US intel caught by surprise by ISIS sweep in Iraq?

posted at 8:31 am on June 13, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Foreign Policy’s Shane Harris reports that one reason that the White House has been caught flat-footed by the stunning collapse in Iraq is that the US intelligence community didn’t see the threat coming from ISIS. But is that the intelligence community’s fault — or just the inevitable outcome of total withdrawal?

United States intelligence agencies were caught by surprise when fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) seized two major Iraqi cities this week and sent Iraqi defense forces fleeing, current and former U.S. officials said Thursday. With U.S. troops long gone from the country, Washington didn’t have the spies on the ground or the surveillance gear in the skies necessary to predict when and where the jihadist group would strike.

The speed and ease with which well-armed and highly trained ISIS fighters took over Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and Tikrit, the birthplace of former Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein, have raised significant doubts about the ability of American intelligence agencies to know when ISIS might strike next, a troubling sign as the Islamist group advances steadily closer to Baghdad. And it harkened back to another recent intelligence miscue, in February, when U.S. spy agencies failed to predict the Russian invasion of Crimea. Both events are likely to raise questions about whether the tens of billions of dollars spent every year on monitoring the world’s hot spots is paying off — and what else the spies might be missing.

There is a big difference between Crimea and Iraq, however. We never had boots on the ground in Crimea, and had certainly never fought an insurgency there for years, gaining hard-won insight and intelligence into their operations. We did all of that in Iraq, winning the same towns and territory that ISIS seized in a rolling rout that spread from the border of Syria to the gates of Baghdad this week, while the Iraqi army we trained collapsed like a house of cards. The failure, as Harris details in this piece, comes as a direct consequence of our withdrawal:

The CIA maintains a presence at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, but the agency has largely stopped running networks of spies inside the country since U.S. forces left Iraq in December 2011, current and former U.S. officials said. That’s in part because the military’s secretive Joint Special Operations Command had actually taken the lead on hunting down Iraq’s militants. With the JSOC commandos gone, the intelligence agencies have been forced to try to track groups like ISIS through satellite imagery and communications intercepts — methods that have proven practically useless because the militants relay messages using human couriers, rather than phone and email conversations, and move around in such small groups that they easily blend into the civilian population.

Even when we did finally recognize the threat, the Obama administration and our allies ended up in analysis paralysis:

Policymakers in Washington and other allied capitals were similarly unsure of the group’s true strength or how to respond. In late May, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with defense officials from Arab countries in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where they agreed that ISIS and other Islamic fighters in Syria and Iraq posed a threat to the entire region, a senior U.S. official said. But no plan on how to counter those groups emerged from the meeting, and there’s no indication that U.S. intelligence agencies stepped up monitoring of ISIS fighters in Iraq, who also seized control of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in January.

“We got caught flat-footed. Period,” said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a terrorism analyst and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who studies ISIS and other al Qaeda-linked groups.

Now we’re fleeing just as fast as the Iraqis, although hundreds of contractors who have been training Iraqi forces may not be so lucky:

Officials say three planeloads of Americans are being evacuated from a major Iraqi air base in Sunni territory north of Baghdad to escape potential threats from a fast-moving insurgency.

A current U.S. official and a former senior Obama administration official say that means the American training mission at the air field in Balad has been grounded indefinitely.

Twelve U.S. personnel who were stationed at Balad were the first to be evacuated. Several hundred American contractors are still waiting to leave.

Politico outlines the political vise in which Obama finds himself. Not only does the rise of ISIS negate his claims of victoriously ending the war in Iraq, it also calls into question his use of the exact same strategy for withdrawal in Afghanistan by 2016:

The situation gets even more complicated given Obama’s history in Syria, where he’s been calling for President Bashar Assad to go for years but unwilling to do anything to further that along before or after his brief misadventure with Congress in September. The insurgent group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, draws from both countries, and has published pictures of operatives destroying the sand berm that served as part of the border.

The resurgence of a group with links to Al Qaeda in itself presents a problem for Obama, especially as Republicans try to keep attention of the five Taliban prisoner-swap for Bergdahl, which House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) Thursday said represents the new Obama Doctrine: “America is willing to make deals with terrorists.” …

“Could all of this have been avoided? The answer is absolutely yes,” McCain said, calling for the president’s entire national security team to be fired and warning of Obama, “he’s about to make the same mistake in Afghanistan he made in Iraq.”

“This is the education of Barack Obama, but it’s coming at a very high cost to the Syrian people to the Iraqi people [and] to the American national interest,” said Doug Feith, a top Pentagon official during the George W. Bush administration.

“They were pretty blasé,” Feith said of the Obama team. “The president didn’t take seriously the warnings of what would happen if we withdrew and he liked the political benefits of being able to say that we’re completely out.”

The surprise of the US intelligence agencies at the rapid success and progress of ISIS may have blindsided Obama, but only because he effectively blinded them first. The same will happen in Afghanistan over the next few years as well. Regardless of whether the decision to intervene in one or both areas was correct, we left Iraq in the worst possible way, and we’re about to do the same in Afghanistan unless we learn that lesson quickly.

Update: Slate’s Reihan Salam opposed the Iraq invasion, but says leaving was a worse mistake:

The notion that we were wrong to go in but that we were also wrong to get out is hard to comprehend for many people. Once Americans collectively settled on the idea that the Iraq War was a disaster, it was perhaps inevitable that we’d want to wash our hands of the whole ordeal. President Obama appeared to do just that when he declared in December of 2011 that “we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq,” knowing full well that we were doing no such thing. The disaster that is the Iraq War did not end when the last convoy of U.S. combat troops left the country more than three years ago, as many of us are now learning as the fragile Iraqi state loses ground to Sunni extremists. …

There are no easy answers as to what the United States should do next in Iraq. The U.S. has so far refused to launch drone strikes in support of the Iraqi government, though the Obama administration might still have a change of heart. Sunni militants are still on the march, and I have to assume that Iraqi Shias are not going to be in a compromising mood in the weeks and months to come. Kenneth Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution best known for having offered a very hedged, very cautious case for invading Iraq, has recommended that the U.S. government use Maliki’s desperation to its advantage by promising Iraq the military support it needs in exchange for sweeping political reform designed to create a more inclusive Iraqi government. But one wonders what might have happened had we listened to Scowcroft—had we kept a residual U.S. military force in Iraq to prevent this nightmare from having occurred in the first place.

At the very least, we would have had better intelligence and more time to react.


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US intel caught by surprise by ISIS sweep in Iraq?

What’s an Iraq???

Electrongod on June 13, 2014 at 8:34 AM

These people in the CIA, like most other federal employees, are union members. As such they know that they cannot be fired whether they do their jobs or spend their time watching porn or attacking their fellow Americans via the IRS – who are also union members. Union members are typically virulent anti-capitalists. So you have this mind set, that hates free enterprise, charged with protecting it. It should come as no surprise that they frequently “fail.”

devan95 on June 13, 2014 at 8:35 AM

The damn media needs to get on this stuff quicker….How else is Obama going to find out what’s going on in a timely fashion.

BigWyo on June 13, 2014 at 8:35 AM

You can not use global militarism to suppress radical Islam, when U.S. militarism is radical Islam’s best recruiting tool. Why don’t American conservatives ever learn this basic lesson. We were first taught it in Iran, the Russians learned it in Afghanistan. And though very different, we learned analogous lessons in Vietnam. And yet, still both parties and the Bush Administration decided that the people pointing to the numerous historical examples that predicted doom for an invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan were “traitors” and went in anyway.

And now, we have Ed Morrissey et al. Who don’t actually want us to re-occupy and re-invade Iraq. They are just cynical in their fake belief that some other style of military leadership would have solved the impossible problem of winning against a foe that is only strengthened by military action. This is the most intellectually dishonest tripe of all time.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

“Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham”

ISIS sounds to be something about Iraq…

Obama has taken great care in getting Iraq on their own..

We were told so…..

Electrongod on June 13, 2014 at 8:38 AM

They will pin this on Bush instead of accepting responsibility for their own screw ups and man what a screw up. It seems obama has managed to replace all the secular tyrants with islamo fascist tyrants.

Blake on June 13, 2014 at 8:38 AM

I guess its time to find out who is responsible….and give out more bonuses

jaywemm on June 13, 2014 at 8:39 AM

If I had a dime for every time something happened to this administration unexpectedly, I wouldn’t need to be worried about the economy or unemployment.

Occams Stubble on June 13, 2014 at 8:43 AM

The damn media needs to get on this stuff quicker….How else is Obama going to find out what’s going on in a timely fashion.

BigWyo on June 13, 2014 at 8:35 AM

I had the cup up to my lips but lucky for you I had not taken a sip of coffee.

Occams Stubble on June 13, 2014 at 8:44 AM

You can not use global militarism to suppress radical Islam, when U.S. militarism is radical Islam’s best recruiting tool. Why don’t American conservatives ever learn this basic lesson. We were first taught it in Iran, the Russians learned it in Afghanistan. And though very different, we learned analogous lessons in Vietnam. And yet, still both parties and the Bush Administration decided that the people pointing to the numerous historical examples that predicted doom for an invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan were “traitors” and went in anyway.

And now, we have Ed Morrissey et al. Who don’t actually want us to re-occupy and re-invade Iraq. They are just cynical in their fake belief that some other style of military leadership would have solved the impossible problem of winning against a foe that is only strengthened by military action. This is the most intellectually dishonest tripe of all time.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

For you it would be easy. Just bend over.

Walter L. Newton on June 13, 2014 at 8:44 AM

This is the most intellectually dishonest tripe of all time.
 
libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

 
Wait, so you telling the Obama administration how you supported their actions up to 2012 and that you personally desired their continued and similar military expansions for another presidential term didn’t help, professor?

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 8:45 AM

For you it would be easy. Just bend over.

Walter L. Newton on June 13, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Can I assume from your intense anxiety about the potential of submission that you would rather our foreign policy continues to fail as long as the other boys think it looks “strong.”

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

 
Wait, so you telling the Obama administration how you supported their actions up to 2012 and that you personally desired their continued and similar military expansions for another presidential term didn’t help, professor?
 
rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 8:45 AM

 
Speaking of, we’d love your insight on the mysteriously quiet thread below this one, professor:
 
http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/13/one-of-the-five-terrorists-released-for-bowe-bergdahls-911-role/comment-page-1/#comment-8188590

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

I was stationed at Balad air base. If they are evacuating that, Baghdad is only about 50 miles south if I remember right. There is a wide-open 4-lane divided highway all the way there.

Mord on June 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Mika didn’t like what Mccain had to say this am on this issue

cmsinaz on June 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Speaking of never learning lessons…

Here’s a simple question for you. Which of the founding fathers did not subscribe to the communitarian ethos Calhoun deploys to rationalize slavery? *sets sundial*

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

None. They weren’t nascent Commies like John C. Calhoun, and full blown Commies like you. Don’t you think you need to provide some proof for such a ridiculous smear there Mr. Calhoun? You’re a history perfesser, right?

NotCoach on August 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Oh dear God….hold on, give me 10 minutes.

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

NotCoach on June 13, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Wait, so you telling the Obama administration how you supported their actions up to 2012 and that you personally desired their continued and similar military expansions for another presidential term didn’t help, professor?

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 8:45 AM

This is one of your favorite retreads, and it just doesn’t hold water. We have a two party system. I vote for the lesser of two evils, like every other voter. You are suggesting that voting for someone makes it impossible to critique their foreign policy. Is this what the Bush years have done to your brain? Were you actually convinced that supporting a man’s re-election meant you had to support every single thing his Administration ever did? That must’ve been a challenge for you as the Bush foreign policy agenda crumbled into complete failure in his second term. I guess the idea is that because you unnecessarily suffered that, you want anti-war Obama voters to torture themselves in a similar way? Sorry. I don’t think there’s virtue in being loyal to politicians. You, clearly do, and have suffered the psychological consequences. A real shame.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Oh please . . . we all know it’s Bush’s fault that Obama and his clowns are so stupid and out of touch.

rplat on June 13, 2014 at 8:50 AM

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Then what is the solution? Let the bad guys run amok until they are bored or in-fighting wipes them out? They don’t want to be left alone. They want to expand and control everything. The Obama policy is more like collaboration. It worked well with Vichy France, didn’t it? Not having a strong military response will make them stronger and with more victims.

DAT60A3 on June 13, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Can I assume from your intense anxiety about the potential of submission that you would rather our foreign policy continues to fail as long as the other boys think it looks “strong.”

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

What should Prez Obama do now?

Electrongod on June 13, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Blake the lsm have their talking points …..blame W

cmsinaz on June 13, 2014 at 8:51 AM

This pretty much sums it up.

blammm on June 13, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Can I assume from your intense anxiety about the potential of submission that you would rather our foreign policy continues to fail as long as the other boys think it looks “strong.”

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Can we assume that if you actually are a perfesser your students leave the classroom stupider than they entered it?

A status of forces agreement would have prevented all of this, but Obama blew it. Not only does Obama appear weak, he is weak. About as weak as you are foolish and ignorant, as exampled by the following:

Here’s a simple question for you. Which of the founding fathers did not subscribe to the communitarian ethos Calhoun deploys to rationalize slavery? *sets sundial*

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

None. They weren’t nascent Commies like John C. Calhoun, and full blown Commies like you. Don’t you think you need to provide some proof for such a ridiculous smear there Mr. Calhoun? You’re a history perfesser, right?

NotCoach on August 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Oh dear God….hold on, give me 10 minutes.

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

NotCoach on June 13, 2014 at 8:52 AM

I’m ashamed to say
We will trade our Privacy
For Security

But Government sux
We now have no Privacy
No Security

I am deeply ashamed to admit that most Americans will gladly surrender all privacy rights to the NSA et al in order for our intelligence services to gather enough information to prevent terror attacks and keep track of al Qaeda. But they have not kept their side of the bargain.

They have gleefully tapped all of our phones and are intercepting every bit of information about us, but they still can’t tell us when ISIS is going to march on Monsul or Russia is going to invade Crimea. However, if you are in a Tea Party, the Justice Department has a file on you a foot thick.

I am sure that after these latest failures, they will come back and tell us that if we just let them put webcams in our bathrooms, they will finally be able to thwart the next attack.

Haiku Guy on June 13, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Sorry. I don’t think there’s virtue in being loyal to politicians. You, clearly do, and have suffered the psychological consequences. A real shame.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Yeah. You defend every single thing Obama ever does, yet you aren’t a loyal little lap dog. Got it. For more stupid see below:

Here’s a simple question for you. Which of the founding fathers did not subscribe to the communitarian ethos Calhoun deploys to rationalize slavery? *sets sundial*

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

None. They weren’t nascent Commies like John C. Calhoun, and full blown Commies like you. Don’t you think you need to provide some proof for such a ridiculous smear there Mr. Calhoun? You’re a history perfesser, right?

NotCoach on August 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Oh dear God….hold on, give me 10 minutes.

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

NotCoach on June 13, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Other than annoying and harassing fellow american’s, US “Intelligence” has always failed. The smartest thing a president can do is assume US Intelligence is faulty. They didn’t see the fall of the Soviet Union. Couldn’t kill a tinpot dictator in Cuba. Didn’t notice that Saddam’s claims of WMD were boasts to fend from his enemies while thinking the US wouldn’t act on it because he had bought off France and Germany via “oil for food” shenanigans. US “Intelligence” is just another example of big government incompetence.

MechanicalBill on June 13, 2014 at 8:56 AM

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

You spend time telling us what doesn’t work:

You can not use global militarism to suppress radical Islam, when U.S. militarism is radical Islam’s best recruiting tool.

Tell us what you can do to suppress radical Islam. Do you really believe radical Islam would just disappear if we sit back and do nothing?

Do you think the idea of a global Caliphate is bunk?

Do you think that the U.S. alone is responsible for the formation of radical Islam?

Do you think that bullies will stop bullying if we just pretend they don’t exist?

Mark Boabaca on June 13, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Thank God for Fox News.Fascist Leader wouldn’t have a clue of what’s going on if it weren’t for them.

jeffinsjvca on June 13, 2014 at 8:59 AM

This is the most intellectually dishonest tripe of all time.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Correction, the most intellectually dishonest tripe of all time is the “Unicorn drivel” that comes out of progressives who live in an Ivory Tower’s mouth. Stay in the faculty lounge where you belong.

Common sense conservatives who reside in the real world knew these events would have occurred. In fact, we made book on it, SHEEPLE!

The motto of the Democrat Party is: Don’t think. We’ll think for you.”

Your party is a collection of dumbed down indoctrinated fools.

Jayrae on June 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

I hate the way libfree controls the conversation here

djl130 on June 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Notice how all this Administrations many foreign policy disasters are all “intelligence failures”? Sure. The average person can read the back pages of a newspaper and know exactly what is happening.

This is more about a president (and former Secretary of State Clinton) who are either incompetent or deliberately allowing this to happen. You choose.

It is stunning how nobody is in charge of our country or takes responsibility for their obvious failures.

Marcus Traianus on June 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Then what is the solution? Let the bad guys run amok until they are bored or in-fighting wipes them out?

It’s a start. Radical Islam may establish some extremely repressive, disgusting and amoral governing regimes in Middle Eastern nations. And that’s none of my business. If the people in those nations decide to organize themselves and rise up, they will. If they don’t, they don’t. No foreign nations came to rescue slaves in the U.S., no foreign nations came to rescue people in the Communist bloc states. Eventually both systems were unmade internally (despite the myth that Reagan “won” the Cold War, Nessa girl…no). What if you considered foreign policy solutions without worrying about how “it looks” to the rest of the world. Who the frack cares.

They don’t want to be left alone.

This is true. But right now, there are a whole mess of unstable Middle Eastern nations they have their eyes on. I don’t think they will succeed, but I’m also pretty “meh” on the issue.

They want to expand and control everything.

Well so did Christianity and it worked for a while, until it didn’t. What are you truly afraid of. Do you believe that Radical Islam is gong to take over the entire Middle East and use the oil wealth to purchase a massive military and somehow invade and occupy the United States? Do you honestly believe a single foreign drone would get within ten feet of Rhode Island before being shot down?

The Obama policy is more like collaboration. It worked well with Vichy France, didn’t it? Not having a strong military response will make them stronger and with more victims.

DAT60A3 on June 13, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Why do you keep repeating this lie when:
1. We’ve never tried pacifism, so we don’t know how it actually turns out.
2. Strong military responses HAVE NOT WORKED!

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

NotCoach on June 13, 2014 at 8:52 AM

First, he is not a “teacher”…it’s just his/her alter ego.

Now, why is everyone surprised at what Obama does not know…this is what he promised, this foreign policy is exactly what we all knew it was going to be.

He could care less, or more accurately, understand less…what we, the American people want, and what he wants are two separate things.

Even the liberals like libfreeordie, do not want what Obama is giving us, even he/she makes excuses for his failures (actually his successes our losses).

The fact is, liberals have been reduced to excusing Obama, not supporting him.

But the salient fact is…this is who he is, and he was quite up front about who he was. It’s just that the liberals did not understand, they perceived him as being something other than what he actually is.

right2bright on June 13, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Caught w/his high cuts down. Go figure.

onomo on June 13, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Meet the Leader of ISIS

ConservativePartyNow on June 13, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Was there any event in the last 6 years that the intelligence community wasn’t surprised by?

Capitalist Infidel on June 13, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Why do you keep repeating this lie when:
1. We’ve never tried pacifism, so we don’t know how it actually turns out.
2. Strong military responses HAVE NOT WORKED!

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

We lost WWII?! Gosh damn why am I the last? And I’d agree we’ve never tried pacifism in this administration. He’s flat out, open, and on his toes leaning just a tad bit forward. For fellow despots that’s pure seduction.

onomo on June 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Wait, so you telling the Obama administration how you supported their actions up to 2012 and that you personally desired their continued and similar military expansions for another presidential term didn’t help, professor?
 
rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 8:45 AM

 
This is one of your favorite retreads, and it just doesn’t hold water. We have a two party system. I vote for the lesser of two evils, like every other voter. You are suggesting that voting for someone makes it impossible to critique their foreign policy. Is this what the Bush years have done to your brain? Were you actually convinced that supporting a man’s re-election meant you had to support every single thing his Administration ever did? That must’ve been a challenge for you as the Bush foreign policy agenda crumbled into complete failure in his second term. I guess the idea is that because you unnecessarily suffered that, you want anti-war Obama voters to torture themselves in a similar way? Sorry. I don’t think there’s virtue in being loyal to politicians. You, clearly do, and have suffered the psychological consequences. A real shame.
 
libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:50 AM

 
Yes, professor, we know, we know.
 

Since there was no distinction between Romney and Obama on foreign policy, my vote was for the lesser of two evils on domestic policy. It really is that simple.
 
libfreeordie on September 3, 2013 at 8:34 PM

 
The chance for executive action on gay marriage trumps children dying from drone strikes, military spending, military expansions, increased NSA surveillance, massive cronyism, IRS abuses, and all the rest of the whimsical things you once pretended that you were against.
 
Gay marriage > war.

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Tell us what you can do to suppress radical Islam. Do you really believe radical Islam would just disappear if we sit back and do nothing?

I think it is much more likely that radical Islam falls to internal resistance than external force. Evidence? The entire post-World War II era.

Do you think the idea of a global Caliphate is bunk?

I believe that there are many people who *want* a global Caliphate. I think the paranoid fantasy that it will ever come to pass is evidence of a truly warped worldview and an utter lack of understanding of how global capitalism works.

Do you think that the U.S. alone is responsible for the formation of radical Islam?

God, no, radical, extremist and violent religious pogroms are nothing new to humanity. There’s a strong case to be made that Western imperialism produced a world that made radical Islam attractive to men in nations who felt powerless in the face of American might.

Do you think that bullies will stop bullying if we just pretend they don’t exist?

Mark Boabaca on June 13, 2014 at 8:57 AM

The instant people start making school yard analogies to describe global history/capital/warfare/politics, I’m done.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:06 AM

The chance for executive action on gay marriage trumps children dying from drone strikes, military spending, military expansions, increased NSA surveillance, massive cronyism, IRS abuses, and all the rest of the whimsical things you once pretended that you were against.

Gay marriage > war.

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Ha! My word, you actually are kind of conceding defeat on this one, in your own petulant way. My little rogerb is growing up! *sniff* it makes a mother proud.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Gay marriage > war.
 
rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM

 
Sorry professor. I forgot the math issues. That means “greater than”.

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:08 AM

I was stationed at Balad air base. If they are evacuating that, Baghdad is only about 50 miles south if I remember right. There is a wide-open 4-lane divided highway all the way there.

Mord on June 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

You are correct and with the fancy new vehicles they captured, they can be there in an hour. They also captured Black Hawk helicopters there. And these aren’t just Black Hawks, they’re the super pimped-out MH-60s.

Alabama Infidel on June 13, 2014 at 9:09 AM

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Stick to black qu33r studies, or whatever it is you do. When you get into actual history or politics you always fall flat on your face. Example:

Here’s a simple question for you. Which of the founding fathers did not subscribe to the communitarian ethos Calhoun deploys to rationalize slavery? *sets sundial*

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

None. They weren’t nascent Commies like John C. Calhoun, and full blown Commies like you. Don’t you think you need to provide some proof for such a ridiculous smear there Mr. Calhoun? You’re a history perfesser, right?

NotCoach on August 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Oh dear God….hold on, give me 10 minutes.

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

NotCoach on June 13, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Since there was no distinction between Romney and Obama on foreign policy, my vote was for the lesser of two evils on domestic policy. It really is that simple.
 
libfreeordie on September 3, 2013 at 8:34 PM

 
Gay marriage > war.
 
rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM

 
Ha! My word, you actually are kind of conceding defeat on this one, in your own petulant way. My little rogerb is growing up! *sniff* it makes a mother proud.
 
libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:08 AM

 
Wow. I never expected you to admit it. Good for you.

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:10 AM

The instant people start making school yard analogies to describe global history/capital/warfare/politics, I’m done.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:06 AM

We already know you have no clue about human nature, or history. Example:

Here’s a simple question for you. Which of the founding fathers did not subscribe to the communitarian ethos Calhoun deploys to rationalize slavery? *sets sundial*

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

None. They weren’t nascent Commies like John C. Calhoun, and full blown Commies like you. Don’t you think you need to provide some proof for such a ridiculous smear there Mr. Calhoun? You’re a history perfesser, right?

NotCoach on August 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Oh dear God….hold on, give me 10 minutes.

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

NotCoach on June 13, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Does this mean we will soon be treated to you tube videos of Americans getting beheaded?? If so, what will the Big O do?

esr1951 on June 13, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Why don’t American conservatives ever learn this basic lesson. We were first taught it in Iran . . .

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Just what were “conservatives” taught in Iran? If I remember correctly, it was Jimmy Carter who undermined the Shah and supported his removal from office. When Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran from exile in Paris, Jimmy Carter hailed him as a “freedom fighter.” Of course, Carter was caught totally by surprise when the Iranian “freedom fighters” began murdering people, sacked our embassy, and took American hostages. Thanks to Carter, we have the current Islamic regime in Iran.

When Obama first took office, he had the words “radical Islam” removed from all defense and counter-terrorism documents. It was Obama who stated that al-Qaeda was “on the run.”

So don’t tell me what conservatives need to learn about radical Islam. It is under a democrat administration that “radical Islam” is out of control and expanding in the Middle East and North Africa.

TarheelBen on June 13, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Wow. Libfree touted obamas successes until they were no longer successes. Then the whole concept is folly.

The logic contortions are almost painful to read.

hawkdriver on June 13, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Sorry professor. I forgot the math issues. That means “greater than”.

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:08 AM

You’re cute when you’ve lost your cool.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Can we please get back to talking about how important it is that the Redskins change their name?

Galtian on June 13, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Why don’t American conservatives ever learn this basic lesson. We were first taught it in Iran . . .

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Why don’t you?

Not even Jimmy Carter negotiated with terrorists and the 52 Americans that he wanted back didn’t abandon their posts before being taken captive…

‘The Iran hostage crisis, referred to in Persian as تسخیر لانه جاسوسی امریکا (literally “Conquest of the American Spy Den,”), was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States. Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days (November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981), after a group of Iranian students, belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line, who were supporting the Iranian Revolution took over the US Embassy in Tehran. President Jimmy Carter called the hostages “victims of terrorism and anarchy,” adding that “the United States will not yield to blackmail.”

What did the terrorists want?

The Shah.

That’s right. Jimmy Carter could have returned the Shah to Iran and the Iranian terrorists would have released our 52 Americans…

…But, unlike Barack Obama, Carter refused to negotiate with terrorists and yield to their blackmail because he knew that it would have only resulted in more hostage-taking.

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:15 AM

TarheelBen on June 13, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Well this is a conservative blog, and the only people calling for some kind of “strong response” are conservatives. So while Democrats have, historically, been the party of global militarism, these days self-identified “conservatives” are claiming that we need to “do something” to stop the “global caliphate.” No one has any ideas what that “something” is, but right now, it seems primarily organized around proving to the world that we are not weak. Cause otherwise, Vladimir Putin (a man whose opinion you all respect for some unknown reason) might say something mean about the U.S. while riding shirtless on a horse or something.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:16 AM

I know the professor gets the joke, but for our new members
 

They manage to spend almost half as much total as non-welfare recipients, reach 66% of the non-welfare food budget, and they still manage to match 40% on entertainment spending.
 
Nicely done, professor.
 
rogerb on January 6, 2014 at 11:32 AM

 
Are you completely and utterly insane? Here’s a notion, why don’t you try and cut out 44% of your food budget and see how your family does.
 
libfreeordie on January 6, 2014 at 12:05 PM

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:17 AM

…But, unlike Barack Obama, Carter refused to negotiate with terrorists and yield to their blackmail because he knew that it would have only resulted in more hostage-taking.

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Well that clearly worked as we haven’t faced aggression from the Middle East since…

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:18 AM

This is the most intellectually dishonest tripe of all time.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Naw…this only ranks about 10th on the list of dishonest
tripe from this Administration…

ToddPA on June 13, 2014 at 9:18 AM

No time to spy on the enemy when you are spending all your time spying on the other enemy (i.e. us).

jafo on June 13, 2014 at 9:19 AM

And the all time great:
 

What part of “the federal government pays 100% of the costs and the state pays 10% of the cost in ten years” do you not understand?
 
libfreeordie on August 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM

 
You did realize that was where the math jokes came from, right professor?

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Since there was no distinction between Romney and Obama on foreign policy, my vote was for the lesser of two evils on domestic policy. It really is that simple.

libfreeordie on September 3, 2013 at 8:34 PM

No distinction?

Russia?

Iraq?

Al Qaeda?

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:17 AM

My math error has nothing to do with foreign policy, but I suppose if all you have left is your exhaustive archive of my comments, post away.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

2. Strong military responses HAVE NOT WORKED!

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Maybe not for us recently because we have weak politicians who back off when they need to be strong. However, the strong military response seems to be working for the Islamic factions we are fighting against.

DAT60A3 on June 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Well that clearly worked as we haven’t faced aggression from the Middle East since…

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Iranian terrorists seized another Embassy and the people inside after Tehran? When?

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:21 AM

I hate the way libfree controls the conversation here

djl130 on June 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

We need more trolls!

Mark Boabaca on June 13, 2014 at 9:21 AM

No distinction?

Russia?

Iraq?

Al Qaeda?

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

None.

You did realize that was where the math jokes came from, right professor?

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:19 AM

My comment about medicaid expansion wasn’t a math error, you’re just a dishonest person. Clearly, I’m referring to the ACA’s provision that had state government’s take over 10% of medicaid costs ten years in the future. Again, this is literally all you have on a topic about foreign policy.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Maybe not for us recently because we have weak politicians who back off when they need to be strong. However, the strong military response seems to be working for the Islamic factions we are fighting against.

DAT60A3 on June 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Is your argument that our military tactics should be the same as the Islamists? OK. So what would you like to see our government doing in our name overseas?

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:23 AM

I have a question. Apart from unarmed civilians, has the Iraqi army ever put up any resistance to anyone? I swear that I have never heard or read in all my life about the Iraqi army actually fighting anyone. They either massacre civilians, surrender to advancing enemies or abandon their posts. Of what value was the training they received over the past decade?

Blaise on June 13, 2014 at 9:24 AM

I hate the way libfree controls the conversation here

djl130 on June 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Literally no one is compelled to respond to my posts, talk to your people about it…

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:24 AM

“5,000 quatloos that the newcomer will have to be destroyed.”

Tard on June 13, 2014 at 9:25 AM

What is this ISIS group doing to control their carbon footprint?

Galtian on June 13, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Iranian terrorists seized another Embassy and the people inside after Tehran? When?

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:21 AM

You’re smarter than thinking about the U.S.’s engagements with the Middle East in strictly bilateral terms. Or I thought you were…

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Strong military responses HAVE NOT WORKED!

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

When the rules of engagement are so asinine that they put our soldiers in harm’s way …

CFLCC ROE CARD
On order, enemy military and paramilitary forces are declared hostile and may be attacked subject to the following instructions:
a)Positive identification (PID) is required prior to engagement. PID is a reasonable certainty that the proposed target is a legitimate military target. If no PID, contact your next higher commander for decision
b)Do not engage anyone who has surrendered or is out of battle due to sickness or wounds.
c)Do not target or strike any of the following except in self-defense to protect yourself, your unit, friendly forces, and designated persons or property under your control:
·Civilians
·Hospitals, mosques, national monuments, and any other historical and cultural sites.
d)Do not fire into civilian populated areas or buildings unless the enemy is using them for military purposes or if necessary for your self-defense. Minimize collateral damage.
e)Do not target enemy infrastructure (public works, commercial communication facilities, dams), Lines of Communication (roads, highways, tunnels, bridges, railways) and Economic Objects (commercial storage facilities, pipelines) unless necessary for self-defense or if ordered by your commander. If you must fire on these objects to engage a hostile force, disable and disrupt but avoid destruction of these objects, if possible.
The use of force, including deadly force, is authorized to protect the following:
·Yourself, your unit, and friendly forces
·Enemy Prisoners of War
·Civilians from crimes that are likely to cause death or serious bodily harm, such as murder or rape
·Designated civilians and/or property, such as personnel of the Red Cross/Crescent, UN, and US/UN supported organizations
3.Treat all civilians and their property with respect and dignity. Do not seize civilian property, including vehicles, unless you have the permission of a company level commander and you give a receipt to the property’s owner.
Detain civilians if they interfere with mission accomplishment or if required for self-defense.
CENTCOM General Order No. 1A remains in effect. Looting and the taking of war trophies are prohibited.

We have the capability to neutralize our enemies with a strong military response, yet we prefer to handicap our chances of winning because we’re more worried about what someone will think of us.

I’m so glad I served ‘way back when’ and not at a point in time that “Mothers of America” and political correctness have crippled our military.

Mark Boabaca on June 13, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Literally no one is compelled to respond to my posts, talk to your people about it…

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:24 AM

GFY, libfreeordie. You crap all over practically every thread, espousing nonsense, and then object when called out on it.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on June 13, 2014 at 9:29 AM

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:17 AM

 
My math error has nothing to do with foreign policy, but I suppose if all you have left is your exhaustive archive of my comments, post away.
 
libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

 
You’re cute when you’ve lost your cool.
 
Regardless, we can do some non-math yes/no questions since you’ve brought it up in context of your domestic and foreign policy posts.
 
Is gay marriage more important to you than dead soldiers?

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:29 AM

but only because he effectively blinded them first.

Yes because, he said, “I won.”

Now he is shown for the horse’s azz and idiot that he really is.

We created the situation in Iraq. We must fix it. Take the gloves off and kill every last terrorist. It’s the only way.

Will subZero do that? Nah, he will whine about civilian casualties and make an even bigger mess than we have now.

dogsoldier on June 13, 2014 at 9:30 AM

My comment about medicaid expansion wasn’t a math error, you’re just a dishonest person. Clearly, I’m referring to the ACA’s provision that had state government’s take over 10% of medicaid costs ten years in the future. Again, this is literally all you have on a topic about foreign policy.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Agreed, you’re being victimized, everyone knows THIS is the correct math you were talking about:

What part of “the federal government pays 100% of the costs and the state pays 10% of the cost in ten years” do you not understand?

libfreeordie on August 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Bishop on June 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM

No distinction?

Russia?

Iraq?

Al Qaeda?

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

None.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Russia:

Romney: ‘Russia is our #1 geopolitical foe.’

Prime Minister Putin is currently “rebuilding the Russian empire.” He stated that reset “has to end,” and “We have to show strength.” In an interview with CNN, he called Russia “without question our number one geopolitical foe.”

Obama: ‘Governor, the 1980s called and wants its foreign policy back.’

‘Please tell Vladimir that, after my election, I have more flexibility.’

Obama:

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Mark Boabaca on June 13, 2014 at 9:28 AM

the RoE have been wrong headed for a while. Very stupid.

dogsoldier on June 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Well this is a conservative blog, and the only people calling for some kind of “strong response” are conservatives. So while Democrats have, historically, been the party of global militarism, these days self-identified “conservatives” are claiming that we need to “do something” to stop the “global caliphate.” No one has any ideas what that “something” is, but right now, it seems primarily organized around proving to the world that we are not weak. Cause otherwise, Vladimir Putin (a man whose opinion you all respect for some unknown reason) might say something mean about the U.S. while riding shirtless on a horse or something.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:16 AM

First, you acknowledge how Obama screwed the pooch by not getting a status of forces agreement with Iraq. Second, you evaluate the clusterfark you created to determine what you can do to salvage a mess made by yourself after so much blood and treasure was expended to stabilize the situation. Third, you realize your horrible foreign policy has left you with just about no options except air support for forces that clearly are not willing to defend their own country. Fourth, you make that air support contingent upon Iraq not getting in bed with Iran. And finally, whatever you do, you do not consult a simple minded fool like brainfreeanddie.

Here’s a simple question for you. Which of the founding fathers did not subscribe to the communitarian ethos Calhoun deploys to rationalize slavery? *sets sundial*

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

None. They weren’t nascent Commies like John C. Calhoun, and full blown Commies like you. Don’t you think you need to provide some proof for such a ridiculous smear there Mr. Calhoun? You’re a history perfesser, right?

NotCoach on August 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Oh dear God….hold on, give me 10 minutes.

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

NotCoach on June 13, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Is gay marriage more important to you than dead soldiers?

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:29 AM

So you’re going to just repeat the stupid “voting for Obama means you own all American militarism between 2008-present” canard? Your argument is based on the truly insane notion that voting for a politicians forces you to endorse every part of their Administration. Boring.

GFY, libfreeordie. You crap all over practically every thread, espousing nonsense, and then object when called out on it.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on June 13, 2014 at 9:29 AM

So it’s my fault when other posters make the decision to respond to me. Uh….OK. And FTR, there’s many a thread I don’t post/care about around here. Be honest for once.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:33 AM

What is this ISIS group doing to control their carbon footprint?

Galtian on June 13, 2014 at 9:25 AM

They separate people’s heads from their bodies, less CO2 being expelled into the atmosphere, Mother Gaia happy.

Jeebus you bigots need to read a geology book sometime.

Bishop on June 13, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Speaking of, we’d love your insight on the mysteriously quiet thread below this one, professor:
 
http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/13/one-of-the-five-terrorists-released-for-bowe-bergdahls-911-role/comment-page-1/#comment-8188590
 
rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

 

al Qaeda viewed Mohammad Fazl as a key player leading up to the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Here are your two choices, (D)s:
 
The Obama administration knew.
 
The Obama administration did not know.
 
Which do you prefer?
 
rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 6:10 AM

 
It’s weird how that thread is still so dead. It’s almost like Obama’s supporters find it awkward to openly acknowledge supporting the either intentional or incompetent actions by the administration they voted for.

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:34 AM

According to this, AQ has been in control of Mosul for a while:

Al-Qaeda Sinks Roots in Mosul
Mosul, the capital of Ninevah province, has become one of the most important strongholds of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The city’s large area and its borders with Syria and Turkey make it of strategic value to members of the organization fighting in Iraq and Syria. Since establishing themselves in Mosul, al-Qaeda militants have managed to build intricate networks for funding, supplies and mobilization to reinforce their presence and gradually take over the city.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/10/al-qaeda-mosul-iraq-sunnis-minorities.html#ixzz34WdiwkWy

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wields such clout in the area from the Abu Kamal border crossing to the Iraqi provinces of Anbar and Ninevah that printing money with his own stamp seems to be the only thing he has not yet done. Thanks to the many border villages it has seized, al-Qaeda is able to move between Syria and Iraq.

According to Al-Monitor’s Harith Hasan, al-Qaeda has set up a supply network in Mosul, the provincial capital of Ninevah, and has been collecting “taxes” from shopkeepers for several months — a tax policy under which those who refuse to pay the extortion money are killed, abducted or have their homes bombed. The money collected per month amounts to $8 million. So, the Iraqi money goes to Syria, the Syrian arms go to Iraq. A two-way flow over the Euphrates. In the meantime, the Shiite Turkmen and the Shabak are being targeted in a drive to make Mosul entirely Sunni. Iraq has lost 6,000 sons and daughters to the spiral of violence this year. The extremist network is threatening both Syria and Iraq due to its control of areas along the Euphrates.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2013/11/isis-syria-raqqa-iraq-maliki.html#ixzz34Wfb8evR

Intel community caught by surprise, or Obama turning a blind eye in order to help militants oppose Assad?

HarryBackside on June 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Iraq:

Romney: ‘A couple of things. One, you probably know that it is my view that the withdrawal of all of our troops from Iraq by the end of this year is an enormous mistake and a failing by the Obama administration. Secretary Panetta and others had indicated they were working to put in place a Status of Forces Agreement to maintain our presence there, so that we could most effectively transition to the Iraqi military and Iraqi security forces providing security for their country. The precipitous withdrawal is unfortunate. It’s more than unfortunate. I think it’s tragic. It puts at risk many of the victories that were hard-won by the men and women who have served there. I hope the risk is not realized. I hope instead that the Iraqis are able to pick up the baton, and despite the fact that we will have walked away on a too-rapid basis.’

Obama: ‘What I would not have had done was left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. And that certainly would not help us in the Middle East.’

Biden: ‘When you’re looking at a president, Martha, it seems to me that you should take a look at his most important responsibility. That’s caring for the national security of the country. And the best way to do that is take a look at how he’s handled the issues of the day. On Iraq, the president said he would end the war. Gov. Romney said that was a tragic mistake, we should have left 30,000 — he ended it. Gov. Romney said that was a tragic mistake, we should have left 30,000 troops there.’

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Is your argument that our military tactics should be the same as the Islamists? OK. So what would you like to see our government doing in our name overseas?

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:23 AM

My argument is that you missed the point. Military response does work if done right. When you have the advantage, exploit it. Continue on until you have won. Don’t quit half way and let all of the successes be taken away by a adversary willing to wait you out; especially when it is announced that on a specific date, we will leave the arena to the bad guys. The enemy have to be hurt to the point that they cannot continue and are not willing to start again.

DAT60A3 on June 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Literally no one is compelled to respond to my posts, talk to your people about it…

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Who exactly would THEY be??

ToddPA on June 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

You’re cute when you’ve lost your cool.
 
Regardless, we can do some non-math yes/no questions since you’ve brought it up in context of your domestic and foreign policy posts.
 
Is gay marriage more important to you than dead soldiers?
 
rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:29 AM

 
So you’re going to just repeat the stupid “voting for Obama means you own all American militarism between 2008-present” canard? Your argument is based on the truly insane notion that voting for a politicians forces you to endorse every part of their Administration. Boring.
 
libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:33 AM

 
That’s quite possibly the most elaborate mispelling of “yes” we’ve ever seen here.

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Cause otherwise, Vladimir Putin (a man whose opinion you all respect for some unknown reason) might say something mean about the U.S. while riding shirtless on a horse or something.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Where do libs get this from about Putin? I don’t know any conservative who respects or admires the ex-KGB thug.

And I think above somewhere you were blaming our “miltarism” for the rise of radical Islam and saying that we’ve never tried “pacifism.” Let me give you a brief history lesson:

In 1983, after Israel sacked Lebanon, the Lebanese government perpetrated what was known as the Beirut Massacre – the murder of thousands of Palestinians. In response, Ronald Reagan sent in a “peacekeeping” force to defend the muslims and Arabs. For our troubles, the jihadists blew up our Marine barracks with a truck bomb, killing 243 Marines. I remember it well; I was there at the time.

We also evacuated the PLO, including Arafat, from Beirut so they wouldn’t be slaughtered by the Israelis. These were attempts to defend and protect muslims taken by Ronald Reagan, a conservative president.

TarheelBen on June 13, 2014 at 9:36 AM

U.S. militarism is radical Islam’s best recruiting tool.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Bullcrap.

GWB on June 13, 2014 at 9:37 AM

rogerb on June 13, 2014 at 9:34 AM

That is the MOAB version of a question about the Gitmo 5, I might have actually squeaked a bit from my nether regions while I read it.

Bishop on June 13, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Intel community caught by surprise, or Obama turning a blind eye in order to help militants oppose Assad?

HarryBackside on June 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Considering Maliki has been asking for help since March I have no idea how they can claim to have been caught by surprise.

NotCoach on June 13, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Can I assume from your intense anxiety about the potential of submission that you would rather our foreign policy continues to fail as long as the other boys think it looks “strong.”

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

It’s a step up from your crush on Obama who the world knows ISN’T strong.

Walter L. Newton on June 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Cause otherwise, Vladimir Putin (a man whose opinion you all respect for some unknown reason) might say something mean about the U.S. while riding shirtless on a horse or something.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Where do libs get this from about Putin? I don’t know any conservative who respects or admires the ex-KGB thug.

TarheelBen on June 13, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Just another straw man invented by the left to excuse Obama’s weakness and ineptitude.

NotCoach on June 13, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Al Qaeda:

Romney:

‘It’s really not on the run. It’s certainly not hiding. This is a group that is now involved in 10 or 20 countries, and it presents an enormous threat to our friends, to the world, to America long term, and we must have a comprehensive strategy to help reject this kind of extremism.’

Obama:

‘We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. And as a consequence, al-Qaeda’s core leadership has been decimated.’

David Ignatius of the WaPo from 06.10.14:

The capture Tuesday of Mosul, the hub of northern Iraq, by al-Qaeda-linked militants is an alarm bell that violent extremists are on the rise again in the Middle East. And it’s a good time for President Obama to explain more about how he plans to fight this menace without making the mistakes of the past.

Obama needs to alert the country to the renewed extremist threat partly to clarify the record. Just 19 months ago, he won reelection arguing that his policies had vanquished the most dangerous core elements of al-Qaeda. But the organization has morphed, and deadly new battles are ahead.

The campaign theme that the worst terrorist threat had been licked was vividly drawn in the third debate between Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, on Oct. 22, 2012.

Obama had the better of that exchange, certainly for a war-weary United States that a few weeks later gave him a new mandate. But looking back, which picture was closer to the truth? Probably Romney’s.

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:40 AM

This is the most intellectually dishonest tripe of all time.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Self-honesty at last?

GWB on June 13, 2014 at 9:40 AM

First, you acknowledge how Obama screwed the pooch by not getting a status of forces agreement with Iraq.

I will acknowledge that Obama did not “get a status of forces agreement,” but will not acknowledge that doing so would have prevented a radical Islamist uprising in Iraq. That was inevitable as soon as we created a power vacuum in Iraq in 2003.

Second, you evaluate the clusterfark you created to determine what you can do to salvage a mess made by yourself after so much blood and treasure was expended to stabilize the situation.

So I am beginning to understand the mind of the neoconservative. When a President orders an invasion then his voters have also ordered an invasion. When a President declares “Mission Accomplished” his voters get to bask in the glow of having “won the war.” When a President’s war plans fail his voters…well here I guess it becomes tricky. If a Republican President’s war plans fail his voters blame everyone else in the world. If a Democratic President’s war plans fail, his voters are suddenly back in the position of claiming full responsibility. The psychosis on display here is truly fascinating.

Third, you realize your horrible foreign policy has left you with just about no options except air support for forces that clearly are not willing to defend their own country. Fourth, you make that air support contingent upon Iraq not getting in bed with Iran. And finally, whatever you do, you do not consult a simple minded fool like brainfreeanddie.

Wait, am I me or Obama now? Either way, you’ve inadvertently hit on the key problem. The Iraqi military is totally disinterested in defending the new nation against the ISIS. How is that Obama’s fault? Is your argument that we should’ve done a surge part II? 1. You never would’ve supported that, because no matter what Obama does you declare it traitorous or whatever. 2. We can’t afford that. 3. To “stabilize” Iraq would require a constant American military occupation because, as recent days indicate, training the “Iraqi army” is utterly useless. But, you know, deficits or something…

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Cause otherwise, Vladimir Putin (a man whose opinion you all respect for some unknown reason) might say something mean about the U.S. while riding shirtless on a horse or something.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Who admires Putin? He’s a thug.

I do like, however, when he bursts Obama’s bubble with reality. That doesn’t mean that I admire him.

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:41 AM

NotCoach,

Considering Maliki has been asking for help since March I have no idea how they can claim to have been caught by surprise.

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Mike Honcho on June 13, 2014 at 9:44 AM

My argument is that you missed the point. Military response does work if done right.

DAT60A3 on June 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

No. My argument is that you aren’t even able to articulate with the “done right” military response would look like because:

1. You can’t actually conceive of it
2. You can, but you know it would represent a death toll so enormous that you wouldn’t actually want to see it come to pass.

This is true for nearly everyone claiming that Obama or even Bush just never did “the right kind of military response.” Why can’t any of you ever actually say what that would be/look like/cost etc.?

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:44 AM

When did Obama last meet with the head of the CIA or any other cabinet member?
He only meets with them after a crisis.

albill on June 13, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Resist We Much on June 13, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Obama and Romney differed on their descriptions of the status quo, but their prescriptions in the face of “instability” in the Middle East would have been the same. They both operate on the idea that force produces results against Radical Islam, and therefore are interchangeable on foreign policy.

libfreeordie on June 13, 2014 at 9:46 AM

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