Kerry: No troops to rescue Falluja and Ramadi from al-Qaeda

posted at 8:41 am on January 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The US fought for years to free Anbar province from the grip of al-Qaeda during the Iraq War. Fallujah and Ramadi turned into pitched battlefronts, and later “the surge” convinced local Sunni tribes to join the US effort to dispel AQ from the region. More than two years after the US pulled all of its forces out of Iraq, AQ is back — and Ramadi and Fallujah appear to have fallen once again:

The city center of Iraq’s Fallujah has fallen completely into the hands of fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, police said Saturday, Jan. 4, yet another victory for the hardline group that has made waves across the region in recent days.

ISIL is also one of the strongest rebel units in Syria, where it has imposed a strict version of Islamic law in territories it holds and kidnapped and killed anyone it deems critical of its rule. Also on Saturday, it claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing in a Shiite-dominated neighborhood in Lebanon.

Hadi Razeij, head of the Anbar province police force, said police had left the city center entirely and had positioned themselves on the edge of town.

“The walls of the city are in the hands of the police force, but the people of Fallujah are the prisoners of ISIL,” he said, speaking on Arabic language satellite broadcaster al-Arabiya.

The US, which is still at war with al-Qaeda under the terms of the October 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), and who has allied with the government in Baghdad, wants to help “in any way possible,” Secretary of State John Kerry announced this weekend.  That is, any way that doesn’t involve fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq:

Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Sunday that the United States is ready to help Iraq in any way possible as that country began a major offensive to wrest control of two cities from al-Qaeda-linked militants. But he made it clear that no American troops would be sent in.

Kerry described the militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, as “the most dangerous players” in the region. But as Iraqi forces launched airstrikes and clashed with the militants in western Anbar province on Sunday, Kerry said it was Iraq’s battle to fight. …

“This is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis,” Kerry said toward the end of a visit to Jerusalem. “We are not, obviously, contemplating returning. We are not contemplating putting boots on the ground. This is their fight, but we’re going to help them in their fight.”

Kerry didn’t give details of what assistance the United States might provide but said it would do “everything that is possible.” After Maliki appealed in November for more U.S. support in fighting extremists, Washington sent 75 Hellfire missiles and promised to dispatch drones.

It’s worth pointing out that the same group has upended Barack Obama’s Syrian policy, too. Both could have been avoided had the US worked out an extension of the security agreement that kept American troops on the ground in Iraq to deal with al-Qaeda. Then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates fully expected that to happen, and so did Leon Panetta. Even Nouri al-Maliki expected the Americans to stay, or return almost immediately after the withdrawal two years ago.

Instead, both Obama and Joe Biden twiddled their thumbs and ended up with no position at all in Iraq.  Not surprisingly, the vacuum left in western Iraq allowed al-Qaeda to regroup, and then attempt to destabilize both Iraq and Syria. Instead of stamping out the cancer, we let it metastasize again, this time more virulently than before.

That’s not to say that Kerry isn’t doing anything. He’s, er, inviting Iran to expand its influence in the region:

The Obama administration opened the door for the first time Sunday to Iranian participation at the Syrian peace talks in Switzerland later this month.

Softening the former hard line against any role for Iran if it refuses to endorse the Jan. 22 conference ground rules, Secretary of State John F. Kerry suggested that Iran might be able to participate from the sidelines.

“Could they contribute from the sidelines? Are there ways for them conceivably to weigh in?” Kerry said of the Iranians, who oppose the conference’s goal of establishing a transitional government in Syria, its ally and neighbor.

Kerry suggested that Iran’s diplomatic office in Geneva might be able to help as an unofficial participant.

Smart power.


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Just when is Kerry going to offer terms of the U.S. surrender to the ayatollahs?

Annar on January 6, 2014 at 8:49 AM

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Ar Ramadi, as well as some time in and around Fallujah. This is Iraq’s problem they should die for their own “freedom” and pay for their own “freedom.”

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Iraq is like Zerokare. Take something in pretty good shape and totally screw it up.

rik on January 6, 2014 at 8:50 AM

This story is obviously not true. Didn’t the President go on National TV and tell us that Al Queda was decimated and no longer a force in the region we had to deal with and they were a shadow of their former self and we had beaten them?

Certainly he wasn’t lying was he?

Johnnyreb on January 6, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Smart power.

It’s almost as if the United States is back to supporting Iran over Iraq.

I just lament that so much American blood and treasure was expended only to be squandered by arrogant know-nothings like Biden and Obama. Obamacare is going to be this administration’s biggest domestic failure. Lack of a coherent Middle East policy will be the biggest international failure.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:54 AM

, and later “the surge” convinced local Sunni tribes to join the US effort to dispel AQ from the region.

Then we left, returning the Sunnis to the tender mercies of Shiite rule.

Anyone surprised the Sunnis went back to tolerating al Qaeda because al Qaeda fights the central government needs to go back to elementary school.

Biden has been right about one thing in his political life. If we were going to try to democratize Iraq, we had to split it up. If not de facto, then de jure.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Obama ended the Iraq War. That is all that matters. Who cares if he threw away a military victory? He got his political victory. As you all know, short-term politics is all that matters for the Obama Administration.

joekenha on January 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Certainly he wasn’t lying was he?

Johnnyreb on January 6, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Just repeating what he read about AQ in the NYT. If it wasn’t true, well, nobody is going to be madder than Obama.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:56 AM

I believe “feckless” is the word one would use here.

Or perhaps “ridicutarded”.

GrassMudHorsey on January 6, 2014 at 8:56 AM

“Osama bin laden is dead, and al-Qaeda is no more.”

BuckeyeSam on January 6, 2014 at 8:56 AM

It’s almost as if the United States is back to supporting Iran over Iraq.

It just goes to show you how ignorant our whole interventionist foreign policies are.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 8:56 AM

If not de facto, then de jure.

Phooey. Got that backwards.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Obama ended the Iraq War. That is all that matters. Who cares if he threw away a military victory? He got his political victory. As you all know, short-term politics is all that matters for the Obama Administration.

joekenha on January 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Brit Hume summed it up perfectly yesterday. Americans don’t like these wars. Presidents have to bring them along by providing the compelling case why American blood and treasure should be expended. Obama essentially sat on his backside and did nothing, ran out the clock, and really wasn’t interested in getting a SOFA that would keep troops in Iraq after the pull-out.

This is the result of that fecklessness.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:59 AM

I weep for the families of the fallen soldiers from those battles. What did they die for? What was their sacrifice for? What was the point of the whole damn thing, now that we’ve thrown it all away?

Yeah Ed, smart power.

JSobon on January 6, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Biden has been right about one thing in his political life. If we were going to try to democratize Iraq, we had to split it up. If not de facto, then de jure.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM

I agree but that is the decision of the Iraqis. But what we fail to understand is that governments around the world are very wary about splitting up nation states. The reason being, their own citizens might start thinking that is a good idea. One thing we know about government, our own included, is they do not like to secede power.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Its all about oil
-mj

cmsinaz on January 6, 2014 at 8:59 AM

I hear a blame Bush out there

cmsinaz on January 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM

“Could they contribute from the sidelines? Are there ways for them conceivably to weigh in?” Kerry said of the Iranians, who oppose the conference’s goal of establishing a transitional government in Syria, its ally and neighbor.

Iran has already weighed in via IED tech and shaped charges delivered to Iraq that killed and maimed many of our folks.

Kerry knows this and still says what he says. What a piece of **** and the piece of **** who he works for.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Oops. Had that backwards above. All the same:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39_MDzf7zPM

BuckeyeSam on January 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM

I weep for the families of the fallen soldiers from those battles. What did they die for? What was their sacrifice for? What was the point of the whole damn thing, now that we’ve thrown it all away?

Yeah Ed, smart power.

JSobon on January 6, 2014 at 8:59 AM

The point initially was WMDs…and then it became “freedom.” But what I can tell you as a former marine that has been to Iraq on three separate occasions is that it had nothing to do with mom, apple pie, the flag, the US Constitution or our freedom. That become crystal clear when men get shot on some crappy road in down town Ramadi. We fought for each other – so we could go home to our families – nothing in the USA was ever at risk.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:02 AM

I hear a blame Bush out there

cmsinaz on January 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM

The administration would be happy to change the focus from Obamacare to Iraq.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:05 AM

The lesson Americans are learning from all of this is that we cannot trust our government to do what is right for America.

I was for removing Saddam. I have learned my lesson. It did not matter how dangerous Saddam was or how important it was to remove him from the reins of power. When we give our juggernaut big government the green light to go to war, it will always drag the war on for years in order to maximize the cost and the loss of American blood. It will push those two things until the public shrieks “ENOUGH” like it did in 2008, ending the intervention in a sloppy way that wipes out whatever benefit might have been salvaged.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 9:06 AM

I loathe our president.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:06 AM

John Kerry is the second-most dangerous moron on the face of the earth. And I do mean to imply that the world would be a much better place without this two-faced, disloyal, opportunistic, chickenshit piece of pompus garbage.

We spent ten bloody, gut-wrenching, years bringing Iraq into halfway being a legitimate Arabic democracy and the only plausible foundation for a lasting peace in the Mid-East. Until such an Arabic country exists, the islamic underclass will remain exploitable, incitable, and compliantly ignorant for ruling thugs.

And ten years is halfway for the simple fact that it takes a generation to bring a society into a new cultural groupthink. A intellectually and emotionally mature actual statesman recognizes this, and his endeavors on behalf of his country are always tailored for the future as well as present benefit to the nation.

But John Kerry is, at best, no more than a hack politician. His primary concern in his professional efforts has always been ‘How does it look to the public today?’. And his boss is cut from the same cloth.

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM

No drones?

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM

I loathe our president.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:06 AM

I am loath to disagree with your loathing!

BuckeyeSam on January 6, 2014 at 9:09 AM

This makes my blood boil–especially when I think of all the American lives lost in that God-forsaken country. So, not only was there really no danger of weapons of mass destruction (even though some old stockpiles were found), but the other justification for the invasion (that democracy in Iraq would change the middle east for the better) has also not panned-out. Incredible.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Question at the Daily WH Press Conference:

“Excuse me, Jay…but, I thought al Queda was decimated?”

kingsjester on January 6, 2014 at 9:12 AM

I loathe our president.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Why? According to the American Voter, he was the candidate who “cares most about people like me.” By a huge margin.

We are so xxxxxx. You cannot fix that kind of extreme stupid.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 9:12 AM

I loathe our president.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:06 AM

I’m way past loathing at this point.

These are the words of cowards……

“This is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis,” Kerry said toward the end of a visit to Jerusalem. “We are not, obviously, contemplating returning. We are not contemplating putting boots on the ground. This is their fight, but we’re going to help them in their fight.”

They are also a betrayal of all that we told our troops as to why they were being called on to fight in Falluja and Ramadi in the first place. All these brave Americans did has been negated by the rat-eared coward, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Bill Gates, and the rest of these appeasers.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:12 AM

No drones?

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM

When an entire city is in question, drones do not win and keep ground. They are a tactical tool currently being used by a feckless administration as if they were strategic.

And they seem to have a lot of folks in DC snowed on this topic.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 6, 2014 at 9:13 AM

So, not only was there really no danger of weapons of mass destruction (even though some old stockpiles were found),
KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Uh where is your evidence for that statement?

Johnnyreb on January 6, 2014 at 9:13 AM

All this blood and treasure in Iraq and traitor coward Obama pulled out in 2010 leaving no forces there… We were supposed to leave between 15-20 thousands troops in Iraq to maintain stability but Obama decided to leave none… Now the Al Qaeda terrorists who we crushed in the Iraq war are back and stronger than ever…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Biden has been right about one thing in his political life. If we were going to try to democratize Iraq, we had to split it up. If not de facto, then de jure.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Yup. That’s the only thing I agree to ever since from the get-go. The geo-political map of Iraq is a colonial construct and we should have split it up prior to our idiots in govt let them draft a sharia constitution. I blame Bush for 1) believing islam to be a ROP and 2) not jamming thru a secular constitution.

AH_C on January 6, 2014 at 9:14 AM

“Excuse me, Jay…but, I thought al Queda was decimated?”

kingsjester on January 6, 2014 at 9:12 AM

You just want to see Carney cry, don’t you? Seriously, he’ll just refer the reporter to state where his look-alike (the chick at State looks just like Carney in a blonde wig- they even have the same hipster glasses).

Bottom line, Obama will maintain that he ended the Iraq war in victory. It isn’t his fault if the Iraqis screwed it up after the American troops left.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:15 AM

They are also a betrayal of all that we told our troops as to why they were being called on to fight in Falluja and Ramadi in the first place. All these brave Americans did has been negated by the rat-eared coward, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Bill Gates, and the rest of these appeasers.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Kerry and this administration seem to be playing a version of diplomatic limbo, “How low can you go?”.

Disgusting.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 6, 2014 at 9:16 AM

I agree but that is the decision of the Iraqis. But what we fail to understand is that governments around the world are very wary about splitting up nation states. The reason being, their own citizens might start thinking that is a good idea. One thing we know about government, our own included, is they do not like to secede power.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 8:59 AM

That kind of decision is only made with blood, since the majority will always vote to keep the minority under their boots.

Iraq was already broken. The blood had already been spilled. We could have done it easily.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Let’s see, the anti-Western, Death To America, Israel, And All Jack Russell Terriers side is winning, the “Westernized” side is losing, and the most “mystical”, anti-Western polity in the area is being invited in.

From The One and JFKook’s POV, what’s not to like?

The side they’ve secretly rooted for from the start is going to end up cock of the walk. Crazed tribalism and mystical “enlightenment” will rule.

And shrieking, bearded loons with crazed expressions and even more crazed “thought processes” will decide the fate of everyone based on the Qur’an, their personal piques, and their Saw-fan like addiction to bloody violence for its own sake.

This is exactly how our “enlightened elite’” think the entire world should be run. On “feelings”, up to and including a serial-killer-like O when eviscerating someone they define as “inferior”.

It’s what they’ve dreamed of since Woodstock.

I’m just surprised that anyone else is surprised. Or expected anything different.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

We spent ten bloody, gut-wrenching, years bringing Iraq into halfway being a legitimate Arabic democracy and the only plausible foundation for a lasting peace in the Mid-East.

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Try five years dude. We invaded in early 2003, and left in 2008.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Ar Ramadi, as well as some time in and around Fallujah. This is Iraq’s problem they should die for their own “freedom” and pay for their own “freedom.”

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Thank you very much for your great service… It is exactly because of your service and the blood and treasure sacrifice that we put in Iraq in order to destroy Al Qaeda there, which we did due to the great heroism of people like you, that we should have made sure that Al Qaeda terrorists would never come back again to Iraq… This would have been easily achieved if we kept 15-20 thousands troops there… However Obama the coward fool decided to leave Iraq with no US troops presence there… Now Al Qaeda terrorists are back in Iraq and stronger than ever…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Do you know how long we would have to stay and what we would actually have to do for it to matter? Thanks to Islam we actually know what it takes to convert someone to your culture with the threat of violence. It takes generations, and that’s not just occupying their country but actually living and interacting with them and ensuring that they feel oppressed if they don’t give up their former beliefs. We were never prepared to do that, so it was always going to end this way. The question is Ed how many good lives you’re willing to throw after those already wasted.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Biden has been right about one thing in his political life. If we were going to try to democratize Iraq, we had to split it up. If not de facto, then de jure.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM

This is not an Iraqi civil war, it is Al Qaeda terrorists versus the Iraqi people… In fact the vast majority of Sunnis in Iraq hate Al Qaeda and they are the one fighting it now…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:22 AM

The US has become an inconsequential joke on the world stage. As Cheney said, no trust from our friends, no fear from our enemies. “Restore America’s prestige”, indeed.

paul1149 on January 6, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Kerry and this administration seem to be playing a version of diplomatic limbo, “How low can you go?”.

Disgusting.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 6, 2014 at 9:16 AM

By the time this administration leaves office the Middle East will be nothing more than a smoldering pit. Nevertheless, Hillary Clinton will claim that she was the most successful SecState because of all the time she spent vacationing all over the world. Obama will claim victories in Iraq and Afghanistan- as measured by withdrawing the troops from combat. It’s all very sad for the decade we’ve asked our troops to make sacrifices in the region for the betterment of the world.

All that sacrifice is meaningless this morning. And it is all due to the bad stewardship of this administration.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:25 AM

It looks like my first try got eaten, so:

I agree but that is the decision of the Iraqis. But what we fail to understand is that governments around the world are very wary about splitting up nation states. The reason being, their own citizens might start thinking that is a good idea. One thing we know about government, our own included, is they do not like to secede power.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 8:59 AM

The majority will never tolerate succession. They will always vote to keep the minority under their boots, so secession can only be achieved in blood.

The blood had already been spilled. Iraq was broken. We could have done what was needed. The reason the surge worked so well was because we did do it de facto for a while in order to get the Sunni tribesmen on our side fighting against al Qaeda.

And it has been done de facto with the Kurds. That part has worked well, but it was already working under Saddam after 1991. Protecting the Kurds was the great success of the no-fly zone we had over Iraq.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Cowardly fool Obama is so obsessed with being the “anti-Bush” that he would not go to war even if we were invaded by an enemy…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:26 AM

This would have been easily achieved if we kept 15-20 thousands troops there… However Obama the coward fool decided to leave Iraq with no US troops presence there… Now Al Qaeda terrorists are back in Iraq and stronger than ever…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

How many American men should die for the Iraqi’s? I’m sorry but they are a bunch of ungrateful people for the most part. This has nothing to do with defending America.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM

The question is Ed how many good lives you’re willing to throw after those already wasted.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Iraq became very stable in 2008 once our brave troops crushed Al Qaeda terrorists there… Their sacrifice and heroism were only wasted when Obama the coward fool withdrew all the troops from Iraq and allowed Al Qaeda terrorists to come back stronger than ever…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:28 AM

How many American men should die for the Iraqi’s? I’m sorry but they are a bunch of ungrateful people for the most part. This has nothing to do with defending America.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Al Qaeda and Iran are the biggest threat to our national security… Routing Al Qaeda is defending America from her most dangerous enemies…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Iraq became very stable in 2008 once our brave troops crushed Al Qaeda terrorists there… Their sacrifice and heroism were only wasted when Obama the coward fool withdrew all the troops from Iraq and allowed Al Qaeda terrorists to come back stronger than ever…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:28 AM

There was no stability.

The majority will never tolerate succession. They will always vote to keep the minority under their boots, so secession can only be achieved in blood.

The blood had already been spilled. Iraq was broken. We could have done what was needed. The reason the surge worked so well was because we did do it de facto for a while in order to get the Sunni tribesmen on our side fighting against al Qaeda.

And it has been done de facto with the Kurds. That part has worked well, but it was already working under Saddam after 1991. Protecting the Kurds was the great success of the no-fly zone we had over Iraq.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 9:25 AM

As Fadetogray said we temporarily subdivided the country along ethnic lines, and the ones that weren’t satisfied with that we bought off. You can call that stability if you like but it was an illusion. The Muslims they know how to do the real thing. They did it to these very same Persians hundreds of years ago. It’s a nasty business and we just don’t have the taste for it.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 9:35 AM

We spent ten bloody, gut-wrenching, years bringing Iraq into halfway being a legitimate Arabic democracy and the only plausible foundation for a lasting peace in the Mid-East.

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Try five years dude. We invaded in early 2003, and left in 2008.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Gee, “dude”‘ what was I doing in al Basra 2010-2011?

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Iraq became very stable in 2008 once our brave troops crushed Al Qaeda terrorists there… Their sacrifice and heroism were only wasted when Obama the coward fool withdrew all the troops from Iraq and allowed Al Qaeda terrorists to come back stronger than ever…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:28 AM

And yet, he ran for re-election on the idea that he had killed AQ. It was backed up by confirmed liars Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice. And the media didn’t question the claim despite clear evidence that such claims were absurd (Benghazi ring a bell?)

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:35 AM

The point initially was WMDs…and then it became “freedom.” But what I can tell you as a former marine that has been to Iraq on three separate occasions is that it had nothing to do with mom, apple pie, the flag, the US Constitution or our freedom. That become crystal clear when men get shot on some crappy road in down town Ramadi. We fought for each other – so we could go home to our families – nothing in the USA was ever at risk.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:02 AM

God bless you, sir.

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

I’ve got an idea, all of you people that want to go back into Iraq, want to go into Syria, Iran, and stay in Afghanistan please feel free to write a big fat check – out of your own banking account – and send it to your favored government/group. Then jump on a plane, pick up a rifle and join the fight. A little advice, watch out for Route Michigan (US designated call-sign), it’s the road that divides Fallujah and Ar Ramadi, it’s very dangerous. Also, watch your back because many of these people will turn on you. Now enjoy fighting for “America”.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

How many American men should die for the Iraqi’s? I’m sorry but they are a bunch of ungrateful people for the most part. This has nothing to do with defending America.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Regional stability in the Middle East is in the national interest. And, no, it isn’t just about the oil.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Uh where is your evidence for that statement?

Johnnyreb on January 6, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Take a look at this interview of an Iraqi in the Washington Times from October 2013:

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/forbidden-tabl

From the article:

“Well, it’s fascinating to everybody, to be perfectly frank,” George said. “All I can say is that first of all, one of our distant relatives was actually a part of the situation right before the war and he directly says they flew part of them into Iran, they flew other parts of them into Syria and then other parts of them they buried in the desert. And, well, we detail in the book, we had a number of conversations and the conversations were always very strange, because nobody really can talk about it.”

When asked how the Bush administration could have failed to hear of these accounts and why they would not have vindicated themselves if they had known the truth, George said that very question was put directly to a U.S. soldier in Iraq who replied, “I can’t tell you, but what would you do if you were looking for something that was supposed to be somebody else’s and you found it and it turned out to be yours?”
In other words, at least some of those weapons had been supplied to Saddam Hussein by the United States during Iraq’s war with Iran.
“Essentially what happened,” George explained, “was there were all the weapons that, you know, we thought there were but they had been from a previous generation and most of them were ours as well as our allies … So … I think every one was stuck with this catch-22 situation … Either you say that you couldn’t find them or you say we found them and they’re ours … each of them being equally difficult … and they chose as far as we can tell … ‘we couldn’t find them.’”

I, for one, have come to believe (after supporting the war 100%) that we were in no danger of being attacked with WMD from Saddam. Sorry, I just don’t buy it anymore.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM

And yet, he ran for re-election on the idea that he had killed AQ. It was backed up by confirmed liars Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice. And the media didn’t question the claim despite clear evidence that such claims were absurd (Benghazi ring a bell?)

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:35 AM

The idiot thinks that killing Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda terrorist leaders meant the destruction of Al Qaeda… In fact Al Qaeda was specifically organized that it can function without any centralized leadership…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:39 AM

We spent ten bloody, gut-wrenching, years bringing Iraq into halfway being a legitimate Arabic democracy and the only plausible foundation for a lasting peace in the Mid-East.

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Try five years dude. We invaded in early 2003, and left in 2008.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Gee, “dude”‘ what was I doing in al Basra 2010-2011?

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:35 AM

And you might ask SEAL Team 9 the same question while your at it.

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Regional stability in the Middle East is in the national interest. And, no, it isn’t just about the oil.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Just like the government, using “national interests and national security” means we can do just about anything like spy on Americans, waste billions on foreign governments via progressive/big government conservatives ideas, go to war and guard poppy fields and pot fields in Afghanistan.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:40 AM

We spent ten bloody, gut-wrenching, years bringing Iraq into halfway being a legitimate Arabic democracy and the only plausible foundation for a lasting peace in the Mid-East.

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Try five years dude. We invaded in early 2003, and left in 2008.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Gee, “dude”‘ what was I doing in al Basra 2010-2011?

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:35 AM

And you might ask SEAL Team 9 the same question while your at it.

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:39 AM

And LTG Vincent Brooks, then MG and commander of the Big Red One.

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Gee, “dude”‘ what was I doing in al Basra 2010-2011?

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Sorry the SOFA was signed in 2008 – US troops, with exception of US Embassy security forces, left in December 2011, not 2013.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Someone’s Mideast Strategy is working perfectly as planned …

Whiterock on January 6, 2014 at 9:44 AM

The idiot thinks that killing Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda terrorist leaders meant the destruction of Al Qaeda… In fact Al Qaeda was specifically organized that it can function without any centralized leadership…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Here’s the thing that ticks me off. We knew all along that AQ was providing support from Iran and other areas outside of Iraq. Yet there is the rat-eared CINC doing a victory lap as if he personally took down AQ- like Rambo in a onesie. Yet the media didn’t call him on his BS. Far from it, they suggested that it was all true.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Notwithstanding the fact that it is now Al-Maliki’s fight to lose, I suspect we don’t want AQ to start retaking parts of Anbar. Ultimately, we all lose when that happens.

My fundamental issue with this administration is it has seen fit to involve themselves in places like Libya, Syria and the Sudan for “national security reasons”. Secondarily it is also to fight the scourge of AQ/Taliban from spreading.

Well, why not, using that same standard would we at least provide material support to do some cockroach killing in Anbar?

It’s the consistency that stinks of politics.

Beyond that, let Al-Maliki repay for ground we won and he lost with his foolishness.

Marcus Traianus on January 6, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Regional stability in the Middle East is in the national interest. And, no, it isn’t just about the oil.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

It is in the national interest in the sense that what is better for the world is in the national interest, but the benefits from that stability flow overwhelmingly to other nation states than ours, like China and Russia and Saudi Arabia and the European Union.

It should not be American blood and American treasure going to maintain that stability.

Worst of all, that stability involves the stabilization and strengthening of cultures that despise us and fervently desire to destroy us.

Uncle Sam is a sucker.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 6, 2014 at 9:13 AM

I was being snarky, although in truth, drones are the only thing this president has the guts to do.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Here’s the thing that ticks me off. We knew all along that AQ was providing support from Iran and other areas outside of Iraq. Yet there is the rat-eared CINC doing a victory lap as if he personally took down AQ- like Rambo in a onesie. Yet the media didn’t call him on his BS. Far from it, they suggested that it was all true.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:44 AM

What else do you expect from a welfare queens agitator from Chicago who knows nothing about anything of importance… What else do you expect from the media that created him…
The traitors in the media and the democrat party, including Obama, were doing everything possible under the sun to undermine the war in Iraq during the Bush presidency… We won the war in Iraq by 2008 and then we lost it the moment Obama ordered the withdrawal of all troops and today is the proof as Al Qaeda terrorists are back in Iraq and stronger than ever…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

I, for one, have come to believe (after supporting the war 100%) that we were in no danger of being attacked with WMD from Saddam. Sorry, I just don’t buy it anymore.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Wow retro-pacifism! Not a good look on you.

Fact of the matter is that decisions were made based on the best available intelligence. By the time invasion occurred, the no-fly zones were ineffective, Saddam had yet to comply with the conditions for ending Iraq’s status as a pariah, there were documented human rights abuses, and the international community faced a decision whether to do something or just let Iraq off Scot-free.

But, since you’re a revisionist, I’m sure you have some reason why invasion occurred if not for WMD. Why did the international community invade?

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 9:48 AM

I disagree. If we had established a sizable base in this area it would have acted as a deterrent. For a lot of things. Now if you want to argue that we shouldn’t have gone in in the first place, fine. But we did and we won and to the victor go the spoils. And as we know, our version of “spoils” usually includes making the defeated country a pretty nice prosperous place with free citizenry.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

If Maliki wants our help it should be conditioned on him ending his support for Iran and it’s imperial ambitions. Give us Qasem Soleimani and then we can talk.

kcewa on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Well put.

kcewa on January 6, 2014 at 9:52 AM

We won the war in Iraq by 2008 and then we lost it the moment Obama ordered the withdrawal of all troops and today is the proof as Al Qaeda terrorists are back in Iraq and stronger than ever…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

And, sadly, all too predictable when Biden and Obama didn’t really try and get a SOFA that would allow some military assistance after the general withdrawal. They really didn’t want one.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM

I’m going to go all Hillary on you. At this point what difference does it make? We won, we, the world and the area should have benefited from it.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

tactical nukes work.
use them.

dmacleo on January 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM

While it is terrible that AQ is back in power in these places, what do we now do?

I think the real lesson from Iraq (and Afghanistan) is that nation building and “installing democracy” are not legitimate military goals.

We should never again accept those as missions for use of military force. Collin Powell’s idiotic “you broke it you bought it” theory needs to be thrown on the trash heap of history.

We should have merely destroyed a bunch of Saddam’s military power and suspected WMD sites and left it at that. We did not need to topple him, or take over the country.

Same thing with Afghanistan. Just go in and kill as many Taliban/AQ as possible and leave and then repeat again as needed.

We can’t make people from other cultures believe in the rule of law, or human rights, or religious freedom. If they do not have the cultural prerequisites, they are simply never going to accept those things the way the West thinks about them.

I fell for the whole “liberation” and “they’ll embrace democracy” b.s. like many conservatives did. But, it is a proven failure (Unless we are willing to sacrifice American troops and spend the money for 50 years protecting and enforcing those things in those places – and we are not so willing).

It is time to go back entirely to RealPolitik and stop using the U.S. Military for peacekeeping or nation-building.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

And as we know, our version of “spoils” usually includes making the defeated country a pretty nice prosperous place with free citizenry.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

What if the free citizenry elects Morsi or a Shiite who has a love affair with Iran? Then what?

I wouldn’t encourage my kid to enlist so he can be sent to die for Big Macs and a “free citizenry” that goes off and elects a guy like Morsi.

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

But we did and we won and to the victor go the spoils. And as we know, our version of “spoils” usually includes making the defeated country a pretty nice prosperous place with free citizenry.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

And there’s the problem. If we were getting actual spoils that benefitted regular Americans, then there is at least an argument for regular Americans paying in blood and taxes to achieve it.

The post-WWII rebuilding has really wrecked us. That was a one-off. It worked because we had annihilated Japan and Germany and killed all of their agitated young men. Yet we project that onto every war we have had since then.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Sorry folks, as the wife of a Vietnam Purple Heart recipient, the fall of Saigon is permanently etched in my brain. Either we become Switzerland or we fight to win.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Wow retro-pacifism! Not a good look on you.

Fact of the matter is that decisions were made based on the best available intelligence. By the time invasion occurred, the no-fly zones were ineffective, Saddam had yet to comply with the conditions for ending Iraq’s status as a pariah, there were documented human rights abuses, and the international community faced a decision whether to do something or just let Iraq off Scot-free.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

I’m definitely no pacifist, but I can admit that Americans didn’t die for the flag, our homeland, mom, “freedom” or anything else with the exception of for each other. There are over 4400 American families that wished that their sons, and some daughters, were still alive. Iraqi’s could care less.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 10:05 AM

I loathe our president.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:06 AM

…I hate that phucker!

KOOLAID2 on January 6, 2014 at 10:06 AM

……………..

We did not need to topple him, ……..

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

I strongly agree with everything in your comment except that. Saddam was deranged. He had no concept of boundaries. He wasn’t just a sadistic tyrant. He was a wild animal. Trying to tame him was a fool’s errand, like trying to tame a wolf. He should have been removed in 1991.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 10:07 AM

I’m going to go all Hillary on you. At this point what difference does it make? We won, we, the world and the area should have benefited from it.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

We didn’t win. Sure we dominated the country and occupied it from modern versions of Crusader fortresses, but we never took the country in the way Islam would have, and actually did when they converted the Persians. We don’t have the taste for it. Don’t get me wrong not having the taste for it is a good thing. Put it like this, it takes more than building a McDonald’s to change their belief systems.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Interesting interpretation on my view of freedom but again, your son doesn’t have to have to fight. Isn’t America the greatest!!

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Wow retro-pacifism! Not a good look on you.

Fact of the matter is that decisions were made based on the best available intelligence. By the time invasion occurred, the no-fly zones were ineffective, Saddam had yet to comply with the conditions for ending Iraq’s status as a pariah, there were documented human rights abuses, and the international community faced a decision whether to do something or just let Iraq off Scot-free.

But, since you’re a revisionist, I’m sure you have some reason why invasion occurred if not for WMD. Why did the international community invade?

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Happy – I agree with what you are saying. I believed there were WMDs in Iraq and that the international community believed it as well. I also believe Saddam was a bad guy that had to go. In retrospect, perhaps we didn’t need a war to remove him though.

You can attack me all you want. However, I’ve come to believe that ultimately we did not need a war to achieve our ends. If that makes me a revisionist or pacifist in your mind, then so be it.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 10:09 AM

What the hell is with you people and McDonalds?

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Did you actually ever believe that we were? If so, how did you think any WMD’s would be delivered?

blink on January 6, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Commercial airliner? Merchant Ship? Border tunnels?

kcewa on January 6, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Did you actually ever believe that we were? If so, how did you think any WMD’s would be delivered?

blink on January 6, 2014 at 10:10 AM

I believed, as one who never paid attention to politics until 9/11, that there were folks in the middle east who hated us and were trying to destroy us. Why else would we have been attacked? I’m not a military person so I have no idea how WMD’s would be delivered. I believed what the Bush administration was telling me and my countrymen. As it turns out, he was wrong–and admitted as much. Can I not admit I was wrong that a war was the right method of removing Saddam?

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Commercial airliner? Merchant Ship? Border tunnels?

kcewa on January 6, 2014 at 10:13 AM

That’s a lot of work. Why not just have a bunch of visa over stayers take 100 school buses hostage and start executing elementary school kids. Better yet get Somalia refugees to do it, who came over on the government dime as refugees and are currently receiving entitlements.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

I think that withdrawing forces and stand off targeting of selected enemies with drones are some of the very few good things that this administration has done. We are long over due to withdraw from Afghanistan.

I don’t see the point in having spent the lives we have, once we accomplished what we needed to mitigate the threat to us. I hate to see the US as a policeman and especially hate to see us as a referee among savages, taking fire from all sides.

The neocons had their day. We are still reeling from their decisions. Let’s put America and American interests first.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Ed,

Are you seriously suggesting that we should put troops BACK in Iraq, or that we should have maintained a fighting force there? For how long ? Until the Shiites killed all the Sunnis, until the Sunnis killed all the Shiites, or until they got together and sang camp songs?

It’s obvious, at this point, that the only reason they eventually got quiet during the surge was a fear of being shot by US troops. If that’s the only way to keep them from fighting, let them fight.

segasagez on January 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

I’m not defending that idiot Obama, or sticking up for that idiot Bush but the fact is the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) between Iraq and the United States was signed in November 2008. It called for all US troops to be out of major cities by the middle of 2009 and all US troops to be out of Iraq by December 2011. Of course Obama could have made any changes he wanted via “executive order.”

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Interesting interpretation on my view of freedom but again, your son doesn’t have to have to fight. Isn’t America the greatest!!

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Ha, I wonder how long that will last.

We American males who do the fighting and dying are still issued Selective Service cards, Cindy, in the event USG cannot find enough willing men to fight for… what is it we’re fighting for again, exactly?

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 10:19 AM

But we did fight and we won. Never mind. Let’s just wait until we have a bigger and “better” 9/11.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:22 AM

I guess Iraq will just have to let Iran save them.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Schadenfreude

Bmore on January 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

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