Barring unforeseen events, I predict this statement on ISIS strategy (or lack thereof) from President Obama today will ignite the shitstorm of the week — possibly the year:
President Obama said Monday the United States does not have a complete plan to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), saying Baghdad needs to show a greater commitment to building a fighting force.
“We don’t yet have a complete strategy,” Obama told reporters during a news conference at the G-7 summit of leading industrial nations in Germany.
He goes on to add some nuance, including the fact that commitments from the Iraqi government are needed to complete the US strategy, and the question was about a specific component of the anti-ISIS campaign. But I guaran-damn-tee you the messaging teams for every single occupant of the GOP clown car will pounce on that first sentence like a thirsty hipster on a small-batch artisan ale from a nanobrewery.
Should the president have made that statement? Well, it’s the truth, apparently. That such a thing can be true nearly a year into the anti-ISIS campaign signals a disconnect in our bipolar politics. Obama appears to be treating the anti-ISIS campaign as somewhat of an afterthought.
My own preference for US foreign policy in the region is to get out, stay out and let the Middle East sort its shit without our interference. But if that’s not possible, a tiny footprint is preferable to reenacting Bush’s bull-in-a-China-shop act.
Some of y’all predicted in another thread that the GOP primary will be all-ISIS all the time — nonstop scaremongering — and I agree. The question is, how will our countrymen perceive it? Will they buy the existential crisis framing of the Goopers? Or will they accept the truth that our options are limited and there are more important priorities anyway? My Magic 8 Ball says, “Don’t count on it.”
Eleventy-dimensional chess can result in some weird-looking moves.
Oh come on now. There’s zero risk in that prediction.
So how long before a Republican claims to have a “secret plan” to win the war against ISIS? And since nobody remembers anything that happened ten minutes ago, will that phrase get the bitter laughs it deserves?
All we need is a couple of beheadings close to the election, which will be shown on a loop on the 24/7 cable channels, and it’s President Ted Cruz.
@Laertes: Trump already did.
I don’t understand why every question on Iraq isn’t answered with some version of the (in)famous LBJ quote on Vietnam:
“We are not about to send American boys (and girls) 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Iraqi boys (and girls) ought to be doing for themselves.”
Tree With Water
The president’s life would be made easier if he addressed us with candor, by pointing out that the situation in Iraq today is a consequence of the Bush-Cheny plot to wage war. Wouldn’t it?
@Tree With Water: You mean the blame game, don’t ya. also, too, Bush kept us safe.
it’ll be a win-win, we’ll re-invade Iraq with the poor destitute Kansans that have suffered thanks to GOP outreach from Govenor Brownbacks taxless economic terror
@cahuenga: Well, there’s no risk for ME in predicting it, but going all-in on re-invading Iraq strikes me as pretty damn risky for the GOP nominee. To pull it off, they’ll need to successfully convince Americans that ISIS is a big enough threat to warrant such a move.
The Thin Black Duke
@Tree With Water: You’ve got more faith in people than I do, friend.
I think he’s putting the emphasis where it needs to be. If the Iraqis want something done, then they need to step up. Otherwise, there’s no point in going in there.
@dan: You mean like after Benghazi?
I read that Walker’s plan B, if nothing else works soon, is to just say ‘heck with it, let’s re-invade Iraq’.
Will be interesting to see how well that goes down with the public.
Looks like Walker will be campaigning straight up, no apologies, for a full Bush II restoration, without any pretenses of false fronts. Be interesting to see how well that goes down too.
@Betty Cracker: Didn’t they convince Americans that Saddam was a threat? I have little confidence in America’s ability to discern a real threat from a fake one.
It’s not widely known but universally acknowledged by those “in the know” that mining Haiphong Harbor will keep ISIS out of Vietnam with 100% certainty. President McCain and future felon Scott Walker told me so themselves.
Jesus, for a guy who’s been a lawyer, you’d think he’d understand that framing matters. The wingnuts will have a field day with this, and will probably succeed in moving a few swing (read: dumb) voters their way. Not helpful. Every vote counts, maybe not for the presidency but for downticket. And from where I sit downticket’s the only thing that matters in this election.
Johnson said the same thing but far, far better. Didn’t give any ammo to his many enemies.
Hard to say which scare du jour it will be this go-round, but, There Will Be Mongering.
Of that you can be certain.
I have no comment, except I need to start an annals of GOP bad faith and lies scrapbook, to go along with my annals of GOP outreach scrapbook.
Introducing Your GOP [Tweet from Senator Thune]
” Six million people risk losing their health care subsidies, yet @POTUS continues to deny that Obamacare is bad for the American people. ”
The GOP needs to be prosecuted for criminal racketeering Seriously.
They are terrible. The saying for me is “another day, another GOP WTF”
It does not matter what Obama says in June 2015.
This far out from the election everything will just go down the collective trash chute of our long-term memory.
The reality is ISIS would not be a problem in Iraq, if the Iraqi Army stood and fought and did not run at the first sign of the enemy.
The Mythbusters have demonstrated that bulls let loose among shelves of glassware are actually quite careful and dainty.
@jl: I think George Orwell already wrote that book. The Double Speak is string with that one.
Evidently what is lost in this discussion is the mindset of the Iraqi military. I remember how they deserted in the Gulf War. How could anyone plan when they are deserting or expecting us to do their job? We really need to get out of there ASAP.
Iowa Old Lady
@jl: That’s…impossible to even respond to. Losing part of Obamacare is taken to mean… I don’t think I can sort that out.
ETA: Wait! I’ve got it. Losing Obamacare is bad which means having it is also bad.
Responding to BC: I think Obama said something similar two or three weeks ago. Heard a sound clip from McCain a week or ten days ago reporting that is what Obama administration said, and sincerely thanking the administration for being honest.
Then McCain said he had a plan, and unlike Trump, McCain spilled it. It was pretty much Obama’s plan, but with promise to put US spotters on the ground so the bombing raids would hit more stuff, and more trainers and advisers on the ground to train up them Iraqis quicker. And McCain sounded all angry and exsplody when he said it, which is surely also an important difference that would mean success.
When I see Tom Cotton mouthing off that US troops would have no issues returning to occupy Iraq again I have to wonder why nobody fragged him when he was over there.
@cahuenga: It was remarkable after the last election how suddenly ebola was apparently cured.
Well, let’s see. Donald Trump has a secret plan. For the rest, it’s some variation on “Exterminate all the brutes.” Why should anyone object to that?
RUN AWAY!!! RUN AWAY!!! RUN AWAY!!!
@HRA: It’s rather difficult to fight and risk dying for a “country” you have no loyalty towards.
@Xantar: damn you, i actually had to look that up, and now i have a disappointed
i’m not the biggest proponent of the whole ‘eleven dimensional chess’ shtick but this could be seen as a push to get the gooper nominees to go all-in on the idea of re-invading iraq, an idea that would go over like a lead balloon with the portion of the electorate that aren’t flaming right wing morons. (so like 73 percent of the country).
i dunno but those shitheads are like pavlov’s dog when it comes to war in the middle east.
They managed to hype the hell out of ebola before the midterms, and it was pretty much a nothingburger compared to ISIS, which is a real threat (not to the US, of course, but to our “interests”). Oh god yes, there will be hype. The best part is Republicans don’t need to have a plan to deal with ISIS, they just need to blame Obama, which is one of the few things they are very good at.
I think I’ll just take 2016 off and live on an island.
@jl: Thanks. I remembered Obama saying something similar a while back. There was probably some noise from the clown car, but it didn’t last.
Apple, Google and Netflix should give everyone a free copy of “A Few Good Men.”
This is another reason why Obama is hated by Republicans. And why he is not the reincarnated spirit of Ronald Reagan. Many Americans not only want to believe the lie of American Exceptionalism, they also want to believe that if only the US will lend its gentle, guiding hand, every conflict can result in a victory for democracy and free market capitalism.
On the other hand,
This is a fantasy as well. Whether war or diplomacy is used, the battle against ISIS would have to unify many Muslim nations. The notion of the return of a caliphate does not respect any nation’s boundaries, and is not focused solely on Iraq.
But the sad fact is that many of these nations are simply pursuing their own separate agenda, which sometimes includes funding or arming ISIS, in the bizarre belief that they would be buddies in the end.
And no one, not even the most die-hard Orwellian cynic, can predict the outcome of this mess. I guarantee you that at various points of history, wise pundits were sagely insisting that “Christianity (or Islam)? Just a fad. It will never supplant our present gods.”
Maybe these folks should fire up a copy of the latest episodes of “Game of Thrones.” Everyone is fighting over the Iron Throne or patches of land beyond the Wall, and don’t see the White Walkers bearing down on everyone.
The Thin Black Duke
O.K., regarding the probable sequel to our glorious misadventure in Iraq, I have two questions: 1) who’s gonna go? 2) who’s gonna pay for it?
Actually, he has said this several times over the past year and I think it reflects the fundamental dilemma of the U.S. in Iraq and Syria. The desired end for the U.S. from an imperial point of view are stable Syrian and Iraqi states with ISIS/ISIL liquidated. However, the best means of obtaining those ends, an alliance with Shia and Alawite tribes in Iraq and Syria respectively disrupts and confounds another U.S. imperial interest in a having a strong Sunni bulwark from Egypt to the Gulf Arab states to check Iran and continue the ample flow of oil to the world. So the U.S. wants to find Sunni partners in Iraq and Syria, something the current respective Governments of Iraq and Syria have a distinct lack of enthusiasm to support and hence the wait on a “strategy” to be implemented.
OT: I was at the Union Square Barnes and Nobel this afternoon to pick up the jacket I left there on Saturday.
Sorry it’s late to alert you but tonight at 7 PM, they are having Hilary Martel at the store to talk about the staging of Wolf Hall and Burying the Bodies. That’s 7 PM on the 4th floor at the Union Square store. (North side of the park.)
@jl: KEEP YOUR GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY OBAMACARE!!11!
@chopper: Not an eleventy dimensional chess fan either. But it is true that Jeb!’s inexplicably inept handling what should have been an easy question opened up the puss filled abscess of the GOP’s criminal and stupid Iraq invasion, and their lie machine that sold it. And Walker says re-invasion should be on the table, maybe Obama decided to chum the waters.
But, as I said above, I don’t think today’s statement is really that new: he has said similar within the last month or two, IIRC.
Despite the 3-day story that this is, Republicans deep within their epistemic bubble think sounding more and more pro-war is popular. Apparently if fires up all the armchair warriors/political donors who are more than willing to have the Ser Jorah’s of the world fight endless wars for their secret amusement. I don’t think it is very popular outside the bubble.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
I thought hipsters drank PBR?
They all just went on record a week ago saying that if they knew then what we know now they wouldn’t have invaded Iraq – it seems like it would be hard to morph that into “but this time it’s a good idea” but inconsistency is one thing Republicans are consistent about so it’s certainly possible.
I don’t mind public discussion of the problem. Some college student in Reno showed the way when she confronted Jeb! about it, The GOP loons running the Iraq occupation decided it would be a brilliant idea to totally disband the Iraqi army, mainly Sunni. And where are they now? Many of them are enabling ISIS, as he lesser evil compared to being dominated by Shia, or maybe figuring once ISIS does the dirty work, the remnants of the old Iraqi army helping ISIS maneuver and win battles will kick them back into Syria.
Jeb! sure had a convincing comeback: get rude and pissy and stomp off.
Edit: sure glad the corporate media jumped on the Reno students good analysis and followed up to help inform the public debate… ha ha ha. That was bitter snark.
@PurpleGirl: You might like this too:
@PurpleGirl: I haz a jealous. If I were in nyc I wouldn’t miss it.
@Bex: The Paris Review interviews are usually really good. Looking forward to reading this.
The other Donald – the really evil one – is now claiming that he never thought that invading Iraq was a good idea, even though he was in charge:
@The Thin Black Duke:
The middle class.Anyone but the wealthy.
@Brachiator: I cannot believe that 12 years and counting, that there is still a single person in this nation – and there’s a lot more than that – who think that somehow this thing can be “won”, whatever the fuck that means at this point.
Well, the Iraqis have gone from half-heartedly fighting for their country to just saying “fuck this” and running away, even when they outnumber “the enemy” 10 to 1.
I put “the enemy” in quotes because I’m pretty sure that VERY few of the people who are supposed to be fighting them actually consider them such.
Our relations with the Middle East will never be the same, we need to accept that reality and figure out how to work with these people because they are not going away.
@Mandalay: There are unknown unknowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns, and known knowns. Donald Rumsfeld is the last: a raging psychopathic lying war criminal.
@Bex: Hilary Mantel interviewed by Mona Simpson, aka Steve Jobs’ birth sister, the novelist.
Thank you! Bookmarked it.
Not just enabling, they are the brains behind ISIS.
@Mandalay: And for additional hilarity, our resident GOP troll thought this statement was some kind of gotcha moment for Democrats.
Heavens are setting up for a wonderful storm in NoVA, but it might be moving so fast we will miss most of the rain.
That wonderful shaking of leaf-laden trees, the streaking across the sky clouds in a range of greys. Distant, distant thunder. But now it’s still.
I’d like a big storm. Of course, it is rush hour ground zero here.
I do not think Rumsfeld wanted to turn Iraq into a Democracy.
I think he wanted to install a friendly dictator into power over there, who would immediately ask the U.S. provide whatever pet project Rummy was working before it got so rudely interrupted one Tuesday morning in September 2001, such as a robust missile defense system.
If ISIS wants to be like OBL and troll us into another war, there’s no doubt they could do that. If they really want a Caliphate in a few years, then the Ba’ath generals behind the scenes probably don’t want us in in a big way.
But Baghdad really doesn’t have a few years left. Helicopters on the roofs in the Green Zone, it’s coming one way or another. Democrats better hope it isn’t before November next year.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: I’ve been following politics long enough to know that expending any effort trying to say things just right so that wingnuts can’t attack it is a sucker’s game. It’s all they do. If you don’t say something they think is outrageous they’ll just lie and say you did. They were already screaming nonstop “Obama has no strategy!”; I don’t think this is going to make any difference.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: Have you learned nothing from President Obama’s attempt to work with Republicans? You can’t work with people who would shoot off their own nuts just to get your shoes dirty.
I used to roll my eyes when folks here would refer to Cheney and Rumsfeld as psychopathic.
However, the more I look into it the more convinced I am that you were right all along. Without even meaning to be pejorative, Rumsfeld and Cheney are fundamentally broken as human beings; they are mentally ill. They don’t belong in a dock in the Hague – they should both be put in an asylum.
Or, shorter version, yes, he’s a lawyer, but treating every public statement as if it’s part of a trial is a waste of effort.
@Belafon:tBenghazi was being portrayed as some kind of failure on Obama’s part. But beheadings, now that’s some scary stuff right there.
Sunshine out there. That storm blew right past.
@Dan: Beheadings. That is viscerally awful. Emotional power beyond rational thought.
Donald Rumsfeld: George W was wrong about Iraq.
This is me, dropping dead. WTF?
and I see @Mandalay: got there first. I really must read thread before posting.
@Mandalay: he’s not saying invading was a bad idea… outside of Powell, invading Iraq seemed to be the defining goal of the Bush Administration since Day 1. But invasion does not necessarily mean installing a liberal western-style democracy. In fact, outside of Europe and Japan post WWII, our approach to meddling in other countries has tended in the other direction. So, it’s not completely disingenuous, what Rumsfeld is say. It is also incredibly cynical, short sighted (the devil you know vs the devil you don’t), and sociopathic to suggest invading a country on false pretenses in order to remove a dictator against whom you have a personal grudge, results be damned, is a good thing.
mai naem mobile
I’m all for going to Iraq as long as 1/ every Republican POS who is advocating for it, lines up their kids/grandkids/siblings/themselves at the Navy/Army/AF/Marines recruiting stations and send them over. No exceptions period.2/ Prefund the war annually. No off the books emergency funding. Raise taxes/cut spending. Whatever. Fund your damn military adventure first.
@Elizabelle: We’re under a tornado watch here. Scattered rain, but nothing heavy yet. But it’s on its way. Lots of wind here.
I made a small sign to put on my front gate: “All Deliveries, Please Use Front Door” because a fed ex guy decided to leave a package at my side door, and in gaining access, broke the our gate latch.
I guess it’s a complicated mechanism. You have to lift the little doo-hickey to unlatch. He apparently thought brute force was the solution.
I put up the sign and it blew away. So now I’m making another one.
At least it was only the latch he broke. I googled “fed ex guy broke” and saw a bunch of hidden cam videos of fed ex guys throwing computers and other delicate electronics over gates.
And they’re supposed to be the superior private-enterprise alternative to the “horribly inefficient” post office?
Right – the orginal Plan A was to install Chalabi as a puppet dictator, and he would put a veneer of legitimacy on the Bush Administration doing whatever it wanted in Iraq. Unfortunately, when that didn’t work out it soon transpired that there was no Plan B.
But TBF to the Bush Administration, if Plan C was perpetual chaos and slaughter in Iraq then it has worked out pretty well for them. Mission accomplished!
Has anybody seen “Montage of Heck”, documentary re Kurt Cobain? I would like to, but I don’t got HBO.
LA Times: Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne: Kurt Cobain doc ‘Montage of Heck’ is ‘total bull…’
I love Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. Even made a pilgrimage to Aberdeen, several years after Kurt left this earth. I wish he was still here. Angst and all. It’s a sweet old world.
Here’s the Talkhouse link.
@Mandalay: I am unclear on this. I remember back in 2003, someone telling me the real reason they wanted Sadam out was because he was planning on switching the currency from the $ to something else for oil? Again, I am unclear on the details.
The President is right.
The Iraqi army, such as it is, has no real interest in fighting and dying for a unified Iraq.
Shia and Kurds don’t consider each other compatriots or sum parts of a greater whole, nor do the Sunni. The end result is going to be both the same and the opposite of Vietnam, in that the US puppet government is going to fail, but the country isn’t going to merge into one. It’s going to fragment into 3.
Before reading 66+ comments:
I think that this statement is not as helpful as others that might have been made. Is it okay not to have a more information-rich statement on a issue that has been boiling for a year?
Is there a way to ease the uncertainty of an ill-informed public?
What diplomatic actions can be undertaken and nurtured with partners of common interest (W Europe/others) that can decrease the eventual pull to deal with this via military action?
I have expected better from this administration and I fear this is not chess or checkers.
@mai naem mobile:
/cut spending. Whatever.Fund your damn military adventure first.
FTFY. No cutting of anything in the federal budget to fund a war. If they want a war, they can damn well pay for it by raising taxes, especially on the .01% who are making the money on the MIC.
@Iowa Old Lady: I think that’s about right. I read it as “President Obama should have known that we would take it away and not provide any alternative or safety net, and that while we tried every trick in the book in that effort to repeal people would come to depend on the ACA in the meantime, ergo it’s his fault for teasing people with the tantalizing prospect of quality health insurance.”
@Mandalay: the amazing thing is that nobody thought “you know, installing a guy as president who hasn’t lived in the country for 50 years (and was 12 when he left) might not be the best way to get local support, maybe we should have a back up plan.”
@gene108: yep; june 2015 is irrelevant. If in June 2016, Baghdad has fallen and there are mass executions in the streets, it’s another deal. But right now the reminders are that the mid east is a mess and it’s a good thing we aren’t there – at least to he regular folk, not the goo partisans.
@Germy Shoemangler: That was total BS. Various plans in the Middle East to change the currency used to trade oil (from US $ to something else) have been total futile BS. Anyone who took them seriously in secret as a rationale, or used them publicly as a pretext for invasion, is a complete fool and/or a vile murderous knave.
But, then, who were the Bush II brain trust? So, that nonsense could have factored into their delusional and criminal thinking.
That would be acceptable at some level, but I do not think ISIS has such limited territorial ambitions, which is why fighting keeps going on and on (4-5 years in Syria).
From what I’ve read, I think they want to carve out a rather large country for themselves in places other than just Sunni controlled Iraq and Syria.
@Germy Shoemangler: Yes. And the postal service might be safer.
Fedex depends on sleep-deprived OTR drivers, who own their own trucks, which they paint in Fedex livery — I don’t think Fedex owns many — if any — of its trucks.
We have an expression “going postal” — for taking out your co-workers with a firearm — but “going Fedex” means falling asleep at the wheel and taking out passengers on the bus you hit.
Brave new world of “independent contractors”, although I think a few courts have looked at Fedex and said — “Hey! These are employees.”
Michael Hiltzik, Pulitzer-winning business columnist in the LA Times. Just this past weekend.
Exposing the employment ploy at concert promoter Live Nation
Sadly, as with Vietnam, there are people, including generals in our military, who insist that this thing can be won if you only take the gloves off and let the military do what they were trained to do. These dopes also believe that the US has never been defeated militarily.
But it’s not really “Iraqis.” This is, for now, a deeply sectarian conflict. And the Kurds, for example, have no problem fighting against ISIS.
Again, the sectarian thing. Areas are becoming ethnically cleansed of groups who might oppose ISIS.
I don’t think that ISIS is or will soon be an existential threat to the United States, but you can no more work with them than you could the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
And here is again where the world is a messy place. North Vietnam had helped create and support the Khmer Rouge. And North Vietnam, with some Soviet assistance, had to destroy it.
ISIS and other groups could potentially destabilize or cause problems from India to Syria. Other Islamic extremists are causing havoc in Africa, and contribute indirectly to the sad attempts by people to flee that area and seek refuge in Europe and elsewhere.
@jl: It was a co-worker who explained it to me. But then again, a few weeks later he sent me a link about an automobile engine that could run on tap water.
I don’t think it’s possible to have a reasonable plan other than partition. However, the three most reasonable partitions are unacceptable to us, because one of them would be under ISIS control. So we flounder.
@Brachiator: Broadcast nightly tv news are constantly doing stories on homegrown types.
Full and bright sunshine out there. Heading back outside to do paperwork.
Cocktail hour is over.
@srv: Whether ISIS can take Baghdad depends on whether the old Iraqi army vets helping them want to, whether the Iraqi army will fight when ISIS becomes an existential threat to them instead of just wanting to rule the Sunni pat of Iraq, whether and how vigorously enough of the population outside Sunni areas will oppose an ISIS take over.
it really depends on how much ISIS’ success in Iraq is really due to that group being used in Iraq as a convenient tool by local Sunnis to kick out the Shia, and how much of ISIS’ power is due to it publicly professed ideology, and competent and devoted ISIS fighters and military leaders who truly subscribe to it.
I don’t think we fully know. If ISIS tried to take over Shia regions, that experiment would probably reveal the truth, though it would be an horribly ugly experiment.
But I don’t think at all that ISIS will be able to roll through Shia parts of Iraq the way it has taken over Sunni regions. The story will be different, things will unfold in very ugly slow bloody sectarian street fighting.
@Cacti: So wouldn’t the smart thing be to GTFO?
Sure, except that was precisely what the Bush Administration was pushing for Iraq – freedom, democracy, voting for leaders, purple thumbs, etc…
Rumsfeld can’t have it both ways. If he now wants to claim that “the idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic” then he should have told Bush back then that the Administration’s position was hogshit, and he couldn’t suppport it, and resigned.
But Rumsfeld didn’t do that. So his claims now that he knew all along that democracy in Iraq was a bad idea are just hollow and self-serving.
@jl: I don’t think they’ll be able to go much south of Baghdad, but civil war over the streets that started in 2004 never really ended in an armistice. ISIS probably has all the insiders they had in Ramadi, it will be an inside-outside job.
If the British press is to be believed, the Iranian generals are ignoring the Iraqi gov’t desire of retaking cities and instead digging in for the long-term. So it’s probably a question of ISIS’ Ba’ath generals vs Iranian generals and the Iraqi Shia are just Pythonesque knights for the battle to come.
I’ll predict the jihadis will be more engaged in Syria and Ba’ath regulars will focus on Iraq.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
At the time the Pentagon was calling him the second coming of Robert McNamara
@Mandalay: Depending on which day of the week it is, any Middle East problem, all of which are existential threats to us every second are due to either
1. Obama’s irresponsible feckless foolish and idealistic social engineering Utopian dream: his push for democratization and sponsorship of the ‘Arab Spring’ which an inadequate blah man never had the ability to control
2. Bush had the whole Iraq and ME democratization projects all sewn up and on total lock down when he left office, and Obama messed it all up. Because he chose not to use his time travel machine to go back and change the treaty Bush negotiated with Iraq that set terms for withdrawal.
There may be no peak wingnut, or wingularity, but there must be a GOP/wingnut event horizon where it is logically impossible to take their BS seriously.
One would assume so.
@Betty Cracker: I would agree Betty but my guess is that this is as close to a lose-lose scenario as you can get. If anything, I would help the Kurds set up their own state but that would seriously piss off the Turks, even if it was wholly carved out of the former Iraq. As for the remaining remainders, it seems that the majority of the US public, media and the GOP have no idea on the fact that there is Islamic sects that don’t like one another and that there are apparently few secularlists around to make a difference when the fundamentalists are busy promoting a scorched earth policy.
I think Obama is simply playing out the hand and playing a waiting game knowing there there are only mostly crappy outcomes. I wish he would drop the mike and let them sort themselves out, but I think that he feels that it would be abandoning the few friends we have over there who do deserve better.
He also failed to use said time machine to prevent L. Paul Bremer from purging so many experienced personnel from the Iraqi army through his de-Baathification policy.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
That was someone trying to rationalize the irrational – the Iraq War happened because the NeoCons think war is awesome.
@srv: What will complicate things is unequal distribution of resources. ISIS and the Sunni vets helping them will want more money, and that will mean trying to grab some of the oil resources in Shia areas, maybe.
I don’t see why it is in interests of Iran to try to actually retake all of Sunni areas, though probably for security reasons, they want to push ISIS back from strategic cities close to Shia areas.
Put another way, Baghdad is likely to become a lot like Beirut in the 80s.
I wonder how the US can fight an Iranian proxy in Syria and be an ally to one in Iraq… domestic US politics is going to fuck both up.
@Betty Cracker: Bernie Sanders says Obama is doing the exact right thing w reg to isis
Barack Obama (the first AA president of Harvard Law, the first AA president of a racist country like the US) is 1,000 smarter than the average rank and file blogger and 1,000,000 smarter than any republican.
There were times when FDR would make what would appear to be detrimental statements that were in realty cleaver maneuvers.
Tonight’s starting line-up for US Women’s soccer team:
1-Solo; 11-Krieger, 4-Sauerbrunn, 19-Johnston, 22-Klingenberg; 23-Press, 12-Holiday, 10-Lloyd, 15-Rapinoe; 2-Leroux, 20-Wambach
Yes. But we’re Americans, dammit. Exceptional, and all that.
Plus: it’s other people’s kids.
If you brought back the draft — and I think we should, and allow some people to serve well past their 30s — you’d get the average American’s attention real fast. But it’s OPK, mercenaries among us, almost. So we thank them for their service. We glorify them, because we sure as sh*t don’t want to do that, and don’t want to send our kids.
And some of us whine about paying government bills to care for them, once they’ve been badly damaged by their “volunteer army” service.
@Elizabelle: Damn right we’re exceptional:
For what it’s worth, I heard one talk radio host who actually served in the Iraq War claim that ISIS does not want Baghdad. Their preferred goals would be to take and destroy Najaf and Karbala, two cities important to Shia Islam.
Now, there are a lot of people who claim that they know what ISIS wants, so I am not going to give this guy a huge amount of credit. But if anything like this happens, then, yeah, all hell will break loose in the region.
Edited to add. ISIS has held Mosul for a year. They are turning into brutal, but effective administrators. Another worrisome sign.
@MCA1: you’re overthinking.
1. Subsidies are good.
2. Obamacare is bad.
3. Therefore subsidies are not Obamacare.
Kentucky Republicans are having a lot of success with this argument. Thune is just taking it another step and claiming that Obamacare eliminates subsidies. It’s not like we have journalists in this country or median voters who can read or think.
Mike in NC
A little casual channel-surfing informs me that today is Barbara Bush’s 90th birthday, so the networks are all blowing kisses to that awful woman.
I’m not saying your wrong but a nation that buys that argument is a nation that doesn’t deserve a functional health care system.
@David Koch: “Realty cleaver maneuvers” are exactly what’s called for when commercially valuable meat emporiums are on the chopping block!
George bush and dick Cheney were right. Get a presence in the Middle East and control them. Too bad Obama got elected
A good piece on what happened in Texas
Black children are not even safe from police violence at a pool party
Steven W Thrasher
Watching a young black woman, vulnerable and almost naked in her bathing suit, being manhandled by a cop made me cry
Over the weekend, a video surfaced that showed police in McKinney, Texas violently controlling kids on a suburban street and pulling a gun on a young black girl. After I heard about it, it took a few hours before I could screw up the courage to watch it, because I knew it would make me cry. And it did.
The video made me cry because it showed me how black children are not allowed to play. How they’re not allowed to just be fucking kids. How their play becomes criminalized and how they’re socialized to become black adults who internalize that their very breathing selves are criminal.
The video (and the follow up interview with its shooter, Brandon Brooks) made me cry because they showed how a public space like a pool becomes the domain of a security guard with no accountability. Who calls the police. Who quickly assume guilt on every black child in sight.
It made me cry to see a gun pulled on these children. I only had a police officer begin to pull a gun on me once, but it scared the shit out of me and altered my interactions with police forever – and I was an adult. How scarred will these children be after such trauma?
It made me cry because, even though I knew before watching that no one was going to get shot, I couldn’t shake the terror that one of those kids was going to wind among the Guardian’s count of police killings. If my terror was palpable despite only viewing what happened on video, how much terror must those poor kids have endured?
It made me cry to see a young black woman, vulnerable and almost naked in her bathing suit, being manhandled by a cop. Who tossed her around like her body was his property. Who listened to her sobbing for her mother, yet pushed her face down into the grass, kept his knee in her back and handcuffed her.
Davis X. Machina
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: This was all over Democraticunderground.com.
Vulgar — or demotic — Marxism. Everything is about the money.
Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism is a hundred years old next year.
Luckily, in the intervening century, absolutely nothing has changed, and all of its prescriptions and insights are still valid.
@rikyrah: I posted some links on the McKinney affair in the ‘Monday Monday’ thread.
As I understand it, a black family in the neighborhood holds a graduation party for a kid. Some uninvited kids show up and won’t leave. Racist neighbors show up and start yelling racist shit at all the black kids at the party, and according to one kid, physically assaulting a couple of invited kids who complain about their racist behavior. The racists don’t go talk to the security guard or the parents holding the party, they just attack the kids.
Police show up and go apeshit. Assault kids invited to party, assault black kids or anyone who don;t look lily white, assuming they don’t belong there. Assault anyone, white or black or whoever, invitees to the party, friends of the kids invited to the party, whoever, who try to explain what is going on.
What sick and disgusting BS. Thank God they didn’t send the SWAT team.
You want real action in some parts of this country: just be a white racist and go apeshit and the poiice will come out and crack some heads. Some places are stuck back in the heyday of Jim Crow.
@Betty Cracker: i hate autocorrect
If they sat down and shut up it would be much better for them
@rikyrah: More scumbag pigs out of control – pigs in Austin snatch a guy’s phone for filming them, then pepper spray him (@ ~0:25 secs).
We need a law that explicitly makes it very, very illegal for any cop to prevent the public from filming them when they are abusing their power.
Historically, that’s very restrained behavior for APD.
Villago Delenda Est
@kindness: I’d love to have a beer with some of his NCOs and find out what the real deal is with him.
He does strike me as the sort of guy the troops would not take a cotton to, if you catch my drift.
Someone at ISIL has got outstanding grift chops. Because for a US is Satan kind of group, they have some seriously good First World PR. And embrace technology for all it’s worth in the recruitment/donation department.
Of course, the GOP debates will be all ISIS. Because Bin Laden is dead. ISIS is Obama’s. And everything else about the GOP is a turn off to the majority of the nation.
Maybe Roger Ailes is advising ISIL. He’s evil enough. Fox has been promoting them constantly as the premier threat to existence. That’s the kind of PR that’s tough to buy from the outside.
Here’s the Reuters link. Exclusive: Doctor who trained U.S. troops suspended for macabre techniques
Ugh. Doctor heal thyself.
I cannot bear pigs being treated inhumanely. Much less humans. Whoa.
Villago Delenda Est
@A guy: Well, Hitler was right, too. The Jews caused WWII.
Villago Delenda Est
@Brachiator: They know better than to go into an urban area that is majority Shia and therefore unwelcoming to them.
They’re brighter about reality on the ground than any neocon has ever been.
I want america to rule the world. I want to be the worlds policeman. Thank you
@Archon: That’s one of many reasons we don’t have one. People are really stupid.
Yes. A thousand times Yes.
And if you want to cry more (in rage) scroll through the comments on Yahoo’s story here:
I’m rapidly reaching the point where I just can’t abide the majority of my countrymen of the caucasian persuasion. (BJers excepted, of course.)
Never should have left the Caribbean…
2/10. come on, at least show a little flair.
@Elizabelle: they used to use goats for the training when the military did it themselves
@Germy Shoemangler: FedEx is terrible. I live in a townhouse complex and the front door is 10 feet from the common driveway. They leave packages in front of the door, ring the bell, and run back to their truck. They rarely wait for someone to answer, even if they’re supposed to. At least they don’t toss the package over the patio fence anymore. They sometimes picked the wrong fence.
@Origuy: They never ring the bell at my house. They just leave the package.
Were they always this bad?
Hmmm…So much to gnaw on.
Well, going the simple route, the huge vast store of American’s do not comment on internet articles and many that do are at home, alone, with extra time to comment often because of non-salutary reasons (B-Jers excepted of course). So, using Yahoo commentary as a criteria is bollocks.
Nope, I don’t agree. Yes, he wanted Chalabi in power and wanted him and America to be BFFs. But no, I don’t think he wanted a dictatorship. I think he was absolutely delusional enough to think that as soon as Saddam was overthrown, Chalabi would be acclaimed by the grateful Iraqi masses and turned into the president of a new democracy.
If we had wanted a friendly dictator, we wouldn’t have disbanded the Iraqi army. We’d have kept it in place and found generals willing to back the new regime (and we would have had no trouble finding them). Either that or we’d have left troops there to back his regime, but Rumsfeld & co didn’t plan for that either: the original plan was to be in and out in months (that’s why they threw out the years of planning) and the only reason we stayed is because events kept going off script. No, they really and honestly believed every bucket of bullshit.
All you need to know about the Bush administration is in Karl Rove’s “we create our own reality” speech. Forty or fifty years ago, Mao Zedong believed he could turn China into an industrial powerby ttelling peasants to smelt iron over campfires in their own back yards. That’s the kind of people the Bush administration were.
@Chris: Your last paragraph above is genius. It is unnervingly accurate.
Shorter Obama: Until the Iraqis get their shit together, we really can’t do jack about ISIS. NPR had a bit of reporting this afternoon to the effect that unless we want to 1. basically re-invade Iraq and replace their sorry-ass “army” with US Marines, or 2. turn everything over to Krazy Iran-backed Shiite militias, or 3. give the Kurds nukes, ISIS has basically won.
KS in MA
It’s the same secret plan that they always have to defeat foreign threats when a Democrat’s in office: if a leader with a real pair just squinted at the threat just right while hitching up their pants — like John Wayne sizing up a little sissy bandito of some kind — all our foes, from Putin to Kim to ISIS, would just run away squealing with their tail between their legs and not bother us any more. Case closed!
“My own preference for US foreign policy in the region is to get out, stay out and let the Middle East sort its shit without our interference. But if that’s not possible, a tiny footprint is preferable to reenacting Bush’s bull-in-a-China-shop act.”
Betty, why is that impossible (to get out and stay out)? Call me whatever you want, but I do not see what possible good from engaging in the ME situation. Maybe set up some Wallie Worlds, some Mickie D’s and protected airfields to fly out the folks who don’t want to participate tin the ME madness? The evacuees could, perhaps, set up shop in the Western US: there’s lots of room.