Donald Trump

U.S. Can't Be Responsible for ISIS in Syria Because There Wasn't an 'Intervention,' Says Vox

Blind spots big enough to get rebels through.

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Defense.gov

In its explainer about Donald Trump's recent foreign policy speech, Vox.com attempted to show just how inaccurate Trump was in the 150 word segment of the speech where he criticized the U.S. and Hillary Clinton for the intervention in Libya, pointed out that the push for U.S. intervention in Syria helped destabilize that regime, and noted that NATO needed to change its mission to support counterterrorism.

Vox.com's Matthew Yglesias insists the short portion of the speech has a "remarkable amount" that's wrong. But his list mostly amounts not to inaccuracies but inconsistencies between what Trump said yesterday and what he's said in the past about those issues. Two of the points made by Yglesias are worth highlighting for how they illustrate a blind spot in the left to its own establishment foreign policy.

First, Yglesias argues that the "collapse of the Syrian state can't be the fault of a US intervention to overthrow Assad, because we never mounted any such intervention." But that's not what Trump said. Trump argued that "pushing for the overthrow of the regime in Syria, among other things, without plans for the day after, have created space for ISIS to expand and grow." This is true.

The U.S. has been supporting so-called "moderate" rebels since near the beginning of the conflict. The U.S. has sent weapons and other military gear to those rebels, which has sometimes ended up in the hands of other warring factions, up to and including ISIS. At one point, CIA-backed rebels were fighting Pentagon-backed rebels. Of course this creates space for ISIS to grow. I can't see how denying it does anything other than re-inforce the narratives Trump is using to build support for his campaign.

Later, Yglesias argued that "Trump's habit of insisting that every US military alliance—from NATO to our defense treaties with Japan and South Korea—should be scrutinized in narrow financial terms is the exact opposite of replicating the Cold War strategy to unite the civilized world." But Trump did not talk about his aspirations for a more transactional foreign policy in the short foreign policy segment Yglesias argues is full of misinformation (but actually just full of more pedestrian flip-flopping). Instead, Trump argued in yesterday's speech that "NATO needs to change its focus to stopping terrorism" and took credit for NATO doing just that.

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  1. Breaking: Yglesias is a partisan hack and Vox is terrible. (apologies Suderman)

  2. The Vox article missed the most important criticisms of Trump’s speech: There is no such thing as a ‘moderate’ rebel. Meaning, any side we support will ultimately abuse and oppress the others. And there is no point in ‘fighting radical Islamic terrorism’ because that will only increase violence in an endless cycle. What will help? First – we must support only those factions who support full freedom and democracy (not the fake-freedom of the European Caliphate) and secondly, we must stop undermining the activists and bloggers who fight for these things!

    1. Maybe you should stop supporting anybody in foreign conflicts and just let them fight it out.

      1. That’s fine by me – much better than ‘fighting Islamic terrorism’. But we must still let in the war torn refugees who seek a life of freedom and tolerance – and who ultimately can export these values back to their home countries.

        1. That is a very good point. The problem is doing that would require the President who actually believed in those things and was willing to forcefully make the case for freedom and tolerance and for Western values. That is what Reagan did during the Cold War. And we found out later that it had a real effect. It emboldened dissidents and made the communists defensive.

          Sadly, believing in and articulating freedom, tolerance and western values is just not something Obama does. He doesn’t believe in any of that and refuses to even try to fake it.

          1. Maybe – but Trump is far worse on those issues. The Bill of Rights emerged largely unscathed and in some ways strengthened after Obama’s 2 terms. But Trump has a systematic plan to eviscerate all Constitutional protections – and this is not a conspiracy – he’s laid it all out there including in his speech, which is basically – “Security is the basis of freedom.” Americans know the reverse is true. Even Hillary is better than Trump on these issues – even though she is still deep in the incitement doctrine cool-aid.

            1. The Bill of Rights emerged largely unscathed and in some ways strengthened after Obama’s 2 terms.

              to the extent that is true it is only because there were five conservative members of the Supreme Court to do it. If Obama had had his way Citizen’s United would have gone the other way and Heller would have been overturned and the first two Amendments would have been read out of the Constitution. Obama has lost multiple 9-0 decision before the Court slapping down his executive overreach. So, I don’t see how you can give Obama any credit for the constitution remaining in tact. He certainly tried to circumvent it and appointed judges that had they been in the majority would have let him do it.

              ut Trump has a systematic plan to eviscerate all Constitutional protections

              I have seen no evidence of that. The examples of this I have seen is that he wants to repeal NYT v. Sullivan and broaden libel protections for public figures. That doctrine was invented by the court in the early 1960s. We seem to have done okay before that under the old standard.

              1. The Bill of Rights emerged largely unscathed and in some ways strengthened after Obama’s 2 terms.

                Not seeing it. Heller and its progeny are a fragile plus, and Citizens United is a plus, but offsetting those is a series of opinions on 4A and 5A rights that are pretty bad. And, of course, the ongoing expansion of privileged classes is an attack on the 1A as well.

                Legally? Its hard to say, all in all. Culturally? You will note that both of those were bitterly opposed by the Dems, who continue their assaults on the 1A and 2A.

            2. “The Bill of Rights emerged largely unscathed and in some ways strengthened after Obama’s 2 terms.”

              If that were true, it wouldn’t be for a lack of effort on the Obama Administration’s part, would it?

              P.S. Has the NSA violating the Fourth Amendment rights of 300 million Americans already been forgotten?

      2. Can we stop giving them guns, though?

    2. It has got to be physically painful to be a retarded as Matty Y.

  3. You are writing a serious response to something that Matthew Yglesias had to say about foreign policy?

    All you need to do is insert the “sad trombone” sound whenever you see his byline. That should cover it.

    Wah-waaaaaah!

  4. collapse of the Syrian state can’t be the fault of a US intervention to overthrow Assad, because we never mounted any such intervention

    It can be yes, when the terrorist rebels see that they can get a western air force to support them if some civilians died and it looks like the regime did it, the west will win the war for them.

    Then some villagers get gassed, in all likelihood by terrorists trying to get western air support by claiming it was the regime who did it.

    Then Obama proceeds to drop “non-lethal aid” to the various terrorist groups, most of which was scooped up by ISIS and Al Nusra. So with all of that in mind, is the president seriously this stupid or is he just that evil? The answer of course is a little from column A and a little from column B.

  5. Jesus… just youtube Al Nursa TOW missiles.. their was no real challenge to Assads control until 15,000 US made TOW missiles showed up in the hands of rebels among other weapons. This pushed assad and his armor back into areas where the population supported them and gave all the space in the world for ISIS to pop up..

    1. Interesting. Let there be no doubt, ISIS is what it is because Obama is too fucking stupid to realize that an armed insurgency in Syria, of all places, isn’t the result of some kind of grassroots liberal uprising of future democrats, they’re fucking terrorists. I doubted the existence of any meaningful number of western-style democracy advocates at the beginning of this “Arab Spring” and I was correct. Mind you that I made this predication with cursory knowledge of the internal politics of those countries, a basic understanding about Islamic culture and no intelligence reports, CIA briefs or inside knowledge, things that the president has had all along and this somehow escapes his notice.

      1. The eyes see what the mind wants them to see.

        Obama wanted to see freedom fighters, and he saw freedom fighters.

        GWB wanted to see Saddam supporting Al Queda and that’s what he saw.

        Tipper Gore wanted to see BDSM….

        1. Tipper Gore wanted to see BDSM….

          Go on….

        2. I think the problem is their idea of freedom fighter is different from ours. We think freedom fighter means a bill of rights and a system where the minority is protected by the majority.

          Their idea of freedom isn’t as progressive. It’s probably due to them having no real national identity and a strong history of tribalism.

  6. Yglesias should have stuck to a singing career. He used to sing in something like 5 different languages, but when it comes to grasping even the basics of foreign policy, it’s all Greek to him.

  7. Mathew Yglesias disecting Donald Trump is like Tom Cruise disecting the pope.

  8. Blaming the hell in Syria on the U.S. supplying weapons to rebels completely misses some important points.

    In no particular order:

    1) The Arab Spring was an organic reaction from within the Muslim world.

    2) When the Arab Spring hit Syria, it hit spillover from the aftermath of the Iraq War. If you want to blame any U.S. intervention for making Syria like it is, blame Iraq. The Iraq War was the drought that turned the Syrian forest into tinder. It’s no wonder it went up in smoke when the fire season came.

    And the aftermath of the Iraq War is what made ISIS possible.

    3) Let’s not ignore Assad’s, Iran’s, Hezbollah’s, and Russia’s to all this. Whatever the U.S. has done to contribute to what’s happening in Syria, Iran–through the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah,–and Russia have done whatever the U.S. has done time a couple of thousand. Sense of proportion, please?

    4) We’re talking about social, historical, institutional, and political change on the order of the Protestant reformation.

    Whatever else the Protestant reformation was, it was also a series of wars that lasted for more than a hundred years with causes that were numerous and complicated. The Muslim world is going through a similar transformation, and blaming what happens in Syria, Libya, or Miami on any one policy or mistake is to be oblivious to the big picture.

    1. Who exactly is blaming what happened in Syria, Libya, or Miami on one policy or mistake?

      1. Seems like everyone.

        Here’s one example”

        “The U.S. has been supporting so-called “moderate” rebels since near the beginning of the conflict. The U.S. has sent weapons and other military gear to those rebels, which has sometimes ended up in the hands of other warring factions, up to and including ISIS. At one point, CIA-backed rebels were fighting Pentagon-backed rebels. Of course this creates space for ISIS to grow. I can’t see how denying it does anything other than re-inforce the narratives Trump is using to build support for his campaign.”

        Whether the the U.S. sent arms to moderate rebels is not to blame for ISIS. In the big scheme of things, that ranks somewhere near the bottom of the list. There are Americans for whom sending arms to rebels is something they really don’t want us to do–I think the issue is more important to them than it was a contributor to the existence or proliferation of ISIS.

        1. Well if it seems like everyone then you probably need to take some time to consider your sense of scale. Because even the passage you quoted from Ed says that US weapon shipments “creates space for ISIS to grow,” which is a far cry from claiming that US policy is solely responsible for the rise of ISIS and the chaos in Syria/Iraq.

          1. “At one point, CIA-backed rebels were fighting Pentagon-backed rebels. Of course this creates space for ISIS to grow.”

            I’m emphasizing the point.

            This policy decision was a hell of a lot more important to us than it was to the growth of ISIS.

            Every outcome we don’t like isn’t necessarily the result of an particular policy we don’t like.

            1. So your claim then is that the US sending weapons to the region, some of which ended up in the hands of ISIS, contributed nothing to the growth of ISIS?

              1. I’m saying its impact was relatively insignificant compared to other much more important factors.

                Take the Iraq War, for instance . . .

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant #Foundation.2C_1999.E2.80.932006

              2. If the threshold for culpability you’re setting is some vague claim of “contributing more than nothing“….

                (because anything more than “nothing” is “something” right? & once you get to “something”, it becomes the flapping butterfly-wings that “caused” a tornado; there’s no need to say ‘how much’ it mattered; its just a binary of “mattered vs. didn’t matter”)

                ….you’re using a very low-bar to attempt to make a very expansive claim.

                Its sort of like the free-speech opponents who will insist that “rape jokes” ‘contribute to violence against women. ‘

                Because it “creates an environment’/’promotes a culture” etc. …and other vague indirect forms of influence which are by definition impossible to measure.

                And they rush back to the Motte when anyone dares suggest that “but its insignificant in the larger scheme” = “”WELL ARE YOU SAYING *ITS NOTHING*??””

                They suddenly make the critic (in this case Ken) defend the notion that something must be *totally* insignificant, in order to be insignificant *to their specific claim*…

                ….even though there’s no actual need to say so; its just a rhetorical move to shift the burden.

                Here’s some simple statements

                “Yes, a wide range of US policies in Iraq & Syria contributed to the rise of ISIS”
                “No, the US is not responsible for the rise of ISIS”

                both of those things can be true.

                Someone yesterday claimed Islam contributed to the orlando killings. see how that works?

        2. Today I learned:

          The U.S. sending arms to ISIS is not to blame for ISIS.

          So if we, say, gave ISIS a ICBM and launch site, and they used it, we wouldn’t have any blame, right??

          1. You’re so far out in left field, you’re in the stands.

    2. “1) The Arab Spring was an organic reaction from within the Muslim world.”

      I guess if you think the gulf monarchies funding thousands of foreign jihadis to go to Syria, it could be “organic”. that’s why I hate hearing about the Syrian “civil war”. the major forces against Assad aren’t even Syrian.

      The US signed off and armed a well organized campaign to overthrow Assad by the gulf states and turkey. they were furious Shia got Baghdad and wanted a Sunni Syria as a consolation prize..

      1. The other thing is that the Iraq war was over and the Saudis needed a new place to send its radicals off to fight and die so they didn’t stay home to cause trouble there.

      2. “I guess if you think the gulf monarchies funding thousands of foreign jihadis to go to Syria”

        That’s about a response to Iran, though, isn’t it.

        That’s a response to Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah doing all the heavy lifting in Syria. That’s also about Iran stoking revolution among Shia throughout the gulf states and in places like Yemen.

        1. I guess I don’t understand why that is shocking.. coordinated effort of the Sunni monarchies against assad and his allies rally to his defense..

          And I think Iran’s support of the Houthis is a little overblown. HIllary Clinton tried threw an election with ONE GUY ON THE BALLOT who was a sock puppet of the Saudis and the country revolted..

          1. The point was that the conflict between Iran and the Sunni Gulf states would almost certainly be ongoing even if the United States had done nothing.

            It’s almost like the problem with the commerce clause and Wickard v. Filbrun. We’ve come to realize that most everything we do–or don’t do–has an impact on somebody else, maybe everybody else. Somehow, that’s come to mean that everything we do–or don’t do–needs to be carefully scrutinized by government. If something you do or don’t do impact someone else, then you’re responsible for what happens, right?

            The correct answer is “no”.

            I won’t go into the specific reasons why, but suffice it to say that the United States is not responsible for everything bad or good that happens in the world–even if everything we do or don’t do has consequences. For instance, regardless of what the United States did, is doing, or will do, I suspect the Sunni gulf states and Iran would be fighting it out in the wake of the Arab Spring anyway.

        2. Oh!!

          NOW I see!! The Sunni Monarchies and their disgusting, oppressive theocracies are only funding terrorist groups to hold on to their power faced with loosing power to the Shia!!

          THAT makes it okay!!

          1. Am I supposed to think that means the Arab Spring wasn’t an organic reaction from within the Muslim world?

            You seem to be having an argument with voice in your head.

      3. “”Daesh [Isis] is our [Sunni] response to your support for the Da’wa”

        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/…..here-twist

      4. “The US signed off and armed a well organized campaign to overthrow Assad by the gulf states and turkey.”

        Whatever else it was, it wasn’t well organized.

        And Assad’s head would look great on a pike.

        1. well, he would be joined by every non-sunni minority group in the country as well.

    3. “Let’s not ignore Assad’s, Iran’s, Hezbollah’s, and Russia’s to all this.”

      ‘Kay. But also let’s not pretend that “they did it too and WORSE!!” is a reason to do something.

    4. Miami? What happened in Miami? Or are there some people trying to blame Cuban immigration on our Syria intervention?

      1. “The Muslim world is going through a similar transformation, and blaming what happens in Syria, Libya, or Miami on any one policy or mistake is to be oblivious to the big picture.”

        Haven’t you heard?

        If only we’d abolished the Second Amendment, the Miami Massacre never would have happened.

        Conversely, if only we’d blocked further immigration by Muslims, the Miami Massacre never would have happened either–and nothing like that will happen again!

        Simple policy solutions could have prevented anything bad that’s happened in the past–and they can prevent anything bad from happening in the future, too. And if there’s an ongoing social upheaval creating a cataclysm of historic proportions, well, that’s completely beside the point.

        Now, I’m not saying that policy changes can’t have good or bad consequences, either, only that we need to keep our sense of proportion.

    5. 4 is the not.

      We are talking about one tribe abusing another tribe, the abused tribe taking up arms and going after their abusers. This has been the norm in the Middle East for thousands of years. The so-called Arab Spring is just the latest chapter in Tribe A beating Tribe B over the head, not a turning point in history.

  9. I think some people are so hateful towards Obama, and they want to put a Syrian/Libyan millstone around Hillary’s neck to sink her in the upcoming election.

    Hillary is despicable for all sorts of genuine reasons. There’s no need to pretend things–like that if only she had done something differently, there wouldn’t be ISIS, civil war in Syria, or anarchy in Libya.

    We’re giving her (and Obama) way too much credit–to think they can have so much influence. They’re at the mercy of social transformation and change just like everybody else.

    Hillary Clinton is History’s jailhouse bitch.

    1. “They’re at the mercy of social transformation and change just like everybody else.”

      Well the point is, however, that by Obama’s actions, and his failure to act, he accelerated the pace of this change. Say what you want about the Iraq War, but by 2008, Iraq was not very much of a terrorist hellhole. Obama basically threw that all away. Would ISIS still have conquered half of Syria and Iraq if there had been an Iraq Surge #2? Maybe, maybe not. But Obama didn’t even try, he just left Iraq and Syria to their fates and threw away the small measure of progress that we did achieve in that area, obtained at a very high cost. And this is the result.

      I too blame Obama much more than Hillary, but I didn’t exactly see Hillary doing anything notable to be anything other than Obama’s bitch.

      1. “Well the point is, however, that by Obama’s actions, and his failure to act, he accelerated the pace of this change.”

        In Syria, I don’t think so.

        He may have accelerated change in Libya. And if Syria represents the alternative to Libya (what Libya would look like if the U.S. hadn’t helped accelerate the process), then that would argue more for doing the same kind of thing in Syria.

        P.S. Although, yeah, Syria is a different case in all sorts of ways.

        1. Well I am referring to Obama’s more or less complete withdrawal from Iraq in 2010, which paved the way for the ISIS terrorists to make gains.

          1. Obama had no choice to withdraw because that was the agreement made between Iraq and the US before he got into office. He could have reneged, but that would have been unwise.

          2. I think you’d do better to blame George W. Bush for invading Iraq in the first place.

        2. I’m not sure about your premise. Obviously our land war in the ME has influenced current events. Our policy of smart power and how we involved ourselves in Syria and Libya has helped to destabilize the region.

          Libya would still be under the control of Ghadaffi if the West hadn’t intervened.

          Assad would have probably crushed the rebels early on if various different nations hadn’t started funding a proxy war in Syria.

          My point is that to pretend the actions we have taken over the last couple years haven’t mattered is silly. We are supporting rebels in the overthrow of a legitimate (but tyrannical) regime. If your goal is regime change than you have skin in the game.

    2. You’re mostly correct here and the drive to say this or that caused the Syrian problem is politicized. The fact is, Syria is a multifaceted problem with complicated origins. Anyone saying we did or did not cause the problem is guilty of a vast oversimplification.

      It does seem indisputable, though, that our actions contributed to the situation in Syria, smoothed the way for ISIS, and generally made the situation worse than it had to be.

    3. HRC ran guns to the rebels.

      I will grant you that Ben Franklin probably couldn’t have stopped the dumpster fire that is Syria, but the point is that HRC is running for president based in part on having a vagina and in part on her experience as Senator and SOS. During her time as both she was an unrepentant war monger, and during her time at SOS she actively contributed to destabilizing regimes in the Middle East, including Assad’s. Sorry, but she owns this shit show.

  10. articles like this make we wonder if I might actually vote for trump this fall.

    1. He’s gotten really on point with this latest scandal. Hitting all the issues that originally won him popularity, and forcing his opponents to openly support issues that are not popular.

      1. That’s the thing about Trump.

        Reality consistently gives some validity to his points. He says “Islamic immigrants are a source of terrorism in the US”, and lo! the son of Islamic immigrants shoots 50 people. He says “Mexican immigrants are a source of crime” and lo! a Mexican illegal guns down a woman in San Francisco.

        Does he overgeneralize? Sure. Do his proposals make a lot of sense as stated? Eh.

        But, he can at least identify a problem with sufficient accuracy that his diagnosis will be validated by headlines, because his opponents live in a fantasy world where illegals don’t commit crimes, Islamic immigrants don’t commit terrorism, etc.

  11. Trump’s habit of insisting that every US military alliance?from NATO to our defense treaties with Japan and South Korea?should be scrutinized in narrow financial terms is the exact opposite of replicating the Cold War strategy to unite the civilized world.”

    Yeah because if that retard were old enough to have been around during the Cold War, he would have been a real cold warrior rather than a lying Soviet apologist. If Yglesias had been writing in the 1970s, the only thing that would have kept him off the KGB payroll was the fact even the KGB has standards and generally didn’t accept complete retards.

  12. Yglesias has never been the sharpest tack. When he was at Slate, I wondered why on earth anyone pick him to be their economics writer. Shouldn’t a person know something beyond leftwing progressive orthodoxy in order to be competent to write about financial issues? Like, maybe, some formal education in high finance? It was ridiculous.

    1. I miss his articles at Slate. Nobody gave him the slightest bit of respect and the comments sections were hirlarious as a result. His Sad Hipster profile pic was also spot-on.

      1. My favorite was when he talked about how he deserved it when a bunch of black guys played knock out on his sorry ass. I wouldn’t wish getting beat up on anyone. But when the person’s response is to say they deserve it, it is hard not to laugh.

  13. And remember, these are the same people who will argue that because Reagan funded the Afghan rebels against the Soviets in the 1980’s, that WE CREATED THE TALIBAN. But they will play pedantic games and pick at nits to avoid giving any culpability to Obama whatsoever when it comes to Syria and ISIS.

    1. Yeah, Reagan created the Taliban and gave guns to Bin Ladin. Both of those things are complete lies. But it allows them to ignore the fact that Clinton had multiple chances to arrest or kill Bin Ladin and didn’t do it. Bin Ladin ran around claiming he was at war with the US for entire 8 years Clinton was in office and Clinton did nothing but somehow it is all Reagan’s fault.

      1. Personally, I blame Rutherford B. Hayes for refusing to intervene in the Second Anglo-Afghan War.

        1. Great, another Butt-Hurt Tilden Supporter

      2. People have already forgotten that the Afghan leader we supported was assassinated by the Taliban/AQ (I forget which) right around the time of 9/11.

        1. ahmed shah massoud

          Taliban/AQ (I forget which)

          Both. Al Q killed Massoud as a ‘favor’ to the Taliban in return for their hospitality.

          and the US never really “supported” massoud. He was considered the ‘least awful’ of the opposition to the taliban, but he could never have commanded widespread support in the country. He represented Tajik constituencies in the panjshir valley and was more consistently successful than other warlords. He wanted more outside help for afghanistan, and made appeals to the US/UN, but i don’t think they ever did anything for him other than give him a pat on the back and wish him the best of luck.

      3. I actually applaud Clintons restraint on the matter.

  14. Someone is trying to keep the world so mired in war that we either miss or aren’t prepared for the big something. Who could enact such a devious plot? What otherworldly intelligence could be so effectively hobbling the human race?

    1. LIZARD PEOPLE!!!!!1!!!!!1111!!!!!!

    2. The Martians, for inflicting the common cold virus on them.

  15. Giving weapons to ISIS in Syria didn’t facilitate the growth of ISIS in Syria. As long as there were no boots on the ground, it doesn’t count!!

    1. We hand receipted all of the weapons we sent to Syria and the people we gave them to promised that they wouldn’t give them to ISIS. What the hell else do you want from Obama? You racist.

      1. “the people we gave them to promised that they wouldn’t give them to ISIS.”

        To be fair: many of them did NOT give the weapons to ISIS. They kept the weapons for themselves, and joined ISIS. Technically they kept their end of the deal, the weapons never changed hands, the fighters did.

        1. Yeah, they kept their end of the deal. So what is the big deal?

        2. Which many people saw coming a mile away. Only the Obamatards thought the Arab Spring represented a groundswell of liberalism in the middle east. I’m not sure how many liberals there are (or were) in Syria, but I think there were few enough that you could kill them all with a single bullet if you lined them up just right.

          1. Actually, there were about a dozen, but 10 of them were Christian Missionaries.

  16. ISIS is/was Al Qaeda in Iraq…PERIOD! 5 minutes of research will show this. The reason this group exists is due to the Iraqi invasion. Our recent fiascos may have increased their powe base, BUT their very existence is owed to the Iraq war.

    LESSON: Kill those who attack us as punishment for their deeds, and leave the rest of the world the fuck alone.

    1. Sort of

      Fast forward to the U.S. “surge” in 2007: The U.S.-installed, Shiite government in Baghdad began reaching out to Sunni tribes, encouraging them to reject AQI. By this point, AQI was basically defeated and it looked like peace was coming to the Middle East (kinda).

      Fast forward again to the Arab Spring and the uprising against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad (more info on that here). During the Iraq War, AQI would frequently go back and forth between Syria and Iraq to resupply, so it had a lot of contacts in the country. When Assad began shooting and gassing his own people, and the peaceful uprising turned into a civil war, AQI saw an opportunity to establish a presence there.

      It quickly moved into Syria, renamed itself as The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and merged with its Syrian counterpart. This pissed off al Qaeda’s HQ, because they were already establishing a separate al Qaeda in Syria (aka al-Nusra front) and wanted it to remain separate. The two groups fought another mini-war amongst themselves and officially separated with AQI rebranding itself into the ISIS we hear about today.

      http://theweek.com/articles/58…..story-isis

    2. And the guy who start AQi was an honored guest of Saddam in Iraq. Had we never invaded iraq, he still would have been there and presumably would have taken advantage of the Syrian uprising. Would that have happened without the invasion of Iraq? Who knows.

      Things are not as simple as you make them.

      1. I would wager we’d have saved about 4,000 US soldiers, a Trillion dollars, and caught Bin-Laden quicker, and yes – Syria would probably be a dumpster fire.

        We had Saddam on a short leash. He was not about to allow another group to challenge his authority. He also was not about to allow an AQ attack on America to have an Iraqi return address.

        He probably would have allowed AQ to cause some chaos with his Iranian neighbors.

  17. In Yglesias land it’s not really an intervention unless it involves troops on the ground, or at least dropping bombs. Just arming “moderate rebels” doesn’t count.

    Although, now that I think about it, we are dropping bombs, and we have at least some special forces on the ground in the region. Maybe in Matty’s world it only counts as intervention if it’s a full scale invasion. Or if the president has an R after his name.

    1. What do you want to bet that he thinks US support of the Shah is why the Mullahs are our enemies? But intervention doesn’t matter unless we invade.

    2. if it’s authorized by congress? nah, that’s crazy.

  18. Matty successfully destroys his favorite target, the Strawman, likes nobody’s business!

  19. I could be wrong but Yglesias may have responded to one of my comments on a Raw Story article once upon a time. It was ‘M Yglesias’. It was every bit, though, as retarded a response as one can expect from this intellectually deficient malignant dope.

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