Hillary Clinton Criticizes Obama’s Foreign Policies and

225px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropPresident_Barack_ObamaHillary Clinton seems to have found a way to get people from moving beyond her disastrous “dead broke” claims, but not in a way that is likely to please those voters tired of wars and military interventions. Clinton used an interview this week to criticize the “failure” of President Obama’s policies in Syria and to insist that she wanted a more interventionist military approach. President Obama was quoted responding to such criticism by calling it “horseshit.” It seemed a return to the 2008 election where Clinton campaigned on her hawk credentials in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — a mistake for many Democratic and independent voters. Recently, she changed her mind and said that the Iraq War was a mistake despite her refusal to listen to a chorus of critics of the war at the time when it was a popular political move. Despite that change, Clinton is suggesting that she would have armed the Syrian rebels and acted more aggressively to stop the Islamic State.

In the interview with prominent foreign affairs writer Jeffrey Goldberg, Clinton attacked Obama’s decision not to quickly and strongly support the Syrian rebels and said that the West Wing’s foreign policy mantra — “Don’t do stupid stuff”— is “not an organizing principle.” She seemed to brush over the fact that that the same course that led us into repeated costly military campaigns or that many of the rebels at the time were found to be committing atrocities like the regime. Then there is the fact that many of our weapons have already ended up in the hands of the Islamic State in places like Iraq — as we saw in Afghanistan with Al Qaeda.

The statements were a replay of Clinton’s much maligned campaign against Obama in 2008 that she was the one who could handle the “3 a.m. phone call.” As someone who supported both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, many insisted that they did not want any more such calls.

The change in strategy and message may not be coincidental. A major poll this month by NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showing Obama’s approval rating at an “all-time low.” The interview was widely viewed as designed to separate Clinton from the declining fortunes of both Obama and the Democratic Congress.

Putting aside the timing, Clinton has repeatedly shown herself to be closer to George W. Bush than Obama on military interventions. She used the interview to reaffirm her absolute support for Israel and her credentials in committing U.S. military resources in foreign conflicts.

Nevertheless, while criticizing Clinton on the attack against Obama and interventionist drumbeat, liberal writers like Joan Walsh at Salon.com are still cited in the article below as still expecting to support Clinton for the next president. It is part of a continuing rift on the left of our political spectrum. It is not clear what are the dominant values of the Democratic Party going into this election. Civil liberties and war issues used to be a rallying point for liberals. However, those issues have been seriously undermined by the Obama Administration and the Clinton campaigns in 2008 and 2014. Clearly, some agree with Clinton’s hawkish views and others are drawn to the chance of electing a female, even one with opposing views. However, there remains a remarkably fluidity in the defining values for the party going into the election beyond the dominant blue state/red state rhetoric that the Republicans are simply worse. That narrative is clearly not working but seems to be the only theme upon which the party is advancing consistently. There is the immigration issue but that has proven extremely risky and does not appear to have paid off politically. Indeed, some black leaders and voters have publicly opposed the effort by Democratic members to push for legalizing the status of millions of undocumented individuals. We are, as the Chinese curse says, living in interesting times.

Source: Politico

230 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton Criticizes Obama’s Foreign Policies and

  1. I can’t believe that Hillary is taking such strong positions this early. She clearly does not want support from progressives. Telling Snowden to come home and face the justice systems is stupid because she knows that the charges against him means that he will be unable to speak at all. Hillary’s support of Israel as the world opinion has changed and, in my view Israel can never recover from the genocide in Gaza, her support at a time of rapid change in support for Israel. Then there is her support of banksters.

    To her credit, she is taking firm stands. She shows that she will continue to work for the oligarchs and doesn’t give a damn about our country. But is it good politics to not have wiggle room this early?

    I hope she does not get the democratic nomination and self destructs early.

  2. Don midwest,

    I hope she does not get the democratic nomination and self destructs early.
    ===================================
    If not, her misunderstanding of Europe will come at a bad time.

    The politics of escalation show that Europe sorely misses a realistic goal. It’s a different thing in the US. Threats and posturing are simply part of the election preparations. When Hillary Clinton compares Putin with Hitler, she does so only to appeal to the Republican vote, i.e. people who do not own a passport. For many of them, Hitler is the only foreigner they know, which is why Adolf Putin is a very welcome fictitious campaign effigy. In this respect, Clinton and Obama have a realistic goal: to appeal to the people, to win elections, to win another Democratic presidency.

    Angela Merkel can hardly claim these mitigating circumstances for herself. Geography forces every German Chancellor to be a bit more serious. As neighbors of Russia, as part of the European community bound in destiny, as recipient of energy and supplier of this and that, we Germans have a clearly more vital interest in stability and communication. We cannot afford to look at Russia through the eyes of the American Tea Party.

    (Gabor Steingart, publisher of Germany’s leading financial newspaper Handelsblatt)

  3. Hillary Clinton is certainly one of the most qualified to be president. She served as an active First Lady, she served in the Senate, and she served as Sec. of State. But she’s a determined hawk. I really want a woman to break the barrier of leading the country but one who will end wars, not one who will continue the ones we’re in or start new ones.

  4. Hillary Clinton “served” as an active FLOTUS, “served” as a US Senator and “served” as Secretary of State – but can anyone point out any positive results for America from all of this “service”? Inquiring minds want to know.

  5. Hawkish Hillary?

    What threshold would it take, If she had the codes to launch the nukes? Just asking a fair question.

  6. It’s time for Elizabeth Warren to step up. Hillary will talk herself out of the nomination, which is a good thing if she doesn’t reflect the platform and voters of the Democratic Party in which she would be the candidate for. We don’t need anymore hawks.

  7. And what are the alternatives to a Clinton Presidency from the Demo party? Smoken Joe Biden? How about Ron Wyden? Elizabeth Warren? The Banksters will insist Elizabeth be no closer to the Presidency than she currently is.

  8. Annie, Elizabeth Warren is not running. Bernie Sanders is thinking about it. Clinton is too hawkish for me but probably not for the general electorate. Obama’s approval ratings are down on foreign policy and she knows it.

  9. SWM,
    Bernie Sanders would most definitely get my vote. I wonder why Warren won’t run, some agreement to not go up against Hillary?

  10. Annie, Squeeky says she lives in Texas and Texas does not vote for democrats because of guns and the socials issues along with healthcare. Who knows the the repubs might nominate a native son like Perry or Cruz. Hillary is probably counting on them them running a very hard right campaign both on foreign policy and social issues.

  11. Seriously Squeekers, they hate Hillary with a passion, enough to spread rumors about her, as evidenced on another thread yesterday.

  12. Squeeky, Do you think Wendy has a chance? I think it is mainly men that hate Hillary, and that she will attract some moderate republican women voters..

  13. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/gop-gambles-iraq-posture “When Obama announced plans last Thursday for a limited mission in Iraq, the president went out of his way to acknowledge the public’s weariness for war. “I know that many of you are rightly concerned about any American military action in Iraq, even limited strikes like these. I understand that,” he said. “I ran for this office in part to end our war in Iraq and welcome our troops home, and that’s what we’ve done. As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq.”

    Republicans, oddly enough, are saying largely the opposite. They’re surely aware of polls showing the limited public appetite for military intervention abroad, but the GOP is nevertheless positioning itself as overeager hawks: the Iraq war never should have ended, a variety of Republicans are now insisting, and it’s time to use even more force in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.

    Ed Kilgore added yesterday, “Anyone who makes the ‘shoulda never withdrawn’ argument must believe it, because it’s really dumb politically…. Yes, there are a significant number (although a minority even there) of Republican voters who think we should still be fighting the Iraq War Bush began, just as there are almost certainly a decent number of Republicans of a certain age who think we unnecessarily ‘surrendered’ in Vietnam. But it doesn’t play well in a general election.” “

  14. squeeky, Thought so….. I did see a poll where she was only down eight points. Oh well, with this election, Texas moves even further to the right.

  15. They say opposites attract, but I have never believed it. Hillary would be a sell-out as President just like her “I feel your pain” husband. He and his supporters in the party damaged the party such that neither the party nor the country will recover for the foreseeable future, perhaps never. And Obama, his appointments and supporters have placed their imprimatur on that damage and have damaged the country even more. Deliberately lost are the common good, democracy, economic and social justice, and a sane foreign policy, which are the sine qua nons of democracy,not to mention the hideous decisions on the environment (Obama is rhetorically committed to moving against global warming and safeguarding the environment but his actual decisions give the lie to that commitment: GMO foods, oil/gas leases, FDA policies, and more). None of Hillary Clinton’s statements and decisions while at the State Department quality her for the presidency in the sense that decisions and actions of a presidential candidate should be shown to have been humane and just, not to mentioned informed by reality. I am a little old fashioned on that score. We will have no real choice in voting and not for the first time. For all their supposed differences, the powerful in each party share common oligarchic economic beliefs and devotion to so-called American exceptionalism (a nonsense word except in the sense of criminally entitled to do anything the leaders are pleased to do, no matter how stupid, self-defeating (in the end), and cruel) and a deceitful and murderous foreign policy and, more and more, the same goes for domestic policy. Not wanting to leave the Republicans unscathed, the present day Republicans are comprised of religious and economic fundamentalists/predators, know nothings, and the eternally biased against people they believe less worthy than themselves (races other than whites, human beings other than males, and all those with even a modicum of tolerance and empathy). Both parties practice hypocrisy on a grand scale. It simply cannot be ignored any longer. so many of our leaders are cowards who go along to get along, others commit actions that can be defined as wicked, still others as evil.

  16. For those who want a president who will end wars–NEWS FLASH–there will always be wars. The question is which one’s are worth fighting. I say any war that threatens our economic stability, our American freedoms, and that freedom of our allies is a war that should be fought. We can reason with diplomacy, but in the end, there are wars that call for our intervention.
    As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knows this and why she is positioning herself as a hawk.
    The war in Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East is feudal. We know that now. As long as there are Islamic terrorist, Shiites and Sunni’s, there will always be a war, a war that will never be won.
    However, when our allies in the Middle East are threatened i.e.Israel and Jordan, we owe them our help. And when innocent people are displaced, we owe them our help to get them to safe havens.

  17. Like Robin Williams, she’s way old beyond her years. She’d be in failing health after one year of stress in the White House, then probably the first POTUS to commit suicide, maybe take our nation with her.

  18. What is horsesh*t is the idea that Obama isn’t a war mongering, war hawk, civilian killing president. I see Clinton’s statement as serving 2 propagandistic purposes.

    1. it is the sincere but crazed belief that Obama is a peace president. He has started 7 wars (kinetic actions). He has just now put even more troops in Iraq. He wanted to attack Syria but was stopped. He wants to put more troops into the Ukraine and this may be stopped but there is no guarantee of that.

    The way that Obama and Bush differ is that Obama has engaged in more wars and killed more civilians by drones.

    In order to cover over the blood lust of Obama, Clinton is pretending to be more hawkish.

    2. Clinton is speaking to her donor base-war contractors and financial industry players who want more war because it is profitable. She also understands that her base is ready for that first woman president. Her base is like Obama’s –they won’t care what she stands for. They won’t think about the fact Clinton, while being a women is not someone you should want to be president.

    It’s so cynical. We the people must stop buying the crap we are fed. Until we do this nation will spiral further into lawlessness here and around the rest of the world. Everyone will suffer for the stupidity of American voters.

  19. She blames Obama for HER “service” as SoS.
    Why did she give him bad advice to follow concerning Syria?
    And to think, no one in the US Corporate Media will even ask…
    … As “serving” SoS, weren’t you involved in the Syrian policy?

    Me doth think she not only protest too much…
    … She projects, well.

  20. Foon, That is correct. That is one reason why it is madness as Obama’s current foreign policy. We the people need to protest this insanity now!

  21. a former CIA analyst was on the news yesterday saying maybe more should have been done in Syria but it would have made no difference with what is happening with ISIS
    I am disappointed in Sec’t. Clinton
    (and think it was SWM who wrote re Bernie Sanders. I think he is terrific but doubt he could win.)

  22. (and no matter who is the candidate the dems problem has been getting out the base. repubs get their voters out. I do not know why we have more trouble doing that – been posited because they tend to be more split and not just toeing the party line like repubs.)

  23. Mission accomplished–Attention has been successfully taken away from Obama’s current insane, murderous war mongering into the future insane, murderous policy that American’s first woman president will bring on!

    We are even discussing who will win the election!

    Instead, USA voters need to pull our sh*t together and address the current insane, murderous war mongering of this president, the result of demands by his war contractor, financial puppet masters.

    This story is the essence of propaganda and we should quit buying into that and address the horrifying reality before us.

  24. I’m pleased to see the President uses both Tom Hanks and my favorite word, “horseshit.” It is a great word on many levels. It evokes emotion from both the cerebral and olfactory regions of the brain. And, it is therapeutic. Just saying, horseshit, helps one release their negative feelings. Writing horseshit isn’t as therapeutic, but still effective.

  25. Why is the first answer for the US to international crisis as always throwing more military at a problem… a problem exacerbated by US militarism?

    When at a fire, throw gasoline on it?
    Speaking of gasoline…
    “Never waste a good crisis” – Hillary Clinton

  26. Jill what would you suggest be done. This has been coming since Bush began his war there and did not go after Bin-Laden (my thght but heard analysts saying the same thing) These people are murderous and attempting to commit genocide. It should not just be us it should be the world but it sounds as though you think we should just throw up our hands and say Oh well. (Esp when they have threatened terrorist acts against Americans and from their success so far, esp in proselytizing the children so this will be generation upon generation, and their reach will get farther and farther, not just US – because I am not a jingoist. The world can be at risk from these ‘people” (I hate calling them that” and the world should be reacting..

  27. Gigi De La Paz


    I say any war that threatens … our American freedoms, and that freedom of our allies is a war that should be fought.

    =============================
    I will pass that on to the president, congress member, statesman, and cabinet member who wrote our Bill of Rights in our Constitution:

    “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.” – James Madison

  28. Dredd,
    Conservatives claim to uphold the Constitution and its ideals…
    … The authors of the pact and what they actually wrote matter not!

  29. This post is a great analysis of how the duopoly is bereft of any core values. I saw some very unflattering photos in the Daily Mail of Hill, Bill and their dog walking on the beach in the Hamptons. It is well known that drawing the Secret Service duty for Hill is drawing the short straw. She is a horrible person, particularly to LEO and military. The look on the face of the SS officer says it all. But, the shocking feature is just how fat Hill has gotten. She must weigh more than Bill now. By 2016 she may tip the scales more than her likely opponent, Christie. Our culture is such that when a man runs for President he must be trim. Remember how much weight Gore lost when running for office. He obviously started eating gallons of ice cream right after Bush v Gore. The fact that political handlers tell men they can’t be fat and run for President always struck me as odd because, for the most part, weight is usually a sexist issue foisted upon women. So, the question is, will handlers tell Hill she needs to drop 50 if she is to run?

  30. Obama mockingly called ISIS “the Jayvee” just last year. He does have that cocky, mocking, swagger down pat.

  31. Some folks never met a war they didn’t love. However if warmongering will be our future policy, we seriously need to bring back the draft. All of our offspring should be equally at risk for bein sen not a war zone. Not just the sons and daughters of poor and middle class. Perhaps they wouldn’t be so quick to enter wars then.

    Leej, I’m conflicted on the action in Iraq, I’m glad he President has sent emergency aid in food, water, and maybe even strategic strikes, but mission creep is real and we have been stretched so far already, money, lives, I think may agree with this.

  32. LJC,

    I would suggest this govt. start acting and reacting with brains. We go to war at the first drop of a hat. That doesn’t exactly show intelligence. We manufacture wars. We create problems by killing civilians across the globe. This kind of thing creates blowback.

    We are not engaging in wars to save the people of the United States from terrorists. The govt. engages in wars because the most wealthy people who control things reap ungodly benefits from them. The wealth that comes to them is unsurpassed in history.

    If you want to stop terrorism you’re going to have a much better chance by giving aid to build infrastructure, schools, farms and the like–basically the same things that would help rebuild our own society.

    It is not well know to people in the US but Muslims hate what the American govt. does but they do not hate many of the things that US society offers. Many foreign born Muslims come to study here in the US, many immigrate here for these reasons. After 9/11, Iran, a nation whose democratically elected leader the US had thrown out, was on our side. Afghanistan offered to give Bin Laden over for trial in a neutral, third party’s court of law. What did we do with this good will? Utterly squandered it! How stupid is that?

    Unfortunately , it was a good decision to squander all that good will for the ruling a-holes because: 1. they got to destroy the rule of law in the US by appealing to terrorism (a device that still works) 2. got to grab resources in Iraq and Afghanistan through ginning up war against both nations (war ginning is also still successful on our population) and 3. made financial and war contractors more powerful and more wealthy than ever (also still working).

    At some point, we the people need to put a halt to dealing with every problem though war. There is aid, there is diplomacy. We have minds, we should use them.

    If war was the answer, it would have finished the job by now. It’s madness to keep trying the same thing again and again, expecting a different outcome.

    We are proselytized into the cult of war. We have to understand that is happening to us and stop being a member of that cult. It’s safer, better and we can do it.

  33. All of these elitist politicians do not understand the most fundamental cultural aspect of the Middle East. That culture, totally dominated by men, reveres strength; ruthless and brutal strength. Al Qaeda, Hamas, etc. all exhibited that but ISIS or ISIL or whatever the hell they’re called today has taken this to a new level. This “Jayvee team” is worse than all other terrorist groups combined. They were created by soldiers who the US engaged but did not defeat. Churchill said, “There can be no peace without victory.” From the first Gulf War to now, we did not defeat the enemy. War is brutal. You have to crush the enemy, not just contain them. FDR, Churchill, and Truman understood this. Stalin sure as hell did. No matter all our weapons, the Middle East, China and Putin see us as weak. For all the derision I have for Hillary, she understand this better than her husband, both Bush’s, or out current president playing gold on MV. Dem and Rep Presidents have screwed up the Middle East badly. ISIS will be striking here soon, and they will make 9/11 look like a pin prick. The blame goes back to Bush 41.

  34. Nick, Elites understand the M.E. very well. They just make a lot of money on war in the region. Notice we are great friends with Saudi Arabia, the most repressive regime going in the area but it sure gives us a lot of oil and buys our weapons!

    You assume we want to crush our enemy. There’s not much profit in that! You need continual war to make the really good money. You seem to also assume this govt. cares about our people. Where’s the evidence of that? Do we have clean air, water, earth, universal health care, a living wage for all, children housed and educated? No, we do not. They don’t care!

    Even if you want to “crush” your enemy, war isn’t the only or even the best strategy. War is a tool of people whose minds a small and foolish.

  35. Jill Halliburton, ie Cheney, is alleged to have made 39.5 Billion on the Iraq war.
    Annie, I have said that for years about the draft. People act horrified but when I say Vietnam was ended by the voices of the people because everyone had a ball in the game, sons, nephews, friends, firiends sos, etc so it was to the benefit of all that the war end.
    Bush had the chance of changing the course had he gone after Bin Laden and Al queda, but he said Bin Laden was no big deal and not worth his thought.
    I don’t like that we are doing more then the humanitarian (and I think the world should be a part of that effort) but everything I hear about ISIS indicates we cannot just let it stand and grow. It is pernicious like kudzu.

  36. I found this letter and thought I would post it here. It relates to some of the arguments between the 2 “sides”:
    Hi Andrew,

    I’m writing because I just can’t deal with my father anymore. He’s a 65-year-old super right-wing conservative who has basically turned into a total asshole intent on ruining our relationship and our planet with his politics. I’m more or less a liberal democrat with very progressive values and I know that people like my dad are going to destroy us all. I don’t have any good times with him anymore. All we do is argue. When I try to spend time with him without talking politics or discussing any current events, there’s still an underlying tension that makes it really uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I love him no matter what, but how do I explain to him that his politics are turning him into a monster, destroying the environment, and pushing away the people who care about him?

    Thanks for your help,
    Son of A Right-Winger

    See also: Ask Andrew W.K.: My Boyfriend Treats Me Badly

    Dear Son of A Right-Winger,

    Go back and read the opening sentences of your letter. Read them again. Then read the rest of your letter. Then read it again. Try to find a single instance where you referred to your dad as a human being, a person, or a man. There isn’t one. You’ve reduced your father — the person who created you — to a set of beliefs and political views and how it relates to you. And you don’t consider your dad a person of his own standing — he’s just “your dad.” You’ve also reduced yourself to a set of opposing views, and reduced your relationship with him to a fight between the two. The humanity has been reduced to nothingness and all that’s left in its place is an argument that can never really be won. And even if one side did win, it probably wouldn’t satisfy the deeper desire to be in a state of inflamed passionate conflict.

    The world isn’t being destroyed by democrats or republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist — the world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world. The world is being hurt and damaged by one group of people believing they’re truly better people than the others who think differently. The world officially ends when we let our beliefs conquer love. We must not let this happen.

    When we lump people into groups, quickly label them, and assume we know everything about them and their life based on a perceived world view, how they look, where they come from, etc., we are not behaving as full human beings. When we truly believe that some people are monsters, that they fundamentally are less human than we are, and that they deserve to have less than we do, we ourselves become the monsters. When we allow our emotions to be hypnotized by the excitement of petty bickering about seemingly important topics, we drift further and further away from the fragile and crucial human bond holding everything together. When we anticipate with ferocious glee the next chance we have to prove someone “wrong” and ourselves “right,” all the while disregarding the vast complexity of almost every subject — not to mention the universe as a whole — we are reducing the beauty and magic of life to a “side” or a “type,” or worst of all, an “answer.” This is the power of politics at it’s most sinister.

    At its best, politics is able to organize extremely complex world views into manageable and communicable systems so they can be grappled with and studied abstractly. But even the most noble efforts to organize the world are essentially futile. The best we can usually achieve is a crude and messy map of life from one particular vantage point, featuring a few grids, bullet points, and sketches of its various aspects and landmarks. Anything as infinitely complex as life, reality, and the human experience can never be summed up or organized in a definitive system, especially one based on “left or right,” “A or B,” “us or them.” This is the fatal flaw of binary thinking in general. However, this flaw isn’t just ignored, it’s also embraced, amplified, and deliberately used as a weapon on the very people who think it’s benefiting their way of thinking.

    Human beings crave order and simplicity. We cling to the hope that some day, if we really refine our world view and beliefs, we can actually find the fully correct way to think — the absolute truth and final side to stand on. People and systems craving power take advantage of this desire and pit us against each other using a “this or that” mentality. The point is to create unrest, disagreement, resentment, and anger — a population constantly at war with itself, each side deeply believing that the other is not just wrong, but also a sincere threat to their very way of life and survival. This creates constant anxiety and distraction — the perfect conditions for oppression. The goal of this sort of politics is to keep people held down and mesmerized by a persistent parade of seemingly life-or-death debates, each one worth all of our emotional energy and primal passion.

    But the truth is, the world has always been and always will be on the brink of destruction. And what keeps it from actually imploding is our love for life and our deep-seeded desire not to die. Our love for our own life is inextricably connected to our love of all life and the miracle of this phenomenon we call “the world.” We must give all of ourselves credit every day for keeping things going. It’s an incredible achievement to exist at all.

    So we must protect and respect each other, no matter how hard it feels. No matter how wrong someone else may seem to us, they are still human. No matter how bad someone may appear, they are truly no worse than us. Our beliefs and behavior don’t make us fundamentally better than others, no matter how satisfying it is to believe otherwise. We must be tireless in our efforts to see things from the point of view we most disagree with. We must make endless efforts to try and understand the people we least relate to. And we must at all times force ourselves to love the people we dislike the most. Not because it’s nice or because they deserve it, but because our own sanity and survival depends on it. And if we do find ourselves pushed into a corner where we must kill others in order to survive, we must fully accept that we are killing people just as fully human as ourselves, and not some evil abstract creatures.

    Love your dad because he’s your father, because he made you, because he thinks for himself, and most of all because he is a person. Have the strength to doubt and question what you believe as easily as you’re so quick to doubt his beliefs. Live with a truly open mind — the kind of open mind that even questions the idea of an open mind. Don’t feel the need to always pick a side. And if you do pick a side, pick the side of love. It remains our only real hope for survival and has more power to save us than any other belief we could ever cling to.

    Your friend,
    Andrew W.K.

    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2014/08/ask_andrew_wk_right_wing_dad.php

  37. leejcaroll,
    I just released your comment from the spam filter.
    Nick,
    please inform what your basing the hyperbolic claim that ISIS/ISIL will be here soon. Sounds very similar to the old mushroom cloud warnings during the run up to war in 2003.

  38. Staged criticism; poorly phonied-up controversy.

    Notice how the former Obama Secretary of State has framed the “debate.” The choices are between “War” and “More War, Sooner.” Really? That’s the debate?

    No. It isn’t. But that’s the way Obama loves it. Criticism of his right-wing policies from further right has been about as easy as it gets for him – and it’s meant to be.

    How tough is it to get your Insurance Industry written Insurance “Reform” enacted when the toughest test it faces is whether it has death panels that will kill grandma? I’m thinking pretty much any bill could survive that test.

    Heck, pretty much the toughest test his presidency has faced has been to trot out a copy of his birth certificate and a couple of of newspaper notices…. again and again and again. If only algebra had been so simple.

    These are not real controversies; just convenient contrivances. They are as set up as any professional wrestling match.

    Now Obama is taking us back to a war we shouldn’t have fought the first time around so of course the “debate” is about whether he should been more aggressive, sooner. The “debate” is whether or not we should have armed many of the same group(s) we’re fighting now sooner. The “debate” is always between War or More War, Sooner.

    Except that is not the debate. Not in any rational terms. The debate is whether or not these necon policies we have been following for over a decade are working in the country’s best interest. This country. Not the country of Exxon, British Petroleum, and Royal Dutch Shell. Not the Israel Lobby. Not the country of Lockheed Martin and Halliburton. They have been wildly successful in their aims.

    The United States of the Rest of Us? Not so much. It’s thirteen years later and we’re still talking more war . . . and, shamelessly, it’s to help. The United States was responsible for the deaths of many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis after its last invasion and the one before that yet still has the gall to casually throw around the word “genocide” when the fighting gets uncomfortably close to those Exxon oil fields?

    The same country that simultaneously defeated Nazi Germany, Facist Italy and Imperial Japan in four years is still at War with Terror after thirteen? The only remaining super-power? This is an obviously failed policy – unless your names are Exxon, Israel, or Lockheed Martin. They’re doing great with this mess.

    And they’ve loved it when our only choices are War or More War, Sooner.

  39. on 1, August 12, 2014 at 12:26 pmSqueeky Fromm, Girl Reporter
    Well, let Hillary criticize Manchild in the White House, and the knives come out. Whew.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter
    ————————————-
    on 1, August 12, 2014 at 11:39 amNick Spinelli
    But, the shocking feature is just how fat Hill has gotten. She must weigh more than Bill now. By 2016 she may tip the scales more than her likely opponent, Christie. Our culture is such that when a man runs for President he must be trim. Remember how much weight Gore lost when running for office. He obviously started eating gallons of ice cream right after Bush v Gore. The fact that political handlers tell men they can’t be fat and run for President always struck me as odd because, for the most part, weight is usually a sexist issue foisted upon women. So, the question is, will handlers tell Hill she needs to drop 50 if she is to run?
    ******************************************
    Yeah that is pretty nasty of your buddy to call her fat, huh?

  40. @annie.

    I saw what he said. I am sure Hillary will hit Jenny Craig up if she decides to run, just for the health aspects of it. But nicks also said:

    “Churchill said, “There can be no peace without victory.” From the first Gulf War to now, we did not defeat the enemy. War is brutal. You have to crush the enemy, not just contain them. FDR, Churchill, and Truman understood this. Stalin sure as hell did. No matter all our weapons, the Middle East, China and Putin see us as weak. For all the derision I have for Hillary, she understand this better than her husband, both Bush’s, or out current president playing gold on MV.”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  41. So Squeekers, which side of your buddy do you like better the statesman impersonator, or the bigoted hater of fat women who are possibly lesbians?

  42. Raff, You seem to have a bug up your ass of late. I base it upon what people who know much more than I are saying. Anyone who doesn’t recognize the threat this well armed and committed terrorist force presents is an idiot. Like Bin Laden, they have vowed to hit us soon. They are much more powerful than bin Laden EVER was. But, “Ignorance is bliss.” Oh, do I need proof that Hillary is fat?

  43. Squeeky,
    So you don’t see the need to defend her from such attacks from the Hillary haters, until she runs? You don’t think it’s a nasty low blow to call her a fat lesbian now? Squeekers, it’s a ‘weighty’ matter anytime a person attacks another mostly because she is a woman, strong, intelligent and independent. There are men that hate strong women, absolutely hate them.

  44. And before some dope says it, no there is nothing wrong with being a lesbian, or suggesting someone is a lesbian, but when it’s used to appeal to the bigoted to be used against her, then it’s low and hateful to spread such rumors.

  45. Under an earlier post, slohrss29 and I shared an exchange, later picked up by John Oliver, on this topic. Quoted here is my explanation to slohrss29 for the cognitive dissonance on foreign policy that has led to catastrophic harms under the Obama administration.

    Excerpt from http://jonathanturley.org/2014/08/01/we-tortured-some-folks-obama-admits-united-states-committed-acts-violating-federal-and-international-law/#comment-1252153 :

    slohrss29,

    A neoconservative is essentially a Wilsonian liberal in the Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy lineage, relabeled.

    That’s a reason for the incoherence of President Obama’s foreign policy. In the partisan contest, Democrats have relied on the false narrative against Operation Iraqi Freedom to seize political advantage, especially with Obama’s presidential election in 2008. Yet the truth is OIF was right on the law, justified on the policy, and defined by essentially liberal principles.

    That might have worked out okay for us if the Democrats, while vilifying President Bush, also rejected Bush’s essential liberalism, as you do. Except they haven’t.

    The Democrats and Obama have continued to claim the traditional liberal goals they share with Bush. In the partisan arena, the Democrats have turned the trick on their fundamental contradiction by rhetorically relabeling Bush’s post-9/11 liberal foreign policy as neocon, said pejoratively (liberal:neocon :: studious:nerd).

    However, in the real world, abjuring Bush’s practical means to achieve the liberal goals has rendered American leadership a feckless failure. At the same time, Obama’s continuing claim of the liberal goals while advantaging the Islamists versus the region’s liberals has made America leadership a betraying liar. “Disengagement” is used a lot to describe Obama’s foreign policy, but that’s incorrect. Obama has engaged plenty, just not in progressive, constructive ways.

    While I hold a different view than slohrss29 and John Oliver, I prefer their views over the Democrat leadership because, unlike the Democrats, they at least offer a logical alternative.

    The problem is the Democrats won the partisan political contest, particularly Obama’s presidency, by vilifying Bush’s essentially liberal foreign policy.

    Why is that the problem? Because the Democrats share Bush’s essentially liberal American outlook. In fact, Bush’s counter-terror and Iraq policies were carried forward from Clinton. For Hillary Clinton to actually oppose Bush would be to oppose her husband.

    In short, the Democrats won the White House with a fundamental lie about both Bush and themselves.

    The carrying harm of a cover-up is it compounds down the line, right? The Democrats have tried to cover up their electoral con-job by disclaiming Bush’s progressing foreign policy while claiming a “smarter” foreign policy by Obama would achieve the same liberal goals as Bush.

    The problem with that – for us and the international community that has long depended on American leadership to underwrite foundational security and stability – is Bush merely matched logical means to ends.

    Deviating from Bush’s paradigmatically liberal post 9/11 foreign policy in order to cover up for their electoral con-job has forced the Democrats to make this choice:

    A. Responsibly stay the course from Bush’s working logical methods and implicitly admit they conned America to win the White House.
    or
    B. Irresponsibly keep the con-job going by ardently disclaiming Bush’s logical methods in favor of illogical “smarter” methods that from the outset obviously would not work in the real world.

    One guess which option has been chosen by the Democrat leadership. After all, there’s always the next election to win, and why fix what ain’t broke.

    Well, it’s breaking.

  46. @annie

    I defended Hillary from being a Lesbian. If nicks thinks she is fat, how can I defend that??? That is a matter of personal taste and opinion. I think Obama has big ears, but it has nothing to do with my opinion of him.

    If Hillary runs and people attack her for being overweight, and don’t wish to vote for her for that reason, then I shall taunt them for being shallow.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  47. Annie,
    I know, none I can think of in my lifetime, either.

    We have presidents elected with war on their mind…

    Change, yet?

  48. Annie,
    People who resort to slander to make their point reveal more about their moral character than they care to know… be it Hillary or posters here.

    As if “size’ is a factor to deciding between pearls or diamonds…

  49. OK, Squeeky, I’ll hold you to that. I’d like to hear the exact reasons Hillary haters hate her, besides possibly being a “fat lesbian”. That might be enlightening.

    Max, yup, I have wondered what happened with Obama, why he followed too closely in Bush’s footsteps as far as being involved in foreign wars is concerned. Now Hillary wants to appear to be even more of a hawk than Obama. Voters are going to be all over the place in 2016, things are so convoluted.

  50. Nick,
    Terrorism is ancient. It is not something “new” and “improved”.

    That it has you hunkered down proves to us it’s effects. Why can’t you see that? I say, come crawling out from under that bed and stand brave and witness the sunrise, NOT the sunset!

  51. Annie,
    fiver is on target.

    We’re being set up, AGAIN!
    Choices are between war, and more war sooner.
    Nowhere is there room for PEACE!

    ISIS is but another nail our elected hammers have aim to hit…

  52. Annie: “I have wondered what happened with Obama, why he followed too closely in Bush’s footsteps as far as being involved in foreign wars is concerned.”

    The answer is you were conned by the Democrats. See you my comment at August 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm.

  53. Squeeky, I wonder if there will be any fat references when Christie runs?? Corzine made ads ridiculing Christie for being fat and they backfired. It cuts both ways. I’m fat and bald. You seem to understand politics. Some here are clueless.

  54. We do not have a federal government. We have a Mafia Superpower; no, make that a Superpower Mafia. This Mafia never does the right thing for the people of the world. Like any mafia it serves itself & its favored corporations that are really part of it.

  55. Again, you have to withdraw all alegence and support from three things: the Troops, the Democrats, the Republicans.

  56. Dredd: “War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes;”

    That applied more when the US had a smaller GDP.

    While the War Terror has had a large dollar cost, in fact, it’s not relatively large as a percent of GDP. Which is to say, the War on Terror, while a significant factor in the national debt, has not been a major driver of the national debt. There also hasn’t been a specific war tax, though every tax “revenue” is generally disbursed.

  57. @tlimey

    Well, it will be a cold day in heck before I withdraw support from the troops! Whoever got them “there”, once they are “there” it is time to fight like hell, and kill large numbers of the enemy until they just don’t want to fight anymore.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  58. Dredd,

    To follow up my response to your point about “[war] debt and taxes”, an excerpt from http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2014/05/operation-iraqi-freedom-faq.html :

    Q: Did Operation Iraqi Freedom really cost X trillions of dollars?

    A: No.

    According to the Congressional Research Service report, The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11 (March 29, 2011), which measured the “cumulative total appropriated [for Iraq and Afghanistan] … war operations, diplomatic operations, and medical care for Iraq and Afghan war veterans”, covering DOD, State/USAID, and VA Medical costs, the combined cost for Iraq totaled 805.5 billion dollars through FY2011 and 823.2 billion dollars estimated through FY2012. Within the combined cost, the DOD portion totaled 757.8 billion through FY2011 and 768.8 billion dollars estimated through FY2012. DOD funding for OIF peaked at 138.5 billion dollars in FY2008 for the Counterinsurgency “Surge” and dropped sharply every year thereafter to a low of 11 billion dollars in FY2012, the last year of OIF.

    That’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s also not X trillions of dollars.

    For further perspective, the FY2008 peak year spending of 138.5 billion dollars for OIF was 1% of GDP. By that admittedly narrow metric, the only cheaper US wars by peak year spending have been Operation Enduring Freedom and the Gulf War. The next cheapest US war by peak year spending is the Spanish American War, which cost 1.1% of GDP in 1899. That fact is not dispositive about the cost of OIF, of course; however, it does illustrate relative dollar figures don’t look the same as isolated dollar figures.

  59. It would be better if the electorate was given more choices in presidents than the usual suspects.

    There are over 300 million American Citizens, someone more qualified is out there but we are force fed a field of only a dozen per year, and often the same people.

  60. We desperately need new political parties not driven by corrupt money and we now have the technology to do it.

    I get pathetic hysterical pathetic emails from the Democrats every day whining that we need to get the money out of politics, and then begging for donations to do it, as Hilary makes 100 times more than average worker making closed-door speeches to Wall St. Elite.

    “WE WILL NEVER ASK YOU FOR A DONATION, ONLY THAT YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AND EMAIL TO BUILD SUPPORT FOR OUR PLATFORM”
    The time is right for that approach. Everyone knows the 2 sham parties all work for the same 1% elite, all they need is another choice. In marketing everyone knows a personal recommendation beats paid advertisement, once the idea is reinforced a paid advertisement would actually work against a candidate.

    There are real solutions to our problems hidden behind the partisan sham bickering that most people on the right and left could agree on if they knew about them and had a choice:
    * Restore Article 1 Constitutional trade tariffs to restore the American free enterprise economy and promote democratic worker’s rights in the countries we trade with.
    * Cut military spending and acknowledge the place that decades of our meddling corporate foreign policy has played in inciting violence and instability.
    * Create jobs by diverting military spending to rebuilding old infrastructure and building renewable energy independence that pays for itself.
    * End bank-rigged corruption and instability with democratic Article 1 monetary reform that takes away Private Banks’ power to create our money supply as debt via the Ponzi scam of Fractional Reserve Banking.

    We could do it tomorrow, social media is viral and instantaneous, but the likelihood is that animal hierarchy “human nature” that kept us slaves to aristocracy and religion for millennia will keep us in “our place” as oppressed dupes to this sham democracy until things fall apart completely and rebuild to the next Enlightenment.

  61. fiver, That was an excellent analysis! Thank you!

    Darren, I agree. There are many, far more qualified people! The year of the black woman could have been 2008 when Cynthia McKinney ran on the Green party ticket. No she wasn’t perfect, but she was the one person to stand up for US citizens in the Supreme Court’s presidential coup for Bush.

    Then in 2012, we had another chance at the year of the Women! Democrats were told voting for women that time would only bring a war monger into power. I guess what they really meant was it would keep one, their warmonger, in power!

    I would love to see the first woman of color, preferably a fat lesbian, as president. But it can’t be any fat, female, woman of color who is lesbian. She’s got to stand for the rule of law, for the environment, be pro-peace, pro economic justice and willing to take on the intelligence community (just for starters). And you know what, that woman exists! I’d like to vote for her!

    In the meantime, we must peacefully confront the blood lusting, war mongering president in place right now.

  62. Annie: “So Eric, then Obama should look great in your eyes.”

    Obama does not.

    As I said, I prefer slohrss29 and John Oliver’s alternative views to the Democrat leadership because they at least offer a logical alternative.

    If, as the Democrats claimed to win power, Bush was really wrong, then Obama should have righted America’s course for real by switching responsibly to an isolationist foreign policy, with all that entails.

    However, Bush was right and Obama kept the longstanding liberal American goals that defined Bush’s post-9/11 foreign policy. In fact, Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 2009 raised the justifications for the Iraq enforcement.

    But Obama practically deviated from Bush’s hard-won progressing course. If Obama was going to keep Bush’s goals, then responsibly, Obama should have stayed the course from Bush like Eisenhower stayed the course from Truman.

    Instead, in practice, what Obama has done is a much worse thing than switch to an isolationist foreign policy. Obama has set us up – along with the world that has long relied on us – to fail on the traditional course of American leadership of the free world.

    The Democrats’ con-job that won your votes has undermined the popular will and comprehension necessary for democratic peoples to compete. I wrote this, to one of my old professors in 2008/2009:

    What’s called neo-conservatism is just the … liberalism of Wilson, FDR, and Truman, renamed. The bashing of neo-conservatism by self-described Western liberals, therefore, has led to the frustrating, self-defeating spectacle of influential people speaking liberal platitudes but quixotically opposing our definitively liberal strategy in the War on Terror. The effect of these liberals’ tragic hypocrisy has been the degradation of the Western liberalizing influence on the illiberal regions of the world.

    By the same token, an equally damaging effect of the attacks by self-described liberals on our liberal strategy has been the degradation within Western societies of the domestic understanding and support we need to adequately sustain the war/peace-building strategy endorsed by Presidents Bush and Obama. Therefore, a critical task of President Obama is to fix the deep damage done to his and Bush’s foreign policy goals by Senator/Candidate Obama and other Bush critics.

    Annie, whether you switch sides away from the Democrats is up to you. But just know that the Democrats won over your loyalty with a lie. And not a little lie, but a fundamental lie that caused America the leader to knowingly sacrifice innocents to monsters to pay for your loyalty.

  63. I’m seeing a quick and sudden pivot. Hillary takes a swipe @ the incompetent President and now, the liberal columnists who were sycophantic, are taking shots @ him for Hillary. Dana Milbank just wrote a piece blasting Obama for being on MV golfing while the Middle East is on fire. I guess it took Hillary to lead the charge and let folks know the detached, arrogant, incompetent, lazy, emperor wears no clothes.

  64. Eric, there is little chance that I would vote Republican, there are issues that are incredibly important to me and the Republican platform is diametrically opposed to them. Libertarains are too closely aligned with the right for me to get interested in them.

  65. FYI ladies,
    Last election, I voted for a woman… Jill Stein.
    She campaigned on principles I could get behind.
    Hillary, not so much.

    3rd Party is the solution to America’s MIC.

  66. Max-1

    Dredd,
    Conservatives claim to uphold the Constitution and its ideals…
    … The authors of the pact and what they actually wrote matter not!
    =====================
    Yep.

    The “lyingest spy” took his oath on the copy of it prior to Madison’s Bill of Rights, the First 10 Amendments, having been added.

    Why Obama keeps him around is the mystery.

  67. Dredd,
    Why Obama insists on carrying Bush’s waters…
    … I wonder if Hillary would keep secret the drone program that kills wedding parties.

    FYI,
    Since 2009… NO REPARATIONS FOR OBAMA’S DRONE MURDERS.

    Afghanistan: No justice for thousands of civilians killed in US/NATO operations
    http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/news-item/afghanistan-no-justice-for-thousands-of-civilians-killed-in-usnato-operations

    “Thousands of Afghans have been killed or injured by US forces since the invasion, but the victims and their families have little chance of redress. The US military justice system almost always fails to hold its soldiers accountable for unlawful killings and other abuses,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.
    “None of the cases that we looked into – involving more than 140 civilian deaths – were prosecuted by the US military. Evidence of possible war crimes and unlawful killings has seemingly been ignored.”
    (continued)

  68. Fiver:

    Agree w/most of what you wrote, except that…
    1. Many people, at the time, thought we should have fought against the Soviet Union, not Germany.
    2. The U.S.embargo on Japan’s oil supply did what FDR was hoping for – retaliate to prevent the country from going down the tubes.

  69. Eric

    Dredd: “War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes;”

    That applied more when the US had a smaller GDP.

    While the War Terror has had a large dollar cost, in fact, it’s not relatively large as a percent of GDP. Which is to say, the War on Terror, while a significant factor in the national debt, has not been a major driver of the national debt. There also hasn’t been a specific war tax, though every tax “revenue” is generally disbursed.
    ================================
    Yep.

    That is why we have no national debt.

    Good thinking Eric.

    Only problem is we are not in a cafeteria, so let me highlight what you feared and ran from in my comment:

    Of all the enemies to public liberty … [war] comprises and develops the germ of every other [enemy of public liberty]. War is the parent of armies … the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war … the discretionary power of the Executive is extended … and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect … may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war … No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.” – James Madison

  70. Jill: “ginning up war against both nations”

    Setting aside the merits for OEF, you’re incorrect on OIF.

    Excerpt from http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2014/05/operation-iraqi-freedom-faq.html :

    Q: Did Iraq failing its compliance test justify the regime change?

    A: Yes.

    One, the “clear and present danger” (Clinton) of Saddam was imputed from Iraq’s noncompliance, not Iraq’s demonstrated possession of WMD stocks. With the broad spectrum of mandates and proven success of Saddam’s “denial and deception operations” (Duelfer Report), which included hidden stocks, Iraq’s compliance with the UNSC resolutions was determined by necessity with measures other than demonstrated possession.

    Once Saddam pulled the trigger by failing his “final opportunity” (UNSCR 1441) to prove compliance, President Bush had to make his decision while weighing Iraq’s unaccounted for weapons and other violations, the intelligence at hand, and Saddam’s track record with the heightened threat consideration induced by 9/11.

    Two, Bush’s decision either way was final. After Operation Desert Fox, the credible threat of regime change was the last remaining leverage to compel Saddam’s cooperation. The threat of regime change would no longer have been credible if it had been a dud when triggered by Saddam. President Clinton’s justification for ODF applied to OIF:

    The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance. And so we had to act, and act now. Let me explain why. First, without a strong inspections system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years. Second, if Saddam can cripple the weapons inspections system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community, led by the United States, has simply lost its will. He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction. And some day, make no mistake, he will use it again, as he has in the past. Third, in halting our air strikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance, not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U.S. power as a check against Saddam will be destroyed. We will not only have allowed Saddam to shatter the inspections system that controls his weapons of mass destruction program; we also will have fatally undercut the fear of force that stops Saddam from acting to gain domination in the region.

    Calling off the regime change when Saddam pulled the trigger would have meant either a return to ‘containment’ or ending the Iraq enforcement altogether with a noncompliant Saddam. If returning to ‘containment’ was even practical at that point, the ‘containment’ option was broken. The failure to follow through on the threat of regime change would have left only freeing Saddam.

    In hindsight, the Duelfer Report shows that a free Saddam meant an unreconstructed Saddam rearmed with WMD. Saddam’s motive was defeating the US-led Iraq enforcement and rearming Iraq, not compliance and rehabilitation. He was already reconstituting Iraq’s NBC capabilities, with an active program in the IIS, and was intent on fully restoring Iraq’s WMD, which he believed was necessary for Iraq’s national security, countering Iran, countering Israel, countering the US, and advancing his regional ambitions.

    Three, the Iraq ceasefire enforcement was the defining UN enforcement of the post-Cold War. The UN had been unreliable during the Clinton administration, and Bush tried to reform the UN as a credible enforcer for the 9/11 era. If the US had backed down when Saddam failed to comply, then UN enforcement of international norms with rogue actors and WMD proscription would have been undermined, perhaps beyond recovery.

    ——————————————————————————–
    . . .

    The public controversy is over Bush’s presentation of intelligence on latter Iraqi NBC stocks and programs. However, in the context of the Saddam problem, Clinton and Bush officials were obligated to judge the intelligence in an unfavorable light for Iraq, and 9/11 compelled US officials to increase their wariness due to Saddam’s belligerence and guilt on terrorism. Again, the “clear and present danger” (Clinton) of Saddam was imputed from Iraq’s noncompliance, not Iraq’s demonstrated possession of WMD stocks, due in part to the proven success of Saddam’s “denial and deception operations” (Duelfer Report), which included hidden stocks.

    The pre-war intelligence that Bush presented was the intelligence that was available. Congressmen, Democrats and Republicans, who independently reviewed the pre-war intelligence largely shared Bush’s determination. A partisan Democrat-slanted Senate Select Committee on Intelligence later analyzed pre-war statements by Bush administration officials and concluded they were largely “substantiated by intelligence”.

    Bush’s mistake was presenting the pre-war intelligence to the public inapposite of its actual, circumscribed role in the operative enforcement procedure. The imprecision of intelligence due to Saddam’s deception was a known issue from the beginning and accounted for with Iraq’s presumption of guilt, burden of proof, and standard of compliance. For Operation Desert Fox, President Clinton had cited only to Iraq’s noncompliance in terms of insufficient cooperation and deficient account of weapons when he declared “Iraq has abused its final chance” and imputed the “clear and present danger” of Saddam. Clinton’s citation of noncompliance as the reason for bombing Iraq matched the operative enforcement procedure. When Clinton endorsed Bush’s Iraq enforcement, Clinton stayed consistent with his compliance-based justification for ODF by citing to the threat, heightened by the 9/11 attacks, of Saddam’s “unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons”.

    Bush cited properly to Iraq’s noncompliance as Clinton had done for ODF, but Bush also cited to the intelligence, despite that the intelligence could not trigger enforcement. Propagandists pounced on Bush’s error of presentation to shift the burden of proof from Iraq to the US, but the mistake does not change that Saddam was noncompliant at the decision point for OIF and Bush properly applied the operative enforcement procedure.

  71. Dredd,
    And we all know…
    … “It’s never a war crime when (insert personal political party) does it.”

    I’m inclined to move past the War Party and start calling them for what they are… THE WAR CRIMINAL PARTY. And look, they come in TWO COLORS.

  72. Wondering were freedom went?

    No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.” – James Madison

    Proud now?

  73. Her recent position (or misunderstanding) on Edward Snowden and whistleblowers may come back to bite her.

    Prior to 9/11 much of this whistleblowing was perfectly legal, the exploitation and abuse of the Espionage Act of 1917 is an issue that must be dealt with by both parties.

    Just this week a group of Pulitzer Prize winning journalists (best of the best) slammed the DOJ for trying to prosecute Risen for his reporting in 2005.

    This issue is not going away! Clinton must address it.

  74. Annie,

    The Democrats’ fundamental lie to America and the world is bigger than partisanship. Do the Democrats have monopoly on the left?

  75. Nick Spinelli

    … Dana Milbank just wrote a piece blasting Obama for being on MV golfing while the Middle East is on fire …
    ===================
    Milbank is bereft of historical understanding, like Hill, and the “history” teachers here.

    The Middle East has been on fire since Churchill set it on fire because of his religion induced fear of the Battle of Armageddon (NATO: Nanny America Turns Oily).

  76. Eric, please, you of all people cannot credibly speak to a Iie being perpetrated on American citizens. I know you believe the fundamental lie that the Bush Cheney administration hoisted upon us with “WMD in Iraq”. Very very few people left or right believe in that HUGE lie.

  77. Annie,

    You are right. The non-fiction movie “Fair Game” seems to be right on target as to what really happened. So much so that Scooter Libby was convicted of a felony based on the facts of the case which are depicted in the movie.

  78. We looked up the geneology of the Romney guy and he is gypsy. The oddsmakers in Vegas have Romney vs. Hillary. Even odds.

  79. Annie – “So you don’t see the need to defend her from such attacks from the Hillary haters, until she runs? You don’t think it’s a nasty low blow to call her a fat lesbian now? Squeekers, it’s a ‘weighty’ matter anytime a person attacks another mostly because she is a woman, strong, intelligent and independent. There are men that hate strong women, absolutely hate them.

    Annie, Are you talking about Sara Palin? I’m sure you felt the same way when she was attacked.

  80. jim22, OUCH!! Sarah Palin is a conservative woman so she’s really not a woman according to some here. I praise Hillary where warranted. When she told the Chicago Mafia Obama people to got shit in their hats when they told her to attack Palin I praised Hillary. Cultists don’t understand intellectual honesty. They are hardwired differently.

  81. Jim,
    I did not approve of attacks on her body shape, her sexuality, or her family. As for intelligence, any President, or Vice President must possess a modicum of it.

  82. The truth is McCain and his campaign were shocked when they realized how unintelligent Sarah Palin was. Ever see the movie.She is strong though. No matter what one thinks of Hillary the fact is she is highly intelligent.

  83. Nick Spinelli

    jim22, OUCH!! Sarah Palin is a conservative woman so she’s really not a woman according to some here. I praise Hillary where warranted. When she told the Chicago Mafia Obama people to got shit in their hats when they told her to attack Palin I praised Hillary. Cultists don’t understand intellectual honesty. They are hardwired differently.
    ———————————————
    Nick Spinelli

    Keith “Psycho” Olberman? He can’t even get a spot on ESPN, only the Deuce.
    ==========================
    Intellectual honesty is not welcome on presstitute TV (In the Fog of The Presstitutes – 3).

    That is because of the cult d’état.

  84. SWM, I have praised Hillary’s intellect. Bothe she and her sociopathic husband are smart. So what? There are millions of smart people. If they have no soul they are worthless.

  85. “Millions of smart people” nick, Sure,but Sarah Palin is not one of them. You can subscribe to her channel for $9.95

  86. I might vote for Hillary or Jeb. But beating Hillary seems very simple if the Republican PACs are willing to go to the gutter. Just run constant ads of people who look MUCH older than her, but are actually younger, saying:

    “Should our next President be someone older than me? Possibly four or eight years older!”

    It’s an image and question that even few Democrats will be able to ignore in the privacy of the voting booth (assuming Jeb is the alternative).

  87. Annie: “Eric, please, you of all people cannot credibly speak to a Iie being perpetrated on American citizens. I know you believe the fundamental lie that the Bush Cheney administration hoisted upon us with “WMD in Iraq”. Very very few people left or right believe in that HUGE lie.”

    The truth isn’t a popularity contest.

    Short sample from the 3-volume Duelfer Report:

    Saddam had direct command of the Iraqi intelligence services and the armed forces, including direct authority over plans and operations of both. . . . The IIS also ran a large covert procurement program, undeclared chemical laboratories, and supported denial and deception operations.
    … Prohibited goods and weapons were being shipped into Iraq with virtually no problem. The only notable items stopped in this flow were some aluminum tubes, which became the center of debate over the existence of a nuclear enrichment effort in Iraq. Major items had no trouble getting across the border, including 380 liquid-fuel rocket engines. Indeed, Iraq was designing missile systems with the assumption that sanctioned material would be readily available.
    … From 1999 until he was deposed in April 2003, Saddam’s conventional weapons and WMD-related procurement programs steadily grew in scale, variety, and efficiency.

    Each of those findings by itself justifies OIF – especially the active program in the IIS, which was notorious as Saddam’s regime arm that worked with terrorists and handled Saddam’s in-house black ops.

    Here’s the thing, though. Although it corroborates Iraq was in violation of the weapons mandates, the Duelfer Report is irrelevant as a trigger for OIF. The pre-war intelligence is also irrelevant as a trigger for OIF.

    The relevant weapons-based trigger for OIF was the UNMOVIC Cluster Document, presented to the UNSC on 07MAR03, that reported “about 100 unresolved disarmament issues”. Of course, UNMOVIC didn’t cover Iraq’s non-weapons violations that also triggered OIF.

    Annie, here’s how I cracked the false narrative against OIF. You can do it, too.

    1st, “WMD in Iraq”, in terms of procedural trigger for OIF, was defined by the mandated standard of compliance.

    2nd, The false narrative pivots on misrepresenting the enforcement procedure by shifting the burden of proof (excerpt from my OIF FAQ):

    President Bush’s presentation of intelligence did not and could not trigger OIF. By procedure, only Iraq’s noncompliance could trigger enforcement, and only Iraq’s compliance could switch off the enforcement. The prevalent myth that OIF was based on a lie relies on a false premise that shifted the burden from Iraq proving compliance with the UNSC resolutions to the US proving Iraq possessed WMD. … OIF is often isolated out of context and misrepresented as a new policy by Bush. In fact, OIF was the coda of the US-led enforcement with Iraq that began in 1990. Iraq’s guilt was established as fact from the outset of the Gulf War ceasefire and presumed in the enforcement of the UNSC resolutions. The basic presumption of the disarmament process was anywhere Iraq provided deficient account of its weapons imputed possession.

    3rd, The best source for understanding the 1991-2003 Iraq enforcement isn’t Bush. It’s Clinton. Bush only carried forward the Iraq enforcement from Clinton.

    ODF is the penultimate military enforcement that set the baseline precedent for OIF, so when I wrote my term paper, my 1st question was, How did Clinton cite the intel for ODF? I wanted to know because the intel controversy is the basis of the “Bush lied people died” assertion.

    The answer is Clinton didn’t cite the intel at all. Clinton only cited Iraq’s noncompliance. Digging further into the record – UNSC resolutions, HW Bush and Clinton statements, POTUS updates to Congress, UNSCOM, etc – there was no controversy. Enforcement was entirely based on Iraq’s compliance. The US held no burden of proof. When I revisited UNMOVIC, Bush’s pre-war statements, and PL 107-243, I saw that Iraq’s compliance – not the intel – was plainly stated as the procedural trigger. The intel only colored the argument; it wasn’t a trigger.

    In fact, Clinton’s statements strongly imply that when he pronounced “Iraq has abused its final chance” and bombed Iraq, the intel for ODF was not better than the intel for OIF – which only makes sense if you think about it. When Clinton endorsed Bush’s Iraq enforcement, Clinton cited to the compliance-based danger of “unaccounted for” stocks, not the intel.

    The OIF FAQ is a cheat sheet for my take on the issue. The last ‘further reading’ section links to primary sources that are basic essentials for understanding the law and policy basis of OIF.

    However, if you want a fuller understanding of the law and policy basis of OIF from primary sources (eg, HW Bush, Clinton, Bush, Congress, UN), here’s a table of sources that have informed my take on the issue:
    http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2004/10/perspective-on-operation-iraqi-freedom.html

    Again, the truth isn’t a popularity contest. If you want to know the truth of OIF, it’s open-source, easily accessed on-line, and conveniently tabulated.

  88. Gee, SWM, I never heard the Palin is stupid rap before!!! Lame. She’s smarter than Pelosi. Admittedly “Damning w/ faint praise.”

  89. Darren, my post around 5:55 won’t post of course. Is there a way to get it please. It doesn’t even say it posted.

    Thanks,

    Jill

  90. trying again to see if it will post!

    What about the present sociopath in office? He hasn’t left. He’s ramping up more poor people to be killed in I-raq. He’s sending in more to be killed in the Ukraine. Then of course, there’s all the civilians who will die in these wars and through his drone program.

    Why worry about Hillary? She’s not the current problem. It’s not time to vote, it’s time to organize peaceful resistance. I believe we are being deliberately put off confronting current reality just as we where every year of Obama’s presidency.

    We are always told to watch out for X,Y and Z in the future. This way we never take responsibility to stop wrongdoing in the present. I tell you that the America public has to stop being so easily distracted and propagandized or we will not have a prayer of changing the injustice we face/perpetrate around the world.

    Vote for Hilliary if that’s what you want to do. In the meantime, focus on rectifying current injustice.

  91. The Pentagon just announced we are sending some boots on the ground to help do an intense airlift of all the non Muslim people. Good call. I salute this use of US Troops. And, I’m sure the soldiers assigned to this mission will be honored to do it. Any whiners here?

  92. For those of you who constantly criticize Obama yet applaud the mission creep in Iraq, do you know that you sound like huge hypocrites?

  93. Nick, I would like to know more about what the pentagon is actually doing. They are not known for humanitarian missions. It is not a form of whining to look into things more deeply or to disagree with you or anyone else. That is a form of intellectual curiosity and deep questioning in a desire to know the truth.

  94. Jill, You’re not a whiner. You seem to evaluate issues w/ intellectual honesty. I have consistently had strong support and praise for Obama on education. I have praised this effort to help non Muslims from the minute it was announced. We people who aren’t haters, but critical thinkers, are not myopic. The mouth frothers here are becoming a major distraction to a serious discussion on difficult topics. They are hardwired to not be able to process conflicting ideas and issues. But, “Haters gotta hate.”

    This is a massive undertaking. We need boots on the ground to help coordinate the constant coming and goings of the aircraft, transporting people off of this stark mountain. It is for the safety of our pilots and the people on the mountain. Some have been storming any aircraft and literally throwing their children onto helicopters. The footage is heartbreaking. I’m very happy to see compassion for Christians and other non Muslims.

  95. The Democrats need someone who opposes wars and the Military Industrial Complex. We need someone new and not Elizabeth Warren or Bernie whatshisname from New York living in Ver Mont. Some person needs to emerge. I am getting sick of all these war mongers.

  96. Annie,

    This isn’t the Pentagon Papers anymore. You don’t need Charles Lewis to do your thinking.

    The UNMOVIC (OIF triggering) Cluster Document and Iraq Survey Group (post-war finding) Duelfer Report are on-line. Google them. Or open them from my table of sources.

    Lewis’s assertion that “numerous widely publicized bipartisan and international reports had definitively shown that no such weapons existed” is oddly ahistorical and inapposite of the mandated standard of compliance.

    If you don’t believe Congress, HW Bush, and Clinton’s records on the issue, then I suggest looking at UNSCOM’s records on the issue. They’re on-line, too, as are UNMOVIC’s, and linked in my table of sources.

    You know that Bush picked up from Clinton on the enforcement of Iraq’s compliance (including the non-weapons mandates) and disarmament, right? Saddam didn’t go anywhere. The 1991-2003 Iraq enforcement didn’t reset to zero with the Clinton-Bush presidential hand-off in Jan 2001 anymore than it reset when Clinton picked up the Iraq enforcement from HW Bush in Jan 1993.

  97. Re Obama being on vacation. Obama has taken far less time away from the White House than his predecessor. While Obama has spent 92 days on 14 vacations, Bush spent 323 days at his ranch and 26 days at his family vacation home in Kennebunkport, Maine, at the same point of his presidency, according to CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller, who keeps detailed records of presidential travel

    In 2005, Bush ended a month-long vacation at his ranch two days early to survey — from the sky on Air Force One — the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, after facing criticism for remaining away while New Orleans flooded. Bush later said that observing the damage from the air was a “huge mistake” since it made him look “detached and uncaring.”

    Obama, like most if not all pres has a mini white house with them.

  98. re Hillary being a sociopath I want to relate an experience with her that really surprised me because it was a totally ‘human” moment in the midst of the primary
    I was asked for some reason to attend a gathering at Bryn Mawr college where Hillary, Chelsea and Hillary’s mother were speaking.
    When it was over we all went up to shake hands with them. Chelsea was at one end and Hillary at the other.
    I shook Chelsea’s hand and asked her about Medicare D, something esoteric enough that I did not expect her to have an answer. Amazing she knew it chapter and verse.
    Then Mrs Clinton came to our end. I put my hand out, she shook it and I said “I was going to ask you (this) about Medicare D but Chelsea knew all about it and answered me. Mrs. Clinton lit up, a gigantic smile on her face. “Isn’t she wonderful!” she said as proud a parent as one could be.
    Whenever I see her in her politician mode I always remember that moment and am sorry that most people rarely get to see it.

  99. leej, Not a Bush fan. But, the ranch was his home. It would be like Obama going to Chicago, few would call going home a vacation. Going to a vacation home, like Kennebunkport, is a vacation, and 26 days in 8 years seems pretty austere. I do laugh how Dem Presidents love MV except in election years. Having spent many weeks on MV, I don’t consider it elitist. It is a family vacation spot as much as it is liberal bastion of snobbery. But, if you’re up for election or reelection, the polling says NO MV! Silly.

  100. A sociopath is not going to appear evil at all times. They aren’t even going to be evil at all times. The book that just came out on the ordinary lives of Hitler’s top group shows very touching moments with wives and children. Thinking that a sociopath isn’t human is the first mistake. The second mistake is being unable to see that someone in power is using their power for bad ends.

    Both aspects of sociopathic humans are true at the same time–for example, one can be a fine person as a mother and a truly evil person as a “leader”. Citizens need to evaluate what “leaders” are doing with their time in power.

    Here is also a record of pentagonal humanitarian aid to so many nations recently.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/12/gaza-egypt-and-syria-a-common-thread-of-genocide-war-crimes-and-wars-against-humanity/

  101. Annie: “For those of you who constantly criticize Obama yet applaud the mission creep in Iraq, do you know that you sound like huge hypocrites?”

    I hope people would praise Obama doing the right thing and criticize Obama doing the wrong thing.

  102. Jill: “Both aspects of sociopathic humans are true at the same time–for example, one can be a fine person as a mother and a truly evil person as a “leader”.”

    Last night on youtube, I watched a documentary on the 1985 Air India 182 bombing that killed 329 people, with many families and children:

    One of the most striking observations is that the bomb-maker, the only conspirator convicted for the bombing, was a friendly Vancouver suburban dad who the RCMP investigator described as very likeable. Even while he was being interrogated after the bombing, the investigator found him likeable. Emotionally unmoved by the pictures of his victims, but still likeable. A sociopath for sure.

    Another striking observation of the documentary is that the law enforcement approach to terrorist attacks is “60 minutes to boom”. Because most readily observable terrorist lead-up activity is legal, even open, a criminal-prosecution approach to counter-terrorism is often constrained until the point that terrorists cross the line of imminent attack. At that point, prosecution becomes viable, but it’s a thin margin for prevention.

    The Air India 182 attackers were under long, intensive surveillance by the RCMP, yet the attack still went off. But for a lucky quirk timing, a 2nd passenger jet would also have been blown up in the sky. Instead, 2 Japanese baggage handlers were killed with the 2nd bomb.

    Despite the long, intensive surveillance, only 1 of the conspirators was convicted, due in large part to the evidence procedure. If the 2nd bomb had gone off in the air, instead of a confined baggage area, the bomb-maker likely would not have been convicted, either. The doc gave some insight into the limitations of the law-enforcement approach to the 9/11 attackers as well as a criminal-prosecution approach to terrorists generally.

  103. Nick
    Bush… Watch his swing.

    If you’re gonna throw digs at Obama for a golf game, make sure you include Bush’s golfing adventures, too. Otherwise you come off as a deeply partisan person.

    Care to comment about Bush’s golfing adventures during a time if war being wrong when he does it…

  104. Eric, I had an idiot tell me Russ Feingold didn’t want my vote because I didn’t agree w/ everything he said. I wonder what Russ would say to that person??

  105. “The magazine, Architectural Digest just did the most touching story on how Laura and George decorated their ranch. AWWWW….

    Eric, we don’t agree on 9/11 or terrorism but I certainly take your point about how sociopaths act in real life. For citizens choosing people to represent us in positions of power, the folksy anecdotes are feel good but irrelevant. We need to understand how they use power, that is all.

  106. We do not have a federal government. We have a Mafia Superpower; no, make that a Superpower Mafia. This Mafia never does the right thing for the people of the world. Like any mafia it serves itself & its favored corporations that are really part of it. (will this message move over please!)

  107. Squeaky, the troops are NOT fighting for the American people. They are fighting for the Illuminati AGAINST the American people and all good people of Earth. That’s why they have BOOT CAMP so well intentioned soldiers will not confuse right and wrong for ORDERS! Vets need to get this too. They may have had good intentions but its time to be MEN and own up to their huge mistake!

  108. Nick Spinelli: “Eric, Incredible mindset isn’t it. Mind boggling.”

    I don’t know what you’re referring to. If you’re referring to Annie’s refusal to accept the fact that Saddam was noncompliant and Bush applied the operative enforcement procedure he inherited from Clinton, then yes, the mindset is mind-boggling.

    One expects an American would feel relieved and proud of the discovery that the US mission with Iraq was, in fact, right on the law and justified on the policy; that our diplomats, soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen served in Iraq on a just cause.

    Instead, Annie is reacting like she prefers, even needs to believe America was wrong.

    That I quoted directly from the Duelfer Report with a sample of Saddam’s violations, and Annie retorted that it’s a lie – there’s just nowhere to go from there. That’s a 2+2=5 response.

    I can only hope Annie will read the primary sources for herself instead of trusting people like Charles Lewis to think for her.

    Again, I don’t understand why an American would respond negatively to the discovery that her country is right.

  109. Nick Spinelli: “The Pentagon just announced we are sending some boots on the ground to help do an intense airlift of all the non Muslim people. Good call. I salute this use of US Troops. And, I’m sure the soldiers assigned to this mission will be honored to do it.”

    T.R. Fehrenbach, This Kind of War:

    [Y]ou may fly over a land forever; you may bomb it, atomize it, pulverize it and wipe it clean of life—but if you desire to defend it, protect it, and keep it for civilization, you must do this on the ground, the way the Roman legions did, by putting your young men into the mud.

    US Army FM (field manual) 1:
    http://www.army.mil/fm1/chapter1.html

    The Army’s contribution to joint operations is landpower. … Landpower includes the ability to … Establish and maintain a stable environment that sets the conditions for a lasting peace [and] …. Address the consequences of catastrophic events—both natural and manmade—to restore infrastructure and reestablish basic civil services.

  110. You have to look at the whole picture and understand also that past action in Iraq creates a kind of debt to assist the victims of this ultra terrorist group called ISIL. America has not been in the business of helping humanity, no matter what its leaders say. With 9/11 and other ploys its been in the business of creating more war & terrorism and for this reason we should not normally be rallying the troops. But right now, if the news and inteligence is correct about what this ultra terrorist extreme Muslim group is doing, there is no choice but to stop them by all means possible without also killing the victims. Bombs & drones alone will kill the inocent too, so it has to be more than that & right now. If that is what the old crow Hilary Clinton is saying, well even she can be right one time in five.

  111. One thing I will give Hillary Clinton is that it seemed clear she was frustrated in her role as Secretary of State with the president on many issues. She had a role to perform as a functionary of the administration and Congress and thereby extension the government of the United States. But I believe she clearly felt the administration was going outside the realm of what she considered to be reason, so I understand her having numerous issues with the President now that she is outside her role and can speak her mind without such constraint.

  112. I was an activist against the Iraqi war in 2003. I knew there was no longer a stockpile of WoMD. I even lost a good rug selling spot in the San Diego area because some bigshot admiral type complained to Arco.

  113. Darren Smith,

    Secretary Clinton isn’t the first former Obama official to sound the alarm on President Obama’s dysfunction in foreign affairs. I don’t think it’s political maneuvering, or at least just political maneuvering. I think there’s genuine alarm about the damage that the Obama presidency is causing.

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/07/11/Why-Obamas-Foreign-Policy-Process-is-Broken#page1

    These critics are not coming from conservative think thanks. They’re coming from former Obama administration officials.

    POINTED CRITICISMS

    For instance, Vali Nasr, who served as senior adviser to Richard Holbrooke when he was ambassador to Pakistan and Afghanistan, said this of Obama’s Afghan policies: “Their primary concern was how any action in Afghanistan or the Middle East would play on the nightly news, or which talking point it would give the Republicans. The Obama administration’s reputation for competence on foreign policy has less to do with its accomplishments in Afghanistan or the Middle East than with how U.S. actions in that region have been reshaped to accommodate partisan political concerns.”

    Anne-Marie Slaughter, director of policy planning at the State Department from 2009 to 2011, said this about Obama’s Syria policy: “Obama must realize the tremendous damage he will do to the United States and to his legacy if he fails to act. He should understand the deep and lasting damage done when the gap between words and deeds becomes too great to ignore, when those who wield power are exposed as not saying what they mean or meaning what they say.”

    And Rosa Brookes, a former senior adviser at the Pentagon, attacked Obama for his failure to outline a broad, sweeping foreign policy strategy. “The Obama administration initially waffled over the Arab Spring, unable to decide whether and when to support the status quo and when to support the protesters. The United States used military force to help oust Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi, but insisted at first that this wasn’t the purpose of the airstrikes — and without any clear rationale being articulated, the use of force in seemingly parallel situations seems to have been ruled out.”

  114. traveling limey: “I was an activist against the Iraqi war in 2003. I knew there was no longer a stockpile of WoMD.”

    Even if Clinton and Bush believed that, the only way they were allowed to “know” that in the legal sense as chief enforcers of the Gulf War ceasefire was by Iraq cooperating and accounting for its weapons to the mandated standard with UNSCOM/UNMOVIC. With Saddam, we had to be sure.

    Iraq’s obligations under the UNSC resolutions also covered a lot more ground that just WMD stocks: http://fas.org/news/un/iraq/sres/index.html .

    traveling limey: “You have to look at the whole picture and understand also that past action in Iraq creates a kind of debt”

    Agreed. One reason I supported OIF was to make up for what we had done to the Iraqis with the sanctions. And, a lot of Iraqis died and/or suffered in 1991 because HW Bush had stopped short of finishing the Gulf War and then compounded his 1st error by non-committally encouraging an uprising that led to much Iraqi death and suffering from Saddam.

    We owed nation-building to the Iraqis for HW Bush’s mistakes in 1991 and the sanctions thereafter.

    Whenever I hear someone protest the pre-war sanctions and the regime change, I wonder if he realizes that short of Saddam complying or freeing a noncompliant Saddam, the choice was either/or – either sanctions (with ‘containment’) or regime change.

  115. Jill

    A sociopath is not going to appear evil at all times. They aren’t even going to be evil at all times.

    ===============================
    Even more so for a psychopath:

    “Therefore, both psychopaths and sociopaths are capable of committing heinous crimes; however, the psychopath would commit crimes against family members or “friends” (as well as strangers) and feel little to no remorse.

    The last main difference between psychopathy and sociopathy is in the presentation. The psychopath is callous, yet charming. He or she will con and manipulate others with charisma and intimidation and can effectively mimic feelings to present as “normal” to society. The psychopath is organized in their criminal thinking and behavior, and can maintain good emotional and physical control, displaying little to no emotional or autonomic arousal, even under situations that most would find threatening or horrifying. The psychopath is keenly aware that what he or she is doing is wrong, but does not care.”

    (When You Are Governed By Psychopaths – 2).

  116. Eric,

    You present a great argument, but I will always challenge the certainty of your conclusions. I know of much, much simpler things in life, and rarely do they work out to plan. There is no way we can calculate all the variables.

    Saddam was useful in that he was a rival to Bin Laden’s growing authority. Like Bismarck says, we should encourage them to fight each other, not us. To pick a side is possibly to pick a winning side today, but ultimately a losing side in the passage of time.

  117. I have said here many times I love our new Pope. He has issued a statement applauding the US bombing raids, saying they comport w/ the rules set down by St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

  118. slohrss29: “You present a great argument, but I will always challenge the certainty of your conclusions. I know of much, much simpler things in life, and rarely do they work out to plan. There is no way we can calculate all the variables.”

    Thanks. I’m still non-plussed that Annie would refute primary sources (Cluster Document, Duelfer Report) that are dispositive of Saddam’s weapons-related noncompliance with a tertiary source (Charles Lewis) whose thesis is based on false premise and brazen obfuscation. Whether or not we all agree with OIF on the actual merits, we should all be in agreement as fellow Americans that the Democrats should not infect the body politic with a fundamental lie that has led to multiplying, compounding harms.

    As far as everything after “You present a great argument, but “, that’s just the nature of endeavor.

    You’re not an isolationist – you want the US out there in global economic engagement. But economy neither displaces nor replaces war; eg, EU v Russia. War is competition. War is politics by other means. Most of all, war is in the context of everything else and economy is the closest thing we have to an everything else. Economy is a dynamic global forest of roots and vines that wrap around everything, including culture. That’s not to say its relation to war makes economy malevolent. It’s just the competitive nature of the world.

    Your premise is that we’ve electively disrupted the international community heedless of unintended consequences. However, the normative international community is not mankind’s natural state, disrupted by American interventions and enhanced interrogations. Rather, the normative international community is the best way we, as modern leader of the free world, know how to mitigate a naturally unstable, competitive world that is ever ready to break out in World Wars, Soviet and Maoist Communism, Taliban and ISIS, and the rest.

    From day one, the US-led Iraq enforcement was an immune response in the context of the normative international community.

    See the world before modern American leadership. See the world outside the reach of modern American leadership. See the world as modern American leadership has slipped its grip. Like I said to John Oliver, the handler’s switch is not why the tiger growls.

  119. Eric,
    the fundamental truth is that the only lie that has been spread is the lie that thee were weapons of mass destruction and that the mushroom cloud could be headed here if we don’t attack Iraq. While too many Dems got caught up in the fervor, it was a lie spread by the Republican administration.

  120. Darren,
    I respectfully disagree with your take on Hillary Clinton. She has been a member of war club in the Senate for a long time. Check out her votes. She is running for President now and she is trying to distance herself from what she and her campaign sees is a weakness. Maybe she will be more successful with this plan than the idea that she was poor.

  121. Even Bush regretted his decision and explanation for the Utaq war.
    George Bush, in a rare moment of reflection ahead of his departure from the White House, last night admitted that the decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein on the basis of flawed intelligence was the biggest regret of his presidency.

    The acknowledgment marks the first time Bush has publicly expressed doubts about his rationale for going to war on Iraq. In the run-up to the war, the White House adopted a position of absolute certainty that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, basing its arguments on intelligence that has since been exposed as flimsy and wrong.

    “The biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq,” Bush told ABC television in an interview scheduled for broadcast last night. “I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess.”

    But he followed that moment of candour with an attempt to try to deflect charges that the White House misled Congress and the public to build a case for war, arguing that there had been widespread belief that Saddam had a nuclear arsenal.

    “It wasn’t just people in my administration; a lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington DC, during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/dec/02/george-bush-iraq-war-regrets

    President Bush’s Iraq War justifications have changed several times since the invasion in 2003. Here, see how the reasons for keeping the US at war in Iraq have shifted from year to year

    http://terrorism.about.com/od/wariniraq/a/IraqWaronTerror.htm

  122. and one more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20562-2004Oct9.html

    But the argument that the United States faced a moment of maximum peril in early 2003 from Iraq has been greatly weakened by the release last week of the comprehensive report of chief U.S. weapons inspector Charles A. Duelfer. The report found that the 1991 Persian Gulf War and subsequent U.N. inspections destroyed Iraq’s illicit weapons capability, leaving it without any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Saddam Hussein hoped to someday resume his weapons efforts, the report said, but for the most part there had been no serious effort to rebuild the programs.

  123. well heck last one I promise;
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/30/world/meast/iraq-weapons-inspections-fast-facts/

    …February 6, 2004 – President George W. Bush names a seven-member commission to investigate the nation’s intelligence operations, specifically to study the information about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction.

    October 6, 2004 – The final Iraq Survey Group report is released. The report concludes that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction.

    December 2005 – U.S. inspectors end their search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

    March 31, 2005 – The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction reports that the intelligence community was “dead wrong” in its assessments of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities before the U.S. invasion.

    June 29, 2007 – The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1762, terminating the United Nations Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission’s (UNMOVIC) mandate.

  124. Annie, you got me. Think it is what we keep being accused of, toeing the party line. (never know if that is towing or toeing. Both seem to work ((*_*)))

  125. slohrss29: “Saddam was useful in that he was a rival to Bin Laden’s growing authority. Like Bismarck says, we should encourage them to fight each other, not us. To pick a side is possibly to pick a winning side today, but ultimately a losing side in the passage of time.”

    That formula doesn’t work for Saddam.

    One, although bin Laden rose to an industry leader, he did not have a terrorist monopoly. Saddam was plugged into a terrorist network wider than al Qaeda. Curing Iraq’s guilt on terrorism was among the ceasefire mandates.

    Two, that option didn’t exist for Clinton and Bush. From the moment KSA chose America to help with the Saddam problem over bin Laden’s offer, whatever ‘rivalry’ Saddam and bin Laden might have had switched to neutrality in the face of their common priority enemy.

    Three, the Saddam-bin Laden ‘rivalry’ is overstated. They had differences. Saddam was pan-Arab while bin Laden was an Islamic supremacist. Saddam didn’t trust bin Laden because bin Laden had horizon designs on the whole region, including geopolitically critical Iraq. Perhaps if the US had not intervened in 1990-1991, they might have eventually clashed. But under the circumstances, their broader differences didn’t rise to an enemy relationship. While bin Laden offered to help Saudi Arabia with Iraq, he also offered to help Iraq with the US-led UN intervention. While Saddam was wary of bin Laden, al Qaeda and IIS (ie, the regime arm with the “large covert procurement program [and] undeclared chemical laboratories” – Duelfer Report) were conducting on-going diplomatic contacts. bin Laden was seeking material assistance from Iraq. It doesn’t appear that Saddam agreed to provide it, but their on-going diplomacy, shared interest (ie, us), and evolving relationship was a deep concern.

    Again, Saddam didn’t need bin Laden to do terrorism. Saddam had his own network and means. As well, they had mutual colleagues. If Saddam placed weapon on the WMD black market, bin Laden could have procured it through a 3rd party, with or without Saddam’s intent.

    Four, take care not to retroactively rehabilitate Saddam in death. Keep in mind Saddam was a large enough problem in his own right to compel us to intervene with Iraq in the first place. In fact, we tried for a long time to rehabilitate Saddam in order to keep him in power.

    Excerpt from http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2013/03/10-year-anniversary-start-Operation-Iraqi-Freedom-thoughts.html :

    The cornerstone of my perspective on Operation Iraqi Freedom is that President Bush had, like President Clinton before him, only 3 choices on Iraq: maintain the toxic and crumbling ‘containment’ status quo indefinitely (default kicking the can), free a noncompliant Saddam, unreconstructed (out of the question), or give Saddam a final chance to comply under credible threat of regime change (resolution).*

    Whenever I debate OIF with anyone, I challenge that person to step into President Bush’s shoes in the wake of 9/11 and defend their preferred alternative for resolving the Iraq problem. Most will refuse and, instead, double-down on criticizing Bush and OIF in hindsight. For those who have the integrity to try defending an alternative in context, it becomes apparent that Bush’s decisions regarding Iraq were at least justified.

    Some of the loudest opposition to OIF is from the IR realist school that believes Saddam should have been kept in power in order to check Iran. I think they’re stuck in 1980, with the Shah only just replaced by the Ayatollah, and Baathist Iraq, led by then-new President Saddam Hussein, thought to be the lesser of 2 evils. The faulty premise of IR realists is Saddam could be trusted, yet Saddam acting out of control, destabilizing, and against US interests is the reason for the US intervention with Iraq in the first place.

    We tried to allow Saddam to stay in power as a check on Iran. But we needed to address the dangerous behavior of Saddam’s regime. Our two conflicting objectives with Saddam proved to be an impossible balancing act.

    The IR-realist balancing act was the guiding principle of our cautious, comparatively favorable view of Iraq of the two combatants in the Iran-Iraq War. It was also the guiding principle of our conflicted Gulf War strategy in 1991 with which we reacted to Saddam’s realized threat when Iraq invaded Kuwait but then stopped short of the logical and normal conclusion of regime change in order to retain Saddam as a check on Iran. We only suspended the Gulf War with a strict set of weapons and non-weapons mandates that would assure Saddam could be trusted with the peace.

    We wanted Saddam’s regime to check Iran. But we needed Saddam to rehabilitate and stop his destabilization and threat to the region. The Gulf War ceasefire was an IR-realist balancing act intended to retain the former and achieve the latter with a compliance and disarmament process meant to rehabilitate Saddam.

    The problem is Saddam refused to comply, disarm, and rehabilitate. If anything, Saddam’s behavior and judgement became worse during his defiance of the ceasefire. At the point of Operation Desert Fox, the Gulf War ceasefire had degenerated from the initially planned rapid compliance and disarmament process into an indefinitely stalemated, toxic and broken ‘containment’. By the time President Clinton made regime change for Iraq a legal mandate in 1998, the risk/reward, cost/benefit calculation of allowing Saddam to stay in power to check Iran had tipped over due to Saddam’s “clear and present danger”.

    IR liberals understand that by the time of the Bush administration (either one works), the Iran-Iraq conflict was a cause of the region’s problems, not a stabilizer. More importantly, given our thoroughly toxic relationship with Iraq by the end of the Clinton administration, our total distrust of Saddam, and his track record, I’d like to hear the IR realists explain in detail just how they would have negotiated a reliable settlement with a noncompliant Saddam. They’re effectively proposing Hitler should have been propped up in order to serve as a regional counter to the Soviet Union. Hitler + USSR = the worst of World War 2, not peace in our time. The IR realist belief that after 9/11 we should have trusted and empowered a noncompliant Saddam to deal with Iran on our behalf is madness.

    By the same token, I’m disturbed by the plastic morality of OIF opponents who radically revamped Saddam’s reputation in death into some sort of stabilizing force for peace within and outside of Iraq. The claim that Saddam was the antidote for the post-war violence is incredible given the humanitarian crisis caused by Saddam’s regime that was a primary focus of the Iraq enforcement. Saddam and his loyalists were the original cause and major driver of the insurgency that attacked the Iraqi people much more than our soldiers. Saddam loyalists adapted their terroristic governance to the terroristic insurgency, yet OIF opponents actually cite the insurgency to argue Saddam’s ruling SOP of rape, torture, show executions, etc., is the best way to govern Iraq. The logic escapes me for the claim that the way to cure abuse is handing over victims to their abusers. Having the worst criminal and his gang in charge of a community is not normally considered the recourse for security and stability. Saddam, his sons, and their loyalists were not people who should hold authority over any civilized society.

  126. leejcarroll,

    The primary sources are on-line. The decade-plus law and policy trail for OIF is thick in the Office of the President, Congress, and the UN, and much of it is on-line.

    Do your own work. Like I said to Annie, this isn’t the Pentagon Papers anymore. You can do your own thinking.

    To get you started, the basic essentials for understanding OIF in the proper context include the 1990-2002 UNSC resolutions for Iraq (at minimum, see UNSCRs 687, 688, and 1441), Public Law 107-243 (the 2002 Congressional authorization for use of military force against Iraq), President Clinton’s announcement of Operation Desert Fox (the penultimate military enforcement step that set the baseline precedent for OIF), President Bush’s remarks to the United Nations General Assembly and excerpts from the 2003 State of the Union, the March 2003 UNMOVIC Cluster Document (summary) that triggered Bush’s final decision for OIF, and the Iraq Survey Group’s Duelfer Report.

    Links here:
    http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2014/05/operation-iraqi-freedom-faq.html#furtherreading

  127. rafflaw: “the only lie that has been spread is the lie that thee were weapons of mass destruction”

    What is it do you think HW Bush and Clinton’s ceasefire enforcement and UNSCOM was doing with Iraq?

  128. leejcarroll: “the argument that the United States faced a moment of maximum peril in early 2003″

    That’s not how Bush presented the situation. This is an example of why you need to read the primary sources.

    Excerpt from http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2014/05/operation-iraqi-freedom-faq.html

    Q: Why did Bush leave the ‘containment’ (status quo)?
    . . .

    Three, the pre-9/11 threat calculation for Saddam was based primarily on a conventional military-based “imminent” threat standard. The 9/11 attacks, coupled with the uncovering of an international WMD black market, shifted the threat calculation to a “grave and gathering” threat standard with a focus on Saddam’s unconventional capabilities, such as the IIS and terrorist ties.

    President Bush explained the changed threat calculation in the 2003 State of the Union:

    Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. … Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

    Citing to his own experience with the Iraq enforcement, Clinton endorsed Bush acting to resolve the heightened threat:

    I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don’t cooperate the penalty could be regime change … I mean, we’re all more sensitive to any possible stocks of chemical and biological weapons … it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons. (CNN, July 3, 2003)

    and

    Noting that Bush had to be “reeling” in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush’s first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining “chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material.”
    “That’s why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for,”</b. Clinton said in reference to Iraq and the fact that U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in 1998.
    "So I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, 'Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.' You couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks," Clinton said. (CNN, June 19, 2004)

    This Duelfer Report finding illustrated the “grave and gathering” danger of the broken ‘containment':

    Saddam had direct command of the Iraqi intelligence services [which] … ran a large covert procurement program, undeclared chemical laboratories, and supported denial and deception operations.

    Each of those violations by itself justified OIF, and the IIS was, of course, Saddam’s regime arm notorious for working with terrorists and carrying out Saddam’s in-house black ops. Saddam was ready to secretly produce weapon for covert precision attacks, whether in league with terrorists like al Qaeda or by his own means.

  129. Eric, you keep referring people who disagree with your conclusion of the WMD question to that Learning Curve blogspot. Why do you think that anyone here wants YOU to do their thinking for them? Don’t you realize that while you are saying we aren’t thinking for ourselves, you encourage us to go to websites that agree with YOUR premise, which MOST here see as flawed. I also would like to state that those who disagree with WMDs in Iraq as a reason to invade a sovereign nation, we are no less patriotic than you are. That nonsense of disparaging someone’s patriotism because they were opposed to the Iraq war is old and tired, was worn out during the Bush years. My daughter doesn’t agree with your premise of WMDs in Iraq, she’s a service member as you know. Is she a traitor in your eyes?

  130. Eric, You are a bigger man than I am for fighting this battle with President Bush haters on this site. “Bush lied” I believe is one of their ten commandments and no matter how well you spell it out for them, they just aren’t going to change their religion. Their world view would crumble if you pock a hole in their core beliefs.

  131. leejcarroll: “The report found that the 1991 Persian Gulf War and subsequent U.N. inspections destroyed Iraq’s illicit weapons capability, leaving it without any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Saddam Hussein hoped to someday resume his weapons efforts, the report said, but for the most part there had been no serious effort to rebuild the programs.”

    Again, read the Duelfer Report to see for yourself. Compare their findings to the mandates in the UNSC resolutions, though keep in mind the main trigger for OIF was the UNMOVIC Cluster Document.

    That said, the quote highlights a key to understanding Iraq’s burden of proof and the compliance-based enforcement procedure, and why it’s critical to view OIF in the context of the whole 1991-2003 Iraq enforcement.

    Assuming the quote for argument’s sake, why then didn’t the US and UN end the Iraq compliance-and-disarmament enforcement in the mid-1990s?

    In fact, the opposite happened. Operation Desert Fox in December 1998 marked the apex of Clinton’s Iraq enforcement with the penultimate military enforcement (bombing Iraq) that emphasized the necessity for regime change and set the baseline precedent for OIF. Yet the accounted and unaccounted for destruction of Iraqi weapons described in the quote happened before Operation Desert Fox.

    Understanding ODF will go a long way to understanding OIF. When you’ve read the basic essentials, you should be able to answer why Clinton didn’t end the Iraq enforcement before ODF.

    You should also be able to understand the actual, circumscribed role of intelligence in the compliance-based enforcement procedure and why regret over the intel doesn’t change the justification on the policy.

    Key: Clinton’s intel for ODF was no better than Bush’s intel for OIF – which only makes sense if you think about it.

    For OIF as for ODF, the danger of Saddam was imputed by necessity from Saddam’s compliance, not Saddam’s demonstrated possession or unaccounted for destruction.

  132. Annie,

    As I said, the OIF FAQ post is the cheat sheet for my take.

    The Perspective on OIF post and ‘further reading’ section of the OIF FAQ provide links to the primary sources.

    When the primary sources “agree with [my] premise” while you and leejcarroll must rely on citing to secondary and tertiary sources that filter and reframe those same primary sources, what does that tell you?

  133. I reviewed what Eric has written in this article and I haven’t seen anything that leads me to believe he questioned a person’s patriotism. His links to another blog/website are used as reference to support his position. Others, often times Dredd with blogdredd and professor Turley with this website are quoted by them to bring additional information to their statements. He has just as much of a right to convey his opinions and analyses as anyone else. In fact, he has presented many facts to support his position regardless of whether or not others agree. He as also just as free to disagree with others or the process they arrived at their opposing conclusions.

  134. Again Eric, it’s YOUR take. There are MANY MANY sources that disagree with your TAKE on the Duelfer Report. Are you touting yourself as the last word on the matter, an expert, the only one who knows the real truth?

  135. Annie,

    I don’t quote myself from the OIF FAQ as a source of authority. I do it for convenience. Like I said, it’s a cheat sheet for my take. For authority, see the primary sources I link to and quote from.

  136. on 1, August 12, 2014 at 8:37 pmEric
    Nick Spinelli: “Eric, Incredible mindset isn’t it. Mind boggling.”

    I don’t know what you’re referring to. If you’re referring to Annie’s refusal to accept the fact that Saddam was noncompliant and Bush applied the operative enforcement procedure he inherited from Clinton, then yes, the mindset is mind-boggling.

    *One expects an American* would feel relieved and proud of the discovery that the US mission with Iraq was, in fact, right on the law and justified on the policy; that our diplomats, soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen served in Iraq on a just cause.

    Instead, Annie is reacting like she prefers, even *needs to believe America was wrong.*

    Again, I don’t understand *why an American* would respond negatively to the discovery that her country is right.

    ********************************************
    Darren, you don’t see anything that could be taken here as questioning my patriotism, my Americanism? Truly? Wow.

  137. When my Americanism and my patriotism is questioned, I’m done discussing anything with those persons. Disgusting.

  138. I’m an American mother of a Navy Corpsman who was under fire for hours in Afghanistan during the attack on Camp Bastion in 2012. A group of us Navy moms who had kids at Camp Leatherneck were calling, texting and emailing one another for support. Durin the hours that the Camp was on an information and communication shut down, none of us knew if our loved ones were alive or dead. Anyone who wants to question my Americanism or my patriotism can go to hell.

  139. “Darren, you don’t see anything that could be taken here as questioning my patriotism, my Americanism? Truly? Wow.”
    ~+~
    No, there was nothing in what Eric wrote that questioned your patriotism.

  140. How can it be that when one disagrees that there were WMD in Iraq and that the war was based on a lie, one gets their ‘Americanism’ questioned? That this isn’t evident to some people here in the sentences of Eric’s that I quoted I can’t fathom, but I certainly DO wonder what is wrong with their perception capabilities. I wouldn’t dream of questions someone’s patriotism or Americanism because they disagreed with me. I think that is pretty disgusting.

  141. leejcarroll: “President Bush’s Iraq War justifications have changed several times since the invasion in 2003. Here, see how the reasons for keeping the US at war in Iraq have shifted from year to year”

    I thought Zalman was going to visit the WMD v liberal reform issue, but she only describes various challenges of the 2003-2011 peace-building mission. It was a dynamic situation for sure, but that didn’t change the basic purpose of the mission.

    To understand the basic purpose of our 2003-2011 peace operations with Iraq, I recommend reading the UNSC resolutions that underlay it. Excerpt from http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2014/05/operation-iraqi-freedom-faq.html :

    Q: Was Operation Iraqi Freedom legal?
    . . .

    A3: There is neither a domestic nor international legal controversy over the 2003-2011 US-led occupation mandated to “take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq”. As in the occupation following the Serbian regime change, the peace operations following regime change in Iraq were conducted with UN authorization. For example, see UNSCR 1511 (2003):

    13. Determines that the provision of security and stability is essential to the successful completion of the political process as outlined in paragraph 7 above and to the ability of the United Nations to contribute effectively to that process and the implementation of resolution 1483 (2003), and authorizes a multinational force under unified command to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq, including for the purpose of ensuring necessary conditions for the implementation of the timetable and programme as well as to contribute to the security of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, the Governing Council of Iraq and other institutions of the Iraqi interim administration, and key humanitarian and economic infrastructure;

    Also see UNSCRs 1546 (2004), 1637 (2005), 1723 (2006), 1790 (2007), and the 17NOV08 agreement between the US and Iraq.

  142. Annie: “The swift boating of Cindy Sheehan. Lest we forget and resort to the same tactics once again.”

    I wrote this about Mrs. Sheehan in 2005:

    I have strong feelings about Cindy Sheehan’s protest. But balancing my great sympathy for her loss as an Army mom (I’ve had one of my own), my disgust over the petty exploitation of her grief and her son’s death – twisting them into a perversion that aids the same intolerable enemy who killed her son and so many like him, my hatred of the groups who shamelessly use her as a shield for their own evil agendas, and my distress over the embarrassment caused to the honor of her son’s service and sacrifice . . . it’s not a commentary to be taken lightly nor expressed glibly.
    . . .
    In Mrs. Sheehan’s defense, her son died as an American soldier. Mrs. Sheehan didn’t volunteer, her son Casey did. He died in a tradition and as part of a heritage, and in a cause, she clearly does not and probably cannot understand. She can only interpret the life and death of her beloved son the best she is capable, and in that, I can’t fault her. After all, I’ve had an Army mom, too, who was not a soldier and resisted giving her son to the Army. When Casey became a soldier, for whatever reason that motivated him, he entered a world and joined with a reality that is other than what she is.

    Vaya con Dios, Specialist Sheehan. We, your brothers and sisters in arms, understand you and honor you. Your mother knows not what she does, but we love her just the same, as we love our moms who have borne the helpless weight of their love and their children’s sacrifice.

  143. Eric, you owe me an apology. When you question my patriotism in the guise of questioning my Americanism, you have sunk to the depths of the Cindy Sheehan haters. You called the mother of a Navy FMF Corpsman, me, UnAmerican in so many words.

  144. The movie “Fair Game” is pretty accurate. Essentially a small DoD agency “Office of Special Plans” run by Doug Feith bypassed the government Middle East experts at the CIA and other agencies – small but important detail.

  145. Eric I find it is a waste of time to post anything that is in disagreement with your poinit of view. Even in what you wrote about Mrs Sheehan you say she does not know what she does. Yes she did. She had her beliefs and viewpoint and as an American every right to express it and have her point of view respected.

    I usually don’t get involved with the name calling etc but Annie is right
    When you wrote:”Again, I don’t understand why an American would respond negatively to the discovery that her country is right. that sure sounds like you are questioning her patriotism and Americanism.”

  146. Annie,

    I quoted directly from the UNMOVIC Cluster Document, ie, “about 100 unresolved disarmament issues”, that’s dispositive Iraq was noncompliant at the decision point for OIF. The inquiry really should end there for the compliance-based Iraq enforcement.

    I also quoted directly from the Duelfer Report with a short sample that, albeit irrelevant to Bush’s decision for OIF, corroborates Saddam was in violation – eg, the Iraqi intelligence services – Saddam’s regime arm that worked with terrorists and handled Saddam’s black ops – was found with a “large covert procurement program [and] undeclared chemical laboratories”.

    Your response to direct quotes from primary sources? “Lies, lies, lies and those who still believe”, based on the authority of Charles Lewis.

    What does that tell you?

    I think about our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who gave fully of themselves – body, mind, spirit, honor – to the Iraq mission. Many died there. Many came home physically and/or mentally scarred, and will suffer the effects for the rest of their lives. Families lost loved ones. Children lost moms and dads.

    That’s episodic for all our military history. However, in the past, veterans, widows, parents, and children growing up could be proud and comforted in their personal loss by the honored legacy in the cultural zeitgeist of a just cause.

    For Iraq, though, the prevalent social narrative is all their achievement, honor, and sacrifice was misspent on a cause “based on lies” (Jonathan Turley).

    If it were true, then so be it. But Operation Iraqi Freedom was right on the law and justified on the policy. The cause was just and true.

    Yet their legacy has been corrupted in the cultural zeitgeist because the Democrats calculated, correctly, a fundamental lie would win them the White House.

    I’ll rephrase: One expects an American military mom would feel relieved and proud of the discovery that the US mission with Iraq was, in fact, right on the law and justified on the policy; that our diplomats, soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen served in Iraq on a just cause.

  147. Eric, your expectation of what a military mother should feel about the mission in Iraq is based on your belief that it was a just war. There are many military mothers and even military members who do not agree with your belief. They are no less loyal, patriotic Americans than you are. One of our Navy Moms group son committed suicide after coming home from Iraq, he suffered tremendously fro PTSD. My sister worked at the Tomah WI VA hospital, there were guys with organs and brains damaged from roadside bomb blasts. So many other injuries that will last them a lifetime. If you need to feel the Iraq war was just, then do so. Don’t expect grieving military parents to agree with your belief, don’t disparage them as Americans or patriots because they don’t agree with your belief.

  148. Eric,
    I made a longer comment that was eaten by WordPress, but I do want to quickly say instead of apologizing, now you question my feelings as a military mother based on my opinion on the Iraq war. That’s is no better, try again. I hope you don’t expect all military members or their mothers to agree with your belief it was a just war. One might feel relieved and proud IF one felt it was a just war, but it wasn’t.

  149. Shhh… Hillary will never call it a WAR CRIME when a Democrat (or Republican for that fact) does it.

    Republicans/Democrats = WAR CRIME PARTY

    Obama’s Pentagon Covered Up War Crimes in Afghanistan, Says Amnesty International
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/11/amnesty-us-concealed-troops-war-crimes-in-afghanistan-as-recently-as-last-year.html

    The U.S. military has systematically covered up or disregarded “abundant and compelling evidence” of war crimes, torture, and unlawful killings in Afghanistan as recently as last year, according to a report by Amnesty International published today in Kabul.

    The human rights organization alleges that the U.S. military has routinely failed to properly investigate reports of criminal behavior and, in some instances, tampered with evidence to conceal wrongdoing. On the rare occasions when servicemen are held to account, the report found that the compromised military justice system seldom secured justice for the victims of enforced disappearances, killings, and abuse that included torture.
    (continued)

  150. Annie, Don’t view this as an attack, since I’m just curious. After reading Eric’s posts and seeing his reasoning, why do you not consider it a just war? For me personally, even if I remove WMD’s from the equation, it still seems like a just war due to Saddam and how he treated his people and to be perfectly honest, I’m willing to say that there is an oil component to the war being just since energy (like it or not) is important to modern society and trying to keep that “stable” is part of that importance.

    In the end I thank our military for removing one more tyrant. Maybe that is where it should have ended though.

  151. Yes getting rid of Saddam was so good that instead they have ISIS growing and Maliki.
    Jim, Had Bush gone after Bin Laden, whom he said did not concern him and wasn;t worth the thought, maybe just maybe Iraq qouldnt be where it is now.
    Eric. What is anti American is calling out people because they have a differing opinion. It is, or used to be, very American to have differing opinions. Somehow now, and not just from you by any means, when one has an opposing opinion you are AntiAmerican/unpatriotic.

  152. Lee – “Jim, Had Bush gone after Bin Laden, whom he said did not concern him and wasn;t worth the thought, maybe just maybe Iraq qouldnt be where it is now.”

    Lee, Maybe just maybe if we hadn’t taken out Saddam Iraq would be worse than it is today. Playing “what if’s” is easy and can be played all day long. What we do know is that Saddam was a really bad guy killing 100’s of thousands of people and the world is better off with out his rule.

  153. Jim22,

    Thanks. It’s important to set the record straight on the Iraq mission because the effect of the false narrative against OIF isn’t contained. The false narrative against OIF, which was defined by the basic principles of modern American leadership, has infected and corrupted our active foreign policy under Obama with the consequence of multiplying, compounding harms.

    From my OIF FAQ:

    Misinformation and mischaracterization have distorted the public’s understanding of the context, stakes, and achievements of the Gulf War ceasefire enforcement that President Bush carried forward from President Clinton and the ground-breaking peace operations by the US military in post-Saddam Iraq. The corrupted public perception of the Iraq mission has enabled Obama’s elementary, catastrophic errors, undermined the enforcement of international norms, and curtailed the further development of peace operations.

    As explained in Presidential statements, US laws, and UNSC resolutions across 3 US administrations, the answer to ‘Why Iraq?’ is ‘All of the above’. As President Bush pointed out leading up to OIF, the founding reasons for UN enforcement converged on Saddam.

    Of course oil is part of the equation with everything else. I want us off fossil fuels as much as anyone, but until we make that switch on a macro-scale, oil is what we got. There’s a reason President Carter formally established security and stability of the Middle East as a primary national security interest and President Reagan extended the Carter Doctrine, which was the strategic motive for President Bush to intervene with Iraq and President Clinton’s whole-presidency preoccupation with the Gulf War ceasefire enforcement.

    For us, ‘war for oil’ isn’t about seizing ownership like we’re colonial-era imperialists. It’s about the reliability, security, and stability of the region.

    Every international-relations major’s education must include the political economy of energy. See my responses to slohrss29 upthread. Economy neither replaces nor displaces war. War is in the context of everything else, economy is the closest thing we have to an everything else, and energy fuels the economy. Economy is the way we live.

  154. Add: A proper understanding of Operation Iraqi Freedom is not arcane.

    Albeit like many JDs, my BA is in political science, one doesn’t need a political science background to learn the truth. One simply needs to read the primary sources. The explanation is straightforward. With a law and policy trail extending over at least 3 presidencies, OIF is arguably the best grounded mission in terms of law and policy in modern US military history.

    Whatever his shortcomings in the application of his Iraq enforcement, President Clinton in concert with Congress meticulously developed the law, policy, and procedure that President Bush carried forward to resolve the festering Saddam problem. Contra rafflaw’s assertion that “While too many Dems got caught up in the fervor, it was a lie spread by the Republican administration,” the reason that Democrats supported OIF was Clinton officials and Clinton-era Congressmen were more experienced with the Iraq enforcement than President Bush.

    That the primary sources for OIF are easily accessed on-line makes it incredible that the false narrative against OIF took hold so that even people who should know better, like Professor Turley, have been successfully tricked.

    I provided the basic essentials to leejcarroll upthread, but I’ll repeat them here:

    The basic essentials for understanding OIF in the proper context include the 1990-2002 UNSC resolutions for Iraq (at minimum, see UNSCRs 687, 688, and 1441), Public Law 107-243 (the 2002 Congressional authorization for use of military force against Iraq), President Clinton’s announcement of Operation Desert Fox (the penultimate military enforcement step that set the baseline precedent for OIF), President Bush’s remarks to the United Nations General Assembly and excerpts from the 2003 State of the Union, the March 2003 UNMOVIC Cluster Document (summary) that triggered Bush’s final decision for OIF, and the Iraq Survey Group’s Duelfer Report.

    Links here:
    http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2014/05/operation-iraqi-freedom-faq.html#furtherreading

    http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2004/10/perspective-on-operation-iraqi-freedom.html provides links to primary sources beyond the basic essentials, along with other sources that have informed my take on the issue.

  155. Jim22: “For me personally, even if I remove WMD’s from the equation, it still seems like a just war due to Saddam and how he treated his people and to be perfectly honest”

    The humanitarian piece of the Iraq enforcement wasn’t optional. It was a foundational mandate in the Gulf War ceasefire that was every bit as serious as the weapons piece and codified in US law independently of the UNSC resolutions.

    The basic UNSC resolutions of the Gulf War ceasefire were UNSCR 687 and UNSCR 688. UNSCR 688, which addressed humanitarian issues, while post-numbered actually pre-dates UNSCR 687, which covered weapons and terrorism issues.

  156. Annie: “Don’t expect grieving military parents to agree with your belief”

    Please convey to them my take on the issue, and more importantly, the primary sources that show their children served in a mission that was, in fact, right on the law and justified on the policy.

    While their personal grief as military parents stands alone, they at least can be proud and comforted knowing their children’s sacrifice was for a cause that was as just and honorable as any in modern American history – despite the lies that sully the honor their children earned.

    The death and pain of war are not conditioned on justification, honor, or popular politics. Death was just as final and wounds hurt just as much in our proudest wars like the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and WW2, as they did for obscure wars like the Mexican-War War and Spanish-American War, as they did for modern controversial wars like Vietnam and Iraq.

    The American heritage of the US military is so deep – deeper even than the American nation it has served since before the nation was born – because it’s been carved by generations of American blood.

  157. Fix: Death was just as final and wounds hurt just as much in our proudest wars like the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and WW2, as they did for obscure wars like the Mexican-WarAmerican War and Spanish-American War, as they did for modern controversial wars like Vietnam and Iraq.

  158. leejcarroll,

    Infecting the American body politic with a fundamental lie about the 1991-2003 Iraq enforcement to win the White House in 2008, but then metastasizes to misguide American leadership, thus causing multiplying, compounding harms in the world is not patriotic.

    leejcarroll: “Had Bush gone after Bin Laden, whom he said did not concern him and wasn;t worth the thought, maybe just maybe Iraq qouldnt be where it is now.”

    That’s not how Islamic terrorism works. Osama bin Laden, while he rose to become an industry leader, was not a one-man monopoly. Nor was he even the only leader of al Qaeda. Fighting terrorism is like fighting cancer. Removing a malignant tumor is necessary but by itself is not a sufficient treatment.

    Bush never stopped chasing bin Laden. Bush simply meant that the military piece of clearing al Qaeda from its operational base in Afghanistan had been accomplished, and while the full-spectrum War on Terror continued on, the personal threat of bin Laden had been reduced. bin Laden had gone to ground (most likely) outside Afghanistan, chased by counter-terror methods other than the conventional military method used to break the al Qaeda operational base in Afghanistan.

    To wit, Obama NSA advisor, Tom Donilon (Meet the Press, 08MAY11):

    GREGORY: Did harsh interrogations help in the hunt for bin Laden?

    DONILON: I’m not, I’m not going to comment on specific intelligence except, except to say the following, that intelligence was gathered from detainees, it was gathered through interrogation, it was gathered from other liaison services, it was gathered technically, it was gathered through human sources, right, over time. And it was gathered, by the way – and this is a very important point I think for your viewers and for Americans generally to understand – this was an effort across two administrations. Indeed, many of the same professionals who worked for President Bush on this project work with us today. Right? So it is not a matter of, of partisanship. And indeed, one of the messages, I think, that goes out from this, is this, that the United States, about its goals, has persistence and determination. That the United States does what it says it’s going to do and, and very importantly, last Sunday night the world saw, it has the capabilities to do so.

  159. leejcarroll: “Yes getting rid of Saddam was so good that instead they have ISIS growing and Maliki.”

    Blaming President Bush for current events in Iraq relies on the fallacy of attenuated causation. The proximate causes of the crisis in Iraq are, one, the construction of ISIS in Syria that combined with, two, the U.S.-abandoned vulnerability of Iraq. Both conditions arose from post-Bush events, such as the degeneration of the Arab Spring, that are related to policy course changes made by Obama that fundamentally deviated from Bush’s foreign policy.

    President Bush was right to enforce the Gulf War ceasefire and then stay in Iraq to secure the peace the same way the US stayed to secure the peace in Europe and Asia after World War 2. When Bush left office, the Iraq mission was a success.

    President Obama was wrong to leave Iraq prematurely. America’s protection was needed for the continued progression of Iraq’s pluralistic liberal reform and constructive role in the Middle East and the welfare of the Iraqi people. Instead, the feared danger of Obama’s feckless ‘lead from behind’ approach to the Arab Spring and irresponsible exit from Iraq is being realized.

  160. Eric: http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/05/former-colin-powell-chief-of-staff-bush-didnt-want-to-get-bin-laden/
    Former Colin Powell Chief of Staff: Bush didn’t want to get bin Laden

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGmnz5Ow-o “I’m not worried about him” he said because “His network was was destroyed.”

    Bush said he wasn’t worried about Bin Laden.

    “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority…. I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.”

  161. While their personal grief as military parents stands alone, they at least can be proud and comforted knowing their children’s sacrifice was for a cause that was as just and honorable as any in modern American history – despite the lies that sully the honor their children earned.

    Unlike the Vietnam war the troops are appreciated for what they have done, the sacrifices they have made, despite us having been lied into the war.
    You seem to want to make it a package deal; because you believe the war was just the military who fought/are there should be honored but if you do not believe it was “just and honorable” and Bush went after the right people then you must therefore not honor the sacrifices.
    It is a false logic.

  162. In March 2002, just six months after 9/11, Bush said of bin Laden, “I truly am not that concerned about him…. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him, to be honest with you.”

    In July 2006, we learned that the Bush administration closed its unit that had been hunting bin Laden.

    In September 2006, Bush told Fred Barnes, one of his most sycophantic media allies, that an “emphasis on bin Laden doesn’t fit with the administration’s strategy for combating terrorism.”

  163. Jim, yes Hussein was a bad guy, no question but do we then go after every bad guy who kills their people. Should we have troops on the ground in say North Korea? and other countries where this is happening. Maybe Ukraine too, in order to stop Putin.
    The world should be dealing with Iraq and ISIS, not just the US. Our children should not be put at risk. That was why Obama left Iraq.

    “When the Americans asked for immunity, the Iraqi side answered that it was not possible,” al-Maliki told reporters in Baghdad. “The discussions over the number of trainers and the place of training stopped. Now that the issue of immunity was decided and that no immunity to be given, the withdrawal has started.” http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44998833/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/iraq-pm-immunity-issue-scuttled-us-troop-deal/#.U-9I5kZ0y00

  164. http://www.vox.com/2014/8/12/5992793/hillary-clintons-interview-shows-both-how-she-might-win-and-how-she “4. She presents Democrats, to a surprising degree, with the same choice they faced in 2008. There’s no doubt that Clinton is more prepared to answer that 3am call. But they may not like the call she makes immediately after. There are a lot of liberals out there who would prefer a nuclear Iran to a war with Iran. Many of them believe, rightly or wrongly, that President Obama quietly agrees with them. Clinton does not agree with them, and they’re going to know it.”

  165. Hillary Clinton is a duplicitous megalomaniacal selfseeking woman who will say anything to anyone if she feels it will better her chances in aspiring to positions of power where she can then attempt to lord over her fellow citizens serfs in her petty authoritarian manner.

    Her disastrous charade of leadership was on full public display when she was busy rubber stamping various warfare/surveillance/torture/bailout state initiatives while keeping one of New York States senate seats warm before being gifted the opportunity as US Secretary of State to make various war like pronouncements around the world as a perverse form of foreign diplomacy.

    Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice ( 3 chickenhawks who have never seen a war they didn’t support) are directly responsible for the failed state known as Libya.

    Rampant militarists who think nothing of sending someone else’s loved ones off to fight and die thousands of miles from their homes in support of bankrupt/stillborn ideologies should be denied access to power at every turn.

  166. leejcarroll: “us having been lied into the war.”

    Again, read the primary sources for a proper understanding of the law and policy basis of OIF. Start with the basic essentials I listed for you.

    I didn’t want to spoon-feed you, but okay. To illustrate the compliance (mandated standard of cooperation and account) basis of the Iraq enforcement, excerpts from President Clinton’s announcement of Operation Desert Fox:

    When Saddam still failed to comply, we prepared to act militarily. It was only then at the last possible moment that Iraq backed down. It pledged to the UN that it had made, and I quote, a clear and unconditional decision to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors.
    . . .
    I made it very clear at that time what unconditional cooperation meant, based on existing UN resolutions and Iraq’s own commitments. And along with Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain, I made it equally clear that if Saddam failed to cooperate fully, we would be prepared to act without delay, diplomacy or warning.
    . . .
    Now over the past three weeks, the UN weapons inspectors have carried out their plan for testing Iraq’s cooperation. The testing period ended this weekend, and last night, UNSCOM’s chairman, Richard Butler, reported the results to UN Secretary-General Annan. The conclusions are stark, sobering and profoundly disturbing.
    . . .
    Saddam’s deception has defeated their effectiveness. Instead of the inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors. This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance. And so we had to act and act now.

    Clinton didn’t cite the intel, demonstrated possession, and certainly not unaccounted for destruction. Why? Because Iraq’s guilt was presumed. The Iraq enforcement was about Iraq curing its guilt by proving compliance with the mandates in US laws and UNSC resolutions. The “clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere” (Clinton) was imputed from Saddam’s noncompliance, not demonstrated nor even intel-indicated possession.

    Bush made an error of presentation when he cited the intel, but he was also clear that the enforcement procedure was unchanged. For OIF as for ODF, whether Iraq was in compliance – not the intel – was the trigger. When the UNSCR 1441 inspection period concluded with the UNMOVIC finding of “about 100 unresolved disarmament issues”, that was the trigger along with Iraq’s noncompliance on non-weapons mandates.

  167. leejcarroll,

    The story of what happened with Obama’s SOFA negotiation with Iraq is more complicated than that. As Max Boot points out, the quoted Maliki position was the same for the Bush negotiation of the 1st post-UN, sovereign Iraq-US SOFA. So what changed? The US President did.

    See Max Boot, WSJ:
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970203554104577003931424188806

    And Michael Gordon, NY Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/world/middleeast/failed-efforts-of-americas-last-months-in-iraq.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&smid=pl-share

  168. leejcarroll: “yes Hussein was a bad guy, no question but do we then go after every bad guy who kills their people.”

    Again, this is why it’s critical to view OIF in the context of the whole 1991-2003 Iraq enforcement. Our relationship with Saddam wasn’t our relationship with “every bad guy” – see my comment to slohrss29 at August 13, 2014 at 2:08 pm. Dealing with unsavory actors in the international community is normal for the US. That’s how we initially approached Saddam. Intervention to the degree of regime change is an exceptionally high bar; we even suspended the Gulf War short of regime change in order to try keeping Saddam in power with rehabilitation via compliance and disarmament to a mandated standard.

    We tried our best to rehabilitate Saddam but Saddam wouldn’t, until Clinton established: “The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government — a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people.”

    Even so, following Clinton’s pronouncement, “Iraq has abused its final chance”, Bush opted to give Saddam another final chance, but Saddam opted again, for the last time, to try beating the ceasefire rather than complying with it.

  169. leejcarroll: “In July 2006, we learned that the Bush administration closed its unit that had been hunting bin Laden.”

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