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Republicans Bash Obama For Doing What Bush Wanted To Do In Iraq

Republicans are reacting mostly negatively to President Obama’s announcement yesterday that all American troops would be leaving Iraq by the end of the year:

After 8 years of combat in Iraq, the United States Congress remains divided over the need for U.S. troops in that country. The president’s official announcement today that the remaining U.S. troops will withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year drew praise from Democrats while high profile Republicans questioned whether the move is premature.

Republican Sen. John McCain said in a statement that the president’s decision is a “harmful” setback for U.S. interests in the Middle East.

“I respectfully disagree with the President,” McCain said. “This decision will be viewed as a strategic victory for our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime, which has worked relentlessly to ensure a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. It is a consequential failure of both the Obama Administration — which has been more focused on withdrawing from Iraq than succeeding in Iraq since it came into office — as well as the Iraqi government.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., echoed McCain’s sentiments. “I fear this decision has set in motion events that will come back to haunt our country,” he said.

Pretty much all the Republican candidates also piled on the President as well:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney harshly criticized President Obama in the wake of the president’s announcement that the United States will withdraw all troops from Iraq by the end of the year.

“President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women,” he said. “The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.”

(…)

Romney wasn’t the only GOP presidential candidate to attack Mr. Obama in the wake of the announcement. Texas Gov. Rick Perry suggested “President Obama is putting political expediency ahead of sound military and security judgment by announcing an end to troop level negotiations and a withdrawal from Iraq by year’s end.”

“The President was slow to engage the Iraqis and there’s little evidence today’s decision is based on advice from military commanders,” he said.

Michele Bachmann called the decision “a political decision and not a military one,” claiming “it represents the complete failure of President Obama to secure an agreement with Iraq for our troops to remain there to preserve the peace and demonstrates how far our foreign policy leadership has fallen.”

“In every case where the United States has liberated a people from dictatorial rule, we have kept troops in that country to ensure a peaceful transition and to protect fragile growing democracies,” she said. “We will now have fewer troops in Iraq than we have in Honduras – despite a costly and protracted war.”

“We have been ejected from a country by the people that we liberated and that the United States paid for with precious blood and treasure,” she added.

Jon Huntsman said Mr. Obama’s decision “to not leave a small, focused presence in Iraq is a mistake and the product of his administration’s failures.”

“The president’s inability to reach a security agreement leaves Iraq vulnerable to backsliding, thus putting our interests in the region at risk,” he said. “An ideal arrangement would have left a small troop presence that could have assisted with the training of Iraqi security forces and vital counter-terror efforts.”

There were similar statements issued by Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich. Only Ron Paul and Gary Johnson had anything positive to say about the news.

The reactions from the conservative blogosphere are similarly dismissive. Max Boot calls it a failure of American foreign policy. The Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano blames the Obama Adminstration for the refusal of the Iraqi Parliament to come to a deal acceptable to the United States:

With Syria in turmoil, Iran on the march, a more isolated Israel, and Turkey’s ever-more ambivalent policies, now is the worst time to see a diminished U.S. influence in ensuring continued progress in Iraq. A total troop pullout will leave Iraqi security forces much more vulnerable to terrorism, sectarian conflict, and Iranian meddling, and it will leave them much less capable of battling al-Qaeda in Iraq and pro-Iranian shia militias.

In part, Obama and his Obama Doctrine are to blame for the Iraqi government walking away from U.S. support—though it knows this premature decision makes the future of the country’s peace and prosperity risky business. The Obama Administration’s clear preference to disengage from Iraq as quickly as possible has made it more difficult to negotiate with Baghdad from a position of strength. Iraqi leaders, sensing the Obama Administration’s eagerness to head for the exit, are reluctant to take political risks to give U.S. troops immunity from prosecution. This was a deal-breaker.

And Hot Air’s Tina Korbe criticizes the President for, well, doing what Presidents are supposed to do:

Which brings us to the president’s decision to withdraw the troops from Iraq. Obama has never exactly been a humble guy, but my guess is he wouldn’t make this particularly consequential decision if he weren’t feeling especially cocky about his overall success on the foreign policy front. He thinks he has the political capital to do this — but he doesn’t. What’s made the American people trust Obama on foreign policy hasn’t been any decision in line with the Obama doctrine of apology. What’s made the American people trust Obama on foreign policy is that we’ve seen he’s wise enough to change his mind about key Bush policies.

Withdrawing the troops now betrays a certain naivete on Obama’s part — a certain optimistic belief that the American people think he knows best about these issues.

Well, first of all, the apology meme is total nonsense, as I’ve discussed here at length before. But, yes, of course the President is making decisions based on  what he believes is the best course of action. That’s what President’s are supposed to do. The American people elected Barack Obama in 2008 in part because they believed he’d be better suited to make decisions like this, to answer, as Hillary Clinton put it, the 3am phone call, than John McCain. Given his foreign policy track record, I can’t say they made the wrong decision there. While my major disagreement with the President’s foreign policy decisions has been the extent to which they have tracked those of George W. Bush, I don’t really believe that a President McCain would have been all that much different in this area, and given his own odd decision making processes he could have ended up being much worse.

In any event, what makes the Republican reaction to the President’s announcement yesterday even more bizarre was the fact that all he was really doing was announcing the final implementation of a policy that had been initiated three years ago by George W. Bush. Starting in 2008, the United States and Iraq began negotiating a Status Of Forces Agreement governing the basing of American troops in the country. When that agreement was finally approved by the Iraqis in December 2008, it provided that U.S. combat forces will withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011. Even though the Iraqi government approved the deal, there was apparently still much disagreement within Iraqi society about the agreement. You may remember, for example, that when President Bush paid a secret visit to Iraq in December 2008 in part to sign the final pact with Prime Minister al-Malaki, an Iraqi reporter threw a shoe at him on live television.

President Obama, of course, had campaigned in part on an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and a pivot to Afghanistan. Had he wanted to, he could have accelerated the timetable of withdrawal from Iraq so that American troops would be out earlier than the deadline that the Bush Administration had negotiated. Instead, he announced in February 2009 that the United States would essentially be sticking with the timetable negotiated by his Republican predecessor. That decision was roundly praised by Republicans, including some of the same Republicans who are criticizing him now.

Now, it appears, Republicans are attacking the President for doing something that President Bush wanted to do and for changing his previously stated position on withdrawal from Iraq, based mostly on the advice he recieved from his military commanders at the time. To answer Korbe’s question, yes the President does think he’s making the right decision here. As I said before, that’s what we hire President’s to do. Would you prefer that the President make a decision that he thinks is wrong? Or is it just that he’s Barack Obama? The war in Iraq is over, it’s time for the Iraqi people to sink or swim on their own. Leaving behind a garrison force might have been workable if the Iraqis had agreed to immunity, which Admiral Mike Mullen called an absolute necessity just months ago. They didn’t. Therefore, staying in conditions that could potentially expose our troops to legal process in a nation that is still trying to figure out the Rule Of Law, would have been insane.

Those who argue that we need to stay behind miss that point, but they also don’t seem to be able to come up with a response to this very well-stated question by Jazz Shaw:

What would be different if we left in January? Or in 2013? or 2015? It was always going to end eventually and, given the nature of the region, I doubt it was ever going to end well. Our troops acted in the greatest tradition of our nation. They followed their orders and achieved all of the real victories on a day to day basis which ever truly mattered. But the end approaches and we need to thank them once again and close this chapter. It’s time to come home, and almost ten years too late at that.

Indeed. Whether you agreed with the war or not, and I disagreed with it from the start, we have done everything we can in Iraq at this point. What happens next is largely out of our control.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Indeed. Whether you agreed with the war or not, and I disagreed with it from the start, we have done everything we can in Iraq at this point. What happens next is largely out of our control.

    I largely agree with this. We can influence events though, with a “don’t make me come back here” doctrine.

    We are better, pragmatically, at short conquests and departures anyway. See also why Gulf I was better than Gulf II.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. Ugo says:

    Some of the criticism may have to do with who protects the contractors that are hired to protect the civilians. The contractors too need to sink or swim.

    Besides, now it’s the time to start criticizing the large embassy and who knows to call to close this facility as well. Then there would be less need to have that many contractors around.

    Who is in favor of closing this embassy besides Ron Paul? :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. mantis says:

    Or is it just that he’s Barack Obama?

    Yes.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3

  4. Nikki says:

    They are mad because it is taking away their chance to campaign on “Obama’s Vietnam.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  5. michael reynolds says:

    The GOP has no real world plans, no programs, no ideas, no philosophy that holds together. They are intellectually bankrupt and utterly dominated by Wall Street whose own ideas don’t progress beyond, “Me want more.”

    All they have to run on is hatred of Obama.

    They hate him for passing RomneyCare and also they just generally hate him. So they’re running on that. It’s the I hate Obama platform. They don’t even know why they hate him, they just do because rage and hate are all you have left when you strip the GOP of its every pretense to competence or ideas.

    The GOP is a failed party. It’s a zombie party kept alive by Wall Street cash with no thought in its empty little head. So of course they attack Obama, regardless of facts or logic. What else do they have?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 6

  6. Jay Tea says:

    @michael reynolds: And you’re an expert on this, of course, because it exactly reflects your own mentality during the Bush years?

    Thought so.

    J.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 27

  7. ponce says:

    Obama will be able to hang Romeny’s whining about Iraq ending around his neck when the campaign begins.

    Romney is a less serious candidate than Herman Cain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  8. Lomax says:

    The Iraqi government has been wanting us out for well over a year. Now they have made the decision very simple for the president: there is no way that our leaders would ever consent to put our soldiers at risk of being put in some kind of kangaroo trial in a foreign government. While we are on this subject, this time the government needs to have a victory parade down Pennsylvania Avenue for our returning troops; similar to those of the past after the Civil War and WWII. Current and past leaders (that means Bush senior and junior, Rice, Rumsfelt, Powell, Chaney, and others) would be included as we celebrate the victory: the elimination of Saddam, and the establishment of freedom and democracy for the people of Iraq.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. michael reynolds says:

    @Jay Tea:

    @michael reynolds: And you’re an expert on this, of course, because it exactly reflects your own mentality during the Bush years?

    Thought so.

    Wrong, as usual. I supported Bush on Afghanistan and Iraq. Also supported him on the AIDS money for Africa.

    I’m not you, Jay. I actually care about more than partisanship.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  10. michael reynolds says:

    Oh, and I agreed with Mr. Bush on comprehensive immigration reform.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  11. Argon says:

    “Republicans Bash Obama For Doing What Bush Wanted To Do…”

    Alternate title: Dog bites man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  12. Terrye says:

    Doug, once again you show a complete lack of common sense when it comes to anything that is remotely associated with the military.

    Yes, the deal was originally brokered by Maliki and Bush…although you would not know when you listen to Obama running around and taking credit for ending the war…

    However, the original intent was to get more time if and when the military people on the ground said it was needed. Most of those people say we still need about 10,000 to 27,000 troops over there.

    I think Obama just screwed up the negotiations and now he is trying to make the whole thing look like a success so that he can use it in his campaign.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 19

  13. What would have had Obama do, Terrye, put a gun to the head of the Iraqi Parliament and tell them “Give us the immunity we want or I shoot”?

    Iraq is a sovereign nation. Their elected representatives would not agree to a deal acceptable to the military. They don’t want us there. So, we need to leave a country we never should have been in to begin with.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 3

  14. flataffect says:

    It’s always been the policy that we would only stay as long as the Iraqis wanted us there. This was always in the cards. You can lead a horse to water, etc.

    I don’t know how much the President really tried to convince Malaki that having us there was good for his country. It’s hard to do that when the people view us as occupiers and not as deliverers. Maybe having us out of the picture will give them another perspective, when Iran starts leaning on them or takes over.

    We tried to instil ideals of self-determination, but nation building is easier than changing a whole culture. They’re still tribal, along with most other Arab and other Southern Asian and Mideast countries. That doesn’t work well with the idea that the legitimacy of the government comes from the consent of the governed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. ponce says:

    Iraq is a sovereign nation.

    That’s a nice way to say Iraq is now a puppet state owned by Iran.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  16. flataffect says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I think that the war was justified in order to overthrow Saddam, draw in Al Qaeda and whittle them down, but those have both been done.

    Boots on the ground is being replaced by Predators in the sky.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  17. Ron Beasley says:

    @ponce: The real winner of the War was always going to be Iran. Bush/Cheney wanted a war – Iran wanted Saddam out. Iranian agent Ahmed Chalabi told Bush and Cheney what they wanted to hear and bingo- Saddam is gone, the Sunni are out of power and the Iranian friendly Shia are in. The Iraq war was the biggest sucker punch in the history of the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  18. Hey Norm says:

    All those Republicans should look in the mirror and ask themselves why this is even an issue. Invading and occupying Iraq was the most insane idea in US Foreign Policy history. Yes…Iran is stronger because of it. But that’s not Obamas fault. It’s Bush’s fault, and the fault of everyone who supported this colosal blunder. And staying 20 years longer won’t change that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  19. george says:

    Our national debt is going through the roof, and so playing king maker and losing money on overseas colonies (which in effect what Iraq is) are no longer viable options. Running an empire is great fun if you can afford it, but we no longer can.

    There are real threats coming up in the future – China the most obvious one, and we won’t be able to deal with them if we’ve wasted all our resources on pointless overseas adventures.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  20. john personna says:

    There seems to be a straw man that “negotiation” could have made Iraq do what they really, really, do not want to do (keep US troops).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  21. John,

    I’m not sure that the Iraqis didn’t want us so much as they wouldn’t agree to the immunity, or at least that the multi-party governing coalition couldn’t reach an agreement on it. Without that immunity, having the troops there would’ve been nuts

    The other solution some have suggested — putting the members of the military on the diplomatic rolls and thus giving them diplomatic immunity — strikes me as problematic for a number of reasons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I think that answers the question. If they’d wanted us there they would not have pressed immunity as the issue which forced withdrawal.

    I think votes and polls have long supported our exit, and we’ve played a bit of a tin-ear to that self-determination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  23. mattb says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    The only other solution, it seems to me, would have been to declare the current government a “hostile” and then (re)invade, topple them, and work to install a regime that is more friendly to American interests… because that worked so well the first time around.

    The Republicans seem to think that the current parliament is still a colonial entity — one that we can supersede when it’s convenient for us. As far as all of the concerns about Iranian interest, one has to wonder where these folks were when the initial plan to invade was being kicked around.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  24. ponce says:

    The real winner of the War was always going to be Iran.

    Agreed.

    That was obvious from day one.

    But I don’t think all the blame goes to Bush/Cheney.

    A large number of Americans (perhaps a majority) are just happier when we are at war, and Afghanistan wasn’t providing the desired thrills.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  25. Dan says:

    Iraq wanted the troops out, they have a history and remember Independance from UK in 1930 with temporary small uk bases, which were still there till kicked out in 1958, and the Brits treated it as a colony the whole time. The debate was not about a small force of trainers for a further year or two. The neocons wanted a permanent base against Iran, they wanted airbases but they can be supplied by Carriers, so they wanted brigades of Tanks and that means 10,000 plus minimum and they wanted forever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. jan says:

    @Terrye:

    I think Obama just screwed up the negotiations and now he is trying to make the whole thing look like a success so that he can use it in his campaign.

    People such as John Bolton are saying it was Obama’s intention, all along, to leave Iraq by the end of 2011, which is why he lagged behind (or the new phrase for Obama’s leadership, ‘led from behind’) in engaging in any real negotiations which would have them stay longer. So while the immunity deal, for even a small military contingency staying, was paramount to resolve, it also fits nicely into Obama’s ideological puzzle that Maliki stayed firm to his conditions, giving Obama a politically reasonable out to immediately withdraw all troops. And, as you speculated, Terrye, having our soldiers home fulfills Obama’s campaign promises in 2008, giving him something positive to show his base in 2012.

    Time will tell, though, how astute this decision was. If the country goes into tribal warfare, or Iran becomes too much of a negative influence, taking down what democracy/freedoms have been established in Iraq by “American blood and treasure,’ Obama’s decision will not be viewed kindly. If the country remains somewhat stable, then it will be hailed as a good decision.

    In the meantime, I’m sure the troops over there will be glad to come home and be with their families.

    Also, are republicans really ‘bashing’ Obama’s call to remove all troops by the end of the year? Or, are they merely disagreeing with his decision to do so? There is a difference.

    As for the agreement worked out between Bush and Maliki at the end of 2008, such agreements often evolve into other mutually agreed upon timelines, given the ever-changing circumstances taking place from year to year. If Bush were still president, would he have stuck with the original agreement, negotiated 3 years ago, or would he have worked out something reflecting a more cautious removal, in order to reassure that what took 9 long years to accomplish, would be more apt to survive in the long term? While this agreement is an extension of what Bush worked out during his last days in office, I don’t think you can blindly assume that the non-negotiated part, done near it’s termination, would have been a part of a Bush policy as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  27. ponce says:

    If the country goes into tribal warfare, or Iran becomes too much of a negative influence, taking down what democracy/freedoms have been established in Iraq by “American blood and treasure,

    Oh god, Jan.

    You outdo yourself in fringe right silliness every.single.day

    Our hand-picked puppet and his goons are still in charge of Iraq even after he lost the election.

    No doubt Maliki will leave office by the same route Gaddafi just did, his downfall no doubt hastened by the same U.S. military that installed him on his throne.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  28. Jay Tea says:

    @michael reynolds: And I’m rather impressed with a lot of Obama’s moves in the war on terror. And I’m even more impressed with how he’s done so much that should have sent his base raving insane. Such as the targeted assassination of American citizens who haven’t been indicted, let alone convicted. Or the keeping open of Guantanamo Bay. Or the very difficult decision — that took hours — on whether or not to give the order to take out Bin Laden. And his general attitude of “blow up the bad guys from drones” is not too bad.

    On the other hand, I’m still torn — was his Libyan move more illegal or more ill-advised? Right now, I’m calling it a toss-up.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

  29. Ron Beasley says:

    @jan: If you want people to read the remainder of your post you shouldn’t quote John Bolton in the first sentence. He is such a lunatic he couldn’t get 50 votes in the Republican controlled Senate for UN Ambassador.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  30. sam says:

    Mittens in primary mode: Withdrawal from Iraq is a mistake.

    [Polls -- Large majority of Americans approve of withdrawal from Iraq.]

    Mittens in general election mode: I fully supported our withdrawal from Iraq.

    (In case anyone is wondering, the opinions of the other clowns and the clownette do not count at all)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  31. A voice from another precinct says:

    @Doug Mataconis: You may be missing Terrye’s point. Michelle Bachmann put the problem well, I thought:

    ““We have been ejected from a country by the people that we liberated and that the United States paid for with precious blood and treasure,” she added.”

    It’s OUR country now, to run as WE see fit. So yes, Barack should have said that if our troops don’t get immunity, they will take it by imposition of martial law.

    1000 year reich, here we come!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @ponce:

    Our hand-picked puppet and his goons are still in charge of Iraq even after he lost the election.

    ????????????WTF??? Ponce, no neocon could have said it better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  33. anjin-san says:

    a complete lack of common sense

    @Terrye

    If sense were common the modern conservative movement would not exist…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  34. An Interested Party says:

    If the country goes into tribal warfare, or Iran becomes too much of a negative influence…

    Two scenarios that wouldn’t have much possibility of happening if we hadn’t invaded and occupied the country in the first place…

    And I’m even more impressed with how he’s done so much that should have sent his base raving insane.

    But of course you are…your raw partisanship and extreme dislike of liberals is quite obvious…

    Mittens in primary mode: Withdrawal from Iraq is a mistake.

    Mittens in general election mode: I fully supported our withdrawal from Iraq.

    He isn’t called Multiple Choice Mitt for nothing…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. anjin-san says:

    One thing we can say for sure about the war. Halliburton won. Big time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  36. Liberty60 says:

    Thus concludes Episode XXXIV, in which our hero Mr. Mataconis discovers yet again, for the 34th time, that his party is composed of sanctimonious and ignorant lunatics.

    Tune in next week, in which Mr. Mataconis exclaims “Why, I am beginning to suspect the Republicans don’t even CARE about the deficit!!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  37. FakeKraid says:

    @michael reynolds: Dude, that’s harsh and unforgiving, and absolutely, completely 100% true. Well said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  38. sam says:

    @General Terrye:

    Fresh from an extended enrollment at the US Army War College:

    Doug, once again you show a complete lack of common sense when it comes to anything that is remotely associated with the military.

    I rest easier at night knowing that deep strategic thinkers like Terrye are on the case. How about you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  39. Missy says:

    “That’s what we hire presidents to do”— no apostrophe and no capital letter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  40. Lomax says:

    If Iran tries any foolishness, we have plenty of carpet bombs and other fire power that can straighten out their attitude pretty quick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. G.A>Phillips says:

    More proof for you non believers about the end times being here.I Just gave ponce 3 likes!!!

    So how long before we pull all of our troops out of the middle east? Two months before the election? One?

    And how long before we send them back to regain all of the strategic and logistical areas we had already gained? We will end up back there again fighting the next two or more belligerents on the block.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  42. G.A>Phillips says:

    If Iran tries any foolishness, we have plenty of carpet bombs and other fire power that can straighten out their attitude pretty quick.

    Would be nice but ain’t gonna happen, we fight PC now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  43. john personna says:

    @G.A>Phillips:

    And how long before we send them back to regain all of the strategic and logistical areas we had already gained? We will end up back there again fighting the next two or more belligerents on the block.

    How long until they are an actual threat to us? One without aluminum tube bullshit? A long time, I’d guess.

    And if they did become a threat we have the stand-off Libyan model of how to do it at low cost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  44. john personna says:

    @G.A>Phillips:

    Would be nice but ain’t gonna happen, we fight PC now.

    Groan. Victory without casualties is for sissies, is that’s what you are saying?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  45. G.A.Phillips says:

    Groan. Victory without casualties is for sissies, is that’s what you are saying?

    I am saying we **** around to much and get to many of our troops killed. I’ll never understand how some of you people think we should pussyfoot around when we go to war.

    My other point is that we are going to be Involved in large scale combat operations over there shortly, why not keep some bases, we will be back. Unless you want to carpet bomb the crap out of them next time?

    Shock and awe didn’t work, they are to stupid and evil to get it. Next time we should completely wipe out their ability to make war for a good long time, you do that with bombers not fighters and troops.

    I am still in favor of a hundred million drone army or more, fill the sky’s with that ****.How about if we make them electric with solar panel backups?

    I would suggest just e.m.p.ing their sorry a$$es but those $hitholes are almost like that already and they still make war on everyone and themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  46. Hey Norm says:

    Nothing worse, really, than a racist warmonger.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  47. john personna says:

    @G.A.Phillips:

    I am saying we **** around to much and get to many of our troops killed. I’ll never understand how some of you people think we should pussyfoot around when we go to war.

    That doesn’t have much to do with reality. We won the war very quickly. It was the occupation that went on and on.

    Are you conflicted? Do you support occupation but you want it to be “quick” somehow?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  48. Rick Almeida says:

    @G.A.Phillips:

    I am saying we **** around to much and get to many of our troops killed. I’ll never understand how some of you people think we should pussyfoot around when we go to war.

    I’ll never understand how those who never served can be so cavalier about lives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  49. G.A.Phillips says:

    Nothing worse, really, than a racist warmonger.

    Who Obama?

    That doesn’t have much to do with reality. We won the war very quickly.

    Mission accomplished?

    It was the occupation that went on and on

    Right

    Shock and awe didn’t work, they are to stupid and evil to get it.

    Are you conflicted? Do you support occupation but you want it to be “quick” somehow?

    I don’t want to occupy crap, but that don’t mean we can’t leave some strategic basses.

    I’ll never understand how those who never served can be so cavalier about lives. .

    What the hell are talking about agian.

    And do you support abortion?

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  50. Eric Florack says:

    What this does it point up again what I’ve been saying for years, now… the only successes in policy that Obama has had is where he’s copied or co-opted Bush policy.

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  51. anjin-san says:

    the only successes in policy that Obama has had is where he’s copied or co-opted Bush policy

    I know both bin laden & kadafi agree with you that he is unprepared…

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  52. john personna says:

    @G.A.Phillips:

    I don’t want to occupy crap, but that don’t mean we can’t leave some strategic basses.

    If you want a strategic base, and the host doesn’t support it, yes that is occupation.

    FWIW, Bush I did the right kind of “mission accomplished,” with a fast exit.

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  53. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san:

    I know both bin laden & kadafi agree with you that he is unprepared…

    Again co-opting of Bush policy.
    And to boot, things he told us as candidate Obama he’d not do.

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  54. Hey Norm says:

    “…where he’s copied or co-opted Bush policy…”

    I guess in the case of OBL Bush was simply incapable of following his own policy. And in Ghaddafi’s case Bush embraced him and saw normalized relations with Libya as one of his largest foreign policy accomplishments.
    The facts never seem to match your ideology Eric…now brush the Cheeto crumbs off your pajamas…you’re getting messy.

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  55. anjin-san says:

    Again co-opting of Bush policy.

    Bush’s policy was “I am not concerned about bin laden”. He broke up the unit that was hunting bin laden. Obama put it back together. As far as khaddafi goes, Bush seemed to be a live and let live guy. Of course the victims of Lockerbie did not get to live, nor did they get justice. At least until Obama was in charge. Now there has been some justice for a lot of murdered Americans. The fact that that obviously sticks in your craw says a lot about you.

    This press conference was six months after 9.11.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGmnz5Ow-o

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  56. G.A.Phillips says:

    If you want a strategic base, and the host doesn’t support it, yes that is occupation.

    Occupation is controlling, and living in a country not making a few camps and airfields out in the desert.

    We can call them embassy instead of fort if you like.I think its the kind we need to have anywhere over there for our diplomats to be safe these days anyhow.

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  57. ponce says:

    Again co-opting of Bush policy.

    The wingnuts here seem to have completely forgotten what muddles our wars and foreign policy were under George W. Bush.

    Which explains how they can still be spouting all that silly fringe right crap unironically.

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  58. Eric Florack says:

    I guess in the case of OBL Bush was simply incapable of following his own policy.

    That as Bush said many times, was a matter of time, more than anything. If such moves were easy, as you’re apparently suggesting, wouldn’t have Obama done it sooner?

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  59. Hey Norm says:

    @ Eric…no one said it was easy…which is why Bush gave up on it…and decided to invade and occupy Iraq instead.

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  60. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    We can call them embassy instead of fort if you like.I think its the kind we need to have anywhere over there for our diplomats to be safe these days anyhow.

    For some strange reason a lot of people seem to think that there’s a right to have an embassy.

    Look, if you turn your military camps into embassies to circumvent the fact the you are not wanted, the host country can simply say “get the h*** out of our country and take your ‘embassy’ with you”.

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  61. steve says:

    I am sort of surprised that people are looking at this solely from the perspective of the US. From the Iraq POV, keeping US troops showed weakness on the part of Iraqi leaders. It made them look like US stooges. In order to stay in office, they needed to have US forces go. Refusing to grant immunity was their way of accomplishing that.

    Steve

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  62. Liberty60 says:

    Shock and awe didn’t work, they are to stupid and evil to get it. Next time we should completely wipe out their ability to make war for a good long time, you do that with bombers not fighters and troops.

    I am still in favor of a hundred million drone army or more, fill the sky’s with that ****.How about if we make them electric with solar panel backups?

    Stuff like this always sounds like some esoteric Zen koan or something-

    “What is the sound of one hand fapping?”

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  63. anjin-san says:

    Again co-opting of Bush policy.

    For a guy who is a muslim, kenyan, empty suit, communist, socialist jihadist, Carter 2.0, collectivist who pals around with domestic terrorists, Obama sure seems to have “co-opted” a lot of Bush policies.

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  64. anjin-san says:

    I just saw Fred Thompson on TV pitching “government insured” reverse mortgages. You have to love these principled conservatives.

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  65. mattb says:

    @Jay Tea:

    . And I’m even more impressed with how [Obama]’s done so much that should have sent his base raving insane. … Or the keeping open of Guantanamo Bay.

    To be fair, the administration DID try to close Guantanamo and bring the remaining detainee’s into the country… Unfortunately, the Democrats in Congress completely failed to support this measure. (source: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=7633754&page=1 & http://www.salon.com/2009/05/20/reid_10/ )

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