6 Times Obama Was Against Military Action in Iraq


"I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq," President Barack Obama said today. At the same time, he was authorizing military action in Iraq. Specifically, the U.S. military did some targeted airstrikes against the Islamic State terror organization.

Sure, it isn't troops on the ground (though we've already got a few… hundred), but dropping bombs does sound pretty warlike for not being a war. It's not a war, I guess, in the same way that the word "is" didn't mean "is" to former President Bill Clinton.

In either case, it seems like an appropriate to dredge up all times Obama was totally against military involvement in Iraq, before he was for military involvement in Iraq.

2002: Iraq doesn't pose a threat to U.S.

In one of his first public statements as an Illinois senator, Obama had this to say:

I'm opposed to … a dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. … The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors…and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

Of course, the same could be said about the Islamic State that we're now fighting. They have no interest in America. They've got their hands full fighting a regional battle, and haven't demonstrated themselves to be a legitimate threat to the U.S. 

2008: Getting into Iraq was 'careless [and] has not made us safer'

Since before Obama took office in 2008, he was promising that getting America out of Iraq would be his priority as president.

"I will give our military a new mission on my first day in office – ending this war. Let me be clear," the fresh-faced presidential candidate said just about six years ago, "we must be as careful getting into Iraq as we were careless getting in. He went on to say how America's war in Iraq would be over by 2010, and how he "would make it clear that the U.S. seeks no permanent bases in Iraq." He added, "We cannot tolerate this strain on forces to fight a war that has not made us safer." Of course, all that took a few more years than he anticipated.

"So let's be clear, Sen. McCain would have our troops fight tour after tour of duty and our taxpayers keep spending $10 billion a month indefinitely," Obama criticized on the campaign trail. "I want Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future." Well, not anymore. 

2010: Leaving will be our 'great achievement'

Describing it as a "historic moment" this month four years ago, the president said, "I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended." He went on to emphasize that it was time for Iraq's government would take "responsibility for their own security" and that "ending this war is not only in Iraq's interest, it's in our own. The United States has paid a huge price."

Plus, here's Vice President Joe Biden speculating that ending American military involvement in Iraq would be "one of the great achievements of this administration."

2011: SRSLY GTFO, or 'A Historic Moment'

White House

"We're here to mark a historic moment," a smiling president said. It was December, and he was at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Ready to put an end to a long, misguided endeavor, he said:

I can tell you that it will indeed be a part of history. Those last American troops will move south on desert sands, and then they will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high. One of the most extraordinary chapters in the history of the American military will come to an end. Iraq's future will be in the hands of its people.  America's war in Iraq will be over.

MSNBC, which is today wondering if Obama doing enough to take on ISIS, applauded the president in 2011 for "keeping a major campaign promise" by getting America out of Iraq.

2012: Keeping the promise

White House

And then there's the 2012 campaign video, "Ending the War in Iraq: A Promise Kept," which speaks for itself. 

In another ad, Obama compiled some of the promising speeches already covered in this article, but there are some additional times he wanted to get out of Iraq.

And yet another one, in which his campaign said that Americans had "a clear choice" between Obama who "ended the Iraq War" and Mitt Romney, presumably, wouldn't have. But then again, Obama didn't really either.

2013: Still not our problem

White House

Then in 2013, the president's tone changed a bit. Playing hot potato with Iraq's leaders over the 7,000 or so people who were killed that year, he said

Although Iraq has made significant progress in areas like oil production and a range of other reforms that have taken place, unfortunately, Al Qaeda has still been active and has grown more active recently.  So we had a lot of discussion about how we can work together to push back against that terrorist organization that operates not only in Iraq but also poses a threat to the entire region and to the United States.

Though, there was no talk of American troops doing any of the dirty work. It was all about selling Iraq equipment to go it alone.

And, a White House official said in October, "I would not anticipate U.S. trainers going back into Iraqi soil," let alone American bombers flying over the country. 

To be fair, in 2013 the president was bogged down by Syria – which some were saying would be his Iraq. He insisted it wouldn't, because all he wanted to do was some tactical airstrikes on Syria… which is totally different than him announcing tactical airstrikes on Iraq.

Bonus: While Democrats now applaud the president's decision to tear this wound back open, here are the 2008 and 2012 Democractic platforms, which were all about ending the Iraq War. 

Maybe it was all a little too soon for PolitiFact to say that Obama made good on his promises.

For more Reason coverage of Iraq, click here

NEXT: Vice Embeds with Islamic State, Congress Offers No Resistance to Strikes, Medicaid Enrollments Top 7 Million: P.M. Links

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  1. It’s been so long since Obama read in the news that he did that, you can’t expect him to remember.

  2. I’m starting to think this Obama fellow is not a straight shooter.

  3. Oh, Weeeeeeiiiiiiggggggeeeeeelllllll……

  4. As always, you can cherry-pick statements by Obama that sound pretty good.

    There are always, it seems, other statements by Obama that contradict those statements of principle, and actions that also contradict those statements.

    There’s really no point in tossing Obama’s word salad.

  5. Obama doesn’t want it on his record that he ignored another Rwanda/Srebrenica/Cambodia sort of atrocity so he pretends to be doing something about ISIS; that’s part of presidentin’ as he sees it.

    Countess Valerie will make sure that he stops short of any significant military commitment, so Reason can calm down on the subject of Iraq escalation.

    1. Oh, I don’t know. At this point Iran is worried about ISIS, and so Valerie and Obama might well be willing to do something to make them happy. It fits with their “screw your friends and be nice to your enemies” strategy.

  6. That was then.


  7. tossing Obama’s word salad.

    Is that what the kids are calling it?

  8. The last thing Obama could want, politically speaking, is to be involved militarily in Iraq some more. So what’s the thesis here?

    1. The thesis is that Obama is an untrustworthy, lying vacillator. This is just one of countless proofs of that thesis.

      1. You must be one of those who think that it’s more important to be consistent and decisive than thoughtful or right.

        The thesis depends on the claim that Obama is doing this because he wants to. But why would he want to, considering thoughtful authoritative commenters like you might call him a hypocrite, among other political drawbacks?

        1. Tony|8.8.14 @ 7:19PM|#
          …”thoughtful or right.”

          So *that’s* what lefties are calling hypocrites now?
          I do so try to keep up.

        2. Being thoughtful and right usually results in consistency. I think you see where this is going.

          Oh, wait.

          Well, everyone else does anyway.

    2. Tony are planning to join up and fight Obama’s illegal war or are you a chicken hawk?

      Go fuck yourself you nasty little bastard.

      1. And how many Iraqi children did you incinerate and how many Muslims did you torture as you were calling everyone else a traitor who didn’t support those atrocities?

        1. C’mon, Tony. Did you ever sling the chickenhawk slur, and if so, how can you possibly support any military action proposed by a President who is a chickenhawk?

          [Fires up Reason Wayback Machine, awaits answer]

          1. Yeah, at people who were starting one of history’s dumbest wars.

            1. Tony|8.8.14 @ 7:36PM|#
              “Yeah, at people who were starting one of history’s dumbest wars”

              OK, now about the lying piece of shit who is starting a new one; what about him?

              1. Less dumb war by orders of magnitude, bordering on smart, possibly?

                1. Tony|8.8.14 @ 7:48PM|#
                  “Less dumb war by orders of magnitude, bordering on smart, possibly?”

                  So the lying piece of shit is somewhat better than Bush?

                  1. Orders of magnitude, I said.

                    1. Funny thing is, at the end of the Bush administration both Iraq and Afghanistan were in better shape than they are now. I also see no evidence that our actions in either country have gotten “smarter” since then.

                    2. Tony|8.8.14 @ 8:09PM|#
                      “Orders of magnitude, I said.”

                      Yes, you did. And given your propensity for lying, I corrected it.

                    3. I was wondering why there were so many comments.

        2. I was against involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan when Bush did it, and I am against it when Obama is doing it.

          It seems like you and Obama don’t give a f*ck about the dead on all sides as long as you can play your partisan games and score some political points.

    3. And yet he has a $750 billion embassy, with 5,000 diplomats in Iraq. And then he needed to send some additional troops to protect them. And then double the reinforcements and send in the military advisers. Now it’s air strikes.

      Heaven help us if ISIS downs a few planes. He’ll go full on W.

      1. No he won’t. George Bush fought to win and slaughtered our enemies by the thousands. Love him or hate him these clowns wouldn’t be pulling this shit if Bush were President.

        1. Wow. Just laying it out there today, huh?

          Really great job at the winning, Bush.

          1. Well, when Bush left office, he left Iraq in much better shape than its in now.

            Hard to say what counts as “winning” when you start down the nation-building path, but I’m pretty sure I know what losing looks like, because I’m seeing it right now.

            1. I’m pretty sure every liberal critic of Bush’s war warned of creating chaos not just in Iraq but across the Middle East. Obama is the world’s most prominent critic of that war. Now he’s tasked with managing the chaos. We could just acknowledge reality instead of behaving as if every single conversation ever has to end with “and that’s why Obama sucks balls.”

              The only reason people think that way is because they consume media whose sole purpose is to instill that idea as a reflex. And unless your the GOP or a GOP suckling, they’re not working for you!

              1. Tony|8.8.14 @ 7:35PM|#
                …”every single conversation ever has to end with “and that’s why Obama sucks balls.””

                That’s true enough, but it misses the fact that he’s a slimy lying piece of shit.

              2. “Creating Chaos”???

                Wow are you stupid.

              3. Obama isn’t “tasked with managing the chaos”; we didn’t pick some random guy off the street and force him to do this job.

                Obama stood for election with numerous promises (on Iraq, the economy, crony capitalism, privacy, etc.), and he is failing miserably to deliver.

                You can blame Bush for making a mess. You can’t blame Bush for Obama’s failure to deliver on his campaign promises.

              4. I’m pretty sure every liberal critic of Bush’s war warned of creating chaos not just in Iraq but across the Middle East

                Yeah, and irony of ironies, it’s been Obama doubling down on Dubya’s foolishness by supporting all these Middle Eastern uprisings since 2011 that have gotten us to the current state of affairs.

                Three years after Bin Laden is killed, and we’re still dicking around in Afghanistan. We’re now back to bombing Iraq again and planting boots on the ground. But hey, what the fuck do you care, because MUH OBAMA.

                1. What would you do? And please try to make your plan practical rather than utopian and stupid.

                  1. “What would you do? And please try to make your plan practical rather than utopian and stupid.”

                    Let the Iraqis deal with the mess. It is going to be a mess no matter if we stay there one more hour or one more decade.

                    You can take a horse to water, but you cant force it to drink. Unless the Iraqis are willing to fight for themselves, they are doomed.

                  2. What would you do? And please try to make your plan practical rather than utopian and stupid.

                    You seriously want me to take time out of my day to lay out a plan to you that will resolve a geo-political and humanitarian crisis that’s been nearly 25 years in the making that you find acceptable? Yeah, I’ll get on that right after you quit jerking off to gay porn.

                    Here’s a better idea–hold our big-mouthed, thin-skinned POS president accountable for being the latest in a series to blunder through trying to reshape the Middle East in our image.

      2. ISIS loves ole W, of course they wouldn’t admit publicly, if it wasn’t for that cowboy then they wouldn’t be able to overrun Iraq, Saddam would have slaughtered ISIS.

    4. That’s an interesting thesis considering his administration made every possible effort to keep troops in Iraq past the SOFA deadline agreed to by Bush in the twilight of the previous administration. Fortunately, Maliki told him to go fuck himself. Promise kept!

      1. Looks like Bush’s plan was a massive and tragic failure.

        1. So, when Obama was boasting about meeting that deadline (even though he never referred to it in those terms, and he tried to extend it), he was boasting about a massive and tragic failure that he did not avert?

          1. What exactly do you want Obama and his trillion-dollar war machine to unilaterally do, again, Mr. small government?

            1. Tony|8.8.14 @ 7:36PM|#
              “What exactly do you want Obama and his trillion-dollar war machine to unilaterally do, again, Mr. small government?”

              So, Mr. commie apologist, Obo is forced to use it since it’s there?

          2. Well, Bush wasn’t kind enough to tell Obo what to do under these circumstances, so it’s Bush’s fault!

        2. “Looks like Bush’s plan was a massive and tragic failure”

          Of course it was. The middle east is a cluster f of epic proportions. We need to just pay for the oil and mind our business.

    5. What’s the fucking thesis? Are you fucking kidding me?

      Look, I know what you do here and why you come to this site. I get it, really. But this is a soul-destroying level of disingenuousness. A gag’s a gag, but this is too far. Either you’re genuinely so oblivious or so ignorant that you honestly don’t get the significance of this, or you’re deliberately pretending to not appreciate the situation for what it is.

      If it’s the former, there’s not much to be done I suppose. If it’s the latter, please, please stop. Practicing that level of self-deception, behaving that dishonestly, is the kind of thing that destroys people. Salvage whatever character and integrity you have, I beg of you, and don’t squander it just to troll an Internet forum.

    6. Why would you subscribe to the fantasy that Obama does not want to be militarily involved in Iraq? Politically speaking, he was frustrated when the Iraqis “kicked” him out and now he’s setting the stage for reoccupation in another one of his wars of choice.

  9. So for six times he was right lol.

    1. Anonbot FTW.

      1. That was disturbingly on target, for anonybot.

  10. Of course, the same could be said about the Islamic State that we’re now fighting. They have no interest in America. They’ve got their hands full fighting a regional battle, and haven’t demonstrated themselves to be a legitimate threat to the U.S.

    This is…stupid. Their stated goal is to establish a new caliphate. The word used in this paragraph, region, admits that they are fighting in multiple countries. They have threatened America multiple times, and this isn’t the sort of empty rhetoric employed by the likes of North Korea.

    They were affiliated with Al Qaeda. They are a product of poor American policy, but they exist and Reason is plugging its ears and pretending as if they haven’t stated what they want to achieve.

    They are a terrorist organization that hates America. They developed fighting Americans in Iraq. To pretend as though they are just going to take over parts of Syria and Iraq and then live in harmony with their neighbors and the west is moronic.

    1. This.

      1. So Obama should call on Congress to reconvene, he should propose a strategy to fight ISIS, request funding and approval for use of force, explain which domestic programs will have cut backs or which taxes will be raised to fight his war, and have them vote on it.

        1. Hey let’s not get out of hand and expect Obama to do his fucking job or anything. What kind of a racist tea bagging bastard are you?

        2. Ok, fine by me. It should have been done 3 months or so ago when they were taking over Fallujah.

          This article isn’t about the legality of the president acting alone, though, so I consider this a deflection of the major issue.

        3. One more thing: establish some courts to determine how rough we can get and how extensively we can surveil in order to obtain intel.

    2. Exactly. This is why you can’t take reason seriously on these issues. How big of a retard do you have to be to think these idiots are ever going to be satisfied or want peace?

    3. They’re not a threat to the US in any significant way. They are a threat to the Kurds. Unfortunately, sigh, we need to arm the Kurds.

      1. Um, again, you are ignoring reality – no, they aren’t concerned with attacking us at this very moment. That doesn’t change the fact that:
        1. They have already attacked and killed American soldiers.
        2. They have stated goals of forming an Islamic fundamentalist super state.
        3. They have stated goals of attacking American soil.

        If you want to act as if they are just going to let bygones by bygones when they rule a territory in the heart of the Middle East that attracts every fruitcake in the region like a beacon in a storm, go right ahead.

        Those guys who became Al Qaeda weren’t a threat, either, when they were fighting the Russians and helping the Taliban against other warlords in the region.

        1. They may have those stated goals but they have no operational capacity to actualize them.

          If we attacked everyone who *said* they wanted to destroy the US we’d be in an endless war in every area of the globe. Oh, wait, we already are.

          Other groups in the ME will probably destroy them. This is a Sunni group. The Shia (Iran) will go after them. The Kurds, Jordanians, Saudis and Egyptians all hate them.

          1. What do you mean they have no capacity? Did you miss the last 20 years? It’s called asyemtric warfare. And maybe you missed this too but they are about to take over two fairly sizable countries one of which has a ton of oil. I am pretty sure their capacity is going to increase if something isn’t done.

            1. We have a completely different awareness level than we did on 9/11.

              1. So your solution is to let them attack us and hope they don’t get lucky? How about we kill them now so we don’t have to worry?

                1. John|8.8.14 @ 7:21PM|#
                  “So your solution is to let them attack us and hope they don’t get lucky?”
                  Uh, well, it’s never a good idea to initiate violence. How about we keep an eye on them?

                  “How about we kill them now so we don’t have to worry?”

          2. They may have those stated goals but they have no operational capacity to actualize them.

            Looks like they’re doing pretty well so far. Even if they fail, their failure will come as the end game of a bloody and brutal regional war.

            I happen to think that this particular war has both been going on for centuries, and won’t stop regardless of whether ISIS wins or loses, but ISIS has unquestionably escalated that war. waving off a ground like ISIS as “Well, in the long run, we’re all dead anyway” may not be the best way to minimize damage.

            To either the region or to US interests.

            1. Looks like they’re doing pretty well so far,

              Your missing context. I was responding to his assertion that ISIS was a significant threat to United States proper, not just a regional threat to stability.

            2. This reminds me of Wag the Dog/Albania.

              Nobody heard of ISIS a month ago, now all of a sudden they’re the new boogeyman we have to go to War against.

              I’m calling BS. Seen this movie too many times.

              1. “Nobody heard of ISIS a month ago, now all of a sudden they’re the new boogeyman we have to go to War against.

                I’m calling BS. Seen this movie too many times.”


          3. They may have those stated goals but they have no operational capacity to actualize them.

            I’m not sure you really appreciate the magnitude of how strong their organization really is. Are they on the level of a nation-state? Well, no, not yet–but they have shown in the past few weeks to be far more resourceful, organized, and dedicated than people want to give them credit for. These aren’t the Huns rampaging across the land for the hell of it–these guys want a legitimate, no-shit caliphate and they’re steadily gathering the resources and land they need to set it up. Their social media outreach is such that they’re convincing American citizens to go over there and fight for them.

            Now, this doesn’t mean we should go after them for the hell of it. But to think they won’t ever turn that machine against us is naive. It’s just a matter of time, given the reach of their global networking on social media.

            More than anything else, the Middle Eastern nations need to nip this in the bud, but their sectarian bullshit keeps them from using common sense right now. In the meantime, we can provide humanitarian assistance and build up some goodwill, and warn ISIL that if any mass terrorism event takes place in the US, we’ll automatically assume its them and blast their strongholds to smithereens.

        2. An Islamic super-state is a dream for those with war boners. Then the US would really have carte-blanche to kill-em-all.

      2. Just like the Taliban were not a threat before 911. I would say setting up a country for the avowed purpose of training and arming terrorist to attack the west is a theat.

        Jesus Lady, you normally are not this stupid. Do you think they are lying when they say this is what they plan to do?

        1. What John said. Their vow to destroy America (indeed, all other nations) is fully rooted in their Islamist theology. It’s a belief shared by all Muslim radicals. It’s not a lie, or a secret, or some strange and rare interpretation of the Koran. The Caliphate is intended to be a world government.

        2. John, How do you possible think the US attacking and attempting to destroy ISIS is going to bring about regional stability?

          Islamic fundamentalism is GROWING in the region. Every time we engage they metastasize. We badly need an old fashioned containment policy with the cooperation of regional players like the Saudis, Kurds, Jordanians, Egyptians, and even Iran.

          1. ISIS wasn’t fighting as an insurgency in Iraq. They were, quite literally, strung out along roads and operating in the open after they took Tikrit. Right there was a golden opportunity to kill large numbers of them, send a message, and keep them contained.

            ISIS is not your run of the mill of terrorist outfit operating in secret. They are acting as a conventional military force at the moment. They have made themselves the wealthiest terrorist group on the planet. They have more manpower than I’d wager Al Qaeda Inc. has at this point. And they are, again, operating in the open.

            You can’t contain an ideology, but you can certainly stop the likes of ISIS from redrawing the map of the Middle East and creating an entire state apparatus devoted to carrying out their twisted agenda.

          2. I don’t care. Stability is not what I am interested in. Stability is their problem not ours. I am interested in murdering these bastards before they can do the same to us. And if fundamentalism is on the rise, our perceived weakness is not helping matters.

            These people are empowered and getting popular because we are seen thanks to Obama as weak and they are seen as winners. Following yours and reason’s advice of ignoring them is just going to make the inevitable conflict worse. We have been through this in the 1990s when people like you convinced yourselves that Bin Ladin was only a threat to Saudi Arabia. How many times do we have to go through this before you half wits learn?

            1. If such a thing were possible, I would be fine with eliminating the vicious fundie psychos from the face of the earth. But the problem that we create more extremism the more we intervene is not to be ignored.

              I do appreciate your ability to paint Bush as the hero of the Middle East and Obama as tearing down all his wonderful achievements because he looks “weak” while simultaneously implicitly supporting Obama’s policy. I appreciate it as a potentially debilitating case of cognitive dissonance and delusion. Seek help.

              1. Tony|8.8.14 @ 7:25PM|#
                “If such a thing were possible, I would be fine with eliminating the vicious fundie psychos from the face of the earth.”

                I’m sure. Thuggery and mass murder are what the left does!

                1. Sevo

                  When Tony hears the word fundamentalist he thinks we are talking about the tea party. Tony is all for a campaign of bombing and murder in Dallas.

              2. Here’s the problem with Obama’s current policy (beyond the legality question of acting on his own authority without Congress):
                1. It’s very late in the game after they have already taken over multiple cities.
                2. It’s very small scale. Bombing a few artillery pieces is nice and all. It’s a start, but it’s not enough.

                Too little too late isn’t a good policy.

                I also don’t recall anyone painting Bush as some hero or wiseman on the Middle East. I personally blame him and his administration’s moronic policy in Iraq for the growth of a group as dangerous as ISIS.

                For my money, they are Al Qaeda on steroids.

                Nothing Bush did changes the bumbling we have seen from Obama. You don’t get to run for office with a clean slate. You run, you do it knowing you are picking up where your predecessor left off for better or worse.

                Obama has made things worse with his policy decisions. So your whole “look over there, Bush!” routine is tiresome and moronic.

          3. It will not stop growing until every last one of these degenerates is slaughtered. They are SMILING while they caught the heads off of children for chrissakes. The only thing that will stop them is complete and total annihilation. There was an opportunity to complete this sweep after the surge in Iraq successfully crushed most of them, but we didn’t have the nerve to finish the job, and the Iraqis were too worried about settling scores from the old days to get serious.

            Islamic fundamentalists are similar in many ways to the Imperial Japanese or the Nazis in that they will not be bargained with or negotiated with. Either we erase them completely or they will continue to grow and kill many many many more innocent people.

            You can debate how this will need to be done, who should do it, etc. But it’s either us or them. Failure to recognize this reality does not make it go away.

            1. I actually agree with you that eventually it is either us or them. The question is how to get there from here. Strategically we need to play the long game and quit reacting to crisis after crisis. Shore-up and arm allies, isolate and contain enemies. Unfortunately Obama is completely incapable of building these kinds of relationships and that is part of the cause of the spiral. Right now, the less he does the better. We need better political leadership.

              1. You can’t contain an enemy that is happy killing Americans anyway that is achieved. You can contain a conventional threat. You cannot contain a small group of whackjobs sneaking across borders, or hiding in plain site looking to kill a few people indiscriminately.

                What you can do, which is what you’re missing – stop them from building their own state to support those attacks.

                You aren’t playing the long game by allowing them to establish a foothold in Iraq and Syria. You are doing the opposite. You are making a short term decision based on political expediency.

                This isn’t the Cold War, and your plan is awful.

                1. ^^THIS^^

                  Kill them while they are weak not after the own a country.

                2. You forget that we’re not fighting in the US. We need the cooperation of regional players. When we take responsibility for eliminating ISIS we allow allies to shirk their responsibilities. The certainly have more at stake than we do.

                  Communism was an ideology; we contained it. Our best allies were those who experienced and hated it. The same will be true in the ME.

                  1. I am pretty sure the Iraqis and. Kurds would be happy to have us help. You are not making much a point Lady other than “but I really do t want to fight these people”. Well tough shit. They get to decide if we have peace not us.

                    1. They get to decide if we have peace not us.

                      So, I guess you haven’t read Sun Tzu then?


                    2. Lady Bertrum

                      I guess you and shin live in fantasy land. You get peace when your enemies give it to you and not before

                      Do yourself a favor and mix in some Clausiwitz and less smug.

                  2. Lady we fought and killed communists by the hundreds of thousands. The Cold War was a lot more than play nice diplomacy.

                    1. Other than in Vietnam *we* (as in American troops) did NOT directly kill communists our proxies did.

                    2. And Korea. And those were pretty big deals last I looked.

                      Stop digging Lady.

                  3. Also, talking about what we *should* do at this time without understanding current public opinion about military action is silly.

                    1. No one will care if we bomb them Lady.

                    2. No one will care if we bomb them Lady.

                      You know this is a stupid comment.

                    3. Did anyone care when we bombed Kosovo? The public only cares when we get involved on the ground

                      You are really dumb on this issue.

                    4. Did anyone care when we bombed Kosovo? The public only cares when we get involved on the ground

                      You are really dumb on this issue.

              2. I’m not sure what your idea of him doing “less” could be at this point though. Aside from lobbing a few bombs from 30K feet at some artillery in the sand Obama has done absolutely nothing to counter threats from anyone at all. ISIS, Putin, China, they all ignore him with impunity.

                PJ O’Rourke-

                “On April 1, 2001, a Chinese fighter jet, harassing a US reconnaissance plane in international air space, collided with the American aircraft, which was forced to land in Chinese territory. Bush did not regard this as an April Fools’ prank. By the end of the month, he had gone on Good Morning America and said that, if China attacked Taiwan, the United States had an obligation to defend it with “whatever it took”.

                The President also brandished American missile defences at Russia and China. The Russians and Chinese were wroth. The missile shield might or might not stop missiles but, even unbuilt, it was an effective tool for gathering intelligence on Russian and Chinese foreign policy intentions. We knew how things stood when the town drunk and the town bully strongly suggested that we shouldn’t get a new home security system.”

            2. When were the Nazi’s “completely erased”? Did I miss that part of WWII?

              1. Yes, the part where the entire country was overrun by Allied armies, the Nazi leaders (still alive) were tried at Nuremberg and de-Nazification was instituted in Adenaur’s Republic.

            3. These people are the definition of Nihilist. They crave nothing but death, destruction, murder, rape and chaos for the sheer visceral thrill of it. Wrapping it in a cloak of religious/nationalistic rhetoric is nothing but a cynical excuse for reveling in man’s most base desires. It is literally the Id run amok.

          4. “Every time we engage they metastasize”

            “the problem that we create more extremism the more we intervene”

            There is a grain of truth to that view, but only a grain. It’s absurd to think that not challenging totalitarian aggression is a workable strategy. It’s one thing when it’s a Cold War that you don’t want to turn into a hot one, but when Nazis or Imperial Japanese or jihadis are on the march, it’s suicide to not fight back. The fact that it can enrage them and swell their ranks is a minor issue.

            1. …”Nazis or Imperial Japanese or jihadis are on the march,”…

              The jihadis lack aircraft.

              1. That’s why they’re marching.

          5. Every time we engage they metastasize.
            We haven’t engaged in the right way. I saw Yaron Brooke give a speech once about this enemy. He used the word CRUSH repeatedly. They have to be CRUSHED so badly that they become discouraged — i.e. totally unwilling to ever touch us again.

    4. I agree with Brochettaward, except for “They are a product of poor American policy.” Not any more than the Nazis or the Bolsheviks were a product of American policy. ISIS is a product of Islam.

      1. Ponder what the 20th century may have been like if the US hadn’t entered WWI. Likely no Nazi takeover, and some even speculate that if WWI had ended sooner, the Russian Revolution may not have happened, or at least whatever instabilities that occurred would not have led to a Bolshevik takeover. Conjecture to be sure, but without the US involvement in WWI, the 20th century very likely would have been markedly different. And then list all the definitive reasons WWI was the US’s affair to justify the impact that occurred. It doesn’t balance out.

        1. The US entry into WWI made it end sooner. It would have dragged out longer without us. The Bolsheviks existed prior to our entry into the war, and a longer war would not have helped the Czar. As for the Nazis, I have a harder time seeing how the US was some sort of indirect but crucial force in their creation. Yes, we had a lot to do with the Versailles Treaty, but would England and France have been just as harsh on Germany without us? Probably, if not harsher.

          1. The war was headed for stalemate. France and Britain protracted the war, hoping for a US entry. The war likely would have ended SOONER, and without a clear victor. The harshness of the terms were because one side was now so dominant over the other. Again, it is conjecture, no one can over know the road not taken. But it stands that many believe that the US involvement skewed the balance of the war, and that the US did not have a clear national interest in entering the war, and it simply was made possible by the implementation of the Fed and the income tax. Without those, the US government and special interests would not have been able to fund entering WWI. In the end, the 1910’s were the turning point into this lovely Welfare/Warfare State wonderland we’ve enjoyed the last century.

            Append to this, that if WWII WAS a direct result of the tipping of the scales of WWI, add on all the lovely things we’re living with to this day tripped by WWII – third party insurance through employers, the GI Bill, federal withholding to name just a few. It may not be the popular brand of libertarianism here at Reason, but Welfarism and Warfarism are connected at the hip. And improperly contrived war is less about a people defending themselves and more about the venality of socialists.

            1. Conjecture:
              I don’t think the terms of the peace were as important as the ‘stab in the back’ theory.
              Germany contrived to avoid most all of the monetary reparations.

          2. Yes, the Bolsheviks pre-existed our entry into the war. But once we entered, we were to ones who insisted that the Provisional Government keep Russia in the war. We expressly tied economic aid to Russia remaining in the war. That provided the Bolsheviks with the opportunity to exploit war weariness with their “Peace, Bread and Land” propaganda. So you can very well argue that our entry into the war did play a role in bringing about the October Revolution.

    5. And, of course, the way to win these people over is to bomb them some more! It has worked so well so far!

      Stop plugging your ears. Stop ignoring history. We can’t protect ourselves from terrorism by bombing foreign countries. The best protection against terrorism is to stay neutral and focus on trade and business.

      1. Who says we’re trying to win over ISIS? I want to send them to hell.

        1. And after you send ISIS to hell, they’ll just be replaced by even more militants. “Sending them to hell” is simply not a viable strategy. Neither is diplomacy. What we should do is leave them alone; let Europe deal with them. It’s not our problem.

  11. For more Reason coverage of Iraq, click here.…..-one-state

    I suspect it is for other reasons, but I’ll take it as progress that Reason magazine has gone from making excuses for a President launching a ground war with 100,000 troops to full-blown condemnation of a President launching a couple of air strikes in Kurdistan.

    1. Bush invaded Iraq so that excuses Obama fucking up so badly that the entire world from Japan to Ukraine to the Middle East falls into chaos.

      That is some top flight reasoning there. Thanks for tagging yourself as a socialist so we know immediately you are an illiterate moron who can safely be ignored.

      1. And isn’t truth you don’t like best ignored?

        1. Tony|8.8.14 @ 7:26PM|#
          “And isn’t truth you don’t like best ignored?”

          And what truth might that be, Tony?

          1. Pick a topic.

            1. Yes Tony there is not a singl topic about which you are not pig ignorant. But we already knew that.

            2. Tony|8.8.14 @ 7:49PM|#
              “Pick a topic”

              So you have nothing? Thought I’d ask just in case.

        2. Tony, go to the Socialist’s site. Read his apologetics of fucking Stalin. You and he seem to agree almost 100%. Doesn’t that even give you a moments pause? Just kidding, of course it doesn’t.

    2. Apparently, you can’t read. Skip to the end of that article and see what it actually suggests:

      “So here are some of my suggestions for such a [libertarian foreign policy]: First, … promoting free trade abroad. Secondly, we need to encourage citizens from countries living under tyrannical regimes to come to the United States to be educated so that they can experience the operation of our free institutions directly. Thirdly, and most controversially, the Federal government should revive the Reagan Doctrine?we should support, train, and finance insurgent movements aimed at overthrowing authoritarian regimes. And not just military training, but also training in the advantages and operations of free institutions.”

      I don’t see any “excuses for a President launching a ground war” anywhere. It doesn’t support any foreign military engagement at all.

  12. This isn’t a hard problem to solve. You have local forces on the ground. All the is and it’s allies have to do is launch a massive air and special ops campaign similiar to what we did in Afghanistan in 2001. These people have massed formations I a desert with no air cover. I would go full Ghengis on their sorry asses and unleash the Kurds and the Iraqi Shia to murder every single one of them that our air strikes didn’t kill. Then go home with the message that turning the place I to al Quada land will just get you killed.

  13. It’s amazing how times have changed. Once upon a time, when the martial spirit was aroused, and the time for blood to be spilled was at hand, attached with such sentiments were notions of one going off to do ones part. Now, we have fellows clearly signalling the need for marching to war and yet I’ve yet to note one person indicating their part in such actions. How many of those who are clearly calling for war are volunteering? Or even coming close to regret that they, themselves, may be too old, but wish they could partake in defending their country. Nope, just that war is another program – the only Good program – performed by government, and employing agents hired by it. There’s something wrong with a martial spirit burning so brightly, but burdened on others to do. Not exactly hurling “chickenhawk” just noting how the default is so many times a division between sentiment and those who actually supposed to execute those sentiments.

    1. cont.

      When the towers fell, and I was silly enough to think that a reckoning between East and West was at hand, and being a little past my prime, I discussed with my wife what part I might have to play. But all we got was “don’t worry, keep shopping. WE’LL take care of everything”. And what we got was this mess that keeps getting worse. Wars fought by our present form of government – as a program, instead of a real groundswell of the citizenry defending itself – is what has led to the situation. Continuing in this manner will only make things worse.

      In all, let’s either get on with this thing and settle the East/West thing once and for all, or get the fuck out. Fucking around with a few hundred thousand here and a few thousand there, or dropping a few bombs, or a cruise missile hitting a camel in the ass isn’t going to solve a thing. Lets have a real, honest to goodness war with Congress doing its job, and a President being Presidential, or call it quits. Half measures as a government program to prop up our corporo-fascistic shithouse is far from the answer.

      1. Wow. You type really fast.

  14. There’s no sugar coating it – overseas contingency operations are currently operating contingently in Iraq.

  15. You have to give Obama credit; he’s been ending the Iraq War longer than Bush was in control of it.

  16. Has anyone asked whether the weapons that Stevens was smuggling into Syria got into ISIS’s hands?

  17. O’Bama is just further proof the Irish are not to be trusted.

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