's not risen above the 2008 campaign. I never had much hope for him but he could have done so much better in Iraq and Afghanistan.

machine said...

yeah why not? just another war crime for the list...

I Callahan said...

Wait a minute. I thought the whole idea of going into Iraq was to take the oil. At least that's what the left has been telling me for the past 15 years.

Does this mean they've been lying? Or are we really already taking the oil, and not telling anyone?

I'm confused...

Jason said...

The U.S. perpetrated a "Pearl Harbor" on Iraq?

It's official. Coupe is a fecking idiot.

AprilApple said...

The left insisted it was a WAR FOR OIL.

coupe said...
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Fabi said...

Big Oil -- drink!

Big Mike said...

But here is the thing. You never get any honesty or love from the media or the left or Democrats. So why cater to them?

Abe Lincoln said the same thing, believe it or not (leaving out "the left" -- in those days the Republicans were the left). Some things never change.

Static Ping said...

I've heard this logic before from people around Trump's age. If we are going to spend blood and treasure to invade and occupy a country, we should annex it and/or take what we want. I think there is an unstated implication that we will be sufficiently benevolent that the locals will not object to this new situation.

It is arguable that this reasoning could work in certain scenarios. Iraq would be a curious place to start. The concept that Iraq could be modernized and secularized was not and is not ridiculous, but it is a long-term, probably mutli-generational project. Seizing the oil fields for our own purposes would, if anything, unite the country's factions against us which would probably cancel out any gains. It is almost certainly more profitable to get Iraq up and running with its own oil industry and enjoy the lower oil prices, assuming the country can remain intact.

traditionalguy said...
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traditionalguy said...

Trump can read a map and he can count the costs of doing things. And he won't shut up about what he sees.

This will ruin the games of Obama/Soros/Clinton who have totally relied on faked "facts" built into Media narratives to get their power and get their wealth.

Oil is a dominant financial resource when coupled with the Government Structure to protedct those who extract it , transport it to market and profit from its sale.

Trump wants to break the linkage that our enemies has been freely allowed to take over by Obama. That is what the Military does.

Obama has turned it all around and used our Military as an umbrella to protect the oil game of our enemies from all other militaries.

n.n said...
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I Callahan said...

OMG.

OMFG!!


Please expound, RC. Because you go from a pretty intelligent guy to a typical clueless lefty when you respond like this.

Robert Cook said...

@AprilApple:

And so it was, in part. There were surely other geopolitical goals sought by invading Iraq. Anyone who believes for a second we did it to "free the Iraqis" or "bring Democracy to Iraq" is beyond having a rational discussion with. One might as well try to discuss how babies are conceived and born with a person convinced they're delivered by storks.

Robert Cook said...

@ I Callahan:

See my links above. We did take the oil...or, the Big Western Oil interests did for whom we act as paid muscle.

n.n said...
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Unknown said...

Coupe, go eat your free government cheese or something. Your opinions are on the Billy Madison level, one is the stupider for reading them.

Robert Cook said...

Also: Sometimes statements are made here that are so astonishing in their absolute lack of connection to reality, their certainly that lies are truth, that "OMG!" and OMFG!!" are the only immediate responses one can have.

Dude1394 said...

And he still got accussed of "blood for oil". Let's just admit it, any and all media is just a DNC assett.

BDNYC said...

We should have never let Iraq's oil wealth become so vulnerable to corruption, theft and so on. I'm not saying we should have "taken" the oil for ourselves; we should have secured the oil and administered its international sale and distribution on behalf of Iraq. We should have also insisted on a transparent Iraqi government program for the receipt and disbursement of oil proceeds, i.e., the funds don't just get skimmed and then dumped into general revenue. Did we do all that?

When we left Iraq didn't even have a durable oil sharing agreement with the Kurds.

n.n said...

The war ended at Hussein's belligerent pleasure.

I wonder who will pay for the social justice adventurism that ran amuck and committed mass abortion, rape (and rape-rape), and executed other anti-native policies throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Ukraine, and then progressed to invade Europe and America. That oversaw bringing a reformed dictator (and American ambassador) to "justice" with a sodomy and abortion session under the watchful eyes of Obama and Clinton.

That's great. Islamic State was setup to pump oil. Was there a similar reason for the Serbian war? South Africa? Perhaps Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, etc. just don't offer the same resources, leverage in trade. Oh, wait, the international Left did back the terrorist vote in Egypt.

Unknown said...

Cook, do you understand that whatever oil company does the work, the Iraqi government gets paid for every barrel? Taking would mean they don't get paid.

coupe said...
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I Callahan said...

There were surely other geopolitical goals sought by invading Iraq. Anyone who believes for a second we did it to "free the Iraqis" or "bring Democracy to Iraq" is beyond having a rational discussion with.

I admit that those were secondary goals. But it doesn't mean they weren't goals.

The real goal was to have an America-friendly country, located in the middle of the Middle East, from where the U.S. could watch the unfriendly countries, such as Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc. Completely laudable goal, especially if those secondary goals would have come to fruition. The fact that they didn't doesn't mean anyone committed war crimes, or that the idea was evil, or that the Bushes were evil. It just means that it was a mostly idealistic idea that didn't work, due to tribalism.

Now if you have some evidence that says otherwise (and no, Al-Jazeerah?!?! is not evidence), I'm all ears. Perhaps you're so cynical that you can't fathom that someone could come up with an idea you disagree with and do it with good intentions.

Oclarki said...

Thanks to the fracking revolution, at least we no longer need to fight wars in the Middle East to secure our energy supply. Now we can fight wars in the middle east for a lot of other stupid and less important reasons.

I Callahan said...

And he still got accussed of "blood for oil". Let's just admit it, any and all media is just a DNC assett.

Dude1394 - read Robert Cook's comments in the thread. They're STILL accusing us of it.

Talk about "OMG" and "OMFG"...

I Callahan said...

Taking would mean they don't get paid.

The fact that this needs to be explained to an otherwise intelligent human being just means that there is something about leftism that completely blocks the logical nerve centers in the brain. I have no other explanation.

n.n said...

The oil in the Middle East is predominantly used by Europe, Japan, China, etc. America could be self-sufficient within its own hemisphere and a net exporter to the world.

Dude1394:

The controversy was "oil for food" that sustained the bellicose regime and lined the pockets of left-wing institutions, "charities", and people.

Sigivald said...

Remember when the Left was all "we're going to war to take their oil"?

Yeah, good times.

It was never true, but people still say it.

(Even when they claimed it was for "access" to the oil, making a deal with Hussein would have taken 45 minutes and saved a lot of trouble and cost a lot less than a war - and we coulda used him to fight Iran again!

The "oil taking warmongers" sure didn't do a very good job of realpolitik there, did they?

It's almost like they were completely sincere about motives the whole time.)

knighterrant said...

The Trump Doctrine

1. Invade a country.
2. Take everything of value.
3. Leave the scraps to the people who live there.

I Callahan said...

See my links above. We did take the oil...or, the Big Western Oil interests did for whom we act as paid muscle.

Apparently, you have a different idea of what taking means. Nowhere in either of those two links - NOWHERE - does it say that the U.S. "took" the oil. American and international companies may have drilled the oil, and maybe they even sold it on the open market. But any proceeds went to the Iraqi government, and they still are now. Well, until the ISIS types starting taking things over, that is.

You, and the rest of the left, are still so blinded by your anger against Bush that you completely overlooked this major point. If you have any actual articles that say that the companies are either skimming profits from the top, or that the Iraqi government ISN'T getting any proceeds, then you'll have a point. Because those two links are completely and utterly dishonest.

Gahrie said...

I've heard this logic before from people around Trump's age. If we are going to spend blood and treasure to invade and occupy a country, we should annex it and/or take what we want.

Well it has been the historical norm for all of human history, except for the United States.

For some reason, when we win a war, we feel the need to give things to those we defeated.

If you haven't read the book, seen the movie "the Mouse that Roared, I recommend it. It is humorous, but does convey this message.

Gahrie said...

You have to understand that Comrade Cookie's handlers have convinced him that western capitalists only operate out of economic interests and never altruism. It is the foundation of their ideology.

Drago said...

Cook the economic illiterate: "See my links above. We did take the oil...or, the Big Western Oil interests did for whom we act as paid muscle"

Unknown: "Cook, do you understand that whatever oil company does the work, the Iraqi government gets paid for every barrel? Taking would mean they don't get paid."

No, Cook does not understand that. At all. Which is why he makes a perfect little lefty sheep.

The Iraqi gov't simply contracted with oil companies as service providers (for which service fees were paid) to extract the oil. The Iraqi govt sold the oil on the world markets. Simply selling your wares on the open market is enough to garner the hatred of stalinists everywhere.

Gahrie said...

The Trump Doctrine

1. Invade a country.
2. Take everything of value.
3. Leave the scraps to the people who live there.


Otherwise known as "The historical norm".

Bobby said...

Sigivald,

"Remember when the Left was all "we're going to war to take their oil"?

Yeah, good times.

It was never true, but people still say it.
"

Well, to be fair, it's not just the Left who still say stupid stuff like that -- Trump is actually saying we didn't do it, but that we should have done it. And, ironically, you have his usual defenders on this very blog who are saying, "Yeah, we should have done it, because that's what the Left is going to accuse us of doing anyway" -- as if doing what the Left says is always a great idea and works out well for everyone...

Trump was right about his "middle of Fifth Avenue" shooting comment- there are indeed some people who will defend whatever he says regardless of what he says.

Unknown said...

knighterrant said...
The Trump Doctrine

1. Invade a country.
2. Take everything of value.
3. Leave the scraps to the people who live there.

8/16/16, 12:18 PM

You say that like it wouldn't get Trump 75% of the vote.

Unknown said...

Bobby, war reparations has a long and honorable history. You may say that Versailles was unwise, but it had ample precedent.

Roughcoat said...

I suspect Clinton will win in an Eclectoral College landslide. I'm preparing myself for that outcome. I'm prepping for it too.

Bobby said...

Unknown,

"Bobby, war reparations has a long and honorable history. You may say that Versailles was unwise, but it had ample precedent."

Given the course of human history, there's also ample precedent for murdering every adult male and taking the women and children into bondage, as well.

But no, you're right- Versailles made things so much better for everyone than did the Marshall Plan..... Seriously?

Drago said...

When it comes to Big Oil, who are we actually talking about?

Why, none other than state-owned enterprises which should set every little lefty heart atwitter.

Saudi Aramco
Gazprom
National Iranian Oil Company

Oh, that must be why the lefties were so keen on giving the Iranians a financial reward for being the biggest state sponsor of terror!

Only when you get past these top 3 do you get a mix of other nationalized companies and private companies.

I'll bet when the lefties use "Big Oil" as a catchphrase they are not talking about these larger national firms which have alot more power in impacting world oil prices.

Drago said...

Bobby: "Given the course of human history, there's also ample precedent for murdering every adult male and taking the women and children into bondage, as well"


It's a good thing no one is mentioning that!

Oh wait, yes there is. You.

Robert Cook said...

"American and international companies may have drilled the oil, and maybe they even sold it on the open market. But any proceeds went to the Iraqi government...."

OMFG!

Any proceeds going to Iraq are just their share after the oil interests and the others cut in on the deal, such as China, take their shares. Oil companies do not drill oil selflessly or without the intent to earn big profits from their efforts.

Bobby said...

Drago,

My point is that citing "ample precedent" for something does not, in and of itself, sufficiently justify its practice. I'm not accusing Trump of advocating for a Genghis Khan style spoils of war approach -- I am accusing him of promoting the very (and very false) caricature of what the Left accuses the US.

And yet his defenders are apparently okay with that. Because it's Trump.

Unknown said...

Bobby, if you just want to fling poo against the wall, that's fine, free country etc.

The juxtaposition of Versailles vs Marshall is emotionalism if you apply it beyond those particular cases.

FYI Germany finished paying off Versailles in I believe 2010. FYI Germany owed $23 in reparations after WWII. FYI Germany (Prussia?) milked France pretty good in several conflicts in the 19th Century, and of course cleaned out their victims in WWII, and for that matter Brest-Litovsk meant the Russians owed Germany a pretty penny after WWI (the commies welshed).

Literally you can look at the Wiki on "War reparations"

The phenomenon of defeating an enemy then pumping them up with treasure was pretty much unique to the WWII-Cold War interregnum. Until someone got the idea that was The Answer.


And you know what? If an enemy is going to fight you until you kill all the men and enslave the women and children, then there you are.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Robert Cook said...


Any proceeds going to Iraq are just their share after the oil interests and the others cut in on the deal, such as China, take their shares. Oil companies do not drill oil selflessly or without the intent to earn big profits from their efforts.

OMFG!


How should it work in your world, Bobby?

Brando said...

I think that was the idea going in--with a free Iraq happily cutting us a deal on their oil, the profits we could take off the top of it (in taxes, I assume) would more than pay for the invasion. For some reason, this never happened.

My guess is the turmoil in that country made it too risky for anyone to get a viable oil industry going for a while, and when it finally came up our oil companies did not want to agree to the Iraq government's conditions for running the fields. I guess if we were going to literally (yes, used it right!) seize the ground the oil was on, put in our own wells, pump it, transport it and refine it, this would require so much more in military spending to hold Iraq down that it would cost more than we'd get out of the oil. We may have been better off just letting that oil go to market in the first place.

Alternatively, we could have cut a deal with Iraq to buy the oil from them at a fixed discount to help defray our costs.

Unknown said...

OMG you defeated them in war. Now they're really mad. Well, coupe, if you want to avoid the problem of some ex-soldier getting mad, that's why you kill all the men and enslave the women and children.

Which, incidentally, is I suppose progressively humane compared to the even older practice of killing the men, women, children and livestock.


You wet-brain, crawl back into your bottle.

Brando said...

"Otherwise known as "The historical norm"."

Yes, but we've gotten a lot better at making it look less obvious.

Drago said...

Bobby: "My point is that citing "ample precedent" for something does not, in and of itself, sufficiently justify its practice."

Point taken, though it's helpful to at least remain in the "rhetorical ballpark" for your comparisons.

Bobby: " I'm not accusing Trump of advocating for a Genghis Khan style spoils of war approach -- I am accusing him of promoting the very (and very false) caricature of what the Left accuses the US."

How can Trump be promoting the very (and very false) caricature of what the Left accuses the US by using language which explicitly negates that leftist caricature?

And again, for the eleventeenth million time, I was not an original Trump supporter.

Unknown said...

I think that was the idea going in--with a free Iraq happily cutting us a deal on their oil, the profits we could take off the top of it (in taxes, I assume) would more than pay for the invasion. For some reason, this never happened.


Brando, I believe the thought going in was that the war - war would take about a hundred hours to two weeks and const inconsequentially, that after that there would be no fighting of importance, and that the Iraqi Government we stood up would play ball. What was the cost in money and lives up to GWB's declaring the end of major combat operations in Iraq?

Drago said...

Cook the economic illiterate: " Oil companies do not drill oil selflessly or without the intent to earn big profits from their efforts"

They are paid for their services at a rate agreed upon by both parties. Further, there are plenty of competitors for the rights to providing those services.

You really should avoid anything regarding business and as a leftist, stick to what you know best: show trials and mass graves.

Mountain Maven said...

Because the libs who assented to the war wouldn't have gone for it. Sissies and pantywaists. Later when the war became difficult they turned traitor and opposed it. Traitors.

buwaya said...

The capture of Mosul was the critical move in the growth of ISIS as that gave them a population base, fighting manpower (Sunni Iraqis) and funding that they didn't have in such numbers before.

They did this with a small force, apparently nearly all they had at the time that they could spare in an offensive move, of less than a thousand men (albeit experienced and highly motivated), in a coup de main against Iraqi troops that outnumbered them by several times, and was vastly better armed. The Iraqis however were completely demoralized and poorly led. They fled or surrendered almost without a fight.

ISIS was able to grow vastly by this move, to tens of thousands of much better armed troops.

The Iraqi military inutility made this possible. A US backstop - a reaction force if it came to it, wold certainly have prevented this.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Then: Bush is a crook, he's a corrupt oilman, he's going to Iraq to kill innocent people and steal their oil!

Now: Bush is so stupid, he went to Iraq and spent all that money and didn't even take their oil!

Bobby said...

Unknown,

Again, just because something was routinely practiced in the past does not, in and of itself, justify its continuation in the present/future nor does it necessarily mean it is always a good practice even when it is justified.

Drago,

"How can Trump be promoting the very (and very false) caricature of what the Left accuses the US by using language which explicitly negates that leftist caricature?"

The Left says "the US went to war in Iraq to take the oil" (Cookie is saying it right now, in fact). Conservatives say "No, we did not go to war with Iraq for the oil" (and then cite their interpretation of the reason(s) for war). Trump says "You're right, we didn't go to war in Iraq for oil, but we sure should have!" In this instance, Trump is endorsing that the USA act precisely as the caricature that the Left claims the USA is and does.

And let me also say that even if, as Unknown does, one believes we would have been justified in taking the oil as reparations, Brando highlights above why it probably would not have been in the US best interest to do so, given the situation on the ground and the instability it would have created. Like, if you believe Bremer disbanding the old Iraqi Army and banning the Ba'athists from participating in the new government created instability... Wow, Bremer has NOTHING on Trump!

AprilApple said...

OT

It's time for Trump to get out.


Pence picks Rubio as running mate. Trump goes back to his gold plated penthouse and STF-UPS.

buwaya said...

"They are paid for their services at a rate agreed upon by both parties."

This is the normal relationship of multinational oil companies vis-a-vis national oil companies (the "owners", or holders of the national production franchise). There are whole hierarchies of oil majors providing management services, with multitudes of also-multinational subcontractors of all kinds. This is a very complex business.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said... Oil companies do not drill oil selflessly or without the intent to earn big profits from their efforts.

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. - Adam Smith

That's from The Wealth of Nations, Cook - published in 1776. Catch up, pal.
Oil companies exist to make money. All companies do. People exchange their labor for money. Who pays you, and what for? Oil companies aren't some special class of greedy--if you don't like the contracts some nation has with some oil companies why would that be useful as evidence for any kind of broader point? Oh noes, mean ol' oil companies are taking money from a nation!

(Meanwhile, of course, the communist and socialist paradises Cook's fellow travelers brag about are almost universally worse than capitalist societies w/r/t protecting the environment, husbanding natural resources, etc. Turns out the price system, w/individual property rights, is really super-keen at that kind of thing, but murderous collectivism isn't.)

Yancey Ward said...

This was the weakest part of Trump's speech. The Bush Administration had a somewhat similar plan, using the oil revenues to pay for the war and its aftermath, but had anyone tried to follow through on this sort of what can only be described as theft from Iraq, the infrastructure would have become a target for insurrection, and it could not have been protected, even with massive American forces. However, the real reason Trump should not be talking about this is that it is all history. Keep the focus on today, and discuss history only so far as it pertains to Clinton and Obama's record in the region- they should be the target at this point.

buwaya said...

"Trump is endorsing that the USA act precisely as the caricature that the Left claims the USA is and does."

The leftist complaint was always malicious, and meant to both drive the western powers away from control of critical resources but also to drum up enmity on the part of local governments, partly by justifying the greed of their elites. This was a line promoted relentlessly by the Soviets.

There no longer are any Soviets, and frankly the whole complaint is worse than artificial.

If the US had held the Iraqi oil, it would have been in charge of distribution of oil monies and controlled the Iraqi elites. Instead it handed it to the Iraqis - Iraqis that trusted each other about as much as a coalition of Los Angeles street gangs would. Much of the insurgency was about Iraqis keeping each other away from resources.

It was an immense lever of power that the US dropped out of a fear of propaganda phantoms.

Original Mike said...

Oh, for Christ's sake, Cook. Oil companies producing oil in Iraq is not "stealing" their oil. Get back to us when Iraq stops receiving revenue from their oil.

The feigned ignorance lefties adopt in order to fuel their outrage really is a sight to behold.

buwaya said...

"That's from The Wealth of Nations, Cook - published in 1776. Catch up, pal."

Best guide to history and relationships and every sort of petroleum-related controversy (though its getting quite dated) - "The Prize", Daniel Yergin
Available on the Althouse Amazon portal, and yes, there is a Kindle edition

Unknown said...

Bobby, the point is that I at least don't get all "The horror! The horror! Who ever heard of such a thing?/Reparations = WWII!" when it is proposed that the bad guys pay for their wrongdoing. Iraq cleaned out Kuwait pretty good in 1990 - looting, never mind damage. (The Russians in Georgia, or perhaps rather their ethnic auxilliaries like the Ossetians, stole TOILETS from Georgian homes.)

For that matter UNSCOM happened in Iraq after 1991...and, being a UN venture, turned into an exercise in corruption. But no one objected.

As for the hazards of running an oil occupation, if you're not willing to kill anyone who resists, you shouldn't be exercising power in the Middle East. Anyway, it could have been managed; give the Kurds or the Sons of Iraq or whatever relevant tribes a cut. One would think this had never been done before. You just can't be Boy Scouts about it.

I myself did not want to "profiteer" from the oil but think it perfectly moral that it should have paid for costs of the occupation. And they were whining about not having air conditioning? After blowing it up?

You want to stop them fighting? Our piece comes off the top and if there's not enough left for food, you don't get food. See how fast the supply of bombers dries up.

Oderint dum metuant. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Just do what the Russians would do, or the Turks would do.

Certainly Bremer's insane folly was the key to events. The Iraqi Army could have certainly earned their keep guarding pipelines, or something nobler. Or kill them! But to blow them off and send them home without pay?!?!?!?? That's Obama level stupid.

Meanwhile, we wouldn't even have to be there to get the oil. Just tell Chalabi the day we don't get our ten percent, he and his family die Qadaffi style deaths and the next schmuck pays eleven percent. Anybody that gets in his way, just give us grid coordinates.

(the above is discussion of efficacy, not morality)

Unknown said...

but had anyone tried to follow through on this sort of what can only be described as theft from Iraq, the infrastructure would have become a target for insurrection,

Not if we take (arguendo) ten percent and they get 90% (we're not barbarians, they have to get something), and that 90% (75%, whatever) feeds them and keeps the lights on. Buwaya is right, really we had the responsibility to take over even as stewards, they were utter incompetents and to pretend otherwise was virtue signaling. He's also right, from other threads, that we should have reorg'd the Iraqi forces along colonial British lines as in India with native troops and our officers.

Unknown said...

Oh,

what can only be described as theft from Iraq

Nonsense. A just and condign punishment. And the money would have mostly gone into the Iraqi economy anyway.

How can it be theft? Saddam thought it perfectly proper to do to Kuwait and he got 100% of the vote.

The real problem is we don't kill commies.

Original Mike said...

"Oil companies do not drill oil selflessly or without the intent to earn big profits from their efforts."

No, fucking, kidding! What's amazing is that you find this damning.

You know, there's a place in the world where a nation's oil resources are managed by the government for the welfare of its citizens. It's called Venezuela. Heard of it?

StephenFearby said...


More Trump clown-speak:

"I have long said that we should have kept the oil in Iraq – another area where my judgement has been proven correct. According to CNN, ISIS made as much $500 million in oil sales in 2014 alone, fueling and funding its reign of terror. If we had controlled the oil, we could have prevented the rise of ISIS in Iraq – both by cutting off a major source of funding, and through the presence of U.S. forces necessary to safeguard the oil and other vital infrastructure. I was saying this constantly and to whoever would listen: keep the oil, keep the oil, keep the oil, I said – don’t let someone else get it.


(1) ISIS started in Syria, not Iraq. The ISIS oil revenues derive almost entirely from Syrian oil fields. That is because...

"Iraq has the fifth largest proven oil reserves [not production] of any country, after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Iran..."...The oil is concentrated in the Shia south and Kurdish north, with [Arab] Sunni regions to the west notably lacking in oil wealth."

http://www.vox.com/a/maps-explain-crisis-iraq

Since ISIS has been largely unsuccessful in occupying Suni Kurdish or Shia Arab territory, the Trump numbers are bullshit.

(2) The ISIS oil revenues have markedly declined since 2014 after the Syrian oil fields finally were bombed.

"Revenue from [ISIS] crude sales is down 26% from last year, IHS reports. And daily production in the region has dropped from 33,000 barrels last summer to 21,000 barrels."

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/21/news/isis-financing-oil-tax-war/

Iraq...increased daily oil production to an all-time high of 4.5 million barrels in May [2016].

http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/07/investing/iraq-oil-production-record-high-isis/

Trump wants to steal the Iraqi 4.5 million barrels, not the ISIS mostly Syrian 21,000 barrels.

eric said...

Blogger AprilApple said...
OT

It's time for Trump to get out.


Pence picks Rubio as running mate. Trump goes back to his gold plated penthouse and STF-UPS.


These guys know how to lose elections, that's for sure. They said Trump couldn't win. Then their preferred candidates all lost. To Trump.

Then they said we needed to change convention rules in order to save ourselves from Trump. They lost.

Now they are trying to sabotage him again. This time begging him to get out of the race, because they kept losing.

I don't think they want to win. I think they want to lose and say, "We told you so! Next time vote for our preferred candidate, or else!"

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why shouldn't we have taken some of the resources to offset our costs? Taken control of the oil fields, secured them, operated them and taken some of the profits to pay us back.

What are we? The piggy bank for the world? Not only did we spend BILLIONS of dollars and lose the lives of our men and women in the military and have many many gravely wounded.....we are expected to do all of this with no recourse whatsoever.

No one is even talking about the millions and millions of dollars of equipment, armaments, vehicles etc that were just abandoned by the precipitous Obama retreat from the Middle East. ISIS is driving OUR trucks and using our equipment. We must be the stupidest country in the history of the world.

Trump is also correct on NATO. We are paying for NATO much more than the other countries who actually benefit by NATO. Perhaps that was an equitable thing back THEN.....but this is now and why shouldn't those countries bear more of the burden? Not disband NATO, but rethink the structure and the funding. Once again....why do WE the taxpayers of the United States have to bankrupt our own selves and let our country's infrastructure fall into ruin to fund other countries who don't even bother to say "thanks".

ENOUGH.

Bobby said...

Unknown,

"As for the hazards of running an oil occupation, if you're not willing to kill anyone who resists, you shouldn't be exercising power in the Middle East. Anyway, it could have been managed; give the Kurds or the Sons of Iraq or whatever relevant tribes a cut. One would think this had never been done before. You just can't be Boy Scouts about it."

Okay, so apparently you (like Trump and I suppose most people who have never been there) are quite weak with the geography and demographics of Iraq. One cannot, as you suggested, just "give the Kurds a cut" and take the oil because- unless you have a deal in place with Turkey, Syria or Iran (none of whom are likely to have agreed to this scheme, albeit for different reasons)- it would have had nowhere to go. Cutting in the Sons of Iraq- unless one had an agreement with Saudi Arabia or Jordan- would be equally fantastic, and- in any case- is a classic example of 20/20 hindsight as prior to OIF we had little to no understanding of the Iraqi Sunni tribal structure and how their divisions could be exploited in combating the insurgency.

Forget about the morality- Trump is wrong on the efficacy, as well.

mockturtle said...

Using Iraqi oil to pay for rebuilding WAS discussed but never implemented. The whole invasion, from intent to resolution, was incredibly stupid. Trump is right about one major policy: NO MORE NATION BUILDING!

Bobby said...

Unknown,

"How can it be theft? Saddam thought it perfectly proper to do to Kuwait and he got 100% of the vote."

Are you suggesting that Saddam was not capable of theft?

Bobby said...

Unknown,

"Buwaya is right, really we had the responsibility to take over even as stewards, they were utter incompetents and to pretend otherwise was virtue signaling. He's also right, from other threads, that we should have reorg'd the Iraqi forces along colonial British lines as in India with native troops and our officers."

You're all over the place, madame. If you really believe this, you're now refuting one of the core tenets of Trump's proposed foreign policy- "we are getting out of the nation-building business"- from the opposite direction.

buwaya said...


"..The ISIS oil revenues derive almost entirely from Syrian oil fields. That is because..."

Stratfor and the Guardian disagree with you -

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/19/-sp-islamic-state-oil-empire-iraq-isis
https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/look-inside-islamic-state-oil-production

Sebastian said...

@bp: "Instead it handed it to the Iraqis - Iraqis that trusted each other about as much as a coalition of Los Angeles street gangs would. Much of the insurgency was about Iraqis keeping each other away from resources. It was an immense lever of power that the US dropped out of a fear of propaganda phantoms." Right. The whole war-for-oil meme did have an effect. The handover created a spoils problem, first with, then without supervision. Iraq always had a latent, now obvious civil-war-for-oil. Our "Iraq War" was just a phase in it. We cluelessly shifted the balance of power, but that war continues.

A final accounting still has to be done, but Trump's premise that, merely from a financial standpoint, the US suffered a massive loss seems pretty safe, even if you include US-based companies in "our" gains. The Kurds dealt with US companies, but in the main auctions foreign companies got more. And of course, the benefits of the auctions went to the Iraqi government not to "us." Rebuilding infrastructure, providing initial security, etc., all came at great cost to the US. Any windfall did not go to the US Treasury.

Not that it makes any difference to the lefty narrative still popular with some people around here, but the detailed Rand reports on our departure from Iraq are instructive. If any policy makers considered how to "take" or "keep" more of Iraq's oil, it is not apparent.

Of course, the notion that we would "invest" an unknown but massive amount to gain access to oil that we could have bought more cheaply by letting Saddam off the hook always seemed unusually stupid even by the low standards the left attributed to Bush.

Unknown said...

Bobby said...
Unknown,

"How can it be theft? Saddam thought it perfectly proper to do to Kuwait and he got 100% of the vote."

Are you suggesting that Saddam was not capable of theft?

8/16/16, 1:43 PM

I'm saying that you mess with the bull, you get the horns.


Why is agreement with Jordan/KSA unrealistic?

My first choice would have been to co-opt the Iraqi Army. That is so obvious it can be seen from space.

traditionalguy said...

The terrible Versailles Reparations were never paid, but the idea for them was a sound one, because the The Great War that had been started by Germany and lasted 4 years had devastated the winner in northeastern France where it had been fought. The French cities that had once been there were all blasted to rubble. The land on which it had been fought was ruined.

The loser, Germany, had not been touched. They all wondered why they had surrendered. The surrender was done to prevent a Revolution that would have replaced the Aristocracy. The food supplies were running out which is what always starts a revolution.

Fabi said...

Drago sums it up precisely at 12:48!

buwaya said...

" we had little to no understanding of the Iraqi Sunni tribal structure and how their divisions could be exploited in combating the insurgency. '

This was a truly amazing bit of foolishness on the part of the US government.
I was puzzled the whole time by what they were NOT doing. Other colonial powers in similar situations were capable of sizing this up and working with it in weeks if not months. The British and French in their day would certainly have had it all figured out before they started.

Even Cortez got the local politics all sussed out and working for him in a season, and he had negligible resources and a tremendous language barrier.

I suspect that the incredible, boneheaded US government-military bureaucracy prevented the local "Lawrence of Arabia" types, the policy entrepreneurs, the proconsuls, the Glubbs and Mangins, Lyauteys and Napiers, from doing their own politics and making their own arrangements.

Peter said...

"Remember the signs, "No war for oil!"

And the counter-signs, "Kick their ass, take their gas!"?

Original Mike said...

"Of course, the notion that we would "invest" an unknown but massive amount to gain access to oil that we could have bought more cheaply by letting Saddam off the hook always seemed unusually stupid even by the low standards the left attributed to Bush."

Yeah, no kidding. But they don't care. "No blood for oil" is too catchy a slogan to abandon.

Unknown said...

You're all over the place, madame.

Monsieur will do, thanks, I have not the honor of being female. I assume your confusion is genuine.

I was on board with remaking the Middle East in our image as much as could be done. I seem to be the last one though. Being where we are, having been burnt, now I incline towards containment, letting them destroy themselves and only interfering where necessary. We gave them a Turing test (Voight-Kampff if you prefer) and they failed.

OK, you were there, you know it all, what do you think should have been done, should be done now?

Bobby said...

Unknown,

"Why is agreement with Jordan/KSA unrealistic?"

Because neither the Saudi nor (especially) the Jordanian governments would have wanted to expose themselves to accusations that "King Abdullah II (or Fahd/Abdullah) is working with the infidels to steal oil from our fellow Muslim brothers in Iraq!" Neither government- both of who can be described under international relations theory as having "traditional" (not religious) legitimacy- would want to open that can of worms when dealing with Islamist insurgencies in their midst.

Just as an example, for the better part of a decade, the Jordanian Royal Army fielded two simultaneous deployments (Task Force Nashmi) to Afghanistan (not under NATO, but under a bilateral agreement to support the USA). Jordan's Ministry of Affairs specifically requested that the US Army (who partnered with them in Logar Province) and the US Marines (who partnered with them in Helmand Province) NOT release photographs of Jordanian troops alongside American troops (said pictures are, of course, available online if you look for them). Their stated reason was that they did not want King Abdullah II being exposed to radical jihadist charges that Jordan was conspiring with infidels to oppress their Muslim brothers in Afghanistan. It is highly unlikely that they would have acceded to the more explosive charges that they were supporting us in "stealing" oil from Iraqis.

Beldar said...

Foreign policy as practiced by kindergartners.

Even Nineteenth Century Belgian imperialists -- the people who raped the Congo, literally and figuratively, and by most accounts the very worst European colonial masters a slave could fear -- would have thought Trump's world view simplistic. How is Trump supposed to make America great again when Trump obviously doesn't have a clue about American history?

elcee said...

Sebastian:
""Why didn't we take Iraq's oil?" 1. We didn't want it. 2. We didn't need it. 3. It would have undermined our stated goals 4. Iraq's oil was supposed to help Iraq and 5. Even if 1.-4. hadn't applied, we could have decided not to take it just to score an expensive ideological point, to refute the lefty war-for-oil crap and make the libtards take their ball and go home."

Add 6. (related to 3. and 4.) Trump's suggestion would have contradicted our custom and strategic paradigm for intervention per 20th-21st century American leadership of the free world.

Add 7. (related to 3., 4., and 6.) Trump's suggestion wasn't an option. At its law and policy foundation, the US-led Iraq intervention since 1990 was purposed to "bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations" (P.L. 105-235) per the UNSCR 660 series, including and especially UNSCRs 687 and 688 of the Gulf War ceasefire.

Trump's suggestion would have diametrically contradicted the standing American and international law and policy grounds of the US-led, UN-mandated enforcement of the UNSCR 660 series, including the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-338), whose section 7 parameters were "expected" in section 4 of the 2002 AUMF (P.L. 107-243).

The US law and policy and UNSCRs 1483, 1511, et al that provided the legal framework for the OIF peace operations carried forward the enforcement framework for the UNSCR 660 series.

Regarding President Bush's decision for OIF, Trump's position is based on blatant legal and factual error. Trump disrespects the American public and corrupts the political discourse with his pretended ignorance of the plain legal framework of the Iraq intervention. Trump's pretended ignorance is akin to Senator Biden's pretended ignorance when Biden 'advocated' for partitioning Iraq while knowing full well the partition option was barred by the legal framework of the Iraq intervention.

Contra Trump, Bush's decision for OIF was demonstrably correct on the law and facts. The basic mission of bringing Iraq into its mandated compliance was accomplished.

Unfortunately, Trump is correct insofar the crucial development of post-Saddam Iraq as a keystone "strategic partner" (State Dept) on track upon the OIF Surge+Awakening, directly analogous to the crucial development of our post-WW2 strategic partnerships, was thrown away by President Obama's catastrophic course deviation from President Bush. See the answer to "Was Operation Iraqi Freedom a strategic blunder or a strategic victory?".

Achilles said...

There are enough people willing to vote for Hillary Clinton in this country, who place no value on freedom or liberty, that there is no way we could actually go to war in another country and achieve victory. We are too fat and happy here. We take everything we have for granted.

We should give up nation building until we overcome our own divisions. I doubt this will happen. As someone who deployed 4 times to try to achieve this goal only to be undermined by people who are supposed to be on our side this makes me sad.

Bobby said...

Unknown,

"OK, you were there, you know it all, what do you think should have been done, should be done now?"

On the contrary, I know enough to know how little I actually know and to know that there is/was no easy solution to this problem set. I readily admit that's not really knowing a whole lot, but I will agree that it's a hell of a lot more than most everyone else who run their mouth without knowing enough to know what they don't know.

traditionalguy said...

Venezuela recently planned to invade the USA with help from Iran. Then the great oil price crash came down the road. And now they want to invade the USA to steal food and toilette paper, which are the two commodities all Marxist countries never seem to have any of.

n.n said...

give up nation building until we overcome our own divisions... try to achieve this goal only to be undermined

It would be interesting to study the correlation between occurrences of stress and betrayal.

buwaya puti said...

Elcee,

As a student of history, can't you see that all that above is simply boilerplate? Professionals in international law care I suppose, but all that above is important only inside an artificial, academic world.

Achilles said...

This election for Republicans has many similarities to the war in Iraq. Defeating Hillary is an important goal, but the republican party is divided just as the country was divided on Iraq. We have the Cruz Cult and the GOPe taking on the role of Obama, shooting their own side in the back, as they try to fight the good fight.

Obama had a clear political goal in working to undermine our mission and the GOPe is in perfect alignment with this. The GOPe endorsed siccing the IRS on us and hates us more than the democrats just like Obama hated us more than the terrorists. They will remain in their minority status sucking out of the trough.

I have no idea what the Cruz Cult is trying to do. They will be totally irrelevant after this election. I guess they like the smell of their own farts too much.

I Callahan said...

Any proceeds going to Iraq are just their share after the oil interests and the others cut in on the deal, such as China, take their shares. Oil companies do not drill oil selflessly or without the intent to earn big profits from their efforts.

I'm a bit confused by this particular statement. Are you saying that oil companies (or interests, as you called them) are taking a lion's share of the proceeds? I'm willing to concede this if you have any evidence this is happening. Do you? That said - is the Iraqi government getting any proceeds from the oil, and how much, as a percentage? If that percentage is above zero, your whole starting view about this is wrong.

I'm not sure if you just don't understand capitalism (like a lot of other people seem to be saying), or you just don't understand the oil business. Which is it?

n.n said...

Trump is correct insofar the crucial development of post-Saddam Iraq

That's the key insight. America cannot generally sustain an undeclared war and reconstruction past one administration. It cannot legally suppress subversive activities without that legal framework. For better or worse, that's what Obama demonstrated when he left Iraq and started wars anew in other places, seeming everywhere other than Iraq and Afghanistan.

JaimeRoberto said...

If it was truly all about oil, wouldn't it have been cheaper and easier to simply buy the oil? But indirectly it was about oil, because oil was what gave Saddam the money and power to do the nasty things he did.

I Callahan said...

Nope, just dumb dumb dumb bunnies who thought they were smarter than they were, whose negligence helped unleash true evil upon the world...

So you're smarter, Mary? Or is this just hindsight talking?

Or due to the bush boys utter disconnect with reality and failure to realize how stupid they were. They should have stuck to bankrupting ball teams...

It's incumbent on you to explain why they're "stupid". But let's start with two ground rules here:

1. People you disagree with aren't "stupid" because you disagree with them, and
2. Did you have this exact view before any of the aftermath happened.

I Callahan said...

Check your Constitutions: what we did in Iraq was clearly unconstitutional. If we're gonna have wars, let Congress declare them already. Then the people will tell you what they think of your unfunded wars

Congress DID declare war. They authorized the use of force, which is the same thing. Nice try, though...

narciso said...

actually the british model, left the sunnis on top, encouraging their attitude of superiority over the shia, and kurd majority, the golden square was founded by the son of the first iraqi postmandate prime minister, he was the vichy figure, the baath followed similar lines from the 50s on, dispossessing the shia from professional and political life.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Genius! Trump has just handed all the Shiites to Iran and the Sunnis to ISIS. (That's why we didn't keep the oil.)

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Left Bank of the Charles said...
Genius! Trump has just handed all the Shiites to Iran and the Sunnis to ISIS.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Obama beat him to the punch on this by several years.

narciso said...

and the islamic state, are very much in the vein of those two previous movements, their salafi roots were growing even before the Iraq War,

buwaya said...

"actually the british model, left the sunnis on top"

Because they played ball with the British (or more so than the others) and were happiest with the monarch the British wanted to settle on them, the Hashemite Faisal, friend of T.E.Lawrence.

Achilles said...

I Callahan said...

"It's incumbent on you to explain why they're "stupid". But let's start with two ground rules here:

1. People you disagree with aren't "stupid" because you disagree with them, and
2. Did you have this exact view before any of the aftermath happened."

Core failings of Bush in Iraq:

1. Bush took the middle road in everything. He chose one hill to fight on: COIN. He never authorized us to DEFEAT the enemy which is the central failing of COIN. Defeating means killing large numbers of them. If you are going to go to war you have to kill your enemy or you lose. He allowed the generals to tell him we could let our enemies live and they would eventually join us. He tried to make a political point in war. This was stupid.

2. He didn't use the oil proceeds to fund the mission. He used the treasury during a time we were already running deficits. He allowed the oil to be administered by an Iraqi bureaucracy that was almost as corrupt as the IRS or the DOJ. It should have been administered by the Army using the Iraqi civilian distribution plan. But in the end the Iraqi's never saw a red cent of the oil income because the corrupt bureaucrats took it in a totally predictable outcome. This was stupid.

3. He did not fight back against his ideological opponents here at home. He allowed Obama and the media to trash the people on the ground. He refused to show the intel we had on the WMD's that were shipped to Syria. He didn't talk about all of the precursor sights we found and destroyed. He didn't talk about the 5.5 metric tons of Uranium airlifted to Canada. He allowed the left to say "No WMD's were found" which is an absolute lie. This was stupid as well as cowardly.

4. He allowed the media to portray the soldiers in Iraq as murderous rapists. For years. He never fought back. He let the disgusting shitheads crap on us the whole war. This was stupid and cowardly.

narciso said...

he was split between state's preference for old line baathists, like pachachi, and the exiled
kurds and shia, who had been forced out by those same baathists, who had the pentagon's ear, the former were like the kreisau circle of aristocrats that stauffenberg plotted against hitler,

narciso said...

there was a declaration of use of force, specifically focused on iraq,

BrianE said...

I work with an Arab immigrant that, while hating Hussein, was convinced we invaded Iraq for the oil. He couldn't understand why a country wouldn't do that.
He was genuinely surprised when we didn't.
We used to have some pretty heated discussions about it.

mockturtle said...

Drago, I think that's what her point was.

Earnest Prole said...

We are the most incompetent imperialists ever.

Drago said...

mockturtle: "Drago, I think that's what her point was"

I did not read it the same way, though Mary can certainly clarify what she meant.

My point, riffing off her point, is not that Bush Sr and his staff diligently studied and analyzed the geo-political, strategic and tactical situation and came to the conclusion that some post-war possibilities negated any potential rationale for removing Saddam and, thus, decided against it.

Remember, many of these same advisors were front and center come "W" time and advocated for removal of Saddam.

No, the only real reason why our forces did not take an immediate left turn and head northwest was that the UN and Coalition were not prepared to do it.

Given their druthers, "HW" and staff would have been happy to do it.

Birkel said...

Extreme has now come to mean "doing what all victorious armies did throughout history until America decided to lose, consistently, these last 60 years".

I believe that word means something different and Althouse is confused.

jr565 said...

Iraq was suppose to pay us with oil profits. I wound't say that we should seize the oil, but we certainly should have protected the oil so that ISIS couldn't get their hands on it. If that meant leaving troops there, well, yes.

Comanche Voter said...

Way back in the wayback the good lefties in San Francisco were braying that Iraq was a war for oil, and that the only reason we went into Iraq was to "get their oil".

While they were shooting their yaps off, they were also driving around San Francisco in cars running on Chevron (Standard Oil of California) gasoline that had been refined across the Bay in Chevron's Richmond Refinery. And tankers full of Iraqi oil regularly pulled up to the docks in Richmond and discharged their cargo. And when that Iraqi crude oil was turned into gasoline, a good bit of it was sold in the Bay Area. Why heck, even the Berkeley Bolsheviks were running gasoline made from Iraqi crude. We didn't need to go to war to "get" Iraqi oil; you could buy all you wanted on the world market. And Chevron did just that.

Properly thought of the world supply of oil is like a giant balloon. Producers pump their oil into the balloon--refiners pull it out and make refined product. If the US refiners decided they didn't want to refine Iraqi oil, it would simply go somewhere else, and displace other oil that might wind up in the USA.

It is not true that crude oil is fungible--there are differences in quality--gravity (light or heavy) sulfur content (sour or sweet) light gassy ends or lots of heavy tar like substance etc. So a refiner may have a preference for particular types or qualities of crude. But all crude oil produced ultimately gets sold somewhere on the world market. [Comanche spent 25 years of his life working for one of the Fortune 20 major oil companies--not Chevron].

Ignorance can be cured, but stupid among Bay Area liberals is a permanent condition.

jr565 said...

"The Trump Doctrine

1. Invade a country.
2. Take everything of value.
3. Leave the scraps to the people who live there."

The alternative is national building. Who wants that? If you go to war you destroy the country. If you nation build you help it back up. If you don't want that, then it stays rubble.
Do people want us to nation build or not?

buwaya said...

"Ignorance can be cured, but stupid among Bay Area liberals is a permanent condition."

The common thread among these people is that hardly any of them is in a "real" industry.
I find that a very little studied driver of culture - opinions, ethics and tastes - is determined by the way one makes a living. I suspect that lines of work affect these more than simply self-selection of certain personalities into certain careers.

mockturtle said...

@jr565 Do people want us to nation build or not?

Your concept of 'nation building' is not the same as mine. Nation building is, to me, the forcible restructuring of a political system we don't like into something we do. It never works. The Middle East, in particular, has never been amenable to American-style democracy.

mockturtle said...

OTOH, reparations to infrastructure destroyed by a war that we started is what makes companies like Halliburton rich.

Bobby said...

jr565,

"I wound't say that we should seize the oil, but we certainly should have protected the oil so that ISIS couldn't get their hands on it. If that meant leaving troops there, well, yes."

Yet even that part of Trump's statement is problematic because, as noted upthread a couple of times already, the majority of the oil from which Daesh has profited is/was extracted from Syrian (not Iraqi) territory, where we never actually had troops there to leave in place. So to achieve Trump's twin objectives of (1) denying ISIS oil revenue and (2) keeping the oil to fund US interests (he said veterans health programs), you would actually have had to introduce large-scale American troops into Syria... which, somehow, Trump supporters here are still able to construe as evidence that he's against Iraq-style interventions.

None of this is meant to defend the status quo or the Obama Administration's Iraq-Syria policy (which I find to be ridiculously bad). Just that Trump, clearly, does not know what he is talking about here, and I find it somewhat amusing to see the mental gymnastics that his supporters are willing to go through to stand by their man.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Beldar asked:
How is Trump supposed to make America great again when Trump obviously doesn't have a clue about American history?
**********************

I ask: how was Obama competent to "fundamentally transform" the USA when he obviously doesn't have a clue about American history?

narciso said...

the bulk of iraq's oil is found in the skhia south, and the kurdish north, but the tikriti mob took it all.

Unknown said...

you would actually have had to introduce large-scale American troops into Syria.


Well, ISIS or Daesh made their bones in Mosul kicking out the Iraqi Army, right? If the US had intervened, whether with a brigade sized force or with a few dozen men doing spotting and FID (bucking up the native troops) plus air support, do you think a thousand men could have taken Mosul? Taken it away from you, Bobby? Would ISIS be such a big noise if you had slaughtered them at Mosul?

If I may ask, what was your branch, rank, MOS, time in service, dates of service in the region? I ask not to poke at you but to understand what you think you know and don't know.

Unknown said...

Also give Trump credit that he would have probably not have whacked Qaddafi, and probably not have fed Mubarak to Morsi, which I daresay would have tended to affect events in Syria somehow.

Birkel said...

Let's put the last two Althouse threads in perspective:

Collectivists like Robert Cook and his fellow travelers are never called to explain the killing, raping of resources, raping of environments and enslavement of people that his preferred political organizational structure produces every time. Every time he and his fellow would-be mass murderers explain that they didn't intend that particular outcome. But only the one outcome ever obtains.

Collectivists are horrible people who wish for power, control, mayhem, death and destruction. They are evil. Anybody who treats with them is a fool, a would-be murderer, or both.

Unknown said...

Birkel, thank you.

AReasonableMan said...

Birkel said...
Collectivists are horrible people who wish for power, control, mayhem, death and destruction. They are evil. Anybody who treats with them is a fool, a would-be murderer, or both.


Collectivists in Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and the Netherlands were unavailable for comment, they were too busy being the happiest people on Earth.

Bobby said...

Unknown,

"Well, ISIS or Daesh made their bones in Mosul kicking out the Iraqi Army, right? If the US had intervened, whether with a brigade sized force or with a few dozen men doing spotting and FID (bucking up the native troops) plus air support, do you think a thousand men could have taken Mosul? Taken it away from you, Bobby? Would ISIS be such a big noise if you had slaughtered them at Mosul?"

You're moving the goalposts, buddy. Trump indicated that in order to prevent Daesh from gaining control of the oil profits, he would have seized the oil infrastructure, left troops there to protect it and used the revenue to fund veterans programs. I pointed out one problem with that statement is that most of Daesh's oil profits come from Syrian, not Iraqi territory- you can't leave troops where they never were to begin with (Syria)- and that introducing troops into Syria to seize the oil infrastructure would seemingly go against Trump's claim that he opposes OIF-style interventions.

Subsequent to that, I take it that you're now suggesting that if we'd had a residual force in Iraq, we could have prevented Daesh from seizing Mosul -- I don't necessarily disagree with that (would obviously have to know details of the mission, composition, disposition, capabilities, etc. of that residual force, right?). But as far as I can tell, that has nothing to do with what Trump stated or you had earlier written (at least in this thread). If you are suggesting that Daesh would not have existed if they had been repelled in Mosul, then I disagree with that whole-heartedly: they would still be in Syria selling the oil that Trump somehow thinks we would have had in our possession.

Fundamentally, Trump does not seem to understand that the Iraqi oil that he could have "taken," is not the same oil that ISIS has been using to fund their operations. Might as well say you're going to occupy Mexico and seize their oil infrastructure in order to prevent ISIS from profiting from it.

"If I may ask, what was your branch, rank, MOS, time in service, dates of service in the region? I ask not to poke at you but to understand what you think you know and don't know."

If you really care, I was an Army Infantry officer- I left the Army as a senior captain in order to join the intelligence community. I have (so far) done a total of 9 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan (not counting TDY/TAD missions). And none of that really has any bearing on what I've posted above so you should focus on that instead of on me- like, if you really think that Trump could have forged an agreement with King Abdullah II to "take" the Iraqi oil, we should be discussing that.

mockturtle said...

@ARM Collectivists in Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and the Netherlands were unavailable for comment, they were too busy being the happiest people on Earth.

Their suicide rates are as high [or higher, in Switzerland] as ours.

narciso said...

putting some things in perspective,

http://warontherocks.com/2016/08/washingtons-sunni-myth-and-the-civil-wars-in-syria-and-iraq/

AReasonableMan said...

mockturtle said...
Their suicide rates are as high [or higher, in Switzerland] as ours.


Not according to Wiki. Suicides are driven by mental or physical illness, not a good measure of overall population happiness, which the Collectivists win easily.

dreams said...

Just now on Lew Dobbs, Helmont Norpoth says there is still an 87% chance Trump wins the election.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/experts/profile/helmut-norpoth

narciso said...

well the core of daesh, had been released previously, the fact that there was no strongest tribe blocking them from going to syria was a sizable factor,

Achilles said...

The US will not win another war with either of these parties in control. They will start lots of them. We will not win them.

Elcee said...

"Contra Trump, Bush's decision for OIF was demonstrably correct on the law and facts. The basic mission of bringing Iraq into its mandated compliance was accomplished. "

This is an example of "Smart" people going to war. The Bush neocon apologists here like Beldar and elcee are so smart and have all the relevant laws down. Beldar even tells us he knows history better than everyone else. They cannot admit that the government has completely fucked up the Middle East no matter which party was in charge.

But most importantly they are trying to get Hillary elected. These people will never win anything important that requires any sort of teamwork. We have been safe and secure for too long and we have too many people like elcee who put themselves ahead of the needs of the team.

elcee said...

buwaya puti:
"As a student of history, can't you see that all that above is simply boilerplate? Professionals in international law care I suppose, but all that above is important only inside an artificial, academic world."

Your conception of the why of OIF is demonstrably incorrect.

The law, policy, and precedent of the Gulf War ceasefire enforcement were the controlling core of President Bush's decision for OIF because the US-led Iraq intervention from its beginning in 1990 with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and UNSCR 660 was legally, always and foremost purposed to enforce Iraq's compliance with the measures mandated to satisfy "the need to be assured of Iraq's peaceful intentions [and]...to secure peace and security in the area" (UNSCR 687).

P.L. 102-1 (1991):
"The President is authorized...to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678..."

P.L. 107-243 (2002):
"The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to...enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

The burden of proof in the UNSCR 660 series was always on Iraq to comply as mandated. In other words, for the Gulf War and then the Gulf War ceasefire, including OIF, the choice for war or peace was Saddam's, not the American President's.

By procedure, only Iraq’s noncompliance with its ceasefire obligations could trigger enforcement, and only the "full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions with its obligations under resolution 687 (1991) and other relevant resolutions" (UNSCR 1441) could switch off the enforcement.

To prevent war and choose peace, Saddam simply only needed to comply with the mandates in the UNSCR 660 series, especially UNSCRs 687 and 688, which Iraq should have discharged in 1991-1992, let alone be in categorical breach in Saddam's "final opportunity to comply" (UNSCR 1441) in 2002-2003.

In 1998-1999, after 7+ years of Saddam's intransigent noncompliance, President Clinton had declared with Operation Desert Fox that “Iraq has abused its final chance” and then "a change of regime in Baghdad is inevitable".

By 2002-2003, the post-ODF ad hoc 'containment' was evidently broken with Saddam evidentially rearming in breach of UNSCR 687. President Bush was further compelled to conclusively resolve the festering noncompliant Saddam problem due to the heightened threat consideration induced by the 9/11 attacks of Saddam's world-leading "regional and global terrorism" (IPP) that included jihadists, including the al Qaeda network.

Contra Trump, knowing what we know now, fact findings substantiated nearly all the Bush administration case against Saddam.

If Saddam had accepted the lifeline from the chief enforcer of the Gulf War ceasefire to fully comply with all of Iraq's obligations under Security Council resolutions, then the Gulf War would not have resumed with OIF in order to "bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations" (P.L. 105-235). Instead, in his "final opportunity to comply" with "full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions with its obligations under resolution 687 (1991) and other relevant resolutions" (UNSCR 1441), Saddam responded with evidential material breach across the board of the Gulf War ceasefire, including and especially the disarmament mandates of UNSCR 687, terrorism mandates of UNSCR 687, and humanitarian mandates of UNSCR 688.

President Bush's decision for OIF was demonstrably correct on the law and facts.

buwaya said...

"The law, policy, and precedent of the Gulf War ceasefire enforcement were the controlling core of President Bush's decision for OIF because the US-led Iraq intervention from its beginning in 1990 with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and UNSCR 660 was legally, always and foremost purposed to enforce Iraq's compliance with the measures mandated to satisfy "the need to be assured of Iraq's peaceful intentions [and]...to secure peace and security in the area" (UNSCR 687). "

The law serves interests and policies, not the other way around. That's the way its always been. If the law was inconvenient then some argument would have been found. No-one is "compelled" by a UNSCR 660, 687 or 688 or 1441. These are letters and numbers, scratches on paper. One uses such things as a fig-leaf, propaganda, important for some sorts of people I suppose, but I don't understand them.

buwaya said...

For instance, Saddam and UNSCR 660.
One does not wave UNSCR 660 as something real. It is at best a bit of symbolic politesse standing in for "Stop it, you SOB, or we'll kill you all". The politesse being directed at the sort of people, mainly third parties, who don't like to think in real terms.
They like to think of UN resolutions, not shattered buildings and burned, dismembered bodies.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
Birkel said...
Collectivists are horrible people who wish for power, control, mayhem, death and destruction. They are evil. Anybody who treats with them is a fool, a would-be murderer, or both.

Collectivists in Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and the Netherlands were unavailable for comment, they were too busy being the happiest people on Earth.
________________________________________________________________________________

They were to busy hiding from their new Muslim neighbors.

tim in vermont said...

France had their eye on the oil when they sold Saddam their Security Council veto for one-sided concessions on their oil reserves. We could have avoided the whole war. Saddam could have left with a few billion dollars. Lived in the south of France, or wherever. Nope.

Collectivists in Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and the Netherlands were unavailable for comment, they were too busy being the happiest people on Earth.

They used to be when they were ethnically similar little enclaves whose defense needs were shouldered by the US, in order to keep them from getting "too collectivist" under the Soviet boot. Instead, they invited in a different invading army.

Sebastian said...

OT, apologies: re European "collectivism": Heritage economic freedom scores, 2015: Switzerland: 81.0; US: 75.4; Denmark: 75.3; Netherlands: 74.6.

tim in vermont said...

Even dim wits can claim perfect hindsight.

Sure, excuse Hillary Iraq, what about Libya and Syria? Even most dim wits don't touch a hot stove twice, but not our Hillary!

buwaya said...

Further,

The entire worldview, or personality, that values symbols and processes, that waves UNSCR 660, 687 or 688 or 1441 around as meaningful things, well, in my mind these impede accurate and complete communication. This lack of communication is a serious Western fault vis-a-vis various persons around the world. It is bureaucrat-speak that reduces clarity, much too often when clarity is necessary. It causes people to misunderstand and take risks that they would not have otherwise.

If April Glaspie had told Saddam Hussein, frankly, that if he persisted in bothering Kuwait the US would kill him, his children, his whole clan, and flatten his hometown, it would have been much more effective communication and may well have prevented much later trouble.

elcee said...

Achilles:
"They cannot admit that the government has completely fucked up the Middle East no matter which party was in charge."

Actually, it's evident that the post-OIF crisis with Iraq is due to President Obama's course deviation from President Bush.

EXCERPT (sans links) from the answer to "Was Operation Iraqi Freedom a strategic blunder or a strategic victory?":

___President Bush handed OIF to President Obama having resolved the festering problem of Saddam's noncompliant, threatening, tyrannical, radicalized sectarian, rearming, terrorist regime (not a moment too soon based on what we now know), revitalized international enforcement in the defining international enforcement of the post-Cold War, and proved the mettle of American leadership and devastated the terrorists with the Counterinsurgency "Surge". The emerging pluralistic, liberalizing, compliant post-Saddam Iraq provided the US with a keystone "strategic partner" in the region.

Obama should have built upon the hard-won foundational progress made under Bush in geopolitically critical Iraq. However, instead of staying the course from Bush like President Eisenhower stayed the course from President Truman at the turning point of the Cold War, Obama committed the strategic blunder of contravening the Strategic Framework Agreement (2008) by disengaging from US-Iraqi affairs at a critical stage of Iraq's post-Surge development, passive-aggressively bungling the SOFA negotiation with Iraq, appeasing Iran, and abandoning the Bush Freedom Agenda. The premature departure of US forces removed America's protection at the same time Iraq's vicinity was growing dangerously unstable as the Arab Spring disintegrated, particularly in neighboring Syria. In the singular pivotal moment that sure-handed American leadership could have redirected the current course of history, Obama's irresponsible exit from Iraq and feckless 'lead from behind' approach to the Arab Spring, instead, opened great gaps for the terrorists to resurge. Iraq is suffering the consequences.___

Achilles:
"But most importantly they are trying to get Hillary elected."

Actually, Clinton's record with the Iraq intervention has shown she is also unfit to be Commander in Chief.

Clinton's 2002 vote and Bush's 2003 decision for OIF consistently carried forward and were demonstrably correct according to the operative enforcement procedure inherited from Clinton's husband's administration-long enforcement of the Gulf War ceasefire.

Clinton's 2002 vote for P.L. 107-243 was the high-water mark of Clinton responsibly doing her duty as an American leader.

Subsequently, unfortunately, Clinton disqualified herself as Commander in Chief by 'evolving' about her 2002 vote by blatantly misrepresenting the Congressional instruction in P.L. 107-243 and OIF's legal-factual basis, opposing the urgently needed OIF Surge because of her parochial focus on the 2008 election, and then as Secretary of State, being party to President Obama's morally inhumane and strategically disastrous disengagement of the crucial US-led peace operations with Iraq.

Sebastian said...

Heritage scores for Venezuela: 33.7, Cuba: 29.8, and North Korea; 2.3 (up a full point over 2014!). Collectivists there were unavailable for comment. Non-collectivists as well, for lack of access to the prisons and concentration camps where they reside.

elcee said...

buwaya:
"It is bureaucrat-speak that reduces clarity, much too often when clarity is necessary. It causes people to misunderstand and take risks that they would not have otherwise."

Actually, the UNSCR 660 series were the solution for the very problem you pose, ie, Saddam's chronic habit of misinterpreting diplomatic communication, eg, April Glaspie's "spiral" response.

The UNSCR 660 series, including the resolutions of the Gulf War ceasefire, carefully set out the "governing standard of Iraqi compliance" (UNSCR 1441), the measures by which Iraq was mandated to prove "full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions with its obligations under resolution 687 (1991) and other relevant resolutions" (UNSCR 1441) in order to switch off the US-led enforcement.

The "governing standard of Iraqi compliance" in the UNSCR 660 series is plain. You can read the UNSCR 660 series here: http://fas.org/news/un/iraq/sres/index.html.

The Iraq Survey Group found, "the Iraqis never intended to meet the spirit of the UNSC’s resolutions".

Saddam could have chosen peace and to stay in power by simply proving the mandated compliance, which he could and should have done in the beginning to prevent the Gulf War. Instead, Saddam chose to breach the "governing standard of Iraqi compliance" from the beginning through his "final opportunity to comply" (UNSCR 1441).

Unknown said...

Thank you for answering my questions Bobby. I'm afraid that my back is in spasm and I have just swallowed a handful of pills and will have to get to you tomorrow.

Briefly, if that had been the intent, I'm confident that something could have been arranged. But then that might have required skills and more importantly will that perhaps were not in evidence in any other branch of government except the military. State certainly let us down. Thanks and goodnight.

Unknown said...

But the fact that an American presidents in Iraq would have easily in my opinion flattened Isis is more clearly true and significant than any question of taking the oil. Advantage of taking the oil and defending it with an American president it is that that would have established a military presence that could have done for Isis, but you could have done that I just sticking with the bush plan and not taking the oil. Sorry for typos I think the flexiril is hitting

elcee said...

n.n:
"That's the key insight. America cannot generally sustain an undeclared war and reconstruction past one administration. It cannot legally suppress subversive activities without that legal framework"

Incorrect. See the answers to "Was Operation Iraqi Freedom about WMD or democracy?" & "Was the invasion of Iraq perceived to be a nation-building effort?". Also see A1 and A3 in the answer to "Was Operational Iraqi Freedom legal?".

Per the War Powers Resolution (50 USC 1541), an AUMF is legally equivalent to a declaration of war. The Iraq intervention has had 2 operative AUMFs plus multiple other Congressional mandates. In other words, the Iraq intervention over-all and Operation Iraqi Freedom specifically, including the OIF peace operations, has had an exceptionally strong legal framework.

The legal framework for the Iraq intervention wasn't the problem. The problem is President Obama contravened it and disastrously broke from customary 20th-21st American leadership of the free world over-all and 1990-onward American leadership with Iraq specifically.

For the law, policy, and precedent in the legal framework for the Iraq intervention, see this and this.

In fact, Obama's belated return of US forces to Iraq with Operation Inherent Resolve has been undertaken within the legal framework he had contravened.

Unknown said...

For president read presence (2x)

n.n said...

elcee:

I think that buwaya's point is that law is a means to obfuscate principles and outcomes, and may be exploited to justify and rationalize immoral behaviors. For example, our Supreme Court discovered a legal right through invention not recorded in our Constitution that legitimizes committing elective abortion for causes other than self-defense, and subsequently [clinical] cannibalism (e.g. Planned Parenthood). This is where ostensibly a majority of the population exhibits or support this depravity, and democracy demonstrates its progressive personality.

That said, the effort to distract from Obama and Clinton's progressive wars, impulsive regime changes, arming terrorist organizations, refugee crises, anti-native policies, sodomy sessions (i.e. social "justice"), rape-rape culture, and mass abortions has no parallel. The liberal doses of opiates and "benefits" are good; but, not without a Press that aids and abets their crimes.

- - -
Equivalent is not equal, it is congruous (e.g. "=") or similar. A declaration of war has far reaching legal consequences not activated by lesser authorizations.

That said, I am not arguing against the intervention during Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Nor am I arguing against the conclusive intervention after Hussein demonstrated a progressive pattern of belligerence and noncompliance with the terms of the ceasefire. I am certainly not arguing for the withdrawal of honest brokers from a stratified nation that preceded the creation and arming of an international terrorist group.

elcee said...

n.n:
"I think that buwaya's point is that law is a means to obfuscate principles and outcomes, and may be exploited to justify and rationalize immoral behaviors."

buwaya appears unfamiliar with the history, purpose, and content of the UNSCR 660 series enforced under US law and policy since 1990-1991. For background, I suggest the answers to "What were President Bush’s alternatives with Iraq?" & "Why did Bush leave the ‘containment’ (status quo)?" & "Why not free a noncompliant Saddam?".

Opposite of obfuscate, the UNSCR 660 series clarified the measures by which Saddam would prove Iraq was rehabilitated, including from Saddam's habit of "justify and rationalize immoral behaviors", so Iraq's normal international status could be restored.

elcee said...

n.n:
"Equivalent is not equal, it is congruous (e.g. "=") or similar. A declaration of war has far reaching legal consequences not activated by lesser authorizations."

Incorrect. It's a myth that a declaration of war imputes "far reaching legal consequences not activated by lesser authorizations".

Bobby said...

Unknown,

I will agree that the presence of a residual US force in Iraq would have at least created an opportunity to blunt the rise of Daesh and especially its incursion into Iraqi territory, yes. I don't know what the probability of success would have been, but it certainly would have been greater than the probability associated with the complete military withdrawal that we ultimately executed.

That said, while I think it's fair to assign some blame to the Obama Administration for failing to reach the appropriate agreement with al-Maliki that would have allowed the residual force to remain in Iraq (ultimate blame does, ultimately, rest with Maliki, of course), I just don't know how fair it is to credit Trump's current position on the residual force, given that his on air position in February 2011, when asked if a President Trump would withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, was: "Well, Iraq, we shouldn't have been there and I'd get them out real fast." It seems somewhat disingenuous to me (and rather hypocritical, as well) that 2016 Trump is criticizing Obama for doing in 2011 precisely what 2011 Trump said he would do as President.

elcee said...

Oops. Fix:

The legal framework for the Iraq intervention wasn't the problem. The problem is President Obama contravened it and disastrously broke from customary 20th-21st century American leadership of the free world over-all and 1990-onward American leadership with Iraq specifically.

elcee said...

Bobby:
"I will agree that the presence of a residual US force in Iraq would have at least created an opportunity to blunt the rise of Daesh and especially its incursion into Iraqi territory, yes. I don't know what the probability of success would have been, but it certainly would have been greater than the probability associated with the complete military withdrawal that we ultimately executed."

It's difficult to predict because Obama's near-wholesale disengagement in contravention of the Strategic Framework Agreement had multiple and cascading effects on Iraq.

What's happened to Iraq due to Obama's course deviation goes some way towards answering the counter-factual of what might have happened to our fragile foes-turned-allies in Europe and Asia who depended on us if Eisenhower had made like choices as Obama did at approximately the same stage of development.

buwaya puti said...

I am quite aware of the samba, tango, chacha and rhumba dances everyone was treated to in all the various UN resolutions and the associated argumentation and pettifogging.
I dont see why anyone needed to take them seriously. The obsession with all this bloody legal process-ism is a symptom of sclerosis.

buwaya puti said...

Lets interpret all this stuff, all this "law", by what it actually means -
Consider the China Sea law of the sea business, where the Philippines "won" a "decision" against China. No, thats not what really happened.
One may think its a legal case. It takes the form of that, but its not.
The global powers that be simply issued a warning to China, in a situation of escalating threats. The (not clearly spoken) threat is to embargo Chinas trade should it persist. The tribunal, with vague powers, and being a political body, is merely a communication instrument. I suspect the communication may be too subtle for the Chinese.

buwaya puti said...

The Chinese, contrarywise, are much better communicators, much clearer, more explicit. They are threatening to blast anyone who opposes them. That is a simple message unlikely to be misunderstood.

n.n said...

Chinese... are much better communicators... They are threatening to blast anyone who opposes them

And there is that. Not unlike the "status of forces" that Democrats operate under, and, in the breach, Republicans, too.

n.n said...

elcee:

The authorization of war is not legally equivalent to a declaration of war. Not in the Constitution, not in statutory laws, not in contract laws, and does not carry the same real and perceived authority that sways and forces people's compliance.

wholelottasplainin' said...

elcee said:

Incorrect. It's a myth that a declaration of war imputes "far reaching legal consequences not activated by lesser authorizations".

*************

Oh baloney. A declaration of war has immediate effects. It triggers treaty obligations. It makes resident citizens of the country warred against subject to detainment and confinement. It immediately freezes their assets and all the assets owned by the other country.

That's just for starters.

Achilles said...

People like elcee think they win wars. Put up enough words and Shazam Bush did everything right. Except he refuses to deal with what bush did wrong. Our job was to win the fight there. Bush's job was to win the fight here.

Bush let the media and Obama trash us and our mission. It was only a matter of time until public disapproval caused us to pull out and or hostile politicians won. You can post all of the ucr's you want. Invading Iraq was a lost cause and you people wasted everything we did.

Achilles said...

To put a finer point on it Bush told us we could win a war without having to fight a war. As in everything else he was just democrat lite. Sure it is better than purposely losing like Obama did, but the end result is only different motivations. The results were the same.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"To put a finer point on it Bush told us we could win a war without having to fight a war."

*************

Citation, please.

Unknown said...

I think he means, 'go shopping,' as GWB's advice on how the American people could help the war effort.

Robert Cook said...

"As in everything else (Bush) was just democrat lite."

Heh. Today's Democrats are Republicans Lite. Equally subservient to the financial elites, equally committed to the American empirical goal of controlling the world, and though not quite as stupid and not quite as coarse or inhuman, they're close enough to be as damaging.

walter said...

Yeah..yet another "unknown", you're a bit misleading on the go shopping bit.

walter said...

Robert Cook,
When Hil promises to go where the money is, she has some credibility in that endeavor. I love how the media reported on Clinton Inc's charitable donations without mentioning they gave almost entirely to themselves.
Dems in concert with the media make for far better cons.
Not content to piss on your leg and tell you it's raining, they'll piss in your mouth and tell you to swallow for the greater good.

damikesc said...

I think he means, 'go shopping,' as GWB's advice on how the American people could help the war effort.

He said it as a response to a terrorist attack. You know, continue with your life and don't spend all of your time cowering in fear. It's common sense to most folks.

Robert Cook said...

@Walter:

And...?

Robert Cook said...

"He said ('go shopping') as a response to a terrorist attack. You know, continue with your life and don't spend all of your time cowering in fear."

It stills seems an inappropriate admonition in response to the 9/11 attacks. However he meant it, it's contradicted by his administration's concerted efforts to keep the populace terrified for the next year or two, in order to scare us into agreeing to his illegal invasion of Iraq. Their fear-mongering worked!

Unknown said...

walter said...
Yeah..yet another "unknown", you're a bit misleading on the go shopping bit.

8/17/16, 9:33 AM

No, Walter, I'm the good unknown, #69, Jon Ericson knows me.

I get what you're saying, it made a certain amount of sense for the reasons you cite, but I still thought it weak beer. WWII scrap drives were PR/propaganda then and would be now, but in fact the homefront is to a large degree disengaged (those without serving members); I've read and heard others, including a Marine and a sworn agent of the FBI at NCTC where I consulted, say things to the effect of, America isn't at war, we're at war, America is at the mall.

The closest approach has been "See Something, Say Something." He could have encouraged young people to enlist, linguists and other people with special skills; well, honestly, I don't know what all he could have done, but pretty much in effect it was "pay your taxes and trust us to handle it." Frankly it would have been fine to have some sort of outlet; I wouldn't be surprised if his chief concern was avoiding massacres of Muslims, which, had he wanted them (he certainly didn't), were on tap with the snap of a finger.

The one place we seem to actually feel the pinch is the execrable, risible TSA.

walter said...

Well..you connected that quote pretty directly to a war that had not begun at the time of the quote. Whether national sacrifice at personal levels once they began is another issue. Muddling things like that undermines your intent.

Sammy Finkelman said...

The oil that ISIS was selling was in Syria.

And it was selling it to the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad, too.

Sammy Finkelman said...

They ddi get a little in iraq in 2014, but mostly in Syria. ISIS was founded in Syria, where al Qaeda in Iraq had gone after being chased out of Iraq.

Unknown said...

OK Walter, I'm successfully confused. Believe me, I'm on the side of right and virtue. I may be muddled but have no intent besides sharing my fallible memory.

Original Mike said...

"No, Walter, I'm the good unknown, #69, Jon Ericson knows me."

Why don't you just pick a name? I don't get this "Unknown" thing.

Bad Lieutenant said...

More better, Walt?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Encore un fois...