September 24, 2014

The NYT editorial gives Obama something like his share of criticism for dragging America into another war.

Given the circumstances of this dramatic new war, it's hard to read "Wrong Turn on Syria: No Convincing Plan" as the equivalent of what they'd have thrown at George Bush if he'd done the same, but the criticism is substantial. There's no mention of Bush, by the way. No worse-than-Bush talk.
President Obama has put America at the center of a widening war by expanding into Syria airstrikes against the Islamic State, the Sunni extremist group known as ISIS and ISIL. He has done this without allowing the public debate that needs to take place before this nation enters another costly and potentially lengthy conflict in the Middle East.... How are Americans to know whether they have the information to make any judgment on the wisdom of his actions?...  In the absence of public understanding or discussion and a coherent plan, the strikes in Syria were a bad decision.
How do we know there is no plan or that the decision is "bad" if we're deprived of information? The premise must be that the President can never determine that a sudden, secret attack is necessary to protect America. The NYT seems to be saying the decision is "bad" because Congress and the rest of us Americans were left out of the loop.

I'm not convinced. It's possible that what Obama knew about Khorasan justified obliterating them with a sneak attack — that we just got saved from another 9/11. It's hard for a President to get credit for what doesn't happen. Rightly so. If it were easy to get credit, Presidents would resort to tricking us with claims of credit, "1984"-style.
... The White House claims that Mr. Obama has all the authority he needs under the 2001 law approving the use of force in Afghanistan and the 2002 law permitting the use of force in Iraq, but he does not.
He also claims power as Commander in Chief.
The administration also claims that the airstrikes are legal under international law because they were done in defense of Iraq. In a Sept. 20 letter to the United Nations, Iraq complained that the Islamic State was attacking its territory and said American assistance was needed to repel the threat. But the United Nations Security Council should vote on the issue.
Here's where a mention of George Bush would be particularly apt. Back to the NYT:
Meanwhile, Congress has utterly failed in its constitutional responsibilities. It has left Washington and gone into campaign fund-raising mode, shamelessly ducking a vote on this critical issue....
The silence means something. Members of Congress were informed. Maybe they understood the value of speed and secrecy here. Investigations can come later, perhaps looking into security successes, rather than, as with Benghazi, failures.
So, even though polls have shown public support for airstrikes in Syria, it may not last. Mr. Obama has said there needs to be a sustained mission against ISIS over an unlimited period; it’s unlikely the Americans would back a prolonged campaign if they don’t fully understand the aims or likelihood of success.
So there is public support, though it's hard to see how we support what we can't understand, including attacks on an enemy with a name we just saw yesterday. The NYT falls back on the problem of sustaining support for a long war. America gets tired of war, we are, inevitably, told. But we sit back and allow war. And we are harshly critical when we see that the President had a chance to preempt an attack and exercised restraint.
It is puzzling that Mr. Obama... kept details about Khorasan secret so the group would not know it was being tracked.
Puzzling... or completely understandable? The news report in the NYT says the aim was to "wipe out the leadership" of Khorasan. If we knew where they were and needed to hit them before they moved, what's the puzzle? The editorial observes that bin Laden was discussed publicly, but how many times over how many years did we have a shot at bin Laden and miss it*?
These incongruities — two enemies now, instead of one — call into question whatever sense of purpose and planning the administration hopes to project. 
Let me guess: Commander in Chief.

______________________________

* On September 10, 2001, the day before the 9/11 attacks, Bill Clinton — on a paid speaking gig before 30 businessmen in Australia — said: "I'm just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden - he's a very smart guy, I've spent a lot of time thinking about him — and I nearly got him once... I nearly got him. And I could have killed him...."

116 comments:

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, Bradley Manning still has a penis.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Unlikely to last much past the elections.

exhelodrvr1 said...

THe problem isn't Obama taking action now, the problem is that his actions over the past 6 years have left the situation dramatically worse than it could have been.

Anonymous said...

We attempt to find moderates in the Middle East to arm and support. Moderates in the Middle East never win. All like, three of them.

It is turtles all the way down.

MayBee said...

I don't like this don't hear about a group until we bomb them business. It seems like it's ripped from the Clinton playbook, when he bombed alQaeda in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, then told us about how bad they were, then pretty much didn't talk about them anymore.

I don't care if they don't say what they know they have planned...but to suddenly be at war with no input (or perhaps output) from the American public seems underhanded.

I think Obama became addicted to the headlines he gets when he surprises in the wake of the Bin Laden raid.

Finally, it is being reported today the attacks weren't imminent- imminent. Just kind of in the planning stages.

Original Mike said...

"It is puzzling that Mr. Obama... kept details about Khorasan secret so the group would not know it was being tracked."

You gotta laugh, to keep from crying.

wendybar said...

Wag the tail.....

Tank said...

The problem in evaluating this is that Zero is a Con Man and you can't believe anything he, or his spokesmen, say.

Let me know when he cites Islam as the problem, stops immigration from Islamic countries, and seals the border. He could also start deporting all Muslims who don't have US citizenship. LOL.

MayBee said...

Oh- what I don't like about not hearing about groups in the name of some sort of operational security is we end up with groups like ISIS coming out of "nowhere".

Obama called them JV, which they were not. He had been getting warnings about them.

He just didn't want to get dragged back into a conversation about problems in Iraq. He wanted his happy talk.

pm317 said...

It's possible that what Obama knew about Khorasan justified obliterating them with a sneak attack

oh.. how naive can you be? Obama is safe as long as there are people like you.

It is the Saudis, Qataris, and Turks on one side and Iran, Syria and Shia Iraq on the other and guess whose bidding Obama is carrying out with this haphazard bombing of empty buildings at night to take out their antennas and spending millions in the process? And ISIS is untouched but we are going after some unheard of before group Khorasans!
I am disgusted by the naivete of the American people and more disgusted that there are unserious politicians like Obama playing optics with serious international matters.

Ralph Hyatt said...

My theory is that the Democrats in congress are desperate to avoid a vote on the issue because a fairly substantial number of Democrats would vote against it while large numbers of Republicans will vote for authorizing force.

Thus creating a situation where the President's own party opposes one of his policies while the opposition party supports him.

The Drill SGT said...

Meanwhile, Congress has utterly failed in its constitutional responsibilities. It has left Washington and gone into campaign fund-raising mode, shamelessly ducking a vote on this critical issue

No. The WH is the one that failed. When POTUS wants to go to war or launch a multi-year counter-terrorist op with kinetic implications, the National Security Team puts together the proposed Congressional Resolution and sends it to the Leaders of both Houses for a vote.

Absent that leadership, the Congress could put together a resolution opposing potential WH plans, but it is hard for them to pass a Bill in support, unless they know what the POTUS Plans and what his goals are...

Bob Boyd said...

betamax3000 said...
Meanwhile, Bradley Manning still has a penis.

Exactly!
Seems to me we could spare one lousy airstrike for Bradly Manning's penis.

Anonymous said...

Obama wouldn't get this kind of grief if he was white. Only whites get to bomb indiscriminately. The new York Times is not 'the Grey Lady', she is white white white white white.

It is turtles all the way down.

Anonymous said...

Forget it Jake, it's the NYT editorial board.

Anonymous said...

Whites can't firebomb black churches anymore, so they take it out on the brown people of the Middle East. White makes Might: it is a sickness.

It is turtles all the way down.

Tank said...

pm317 said...

It is the Saudis, Qataris, and Turks on one side and Iran, Syria and Shia Iraq on the other...


Seriously, none of these countries are our friends; some may be allies in some ways, but friends? No.

We should take every opportunity to kill people/groups who want to, and have expressed the intent, to kill us, and not make believe we have any friends in that region besides Israel (and even they can be a pain in the butt).

Henry said...

Paging Hamlet: "I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw."

Very interesting explanation of the phrase at Word Detective. The New York Times has figured out how to tell its arse from its elbow.

Henry said...

I will add that my pun on hawk is fully intended.

The Drill SGT said...

Bob Boyd said...
Exactly!
Seems to me we could spare one lousy airstrike for Bradly Manning's penis.


Or Offer to trade Chelsea for two aid workers and a future draft choice. After all, Chelsea is one of the Crusaders...

Anonymous said...

One day Obama will be remembered as the 'Last of the White Presidents'. That is how History works at the hands of white people.

It is turtles all the way down.

The Drill SGT said...

Lord Palmerston:

"Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests."

Paul said...

So this cluster*uck of a president now decides he is a 'war president', salutes the Marines with a Styrofoam cup, and has his White House invaded by a nutjob. And now there is a 'badder' group he bombs than ISIS. Khorasans?, Are they related to the Kardashians?

Interesting...

And they tell me Syria is now our friend-enemy, and Iran can maybe keep their nukes.

Boy as Obama screwed the pooch on this one more than he has on any of his other scandals.

There will be lots of unintended consequences from this one.

Thanks alot president bozo.

Anonymous said...

Saudis, Qataris, Turks, Iran, Syria and Shia Iraq: Consistency is the Hobgoblin of White Minds.

Four hundred years from now we will owe Syria reparations. Is that what you want, white people? Assuming that there will still be any white people in four hundred years, that is.

It is turtles all the way down.

RecChief said...

"Congress has utterly failed in its constitutional responsibilities"

The one Constitutional Responsibility available to curb an executive who circumvents the Law is politically not viable.

MayBee said...

Don't we think Obama probably purposefully waited until Congress was on break to do the bombing?

As the Drill SGT points out, this is a problem for his party.

RecChief said...

Hey, remember when Romney said we left Iraq too soon and he was mocked widely for saying so?

Remember when Biden said that Romney wanted to bomb Syria? And that was a disqualifier for the Presidency?

Good Times. Good Times.

AReasonableMan said...

Shame they didn't write this in 2003 instead of cheer-leading with false reporting from Judith Miller.

Henry said...

Oh Damn! I forgot. It's Bush's fault.

Brando said...

You're giving the president way too much leeway here--yes, the CinC has the authority to use the military to strike at imminent threats to our country without notifying Congress if time and secrecy are of the essence. But under the War Powers Act he still needs to later get authorization for continuing military operations (I forget what the time limit is). It is important to maintain this balance or else we have imperial presidents launching wars anywhere they want, for however long they want, hyping up threats and claiming they did it for national security. We need safeguards from that, and these safeguards are reasonable enough that they don't prevent the president from acting swiftly to neuter actual threats.

Plus, in this particular case, the president and other supporters of war have not demonstrated (1) exactly why each group we're bombing is an actual threat to the U.S. (and claiming "they hate us" isn't enough--a lot of people hate us and we don't bomb them because it's implausible that we're genuinely threatened by them) and (2) why the bombing is going to neutralize that threat.

The country has sort of taken it for a given that armed thugs fighting in some regional war are going to do what Al Qaeda did to us. The thing is, that situation was different--Al Qaeda hit us from cells in this country, so had we learned of this on 9/10/11 and decided to just bomb their bases in Afghanistan, it wouldn't have prevented squat the next day. However, after the fact it did make sense to bomb and invade Afghanistan because Al Quaeda was using bases in that country to train its fighters and send them after us, and we needed to apprehend or kill the masterminds behind 9/11.

Is ISIS or these other groups in Syria actually directing attacks on the U.S. from there? If so, will a strictly air campaign put them out of action and frustrate these schemes?

If not, why are we doing this?

MayBee said...

I'm getting ready to listen to Obama, who used to talk about no country being above another, try to claim American leadership greatness at a time when he, himself, is not a world leader in any fashion.

It's going to be pathetic, I think.

Anonymous said...

RE: "If not, why are we doing this?"

This is what happens when Obama, 'Last of the White Presidents', is away from the golf course.

It is Turtles All the Way Down.

Anonymous said...

If the Republicans weren't such chickenshits impeachment proceedings would be starting by now.

Fernandinande said...

betamax3000 said...
The new York Times is not 'the Grey Lady', she is white white white white white.
It is turtles all the way down.


What color are the turtles?

I like the ones with the red stripes.

Writ Small said...

Diane Feinstein creating lurid images of headless little girls. President Passive is taking action and the opposition is muted. The intelligence case for hitting these guys must be quite something.

Original Mike said...

Speaking of the New York Times, "Unlike Mr. Bush in the Iraq war, Mr. Obama has sought to surround the United States with partners."

AReasonableMan said...

madisonfella said...
If the Republicans weren't such chickenshits impeachment proceedings would be starting by now.


Damn right. It's as though they actually favor more war.

tim in vermont said...

We have been at war with these guys for 200 years, viz The Marine Hymn.

I give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

tim in vermont said...

You know betamax, it is turtles all the way down.

Bob Boyd said...

Let me get this straight. In the last couple years we almost went to war against Assad in alliance with the Syrian Opposition because we were tricked by them into thinking Assad used chemical weapons against them. But actually it was the Syrian Opposition using chemical weapons they got from the Turks against civilians in an effort to draw us into the war on their side.
We were saved from this fiasco by Vladimir Putin.
Also in the last couple of years we have provided support for the Syrian opposition in the form of weapons and expertise, helping them to become a serious fighting force.
In doing so we created a monster. The Syrian Opposition became ISIS. Now we are bombing them and searching for anyone in the region and the world to help us "degrade" them. Not many have signed up.
And the NYT asks, " How are Americans to know whether they have the information to make any judgment on the wisdom of his actions?"
That is a damn good question.

Will said...

I thought you were a lawyer. What good are things like the War Powers Act to constrain the CiC if he is free to just ignore them?

One thing we have learned in the last decade is that War rips the country apart. Dems dumped on BusHitler mercilessly for years. Thank goodness he went through channels in Congress, built a decent coalition, and had 15 UN resolutions to at least attempt to build consensus. This put Kerry, Clinton, Biden on record for doing the right thing for the Country even if they later disavowed their actions for cyclical partisan reasons.

What will happen in the next 5 years when politicians with the same lack of character that Clinton/Biden/Kerry displayed can take potshots without the reality check of being on the record? It is very corrosive to the country. Surely they will all demagogue it to death and have it both ways depending on how the wind blows. This is a recipe for disaster when people don't have to "own it." This is what Candidate Obama dishonestly did and they see how he bludgeoned Hillary with his "Present" votes and lack of skin in the game. But that is not an argument against skin in the game.

If you give people a free call option they will take reckless risks to exploit it (as we saw in the Housing Crisis where everyone knew the degradation of underwriting standards was insane but everyone thought they could leave the party in time). The only people more shamelessly opportunistic than Traders are politicians.

Put them on the Record. Follow the Rules. They are there for a Reason.

It's nice if we got some imminent threat as collateral damage, but this crisis has festered in the Obama Vacuum for over 2 years while 200k people died in Syria and a decade of blood and tears was forfeited in Iraq.

A civilian CiC is entitled to make the final call. It is part of our protections against Tyranny to have a civilian oversee the Military. But when that CiC ignores the advice of his Military Advisors and creates a vacuum that allows a terrorist threat to bloom then that CiC owns the result of his decisions. Obama's policies have been an abysmal disaster for the World and History will judge him harshly. He certainly does not deserve to make unilateral decisions given his failed record. He needs to build consensus with the Peoples' representatives and observe the Rules.

damikesc said...

ARM, the Dems specifically voted for war under Bush. How blood thirsty are they?

Michael said...

Obama lied and people died. As will more. Many more. Because oil. Because affirmative action. Because politics.

MayBee said...

He was going to be the new American Leader the world needed. His leadership was going to make America great.

And now he needs to invoke the idea the world needs American Leadership in order to excuse his own leadership failings.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

It's possible that what Obama knew about Khorasan justified obliterating them with a sneak attack — that we just got saved from another 9/11.

The Administration first leaked word about Khorasan being a target over a week ago. It's not a sneak attack if you tell them you are coming after them.

Sharpen up Althouse!

Michael said...

Bush went to Congress. Obama, the imperial president, has no need for Congress.

One day no problem. Next day imminent threat from a group we have never heard of. How convenient.

Obama's war.

Michael said...

B. blood for oil Hussein Obama.

Imminent threat bullshit. Obama lied.

tim in vermont said...

To be consistent with all of his blather to get elected, and the blather of the ironically named "Reasonable Man" or Robert Cook, shouldn't we just recognize the genocide dealing, poison gas using, torture state of Saddam's Baathist brother in arms as the legitimate govt of Syria and work with them, the way we should have done with Saddam?

tim in vermont said...

"The Administration first leaked word about Khorasan being a target over a week ago."

If he did, and I don't doubt you, that is just unbelievable.

RecChief said...

"If the Republicans weren't such chickenshits impeachment proceedings would be starting by now."

Perhaps you need to read up on how impeachment works. But then, the IRS targeting groups that want to educate others on the Constitution makes that difficult. This has been discussed before. You don't seem stupid, why are you acting like it?

MayBee said...

tim in vermont-
To be consistent with all of his blather to get elected, and the blather of the ironically named "Reasonable Man" or Robert Cook, shouldn't we just recognize the genocide dealing, poison gas using, torture state of Saddam's Baathist brother in arms as the legitimate govt of Syria and work with them, the way we should have done with Saddam?

Very good point.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

@Tim in Vermont

Thanks for the trust but here is the verify. Last couple of weeks the administration was leaking that a group of al queda honchos were in Syria seeking western recruits to attack the west. There were reports of new bomb making techniques involved.

Last week James Clapper, DNI, first used the name Khorasan to identify this group.

I'm not opposed to the attacks on this group. I just wanted to correct Althouse for her naive view of the world. She really does need to get out more.

Brando said...

Maybe I've been looking at this all wrong, and should take the "Obama can do no wrong" approach that many of his supporters have.

Maybe he is playing some clever "three dimensional chess" and is doing some rope-a-dope with the Constitution. A brilliant strategist like Obama always plays the long game, and gets the last laugh.

Maybe all of this is his way of saying that the presidency has become too imperial, that we have given too much power to the executive, and as a people we are too quick to allow unauthorized wars and dubious military actions that have the thinnest justifications. Maybe he's demonstrating just how far this can go, and trying to give us a wakeup call.

Maybe this is all an elaborate form of performance art, designed to get us back to our Constitutional roots. He is, after all, a former Constitutional Law professor.

Maybe this is a valuable lesson he planned to teach us all along. Because the alternative explanation would be horrible to contemplate.

tim in vermont said...

It’s hard not to wonder whether in a quiet moment President Obama sometimes thinks he was too smug and too callow back when he poured contempt on President Bush. - The American Interest

It is, but when you got elected with the support of those with childish, yet fanatical views about the world, like Robert Cook, and ARM, if he does wonder, he keeps his mouth shut.

Unknown said...

I am about as anti-O as one can be and I remain unconvinced that the "plans" are anything but a political sop, but cancer starts small.

"I'm just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden - he's a very smart guy, I've spent a lot of time thinking about him - and I nearly got him once. I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him. And so I didn't do it." -- Bill Clinton (09/10/2001)

MayBee said...

Some background on the rollout of the term Khorasan group from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

richard mcenroe said...

Clinton could have killed bin Laden... but the Masters was on and the lout wouldn't get up from the TV to give the go order.

richard mcenroe said...

What odds he has yet to hit one member of the Khorasan leadership, what with the advance notice to Iran and all...

Achilles said...

AReasonableMan said...
"Shame they didn't write this in 2003 instead of cheer-leading with false reporting from Judith Miller."

Oh the false reporting. The lies. The 50 or so other countries that joined in as opposed to 5. Getting 80% of Congress to vote yes for the declaration. Then the nearly 10 years of the game armed forces work.

All undone so ARM can have his failed war. All undone so Obama could get elected. Progressives need the US to look weak. That is why Obama is wagging the dog now not just to affect the midterms, but so he can fail and show weakness. Going to "war" like this is disgusting and so are his supporters.

Unknown said...

Slight Aside: Turtles represent strength and stability. Jays, on the other hand, are aggressive, noisy, garrulous, territorial. They tend to snatch at shiny objects and exhibit structural coloration. Jay is slang (or was when I was much younger, not sure anymore) for marijuana. Obama is jays all the way down.

(“We’ll teach him to know Turtles from Jayes,” The Merry Widows)

Achilles said...

richard mcenroe said...
"What odds he has yet to hit one member of the Khorasan leadership, what with the advance notice to Iran and all..."

Finding them isn't the hard part. Getting our political leadership to grow some balls and let us kill them is the hard part.

Michael K said...

ARM is having cognitive dissonance. If only in 2003 blah,blah,blah.

Personally, I am only in favor of arming the Kurds and maybe some airstrikes to help them hold out under the siege they are facing.

This report from Kurdistan is a good picture of what is going on.

Erbil has changed a lot since I was there last. In early 2013, on my way into Syrian Kurdistan, I had stopped off in the city for a few days to make preparations. Then, the city had the feel of a boom town – shopping malls springing up across the skyline, brand new SUVs on the road, Exxon Mobil and Total were coming to town. It was the safest part of Iraq, an official of the Kurdish Regional Government had told me proudly over dinner in a garden restaurant.

A new kind of Middle East city.

What a difference a year makes. Now, Erbil is a city under siege.


The Sunnis are supporting ISIS and the Saudis, I suspect, are doing as little as their need for US arms requires. Qatar is the main prop of ISIS along with the Wahhabis in Saudi.

We have no dog in this fight but the Kurds seem the only deserving party. There are no moderates.

Mike said...

At an intelligence gathering in Washington, D.C. on 18 September 2014, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated that "in terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State (IS)."[4]

Via Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khorasan_%28Islamist_group%29

Fen said...

Obama is entering his lame duck phase, so no loss for the MSM if they come out against him now. What they are doing here is trying to restore some of their credibility in time to campaign for Hillary.

AReasonableMan said...


Michael K said...
ARM is having cognitive dissonance.


Not at all. In fact I have been quite consistent in my criticism of this war, which I opposed from the beginning.

Paul said...

Tim in vermont said...
"I give Obama the benefit of the doubt."

Well I used to have doubts about Obama... but now they are way beyond doubts.

Obama is not turning into a Bush. He is turning into the second term of Jimmy Carter.

Carter screwed up so badly he was booted out after one term and could not see the fruition of his screwups (Reagan was handled that 'mess'.)

Obama, on the other hand, is now seeing some of his chickens coming home to roost.

And he has two more years to see those chickens come home, and man will they come. He will make Bush II, Clinton, Bush I, Carter, Ford, hell even Nixon look good.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

AReasonableMan said...
madisonfella said...
If Madisonfella and ARM weren't such chickenshits calls for impeachment proceedings would be starting by now.

Damn right. It's as though MAdisonfella and ARM actually favor more war.


FIFY

9/24/14, 8:59 AM

MayBee said...

The name was first floated publicly about two weeks ago. Of course, it was Khurasan and not AlQaeda, because even though it's really AlQaeda, AlQaeda has been decimated.

So the name and the danger level was put out there by Clapper 2 weeks ago, when the admin was already floating the idea they didn't need Congress to authorize attacks in Syria because they could use the AUMF.
ISTM the admin used the "imminent but not really imminent" threat of the "AlQaeda but not really AlQaeda" group to legitimize his ISIS bombings.

Hagar said...

Don't get hung up on individual names and places; it's all the same war, and so it has been all along.

Annie said...

Bob Boyd said:
In doing so we created a monster. The Syrian Opposition became ISIS. Now we are bombing them and searching for anyone in the region and the world to help us "degrade" them. Not many have signed up.
And the NYT asks, " How are Americans to know whether they have the information to make any judgment on the wisdom of his actions?"


If they have been paying attention to what obama has been doing, they would notice a pattern. And it's not pretty.

- When the Iranians wanted to oust their mullahs, for democracy, Obama said we can't put our nose in other people's business. *wonders which side Iranian born Valerie Jarrett has an interest in*

- He put his nose in Libya and helped oust Khaddafi. Khaddafi kept the muslim brotherhood at bay. With him gone, who fills the vacuum?

- He put his nose in Egypt (Mubarak kept the Muslim Brotherhood at bay) and threw his support behind Morsi, who it turns out to be backed by the MB. The Egyptians said, 'Oh Hell no', and tossed him and his MB buddies out. This displeased Obama. Egyptians tagged Obama as a terrorist. Obama cuts off their aid. Egyptian security is getting hit like Israel, and like Israel, they were blowing up terror tunnels on their side.

- He put his nose in Syria to help topple Assad, another guy who doesn't care about the MB. He wants to bomb him but Putin said that there were no cries for democracy there, so back off. Obama begins to arm the 'rebels', who are there to take out Assad. Benghazi blows up in his face and the lies/cover-up commences, he goes fundraising. Noone truly knows who the rebels are but do know terrorists have infiltrated.

- So we come full circle. The Syrian opposition became ISIS and fills the vacuum in Iraq where Obama abandoned those people to their ugly fate. Iraq falls.

- On the one hand, Obama talked about degrading ISIS with airstrikes but now we're bombing some group noone has ever heard of? On the other hand, congress approves arming the Syrian rebels, whose original mission was to oust Assad, to battle ISIS. Do you really think those rebels are going to abandon what they set out to do? Or Obama. Is anyone else confused about this clusterf*ck?

Consider this - Obama has quite a few members of the Muslim Brotherhood in his administration, advising him. DHS advisor, Mohamed Elibiary got in hot water for tweeting such things as, 'The Caliphate is inevitable'.

Hamas, Hezbollah, al qaeda, on down the line, are bastard children (foot soldiers) of the Muslim Brotherhood. What is the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood but a return of the caliphate, on a global scale.

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6386

And who has been arming, supporting, and being advised by them?

And who is next? Jordan or Lebanon? Both of whom are having skirmishes with terror groups.

It is the caliphate all the way down.

The only people we should be arming are the Kurds, who like Israel, are surrounded.

AReasonableMan said...

What is sad here is that the citizens of a great nation can be so easily panicked into wasting their resources by a bunch of loosely organized terrorists.

There are no winners here but the biggest loser politically is Rand Paul who has managed to eliminate the entire rationale for his candidacy. If he can't stand up to the modest level of pressure produced by these beheadings what chance that he would resist something more serious?

David said...

Embarrassing. NYT is not just wrong, it's stupidly wrong. But that's ok. They are editorial writers. Please, please never put them in a position of making actual decisions.

damikesc said...

Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. How bad does he look?

Just Mike said...

What Will said at 9:05 *YES*

Brando said...

"Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. How bad does he look?"

That prize has long ago lost its value. While Gandhi wasn't a saint, the fact that he never won one when he led the largest anti-colonial movement using nonviolence is a sick joke. Giving unearned prizes to Carter, Gore and Obama just to poke Bush in the eye (as if Bush really cared, anyway) just devalued the prize even more. And especially giving it to Obama when he had just barely taken office as president (and had many years of launching wars ahead of him, as we saw) was just begging for egg on the face. Why not at least wait until he left office and see what he might accomplish? As many said at the time, it would be like giving a director the Oscar because he plans to make a great movie the following year.

If Obama had any humility at all (ha!) he would have politely declined the award, saying that while he's honored that so many have such high hopes for him he hopes to earn the award through pursuing peace and prosperity throughout his term. Had he done that, he would have really set off his presidency on a good note--it'd be hard for any of his opponents to find fault in that.

Rusty said...

We're sending a couple of sqadron of A 10s to Iraq.
For, you know, close air support.
Of troopers on the ground.

What!!???

Michael said...

ARM

Don't you think Obama should take his case for his war to Congress so that it can be discussed, debated and passed? Or not?

We remember how that dumb motherfucker chimpyBushHitler tricked everybody but you into voting for the last war. Is Obama not up to making a case in front of Congress?

Rand Paul is not the president and what he would or would not do is irrelevant.

Should Obama pursue this war, Obama's War, without Congress? Without the support of the people?

Meade said...

Bob Boyd said...
"And the NYT asks, " How are Americans to know whether they have the information to make any judgment on the wisdom of his actions?"
That is a damn good question."

A double damn good question.

Michael said...

ARM

"What is sad here is that the citizens of a great nation can be so easily panicked into wasting their resources by a bunch of loosely organized terrorists."

Who is panicked and why? Who is waltzing into this war on his own without the support of Congress/the people? I believe Mr. Obama is politically panicked and politics is the only thing that ruffles Mr. cool.

No panic in these parts.

Meade said...

The Drill SGT said...
Bob Boyd said...
Exactly!
Seems to me we could spare one lousy airstrike for Bradly Manning's penis.

Or Offer to trade Chelsea for two aid workers and a future draft choice. After all, Chelsea is one of the Crusaders...
-------------------------------------------
Speaking of the draft, how about Obama bringing the draft back, only make it just for old men 54 - 69 yrs-old. Boots on the ground, cannon fodder, whatever you want to call us. We're close enough to Dr. Emanuel's 75 mark. Win-win-win!

Michael K said...

"ARM is having cognitive dissonance.

Not at all. In fact I have been quite consistent in my criticism of this war, which I opposed from the beginning. "

The cognitive dissonance is watching your idol, the boy/man Obama marching, however half heartedly, in the footsteps of Bush. Except he destroyed the chances of saving Iraq and now is doing just enough to try to get past the midterms.

The A 10s are useless without some FACs there to mark targets. In case you also cannot pronounce corpsman, FACS are forward air controllers, other wise known as "boots on the ground."

Obama is a clown but his base, including you, are happy with clowns as long as they have red diapers.

Brando said...

It's important to remember the classic escalation case of Vietnam. JFK sends in the first several thousand advisers, to train and buttress our ARVN allies, for fear they were going to lose against the National Liberation Front. Things weren't looking so good after a bit--so he sent more troops, and okayed a coup that resulted in the assassination of our once-ally but now unpopular Diem.

Well, the political turmoil wasn't solved then, and the NLF was getting more active, and after JFK's death LBJ was again told by his advisers that our ally ran the risk of being overrun. Okay, what could we do? We could help our ally by bombing North Vietnam, which was supporting the NLF--so we sort of cooked up the Gulf of Tonkin incident, Congress voted by a massive margin to give LBJ wide powers to strike back, and we started minor bombing of the North.

Well, the bombing had to be increased, as the South was still doing poorly in the war, according to the advisers. But more bombing meant launching from bases on land, and those bases needed U.S. troops to protect them, so we sent them in. But the NLF still could attack our bases, and run away when we returned fire, so we needed to send in more troops to search and destroy the enemy. Clearly the ARVN wasn't strong enough to do the job.

Well, before long we had 50K troops there, then as our goals were not being accomplished that had to go to 100K, then 200K. The president wondered how something that should have been a sideshow was consuming so much of our military, but we'd already committed so much and just a little more might do the trick. Everything else he'd accomplished in life (elections, Great Society, Civil Rights, getting his wife to marry him) was done through persistence--the war could be won with it as well. All the while, he kept telling the people that the war was almost won, the enemy was losing far more than we were, taxes didn't need to be raised, and there were plenty of exemptions from the draft if you could be creative.

Then came Tet, and while the North lost big in that offensive, LBJ looked worse--it was clear to the people that the enemy still had a lot of fight left, and now we had half a million troops in the country, and several dead Americans coming home in bags every week. We had tolerated greater sacrifices in WWII, but then we had decided that those stakes demanded it--no one could really explain why it was important for us to win the Vietnam War--and LBJ had spent so much time telling us that the South had to fight it for themselves, and we were almost done there, which seemed betrayed by his actions and the reality of the war.

When it was all done, the big question was how did this happen? We certainly never made a conscious decision to spend over a decade in Vietnam, sacrifice over 50K American lives, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians, and who knows how much treasure. But gradually, by opening that door with a poorly considered initial strategy that lent itself to escalation, we got there.

In this current adventure we're being told that these enemy groups are threats to us, though exactly how isn't entirely clear--it seems enough that they hate us and are evil, and that they would certainly nuke us if they had the chance. And maybe they do present some real threat--but that hasn't been made clear any more than the loss of South Vietnam leading to disaster for the U.S. was made clear back in the day. Furthermore, limited bombing of our enemies now has not been shown to accomplish the goal of destroying them any more than small numbers of advisers and later expanded bombing of North Vietnam would save South Vietnam from infiltration by a determined enemy. And with such amorphous goals as we have now, coupled with a dubious strategy to accomplish them, it seems that we would either have to give up in frustration early on or give in to the obvious calls to escalate the conflict, much like the choice we faced in the 1960s.

tim in vermont said...

Dealing with enemies who have declared a goal of a world wide empire is not panic. Nuking Syria would be panic, but the years and centuries have shown that killing them where they hide is the only way to keep them down for a little while.

Revenant said...

It's possible that what Obama knew about Khorasan justified obliterating them with a sneak attack — that we just got saved from another 9/11. It's hard for a President to get credit for what doesn't happen.

One of the many problems with that line of thinking is that the Obama administration has shown itself willing to trumpet such accomplishments, even to the point of putting intelligence assets and American interests at risk.

So we have to believe that just this one time, the administration not only acted to save American lives, but is keeping the true dangers a secret instead of using them for political gain. That's just not something a rational person can believe.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
The cognitive dissonance is watching your idol, the boy/man Obama marching, however half heartedly, in the footsteps of Bush.


As usual you are making a fool of yourself by citing things not in evidence.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael said...
Don't you think Obama should take his case for his war to Congress so that it can be discussed, debated and passed? Or not?


Surely this is something that you should be asking of Congress.

You aren't because you already know the answer. The cowardly mofos on the hill don't want to take any politically risking votes if they can possibly avoid it.

richard mcenroe said...

AReasonableMan said..."Michael K said...
The cognitive dissonance is watching your idol, the boy/man Obama marching, however half heartedly, in the footsteps of Bush.

As usual you are making a fool of yourself by citing things not in evidence."

Agreed. There's no evidence Obama has the coordination needed to march well.

DanTheMan said...

>> Getting our political leadership to grow some balls and let us kill them is the hard part.

Maybe they can have Bradley Manning's?

Bob Boyd said...

Meade said..
"Speaking of the draft, how about Obama bringing the draft back, only make it just for old men 54 - 69 yrs-old. Boots on the ground, cannon fodder, whatever you want to call us. We're close enough to Dr. Emanuel's 75 mark. Win-win-win!"


Hmmm....The codger brigade.Not a bad idea.
Canes on the ground.
Old, armed to the teeth and in the way.
We'll get there when we get there, but when we do, Look out!
Charge? Fuck that! Just relax. They'll come over here after a bit. They're crazed terrorists for Pete's sake. What else are they gonna do? Mean time I'ma sit down.

damikesc said...

Surely this is something that you should be asking of Congress.

Congress doesn't draft Resolutions of War or to use Military Force. The President does that.

You aren't because you already know the answer. The cowardly mofos on the hill don't want to take any politically risking votes if they can possibly avoid it.

No, the Dems do not, you are correct.

As usual you are making a fool of yourself by citing things not in evidence.

Agreed. He's insulting Bush.

Bush served in the military. Obama did not (CHICKEN HAWK!!!)

Bush went to the UN and Congress. Obama did neither.

Bush put together a fairly large coalition. Obama did not.

Bush didn't waste time with only air strikes that won't do shit. Obama didn't.

Lydia said...

You know, I'd be very happy if Clinton had been successful and taken out Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. All the wag-the-dog political drama notwithstanding. So I'm giving Obama some slack on this. We once thought al Qaeda was just a rag-tag group of terrorists, too.

jr565 said...

ARM wrote:

There are no winners here but the biggest loser politically is Rand Paul who has managed to eliminate the entire rationale for his candidacy. If he can't stand up to the modest level of pressure produced by these beheadings what chance that he would resist something more serious?

What about the antiwar left who have given this president rubber stamp after rubber stamp to carry out his wars of choice? What about the anti war crowd? Where is it? It was the entire left that raised it's voice to Bush, Rand/Ron Paul was one kooky guy in the wilderness. If you want to hold someone accountable hold your president accountable. Otherwise you are the hypocritye.

jr565 said...

Lydia wrote:
We once thought al Qaeda was just a rag-tag group of terrorists, too.

They were until they weren't. We watch them metastisize into something bigger and then have to deal with them as a bigger entity. ISIS wasn't ISIS as we know it until it started invading various countries. So you can forgive some thinking they were a ragtag band, and not a well honed force since we hadn't yet seen ISIS do the things we now know they've done.
But knowing that we can't pretend like they are still the rag tag band of terrorists, or make the argumetn that because we didnt' deal with them then we have no moral right to deal with them now. No, they are a metastisized cancer that needs to be cut out to save the patient.

jr565 said...

The left always would show the picture of Don Rumsfeld shaking Sadaam's hand as if to say "We were in bed with sadaam. Or, We created Sadaam". Well, no, we just weren't at war with Sadaam yet.
But assuming a picture of Don Rumsfeld shaking Sadaam's hand is supposed to be an embarrasment to Don Rumsfeld. Bush did the opposite. He didn't shake Sadaam's hand he overthrew him. If the policy was bad twenty years ago supporting the dictator why must we continue the policy?
And the left after trying to embarrass Don with him getting cozy with the evil bastard, say we shoudl have kept that same evil bastard in power. If we had, I'd imagine we'd have photos of obama's dignitaries similarly shaking the dictators hands.

Michael K said...

ARM, what is "not in evidence?" Your fanboy love for the light bringer ? Or Bush's steps ?

I doubt Obama will get anything like as much success as Bush had but they do seem to wander off in the same direction.

The big difference is that Obama is not serious.

khesanh0802 said...

I remain unconvinced of Obama's seriousness. Like Bart Hall I have a sinking feeling that this action is aimed at the run up to mid terms and will dwindle afterwards.

I have little confidence in an air assault accomplishing a great deal by itself. As satisfying as it is to flex our muscles, if our goal is to destroy ISIS, "strategic bombing" alone will not do it. ISIS needs to be rolled up in Iraq and pushed back into Syria. If the new Al Qaeda group is such a threat then it is doubtful that scattered air raids will deter it.

As to Congressional approval one could ask: Does asymmetrical warfare require a different kind of approval process? Though I am not sure what the process should be, it should be debated.

What else could the NYT say? I suppose they are technically correct, but a Democratic controlled Congress and White House never repealed or modified the powers that were given to Bush. Why should we now expect the Republicans to fall on their swords?


Michael said...

ARM

So the president does not decide what he takes to congress? I should ask congress to decide what Obama wants, what his rationale is for what he wants?

You dont think, in other words, that he needs to make a cas for his war to the people's house?

Understood. As i expected.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
ARM, what is "not in evidence?" Your fanboy


Apparently senility has advanced to the extent that you now fail to recognize that I am one of the few people here criticizing Obama's actions in Iraq. Or, maybe it's the purple drank.

Roadkill said...

Hey, if a Nobel Peace Laureate says we need to go to war in Iraq, and in Syria, and bomb some people, 'cuz an election is coming up and for other reasons, who are we to second-guess Him?

Drago said...

AReasonableMan said...
What is sad here is that the citizens of a great nation can be so easily panicked into wasting their resources by a bunch of loosely organized terrorists

LOL

What an obama butt-boy you are!

According to ARM, it's we, the people, who have let obama down by "panicking so easily." Again, no doubt.

Yes, of course. Obama is just an observer of events and he is very very very disappointed that we, the people, have not provided ARM approved direction for his next steps.

Always have to cover for the affirmative action preezy.

Drago said...

ARM: "Apparently senility has advanced to the extent that you now fail to recognize that I am one of the few people here criticizing Obama's actions in Iraq."

No, we just happen to notice that for each of obama's failures (from your point of view) the fault always lies with republicans in congress and the american people.

It gets old fast.

AReasonableMan said...

Drago, the balless, fails to notice that I am in fact criticizing the president's actions because they do not accord with my beliefs regarding the best course of action in Iraq, unlike most of the commenters here who apparently want to extend this war indefinitely.

Michael K said...

" unlike most of the commenters here who apparently want to extend this war indefinitely." ARM, you do not give the impression that anything OBama does is distasteful to you.

As for my opinion, Here it is .

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
you do not give the impression that anything OBama does is distasteful to you


Because you are a thick-headed ideologue unable to see past the colors of your team.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
As for my opinion,


Joe Biden said it first.

richard mcenroe said...

"Speaking of the draft, how about Obama bringing the draft back, only make it just for old men 54 - 69 yrs-old. Boots on the ground, cannon fodder, whatever you want to call us. We're close enough to Dr. Emanuel's 75 mark. Win-win-win!"

I used to joke about not getting called back up at my age unless the North Koreans were landing in Malibu.

Guess I shouldn't have said that where Democrats could hear...

Michael K said...

"Because you are a thick-headed ideologue unable to see past the colors of your team."

No, I am a person who has done some reading about the middle east and have concluded that there is little we can do. Joe Biden, who IS a thick headed ideologue, was for giving up when there was a chance to salvage much of Iraq. I know you don't agree but I don't think you know as much as you should, or as much as I do.

It always astonishes me when intelligent people will buy what empty suits like Obama are selling. Two of my children are like that and I don't discuss politics with them. I feel sorry for the generation that supported Obama as I think it will be near fatal for the country.

Drago said...

ARM: "Drago, the balless, fails to notice that I am in fact criticizing the president's actions because they do not accord with my beliefs regarding the best course of action in Iraq,.."


LOL

Your primary criticisms are of the congress and the country.

Criticism of obama lags far behind the others!

As you well know.

Drago said...

ARM: "...unlike most of the commenters here who apparently want to extend this war indefinitely."

ARM pretends that it's not the other side that determines the length of this war.

This "war" has been going on for about 1400 years in case you hadn't noticed.

Drago said...

ARM: "Drago, the balless,..."

And while we're on it, are you sure you don't want to delete this posting along with all the other incredibly juvenile posts you've been making on the other thread?

Consistency would seem to demand it!

LOL

Achilles said...

Revenant said...
"It's possible that what Obama knew about Khorasan justified obliterating them with a sneak attack — that we just got saved from another 9/11. It's hard for a President to get credit for what doesn't happen.

One of the many problems with that line of thinking is that the Obama administration has shown itself willing to trumpet such accomplishments, even to the point of putting intelligence assets and American interests at risk.

So we have to believe that just this one time, the administration not only acted to save American lives, but is keeping the true dangers a secret instead of using them for political gain. That's just not something a rational person can believe."

He can't talk about Khorasan because that is just the dumb name they have for Al Quaeda which is doing better than ever in the country he abandoned for political gain.

Achilles said...

AReasonableMan said...
"Drago, the balless, fails to notice that I am in fact criticizing the president's actions because they do not accord with my beliefs regarding the best course of action in Iraq, unlike most of the commenters here who apparently want to extend this war indefinitely."

Wrong. We don't want indefinite war. We want to win. We could easily do that and we were until the ROE's were changed and Obama preemptively surrendered. Do we have to quote Obama and Biden again about how well things were just 2 years ago?

But it is your goal that we fail. Then when ISIS pops up because of your fecklessness you blame that on us too. Everything is our fault. God I wish you people would just gtfo. Go to another country. The constant disrespect progressives show to the armed forces is galling. You hate everything about this country and what it has done. Please just leave.

Robert Cook said...

"We don't want indefinite war. We want to win. We could easily do that and we were...."

Au contraire.

We we weren't winning, which proves we cannot do so easily. If all it takes for a "safer than Chicago" (sic) Iraq to collapse into violent chaos is the departure of American troops--as if it weren't violent while we were there--then no victory has been achieved, only "peace" enforced by armed troops, which is not peace at all, or a victory.

Moreover, we do want indefinite war. It enriches the arms merchants (and corporations providing ancillary support services); it allows the state to accrue more unwarranted and tyrannical power unto itself, to be questioned by no one; it cows the public into accepting without protest the ever-more-tyrannical state, (and convinces us that it is in our benefit to accept tyranny and loss of our freedoms); it sucks more money out of the budget for use for the public good, and concentrates that money in the hands of those at the top, (in government and in the private sector).

We absolutely do want an indefinite war. "America, Fuck Yeah!

(It's really: "America, Fuck US!")

Fen said...

Khorasan is just a new name for remnants of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Obama had to invent a new name for them because he claimed they were on the run.

Joe said...

What are we going to do when the opponents of ISIS form their own loony group and use the weapons we gave them to kill everyone opposed?

We have no strategy in Iraq just like we have none in Afghanistan. It's just one big shit storm with vague idealism. But few politicians want to go on record saying that. Even Obama can't bring himself to say "fuck this shit. We'll help defend the Kurds, but it ends there."

(And I hate to break the news, but leaving our troops in Iraq would have accomplished nothing over the medium term. The US sucks at nation building and should stop trying. If people do not want to govern themselves and/or are incapable of doing so, why should we pretend otherwise?)

ken in sc said...

As has been said before, it is more important that our enemies fear us than that they love us. If Obama accomplishes this, I will give him credit for doing his job. Which is something I don't think he has done so far.