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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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

Lucky for you there’s no problem in finding Men and Women who appreciate this country and are willing to fight. Sorry about the horrible imposition of having to register with the Selective Service.

kcewa on January 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Over

Bmore on January 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Ha

kcewa on January 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

What the hell is with you people and McDonalds?

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

It is common to hear from those on the Left that America is changing the rest of the world to be like us, and they point to the proliferation of McDonalds (and other iconic American corporations, though McDonalds is the most common) throughout the world as the proof.

Of course it is perfectly possible for a person to eat Big Macs and wear Levis and Nikes and still believe in Big Government and Islamic Supremacy and hate freedom of enterprise and wish death to America. It is happening all over the world.

I am a fierce advocate of freedom of enterprise, but the global spread of American corporations is most definitely not the same thing as the global triumph of American ideals.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

What the hell is with you people and McDonalds?

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

It’s tasty, cheap, and as American as apple pie and costly, disastrous wars for absolutely nothing.

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

He should have been removed in 1991.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 10:07 AM

.
Dittos.

listens2glenn on January 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Amen and + One Trillion.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Lucky for you there’s no problem in finding Men and Women who appreciate this country and are willing to fight. Sorry about the horrible imposition of having to register with the Selective Service.

kcewa on January 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Yup, old men are at great at getting younger men to leaver their families and go fight wars in other countries.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

And apparently so were the lives of soldiers that were wounded and killed in Iraq.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

@ Happy Nomad:

” I’m sure you have some reason why invasion occurred if not for WMD. Why did the international community invade?”

Hussein was in clear, CLEAR violation of UN Res 1441. Bush and his bunch never made this case, which I thought was silly, to say the least. Here’s a bit from the ultimate reference, wiki:

“Resolution 1441 stated that Iraq was in material breach of the ceasefire terms presented under the terms of Resolution 687. Iraq’s breaches related not only to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but also the known construction of prohibited types of missiles, the purchase and import of prohibited armaments, and the continuing refusal of Iraq to compensate Kuwait for the widespread looting conducted by Iraqi troops during the 1990–1991 invasion and occupation.”

Additionally, Iraq continually targeted and/or fired upon planes enforcing the no-fly zone around Iraq if memory serves.

So outside of the wmds which may/may not have existed, you had at least the acquisition/building of prohibited missiles/armaments and firing on planes in the no-fly zone. That is to say, a clear violation of the terms of the initial cease fire agreement.

Then again, at that point in time everybody in the UN building was getting fat off oil bribes from crazy ole soddy, so you could easily make a case the above would have never got an approval for use of force against Iraq.

I blame Jimmuh Cahduh, regardless.

GrassMudHorsey on January 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

kcewa on January 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

(1st comment on page two)
.

Over

Bmore on January 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

.
Ha

kcewa on January 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

.
But you’re still friends … right?

listens2glenn on January 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

…..the global spread of American corporations is most definitely not the same thing as the global triumph of American ideals.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Couldn’t have said it better myself. That is exactly what I mean when I say it takes more than building a McDonald’s.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM

I blame Jimmuh Cahduh, regardless.

GrassMudHorsey on January 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

That sounds about right.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Lucky for you there’s no problem in finding Men and Women who appreciate this country and are willing to fight. Sorry about the horrible imposition of having to register with the Selective Service.

kcewa on January 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

It’s another issue entirely but now that combat positions have been opened to the gals (not that I’d ever trust a Marine unable to do three pull-ups), why shouldn’t Selective Service registration be required for females too? Why should only males be forced to prove registration before getting a student loan, security clearance, or federal job?

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 10:35 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 not so certain he was any more deranged or sadistic than any other dictator. However, I would have no problem with assassinating Saddam and letting some other B’aath Party tyrant take over, but toppling his gov’t and leaving a power vacuum would have been unwise. And, the only alternative to leaving a power vacuum is to do what we did – go in and try to nation-build.

Saddam wasn’t really irrational – most of his decisions made some kind of sense for that part of the world. A lot of stuff written on his invasion of Kuwait suggests that he reasonably believed the U.S. would not do anything about it or even that he reasonably believed the U.S. had given him tacit approval.

The U.N. sanctions/inspections dance had gone on for years and there was no reason for him to believe Iraq would be invaded and his regime toppled. He likely expected some military strikes, but felt it was worth the risk to accomplish his goals which were either (a) to protect his WMD collection or if he did not actually have any (b) to protect the impression that he had WMDs (for regional purposes). That 9/11 happened and W used it as a reason to invade Iraq and topple Saddam could not have been foreseen. And, even then, there was plenty of U.S. and international opposition to the invasion to keep him believing it wouldn’t happen.

So, while I don’t disagree that Saddam was sadistic and evil, I don’t really believe that he was completely irrational or a real danger to the U.S. that could not be contained.

And, I say this all in hindsight, having bought into all the rationals for war back in 2001-2002.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

I blame Jimmuh Cahduh, regardless.

GrassMudHorsey on January 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

You spelled out the point I was trying to make. It’s far too simplistic to say that the invasion was as a result of WMDs. It was an invasion where GWB went through all sorts of hoops including UN resolutions (as meaningless as those are).

The strategy was to keep a residual force to fight a resurgance of AQ in Iraq. Obama wanted to cut and run like the filthy coward he is. Epic failure while the bastard shucks and jives about his brilliant foreign policy. All the time not recognizing that you fight “small wars” so you don’t have too fight the big ones.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 10:39 AM

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Building a large base in that country would have been a great idea. Maybe with the Kurds. We blew it. Again.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 10:35 AM

No reason. Equal is equal. Or so they say.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:41 AM

I think Ed was just making fun of Kerry for his double speak – claiming that the US will help “in any way” despite the fact that this is clearly untrue.

blink on January 6, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Fair enough.

segasagez on January 6, 2014 at 10:45 AM

It is common to hear from those on the Left that America is changing the rest of the world to be like us, and they point to the proliferation of McDonalds (and other iconic American corporations, though McDonalds is the most common) throughout the world as the proof.

Of course it is perfectly possible for a person to eat Big Macs and wear Levis and Nikes and still believe in Big Government and Islamic Supremacy and hate freedom of enterprise and wish death to America. It is happening all over the world.

I am a fierce advocate of freedom of enterprise, but the global spread of American corporations is most definitely not the same thing as the global triumph of American ideals.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Yes, and the foreigners we fight and die for also complain about McDonald’s and view America and Americans through that simplistic, virulently anti-American lens which, hilariously (and very tragically!), is promoted by the American Left.

The whole exercise of Americans going to war for people far away is really pointless. It’s pointless because 1.) we never “win”, 2.) the American Left (which runs the show here) ensures we do not “win” or “win” for the right reasons, and 3.) we’re forcing our dysfunctional leftist values on folks who rather elect their own leaders with dysfunctional leftist values (socialists, communists, or demagogue Islamic populists — anti-Americans all.)

So we go to war for “democracy”; go through a lot of good kids and $$$ in the process; are not pleased with the result; and just quietly end up supporting (and funding) whatever strongman comes along. Am I the only one who sees the insanity in all of this?

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 10:46 AM

It’s another issue entirely but now that combat positions have been opened to the gals (not that I’d ever trust a Marine unable to do three pull-ups), why shouldn’t Selective Service registration be required for females too? Why should only males be forced to prove registration before getting a student loan, security clearance, or federal job?

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Agreed. And since we are all equal, these women in combat units should be required to have the same haircut as men. In the Marine Corps that is 0″ to 3″ faded.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Building a large base in that country would have been a great idea. Maybe with the Kurds. We blew it. Again.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

So you were prepared for a slow but steady drip, drip, drip of death in Iraq as our troops suffered terrorist attacks as far into the future as the eye could see? I doubt you were Cindy. You’re just upset about the senseless loss of American lives, and just hoping to somehow make it have some value.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Then again, at that point in time everybody in the UN building was getting fat off oil bribes from crazy ole soddy, so you could easily make a case the above would have never got an approval for use of force against Iraq.

GrassMudHorsey on January 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

In hindsight, I think invading Iraq and toppling Saddam’s regime were mistakes. Mistakes because we had to replace Saddam’s regime, which meant nation-building, which was never going to succeed unless the U.S. was willing to stay in Iraq for decades – spending both money and lives – protecting the alleged “democracy” we instilled.

Instead, we should have simply bombed a lot of Saddam’s military to prove a point, hit suspected WMD sites, and tried to assassinate Saddam while leaving the B’aath party in power. That is RealPolitik. Hell, we probably could have worked with an ambitious Saddam underling to get that done.

But, with all that said, the biggest problem we have from the First and Second Iraq wars is the precedence that was set that the U.S. needs UN permission to use military force. I understand that (both) Bushes did it to try and obtain popular support at home and abroad for the wars – but it sets an extremely bad precedent where now a majority of Americans probably believe we have to get UN permission to wage war.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 10:50 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?

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Do you think you were wrong to have believed that, “there were folks in the middle east who hated us and were trying to destroy us”?

I’m not a military person so I have no idea how WMD’s would be delivered.

Fair enough. Do you remember being told that the homeland was at risk from Iraq’s WMD’s, or that our national interests were at risk from Iraq’s WMD’s? I’m just trying to ascertain the perceptions you had at the time.

Can I not admit I was wrong that a war was the right method of removing Saddam?

Of course you can admit that, and feel free to tell us what the right method would have been.

blink on January 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

1. No, I do not think I was wrong to believe there were Islamists in the middle east who want to do us harm. I became *aware* of the Islamist threat on 9/11.

2. As to WMD’s, I remember being informed that Saddam had been under sanctions for many years and that our guys were being attacked in the no fly-zone. I also remember being told that he had WMD’s and was a threat to stability of the region and the world. I also knew had had used chemical weapons on the Kurds.

3. As to the right method to remove him, assassination comes to mind. I know it is illegal, but it has been done. Of course, then we would have had to deal with his sons who were just as bad, so I don’t know. What I have come to know is that spending American lives on the situation was not worth it at all IMO.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

In hindsight, I think invading Iraq and toppling Saddam’s regime were mistakes. Mistakes because we had to replace Saddam’s regime, which meant nation-building, which was never going to succeed unless the U.S. was willing to stay in Iraq for decades – spending both money and lives – protecting the alleged “democracy” we instilled.

I say this is hindsight because at the time I bought the hype that Iraqis would embrace democracy, rule of law, humanitarian values, etc, not requiring staying there for decades. Now – it is clear that was a false premise.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 10:53 AM

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Does our base in Saudi get attacked on a regular basis? How about Kuwait, Egypt (could there be anyplace more screwed up than Egypt right now?) or Qatar? Do we have a high casualty rate at those bases? And you are right, once we made the sacrifice, I don’t want it to be a waste. They volunteered and died.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

3. As to the right method to remove him, assassination comes to mind. I know it is illegal, but it has been done. Of course, then we would have had to deal with his sons who were just as bad, so I don’t know. What I have come to know is that spending American lives on the situation was not worth it at all IMO.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

These stupid laws are meant to protect the powerful. It’s ok to murder a family going to a wedding in Yemen but not ok to assassinate a tyrant.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

They volunteered and died.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Your turn.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

I say this is hindsight because at the time I bought the hype that Iraqis would embrace democracy, rule of law, humanitarian values, etc, not requiring staying there for decades. Now – it is clear that was a false premise.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I’m sorry to say that I bought in to that also.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 10:59 AM

3. As to the right method to remove him, assassination comes to mind. I know it is illegal, but it has been done. Of course, then we would have had to deal with his sons who were just as bad, so I don’t know. What I have come to know is that spending American lives on the situation was not worth it at all IMO.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

I know that there is a U.S. statute on point and some “international law” on point, but the idea that assassination is illegal is dumb (not saying you are dumb, just the idea itself, which exists in U.S. and international law).

It is ok to target and kill nameless soldiers, but not their leader? Why, because we know his name? It is ok to use military force to topple said leader from power – killing hundreds or thousands to do it – but not to purposefully kill said leader? Why? It is ok to bomb “command centers” but not to target “individuals”. Why?

I understand that nations should not willy-nilly engage in assassinations of leaders it does not like, but the idea that it should never be done is absurd.

Much of international law as it relates to warfare is absurd. Particularly when it has morphed into a sword to use against those civilized enough to actually try to conform to said “law” by those who completely ignore said “law”.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

They volunteered and died.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Your turn.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

I hate this line of argument. I understand it, but I hate it. It’s the whole idea that unless you actively do it yourself, you can promote or criticize it.

Ultimately, the sacrifice just isn’t worth it. Regardless of who is doing the sacrificing, it’s not worth American lives.

segasagez on January 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Do you think they will take a 60 year old woman?

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:02 AM

In hindsight, I think invading Iraq and toppling Saddam’s regime were mistakes. Mistakes because we had to replace Saddam’s regime, which meant nation-building, which was never going to succeed unless the U.S. was willing to stay in Iraq for decades – spending both money and lives – protecting the alleged “democracy” we instilled.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I don’t think even that evaluation fully depicts what would have be required. This is Islam, and it’s done exactly what we are discussing, so we know what it takes. It takes not just occupation, but domination. That is something that we were never prepared to do, so it was a folly from the start. Bush thought he could open a McDonald’s, install some cell towers and have an election then “poof” little America in the ME. At the time I supported it myself, but in retrospect it’s pure insanity.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 11:02 AM

segasagez on January 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Than we should disband the military and stick to civil defense of our own shores alone.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:03 AM

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

MJBrutus

Says the guy who not too long ago said we need to stop worrying about ideology and just elect people who can win. Apparently ideology doesn’t matter unless it’s neocon ideology, lol.

xblade on January 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM

How long after the war did it take Japan and Germany to become the nations that they are today?

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM

I don’t want it to be a waste. They volunteered and died.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

I agree with you that it is sad if ultimately those sacrifices were a “waste”. But, what is the answer – to stay in Iraq forever sacrificing more to impose values on people who don’t want those values?

Also, I’m not sure that just because AQ re-takes some of Iraq, all of those sacrifices were meaningless. We certainly achieved some objectives over there and ultimately, will not know how any of that plays out in the long run for a long time.

We liberated France in WWII and France is just about the most anti-American country in all of Europe, opposing and thwarting us at every turn. That doesn’t make the effort to liberate France in WWII meaningless. I know – not exactly a spot on analogy but you get my point.

I hate this line of argument. I understand it, but I hate it. It’s the whole idea that unless you actively do it yourself, you can promote or criticize it.

segasagez on January 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

In fairness to Cindy, that is not what she was arguing. She was merely arguing that she did not want their sacrifices to be meaningless.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

. . . at the time I bought the hype that Iraqis would embrace democracy, rule of law, humanitarian values, etc, not requiring staying there for decades. Now – it is clear that was a false premise.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I bought into this as well. However, we all know now that Islamists will never embrace anything that even remotely looks like democracy.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 11:06 AM

xblade on January 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Nice strawman ya got there.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 11:06 AM

If we could have trusted our elites to do the right thing for America, the right thing to do in Iraq was obvious. Go in, smashing any of the Republican Guard that resisted (we did that right), kill Saddam, his evil spawn and his top cronies, and then LEAVE with a warning that if Iraq went back to being a danger to its neighbors, we would be back to do more dictator removal.

That job could have been easily completed within 2 months, and with far, far less death and cost than we ended up with.

And, no, the country would not have disintegrated and al Qaeda wouldn’t have thrived. Removing Saddam and his top henchmen would not have removed the Ba’athist Party from power (that happened when we disbanded the Republican Guard and sent the soldiers home), and the Ba’athists and al Qaeda do not get along at all (they are the two sides now fighting in Syria).

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

. . . once we made the sacrifice, I don’t want it to be a waste. They volunteered and died.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

I very much agree with not wanting it to be a waste, but we are doing nothing but risking and losing American lives in the middle east because this administration is not interested in curtailing Islamism.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

I don’t think even that evaluation fully depicts what would have be required. This is Islam, and it’s done exactly what we are discussing, so we know what it takes. It takes not just occupation, but domination. That is something that we were never prepared to do, so it was a folly from the start. Bush thought he could open a McDonald’s, install some cell towers and have an election then “poof” little America in the ME. At the time I supported it myself, but in retrospect it’s pure insanity.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 11:02 AM

I actually (now) agree with this 100%. We would have to colonize the area for 50-100 years, imposing our values and banning their practices that conflict (like the British did in India) and then, after a couple of generations internalized a lot of western values, they could be ready.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Does our base in Saudi get attacked on a regular basis? How about Kuwait, Egypt (could there be anyplace more screwed up than Egypt right now?) or Qatar? Do we have a high casualty rate at those bases? And you are right, once we made the sacrifice, I don’t want it to be a waste. They volunteered and died.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

That’s a nice point Cindy, but in those countries we are protected by a Government that will do the types of things that we find distasteful. However, it could also be argued that 9/11 itself was a terrorist attack because of our presence in Saudi Arabia. Osama made that claim, or at least it was one of the reasons on his list.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

They volunteered and died.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Your turn.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Gee, sorry you’re so traumatized, ripped-off, cheated, lied to, manipulated, oppressed by the man, singled out for discriminatory treatment, abused … whatever.

Are you sure you couldn’t find a more sympathetic audience at HuffPo for your tale of woe?

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Lucky for you there’s no problem in finding Men and Women who appreciate this country and are willing to fight. Sorry about the horrible imposition of having to register with the Selective Service.

kcewa on January 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

No, it’s not an imposition. And I greatly appreciate the country and the men and women who fight for it… like MoreLiberty, whom, after seeing the light, is rather hesitant to fight and die for John McCain and his next Great Adventure.

And like many others, I used to support the Iraq/Afghanistan wars 110%. I even thought it was great and noble (like many on TV said!) to sacrifice Americans for democracy in faraway lands. I even *agreed* with neoconservatism and thought George W. Bush was a great and wise man.

Boy, have I grown up since then!

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Which unseen youtube clip was it this time?

rogerb on January 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

How long after the war did it take Japan and Germany to become the nations that they are today?

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Very quickly with the Soviet Union breathing down their necks.

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Than we should disband the military and stick to civil defense of our own shores alone.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:03 AM

I was responding to the response to your comment. The “if you want to do it, you go fight then”.

segasagez on January 6, 2014 at 11:14 AM

I bought into this as well. However, we all know now that Islamists will never embrace anything that even remotely looks like democracy.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 11:06 AM

I have to disagree with you there. They love Democracy, and maybe understand it’s true nature better than we do. They use it to seize power. Why do you think we quit pushing Democracy after Hamas won a democratic election in Gaza?

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Just to make myself perfectly clear. You could convince me we shouldn’t have gone in. But we did. And now it appears that we have decided to kill and wound our men and women for wars we are not committed to. We’ve done it twice now, we are worse than a Paper Tiger because apparently there is no end to the men and women we will sacrifice to promote the facade.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:17 AM

When you are bought and bamboozled by Islam, you can’t tell day from night can you? What and who are keeping you from learning from your mistakes? A people/nation can’t be this stupid this long without guidance/control from the top actors at home.

BL@KBIRD on January 6, 2014 at 11:19 AM

You remember being told that WMD’s were a threat to stability of the region and world. And based on this, you supported the war 100%. So, why did you originally imply that your support was predicted on believing that “we” were in “danger of being attacked with WMD from Saddam”?

Well, I consider our country to be part of the “world.” Simple as that. I hope you are not trying to play gotcha, because I’m afraid you’ll come up short. I am being completely honest and come from the background of probably most Americans regarding knowledge of world and military affairs. Now, since 9/11 I’ve made it a point to become more educated on these things, but at the time I believed we were ultimately in danger. After all, we were just attacked by al qaeda. Further, I also remember being told that al qaeda was present in Iraq with the blessing of Saddam.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 11:20 AM

segasagez on January 6, 2014 at 11:14 AM

I know, please, don’t worry about disagreeing with me. I may be wrong but no one will convince me. It’s not a deal breaker in my respect for those who are just as sincere in their beliefs.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Just to make myself perfectly clear. You could convince me we shouldn’t have gone in. But we did. And now it appears that we have decided to kill and wound our men and women for wars we are not committed to. We’ve done it twice now, we are worse than a Paper Tiger because apparently there is no end to the men and women we will sacrifice to promote the facade.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:17 AM

We could at least try to learn from it.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

A

re you sure you couldn’t find a more sympathetic audience at HuffPo for your tale of woe?

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 11:09 AM

LOL…hahaha..good try ant diverting and distracting. My point is simple, f&*k Iraq and their people. The US government should not take my money via force and redistribute it to the Iraqis or Afghanis. Additionally, the American public should not be paying to build Iraqi roads, or ballot boxes. The American public, via American military, should not be paying to build roads or schools in Afghanistan while our supposed allies shoot American soldiers and marines in the back. Additionally,American soldiers and marines should not be guarding and protecting Poppy fields and/or marajuana fields.

I’m all for killing bad guys but nation building doesn’t work. It wastes money and lives.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

I have to disagree with you there. They love Democracy, and maybe understand it’s true nature better than we do. They use it to seize power. Why do you think we quit pushing Democracy after Hamas won a democratic election in Gaza?

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

This is true . . .

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Apparently we can’t since it is the second time we have done it.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:24 AM

This is true . . .

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Yup, we love democracy until they vote in people we don’t approve of.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I’m all for killing bad guys but nation building doesn’t work. It wastes money and lives.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

I think that it depends on the nation. Its history, traditions, religion, culture and perhaps most importantly its economics.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 11:26 AM

While we’re overseas Making the World Safe for Morsi-led Democracy, this is happening here at home:

(On Drudge)

DMV: 75% Of Illegal Immigrants Failed Written Test…

Madness.

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Totally agree. We can’t even protect our own borders; but we are/have protected the borders of other nations such as South Korea, Japan and Iraq.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 11:31 AM

I think that it depends on the nation. Its history, traditions, religion, culture and perhaps most importantly its economics.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 11:26 AM

How many nations have we actually built though? How many places have we taken from internal war to peace and stability?

segasagez on January 6, 2014 at 11:32 AM

While we’re overseas Making the World Safe for Morsi-led Democracy, this is happening here at home:

(On Drudge)

DMV: 75% Of Illegal Immigrants Failed Written Test…

Madness.

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

This is the other issue that has been getting my blood boiling. We are going to have to once again gird our loins to do battle on the amnesty front. I’ve been reading that Boehner and the GOP want to push the amnesty shortly and that they are being advised by strategists to not fight hard on the upcoming debt ceiling. Tell me once again why I need to vote for republicans in the midterms?

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

How many nations have we actually built though? How many places have we taken from internal war to peace and stability?

segasagez on January 6, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Japan and Germany.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

segasagez on January 6, 2014 at 11:32 AM

The aftermath of WWII seems to be the template. This would include both former enemies and allies during the war alike.

We are also guilty of the reverse such as supporting Pol Pot after the Vietnam War.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

We got rid of Saddam for….this? This is all on Bush and his Wilsonian foreign policy. That being said, I must admit to supporting the ouster at the time. I never bought the WMD or Saddam was a unique threat to “world order” arguments. I stupidly believed that our foreign policy elites would use an Iraq client state as another tool in the war against Islamism. A better course would have been to preserve the status quo in the Mideast by supporting Islamic in name only strongmen in each nation and foment the divisions between Shiites and Sunnis in the hopes of fomenting another 10-15 year war like the Iran/Iraq war of the 80s. These beasts must be kept at each others throats.

vilebody on January 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

’cause Scott Walker says so.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

The aftermath of WWII seems to be the template. This would include both former enemies and allies during the war alike.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

That doesn’t work with alien cultures. Europe shared our values/culture so it could work there. With Japan, the only major change we did to their culture was get rid of their military – they were already industrialized and capitalist.

We can’t do the same thing with Islamic cultures – they haven’t even emerged from tribalism yet, let alone embraced concepts like rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, church/state separation, etc.

You cannot impose a western value system on a non-western culture and have it take hold. It just won’t happen absent a level of force we will never agree to use.

It’s not like we “changed” Germany’s culture. We simply defeated them and them rebuilt them as they were before absent the Nazis. We did not change their way of thinking about rule of law, etc.

So, the idea that the aftermath of WWII is a template for how we deal with Iraq or Afghanistan is just not credible in any way. We have to change these cultures entire way of thinking.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Agreed and I am opposed to a Mid East Marshall Plan. I was just answering a question raised by this post:

I think that it depends on the nation. Its history, traditions, religion, culture and perhaps most importantly its economics.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 11:26 AM

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Bush thought he could open a McDonald’s, install some cell towers and have an election then “poof” little America in the ME. At the time I supported it myself, but in retrospect it’s pure insanity.

DFCtomm on January 6, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Until the Korean Conflict, winning a war was defined by totally dominating your enemy, destroying his will and ability to continue the fight. Once that was achieved, the victor then either claimed the vanquished as new territory or removed everything of value and left it to rot.

At the end of WWII, that changed. Now we fight “wars” to prove a point, teach a lesson, or for the benefit of small groups of powerful people.

Long gone is the threat of having your culture eliminated if you lose a war. No, today, it can be profitable to simply fight a war, with no plan or expectation of actually winning it or fear of losing it.

Efforts like the Marshall Plan certainly helped a lot of people who had nothing to do with WWII get back on their feet, but generally plans like that end up with more conflict.

BobMbx on January 6, 2014 at 11:53 AM

I stupidly believed that our foreign policy elites would use an Iraq client state as another tool in the war against Islamism.

vilebody on January 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

“Client state” smacks of Western Imperialism to the keffiyeh-wearing apparatchiks of the State Department who are fresh graduates of the Harvard Kennedy School of Communist Government.

For the State Department apparatchik, it’s best to build schools and hope feminist interpretive basket weaving is taught there just like our schools do here in the United States. Oh, and hopefully this article is passed around during class:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/22/this-isnt-feminism-its-islamophobia

Progress!

Punchenko on January 6, 2014 at 11:54 AM

’cause Scott Walker says so.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Yeah, well he’ll have to point out to me who is the republican and who is the democrat in the midterms because I can’t tell the difference.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 11:56 AM

obama gave the ME to Putin, his wild terrorist bros, and to chance.

Hillary, Rice and that Irish cow furthered the Arab Spring.

For the next 30 years the Sunni/Shia will fight…Kerry will speechify and obama will propagate ‘equality’, while he and Michelle are on the way to be billionaires, based on nothing.

Wake up already.

The Rs are the stupidest people in the world. NO leaders, none.

Schadenfreude on January 6, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Hey, if making Germany a whole nation was such a bad investment than we would be bailing out Europe right now instead of them. Can printing presses go that fast?

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 11:58 AM

If they hate America obama loves them.

Schadenfreude on January 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Just like Vietnam.

Little wonder the sense of deja vu is so strong.

irongrampa on January 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 11:56 AM

The easiest way to know is to keep track of who the true Republicans are. Here’s a list:

- Ted Cruz
- Michelle Bachmann

Everyone else is a blue, liberal Democrat.

/s

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Until the Korean Conflict, winning a war was defined by totally dominating your enemy, destroying his will and ability to continue the fight. Once that was achieved, the victor then either claimed the vanquished as new territory or removed everything of value and left it to rot.

It is true that the entirely modern idea of warfare as simply to change another nation’s behavior is causing problems in terms of a reasonable foreign policy in terms of use of military force.

War made much more sense when it was about conquering and subjugating. Now, war – or the use of military force – results in almost no actual closure on any issue. Because the other side just re-builds (often with our help) and tries again.

For instance, in Afghanistan – how much of the population supported the Taliban/AQ? It had to be fairly significant for them to control the country. So, that means we went in, kicked them out (on the surface), then tried to build up the country, including all of the people who support the Taliban/AQ.

Where does that leave us? What does that actually achieve? I’m not sure it really achieved anything. For all the talk of AQ being on the run, they seem pretty active in various places and defeating our preferred outcomes.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 12:06 PM

/s

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Why did you bother?

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 12:07 PM

The easiest way to know is to keep track of who the true Republicans are. Here’s a list:

- Ted Cruz
- Michelle Bachmann

Everyone else is a blue, liberal Democrat.

/s

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 12:01 PM

No. It’s not who is and is not republican. It is who is and is not conservative. Two very, very different things.

Voting to increase spending, make it easier to pass tax hikes, etc.? Not at all conservative. Unfortunately, very, very republican.

But somehow it is a victory because there is an “r” there. I guess. Or so I am told by those who think they are much smarter than me.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 12:08 PM

For all the talk of AQ being on the run, they seem pretty active in various places and defeating our preferred outcomes.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Coming to a neighborhood by us before we know it.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 12:06 PM

In the cases of both Iraq and Afghanistan, tribal identity is much more significant to most people than national identity. IMO, that is a huge part of why nation building is so futile there.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Then why don’t people here kvetch about CINO’s instead?

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 12:10 PM

It’s well past time for Sunnis to conciliate with Iraqi government forces to push back on a common foe.

John the Libertarian on January 6, 2014 at 12:15 PM

And if O and company had not pulled out all American troops, this may not have happened.

Remember, we stayed in Germany and Japan after conquering them – today we’re still there (though they should pay more but that’s an argument for another day).

For the left, everyone (except conservatives) are ok – they are naive and this naiveté results in the deaths of millions every year. They have zero acceptance of the concept that there are very, very bad people on this planet.

MN J on January 6, 2014 at 12:21 PM

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

Easily fixed. Start tweeting around that “Obama lost Iraq.”

Drones will be launched within a couple of days. Troops will follow about two weeks later.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 6, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Then why don’t people here kvetch about CINO’s instead?

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 12:10 PM

CINO should actually be the term. RINO is misplaced because the GOP has never been a conservative party (in the modern american understanding of conservative).

The GOP for many, many years was a regional party – liberal in some areas of the country and business-oriented in others. But never “conservative” the way we use the term (and business-oriented is not conservative, plenty of businesses are very pro-big gov’t).

In recent years, there have been conservatives in the GOP. That doesn’t make it a conservative party.

In recent years the GOP has run campaigns (or at least fund raising) to a large extent claiming to be conservative.

But, the GOP, but its actions, has never been a conservative party or followed through no promises of conservatism.

In fairness, I admit the GOP is the slightly more conservative of the two major parties, but again, that doesn’t make it conservative, just slightly more conservative than the DNC.

A lot of conservatives mistakenly believe that the GOP is a conservative party. So, when they use the term RINO, they are mistaken. Republicans doing liberal things is actually mainstream GOP. So, they aren’t “republican in name only”.

Instead, the party as a whole and individual candidates who run as conservatives are “CINO”s. Because they are not really at all conservative despite pretending to be so.

And, before accusations of “purist”, etc. start up, I’m not talking about the GOP always taking the absolute most conservative position and never compromising, etc. I’m pointing out that the GOP actually delivers nothing to conservatives and does a 180 on just about every conservative campaign pledge. No amnesty? Cut spending? Reform entitlements?

And, before someone says “but they only hold the house”!!! They made those promises between 2000 and 2006 and failed to deliver then too.

It’s not a question of being a “purist” it is a question of wanting some small iota of pursuing conservative goals. I don’t trust the GOP any more than I trust the DNC.

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Then why don’t people here kvetch about CINO’s instead?

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Anyone can ‘honestly’ claim to be a conservative. You have to actually register to be a Republican.

To me RINO’s are almost all the open borders type Republicans. Amnesty such as it is being discussed in DC will mean the end of the GOP as we know it, so even if the RINO’s outnumbered people like me, they would still be the RINO’s. If Georgia is invaded by Russians who then outnumber the Georgians and claim to be the real Georgians, the original Georgians are still the real ones and the Russians are GINO’s, at least for a generation or two.

Under that definition, our GOP elites are almost all RINO’s, but most of the rank and file are not. That is a very sad thing.

Even the GOP rank and file are too stupid to vote sensibly.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 12:29 PM

italics off!

Monkeytoe on January 6, 2014 at 12:29 PM

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

Islamic law. Sometimes it’s Sunni Islamic law and other times it’s Shiite Islamic law. I’m not sure what is used to decide which it is at a given time. It could be numerology or just a coin toss or just COIN..

VorDaj on January 6, 2014 at 12:31 PM

I think we have to face the fact that we are going to be fighting these Muslim jackholes all over the planet until the end of the world comes. They are intent in establishing world-wide dominance of Islam. The US has to be at the forefront of this battle because, outside of Israel and to some extent Britain, no one else is up to the challenge.

Bitter Clinger on January 6, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Easily fixed. Start tweeting around that “Obama lost Iraq.”

Drones will be launched within a couple of days. Troops will follow about two weeks later.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 6, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Good thought. Just did it.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Yup, old men are at great at getting younger men to leaver their families and go fight wars in other countries.

MoreLiberty on January 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

One class of men makes war and leaves another to fight it out. – William Tecumseh Sherman

VorDaj on January 6, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Islamic law. Sometimes it’s Sunni Islamic law and other times it’s Shiite Islamic law. I’m not sure what is used to decide which it is at a given time. It could be numerology or just a coin toss or just COIN..

VorDaj on January 6, 2014 at 12:31 PM

So Islamic Law works just like Obama’s Executive Orders. Now it makes sense.

fadetogray on January 6, 2014 at 12:36 PM

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.

Ed why does this bother you? Do you propose we do send ground troops back into Iraq? Is this going to be the position of GOP? Send those ground troops back into Iraq…

You know that will be about as big as an election winner as Akin’s views on rape and pregnancy. I cannot understand how blind some conservatives are on this. The American people, not Obama, don’t want to send ground troops into Iraq, or the Middle East ever again. They probably have no trouble bombing stuff there, or using drones, but the re-introduction of ground troops there is a political non-starter at this point. Period. End of Story.

Just because they call themselves Al-Qaeda does not make them anymore dangerous than the other hundred or so Jihadist groups out there, or the Muslim population at large in the Middle East. The Islamic world is messed up, and will continue to be messed up for the foreseeable future. Are we going to spend the next 100 years running around the Islamic world putting out one Islamic flash fire after another?

It is going to be hard enough getting the American people to understand that we are facing another cold war this time with China. That is something far more dangerous to our homeland than a bunch of rejects from a dark age fair blundering about the Middle East. 9-11 happened because we let the rejects into our country in the first place, and because we trusted Saudi Arabia and Pakistan too much.

William Eaton on January 6, 2014 at 1:06 PM

I think I see what you’re saying here. It seems that you kinda thought that someone might use Iraq’s WMD’s on the US homeland the way al Qaeda used aircraft on the US homeland. Is this it?

blink on January 6, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Blink, I believed after 9/11 that Islamism was a problem that was spreading with the ultimate goal of world domination. In fact, I still believe that. Iraq was a thorn in our side due to the first gulf war. Saddam was not cooperating with inspections which lead the world to believe that he had something major to hide. So, it was logical to me that if Saddam had used chemical weapons on his own then he would not hesitate to allow the use of them on his western enemies and that he had al qaeda in his country to perhaps help him. My mistake was in believing he was more dangerous to us than he actually was. I just so wish that we finished Saddam off in the first gulf war. It would have save a lot of American treasure in lives and dollars.

KickandSwimMom on January 6, 2014 at 1:06 PM

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