ISIS Has Arrived In Libya, Just How Big A War Are We Looking At?

ISIS apparently now has a foothold in Libya, and is making inroads in Yemen.

ISIS Fighters

ISIS claims to have executed 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, and the video is circulating much like all the other ISIS videos have. The big takeaway from this, though, is the news that ISIS, or at least groups that are claiming an allegiance to ISIS are in Libya, a nation that is already in the grips of chaos resulting from the collapse of order after the Gaddafi regime was overthrown in the 2011 Civil War:

The black flag of ISIS flies over government buildings. Police cars carry the group’s insignia. The local football stadium is used for public executions. A town in Syria or Iraq? No. A city on the coast of the Mediterranean, in Libya.

Fighters loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are now in complete control of the city of Derna, population of about 100,000, not far from the Egyptian border and just about 200 miles from the southern shores of the European Union.

The fighters are taking advantage of political chaos to rapidly expand their presence westwards along the coast, Libyan sources tell CNN.

The sources say the Derna branch of ISIS counts 800 fighters and operates half a dozen camps on the outskirts of the town, as well as larger facilities in the nearby Green Mountains, where fighters from across North Africa are being trained.

It has been bolstered by the return to Libya from Syria and Iraq of up to 300 Libyan jihadists who were part of ISIS’ al Battar Brigade — deployed at first in Deir Ezzor in Syria and then Mosul in Iraq. These fighters supported the Shura Council for the Youth of Islam in Derna, a pro-ISIS faction.

The council had been competing for superiority with another militant group, the Abu Salem Brigade, some of whose fighters’ loyalties lay with al Qaeda, according to Noman Benotman, a former Libyan jihadist now involved in counter-terrorism for the Quilliam Foundation.

Al Qaeda’s top envoy in Libya, Abdulbasit Azuz, left Derna after U.S. Special Forces captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah, an alleged ringleader of the Benghazi attacks in June. Azuz is now believed to be in Syria, Benotman told CNN.

Amateur video from the end of October showed a large crowd of militants affiliated with the Shura Council for the Youth of Islam chanting their allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The new ISIS wing in Derna calls itself the “Barqa” provincial division of the Islamic State, the name given to the eastern region of Libya when Islamic rule replaced the Roman Empire.

The Libyan branch of ISIS now has a tight grip on the city, controlling the courts, all aspects of administration, education, and the local radio. “Derna today looks identical to Raqqa, the ISIS headquarters town in Syria,” Benotman told CNN.

“ISIS pose a serious threat in Libya. They are well on the way to creating an Islamic emirate in eastern Libya,” Benotman said.

And Libya isn’t the only nation where ISIS appears to be expanding its reach. Last month, CNN noted that the group was also starting to gain strength in Yemen, a nation that has already served as an strong source of support for al Qaeda:

The Syria-based terror group ISIS is active and recruiting inside the Middle Eastern state of Yemen, already a hotbed of terrorist activity, CNN has learned.

The disturbing information comes from a Yemeni official, who told CNN on Wednesday that ISIS has a presence in at least three provinces in southern and central Yemen, and there is now a “real competition” between ISIS and the Yemen-based terror group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

That competition manifested itself in a gun-battle between the two groups in Yemen’s eastern provinces last month, the same official said, though he did not have specifics on the casualties that resulted from that incident.

CNN cannot independently confirm the claims.

American officials do think ISIS is trying to recruit in Yemen. But one U.S. counter-terror official stressed the view that AQAP remains the dominant force there. The American intelligence view is that while there may be a smattering of ISIS loyalists among Sunni extremists in Yemen, they are likely “mid-level AQAP militants who are sympathetic to ISIL’s vision but haven’t broken ranks.”

According to some experts, ISIS may be seeking a foothold in the Middle East’s poorest country because of its historical importance.

“Yemen is significant in Islam,” said Katherine Zimmerman, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

“It is a place where we’ve seen attacks against the United States. It also has been a major feeder for foreign fighters into Afghanistan, into Iraq, and now into Syria,” Zimmerman added, “There’s a recruiting pipeline that ISIS may try and tap into.”

The Yemeni official who spoke to CNN said AQAP is still the dominant terrorist presence in Yemen, with “hundreds” of members, compared to “dozens” for ISIS.

Still, he added, “there’s a new kid on the block.”

And ISIS may be using its financial strength to win over some of AQAP’s potential recruits.

The Yemeni official told CNN that ISIS supporters are telling potential recruits they can fund operations better than AQAP can at the moment.

U.S. officials have long expressed concerns about ISIS’ financial strength, which it derives from the export of stolen oil, ransom payments from hostages, criminal activities and foreign donors. For this reason, the U.S. Treasury Department has undertaken aggressive efforts to cut the group off from the international financial system.

It isn’t surprising that, much like al Qaeda has done over the past three and a half years, ISIS would attempt to take advantage of the chaos inside Libya in order to expand its reach in what seems to be not just an effort on its part to confront the West, but also a competition with al Qaeda for dominance in the world of Islamic radicalism. Much like post-Saddam Iraq and Syria in the wake of the civil war that has been going on in that country for nearly four years now, these nations are breeding grounds for extremism and the lack of an effective central government makes it easy for terrorist groups and other criminal gangs to expand their influence quickly. This becomes even more true when, much like Hamas has in Gaza, these ISIS and al Qaeda groups also take it upon themselves to earn the loyalty of the civilian population through a combination of terror and bribery by providing basic resources such as food and water that the central government has been unable to provide. If anything, one can expect that ISIS’s influence in Libya and Yemen will continue to expand as it has in Syria and the Sunni areas of Iraq precisely because these areas are the perfect breeding ground for terrorism and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

All of this poses some rather interesting questions for U.S. policy regarding ISIS, though, and most especially for the upcoming debate about the Authorization For The Use Of Military Force that the White House has requested from Congress. As I noted last week, the draft AUMF that the White House has sent to Congress does not contain any geographic limitation, meaning that Congress would essentially be authorizing the same border-less war against ISIS that the 2001 AUMF drafted in the wake of the September 11th attacks authorized against al Qaeda. In that case, a war that started out in Afghanistan, with occasional and often unauthorized forays into Pakistan, has now expanded into a war that has included drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere in the Middle East and northern Africa. The ‘war against ISIS, and make no mistake we have effectively been at war against ISIS since the summer, started out in Iraq and quickly expanded into Syria. Now, ISIS appears to be following a strategy of expanding its own influence across the Middle East, which means that the war itself would necessarily have to expand. In other words, we’d be looking at a multi-front war unlike anything we’ve seen since World War Two, even if it wouldn’t necessarily be on the same scale.

Additionally, the prospect of ISIS gaining a foothold in Libya and Yemen raises the prospect that it could become a threat to other nations in those regions. In Libya’s case, that includes similarly chaotic nations such as Mali, Sudan, and Somalia and, indeed, there have already been reports of ISIS-inspired groups in these nations. An ISIS foothold in Libya could also be a potential threat to Egypt and, indeed, Egypt has already been involved in bombing raids against Libyan militia groups. An ISIS foothold in Yemen, meanwhile, poses a potential threat to Saudi Arabia, which is already quite nervous about the foothold the group has gained on the Kingdom’s northern border in Iraq and Syria. The act that all of this expansion is happening while the United States and our coalition enters the seventh month of an air campaign against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria makes one wonder just how effective our strategy has been.

On a final note, it would be remiss to let this news pass without taking note of the fact that this seems to be yet further proof that the decision to intervene in the Libyan Civil War in 2011 was a mistake. Libya would likely have remained a chaotic place had we not done so, since the rebellion against Gaddafi had started well before the West intervened in the war, but putting our thumbs on the scale in the favor of rebels who we could not possibly have vetted properly beforehand certainly doesn’t seem to be working out so well. Much like post-Saddam Iraq and Syria before the uprising against Bashar Assad, Libya under Gaddafi was, at the very least, not a launching pad for massive international terrorist group. For all the problems the world had with him, Gaddafi was at most a minor nuisance. In his wake, much like in the wake of Saddam Hussein, we seem to have created a monster that we may not have the ability to control. At the very least, maybe allying ourselves with rebels we could not have possibly vetted to overthrow someone who was not a real threat to the United States or anyone else wasn’t such a good idea after all. I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Terrorism, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Gustopher says:

    This is a lot like the chaos the resulted in Iraq, but with one key difference — we brought Saddam Hussein down, but Gadafi was going down one way or another. The Iraq mess is ours, Lybia not so much.

    We pushed Gadafi over the edge. Had he hung on, Lybia might be as stable as Syria right now.

    So, what lessons do we learn that we can apply to Syria? Should we be supporting Assad?




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  2. Guarneri says:

    “Just How Big A War Are We Looking At?”

    None. Everything is fine. All Hail, Obama. Reynolds tells us so.




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  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Saudi is vulnerable to an urban insurgency, particularly in its southwest and along the Red Sea. Don’t be surprised if we start seeing that sooner rather than later.




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  4. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Much like post-Saddam Iraq and Syria before the uprising against Bashar Assad, Libya under Gaddafi was, at the very least, not a launching pad for massive international terrorist group.

    Actually, Libya under Gaddafi was “a launching pad” for international terrorism. Was for decades. And then it wasn’t, after a rather nifty bit of international diplomacy between the Bush administration and the British. Then, under Obama, Libya is again.

    What “smart diplomacy” that was…




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  5. Gustopher says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Do you honestly think that Gadafi was capable of regaining control once the revolution was well underway? That he could have prevented the spread of this radicalized form of Islam?

    Or, do you think that if we hadn’t pushed Gadafi over, the conditions in Lybia would have been significantly different during their long protracted revolution than they are in Syria where ISIS got its start?

    We did not get involved until the Lybian revolution was well underway.




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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Just exactly what is ISIS? I say, “I AM ISIS!!!” Does that make me Isis? This is a joke. Let me take that back, it is all a joke. The ME is f’d up and we can not fix it, only make it worse. What about Iran is worse than Saudi Arabia? Did Iran ever directly attack the USofA? You know, with Iranian suicide bombers funded by wealthy Iranians led by an Iranian whacko, killing 3,000 Americans?

    No? Yes? No?




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  7. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Gustopher: Do you honestly think that Gadafi was capable of regaining control once the revolution was well underway? That he could have prevented the spread of this radicalized form of Islam?

    We helped get rid of Gadafi, so we own some of the responsibility for what happened.

    And that was an incredibly stupid decision.

    We didn’t have to prop Gadafi, we didn’t have to save him, we didn’t have to bail him out. All we had to do was stay the hell out. But for whatever reason, Obama chose to commit the US (in violation of the War Powers Act) to helping overthrow him.

    Now Libya’s a malignant disaster. And we helped it become that.




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  8. DrDaveT says:

    OK, I’ll bite with a contrarian view.

    I think this could turn out to be a tactical mistake by ISIS, in the long run. As long as ISIS was local — just that corner of Syria / Iraq / Turkey / Jordan — the real Powers That Be in the Islamic world could dismiss them as Someone Else’s Problem and go back to being happy autocrats.

    ISIS as a regional or global phenomenon will scare the undergarments off of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the not-yet-concerned parts of Turkey, Egypt, and the other serious regional powers. Possibly even Malaysia and various -stans. At which point they might actually contribute to really countering the movement, rather than letting the locals and the US take the brunt.

    Cross your fingers.




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  9. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @DrDaveT: Your lips to God’s ears, Dave.

    But that’s wishing. You’re expecting a heft dose of rationalism from parties that really don’t have a history of being rational. Or, at least, by our standards of “rational.”




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  10. CET says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Well . . . They’ve managed to piss off Jordan pretty thoroughly, and the Kurds are already making a pretty credible local effort. I doubt our good friends the Saudis will do much, since they seem to love Salafi fanatics, but Iran must be getting little bit worried . . .




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  11. Gustopher says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Now Libya’s a malignant disaster. And we helped it become that.

    But, what harm was done? It was just a matter of timing.

    I can understand the reasoning — push over Gadafi, be seen by the insurgents on the ground as the good guys, and hopefully moderate the government that forms (if one does) by showing us to be the good guys. I expect we were pushing for one faction or another, but ultimately that’s something the Libyans have to work out for themselves.

    I’m not saying it was a moment of American greatness, I’m just saying that as mediocre decisions go, this had basically no consequences. We got our pound of flesh for Lockerbie.

    The timing of Gadafi’s fall may have made the attack in BENGHAZI!!! easier to pull off. Thats a grand total of four people, which is basically nothing in the big picture.




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  12. michael reynolds says:

    ISIS is taking over from Al Qaeda. It doesn’t matter what they call themselves, this is an old problem with a new name.

    The concern regarding ISIS was that they were attempting to create a state and eventually an empire. That dream is dead unless they manage to create an insurgency in Saudi. They’ve missed their moment for a successful land thrust. Unless some element within Saudi intelligence or the Saudi military is ready to change sides, an insurgency would fail.

    It’s useful to bear in mind that we’ve already stymied Al Qaeda. We can do the same with ISIS. And a turn to common terrorism represents a tacit admission by ISIS that their initial strategy has failed.

    So go get a fresh Depends,Guarneri. It’ll be okay.




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  13. Liberal With Attitude says:

    I’m still not seeing why this is our fight.
    how does Isis threaten America?
    Why should we defend those who it does threaten?
    What would victory over ISIS look like?
    How would we know when we have acheived it?

    And am I the only one who seems tired of the endless parade of Hitler-of-the-week?

    Yassir Arafat
    Carlos the Jackal
    Abu Nidal
    Muammar Ghaddafi
    Syria
    Iran
    N Korea
    The Taliban
    Saddam Hussein
    Osama Bin Laden
    Al Queda
    The Islamic Brotherhood
    Hezbollah
    Hamas
    ISIS
    TBD…

    Half or more of these existential threats were bankrolled , armed, and trained by America.
    Yet the biggest sponsors of terrorism, the Saudis, are given a tongue bath by every American president.
    Listening to the bizarre contortions of the neo-cons screaming for war is like listening to a Stalinist party convention:

    The Taliban are freedom fighters against the evil Russian Empire!
    The Taliban are existential threat to America!
    Saddam Hussein is our only bulwark against the evil Ayatollah!
    Saddam Hussein is an existential threat to America!
    Syria is a sponsor of terrorism- we must depose Assad!
    ISIS is attacking Syria- we must defend Assad!
    The red zone is for loading and unloading only- there is no parking in the red zone!
    The white zone is for loading and unloading only- there is no parking in the white zone!




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  14. bill says:

    eh, it’s just the jv team…..and the other’s are “on the run” anyways…….i guess “on the run” means something else after all?




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  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Liberal With Attitude: This particular “neo-con” said from day one that we should have stayed the hell out of Libya. Bush had neutralized Kadafi. No, he’d not just neutralized him, he’d actually made him into a slight asset. Kadafi gave us some really good intel on the bad guys he’d backed. Plus, he was a living example of how a country could actually be more secure after giving up its WMD program.

    And then we took him out. Well, OK, we helped take him out. But that isn’t how it’s perceived among the relevant parties. To them, we took him out.

    And now any other country we aren’t that fond of is looking at Libya and saying “we need WMDs, stat! ‘Cuz that’s the only way we can be sure the US won’t bump us off!”

    And I still don’t understand what Obama was thinking when he committed the US to getting rid of Kadafi. What the hell was the up side? What was the anticipated benefit?




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  16. michael reynolds says:

    @Liberal With Attitude:

    Which “half” of those organizations did we bankroll? We bankrolled a precursor to the Taliban. We’ve had dealings with some of the others on the list, but that’s hardly bankrolling. We also sold scrap to the Japanese which they turned into planes to attack Pearl Harbor. That doesn’t make us responsible for Pearl Harbor.

    I don’t know why this is so hard for some people to understand, but we are not the only nation with agency. Other nations make choices. Other groups take actions. Sometimes they are in a position to force a response. Why are we still surprised by this?




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  17. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And now any other country we aren’t that fond of is looking at Libya and saying “we need WMDs, stat!

    That charge was made in the aftermath of Mr. Bush’s statement regarding an “Axis of Evil,” by which he meant North Korea, Iraq and Iran.

    North Korea already had a nuclear program, about which Mr. Bush did nothing. Iran had a nuclear program, about which ditto. And of course we know what happened with Iraq.

    At present Iraq is a non-nuclear, nominal ally. (Stretching that word ‘ally’ a bit.) Iran is in negotiations regarding their nuclear program, negotiations your party is conspiring with a foreign leader to scuttle. North Korea remains North Korea.

    So: name a country that has begun a nuclear program as a result of Libya.




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  18. Xenos says:

    This particular “neo-con” said from day one that we should have stayed the hell out of Libya. Bush had neutralized Kadafi.

    You were right, but this was not decision that was ours to make. For the first time in decades European governments stepped out into a leadership role in pushing for this, and Obama made a sensible decision to support it. War in Libya was judged to be inevitable, and an entrenched and inconclusive Syria-style war was in the offing.

    It may still be too early to tell if the right decision was made in the case of Libya, and it is very strange to be deciding that Obama was primarily responsible for the strategic decision made be NATO as a whole. I live in Europe and follow the local press, and be assured, this was Sarkozy’s baby. Weakening NATO by disrupting this would have been a bad (although perhaps not serious) move on Obama’s part.

    Diplomacy is complicated, and this impulse to blame everything on the American president is a pretty foolish impulse by the provincial reactionaries who dominate conservative politics in the States.




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  19. An Interested Party says:

    And am I the only one who seems tired of the endless parade of Hitler-of-the-week?

    No you aren’t…sadly, too many Americans are too motivated by fear and allow themselves to be manipulated by politicians, pundits, and assorted other VIPs that those same Americans should hold much more accountable or at least simply ignore…




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  20. michael reynolds says:

    @An Interested Party:
    Yes, people exaggerate the threat. No question. We lived under Soviet nuclear threat for more than 40 years with less drama than we have over a bunch of barbarians in a desert.

    But just because people freak out to an absurd degree that doesn’t mean these aren’t real problems that are more easily dealt with when they’re small. These things are “our” problem because, as Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” And great prominence makes a target ofyou, like it or not.

    Look, in 1860 most people in the north, politician and voter, didn’t see slavery as their problem. But it was their problem, and it ended up being a very large problem because they let it metastasize. In 1914 we didn’t see how that was our problem, but had we gotten in earlier the war would almost certainly have ended sooner, with far less loss of life, and the Bolshevik revolution and its even eviler twin, Nazism, might not have been born. Think of that. Think of how many tens of millions might have been saved if we’d picked a side in 1914. And of course in 1939, that, too, wasn’t our problem, until it was.

    I am not arguing we need to go rushing in to solve every problem. I don’t favor getting involved with Boko Haram, or forcing regime change in North Korea. But the middle east is different. That’s our oil, it’s right below our friends in Europe, and because it is religious fanaticism we’re dealing with, it has the potential to spread beyond the region. Indeed, it has done so, in New York and at the Pentagon in 2001, and since then in small incidents here and larger incidents in Europe.

    It’s not an existential threat at this time. But if suicide bombs start going off in American malls, neither you nor I is going to like what this country looks like. Secure, safe countries have liberal laws. Paranoid, dangerous countries, have secret police. If you care about this country, and care about tolerance, you want this country to remain safe. Do you see the rise of extremism in Europe? Do you want that here? Do you recall that we are the people who exterminated the Indians, enslaved blacks, excluded Catholics and Jews, and forced Japanese-Americans into camps, just to hit some high points. Do you think we are immune to the fascist impulse?

    We cannot let our policy be dictated by short attention spans. We do not have the ability to simply wish our problems away. This takes work, and sacrifice, and money, and patience. We cannot just change the channel because we’re bored.




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  21. lounsbury says:

    Bloody Christ on a stick. Some gits with a flag and adopting what they think is a cool brand name does not make a bloody organisation. These gits are not going to be successful outside of a specific set of circumstances – failed state. Libya essentially. Perhaps South Yemen.

    The idea that DAESH is getting a “foothold” anywhere is to create an organisational superstructure out of sheer thin air in your own daft and frightened little girl heads.

    The DAESH cretins are really a god-send to the anti-Islamists. They’re so utterly clueless in the barbarism that they put off just about everyone (see the Jordanian example.). Instead of hand wringing you should be ecstatic.

    All that is happened is that some existing local groups that you sad provincial gits were ignoring as they didn’t have a sexy mediatized brand name have now adopted a band brand with a terrible, cretinous management at its center that gives truly horrible advice.

    Rather like flipping from a McDo Franchise to Hardees…. (well that is unkind perhaps)




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  22. Tillman says:

    @Xenos: Thank you. People seem to easily forget Libya was a concession to gungho interventionists in Britain and France, plus a chance for Obama to show he could make reckless foreign policy moves just like his predecessors.




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  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Xenos: You were right, but this was not decision that was ours to make. For the first time in decades European governments stepped out into a leadership role in pushing for this, and Obama made a sensible decision to support it. War in Libya was judged to be inevitable, and an entrenched and inconclusive Syria-style war was in the offing.

    There was a third option for the US: vote “present.” In other words, don’t veto the action, but don’t participate, either.

    Libya was Obama’s “war of choice,” and it was a wrong choice.




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  24. Rafer Janders says:

    Much like post-Saddam Iraq and Syria before the uprising against Bashar Assad, Libya under Gaddafi was, at the very least, not a launching pad for massive international terrorist group.

    Um, much like pre-Saddam Iraq, you must mean.




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  25. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jenos:

    Libya under Gaddafi was “a launching pad” for international terrorism.

    And Iraq was not.

    Sunni and Shia have been at war for 1,500 years. As George Will pointed out in 2014, “Saddam Hussein’s horrific tyranny at least controlled Iraq’s sectarian furies.” Notice this prediction that was made years ago, about what would happen once Saddam’s government was removed:

    … we’d have had to put another government in its place. What kind of government? Should it be a Sunni government or Shi’i government or a Kurdish government or Ba’athist regime? Or maybe we want to bring in some of the Islamic fundamentalists? How long would we have had to stay in Baghdad to keep that government in place? What would happen to the government once U.S. forces withdrew? How many casualties should the United States accept in that effort to try to create clarity and stability in a situation that is inherently unstable?

    Who said that? Dick Cheney, 4/29/91. He once understood that Iraq without Saddam would be “inherently unstable.” Too bad he developed Romnesia and forgot that later.

    ISIS exists because Bush removed Saddam. There was no AQ in Iraq until Bush invited them in by removing Saddam. Conservatives think history began on 1/20/09.

    Rafer Janders:

    Um, much like pre-Saddam Iraq, you must mean.

    Exactly.




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  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: So, after cutting through the irrelevant twaddle, it appears that you’re agreeing with me: Kadaffi was a bad actor for a long time, but then Bush neutralized him and made him into a nominal asset. Which is, to my way of thinking, better than just eliminating a bad actor.

    Is that correct? Did you find yourself agreeing with me, realize how horrifying a thought that was, and then throw in the irrelevant twaddle so you could somehow reassure yourself that you still find me horrible and icky and bad? Or was the irrelevancies an attempt to bait me into a side argument so I wouldn’t notice you were agreeing with me?




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  27. jukeboxgrad says:

    it appears that you’re agreeing with me

    It appears that you are making sh*t up, as usual.

    and then throw in the irrelevant twaddle

    ISIS exists because Bush removed Saddam. Explain how this is “irrelevant twaddle.”




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  28. Slugger says:

    Without in any way trying to take sides in this debate, I sort of think that the downfall of Gadaffi was inevitable. He was old and probably beginning to lose his sharpness. His position was not based on any basis other than his personal strengths. He was not a recognized royal, not the leader of a long institutional tradition, just an aging dictator. The same thing happened in Iran with the Shah and in Egypt with Mubarak. When the position of head of government depends solely on the ability of one man to hold power it is unstable and will collapse when the tough guy slips. Sooner or later, everybody slips. Britain did well during the reigns of the first three Georges despite the Georges being idiots, but the nation had institutions in place. These tough guy dictatorships are prone to crumbling. North Koorea might be a counter example, but I don’t know enough about them.




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  29. lounsbury says:

    @Tillman:
    A bit of context – the French et al interest in Libyan intervention was rather less “gung-ho” that the rational risk analysis (perhaps incorrect, but rational) of entities exposed to the Med. sea basin. The French and the Italians were not facing a merely theoretical risk of “Islamists” or whatnot but the serious potential of massive cross-Med refugee flows arising from a Libyan civil war or Qadhdhafi massacres.

    Americans have a hard time understanding that, being geographic ignoramuses in general, but the risks relative to Libya looked different to the European powers.

    Additional of course, France dove in having bollixed up the Tunisian events (having just then sided with the loser, Ben Ali) and clearly wished to compensate.

    However, it is a correct point that your President was a follower on this, rather than a leader.

    Overall it looked like a not unreasonable roll of the dice at the time, but needed better follow-up. A massive arms buying program might perhaps have worked. Might.




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  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Explain how this is “irrelevant twaddle.”

    For several reasons.

    For one, your personal signature is “the root cause of everything bad is a Republican.” I seem to recall you blaming Iran’s nuclear intransigence on Eisenhower. Your quests for root causes end as soon as you can find a Republican to blame.

    For another, we’re talking about North Africa here.

    For a third, you don’t seem to want to discuss how Kadaffi was in power and a bad actor long before Saddam rose to power, and wasn’t overthrown until years after Saddam was deposed.

    For a fourth, the toppling of Saddam was a major factor in persuading Kadaffi to surrender his WMD program, stop supporting terrorism, and rat out his former allies and those he had sponsored. I realize it harshes your mellow and ruins your narrative to acknowledge that the invasion of Iraq had some indisputable goods come out of it, but I find that very un-troubling.




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  31. lounsbury says:

    @Slugger:
    Qadhdhafi had long lost his ‘sharpness’ (although it oft made for unintentionally amusing live TV with their channels), however his clan the Qadhdhafa had not.

    Rather more to the point, Qadhdhafi, in very stark contrast to a Mubarek who depended on a coherent neo-Mamlouk state and its organs, had deliberately never created anything particularly coherent. Libya lacked and lacks clear, coherent institutions thanks to him. That is rather different than either a Shah or a Mubarek as in both instances there was always a generally strong state organization, albeit one that was not entirely in said person’s hands.




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  32. stonetools says:

    Doug, I will admit you were right about Libya when you admit that we liberals were right about Obamacare. Deal? ;-).

    In fact you really aren’t right about Libya either. We first have to put Libya in its historical context. Obama “intervened” in the context of an ongoing insurrection, when Gaddafi was making threats to massacre the rebels “without mercy”. And he did not intervene unilaterally, but in the context of a NATO effort, led by Britain and France. So no, it wasn’t really an Obama or US only intervention.
    It’s important to understand too that the goal of intervention was not to set up an instant Switzerland on the Mediterranean. The purpose was to remove a brutal anti western dictator in order to give the LIBYANS a chance to set up a decent, legitimate government. The failure to institute such a government was not Obama’s fault: it was the fault of the LIBYANS. We need to put aside the condescending Western attitude that Third World folks have no agency. The Libyans had agency, and they effed up, with the help of outside Islamist groups.
    Moreover, we do have a case study in which Obama followed your sage advice and did not intervene . That case is Syria-you know, the situation from which ISIS arose and which is now an international conflict that drew in all the surrounding countries, and which eventually has drawn in the US?
    Bottom line, it’s uncertain whether non intervention would have resulted in any better situation in Libya. It’s possible non intervention would have resulted in an even worse mess in Libya-say, with a jihadist government in full control of the country. In the end, we gave the Libyans a chance, and they muffed it- but it’s actually a good thing we gave them a chance, and it may be that the pro Western government will eventually prevail. No intervention, and there would be zero pro Western option.




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  33. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jenos:

    I seem to recall you blaming Iran’s nuclear intransigence on Eisenhower.

    I understand your desire to change the subject, and you didn’t answer the question.




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  34. gVOR08 says:

    @Xenos: I don’t think it’s anymore complicated than this: In Iraq, Britain joined us because maintaining the Anglo-American alliance is the number 1 priority of British foreign policy. If we went to war, Britain was going to war with us. In Libya, NATO decided to go to war. If NATO goes to war, the US will lead NATO, because maintaining leadership of NATO is more important than Libya.




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  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: You asked why I called something “irrelevant twaddle,” and I gave you four reasons. You must mean that I didn’t answer it to your satisfaction, which you consider an impossible standard, as you think the question is one of your bulletproof argument killers, but I don’t particularly feel obligated to mouth the lines in the script you’ve written for these discussions.

    If there was another question in there, I missed it. But I don’t really miss it much.




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  36. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    We helped get rid of Gadafi, so we own some of the resonsibility for what happened. And that was an incredibly stupid decision*.

    *Statement not applicable to Saddam Hussein, where the exact opposite argument has been made by the same poster.




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  37. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    We didn’t have to prop Gadafi, we didn’t have to save him, we didn’t have to bail him out. All we had to do was stay the hell out. But for whatever reason, Obama chose to commit the US (in violation of the War Powers Act) to helping overthrow him. Now Libya’s a malignant disaster. And we helped it become that.*

    Again, statement not applicable to Iraq, where the exact opposite argument has been made by the same poster.




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  38. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And now any other country we aren’t that fond of is looking at Libya and saying “we need WMDs, stat! ‘Cuz that’s the only way we can be sure the US won’t bump us off!” And I still don’t understand what Obama was thinking when he committed the US to getting rid of Kadafi. What the hell was the up side? What was the anticipated benefit?*

    *Statement not applicable to Iraq and Saddam Hussein, where the exact opposite argument has been made by the same poster.




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  39. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    but then Bush neutralized him and made him into a nominal asset forgave him for being a mass murderer of Americans because thats what the oil industry wanted.

    FTFY




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  40. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rafer Janders: One minor flaw there: We invaded Iraq in March 2002. Kadaffi gave up his WMDs in December 2003.

    You might want to review that argument in terms of possible causal relationships and time paradoxes…




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  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: So you don’t approve of Kadaffi getting a plea bargain by surrendering his entire WMD program and giving up the whole A. Q. Khan network, among other substantial concessions. Is that what you’re saying?

    You really do pick the stupidest places to suddenly discover that you have some absolute principles and that some things are Black And White and There Can Be No Compromise…




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  42. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jenos:

    I gave you four reasons

    You made four attempts at changing the subject. ISIS exists because Bush removed Saddam. You have said nothing to address this, and you haven’t explained how this is “irrelevant twaddle.”

    As Rafer Janders has pointed out, you want to talk about the alleged consequences of “getting rid of Kadafi” while ignoring the infinitely more negative consequences of removing Saddam.

    We invaded Iraq in March 2002.

    2003.




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  43. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    There Can Be No Compromise…

    With a guy who blew up a jet full of American citizens? Nope. But, hey – maybe Bush looked into his soul and liked what he saw.

    Why don’t you look up the families of the Lockerbie victims and tell them what a swell deal Bush’s rehabilitation of Gaddafi was?




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  44. michael reynolds says:

    @lounsbury:

    Exactly. Owning a Macbook, an iPhone and a Twitter account does not make you master of all media, it just means you live in the 21st century. And waving a home-made flag doesn’t make you the advancing wedge of a mighty ISIS army. So far it looks like a handful of loons one of whose granny has a sewing machine.

    The ISIS leadership has made one dumb decision after another. They lost the dam, they lost Kobani, an irrelevant bit of territory that in no way represented a possibility of some larger strategic win. They missed their moment to strike south into the KSA. They needlessly infuriated the Jordanians. It was just a few months ago we were all breathless at the unstoppable steamroller of the 10 foot tall ISIS stormtroopers. Now, without so much as a pause to reflect that ISIS hasn’t advanced anywhere lately, we’re on to freaking out over their possible switch to standard-issue terror.




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  45. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is just the latest variety of the same stuff Islam has spun off since… oh, the 6th century.




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  46. munchbox says:

    @thejunk boxgrad

    ISIS was nurtured into existence with the zero’s backing. ISIS grew out of the Syria rebellion that was fueled with Libyan weaponry. plain and simple. Not the peaceful Iraq that the zero abandoned. I sure the Egyptian strikes on ISIS has got zero frothing at the mouth “how dare they”




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  47. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    One minor flaw there: We invaded Iraq in March 2002. Kadaffi gave up his WMDs in December 2003. You might want to review that argument in terms of possible causal relationships and time paradoxes…

    Anybody understand what this twit is arguing? The sentences above don’t seem to make any sense (aside, of course, from the laughable mistake regarding the 2003 and not 2002 date of the attack on Iraq) since, of course, both Iran and North Korea were confirmed in their decision to develop or maintain, respectively, their nuclear programs by the Iraq Invasion, regardless of what Libya did.




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  48. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jenos:

    ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is just the latest variety of the same stuff Islam has spun off since… oh, the 6th century.

    Think of your own lines. I already pointed out that Sunni and Shia have been at war for 1,500 years. What’s new is the existence of AQ/ISIS in Iraq. Saddam was keeping them out, and Bush changed that.

    munchbox:

    the peaceful Iraq that the zero abandoned

    Link:

    there were 257 suicide bombings in Iraq in 2008

    You have an odd concept of “peaceful.”

    By the way, are you in favor of higher taxes to pay for your never-ending war, or do you prefer the Bush approach of sending the bill to our kids? Just curious.

    Rafer Janders:

    both Iran and North Korea were confirmed in their decision to develop or maintain, respectively, their nuclear programs by the Iraq Invasion

    Correct. ISIS exists because Bush removed Saddam, and in that same act Bush also greatly empowered Iran.




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  49. jukeboxgrad says:

    Liberal With Attitude:

    am I the only one who seems tired of the endless parade of Hitler-of-the-week?

    A constant supply of villains is important.

    The demise of the USSR was a great threat to our war industry. When the cold war ended, a lot of defense contractors had to start worrying about where their next buck was coming from. Our first MBA president solved that problem for them. AQ came along in the nick of time.

    Cold war version two (a/k/a GWOT) is a great example of how much can be accomplished when big government and big business work cooperatively. And the new version is better than the old version, since it’s cleverly designed to last forever. A war against a tactic will never end, because the use of the tactic will never end.

    OBL’s core strategy was to scare us into bankrupting ourselves, not just financially but also morally. The strategy has been working pretty well.




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  50. anjin-san says:

    OBL’s core strategy was to scare us into bankrupting ourselves, not just financially but also morally. The strategy has been working pretty well.

    foxnews.com has been running with ISIS DOOM and TERRORIST DOOM pretty much 24/7 for quite a while now. Are you saying I should not be paralyzed by existential dread? That I should just go about my business and live my life without fear?

    What a radical thought…




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  51. jukeboxgrad says:

    live my life without fear?

    You could do that, but that’s bad for business. Fear is big business. The conservative entertainment complex is in the business of making you afraid, and the war industry is in the business of acting out your fear. Less fear means a lot of people will need a new job.




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  52. gVOR08 says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    …or do you prefer the Bush approach of sending the bill to our kids?

    It was not Bush’s plan to pass the debt to our kids. They borrowed the money from Social Security and they had no intention of ever paying it back.




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  53. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @gVOR08: Well, then, it’s a good thing we elected Obama, who’s sent the debt from 12 trillion to 18 trillion, and with the regular arguments about raising the debt ceiling, it’s pretty obvious that there’s no plan to pay that back…




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  54. jukeboxgrad says:

    Obama, who’s sent the debt from 12 trillion to 18 trillion

    Obama inherited the worst financial collapse in 80 years and the biggest deficit ever. That’s why the debt has gone up. It’s not because Obama has increased spending, so your “sent” is false. Republicans are like people who pee in your house and then complain that the place stinks.

    Also, your comparison ignores inflation. Tell me how much Reagan borrowed in real dollars.

    there’s no plan to pay that back

    Debt hysteria reflects ignorance. If we wanted to completely eliminate the deficit and the debt we could, just by raising taxes on the top 1%. 100% of the current deficit would be eliminated if the top 1% resumed paying the effective tax rate they used to pay in the period 1942-1981. Link.

    The Reagan tax cuts for the rich are what’s unsustainable, and that problem will eventually be addressed.




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  55. munchbox says:

    It’s not because Obama has increased spending

    its like you are a delusional parrot. just squawking about….”it’s not obama” screech, “it’s not obama” poly the box muncher wants a handout and foodstamps…




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  56. Tillman says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Ugh, poor form. Your entire opening post was about Iraq in a discussion about Libya. Accusing Jenos of changing the subject when you shoehorn in Iraq to score a partisan point doesn’t work.




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  57. jukeboxgrad says:

    Your entire opening post was about Iraq in a discussion about Libya

    I see these words at the beginning of the title:

    ISIS Has Arrived In Libya

    The first word is “ISIS,” and this is a discussion about ISIS. The idea of not mentioning Iraq in a discussion about ISIS seems pretty silly to me. The opening article uses the word “Iraq” eleven times.




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  58. jukeboxgrad says:

    munchbox:

    its like you are a delusional parrot

    It’s like you’re not paying attention to your own link. Take another look at the numbers on the page you linked and here are some things you will learn: FY14 spending was 20.3% of GDP. Average for the 20 years of Reagan-Bush-Bush: 20.8%. Reagan’s average: 21.6%. The 40-year average is 20.5%.

    If you’re trying to pretend that Obama is a big spender, you should avoid linking to proof that you’re wrong.




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  59. Tillman says:

    The first word is “ISIS,” and this is a discussion about ISIS.

    I know, and sentences, which conservatives have trouble with when it comes to the Second Amendment, include other words, like “Arrived in Libya.” The opening article uses the word “Libya” twenty-four times. Amazing, considering how this article is about an outgrowth of a terrorist org into Libya and what conditions on the ground enabled such growth.




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  60. jukeboxgrad says:

    this article is about an outgrowth of a terrorist org into Libya

    I accused Jenos of changing the subject because he mentioned what Ike did in Iran in 1953. Bush’s invasion of Iraq is directly relevant to the development of ISIS. What Ike did in Iran in 1953 is not.




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  61. Just Me says:

    Looks like the JV team is now the Varsity team.

    With ISIS clearly in Libya the group is expanding in the region. What worries me is that we may be looking at essentially a bloody Islamic civil war/reformation. This seems to have potential to spark a larger war that may be a sort of WWIII.

    Treading carefully seems prudent but ISIS is killing brutally non Muslims and the “wrong” Muslims from their perspective-just where he line is for the west when it comes to stopping ISIS isn’t an easy one. On one hand it makes some sense to avoid getting involved in a civil war but in the other standing idle or almost is when large groups of people are being killed isn’t a good idea either.

    It’s a mess that appears to be getting messier and there aren’t imo easy answrs. This is a choice between bad choices and choosing the best bad choice isn’t that clear.




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  62. grumpy realist says:

    @Just Me: I think it probably comes down to a) is it better for the US to be involved or keep out of is? b) do the American people want to get involved in this?

    ISIS is probably going to try to attack the US in some form or other to try to drag us into this. We had better have a Plan B set up.

    (Too bad we just can’t build a wall around the Mideast and just let it simmer in its own juices. Why should we be acting as peacekeepers for a bunch of tribal nations who don’t want to take care of their problems themselves?)




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  63. Rafer Janders says:

    @Tillman:

    Your entire opening post was about Iraq in a discussion about Libya.

    The article is about ISIS in Libya. ISIS stands for the “Islamic State in IRAQ and Syria.”

    Somehow thinking that a mention of Iraq in a discussion about ISIS is out of context is more than a little bizarre….




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  64. An Interested Party says:

    It’s not surprising that the usual suspects would try to use this news to smear the current president seeing as how his not so illustrious predecessor paved the way for all of this by invading Iraq in the first place…




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  65. munchbox says:

    some things you will learn: Average for the 20 years of Reagan-Bush-Bush: 20.8%. Reagan’s average: 21.6%. The 40-year average is 20.5%.

    Things i have learned…. from the link….zero’s average spending = 22%
    things i know….
    22%> 20.8%
    22%>21.6%
    22%>20.5%

    also under the things i know category…

    We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe—without swords, without guns, without conquest—will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.

    (10 April 2006)Colonel Gadaffi




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  66. An Interested Party says:

    We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe—without swords, without guns, without conquest—will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.

    Some people simply wouldn’t know what to do without having a bogeyman…I wonder how one says “Boo!” in Arabic…




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  67. munchbox says:

    they say it like this “ALLAHU AKBAR!”

    I get the feeling that you don’t realize that quote is from Muammar Gaddafi you know as it relates to Libya….just wanted to clarify for the super slow folk.




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  68. An Interested Party says:

    I get the feeling that you don’t realize that quote is from Muammar Gaddafi you know as it relates to Libya….just wanted to clarify for the super slow folk.

    Oh I knew exactly what it was, sweetie, but that doesn’t take away from my point about frightened little people like you…




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  69. Tillman says:

    @jukebox:

    I accused Jenos of changing the subject because he mentioned what Ike did in Iran in 1953.

    Yes, in one of his four points (mostly directed at you rather than the conversation around ISIS). You conveniently ignored the other three, claiming they were other changes of subject. I am certain Jenos recognized the irony since that’s one of his favorite rhetorical tactics.




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  70. Tillman says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Somehow thinking that a mention of Iraq in a discussion about ISIS is out of context is more than a little bizarre….

    Several people upthread mentioned Iraq before jukebox. You’ll note I’m not accusing them of anything. Jukebox was the only one of them to exclude any discussion of Libya at all in talking to Jenos or anyone else, and to reaffirm (as he has several times in this thread) that “ISIS exists because Bush removed Saddam.” That’s not a mention of Iraq, or “just mentioning Iraq” as jukebox writes. Further, in an article concerning ISIS’s forays into Libya (whether just sexy rebranding as lounsbury puts it or a genuine expansion), there’s no or little comment on the removal of Gaddafi which, since the article’s about conditions in Libya and not Iraq, seems way more relevant. Forgive me if that sort of talk comes off as changing the subject.

    Further, why is it that the defense mustered so far against my claim that jukebox was changing the subject is “ISIS includes ‘Iraq’ in the title”? Does that not strike anyone on first glance as a fairly weak justification to preach about everything being Bush’s fault?




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  71. PJ says:

    @munchbox:

    also under the things i know category…

    We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe—without swords, without guns, without conquest—will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.

    There isn’t a lot that you know.
    Facts about the muslim population in Europe




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  72. michael reynolds says:

    @munchbox:

    just wanted to clarify for the super slow folk.

    You think there’s someone here slower than you? That’s precious.




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  73. jukeboxgrad says:

    Tillman:

    You conveniently ignored the other three, claiming they were other changes of subject.

    Jenos’ statement about Ike in 1953 was his most obvious ‘change of subject,’ but his other statements were also “changes of subject” because they didn’t address my question.

    Does that not strike anyone on first glance as a fairly weak justification to preach about everything being Bush’s fault?

    Doug wrote this remarkable sentence:

    Much like post-Saddam Iraq and Syria before the uprising against Bashar Assad, Libya under Gaddafi was, at the very least, not a launching pad for massive international terrorist group.

    Jenos’ first comment in this thread was a response to that sentence. My first comment in this thread was a response to that comment by Jenos, and it was also a response to what Doug said.

    Doug’s sentence is remarkable because it implies that Iraq under Saddam was “a launching pad for massive international terrorist group.” That statement is conservative baloney, the opposite of the truth, and I addressed it. My statement about Iraq was a response to Doug’s statement about Iraq, which means I didn’t introduce the subject of Iraq.

    Doug is arguing that ISIS wouldn’t be in Libya if Gaddafi was still there, while simultaneously suggesting that the same logic does not apply regarding Iraq and Saddam. That’s wrong, and in a big way. Speaking up to point this out is not changing the subject.




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  74. jukeboxgrad says:

    munchbox:

    zero’s average spending = 22%

    By looking at the average you’re obscuring the trend (spending/GDP):

    Clinton’s most recent number: 17.6%.
    GWB’s most recent number: 24.4%.
    Obama’s most recent number: 20.3%.

    Under Bush that number went up. Under Obama that number went down. I know which of those two things looks more like fiscal conservatism.

    22%>21.6%

    Yes, Obama’s average (so far) is 0.4% higher than Reagan’s average. Does that 0.4% look like a big difference to you? It’s not. And according to current CBO projections, Obama’s 8-year average is going to be lower than Reagan’s 8-year average. Did you have a point?




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  75. Tillman says:

    @jukebox:

    Doug’s sentence is remarkable because it implies that Iraq under Saddam was “a launching pad for massive international terrorist group.” That statement is conservative baloney, the opposite of the truth, and I addressed it.

    Note that “post-Saddam Iraq” comes up in Doug’s post twice.

    First:

    Much like post-Saddam Iraq and Syria in the wake of the civil war that has been going on in that country for nearly four years now, these nations are breeding grounds for extremism and the lack of an effective central government makes it easy for terrorist groups and other criminal gangs to expand their influence quickly.

    And more importantly second:

    Much like post-Saddam Iraq and Syria before the uprising against Bashar Assad, Libya under Gaddafi was, at the very least, not a launching pad for massive international terrorist group. For all the problems the world had with him, Gaddafi was at most a minor nuisance.

    These uses of the same phrase are describing different comparisons: he is comparing post-Saddam Iraq to civil war-wracked Syria in being a breeding ground for terrorism, but comparing post-Saddam Iraq to Bashar al-Assad’s Syria three paragraphs later as the opposite. Going off what one can reasonably interpret from context, he meant to say “pre-Saddam Iraq” or, more accurately, “Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.” (Rafer pointed this out earlier in the thread.) He even says, in a final comparison absent the “post-Saddam” phrasing in the very next sentence after describing Gaddafi as a nuisance:

    In his wake, much like in the wake of Saddam Hussein, we seem to have created a monster that we may not have the ability to control.

    The context leads me to conclude he miswrote in the second instance. If you want to stick with what’s actually, incongruently written and write it off as sloppy conservative thinking, that’s your choice. However, to borrow from recent events for a metaphor, you seem to be of the mind that Obamacare should be invalidated because the language used by Congress was unclear, even though their intent can be divined from the context of other passages.

    As for Jenos not answering your question, I fail to see how he failed. You are certainly rejecting his answers, as is your right, but he answered the question.




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  76. jukeboxgrad says:

    If you want to stick with what’s actually, incongruently written and write it off as sloppy conservative thinking

    Doug is capable of all of the following:

    A) Sloppy writing
    B) Contradicting himself
    C) “sloppy conservative thinking”
    D) Regurgitating conservative nonsense, which is a variation of C

    You think that in this instance Doug did only A. That’s possible, but I think a better interpretation is All Of The Above. If he wants to speak up and untangle what he said, I’ll gladly reconsider my interpretation.

    he answered the question

    Jenos described my statement (ISIS exists because Bush removed Saddam) as “irrelevant twaddle.” But my statement is not “irrelevant” because we’re discussing the path of ISIS, and it’s not “twaddle” because it’s true. His answer did not address these problems. For example, he said this:

    Kadaffi was in power and a bad actor long before Saddam rose to power

    So what? Who cares? How is this “answered the question?” How is this relevant? It’s not. He also said this:

    we’re talking about North Africa here

    So what? Who cares? He also said this:

    the toppling of Saddam was a major factor in persuading Kadaffi to surrender his WMD program

    So what? This is another statement that doesn’t address what I said. Unless Jenos is trying to say this: ‘ISIS exists because Bush removed Saddam, but it was worth it because the result is no WMD in Libya.’ Really?




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  77. Tyrell says:

    @An Interested Party: “ISIS Growing At Warp Speed!” – CNN.
    Recent surveys show three out of four say give the president what he wants to fight ISIS. A large majority favor doing whatever it takes to defeat ISIS.




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  78. Tillman says:

    @jukebox: “So what? Who cares?”

    Question: what prevents this same response to your initial post? I had more written up, but the utter intellectual apathy of this response is leaving me incapable of debating you. “ISIS exists because Bush removed Saddam.” So what? Who cares? We were talking about Libya.




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  79. jukeboxgrad says:

    “ISIS exists because Bush removed Saddam.” So what? Who cares?

    Anyone who thinks that the origins and recent history of ISIS are relevant to a discussion about its current and future reality, in Libya or elsewhere.

    We were talking about Libya.

    For some strange reason Doug mentioned Iraq, repeatedly.




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  80. munchbox says:

    @junkie

    when you are wrong you are wrong…so what who cares…kinda sounds like your channeling your inner hillary…Did you have a point?




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  81. munchbox says:

    For some strange reason Doug mentioned Iraq, repeatedly.

    actually he doesn’t talk about Iraq at all…. and only mentions it in context of geography…i mean since you keep bringing it up.




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  82. bill says:

    maybe if they had some shovel ready jobs for them they’d just turn into “jamal six-pack” instead of bloodthirsty animals? where do we get these people anyways?




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