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Monday, June 02, 2014

OTP - June 2014: Iraq war costs U.S. more than $2 trillion: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war’s death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.

Bitter Mouse Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:48 AM | 4613 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: otp, politics, stupid ideas

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   2501. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4725694)
Re: #2499 and #2500-- Has anybody posted that the RNC is dressing an intern like a squirrel, and then sending the putative squirrel to Hillary's book signings? At this point the only reason to hold the 2016 election is to prevent a recession caused by unemployed political strategists.

Scoff all you want, but some of us still remember when Paul Tsongas ended Bill Clinton's political career with the devastating "pander bear."



This is worth exploring:

The RNC Chases Hillary Clinton With a Giant Orange Squirrel

At her book event at George Washington University in D.C. on Friday, the RNC dispatched an intern wearing a squirrel suit, because, “Another Clinton in the White House is nuts.”
...
“From her out-of-touch comments about being ‘dead broke’ to her squirrely answers on Benghazi, this time Hillary Clinton is climbing up the wrong tree,” the site [GOP.com] said.

The RNC rolled out a corresponding Twitter account, @HRCSquirrel, which boasts 96 followers so far.

Raffi Williams, deputy press secretary for the RNC, told The Daily Beast that of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, it was immediately clear that the squirrel was the best way to troll Clinton. “I think it was a good choice for us and I think it’s something that’s distinct and memorable for people.”

The RNC’s plan, Williams said, is to follow Clinton around on her book tour with the squirrel. “We’re going to do it for as long as it works,” he said, assuring that at Clinton’s event at a Costco on Saturday, “the squirrel will be there.”
...
At Clinton’s Friday event, where the squirrel was stationed beginning at 4:30 pm (with Clinton scheduled for 6:00 pm), Williams said, “people are enjoying [the squirrel]. They’re laughing at it, [giving it] a lot of high fives and taking a lot of selfies with him.”


GOP crashes Hillary's book tour with supersized squirrel

The RNC has also launched an HRC Squirrel account attacking Hillary.
'Find me where the nuts are,' states the twitter account's bio. 'Right now that’s the fiction aisle with anyone who believes @HillaryClinton’s spin!'

A tweet mocking the Democratic Party for not having a strong bench of 2016 candidates outside of Clinton says, 'Even I know not to put all my acorns in one basket.'

'What's the difference between an #Obama presidency and a #Clinton presidency? NUTTIN',' reads another one of the mascot's tweets.
   2502. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:37 PM (#4725703)
Yeah, those Republicans will never run out of new ideas. Hillary must be trembling in her boots.

At Republicans’ new ideas summit,an old one surfaces: Mitt Romney

The scene at a luxury resort in Utah quickly became a Romney revival, with many GOP movers and shakers saying the 2012 loser, who insists he’s not running, could be the 2016 winner.

PARK CITY, Utah — Mitt Romney’s ideas summit here was intended to be a passing of the torch to the Republican Party’s would-be saviors, with five potential 2016 presidential candidates jetting in to schmooze with many of the GOP’s biggest donors and present their agendas for the country’s future.

Instead, the scene at a luxury resort in the Rocky Mountains quickly became a Romney revival. Minutes after the 2012 Republican presidential nominee welcomed his 300 guests, Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host and former GOP congressman, urged them to begin a “Draft Romney” movement in 2016.

“This is the only person that can fill the stage,” Scarborough said at the opening-night private dinner, according to attendees....

“Everybody realizes we’re devoid of leadership in D.C.,” said Harold Hamm, a billionaire energy investor who was one of Romney’s biggest fundraisers in 2012. “Everybody would encourage him to consider it again.”
   2503. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4725707)
And each of those examples have ratcheted back their Islamism accordingly. What is it about this concept you are failing to grasp, Bitter?


Well I read your posts (perhaps a bad place to start). You know the ones ...
If you believe the practice of Islam isn't inhibitory, or even hostile, to the construction of liberal, democratic societies, please explain


And if you get rid of sharia, then you are getting rid of Islam as well. That's another part you don't get. Again, you're interpreting events in the middle east through the prism of the protestant reformation, which isn't a particularly useful analogy but one often mistakenly used by westerners.


"Secular" and "Islamic" are irreconcilable concepts. To the extent that secularization occurs, islamism has to be rolled back.


So according to you, Islam and Sharia are the same, and yet 99.9% of Moroccans are Muslim and thus practice Islam in their relatively secular democratic country. You have lost the battle as to whether Morocco is a democracy (since, after all it is one), so clearly it must (according to your logic) not be an Islamic Country (despite 99.9% of the population being Islamic and what was it 76% favoring Sharia law, more?).

So what I am missing is how you are declaring a country with a long history of Islam, where only a rounding error of the population is not Muslim, and where (according to the Pew poll SBB posted) they favor Sharia law, can possibly be considered non-Islamic.

What I really don't get is why you just don't admit you are wrong. Stop trying to redefine what Democracy means and what Islam means, just because I (easily) found an example which is counter to your dumb theory. Face reality, you are just plain wrong. Sure you can continue to call any country that is democratic automatically not Islamic, but then you are just asserting a tautology (and again falling into the "no True Scotsman" fallacy).

In other words it is not about "Islamism", which you define as non-democratic and whatever else you need at the moment. It is about Islam and Islam is perfectly compatible with democracy. Fundamentalism (Islamic, Christianity, Judaism or whatever) is NOT compatible, but that has to do with fundamentalism and not the base religion at all.
   2504. Lassus Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4725719)
Little Jimmy Scott died today. I mean, it had to happen eventually, but it's still a blow.
   2505. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:00 AM (#4725724)
In other words it is not about "Islamism", which you define as non-democratic and whatever else you need at the moment. It is about Islam and Islam is perfectly compatible with democracy. Fundamentalism (Islamic, Christianity, Judaism or whatever) is NOT compatible, but that has to do with fundamentalism and not the base religion at all.

Bitter Mouse seems to be going to extremes to avoid noting that there is a strain of Islam, fairly prominent these days, that is hostile to democracy and much else. Who's doing the beheading these days? Not the fundamentalist Christians. And Morocco? Really carrying a lot of water here - it is much more the exception that proves the rule. When Morocco becomes a trend, we might have some news. Until then, the pro-democracy Muslims need to work a lot harder.
   2506. steagles Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:10 AM (#4725737)
JabariParker
I have been unemployed and out of school for the past couple of months. Life is no fun trying to get a job. #lifeofadropout
#nosympathy
   2507. Publius Publicola Posted: June 14, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4725771)
Bitter, I suggest you read a book on the history of Islam first, then we can revisit this conversation. It's apparent you need some more grounding in what Islam is, how it evolved and why it is in such turmoil today before we can proceed.
   2508. Howie Menckel Posted: June 14, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4725775)

trying to decide which is dumber, the squirrel thing or the Draft Romney thing, before realizing that sometimes everyone wins - er, loses.
   2509. JE (Jason) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4725777)
IRS officials to Congress: The dog ate our homework.
Republican lawmakers called for a new probe of the Internal Revenue Service on Friday after it told congressional investigators that it had lost more than two years of emails from the central figure in a yearlong inquiry into improper IRS reviews of Tea Party tax documents.

House Republicans have already voted to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the special targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

Lerner was placed on administrative leave from her position as head of the agency's section on tax-exempt organizations in May 2013, after she admitted that the IRS gave special attention to applications for tax-exempt status that included words like "Tea Party" and "patriot." She retired in September.

The IRS told investigators in a letter Friday that it was unable to produce many of Lerner's emails from January 2009 to April 2011 because her computer "crashed" in mid-2011. It said it was able to recover thousands of other messages from the computers of other IRS workers who'd been copied on those emails.
   2510. Howie Menckel Posted: June 14, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4725780)

I wonder if this will be a "boy who cried wolf" - the GOP demands so many damn investigations, that something significant gets ignored.

not sure if this qualifies as significant, but if it does and their wild goose chases undermine public attention to it, they should kick themselves...
   2511. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4725790)
As if the emails at a big agency are accessible only through individual workstations and weren't stored on a central network or server.

Doesn't pass the laugh test.
   2512. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4725792)
As if the emails at a big agency are accessible only through individual workstations and weren't stored on a central network or server.

Doesn't pass the laugh test.


Not even remotely plausible. There is a zero % chance there is no backup.

I've actually been involved in vendor negotiations (about destruction of confidential info after contract termination) where contracts were amended b/c it is literally impossible to erase all records of emails.
   2513. JE (Jason) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4725799)
Putin is indeed on the run, Sam. Unfortunately, he's going the wrong way.

Russia Just Significantly Escalated The Crisis In Ukraine:

Until the past few days, the crisis in Ukraine had seemed to be calming down. One week ago, U.S. President Barack Obama had a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin that left U.S. officials "optimistic" about de-escalation.

A video that made its way online Thursday showed a tank advancing toward Donetsk, the city in Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists have stirred angst and taken over government buildings.

Putin spoke Thursday with newly inaugurated Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who called to object to the reported advancement of tanks toward the hands of pro-Russian separatists. A spokesman for Poroshenko wrote on his Facebook page that Poroshenko told Putin the escalation was "unacceptable."

The new developments led U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to call on Obama to impose new sanctions on Russia.

"In my view, unless Putin is confronted by stronger disincentives, he will not cease support for the insurgents who are occupying more and more Ukrainian territory along the Russian border," Menendez wrote in a letter to Obama. "He will continue to seek to ensure that the Ukrainian government can’t stabilize the situation or address the pressing needs of the Ukrainian public."
   2514. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4725802)
Putin is indeed on the run, Sam. Unfortunately, he's going the wrong way.

Well, when we can't even be bothered to help an ally fight 5-6,000 fanatics with small arms in pickup trucks, what real credibility do we have in terms of will to act.
   2515. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4725819)
I'd start thinking about ways to help our "ally" fight "5-6000 fanatics with small arms in pickup trucks", when that "ally" shows the slightest ####### inclination to actually, you know, fight.
   2516. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4725821)
Not even remotely plausible. There is a zero % chance there is no backup.

I've actually been involved in vendor negotiations (about destruction of confidential info after contract termination) where contracts were amended b/c it is literally impossible to erase all records of emails.

What? I worked at a large insurance company where the Exchange server only stored emails for 60 days. Any .pst files stored on network drives would be deleted, because they consumed too much space. So users had to store older emails on their hard drives, or they had to play cute little games where files were hidden (and the .pst extension changed) somewhere on a personal drive on the network. The insurer was always getting sued, so the lawyers would need every relevant email, and of course those emails would have to be turned over to the plaintiffs. Consequently when I quit, IT was in the middle of building a process to do exactly what you're describing as impossible. There were other means for storing important emails, but that would require an explicit action by an employee to copy the individual email to another medium (e.g. Sharepoint).
   2517. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4725825)
I'd start thinking about ways to help our "ally" fight "5-6000 fanatics with small arms in pickup trucks", when that "ally" shows the slightest ####### inclination to actually, you know, fight.

The Peshmerga will fight. Send the Special Forces advisors with air support to help them. Strike a deal where the central Gov't gives the Kurds autonomy over a larger region of the North (Kirkut, Mosul, etc.) in exchange for crushing ISIS.
   2518. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4725826)
Bitter Mouse seems to be going to extremes to avoid noting that there is a strain of Islam, fairly prominent these days, that is hostile to democracy and much else.


Except for the part where I talk about how fundamentalism, then sure.

Bitter, I suggest you read a book on the history of Islam first, then we can revisit this conversation. It's apparent you need some more grounding in what Islam is, how it evolved and why it is in such turmoil today before we can proceed.


Translation: I have no answer to the fact that Morocco is a Democracy and Islamic, so I am retreating and preaching from my retrograde position and hope no one notices.
   2519. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4725828)
What? I worked at a large insurance company where the Exchange server only stored emails for 60 days. Any .pst files stored on network drives would be deleted, because they consumed too much space. So users had to store older emails on their hard drives, or they had to play cute little games where files were hidden (and the .pst extension changed) somewhere on a personal drive on the network. The insurer was always getting sued, so the lawyers would need every relevant email, and of course those emails would have to be turned over to the plaintiffs. Consequently when I quit, IT was in the middle of building a process to do exactly what you're describing as impossible. There were other means for storing important emails, but that would require an explicit action by an employee to copy the individual email to another medium (e.g. Sharepoint).

I've been told by multiple experts at different companies that modern email servers preserve all messages, for ever.

I believe this, because I've been deposed for lawsuits involving a former employer recently, and they had emails of mine going back to 2005, with attachments.

To get rid of all records would take an active process to delete them, as you're describing, and with multiple backup and disaster recovery servers making copies of the database every day, it is near impossible to be sure you've gotten every copy of a particular message. That why our vendor wouldn't guarantee that they could destroy all record of client info, if it were included in email.
   2520. JE (Jason) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4725830)
I'd start thinking about ways to help our "ally" fight "5-6000 fanatics with small arms in pickup trucks", when that "ally" shows the slightest ####### inclination to actually, you know, fight.

Interestingly, that "ally" did show the slightest ####### inclination to actually, you know, fight from the time Bush secured the SOFA agreement in 2008 until its expiration at the end of 2011. (Of course, the renewal never materialized in no small part because Obama wanted out.)
   2521. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4725833)
The Peshmerga will fight.


They'll fight for themselves, they sure as #### aren't going to fight for "Iraq".

And anything they take, they won't give back.

And they're going to have to "take" a whole bunch of Iraq to "crush ISIS".

That's a sure-fire recipe for long-term regional stability ...
   2522. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4725834)
Re the emails, the problem with the IRS's explanation is that it doesn't address whether they were able to find the emails on the servers, or if not, why not:

The IRS told investigators in a letter Friday that it was unable to produce many of Lerner's emails from January 2009 to April 2011 because her computer "crashed" in mid-2011. It said it was able to recover thousands of other messages from the computers of other IRS workers who'd been copied on those emails.


IT isn't my field but I always thought that the first place to go when you want all the emails is the servers, not the individual workstation (which of course changes from time to time anyway).
   2523. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4725835)
I've been told by multiple experts at different companies that modern email servers preserve all messages, for ever.


There are a couple of things going on here. First the email almost certainly exist somewhere on some server. However getting your hands on the email is pretty hard as it turns out. I have run into multiple situations where things that I was sure it would be no problem and a poof the data was gone forever, and sometimes data ends up everywhere and easy to find.
   2524. JE (Jason) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4725836)
Obama at Fort Bragg, 14 December 2011:
Everything that American troops have done in Iraq—all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building, and the training and the partnering—all of it has led to this moment of success. Now, Iraq is not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people.

#MissionAccomplished
   2525. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4725837)
Interestingly, that "ally" did show the slightest ####### inclination to actually, you know, fight from the time Bush secured the SOFA agreement in 2008 until its expiration at the end of 2011. (Of course, the renewal never materialized in no small part because Obama wanted out.)


Ah, yes, if only Big Bad Barack didn't sell them out, those fearless Iraqi Security Forces "fighters" would have gladly fought to the death for their homes and families and country and government, even with the handicap that they were only better armed and supplied than the enemy they were facing.

Keep ####### that chicken ...
   2526. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 14, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4725839)
my god...do you have even a tiny shred of self awareness?
   2527. JE (Jason) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4725841)
Ah, yes, if only Big Bad Barack didn't sell them out, those fearless Iraqi Security Forces "fighters" would have gladly fought to the death for their homes and families and country and government, even with the handicap that they were only better armed and supplied than the enemy they were facing.

Are you always this dense? As I plainly noted above, a continued American presence would likely have kept al-Maliki from completely screwing over the Sunnis, thereby giving less reason for the ISIS butchers to receive any backing. Moreover, an arming of the FSA three years ago would have made Syria a whole lot less hospitable for these #############.
   2528. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4725846)
They'll fight for themselves, they sure as #### aren't going to fight for "Iraq".

And anything they take, they won't give back.

And they're going to have to "take" a whole bunch of Iraq to "crush ISIS".

That's a sure-fire recipe for long-term regional stability ...


Iraq is dead. The best you can hope for is a sensible partition, with non-extremists controlling the parts.

The Kurds like the US and need our support. Let them take as much as they think they can hold. They're mostly Sunni; they have a better chance of holding northern Iraq than the Shiite central Gov't.

ISIS has like 10,000 fighters. They're a paper tiger if faced by disciplined regular troops.
   2529. JE (Jason) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4725851)
By the way, if Obama doesn't want our embassy in Baghdad to resemble Saigon à la 1975, he had better be prepared to unleash serious firepower if ISIS forces get much closer to the capital.
   2530. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4725856)
Everything that American troops have done in Iraq—all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building, and the training and the partnering—all of it has led to this moment of success.


Open question. Should we go with:

1. Light military action/presence there, perhaps limited to air strikes and some boots on the ground;

2. Heavy military action/presence there, including full scale ground warfare; or

3. Just accept that "all the fighting and all the dying" and all the money and time and resources spent are sunk costs and leave it alone altogether.
   2531. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4725862)
To get rid of all records would take an active process to delete them, as you're describing, and with multiple backup and disaster recovery servers making copies of the database every day, it is near impossible to be sure you've gotten every copy of a particular message. That why our vendor wouldn't guarantee that they could destroy all record of client info, if it were included in email.

The ability to maintain copies of emails should not be confused with the actual existence of copies of emails. Even that shouldn't be confused with the ability to find emails, given that they exist.

My experience with server admins is that they spend a ton of time whining about resources, particularly hard drive space. Yes, it's cheap, but IT employees in a large company or a large government agency are the bureaucrats' bureaucrats. If it's easier for them to delete your emails automatically from the Exchange server after 60 days, then they delete your emails after 60 days.


And I can't believe anybody wants us involved in the inevitable civil war between Iraqi Shiites and Iraqi Sunnis.
   2532. JE (Jason) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4725866)
Open question. Should we go with:

We don't have good options anymore. However, surgical air attacks will do significant damage to ISIS and ought to help bolster Iraqi military morale.
   2533. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4725867)
The Kurds like the US and need our support. Let them take as much as they think they can hold.


Like I said, that's a sure-fire recipe for long term regional stability: the Kurds will look north with anger, the Turks will look south with anger, whoever the "Iraqis" are will look at whatever land the Kurds took with anger.
   2534. JE (Jason) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4725868)
And I can't believe anybody wants us involved in the inevitable civil war between Iraqi Shiites and Iraqi Sunnis.

Which is why the continuation of the SOFA was so important. Again, a continuous US presence in Iraq was needed to help curb Al-Maliki's excesses.

   2535. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4725873)

Wow, now the Obama fanboys are claiming it's possible the IRS — the IRS! — doesn't maintain full email back-ups, of a top supervisor's email, that go back at least three years?

Hilarious.
   2536. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4725876)
Kill as many ISIS members as possible. If they're out in the open, bomb the #### out of them.

They're far more dangerous than the "al-Qaeda" people we're hitting with drone strikes in Pakistan. If we're bothering with that, there's no way we should leave ISIS alone to metastasize.

   2537. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4725878)
Open question. Should we go with:

1. Light military action/presence there, perhaps limited to air strikes and some boots on the ground;

2. Heavy military action/presence there, including full scale ground warfare; or

3. Just accept that "all the fighting and all the dying" and all the money and time and resources spent are sunk costs and leave it alone altogether.


1., definitely
   2538. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4725879)
Like I said, that's a sure-fire recipe for long term regional stability: the Kurds will look north with anger, the Turks will look south with anger, whoever the "Iraqis" are will look at whatever land the Kurds took with anger.

The Turks seem relatively OK with the Kurds these days, though I'd defer to Jason's opinion. They certainly would rather have Kurdistan as a neighbor than a openly Jihadist Sharia state.

Literally nothing is worse for regional stability than allowing ISIS to form a state.
   2539. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4725881)
Bitter Mouse seems to be going to extremes to avoid noting that there is a strain of Islam, fairly prominent these days, that is hostile to democracy and much else.


You have to be categorically moronic to read his posts and think that. What he's not doing is pretending that the stain of medievalist Islam that controls certain areas of the modern world is the only strain of Islam to ever exist, or even to exist today. The lengths that PP is going to twist himself into knots trying to maintain that massive Muslim/Islamic polities like Indonesia and Morroco aren't really "Islamic" because they've actually moderated the medievalism that he wants to claim defines Islam entirely is somewhat pathetic.
   2540. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4725883)
They certainly would rather have Kurdistan as a neighbor than a openly Jihadist Sharia state


They already *have* "Kurdistan" as a neighbor and they're not happy about it, as it relates to their own Kurdish enclaves. A bigger, stronger (bolstered by extra territory and the subsequent oil revenue) Kurdistan?

Look, I think they *ought* to be willing to trade their own territory (that doesn't really *want* to be part of their territory), for long-term regional security, but this isn't a region that seems remotely interesting in committing to the logical or long term ...
   2541. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4725887)
They already *have* "Kurdistan" as a neighbor and they're not happy about it, as it relates to their own Kurdish enclaves. A bigger, stronger (bolstered by extra territory and the subsequent oil revenue) Kurdistan?

Look, I think they *ought* to be willing to trade their own territory (that doesn't really *want* to be part of their territory), for long-term regional security, but this isn't a region that seems remotely interesting in committing to the logical or long term ...


The Turks have been pretty shitty allies for the last 15 years. We can't kowtow to their wishes.

If they don't want the Kurds to expand, we should tell them to fight ISIS themselves.
   2542. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4725889)
An option that should be considered closely is going back in with 500K or so troops, occupying Iraq (ex-Kurdistan), and civilizing the place. (*) We're caught now in-between the two best options -- occupy and civilize, and get out completely. The problem demands a different approach than timid, ad hoc half-measures.

(*) Our civilization is far superior to Islamism, and Islamism has declared civilizational war on the United States. That provides the moral justification and impetus for said approach.

   2543. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4725890)
we should tell them to fight ISIS themselves.


As we should tell Iran to fight ISIS themselves?
   2544. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4725892)
There is no case for the US to march into Iraq (again) and waste money and blood on imperialism (again.)
   2545. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4725893)
As we should tell Iran to fight ISIS themselves?


Iranian forces are already deployed in Iraq, protecting their interests in tandem with Maliki's government. Let them go.
   2546. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4725894)
Like I said, that's a sure-fire recipe for long term regional stability: the Kurds will look north with anger, the Turks will look south with anger, . . .

That's not really the case at the moment. Despite previous differences, the Kurds & Turks have cooperated on a pipeline allowing the Kurds to export oil through Turkey, enriching them both. Looks like Turkey prefers a stable Kurdistan to its south, rather than an unstable terrorist state.
   2547. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4725895)
There is no case for the US to march into Iraq (again) and waste money and blood on imperialism (again.)

There's both a practical and a moral case.
   2548. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4725896)
Not being exactly a military mastermind, I have no real idea as to what will or what won't work in Iraq, at least in the long run. So I try to look at it from all angles.

Here's one side, from today's Times:

U.S. Airstrikes Could Help in Reversing Insurgent Offensive, Experts Say

WASHINGTON — American air power could play an important role in reversing the Sunni insurgent offensive in Iraq, current and former American military officials said on Friday, but it would be most effective with improved intelligence about insurgent targets and if the United States were willing to deploy small teams of advisers to call in airstrikes.

“We have some experience with this,” said James M. Dubik, the retired Army lieutenant general who trained Iraqi forces during the surge. “If we want to do it, we know how to do it.”

Despite skeptics, particularly Democrats, who say that American airstrikes are unlikely to change the course of events in Iraq, President Obama is considering them among a range of options to help the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

Airstrikes could also be a way to project power to help break the momentum of the advancing Sunni extremists, who are threatening the country’s Shiite-led government in Baghdad, without sending American ground troops back into combat in Iraq — a step Mr. Obama ruled out on Friday.

Should the Obama administration go forward with airstrikes, the unstable situation in Iraq would probably require the aircraft to be based in neighboring countries like Turkey, Italy, nearby Arab countries or on American aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, former officials said. Armed drones could also be based in the region, or possibly in Kurdistan.

Militant staging areas, weapons caches, headquarters or convoys crossing into Iraq from Syria could be struck in areas that are remote from Iraqi forces and not close to civilians. Such strikes, which could be carried out by piloted aircraft or drones, would not need to be called in by ground controllers.

But if the Obama administration wanted to use air power to influence battles closer to Baghdad, where insurgents are operating near civilians and Iraqi troops, the strikes would be most effective if the United States deployed small teams of Special Forces or perhaps intelligence agents to identify specific targets for the pilots to strike. In 2001, similar teams called in airstrikes in the initial phase of the war in Afghanistan, and they could be used in Iraq if Mr. Obama did not consider them at odds with his promise not to send ground troops....


It all sounds quite persuasive until you start thinking about the long range factors of Iraq's ability to coalesce against the ISIS threat for more than fifteen minutes, and the long term patience of the American public in the face of the inevitable reversals. It seems like we've seen this movie before. AFICS the only long range policy with even a theoretical chance for success would entail the sort of long range commitment we made along the Iron Curtain and in Korea during the cold war era, but does anyone seriously think that that sort of commitment could even possibly be accepted by our electorate for the next indeterminate number of years?** I'd say that to ask that question is to answer it, but what's an alternative that could ever play with the American public for more than a few months at most? This isn't even a partisan issue, because neither party's base has shown any enthusiasm for any sort of long range commitment to democracy building in the Mideast, no matter what may be the foreseeable negative consequences of inaction.

**Not to mention that Korea has a well-defined enemy and a well-defined border, neither of which is the case in Iraq.

   2549. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4725897)
The war on terror (more properly, the "war on Islamism") was always going to take more than 12 years.

Islamism has declared civilizational war on the United States (*) and we need to squarely face that reality.

(*) They first declared it in 1979 and have accelerated it since then. And they're winning. Islamism is far stronger in relative terms than it was then.
   2550. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4725899)
Iranian forces are already deployed in Iraq, protecting their interests in tandem with Maliki's government.


Agreed, it's clear that the Shi'a in Iraq actually *are* willing to fight ISIS, even if the "Iraqis" aren't, of that there should be no doubt (sectarian as it may be).

Let them go.


I'm fully supportive of it, it's not our camel. As Shane MacGowan once sang, "Let Englishmen fight English wars, it's nearly time we started ours ..."



   2551. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4725901)
An option that should be considered closely is going back in with 500K or so troops, occupying Iraq (ex-Kurdistan), and civilizing the place. (*) We're caught now in-between the two best options -- occupy and civilize, and get out completely. The problem demands a different approach than timid, ad hoc half-measures.

(*) Our civilization is far superior to Islamism, and Islamism has declared civilizational war on the United States. That provides the moral justification and impetus for said approach.


Well, at least we've now solved the mystery of your real identity. I only wish I'd known it back when you were buying all those books from me. How are the wife and kids?
   2552. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4725903)
An option that should be considered closely is going back in with 500K or so troops, occupying Iraq (ex-Kurdistan), and civilizing the place. (*) We're caught now in-between the two best options -- occupy and civilize, and get out completely. The problem demands a different approach than timid, ad hoc half-measures.

(*) Our civilization is far superior to Islamism, and Islamism has declared civilizational war on the United States. That provides the moral justification and impetus for said approach.


That's crazy talk.
   2553. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4725904)
Islamism has declared civilizational war on the United States (*) and we need to squarely face that reality.


ISIS poses absolutely no civilizational threat to the United States or the liberal west. The fact that the guy who spends his time ######## and whining about the expansive executive, drone wars and the NSA state in the US thinks a few thousand ######## throwbacks in Mesopotamia represent a "civilizational war" on the US is hilarious, except for how sad and pathetic it is. This is just the same neocon "clash of civilizations" bullshit again, warmed over for people who forgot how stupid it was the first time through.

The United States has no national interest in regional conflict between ISIS and Maliki/Iran. Let them deal with their own ####. If they start exporting their #### to the west, spin up a few drones and explain the playing field to them in no uncertain terms.
   2554. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4725905)
That's crazy talk.

Hardly.
   2555. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4725906)
The war on terror (more properly, the "war on Islamism") was always going to take more than 12 years.


This is the nub of SBB's position. He hates Obama and the national security apparatus that drives the "war on terror," but his imperialistic instinct and hatred of Muslims is so strong that he will forget that conveniently if he gets to bomb some Islamic countries.
   2556. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4725907)
As we should tell Iran to fight ISIS themselves?

I think we'd prefer not to have Iran control all of Iraq. But, if we don't help, that's what's going to happen.

At this point, the best plausible option seems to be a partition, with a pro-Westeran expanded Kurdistan, a rump Shiite Iraq that's a client of Iran, and a Sunni state in the north.

The goal at this point should be to 1) protect the Kurds, 2) make sure that Sunni state isn't Islamist, and 3) keep the Iranian client state as small as possible.
   2557. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4725908)
ISIS poses absolutely no civilizational threat to the United States or the liberal west.

Islamism does. It's already damaged our civilization and institutions.
   2558. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4725909)
That's crazy talk.

Hardly.


There is no national will to re-invade Iraq, and there is no indication that we have any idea how to build a stable client state in the region. We are simply not ruthless enough to be imperialists.
   2559. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4725911)
Islamism does. It's already damaged our civilization and institutions.

And sucking us into another bloodbath will just make that worse.

We can achieve all the reasonably attainable ends with a light military presence in the region: arms, advisors and air-power.
   2560. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4725912)
At this point, the best plausible option seems to be a partition, with a pro-Westeran expanded Kurdistan, a rump Shiite Iraq that's a client of Iran, and a Sunni state in the north.

The goal at this point should be to 1) protect the Kurds, 2) make sure that Sunni state isn't Islamist, and 3) keep the Iranian client state as small as possible.


There is no stable equilibrium along those lines obtainable in our lifetimes. There wasn't even equilibrium between Saddam's Iraq and Iran.
   2561. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4725913)
There is no national will to re-invade Iraq, and there is no indication that we have any idea how to build a stable client state in the region. We are simply not ruthless enough to be imperialists.

Oh, I thought you meant inherently crazy. I agree that it isn't particularly practical given the current makeup of America.
   2562. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4725917)
Islamism does. It's already damaged our civilization and institutions.


The single greatest strategic victory for "Islamism" in the last 200 years was convincing pants-pissing Americans like yourself that they were a valid threat. #### Iraq. #### ISIS. We have no national interest in this fight. If the winning side of this regional pissing match exports violence into the actual west at some point in the future, do a little police work to identify who did it, drone up a few flight patterns and explain the playing field to them.

Every whine you've made over the last few years about the expansive executive state and "decline" is just smoke and mirrors to hide this, your fundamental driving force; imperialist desire to kill Muslims en masse. You're a modern day Crusader. Nothing more.
   2563. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4725921)
Oh, I thought you meant inherently crazy. I agree that it isn't particularly practical given the current makeup of America.

No, if we were willing to be absolutely ruthless, an didn't care about committing some atrocities, we clearly have the strength to build a real empire.

But to do that, we'd have to be willing to pick the local populations that will work with us (in the ME probably some combination of Kurds, non-Islamist Sunnis, and Arab Christians), back them to the hilt militarily, and let them oppress the #### out of the Islamists (Sunni and Shiite).

To control those countries, you're going to have to govern like Mubarak or Sisi or King Hussein. No playing around with democracy, and you have to be willing to hunt and kill the Islamist extremists without mercy. If they blow up a market, you burn down their village. If they kill the local mayor, you kill their families.

But, that's pure fantasy. The US is not capable, nor should we morally, behave that way.
   2564. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4725922)
If the winning side of this regional pissing match exports violence into the actual west at some point in the future, do a little police work to identify who did it, drone up a few flight patterns and explain the playing field to them.

I have no desire to wait for it to happen -- again -- and no desire for the executive drone state we've constructed around our half-measures and the rise of Islamism. The domestic and international status quo are unacceptable.

   2565. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4725923)
I have no desire to wait for it to happen -- again -- and no desire for the executive drone state we've constructed around our half-measures and the rise of Islamism.


You can't have a "war on Islamism" (i.e. the "clash of civilizations" that gives you such the chubby) without having the security state you profess to oppose. #### or get off the pot. Are you a liberal who wants to end the NSA-state domestically, or are you a Crusader intent on blowing up all the evil Muslims until we control the Holy Land again?
   2566. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4725924)
There is no stable equilibrium along those lines obtainable in our lifetimes. There wasn't even equilibrium between Saddam's Iraq and Iran.

There is no stable equilibrium in the world. The idea that national borders should be inherently fixed is a modern fantasy. People are going to fight for territory and resources.

We will never achieve stability in the ME. We will constantly have to intervene to back the side that is acting in our interests. That may involve supporting different sides in the same fight at different times. But, a sane power intervenes as little as necessary to see that its interests are protected.
   2567. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4725925)
But, that's pure fantasy. The US is not capable, nor should we morally, behave that way.

The U.S. is capable. Just not willing. Just as it's capable but not willing to address all sorts of issues at home (e.g., inner-city crime, the drug trade, etc.).
   2568. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4725926)
I have no desire to wait for it to happen


And let's be clear; this is your fundamental driving motivation. You're scared something bad might happen, and all of your talk about liberty and robust liberalism in defense of freedom takes a second seat to making sure you don't see a Muslim shadow in the alley.
   2569. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4725929)
The U.S. is capable. Just not willing.


If only Obama were really the tyrant you boys claim he was, maybe he'd ignore that silly "will of the people" thing and just blow up some dirty Muslim ragheads like god intended.
   2570. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4725930)
You can't have a "war on Islamism" (i.e. the "clash of civilizations" that gives you such the chubby) without having the security state you profess to oppose. #### or get off the pot. Are you a liberal who wants to end the NSA-state domestically, or are you a Crusader intent on blowing up all the evil Muslims until we control the Holy Land again?

Sure you can. You move the front to the Middle East and remove the domestic excesses and unconstitutionalities. There's no inherent contradiction between domestic freedom and constitutionalism, and occupation of a foreign country.
   2571. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4725931)
Rickey! has been spot on, on this subject. Other than being all scared of the scary Muslims, why on Earth should we keep getting involved in the Middle East?

Seriously we just spent a decade there spending TRILLIONS of dollars and wasting nearly 200,000 lives to end up here and your answer is "Hey let's do more of the same", then you are incapable of learning from mistakes.

Can one of you geniuses tell me what the end game is? What exactly do you want to accomplish and how are you going to get there?
   2572. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4725932)
An option that should be considered closely is going back in with 500K or so troops, occupying Iraq . . .

For that to be a viable option, it would have to be supported by the Administration, significant voices in Congress, and the American electorate. It's not - there is no support for anything like that idea. Further military action in Iraq would be limited to air strikes, which could be quite effective on ISIS convoys out in the open.
   2573. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4725933)
If only Obama were really the tyrant you boys claim he was, maybe he'd ignore that silly "will of the people" thing and just blow up some dirty Muslim ragheads like god intended.

He doesn't need to be a tyrant. Growing a spine would be a start. Obama, heretofore the King of Drones, is allowing a bunch of guys in pickup trucks to undo over a decade's worth of hard and expensive work in Iraq in a week's time. Not real bright.

***
Can one of you geniuses tell me what the end game is? What exactly do you want to accomplish and how are you going to get there?

Asked and answered, more than once. Try to keep up.
   2574. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4725935)
You can't have a "war on Islamism" (i.e. the "clash of civilizations" that gives you such the chubby) without having the security state you profess to oppose. #### or get off the pot. Are you a liberal who wants to end the NSA-state domestically, or are you a Crusader intent on blowing up all the evil Muslims until we control the Holy Land again?

We also lack a coherent ideology. We couldn't fight a crusade if we wanted to. There's no unifying vision that would allow such a thing.
   2575. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4725936)
Sure you can. You move the front to the Middle East and remove the domestic excesses and unconstitutionalities.


And then you ride your magic flying pony into your ice palace in the sun. A state built to conduct the sort of imperial project you dream of internationally will always - always, without fail - leverage the same powers and processes they're projecting abroad against the citizenry domestically. You are not only an imperialist intent on Crusading through the Holy Land until your preferred tyrants are in charge, you're also a hypocritical fool.

The United States has no strategic interest in Iraq. We never did. Take your neocon wet dreams back to the dark closet in the back and try not to soil the rest of the nation with your fetishes.
   2576. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4725937)
The U.S. is capable. Just not willing. Just as it's capable but not willing to address all sorts of issues at home (e.g., inner-city crime, the drug trade, etc.).

No, we're not capable. We have no coherent ideology. We don't even know what we stand for as a country.
   2577. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4725938)
No, we're not capable. We have no coherent ideology. We don't even know what we stand for as a country.

Sure we are. A war like this is won by killing civilians in addition to killing armies. We're capable of WWII-style warfare in the Middle East, but we're not willing to engage in it.
   2578. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4725939)
Obama, heretofore the King of Drones, is allowing a bunch of guys in pickup trucks to undo over a decade's worth of hard and expensive work in Iraq in a week's time.


This is the nub of JoeK's interest here. He's not really the imperialist Crusader that SBB is. His concern is always, universally, domestic partisan politics. In this case, the only takeaway JoeK requires from violence and chaos in Iraq is to make sure it gets spun as dolchstoss by Obama and the Dems domestically. (Thus the myth that Iraq was ever not going to devolve into this exact outcome without permanent occupation. Call this the McCain Pipedream.)
   2579. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4725940)
A state built to conduct the sort of imperial project you dream of internationally will always - always, without fail - leverage the same powers and processes they're projecting abroad against the citizenry domestically. You are not only an imperialist intent on Crusading through the Holy Land until your preferred tyrants are in charge, you're also a hypocritical fool.

England did no such thing, and there's no reason to think any such thing will happen. Nor did we do any such thing in the late Cold War, when we had troops stationed all over the place.

The United States has no strategic interest in Iraq.

We have a strategic interest in defeating Islamism, which has declared war on us. ISIS is the latest branch to do so, and we have a strategic interest in crushing them.

   2580. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4725941)
Can one of you geniuses tell me what the end game is? What exactly do you want to accomplish and how are you going to get there?

There is no end game. There is no "end of history". We're never going to all get along and live peacefully. Humans will always fight. Out of greed, hatred, boredom, whatever.

We intervene when we can advance our interests, and the interests of our friend and allies at a reasonable cost.

In the current situation, we can do that by destroying ISIS's military capability through air power.
   2581. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4725942)
We also lack a coherent ideology. We couldn't fight a crusade if we wanted to.


Western liberalism has a coherent ideology. It is not an ideology that can be implemented via imperialist crusades. Imperialism is directly opposed to the fundamental principles of western civilization.
   2582. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4725943)
(Thus the myth that Iraq was ever not going to devolve into this exact outcome without permanent occupation. Call this the McCain Pipedream.)

That's why it should have been permanently occupied.
   2583. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4725945)
It is not an ideology that can be implemented via imperialist crusades. Imperialism is directly opposed to the fundamental principles of western civilization.

It was implemented in Japan and Germany via "imperialist crusades." And arguably South Korea.

And "imperalism" isn't directly opposed to any principles of western civilization, much less "fundamental" ones. The fundamental principles of western civilization are enlightenment, secularism, and liberal polities. "Imperalism," whatever the hell that means, doesn't contradict any of those.
   2584. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4725946)
The United States has no strategic interest in Iraq. We never did.

This is as silly as SBB's crusade fantasies.

Of course we have a strategic interest in the region that still produces much of the world's oil. We also have many allies that are threatened by instability in the region, and a moral responsibility to people who have sided with us.

In this case, we can advance that interest at a trivial cost in blood and treasure. Air power alone can very likey render ISIS military impotent. If not, a single mechanized battalion would crush them in an afternoon if they came out in the open, which they have to do to conquer more territory.
   2585. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4725947)
We intervene when we can advance our interests, and the interests of our friend and allies at a reasonable cost.

In the current situation, we can do that by destroying ISIS's military capability through air power.


A few drone strikes wouldn't be problematic. Of course, the minute that happens the usual suspects will start shitting bricks about how Obama is finally showing his "true colors" and fighting a war on behalf of Iranian interests. (The Maliki government, after all, is aligned with Tehran more than Washington, and always was going to be barring endless US occupation of the territory.)

(The thing that the crusaders and partisans can't speak the name of, of course, is that the great strategic blunder that led to the current situation was not Obama bringing US troops home after a decade of occupation, but Bush/Cheney stupidly destabalizing Iraq to start with.)
   2586. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4725950)
Of course we have a strategic interest in the region that still produces much of the world's oil.


What oil we get from the region, we get from the Saudis. If ISIS rolls into Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, by all means, get the planes in the air quick. And of course, we're slowly but surely detaching ourselves from the teat of even those oil producers.

Iraq is not "the region," and we are extracting ourselves from strategic ties to the rest of the region. The US has no strategic interest in Iraq.
   2587. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4725951)
Can one of you geniuses tell me what the end game is? What exactly do you want to accomplish and how are you going to get there?

Drawing upon Ray's suggestion that liberals need to give up all their personal wealth in order to prove their sincerity about addressing inequality, I'm assuming that if can set up a recruiting station here on BTF, it'll get at least a few volunteers, starting with that grizzled old warhorse Kehoskie.
   2588. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4725952)
Western liberalism has a coherent ideology. It is not an ideology that can be implemented via imperialist crusades. Imperialism is directly opposed to the fundamental principles of western civilization.

And we don't have a shared definition about what "Western liberalism" means. The pure relativist/secularist vision of Western Liberalism is completely at odds to the traditionalist/religious vision.

Imperialism was compatible with the principles of Western liberalism for 2500 years. It's only incompatible with a particular modern, relativist view of Western liberalism.
   2589. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4725953)
This is the nub of JoeK's interest here. He's not really the imperialist Crusader that SBB is. His concern is always, universally, domestic partisan politics. In this case, the only takeaway JoeK requires from violence and chaos in Iraq is to make sure it gets spun as dolchstoss by Obama and the Dems domestically. (Thus the myth that Iraq was ever not going to devolve into this exact outcome without permanent occupation. Call this the McCain Pipedream.)

My position on the Middle East hasn't changed one iota since the late 1980s: We should either turn it into a parking lot or stay the hell out.

But given that our last president and our widely presumed next president thought it was a great idea to spend a decade fighting a war in Iraq, it makes no sense whatsoever to allow a bunch of guys in pickup trucks to render that effort and expenditure meaningless in a week's time, let alone allow such people to claim victory over the U.S. Obama should have been lighting up the ISIS convoys like Christmas, and his failure to do so is only the latest example of his feckless "leadership." The guy's an embarrassment in every respect.
   2590. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4725954)
What oil we get from the region, we get from the Saudis. If ISIS rolls into Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, by all means, get the planes in the air quick. And of course, we're slowly but surely detaching ourselves from the teat of even those oil producers.

Iraq is not "the region," and we are extracting ourselves from strategic ties to the rest of the region. The US has no strategic interest in Iraq.


And ISIS's agenda, and Iran's agenda is not limited to Iraq.
   2591. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4725956)
It was implemented in Japan and Germany via "imperialist crusades." And arguably South Korea.


No it wasn't. God, you're a ####### idiot sometimes. The Axis powers in WWII represented an actual threat to the west. 5000 nutjobs in pickup trucks around Mesopotamia do not. Neither Iraq nor ISIS have ever attacked the United States. Not even a minor attack such as previous terror attacks by AQ. Certainly not an attack and sustained offensive like WWII. I hope you have Depends to control for how frequently you lose bladder control.
   2592. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4725957)
(The thing that the crusaders and partisans can't speak the name of, of course, is that the great strategic blunder that led to the current situation was not Obama bringing US troops home after a decade of occupation, but Bush/Cheney stupidly destabalizing Iraq to start with.)

I think everyone here agrees the invasion turned into a disaster. But it doesn't matter one whit now.

Adults react to the situation as it stands, not as we wish it were.
   2593. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4725959)
And ISIS's agenda, and Iran's agenda is not limited to Iraq.


My agenda once involved having sex with Elle Macpherson. Osama bin Laden had an agenda that included taking over Spain. Think like an adult, man.

(*)And truth be told, if Elle were willing, I'm not giving up on the dream man.
   2594. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4725960)
Today's polling news - and brace yourselves - it's not good for Obama. Obama continues to slip on the Real Clear Politics Presidential Job Approval Poll Average, now at 42.4% Approve - 53.8% Disapprove. Getting close to record lows (again). Not likely to improve for him if Iraq becomes a debacle on his watch.
   2595. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4725961)
5000 nutjobs in pickup trucks around Mesopotamia do not.

5000 nutjobs in pickup trucks are also trivially easy to defeat. The threat doesn't need to be great when the effort require is so little.

Literally, a dozen attack helicopters can render future advances by ISIS impossible.

What's the downside of strafing and bombing a few ISIS columns? These people are pure evil.
   2596. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4725962)
My position on the Middle East hasn't changed one iota since the late 1980s: We should either turn it into a parking lot or stay the hell out.

I guess I had you pegged wrong, Joe. You're not Teddy Roosevelt, you're this guy.
   2597. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4725963)
Adults react to the situation as it stands, not as we wish it were.


And the situation, as it stands, is that a force currently at war with a brutal dictator in Syria, AQ in Mesopotamia, AND Maliki-Iran in Iraq, AT THE SAME TIME(*) is blowing up some #### in a region we have no interests in supporting. The only argument for getting involved is "but we tried so hard to polish that turd into a diamond from 2002-12, we can't just ignore it now." Raw, idiotic sentimentality, combined with the SBB variant of imperial crusaderism against the Terrible Bogeyman of Islamism. (Since we're being adults, we'll ignore JoeK.)

Why on earth would an adult want to get into that mess. Let them kill each other off for a while. Let god sort 'em out. If anyone starts to export violence, drone up some drones and drone the drone out of them.

(*) They're also at war with the 'moderate' rebels in Syria too; they're pretty much at war with everyone at the same time
   2598. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4725967)
Why on earth would an adult want to get into that mess. Let them kill each other off for a while. Let god sort 'em out. If anyone starts to export violence, drone up some drones and drone the drone out of them.

Right, why drone them when they're all in a big convoy, like sitting ducks? It's smarter to wait a while, when we have to pick them off one by one.
   2599. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4725969)
No it wasn't. God, you're a ####### idiot sometimes. The Axis powers in WWII represented an actual threat to the west. 5000 nutjobs in pickup trucks around Mesopotamia do not. Neither Iraq nor ISIS have ever attacked the United States. Not even a minor attack such as previous terror attacks by AQ. Certainly not an attack and sustained offensive like WWII. I hope you have Depends to control for how frequently you lose bladder control.

We imposed our civilization on Japan and Germany at the point of a gun and through occupation. That's imperialism. Imperialism has nothing to do with a "threat."

ISIS has declared its intent to strike the United States. We have a moral right to put soldiers in Iraq to fight them.
   2600. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4725973)
We imposed our civilization on Japan and Germany at the point of a gun and through occupation. That's imperialism. Imperialism has nothing to do with a "threat."

But unless you start getting into Marxist concepts like "neo-imperialism", it does have something to do with the idea of semi-permanent occupation, the milking of natural resources for home consumption, and the elimination of any real form of "native" self-determination. That hardly described our policies in postwar Germany and Japan.
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