U.S. Launches Airstrikes Against ISIS In Syria

President Obama has opened a new front in his "war" against ISIS

Obama Syria

Late yesterday while most Americans were settling down to watch Monday Night Football or the season premier of the favorite television show, the United States began bombing ISIS targets in Syria:

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The United States and five Arab allies launched a wide-ranging air campaign against the Islamic State and at least one other extremist group in Syria for the first time early Tuesday, targeting the groups’ bases, training camps and checkpoints in at least four provinces, according to the United States military and Syrian activists.

The attacks struck a fierce opening blow against the jihadists of the Islamic State, scattering their forces and damaging the network of facilities they have built in Syria that helped fuel the group’s seizure of a large part of Iraq this year.

Separate from the attacks on the Islamic State, the United States Central Command, or Centcom, said that American forces acting alone “took action” against “a network of seasoned Al Qaeda veterans” from the Khorasan group in Syria to disrupt “imminent attack planning against the United States and Western interests.”

Officials did not reveal where or when such attacks might take place.

Al Qaeda cut ties with the Islamic State earlier this year because the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, disobeyed orders from Al Qaeda to fight only in Iraq. Just days ago, American officials said the Khorasan group, led by a shadowy figure who was once in Osama bin Laden’s inner circle, had emerged in the past year as the Syria-based cell most intent on launching a terror attack on the United States or on its installations overseas.

The latest campaign opened with multiple strikes before dawn that focused on the Islamic State’s de facto capital, the city of Raqqa, and on its bases in the surrounding countryside. Other strikes hit in the provinces of Deir al-Zour and Hasaka, whose oil wells the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, have exploited to finance its operations.

The extent of the damage caused by the strikes remained unclear. Centcom said the wave of fighter planes, bombers, drones and cruise missiles struck 14 targets linked to the Islamic State.

“All aircraft safely exited the strike areas,” the statement said.

Almost 50 cruise missiles were launched from two American vessels in the Red Sea and the north of the Persian Gulf, it said, adding that four other attacks were launched on militant targets in Iraq in the same period, bringing the total there to 194.

The intensity and scale of the strikes were greater than those launched by the United States in Iraq, where it has been bombing select Islamic State targets for months. The air campaign also marks the biggest direct military intervention in Syria since the crisis began more than three years ago.

Centcom identified the Arab states participating in the campaign as Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Their participation is seen as important to limit criticisms that the United States is waging war alone against Muslims. But their role varied between support for the strikes and participation, the military said.

The Jordanian Army said on Tuesday that it had carried out airstrikes against “terrorist groups” that were plotting to attack Jordan, according to Reuters.

In intervening in Syria, the United States is injecting its military might into a brutal civil war between the government of President Bashar al-Assad, the Islamic State and a range of rebel groups that originally took up arms to fight Mr. Assad but have also come to oppose the Islamic State.

It was unclear what effect the American-led strikes would have on the larger conflict.

On some level, of course, these attacks can hardly have come as a surprise. The Administration has been telegraphing the intention to attack ISIS in Syria for at least the past month, and President Obama said specifically in his speech nearly two weeks ago that the attacks would be coming. From a military point of view, of course, that means that there really was no element of surprise involved here, and there have been several reports in recent weeks that the group was moving men and equipment into civilian areas and otherwise taking steps to hide their most important assets in an effort to protect them from air attacks. How effective those efforts can be is questionable, of course, but at the very least is should mean that these airstrikes, and what follows, is unlikely to be sufficient to wipe ISIS out and may not necessarily do anything to seriously degrade their military position, which is of course the first part of President Obama’s “degrade and destroy” strategy that he announced in his White House speech. As has been noted before, any successful strategy against this group, especially in Syria, is going to require some level of ground combat forces, and since the Administration continues to insist that its plans will not require American ground combat forces, that means we have to rely on the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels. As I’ve noted before, it’s entirely unclear just how reliable these “moderates” are and just how dedicated they would be to fighting ISIS rather than taking aim at their principal target, which is of course the regime of Bashar Assad. Additionally, at this point these groups, such as the Free Syrian Army, don’t appear to be anywhere near ISIS in fighting strength, meaning that it could take upwards of a year to train and equip them to the point where they’d even be able to begin to bring the fight. Finally, as Zack Beauchamp notes at Vox, there’s little chance that any American military action in Syria is going to be sufficient to change the factors on the ground that strengthen ISIS or turn the tide to the extent that the so-called “moderates” will be able to reverse a tide of rising jihadist victories in Syria that have been going on for the past three years.

The other side important issue here, of course, is that the United States is now, effectively, aiding the regime of Bashar Assad in its civil war. The Administration will deny this, of course, and point to our support, now authorized by Congress, for the “moderate” Syrian rebels. However, when you start attacking the military assets of one of the most prominent parts of the rebel alliance that is fighting against the regime in Damascus, it’s hard to argue that your actions won’t, even in just some limited sense, have positive benefits for a regime that the President was talking about bombing just a year ago. This parallels our actions against ISIS in Iraq, of course, in the sense that our actions they are helping to strengthen Iran’s position both in the region and as a player in Iraqi domestic politics. What this suggests, of course, is that the end result of our war against ISIS is likely to be a Syria that, in the end, survives its civil war and an Iran that is even more influential in the region, both of which are likely to create their own forms of regional instability, not to mention concern on the part of the Saudis, the Gulf States, and the Jordanians.

As for the attacks themselves, it’s safe to assume that this is only the first round and that we’re likely to see the same kind of escalation that we have seen over the last six weeks in Iraq. Those attacks, you will recall started out as a supposed humanitarian effort and the need to protect Americans located in and around Kiruk, but have since quickly expanded to be a much broader attack on ISIS positions in the country. As it turns out, though, the attacks haven’t seemed to have much of an impact on ISIS itself:

BAGHDAD — After six weeks of American airstrikes, the Iraqi government’s forces have scarcely budged the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State from their hold on more than a quarter of the country, in part because many critical Sunni tribes remain on the sidelines.

Although the airstrikes appear to have stopped the extremists’ march toward Baghdad, the Islamic State is still dealing humiliating blows to the Iraqi Army. On Monday, the government acknowledged that it had lost control of the small town of Sichar and lost contact with several hundred of its soldiers who had been besieged for nearly a week at a camp north of the Islamic State stronghold of Falluja, in Anbar Province.

By midday, there were reports that hundreds of soldiers had been killed there in battle or mass executions. Ali Bedairi, a lawmaker from the governing alliance, said more than 300 soldiers had died after the loss of the base, Camp Saqlawiya. The prime minister ordered the arrest of the responsible officers, although a military spokesman put the death toll at just 40 and said 68 were missing.


Behind the government’s struggles on the battlefield is the absence or resistance of many of the Sunni Muslim tribes that officials in Baghdad and Washington hope will play the decisive role in the course of the fight — a slow start for the centerpiece of President Obama’s plan to drive out the militants.

The Sunni tribes of Anbar and other areas drove Qaeda-linked militants out of the area seven years ago with American military help, in what became known as the Sunni Awakening. But the tribes’ alienation from the subsequent authoritarian and Shiite-led government in Baghdad opened the door for the extremists of the Islamic State to return this year.

The foundation of the Obama administration’s plan to defeat the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is the installation of a new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, who has pledged to build a more responsive government and rebuild Sunni support. But, though at least some Sunni Arabs are fighting alongside the army in places like Haditha, influential Sunni sheikhs who helped lead the Awakening say they remain unconvinced.

“The Sunnis in Anbar and other provinces are facing oppression and discrimination by the government,” said Mohamed el-Bajjari, a sheikh in Anbar who is a spokesman for a coalition of tribes. “This government must be changed to form a technocratic government of nonsectarian secular people, or the battles and the anger of the Sunni people will continue.”

Sunni tribal leaders said they were already disappointed by [new Iraq prime minister Haider al-]Abadi, who has been hailed by President Obama as the face of a more inclusive government. They said that the military had not lived up to a pledge by the prime minister to discontinue shelling civilian areas in the battle against the Islamic State — an accusation that could not be confirmed. They also complained that the government had done nothing to reform abusive security forces, and that it continued to give a free hand to Iranian-backed Shiite militias whom Sunnis accuse of arbitrary killings.

“Hundreds of poor people are in prison without being convicted, and today we have the militias as well killing our people, while the military is bombing our cities with barrel bombs and random missiles,” Shiekh Bajjari said. “If we ever put down our weapons, the militias would come over and kill us all.”

Remind me again why we’re fighting this war?

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, National Security, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. stonetools says:

    Well here’s a link to a video of ISIS beheading a US citizen and 90 per cent of the US public thinks ISIS is a threat to America, so Obama couldn’t simply ignore ISIS. Doug, you have a chance now to lay out your brilliant long term plan to sort out the situation, so go:


  2. I’m not pretending that I have a plan.

    It’s also clear that the President doesn’t have one either.

  3. Scott says:

    I was glad to see the Sunni Arab states participating although how much remains to be seen. I suspect that the US basically threatened them by saying, “Either you participate or you deal with the consequences, one of which is a strengthened Iran.”

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    After six weeks of American airstrikes, the Iraqi government’s forces have scarcely budged the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State from their hold on more than a quarter of the country, in part because many critical Sunni tribes remain on the sidelines.

    Proving once again that what the President has said from the beginning is still true: The solution to this problem is a political one. Without that, nothing will “solve” it.

  5. Jack says:

    @Doug Mataconis: The president’s plan is to send a pair of Birkenstocks to all US military personnel to ensure there are no “Boots on the Ground” in Iraq or Syria.

  6. C. Clavin says:

    How effective those efforts can be is questionable, of course, but at the very least is should mean that these airstrikes, and what follows, is unlikely to be sufficient to wipe ISIS out and may not necessarily do anything to seriously degrade their military position

    Time will tell how effective Obama’s approach will be. So far we haven’t lost 3000 civilians on our homeland, or 4000 troops in combat, or wasted $2T in order to strengthen Iran…so he seems to be doing OK by comparison.
    As for your predictive abilities…
    ~Occupy, which you denegrated as little more than drum circles, changed the national economic discourse and inequality seems to be what Hillary is running on domestically.
    ~The Obamacare train never wrecked as you believed it would and is in fact succeeding quite nicely.
    Like I said…time will always tell….

  7. gVOR08 says:

    I don’t second guess Truman for dropping the atom bombs. Whether it was necessary or not, given the circumstances it was going to be done. Similarly, I cut Obama some slack, given that he’s bowing to the inevitability of doing something. That said, we’re bombing the Wahhabis, who are symbiotic with our supposed allies, the Saudi royal family, and by doing so we’re strengthening Assad and the Alawites who we supposedly want gone. Wonderful. Just fracking wonderful.

  8. C. Clavin says:

    Which would still be more effective than strutting around an aircraft carrier like a peacock with a codpiece.

  9. Scott says:

    It’s also clear that the President doesn’t have one either.

    I think he has a plan but it is to contain with minimal expenditure of our blood and treasure. Yes, it may not degrade and destroy but it will do the job.

    What annoys me more is that ISIS, with their beheadings and our hand-wringing Americans, pushed Obama into going in this directions. I wish he would just tell them to stuff it.

  10. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: This president would first need a piece in order to need a codpiece.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jack: Heh. Made me laugh.

  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Baloney. It’s clear the President has a rational plan: contain, degrade and eventually ISIL withers and dies, nibbled from all sides. You may not like it but it’s just nonsense to say he has no plan.

    This was also one hell of a bit of diplomacy getting the Arabs to show up for their own rescue mission and cleverly synching it to the UN meeting. Kudos to Secretary Kerry.

  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    Realy you’ve all had weeks to think about it, so how about your own plans. Come up with something better. So far I’ve seen nothing from Mataconis or any of the other sideline whiners.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jack: Obviously your knowledge of the male anatomy is lacking.

  15. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Oh I think the President does have a plan. It’s just not the type of plan that the armchair strategists would like. It’s essentially a strategy of containment: limit and check any power that threatens to disrupt the status quo in the Middle East. Last year it was Iran, now it’s ISIS, next year who knows?
    The President is coupling that with rhetoric that talks about destruction and final victory, but as you well know, Doug, he has to to employ such rhetoric or he would be attacked as being defeatist by your preferred party, the Republicans. Now liberals and realists are wringing their hands about such rhetoric, as it suggests committing US troops, but that is not going to happen on Obama’s watch, IMO.

  16. C. Clavin says:

    Republicans have a problem with both male and female anatomy.

  17. Jack says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m simply implying that Obama doesn’t have the necessary equipment inside his mom jeans.

  18. C. Clavin says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Come up with something better. So far I’ve seen nothing from Mataconis or any of the other sideline whiners.

    Of course not…not on this, or health care, or the economy, or anything they typically whine about. They have no workable ideas…other than tax cuts for the rich and controlling the reproductive organs of women and preserving the right of children to shoot their playmates in the face.

  19. Mikey says:

    A good friend of mine is currently undergoing cancer treatment for a tumor in his brain. The strategy at this point is treatment with a drug called Avastin that starves the tumor of blood supply and causes it to shrink. Once it has shrunk enough (and according to a recent MRI it is shrinking, thank goodness), they will go in and cut out what remains.

    It strikes me that the President’s strategy re: ISIS/ISIL is very similar, which seems appropriate given the cancer-like nature of that organization. The airstrikes and other allied actions will contain and shrink the “tumor” and eventually a force will be able to root out and destroy what’s left.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jack: I know what you think you are implying but your logic is lacking. The only reason one would need a codpiece is because the piece is lacking. But I guess you could not figure that out. As to his not having the necessary equipment or not, again sir, I suggest you start with Anatomy 101. Than again, maybe remedial English is where you should begin?

  21. Slugger says:

    I have previously commented here that the fighting against some group in Iraq/Syria and not fighting (or even supporting) others is more about internal American politics than some grand plan for world order. That is the reason it makes so little sense when regarded from a global strategic perspective. Inside the US, the President is called on to show “strength” and be tough like Putin and Netanyahu. In this very comment thread, people are talking about Obama’s “piece.” As long as many Americans use reproductive equipment metaphors as surrogates for choosing policy, we will get politicians who will fulfill these fantasies. You get the leaders you deserve, and people who are disposed to favoring teenage testicular posturing can not be surprised when their leaders turn out to be pricks.

  22. Jack says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Cod, from the middle English meaning scrotum

    It functions in the same manner as an athletic cup, to protect the family jewels. Again, mom jeans wearing Obama does not have the necessary equipment to cover with a codpiece.

    Maybe it’s you that need the English lesson, hmmm?

  23. C. Clavin says:

    you stupid fvck…a codpiece…like in Bush’s flight suit on MIssion Accomplished Day…is not used to protect but to accentuate.
    So basically…you are claiming that Obama is a eunuch?
    OK then…I guess that’s just about as fact-based as the rest of your claims.

  24. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Jack:

    Codpieces were initially used simply as coverage; subsequently, usage evolved until they were used both for protection and for emphasis, the former being more true of armor codpieces and the latter of those worn with more formal attire.

  25. C. Clavin says:
  26. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Clavin, you ignorant Douche. That is exactly what I am saying about Obama.

    However, the original purpose of the codpiece was to protect, not accentuate, you mental midget.

  27. C. Clavin says:


    That is exactly what I am saying about Obama.

    Got a link?

  28. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Hillary has more need for a codpiece than Obama.

  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    So we’re sticking with wimpy Obama despite the bombing? I assumed you people would be off on your tyrant Obama rants by now. You’d better check in with Red State because I suspect you’re off-message.

  30. C. Clavin says:

    So you got nothing?
    You could have just said that.

  31. Jack says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Even a woman such as Hillary or Obama could order an airstrike. You seem to think you can’t be a wuss and a tyrant. I believe Hitler had mommy issues among other physical and mental shortcomings, yet he was definitely a tyrant.

    Tyranny is the end result of weak people coming to power.

  32. Ron Beasley says:

    The army base in Iraq’s western Anbar province had been under siege by Islamic State militants for a week, so when a convoy of armored Humvees rolled up at the gate, the Iraqi soldiers at Camp Saqlawiyah believed saviors had arrived.

    But this was no rescue attempt. The vehicles were driven by militants on suicide missions, and within seconds on Sunday the base had become a bloody scene of multiple bombings.

    We spent billions training and equipping the Iraq and what did we get? Nothing!

  33. C. Clavin says:

    And it takes a real man with a codpiece to send 4000 troops to their death for absolutely no reason? What a maroon.

  34. DonVito says:

    Kill all these Scumbags!! All this crap about an exit plan is nonsense. How many wars actually have exit plans? how many wars actually got according to plan? As a Republican, I support the president. I hope to see our Arab allies with boots on the ground fighting these animals. As Barnes said in Platoon, we need every swinging dick out there.

  35. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: You need a fact checker…you codpiece.

  36. Michael Reynolds says:

    So your ignorance of history matches your ignorance of current events. You lower the IQ of any room you enter dude.

  37. C. Clavin says:

    And seriously…where does that get you?
    Are you suggesting we just take over the entirety of the MIddle East?
    As many swinging dicks as we can muster is not a plan.
    How many dead troops are you willing to accept?
    How much money are you willing to spend?

  38. stonetools says:


    Are we really going on and on arguing about codpieces and penises in a thread about international diplomacy? Seriously?
    Time to move on, folks.
    So Obama’s critics can’t come up with a better plan, huh?
    Well, in the absence of evidence that there IS a better plan, we should conclude that Obama’s plan is the best available. Thanks, Doug, for being honest about you having nothing better than the President’s plan. At least you were more honest than the other naysayers on this thread.

  39. Mikey says:


    Are we really going on and on arguing about codpieces and penises in a thread about international diplomacy? Seriously?

    Do you think codpieces and penises aren’t important in international diplomacy? At least figuratively…

    Well, in the absence of evidence that there IS a better plan, we should conclude that Obama’s plan is the best available.

    It probably is. Even if it isn’t the best available, it’s the best that’s both available and viable given current political realities. If the desired end-state is utter destruction of ISIS, it might be quicker and more effective to send the 82nd Airborne and a Ranger battalion, but that’s not going to happen, and the President’s strategy provides containment, attrition of ISIS, and minimal risk to American forces. Recruitment of Arab allies adds some capability and a good deal of credibility.

  40. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Isolation does not work. I know you are on here every day, all day with the same message that
    Dems are good and the GOP is evil, but the world is more complex than that.

    No one is suggesting taking over the Middle East, but serious action is needed immediately. I dont care about what should have been done or the exact plans, but that action is being taken by the president. Millions of people are at risk. Oil is at risk. Yeah, I said it, OIL. Like it or not, the worlds economy can be controlled by these animals if they spread to Saudi Arabia.

    Maybe you should watch this video below or better you should check out of this conversation.
    This is not a partisan issue.


  41. Neil Hudelson says:

    Just so we are clear:

    40% of this thread has been a discussion as to what genitalia the president does or does not have, and the enormity of said genitalia.

  42. C. Clavin says:


    serious action is needed immediately


    Millions of people are at risk.

    Are they Americans?

    Oil is at risk.

    How much? What’s the risk?
    Look, I understand that you and Butters are really, really scared. And 60 Minutes gets ratings by scaring you. Now, I don’t watch 60 Minutes but I’m willing to bet they did a lot of pieces about Saddam being a threat to the US. But here’s the thing…being scared is the wrong mindset in which to make rational decisions.
    I am not an anti-interventionist….but I am also not for wasting blood and treasure needlessly.
    And I’ve never said Republicans are evil…just stupid.

  43. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @Neil Hudelson: It is a modern “conservative” trait to devolve any discussion to latent pent-up homoerotica. The rate at which this occurs suggests some revision to how many actual gay men there are in America.

    Well, crap, I just added to it, didn’t I?

    More on topic, the President most certainly has a plan. Ridiculous “shock and awe” with not enough troops, based on lies and executed with torture just doesn’t happen to be it.

  44. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You are an isolationist and that’s fine if you just want to post on here all day complaining. Real problems need real solutions. I guess you don’t care about millions of Arabs because they are not Americans . Maybe we should just let them die horribly. I get my news from several sources which include the Diplomat, Der spiegel, Atlantic Council, Al-Monitor, etc. This way I get a true understanding instead of reflexive liberal isolationist views that you possess. I Can’t help you if you don’t want to Read. I know you’re an Obama fan or were one at one time, but maybe you can appreciate how serious this is if he is acting. Isn’t this the same guy who Voted against the Iraq War in 2003?

  45. bobnoxious says:

    @Neil Hudelson: you are not using the word ‘enormity’ correctly

  46. Jack says:

    “the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”–Obama, 2008

  47. Jack says:

    “The biggest problems that were facing right now have to do with [the president] trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America,” – Obama, 2008.

  48. Jack says:

    “I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton

  49. Neil Hudelson says:


    You are right. Apparently I’ve been using it wrong most of my life. Thanks!

  50. michael reynolds says:

    This thread perfectly summarizes the opposition to Mr. Obama. You’ve got the lazy pundit regurgitating conventional wisdom he’s made no effort to parse, and a moron who thinks policy is a function of penis size. They’ve covered the entire range from smugly ignorant to batcrap crazy.

  51. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: Jane you ignorant slut!

    I in no way inferred or otherwise suggested that policy is a function of penis size. I simply said that Obama does not have the necessary equipment to need a codpiece.

    Your head on the other hand…please cover that with a codpiece.

  52. DonVito says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What did you expect? This site is just cut and paste by the authors. Has there been an original article on here or is just commentary on other peoples articles and daily polls where people get into stupid arguments over?

    i also dont really get the criticism either by many commentators. As a Republican, i actually support the president on this and am willing to give him a lot of leeway on this. This isn’t something you put a deadline one. I like the fact that we have some of these Arab countries behind us. It shows how serious this situation is. are there other countries that don’t want us there aside from Iran which basically wants to use this situation to partner with us in exchange for us easing up on their nuclear ambitions.

  53. C. Clavin says:

    He didn’t have a vote on the Iraq war…he did speak out against it.
    Not wanting to run all over the world with what you call “big dicks swinging”…wasting the lives of our troops and the money of our citizens for no reason…is not the same as being an isolationist. I want to be smart. You want to base our approach on a movie you saw.
    I think the current course of diplomacy and isolated bombing is fine. Mr Kerry is doing a fine job. My fear is escalation because you and Butters are so damn scared of your own shadows.

  54. As it turns out, though, the attacks haven’t seemed to have much of an impact on ISIS itself

    Since the stated goal is to attack ISIS in a way that doesn’t benefit Bashar Al-assad, aren’t we by definition pretty much limited to attacks that don’t have much of an impact on ISIS?

  55. DonVito says:

    There is a REASON. Saving LIves and OIL .. That’s it. Jordan, a key Arab will fall easily to ISIS
    if the US doesn’t stop them. i know you dont care about that in your idiotic isolationist views but it would be awful for the rest of the world. Stop being an ignorant isolationist and realize the US can not ignore the rest of the world. Take a page from Obama. You’re like Candidate Obama in wanting to drag the US our of everywhere and to close GITMO. President Obama though realizes how FUBAR things are in the world and is acting appropriately. Why else is he doing this? HE’s done running for office. Have some faith in the guy you supported for years and stop acting like the US just put 100,000 troops on the ground.

  56. Guarneri says:

    How many brand new terrorists has our bombing created so far?

  57. C. Clavin says:

    That’s the same total friggin’ nonsense that got us into Iraq. Let me guess…you supported invading and occupying Iraq. Sorry if I’m not terrified like you are.
    You understand the idea behind terrorism, right? It is the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. Why are you letting them terrorize you?

    stop acting like the US just put 100,000 troops on the ground.

    I do have faith in the President. I’m only reacting to you suggesting we go in with “big dicks swinging”. I don’t have faith in people like you who will want to escalate this for no reason except that you have wet your panties.

  58. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Oh, i was wondering how long it was going to take you to start talking about Bush. it really pains
    you that Obama is acting how those evil criminals Bush & Cheney would. He’s made a lot of changes.. Oh thats Hope and Change. i guess its not what you thought it’d be huh! Being president isn’t easy is it? Maybe Joe Biden has the answers or Elizabeth Warren…

    btw, don’t need a lesson on terrorism either. I live in NJ, lost friends on 9/11. I know all about it. We have real serious threats in NYC where I work. i ride train every day. where are you based?

  59. Robert C says:

    What percentage of Americans still think Iraq had WMD and that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9-11. Garbage in, garbage out.


  60. Grewgills says:

    and now we see you back peddle and lie, congrats on the trifecta. Now for your prize you can take a vacation somewhere off this little part of the internet.

  61. michael reynolds says:

    Actually Mr. Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do in 2008. He’s allowing no safe haven for terrorists. He ran on sending drones into Pakistan and other states that fail to control their territory. He ran on attacking terrorists wherever they are for which John McCain attacked him. Yes, that McCain.

  62. Rafer Janders says:


    Isn’t this the same guy who Voted against the Iraq War in 2003?

    No, it’s not. Obama didn’t become a US Senator until 2005.

  63. Jack says:

    @Grewgills: Fvck off. If I lied then quote me, you mental midget.

  64. Grewgills says:

    I wish our military containment strategy were more limited, particularly in Syria, but if the extent of our military action there is from the air with some limited special forces support for the air on the ground I won’t be too fussed.
    I do hope we are finding out which individuals are funding IS and working to freeze their international assets. I don’t imagine we are getting much support on that from from SA.

  65. stonetools says:


    We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton

    Debate means intelligent argument , analysis, and putting forward fact -based policy alternatives. So now is your chance, Jack. What’s your better alternative to Obama’s plan?


    Time to put up or shut up. Remember Benjamin Frankin: “Any fool can criticize: and often does”. Now’s your chance to show you are more than that.

  66. C. Clavin says:

    Wow…you’re becoming more and more unhinged in every comment.
    Obama is exactly what he said he would be.
    Of course I’m talking about Bush…he helped cause this mess!!!
    I also live in the tri-state area and I also lost people on 9.11. But I’m not wetting my pants like you and Butters are.

  67. Jack says:

    @stonetools: So, you get to decide what valid debate and disagreement is? Fvck off. The moment you stop blaming Bush Jr. for everything but the death of the dinosaurs, I’ll start filling out your little forms, you douchenozzel.

  68. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You’re FOS. You dont live around here and I know you don’t work either. No one could hold any type of job posting on this site all day and night. Keep blaming Bush for everything moron.

    Its also hilarious that you think Obama is exactly what he said he would be. I think even most Democrats would passionately disagree. id make a list but I dont have as much time on my hands as you do. Maybe you’ll actually read this but probably not.


  69. C. Clavin says:


    You’re FOS. You dont live around here and I know you don’t work either.

    OK…time to take your meds, sweetie.

  70. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Cool, send me a postcard from wherever you are you in your small hole of the world
    Please also Get a JOB too and spare us all your incessant posting all day.

  71. C. Clavin says:

    Question…how do you have the time to keep responding???
    Facts…I live in the tri-state area and am in the 97th percentile of income.
    Have a fine day…but it’ll be better if you get back on your meds.

  72. michael reynolds says:

    Probably not useful to attack someone for posting all day as you post all day.

    I assure you that I have a job of sorts. It’s in another window. Computers are fun that way.

  73. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    ive been on this site for maybe 3 weeks and see you in every post. Its pathetic and you’re usually in a fight against someone. Every article comes with your expert opinion on everything. It doesnt matter what its about either. I guess its my turn today. 97% is even more pathetic lie. me, i work evenings. Asian Pacific exchange. whats your excuse other than being unemployed?

  74. Neil Hudelson says:


    No one could hold any type of job posting on this site all day and night.

    You posted here 7 times in 200 minutes…

  75. DonVito says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I didn’t know i needed an arbiter, but thanks. Ive been on this site 3 weeks.. I’ve commented on maybe 5-6 articles. I do not comment on most articles. there are quite a few I either don’t have an interest in or don’t have a deep knowledge of. In my limited time here, I’ve noticed a few things, one is the redundancy of Clavin’s posts and his intolerance of other peoples views. If you have the time and inclination, you can look at my previous posts and see what I’m taking about.

  76. DonVito says:

    @Neil Hudelson: @Neil Hudelson:

    OK Neil. I didnt realize the enormity of the posts. i also work evenings. Asian Pacific exchange.

  77. C. Clavin says:

    My first response to you was a couple question about your view…

    “Kill all the scumbags” and “we need every swinging dick out there”

    ….to which you have conspicuously failed to respond.
    I have two computer screens with multiple windows and platforms open on each screen.
    However it’s true…a weakness…I do tend to get drawn in by trolls.

  78. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Thanks for taking my quote out of context.

    My exact quote was ” I hope to see our Arab allies with boots on the ground fighting these animals. As Barnes said in Platoon, we need every swinging dick out there”

    Any logical person can see that I was specifically referring to our allies and the Arab soldiers fighting. Every swinging dick refers to our Arab allies who never actually send in troops but will in this operation. There is absolutely no suggestion that American troops should be sent in like the previous Iraq war. In the future, please read other people posts before reflexively responding.

  79. C. Clavin says:

    If you don’t like being questioned on your views…which is clear because you failed to answer questions about your views…then perhaps you should question your views.

  80. michael reynolds says:

    Personally I’d like to see you comment more often. I hope you won’t feel that you can’t. Disagreement is good.

  81. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Which would still be more effective than strutting around an aircraft carrier like a peacock with a codpiece.

    Bush wore a standard-issue flight suit, which is designed for very specific purposes and not for “strutting around.” Your denigrating it shows either your ignorance, your fixations, or both.

  82. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    But to the topic at hand: this is what is known as “a good start.” And with Congress being currently out of session, the kind of situation the War Powers Act covers.

    Here’s hoping that Obama continues on, and chooses to “act consistent with” the War Powers Act, as his predecessors from the past 40 years have done so, and doesn’t just say “it doesn’t apply because I say so,” like he did with Libya.

  83. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    You were there? Do you have pictures of the fitting? Can you provide a link that definitively proves this?
    Or are you just making stuff up per usual?

  84. DonVito says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Thank you Michael. I’ve noticed that you are a respected person on here and I look forward to further discussions with you. Many of us Republicans especially in the Northeast are not Tea Party extremists. We’re mostly moderate Republicans which I know doesn’t exist much these days.
    I disagree with the president on many things, but I fully support his actions in the Mideast.

  85. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Cliffy, don’t be more of an idiot than usual.

    Here’s a picture of Bush with his flight crew. Note the same suits on all three.

    Nothing to say on topic, though? Quelle surprise.

  86. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yeah, what looks like a codpiece is caused by how he’s wearing his parachute harness. During flight it would be connected to the parachute contained in the aircraft’s ejection seat. When wearing the harness, it is very wise to pull one’s wedding tackle as far forward as possible, because getting a nut caught under the harness is very painful indeed.

  87. Grewgills says:


    This president would first need a piece in order to need a codpiece.

    I’m simply implying that Obama doesn’t have the necessary equipment inside his mom jeans.

    Even a woman such as Hillary or Obama could order an airstrike.

    I in no way inferred or otherwise suggested that policy is a function of penis size. I simply said that Obama does not have the necessary equipment to need a codpiece.

    So yes, you clearly did say that policy and his supposed tyranny was a function of his lack of penis/manliness. You add nothing to the discussion other than petty partisan whining, insults, and vague misogyny and bigotry. The comments section here would be a much more productive place with you gone.

  88. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Apparently, besides being a Bush sycophant, you also cannot read.

  89. stonetools says:


    OK, so not interested in showing yourself not just a criticizing fool. Must admit not surprised.

  90. the Q says:

    This whole “Iraq army must stand up for itself” sure sounds a lot like “Vietnamization” circa 1974. We withdrew our troops and Nixon and Kissinger washed our hands and let it go.

    ARVN meet Iraqi Army….in both cases we spent a decade and trillions to “train” the local militias on how to run when the enemy invades. And it worked, unlike any thing else related to these two wars.

    Expect the same outcome.

    We were involved in a “long twilight struggle” and Vietnam was seen as the key to stopping the dominos.

    So wingnuts, what happened? Did the Viet Cong invade LA or NY or was THAT war a total waste? Did we lose the Cold War because of the fall of Saigon in 75? Did the “Russkies” take over Berlin and Munich and Amsterdam because we falied to stop the Commies and looked weak in the process?

    Some believe that Vietnam prolonged the Cold War by diverting US resources and sowing domestic turmoil. We could have beaten them a decade earlier, but were weakend by the Vietnam war.

    Same is true about Bush/Cheney’s Iraqa debacle. Its like one of those parachutists that jumps out of the plane and realizes half way down his chute is on the plane. At this point, you might as well enjoy the tragedy.

    Bush and Cheney jumped from the plane with no chute and that original sin in no way can be gainsayed by the wingnut apologists.

    All our options are colored by this singular, gross incompetence.

  91. Steve V says:

    @DonVito: Yes, please comment more! People like Jack make conservatives look bad, the site needs more conservatives who actually have something to say.

  92. Dave says:

    @the Q: Like a lot of people, I’ve been thinking about the parallels. Yep, Obama as LBJ. Sigh … just make it go away.

  93. JohnMcC says:

    @Mikey: I was going to point out that the parachute harness was the ‘codpiece’; thanks for making the point. Most guys find it very damn uncomfortable to walk around with the thing hanging off their back and take them off pretty quick. One suspects that the triumphant walk across the flight deck with arms and hands free to wave took priority. Focusing on the anatomy (by both opponents and supporters of Mr Bush) has always seemed amazingly immature to me.

    @DonVito: Is it worth asking ‘how did that work out for Sgt Barnes?’ I bet there are a whole lot of Americans who were rooting for PFC Taylor there by the end of that movie.

  94. DonVito says:


    Platoon is one of my all time favorite movies. There’s no ambiguity in the characters especially Barnes. The specific line I was referring to was near the end of the movie when Sgt O’Neill based on his “friendship” with Barnes asks to go on leave right before the battle that wipes out a lot of the platoon. Barnes tells him that he needs every swinging dick out there. I meant to use that as a comparison to our Arab Allies who are always ready to provide logistics but don’t actually ever fight. As for as characters, my favorite has to be King. He has
    some of the best lines.

    @Steve V:

    Thanks Steve. I look forward to seeing you here in the future.

  95. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: You did notice that it was Cliffy who first disregarded the topic at hand and made it all about Cliffy’s obsession with Bush’s crotch, right? Or are you part of the group that blissfully ignores all of Cliffy’s random BS and frothy outbursts of rage?

  96. Pharoah Narim says:

    @the Q: Glad someone finally noticed. This whole thing is blatantly staged. The be-headings, news reports showing the menacing Arab horde, statements from senior officials on how dangerous they are. Seriously, why doesn’t someone ask how this group expects to project world power. Car bombs? Sleeper cell attacks? Give me break….if those were in the works, Air Strikes 10K miles away would accelerate them not eliminate them. Do they have a navy, air force? How strong is their Army? Why would these people have an interest in blatantly baiting the West’s involvement against their cause with these high profile news spectacles? This is nothing by a campaign to keep US taxpayer money pumping in people’s pockets. This “organization” is nothing….we can do nothing and they will be nothing next week, next year, next decade. Once Americans get numb to this boogeyman….they’ll create another and trot it out.