Barack Obama

"Either the president doesn't read the intelligence he's getting or he's bullshitting." Plus: Boehner Says Yes to Ground Troops.

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Well, that didn't take long. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has signaled that it may be inevitable that American troops will be fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq. From an ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos yesterday:

"If I were the president, [said Boehner,] "I probably wouldn't have talked about what I wouldn't do — and maybe we can get enough of those forces trained to get them on the battlefield, but somebody's boots have to be there."

"If no one else will step up, would you recommend putting American boots on the ground?" Stephanopoulos pressed.

"We have no choice," Boehner warned. "These are barbarians. They intend to kill us, and if we don't destroy them first, we're going to pay the price."

More here. 

Needless to say, Boehner is also quite happy not to actually demand that Congress actually vote on current actions in the region, saying that he agrees with Obama that previous authorizations to use military force cover everything OK. Yet he'd "be happy to" call Congress back into session for a vote if the president requested it.

While we puzzle over the twin awfulness of Boehner's position, let's not forget the serious threat inflation at work here. To pretend that ISIS is an existential threat to the United States, or that it has the capacity to actually do harm to us in any serious way is simply wrong. ISIS is a problem for Iraq and Syria and its geographic neighbors—it isn't for us.

And that this latest round of action in the Middle East is starting off under a cloud of stupid. President Obama acknowledged to 60 Minutes that U.S. intelligience had both overestimated the resolve and capabilities of Iraqi troops while underestimating the abilities of ISIS.

Which would be troubling enough but gets even murkier when you consider Eli Lake's must-read story at The Daily Beast. It's simply not true, reports Lake:

One former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. "Either the president doesn't read the intelligence he's getting or he's bullshitting," the former official said.

More here.

So we've got a president who is either incompetent or lying and a speaker whose party is calling out the president for weakness when it comes to war-making and is willing to put U.S. troops on the ground as long as they don't have to, you know, vote on it.

This is not going to turn out well.

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113 responses to “"Either the president doesn't read the intelligence he's getting or he's bullshitting." Plus: Boehner Says Yes to Ground Troops.

  1. Underestimating ISIL is not entirely correct.

    Overestimating the house of cards that is Iraq is more accurate.

  2. but somebody’s boots have to be there.

    How about you, oh orange one?

    1. I suppose this is as good a time to ask as any.

      Under what circumstances, precisely, is the IF YOU SUPPORT THE WAR WHY DON’T YOU GO OVER THERE AND FIGHT IT argument valid? Does it really work when you use it against Boehner, a man in his 60s? Did every 60 year old American man who favored fighting the Nazis have an obligation to join the Army during WW2?

      Not that I think fighting ISIS is necessarily a great idea, mind you. It just confuses me a bit to see people on a libertarian forum use the same argument that Democrats loved so much from around 2003 to 2009.

      Bonus question: Next time Elizabeth Abortion Brown writes about her favorite subject, would it be valid for the Catholic guy to ask IF YOU LIKE ABORTION SO MUCH WHY DON’T YOU WORK AT AN ABORTION CLINIC? Is that really any worse than “If you support the war…”?

      1. Sounds like someone’s a cranky pants and needs a nap….:(

        WHY DON’T I TAKE A NAP FOR YOU, MBC?? Since I’m recommending a nap, maybe I SHOULD BE WILLING TO TAKE A NAP??!!

        /see what I did there

        1. Clever, but I actually feel fine today. 🙂

          Again, not a fan of John Boner or a potential ISIS war. But at the very least, a better way of attacking him over this would be to say “If you had a 25 year old son in the Army, is a fight against ISIS really the type of thing he should be risking his life for?”

          That would avoid the stupidity of demanding a past-middle age political leader personally lead the charge, like Stannis Baratheon on the Blackwater.

          1. I dunno – I’m OK with people making the point. I say it myself – don’t mean it literally, but I tend to mean, “I ain’t doin’ it, Kemosabe. How about YOU? No – then how ’bout NO ONE.”

            But I understand where you’re coming from.

            NOW GET TO YOUR ROOM AND GET YOURSELF A NAP! NOW!

            1. Pretty much this – you could even replace war with cleaning the sewer pipe.

              “Why don’t you get down here and clean this shit out yourself?”

              1. I pay someone else to deal with plumbing for me. But I think plumbing is something that actually needs to be done, unlike getting involved with ISIS.

                And, come to think of it, I think the plumber probably gets paid better than your average troop.

              2. I have, and while in Iraq.

                And yet, I wouldn’t do it again because it was unnecessary (the war thing, not the sewer cleaning thing).

      2. Valid argument against war, no.

        However, it is a valid point to make against a group that is far too cavalier about putting other people in harms way for that group’s political benefit.

        If you believe, as I do, that the cost/benefit on this war is significantly strong on cost and lean on benefit, then it is perfectly valid to point out that this pigfucker has no real skin in the game and is too quick to send other people’s sons off to die.

        Some things are worth dying for. This, sure as shit, ain’t one of them.

        1. Ok, Ok. I get it. Geezers don’t make good soldiers, and Speaker Boehner is a geezer.

          It’s unreasonable to suggest that politicians who cannot serve due to their advanced age, mental incompetence, obesity, and so forth serve as boots on the ground.

          But they still can do their part by pledging to waive their government pensions to pay for the war and contribute a substantial portion of their abundant net worth up front.

          1. I’d be OK with a constitutional amendment like that.

            “Any serving Senator or Representative who casts a ‘yes’ vote authorizing war shall immediately forfeit their entire net worth to the Department of War, and contribute such portion of their congressional salary to same so as to reduce their net income to the recognized poverty line. Additionally, should they stop serving in congress before the debt accrued by the war has been reduced to zero, they shall be taxed at such a rate as to bring them to the poverty line.”

            Would certainly need cleanup, but I think it’s an OK first draft. I think that would adequately count as “skin in the game”, and if a congressmonster thinks a war is so necessary as to warrant our involvement, he should literally be willing (and required) to put his money where his mouth is.

            1. God, you will see so many patriotic rich Congress-critters creating overseas irrevocable family trusts before they run for office your head will spin.

      3. *It just confuses me a bit to see people on a libertarian forum use the same argument that Democrats loved so much from around 2003 to 2009.*

        They do the same thing with the constant boring stupid articles everytime a cop does anything wrong anywhere. Flood the zone with complaints and just keep bleating until you get your way. Straight from the Politically Correct playbook.

        Since there’s already an “anti-war” and “anti-authority” party [in the sense that no one should be held accountable for anything/get out of jail free] in this country, why would anyone vote for Libertarians when they could just vote for Democrats?

      4. Teddy Roosevelt comes to mind. You may disagree with him on many things, but he was willing to put his ass where his mouth was. Granted, he was 40.

  3. So we’ve got a president who is either incompetent or lying

    Why not both?

    and a speaker whose party is calling out the president for weakness when it comes to war-making and is willing to put U.S. troops on the ground as long as they don’t have to, you know, vote on it.

    This is not a serious man. This is a bad joke on all of us.

    1. Beat me by *that* much!

    2. I think Boehner is quite serious when he talks about the terror threat that exists in the Middle East – he is terrified that whatever happens some of the blame or none of the glory may attach itself to him and the GOP in the voter’s eyes.

      I’m sure Boehner lies awake at night worrying that he may have said something that could be construed as anything other than a very clear “Yes, but…”. If things go well, he has to be able to smugly proclaim “And I helped!” but if things go wrong he must be able to say “See, I told you so”.

      You who think Boehner isn’t a victim of terroristic threats to his position just don’t appreciate how hard it is to maintain the essence of leadership, following the crowd while simultaneously convincing them that they are following you.

      1. “Terroristic threats to his position,” Gracie? Boehner needs to be run out of D.C. on a rail–along with Pelosi, Reid, half the Congressional Black Caucus, Obama, Holder, all 25 or 30 “czars” appointed by Obama and the moron who invented the whole concept of “czars.”

    3. Not only is Obama incompetent and a liar, he’s also incompetent at lying.

      1. Obama is actually a brilliant liar, but only when he is in campaign mode.

        In leadership mode, he is incompetent in every category of performance other than treachery.

        1. I don’t know, he seemed pretty transparent to me in both of his campaigns. People just decided to treat him as a tabula rasa upon which they drew their image of the perfect form of a president, regardless of what he said, didn’t say, did, didn’t do.

  4. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,”

    The two are not mutually exclusive.

  5. So we’ve got a president who is either incompetent or lying

    I’m going for both.

  6. This is not going to turn out well.

    You know, I wonder if “not turning out well” is basically the new normal for American military intervention. When the check/balance system devolves all the way down to what we have now – the President kinda sorta makes a decision as the Decider, and Congress mostly nods or shuffles without taking any direct action – then it seems like you will naturally get two consequences:

    1. There’s never any clear debate or analysis about the nature of the threat, the right way to address it, and a clean directive to the military backed by strong domestic support.

    2. There’s never a way to cleanly stop a conflict from escalating – really by sort of randomly evolving – into a full-out boots-on-the-ground money pit clusterfuck.

    Which I guess is obvious, but I think is also morbidly funny considering everyone (well, Teams Red and Blue, in the past 2 administrations respectively) sorta thought the President-as-Decider thing would allow for quick decisive effective action to neutralize threats.

    1. It’s always been like that.

      It was like that in Vietnam!

      We had a system to avoid getting into these quagmires in the first place, and although no one ever followed it religiously, it worked pretty well–at helping us avoiding quagmires.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…..e_Doctrine

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weinberger_Doctrine

      Bush Jr. ignored all that, and that’s why he invaded Iraq.

      Dum da dum dum dumb.

      Bush Sr. stayed true to the Powell Doctrine, and that’s why he didn’t invade Iraq in 1991.

      Smart smart smart smart smart.

      1. Bush Sr. did invade Iraq, he just didn’t topple Saddam and he didn’t stay. But otherwise, yeah.

      2. Bush Sr. stayed true to the Powell Doctrine, and that’s why he didn’t invade Iraq in 1991.

        Smart smart smart smart smart.

        Bush Sr. was the first one to put his hand in the monkey trap. If he had pulled everyone out of the Middle East after toppling Saddam, I’d agree with you. But we’ve had a continuous military presence there since 1990. He’s just as responsible as his son for keeping us there the last 24 years.

        1. Invading and occupying Iraq was not the inevitable result of not invading and occupying Iraq.

          The reasons Bush Sr. didn’t invade and occupy Iraq in 1991 were still good reasons for Bush Jr. not to invade and occupy Iraq in 2003.

          Often, poor decisions are not the result of things that happened in the past. They’re often the result of poor thinking on the part of the decision makers. And George W. Bush’s poor decisions were not the result of George Bush Sr. making an excellent decision in the past.

  7. This could make the gop primary very interesting.

  8. Or implies it could be both. He didny say xor.

    1. It would be pretty awesome if John Boehner said “xor”, at least if you ignore context.

  9. I’m strongly considering engaging in another period of “avoiding the news”. I’ve done this a couple times in the past – no newspapers (I still love reading a newspaper), no TV news (pretty much already the case), no internets news…

    It was amazing how little impact it had on my life other than improving my mood and freeing up time for…actually doing shit (I finally got the front door painted yesterday – yay!).

    Because the retard is at its highest level that I can remember, and it’s just depressing to read this fucking stupidity. So maybe I should just stop torturing myself….

    I shall ponder it, on the Tree of Woe?….

    1. I’ve done it a couple times – the longest was about a month. You are 100% correct – it does wonders for your mood.

      That said, Reason nut-punches and rage inducing stories sure do provide good fuel for dealing with the idiots one encounters every day.

      1. Yeah, my hestitation is that I’m a politics junky, and I feel like I’m not fighting the fight if I’m not engaged (prolly cause I’m not).

        But god DAMN – the derp is so heavy any more. I canna bear the strain, Captain!

    2. You painted the front door? Wood or metal?

      The easiest way I’ve found to paint a door is to take it off its hinges, remove the hardware, clean it good, mask off the window if it has one, then lay it out in the yard on a dropcloth and go at it with a couple of cans of Krylon.

      Spray paint goes on fast and dries quickly and evenly with no brush marks, you can see outside better than you can inside, laying it flat you don’t have to worry about runs, Krylon’s some pretty durable paint and you can seal it with a clear gloss or matte top coat.

      1. Left it on the hinges – put up a tarp to keep out the weather/keep in the dogs.

        No windows, just painted onto the brass hardware and scraped it off after it dried. I used a 3″ brush. Two coats took a couple minutes (with a couple hours drying in between coats).

        It looks SO much better 🙂

    3. I’ve been there… the Reason nut punches and the general decay of this nation (rule of law, blah blah) is bad for the ol’ nerves. I’ve taken up a steady diet of vodka to help my spirits.

      But don’t forget – we’re all in this together – or not.

      1. When I think there’s even a possibility that Mark Schauer could be Michigan’s next governor…that’s when I start needing to check out…

        1. Michigan has gotta Michigan.

          1. “Schauer: Cause Eight Years of Granholm Wasn’t Painful Enough”

  10. I thought the Democrats rubber stamping whatever the Bush Administration wanted to do was bad–watching Boehner and the establishment Republicans squealing over Barack Obama like some tweens for a new boy band is disgusting.

  11. Well, Code Pink has peeped about it. I guess that satisfies the anti-war left’s obligations.

    I like how Carl Levin called them warlike. Because, you know, not shutting up is VERY similar to drone bombing.

    1. Obama’s in already in office.

      What use is Code Pink now?

  12. “To pretend that ISIS is an existential threat to the United States, or that it has the capacity to actually do harm to us in any serious way is simply wrong. ISIS is a problem for Iraq and Syria and its geographic neighbors?it isn’t for us.”

    Thank you for the dose of sanity, Mr. Gillespie.

    Now, what do we tell war fetish Republican fan boys, whose only qualification for war is that the opponent match their anti-Muslim fantasies?

    What do we tell people who wouldn’t know cost/benefit or risk/reward analyses if they were smacked in the face with them?

    1. Now, what do we tell war fetish Republican fan boys, whose only qualification for war is that the opponent match their anti-Muslim fantasies?

      Same thing we tell fetish Democratic fan boys, whose only qualification for war is that the President be from the Democratic Party, I guess.

      1. The Republican fan boys were supposed to be smarter.

        They were supposed to not be susceptible to Barack Obama’s lies.

        Now they seem to believe every word he says–so long as what he says confirms their preconceived biases.

        They’re acting like progressives is what they’re doing. They’re acting like Tony.

        What are we supposed to do about a bunch of Republican Tonys?

    2. In fairness, we probably have treaty obligations to help Turkey should it be attacked by ISIS at some point. Which I’m okay with (the NATO treaty is outdated but it’s still in effect and should be respected). That said, Turkey is probably the only country in the region capable of taking on ISIS without much trouble and likely wouldn’t ask for our help.

      I’m not entirely sure what legal obligation we have to Iraq or any other country over there…

  13. “One former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” the former official said.”

    I didn’t believe anything Obama said (just because he said it) before.

    Why start now?

    We should note, too, we had about 165,000 troops on the ground in Iraq at the height of the surge–and that wasn’t enough to put down the insurgency.

    1) Why would it take less than 165,000 troops to put down ISIS now?

    2) Why should we think we’re going to be successful this time where we failed last time?

  14. Dropping bombs (however so-called targeted) is disturbingly unethical to me when one considers the literal guarantee that innocents will be whacked right along with the evil suckers. And the progressive/neocon tubes and medias are filled with faces and pens plucking away on the same string of approval with nary a goddamn critique.

    It seems the good progressive is now just as content with bombings as his/her neocon warhawk patriots.

    1. Obamas heart is pure when he kills people.

  15. boneR isn’t a leader, and he shouldn’t be in a position of leadership. Hell, he shouldn’t even be a janitor.

    I know I am expecting way too much, but why can’t the stoopid party puke up someone, anyone, with a vague idea of how to be an opposition leader?

    ugh.

    1. but why can’t the stoopid party puke up someone, anyone, with a vague idea of how to be an opposition leader?

      Establishment capitalists are nothing more than good-ol’ boys and good-ol’ boys understand nothing better than getting along and rocking as few boats as possible so nothing impedes the flow of dollar bills.

      It’s in their nature and when faced with actually thinking outside the box that activity will always be kicked down the road.

  16. Kind of nice how when we killed bin Laden, that was all the President. Underestimating ISIS is all someone else’s fault; His Excellency did nothing wrong. Even the New York Times finds that to strain credulity, or at least manners:

    In citing Mr. Clapper, Mr. Obama made no mention of any misjudgment he may have made himself.

    1. “In citing Mr. Clapper, Mr. Obama made no mention of any misjudgment he may have made himself.”

      ‘Mistakes were made’.
      ‘Things happened’.
      ‘Somebody didn’t see it coming’.
      ‘The passive voice was invoked’.

      1. I think we should try to keep Gillespie’s point in mind, too.

        Obama is almost certainly lying about that.

        He did not underestimate ISIS’ capabilities.

        ISIS is not a threat to the United States.

        ISIS is a threat to the heads of American journalists working in the area–no doubt about that.

        1. ISIS is not a threat to the United States.

          Why? Because Nick wants to believe that? They seem to have their shit together a lot more than Al Quada or the Taliban ever did. And they are making it pretty clear they mean us harm. Maybe their are lying but I fail to see why Nick would know they are other than it fits his narrative.

          1. Oh, come on!

            ISIS doesn’t have any more capability to hit America than Al Qaeda does, and Al Qaeda has been trying to hit us again since 9/11.

            …or do you imagine they’ve been holding back?

            1. Sure they don’t. They just control what amounts to a decent sized country and have a shitty but organized Army. Al Quada never had any of that.

              Neither one of us have access to the information to answer the question. And even if we did, only the future will tell. People like you said the exact same thing about Al Quada in the 1990s. How did that work out?

              The question is who is more likely to see what they want to see here? People like you and Nick whose entire world view regarding foreign police depends on ISIS and groups like it not being a threat or Obama who has admitted they are threat even though doing that means he has to do things he clearly doesn’t want to do?

              Time will tell who is right, but I think Obama is less likely to be the victim of confirmation bias here than people like you and Nick. It is possible that his intelligence people are lying to him and have bullshitted him. I am willing to entertain that possibility. But no way in hell does Obama personally not think they are a threat. He clearly does because the last thing he wanted to do was have to go back into Iraq.

              1. Obama has explicitly stated that ISIS is not a direct threat to national security.

                1. Because he didn’t think they were a threat, he started bombing them. Makes perfect sense.

            2. No doubt about it, ISIS threatens the US, but they aren’t an existential threat.

              Sure, they can inspire some Muslim lunatics to commit random acts of terrorism in the US. For that, it is reasonable to provide diplomatic and material support to local efforts to destroy ISIS.

              But it’s not like ISIS have WMD and delivery systems like several other nations actually do. If you want to worry about WMD threats, keep your eyes on N. Korea and Pakistan, even though even those aren’t really large enough to be existential threats. For existential threats, the focus should be on the Obama Admin’s superb reset diplomacy with Russia.

              1. 9/11 itself wasn’t an existential threat to the United States until our knicker-shitting hysteria turned it into one. We could have just woken up the next day, finished putting out the fires, started excavation to recover remains from the buildings, and been putting up new towers a year later if we’d tried.

                I’d have limited our military action to locating a few AQ training bases in Afghanistan, and then using B2s to drop nukes on them from vast heights on 9/18. (Because there’s no kill like overkill.) Four of them, one for each plane that got hijacked. Possibly take the casing for one, empty it of everything, fill it with concrete, and paint the message “Control yourselves” on the side in five or six different languages and drop it on the ground right outside of Mecca.

                And then just get back to goddamn business, building shit.

                1. That is a strawman. Just because something is not an “existential threat” doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat. If Russia decided to drop one bomb on the country a year, it wouldn’t be an existential threat, but it would still be a threat.

                  If your argument is “sure they will occasionally kill a few thousand Americans in a terrorist attack, but that doesn’t make them a big deal”, you are lost the argument.

                  The fact is the “if we just leave them alone” theory of foreign policy can’t account for ISIS or provide any way to deal with them. So you guys are left saying things like this.

                  1. If your argument is “sure they will occasionally kill a few thousand Americans in a terrorist attack, but that doesn’t make them a big deal”, you are lost the argument.

                    Horseshit.

                    Has ISIS killed a few thousand Americans?

                    Are you actually making the argument that the killing of two journalists is a legitimate reason to go to war? Should we start dropping bombs on gang members and syndicate bosses? Uh oh, couple Americans were killed by thugs in Canada, fire up the tanks and bombers.

                    Listen to yourself.

                    You are talking about spending countless BILLIONS of dollars over the actions of a couple thugs 10,000 miles away.

                    War is a cost/benefit decision. You need to ask what is to be gained. And you have the evidence of this failed course of action staring you right in the face. A TRILLION dollars and 4500 lives and the situation hasn’t improved a bit from when we went in.

                    YOU CANNOT FORCE PEOPLE TO YOUR WILL WITH GUNS AND BULLETS! All that does is make more of them. You need to identify the cause of the actions and eliminate them.

                    1. *Are you actually making the argument that the killing of two journalists is a legitimate reason to go to war? *

                      No, I think the fact that ISIS themselves have declared war on us and expressed their desire to kill Americans in America as a legit reason to go to war. They asked for; give it to them.

                      *YOU CANNOT FORCE PEOPLE TO YOUR WILL WITH GUNS AND BULLETS! All that does is make more of them.*

                      Yeah, just look at all those Nazis and Bushido Japanese still clogging up the world.

                      Egads some of you people are stupid.

                    2. War has never been a “cost/benefit decision”. Economically, it would be cheaper to give Alaska back to the Russians, or maybe let the Chinese have it, rather than defend it from a possible attack. Economically, it would be cheaper to cease all Counter-terrorist activity, and just let them blow up an airplane, shopping mall, or train station a couple of times a year; that is, until those “intangibles” come into play and people stop flying, and shopping, and sending their kids to school.

                  2. “Just because something is not an “existential threat” doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat. If Russia decided to drop one bomb on the country a year…”

                    Elsewhere in this thread, you’re telling me that whether Obama is doing the wrong thing in response to the threat is a separate question, now are you telling us that if ISIS represents any kind of threat, then Obama bombing them in Syria is somehow justified?

                    “The fact is the “if we just leave them alone” theory of foreign policy can’t account for ISIS or provide any way to deal with them.”

                    There are lots of things we can do other than leave them alone that don’t involve getting the United States involved directly in the Syrian civil war or putting troops on the ground.

                    That being said, doing nothing is objectively better than doing something costly and ineffective, isn’t it?

                    One last time, why should we expect Obama’s efforts (in the air or on the ground) to have any better outcome than Bush’s? What is it about Obama that will make him successful where Bush failed? What guarantee can Obama give us that his efforts won’t exacerbate the situation and make ISIS stronger–just like Bush’s efforts created the insurgency and ISIS?

                    …and what is the likely outcome of doing Iran’s dirty work for them? Are you aware that the threat posed by Iran makes the threat posed by ISIS look like child’s play?

                2. “I’d have limited our military action to locating a few AQ training bases in Afghanistan, and then using B2s to drop nukes on them from vast heights on 9/18.”

                  I think tactical nukes make more sense than troops on the ground. You know the definition of insanity, right?

                  You may end up creating more problems for yourself, internationally, by using nukes, however. The chances of Iran, for instance, abandoning its nuclear and ICBM programs probably start approaching zero. The chances of them actually using nukes against us would rise.

                  When Iran gets nukes, their enemies, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, will insist on getting them, too. Now, Turkey is involved.

                  Like I said, I don’t think ISIS is much of a security threat to the United States, but a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and Persia would be an existential threat to the United States, and using nukes on Muslims would make it much more…acceptable to use them. You might inspire all kinds of terrorism against us we wouldn’t have otherwise as well.

                  If we were going to use tactical nukes, a few days after the attacks was when to do it, but that’s in hindsight. Who knew Bush and Obama were going to make all kinds of stupid mistakes since then?

                  1. I’d rather try for a free trade deal with Iran, first! As China started profiting from trade with the U.S., their security interests changed. Where before they were all about funding Maoist revolutionaries all over the world to destabilize the world, now all they want is stability and market access.

                    Nowadays, when you hear someone talk about a “Maoist insurgency”, they’re talking about their ideology and not their funding. …and that’s a big difference.

                    I suspect the same sort of thing would happen in Iran–if only we could get a trade agreement. What would the security situation look like in Iraq, if Iran’s economy depended on its trade relationship with the U.S.?

                    The relationship between Israel, Iran, and the U.S. might even look a little more like the relationship between Taiwan, China, and the U.S. At the very least, Iran might find something better to do with its money than finance Hezbollah.

                    1. *I’d rather try for a free trade deal with Iran, first! As China started profiting from trade with the U.S., their security interests changed.*

                      Yeah, they figured they could just sell us the rope we’re going to use to hang ourselves.

                      *At the very least, Iran might find something better to do with its money than finance Hezbollah.*

                      The Saudis get sh*tloads of American money via numerous avenues and it doesn’t stop them from funding terrorism. Get a grip.

                    2. “Yeah, they figured they could just sell us the rope we’re going to use to hang ourselves.”

                      They took our jerbs!

                      “The Saudis get sh*tloads of American money via numerous avenues and it doesn’t stop them from funding terrorism. Get a grip.”

                      Are you saying you don’t think trade makes people less likely to go to war with each other?

                      Are you saying trade didn’t make China change from a foreign policy of destabilization in the developing world to one of stabilization?

                      Does not compute.

                    3. P.S.

                      DEY TURK ER JURBS!

                    4. You are very terrified of the world. I feel badly for you.

                    5. Terrified of the world because I’d like to see the U.S. develop a trade relationship with Iran?

                      Does not compute.

                    6. “As China started profiting from trade with the U.S., their security interests changed.”

                      They sure did. Instead of just trying to keep a lid on their own population, they now have the funds to build a blue-water navy and military bases throughout major petroleum shipping lanes. Their security interests changed from stifling internal dissent, to militarily securing petroleum for their future energy needs, and stifling internal dissent.

  17. When we left Iraq and it hadn’t yet fallen apart, Obama was to quote the media “the most sophisticated consumer of intelligence in the world”. Now that Iraq has fallen apart and the government completely missed the rise of ISIS, Obama tells us “the intelligence people really under estimated this”.

    You really can’t overstate what a pathetic crap weasel this guy is. The credit for anything good that happens anywhere is forever his and the blame for every fuck up is always someone else. The man is constitutionally incapable of taking any personal responsibility for anything.

    1. AND he’s lying.

      They did not underestimate ISIS.

      They didn’t realize ISIS could cut the heads off of journalists, huh?!

      It’s just more Obama bullshit.

      Don’t believe anything he says, but especially don’t believe his explanations for what he does.

      He’s lying.

      1. That is bullshit. Even I will give Obama more credit than that. It is not that they are killing journalists. It is that they are an actual threat to pull of a big attack in the US or Europe. Obama doesn’t give a fuck that they are killing journalists. He does, however, desperately give a fuck about something bad happening and him and the Democrats being blamed for not stopping it.

        Obama wants to “transform America”. He doesn’t want to have to spend political capital dealing with the Middle East. It is killing him to have to do this. He is only doing it now because he finally realized these people could pull something off and that would be a massive disaster for both him and the Democrats. It is really that simple.

        1. “It is not that they are killing journalists. It is that they are an actual threat to pull of a big attack in the US or Europe.”

          To what extent will bombing ISIS in Syria mitigate for that threat?

          To what extent will putting boots on the ground mitigate for that threat?

          Remember before we invaded Iraq–when there was no terrorist threat to the United States there? That threat materialized because of we bombed, invaded, and occupied Iraq…

          To what extent does going after ISIS the same way exacerbate whatever terrorist threat ISIS represents?

          Oh, and most important of all, why did ISIS only become a critical threat to American security 1) once they cut a couple of journalists’ heads off and 2) once Obama decided to do something?

          This is just Obama reacting to the news cycle–and he has no idea what he’s doing now any more than he ever has. …just like when he pushed through ObamaCare. He decided he was going to do something, and when that turned out to be stupid, everybody in government, his staff, and the media had to make like it was absolutely imperative that he do the stupid thing he did…

          This is no different. Obama is an idiot–and he’s lying.

          1. To what extent will bombing ISIS in Syria mitigate for that threat?

            Different question Ken. That Obama is choosing the wrong response says nothing about whether it is a threat.

            Oh, and most important of all, why did ISIS only become a critical threat to American security 1) once they cut a couple of journalists’ heads off and 2) once Obama decided to do something?

            They didn’t. You are rewriting history. They became a threat when they took over Mosul and it the Iraqi army fell apart. They had been killing Westerners for a while and no one cared. The US only started to care when they became a no kidding threat to take over Iraq and started to commit genocide against the Kurds and the Christians in Northern Iraq.

            This is not about journalists. That is idiotic. Again, a lot of you and Nick’s views of the world depend on Isis not being a threat. This is causing you to invent reality rather than seeing it for what it is.

            1. “They became a threat when they took over Mosul and it the Iraqi army fell apart. They had been killing Westerners for a while and no one cared. The US only started to care when they became a no kidding threat to take over Iraq and started to commit genocide against the Kurds and the Christians in Northern Iraq.”

              Are we talking about a justification for bombing ISIS and other rebels in Syria?

              Are you trying to justify putting U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq again?

              We had 165,000 on the ground in Iraq at the height of the surge–how many are you going to send this time, John? …and why should we believe that this time it’s going to have a different outcome?

  18. Oh, I bet it’s going to turn out well for someone.

    1. Maybe.

      But not for the American people.

  19. “One former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” the former official said.”

    Prolly both.

    1. He’s in hype mode.

      He doesn’t care what the intelligence says. He just cares that people believe his version of the truth.

      He’s acting like Bush all over again.

      1. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

  20. Obama was to quote the media “the most sophisticated consumer of intelligence in the world”.

    Thanks for reminding me of that quote. It throws what’s happening now into such sharp relief.

  21. To pretend that ISIS is an existential threat to the United States, or that it has the capacity to actually do harm to us in any serious way is simply wrong.

    It is not simply wrong: it is monumentally wrong, intentionally deceptive, and an insult to the electorate’s intelligence.

    GWB and crew may have actually believed Sadaam had chemical and biological weapons. This time around, nobody believes that ISIS is an existential threat except for the ignorami.

    Back in the 60’s and 70’s, I used to listen to Soviet propaganda on shortwave radio. That is what the US government’s pronouncements on ISIS sound like to me.

    1. No one thinks of them as an existential threat. That is you creating a strawman. Like Ken, you have allowed this topic to make you stupid.

    2. “It is not simply wrong: it is monumentally wrong, intentionally deceptive, and an insult to the electorate’s intelligence.”

      The vast majority of the “electorate” are a bunch of blithering fucking idiots, especially who think that a few thousand islamic jihadist with a billion-dollar bankroll don’t have “the capacity to actually do harm to us in any serious way”.

      1. “…especially “those” who think…”

  22. And this:

    Jihadist threat not as big as you think

    The vast majority of the estimated 85,000 to 106,000 militants fighting with militant jihadist groups around the world are fighting for purely local reasons, for instance, trying to install Sharia law in northern Nigeria or trying to impose Taliban rule on Pakistan and Afghanistan, while only a small number of these militants are focused on attacking the West.

    By historical standards this is hardly a major threat. At the end of the Cold War, Soviet and other Warsaw Pact countries could muster around 6 million men to fight in a war against the West, a number that is some 60 times greater than the total number of militants estimated to be fighting for jihadist organizations today.

    1. Hey, FdA, have you ever read this guy? http://code7700.com

      1. No, but what I see here looks pretty good.

        1. He has a great combination of aviation engineering, practical piloting information, and stories of his experiences in the Air Force and corporate flying. Mostly out of my league as he left piston engines behind decades ago, but still some really useful and entertaining material.

    2. That article if fucking retarded. Even if it were true that they have “local reasons” that doesn’t mean they won’t support people who have bigger plans. Moreover, it doesn’t matter what most of their reasons for fighting are. All they have to do is provide training and support for people who mean us harm.

      You guys’ arguments boil down to “only some of them want to attack us” and “what is another 911 every once in a while”. You can’t be serious.

      1. I am totally serious.

        There are going to be 911’s occasionally and no amount of killing brown people, spending trillions on conventional engagements or wasting of American lives is going to prevent it.

        You deal with it by not giving incentives to be attacked, and if you are you respond with overwhelming force against the perpetrators.

        OBL is laughing in his watery grave. He’ll beat America by making them spend themselves into oblivion chasing an unachievable goal.

        1. “You deal with it by not giving incentives to be attacked…”

          Bottom line: The incentive for them to attack us is that we exist. How do you propose we take that incentive away? Do we wait for them to attack and accomplish their goals, and then react? If that’s the plan, then won’t we be spending money to unfuck what they’ve destroyed, AND spending money to exert overwhelming force in response? Does it actually sound like a good idea to let them fuck us up, and THEN try to put together an overwhelming response?

    3. Do you seriously think that a nuclear-armed Pakistan run by islamic jihadists, sitting next door to a nuclear-armed India isn’t a “major threat”? Seriously?

      This isn’t 1939-1945, when the most advanced weapons in the world were hard-pressed to take out a single fucking factory, and most people still lived in rural areas.

      War isn’t just about destroying shit and killing people anymore. Critical infrastructure is just that: Critical. At no other point in history has there been so many critical vulnerabilities as there is today. You don’t need a large military force to effect serious damage on a modern society. Power grids, pipelines, communications, roadways; relatively minor damage to any of these can cause an economic collapse. It only takes a few dozen people, and a few hundred pounds of explosives, and you’ve put 200 million cold, starving, unemployed people in the streets, all of them desperately looking for a savior. Guess who that savior is going to be? He sometimes goes by the name “Uncle Sam”, and he’s not averse to doing whatever it takes to stay in power.

  23. *There are going to be 911’s occasionally and no amount of killing brown people, spending trillions on conventional engagements or wasting of American lives is going to prevent it.*

    Replace “911s” with “Pearl Harbor” and “brown people” with “yellow people” and tell me how little sense your comment makes.

    You bed-wetting anti-war pacifists should just leave the room when serious things are discussed if you can’t handle it.

    1. It doesn’t make any sense because the situations are not analogous. If they were, we’d be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the unconditional surrender of Islamic terror.

    2. We get it, you are a real man because you want us to go to war with every single entity that declares war on us, even though they have literally never displayed the ability to pull off a foreign terrorist attack of any sophistication.

      You seem very angry, as well as terrified. I feel even worse for you.

      1. “…they have literally never displayed the ability to pull off a foreign terrorist attack of any sophistication…”

        So, 9/11, Mumbai, London, Spain, the Bojinka plot; none of those were effective, sophisticated attacks?

    3. jmomls|9.29.14 @ 3:11PM|#
      …”You bed-wetting anti-war pacifists should just leave the room when serious things are discussed if you can’t handle it.”

      You war-boner phoney heroes ought to leave the room when adults are discussing matters.
      See how easy that is?

  24. Dear Mr. Boehner

    Do you really think we are going to exterminate 23% of the world population?

    That’s orders of magnitude more than the Native Americans we scalped and slaughtered. Do people die faster when beheaded?

    Why does IS call itself the “Islamic State?”

    It seeks to represent the entire Muslim world, 90% of which is Sunni. Laugh if you will. You cannot control perceptions in the Muslim world.

    It may be true that God is on our side,that God supports American Messianic Exceptionalism in this conflict with Messianic Islam. It may be.

    But have you spoken to Allah recently? Perhaps Allah supports the opposition.

    Religious wars last generations. Unlike the Vietnam war, this time we have no one with whom to negotiate. Who will speak for 23% of the world?

    Religious wars are devastating. Those who die do so secure in the belief they are martyrs on the way to Heaven. They have no fear. On either side.

    That is why the Lutherans and Catholics in what today is Germany, after several generations and dead in nearly every family, exhausted, decided in the future to kill one another for other reasons and not to rationalize mass murder with religion.

    IS has goaded us into attacking them. We fell for it. We are trapped.

    Even if we change our minds and decide to withdraw they will attack us. They seek to humiliate us.

    If we decide to get out, with whom do we negotiate? Who can speak for 23% of the world?

    We are trapped. We cannot get out.

  25. My buddy’s mother makes $83 /hour on the computer . She has been fired from work for 7 months but last month her income was $16557 just working on the computer for a few hours.
    you can check here ———- http://www.jobsfish.com

  26. The problem with going to war in the Middle East, is whose side we’re supporting. And there isn’t a government there worth supporting – they all are oppressive, and the people there don’t know what freedom is.

  27. All I know is that I’m really fucking sick of hearing politicians use the phrase “boots on the ground”. It’s a soldier’s term that they’re using to pretend they’re empathizing or conversant with the military, and it’s like listening to a middle aged parent try to converse with their kids in their kids’ slang.

    Also, they’re not sending boots over to Iraq, they’re sending soldiers. Fuck you, slimy politicians…stop pretending it’s just equipment you’re throwing around.

  28. Also…

    One former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” the former official said.

    Yeah, no shit. He’s been blowing off daily security briefings ever since he got in the White House, along with most of the actual work the President does that Barry found to be a drag. He doesn’t get the briefings and if he does, he’s either not disciplined enough to pay attention to them or not intelligent enough to understand them. Maybe both.

    I can’t believe that his complete lack of effort at his job hasn’t been the biggest scandal of his presidency. He’s just there to soak the taxpayers for a check and hang with celebrities.

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