ISIS

Trump Insists Obama Was 'Founder' of ISIS, Hillary Clinton Feigns Outrage, Interventionism Ignored

No maybes.

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ISIS

Another day, another stupid Donald Trump comment that distracts from the substance of the issues. On Wednesday night, Trump said Barack Obama was the "founder of ISIS," and today he appeared on the radio show of Hugh Hewitt, a Trump supporter, to insist he meant what he said. Hewitt tried to suggest to Trump that what he meant was that the "vacuum" created by Barack Obama and the 2011 U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, but Trump rejected the suggestion. "I meant he's the founder of ISIS," Trump responded, saying Obama, and Hillary Clinton, deserve a "most valuable player award."

Clinton took to Twitter to respond, saying it could be "difficult to muster outrage as frequently as Donald Trump should cause it, but his smear against President Obama requires it." It can be difficult, too, to muster outrage at Clinton, who in 40 years didn't meet a U.S. war she didn't support, who voted for the Iraq war but later tried to absolve herself of responsibility for it, and who advised Obama in favor of the 2011 U.S. intervention in Libya, which has led directly to the chaos in Libya and the rise there of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, against whom U.S. ground forces have now been deployed.

Obama, of course, is not the "founder" of ISIS. More importantly, while he took credit for the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq when running for re-election in 2012, the agreement to withdraw was struck in 2008 under President George W. Bush. Obama eventually stopped taking credit after the rise of ISIS, and even expressed disbelief anyone would assume the decision to withdraw from Iraq was his.

The Trump team is equal opportunity on assigning blame for the "founding" of ISIS. Retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who spoke at the Republican National Convention last month, in December blamed George W. Bush and the Iraq War, including the 2004 U.S. release of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—who is now the caliph of ISIS—for the creation of the terror group.

That's not a new idea. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also blamed hawks in his party for the creation of ISIS. And when Donald Trump was focused on defeating Jeb Bush in South Carolina, he too, criticized the Bush administration's Iraq policies. Now he uses the kind of language that make it easy for his opponents to dismiss the underlying claims. The U.S. played a crucial role in the founding of ISIS, from creating the space in which ISIS and its antecedents metastasized to sending weapons to the region (whether to U.S.-backed rebels or with U.S. forces) that ended up in the hands of ISIS.

Democratic hand-wringing over Trump's comments are particularly hypocritical, given Democrats' hyperbole over the Bush administration and Iraq as well as the role U.S. foreign policy during the Obama administration played in contributing to the rise of ISIS—be it flooding the region with weapons or destabilizing countries like Libya and Yemen. Unfortunately, the important discussion of the costs, benefits, and unintended consequences of interventionism is not something Trump or Clinton are interested in, and unless libertarian presidential nominee and self-described "skeptic of interventionism" Gary Johnson ends up in the debates, it doesn't seem like a discussion that will take place this presidential election cycle.

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  1. yay a trump clinton article

  2. And the Democrats say the NRA arms ISIS. Another day, another ridiculous thing to be outraged at Trump over. The media just can’t help themselves.

    1. They do? Does their handpicked presidential candidate say this too? And then double down on it when pressed?

      1. When is their handpicked presidential candidate ever pressed?

  3. Where is Ron Bailey get shanghaied?

  4. Trump knows what his voter base feels about what is going on. The key word is “feels”. I personally believe that the more the media base feigns outrage, the more that they actually help his campaign. At least that’s how my logic works. I wouldn’t be surprised if the election is very close this year, because the more the media shows their statistically bunk “polls” and drives against him, the more it riles up his base. Unlike Hillary, who has no true loving, devoted fans, Trump has blocs of voters that love him. That makes a huge difference to me despite what the media says.

    1. Trump knows exactly what he’s doing, it worked before, it’s still working, and the MSM have their heads too far up their own asses to know they’re being played like a fiddle.

      1. ^ Completely delusional.

        1. I don’t think it’s entirely delusional. Any successful candidate, at least in my eyes, needs voting blocs that absolutely love him to have a shot at the presidency. IMO, the MSM is scared to death right now because Trump has them and Hillary doesn’t.

          1. Trump is fucking brilliant, now the media will stupidly spend the next week reminding voters that Hillary wants to take their guns away, all in a futile attempt to play gotcha with Trump.

            1. All the MSM can hope for is that only the Trump base really cares that Hillary wants to take their guns away. I wouldn’t be so sure; I’m pretty sure that there’s a LOT more independents than they think that support the 2nd Amendment.

              1. This 2nd Amendment…I do not think it means what you think it means.

                1. In my personal interpretation, the 2nd Amendment is more than just a write to carry guns, but a necessary check on the government that citizens possess. Citizens would less likely to be able to defend themselves against totalitarian power without the right to carry. There’s a reason why some of the least free states in the world, such as Venezuela, have unarmed citizens.

                  1. And more than a few Democrats (or people who lean that way). Several people I work with are pretty much centrist Democrats in most of their political leanings, but regularly rant about their newly intensified focus on gun control and are definitely not voting for Clinton.

                2. *right

                  1. I’m conflicted with regards to the 2A. I believe that the “well regulated militia” clause has been ignored or bastardized by silly interpretations, and any chance of an armed citizenry of initiating and succeeding at rebellion is a pipe dream. We’ve ceded too much power to our police forces and military.

                    However, if I support the weakening of the 2nd, then I should not bitch as the 1st and 4th are targeted.. I realize that the lane is a two way street and therefore I must grudgingly side with you vile scum libertarians on most issues :0)

                    1. Even if the police force and military is too powerful to rebel against, IMO the 2nd Amendment is one of the best forms of protection that the citizens can have against a potential totalitarian state. You can check the state’s powers without overthrowing it entirely, and that’s an important point, especially since the role of government in its current form is to use force to get its citizens in line.

                    2. The problem is that the 2A has been shafted by both the right and the left. The goal wasn’t simply to give people the right to hunt and shoot burglars, it was to make government dependent on an armed populace for its survival, making it easier for the people to remain dominant in the relationship. Having a professionalized standing army and hordes of armed bureaucrats removes that dependency. The pro-military and law-and-order Republicans are as much a 2A threat as the Democrats.

                    3. ant1sthenes, I agree with you. This is why I was using Venezuela as an example of the kind of awful governments that can form without armed citizens. It’s not the only factor as to why that place is such a hellhole, but it is IMO a major aggravator on top of general political ignorance and cult-like devotion shown by their voting populations.

                    4. “… and any chance of an armed citizenry of initiating and succeeding at rebellion is a pipe dream.”

                      Why is it a pipe dream?

                      Is it because the Soviet Union won in Afghanistan, and the US won decisively in Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan?

                      Oh, wait.

                      Guerilla warfare is always asymmetric. A small number of resistance fighters is capable of harassing and tying down a larger more cohesive force. The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto held out against Nazis for longer than the organized armies of Poland and France. The entire armed forces of the Nazi regime peaked at about 9 million in 1943. 6 million armed and resisting Jews distributed across Europe would have derailed much of the Holocaust.


                      The Warsaw ghetto uprising: Armed Jews vs. Nazis

                      Quotes:
                      During World War II, 30,000 Jewish partisans fought in Eastern Europe, in their own combat units?. One of the most successful battles of the Jewish resistance was the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Nearly every Jew who participated was eventually killed ? but they were going to be killed anyway? The Germans had to spend more time subduing the Warsaw Ghetto than they did conquering the entire nations of Poland or France.

                    5. I don’t think that the possibility of an armed rebellion being successful necesarily matters. The threat of lower level armed resistance to tyrannical actions provides some check on government overreach, I think. An organized group of rebels is one thing. They can be found and defeated. A citizenry who is willing and able to fight back is a whole different thing. And a lot of military people would not be willing to take up arms against their fellow citizens ike that.

                      That’s why it still matters in the fight against tyranny.

        2. Anyone who uses the term ‘Western secular Caliphate’ doesn’t get to have an opinion on what’s delusional.

          1. Or who can’t keep their sock puppet personalities straight.

      2. I agree. I actually talk a bit about this in a youtube video awhile back

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0MkW2F0QEA

        I honestly think the idea is to say something that is basically innocent, but he knows will drive the MSM crazy, and by doing that he can control the media narrative without those idiots even realizing it. Look how he got the media to talk about Clinton’s e-mails again with that comment about Russia, and now with his most recent comment he just reminded everyone that Clinton is no friend of the 2nd amendment.

        Hillary is using a conventional campaign, while Trump is fighting a Guerrilla war.

        1. The conventional view on the types of things that Trump says is that he keeps shooting himself in the foot, but as a political outsider with very little in the way of campaign funds, it’s a genius strategy. He’s really talented at making off-cuff statements that are just un-PC enough for the MSM to throw a temper tantrum, but not so offensive that the media creates outrage for more than 3-5 days.

          1. It really fits in nicely with my guerrilla war analogy. When you’re army doesn’t have the resources to go toe to toe with an enemy you fight a guerrilla war. When you’re running for office and you don’t have the campaign funds you do the same thing in the political realm.

            It’s like guerilla tactics 101, use your enemy’s weapons against them, and the MSM is a major weapon in the Democrat arsenal, and Trump has managed to use it against them without them even realizing it.

            1. The MSM keeps using their precious financial resources to play an elementary taddle-tale game against Trump, while Trump is directing them into many checks, if not a checkmate, by getting them to write an implied narrative. I used to call Trump’s campaign stupid, but it’s not at all. I can’t even call his supporters stupid, because at least they’re voting for something different this election rather than the usual milquetoast career GOPer.

  5. I created ISIS, ok? Sorry.

  6. “subatance”???

    Typo alert, Krayewski.

    1. sigh
      /wistfully dreams of Lucy

      1. DON’T DREAM ABOUT LUCY!

  7. from previous thread anticipating this gloss =

    Curious to what degree they [Ed, Reason, etc] might recognize that once you start making those sorts of vague, rhetorical ’cause-effect’ claims, it becomes fair game for anyone to suggest that “whomever in power” is therefore the author of history.

    The conclusion seems to be ”contributed to the founding of”‘ is totally ok and rational, whereas ‘founded’ is insane hyperbole. (albeit useful and certainly to-be-expected campaign slander)

    I always thought that libertarians were always pretty big on the personal-responsibility thing;

    and that same idea might translate into ‘historical responsibility’ residing in actors themselves rather than attributed to vague forces which “created a climate” (*to borrow a popular phrase from the left) leading to their ‘reaction’.

    iow, ISIS (et al) is 100% the product of its own stated motivations, desires, and is the product of the people who’ve joined it and conducted acts in its name. US policy, or the US political figures involved in those policies, are no more resonsible for ISIS than barbary pirates were responsible for 100s of years of subsequent US middle east policy.

    (*maybe not the best analogy, but for some reason i was thinking about pirates)

    iow, play stupid (rhetorical) games, with stupid (rhetorical) prizes.

    1. but for some reason i was thinking about pirates

      hARRRRRRRRRRRRRdly an unusual thing to think of, me hearty!

      1. +1 bottle of rum

      2. What, there’s Lake Pirates in Switzerland now?

        1. The sea is a cruel mistress. The lake, she loves you like a mother. Calm water, easy navigation, and buxom beach volleyball players as far as your one good eye can see.

          1. Aren’t mistresses supposed to be cruel?

            1. Or coy, if you listen to Andrew Marvell.

  8. Trump is treading awfully close to saying blowback is real, that when America intervenes in foreign countries there are consequences and the people of those countries and their co-regionalists might become angry with America.

    But I have been assured here so many times by people that are currently Trump defenders that this can’t possibly be true, so I guess I’m just wrong.

    1. Trump is treading awfully close to saying blowback is real,

      maybe he is. I have no doubt he’ll say something entirely different tomorrow.

      I think this idea of “blowback” is an incredibly reductive, meaningless concept; it implies that history is a simple sequence of 1-dimensional actions/reactions by single parties.

      It pretends the US is the sole actor of consequence, and everything which occurs in any region we’re even “looking at” is happening entirely due to US Action or Inaction.

      Its incredible in how it pretends that the entire “Syrian Civil War” isn’t actually a conflict between local groups with longstanding grievances, entirely different objectives, various sectarian/racial conflicts, etc. that by themselves are 1000X more relevant to understanding events on the ground…. and that the hundreds of millions in guns/money/intelligence-meddling by the Saudis/Iranians/Qataris/ et al are neglible factors relative to whatever posture the US happens to have vis a vis the region.

      its sort of like the same magical thinking that Progs have re: Climate Change. It overstates of the importance of (human) activity to the point that it requires people to completely ignore things like “the history of the planet” and its various temperature cycles, and how little we really understand the complexity of these changes.

      its basically the same thing, only the US is “carbon emissions”, and terrorism is “gaia’s blowback”

      1. No, it’s simply admitting that humans respond to incentives. Basic economics and observable behavior.

        It’s never been about the US being solely responsible, that’s just the strawman argument by interventionists. It merely says if you keep kicking a hornet’s nest, then don’t act surprised and self-righteous when you get stung and kick harder.

        You’re displaying the basic rejection of observable reality that leads people to say that raising the minimum wages has no effect on employment.

        1. It’s never been about the US being solely responsible, that’s just the strawman argument by interventionists.

          It’s not a strawman when parts of the ‘blowback’ crowd actually argue that. Sheldon Richman is not holding Palestine and Iran accountable for their actions in the way he holds the United States or Israel.

          1. I’m not defending Richman, I’m attacking the people that say–with a straight face somehow–that our interventionism has no negative consequences whatsoever, because that would mean admitting that our foreign adventurism might not be the awsomest idea EVAR!

            1. But that’s my point, when you say that it’s just a strawman created by interventionists, you’re incorrect, because there actually are people who argue about blowback who use it to place the blame squarely on the United States/Israel/whomever. The fact that the interventionists have positions built on faulty reasoning does not mean they’re incorrect in pointing out the same of their opponents.

            2. I’m attacking the people that say–with a straight face somehow–that our interventionism has no negative consequences whatsoever,

              Given that no one said that here, you’d prefer to argue with these other invisible people?

              That’s what i meant by “strawman”

              1. I didn’t say you said it, I said it has been said.

                John, Cytotoxic and few others have said it many, many times.

              2. He’s deranged. One minute Trump is a “finger on the nuclear trigger” crazed interventionist and now he pretends to have some great insight that Trump may really mean exactly what he has been saying since the start of the campaign.

        2. You’re displaying the basic rejection of observable reality that leads people to say that raising the minimum wages has no effect on employment.
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          No, quite the opposite. If you actually read what i said, i’m saying that any 1-1, cause-effect, super-simplified argument is probably wrong.

          And that “blowback” is just as stupid and 1-dimensional as the inverse argument you just staw-manned.

          I pretty much said that above

          I think this idea of “blowback” is an incredibly reductive, meaningless concept; it implies that history is a simple sequence of 1-dimensional actions/reactions by single parties.

          You seem to think suggesting i’m recommending a *different*, reductive meaningless concept? No.

          I’m saying its far more complex than that, and that in the list of ‘relevant factors’, in many cases the US may not even rank very high on the list. Sure, the invasion of Iraq “mattered” in the sense that everything ‘matters’. And maybe it was even “necessary” (if not sufficient).

          But the “Blowback”-concept is basically…. butterfly-flapping-its-wings = equals cause of Tornado -level-stupid.

          1. Not accepting your reductive definition of an idea is not losing an argument.

            1. ?

              if you have something to respond to, quote it and reply.

              1. it implies that history is a simple sequence of 1-dimensional actions/reactions by single parties.

                That is not the idea of blowback and you know it.

                Why did we invade Afganistan in 2001?

                1. Why did we invade Afganistan in 2001?

                  did we? i never thought of Afghanistan as an invasion. we never sent lots of heavy armor and set up lots of fortified position like in iraq. It was always just an extended ‘mopping up’ exercise gone wrong.

                  but for the sake of helping you get to your point = because we were trying to catch/kill Al Q?

                  1. So we were responding to being attacked? Or we just attacked them for no particular reason?

                    1. Which leads us to the endless chicken-egg-ism of the “blowback” stupidity.

                      Yes, we reacted to an attack by Al Q (although there’s more to talk about in ‘why that, exactly’)…

                      but what was Al Q “blowing back” against us for? having troops in saudi arabia?

                      at what point does the causation-chain end? does it?

                    2. perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a causation-circle. Which has no end. Formerly such geometry was contained to Israel/Palestine/et al. Now the circle is spiraling across continents. Double-down on the bombings? Meh

          2. You can argue the complexities until you are blue in the face. The simple fact remains that there is one action that if not taken, would have prevented the rise of ISIS.

            The Iraqi invasion created AQI, who before the invasion was a tiny little cell of nothing called Al Qaeda Mesopotamia. AQI morphed into ISIS. No Iraq war = no ISIS. Period! There would be no reason for the group to form to begin with if Saddam was still in power.

            The US creates its own weather.

            1. Does your neat theory also make the Syrian Civil war the consequence of US actions?

              Just wondering how far you take the “Everything is a nail to the Iraq-Invasion’s hammer”-approach

              1. “Does your neat theory also make the Syrian Civil war the consequence of US actions?”

                You betcha. And any serious scholar not linked to neocon think tanks will tell you so. I mean– come on– get fucking real.

              2. May have happened anyway and may not.

                BUT If it did:

                1. There would have been no ready made organization to participate, and ISIS would have needed to organize from the ground up.

                2. The US would bear no responsibility for it and could stay the fuck out of it.

                1. well that’s nice.

                  its not really anything to do with my point about “Blowback” arguments in general.

                  Because ISIS isn’t principally concerned with the US as an enemy as it is many of the other govt’s in the Middle East. ISIS’s goals are to overthrow various ME regimes and impose a caliphate. Which basically can happen without ever needing to involve the US at all.

                  If their Raison D’?tre were really something entirely to do with the USA…. you’d think that, like Al Q, they’d be focused on making that point clear in their words and deeds.

                  Instead, they’re attacking the Taliban, the Egyptian Military, the Saudi Royal family, the Turks, Sunnis everywhere, Kurds, the French…. and so on.

                  You can see why this 1-1 idea of the Iraq-War being the single most fundamental defining feature of their being starts to seem kinda… almost irrelevant after the fact. what did all these other people do to deserve this “blowback”?

                  1. You can see why this 1-1 idea of the Iraq-War being the single most fundamental defining feature of their being starts to seem kinda… almost irrelevant after the fact. what did all these other people do to deserve this “blowback”?

                    No, I don’t see that at all. You’re deluded.

                    Again, if the organization never existed to begin with, they wouldn’t be “attacking the Taliban, the Egyptian Military, the Saudi Royal family, the Turks, Sunnis everywhere, Kurds, the French”. They exist in their current form solely because of the Iraq war and the power vacuum it created. And had the US chosen a non interventionist foreign policy wrt Iraq there wouldn’t have been an AQI/ISIS to intervene in Syria.

                    Definition of blowback
                    : an unforeseen and unwanted effect, result, or set of repercussions

                    Whether or not their “raison d’?tre” (pretentious ass, BTW), is to fuck with the US or not is a non sequitur. They exist because of shit US foreign policy causing unwanted repercussions.

                    1. They exist because of shit US foreign policy causing unwanted repercussions.

                      “US Policy” is what provoked ISIS to want to create a caliphate and topple ME govts?

                      This is exactly the sort of retarded denial of agency i was making fun of in my first comment.

                      it pretends that the entire “Syrian Civil War” isn’t actually a conflict between local groups with longstanding grievances, entirely different objectives, various sectarian/racial conflicts, etc. that by themselves are 1000X more relevant to understanding events on the ground…. and that the hundreds of millions in guns/money/intelligence-meddling by the Saudis/Iranians/Qataris/ et al are neglible factors relative to whatever posture the US happens to have vis a vis the region.

                      You can certainly argue that there would never be any Islamist movement in the ME sans US policy.

                      its just that acting like its self-evident will get this kind of mockery. It makes the US into this magical being whose farts cause avalanches around the world. All roads lead to US policy, and if we’d just stop “meddling”, why, the universe would exist in total harmony.

                      The term “compartmentalized intelligence” falls short here.

                    2. “US Policy” is what provoked ISIS to want to create a caliphate and topple ME govts?

                      No, I never said that and you fucking know it. That’s not my argument and you fucking know it.

                      Christ, you are an asshole.

                      All roads lead to US policy, and if we’d just stop “meddling”, why, the universe would exist in total harmony.

                      No, it wouldn’t. We simply wouldn’t be the cause and we’d remain uninvolved in matters that don’t concern us.

                    3. . We simply wouldn’t be the cause and we’d remain uninvolved in matters that don’t concern us.

                      So, which is it?

                      “ISIS would never exist if we hadn’t invaded”

                      Or

                      “ISIS could have existed sans the US, but it wouldn’t be our fault then, and so therefore wouldn’t matter”

                    4. ISIS wouldn’t exist in the way that it does if not for US actions.

                      We don’t know what would be there had the US not gotten involved, but it wouldn’t be ISIS as we know it. As you say, there is no 1-1 causation in nature or human interactions. But any major input is going to have a lot to do with how things are.

                    5. So, which is it?

                      Does it matter? Could be either and we’d all be better off than with what we’ve got.

                      The first is a distinct possibility.

                      The second, likely the worst case scenario and infinitely more preferable than the current reality.

                    6. Does it matter?

                      Well, yes, since the distinction you want to gloss over is exactly what was being debated.

                      The case you seem to make vacillates between

                      A) “bad things wouldn’t happen if the US didn’t do X” and
                      B) “The US shouldn’t do X whether or not bad things happen anyway”

                      whenever part A runs into trouble, you revert to B

                      no one was making any positive case for “interventions” here anyway, so arguing that they’re generally a bad idea is besides the point.

                      The original argument being made was that the “blowback” proponents go to great lengths to try and attribute all sorts of negative outcomes to “US policy” whether or not there’s any tangible causation-relationship or not

                      To wit = whether or not a group called “ISIS” happened to come into being as a side-effect of the Iraq War is probably irrelevant to the role they’re playing NOW and the impact that sort of group is going to have in the future, whether or not the US does anything.

                      Insisting that the US “created” ISIS is stupid because shoves more-pertinent facts aside in the goal of attempting to make a silly claim about moral culpability. It belittles the sunni-shia power conflict in the region, the greater impact regional powers play, and pretends that the US is the sine qua non of all things “terror”. Europe isn’t much assuaged knowing its “not their fault”

                    7. No…

                      A) bad things wouldn’t happen TO THE US if the US didn’t do X
                      B) “The US shouldn’t do X whether or not bad things happen anyway”

                      And BOTH can be true independently and concurrently.

                      whether or not there’s any tangible causation-relationship or not

                      Are you fucking kidding me? AQI was brought into existence to fight us in Iraq. PERIOD! They would not have existed if not for the war and would have been unavailable for fighting in Syria without building a new organization from the ground up, something that takes months to do.

                      What might have happened we can only speculate. What did happen was a result of our actions.

                      It was unintended. It is negative. So by definition, it’s blowback.

                    8. ) bad things wouldn’t happen TO THE US if the US didn’t do X

                      What exactly are the bad things happening to the US right now?

                    9. And why are “bad things” happening to, say, France?

                  2. what did all these other people do to deserve this “blowback”? –> they joined the coalition of the willing

              3. Destroying the Baathist regime in Iraq obviously created the environment in which ISIS was able to seize power.

                Admitting that is not bracing the concept of ‘blowback’ as America blaming libertarians use the term.

            2. Also – i’m not sure how your claim really changes anything at all about my point

              I already said its entirely possible you can claim the Iraq-invasion was “necessary” w/o being sufficient.

              1. Necessary? Are you serious? Necessary for what?

                1. Did you read the comment you replied to? i was referring to this =

                  in the list of ‘relevant factors’, in many cases the US may not even rank very high on the list. Sure, the invasion of Iraq “mattered” in the sense that everything ‘matters’. And maybe it was even “necessary” (if not sufficient).

                  Simply being a necessary condition for the existence of ISIS doesn’t make it either “the only important condition”, or even important at all.

                  which is why i asked whether you thought the Syrian Civil War would also “never have happened” sans Iraq.

                  1. No, I didn’t.

                    Believe it or not, Gilly, I don’t hang on every word you type. The reason being that most of it is pretentious garbage.

                    1. Then stop entirely if it fails to please you. You’re not helping yourself making hamhanded arguments over and over again.

                    2. Ham handed arguments…

                      Good one. Pot, meet kettle.

                      I think this idea of “blowback” is an incredibly reductive, meaningless concept; it implies that history is a simple sequence of 1-dimensional actions/reactions by single parties.

                      And that “blowback” is just as stupid and 1-dimensional as the inverse argument you just staw-manned.

                      You do realize that GILMORE calling things dumb and stupid isn’t really an argument, right?

                    3. Yep. When you cut out everything in between, it does seem like i had nothing to fortify that case.

                    4. Trust me…the shit in between didn’t help you out either.

                    5. I will surely trust the guy that spits bile and states an unwillingness to read the things he replies to.

                    6. I don’t call you names frank, and i read (and quote) what you write. I at least try to keep you on topic as well.

                      If you prefer to get into an insult competition, i can do that too.

                    7. No, you just call people’s arguments dumb, stupid and retarded… on the basis of your feelz.

                      Ya see, G, I don’t call you a pretentious, condescending asshole to try and win an argument. I call you a pretentious, condescending asshole because you are a pretentious, condescending asshole.

                      Try disagreeing without being a dick!

                    8. you just call people’s arguments dumb

                      yep. because criticizing an argument isn’t an ad hom, frank.

                      but you know that.

            3. If you’re going to play the ‘blowback’ game, you’ve got to take it back to the first mover.

              In the case of USA vs. Islam, the first mover is Islam, with the Barbary incident.

              In the case of The West vs. Islam, the first mover is Islam, as Muhammed’s forces spilled in a conquering wave over Europe.

              In short, taking blowback to it’s logical ends, we always arrive at ‘Islam started it’.

              Because Islam started it. Well…..Muhammed started it.

      2. Plus I think it was a mistake the way Ron Paul used to talk about it during his presidential run. It sounded like he was blaming all terrorism on blowback, he really needed a better way to articulate it.

      3. also –

        this idea of blowback is super-solipsistic in how it pretends we’re the only “target” of these Evildooers

        last i checked, ISIS has committed 90+% of its actual attacks in the ME region itself, against competing political interests/governments. they’re fighting the Taliban, the Egyptian Military, the Saudi Royal family, the Turks, and {insert whatever clusterfuck is in libya}… and only as an afterthought, they’re fucking with the Europeans…. and have actually never committed a single coordinated* terror attack against the US as far as i can tell.

        (*i’m discounting the san-berdoo, orlando shooters as being “domestic terror” which claims ISIS as an inspiration, but was probably inevitable as a consequence of the WoT overall, rather than specific to that group’s ‘goals’)

        IOW – if ISIS only ‘came into existence’ directly because of US policy… or if you even dilute that and claim, “Well, the US was the *most significant factor*….

        they really do seem to place a super-low priority on actually getting around to the “blowback” part, don’t they? They seem to be “blowing back” against all sorts of people that for some reason people assume had “nothing/less/little” to do with them.

        Unless there’s was an argument for “Blowback” against Belgium that i missed. What did they do to “cause/contribute to” ISIS?

        1. It was wise of you to not try to address my actual argument.

          1. I wasn’t replying to you there. I did above. Relax, you’re not that high on my priority list sweetie.

            1. Yeah, you’ve gone after me in two different threads on this subject for no reason whatsoever. It just sort of happened.

              Because people don’t respond to incentives.

              1. Yeah, you’ve gone after me

                its not personal. it was on-topic

        2. You doth protest too much, Gil.

          There’s legitimate grievances with the use of “blowback” as the end-all, be-all of foreign policy analysis, but at the same point that’s not inherent to the concept.

        3. Unless there’s was an argument for “Blowback” against Belgium that i missed. What did they do to “cause/contribute to” ISIS?

          The Belgian Congo, because ISIS is a firm believer in intersectionality terrorism.

          1. intersectionality terrorism.

            I like.

      4. I think this idea of “blowback” is an incredibly reductive, meaningless concept; it implies that history is a simple sequence of 1-dimensional actions/reactions by single parties.

        I’ve found the concept of ‘blowback’ to be more like Hegelian dialectics wrapped in a Marxist Oppressor/Oppressed narrative:

        1. The thesis, usually some vague foreign policy goal, is carried out.
        2. The antithesis comes in as a response, in the Middle East, Islamic fundamentalism is counter to Western pluralism.
        3. The Synthesis, where both sides fall in their initial goals and instead create the combined outcome. So Saudi theocratic ‘allies’ to the United States, strongman secularists, etc.
        4. The Oppressed having been the response to the oppressor’s action is entirely absolved of their actions in the antithesis or synthesis.

    2. You could really only characterize it as “blowback” if it is assumed the chief target of ISIS’s ire was the US. Mostly, their goals are to establish a genuine theocracy, get lots of unwilling strange, and kill minorities and French people. We catch some of that, but less so than other nations, certainly nothing as spectacularly destructive as 9/11.

      Saying we made mistakes that allowed bad guys coming to power overseas is a little different from saying we’re bad people who deserve to be murdered by terrorists, and the blowback concept has always blurred the lines between judgement and simple cause/effect.

      1. agree w/ all that. i say some similar things above.

  9. Actually by claiming that Obama created ISIS, Trump is effectively recruiting for them. Either that or they think we’re idiots and just laughing at us and maybe kinda feel sorry for us.

    1. I sort of laugh at you and feel sorry for you, shriek.

      1. Ah – you are attaining enlightenment. Keep up the good work!

      2. I just sort of laugh at you.

      3. AddictionDerp just posts word salads to try to get a reaction out of you. Don’t feed it.

        At least Turd was cogent, although consistently wrong.

    2. Trump is once again tricking the media into reminding voters that the rise of ISIS largely took place under Obama and Hillary’s watch. It’s fucking brilliant, but like the morons in the MSM you’re too blind to see it.

  10. “given Democrats’ hyperbole over the Bush administration and Iraq ”

    Except it wasn’t hyperbole. Everything anti war Dems said about GWB’s invasion of Iraq basically came true and everything that war’s boosters said about Iraq was bullshit.

    Look, I’m not saying HRC is the perfect candidate not am I planning on voting for her. But in a contest where I have to choose between her and Trump? Hands down. No problem. Clinton.

    1. Please don’t feed the troll.

      1. What do we do when they start feeding themselves?

    2. Going with a proven track record of felonious sociopathy, eh?

      1. Sorry, Sugar. The mescaline is starting to cut in, and I got disoriented.

        1. Just a suggestion. We are all human. We are all weak.

      2. I do like the subtle conflation of pro-Iraq War Hillary Clinton with anti-Iraq War Democrats as though by the virtue of sharing a party affiliation they are one and the same.

        1. I don’t conflate them. I supported Bernie Sanders who voted against the Iraq War and plan on voting for Jill Stein for exactly some of the reasons people here have been talking about. Unlike most of you guys, I won’t be voting for Trump– that is, unless I’m really, really drunk.

    3. ^ Basically completely true. I also think that picking Kaine is a good sign – make Congress authorize the war. They won’t.

      1. Unless you are saying she is not going to live through her first term, the VP is irrelevant.

    4. then it’s a good thing that you have more than 2 choices this election

  11. Could this election be a more perfect contest between malice and incompetence?

    1. Which side is which, again?

      1. Does it matter?

        1. STUPID EVIL vice EVIL STUPID.

          I think EVIL STUPID will be more entertaining to watch; sort of like a barn fire.

          1. We’ve already seen enough of STUPID EVIL. That show’s jumped the shark. EVIL STUPID is like a jelly-of-the-month club membership.

          2. Lawful Evil versus Chaotic Evil? GO TEAM CHAOS!

  12. Seriously, the more I see this stuff, the more I’m sure DT is a plant by the Clintons. But he’s still around and an actual contender with her, so they are forcing him to escalate his crazy to make this election a sure thing for her. Calling it now: he eats a live puppy in September or says that everyone of each race needs to be segregated to an individual state.

    1. I assume the Dakotas are going to be set aside for the various halfsies and such.

      1. No, no. Poor tribal members in the South, Casino-wealth tribal members in the North, Swedes in Minnesota and fat, drunk Germans in Wisconsin. Halfsies can split Virginia/West Virginia.

        1. So you will dispossess hillbillys from the land they already occupy? Why not consolidate Hillbillia into one super-state and actually wall it off?

          1. Canada is already a thing.

          2. actually wall it off

            Isn’t that what Appalachia is for? It keeps them out of the Piedmont, at least. The Midwest can build its own wall.

          3. Good point, the Hillbillies will be new Palastinians of American if we did that. Tossing bombs made of meth and RC Cola over the Ohio border, or something like that. Can the halfsies have North/South Carolina? They are much nicer, and they should have nice things.

          4. Memphis should be the capitol of Hillbillieandia.

            They already are attracting every ambitious rube from LA, MS, AL, AR, and KY.

        2. Fuck the Swedes. We only want Norwegians here in Minnesoda.

          1. Fuck the Swedes. We only want Norwegians here in Minnesoda.

            You betcha. I am a fat, drunk, German, Catholic Minnesotan that moved far away from that land of ice and snow. As long as I can have Wisconsin as needed, you can keep whomever you want.

            Plus, separating the Swedes and the Norse will give Garrison Keeler nothing left to write and talk about, which is a huge plus in my book.

            Nice weather there today?

            1. I’d actually let all you fat krauts from the southern part of the state stay. You guys make good beer and are pretty decent.

              I just want the stinking Swedes and the Iron Rangers (all East European Slavs) out.

              * I think it is funny that all the Norwegians I grew up with were the nicest humans ever but really disliked Swedes for some reason.

              1. I’m half-and-half. Imagine my inner turmoil. You have to imagine it, for it cannot be observed directly.

              2. I think it is funny that all the Norwegians I grew up with were the nicest humans ever but really disliked Swedes for some reason.

                It goes back a LONG way…

                “A thousand Swedes
                ran through the weeds
                chased by one Norwegian.”

                The Swedes are the Polacks of Scandinavia.

    2. And yet 40% of the electorate and probably 50% of the commentariat still are planning on voting for him. What does that tell you about this banana republic?

      1. It’s a comment about Republicans, not anyone else. That’s where nearly all of his votes will come from.

  13. At this point, our only hope is a direct meteor strike at the first debate. Then we can choose between Pence and Kaine.

    1. Unfortunately (for your secnario) there will be no debates.

  14. “…unless libertarian presidential nominee and self-described “skeptic of interventionism” Gary Johnson ends up in the debates, it doesn’t seem like a discussion that will take place this presidential election cycle.”

    Oops! Wrong Ed. If Jill Stein made the debate, the discussion would be had. Probably even more forcefully than the Johnson effort.

    1. Yes, Jill Stein will argue about how we need to stop mucking around in foreign countries and start turning that apparatus inward, like the good socialist she is.

      1. I say IF we’re going to spend it anyway (which we will Team Red or Team Blue), why the hell not build roads, networks, bridges here at home. Have you ever been to Korea? Holy shit Seoul has amazing infrastructure…in large part because we pay for their defense.

  15. “I won’t vote for Trump because you are all idiots and he is just too good for you.” – Sad Trumpkin excuse #5

  16. Trumpkins will say, “Oh, Trump’s candidacy was just a big joke.” And lay low for a years and then start a campaign of bullying and vitriol online in an attempt to shut down public discourse, and then re-introduce their candidate in 4 years in the hopes that the ‘trolls’ will be unable to criticize him.

    1. start a campaign of bullying and vitriol online in an attempt to shut down public discourse —> you mean start up their own version of Correct the Record?

  17. “On Wednesday night, Trump said Barack Obama was the “founder of ISIS,” and today he appeared on the radio show of Hugh Hewitt, a Trump supporter, to insist he meant what he said. Hewitt tried to suggest to Trump that what he meant was that the “vacuum” created by Barack Obama and the 2011 U.S. withdrawal from Iraq”

    The mainstream media needs to understand that when they parse everything Trump says, take it all literally, and immediately go to defcon 1, they come across like Karyne West trying to dissect the “gay fish” joke.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64ngE35xjTk

    For all those people out there who hate Trump because of all the outrageous things he says–but definitely know you don’t have Trump Derangement Syndrome because you went to college and shop at REI rather than Bass Pro?

    All you people out there who definitely don’t have Trump Derangement Syndrome, but you honestly believe that Trump said he wanted to specifically target the families of ISIS members in a bombing campaign–not as a regrettable function of collateral damage, but because you believe he wants to kill just their children?

    You might want to take an honest glance at yourself and see how the rest of the world sees you. Take a deep breath and watch this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cKqjP5eY_A

    1. When Hillary Clinton, her campaign team, her supporters, and all the #NeverTrump people take to the airwaves to deny that Obama and Hillary Clinton are the co-founders of ISIS, they all look exactly like Kayne West in that video going on talk shows to deny that he’s ever been either gay or a fish.

      Yes, if you honestly believe that Trump thinks Obama and Hillary are the co-founders of ISIS, then you’re a gay fish.

  18. I don’t even understand this one. The new Rob Ford video is more coherent.

  19. Another nicely balanced article.

    Keep up the good work, Ed.

    1. I agree. Ed towed the lion.

      1. Ed is no longer reading the thread, so your point is mute.

  20. Gen. Flynn spoke (might be more accurate to say “blustered”) at the Democratic convention, right?

  21. Clinton is being followed by a “handler” who carries a diazepam pen. Is she too sick to be Prez?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/…..about-her-

    1. The people already voting for her and voting against Trump (two disparate groups, honestly) won’t care.

  22. Nobody created anything but Hillary and Obama have abled ISIS’s rise by pulling out troops and providing weapons to anyone who asked for them

  23. “I won’t vote for Trump because the MSM brainwashed me into supporting Hillary.” – Sad Trumpkin excuse #11

  24. “I won’t vote for Trump because you people deserve to be raped by immigrants and beheaded by ISIS.” – Sad Trumpkin excuse #3

    1. Tell us more about the “Western Secular Caliphate” which has no caliph and adheres to a French Revolutionary concept most people have never heard of.

  25. The debates are going to be so very entertaining. I can’t wait. What are the odds that Clinton tries to throttle Trump with her bare hands?

  26. Can one of the commenters with a Trump Decoder Ring please explain what the Donald means? Is he saying that Obama literally founded ISIS, as in, intentionally, in some sort of conspiracy sort of way? Like he met with the Abu guy and a bunch of dudes named Mo and was like, “he guys, I got a deal for you, but we have to keep it secret”? I saw an article mention that Trump’s line was very similar to the line parroted by the Russian government, but I have no idea what they mean either.

    Because it seems like he is saying Obama created the conditions that led to ISIS, but when pressed to agree with Hewitt that that is indeed what he meant, Trump said that was not what he meant.

    So what the hell is he talking about?

    1. “Is he saying that Obama literally founded ISIS, as in, intentionally, in some sort of conspiracy sort of way?

      Yes, that’s exactly what he’s saying.

      Either that or he’s blaming Hillary and Obama for foreign policy in Iraq that let ISIS come into its own. After all, Obama did call ISIS “the JV squad” or something like that, didn’t he?

      But no, I’m sure he meant whatever the craziest interpretation possible could be. That’s always what it means.

      Everything Trump says is meant to be taken literally, and it’s insane. And just because we understand that doesn’t mean we have Trump Derangement Syndrome. We know we don’t have Trump Derangement Syndrome because we don’t discriminate against homosexuals.

      1. Either that or he’s blaming Hillary and Obama for foreign policy in Iraq that let ISIS come into its own. After all, Obama did call ISIS “the JV squad” or something like that, didn’t he?

        But didn’t Hewitt press him to say something like that and he declined?

        I was asking a good faith question, no mendacity or instant pre-judging of Trump. I just kind of assume he is trolling the media at this point, and I suppose that could be the only explanation needed.

        1. Yeah, he’s trolling the media, and he’s bringing Hillary’s competence on foreign policy into question.

          The Society of the Spectacle.

          We’re getting into Marxist territory here, but just because they were wrong about almost everything, doesn’t mean they were wrong about everything.

          “Debord’s aim and proposal is “to wake up the spectator who has been drugged by spectacular images,” “through radical action in the form of the construction of situations,” “situations that bring a revolutionary reordering of life, politics, and art”. In the situationist view, situations are actively created moments, characterized by “a sense of self-consciousness of existence within a particular environment or ambience”.[10]

          Debord encouraged the use of d?tournement, “which involves using spectacular images and language to disrupt the flow of the spectacle.”

          http://tinyurl.com/z565n4e

        2. I’m not saying Trump is a Marxist, that he’s ever read The Society of the Spectacle, that he knows anything about the Situationist International, or anything else.

          But things that work to disrupt the normal channels of communication work for a reason, and Trump is good at it even if there isn’t any kind of Marxist ideology behind it.

          Incidentally, this is how and why Green Peace, Peta, Femen, and other leftist type groups operate. You can’t control what the media says about something, but you can control the topic. Peta can make people talk about the treatment of milk cows by suing the California Dairy Association for false advertising with the slogan, “Happy Cows Come from California”. Femen can make the media talk about feminism and women’s rights by holding topless parades. Gun rights advocates can make the media talk about gun rights by holding an organized open carry protest in Starbucks.

          And Donald Trump can make the media talk about Hillary and her foreign policy relationship to ISIS–and it doesn’t cost him a goddamn thing.

          1. And Donald Trump can make the media talk about Hillary and her foreign policy relationship to ISIS–and it doesn’t cost him a goddamn thing.

            Understood, and that would be a good strategy if it worked, but is it? All I see in the media is Trump times 100. I see nothing about Hillary’s (awful) foreign policy. At least not yet. But maybe I am missing it.

            It does seem like the more the media mentions Hillary (even in a positive way) and the more she appears in public, the worse her “popularity” gets. So Trump dominating the news cycle seems to be backfiring in that respect. I mean, let Hillary say something awful for a change; Trump won’t have to wait long.

            1. The problem with using these strategies in an election campaign is that every day is a month in election-years.

              Those leftists organizations are fighting ideological battles that can last for decades.

              Trump has three months.

              Yeah, I’m not sure that strategy will work, but I think from his perspective, the fact that he doesn’t need to spend his own money is the important thing.

              He’s not about to blow his personal fortune on a campaign he might lose. That is the first premise–not the conclusion.

              If you’re not willing to put your personal fortune at risk, what other alternatives does he have?

              He’s not about to get through the election on Ron Paul style money bombs–poor average joes sending him $10s and $20s. It isn’t just that billionaires asking his white, blue collar, downtrodden core constituency for cash is unseemly; it’s that his own supporters aren’t likely to respond to that.

              So what other options does he have?

      2. I’m not going to listen to Hewitt, so I don’t know exactly what Trump said, but this AP report seems a bit more nuanced.

        Hewitt asked Trump if he would acknowledge that Obama hates the Islamic State, noting that the president is “trying to kill them.” Over the past two years Obama has organized a broad coalition of countries and launched more than 10,000 U.S. airstrikes to defeat IS.

        “I don’t care,” the billionaire businessman replied. “He was the founder. The way he got out of Iraq ? that was the founding of ISIS, OK?”

        and

        In the interview with Hewitt, Trump did acknowledge the root of his argument was that if Obama “had done things properly, you wouldn’t have had ISIS.” But he then added, “Therefore, he was the founder if ISIS.”

        So I don’t think Trump is actually saying that Obama sent out invites to have a islamic radical meetup that grew into ISIS.

    2. Here’s my opinion.

      Trump’s “outrageous” statements are strategically crafted so that they can be interpreted in more than one way. The media will reliably jump to the worst interpretation. Joe Six Pack hears it, and can read between the lines and detects hyperbole. Then Joe watches the news, and discovers the MSM came to a very different interpretation seemingly designed to paint Trump in the worst possible light. This feeds into the media distrust complex and generates sympathy for Trump.

      You see it here at Reason when the editors uncritically repeat media talking points. “Don’t make me defend Trump”, etc.

      1. I agree; I believe that attempting to brand Trump as a candidate with the typical descriptions, such as totalitarian, conservative, or inconsistent is ignoring the massive paradigm shift that he has created with his campaign. Trump knows that most voters, no matter how liberal, conservative, or independent that they think they are, are low on information and could not care less about any particular ideology. Therefore, he has created a campaign that has (IMO) nothing to do with politics at all.

  27. Big picture here?

    Trump is running for President, but he’s not about to go broke doing it. The ROI on campaign funds ain’t so great unless you’re a company doing some rent seeking or you plan to leverage your power and position to the highest bidder a la Hillary Clinton.

    Meanwhile, people like Hillary, when they spend money on advertising, they’re not spending their own money. That’s money she gets from rent seekers people who care. Trump is mostly famous for being rich. The idea of him going out and asking people for money is absurd. His fundraising activities are meager.

    So how does he compensate for this . . . um . . . asymmetrical warfare?

    Trolling.

    He trolls the competition. He trolls the media. He trolls the chicks on Fox News. He trolls them all–and he rode that all the way to the nomination without hardly spending any of his own money.

    Why buy advertising when journalists and the networks will talk about you for free? You can’t buy advertising like that.

    I don’t know whatever happened to Urkobold, but either Urkobold was working for Trump, Trump was working for Urkobold, or Trump and Urkobold were the same thing.

  28. One other thing I’d like to add. It’s kind of a continuation of earlier discussions in other threads.

    Notice how important what Trump says is relative to what Hillary and Obama actually do.

    You’d think we might be talking about the culpability of Hillary’s tenure at the State Department and how they may or may not have contributed to the rise of ISIS.

    That’s important, isn’t it? What Hillary Clinton did, whether she’ll continue to do it is probably important, too.

    But no, we’re talking about what Trump said again.

    Again, this is like when the progressives were going after Trump for saying he would bomb ISIS even if it meant a lot collateral damage. As if Obama actually killing thousands of innocent people and hundreds of innocent children in drone strikes over the past eight years pales in significance to Trump saying he would bomb ISIS despite the collateral damage. Again, in the progressive narrative, what you say on camera is of profound importance–of much greater importance than what people actually do off camera.

    I’m not sure we’ll ever convince some people that Hillary’s disgraceful and corrupt behavior is of any significance–until and unless someone gets her doing it on camera.

    1. I’m hoping that the WikiLeaks hacker has more to show than just a few e-mails. If so, I hope that the release is timed so that it is no more than a week before the election. Hillary will get all of the breaks from the MSM until that happens. Trump is handling their temper tantrums brilliantly IMO, but to checkmate Hillary he needs more from other outsiders.

      1. There was a Wall Street Journal article today that’s predicting an “October surprise”.

        “Hillary’s Latest ‘Old News”
        Mrs. Clinton has set herself up for an October Surprise.

        http://www.wsj.com/articles/hi…..1470872003

        Google the headline.

        1. I can’t find the whole article, but from the looks of it, it seems like more of the same types of e-mails and dialogue between Hillary and her inside circle that implies corruption but lacks the smoking gun. I really hope that there’s more to what is being said and that I just missed the point of it.

  29. Ed,
    ISIS wasn’t born in Iraq, it was born in Syria, and that mess is the responsibility of Obama and Clinton, who was SoS at the time.

    Calling him the “founder” of ISIS is hyperbolic, but the underlying point is actually correct. Obama and Clinton are responsible for the creation of ISIS. It would not exist absent their bungled interventions in Syria.

    1. This isn’t so.

      ISIS existed before the invasion of Iraq, but it came into its own during the occupation of Iraq under the Bush Administration. Back then, they called themselves “Al Qaeda in Iraq”. They were a huge conduit for dead ender Sunnis battling the Americans and the new Iraqi government.

      They had a break with Al Qaeda because of Zarqawi’s insistence on bombing and attacking Shia Muslims in Iraq. Al Qaeda did not want to attack other Muslims that way.

      They’ve changed their name frequently, and the organization existed prior to the invasion of Iraq. They started in Jordan. If you want to blame anyone for the rise of Al Qaeda, blame the Bush Administration and the invasion of Iraq.

      1. “If you want to blame anyone for the rise of Al Qaeda, blame the Bush Administration and the invasion of Iraq.”

        I mis-typed.

        I was thinking If you want to blame anyone for the rise of [Al Qaeda in Iraq], blame the Bush Administration and the invasion of Iraq.

        But it should really be about ISIS.

        I blame the invasion of Iraq for the rise of ISIS–although they didn’t call themselves that during the occupation.

        Incidentally, has a lot to answer for in her support and advocacy of the Iraq War. So, yeah, you can blame Hillary for ISIS in that way, too.

        I’ve been hoping to talk to (((Renegade))) about that latter bit. This is an excellent article from 2007 critiquing Hillary’s advocacy for the Iraq War–in the campaign she lost to Obama over this issue. It’s called “Hillary’s War”.

        http://tinyurl.com/hl4q8xv

        1. But one issue with that is that implies (Al Qaeda in Iraq)/ISIS was a consistent size during that time period. After the Surge (led by Iraqi and assisted by the US), Al Qaeda was a shell of its former size. I remember reading the estimated size was about 50 people when Obama took office. And now it is 100-1000 times that size. It is hard to believe that is Bush’s fault. I mean if you want to get technical about it, it is not hard to trace it back to decades before World War 1.

          1. If we hadn’t invaded Iraq, ISIS would still be 50 people.

            To whatever extent Bush was to blame for invading Iraq, the invasion of Iraq is to blame for the insurgency that arose to fight the occupation and fight the Shia for domination.

            Think of it this way:

            The aftermath of the invasion was not only foreseeable, it was also foreseen.

            Remember Powell telling us about the Pottery Barn Rule?

            Scowcroft warning us that the aftermath would include a long drawn out, and bloody occupation that would distract us from the War on Terror?

            http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB1029371773228069195

            All the reasons why Scowcroft, Powell, Baker, and George H. W. Bush didn’t invade in 1991 were all still excellent reasons not to invade in 2003–and everything they warned us to fear if we invaded turned out to be well founded concerns.

            Bush was told that these things would happen. He decided to go in anyway. That decision to invade and occupy Iraq created the insurgency, and ISIS was a huge part of that. Inflaming a religious civil war between Sunni and Shia if we removed Saddam Hussein from power was was something people worried about before the war began–and sure enough, Al Qaeda in Iraq/ISIS was the fulfillment of that very fear.

          2. When you disregard advice, and decide to do something in spite of the likely negative consequences, you’re responsible for the decision that brought us those negative consequences. And whatever the benefits of removing Saddam Hussein from power were to U.S. security, it appears to me that the downsides in terms of new threats to American security–that we were forewarned about–are much greater than whatever benefit we derived from removing Saddam Hussein from power. And that includes removing a check on Iranian power.

            That isn’t even counting more than 3,000 dead American troops, more than 10,000 American wounded, and more than a trillion in taxpayer dollars.

            Yes, Bush is responsible for the decision to invade Iraq, and he is responsible for the foreseeable consequences of doing so. Hillary Clinton was the most vocal supporter of the Iraq invasion, as well. To whatever extent she influenced the Democrats to stay quiet about their opposition, she is responsible for that, as well.

      2. Ken watches Frontline

        1. Haven’t seen it since the ’90s back when it used to be good.

          1. just watched the history of isis. you provide the cliff notes above.
            agree that it used to be better

            1. This is the best primer on ISIS I’ve ever read.

              “The Mystery of ISIS”
              New York Review of Books

              http://www.nybooks.com/article…..tery-isis/

              The author is listed as “Anonymous” presumably because he doesn’t want to become a target of ISIS.

              Not only is it excellent analysis, jam packed with accurate information, well documented, etc. It’s also intellectually honest as hell. Whenever you find an intellectual telling you that something is terribly uncertain despite his or her area of expertise, you know you’re dealing with someone who’s being honest. The article details the rise, problems, failures, and triumphs of ISIS, and then it concludes with the following painfully honest paragraphs:

            2. “I have often been tempted to argue that we simply need more and better information. But that is to underestimate the alien and bewildering nature of this phenomenon. To take only one example, five years ago not even the most austere Salafi theorists advocated the reintroduction of slavery; but ISIS has in fact imposed it. Nothing since the triumph of the Vandals in Roman North Africa has seemed so sudden, incomprehensible, and difficult to reverse as the rise of ISIS. None of our analysts, soldiers, diplomats, intelligence officers, politicians, or journalists has yet produced an explanation rich enough?even in hindsight?to have predicted the movement’s rise.

              We hide this from ourselves with theories and concepts that do not bear deep examination. And we will not remedy this simply through the accumulation of more facts. It is not clear whether our culture can ever develop sufficient knowledge, rigor, imagination, and humility to grasp the phenomenon of ISIS. But for now, we should admit that we are not only horrified but baffled.

    2. The founder is named after an Iraqi city and started or at least rose to the top of what became ISIS after escaping a US-run prison in Iraq.

  30. Was the Syrian Civil War caused by the US invasion of Iraq?

    Is this a serious question? Of course it was. A basic and textbook example of unintended consequences. For pete’s sake, you’d think a comment board full of government-haters could grasp that. Principals over principles. Sad.

    http://www.foreignpolicyjourna…..r-on-iraq/

    1. This is wrong.

      The Syrian Civil War was caused by the Arab Spring and Iran rushing in to defend Assad for fear that the Arab Spring would spread to Iran and become a Persian summer. Because Iran deployed Hezbollah to Syria during the Arab Spring in 2011, does that mean Israel actually caused the Syrian Civil War by invading Lebanon in 1982?

      The correct answer is no.

      ISIS, which had already come to prominence as Al Qaeda in Iraq during the Iraq occupation, joined in across the border as the chaos of the Arab Spring ensued, but just because ISIS came to prominence as a result of the Iraq War does not mean that “the Syrian Civil War was caused by the U.S. invasion of Iraq”.

      The Syrian Civil War would have happened even if we’d never invaded Iraq–just like the Libyan Revolution and the Tunisian Revolution would have happened even if we’d never invaded Iraq.

  31. It boggles the mind how fans of each side is utterly convinced that their candidate is CLEARLY better than the other. Really?

    The Trump and Clinton economic plans are guaranteed to devastate the country. And Obama delayed the more painful parts of ACA as much as he could. He won’t be office when the cadillac begins to take effect.

    Trump has a wildness about him that makes him uniquely dangerous. Clinton is a clear national security liability.

    The left’s position is essentially “a crook is preferable to a racist.” Remember now, Donald has said some outrageous things, but he’s not known for actually discriminating against anyone. Clinton is a proven felon and her foundation pays women less.

    1. Trump’s campaign, to me, gives away very little about his economic or policy plan, so I can’t judge him on that and say that it’s “guaranteed to devastate the country”. His campaign is all about saying things that the average Republican voter wants to hear rather than it being based on any reality or on any concept of constitutional checks and balances. A Hillary presidency, on the other hand, is guaranteed to be awful for the economy based on past actions, not just past words. As I’ve said before, I give some credit to Republican voters; at least they’re not textbook insane and they are trying something different this time rather than the same old business like the Democrats are doing.

      1. His campaign is all about saying things that the average Joe voter wants to hear
        FTFY

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