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Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

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  • Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

    Thus spoke 'ol Joe Biden...

    As Iraq falls apart, it's worth remembering Vice President Joe Biden hailing that country as one of President Obama's "great achievements" in a 2010 interview with then CNN host Larry King:

    "I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government," said Biden.

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




    Now... I'd love more than anything to blame what is going on in Iraq today on Obama.

    And likely, I still could. We could have left troops there... Obama refused. We could have been providing support right now. At first Obama refused once again... now... maybe we will help...

    Two-and-a-half years after U.S. military forces departed Iraq, President Obama said American military intervention is likely to be deployed there to assist a weakened government overrun by insurgents sympathetic to al-Qaeda.

    Iraqs going to need more help. Its going to need more help from us, and its going to need more help from the international community, the president said in the Oval Office during a visit with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday.

    I dont rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in Iraq, or Syria, for that matter, he said. I think its fair to say that in our consultations with the Iraqis, there will be some short-term, immediate things that need to be done militarily, and our national security team is looking at all the options.
    But that is not why I am not all over his shit about Iraq...


    .... A top leader in ISIS, a radical Sunni Muslim group that U.S. forces spent eight years trying to defeat, urged fighters to press on to Baghdad, where he said there are scores to be settled with the Shiite-led government.

    ...

    Adnani also vowed that ISIS would take the southern Iraqi Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf, sites of two of the holiest shrines in Shiite Islam.
    It's interesting to watch these brain donors in action. They're winning everywhere, and Shiites are laying down their arms rather than fight. But instead of consolidating their gains, they're determined to do the One Thing that might inspire a vigorous counteroffensive by the Shi'ites.

    I guess they don't care. Allah told them to do stupid, murderous things, so hey, that's what they'll do.

    Oh, and who didn't see this coming? (who outside of the administration that is)

    Iran deployed Revolutionary Guard forces to fight in Iraq, helping government troops there wrest back control of most of the city of Tikrit from militants, Iranian security sources said
    Except that the Kurds now hold Tikrit. Maybe...

    Who knows...?

    So... even though I'd like to blame Obama, and could blame him for leaving the job unfinished, these guys have been fighting for a thousand years before Obama came along to fuck things up, and they will be fighting a thousand years after he's gone. Hard to blame him for all that. Not impossible... just hard.

    What say you?

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/...ts_794909.html

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...aq_122965.html

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/1...-take-on-isis/

  • #2
    Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

    There was no "finishing" the job there, and there still isn't. The only people who can "finish" it are the Iraqi people. If they won't do it for themselves, no one else can do it for them. And, you're right, it's not Obama's fault.

    ?


    • #3
      Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

      Originally posted by tsquare View Post
      So... even though I'd like to blame Obama, and could blame him for leaving the job unfinished, these guys have been fighting for a thousand years before Obama came along to fuck things up, and they will be fighting a thousand years after he's gone. Hard to blame him for all that. Not impossible... just hard.
      No it's not.

      These are Syrian based radicals who would be fighting for Syrian soil if we took out Assad and his army. Zoom out further, this is just a Sunni-Shia Civil War sparked by Ayatollah aggression that the Saudis and Gulf States, to save their own skins, feel obliged to counter with money and whoever is willing to catch the bullets, most often the religiously motivated. Obama's do nothing policy on Syria and Iran allowed this to happen, and he was warned.

      We are not completely blameless of course. We occupied that territory for a decade and failed to properly fortify it so that anyone who knows which end of the Kalashnikov does the business could defend it from maniacs in Toyotas. Luckily, such offensives are easily thwarted with the simple application of air power, because you simply can't hide a column of technicals on a desert highway. Taking urban centers back of course, is another matter entirely.

      ?


      • #4
        Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

        Originally posted by fishjoel View Post
        There was no "finishing" the job there, and there still isn't.
        Brings to mind that old adage "don't start something you can't finish".

        ?


        • #5
          Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

          Well, obviously the US didnt cause all the problems, the sectarian violence, the endemic corruption, the tribal tensions etc.

          Yet still : You broke it and you didnt stay long enough to fix it (wether fixing it is actually possible may be a separate question, but that should have been discussed before going in).
          Plenty of mistakes have been made, a short and certainly incomplete list would have to start already in the early stages of the occupation :

          1. The US administration of Iraq started off by dismantling pretty much all institutions of the iraqi state, the police, the army, the justice system. The criteria was not wether one had actually committed crimes, but wether one had served under the old regime. Probably the Americans were expecting the Iraqis would quietly go home like the defeated Germans of 1945 and rebuild their houses. Instead you ended up throwing hundreds of thousands of angry, partially armed men (soldiers ? police ?) on the streets, mostly without any source of income. Well, what did you expect ? Some of these people formed the base of the armed resistance /terror movement subsequently.

          2. In Nouri al Maliki the US have supported an (shiite) iraqi leader over eight years and in spite of warnings who has made literally every effort to chase the countrys various minorities, most importantly Sunnites and Curds, out of any positions of power, and most importantly to NOT share the oil revenues with them. In a country with Iraqs ethnic tensions, doing so is the same as axing the states foundations, that can only be based on some sort of balance between the groups. The Ottomans, who ruled Iraq for around 500 years, understood that (and thus kept it relatively quiet most of the time). The Americans apparently not. That is also why even those Sunnites that have no sympathies for the extremists have little desire to fight for a governement that they view as hostile, sectarian and corrupt (not without a reason). And may rather go home.

          3. After the first big terror wave the US started to arm tribal militias to fight the insurgents in 2005. Yet the US backed iraqi governement did not keep its promises to the tribal militias ( like pay them for fighting, integrate them into the security forces and regional autonomy). Nor were they pushed to keep their promises by the US. And now guess where plenty of those weapons and fighters have ended up as a result ? And in which region ? Yes, the one that we keep hearing about in the news, the province Anbar, the cities Falludscha and Ramadi from where the fighters apparently moved out to take Mossul.

          4. And Syria ? Do you remember which side again the US were supporting in Syria ? Yes, the same that the US were fighting in Iraq, the Sunnites, yet just an arbitrary border away. And with Assad looking like getting the upper hand in Syria we can expect a new wave of fighters, also for "Isis", crossing over.

          The US is not alone responsible for the mess, but do you see a pattern of short-sightedness and ignorance here ?
          Last edited by Voland; 06-12-2014, 03:54 PM.

          ?


          • #6
            Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

            Originally posted by Voland View Post
            Yet still : You broke it and you didnt stay long enough to fix it (wether fixing it is actually possible may be a separate question, but that should have been discussed before going in).
            This is exactly the rep comment i left with Pogo and what i was going to say before your post. My sentiments exactly, and yours, but not not just all of ours...General Powell, Bill Clinton etc have all said the same thing.

            If you break the eggs you better make the omelet

            Whether or not those eggs should have been broken in the first place will always be a matter for historians to judge / an issue of contention (for the record, yes i lean left but it was a rare break for me to back the invasion at the tine and yes i stand by that) but if you go in, you better get the job done.

            ?


            • #7
              Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

              Originally posted by tsquare View Post
              What say you?
              I'll tell you what I say, and not a one of you are going to like it.

              We were apocalyptically ignorant for ever assuming our intervention into Iraq would actually solve something that for over 1,000 years has not been solved by anyone else. That would be getting two "factions" of Islamic belief rooted in superiority and hatred to get along for any lengthy amount of time. No President past or present has gotten the message, all evidence supported by everyone's foreign policy going back to Reagan (and in some respects past even that.)

              Moreover, we were equally ignorant for assuming that what is going on in Syria would not spill over into neighboring countries influencing assembly, planning, and ultimately action on levels of violence, oppression, and religious themed war so prevalent in that area of the world ever since the area figured out monotheism. And in someways we actually helped those fighting along side these guys in Syria... wow, the level of stupidity on that one.

              Lastly, we were beyond any measure of stupidity known to man for assuming Iraq could defend itself in the long term once we left. Today their military is a shadow of its former self so weak and incapable the reports from CNN say many of Iraq's military threw down their guns and ran away. As usual we created a level of dependence as evidenced by Iraq's weak leaders are asking the US for assistance even today to deal with this uprising they are ill prepared and ill capable of handling on their own.

              All that effort, all those lives lost (civilian and military,) a President landing on an aircraft carrier was all basically for *nothing.* We took our youth, our military, and strained them to the point of contributing to the breaking of our VA healthcare system. The cost of Iraq is going to be estimated in the Trillions. Sure, the world is better off without Saddam. But Bush 43 went through all that human expense and fiscal expense well into the future for little reason and no historical significance in the grand scheme of things in that area of the world. Evidenced by today and what Iraq's government cannot handle.

              Well done guys... not only did we fail, we repeated the failure history tells us will occur again and again.

              Bottom line you cannot convince, argue down, negotiate with or even find common ground among men who are determined to use religion to justify a level of hatred, intolerance, and calls for genocide on a level historically to now is unprecedented by even Hitler's actions. So many dead, so little changed.

              Obama is a fool, Biden is clearly a complete fool from your OP video living in a dreamworld of epic stupidity, Bush 43 was a fool for jumping in the mix, and the list goes on with plenty of world leaders who's arrogance blinded them into thinking we've changed something. Even if this rebellion is beaten down, there is zero evidence it is over.

              You bet I'm angry, I'm not in the military but have lost friends who did serve. One in my family deals with PTSD today. Now I am wondering why they had to die and so many inflicted with lifetime changes. Was Saddam worth it given that overall and historically we've changed so little? These two "factions" are alive and well and all evidence supporting... cannot fucking stand one another.

              ?


              • #8
                Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

                Two factions? Say those two factions are Saddam's Iraq and Kuwait, run by the Emir. Say they cannot stand one another, as you put it. Do we stand by and watch when one invades another, or do we intervene? And perhaps then was the time to go all the way into Baghdad in the first place?

                ?


                • #9
                  Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

                  Originally posted by Voland View Post
                  Well, obviously the US didnt cause all the problems, the sectarian violence, the endemic corruption, the tribal tensions etc.

                  Yet still : You broke it and you didn't stay long enough to fix it (wether fixing it is actually possible may be a separate question, but that should have been discussed before going in).
                  The dynamic here is interesting. Mosul, and most of the rest of this part of Iraq are majority Sunni (West of Kurdistan). The invading ISIS forces are also Sunni, so its no wonder that the Iraqi army, representing a majority Shia country, are not inclined to fight for that territory. What makes this particularly dangerous is that if the Shia government in Iraq feels threatened enough, they will accept Iran's offer of a division to protect Baghdad, and once they are there they are certain to not only take the norther territories back, but ethnically cleanse it as well. Iran gains what it has long sought, an uninterrupted land route to prop up Assad's Shia minority government in Damascus, and direct access to Lebanon and Israel.

                  Taking down Saddam was only ever going to be half the puzzle, that was the wisdom in identifying the Axis of Evil. And Obama had a golden opportunity in the 2009 Green Revolution to, at the very least, prevent Iran from being able to manipulate events outside its borders. He had everything he needed last fall to take down Assad, and keep ISIS locked in combat with more sensible elements in Damascus, instead of threatening Baghdad. But not only did he drop the ball on Iran and Syria, but he got played for a fool by Putin, giving Putin no reason to believe he couldn't take the Crimea, and Lord knows what else.

                  But this is what you get when you elect a commander-in-chief who is only willing to declare war on the weather.

                  ?


                  • #10
                    Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

                    Originally posted by Voland View Post
                    Well, obviously the US didnt cause all the problems, the sectarian violence, the endemic corruption, the tribal tensions etc.

                    Yet still : You broke it and you didnt stay long enough to fix it (wether fixing it is actually possible may be a separate question, but that should have been discussed before going in).
                    Plenty of mistakes have been made, a short and certainly incomplete list would have to start already in the early stages of the occupation :

                    1. The US administration of Iraq started off by dismantling pretty much all institutions of the iraqi state, the police, the army, the justice system. The criteria was not wether one had actually committed crimes, but wether one had served under the old regime. Probably the Americans were expecting the Iraqis would quietly go home like the defeated Germans of 1945 and rebuild their houses. Instead you ended up throwing hundreds of thousands of angry, partially armed men (soldiers ? police ?) on the streets, mostly without any source of income. Well, what did you expect ? Some of these people formed the base of the armed resistance /terror movement subsequently.

                    2. In Nouri al Maliki the US have supported an (shiite) iraqi leader over eight years and in spite of warnings who has made literally every effort to chase the countrys various minorities, most importantly Sunnites and Curds, out of any positions of power, and most importantly to NOT share the oil revenues with them. In a country with Iraqs ethnic tensions, doing so is the same as axing the states foundations, that can only be based on some sort of balance between the groups. The Ottomans, who ruled Iraq for around 500 years, understood that (and thus kept it relatively quiet most of the time). The Americans apparently not. That is also why even those Sunnites that have no sympathies for the extremists have little desire to fight for a governement that they view as hostile, sectarian and corrupt (not without a reason). And may rather go home.

                    3. After the first big terror wave the US started to arm tribal militias to fight the insurgents in 2005. Yet the US backed iraqi governement did not keep its promises to the tribal militias ( like pay them for fighting, integrate them into the security forces and regional autonomy). Nor were they pushed to keep their promises by the US. And now guess where plenty of those weapons and fighters have ended up as a result ? And in which region ? Yes, the one that we keep hearing about in the news, the province Anbar, the cities Falludscha and Ramadi from where the fighters apparently moved out to take Mossul.

                    4. And Syria ? Do you remember which side again the US were supporting in Syria ? Yes, the same that the US were fighting in Iraq, the Sunnites, yet just an arbitrary border away. And with Assad looking like getting the upper hand in Syria we can expect a new wave of fighters, also for "Isis", crossing over.

                    The US is not alone responsible for the mess, but do you see a pattern of short-sightedness and ignorance here ?
                    You are quite right: it was an act of feudalism to be sure and when the American people finally caught on Iraq was all but abandonded. There are two problems in the ME; treaties, outomces of wars, broken promises etc notwithstaning, and those two problems are oil and sectrarianism. A slong as those two problems are givne the power that they have noting in the ME, let alone Iraq are ever going to reach any type satisfactory situation. Add to that the Israeli quotient anad to put it smiply, there are but two solutions: abandon the ME all together as a world pariah, or just raze the whole thing to the ground. The Us itself is beginning to take ona pacularly Isrealite personality with the ever higher terrorists alerts as well as bombings which is taking hold like a virus. We need to move away from the whole thing.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

                      Originally posted by Chloe View Post
                      This is exactly the rep comment i left with Pogo and what i was going to say before your post. My sentiments exactly, and yours, but not not just all of ours...General Powell, Bill Clinton etc have all said the same thing.

                      If you break the eggs you better make the omelet

                      Whether or not those eggs should have been broken in the first place will always be a matter for historians to judge / an issue of contention (for the record, yes i lean left but it was a rare break for me to back the invasion at the tine and yes i stand by that) but if you go in, you better get the job done.
                      If you don't mind, Chloe, how much of a factor was Colin Powel's UN presentation in your decision to support the invasion?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

                        Ahhh, honestly, not much.

                        In 90/91, when i was just a Brit, through and through, i think Bush 41 should have gone into Baghdad. Major practically stakes his political life on supporting the US, as opposed to Kinnock, who wrote speeches for Joe Biden.

                        Since then, every time when Saddam fired a shot at a US or British chopper manning a no fly zone, i wish we would have fried him, long before 2003.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

                          Originally posted by Sluggo View Post
                          I'll tell you what I say, and not a one of you are going to like it.

                          We were apocalyptically ignorant for ever assuming our intervention into Iraq would actually solve something that for over 1,000 years has not been solved by anyone else. That would be getting two "factions" of Islamic belief rooted in superiority and hatred to get along for any lengthy amount of time. No President past or present has gotten the message, all evidence supported by everyone's foreign policy going back to Reagan (and in some respects past even that.)
                          Bremer's decision to disband the Iraqi military made a bad situation far, far worse, as did many of Rumsfeld's decisions. Pure, unadulterated incompetence at every critical juncture.


                          Originally posted by Sluggo View Post
                          You bet I'm angry, I'm not in the military but have lost friends who did serve. One in my family deals with PTSD today. Now I am wondering why they had to die and so many inflicted with lifetime changes. Was Saddam worth it given that overall and historically we've changed so little? These two "factions" are alive and well and all evidence supporting... cannot fucking stand one another.
                          It disgusts me that so few of the people that claim to "support the troops" are concerned by this.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

                            Originally posted by Chloe View Post
                            Ahhh, honestly, not much.

                            In 90/91, when i was just a Brit, through and through, i think Bush 41 should have gone into Baghdad. Major practically stakes his political life on supporting the US, as opposed to Kinnock, who wrote speeches for Joe Biden.

                            Since then, every time when Saddam fired a shot at a US or British chopper manning a no fly zone, i wish we would have fried him, long before 2003.
                            Are you at all familiar with the Downing Street memo?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Iraq... One Of The Great Achievements Of This Administration

                              Originally posted by Pogo View Post
                              It disgusts me that so few of the people that claim to "support the troops" are concerned by this.
                              You really think just letting them go at it will not come back to bite us in the keaster?

                              How many times do the isolationists have to get Americans killed on American soil before we learn our lesson?

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