Poll: 52% of Republicans think Obama should be doing more in Iraq

posted at 6:01 pm on June 23, 2014 by Allahpundit

Good catch by the Weekly Standard, not because this matters to what O will do this year but because it matters, potentially a lot, to 2016. The singular foreign policy question for Republican voters 18 months from now is this: Are we a hawkish or dovish party? Look at the data and judge for yourself. Clearly GOPers are more dovish than they used to be.

But they’re also still more hawkish than you might expect.

more

Heavy Republican support for further intervention, weak support among Democrats and indies. You could, if you like, toss that result out on partisanship grounds: A la some Democrats with Bush, some Republicans think any move Obama makes abroad is bound to be wrong and moronic. He hasn’t done much (yet) in Iraq to head off ISIS, ergo it must be the case that he should be doing more. That’s the knee-jerk anti-O approach. Okay, but here’s another result. Can this also be dismissed on partisan grounds?

resp

Maybe this is also being processed along partisan lines, with some righties treating it as an indictment of Obama’s passivity, but my hunch is that most people are reading it as a matter of national obligations to Iraq. Bush invaded and then spent five years trying to build a workable sectarian coalition there; Republicans stood with him and paid for it in 2006 and 2008. Having invested that much in Iraq’s success, it’s understandable that they’re less inclined to stand pat now while the country falls apart. The good news for doves is that that may mean Iraq is sui generis, with GOPers feeling a special moral duty to prevent mass bloodletting that they wouldn’t feel in other cases. The bad news for doves is that, despite those 2006 and 2008 results and notwithstanding a decade of hard lessons in Iraq and Afghanistan about nation-building, you’ve still got clear majorities of Republicans calling for more intervention in reply to both questions here. How does Rand Paul navigate that? Says Michael Goldfarb, the founder of the Free Beacon:

“Now the neocons are on the hawkish side and it’s the libertarians who are standing with Obama which makes them very vulnerable. They’re in a very tough spot right now because they want to shit all over Obama but they’re basically where Obama is on this.”

I thought Rand might keep inching towards the hawks’ camp after he did some saber-rattling towards Russia over Ukraine but he was in vintage Paul mode on “Meet the Press” yesterday, refusing to blame Obama for Iraq’s current military weakness and pointing the finger at GOP Iraq hawks like Dick Cheney instead. That’s a good general election message, not so good for a primary where voters want to hear omnibus repudiations of Hopenchange. (Just for instance, here’s an item that was popular among righties online just yesterday.) I’m glad he’s taking that line, though, not because I necessarily agree with it but because it’s setting up a true contrast in the primaries. It’d be beyond lame if Paul tried to reinvent himself as a stalwart hawk now; no one would believe it and it’d deny voters a true foreign-policy choice during the debates. Rand’s bet, I guess, is that there are now enough libertarians or libertarian sympathizers in the GOP base that he can survive a “don’t blame Obama” message even on a key issue in which 52 percent of his party thinks Obama’s not doing enough. Good for him for having the stones to make it — although it’s telling that none of his rivals for the nomination have moved very far towards the dovish camp to meet him. If there really were that many Republican doves in the electorate, you’d think there’d be more competition for their attention right now.

Here he is yesterday on “Meet the Press” talking Iraq. One bit that caught my attention was when he blamed ISIS’s rise in part on — ta da — the U.S., which has been sending mostly small arms (and maybe a few not so small?) to the Free Syrian Army. That reminds me of his dad. It’s not that he’s wrong about jihadis confiscating American weapons from the FSA; I thought arming the rebels was dumb for the same reason. But the noninterventionists have largely won the debate over Syria. Obama couldn’t get traction politically for bombing Assad last September, and the White House waited long enough to finally greenlight arms for “moderate” rebels that those “moderates” were largely an afterthought on the battlefield by the time it happened. The reason ISIS is steaming towards Baghdad isn’t because they’ve got American RPGs, it’s because they’re swimming in cash and weapons supplied by our Sunni “allies” (Paul does note that) and because the Iraqi army’s been disintegrating for three years. That’s the argument you should be making if you’re a noninterventionist — why on earth would we ever have thought we could build a stable Sunni/Shiite coalition? The fact that he’d steer this around to the U.S. even in a case of minor, almost token intervention feels like he’s trying to shoehorn facts that don’t really fit into an “intervention is always foolish because it produces blowback” argument. That sounds like Ron.

Exit question: How would the two parties cope with a Paul/Clinton election? The Democratic playbook calls for attacking the Republican as an “out of touch” plutocrat; the Republican playbook calls for attacking the Democrat as a foreign policy weakling who’d be sanguine about threats to America. Switch playbooks?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

“More.” That’s easier said than done. And it’s not clear what “more” is. As long as it’s not Michael Moore in Iraq!

anotherJoe on June 23, 2014 at 6:07 PM

No I do not want obummer to do more in Iraq because his concept of “do more in Iraq” radically differs from my concept of “do more in Iraq”, which of course he will get screwed up and our troops and Iraqis will pay dearly for his doing more.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:07 PM

As long as it’s not Michael Moore in Iraq!

Meh, if it has to come to more in Iraq, let it be Michael. There is certainly more of him. A confrontation between him and ISIS would be priceless.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:08 PM

No I do not want obummer to do more in Iraq because his concept of “do more in Iraq” radically differs from my concept of “do more in Iraq”, which of course he will get screwed up and our troops and Iraqis will pay dearly for his doing more.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:07 PM

If by “more” they mean tactical nukes I’m all for it.

VegasRick on June 23, 2014 at 6:09 PM

I believe in attacking terrorists, but no nation building.

But before we even do anything, anywhere we need to get rid of the political correct Rules Of Engagement (ROE).

If ISIS is plotting something to the US, then stop the plot, bomb their “headquarters”, and destroy any of their assets we can get.

If they do a second time…nuke.

But I’m done sending vast armies. We dropping big ones now.

Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Poll: 52% of Republicans think Obama should be doing more in Iraq

I’d support him retiring and finding some beach there. I’d support him golfing in Iraq and taking the First Yak on a date there.

Flange on June 23, 2014 at 6:13 PM

As long as it’s not Michael Moore in Iraq!

anotherJoe on June 23, 2014 at 6:07 PM

But that’s a two-birds with one stone solution. Who could be against it?

nobar on June 23, 2014 at 6:13 PM

I have no informed idea – but if I were give a thought it would be this:

Encourage all parties to fight one another and kill one another. Arm both sides – air strike both sides –

That from this uninformed voter

jake-the-goose on June 23, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Only 53% of Republicans understand the danger of al Qaeda taking over Iraq. Clearly the left has won the propaganda war in America. We learned nothing from 9/11.

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 6:14 PM

…does anybody know what the “Right amount” is?

JugEarsButtHurt on June 23, 2014 at 6:15 PM

What Republicans thinks Obama will do doesn’t necessarily translate to what they think their own party should do. Both parties are filled with a lot of hypocrites.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Only 53% of Republicans understand the danger of al Qaeda taking over Iraq. Clearly the left has won the propaganda war in America. We learned nothing from 9/11.

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 6:14 PM

It’s clear you learned nothing from the last ten years.

In a war between the proxies for Al Qaeda-like militants and Iranian-backed militias, there is no side the U.S. should support and helping one to defeat the other gains us nothing.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:17 PM

If ISIS is plotting something to the US, then stop the plot, bomb their “headquarters”, and destroy any of their assets we can get.

If they do a second time…nuke.

But I’m done sending vast armies. We dropping big ones now.

Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:09 PM

I agree 100% . The first thing that should be bombed is the oil refinery/fuel for ISIS, which they have just gained control. We don’t need this oil as much as they do to fuel the forward march to establish their caliphate.
These Islamist have as great or greater resolve than the Japanese did in WWII.

Bakokitty on June 23, 2014 at 6:18 PM

52% of Republicans think Obama should be doing more in Iraq

Well good luck to the presidential candidates who wish to be president of the Republican States. Because that survey says overall 29% of people surveyed said the same.

And this survey also solidifies that old habits die hard. I wonder what they had in mind when they said they wanted MORE. I sure hope they don’t want to send troops back to that place. Because if that is what they want it would mean that 52% of republicans are crazy.

coolrepublica on June 23, 2014 at 6:19 PM

If by “more” they mean tactical nukes I’m all for it.

VegasRick on June 23, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Please, please…let it be true that we did NOT truly give up the neutron bomb during the Jimmah Cahtah years and that we still have it in the arsenal.

Such a “green” weapon; no damage to the environment! Lefties should love it, right?

Dolce Far Niente on June 23, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Are we a hawkish or dovish party?

This has nothing to do with being hawkish or dovish…this has to do with strategic common sense, and understanding this country.

If you are for a robust American response in Iraq you are setting the GOP up to be the party of crazed interventionists, and people who love foreigners more than Americans. In other words the GOP would be seen as a party more willing spend money on Iraqi roads, schools, bridges, and really big super embassies (as we did in the last round in Iraq) than on American roads, schools, etc. That leads to more Presidents like Obama in our future, not less.

The reason why is any response we do in Iraq will be a failure unless we plan to simply wipe it out completely, and I know Rubio, Bush, and McCain are not advocating that…they are advocating saving the place like the first time around. They want stability! Well the only way for that to happen is to put a strong man(aka a dictator) in.

This is an Islamic country, don’t these fools understand what that means!

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM

If they do a second time…nuke

Some people sure have fidgety fingers. lol

coolrepublica on June 23, 2014 at 6:22 PM

It’s too late.

gerrym51 on June 23, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Why is Rand Paul’s photo with this story?

jake-the-goose on June 23, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Please, please…let it be true that we did NOT truly give up the neutron bomb during the Jimmah Cahtah years and that we still have it in the arsenal.

Such a “green” weapon; no damage to the environment! Lefties should love it, right?

Dolce Far Niente on June 23, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Glass is very “clean” as well, so…………….

VegasRick on June 23, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Some people sure have fidgety short fingers. lol

coolrepublica on June 23, 2014 at 6:22 PM

FTFY.

VegasRick on June 23, 2014 at 6:24 PM

If I were again a young entrepreneur – I would become a Foreign Arms Dealer

jake-the-goose on June 23, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Because if that is what they want it would mean that 52% of republicans are crazy.

coolrepublica on June 23, 2014 at 6:19 PM

*****

If you are for a robust American response in Iraq you are setting the GOP up to be the party of crazed interventionists, and people who love foreigners more than Americans. In other words the GOP would be seen as a party more willing spend money on Iraqi roads, schools, bridges, and really big super embassies (as we did in the last round in Iraq) than on American roads, schools, etc. That leads to more Presidents like Obama in our future, not less.

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Exactly.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Some people sure have fidgety fingers. lol

coolrepublica on June 23, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Some people like to get bullied.

Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:25 PM

some Republicans think any move Obama makes abroad is bound to be wrong and moronic.

I’m having trouble thinking of one that hasn’t been.

forest on June 23, 2014 at 6:26 PM

If I were again a young entrepreneur – I would become a Foreign Arms Dealer

jake-the-goose on June 23, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Or international website or video propaganda for terrorist groups. ISIS has a produced 60 minutes video. I’m not joking.

Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:27 PM

I want to meet this 48% GOP who will allow al-Qaeda unchecked in the Middle East. That is what we are talking about here.

BigGator5 on June 23, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Are some of you just bound and determined to prove Democrats right when they claim the GOP is the stupid party?

You’ve had ten years to get this right, and you’re still not getting it. We have no solutions for the problems in Iraq.

If we have proof they’re trying to kill us, then we kill them. Otherwise, leave them alone and let them get to killing each other, pronto.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM

These are long term issues. The filthy stupid “President” is lazy and completely ignorant about foreign affairs beyond the idea instilled from academia that America is the root of all evil in the world.

Don’t expect any sort of real solution from the bastard. It’s all about politics for the Dems and their leader who has spent years shucking and jiving instead of really leading. The monkey will continue to keep dancing.

Happy Nomad on June 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM

I agree.

We should be nuking the site from orbit.

Midas on June 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM

I want to meet this 48% GOP who will allow al-Qaeda unchecked in the Middle East. That is what we are talking about here.

BigGator5 on June 23, 2014 at 6:29 PM

So you’re all about allowing the Iranians to go unchecked in the Middle East, are you?

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:31 PM

some Republicans think any move Obama makes abroad is bound to be wrong and moronic.

History, and the smart money would say that this is the odds-on favorite position to take.

Midas on June 23, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Are some of you just bound and determined to prove Democrats right when they claim the GOP is the stupid party?

You’ve had ten years to get this right, and you’re still not getting it. We have no solutions for the problems in Iraq.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM

No you idiot. The solutions require long-term commitments. Democrats only care about election cycles not leadership.

Happy Nomad on June 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

As long as it’s not Michael Moore in Iraq!

Meh, if it has to come to more in Iraq, let it be Michael. There is certainly more of him. A confrontation between him and ISIS would be priceless.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Particularly if that confrontation is the result of us dropping him from 10,000 feet onto their heads.

Midas on June 23, 2014 at 6:36 PM

It’d be beyond lame if Paul tried to reinvent himself as a stalwart hawk now

Didn’t stop him from saying he doesn’t support amnesty one day after calling for amnesty, lol.

xblade on June 23, 2014 at 6:36 PM

No you idiot. The solutions require long-term commitments. Democrats only care about election cycles not leadership.

Happy Nomad on June 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Blah, blah, blah. Go to your corner and suck on your Bush kewpie doll.

There are no solutions here. Bush had none, and you have none. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Obama has none.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Exactly.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:25 PM

The sad part is I consider myself a hawk. If it was up to me half of our navy would be sitting off the Chinese coast right now…does that sound dovish?

But it appears I am a neo-isolationist madman all because I think wasting tax dollars (and fighting men) in the resumption of a thousand year old Islamic civil war in Babylon is not worth it. Maybe at some point it will, but right now….no.

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

If by “more” they mean tactical nukes I’m all for it.

VegasRick on June 23, 2014 at 6:09 PM

I’m thinking obumbles would probably prefer to use those on some of us before he’d use them on muslims.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

I actually this is the just beginning. Winner take all now. Regional wars will break out everywhere: Russia, China, the Middle East, Africa. And In Europe I expect Muslim gangs and that will make the 1980′s inner city look like West-Side Story.

It’s on like Donkey Kong.

Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Particularly if that confrontation is the result of us dropping him from 10,000 feet onto their heads.

Midas on June 23, 2014 at 6:36 PM

I do like the way you think! :)

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:40 PM

No you idiot. The solutions require long-term commitments. Democrats only care about election cycles not leadership.

Happy Nomad on June 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Americans have no interest in a decades long commitment to reinforce Shia domination of Iraq.

You should probably just go ahead and internalize that now. Actually you should have internalized it a decade ago…but whatever.

Tlaloc on June 23, 2014 at 6:40 PM

If you are for a robust American response in Iraq you are setting the GOP up to be the party of crazed interventionists, and people who love foreigners more than Americans. In other words the GOP would be seen as a party more willing spend money on Iraqi roads, schools, bridges, and really big super embassies (as we did in the last round in Iraq) than on American roads, schools, etc. That leads to more Presidents like Obama in our future, not less.

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Or you simply oppose giving al Qaeda an entire country.

Stoic Patriot on June 23, 2014 at 6:40 PM

And In Europe I expect Muslim gangs and that will make the 1980′s inner city look like West-Side Story.

It’s on like Donkey Kong.

Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Ya know, I’d kinda expect them to be doing the same here too.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:41 PM

I actually this is the just beginning. Winner take all now. Regional wars will break out everywhere: Russia, China, the Middle East, Africa. And In Europe I expect Muslim gangs and that will make the 1980′s inner city look like West-Side Story.

It’s on like Donkey Kong.

Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

“Wolverines!”

Tlaloc on June 23, 2014 at 6:42 PM

I agree we COULD do more.

But our American Forces should DO NOTHING with Obama at the helm. Do not engage.

This huckster is the most incompetent boob ever known on Earth. And yes, I know that the left used the same terms against GWB.

But GWB went to war with full authority from congress in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote after all facts were brought to bear.

Obama = Maliki. Not worth fighting for Obama. He’s unfit to command a tamale stand.

Key West Reader on June 23, 2014 at 6:43 PM

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

I’m a hawk, too. I voted for Bush twice and supported the decision to invade Iraq. I thought there were WMD, and I couldn’t see how getting rid of Saddam could be a bad decision.

But I can’t support reoccupying that country. It’s waste of our blood, time, and resources. We need to focus on smarter ways of fighting the war on terror. Nation building n that region doesn’t work. In the time Bush wasted trying to get Baghdad up and running as the capital of a secure Iraq, the North Koreans went nuclear and the Iranians made good progress on going nuclear.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Or you simply oppose giving al Qaeda an entire country.

Stoic Patriot on June 23, 2014 at 6:40 PM

If only you had thought about that before invading.

This was always the inevitable result of our knocking out Saddam. The surge was merely to delay this, and it did, but we couldn’t sustain it (hence ‘surge’).

Tlaloc on June 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Or you simply oppose giving al Qaeda an entire country.

Stoic Patriot on June 23, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Well, no matter what we do, that ain’t happening. So go play your fantasy games somewhere else.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM

“Wolverines!”

Tlaloc on June 23, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Be prepared. Be very prepared.

Nothing that happens while obumbles is in the WH should come as a complete surprise.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM

But GWB went to war with full authority from congress in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote after all facts were brought to bear.

Key West Reader on June 23, 2014 at 6:43 PM

*spit take*

seriously, you guys are still defending the mass of lies Bush sold congress? I thought even the deadest of dead-enders had finally given up fighting history on that one.

Tlaloc on June 23, 2014 at 6:46 PM

No you idiot. The solutions require long-term commitments. Democrats only care about election cycles not leadership.

Happy Nomad on June 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Wow…that is sort how America works by winning elections.

Maybe you should figure out our system of government. That is way it as always been in American history. You have four to five years to win the war…that is it.

Japan and Germany are different because we are (or were) welcomed there (even after we were enemies) to prevent them from being overrun by Russians and Chinese. Our national interests were the same.

Iraq is a Islamic country and we have very little in common with them, even worse they are a disunified country. The Ottoman Turks were always putting down revolts there and fought with the Persians (Iranians) for control of the place for hundreds of years.

The commitment from America to stabilize Iraq would require us to be there putting down one revolt after another for hundreds of years and we don’t have the stomach to be like the Ottoman Turks in putting down those revolts.

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 6:46 PM

If only you had thought about that before invading.

This was always the inevitable result of our knocking out Saddam. The surge was merely to delay this, and it did, but we couldn’t sustain it (hence ‘surge’).

Tlaloc on June 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Leaving Saddam with an entire country isn’t what’s considered a great improvement.

We overthrew a dictator and put in a democracy. How about we make sure it stands rather than abandon it without a residual force?

Stoic Patriot on June 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Be prepared. Be very prepared.

Nothing that happens while obumbles is in the WH should come as a complete surprise.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM

It is hard to surprise the insane- they have no sense of reality in the first place…

Tlaloc on June 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Be prepared. Be very prepared.

Nothing that happens while obumbles is in the WH should come as a complete surprise.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM

I’m just waiting for the surprises after November.

Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

I am as conservative as they come and I say both GW and Obama screwed up. We had a strongman there – sure he was brutal, but how else can you deal with an opposition that would gladly behead women and children in the name of allah?

Mistake #1 was going there in the first place, mistake #2 was leaving there thinking these same people wouldn’t be back.

No more nation building..let em kill themselves on both sides. Probably a trillion dollars spent and good lives lost for nothing..you can’t change these people.

celt on June 23, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Leaving Saddam with an entire country isn’t what’s considered a great improvement.

We overthrew a dictator and put in a democracy. How about we make sure it stands rather than abandon it without a residual force?

Stoic Patriot on June 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

We overthrew a dictator we put in place and then created a sham democracy which promptly fell apart.

It never stood in the first place, you just had a potemkin presentation. As soon as the sectarian violence started (i.e. immediately) the democracy was a hollow joke.

It’s not our place to put Saddam in place or take him out. Let the Iraqis figure it out for themselves.

Tlaloc on June 23, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Be prepared. Be very prepared.

Nothing that happens while obumbles is in the WH should come as a complete surprise.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM

I’m just waiting for the surprises after November.

Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

We may not have to wait that long.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:51 PM

We overthrew a dictator and put in a democracy. How about we make sure it stands rather than abandon it without a residual force?

Stoic Patriot on June 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Because no democracy is worth defending which won’t stand up and fight for itself against an enemy which it is more than capable of defeating.

The government there is a sham. It’s not worth another American life.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:51 PM

This was always the inevitable result of our knocking out Saddam. The surge was merely to delay this, and it did, but we couldn’t sustain it (hence ‘surge’).

Tlaloc on June 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Obama knocked out Khadffi (whate’r the spelling), tried it on Assad and FAILED.

Obama is not a stupid man. He knew if he could knock out Libya his brethren would/could take over.. Too bad the Egyptians were smarter than Obama …

/Who ISN’T smarter than Obama?

Nobody. Not even a Marxist Manchurian from the 19th Century… or, Obama’s Dad.

Key West Reader on June 23, 2014 at 6:52 PM

But it appears I am a neo-isolationist madman all because I think wasting tax dollars (and fighting men) in the resumption of a thousand year old Islamic civil war in Babylon is not worth it. Maybe at some point it will, but right now….no.

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

The psychos in the Bill Kristol ultra-interventionist camp really overplayed their hand on that one. They’ve destroyed the word “isolationist” as a meaningful term of debate. When isolationist means “anything short of American airstrikes and boots on the ground in every conflict zone everywhere forever”, people rightly stop listening to those bandying it about.

You’re not an isolationist. Rand Paul isn’t an isolationist. And the Iraq War apologists are so deep in denial that al-Sisi will need to dredge to find the bodies…

Inkblots on June 23, 2014 at 6:52 PM

We overthrew a dictator and put in a democracy. How about we make sure it stands rather than abandon it without a residual force?

Stoic Patriot on June 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

You can’t in Islamist country. This isn’t Europe or Japan. We are in a much darker place.

Our civilization is 500 years old. They have thousands of years on us and they can’t get it right or no desire to. They are still in the 7th century and they need to fight among themselves to grow.

If they can’t keep it in their borders, then there are pretty permanent solutions for that…..

But we done fielding vast armies. But we should field very powerful bombs.

Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:53 PM

“The reason ISIS is steaming towards Baghdad isn’t because they’ve got American RPGs, it’s because they’re swimming in cash and weapons supplied by our Sunni “allies” (Paul does note that) and because the Iraqi army’s been disintegrating for three years. That’s the argument you should be making if you’re a noninterventionist — why on earth would we ever have thought we could build a stable Sunni/Shiite coalition?”

Go back a bit further, AP. Why did our UAE “allies” feel threatened enough to take that step, if it’s true? Because Obama has, prior to the last few weeks, been supporting Iran’s sock puppet and they’re staring at a nuclear Iran, again courtesy of Obama’s policy. Nor has he done anything particularly substantial to restrain Iran and their other sock in Syria. They’re staring a nuclear Shi’ite caliphate in the face. Our “allies” are also talking with Israel, for the same reason. And it’s a pretty good one. Had we remained engaged and present, they wouldn’t have been driven into a corner.

According to Max Boot, if I remember right, Iran and Assad may be responsible for ISIS. He also speculates of side deals between Assad paying various militia’s breaking from FSA to discredit them in the USA, which served to weaken them both militarily and politically here in the states.

We had the puzzle pieces in place for a more stable political enviroment when BO pulled us out and destroyed any chance to maintain it. Would it have been happily ever after, no. But in the real world there are options other than disengagement and apology tours and legitimizing Iran.

Recon5 on June 23, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Rand Paul is wrong not to blame Obama – and is that really what
he said? I mistrust sound bites or “gotcha’s”. Must admit I haven’t heard/read exactly what Rand Paul said. I do agree that
it is too late to do anything now. Not after Obama armed the
terrorists.

Obama should have left peace keeping troops in Iraq to protect
what we spent billions of taxpayer dollars on, along with the
casualties our military endured. Instead he turned tail and ran
like the coward he is. He had no responsibility to the region;
only to his big political donors.

He screwed up big time and now the groups of barbarians that have been at war for centuries are at it again.

Amjean on June 23, 2014 at 6:56 PM

You can’t in Islamist country. This isn’t Europe or Japan. We are in a much darker place.

Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:53 PM

But if we just believe hard enough, of course we can remake a tribal culture into a pluralistic Western-style democracy in just a few years. Stop doubting! You’re killing the magical thinking we need to make this happen.

All we need is to add a few billion dollars worth of pixie dust to next year’s defense procurement, and Iraq will be stabilized forever!

Inkblots on June 23, 2014 at 6:56 PM

How incompetent is the government in Baghdad? They have the support of the Iranians *and* the Americans, and they’re still losing to an Arab Sunni insurgency which doesn’t represent more than one quarter of the country’s population.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Inkblots on June 23, 2014 at 6:56 PM

We just need the will power !

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Or you simply oppose giving al Qaeda an entire country.

Stoic Patriot on June 23, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Good god….You mean that army of guys riding around on Toyota trucks Mad Max style! Well they were…now they got some American equipment we gave the Iraqi Army and our “wonderful” CIA gave to those “moderate Sunni muslims” in the FSA, or they said they were in the FSA and moderate. Who knows…John McCain swore they were moderates.

Anyone with an once of common sense can see ISIS is not going to take the country over because at some point the Iranians will step in in a much more substantial way. ISIS is also fighting a two front war with Assad/Hezbollah in the west. The Russians of course will back the Iranians and Assad. ISIS will have to overcome old Baathist supporters who want a return to power in the Sunni areas. Ex-Saddam people have allied with ISIS for now, but that won’t last forever. Now let me also mention that ISIS will probably tick off the Turks off enough, at some point, to intervene as well.

Heck ISIS has already managed to bring about better Turkish-Kurdish relations…who knows what else they can do.

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Are we a hawkish or dovish party?

Editorialized question.

VorDaj on June 23, 2014 at 7:02 PM

I want to meet this 48% GOP who will allow al-Qaeda unchecked in the Middle East. That is what we are talking about here.

BigGator5 on June 23, 2014 at 6:29 PM

So you’re all about allowing the Iranians to go unchecked in the Middle East, are you?

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:31 PM

You haven’t thought this through. If we fail to provide air support to Iraq – and kill a lot of al Qaeda soldiers in the process – then either al Qaeda will take over Iraq or Iraq will be rescued by Iran. Neither of these results is acceptable.

So it is you who is in favor of allowing Iran to increase its power in the Middle East or allowing al Qaeda to take over Iraq.

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 7:08 PM

We overthrew a dictator and put in a democracy. How about we make sure it stands rather than abandon it without a residual force?
Stoic Patriot on June 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

You can’t in Islamist country. This isn’t Europe or Japan. We are in a much darker place.
Oil Can on June 23, 2014 at 6:53 PM

The history of Europe is pretty dark. Germany certainly had no history of liberal democratic government. Nor did the Iberian countries. And Japan was worse, with no Christian tradition. So was India. Yet we(the anglo-american countries)managed to establish liberal democracies there.

The problem is we no longer believe in our traditions – when we try nation building in the ME it’s done in a “culturally sensitive”, apologetic way. To their and our detriment.

kcewa on June 23, 2014 at 7:09 PM

There are no solutions here. Bush had none, and you have none. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Obama has none.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Only the first part is wrong. There is a solution, but it requires a weapon not used since 1945, launched at Islam’s holy sites (this would necessitate us being energy independent so that SA would have nothing over us).

nobar on June 23, 2014 at 7:09 PM

We had a strongman there – sure he was brutal, but how else can you deal with an opposition that would gladly behead women and children in the name of allah?
celt on June 23, 2014 at 6:48 PM

So did he. We had a strong man in Mubarak as well. The difference is that Mubarak didn’t wander around threatening the US, swear he had nuc’s, prove he had chem and refuse to cooperate with the UN. We didn’t invade Egypt.

The other approach to Saddam would look a lot like the way Barry is dealing with both Iraq and Iran. The same Russians that armed Saddam are now arming Assad and assisting Iran, as is our POTUS, while remaining out of the battle in both Syria and Iraq. He hasn’t taken any kind of stand against any of them unless driven to it by the media coverage. Instead he’s offered Apache’s and Hellfire missiles to the same man he belatedly chastised publicly for behaving in Itraq exactly the same way Obama behaves here in the States.

Food for thought.

Recon5 on June 23, 2014 at 7:10 PM

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:08 PM
nobar on June 23, 2014 at 6:13 PM
Midas on June 23, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Well you guys totally convinced me that we should in fact send Michael Moore directly back to Iraq! Priceless.

anotherJoe on June 23, 2014 at 7:12 PM

You haven’t thought this through. If we fail to provide air support to Iraq – and kill a lot of al Qaeda soldiers in the process – then either al Qaeda will take over Iraq or Iraq will be rescued by Iran. Neither of these results is acceptable.

So it is you who is in favor of allowing Iran to increase its power in the Middle East or allowing al Qaeda to take over Iraq.

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Iran won’t take over Iraq, because Saudis Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, etc. will use their immense amount of oil money to support their Sunni brothers to fight the Iranians/Shia forces.

This will have the happy side effect of leaving the Arabians with less money to support Sunni Jihadists groups in America…like CAIR.

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 7:12 PM

“More.” That’s easier said than done. And it’s not clear what “more” is. As long as it’s not Michael Moore in Iraq!

anotherJoe on June 23, 2014 at 6:07 PM
.

Meh, if it has to come to more in Iraq, let it be Michael. There is certainly more of him. A confrontation between him and ISIS would be priceless.

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:08 PM

.
But that’s a two-birds with one stone solution. Who could be against it?

nobar on June 23, 2014 at 6:13 PM
.

@hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Particularly if that confrontation is the result of us dropping him from 10,000 feet onto their heads.

Midas on June 23, 2014 at 6:36 PM

.
Hey ‘Joe, I’m gonna hafta go with hawkeye’, nobar and Midas on this one.

listens2glenn on June 23, 2014 at 7:17 PM

ObamaCare and IraqiCare – cut from the same cloth.

VorDaj on June 23, 2014 at 7:18 PM

OT but Issa kicking Forskinen’s azz on the IRS scandal on my radio right now!

VegasRick on June 23, 2014 at 7:25 PM

We overthrew a dictator and put in a democracy. How about we make sure it stands rather than abandon it without a residual force?

Stoic Patriot on June 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Because no democracy is worth defending which won’t stand up and fight for itself against an enemy which it is more than capable of defeating.

The government there is a sham. It’s not worth another American life.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 6:51 PM

I agree with SP that we should have stayed with a substantial residual force to protect the blood investment we made. But I would not ask our military for another full-scale investment after this a$$hat gave it to Iran.

At this point the problem has eff-all to do with protecting their democracy, regardless of how BO and Paul want th characterize it. Our problem is how, and if, we can avoid Iran expanding control to create a Shi’ite crescent or ISIS creating a Sunni crescent. It has nothing to do with democracy and stability in Iraq, although that’s preferred for the simple reason that it avoids the conditions for *instability, exploitation and war, which is what we’re looking at now.

Recon5 on June 23, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Iraq War
56m
Poll: Most Americans say Iraq war wasn’t worth the costs – @CBSNews
Read more on cbsnews.com
==========================

CBS NewsJune 23, 2014, 6:30 PM
Most Americans say Iraq war wasn’t worth the costs: Poll
********************************************************

By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus
Discussions of U.S. involvement in stemming the violence in Iraq are occurring amid a backdrop of highly negative views of the Iraq war, a new CBS News/New York Times poll out Monday reveals.

Just 18 percent of Americans think the result of the war in Iraq was worth the loss of American lives and other costs of attacking Iraq, the lowest percentage ever recorded in CBS News Polls. Seventy-five percent do not think the Iraq War was worth it, up eight percentage points since 2011 (just before all U.S. troops were removed), and up 30 points since August 2003.
(More….)
==========

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/most-americans-say-iraq-war-wasnt-worth-the-costs-poll/

canopfor on June 23, 2014 at 7:56 PM

You haven’t thought this through. If we fail to provide air support to Iraq – and kill a lot of al Qaeda soldiers in the process – then either al Qaeda will take over Iraq or Iraq will be rescued by Iran. Neither of these results is acceptable.

So it is you who is in favor of allowing Iran to increase its power in the Middle East or allowing al Qaeda to take over Iraq.

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Iran won’t take over Iraq, because Saudis Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, etc. will use their immense amount of oil money to support their Sunni brothers to fight the Iranians/Shia forces.

This will have the happy side effect of leaving the Arabians with less money to support Sunni Jihadists groups in America…like CAIR.

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 7:12 PM

If not Iran, then the Saudis – the same people who supplied 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers.

The situation is grim. Either we attack ISIS or we risk allowing them to take over Iraq or be defeated by Iran. Do you really think we can deal with this 1400 year old scourge by allowing the worst of the worst to take over an oil rich country. Al Qaeda 1.0 attacked us while operating from caves in Afghanistan. With a southern border which children can penetrate do you really think al Qaeda 2.0 won’t initiate devastating attacks on us.

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Poll: 52% of Republicans think Obama should be doing more in Iraq

Fifty-two percent of Republicans still think this is 1955.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 23, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Both of these stories are linked on DRUDGE :
.
ISIS Hoodies, T-Shirts for Sale Online as Islamist ‘Brand’ Goes Global…
.
Isis hijacks hashtags for propaganda…
.
.
Damn … they’re learning fast at using Western marketing techniques.

listens2glenn on June 23, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Poll: 52% of Republicans think Obama should be doing more in Iraq. Forever.

Rix on June 23, 2014 at 8:54 PM

If not Iran, then the Saudis – the same people who supplied 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers.

The situation is grim. Either we attack ISIS or we risk allowing them to take over Iraq or be defeated by Iran. Do you really think we can deal with this 1400 year old scourge by allowing the worst of the worst to take over an oil rich country. Al Qaeda 1.0 attacked us while operating from caves in Afghanistan. With a southern border which children can penetrate do you really think al Qaeda 2.0 won’t initiate devastating attacks on us.

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 8:18 PM

My point is: No one is going win in Iraq. It is just going to be a massive quagmire, a sort of no-mans land, and a place where Jihadists will go to die fighting each other. The best hope is the Iranians and Saudis stalemate each other and waste lots of money and Jihadists.

That is the best case scenario for the U.S. A endless war. I am of the view that stability in the Islamic world is bad news for infidel nations, America included. When there is stability at home, it gives any nation more time and money to reach out and support foreign intervention. So the less stability in the Islamic world, the less stability around Iran and Arabia, the less money and time they will have to support their other dubious causes…like funnelling money to the Taliban or funding Shariah indoctrination operations in the west.

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Also let me add no one can get oil out of Iraq if it is a warzone. So I am not to concerned about ISIS, or anyone else making a lot of money of oil exports.

In fact a rise in worldwide oil prices would be good for America considering we are not a oil producing nation once again. Even if we don’t export, and we have a rise in oil prices at home, our energy prices will still be substantially better than our competitors. That in turn will make it cheaper to manufacture in America.

The costs might reach a point where it won’t be such an advantage to manufacture in China compared to the U.S. Even with the new Russian deal the Chinese are still much more dependent on Middle East oil than we are now. So this situation is more of a concern for China than the U.S.

Also Russia is on the opposite side to China on this. Chaos is good for them in the Middle East, because they are a energy exporter. In other words it might put a strain on the Russian-Chinese relationship if Russia keeps backing Iran and Assad vs. the Arabians.

See here for Chinese oil imports from 2011…

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 9:07 PM

correction above…

In fact a rise in worldwide oil prices would be good for America considering we are NOW a oil producing nation once again. Even if we don’t export, and we have a rise in oil prices at home, our energy prices will still be substantially better than our competitors. That in turn will make it cheaper to manufacture in America.

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 9:08 PM

You haven’t thought this through. If we fail to provide air support to Iraq – and kill a lot of al Qaeda soldiers in the process – then either al Qaeda will take over Iraq or Iraq will be rescued by Iran. Neither of these results is acceptable.

So it is you who is in favor of allowing Iran to increase its power in the Middle East or allowing al Qaeda to take over Iraq.

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Nope. We had this war already. Iran won. You just want to help the mullahs consolidate their gains.

Al Qaeda is not taking over Iraq. They can’t take over Kurdistan and they can’t take over the Shia controlled south. They don’t have the numbers or the force. So you’ve framed your strategy around a false dichotomy.

So at this point you’re just arguing about how many soldiers and marines you’re willing to kill to help Iran keep their gains in Iraq. Well, how many? Four thousand more? Five? Six?

How many more have to pay because your learning curve ain’t the steepest?

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 9:24 PM

The history of Europe is pretty dark. Germany certainly had no history of liberal democratic government. Nor did the Iberian countries. And Japan was worse, with no Christian tradition. So was India. Yet we(the anglo-american countries)managed to establish liberal democracies there.

The problem is we no longer believe in our traditions – when we try nation building in the ME it’s done in a “culturally sensitive”, apologetic way. To their and our detriment.

kcewa on June 23, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Your history is all wrong. Germany had both a democracy and a history of rights before Hitler. So did Japan. Look up the Taisho democracy the next time you feel like googling. In the end, they were not successful at consolidating their democratic gains, but they did have traditions and practices they could call upon. They knew how democracy was supposed to work.

But you miss the point of why those two countries were successes and other American nation-building projects (Haiti, Cuba, Dominica, etc.) were not. Japan and Germany were advanced and homogenous powers that were already successful at modernity before the U.S. defeated them. They were so successful, in fact, that they were both serious threats to the U.S.

So all it took after the war for the U.S. to democratize Germany and Japan was to turn those countries’ formidable energies to democratic and peaceful pursuits.

An analogy is this: If you’re a good homebuilder, you still need the right materials to build a good home. The U.S. had those in Germany. It does not have them in Iraq. You can build a nice home out of stone, but not out of dung.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 9:35 PM

I agree with SP that we should have stayed with a substantial residual force to protect the blood investment we made.

Recon5 on June 23, 2014 at 7:28 PM

If you’re a sharp investor, then you know not to throw good money in after bad.

Smart investors know when to cut a bad investment loose. Bad investors hang on to an investment in the hopes it will eventually turn around.

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Nope. We had this war already. Iran won. You just want to help the mullahs consolidate their gains.

Al Qaeda is not taking over Iraq. They can’t take over Kurdistan and they can’t take over the Shia controlled south. They don’t have the numbers or the force. So you’ve framed your strategy around a false dichotomy.

So at this point you’re just arguing about how many soldiers and marines you’re willing to kill to help Iran keep their gains in Iraq. Well, how many? Four thousand more? Five? Six?

How many more have to pay because your learning curve ain’t the steepest?

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Actually we won. Obama then gave Iraq away to the terrorists he claimed were on the run. Al Qaeda might very well take over Iraq. If they don’t, it will be because they were stopped by Iran while we stood by and refused to deploy our air force. Al Qaeda 2.0 is coming – whether they control all of Iraq or only part of it.

You don’t understand Islam. Apparently you’d rather fight here than use our military superiority to kill them there. I am not advocating the use of ground forces so your numbers are dishonest.

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Actually we won.

We didn’t win. Iran won. They were the real victors. Imagine how stoked you would be if your worst enemy helped defeat your two other worst enemies who were camped out both sides of you – the Taliban on one end and Saddam on the other – and then you have some idea just how happy we’ve made the Iranians in the last decade.

And now you’re telling the mullahs you have more love to give them. Why don’t you just offer them a hand job while you’re at it?

Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 9:59 PM

Poll: 52% of Republicans think Obama should be doing more in Iraq … Forever.

Rix on June 23, 2014 at 8:54 PM

.
That makes much more sense … those who were polled simply misunderstood the question.

listens2glenn on June 23, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Actually we won. Obama then gave Iraq away to the terrorists he claimed were on the run. Al Qaeda might very well take over Iraq. If they don’t, it will be because they were stopped by Iran while we stood by and refused to deploy our air force. Al Qaeda 2.0 is coming – whether they control all of Iraq or only part of it.

You don’t understand Islam. Apparently you’d rather fight here than use our military superiority to kill them there. I am not advocating the use of ground forces so your numbers are dishonest.

Basilsbest on June 23, 2014 at 9:45 PM

I understand Islam. I have read the Quran and aHadith (or at least the four significant ones for the Sunnis). Also read a few of the older Sira, etc. So how was it that during the last round we gave the Iraqis a Islamic constitution? We never even attempted to remove Islam from the Iraqi government.

Since you understand Islam so well you would realize that a democracy fused with Islam would produce what? A more Islamic society. See the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during their brief and ugly experiment with elections (the last election was a controlled deal and for good reason), look at Algeria during their civil wars, etc. Heck even look at Turkey which has become more Islamic with more freedom to choose their leaders.

The fact is the reason the jihadists are always able to pop up in Islamic societies is because they are actually following the Islamic religion the way Muhammad followed it. It is hard to argue on Islamic grounds that Jihadists are wrong. You can of course argue that Islam itself needs to be ditched, but that is not what we did in Iraq.

As for the “fight them over there instead of over here” argument, it always amazes me how many Muslims, who we don’t vet really well, we bring back to America after one of these adventures. Also the Arabians have a special “get into America status” which is a greater danger than ISIS stuck in Iraq to America.

William Eaton on June 23, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Alternate tag line: political death of an isolationist

Brock Robamney on June 24, 2014 at 4:44 AM

Iraq was a mistake when Bush did it.

Just leave it alone.

Moesart on June 24, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Iraq was a mistake when Bush did it.

Moesart on June 24, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Agreed. But when someone makes a mess, it’s best not to make matters worse when it affects nation security, and since we are there, we should just carpet bomb ISIS. It’s odd to me that we can go to Yemen drone an American citizen because he was an Al Qaeda leader, but we can’t touch the guy Obozo shouldn’t have released from Gitmo in the first place. I say air bomb them relentlessly, no ground troops

Brock Robamney on June 24, 2014 at 8:40 AM

If you’re a sharp investor, then you know not to throw good money in after bad.
Smart investors know when to cut a bad investment loose. Bad investors hang on to an investment in the hopes it will eventually turn around.
Pincher Martin on June 23, 2014 at 9:39 PM

It’s not like we are going to let oil wells fall into the hands of terrorists….. Oh wait….

Brock Robamney on June 24, 2014 at 8:43 AM

OT but Issa kicking Forskinen’s azz on the IRS scandal on my radio right now!
VegasRick on June 23, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Unless there is a select committee, this is all theatrics. The GOP is chasing backup tapes but not addressing the fact that you can’t delete all emails from a server. They are always lurking on a server somewhere. The GOP wants to use the IRS to attack the tea party too, so this is going nowhere. Remember, the IRS was first suggested to be used as a political arm of the president back in the Nixon Administration

Brock Robamney on June 24, 2014 at 8:48 AM

The fact that it is only 52% is actually very telling.It is telling these interventionist fools the party is not solidly behind their impulsive “help the people that hate us” BS!

redware on June 24, 2014 at 1:46 PM

But you miss the point of why those two countries were successes and other American nation-building projects (Haiti, Cuba, Dominica, etc.) were not. Japan and Germany were advanced and homogenous powers that were already successful at modernity before the U.S. defeated them. They were so successful, in fact, that they were both serious threats to the U.S.

I made a similar point about Germany and Japan. They both had a rapid rush to modernization and industrialization. That is what allowed them to build their war machines. Japan at the time was importing European style hats and suits. They were both very much trying to emulate the West. In that sense, we saw them as a threat.

The Islamic militants are by definition not trying to emulate the decadent West. Moreover, they have had arbitrary borders drawn around them. Let’s see how these borders look in some decades time.

antisense on June 24, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Comment pages: 1 2