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Iraq War Vets Reflect On New Crisis

Iraq War veterans have plenty to say about what‘s happening in Iraq right now. We’ll hear them out.

Members of the Iraqi security forces who have never left their positions stand guard at the entrance checkpoint of the Bansher district, 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, Iraq, Friday, June 20, 2014.  (AP)

Members of the Iraqi security forces who have never left their positions stand guard at the entrance checkpoint of the Bansher district, 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, Iraq, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP)

The pace of events in Iraq continues to stun.  In less than a month we’ve gone from the fall of Mosul to the declaration, this weekend, of the “Islamic State” – a caliphate complete with caliph, straddling Iraq and Syria.  And it’s no joke.  The country that American soldiers crossed and bled and died in for almost a decade is coming apart.  Cities where they fought block by block, lost in a day.  The vision of a unified, stable, democratic Iraq – looks gone.  What do American veterans of the Iraq War think of all this?  We’ll ask.  This hour On Point:  Iraq War vets on the upheaval in Iraq.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ben Colin, former Marine Sergeant.

Hien Mahn Tran, former Army Sergeant Infantry Corps. CEO and President of Anvil Builders, INC.

Bernadette Fruge, former Army Sergeant.

Phil Klay, former Marine Public Affairs Officer. Author of the short story collection, “Redeployment.”

From Tom’s Reading List

San Francisco Chronicle: Iraq War vets split on what U.S. should do now — “Many say the $1 trillion and 4,487 dead that the U.S. spent in its eight-year effort to bring democracy to Iraq has tapped the till, and the country should spend no more. Others point to the same cost and say the U.S. must recommit, or it will all have been wasted. Everybody agrees on a few core emotions: Anguish. Alarm. Anger.”

The Guardian: Whispers, regrets and re-deployment: 10 Iraq war veterans on the Isis effect — “Did our troops see the sectarian violence coming? Is this renewed episode anyone’s fault but that of politicians? And is there anything left to do but hope it all goes away? The answers, as usual, are complex, but they are more illuminating than anything you will hear from a foreign-policy wonk between now and whenever President Obama decides about those air strikes.”

Stars and Stripes: Angry and sad, vets watch as insurgents undo sacrifices in Iraq – “On the broad stage of Middle East affairs, the unraveling highlights the resilience of extremists and the risks of weakened central authority. It also raises wider questions about the future of Afghanistan after international forces withdraw later this year and about the growing influence of militant Islamic factions among Syrian rebels.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Guest

    When it comes to Iraq, or for that matter any serious issue that demands strong leadership, Barack Obama has provided ZERO leadership.

    • Acnestes

      Sigh. Floods, volcanoes, aging, whatever. Just go right for Obama, first thing. You guys are just so stale.

    • hennorama

      “Guest” — Congratulations!

      You’ve won today’s Blame Obama First, First (BOFF) Award!

      Now, please BOFF off.

  • Ed75

    The veterans are heroes, of course, no matter what happens now.

    • Guest

      Unfortunately Barack Obama doesn’t see it that way, otherwise hundreds of US vets wouldn’t be dying in VA hospitals from lack of adequate treatment.

      • anamaria23

        Please reference that “hundreds of US vets wouldn’t be dying in VA hospitals from lack of treatment” There are serious problems, but what you say is not one of them.
        That you have an agenda is clear. That you are capable of advancing it on solid fact is not so much.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Who provides the funding, I wonder? Could it be Congress?

        • Don_B1

          There was a Republican Senator, from Mississippi or Alabama, I believe, who gave a speech on the floor of the Senate, on why increased spending on the VA was not a good thing to do.

      • Ed75

        What might happen is that we will realize that ISIS is all about military force, and military force only, and we will gain a renewed respect for our military, since they are the ones who will fight them.

  • Fredlinskip

    When America wanted our soldiers out of Iraq, Obama got them out.

    When America wanted us not to become entangled in Syria after their crossing “red line” use of chemical weapons, Obama did not do so and negotiated the removal of their “WMD’s” without the loss of ONE American life.

    When America wanted us to keep “eye on ball” in Afghanistan long enough to get Bin Laden, instead of getting unnecessarily involved in other conflicts, and therefore creating more enemies, he did so.

    What a contrast between this and previous administration!!

  • Hillel Stavis

    Remarkable! When 2 of the first commenters go after Obama, that’s an earthquake. Not to worry, however. NPR presenters will clean it all up.

    • Acnestes

      No, it’s flatulence.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Are you listening to the same thing I am?

  • Human2013

    I recently met a young Iraqi war veteran in MA. We talked for awhile and he explained that after leaving the service, he completed a degree in Social work — he just wanted to help people. After realizing that there was little social work going on in the south, he moved to MA.

    He told me that while he was in the service, he always voted Republican under the illusion that Republicans were stronger supporters of Veterans. After a short time working with different Veterans Services groups in MA, he realized that the services offered to Vets in MA is parallel to no other state – over 420 services including a form of unemployment insurance and housing subsidies.

    I took a little time to explain to him that liberals admire and support veterans wholeheartedly, but we would rather them not have gone to war in the first place. I told him that it is in keeping with the Republican party to send our youth to war and leave them behind when they return as witnessed by the lack of Vet financial support in the South. I told him that it is in keeping with liberal principles that we support those in need no matter the circumstances — drugs, homosexuality, unwed, PTSD, uneducated,….. I reminded him to be cautious of the Republican agenda and that war is a very lucrative industry. I told him to look behind the facade to find the truth. Lastly, I told him that a Party that supports war can’t support humanity — especially the broken humans. He got it!

    • William

      The Clintons are the heart and soul of the Liberal movement and were all in for going to war. Obama was quick to do the bidding for big oil and the EU and bombed Libya which has destroyed that nation. Obama backed the Moslem Brotherhood to take over Egypt. JFK and LBJ were Liberals and both pushed hard to go big into Vietnam. Truman went to war in Korea. Wilson said he would not send our troops to Europe in WW I but did so anyway. Did you tell the vet of the 7 trillion dollars wasted “fighting poverty” over the last 50 years via the failed Great Society programs? Did you tell him how Obama sold guns to Mexican drug lords? Did you tell him how Obama turned the IRS on fellow American citizens because they have a different political belief? Maybe he will get it then huh?

      • Human2013

        No, we didn’t go into the history of presidential candidates’ voting history. We are concerned with 2014, not 1914.

        • William

          Those that don’t learn from past mistakes are doomed to make the same mistakes again. If the Clintons, Kerry, Bush had learned from JFK and LBJ’s Vietnam war involvement and defeat we would not have gone to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

          • Human2013

            I get it, but the point of my comment is to highlight blue/red vet support. Also, there are certainly many exceptions but lets not pretend that we don’t have a party on a consistent war footing.

          • William

            War footing or ready for war? Both parties jump into foreign conflicts with little regard for the men and women that have to fight those wars. JFK’s “let the world know the USA will pay any price, go anywhere” speech was not in our best interest.

            You have to admit Obama was pretty quick to go to war in Libya, without Congressional approval, and that destroyed Libya. He wanted to do the same in Syria but the public opposition shut down that idea. He recently asked for 200 million dollars to arm rebels in Syria which we don’t really know who they are and what they are fighting for.

            We are long overdue for a major policy change from the world’s policeman and stay out of most if not all “overseas contingencies”.

          • Don_B1

            So that is why you keep on advocating for the same mistakes of the past, because you never learn anything.

      • Fredlinskip

        Obama admin backed the results of democratic elections in Egypt: to do otherwise would represent extreme hypocrisy, No?
        Unfortunately the level of misinfo was so pervasive before ’02 midterms, that Congressmen who spoke out against the War would likely have been thrown out of office.
        GOP used War as a political tool to take over the House. Since then they have reinforced this victory by the very undemocratic process of computer-generated gerrymandering.
        Neocons were the main drivers behind the drive to go to War.

        • William

          We can’t back a well known terrorist group such as the MB. That was a huge mistake and thankfully the people of Egypt got rid of them. The vote to go to war was soundly endorsed by the Democrats and they jumped on the bandwagon to look tough on terror too.

          Clinton wanted to look tough on Iraq and pushed his Iraq Liberation Act through Congress.

          Both parties work hard at getting reelected and will use anything to achieve that goal.

          • Fredlinskip

            Agree mostly.
            Except that MB should have been ousted through some sort of constitutional process- impeachment or voted out or something.
            Without democratic process you have chaos and many innocents die (including MBers). How are these nations to come to believe in Democratic process if it is never honored?
            Same may apply somewhat to what’s happening in Ukraine.
            Perpetual chaos is not a good thing- as Iraq demonstrates.

          • William

            You can’t expect an honest or safe election with the MB in power. Not all cultures are the same and we need to try and understand that we can’t export democracy. It did not work in Vietnam and now Iraq and Afghanistan.

          • Fredlinskip

            Promoting Democracy IS THE PROMINENT REASON GOP CLAIMS TO HAVE OCCUPIED IRAQ IN 1st PLACE (only because all their other “reasons” were proven to be complete fallacy).
            So you are for a Monarchial/ dictatorial system, then?

          • Don_B1

            Exactly!

            Also note that the George W. Bush administration apparently endorsed the simplistic notion that an election demonstrates democracy, when it is the surrounding institutions that support and nurture democracy that are necessary. Nothing more demonstrates than the rush to provide elections in “Palestine” after the death of Arafat, which because of the quickness predictably yielded all too much power to Hamas.

            In Egypt, the rush to write a Constitution and get to a full general election, instead of building up local institutions to allow citizens to express themselves and learn from interactions with each other, yielded a Muslim Brotherhood win because the other groups, which made up a majority of Egyptian citizens, were to disorganized, as is almost universally true when a country is passing from a dictatorship to a democracy and is why the goal is seldom reached.

            But the “Williams” on this site make false conclusions because they want to blame President Obama and not human nature.

  • John Cedar

    Obama lost two wars.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      They were unwinnable – because they were either based on lies or completely mismanaged by the President who started them.

  • NewtonWhale

    George W. Bush and the Neocons did more harm to our national security than Bin Laden ever dreamed of:

    Isis announces Islamic caliphate in area straddling Iraq and Syria

    Islamist militants have declared an Islamic “caliphate” in an area straddling Iraq and Syria, trumpeting the declaration in several videos.

    The video features about a dozen men in a cell said to be captured troops and border police. A building, said to be a police station, is shown being blown up, as well as US-made Humvees captured from the border police. “Look how much America spends to fight Islam, and it ends up just being in our pockets,” the spokesman taunted.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/30/isis-announces-islamic-caliphate-iraq-syria

    • HonestDebate1

      It wasn’t that long ago that any talk of a caliphate was laughed off as wildly conspiratorial.

      • John Cedar

        This whole caliphate thing can be traced back to a YouTube video.

      • Don_B1

        Mostly by neoconservatives, like you!

  • NewtonWhale

    Remember that press conference when an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at George Bush? Sure you do! Who could forget Bush’s amazing agility in dodging not just one but TWO lobbed loafers? And his jaunty quip afterwards: “All I can report is it was a size 10″?

    So how come Republicans have such a hard time remembering WHY Bush was at that press conference in Baghdad on December 14, 2008? I suspect that’s because he was there to sign the U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement which called for the complete withdrawal of US forces 3 years later. Which is exactly what happened when Obama obeyed the agreement Bush signed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duLds-TZMGw

    • John Cedar

      How could Bush know that Obama would willingly hand Iraq back to the enemy over three years?

      • Human2013

        Wrong question! How could Bush not know the difference between Sunni and Shiite?

      • keltcrusader

        Do you even follow the news? He fought for us to stay beyond the date Bush signed in the agreement and Al-Maliki said “NO, GO!”

  • NewtonWhale

    WASHINGTON — Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports
    …..
    The shooting was a watershed moment in the American occupation of Iraq, and was a factor in Iraq’s refusal the next year to agree to a treaty allowing United States troops to stay in the country beyond 2011.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/us/before-shooting-in-iraq-warning-on-blackwater.html?_r=1

    • William

      That shooting seems rather small when compared to the number of innocent civilians killed via U.S. government drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Then that GI that killed a bunch of civilians in Afghanistan makes the U.S. government pretty inept.

    • spiral007

      I read the article this morning and found it very disturbing. There is little chance the Iraqis will get justice in the current case before US courts. We are still hiring the later versions of this group.

    • jimino

      Blackwater has Darrell Issa on their side. They don;t need no stinking laws to tell them what to do.

      • Human2013

        There is something strange about Darell Issa and it’s not just the money .

        • Human2013

          Actually, it’s probably the money. Our richest congressman.

        • hennorama

          Human2013 — as I’ve stated repeatedly,

          Rep. Issa is no hat, no cattle, all hair dye.

          As an aside, according to the American Cancer Society, “…darker dyes have more of some chemicals that may cause cancer, these products are of greatest potential concern.”

          See:
          http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/intheworkplace/hair-dyes

          • Human2013

            Too funny

  • creaker

    I’m sure the current situation in Iraq would be entirely different if McCain and/or Romney was sitting in the White House, instead. LOL

    • hennorama

      creaker — that’s true.

      There would still be tens of thousands of US troops in the middle of sectarian violence, and many more dead and wounded Americans.

      • HonestDebate1

        More troops means less sectarian violence. The situation was stable according to Biden and Obama in 2011. It is our withdrawal that intimated Iraq’s downfall.

        • J__o__h__n

          If we stayed there another decade or two, the same thing would happen after we left. Religious extremists and badly drawn borders doomed Iraq.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Yes, it worked out so well in Vietnam and Afghanistan.

        • iccheap

          how long would you suggest we stay? one more year? a decade? a century?

          • HonestDebate1

            As long as it takes. We are still in Japan, Korea and Germany.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            If we left those places, I think we would be better off.

          • Fredlinskip

            Go World USA!!!

        • jimino

          The only this that stopped the similar sectarian-blamed violence before (aka the Sunni uprising) was the physical separation of the fighting factions coupled with enough of them refusing to be controlled by the worst elements of their own society. Bribes helped too. It had little to do with the number of our troops, and this time would be no different.

          • HonestDebate1

            There was a massive Sunni awakening that turned the tide.

          • jimino

            The Colonel who called explained it: physical separation and bribes.

          • Fredlinskip

            The Sunni “awakening” was all about Sunnis finally getting pissed off about Al Qaeda indiscriminate car bombings. Still they bribed us for $ before they would help.
            These same Sunnis have “awakened” to the fact that supporting ISIL is there best current option for redressing grievances.

          • HonestDebate1

            I remember Ayaan Hirsi Ali saying how easy it was to criticize Bush… because he wouldn’t send his thugs to rape your children and behead you. The Sunni awakening happened when they decided America would have their back if they rose up.

          • Fredlinskip

            You can glamorize the awakening all you want. If you do your homework, you will find that my above comment is correct:
            The Sunnis bribed us for information concerning Al Qaeda, because they tired of the bombings.
            They are now supportive of ISIL.
            They form allegiances when necessary to forward their interests.

          • anamaria23

            That is not what the Colonel who was present in Iraq said.

    • HonestDebate1

      Yes it would, I agree.

    • Godzilla the Intellectual

      Yes, and domestically our economy would be much worse.

    • jefe68

      I suppose you have consulted your weegee board and crystal ball to come up with that meme.
      Magical powers are at work…

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s ouija.

        • jefe68

          I know, I used weegee as a joke.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — how dare you talk back about a schoolsmarmy comment!

            Two demerits, and one knuckle-ruler interaction for you, Mister!

    • hennorama

      creaker — I looked back at Sen. McCain’s views on Iraq, and found the following:

      From Nov. 27, 2007 Charlie Rose show, this was a change from his prior position, that the Korea model was “exactly” the right idea for Iraq:

      ROSE: Do you think that this — Korea, South Korea is an analogy of where Iraq might be, not in terms of their economic success but in terms of an American presence over the next, say, 20, 25 years, that we will have a significant amount of troops there?

      MCCAIN: I don’t think so.

      ROSE: Even if there are no casualties?

      MCCAIN: No. But I can see an American presence for a while. But eventually I think because of the nature of the society in Iraq and the religious aspects of it that America eventually withdraws.

      And then he flipped back. From Jan. 3, 2008, at a town meeting in Derry, NH:

      Tiffany: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for fifty years.

      McCain: Make it a hundred. How long—We’ve been in Japan for 60 years, we’ve been in South Korea for fifty years or so. That’d be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That’s fine with me. I hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Qaeda is training and recruiting and equipping and motivating people every single day.

      . . . . (Mind the gap) . . . .

      Tiffany: What if U.S. soldiers are being killed at the same rate, one per day, four years from now?

      McCain: I can’t tell you what the ratio is. But I can tell you, I understand American public opinion, sir. I understand American public opinion will not sustain a conflict where Americans continue to be sacrificed without showing them that we can succeed.

      Tiffany: I hear an open-ended commitment, then.

      McCain: I have an open-ended commitment in Asia. I have an open-ended commitment in South Korea. I have an open-ended commitment in Bosnia. I have an open-ended commitment in in Europe…

      Sources:
      http://thinkprogress.org/security/2007/11/28/17915/mccain-korea-withdrawal/

      http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/hendrikhertzberg/2008/01/a-hundred-years.html

  • iccheap

    Unfortunately nothing remarkable about the trajectory of Iraq post USA involvement. It’s just a travesty that so many lives and resources were lost to end up where they are heading.

  • hennorama

    Please ask the veterans why they think the Iraqi army disintegrated in the face of inferior forces.

    • jimino

      Wasn’t a significant part of our strategic plan the training of Iraqi troops? Who was responsible for that part of the mission, and what repercussions have followed their obvious failure?

      • Godzilla the Intellectual

        Exceptional training cannot make someone love their country.

        • hennorama

          Godzilla the Intellectual — TYFYR.

          Absolutely. And having a central government that seems intent on settling old scores does nothing to increase loyalty.

      • hennorama

        jimino — thank you for your response.

        Yes, the US spent years and tens of $Billions training and equipping the Iraqi military.

        I don’t know the answer to your questions, but they are good ones.

        It seems that religious, sectarian, and tribal loyalties are far greater than loyalty to the military institutions and the central government in Iraq.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      One reason is that the Iraq government was totally mismanaging the country. They were brutally suppressing the opposition, rather than giving them a voice.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    John F. Kerry said last last week: NO ONE foresaw the meltdown of the Iraqi army. NO ONE.

    Perhaps the SecState* should get out of the Harvard Club & New York Yacht Club sometimes and talk to regular Americans: hundreds of thousands of whom with past military service were wary of attempting to incorporate American civilization in the Middle East.

    * Barack Obama sure can pick them.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Funny, I think Barack Obama is the only person who was on the right side of the Iraq War *before* Bush took us in – based on lies.

      • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

        Yep. And now he’s falling into the same trap: American hubris. Signed Obama supporter ’08/Vietnam-era Veteran

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          What trap is he falling into?

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Let’s think about the *very* strange bedfellows all these entities are involved:

    Iraq, Iran, Russia, USA, Syria, Saudi Arabia, ISIL/ISIS … the list goes on.

  • ian berry

    Come on, let’s be honest. People signed on to the whole thing to go kick butt, not to make Iraq a better place.

  • hennorama

    There are a number of well-armed nations in Iraq’s neighborhood that have far larger interests in containing and eliminating the threat posed by ISIS/ISIL, and a far greater familiarity and understanding of the morass of relationships involved.

    In other words, it’s time for the kids to become adults, and handle their own responsibilities.

    There have been reports of air sorties against these fanatics, not by the US, or Iraq, Iran, Israel, etc., but by SYRIA. That’s as it should be. Expect to see more of that sort of action soon, and from the Iraq central government as well, as they cobble together an air force out of old warplanes.

    If the US needs to get in to provide logistical, technical or other support, fine. But to use of our military to kill even more Muslims than we have already?

    No.

    In addition, other world powers (Russia, China, India, etc.) have strategic and economic interests in the region, and it’s high time that they step up their involvement, whether diplomatically, militarily, or economically. They all have interest in continued access to the region’s oil supplies, for example, and all have strong desires to keep membership in the nuclear club quite limited.

    As many have said, we can’t want it more that they do. Solutions imposed from outside the region seldom last.

    As has also been said by many, we have the watches, but they have the time.

  • liminalx

    American / western hubris. Not the veterans’ fault, on many levels this conversation is ridiculous but solely the responsibility of neo-cons and neo-liberals who think they know best the needs and desires of the world. Isis has it’s roots in the arbitrary national boarders imposted on the (colonized) world following WWI

    • liminalx

      Blame the current situation in Iraq on the “non-violent” coup de tant carried out by the Supreme Court of the United States, December 9th, 2000

      • Fredlinskip

        Very good point.
        Fair to say if Gorr was elected we would have not gone to Iraq
        And devevelopment of alternative energies would be further along.
        And Climate Change policy would be further along.

  • Guest

  • joe

    Its sad but this is what happens when we jump into a war based on lies and spend 10 years with blinders on believeing the lie …you have to tell the ones who sacraficed …that it was all for nothing …even worse it had a huge negative impact on all of us..

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    What Bush should have said: Iraq is free. But the war isn’t.
    What Obama should have said: The war in Iraq will be over. But the payment for it will never end.

    Full faith in government. Like the polar bear, honeybee, and emperor penguin: on the seriously endangered species list.

  • George Fisher

    When I hear Dick Cheney on Charlie Rose blaming the “loss of Iraq” on the present administration it makes me want to reach through the radio and commit mayhem. George W. Bush at least has had the decency to keep his mouth shut.

    • TFRX

      Charlie Rose is not alone in this.

      Deadeye Dickless has passed through many a studio doing what I can call the “reassuring the stockholders of his munitions company” tour.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Talk about conflict of interest! Go to war to profit Halliburton.

      • Human2013

        Lol

    • JGC

      From The Borowitz Report at the New Yorker:

      “My thoughts and prayers are with the Iraq oil wells,” declared Dick Cheney. “If Dick Cheney won’t speak for the oil wells, who will?”

      The former VP said that he expected to “catch hell” for inserting himself into the debate about Iraq, but was resolute in his decision to do so. “If I prevent one drop of precious oil from being spilled, it will have been worth it,” he said.

  • Satwa

    I’m Scottish, but I remember sitting in cafe in Fairfield, Iowa, before the invasion, saying “this is going to be a quagmire, and the evidence for WMDs is unconvincing.”

    The only way to change the actions of a region is to change the consciousness of the region. That can only be done through a non-invasive technology of consciousness, and that is the TM-Sidhis. The effects are published in peer-reviewed journals. Does it work for real? We’ll never know until someone tries it for real, with a large group of 10,000 TM-Sidhas in Jordan or Israel. The TM movement can’t do this on their own. It takes Governments to do it, and to strictly measure the results scientifically, statistically.

    Also, many Vets have found relief from severe PTSD using Transcendental Meditation, documented in research by the military.

    If you still think that human consciousness is confined to the blob of jelly on your head, called a brain, then you are incredibly uninformed. Consciousness IS nature, and Nature does not stop at the surface of your skull. Read up on the physics of fields and Unified Field, and also EEG coherence.

    – Tom in Vermont

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Time to reissue Barbara Tuchman’s classic book — “The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam”. An editor could add poignant, serious columns on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia.. to bring it up to date.

    But none from the Kagans, Clintons, Rove, Addington, Libby, Feith, Cheney, Kristol, Krauthammer, Hume, and the rest of that chickenhawk cheerleader crowd. Mass delusion should be rejected when determining America’s foreign policy goals.

  • Fred Glock

    The men and women who fought, were injured or died did not fight in vain. They gave the Iraqi people the best thing possible: a chance to begin again. We shouldn’t expect to control what they do with that chance, but the opportunity would not be theirs but for the sacrifices of our soldiers. We may wish for a smoother or better outcome than we see at the moment, but that takes nothing away from the success of the men and women who served. My enternal gratitude to them.

  • Jim

    Saddam Hussein had a system to contain the devil. The US gov went and unravel it. Gw bush only intention was to avenge his daddy and liquidate the entire Hussein family.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      We supported Saddam Hussein.

      Before we were against him.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Another day of Obama doesn’t make mistakes. Obama’s problems were caused by Bush.

    The Senate voted for the Iraq war. Hilary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq.

    But NPR continues to carry water for Obama on high.

    • Elizabeth_in_RI

      So Bush bears no responsibility???

    • Red

      Spare us your Obama Hate™

    • jimino

      Another day of moronic comments from you. And it really doesn’t even matter what the topic is. You are an all-purpose fool.

    • Fredlinskip

      “Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq.”
      Had she not, she probably would have not remained a Senator (for NY- like where Twin Towers used to be).
      It is also an unfortunate fact that Dems have had to become more hawkish, because American public demanded a more hawkish stand, especially after 9/11 when 3 straight national elections were determined primarily by who “was toughest on Terror”.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Going into Iraq was worse than breaking Humpty Dumpty. It is more like the Hydra – this one has at least 13 heads.

    There is NO SOLUTION. Only very difficult work to try and calm things – eventually – maybe …

    • JGC

      Do you think some support ultimately for the Kurds to form their own separate country, Kurdistan?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        That would seem to be part of it.

  • Guest

    When is the last time America won a war?
    Don’t say Korea, because that country is cut in half.
    Don’t say WWII, because the Americans wouldn’t come in until the Brits had destroyed the Luftwaffe on their own. and crippled the U-Boats. Rommel could only have been defeated by British tanks.
    Don’t say American War of Independence, because American slaves ran to freedom in British Canada, and were given it, and the Brits won that war, which was against the French and the Spanish. Sunk their navies to the bottom of the ocean and changed the course of history forever.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      War based on lies is unwinnable, by definition.

      • HonestDebate1

        The war was based on the truth, the withdrawal was based on a lie. We are seeing that now.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Do you exist in the anti-matter universe? Bush and Cheney et al lied knowingly and lead us in on lies.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s silly.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Please join us in reality!

          • HonestDebate1

            Back atcha’.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Bush and Cheney lied to get us into the Iraq War.

          • HonestDebate1

            Did Hillary or Bill lie? How about Madeline Albright? John Kerry? Algore?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            What wars did those people get us into?

          • HonestDebate1

            Who there partner, that’s a king size dodge. You said Bush and Cheney lied (presumably about WMD), if they lied so did Hillary et al. Be consistent. Either they all lied or none did. I don’t think they lied.

          • jefe68

            The silliness is on you here pal.
            Go take a pill and lie down for a few days.

          • StilllHere

            Prove one lie.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            “WMD.”

            “Mushroom cloud”

            Saddam is connected to al-Quaeda.

            Aluminum tubes.

            “Cakewalk”

            We’ll be welcomed as liberators”

            The oil will pay for it.

            They were planning to attack Iraq before September 11th.

          • StilllHere

            Take one and prove it was a lie. For example, WMD: where is your proof that Bush et al knew there were no WMDs to be found in Iraq prior to the invasion?

          • jimino

            So your contention is that the entire Bush administration was profoundly ignorant, incompetent, and hell bent on invading Iraq, but really sincere in their profound ignorance. That’s not much of a defense.

          • StilllHere

            I make no contentions, only seek the truth.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Because they stove piped the “intelligence”. They outed Valerie Plame because her husband debunked their hyped up yellowcake story.

            They lied about WMD, because they wanted a reason to attack Iraq. Before September 11th happened.

        • jimino

          You have reached full-on Orwellian thinking.

        • anamaria23

          You may want to read the new book coming out, “935 Lies” by Charles Lewis, head of the Center of Public Integrity before making such a distorted statement. He traces the decline in public integrity back to the McCarthy era.
          He spares no administration and includes the Obama administration — that would please you to know.
          the 935 lies are of the Iraq War.
          He left 60 Minutes some years ago when asked (once) to distort an episode.

        • jefe68

          If you want to be taken seriously maybe at least attempt to post something that has some form of critical thinking in it. This has to be one of the most inane comments posted today.

          • HonestDebate1

            Manufactured conventional wisdom is for fools.

    • JGC

      All the engagements post WWII are just that – military engagements, conflicts, actions, and the like. The US has not formally declared war since WWII with its declarations against Japan, Germany, Italy and a few Eastern European countries. War was never formally declared against Korea, or Vietnam, or Iraq or even Grenada.

      I read a military lawyer’s opinion that this actually has implications for Sgt. Bergdahl’s fate, that he cannot be subject to the full array of punishments for desertion as would be the case in an action that had been within a formally declared war.

      I think you must be the only person to ever say the US and its allies did not win WWII.

      • JGC

        P.S. The first war formally declared by the U.S. was the War of 1812. The U.S. lost that one; at least that is what Prime Minister Harper has been telling Canadians during the remembrances surrounding the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

    • Human2013

      War is not winnable, silly rabbit!

  • dt03044

    Remember when we were told……”Iraqi oil will pay for the war”? How’d that work out for us?

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      The Chinese thank us for our service. Hoober Doober

      • harverdphd

        Good point…

  • Godzilla the Intellectual

  • Godzilla the Intellectual

    I don’t mean to be insensitive. I seriously respect everyone’s views here. But I just think one of the flaws of human nature is the tendency to argue and debate forever and never seek to find a consensus everyone can live with. Maybe it’s not exactly what you want but you can live with it.
    Then action can be taken.

    With the state of the earth, the state of scientific and academic hubris and bias (not only military and political hubris) it seems what is needed most on this planet are people who examine THEIR OWN BIAS.

    With the dire warning of climate scientists, and the world becoming increasingly globalized, perhaps what is needed is a re-examination of the most fundamental principles society is built upon, not to go backwards and choose communism or some ideology, but to look at what is evidence based, and despite the upheaval it will cause, ACTUALLY CHANGE based on the evidence rather than based on ideology or partisanship.

    It’s fairly obvious the most evidence based ideas can be found equally among all ideologies. So perhaps what is needed is a meta-ideology that surgically draws from each and every party and ideology the most evidence-based solutions, like an integral plan, that addresses life on earth in a broad number of aspects.

    In this way, perhaps humanity can lift itself out of the bickering.

    But it may actually require each of us to examine our own assumptions…

    • joe

      Of course thats what needs to happen or something the like but… power greed profit …what will they have to say …about this .

      • Godzilla the Intellectual

        They won’t have anything to say if they make the world uninhabitable. Even luxury enclaves exist within the ecosystem, which will eventually effect them.

    • DeJay79

      I glad to announce That with a week or two I will be driving my brand new All Electric Ford Fusion!!

      I have wanted to be part of the solution for so long and now I will be.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        An all electric Fusion? Not a plugin hybrid? Please say more – I think you are on the right path.

        • DeJay79

          yeah they are called the “Fusion Energy” or Fusion E for short. I was looking at the Focus E because I did not even know that they had a fusion option.
          i am super excited about it

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            So, it is similar to the Volt, then – a plugin hybrid. What is the electric range, approximately?

          • DeJay79

            wow, or yikes actually. i feel totally mislead. i thought it was all electric. well i am going to have to re-think this now

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            These are the all electric cars available now:

            Nissan Leaf
            Tesla Model S
            Mitsubishi i MiEV
            Smart ForTwo ED
            Ford Focus EV
            BMW i3
            Fiat 500e
            Chevrolet Spark EV

            EV’s that are coming later this year:

            VW eGolf
            Kia Soul EV
            Mercedes B-Class Electric

            Some sites to read up on EV’s (some include plugin hybrids as well):

            http://www.greencarreports.com/news/electric-cars

            http://www.plugincars.com/

            http://insideevs.com/

          • JGC

            What about the Blanchard? ; )

          • JGC

            Also, what do you think about Musk opening up the patents for Tesla? Any implications for you?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Possibly, I don’t know. My CarBEN EV5 has been open source from the beginning. I am doing it for the same reasons that Elon Musk is – to encourage more people to build EV’s.

          • JGC

            Just think: no more fuel line disasters ala GM…

          • HonestDebate1

            Don’t forget the CarBEN EV5!arBEN EVCarBEN EV5

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            It will take me longer than another 2 years to build it. Thanks for mentioning it, though.

          • hennorama

            DeJay79 — apologies in advance for my acronymity.

            Will your Ford Fusion [Energi] (FFE) be a Family Friendly Experience, or perhaps Fun, Fast & Efficient?

      • harverdphd

        Learn grammar and proper sentence structure.

        • DeJay79

          grow a soul and love thy neighbor!

          so sry I left out the word “in” during my excitement about what I was typing.

          • Fredlinskip

            There’s an “edit” button.
            Congrats on the Fusion!

      • StilllHere

        Nice to hear another 1% is doing well.

        • DeJay79

          yes, with my household debt of 21,000 and my unemployed/under employed wife, my 145K house and a dog. all being payed for by my 45K/year job I am the Poster child of the 1% !

          All hail Lord DeJay the 1% king….

          but thanks for the laugh stillhear.

    • http://www.google.com Big Brother

      The real problem is that we should only have 2 billion people on earth instead of the 8 billion we have now.

      please help us reduce global warming by volunteering to selectively reducing yourself.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Gimme a break …

        We are in the situation we are in. Let’s be realistic and not lie to ourselves.

      • Godzilla the Intellectual

        “please help us reduce global warming by volunteering to selectively reducing yourself.”

        Learn grammar and proper sentence structure.

      • hennorama

        Big Brother — please, after you, sir.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Bush went to war in Iraq. Americans re-elected him.
    Obama went to war in Afghanistan, Yemen, North Waziristan. Americans re-elected him.
    The glorious parades of folly begin in our own neighborhoods.

    • JGC

      I am beginning to think you may have trust issues. ; )

      • JGC

        PS. What exactly is a “Hoober Doober”? I have been wondering about that for some time…

        • Charles

          Me too. It makes me think of peanuts, because it looks like “Goober”.

  • DeJay79

    Just as that last call illustrated with the comment “I don’t know what was going on in that country before we got there.” Exactly! we send people into situations without them knowing even some basic history.

    (http://www.mythsandfacts.org/article_view.asp?articleID=231)
    …Iraq is a case in point. Writing in the Guardian, Oxford
    historian Avi Shlaim notes that in the 1920s, pan-Arabists hoped Iraq
    “would be a national prototype for other Arab nations – a ‘Prussia of
    the Middle East.’ Iraq however was an artificial state,” said Shlaim,
    “cobbled together by Britain out of three ex-Ottoman provinces, and
    bereft of any ethnic or religious rationale … lack[ing] the essential
    underpinnings of a national bond.” The Kurds in the north, comprising 20
    percent of the Iraqi population, are a non-Arab Indo-European ethnic
    group that aspired to political independence as part of Kurdistan. The
    Shiite Muslims in the south (50 percent of the population) viewed Arab
    nationalism as a devilish plan by the rival Sunni Muslims (30 percent)
    to dominate them. “In the face of such deep and pervasive divisions, it
    was a well-nigh impossible task to achieve the two basic objectives of
    the Arab national movement: unity and independence.” Yet many Arabs,
    writes Shlaim, saw anti-Zionism as a convenient tool and grand cause
    that would unite Arabs by “keeping Palestine in Arab hands. … Unity
    would be forged on the anvil of war against the common enemy.”…

    point being that three groups of people who don’t like each other were forced into one “nation” to keep them fighting amongst each other and there by easier to control.

  • M S

    And the Neocons slithered away…

    • jimino

      To the contrary, Cheney, Kristol and many others are still considered credible sources by many fools, and given a stage on which to spout their idiocy.

  • hennorama

    Thank you for your honesty, Colonel.

    Did you tell the same thing to the chain of command above you?

  • joe

    Really! Tom lets try not to have a “Next Time” can we lead by example and not by force .. get our noses out of other people civil wars and let them work it out as ugly as it may be ..the same way we did ..

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    You go into war with the Generalissimo Rumsfeld you have.
    –The Lessons of American Exceptionalism

  • William

    Tom, you have a good point and we must ask why are we involved in Africa chasing after those terrorists that kidnapped those girls? Why are we sending our young men once again into a failed nation on a failed mission? Wasn’t the # enough?

  • Elizabeth_in_RI

    I understand your guest’s concern that the citizens of this nation were not standing up to our government and its errors. I believe that occurred for several reasons. First we as a society usually look for the easy answers – a miracle pill, a simple argument (no shades of grey), etc. And since such a small percentage of us know serve in the military few of us are directly effected by wars – particularly since our Commander in Chief didn’t want us to sacrifice a thing (remember we were supposed to carry on and go shopping). And third, anyone who dared to disagree on ANYTHING at that time was called “unpatriotic”. We were shamed with the question, “Don’t you remember 9/11?”, practically regardless of what you were opposing the Administration on (environmental, health, education polices).

    As a nation we really need to do some serious thinking about what is important to us and our place in the world – and be a bit more realistic about it. We need to apply the basic idea of how would I feel if they treated my that way?

    And the current round of howling Sunday morning talk shows blaming current policies and not accepting any blame shows that we aren’t there yet.

    • Fredlinskip

      Easy to be an armchair warrior promoting military solutions.
      Only many years later, when “Hens come home to roost” that SOME of these folks BEGIN to open their eyes… and hearts.

  • JBSpurr

    I sympathize with US vets of the Iraq War just as I did with those of the Vietnam War, but consider them victims, though second order victims since, first and foremost, the primary victims were the Iraqi people. From “Shock and Awe” on, our criminal, thoughtless invasion and botched CPA administration tore that place apart. One caller blithely describes “kicking in doors.” Every one of those countless thousands of doors kicked in represented one terrified Iraqi family that would never forget it, and that is the least of it. I heard a lot of illusions expressed today, and am sad that we cannot face the realities of George Bush’s terrible error.

  • nj_v2

    It makes every bit of sense that the service people who were involved in this mess are going to try every which way to rationalize and justify their own particular actions and role.

    But, as Tom is trying to get to with the Colonel calling in, the mission was impossible to begin with. Even if the invasion/occupation had not been sold on lies, distortion, and misinformation, the very idea that the U.S. can shoot its way into a country and impose some kind of western-y democracy on a completely different culture which the war mongers didn’t even understand.

    The service people are not at fault for this mess, but there’s really no way to call any of this a “success.”

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 — one also hears the indoctrination that the veterans went through coming out in their opinions, which is also perfectly understandable.

  • Jim

    It is not just Rumsfeld. Condaleeza Rice is one of the worse and most ignorant advisor in the history of the United States. Why Stanford would hire this ingorant b8tch is beyond anyone’s reasonable thought.

    • nj_v2

      Dropbox (file-sharing application) also put her on their board.

    • StilllHere

      don’t let your jealousy get the best of you

      • Jim

        i know stillhere i know.. i got rejected by the Stanford basketball team ‘cos they feel i was too slow… but i am quite happy to let out my anger and mojo on the court… our team beat Stanford basketball year after year.. but thanks for your thoughts.

        • StilllHere

          So not only didn’t you get hired by them, but you couldn’t even get into the school. No wonder you’re so upset about the accomplishments of a black woman. Get over it.

    • William

      You don’t like her because she is black.

      • Jim

        You are absolutely right slick willie. I Hate her because she is black and she does not know her roots and where she came from. If she did realize what a fool she made herself s8cking up to the white men, she might… she could… nah.. she would not want to go back.. ‘cos she feels like an empowered white b8tch.

        And another thing.. telling GW that Saddam Hussein is working for Al Qaeda is one of the biggest farce in American history… oh right, i get it. just fill in the dots and let him push the button to kill Saddam and his family. I mean who cares about who is going to get killed in the war.. as long as it is not any member of his family, right? we need to get rid of some voters who do not fit our party principles anyways…

  • amazonjn

    We who were protesting the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld avoiders of Viet Nam war drum beatings and Fox “news” convincing Americans S.H. was behind 9/11, and to let the inspections continue–failed. Our non-violent protests failed. We were flipped off, cursed, and the older women among us shoved by young male bullies. But we did not bleed. America only respects violence. We, the informed and skeptical and humanists feeling connected to all parties, urged for cooler, intelligent leadership. We are not violent. We are ignored.

    • DeJay79

      I feel you man, I was one of those who spoke, yelled, and railed against this horribly bad idea. Only to be called unpatriotic…

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    If the incessant and permanent wars America wages is a good thing, why don’t the Clintons, the Bushs, and the rest of the political D.C. tribe — campaign for the presidency in the wards of the VA hospitals throughout the country? Perhaps they can start in mine: VA Hospital Oakland.* Signed.. USN Veteran
    * Oakland is a section of the city of Pittsburgh where most of the hospitals and universities are located.

  • iccheap

    American public involved? It seemed that the most vocal, and informed, citizens were in opposition to military involvement. It didn’t translate to USA military policy.

    • Fredlinskip

      I don’t believe they shouted louder than the pro-War crowd.
      And they definitely weren’t taken seriously in the media.
      Nor have we were heard very loud apologies from media sources who publicized such a wealth of misinformation

      • december51933

        They weren’t heard because they were ignored. There is a difference.

        • anamaria23

          Or deemed traitors.

        • Fredlinskip

          Which means the blame should be placed where it deserves to be- on the media
          And on the NeoCons.
          And War hungry “Conservatives”.

  • J__o__h__n

    The politicians did exactly what the people wanted. The public was fickle. They couldn’t go to war soon enough for misplaced revenge over 9/11 and then turned on it when it became apparent that it would be a mess.

    • northeaster17

      The public was not fickle. we were already at war in Afghanistan. Until the nuts in charge figured we needed another country to shoot at, from there it was fraud

      • J__o__h__n

        I was only commenting on Iraq.

  • adks12020

    The American public I know didn’t want the Iraq war. Almost everyone I know was opposed to going into Iraq. Unfortunately our elected officials ignored the loud calls against the war.

    • december51933

      Just like they ignored the massive bank bail-outs. Our elected “leaders” do not represent us, only their pet capitalists.

  • OurTurn

    When is someone going to get to the elephant in the room…. OIL!!??
    Did we really go into Iraq to depose a tyrant and prop up an opposing religious government?

    • Fredlinskip

      Yeah what did we go in there for anyway- did the neocons ever decide yet?

  • nj_v2

    Whoa, last caller…a lot of us opposed and protested this thing from the beginning. I’m not sure what level of opposition would have been necessary to deterr the Bush criminal cabal from going through with their quick and easy little war.

    • TFRX

      Ask Max Clelland what a minimum level of opposition got one a decade ago.

  • Red

    I protested the start of the Iraq war along with thousands of other Americans. Unfortunately we Americans are largely buffered from our war adventurism and happily go about our “American Idol” lives without concern for the soldiers or civilians who are killed and maimed, or crassly the trillions of dollars wasted.

    Shocks me to suggest this but what we really need to do is reinstate the draft. Yes, the draft.

    It is too easy to let a subset of American citizens bear the brunt of our warmonger culture. If every family shared the risk of having a parent or child sent to war, there would be more accountability and more activism. And of course there should not be any or very limited deferments.

  • HonestDebate1

    ***Off Topic***

    Two more stunning defeats for Obama were just handed down by the SCOTUS.

    Please excuse the interruption, carry on.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      SCOTUS is wrong, again. These decisions will be overturned.

      • Godzilla the Intellectual

        Please elaborate.

    • J__o__h__n

      I hate that acronym. Court with the C capitalized is sufficient or Supreme Court.

      • Godzilla the Intellectual

        You have contributed nothing to the discussion.

        • 1Brett1

          Telling him so also contributes nothing to the discussion.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            And your comment does contribute to the discussion? LOL

          • 1Brett1

            LOL

            I make no claims, merely pointing out a fact.

          • J__o__h__n

            I think trying to keep needless acronyms out of the language is a contribution.

          • 1Brett1

            I agree. At least it makes more of a contribution than any of Godzilla’s comments have so far.

      • HonestDebate1

        I know you do J_o_h_n. And you hate the pop-ups bottom right too.

      • OurTurn

        I hate it, too. Too close to “scrotum.” However, it does seem at present, that our Supreme Court is regrettably and, frankly, dangerously, populated by a majority of persons possessing male genitalia, who are hell-bent on turning this country over to the ultra-wealthy, and kicking women back into the 1950′s.

    • jimino

      We have a judicial-activist, politically motivated Supreme Court majority, so such decisions aren’t surprising. But they have little to do with the legal principles that have typified that Court’s decisions throughout history.

      How many times does the lead to the story have to read: “for the first time in history, the Supreme Court has ruled . . . .” for you to get that?

      • hennorama

        jimino — Yes! Damn those from-the-bench-legislators!

        • northeaster17

          And from the right…….. crickets

          • hennorama

            northeaster17 –thank you for your response.

            Once in awhile, using Frank Luntz-ed focus-grouped terms is amusing, no?

    • StilllHere

      Pretty lame for a “constitutional scholar,” but more and more he’s showing his true calling is community disorganizer.

  • Godzilla the Intellectual

    If a group of ideological or religious extremists can’t practice tolerance of their fellow human beings, if they won’t rest until everyone is converted to their ideology or slaughtered, what do you do with people like that?

    Maturity is not easy. I hope we all make good decisions and examine our own assumptions and biases one by one.

    • warryer

      That statement is mighty intolerant of your fellow brother and sister “extremists.” Better take a good look in the mirror.

      • Godzilla the Intellectual

        ???

        • warryer

          You are saying the only people who deserve to be wiped off the earth are those who are not tolerant of their fellow man.

          Yet those people themselves are also humans.

          Therefore, you yourself are intolerant towards extremists and say they should be wiped off the earth. Making yourself one of those said extremists.

          Effectively you said you deserve to be wiped off the earth because you are intolerant of a certain group of people.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            Where in my post does it say ANYTHING like what you have claimed???

            Are you hallucinating?

          • jefe68

            He’s not saying eliminate them.

            He’s asking how do we deal with a group so extreme that they will wipe out entire towns, every man women, and child based on their ideology. ISIS is so extreme that Al-Qaeda has distanced themselves from them. That’s pretty extreme.

        • MrBigStuff

          Lol Godzilla, you have these “profound” statements that within moments of posting, several commentators have picked apart.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            How does your comment contribute anything of value to this discussion, MrBigStuff?

          • MrBigStuff

            It makes the assertion that you bloviate quite often.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            How is that assertion valuable?

        • warryer

          Yea okay. Edit your statements. I’m done with you.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            I edited the statement immediately after writing it. I had not even read your comment yet at that point.

            But I’m grateful you are done with me.

    • jefe68

      That’s a good question. I’m sure if you ask the people in the region they don’t want to be ruled by fanatics either.

  • Peter Van Erp

    Saturday was the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by Gavrilo Princip. No better illustration exists of the folly of trying to obtain justice through violence. Iraq is just the latest iteration. Of course, those beating the drums loudest for justice for 9/11 were somewhat compromised by their opportunity for personal gain via the arms industry.

    “Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public” – Cornel West

    • Godzilla the Intellectual

      I didn’t realize it was the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archdouche Ferdinand. Interesting.

    • jefe68

      It is profound, is it not? How the Balfour Agreement of 1926 is still so much in the mix.

  • Godzilla the Intellectual

    Rumsfeld doesn’t even know why the US military went into Iraq in the first place… Could it be that there are certain factions within the US republican party who believe the end times are near and have made decisions to try to hasten the “last days”?

    Or maybe it was just for oil.

    Regardless, the very best thing is to arm both sides of the conflict with weapons that have engineered obsolescence of three years. Let them make their own decisions about what to do with the weapons, and when three years is up, the weapons don’t work anymore.

  • HonestDebate1

    “We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We’re bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous… we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by and for the Iraqi people.

    The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done and then we will leave and we will leave behind a free Iraq.

    The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001 and still goes on.” -George Bush from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln (you know, the speech where he never said “Mission Accomplished”)

    • HonestDebate1

      BTW, Obama has given his version of “mission accomplished” (Al Qaeda is decimated) over 30 times. Any problem with that?

    • Godzilla the Intellectual

      I guess you better get busy then. Because most of us aren’t interested in being involved.

      • HonestDebate1

        We don’t get the luxury of making that decision, the terrorists do. They are already at war with us.

        • Godzilla the Intellectual

          Then use drones.

          Don’t let ANY American soldiers die.

          NONE!

        • jefe68

          How many Americans have been killed or wounded by terrorist acts in the last few years? More US citizens have died in tornados in Oklahoma in 2014 than in terrorist attacks.

          Fighting terrorism using the military is a huge. It’s police work, as in the FBI and the CIA and counterintelligence.

          You can’t defeat terrorism. You can control it and work to lesson the severity of the attacks.

          Funny how you don’t seem to be to concerned with the fact that more Iraqi’s are the victims of terrorism than we are.

        • jimino

          Then why haven’t you enlisted?

          • laurabien

            (*crickets*)

        • laurabien

          They are? (looks out of window). I don’t see any enemy soldiers in these parts. You mean they’re in your neck of the woods? I’ll keep an eye out, though.

    • anamaria23

      One Iraq Vet in an op-ed (can’t remember where) stated that it would take five more years and 25,000 troops to accomplish what you say. The American people are not willing to send their children and perhaps grandchildren on such a mission.
      Do you expect anything of the Iraqi people and it’s leaders? We gave our all for eight years. We owe them not one more young American soldier’s life.

      • HonestDebate1

        We have 50K in Japan. A presence in Iraq does not mean dramatically more combat deaths. IT means less. Keeping the peace is way easier than procuring it.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Is there any real need for troops to keep the peace in Japan?

          • jefe68

            Nope, and the US is closing and moving the Marine base in Okinawa.
            It’s still going to be on Okinawa, but a large part of the base is moving to Guam.

            It’s not the same thing as we are not fighting with the Japanese Imperial Army anymore.

          • HonestDebate1

            Ask Obama.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I am asking you.

            Are there any warring parties in Japan? Or any massive religious factions that are killing each other? Who was the colonial power who set arbitrary borders?

        • jimino

          Our troops are not in Japan to control Japan. Do you honestly not understand the difference between the role of troops stationed in Japan and those deployed in Iraq?

          • keltcrusader

            there isn’t much that he understands

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      The sign behind him on camera said it.

    • 1Brett1

      Yeah, just the banner over his head said that. He did say that they had accomplished what they set out to do, using the word “accomplished”; it was played on air on On Point this morning. Of course, you left that part out of what you quoted.

      Either way, your obsession with whether or not he actually said it focuses on such a trivial thing. The fact is that the whole thing on the the deck of the ship was a propaganda/photo op piece designed to give Americans a sense of being victorious and making significant progress, etc.

      • HonestDebate1

        He made quite clear the mission was not accomplished.

        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated”
        “Al Qaeda is decimated” – Barrack Obama

        • jefe68

          Grow up.

        • jimino

          It is. Only to be replaced by another similar entity, ISIS, like our Mujaheddin were followed by al Qaeda. And just like ISIS will be replaced by some other entity once it is under control.

          • JGC

            I think ISIS has changed its name to “The Islamic State”, to improve their brand and sales…

          • 1Brett1

            I think their license plates actually do say that: “Iraq, The Islamic State.”

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 — is the state motto “Nothing Without the Deity,” (like CO) or “We Dare Defend Our Rights,” (like AL)?

        • Fredlinskip

          I think your brain is skipping…
          And you lost a few cookies.

        • northeaster17

          Troll

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t list all 32.

  • OurTurn

    George W. Bush actually made a joke out of not finding any WMD in Iraq. During a speech he gave, he showed a video of himself looking for WMD under his desk, etc., and not finding any anywhere. He flippantly said something like, “Well, they must be around here somewhere.” His audience chuckled.
    I would have to research again the occasion of that speech, but I have to ask, WHY has he not been made to account for making a JOKE of the very reason HE and his minions took this country into war!!?? What kind of man makes a joke over the mass slaughter of so many of our men and women and Iraqi people? What does this say about our country when we allow our leaders to escape scrutiny of such repulsive and abhorrent behavior?

    • jimino

      It was the occasion of the White House press dinner, the most complete gathering of elitist, self-proclaimed experts, most of whom were cheerleading dupes for the Iraq invasion and occupation.

    • harverdphd

      “mass slaughter” is a trifle over the top

      • OurTurn

        Oh, so tens of thousands isn’t enough to satisfy?

        • OurTurn

          In any case, I’m glad to hear that my comment is just “a trifle” over the top.
          Accuracy is important when you are counting war dead. Oh, and don’t forget about the tens of thousands wounded. Another “trifle,” I suppose.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      Morals and ethics are irrelevant to a devout Christian wrapped in a flag fighting for freedom. They can do anything they damn well please to heathen barbarians who’s lives are of no value to the corporations that pull their strings.

      • OurTurn

        The irony and sarcasm in your comment are duly noted. Religion and politics are inseparable. Religion has always been a used as a means to exert power over and control of populations. Religion, at its worst, does not welcome critical thinkers.

  • ianway

    There is nothing I despise more in the eternal dynamics of waging war
    than this disingenuous after-the-fact soul searching. It is every bit as
    much a part of the mechanisms that guarantees future wars as anything
    else. It’s too late; there are hundreds of thousands of men, women, and
    children who would be here today who are not here because of our
    unilateral actions. Their blood is on our hands. There were millions of
    us around the world, completely unacknowledged in discussions like this,
    who did our duty as thinking and moral human beings with free will to
    A) to put forward the idea that killing is ALWAYS wrong, that war should
    ALWAYS only be a last resort B) to help a careless and gullible
    American public to see the monstrosity of the lies being fed us once
    more C) march and vote and petition our political leaders to stop the
    war before it began. But the voice of conscience has little power against the carefully-nurtured mythologies of Military
    Duty and oh-so-glorious sacrifice for God and Country. The minute the
    bombing started, many people predicted EXACTLY the outcome of what’s
    happening in Iraq today. Oh well; let’s not think too much about that. We can’t help it that people in other places are so primitive, have such crazy ideas about religion, don’t value human life the way we do. Say, did you hear? There’s a sale on TV’s at WalMart!

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      War is not the answer.

      http://fcnl.org/

      • Godzilla the Intellectual

        I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment, but as someone else noted, the terrorists are already at war with the United States.

        Whether that is because of manipulation or because of their own ideology, at this point that is how they feel.

        So, what solution do you propose?

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Has fighting them militarily helped? I think it has made it far worse.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            You would rather just convert to Islam???

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Yes, let’s just all convert – that will solve it…

            Why are you suggesting crazy things?

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            My personal ethics don’t stop me from “officially” converting to any religion to get a scholarship or special treatment.

            But that is because I have such disdain for others I don’t care what they think.

            Privately though, I am secure in my faith and understanding of existence and my place in it.

            However, having to abide by Muslim law is another story.

            That will never happen. E V E R.

            Because Muslim law is banal and idiotic.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            What crazy thing did I suggest?

            You said fighting them militarily has made the situation far worse.

            But at this point, NOT fighting them militarily is likely to lead to more 9/11 situations.

            “Death to America” and all that jazz.

            ISIS even said, and I quote, “We’ll see you in New York.”

            Therefore, what do you suggest?

            What solution do you propose?

            Here is one: WIPE THE TERRORISTS OFF THE MAP.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Iraq had *nothing* to do with September 11th.

            Using our military has made it more likely that Islamists will have their way.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            it was reported that Islamic Extremists from Isis have said “We’ll see you in New York.”

          • laurabien

            Lots of people all over the world dislike the U.S. So someone allegedly said “we’ll see you in New York.” So what? Now we have all of our lovely TSA restrictions plus our intelligence operations. Shouldn’t that suffice?

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            Suffice how???

            Did the TSA and intelligence community stop the Boston Marathon bombing?

            NO.

            Maybe the Islamic (extremist) state should be wiped from the face of the Earth, since they don’t know how to live and let live.

            The bottom line is you are not dealing with people who simply dislike the US… You are dealing with people who see all non-muslims as infidels who don’t deserve to live.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            That is what they want. Do you know nothing about Islamic fundamentalism. They are just like the christian crusaders from medieval times.

            They see themselves as offering light in the darkness – in their eyes, if you don’t convert, you are an infidel and should be wiped from the Earth.

            It is crazy to suggest a non-militaristic approach WON’T embolden them.

            YOU ARE CRAZY.

          • northeaster17

            Using your logic, if we proclaim we will wipe them off the map or turn the sand to glass, does that give them the right to attack us? When a guy says Ill see you in NY or a mob chants death to America how can that give us the right to start killing them if we can not handle blow back our own words

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            The difference is simple.

            They believe killing infidels is not a sin.
            They believe dying for their religion is a holy act.

            They will never stop until they kill or convert everyone on Earth.

            Last time I checked, Americans valued freedom of religion and separation of church and state.

            As a survivor of 9/11 (I was in New York) I don’t EVER want suicide bombers in the US.

            All our intelligence and spying on our own citizens, wasn’t able to stop the Boston Marathon bombings.

            So, at the end of the day, you tell me, what are you supposed to do with someone who won’t ever stop until they kill or convert you???

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            What are you supposed to do with someone who won’t EVER stop until they kill or convert you, who believes killing infidels is not a sin and dying for their beliefs will get them into heaven?

        • jefe68

          Using as much counter terrorism tactics that we can muster. There is no other way to do this. Boots on the ground does little to stop terrorism and in the long run one would think it only gives people more reasons to hate the US and make it worse.

        • jimino

          Are the ones at war with us the ones who are killing the other ones who are at war with us, who are also killing the other ones who are at war with us? To which “terrorists” are you referring?

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            ALL OF THEM.

          • jimino

            They’re killing each other. You want us to stop that? Or pick sides in their fight? What are you suggesting?

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            I already said in this thread, Arm ALL sides of the conflict with substantial weapons that are engineered to fail after exactly 30 months.

      • Fredlinskip

        Only bumper sticker I have had on any of my vehicles since ’01

        • Godzilla the Intellectual

          What if someone declares war on you?

          • Fredlinskip

            If a nation declares War on America or a country tries to take over Europe and eliminate all Jews- those would definitely be good cases for War.
            Let’s use our National Defense for our defense for a change and concentrate on our own “house” for a while, Aye?
            I notice we have a few unresolved domestic issues.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            You have ignored my question.

          • Fredlinskip

            Perhaps you need to rephrase it.
            Pardon me, but it seems to have gone “over my head”.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            It’s irrelevant at this point.

          • Fredlinskip

            All righty then

    • OurTurn

      Amen.

    • StilllHere

      What size tvs?

  • OurTurn

    Here’s a link to the video of George W. Bush making a joke out of not finding WMD in Iraq. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvliUuXjbL4

    • hennorama

      For those who don’t want to wade through all of Pres. Bush II’s lame jokes in the clip above, the pertinent part begins at about 5:05, and runs to about 6:05.

      • StilllHere

        If only you could do the same and help us wade through the lame portions of your posts to the pertinent part.

        • hennorama

          Stilllhere — the lliterall nature of your moniker becomes more unfortunate by the day.

          FYI: both the above and this are the pertinent part of my post.

    • StilllHere

      That’s what he gets for listening to Clinton.

      • northeaster17

        He didn’t listen to Clinton. He listened to Cheney Wolfowitz, Chalabil and so many other Neocons. That is what made all the difference. Clinton was never that much of a pushover.

        • StilllHere

          Clinton talked about WMDs and warned generally about Iraq.

          • anamaria23

            Could you enlighten us again on why Clinton DIDN’T invade Iraq when approached by the NEO’s to do so in 1998?

          • jefe68

            This guys a troll. Ignore.

          • StilllHere

            First enlighten us about the approach and details of Clinton’s response.

          • Samuel Walworth
          • Satwa

            @anamaria23:disqus
            I would think because Clinton wasn’t dumb enough to enter a war unilaterally without the UN. He would have had no support by the UN at that time.
            Bush going without world support, had 2 effects. 1. An endless quagmire. 2. The distrust of America by most countries in the world. Bush alienated the world from America, and America will take at least another decade to heal those rifts. (Afghanistan was made much harder for the UN , because of the Iraq War, and the resulting distrust by many American allies, so don’t use that as anecdotal evidence.)

          • StilllHere

            But he had world support.

          • jimino

            Yeah, if by “the world” you mean England and Poland. It certainly did not include all those French fry eaters.

          • Samuel Walworth

            Forgot about those massive marches AGAINST the US invasion of Iraq, around the world?

          • StilllHere

            No, don’t remember that, but I do remember the Congressional votes and the troops and coordination of many countries.

          • pete18

            He had 70% of the American public supporting him at the time of the invasion.

          • jimino

            Yes, they were the same ignorami that connected 9-11 to Iraq. That includes you, doesn’t it?

          • pete18

            If you’d like to castigate 70% of the public supporting something you can, but the question was what support did Bush have to go to war and there is the answer. He had 70% of the American public and the majority in both houses, which ncluded many major democrats like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Never did the Bush administration argue that Saddam was responsible for 9/11, but they did argue, rightfully so, that he had committed genocide against his own people, used WMD in the past against his own people, had come very close to developing a nuke in the past, had started a war against two sovereign nations and was thought to have been developing WMD by both our intelligence agencies and most of our allies. Just to name a few of the reasons.

            And yes, I though Iraq could have been responsible for 9/11 when I was
            speculating about it on 9/12, along with many other possible suspects. But never after it was to determined to have been Osama Bin Laden. But I did support the Iraq war for the reasons listed above.

            But don’t let any of that stop you from using your trite talking points.

          • jimino

            I hardly think that over 2/3 of our country being utterly uninformed about the basis for sending their fellow citizens off to war to be a trite talking point. No, it’s a historical fact and, hopefully, a lesson for similar decisions in the future.

          • pete18

            Translation: 2/3 of the country are idiots and shouldn’t be listened to when they support something I disagree with, but are enlightened and the voice of democracy when 40% of them supported Obama or the fiasco that is the health care law.

          • StilllHere

            It always works that way with these guys.

          • hennorama

            jimino — wait … you mean there was no such person as Osaddama bin Ladensein?

          • pete18

            Because it was before 9/11.

          • Samuel Walworth

            Clinton was repeatedly snubbed by the Congress (Republicans) on the thought of capturing Bin Laden (what will a caveman can do?), in fact, Clinton’s ONLY fault was that, he sought the permission to use Pakistani Air Space to attack Bin Laden, using missiles from the Navy in Arabian Sea, deep inside Pakistan.

            As we now know that, the word got out to the coward, and he escaped, else, Clinton would have eliminated the 9/11 before even it happened.

      • jimino

        Shoulda’ listened to him about bin Laden.

  • Godzilla the Intellectual

    Will someone please explain to me why this is even an issue in the first place?

    I mean, DEPLOY THE DRONES AND BE DONE WITH IT.

    • hennorama
    • hennorama

      Godzilla the Intellectual — pardon me for asking about a minor detail:

      “DEPLOY THE DRONES” against whom and what, exactly? And of course, why, exactly?

      • Godzilla the Intellectual

        Against ISIS, and specifically, the regimen who said, “We’ll see you in New York.”

        • hennorama

          Godzilla the Intellectual — TYFYR.

          Uh huh.

          And pray tell exactly how we are to determine exactly who are members of ISIS, and are part of “the regimen who said, ‘We’ll see you in New York.’ “?

          And repeating, why, exactly, should the US “DEPLOY THE DRONES” against them, assuming they could be discreetly identified, of course.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            With the surveillance drones, and spy satellites, they can even see through buildings using therm etc.

            The pentagon knows who are members of ISIS.

            Isn’t it obvious. Islamic extremists will NEVER stop until they kill or convert the entire world to their ideology.

          • hennorama

            Godzilla the Intellectual — TYFYR.

            For the sake of argument, let’s say your premise, that “Islamic extremists will NEVER stop until they kill or convert the entire world to their ideology,” is correct. What is the utility of the US, a [principally] Judeo-Christian nation, using its military to kill “Islamic extremists,” thereby engendering even more anti-American sentiment?

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            I should never have gotten involved in this debate in the first place.

            I wasn’t there. I don’t know who said or did what.

            Since I don’t know, I can’t comment.

          • hennorama

            Godzilla the Intellectual — if you insist …

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            The only thing I am certain of when it comes to the American mIlitary, is that I can’t trust what I hear in the media.

          • Fredlinskip

            It seems Godzilla is a disappearing species-
            Perhaps that’s what happens when you speak first and think later.

            Or… Perhaps it’s encouraging that during a conversation a person will begin to learn enough to go back and erase his/her comments.
            I have respect for people who are capable of learning and can admit mistakes.

          • Charles

            Ah, so that what the three-dots means?
            I’ve been curious, I thought Godzilla meant us to wait by while he finished his thoughts (several times today).

          • hennorama

            Fredlinskip — thank you for your response.

            While I’m not sure one should characterize the removal of these comments as “learning” or “admit[ing] mistakes,” there is something positive implied in their removal.

            Interestingly, one can still infer the contents of [Godzilla the Intellectual]‘s now-disappeared comments, based on my replies to them.

            It also demonstrates how questioning may provoke actual thought, which is indeed a good thing.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • Fredlinskip

            If Ben Franklin’s autobiography is an indication, the asking question strategy was what he would often employ.

          • jimino

            One exhibits such enlightening by saying “I stand corrected”, not running and hiding.

          • hennorama

            jimino — right.

            It’s much more intellectually honest to leave the comment intact, so the reader can see any evolution of one’s position.

          • MrBigStuff

            You have to ignore him. He drones on and on about nothing.

          • hennorama

            MrBigStuff — thank you for your response.

            If someone is willing to engage on a topic, as [Godzilla the Intellectual] was in this case, such engagement can prove enlightening and/or entertaining for both the active participants and passive readers.

            Ergo, it is valuable.

            In much the same way, ignorance is rarely blissful.

            Thanks again for your response.

  • JGC

    From the Dead Confederates blog, by Andy Hall, “We haven’t learned a damn thing, have we?”, an interesting comparison between the situation in Iraq and the Reconstruction period in the US post Civil War

    http://deadconfederates.com/2014/06/18/we-havent-learned-a-damn-thing-have-we

    It is actually a posting of an excerpt of a writing from Jarret Ruminski. Also read the comments in the discussion area at the end of the post.

  • OurTurn

    When you watch the video, notice the audience’s full-throated hilarity when Bush makes reference to WMD for the second time during the slide show. Who ARE these people that they would find this FUNNY!!!???

    • JGC

      “Fool me once, shame on…shame on you; Fool me twice…you won’t fool me again…” or somethin’ like that…

      • harverdphd

        “Fool me twice; shame on me,” is the saying, but what’s your point?

        • OurTurn

          Forgive me JGC, for stepping in to offer an explanation of your post, but I can’t help offer my explanation for your post by way of quoting another adage: Stupid is as stupid does. Perhaps, harverdphd, you are unaware of how George W. made a complete mess of the “fool me once…” saying during one of his speeches. Just one more example of his ineptitude, on so many levels. George W. Bush has surely secured a place in history as a bumbling stooge, the front man for an administration with some of the most disastrous foreign policies ever.

          • Fredlinskip

            Wish I could vote “early and often”, up on this comment.

          • pete18

            For some perspective:

            “But a new CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday indicates a milestone of sorts: Obama is now as unpopular as Bush. Fifty-one percent have an unfavorable view of Bush; 51% feel the same way about Obama. Obama’s favorable rating is now at 47% – a new low for him, and virtually identical to Bush’s 46% favorable rating, a significant improvement over his 2009 numbers.”

            http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/12/cnnorc-poll-bush-now-on-par-with-obama/

        • hennorama

          harverdphd — from Slate.com’s The top 25 Bushisms of all time.:

          12. “There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.”—Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

          See:
          http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/bushisms/2009/01/ws_greatest_hits.html

          • OurTurn

            Yes, you found it! Apparently, George was reverting to his days as a somewhat dubious Who fan.

          • OurTurn

            The Who, that is.

          • hennorama

            OurTurn — thank you for your response.

            Bushisms have been compiled and published for years, and this particular example is quite well-known.

            Pres. Bush II definitely was reverting to something there, and he has definitely proven himself to be a fanatic on some topics.

          • Human2013

            I thought it was nationwide, no just in TX.

          • hennorama

            Human 2013 — thank you for your response.

            Well, of course Texas was its own nation (the Republic of Texas) for a few years, from 1836 until joining the U.S. in 1845.

            Even today, some Texans believe Texas is, or should be, its own nation. Remember the OP show about possible Texas secession, with the attendant flood of comments from pro-secessionists? That was a doozy.

          • harverdphd

            My favorite Bushism was “I did not have sex with that woman”

          • hennorama

            harverdphd — if you were attempting to communicate something to me, you have failed completely.

            Care to explain your comment?

          • StilllHere

            And, “Depends on what the meaning of is is.”

      • hennorama

        JGC — here’s an “On Point” Bushism, from Slate.com’s The Complete Bushisms

        “I fully understand those who say you can’t win this thing militarily. That’s exactly what the United States military says, that you can’t win this military.”—on the need for political progress in Iraq, Washington, D.C., Oct. 17, 2007

        See:
        http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/bushisms/2000/03/the_complete_bushisms.3.html (page 3)

    • Human2013

      They clapped at Letting an uninsured man die during the GOP debates….can you see the trend.

  • hennorama

    It seems that ISIS (now “The Islamic State”) has been astro-turfing, with some of their followers going on social media to “Demand ISIS declare a caliphate!”

    Which of course, was later followed by ISIS declaring the “restoration of the caliphate!”

    Wherever did they learn these techniques?

    • jefe68

      Seriously you jest?

      • hennorama

        jefe68 — yes, my question is in jest.

        • jefe68

          Just checking…

    • Godzilla the Intellectual

      And they are building mini-golf courses complete with model windmills…

  • Godzilla the Intellectual

    Arm ALL sides of the conflict with large numbers of substantial weapons that are engineered to fail after exactly 30 months.

    Then, after 30 months, build schools.

  • ce373

    Americans must realize that Islam is as much a government as it is a religion and entities of Islam that have the most power will try to force it on anyone/thing that it can over power by whatever means necessary with the Koran upholding those behaviors and takeovers.

    Sometimes, it is good to let people experience the ramifications of
    their belief systems; the trouble with Islam is that it can be so
    merciless!

    Religion is people seeking after God(s); it is all about doing. Christianity is just the opposite, it is about the Great Triune God of the Bible seeking after people; it is all about done, it was done on the Cross, it is about Grace … etc. Christianity is all about the possibility of a Relationship with the Great Triune God of the Bible!

    • tbphkm33

      WOW – that’s a little of “my s#@t smells better than your s#@t.

      Lets not forget that christianity brought us untold horrors and misery for some 500 years during the Dark Ages. Where often the church stepped in to replace the state – thus being a government.

      Even today, in the United States, christians try to influence government laws and court rulings based on their religiously based superstitions.

      No, if you want to paint Islam as evil, that is a brush that can just as easily paint christianity as evil.

  • pm05

    We DID yell! We did say that this war was wrong! Nobody listened. Bush wanted to play commander in chief and this is the price. To NOT have this happen again – don’t have a “Bush” ever again in office!

    • StilllHere

      Maybe, but you’re always yelling, so nobody pays attention to you.

      • Satwa

        @StillHere
        Bill O’Reilly and the the Nazis at Fox News were the ones shouting at people. Bill O’Reilly literally shouting at the top of his voice “SHUT-UP”, “SHUT-UP” at his guests on his extremist propaganda show if they disagreed with anything about the invasion.

        • StilllHere

          He’s on tv, turn the volume down.

      • TFRX

        Keep JAQIng it, pal.

    • Fredlinskip

      I’d settle for no GOP prez and no GOP majority in House or Senate for a few decades.

  • Satwa

    The reason that the Bush Admin. made for the war, WMDs, was not even mentioned in this show. The mission was not to ‘create democracy’ as the whole show implies, it was to get WMDs, which was a fabricated story made up by the American fanatics.

    • StilllHere

      Saddam said he had WMD, so did Clinton and British intel; then there’s the dead Kurds.

      • anamaria23

        But, the inspectors did not find any and the invasion started before they had finished their job.

        • StilllHere

          That didn’t seem to convince politicians, diplomats, intelligence officials or previous and potential victims.

          • S David H de Lorge

            Evidently you haven’t paid any attention about what many politicians, diplomats, and intelligence officials actually said at the time — that evidence for WMD could not be found with any certainty, that regular air sorties had already pounded Iraq’s facilities, and that it would be a bad pretext to invade the country.

            Denial may make you feel better, but it is a poor strategy for future action.

          • StilllHere

            There more who were in favor than against.

          • Fredlinskip

            There was a preponderance of stupidity in the guise of patriotism in the media blitz Americans were deluged with during the buildup to the War.
            Some saw through it.
            Not many.
            Some gave our gov benefit of doubt, assuming that U.S. intelligence had hard evidence, that it turned out they never had.

            Iraq War served it’s purpose- it caused a GOP take over in House of Reps, served the causes of our Defense Industry, drained our National Treasury to serve the economic interests of a few wealthy “players” (including oil industry), and insured the longevity of Bush admin and tax breaks for the wealthy (we were going to pay for the War with all the oil contracts we got out of it- remember?)

          • StilllHere

            Intel is not a business of clear truths, maybe everything is black and white in your world.

          • Fredlinskip

            In Iraq War’s case INTERPRETATION of intel was a case of clear and deliberate distortion, to serve the interests of an admin determined to go to War.

          • StilllHere

            Clear and deliberate distortion? Prove it.

          • Fredlinskip

            Aluminum tubes, Iraq ties to Al Qaeda, Yellow Cake, mobile chemical factories, Anthrax, etc., etc.,
            I’m not going to do your homework- research these issues and get back to me.

          • jimino

            You keep asking someone to do this, but when everything you claim is true turns out to be false, the evidence of deceit is overwhelming unless explained away. That’s how things work, even in a court of law.

          • S David H de Lorge

            Oh, so you didn’t mean your claims to be so categorical? Well, now maybe you’re in a better position to start quibbling about the numbers and percentages (and at what ranks). Just not with me. I don’t care to quibble. I do care to get a fairly reliable handle on reality, but can meet that need elsewhere.

          • Fredlinskip

            Just a tip-I wouldn’t get too invested in the comments of SH.
            They are generally one liners with little depth and he/she seems to express little empathy for anyone or anything except the needs of 1%ers.

          • S David H de Lorge

            Thank you. I seem to get stuck as a sucker around here more often than I’d expect for such a tough guy as myself. Your words of caution will remain welcome.

          • harverdphd

            We know.

          • S David H de Lorge

            Oh my!

          • harverdphd

            The 1% is a myth.

          • Fredlinskip

            2%ers?

          • jefe68

            Ignore the troll. He’s not worth it.

          • S David H de Lorge

            Thanks. Please keep on reminding me.

      • TFRX

        Keep JAQing off, bub.

        • StilllHere

          JAQ yourself, loser.

          • JGC

            What does this JAQ mean? I have been in Canada for decades, and I do not understand. Is it in anyway related to the mysterious meaning of a “Hoober Doober”?

          • jefe68

            It’s a way of telling someone to f off.

          • hennorama

            JGC — S’il vous plaît, permettez-moi:
            Per urbandictionary.com

            JAQing off

            JAQing off
            The act of asking leading questions to influence your audience, then hiding behind the defense that they’re “Just Asking Questions,” even when the underlying assumptions are completely insane.
            “Did Obama kidnap and murder Natalee Holloway, then dump her body into the ocean?”
            “Quit JAQing off.”

            See:
            http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=JAQing+off

            As to Hoober Doober, I can only speculate. Both “hoober” and “doober” are colloquialisms for a marijuana cigarette, but putting them together makes little sense. OTOH, a “hoobedoo” is a small, unknown object, and Hoober Doober might be an extention. Or, it might be a personal designation/signoff, or complete gibberish

  • Fredlinskip

    I notice that in our infancy, the citizens of our country weren’t real keen on having a “standing army“.
    The constitution makes no mention.
    It does however mention the need of militias to be at “beck and call” of Congress should an invasion or uprising occur. (As an aside, this seems to be the most apparent reason of inclusion of a 2nd amendment).

    What right, do we have as a nation to generate such a heavy-handed approach to World affairs, when we clearly cannot handle our domestic affairs? What example do we set, to maintain such dysfunctional government and where so many looming domestic issues go unaddressed.

    Perhaps it’s time for us to go back to our roots and reserve National Defense for our national defense and concentrate on our own issues.
    We should lead by example and encourage other countries to handle, with some help, their own issues- including “terrorism”.

    Terrorism is a crime- it’s not a War.

  • S David H de Lorge

    One way in which Iraq will not look like Vietnam is this:

    The Powell Doctrine was developed in the US military out of the Vietnam war. The Powell Doctrine centered on planning to go in with overwhelming strength if you were going in at all. The Powell Doctrine wasn’t there when the US entered a new kind of war in Vietnam.

    When the US started the war in Iraq, the Powell Doctrine was fully accepted by the US military. Powell himself was Secretary of State, and trying to remind Rumsfeld, Bush, Condaleeza Rice and company (he probably had given up on Cheney) of the reasons for the Powell Doctrine, but he was a good soldier and team player, so he got up and said what he was told to. General Shinseki, hesitantly, testified to Congress (and the Executive Branch watching on TV) that invasion would require several hundred thousand troops, in keeping with the Powell Doctrine. He was treated dismissively and disrespectfully by civilian leadership. Forget the Powell Doctrine, was the lesson.

    What would the response have been to going back to war in Vietnam in 1975? How would it be different than going back into Iraq?

  • NewtonWhale

    I would like to take a moment and thank the Supreme Court for ensuring the election of Hillary Clinton as the first woman president in 2016.

    • hennorama

      NewtonWhale — that’s way off topic, but the sign in the image is hilarious.

      “BACON FLAVORED!!”

      • John Cedar

        The fact that you claim to find that is funny, reminds me that I need to do some Googling on the science of humor.

        Now…Calvin urinating on a Chevy, THAT’S funny.

        • hennorama

          John Cedar — TYFYR.

          I quoted the hilarious part — “AND BACON FLAVORED!” (I couldn’t put in the representation of bacon slices, which added to the humor, in retrospect.)

          In an effort to save you some research time, please allow an explanation:

          At its most basic, humor is in some way unexpected.

          The rest of the sign’s wording was mundane, followed by the unexpected. “BACON!!”

          In the same way, one would expect Hobbes (in his live incarnation) to be “urinating on a Chevy,” and not Calvin. And of course, Ford owners could find a different reason to be amused.

          Thanks again for your response.

        • HonestDebate1
          • jefe68

            Grow up.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m with John Cedar, that’s funny.

          • 1Brett1

            Why wouldn’t your sense of humor have the same arrested development as every other aspect of your personality?

    • harverdphd

      Explain.

    • Guest

      Hillary becoming President in 2016 is about as likely as the IRS handing over the two years worth of emails to the White House that were deleted.

    • StilllHere

      … of Iraq hopefully.

  • MrBigStuff

    This whole thing is a perfect example of the fallacy behind the Bush and Obama Administration’s belief in a Jeffersonian Democracy complete with iPads and milk processing plants springing up in Iraq just because we threw a big ball of cash at the country.
    The 3 million dollar “Mobile Max” osmosis machine project- all of which broke or were stolen by Al-Qaeda
    The multimillion dollar milk processing plant in Yusufiyah that was never used and eventually rusted out.
    $25,000 on an art show in Doura
    Thousands spent on introducing Iraq to the joys of the 4-H Club.
    The multimillion dollar sewage treatment plant in Narawah that doesn’t treat sewage because the Iraqis wouldn’t run 200 meters of power lines into the plant.

    The Bush Admin. and State Dept. was under the impression that rebuilding Iraq is like playing “The Sims” or a “Total War” game

  • Guest

    Obama’s foreign policy is just as disastrous and misguided as his domestic policy.

    Overall, Obama is pretty stupid, but unfortunately, he’s barely competent enough to be very dangerous.

  • hennorama

    My apologies in advance for being off topic:

    DISQUS is now notifying users “when others upvote your comments.”

    Oh. Joy.

    • JGC

      I am already salivating like Pavlov’s dog…. make that like Disqus’ dog….

      Pant, pant…..

      • hennorama

        JGC — TYFYR.

        Perhaps that will come in handy, as your pants are on fire.

  • Guest

    ​Leaked tape has Polish FM comparing ties with US to giving oral sex

    http://rt.com/news/167740-poland-us-alliance-worthless/

    • hennorama

      “Guest” — go ahead and come clean already.

      Like ISIS, you’ve recently changed your name, from [X Y & Z] and previously, from [Jay], [(Un)InformedAmerican], and others.

    • JGC

      Dear Guest aka ImpeachObama,

      Please immediately release XY&Z back to this forum. I can now guarantee you will have full custody of all remaining Guantanamo detainees, plus I will throw in their prayer mats to sweeten the deal.

      Final offer.

      • hennorama

        JGC — for me, the use of rt.com as a “source” is a dead giveaway.

    • HonestDebate1

      When asked, he would not confirm nor deny the report. It’s totally plausible.

  • tfarhat

    1) In Afghanistan we supported the Jihadists who incubate Al-Qaida

    2) In Iraq we supported Saddam who turned against us

    3) In Syria we support “moderate” Jihadists who incubate ISIL.

    The lessons are quite clear:

    1) Our policies are nearsighted.

    2) They are Policies determined by those who do not have skin in the game, don’t know history, and have cognitive biases.

    Then we act surprised!

    • Fredlinskip

      Not so sure if it was as much “cognitive bias” as “cognitive dysfunction”.
      Our Commander & Chief has the power to surround himself with the best and brightest in the world, yet the people chosen to fit these positions, at least for sure in W’s case, seem to fall a bit short.

  • HonestDebate1

    With all due respect to the guest’s service, this notion that we were sold a false premise about being greeted as liberators, is whacked. And now it’s become conventional wisdom, how does this stuff gain traction?

    President Bush laid out a grand vision for the Middle East. He and Mr. Cheney said over and over how hard and long the struggle would be regarding the war on terror. (Mr. Ashbrook should be ashamed of himself for the cherry-picked sound byte from the USS Lincoln and the commentary that misled his audience). War is hell, everyone knows that.

    Mr. Cheney gave his opinion on Meet the Press. And you know what? He was right, the Iraqi’s did greet us as liberators (remember the statue and purple fingers). And we did liberate them, so there’s that too. It was what happened after that from outside forces where thing got dicey. So if you want to criticize our not anticipating it, fine but we were told it was no walk in the park.

    It’s not like America would have been vehemently against the invasion but since Cheney said we would be greeted as liberators we said, “okay, fine”.

    The same guest went on to trash Rumsfeld. Terrific.

    • JGC

      Wasn’t the pulling down of the Saddam statue found to have been rigged, like a photo-op, sort of like the Jessica story to enthrall the patriots ? That is my recollection.

      • HonestDebate1

        If it was it worked on me. I never heard that and don’t see how it could ave been rigged.

        Hussein was a tyrant, speak against the government and he would rip out your tongue.They had public executions on the soccer fields. There were rape rooms and torture chambers. It does make sense that the brutalized Iraqis would’ve appreciated some relief.

        • JGC

          I think we need a fact-checker over here in aisle 3 about the statue …

          • hennorama

            JGC — from NPR.org, on the 5th anniversary of Iraq War II, a piece titled:

            Reminder: Saddam Statue Was Toppled by Psy-Ops

            One should read/listen to the piece, then form one’s own conclusion, but a fair description might be that the toppling of the statue was an opportunistically managed video/photo op, of an event that began spontaneously.

          • 1Brett1

            Wouldn’t one think that a person who HONESTLY listens to political radio morning, noon and night would have at least HONESTLY heard of this?

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 –TYFYR.

            Perhaps, especially when one considers his status as an Omniscient One, with a “forrest” [sic] worldview.

            But I could be wrong. After all, every day is Opposite Day, based on [Debates?NotHe]‘s moniker, right?

          • JGC

            Thanks for this; sorry I was in a rush last evening and somewhat imperiously asked for help in finding facts to back up my perceptions… as usual, hennorama, you find ones of great interest. In the end, through reading a very long and detailed ProPublica piece on the subject, I found my original recollection (of it being thoroughly staged by the military) to be unfounded, but perhaps the true story was worse: it was managed by the hungry media, at all levels: perhaps worst by Fox, but even NPR was on board trying to direct Anne Garrells to the more triumphant reading of the moment, instead of the more nuanced one she was a witness to.

            http://www.propublica.org/article/the-toppling-saddam-statue-firdos-square-baghdad

            Read every paragraph; there is a revelation in each one. In the end, when we as a viewing public were under such seige by all the media actors in this environment, it becomes harder to lay blame on anyone in the lay public for the resulting skewed perceptions that resonate to this day. You have to willfully put the blinders on to newer information, agreed; but this moment was promoted to have powerful impact, and it is very difficult to overcome that primitive first perception.

          • hennorama

            JGC — TY for your response, your very kind words, and the link.

            Recall too that in general, the media were reluctant to produce negative reporting, in part due to fear that the Bush II administration would cut off their access to administration sources, or their battlefield access (which was also rather limited).

            Thanks again.

          • HonestDebate1

            It looks to me like the crime was filming it. some people want very badly to squelch the notion that the Iraqi people wanted to be liberated so we get this “it was staged” nonsense.

            I remember watching it live, it was fascinating.

          • JGC

            This is one time I am sorry to be late in responding, I feel like I tossed a grenade into the discussion and then just disappeared. You may be right about the “crime” being to film it. I read a full “propublica” dissection of the event – really in depth and well documented- and one very major change in my perception of the event is that I had originally thought it was all managed as part of a military information/disinformation campaign. The military was there, yes, to take advantage of the moment, but the final read on the situation seems to be the statue pull-down was driven by the media’s need for photogenic moments and an heroic storyline- That will probably still not be satisfying for you and some others, but that seems to be what we were presented with. And, as described by the ProPublica reporting, yes, it mattered very much during that week in 2003 if you got your news via Fox vs. CNN vs. the major networks.

            http://www.propublica.org/article/the-toppling-saddam-hussein-statue-firdos-square-baghdad

          • HonestDebate1

            Here’s the thing, the Iraqi people were brutally oppressed. They were physically maimed and psychologically battered. For the average Iraqi there was no hope, there was only fear and pain.

            Further, Bush in his speech to the UN just before voting on Res. 1441 on Sept. 12, 2002 (when he made the case to the world) focused heavily on human rights abuses. People forget that but WMD was but just one factor.

            When we came in we were greeted as liberators. The Iraqis had a glimmer of hope. Their tyrant was defeated. The unbridled joy and sense of renewed empowerment bubbled over. That was real, very real.

            In my view there has been a concerted effort to bury that aspect and that is why Olbermann et al start these memes.

            The liberation of Iraq was a success, it’s what happened after that in the war on terror where thing went bookey. I analogize it to Katrina. The hurricane was bad but New Orleans survived. It was the aftermath when the levees gave in that the real problems started. And to be sure, it was bound to happen sooner or later. The longer the raging waterways bound by ever weakening levees were ignored the worse the problem was gong to be when they did break loose.

          • jefe68

            I think we need a mop and some serious disinfectant.

          • 1Brett1

            I don’t think supplying any kind of evidence–no matter its nature or substantiation–presenting information that suggests there may have been photo-ops played up to enhance perceptions of some sort of victorious moment would simply be dismissed out of hand no matter what…Dick Cheney could swear on a stack of pacemakers and that still would not be convincing enough. That’s just my perception, of course.

      • 1Brett1

        I would think that anyone who listens to political radio regularly would have at least heard of the stories about it being a bit staged.

        http://news.antiwar.com/2013/04/09/media-still-hype-staged-toppling-of-saddam-statue-as-genuine/

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firdos_Square_statue_destruction#Event_possibly_staged

        I guess I’ll be pilloried, at least called whacked for providing links, but…

        • HonestDebate1

          You should be pilloried for providing trash. It is amazing to me how far the left will go to imply the Iraqi people were happy with their murdering, raping, torturing, oppressing leaders.

          • 1Brett1

            “It is amazing to me how far the left will go to imply the Iraqi people were happy with their murdering, raping, torturing, oppressing leaders.”

            What is amazing is how many straw men you will build to set up what you imply is an opposing position…it makes sense, though, as you probably have an abundance of straw around your homestead.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you think the toppling of the statue was all staged? Don’t hide behind innuendo, say it…. or shut up.

          • 1Brett1

            “or shut up.”?!

            That’s nice…

            Are you suggesting I build your straw man for you? Are you getting that lazy? You already started with the bit about my “hiding behind innuendo.”

          • HonestDebate1

            Can’t do it, can you? Who are you to lecture me about being nice?

          • 1Brett1

            Was I “lecturing” you? …More straw man, I see.

            Do you always engage in bad behaviors just because you see others doing so? I never claimed to be justified in not being nice to you. You, on the other hand, claim your bad behavior is justified. Just another example of how flawed and exposed your true nature is.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea, it’s a rubber/glue thing. It’s all you got. I’m not always as nice to jerks as I am to everyone else (it’s my nature), if that’s what you mean. But it’s not about me. I don’t feel the need to justify squat.

            Do you believe the statue being toppled was staged or not?

          • 1Brett1

            You use the word “squat” a lot.

            By the way, I haven’t asked you to justify “squat.” You justify whatever your behaviors are ALL on your own.

            I don’t answer your direct questions; you engage in too many straw man tactics and too much false characterization of what you see as an opposing viewpoint. It is your MO.

            With this one thread, for example, about the toppling of the Hussein statue, you have reduced the choices for weighing in to either it being total fakery or complete realism, and then have asked me to pick one (which, I subscribe to neither scenario). This is yet another example of your tactics, so an “honest” discussion is impossible with you.

            You remind me of a liberal friend I used to have who would not tolerate views other than his own. He said he didn’t mind different views, but what he really only didn’t mind was when people made direct statements that they disagreed, or that interactions ceased if they disagreed. In an actual disagreement, he was not nice.

            When you disagree with someone, you’ll say you disagree or that you are okay with differences of opinion, and so forth, but really (like with JGC, which I only invoke because she started the thread about the Hussein statue) you more avoid the disagreement. This isn’t actually respectfully engaging in disagreement at all; it is avoidance. I am not interested in having a friendship with you on any level, so I am not interested in your self-aggrandizing puffery of your claims of being respectful or “getting along” with those with whom you disagree, which really is an inaccurate characterization of your approach.

            I can’t remember the last time I sincerely replied to one of your requests to argue, yet you continue to ask me. This is sad, because clearly what you are hoping for is for me to make some statement so you can find the weakest part of the statement and pounce on it, which is not “honest debate.” It’s a “debate” tactic.

            I am sometimes surprised at how much you are drawn to negative attention and how much you seek it from anyone who is a liberal on this forum (and you only seem to “get along” with one or two liberals on this forum due mostly to avoidance (as I explained earlier).

            You are also continually taking personal jabs at me then criticize my personal jabs toward you, again, as if there is some distinct difference in your personal insults, as if they are of a loftier purpose or something.

          • HonestDebate1

            TLDR

            Do you believe the statue being toppled was staged or not?

          • 1Brett1

            Often, ADD presents itself in adults as a kind of compulsivity (what people used to characterize as a “one track mind”). Often mischaracterized as an inability to focus, the disorder is more accurately described as unregulated focus (either focus that is too deep, i.e., compulsivity, even obsessiveness, or lack of focus for what is right in front of the person).

            These days, many types of medication along with adjunct cognitive behavioral therapies have been proven to help enormously. You might consider such ideas.

            You’ve chosen well–by the way–in being a keyboard player, as playing a musical instrument is often a positive activity that channels those energies (misfiring neurons, to put it in a nutshell). Continued pursuit of those types of activities in and of themselves, however, will not ameliorate those problems you manifest, they’ll merely soothe you in times of stress/anxiety.

            I hope this helps you. You will be able to one day manage/regulate your issues; I promise you. You just have to attend. It’ll seem more like breathing the more you practice; you’ll see.

          • jefe68

            There it is, the real HD. The self sanctimonious, self righteous expletive.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you think the toppling of the statue was all staged?

        • JGC

          Thanks for that, I am a bit late coming back into this particular discussion, but the first link you provided from the “antiwar” site led me to the “latimes”, which took me to “propublica”, which I found to be the most fully formed history of all the events, taken from multiple viewpoints, surrounding the pulling down of the Saddam statue in Firdos Square of Baghdad, and the later implications-

          http://www.propublica.org/article/the-toppling-saddam-statue-firdos-square-baghdad

          It doesn’t really change my perception of the event as seen, but it does very much change the reasons behind why it happened.

    • jefe68

      There is one common theme in all of your posts today, delusional thinking. It seems that the narrative other than the one you have been fed by the neo-cons are all false.
      Here you are debunking the opinions of men who served in action in Iraq. Think about what you are saying here pal. Do you not think for one minute that your narrative might be skewed or wrong?

      It as if you just can’t handle the truth.
      Rumsfeld was incompetent, period.
      You are delusional.
      Further more, who the hell do you think you are disrespecting servicemen and women who put their lives on the line just because they don’t mirror your warped war mongering conservative narrative?

      • HonestDebate1

        Alrighty then.

        • jefe68

          It’s not alright. You come on this forum waving your flag and going on about the “real America”. Then, when a man who has proved his mettle by putting his life on the line serving in the military in active duty and in a war zone no less, has a difference of opinion than yours you have the nerve to disrespect his viewpoints with your right wing memes?

          It’s not alright. Not at all.

          • HonestDebate1

            The self-righteous acts rings hollow. I gave the man his due respect, I disagree with him. Sue me.

          • jefe68

            Sorry, what you posted is beyond the level of disagreeing with him. The respect you think you should was as fake as a three dollar bill. You called into question his view points merrily based on your own wrapped right wing bias.

            The war in Iraq was a calculated deception that resulted in a foreign policy disaster that is on the hands of both administrations.

          • HonestDebate1

            I call into question his viewpoints because they are bullshit. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect his service. And what does ideology have to do with it? Were you against the war until Cheney convinced you we would be greeted as liberators? It’s an idiotic talking point that makes no sense.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — In addition, as one might expect, [Debates?NotHe] is hypocritical.

            First, he self-righteously calls out Mr. Ashbrook, writing “(Mr. Ashbrook should be ashamed of himself … ),” then follows that up by calling you out, below:

            “The self-righteous acts [sic] rings hollow.”

            Completely unsurprising, and completely in character, of course.

          • 1Brett1

            Mr. Ashbrook should APOLOGIZE IMMEDIATELY!!!!

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you think Mr. Ashbrook’s framing gave the impression that Bush made clear the battle was not over or did he shamelessly imply that Bush said the mission was accomplished? Do you think the guest volunteered to go to Iraq because Cheney convinced him we would be greeted as liberators? Do you think that guests represents the larger view of typical soldiers?

      • 1Brett1

        jefe, maybe the brave men and women who fought over there don’t know anything about what the sentiment was on the ground, even though they were fighting there every day?! If they felt as if they weren’t actually viewed as liberators, maybe they are wrong?!

        After all, a just-past middle-aged man in North Carolina who never served in the military, specifically never in Iraq, would know better than actual military personnel who served. Besides, there were other guests/callers who served, saying pulling out was a mistake; they are the ones to believe; they are the ones who are right!

    • jimino

      Read “Fiasco” and “Life in the Emerald City” if you are remotely interested in the truth. Deceit and incompetence that were the hallmarks of the Iraq invasion and occupation. From the top down.

  • Jonnie

    If anyone has bothered to us, there were many millions of us who said from the start that the Iraq war was was illegal under any reading of international law, immoral, under any sense of ethical understanding, and most tragically of all, unnecessary, because Iraq was never any threat to the United States, had no relationship to Al Qaida or 9-11, nor possessed any WMD!

    All the US service people killed and maimed for life did so for nothing…Nada! And their sacrifice was in vain. As they are trying to do now yet again, the right- wing Jewish cabal in the United States is trying to lead us into foolhardy adventures again in the Middle East. Maybe Americans will say no this time will stand up and say “No.”

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Obama and the Demicrats war on women continues.

    Obama refuses to issue an executive order to pay for everyone’s birth control choices.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Maybe we can put all of these anti-Christians under Sharia law for a little while.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    What is really tragic is that the government allows Hobby Lobby to sell religious crafts.

    Didn’t we make all of that illegal already?

  • Peter

    Iraq war: Money, Money, Money. A disgrace.

    Heartrending to hear Veterans’ comments.

  • fred flintstone

    Every veteran of these wars came to it will different levels of understanding about what was going on there. For those of us who spent a lot of time understanding this region, this outcome was always the only outcome. We could have and still can continue to meddle but it will only stall the inevitable, which must be an Arab led reorganization of the region which has been on hold since the end of the Ottoman Empire. That is what is happening now, and the very best thing we could do is leave them alone and let them do it.

    In terms of were our efforts wasted? Politically, yes, and lots of people understood this. Militarily? This is BS and the wrong question. It’s not a matter of waste, the bottom line is when the citizens of this country call our military to mobilize and fight that is what they do, no questions asked, and that is what they did in this case. There is nothing but honor in this and honor is never wasted. If we shouldn’t have been there, it is not the military who needs to answer for this, it is everyone else.

    (Maybe “sorry” instead of “thank you for your service”? Ha! That’s kind of a joke, but kind of not. I think I might really appreciate an apology.)

    In terms of how veterans feel about the collapse of this imaginary entity called “Iraq”. . . I can only speak for myself. I am glad this process has started and I hope we don’t get in the way.

    Also…I just read Phil Klay’s book “Redeployment”. It was superb. Great job.

  • ExcellentNews

    Thank you for your service, Sir. Your duty to the country is not over – please vote this November. And remind your friends to do the same.

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