90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
For The U.S., Intervention Or Restraint In Iraq

More US troops bound for Iraq. We’ll look at the big question of American intervention or restraint on the global stage.

Iraqi policemen and civilians inspect the site of a car bomb attack near a restaurant in the southeastern district of New Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (AP)

Iraqi policemen and civilians inspect the site of a car bomb attack near a restaurant in the southeastern district of New Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (AP)

The Pentagon says today that the worst of the humanitarian crisis in Iraq – the poor Yazidis trapped on Mt. Sinjar – has passed.  That the siege of the mountain has been broken by US airstrikes.  So now what for the US in Iraq?  ISIS, or the Islamic State, has continued to grab turf, slaughter Iraqis, extend its domain.  President Obama has said Washington might get more involved if Baghdad changed its government.  That’s sort of happening.  Are we going to do battle with the Islamic State?  Or not?  This hour On Point:  American power now, and what to do – or not do – in Iraq.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dion Nissenbaum, national security reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@DionNissenbaum)

Barry Posen, Ford International Professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Author of the new book, “Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy.” Also author of “Inadvertent Escalation: Conventional War and Nuclear Risks.”

Kori Schake, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic: Hillary Clinton: ‘Failure’ to Help Syrian Rebels Led to the Rise of ISIS — “During a discussion about the dangers of jihadism (a topic that has her ‘hepped-up,’ she told me moments after she greeted me at her office in New York) and of the sort of resurgent nationalism seen in Russia today, I noted that Americans are quite wary right now of international commitment-making. Clinton responded by arguing that there is a happy medium between bellicose posturing (of the sort she associated with the George W. Bush administration) and its opposite, a focus on withdrawal.”

Washington Post: U.S. needs a discussion on when, not whether, to use force — “Was the Iraq war the greatest strategic error in recent decades, as some pundits have suggested recently? The simple answer is no. That honor belongs to the failure to take action against al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden before the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans on U.S. soil on Sept. 11, 2001. ”

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Seeks ‘Lasting Solution’ for Iraqi Refugees — “The White House hasn’t decided on a course, though one possible option is a rescue mission, a move that would risk putting American forces in direct confrontation with Sunni fighters for the Islamic State. Since last week, the U.S. has through a campaign of airstrikes and airdrops sought to halt the militants’ advance on the Kurdish city of Erbil and relieve Yazidis trapped by the fighting on a barren mountain range.”

Read An Excerpt Of “Restraint” By Barry Posen

 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Geheran1958

    Maybe NPR should ask John Brennan for advice on which course of action the US should take in Iraq. His observation made last year shows how well-attuned he is to jihadism: “The idea of Islamic jihadists wanting to create a new Caliphate is absurd”. That statement is right up there with the one made by Director James Clapper: “The Muslim Brotherhood is by and large a secular organization”. But first prize goes to a recent statement made by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who proclaimed: “The Qataris have told me over and over again that Hamas is a Humanitarian organization”. You can’t make this stuff up.

    • JS

      “The idea of Islamic jihadists wanting to create a new Caliphate is absurd” – this can be taken two ways:

      1. that they would want that is absurd, i.e. they don’t want that

      2. Their idea is absurd, i.e. the idea of a new Caliphate is absurd.

      You seem to go with #1, while it seems clear it was #2.

      • Geheran1958

        Maybe so. I believe Brennan’s intent was to “underestimate” their trajectory. Even our C-I-C made a statement recently where he inferred that “we under-estimated,the ISIS threat”.

        • JS

          It’s a long way form calling something a “threat” to saying that are “creating a new Caliphate”.

    • Ray in VT

      I don’t think that ISIS declaring a Caliphate really matters much. There’s been another Caliphate around for a century. Ever heard of it? One can declare something, but for it to be very useful/have an impact, then one must get people to fall in line, and the divisions that exist within Islam I think rather preclude any sort of broad consensus of people getting behind any one leader or group. There are issues of ethnicity and nationality also at play, and those also undermine any sort of internationalist movement. To be sure they can draw some people in, perhaps some of the same jihadists who previously fought with the Taliban or with the previous insurgency, but I don’t think that the likelihood of them garnering any sort of national level support from existing leadership to be relatively small.

      • anon

        What’s the caliphate that’s been around for 100 years?

        • Ray in VT
          • HonestDebate1

            I’m glad you found religion regarding the existence of the caliphate. But don’t worry, a gazillion generational jihadist sworn to our demise is no biggee. Hey, Bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda is decimated. It’s all good. Go back to sleep.

          • Ray in VT

            They’ve been around for 1300+ years, so one more guy declaring a new one isn’t really a biggie. Tell me, who’s fallen in line with them? Have the Saudis sworn allegiance? How about the Egyptians or Iranians? How are they answering to the new Caliph?

            I think that a gazillion is a vast over-estimation of the number of jihadists. Perhaps your math isn’t so good.

            Yup. Bin Laden is dead. Bushie couldn’t get it done, especially once he decided to mislead us into Iraq, and the core of al Qaeda has been greatly harmed. The President has long acknowledged that other groups can, will and have popped up, but feel free to ignore that if it helps you advance your doom and gloom line.

            How can I sleep? I saw a lady wearing a burka the other day. The caliphate is here. Next thing you know they’ll be raiding places for horses, because jihadists love horses. It’s a good thing that you’ve got terrorist insurance.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are not a serious person Ray.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure I am, but I may not appear to be so to those, such as yourself, who are so totally divorced from reality.

          • dust truck

            And you’re not Honest, HonestDebate1, funny that?

          • Ray in VT

            Well, he believes the lies that he tells, so according to his special dictionary he’s not a liar “by any definition”. Yet another way in which reality fails to penetrate his ideological/belief bubble. That’s the great thing about True Belief. Facts don’t matter.

          • TFRX

            He’s operating on the axiom that:

            “It’s not a lie if you believe it”.

            (You have one guess to name the speaker.)

          • Ray in VT

            Believing in lies does not make them factually correct.

          • TFRX

            (The name I was looking for was “George Costanza”.)

          • Ray in VT

            Ah yes, the Costanza Defense.

          • anon

            Ahmadiyyahs are a small group that are not actually Muslims. One of the tenets of islam is that Prophet Muhammad was the last of a long line of Prophets (including Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc.) Ahmadiyyahs claim that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was not only a prophet but also the Messiah and the Mehdi. They can use the word caliphate, but it’s meaningless in their case.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know if one can say that they “are not actually Muslims”. They think that they have found the Madhi, which other Muslim groups also seek or wait for. There was also the Madhi in Sudan in the late 19th century.

            “They can use the word caliphate, but it’s meaningless in their case.” That is my contention with ISIS. Unless one can wield influence over the faithful, then what one calls oneself is relatively unimportant in my view. The Ottomans had caliphs, but they couldn’t even enforce order within their own empire as it declined.

          • anon

            Their claim that there was a prophet after Muhammad puts them outside of Islam.

            From what I read, this caliphate controls a a large area across Syria and Iraq, including oil fields and dams, has thousands or tens of thousands of supporters coming from all over the world, administers a state, controls 30% of the wheat in Iraq, etc. We’re not talking about a group like the Ahmadiyyahs.

          • Ray in VT

            I am not very familiar with their views. Do they explicitly refer to him as a prophet or as a messiah, which may be more analogous to Mahdi?

            In ISIS we’re also not talking about a group that controls vast resources or peoples, relatively speaking. I think that too much weight is being given by some to that group’s declaration of a Caliphate.

          • anon

            The group that calls itself a caliphate believes that he was a prophet who received revelation from God. (And in islam, the Messiah – Jesus – and the Mahdi are two different people.)

          • Ray in VT

            So they may be a heretical sect of Islam, like the Nation of Islam, but I don’t know if one can say that they aren’t Muslims. A have a Catholic friend who lived in the South, and he said that many Evangelicals don’t consider Catholics to be Christians. The Catholics disagree.

            Mirza Ghulam Ahmad seems to have had a number of non-orthodox views. He appears to have also rejected violent jihad.

          • anon

            The Nation of Islam are also not Muslims. Aside from other unIslamic beliefs, they consider Elijah Muhammad to be a messenger of God, whereas Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad was the last messenger (and prophet). Many of their followers moved to Sunni islam, though, including Malcolm X and, later, many others under the guidance of Warith Deen Muhammad (son of Elijah Muhammad).

    • Don_B1

      Note that the deliberate, willful out-of-context quote of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reflects badly on the conservative non-thinkiing posters here.

      See:

      http://www.laconiadailysun.com/index.php/opinion/letters/79371-cathy-dawson-8-7-180

      where the relevant part is:

      I watched the whole interview between Nancy Pelosi and Candy Crowley of CNN.

      According to Pelosi, in that interview with Crowley, Hamas is a terrorist organization and she never said otherwise. One of the things Ms. Pelosi did say was that the “Qataris have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization…” Qatar is a sovereign Arab country that gives major financial support to Hamas. This “charitable” giving is what allows Hamas to be able to cause so much damage and destruction against Israel.

      So where does this support your interpretation of your slander against Ms. Pelosi?

      So you are a sucker for repeating lies that you like and not even questioning their authenticity! How many bridges over the East River have you bought lately?

      Have you ever complained about the number of people that have told you that Ronald Reagan didn’t know a lot about economics? And then had the part, “Ronald Reagan didn’t know a lot about economics” attributed to you as your opinion of him?

      Go sling your Bull Pucky elsewhere!

      • Geheran1958

        Point taken. While she did make the statement, in the context of the interview, its literal meaning is somewhat diluted. My read is that she, at a minimum, gave the Qataris’ absurd belief some credibility by repeating it. I guess I will need to revert my mud-slinging
        To her “we have to pass this bill (ObamaCare) to find out what is in it” which seem to have, in retrospect, an accurate prediction.

        • Don_B1

          Even there, you are misinterpreting the statement that Ms. Pelosi made. It was in response to a question about a (minor) detail of how the PPACA would work, and as the bill was being rewritten to accommodate the desires of various legislators on minor details, just how those issues would be finally resolved was unknown, and probably would remain so until the bill was placed on the floor of the House for voting to pass it.

          As with all bills, there are miswordings, etc., that later must be fixed. It has been the misfortune of this bill (and the American people) that the blind obstruction from the Tea/Republicans that has prevented all attempts to fix the PPACA. Even as it was passed in the House, Democrats knew that it had some problems, but because a fixed bill could no longer get past a filibuster with the election of Scot Brown as Senator from Massachusetts in February of 2010.

          • Geheran1958

            Point accepted in a general context. With respect to “minor details”, it would seem there is an over abundance of such details that required major surgery, to-ing and fro-ing, endless litigation, political exemptions for unions and special interests, on and on.

  • anon

    The Kurds have gotten their money’s worth from their “high-powered lobbying firms and a savvy media campaign in Washington” (quotes from a Reuters article). They’ve managed to position themselves so that they’re thought of as modern, secular and closest to the West – based on the fact that alcohol is legal and they’re close to Israel, I guess… Everyone ‘knew’ how strong their peshmerga was, and the fact that they were easily overrun by the Islamic state is ignored.

    No mention of the fact that the vast majority of Kurdish women have ‘FGM’ or of the ‘honor killings’ there – especially the famous one where hundreds or maybe thousands of Yazidis watched, taunted her, and filmed as a 17-year-old young woman, Yazidi Du’a Khalil Aswad, was stoned to death for having a Muslim boyfriend and maybe having converted to Islam to marry him. (It’s the one where the video came out on the Internet.) The fact that these things are never mentioned gives an indication of where the media and government stand.

    • Don_B1

      They were only “easily overrun by the Islamic State” because the Peshmerga has never received the level of weapons that the full Iraqi military had, and which a lot of them were turned over to ISIL forces.

      A superiorly armed force, given that it knows how to use those higher-power weapons, will usually defeat a force with only rifles and lower-powered machine guns, etc.

      That is why the U.S. is now sending more powerful weapons to the Peshmerga (though exactly what weapons is not known, apparently)

  • Ed75

    Now our government is backing away from helping the people on this mountain – apparently there aren’t enough of them? Perhaps the administration realized it was doing something good (however small) and backed away.
    We will have to fight IS sooner or later.

    • anon

      They realized that the whole thing was deliberately exaggerated by the Kurds, who want the US to come in. But if they want to help people who are in dire situations, there are MILLIONS of Syrians who have had to flee their homes but who didn’t get the same kind of sympathy. (No big money for PR firms.)

      • Ed75

        The reports I hear on the BBC make it sound like they are still suffering terribly.

        • anon

          Millions of people in Syria and Iraq are suffering, but the Yazidis want to be allowed to come to the West (many of them worked as translators for the US Army), and the Kurds want the West to come to their aid – after they fled and left the Yazidis themselves, after promising them protection. Everything has a spin…

          I find it interesting that the Western media portrays the Yazidis as peaceful; a piece by Amir Taheri claimed that they are entirely peaceful and believe there is never any reason to kill anyone (and he claims that this is why Muslims hate them). Which is absurd, considering that they are best known for the enthusiastic stoning (filmed on someone’s mobile) of Dua Khalil Aswad because she may have had a Muslim boyfriend and may have converted to Islam. Yazidis in Germany have been involved in other ‘honor’ killings of people who wanted to leave the religion or had romantic relationships with non-Yazidis.

          I’m not saying they should be killed; I’m just saying that we need to understand the media spin, the fact that Kurds have PR firms in Washington, and what each group is trying to achieve.

          • Ed75

            Interesting, thanks for the nice reply. It is a problem if we can’t rely on objective journalism, and in many cases we can’t. The Yazidis I understand are a pre-Christian religious group that comes from Zoroastrianism in Persia. One interesting note is that the many Christians who were driven out of Mosul, etc., and were on that mountain, etc., didn’t get much attention from the media – they seemed to center on the Yazidis. Wonder why?

          • anon

            From what I’ve seen, there is little objective journalism… I agree – the media’s spin on the Yazidis is interesting. Since virtually no one knew anything about them, I’m sure that all of the journalists had to research them, and one of the first things they must have come across was news of that video clip of the stoning I mentioned – yet none of them mentioned it! We can imagine that if the collective ‘they’ had a negative opinion of them, we would be hearing about that stoning over and over again. When I found out that many of them served as translators for the US in Iraq, that sort of explained it, because many of them may have contacts in the US military, government, media, etc. And the Kurds do spend a lot on DC lobbyists.

  • Ed75

    In Revelation the beast gives power to the second beast – this puzzled me, why would it ‘give’ anything? One reason is that with two beasts and the harlot – three – evil mocks God and seduces people by taking on God’s form (three Persons). This is how the Fathers understood it. And so IS has three names (IS, ISIL, ISIS), and ‘is’ mocks the reality that God is the source of Being “I am who am”. And the thing to do with evil is to fight it.

    • Ray in VT

      You’re really reaching to tie stuff into the Bible today. What happens if/when ISIS gets known by another name?

      • Ed75

        This was just a speculation … it sounds like Islamic State is their final name … I was almost more interested in the comment on Revelation, it solved one of my questions.

    • anon

      All the talk about their name is irrelevant anyway, because none of those is the name they use. These are just how English speakers choose to translate it. I’ve heard people attach some significance to the fact that Isis is an ancient goddess, which is absurd because it’s not actually their name.

      • Ed75

        You’re right, but I still hear commentators going back and forth between the three names, which are English acronyms.

    • nj_v2

      ^ It’s the daily, fairly-tale report.

      • Ed75

        That sounds simple but you express a serious philosophical position: that the Bible is not the revealed by God, perhaps that there is no revelation. Of course I disagree, I go so far, as a Catholic, to say that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, but also that God reveals himself definitively also through the Church, who wrote the Bible.

    • Acnestes

      If anyone mocks God it’s you, by daring to suggest you have even the slightest insight into His will. Some Catholic.

      • Ed75

        This also sounds simple, but is a deep philosophical/theological question. Does God ever communicate with us, and if so can we be sure that he does and can we be sure of what he wants to tell us?
        On simple grounds, it seems quite normal that God, who created us and the world, would want to communicate with us, and would set up a situation where we could reliably know his will for us.
        As a Catholic, I hold that God not only wants to communicate with us, but to live with us, not only as a friend, but in our hearts, with us. ‘I call you friends’ says Jesus. The Church is the definitive voice of God in the world, though he speaks of course through other peoples and nature, etc. (The Church also includes the Bible, as interpreted by the Church, who wrote it.)
        God also speaks to each of us in our individual consciences, the place for communion with God in the soul. (The conscience can of course be suppressed and ignored.)

    • J__o__h__n

      Some of your posts increase the mockery aimed at god.

  • Obamunism 2.0

    Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/04/11/syria-al-qaeda-connection/2075323/

    The fact that Syrian the ‘rebels’ have pledged their loyalty to al-Qaeda, has not stopped the Obama Administration from supporting these Jihadists with US armaments.

    The Obama Administration has supported al-Qaeda.

    • JS

      To paraphrase my previous, unanswered, reply:

      Are all the Syrian rebels pledging loyalty to AlQaeda, and is Obama supporting all the Syrian rebels?

    • Ray in VT

      Because obviously there is only one “rebels”, and our support for certain ones means that we are arming Al Qaeda. Thanks for your continued pushing of that dreck.

    • dust truck

      Why do you think the “support” has been so sluggish anyway? Obama knows full well how quickly weapons could fall into the wrong hands and yet Republicans are still complaining that he’s not doing enough.

      So what is it? Too much aid or too little? Make up your mind.

  • Obamunism 2.0

    CIA begins weapons delivery to Syrian rebels
    (aka al-Qaeda in Syria)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-begins-weapons-delivery-to-syrian-rebels/2013/09/11/9fcf2ed8-1b0c-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html

    The Middle East wouldn’t be degenerating into such violence if the incompetent Obama Administration had not armed Jihadist ‘rebels’ with known ties to al-Qaeda.

    Obama’s Middle East policy has been a total disaster, in addition to the fact that Obama has essentially abandoned America’s closet ally in the region, Israel.

    Obama must be impeached before his disastrous foreign and domestic policies can do any more damage!

    • Ray in VT

      Implying that all Syrian rebels are al Qaeda or al Qaeda linked is just as incorrect now as it has been every time that you have posted it these past few months.

      • Don_B1

        A significant problem is that the non-al Qaeda rebels are not nearly as competent a fighting force as the al Qaeda rebels, and so often get “swallowed-up” by the al Qaeda groups.

        • Ray in VT

          And they don’t have a fanatical, unifying ideology, which can be an asset in some cases.

  • HonestDebate1

    Obama wanted out of Iraq so he could say he ended war and boy did he say it…. again and again. I’ve never heard him say the word victory, maybe I missed it. I don’t think it was part of the calculous. He didn’t get a SOFA because he didn’t want one, he wanted out. Iraq was said to be a war of choice unrelated to the war on terror. It was assumed all we had to do is nothing, let Iraq deal with it. That sophistry has cost us dearly.

    • Ray in VT

      The mission was accomplished way back in 2003. How did you miss that? Declaring victory means nothing when one can’t resolve centuries of tensions and hatreds, but if it makes you feel better, then maybe he should have done it. “He didn’t get a SOFA because he didn’t want one”. Hey, don’t let reality mess with your ideology. It’s tough to have to deal with things that don’t conform to your worldview, so just pretend that your version is true, even if it isn’t.

      Iraq wasn’t about the war on terror until we blew the top off of the place and turned it into a terrorist magnet and breeding ground. Saddam wasn’t providing “operational” assistance to al Qaeda, and the CIA said that in early 2002, although that didn’t stop the Bush administration from claiming it in the rush to war. Also, spare me the regular the war was unavoidable and that it wasn’t a rush to war, because it had been coming for a decade garbage. It’s nonsense every time you post it.

      • HonestDebate1

        “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.” – GWB from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln May, 2003

        • Ray in VT

          Is that why he signed an agreement to get all combat troops out by the end of 2011? Mission accomplished?

          Maybe we can spend a few thousand more American lives and another trillion to continue to pay for his mistakes.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you even care about the truth?

          • Ray in VT

            Not the version of non-fact based Truths that you choose to believe in. You can label any beliefs that you have true, even if you believe your own lies. That’s your business.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ll take that as a no.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed, you are incapable of understanding even simple things that don’t conform to the lame ideology and lies that you choose to push. How very sad it must be for you.

          • dust truck

            You’re such a friggen liar!

          • Don_B1

            You clearly do not care about the real truth, just the false perception of truth that you are trying to establish by constant repetition of your falsehoods here.

          • Ray in VT

            I guess that some believe that lies repeated often enough become the truth.

          • Don_B1

            It has worked all too often, I am afraid. At least for the short term, and what matters after that?

            Like the banker’s statement to the rating agency’s officer: “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone, so what does it matter?”

        • J__o__h__n

          It isn’t worth the effort. Iraq doesn’t want a democracy. The Shia want to settle scores. The Sunni partner with terrorists to oppose them. Help the Kurds and let the other two fight it out.

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree, it was just hard that’s all.

    • nj_v2

      Haha!!

      DisHonestMisDebatorGregg, clueless enough not to even know how to pluralize words that end in st is now using five-dollar words like sophistry to sound authoritative.

      Can’t make this stuff up.

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s the right word, that’s all. And now you’re grammar cop self is referring back to some spelling error of some long forgotten comment? You have an aneurism if I notice an error of yours, then you edit it and deny you could have erred. Are you proud of that?

        Read my comment, it’s insightful and true, deny it.

        • Ray in VT

          Insightful and true are two things that your comments generally, and the one in question particularly, are not.

        • nj_v2

          Enjoy your delusions.

  • HonestDebate1

    The Yazidis are cutting themselves so their starving children can drink their blood.

    • stephenreal

      actually, it’s the batface child that drinks the blood of the mama, you got it all mixed up dude.

    • Ray in VT

      Several articles citing such stories claim 30,000+ still on the mountain, which was not what has been reported by U.S. personnel who have been on the scene.

      • HonestDebate1

        Obama will be upset when he reads it in the papers.

        • Ray in VT

          How upset are you? Now it’s one less thing to trash the President for. He’s likely got the better word from the Pentagon and not from hotair.

  • stephenreal

    All right! Saddle up! Let’s get back in the war!

  • stephenreal

    “The Yazidis who remain are in better condition than previously believed and continue to have access to the food and water that we have dropped,” the admiral said. “Based on this assessment, the interagency has determined that an evacuation mission is far less likely.” US Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby.

  • Obamunism 2.0

    Obama’s national security flops just keep coming

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10866863/President-Barack-Obamas-national-security-flops-just-keep-coming.html

    Don’t look for Obama to cut short his two week golfing vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to deal with the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.

    • Ray in VT

      Do you ever get tired of posting some of the same links again and again? Love that commentary from the a Daily Caller contributor. Very fair and balanced.

  • anon

    For some detailed, objective information about Iraq (and Syria), go to the Institute for the Study of War website.

  • HonestDebate1

    I understand many here didn’t like Bush’s strategery for protecting America from the threat of radical Islam. But he had one. Aside from pissing away all of our gains, what is Obama’s plan? What?

    • Ray in VT

      “Protecting America from the threat of radical Islam”. Is that what Bush’s defenders now choose to call invading Iraq and engaging in torture and warrantless wiretaps?

      • HonestDebate1

        It was a strategery that was working. But look at you! Just a minute ago you were slamming Bush for not getting Bin Laden now you are slamming the nasal rinse that made it possible all as Obama’s NSA monitors this thread looking for dirt to give the IRS.

        • Ray in VT

          “It was a strategy that was working”. Boy, you’re really full of it today. Torture didn’t lead to Bin Laden, and your lame conspiracies about Obama sicking the IRS on people haven’t held any water. Maybe you can repeat some TOP conspiracy theories about Benghazi that have gotten repeatedly shot down. Still believe in all of that bull that the TOP and Faux have been pushing for 2 years?

          • HonestDebate1

            You will defend Obama at all costs, I expect that. Tell it to the Yazidis.

            What’s Obama’s plan? What?

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed, not believing the demented conspiracy theories and lies told about Obama by his dopey haters is defending him. Is Obama sicking the IRS on the Yazidis? Ya learn something new every day.

            His plan? Work with governments in the Arab world. Address the issues that drive people to extremism. Blow up people who are threats. There are some elements. It’s better than up and invading a country that has nothing to do with the “war on terror” after making a bunch of claims about supposed connections to the perpetrators of 9/11 that weren’t supported by the intelligence community. It’s better than torturing people who may have been picked up on shaky evidence.

          • jimino

            Why do you ALWAYS consider EVERY correction of one of you lies regarding Obama to amount to defense of his policies? It’s about the truth, not Obama.

          • HonestDebate1

            I have never lied about the liar’s lies.

          • Don_B1

            Is that because everything you post here has to be a lie, so you have to lie to tell the truth?

          • jimino

            I apologize. You actually believe you know and are telling the truth. So it’s not lying, it’s ignorance.

          • HonestDebate1

            Well, I am an idiot but I’m glad you at least know the definition of lie.

          • Ray in VT

            A definition, not the definition. Believing a lie doesn’t make you honest by numerous definitions.

          • jimino

            Now I never called you an idiot. And I know you are not what one would typically call uninformed. I guess you just filter what what you hear/read in a way that leads you to the wrong conclusions. Que sera sera.

          • Ray in VT

            Misinformed, perhaps intentionally so, would be a better characterization I think.

          • HonestDebate1

            I promise you with all the sincerity I can muster, that is my exact view of you,

    • jimino

      Since it was on his watch that the the most obvious and dramatic examples of failing to protect America occurred, you don’t think his strategy should be questioned?

      • JS

        1,000′s killed on 9/11, 1,000′s killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yeah, he really kept Americans safe.

      • HonestDebate1

        I do not blame Clinton for refusing the Saudi’s offer to hand over Bin Laden after the failed attempt to bring down the WTC in 1993. I was not alarmed to find out he claimed to have had another chance but declined that as well as he related on Sept 10, 2001. 9/11 changed everything.

    • TFRX

      Go away, little troll.

      • HonestDebate1

        Bless your heart.

    • J__o__h__n

      Destabilizing the Middle East by invading Iraq has certainly made us safer. What a great plan! We got revenge on Saddam for being behind 9/11. We found the weapons of mass destruction. We were greeted as liberators. Thanks George!

      • HonestDebate1

        If you consider Iraq to have been stable before we liberated her then Allah be praised. And yes, we were greeted as liberators by the horribly oppressed Iraqis.

        • J__o__h__n

          It was more stable than it is now and more importantly so was the rest of the region. They were also a check on Iran. Thousands of dead and maimed American soldiers weren’t greeted as liberators.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obama inherited a stable Iraq. He and Biden then took credit for the stable Iraq. It may be more unstable now but that is on Obama.

            Iraq became the battlefield but the Iraqis greeted us as liberators.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, so Obama is responsible for the elected Iraqi government alienating many of its people. Can’t he just call them and get them to change their ways?

            How did that whole liberators thing go when various Iraqi groups were shooting us and wanting us to get the heck out of their country because they didn’t like getting occupied?

          • J__o__h__n

            If we stated there for twenty years, the same thing would have happened when we left.

          • hennorama

            J_o_h_n — Iraq was unstable when the US had over 100,000 troops occupying the country. A few thousand or tens of thousands of US occupying troops wouldn’t change that basic fact, either, and if such a force had been left behind, we’d likely be trying to reinforce them right now, simply for their own security.

            We can’t want a stable Iraq more than the Iraqis do. When ISIL first came back into Iraq in force, the Iraqi government couldn’t even get a legislative quorum together, in order to vote on possible actions to be taken.

            It’s not exactly a surprise then that some members of the Iraqi military decided to disappear, given the lack of political will in Baghdad.

          • HonestDebate1

            In February 2010 the number of troops in Iraq dropped below 100K to 96,300. It was stable. By September it was under 50K. Iraq was stable. 2011, ditto. So you’re just wrong.

          • HonestDebate1

            That is at least a valid concern but I disagree. Freedom takes hold. We could control Maliki as long as he feared us more than he feared Iran. These things take time.

    • nj_v2

      “But he had one.”

      Yep, let’s go blow some sh*t up. Install a western management “authority.” Then disenfranchise large segments of the population. And pass out bags full of money to bribe people. Good plan.

      Really, there’s some kind of serious cognitive issue at play with this HD1 clown.

      • HonestDebate1

        What’s Obama’s plan? What?

  • Arkuy The Great

    “ISIS by itself is overrated. It is a horde enhanced by captured heavy weapons, but cannot fly warplanes in a region where close air support is the decisive factor in battle. The fighters of the Caliphate cannot hide under the jungle canopy like the North Vietnamese. They occupy terrain where aerial reconnaissance can identify every stray cat. … It can operate freely in Syria, in a war of attrition with the Iranian backed government army. The grim task of regional security policy is to channel the butchery into areas that do not threaten oil production or transport.”

    http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2014/08/12/shermans-300000-and-the-caliphates-3-million/

    The only question is whether the finger on the button launching the bombs carries a US flag or another “in-theater” nation.

  • Obamunism 2.0

    Obama’s ‘mission creep’ in Iraq begins with:
    - non-existent leadership on the part of Obama
    - no clear stated goals for victory
    - no exit strategy

    Get ready for Obama’s next big foreign policy / military disaster.

  • andrewgarrett

    Again we see the curious “progressive” tendency to downplay the threat and evil of far-Right conservative terrorists. For some bizarre reason if far-Right conservative terrorists are from the exotic Orient the Western Left seems them as somehow not far-Right conservatives – they are wholesome traditionalists, that’s all! So leave them be, they’re practicing their quaint pre-globalization ways, that’s all!

    I’m not saying the West can necessarily solve every problem, but the shrillest voices insisting that we shouldn’t even try come from the Left. Had we heeded their advice we’d still have slavery in the South and Nazis in Europe.

    • dust truck

      Funny, I thought the Tea Party was strongly anti-interventionist too. Did you forget about them in your neo-con screed?

    • Ray in VT

      Yeah, those darned Western Leftists. They’re totally cool with radical Islamists.

    • JS

      “the shrillest voices” must be the ones in your head.

      Where are the voices saying we shouldn’t even try?

    • nj_v2

      Again we see the curious “progressive” tendency tendency on the part of some forum spewers to downplay the threat and evil of far-Right conservative terrorists misrepresent what people he deems as “progressive” think.

  • stephenreal

    blah, blah,blah blahdity blah!

  • stephenreal

    ISIS is hardly an existentialist threat to the Untied States.

    • Ray in VT

      I don’t know how they feel about 19th century existential philosophy ;), but while I do not think that they are an existential threat to the U.S., they can certainly threaten our interests and promote an agenda which is pretty terrible in terms of human rights.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    So the US taxpayer is bombing the folks with US-made or procured weaponry that was originally given to the Libyan “patriots” and shipped to Syria by the CIA.* After the US armament is finally destroyed, who’s going to supply IS after that? Iran? Russia? Uncle Sam?

    * Also to keep them out of the hands of the Al Qaeda in Africa nutters. See: Mali.

    • Ray in VT

      I do not think that evidence has surfaced that the CIA was shipping weapons out of Libya to Syria.

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

        The Libya deal was all CIA with the State Dept. as a fig leaf at the end of the war. Benghazi was a CIA-State snafu with no one owning up to the CIA involvement there. State had very few people in Libya at the time hence the masquerade. Reported on not heavily but thoroughly, especially in the overseas press. Hoober Doober

        • Ray in VT

          Allegations/suggestions about CIA activities in Benghazi and its relation to the attack on the consulate have yet to be supported by evidence that I have seen.

          • TFRX

            (That’s a mild way of putting it. I admire your restraint.)

          • Ray in VT

            I merely think that that is an accurate characterization of available evidence.

        • hennorama

          HLB — as I’ve said from nearly the beginning, CIA involvement in Benghazi means that we will likely never know what actually happened.

          This is quite convenient for those who wish to use the attacks in Benghazi for political purposes.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea, Obama had to lie his ass off for the sake of the Country.

          • Ray in VT

            Please tell us what his lies were. This should be good.

      • Obamunism 2.0

        The US Is Openly Sending Heavy Weapons From Libya To Syrian Rebels

        http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-admin-admits-to-covertly-sending-heavy-weapons-to-syrian-rebels-2012-12

        More Obama Administration support for Jihadist ‘rebels’ with known ties to al-Qaeda.

        • Ray in VT

          I should have said that evidence has not surfaced regarding such activities surrounding the events in Benghazi.

          Please provide evidence for “Obama Administration support for Jihadist ‘rebels’ with known ties to al-Qaeda.” You continually claim it, but never actually provide evidence, aside from rebels = al Qaeda.

          • Obamunism 2.0

            I already did. Two links below.

          • Ray in VT

            Nope. You don’t read your links, do you?

          • Obamunism 2.0

            I do. You just refuse to believe any story that is critical of your failed and incompetent President.

          • Ray in VT

            Nope. You make claims that are often not supported by your links, and the links that do support your claims are highly suspicious. I decline to believe that for which I see little evidence. What’s the latest economic horror story out of CNS today?

          • Obamunism 2.0

            Keep making lame excuses for your failed President. Obama needs all the help he can get these days.

          • Ray in VT

            Not supporting every bogus claim made by his detractors isn’t defending him. You seem to be confused by that concept.

          • Obamunism 2.0

            In other words, you believe every lie coming out of this Administration, without question.

          • Ray in VT

            Not at all. I’m just not into the conspiracy theories, the Kremlin line or months old moves in the labor force that somehow “prove” that Obamunism is destroying ‘Merica. In short, I just don’t buy your bullspit, given the available facts to the contrary.

          • Obamunism 2.0

            I’m sure that the current corrupt and incompetent Administration appreciates the fact that you believe all the lies and propaganda that they put out.
            That’s so obedient of you.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that they accept that certain demented folks will believe anything ill said of them. Thanks for being dependable in that regard. I do seek to keep in line with the facts, but that seems to be a negative to you.

        • hennorama

          Obamunism 2.0 — this might be a new low for misleading use of a long out-of-date source, as if it was current.

          The article is from 2012, and you truncated the headline, which had a large leading caveat — REPORT — meaning it was unconfirmed.

          Here’s the reality of your source:

          REPORT: The US Is Openly Sending Heavy Weapons From Libya To Syrian Rebels

          GEOFFREY INGERSOLL AND MICHAEL B KELLEY

          DEC. 9, 2012, 4:20 PM

          • jimino

            Ya gotta admit, these KGB guys like Obamunism 2.0 are slick.

          • hennorama

            jimino — Thank you for your response.

            I would subtract the “l” from your final word.

          • Obamunism 2.0

            Hey Jimbo, why don’t write some more blogs praising Obama for adding $7 trillion to the national debt in just five years.

            Obama would be so grateful.

          • Ray in VT

            Why do you always ignore the fact that the guy started with a trillion dollar deficit?

          • Obamunism 2.0

            So Obama’s solution was to add another $7 trillion to it?

          • Ray in VT

            Better than to zero it all out and just burn the whole economy down. Stuff still has to get paid during bad economic times.

          • Obamunism 2.0

            Pile debt on top of more debt.

            They recently tried that in Zimbabwe, it didn’t work out to well. The citizens of Zimbabwe didn’t appreciate having their life savings wiped out by hyper-inflation either.

          • Ray in VT

            How’s that hyper inflation going here? Really bad, right? Oh yeah, we’re Zimbabwe all right. Thanks Obama.

          • Don_B1

            There are really good reasons based in old-time macroeconomics that show why the current debt level of the U.S. will not drive up inflation while unemployment is high and the level of interest rates necessary to stimulate the economy by monetary means is actually negative (ever heard of the “zero-lower-bound”?).

            And the fact that the U.S. borrows in its own currency means that it can always pay its debt through taxation and money creation powers, as much as you dislike them (probably just because they foreclose the possibility of the super-inflation that you want to occur to justify you insane predictions). Note that the unification of the currency in Europe (the euro) without fiscal unification is what has made the borrowing costs of Spain, Portugal and Italy so high, at least before the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it would act as a lender of last resort, effectively removing those countries from the restraints of a “gold standard” which the euro was a substitute for without fiscal unification.

  • nobodys_fault

    What should our grand strategy be for using US power? As it should have been ever since the end of the Cold War, our strategy should be to build up international institutions to effectively deal with global problems and threats.

  • TFRX

    Oh, John McCain.

    You’re like the guy who can’t stop going back to the high school football field where, decades ago, you dropped the winning TD pass.

    • hennorama

      TFRX — choosing Sarah “Quitbull” Palin was a political Hail Mary pass, undertaken out of desperation.

      Neither Sen. McCain nor Mrs. Palin have talent commensurate with the ultimate Hail Mary duo — Doug Flutie and Gerard Phelan.

      • TFRX

        I might suggest that the situation McCain was in at the end of August 2008 was not so desparate.

        From what I remember at the time, polling seemed to be pretty even. I am not going to dig up what that meant for the narratives flogged by the press corps at that moment.

        Then Palin was announced–what, the day after Obama’s acceptance speech?–and a bunch of the stupidest-ever editorial cartoons showed up in my inbox about how Palin was quashing Obama’s “momentum”.

        It occurred to me that if they could have managed to select Palin on Halloween rather than Labor Day, they might have pulled it off.

        • hennorama

          TFRX — TYFYR.

          Fair enough.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Can the US report to the police that IS is holding weapons that belong to the USA? Perhaps Obama should call Interpol. “Help. Help. Somebody stole our gear!”

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    To have a base, you must hold a base.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Saudi Arabia has announced $100M (I think it was) military aid package to Kurdistan. Kurdistan: the de facto nation state that Clinton/Bush/Obama did not want to create. The ironies of war.

    • Don_B1

      Actually the irony of al Maliki’s government in wanting to use its Shi’a majority to oppress the Sunnis and Kurds, and getting kicked in the backside for it.

    • anon

      They announced $100 million to the UN’s counter-terrorism effort, and $1 billion for military aid to Lebanon. Are they also sending $100 million to the Kurds?

  • hennorama

    Congressional action President Obama’s unilateral action in Iraq seems to be working as intended:

    From this morning, on washingtonpost.com:

    A team of about 20 U.S. troops and aid workers who landed Wednesday on Iraq’s Mount Sinjar determined that a rescue operation of besieged minorities stranded there is probably unnecessary, the Pentagon said.

    “There are far fewer” refugees left at the northern Iraq location, where tens of thousands were said to have been surrounded by Sunni Muslim extremists, and they “are in better condition than previously believed,” a Pentagon statement said. It said that humanitarian airdrops and the nightly evacuation of Yazidis on land routes appeared to have lessened the emergency.

    Source:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/rescue-mission-for-yazidis-on-iraqs-mount-sinjar-appears-unnecessary-pentagon-says/2014/08/13/5fdd3358-2301-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html

    There’s also an argument to be made that President Obama’s intent is to influence Iraq’s internal political factions to remove the highly sectarian Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, and to then organize appropriate military and political responses to the threat of ISIL.

    Implicit in the above is the argument that by not using US airpower earlier, Pres. Obama allowed ISIL to swiftly acquire territory, not as an abdication of US power, but in an effort to increase the internal political pressure on Nouri al-Maliki.

    If this is the case, then al-Maliki’s exit is a prerequisite for any change to US tactics and strategy in Iraq.

    • HonestDebate1

      If Obama’s plans had worked as intended ISIS would not be a factor at all. He’s playing from behind, he’s pin-pricking and it’s too little too late.

      • Ray in VT

        So that Bush plan to drop some democracy on Iraq and get the troops out by the end of 2011 isn’t working out too well?

        • MrNutso

          2011. It thought the plan was to get them out in 2003.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, a quick in and out. Few to no lives lost. Maybe cost $100 billion tops.

        • HonestDebate1

          It was pissed away. The war was won. A trained ape could have negotiated a new SOFA. Obama did not want success in Iraq. To that end, he succeeded.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, just as long as we kept out boots on people and paid off Sunni fighters. Mission accomplished!

            Your demented commentary upon what you think Obama wants, as well as your cartoonish view of the ability of the American President to influence events in other countries, is so putrid as to give off a stink even from down there in East Overshoe. Spare me the stupid “so you’re saying that Obama is incompetent” line.

          • Don_B1

            Why didn’t you go over there and do the negotiating then? I am sure you could have accomplished it before anyone noticed what you had done!

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not sure if, or how far, above the level of trained ape he(?) is.

          • Don_B1

            You may have a point there!

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — I’m also not sure that [Debates?NotHe]‘s reference to “a trained ape,” in conjunction with “Obama,” was either a coincidence or unintentional.

          • HonestDebate1

            Rumsfeld was right.

          • Ray in VT

            What, what, what? A possible intentional use of racially charged words or imagery? Surely not.

          • HonestDebate1

            Bush called Maliki every day. Obama didn’t even try. He did not want a SOFA. He wanted out.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Wait till IS announces an oil production deal with Royal Dutch Shell.

  • recliner70

    Would Tom stop interrupting Barry, He is violating the very rule that I am trying to teach my kids, listen before interrupting. Your question or comment may be answered.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will bring Santa Claus and mocha latte to greater Iraq.
    –Barack H. Obama {Visionary for Our Time}

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    It all comes down to what the meaning of IS is.
    –William Jefferson Clinton {Deal Maker for Our Time}

  • winooski

    “Fiasco” was written by Thomas E. Ricks, he states in an interview: “President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 ultimately may come to be seen as one of the most profligate actions in the history of American foreign policy,” Mr. Ricks writes. “The consequences of his choice won’t be clear for decades… http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/books/25kaku.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    • MrNutso

      And yet the 1953 Iranian coup could easily have been a guide book.

    • jimino

      “Fiasco”, covering the decision to invade, and “Life in the Emerald City”, about the actual occupation of Iraq, should be required reading for anyone who wants to express an opinion about 9-11 and its aftermath.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    If the wogs can learn cricket they can learn to self-govern.

  • skelly74

    Why is this woman whispering? Let your hot air bellow! Don’t hide behind ambiguity.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Double double toil and trouble, fire burn..
    Obama has three witches: Rice, Clinton, Jarrett. If those crones can’t figure out what his fate and future holds, no one can.

  • stephenreal

    Arab Sunnistan is about to be born.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      And die out again. HD

      • stephenreal

        Oh the racist, uneducated, simpleton. how be thee reeetard?

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

          Public schooling? American Exceptionalism? Free lunches? HD

    • anon

      Sunnistan maybe… there are a lot of non-Arabs there already.

  • stephenreal

    It’s time to end the English Imperial map.

  • stephenreal

    It’s time for America with the help of our friends to redraw the map.

  • homebuilding

    Please !

    No more of that war-monger John McCain, EVER !

    Completely missing from all corners of the discussion today is that any occupying force is resented by the occupied at a very, very significant level.

    However, foreign occupation does seem to work with out 60 plus year occupation of Germany–they are happy to take our ‘stimulus money’ so long as our soldiers stay on base. (our occupation is on THEIR terms and we’re not allowed to drone or bomb any civilians)

    • Don_B1

      And our forces were not just “occupiers”: they provided protection from the threat of the armed forces of the U.S.S.R. from the eastern sector of Germany. As the first years went by, with a big tipping point at the time (1948) of the Berlin Airlift, preserving democracy in parts of Berlin and thus throughout the non-U.S.S.R. sectors of Germany, that protection function became the dominant if not the only function of our presence. Thus comparisons of our presence in Middle East countries to “occupations” following WWII is tenuous at best.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    But every problem ends in a putt.*
    –Barack H. Obama {Golfer Dude for Our Time}

    * Especially when you elect a putz.

  • stephenreal

    The map right now looks like Gerrymander district out of Florida

  • stephenreal

    Arab Sunnistan is only answer.

  • stephenreal

    ISIS is small potatoes.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    If self-determination is the key
    let Scotland go FREE!
    –Barack H. Obama {Moral Arc Guy for Our Time}

  • Adele Roof

    Kore Schake is either disingenuous or poorly informed. The US doesn’t care about democratic hegemony. We’ve overthrown many democratically elected regimes over the years (Arbenz and Allende, to name two.) We’re there in the Middle East for our own selfish economic interests and also to rule over the world. There are no other reasons. What I notice is how we make a mess of things where ever we go.

    • anon

      I didn’t understand why she was even on the show; she didn’t seem to have any relevant expertise.

  • stephenreal

    ISIS is only a mirage overlayed on the real problem.

  • stephenreal

    The American republic has been fighting every single, tin horn dictator, and punk since day one.

  • stephenreal

    To think otherwise is foolish.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Just hang Shell No-Pest strips around the border of the Calphate, Allah be praised.

    • stephenreal

      We should lynch you first. I’d enjoy that. Little picnic lunch.

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

        Civil rights violation. See: constitutional law scholar golfer dude. HD

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

    The question “is it okay that we allow an Islamic state be established” is waaaay too late! We destabilized the whole area, by going in, and now it has it’s own momentum and entropy.

    • jimino

      Condi, elucidating the Bush view of the world, would see the election of radical Islamists as a the flowering of democracy

      • HonestDebate1

        It could have been great.

  • stephenreal

    There has never been a month that went by the US Navy was not engaged since day one.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      We were engaged in the eastern Med {Beirut} in the 1970s.. when I was the US Navy. HD

  • toc1234

    Meanwhile Obama just double-bogeyed the 13th…

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      But he’s President Mulligan. Like the last two. HD

  • hennorama

    ISIL would not have captured the territory they currently loosely control without the tacit and explicit support of the Sunni tribal leaders in those areas. Part of the reason for this tacit and explicit support is due to Sunni opposition to the largely Shia and sectarian al-Maliki government in Baghdad.

    • couchdog27

      and if I recall — al-Maliki wanted us out of Iraq

      • Don_B1

        Your recollection is 100% accurate, despite the trumped-up protestations of [Dis]HonestDebate1 who repeats his lies on this subject without end.

      • hennorama

        couchdog27 — thank you for your response.

        As evidence for your recollection, in a statement from the South Lawn on August 9, 2014, President Obama had the following exchange with a member of the media (emphasis added):

        Q: Mr. President, do you have any second thoughts about pulling all ground troops out of Iraq? And does it give you pause as the U.S. — is it doing the same thing in Afghanistan?

        THE PRESIDENT: What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision. Under the previous administration, we had turned over the country to a sovereign, democratically elected Iraqi government. In order for us to maintain troops in Iraq, we needed the invitation of the Iraqi government and we needed assurances that our personnel would be immune from prosecution if, for example, they were protecting themselves and ended up getting in a firefight with Iraqis, that they wouldn’t be hauled before an Iraqi judicial system.

        And the Iraqi government, based on its political considerations, in part because Iraqis were tired of a U.S. occupation, declined to provide us those assurances. And on that basis, we left. We had offered to leave additional troops. So when you hear people say, do you regret, Mr. President, not leaving more troops, that presupposes that I would have overridden this sovereign government that we had turned the keys back over to and said, you know what, you’re democratic, you’re sovereign, except if I decide that it’s good for you to keep 10,000 or 15,000 or 25,000 Marines in your country, you don’t have a choice — which would have kind of run contrary to the entire argument we were making about turning over the country back to Iraqis, an argument not just made by me, but made by the previous administration.

        So let’s just be clear: The reason that we did not have a follow-on force in Iraq was because the Iraqis were — a majority of Iraqis did not want U.S. troops there, and politically they could not pass the kind of laws that would be required to protect our troops in Iraq.

        Having said all that, if in fact the Iraqi government behaved the way it did over the last five, six years, where it failed to pass legislation that would reincorporate Sunnis and give them a sense of ownership; if it had targeted certain Sunni leaders and jailed them; if it had alienated some of the Sunni tribes that we had brought back in during the so-called Awakening that helped us turn the tide in 2006 — if they had done all those things and we had had troops there, the country wouldn’t be holding together either. The only difference would be we’d have a bunch of troops on the ground that would be vulnerable. And however many troops we had, we would have to now be reinforcing, I’d have to be protecting them, and we’d have a much bigger job. And probably, we would end up having to go up again in terms of the number of grounds troops to make sure that those forces were not vulnerable.

        So that entire analysis is bogus and is wrong. But it gets frequently peddled around here by folks who oftentimes are trying to defend previous policies that they themselves made.

        Source:
        http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/09/statement-president-iraq

        • TFRX

          So that entire analysis is bogus and is wrong. But it gets frequently
          peddled around here by folks who oftentimes are trying to defend
          previous policies that they themselves made.

          Shouldn’t that have been the boilerplate opener by Pres Obama for any news conference for about 4 1/2 years? Beats the hell out of waiting for Chuck Todd or Dana Milbank to say it.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Make me president and I’ll bring the silly buggers to bear.
    –HRH Hillary*

    * With two pair: hers and Horndog’s. {she keeps his in a pouch around her neck}

  • stephenreal

    Build anew Arab state!

  • refwards1

    Much too Amerocentric attitude as usual. There is no point other than the Caliphate, which is why This time is Different. Russian nationalism since the Putin-Obama spat has festered. Chinese see themselves at the top of the world. You can’t “back the moderate Sunnis against the beheaders” unless you build them a Caliphate. One without any Western values. Ready to do that?

    • stephenreal

      well you learn nothing from the American involvement in Iraq because that statement was retarded.

  • stephenreal

    Start with the old crew. IE Sons of Iraq.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Let the Arabs fail. Like every other civilization had to undergo before they found the strength and the grit to build a modern society.

  • N G

    I shouldn’t be surprised, but Tom:”the beheadings but the beheadings” I know you are doing your job as devils advocate but let the man get to his point .. jeez. Luckily Posen presses through the interruptions and sticks to his point.

    • brettearle

      Ashbrook thought Posen wasn’t taking the issue seriously enough.

      Ashbrook ought to be able to offer Commentary if he wants.

      This recurrent complaint about Ashbrook’s interruptions is exaggerated.

      • JS

        i am a fan of Tom Ashbrook, but I also felt his interruptions today were a bit much.

        A guest shouldn’t have to keep repeating that, :”Yes, ISIS are bad guys, but..) each time they make a point.

        It reminds me of the Iraq War debate where I had to explain to my neo-con relatives that, “yes, I agree Saddam is a bad guy, but..” before every point lest I be accused of either supporting Saddam or not knowing how bad he was.

        (which was funny because half of them didn’t know the history of US support for Saddam)

        • brettearle

          Pardonable sins.

          There are few who are better.

        • Adele Roof

          I agree. Tom is usually deferential, but not today.

    • jimino

      They have limited time and the very articulate Posen is certainly not being denied the opportunity to fully express his view.

  • JS

    How about we hold back, and let Iraq sort this out themselves. A spilt into three separate states might be the outcome, and then we can work with the ones whose interest align best with ours and against those whose don’t.

    • HonestDebate1

      Because ISIS has no borders. It’s territory they seek. It’s bigger than Iraq.

      • JS

        So let them seek territory and fight Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, and Turkey.

        The Middle East map is a product of British Imperialistic fiction and needs to be re-written by the actual people who live in the Middle East.

      • Ray in VT

        How can the Iranians Shiites possibly resist the Caliph? Maybe ISIS will be welcomed as liberators from the heretic leaders in Tehran.

        • anon

          Not by Shiites

          • Ray in VT

            Absolutely. Ethnic, national and sectarian divisions are going to work against any spread of ISIS. My comment was not made earnestly.

    • brettearle

      Islamic Fundamentalism has no respect for Borders.

      Your idea would likely work in a perfect world.

      And the world of Iraq, currently, is as Imperfect as they come.

      • JS

        I still feel it’s ore Saudi Arabia’s and Iran’s problem more than ours.

        • brettearle

          America sees its own geopolitical destiny directly connected to the geopolitical destiny of the Middle East.

          • JS

            And that”s a big part of the problem.

          • brettearle

            Right.

            And that is THE point.

  • stephenreal

    One man and a checkbook.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    A man
    A plan
    Obama
    Kurdistan!

    (and Galbraith)

  • Michael Wilde

    If we are concerned against with people, what about terrorism and the slaughter of innocent people, why aren’t we in Central Africa. Our “advanced technologies” were used for 11 years in Iraq — look what what happened.

  • couchdog27

    one of the problems.. it seems to me… we are the most militaristic country in the world and feel we have to use all that might… and when you are the bulldog, of course the other countries think it is up to us…

  • stephenreal

    Anbar province was totally silent.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Now it’s governor has asked for help. HD

      • stephenreal

        don’t talk to me.

  • stephenreal

    Is he kidding?

  • stephenreal

    Now they’re chasing people all the back out of Mosul and almost into Irbil

  • brettearle

    If ISIS grows, its threat would be larger than Saddam Hussein’s.

    Direct threat to US is the actionable point, Posen asserts.

    What about Lebanon, what about Jordan?

    Who is going to stop the spread of a regional Caliphate?

    Such an expansion would be a Disaster.

    A muted response might be a gross miscalculation.

    But losing more American lives would also be a Disaster.

    Seems like an untenable circumstance.

    What is the lesser of 2 Evils, if there is one?

    I doubt that any of us know the Answer….

    • JS

      “Who is going to stop the spread of a regional Caliphate?” – depends, is the Caliphate to be SUnni, Shia? some other sect? The Muslim countries of the Middle East are far to diverse politically and religiously to form a stable Caliphate.

      I agree that if ISIS grows it’s threat would be greater than Saddam Hussein’s, since his threat was negligible.

      • brettearle

        A Caliphate does not have to include all warring Factions.

        • Ray in VT

          Absolutely, but one needs people if one wants to be taken seriously as a spiritual head of a faith, which is sort of historically what Caliphs have been. I don’t think that anything like that is possible in modern times.

          • brettearle

            Ray,

            First, I was using the term loosely. [Maybe not as loosely as our wondrous friends, the ISIS.]

            But secondly, I have never seen you as a man with a Failure of the Imagination.

            And in the obviously insane world, in which we are living, ‘Everything is Permitted’.

            And so must our Imaginations (unfortunately) thrive, accordingly.

          • Ray in VT

            I guess that one can legitimately say that anything is possible, however I think that the likelihood of any sort of broad movement towards any sort of old timey caliphate is so incredibly small so as to be effectively zero. Could they bring some people together and wreak some havoc/do some damage? Sure, but I don’t really see them as being able to do huge amounts of unification of peoples across the Muslim world.

          • brettearle

            Do we know not know from History that where there is high instability and fluidity, in a region, that, ultimately, that region is rife for a takeover, eventually, of Fascism/Totalitarian Dictatorship?

            [However, I did not realize that ISIS forces are modest.

            Maybe the numbers are inaccurate....]

          • Ray in VT

            Sometimes it is hard to say. One can say that the region is prone to dictatorships due to a variety of factors. Prone to takeovers? Maybe in some cases. I think that that depends upon local conditions. I think that a fair amount of national and ethnic feeling that has been growing or developing for at least a century hinders the ability of any sort of pan-Islamist to spread across some national borders where competent governments exist.

          • brettearle

            Well-envisioned.

            But I can only partially agree.

            Islamic factions are their own worst enemy, against each other, perhaps. And that is significant.

            But ISIS can remain viable long enough to possibly wreak much more havoc.

            And, as Charlie Rose implied in a question to McCain, weeks ago, one ISI nuke, obtained by ISIS, can ruin your whole day….

        • JS

          If it encompasses them, doesn’t that necessarily include them? Either way I do not see such a state holding together.

      • brettearle

        I am referring to Hussein as a regional threat.

        He was that.

        But I am not implying that we necessarily had the right to invade his country.

        • JS

          Yes, a regional threat, not a US threat.

    • jimino

      Don’t any of these countries have a military? ISIS is small in numbers, and its method of governing and enforcing its world view can not possibly be of widespread popularity.

      Other Muslims must be the ones who kill the barbarians who act in their name. If we are asked to assist (and I expect we already ARE their primary source of military support) we should. But that is where the fight back must originate. There is no other solution

  • John_in_Amherst

    Collin Powell, in his “Pottery Barn” analogy, stated that if we break it, we own it, in reference to Iraq. We do bear responsibilities for our actions. That said, Iraq was like a piece of pottery that someone already broke, and then reassembled and put back on the shelf for the next person to take the rap when they cause the broken shards to tumble onto the floor. Absent its murderous thug ruler Saddam holding it together, Iraq is falling apart along religious and ethnic faultlines that were present before Bush and his neo-con advisers decided to “sow the seeds of democracy”. Obama, yet again in the wrong place at the wrong historical time, is faced with the impossible task of restoring order. As long as economic development lags, religious extremists find fertile ground for growing an “Islamic state”. And as long as economic and social order is threatened by religious extremists, the international community is loathe to invest in development. The absurdity is lost upon the 24 hour news cycle networks, who profit from showing us chaos.

  • Vic

    How comes we don’t acknowledge that ISIS has the tacit approval and cheerleading (if not support) from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and even Muslims in India? Isn’t this actually a fundamental problem of Islam? It is more apparent now than ever that there are no moderates there and they have clear disdain for the rights of non-Sunnis.

    Having said that, what good is military solution when the supporters from the rest of the Muslim diaspora (especially the brainwashing and recruitment in mosques all over central and South Asia and North Africa) will keep the Medusa of Islamic fundamentalism alive?

  • Sue Rushfirth

    I have just run in from the car and the response may have already been voiced – but in answer to the caller who described himself as being a liberal democrat who, on this issue, is with McCain – I would suggest that he is indulging in wishful thinking.
    It is completely unrealistic to assume that by bombarding and reducing ISIS we will, in some way, solve a problem and reduce a terrorist threat. Even if all the current fighters were some how eradicated their enraged, grieving embitttered and even more militant sons, daughters, brothers and sisters would remain.
    Like blowing a dandelion to remove it from the lawn all we succeed in doing is dispersing the seeds and – in the next season – greatly increasing the problem.
    We have moved from being sure that the removal of a single man would render us safer to talking as if the removal of 15,000 will have the same effect

    • brettearle

      Even if we had had no right, perhaps, in 1935 or 1937, to have stopped the movement of Fascism, in Germany, if we had, HOW MANY MILLIONS OF LIVES WOULD HAVE BEEN SAVED?

      • Don_B1

        The best, and perhaps the only way, would have been to convince Chancellor Brüning to not pursue his severe austerity policies in a vain attempt to pay off Germany’s debts from WWI which were inflicting severe hardship on the German middle class, and was a big factor in the middle class’s infatuation with the Nazis.

        Starving (from whatever cause) people are not the most rational when it comes to their livelihoods.

        • brettearle

          WWI was a devastating assault on the self-esteem of an entire Country.

          The culture & society was rife for a cataclysmic demagogue.

          • TFRX

            I might suggest WWI, and / or the Treaty of Versailles’ reparations.

            (I suppose there will be any number of shows about this in the talk-o-sphere come the centennial of the end of WWI.)

  • couchdog27

    if you want Tom Ashbrook to become a hawk — show him a severed head

  • refwards1

    Nobody seems to understand the point of the Caliphate. It is Fundamentally anti-Western, because Western values of mindless consumerism and off-hand acknowledgement of spirituality and silly democratic impositions on peoples who prefer being told what to do so they can spend more time praying, all of this Western modernism is incompatible with beliefs that haven’t changed since 500AD.

    But then, we can’t let them take over Jordan can we.

    • JS

      So, their anti-Westernism has nothing to do with the overthrow of their governments in the 50′s?, with support of brutal dictators like the Shah in the 70′s and Saddam in the 80′s?, with support of the Saudi Arabian regime?

      • brettearle

        It’s both.

        Your point is a good one–and it is one that we tend to sort of forget and let slide.

        Lest we forget Bin Laden’s credo and battle cry?

        Bin Laden’s enmity for Colonialist History will fester for a long time.

        But Islamic Fundamentalism’s hatred for Western Culture and Values is palpable and it would still be a significant factor in declaring a war of Civilizations–of which this ISIS uprising partially symbolizes.

        • JS

          Without the Western intervention and disruption of the region it’s likely that Islamic Fundamentalism would not have the support and reach that it enjoys today.

          When you are under the iron boot of a dictator the more moderate and sensible resistance is quickly worn down, leaving only hard core fundamentalists.

  • tbphkm33

    No matter what, it is the moral integrity of the United States that is further degraded as Iraq descends into chaos. The impostor “President” GW Bush, and his Republican Party, was warned from a number of different sides what would happen if they unleashed these forces in Iraq. Not least of which France, which was vilified as a nation by the not-so-Grand-Old-Party.

    So, perhaps the question should not be if Washington unleashes its military industrial machine of death upon Iraq again, but if the United States is ever going to learn from its mistakes and become a better nation?

    Or if the Democratic Party, the liberals and the intellectuals in the United States are ever going to stand up to the right wing and call them out on their reckless stupidity.

    • d f bizzle

      I agree sooo much with your sentiment on the folly of dubya needlessly leading the US into Iraq. Something tells me this time its different. We have all heard the argument “Hussein is like Hitler; Assad is like Hitler” or even “W.Bush is like Hitler”. It always sounds trite.

      We are all sick of fighting over there. But if there was ever a menace that could be equivocated with the nazis, or that could be the focus of international condemnation its the IS/ISIS. Nobody: not Russia, Iran, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Palestine … can find cause to sympathize with them. They are very effective maniacs and they are winning. The US military cannot go in alone for the reasons you and others have pointed out but it can be part of an international effort, with other muslim nations, to neutralize them.

  • scottguth

    The United States has killed enough Arabs. In fact, we’ve killed too many Arabs and our highest priority has got to be stop killing Arabs. The more Arabs we kill, the more they hate us. The more they hate us the more they will kill us when they are able. We have been in the business of killing Arabs for around 48 years when we started buying bullets for Israel to kill Arabs. We’ve got to disassociate ourselves from applauding Israel’s non-stop war crimes with Arabs as victims.

    The Jews have once again made themselves a very unwelcome presence in the world. They made themselves this bed. Now they have to learn to stop doing what pisses everybody off that they can’t buy. Nobody is more scared of a pogrom than I am. Everybody that I love dearest is a Jew. So please, let’s back out of this nightmare before it gets as bad as we know it can get to be.

    • harverdphd

      Bwahhh! Mommy!

  • jsmetz

    Senator Graham sounds like LBJ following the Gulf of Tonkin. I was there. The domino theory still lives in the minds of those who represent the arms industry. Go Posen. I’m going to read your book.

  • Emily Corwith

    This discussion makes me embarrassed to be an American … but what’s new?

    • harverdphd

      New York?

  • marygrav

    was absolutely wrong to discuss war-guilt from the standpoint that [the United States] alone could not be held responsible for the outbreak of the catastrophe; it would have been correct to lead every bit of the sblame on the sholders of the enemy, even if this had not really corresponded to the true fac
    The function of propaganda is, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unvlinchingly.

    And what was the consequence of this half-heartedness?
    The broad mass of a nation does not consist of diplomats, or even professors of political law, or even individuals capable of forming a rational opinion; it consists of plain mortals, wavering and inclined to doubt and uncertainty. As soon as our own propaganda admits so much as a glimmer of right on the other side, the foundation for doubt in or own right has been laid.
    The masses are then in no position to distinguish where foreign injustice ends and our own begins. In such a case they become uncertain and suspicious, especially if the enemy refrains from going in for the same nonsense, but unloads every bit of blame on his adversary.

    Isn’t it perfectly understandable that the whole country ends up by lending more credence to enemy propaganda, which is more unified and coherent, than to its own? and particularly a people that suffers from the mania of objectivity as much as the [Americans]. Fr, after all this, everyone will take the greatest pains to avoid doing the enemy any injustice, even at the peril of seriously besmirching and even destroying his own people and country.

    Of course, this was not the intent of the responsible authorities, but the people never realize that.
    The people in their overwhelming majority are so feminine by nature and attitde that sober reasoning determines their thoughts and actions far less than emotion and feeling.
    And this sentiment is not complicated, but very simple and all of a piece. it does not have multiple shadings; it has a positive and a negative; love or hate, right or wrong, truth or lie, never half this way and half that way, nvever partially, or that kind of thing.

    The purpose of proganda is not to provide interesting distratction for blase young gentlemen, but to convince the masses. but the [American] masses are slow-moving and they always require a certain time before they are rady even to notice a thing, and only after the simpest ideas are repeated thousands of times will the [American] masses finally remember them.

    When there is a change, it must not alter the content of what the propaganda is driving at, but in the end must always say the same thing. For instance, a slogan must be presented from different angles, but the end of all remarks must always and immutably be the slogan itself. Only in this way can the propaganda have unified and complete effect.

    This broadness of outline from which we must never depart, in combination with steady consistent emphasis, allows our final success to mature. and then, to our amazement, we shall see what tremendous results such perserverance leads to–to results that are almost beyond our understanding.

    All advertising, whether in the field of business [AEI] or politics [Kori Schake & Hudson Institute & AIPAC] success through the continuity and sustained uniformity of its application.

    The more things change; the more they stay the same. The above is plagerized from Mein Kampf. Like Pogo we must look in the mirror and see that the enemy is US. We are too quick to make the enemy US. When it comes to terror, the US has been the world’s greatest terrorist since post-WW2, believe it or not.

  • marygrav

    Kori Schake, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution is a Neocons. It was the Neocons that got US into Iraq in the first place. She insists that we get our allies to help us conquer ISIS. According to James Risen in State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration (2006) wrote that Iran was our best ally in Bush’s War on Terror. Iran gave the CIA intellegence; captured Bin Ladin’s son
    and held various members of Al Qaeda and was willing to hand them over for MEK that was a terrorist group sponsored by Saddam Hussein. But Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz refused because they wanted to save MEK to stay on the border. The only reward they got for their efforts was to be named a member of the Axes of Evil.

    George Friedman in The Next Decade (2011) writes that even though the Russians resented the US being in Central Asia, when the US decided in the wake of 9/11 to bring down the Taliban government in Afghanistan quickly, the russians cooperated in two ways. first, they provided access to the Northern Alliance, a pro-Russian faction going back to the russian occupation and the civil war that followed it. Second, russia used it influence to obtain air and ground bases in the three countries bordering Afganistan–Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan–from which the United Sttes could support its invasion forces. russia also granted flight privileges over its territory, which wa extremely useful for travel from the West Coast of Europe.

    The pay-back was to encourage Georgia to attack Russia in the name of freedom & democracy, and now sanction over Ukraine because of an illegal coup sponsored by the US itself.
    Germany and the EU, other than a few of the poorer straglers and France are tired of war in the Middle East when they know that the center of ISIS anger is over the US one sided treatment of the Palestinians lies at base.
    It is the elephant in the room that not even Tom wants to deal with.

    Germany and Japan are not good examples. One was a Western Christian nation; the other was an imitation of the West. These nations were that, not a shadow united under Religious fanaticism. Listening to Neocons who are Trostkyites dedicated to eternal revolution of “Peace & Security” and refuse to heed: When they say peace and security; then the end will come.

    I vote for 6 feet of ground for both John McCain and Linsey Ghrame. They are like Ludendoff and Hindenberg, leftovers from WWI mentality of Imperialism. Read Max Hasting’s Catastrophe 1914 Europe Goes To War to understand why such men have oulived their usefulness.

  • marygrav

    Hillary had better watch her back, Liz is rising up on her on her blind side. She trying to move to the Right where the money is. She make the same stupid mistake in Gerogia by stating that MLK did not walk the water and loss heavy to Obama. Play a ole boys game is for the boys, not the women.

  • S David H de Lorge

    Remember the effectiveness of US air power against the highly armed forces of Iraq in 1991? Tore them up, Republican Guard and all, and left them cremated, scattered across the desert. Under George H W Bush, who had the good sense to see them contained, and refrain from advancing to Baghdad.

    Our air power is better now.

    • ExcellentNews

      Air power is effective against organized armies. It is not very effective against grassroots insurgencies, like the one we created in Iraq (and we are creating in the entire Middle East, thanks to our support of obscenely corrupt local despots and Israel).

      • S David H de Lorge

        I believe you are generally right.

        However, ISIS is now reported to be roaming around in clusters of fighters escorting convoys and heavy weapons, arrayed like fighters on a battlefield. This particular battlefield has many wide open areas, with broad horizons and few collateral risks.

        Getting after them with air power would seem to offer to degrade their military capabilities quite a lot.

        • ExcellentNews

          You make a very good point. True, but the fact they are operating with such brazen openness speaks volumes for the way they perceive their strength and popular support. I would not be surprised if their leadership WANTS us to be back on the ground with troops and military action.

          From the news, it may seem that ISIS has emerged virtually overnight. In practice, I think their elements have been there for a long time, bidding their time. An organization that takes over half a country does not just happen overnight. They must have significant support from a large fraction of the Sunni population, and oodles of money from Saudi Arabia and private donors to the fundamentalist cause.

          Conversely, our standing with the Iraqi population has been on a downward trajectory since 2003 (and maybe earlier). The people hated Saddam of course, but the elation of his fall was short-lived. In their minds, we are now the factors of a corrupt regime of cronies, and of miserable living.

          Not coincidentally, this perception is driving insurgencies across the Islamic world – from Tunisia to Syria. Entities like ISIS are seen by a significant fraction of the population as the only alternative to corrupt oligarchies and dictatorships.

          We can easily pound the military elements of ISIS with air power. The result will be increasing hostility in a regional population pool of hundreds of millions. Their tactical losses in the battlefield will be easily replaced from the pool – with recruits even more determined to do us harm.

          With this in mind, doing nothing is the “least worst” option – at least as far as our national interests are concerned. Sadly, the humanitarian cost on the ground will be terrible.

          • S David H de Lorge

            Thank you. My view is a little less grim. There are now thousands of activated True Believers in the violent offensive, which will include more potential attackers on us and other infidels worldwide.

            However, I think the millions are in cultures in which shifting alliances are a way of war, and when war becomes nearly perpetual, any ally will do in a pinch. Most of those are more devoted to the cultural traditions of their tribes and towns, not converts to the ranks of the true believers.

            Remember that the Sunni Awakening was a turn away from the fanatics of Al Qaeda In Iraq. The loss of Sunnis from the body politic of Iraq to the invaders was a response to betrayal by the new Shi’a led government, not a conversion to the fundamentalist Caliphate of some nuts. Money came from captured banks, captured military materiel depots, and so on, along with whatever remnants of former and external wealth they could bring along.

  • ExcellentNews

    Iraq – the Gift that Keeps on Giving. About 1.5 trillion of taxpayer money has gone in the pockets of crony contractors and assorted shills, both foreign and domestic. And it looks like many more $$$ will flow into their offshore accounts, courtesy of Bush and the conservatives who got us there. The war on terror will keep the Halliburtons, Blackwaters, and their foreign friends flush with cash for another 1000 years! Mission Accomplished indeed !!!!

    • harverdphd

      Thanks Obama!

  • hennorama

    Good news:

    Maliki agrees to step aside, easing Iraq’s political crisis

    BAGHDAD — Embattled Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki has agreed to make way for a new prime minister, a member of his political bloc said Thursday, conceding defeat after a tense political standoff.

    Maliki will back rival Haider al-Abadi, who has been appointed to form a new government, the politician said.

    Maliki had provoked a political crisis by refusing to give up his position after eight years in power and ordering security forces into the streets of Baghdad. He had argued that the appointment of Abadi on Monday to form a government was unconstitutional and had launched a legal case against the president over the perceived breach.

    Source:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/maliki-agrees-to-step-aside-easing-iraqs-political-crisis/2014/08/14/4535fd40-23ed-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html

    Expect a new governement to come together fairly quickly, and for them to then formulate military and politcial responses to ISIL.

  • Gato Pardo

    The proposed solutions to the problem are as creative as a rock…
    There is not one thing anyone of these clowns understand about their enemies.

  • Cacimo

    Posens arrogance and smugness was a turn-off. McCain has actually served our country and has been intimately involved in our nations security at the highest levels for years. Posen has every right to disagree with McCain. Belittling him is another matter. His callus dismissal of the beheading that have been occurring was concerning.

    Schake seemed unwilling to properly defend her point of view.

    I supported the war in Iraq. I did not agree with the way we handled our win. We can not hope to wave a wand and grant democracy. First we need to impose our values for a generation. All girls get educated, all religions treated fairly. Then slowly allow the country more autonomy. These half wars cost more lives and money in the long term.

    • harverdphd

      Bush 1 dropped the ball.

    • Zenplatypus

      I agree wholeheartedly, though I had to laugh when Posen said he wouldn’t engage in a game of “comparative decapitation” with Ashbrook.

    • Jonnie

      McCain…one-armed jackass!

      • homebuilding

        McCain: “There’s no problem in the world that can’t be solved by aerial bombing!”

        (this is the man who sang “Bomb, bomb, bomb….bomb, bomb Iran*”) in a public venue,
        and this was most clearly not a surreptitious recording)

        *sincere apologies to the Beach Boys

  • soundfriend

    John McCain and Sarah Palin. Thank goodness the country saw through that one.

    • harverdphd

      right..and the black vote helped a little…

      • soundfriend

        Yes. Black people are a part of the country too.

      • hennorama

        harverdphd –repeating from a few days ago:

        Per the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, it was self-identified Conservatives whose votes crowned elected Barack Obama as King President in 2008.

        34 percent of voters described themselves as “Conservative” in the 2008 polling, and 20 percent of them indicated that they voted for then-Senator Obama. That works out to 6.8 percent of the total votes cast, more than enough to swing the results.

        See:
        http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/elections/how_groups_voted/voted_08.html

  • CambridgeStephen

    I like Tom Ashbrook’s no nonsense tone.

  • Jonnie

    Tom Ashbrook…ultimate moron! One question he never asked the warmongers: What’s the difference between ISIS and our Wahhabi allies who rule Saudi Arabia!

    • tbphkm33

      Well, I guess it takes a moron to spot a moron then.

      Careful with name calling, it only serves to weaken your argument and make you look like a fool.

  • Roland

    I was waiting and waiting for Tom Ashbrook (or someone) to mention the quasi secret and thoroughly discredited Sykes-Picot Agreement after WW1, which took disparate tribes and tried to make them a nation on a made up map so that the oil underneath them could be divided up between France and Britain. No one did. But that is the genesis of the problem, and It was wrong then and it is wrong now; and ISIS has every right to see that it is erased. Perhaps to form a few separate countries. We “broke it” as Colin Powell warned, but that does not mean we have to fix back they way it was. Ashbrook and one of his guests seemed to think that world domination is the goal of ISIS, but I don’t think that’s true. I think they want to redress the Sykes Picot Agreement’s ghastly mistake. To continue to bomb the area to create a solution that WE want is counter productive , as well as pure folly.

    • brettearle

      You may be giving too much ideological credit to the radical motives of ISIS.

      Can you cite a reference?

      Even if ISIS took this historical manipulation under account, do you truly believe that their MO would stop there–if the Agreement were expunged?

  • Russell Reising

    My god; Kori Schake sounded like a complete moron, mouthing the most simplistic platitudes imaginable. How does somebody like that get into any position of importance?!

  • Regular_Listener

    What I want to know is why is it the responsibility of the USA to wade into this mess, cause bloodshed, and spend lots of money in an effort to straighten things out? What about our allies in Europe (who are more dependent on Iraqi oil than we are)? What about Turkey? What about the UN and the Arab League? Of course others will say that we caused this problem so we should fix it, but that is only partly true – what in the world did the US have to do with the uprisings in Syria?

    I do agree with Posen that those who are selling the swaggering, let’s go in and bust some heads approach (like Graham and Clinton) are full of baloney. There needs to be a regional approach with a coalition of supporters to bring about a stable solution.

    • Jason McAleese

      The short answer in a historical context is something like,”If you want something done, do it yourself!”

ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 18, 2014
Flickr/Steve Rhodes

After a summer of deadly clashes between Gaza and Israel, we talk to Jews on the left and right about the future of liberal Zionism. Some say it’s over.

Sep 18, 2014
(Flickr/AisleTwentytwo)

Billionaires. We’ll look at the super super rich, and their global shaping of our world.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 17, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

 
Sep 17, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt)

The NFL’s Adrian Peterson and the emotional debate underway about how far is too far to go when it comes to disciplining children.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment
 
Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

More »
1 Comment