Iraq

'The US military's involvement is not over' in Iraq, Says Secretary of Defense

So...this is Iraq War the Third?

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Chuck Hagel
Department of Defense

"The U.S. military's involvement is not over. President Obama has been very clear on this point," Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told a press conference yesterday. "Our objectives remain clear and limited—to protect American citizens and facilities, to provide assistance to Iraqi forces as they confront ISIL, and to join with international partners to address the humanitarian crisis."

His comments came during a little confab meant to tout U.S. accomplishments in Iraq against ISIL, especially after the Islamic militant organization doubled down on atrocities against the local population with the murder of American journalist James Foley. Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey talked up successes, but warned that ISIL is very bad indeed (not a point that's really in question). And they said there's a bigger U.S. role to come.

So…What kind of military involvement are we talking about?

"The defeat of ISIL is not only going to come at the hands of airstrikes," Hagel insisted later in response to a question about long-term strategy. He added, "strategically, there are limits to how much you can accomplish with airstrikes."

That makes a certain sense. Dropping bombs and shooting missiles may blow the hell out of targets, but it doesn't take territory or fortify strongholds. If you plan the "defeat of ISIL" you need somebody on the ground to dig in, shoot, and get shot at. That is, you need to send in troops.

If those are American troops, this slightly contradicts the president's comments of August 14, when he insisted "we can carry out effective missions like the one we carried out on Mount Sinjar without committing combat troops on the ground."

But then, nobody really thought the next U.S. government-sponsored tour of this particular garden spot would be confined to a view from the air, did they?

But will they be American troops? Said General Dempsey:

when you ask me if the American people should steel themselves for this long conflict, there will—there will be required participation in the—of the United States of America, and particularly in a leadership role, to build coalitions, to provide the unique capabilities that we provide, but not necessarily all the capabilities, to work through this thing using three different military tools.

One is direct action. There will be cases where we are personally threatened, U.S. persons and facilities are threatened, that we will use direct action. If told to use direct action for other purposes, we'll be prepared to do so. Haven't been asked.

The second one is building partner capacity. And that's—that's really where this has to reside. We've got to have them take ownership of this, because, frankly, if we own it, they're not going to be that interested in it.

And then the last one, of course, is enabling, which is to say enabling our partners, which is what you see us doing somewhat now in Iraq with both the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga, and I think you'll see that enabling function used, as well.

My guess is that we're being softened up for round three in Iraq.

NEXT: Why Are We So Overprotective of Our Kids? Is it Because They Cost So Damn Much?

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  1. But will they be American troops?

    Does the Arab world – which is actually being imminently threatened – have a military that’s worth a damn?

    1. Give me a minute, I am sure it will come to me…

      1. Were you looking for this? =

        Why Arab Armies Suck
        (ok, i changed the title a *little*)

        “…over-centralization, discouraging initiative, lack of flexibility, manipulation of information, and the discouragement of leadership at the junior officer level…”

        I think in the piece he adds, “use of the military as a tool for domestic extortion (much like municipal public employee unions in the US), and its use as a tribal socal-welfare program by officers to consolidate personal power”… things like that

    2. No, but their militias are.

    3. How about a battalion of Israeli mercenaries? … (ducks and runs)

  2. This is like Carter sending troops to Vietnam.

    1. It really is. But it is still Bush’s war.

      1. Bush’s war created the conditions that allowed ISIS to flourish.

        1. It’s Saddam’s fault for invading Kuwait, then not having the intelligence to leave after we parked a metric sh*tload of milforce on his doorstep.

  3. Surprised, I am.

  4. Of course it isnt, the US just loves playing World Police and sticking its nose in places it has no business.

    http://www.AnonCrypt.tk

    1. Anonbot 2.0 is a major upgrade over version 1.0.

      1. Lately his comments actually make more sense than Tony’s.

        Not that that means we have crossed an AI threashold.

  5. Man that guy getting his head cut off is like Cialis for warboners.

  6. Yes, only to the H&R Peanut Gallery does “involvement” equate to a $2 trillion 150,000 troop occupation.

    BECAUSE BUSH III!!!!!!! EXACTLY THE SAME!!!

    1. Yes, turd, it is exactly the same.

      1. It’s pretty much the same. Both Bush and Obama deserve to be water boarded continuously.

    2. How many Iraqis were killed by cats? 8%?

      1. The percentage of cats killed by cops is much higher.

        Cats being a threat to national security and all…

    3. BUSHPIGS!!11!!!CHRISTFAGS!!11!!

    4. Hilarious. Proves how morally bankrupt Weigel and the Progtard left is – but everyone with half a brain stem already knew that.

    5. Although i don’t want to poke crazyshreek with a stick…

      …why does it matter that bush’s shit was soooo $2trilliony?

      Can’t people still NOT want Obama to re-engage in Iraq?

      One does not have any real bearing on the other.

      PB seems to be arguing that Obama’s version of Iraq is Good and Proper and Just. Or necessary?

      Why?

      Is the case you (fail to) make, ‘bush BAD!! THEREFORE….’ anything else is good by contrast?

      You don’t ever make the slightest bit of fucking sense.

      1. Well he hates Arabs. So if Obama can kill more Arabs without putting American troops at risk or spending too much money, it’s a win in his book.

  7. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

    1. Remember, it is not the principle of the matter, it is the principal. The Lightworker is blameless.

  8. Crap, these goals are anything but “clear and limited”:

    …to provide assistance to Iraqi forces as they confront ISIL, and to join with international partners to address the humanitarian crisis.

    Here we go again. Definition of insanity and all that…

    1. But top men are in charge this time!

      1. At this point, we all should know that governments are gangster-syndicates. At least, in decades past, the gangsters were intelligent (or at least sophisticated). We’re now being governed by Luca Brasi’s…

  9. “This time we’ll get it right! I promise we’ve finally figured out the Middle East!”

    derpity derp

  10. Now, with a broken heart, I have to publicly burn all my Chuck Hagel worship paraphenalia.
    http://www.cafepress.com/+i_lo…..search-pla

  11. On another note and as an individual who is quite critical of the absurd concept of this nation being a ‘global force for good’… Iraq was invaded and a rebuild attempted upon a massively-complex situation. Thousands upon thousands of people lost their lives or were maimed physically and mentally. The costs in terms of humanity and dollars approaches an incomprehensible level.

    I’m of the mind that when you break something you fix it. We broke Iraq. We left before we ‘fixed’ it. Ten years is NOT enough time to turn a dictatorship into a democracy. It doesn’t matter if most of us never agreed to the destruction of a civilization- this country fucked another country up the ass and then left it to the goddamn wolves. AND while doing so this country is arrogantly leading every dead and broken American soldier into the most empty sacrifice ever. And I don’t even LIKE soldiers. I just despise the waste of human lives and this includes collateral damage.

    1. We broke Iraq.

      BOOOOOOOSH! NO FAIR! IT IS OBAMA’S FAULT!

      1. “IT IS OBAMA’S FAULT!”
        Yes, turd, it is.

      2. Both Bush and Obama failed. I don’t see how Obama has anything on Bush when one considers the current disaster slaughtering its way through Iraq right now.

        1. Obama has spent $2 trillion less and cost us 4000 less troops lives.

          Iraq is hopeless.

          1. Palin’s Buttplug|8.22.14 @ 11:02AM|#

            Obama has spent the exact same amount as Bush did, turd.

          2. Barako Bama has Lybia and Syria ( per Hillary) to his credit also.

            He’s going for the hat trick.

            1. “He’s going for the hat trick.”

              Iraq was also Obo’s war for 5 years; the same amount of time it was Bush’s war.
              Turd would like everyone to ignore that.

    2. By this logic most Middle Eastern instability can be laid at the feet of the European imperial powers due to the Paris 1919 Peace Conference. They ‘broke’ Iraq, along with a dozen other regions worldwide. Perhaps Britain should foot the bill for a country that shouldn’t exist?

      1. Empires have been breaking countries for centuries. I hold them culpable for burdening history with their repressions. Why shouldn’t nations be held accountable and make right when they fuck up?

        1. “Why shouldn’t nations be held accountable and make right when they fuck up?”

          Well, at least it’s obvious that we’re dealing with someone ignorant of history.
          Pray tell, which nation is the original one that screwed up everything?
          And where do we find the ‘citizens’ of that nation to hold accountable?
          And how much do we charge each one to straighten out the entire world?
          And here’s the kicker: What would this ‘straightened out world” look like?
          I’m sure you know exactly how to organize all of humanity.

          1. Yeah, I’m an ignorant fuck. K.

            It’s not ‘realistically’ possible to hold nation’s accountable for horrendous mistakes proven so by history… particularly nasty exploits that are buried under decades and centuries. But I have no problem verbalizing what is ethically sound in theory in spite of the fact that it is unattainable for the most part.

            1. Agile Cyborg|8.22.14 @ 11:11AM|#
              “Yeah, I’m an ignorant fuck. K.”
              You are doing your best to prove it.

              “But I have no problem verbalizing what is ethically sound in theory in spite of the fact that it is unattainable for the most part.”
              Oh, goody! The FEELZZ!

        2. Ok, so at what point does one stop the ‘historical accountability of nations’? Should the Germans pay me for my grandfather’s POW experience? Should I have to pay Indonesians for the actions of the Dutch Republic? Should I demand money from Spain or Austria due to the Habsburg oppression? You live on Indian land, what have you done lately to counter the historical genocide and destruction of Amerindian cultures? If you’re going to take ‘historical accountability’ seriously the Iraq War is a drop of water in an ocean.

          When your attempt to ‘make right’ is to throw more human lives and money at a problem with no good answer you’re not ‘making right’ at all.

          1. Quit being so literal. Nasty national exploits that are buried under decades and centuries might be best left alone due to far more pressing human realities.

            1. Agile Cyborg|8.22.14 @ 11:14AM|#
              “Quit being so literal.”

              Sorry, FAIL!
              You seem to be willing to commit the US in perpetuity to ‘fixing’ something.
              I want to hear SPECIFIC details, or buzz off.

            2. So now you’re arguing that we should be pragmatic towards accountability? There’s an expiry date on when your ‘ethics’ apply to historical events? Very convenient. This seems to be more and more arbitrarily based on your emotional response to the Iraq War and the (admittedly stupid) waste of resources and lives. But dumping more into the meat grinder is just as stupid.

              1. Correct, many wrongs cannot be righted due to historical complexity. This doesn’t absolve power of its past corruption.

                However, why is it unreasonable to attempt to repair a serious modern mistake that is resulting in the establishment of a Caliphate?

                1. Agile Cyborg|8.22.14 @ 11:38AM|#
                  “Correct, many wrongs cannot be righted due to historical complexity. This doesn’t absolve power of its past corruption.”

                  So you or some other top men choose what wrongs we have to right and which others we can ignore?
                  —————————–
                  “However, why is it unreasonable to attempt to repair a serious modern mistake that is resulting in the establishment of a Caliphate?”

                  Because neither you nor anyone else has the slightest idea of how to do so.
                  But you’re willing to steal taxes from everyone in the hopes you feel better about it.
                  Where did you find the definition of libertarian?

                2. It’s unreasonable because you, and the U.S. government, has no actual plan to do so, and the actions you suggest (intervention) actively undermines ‘repairing’ anything. You’re claiming to ‘fix the problem’ when you have no strategic goals or established objectives. All you have is arbitrary demands to ‘fix the problem’ by throwing away more human lives. And let’s not ignore the fact that your attempt to ‘repair’ the problem could result in dozens of other problems as regional powers and groups battle it out for control.

                  So the U.S. rolls in, and somehow magically destroys the Caliphate and ISIS. Two years later that power vacuum is filled with another bunch of assholes who are very upset about the collateral damage and deaths that your ‘repair job’ caused. Well, guess we have to pour some more money and blood on the problem, right?

                  1. Added to that, it’s hilarious that you openly admit that ‘many wrongs cannot be righted due to historical complexity’ but act like Iraq is some kind of simplistic exception to this rule that can be solved with a liberal application of bombs and MURICA.

                    1. You misunderstand. Iraq is a contemporary problem. Serious national blunders committed 70 years ago (for example) are practically impossible to rectify due to the complexity of time.

                  2. Every concern you posit here is legitimate. I am fervently against nation-building and being the global police.

                    The complexity here might be insurmountable and I may be flat wrong in supporting a restabilized Iraq. But Iraq is unique in the sense that we didn’t just occupy. We invaded and recreated Iraq up to a point and then left millions vulnerable to genocide and overthrow.

                    1. Agile Cyborg|8.22.14 @ 12:23PM|#
                      “Every concern you posit here is legitimate. I am fervently against nation-building and being the global police.”

                      And yet you propose to do exactly that with taxpayer money while claiming those who disagree are extremist libertarians?

                    2. First of all, Iraq is very much a product of national blunders committed 70 years ago. It doesn’t matter how much you want to ‘fix’ a region when that region has three cultural groups who have engaged in active conflict for hundreds of years. And then said region is mandated into a singular colonial entity by an imperial power who actively played these groups off each other. Iraq should have never been a singular country and attempting to hold it together as such leads to whomever is in power actively murdering their opponents. These groups are more ‘vulnerable to genocide’ by Iraq’s existence itself than any American intervention.

                      Iraq was not stable at any time during the occupation. Car bombs and murders are not a sign of growing stability. When American troops were leaving people fired at their APCs.

                    3. If we really want to save people from genocide (assuming that’s the moral imperative here), there’s an easy fix that doesn’t cost nearly as much:

                      Give ’em green cards and an airlift to the US.

                      If we’re not willing to do that one, then re-invading isn’t about helping the civilians, but about something else.

                3. Because two wrongs don’t make a right.

    3. “We broke Iraq.”

      Bullhit.
      Iraq was broken long before we got there.

      1. We? You mean the government’s military.

        We are not the government. Only statists believe that silliness.

        1. ^ This.

          I was kicking and screaming against this thing from the beginning, and by beginning I mean 1991. The people who supported it bear some responsibility. Me? No.

    4. Let’s throw good money after bad ad infinitum.

      Also, I guess by your thinking, the best way to make sure someone didn’t die in “vain” is to make sure others die in order to remove the “vain-stain” from the first ones’ deaths. But then, when things inevitably go off the rails, there will be more vain deaths. It’s vain death all the way down…

      1. I’d be the first to recognize that the essence of your comment is correct. However, we decided to invade Iraq and then leave before it was able to properly operate and defend itself.

        Iraq’s vulnerability enabled the probable growth of something vastly worse- a Caliphate.

        I don’t see how Libertarians such as myself can look at the tearing-down and then leaving-alone as anything other than remarkable enough to address with some effort to bolster.

        1. I hate that it happened too. I look back and I’m also shocked by the Native American genocide (although I’m not sure what else could have happened).

          Nothing can be done to change those histories. Terrible things were done, even if people weren’t trying to be terrible. All that can be done is to stop doing terrible things.

          1. I’m comfortable being relegated to an idealist on this one. As an avowed hater of war and needless intervention I see Iraq as the quintessential American Stumbling Block and I wouldn’t even refer to myself as a nationalist or patriot.

            1. Agile Cyborg|8.22.14 @ 12:05PM|#
              “I’m comfortable being relegated to an idealist on this one.”

              Suffice to say “idealist” isn’t the term I’d choose.

          2. All that can be done is to stop doing terrible things.

            Well put.

        2. “we decided to invade Iraq and then leave”

          Iraq had no say in the “we leaving” part?

        3. “Iraq’s vulnerability enabled the probable growth of something vastly worse- a Caliphate.”

          Im not so sure that having the Islamist gathered together in one spot under a nation state flag is necessarily a bad thing.

          It make bombing them much easier. We do traditional warfare much better than insurgency. Once they have something to call their own it opens a window to deterence. A collection of terrorist cells have nothing in the way of territory or infrastructure to forfiet when they act up. Even though these people are truly barbaric savages with regards to human life they are not unintelligent. They can understand that we have the resourses to know when they are behind different actions beyond their borders.

          Arm the Iraquis and Kurds who will fight them, drop a few bombs to help like we did in Afghanistan and KEEP US PERSONEL THE FUCK OUT OF THERE. (and get the 700 or 800 there now out) The Kurds are smart and trustworthy enough to aim bomb guiding lasars to the right targets.

    5. Um, no. All of our attempts to fix it just break it further. Why do you think that government is in any way competent when it comes to nation-building?

      SLD: Nation-building would still be immoral, even if it was effective

    6. We didn’t break Iraq, we didn’t break the middle east. Hussein was a PLUG into a situation that we were mitigating. Hussein was put into place to BE A DICTATOR, and to handle the tribes. He was largely successful (because he enjoyed his work). That’s why he could not believe the PLUG was being pulled. Because the sectarian messes are all bubbling up to the surface that he was keeping suppressed. The REASON Hussein was in place was to keep a buffer between the West and the aboriginals. We took that plug out, and now we have to deal with them directly. In essence, Hussein was a part of the “syndicate”, but he got too greedy and he had to be rubbed out. Now his territory is in sectarian chaos due to the vacuum created.

      And we get some (temporary) allies to fight “the enemy” and give one tribe an upper hand over another, and in ten years we’ll have to come to the aid of who was once our enemy against our “ally”, and round and round it goes.

      The Founders weren’t stupid. States as gangsters has ALWAYS been this way, which why they pointed out it would be logical to stay out of foreign affairs. But when you make greater promises than your economy can keep, resources of ANY kind at below market rates, or forcefully creating “markets”, becomes necessary. Whether it’s oil or rare metals or whatever. Insane Statist policies, run away welfare directly calls for runaway warfare, and getting involved in the world’s millennia old problems.

  12. “We broke Iraq”

    Then maybe those of you who broke it should “fix” it. Don’t drag me into it. I didn’t break it.

    1. You’re as much a part of it as anyone if you pay taxes and hold a desire that your country behave with at least a semblance of ethics.

      1. “You’re as much a part of it as anyone if you pay taxes and hold a desire that your country behave with at least a semblance of ethics.”

        You’re not going to get very far with “social contract” and “shared responsibility” around here.
        Both are nothing other than an excuse for theft.

        1. I wouldn’t be so sure. There are an awful lot of statists who post here.

        2. Oh Christ, just stop it with the bullshit, “Oh, LOOK, if it SOUNDS like a STATIST it MUST be a STATIST!”

          Yes, some wars will never be won and things ‘fixed’. Yes, a LOT of theft occurs by the state. Yes, intervention is a bitch and should be avoided.

          However, I fail to see why my ethics cannot be applied as a form of empathy toward tragic loss with zero result- which explains Iraq perfectly in my view.

          1. Agile Cyborg|8.22.14 @ 10:59AM|#
            “Oh Christ, just stop it with the bullshit, “Oh, LOOK, if it SOUNDS like a STATIST it MUST be a STATIST!”

            Uh, if you keep pushing statist solutions, don’t bother griping when someone calls on it.
            ——————
            “However, I fail to see why my ethics cannot be applied”…

            You’ve had a couple of reasons presented to you, and you seem to ignore them.

          2. If one is an apologist for the State one must accept the fact that one may be labeled a statist.

            1. Absolute narrow-minded drivel. The state is reckless and a bureaucratic ship of dolts but even a ship of dolts should be expected to get things right on the rare occasion.

              1. Agile Cyborg|8.22.14 @ 11:19AM|#
                “Absolute narrow-minded drivel.”

                I’ll bet you say that to all the liertarians!

                1. Quit being so tedious and sophomoric. I’m not going to defend my brand of Libertarianism to a rage-filled fanatic.

                  I’ve been reading these forums for umpteen years and it’s gotten fucking old to read STATIST!!!! if ANY thought rubs the extremist Libertarian the wrong way.

                  1. Agile Cyborg|8.22.14 @ 11:28AM|#
                    “Quit being so tedious and sophomoric. I’m not going to defend my brand of Libertarianism to a rage-filled fanatic.”
                    Quite being an idiot.

                    “I’ve been reading these forums for umpteen years and it’s gotten fucking old to read STATIST!!!! if ANY thought rubs the extremist Libertarian the wrong way.”
                    Oh, I see. You’re the one who chooses what ‘extremists’ are? That would be anyone who calls you on your statist crap?

                    1. “Oh, I see. You’re the one who chooses what ‘extremists’ are?”

                      You’re NOT an extremist and condescending Libertarian?

                    2. Agile Cyborg|8.22.14 @ 11:59AM|#
                      “You’re NOT an extremist and condescending Libertarian?”

                      Well, we have a bit of a goal-post relocation, along with a rhetorical non-answer.
                      So you’re not a statist?

                    3. “So you’re not a statist?”

                      No.

      2. Someone needs to read up on the sunk cost fallacy.

    2. “Don’t drag me into it. I didn’t break it.”

      I’m sure if James Foley had only used this line with his captors, they would have just let him go.

      So long as we’re all in the crosshairs of jihadis worldwide, we’re all dragged into it by virtue of our place of birth. The concept of individual responsibility may carry currency when dealing with other civilized people, but to a tribal mentality, you being dead is just as good as any other infidel Westerner being dead.

      1. Was James Foley abducted from his home?

        1. No, and the people in the WTC weren’t killed in their homes, either. What’s your point?

          1. Kure’i|8.22.14 @ 12:28PM|#
            “No, and the people in the WTC weren’t killed in their homes, either. What’s your point?”

            The point is Foley’s captors people are not a threat to the US.
            But you knew that, didn’t you?

            1. “Foley’s captors [sic] people are not a threat to the US.”

              Yes, because if there is one thing we can gather from history, it’s that religiously inspired Islamic states, which harbor groups that resent the US, are never a threat to those on the US mainland.

              1. So, are we to carpet bomb the region and kill thousands of civilians in our attempt to crush a couple dozen of crazed terrorists tooling around in the back of Toyota pickup trucks?

              2. *Note: I’m not advocating invading Iraq again. We’re broke and have already blown it there for a whole host of reasons. But I think it’s naive to think that these guys aren’t going to do everything they can to strike both the US and Israel at the earliest possible opportunity; and it’s the highest form of naivete to think our enemies care about the squabbles individual Americans have with each other, since we’re all the Enemy.

                1. “We” are not the government. I wish you would stop linking me with the leviathan state that creates havoc and fights wars in “my” name.

                  If you want to be a member be my guest.

                  1. I agree that YOU are not the government. We both recognize that.

                    However, if you expect our enemies to make distinctions based on what they perceive to be some faculty-lounge discussion and political infighting among fellow infidels, you’re sorely mistaken.

                    Foreigners, especially those identifying with tribalistic 3rd world movements, don’t care about such things. They view all of us as The Other, and deal with us accordingly. Heck, even those hailing from relatively friendly countries don’t view Obama as a “socialist leaning, nanny-state Democrat” like many of us do, nor do they care — they just see him as “President of the US.” They could care less about our internal divisions.

              3. Kure’i|8.22.14 @ 1:07PM|#
                “Yes, because if there is one thing we can gather from history, it’s that religiously inspired Islamic states, which harbor groups that resent the US, are never a threat to those on the US mainland.”

                You make the claim, you prove it.

                1. It was sarcasm.

                  Do you really need proof of that an Islamic state/organization can be a threat to individuals here? If so, there’s a spot in lower Manhattan you can visit.

                  You may have entirely legitimate points about not intervening in Iraq, but to simply dismiss aggressive foreign regimes, or to believe “they won’t bother us if we don’t bother them,” is inexcusable.

                  1. Kure’i|8.22.14 @ 5:12PM|#
                    “Do you really need proof of that an Islamic state/organization can be a threat to individuals here? If so, there’s a spot in lower Manhattan you can visit”

                    Southerners can be dangerous too; ever hear of Fort Sumter.
                    Sorry, dragging up what happened 13 years ago sort suggests you can read a clock.

                    1. “sort suggests you can read a clock”

                      er… do you do English, too?

                      *Sarcasm trigger warning*

                      Yes, 150 year old history is every bit as applicable to the political climate today as the 2000s are. After all, there are still Civil War veterans alive, as well as most of the architects of that Conflict. And Southern noncombatants are still being held in our prisons; and wasn’t it just a few years ago that we killed the leader of the Confederacy?

                      If you think that considering jihadis a threat are as ridiculous as worrying about the Confederacy, then you’re either very naive about the world, or too ideologically committed to engage in honest discussion. Feel free to have the last word.

            2. You mean ISIS isn’t going to crawl out from under my bed tonight and slit my throat?

              1. I don’t know. Does your name end with Hirsi Ali?

  13. ISIS is an actual threat. It needs to be dealt with. The Kurds are about our only allies over there. We should build them up, helping as necessary and take out ISIS. Maybe we could get Turkey to help as well. It’s President might not want the competition as leader of the Sunni military power.

    1. Yeah, I’ve heard this song and dance for decades. It’s as false now as it ever was.

      1. As false as it was with the Taliban?

        1. Kure’i|8.22.14 @ 12:00PM|#
          “As false as it was with the Taliban?”

          It is 2014, in case you don’t have a calendar.

          1. Hence the term “was.”

            Conjugation FTW.

    2. Please elaborate on “actual threat”. I don’t see any such threat, but I am absolutely willing to be educated.

    3. A threat to whom, exactly?

      1. Well, it’s an ‘existential’ threat anyhow, right? And that means you as a taxpayer have to…
        Aw, fuck it. I’m tired of listening to that song and dance.

    4. “The Kurds are about our only allies over there. We should build them up, helping as necessary and take out ISIS. Maybe we could get Turkey to help as well.”

      Your comment undoes itself.

      The Kurds are not our allies. 25 years ago they were evil Communist terrorists and we cheered as Saddam bombed them.

      Turkey will not join us in aiding the Kurds, and every piece of aid we give the Kurds is another thing we do to piss off both Turkey and Iran.

      It is not a region of “friends” and “enemies,” it is a region of ever-changing alliances of practicality among players between whom there is no trust at all.

      1. It is not a region of “friends” and “enemies,” it is a region of ever-changing alliances of practicality among players between whom there is no trust at all.

        BINGO !

        I thought the Sauds had an advanced (for the area) Air Force with all the f16s we have sold them ?

        Why can’t THEY bomb ISIL. ?

        I’m not against the short term bombing to protect the innocents there. But any long term military action against ISIL should be lead by the players in the region with skin in the game. I kind of look forward t them having a state they want to protect. It makes for an easier target if they get international asperations.

        Correct that last sentence to read WHEN they decide to go global with their desire for Islam to rule the world. Their history shows that, at some point in time, they will feel strong enough and their religion compels them to do so.

    5. We should build them up

      What could possibly go wrong?

  14. We should have left Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq.

    1. He was the ideal stable thug to sit between crazy Islamic factions.

      1. Go fuck your daddy, turd.

        1. Christ, you’re a blithering spitting fireball. What the fuck is up with that?

          1. Agile Cyborg|8.22.14 @ 11:22AM|#
            “Christ, you’re a blithering spitting fireball. What the fuck is up with that?”

            You’re new here.
            Shreek has ‘daddy issues’ that he used to trot out; his daddy didn’t like him and his daddy was this and his daddy was that and shreek hates people like his daddy and Obo never does anything wrong, ’cause BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSH! and CHRIST-FAGS!
            So, I have a standard answer for the turd.

            1. I’ve been on these forums for years and I’ve read your comments for quite some time here and there. Hell, Buttplug went after me a while back. So what? I get a bit of name-calling and irritation with inconsistent views but some of you guys take it to an extreme that I find a bit elementary and distracting. It’s something like an obsessive tedious banter when someone is called a Shrieking Turd for the umpteenth time.

            2. “Shreek has ‘daddy issues’ that he used to trot out; his daddy didn’t like him and his daddy was this and his daddy was that and shreek hates people like his daddy ”

              I have never met a Liberal of the snivling twit variety that didn’t have serious daddy issues. I have even asked Tony here multiple times how old he was when his father abandoned him/his family. As far as I know he hasn’t answered. I wasn’t here when Buttplug admitted to all that but it is a common trait that all sniviling nitwit twerp liberals share.

      2. Shriek, I bet you’re the kind of guy who would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I’ll be watching you.

      3. Umm… Is it wrong that I agree with this statement from Shriek? Or, should it be an iron-clad policy to always disagree with Shriek due to the risk of soul destruction?

        1. I am consistently right on things. That is why I am hated here.

          1. Palin’s Buttplug|8.22.14 @ 11:04AM|#
            “I am consistently right on things.”

            No, turd, you’re a lying, mendacious POS.

          2. No one is consistently right. To claim otherwise is a tad naive especially when on considers the complexity and fluidity of a lot of topics thinkers tend to grapple with.

            1. When one is a narcissistic internet troll, one feels one is right, smart and witty, and surrounded by inferior beings. This is what he is, this is what he does, and he won’t stop, ever.

              1. If he is actually a troll it’s rare I’ve been on a forum for so long where the troll is fed so infinitely.

                1. He wants attention, people here give it to him.

        2. FreeRadical|8.22.14 @ 11:00AM|#
          “Umm… Is it wrong that I agree with this statement from Shriek?”

          Well, it’s sorta like agreeing with the magic 8-ball. You might get lucky, but it doesn’t suggest the 8-ball is anything other than a random answer.
          Go fuck your daddy, turd.

      4. I know you are hated around here (with some good reason- you’ve even bitched at me) but I agree with you.

        1. I don’t hate him. I laugh at him. He provides me hours of hilarity. His derp and the responses he gets is one of the things that initially attracted me to Reason.

          Buttplug provides me with comic relief. Why waste the energy to hate something so trivial as Buttplug ?

    2. Ding ding ding! This is the right answer. As typical third-world dictators go, he had about an average evil-quotient. But, at least the society was operating quasi-normally and it was pretty much secular.

      1. But, at least the society was operating quasi-normally

        It had not since 1979. Things were degenerating, quite badly by 2003. Take what you will of that, as far as intervention being justified/good or not – but what you stated there turns out no to be the case.

        1. Ok, from what I read long ago I thought it was far better than today, what with stable electricity and commerce.

          But, I would like a read a good and thorough history of the period you mention.

          1. Wish I could recommend a good book – I just talked with a lot of people, saw a lot of the infrastructure in the south and center of the country as well as read technical stuff from the engineers (one example, we were helping near Tallil, put a water plant back into full operation – it was of Italian manufacture from 1978, and the parts were….no longer available.

            1. You could write that good book…

              1. Jeebus, if I had the time…. probably sell 34 copies and take 3 years.

        2. The examples I saw, heard from the Iraqis running the infrastructure, etc – education, water, electricity generation and transmission, waste water and the state of the marshes in the center of the country. Since Saddam went all forth conquering and to conquer, all had been let decline from their peak of 1979. Formerly, lots of expat Egyptian teachers, engineers, docs, etc had been present (they still told some funny Egyptian jokes – fairly harmless). When I left at the end of 2008, we had fixed things to better than 2003, but not back to 1979 – I think a country exporting oil that at $55/bbl made them a healthy profit, can certainly do well enough on $100/bbl…

          1. The Iran – Iraq war cost them dearly – way more than Gulf War I or II (Does this make it III now?). I don’t think they ever recovered from that – hence the weird gamble in invading and annexing Kuwait.

      2. A police state is in no way operating normally. The only reason we should have left him in charge is because it’s none of our business, not because he made the trains run on time.

        1. Yes, I agree that “none of our business” is the first reason. But, for the majority of Iraqis, was not life better under Saddam? Of course he was a brutal and evil dictator, but there are many of those that we don’t give a rat’s ass about. Objectively, I think the US gov has made thinks worse, not better.

          BTW, I didn’t say “normally”, I said “quasi-normally” which I think is an important distinction.

          1. FreeRadical|8.22.14 @ 11:07AM|#
            “Yes, I agree that “none of our business” is the first reason. But, for the majority of Iraqis, was not life better under Saddam?”

            Sorry, he was a blood-thirsty tyrant who tortured and murdered those who did not agree with him.
            I don’t care if the trains ran on time; he was thuggery personified.
            But it was not my problem and I had no way of fixing it anyhow.

          2. “But, for the majority of Iraqis, was not life better under Saddam?”

            I think Swiss Servator seems fairly accurate in his characterization that before Saddam was better than during Saddam, immediately after Saddam was worse than during Saddam, and it is now maybe better than towards the end of Saddam but not as good as at the beginning of Saddam?

            But once we master getting capable leaders for our own country, at that point maybe we can consider picking other people’s leaders.

            1. Square, I enjoyed your middle paragraph.

              I guess all I’m saying is that our involvement over there has pretty much been a nullity.

              1. Agreed. I think US impacts in the region are at best random.

              2. our involvement over there has pretty much been a nullity

                That sounds….correct. For the Iraqis. Although, they have been given a chance, one that looks like it is slipping away, to make a better place for themselves.

                Of course, Our own spending and other exertions remain in effect, here.

      3. He had an above-average EQ. He was pretty horrid.

        That said, I never understood why a containment policy with him wouldn’t have worked. And I agree with everyone here who believes it probably would have been better for us to leave him in power.

        1. “I never understood why a containment policy with him wouldn’t have worked.”

          It might have. As a first step, when he asked the US diplomat in the region for permission to invade Kuwait, she could have said “no, we wouldn’t approve of that” instead of “the US has no interest in Iraq’s border dispute with Kuwait.”

          Just sayin’.

          1. Yes, I remember Miss Gillespie (I think that was her name, but I don’t feel like googling it) and the diplomatic missteps that led to all the fun the first time around. I remember watching the news the night Iraq invaded Kuwait, and commenting that, since we had been escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers, the invasion might be problematic for the US. How little did I know. (And still do.)

            My only reservation about a possible containment policy re Hussein was that he didn’t seem to be a rational actor at times. Refusing inspections when he had no weapons; not withdrawing when it was clear his military apparatus would be decimated; etc. I say “didn’t seem” to be because, of course, none of us had insight as to what he actually knew or believed at the time. But at least a few of his actions seemed to raise questions.

            1. “My only reservation about a possible containment policy re Hussein was that he didn’t seem to be a rational actor at times’

              You are measuring his rationality by your own.

              In his world he was probably very rational. For instance, his refusal of inspections was to keep his neighbors from thinking he was weak. Weakness in the rational Arab mind is an invitation to attack.

              1. Well, I explained why I said “didn’t seem rational,” because of course we couldn’t directly perceive what he could. I’m attempting to assess his rationality at the time in term of probable/possible outcomes available to him, but any such analysis is bound to fall short.

                In your estimation, he found it rational to have his military destroyed, in order to not appear weak?

    3. Do you remember the good years in Iraq?
      The summers were endlessly gold
      The fields were a patchwork of clover
      The winters were never too cold
      We’d stroll down the boulevards together
      And everything round us was fine (unless Uday wanted your daughter or Qusay was pissed at you)

      Now the oil fields are dead and bare
      No joie de vivre anywhere
      Allahu ackbar we drink a bitter (forbidden) wine

      Those Ba’athist days we used to know
      Where have they gone, where did they go?
      Al hamdu ‘lillah, raise your keffiyeh
      To those Ba’athist days

      Do you remember those wonderful parties?
      The splendour of Saddam’s cuisine
      Our extravagant, elegant rape-rooms
      The gayest the Koran has seen
      It’s funny but since we lost Uday
      We’ve gone to the other extreme
      No-one comes to dinner now
      We only eat them anyhow
      I even find I’m missing Qusay’s crimes

      Those Ba’athist days we used to know
      Where have they gone, where did they go?
      Al hamdu ‘lillah, raise your keffiyeh
      To those Ba’athist days

      It’s funny but since we lost Uday
      We’ve gone to the other extreme
      Perhaps we all misjudged the lad
      Perhaps he wasn’t quite that bad
      And how we miss his entertaining crimes

      Those Ba’athist days we used to know
      Where have they gone, where did they go?
      Al hamdu ‘lillah, raise your keffiyeh
      To those Ba’athist days

      Al hamdu ‘lillah, raise your keffiyeh
      To those Ba’athist days!

      1. Did you write that? It was incredible. Even if you didn’t, thanks for posting. Stuff like this is why I come here.

        1. Thanks – but I just riffed on Jospeh and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat song “Those Canaan Days” – sing it in a French accent and it gets funnier.

          There are several peopl on this site that can do this – it is a reason I come here too. See also, Heroic Mulatto and Almanian! just this past 24 hours.

  15. Perhaps if the US government occupied Iraq in perpetuity things would be better there.

    Just like the US government has made things so wonderful over here…

    1. In spite of the absolute mindlessness that infects US bureaucracies and the fact that this country has a lot of evolving to do it isn’t all depressing and ruined.

      1. I agree. The country would be just fine if the government left it alone.

      2. We are Trillions in debt, Trillions more in unfunded entitlements, have troops stationed around the world, have prisons filled with non-violent “criminals”, militarized police, 24/7 surveillance, a currency debasement time bomb set to explode, etc etc etc. It’s no wonder you still have optimism about yet another foray into the Mesopotamia. You simply haven’t seen the full on reality of where this country is at. One more rub of the lucky rabbit’s foot will make the Middle East a garden, I guess.

        We almost went over the edge in 2008. I don’t think people are aware of just how close the whole thing went down the drain, all the dominoes of government insanity falling over in sequence. But it was “contained” – by borrowing $6,000,000,000,000. But that last credit card is pretty much maxed. 2008 2.0 is right around the corner.

        Oh yeah,

        STATIST

        1. At least you acknowledge that statists are the problem here and not Ron Paul.

          1. What does Ron Paul have to do with anything? He’s a retire ex-congressman who no one listens to on foreign policy and never has

  16. Don’t we have a bunch of neutron bombs just mouldering on the rack somewhere? I propose we test a few on ISIL. It’s money already spent, after all.

    1. This would be bad, because it might kill thousands of terrorist-sympathizing/supporting women and future-terrorist children.

  17. “My guess is we are being softened up for round three.”

    Sad but true. They are like salesmen trying to tap into FEAR and sell us something we do not need.

    “If a man values security over liberty; he deserves neither.” Benjamin Franklin – 1776.

  18. God DAMN that was awesome!

    My points stand. And, no, I’m not worried about ISIS/ISIL either. Cause I’m not a reporter in Syria, or Iraq, or wherever that poor soul was who was just killed.

    Fuckers bring it over here, I’ll be happy to take them on then.

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