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War in Iraq - inevitable?

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Posted: 06/18/2014 2:29 PM

War in Iraq - inevitable? 


I don't like to make predictions like this but...

the oil fields are threatened and some are already under attack or have been seized.   I predict US military action in the next 72 hours short of another full scale invasion.   If President Obama blinks, Congress might call a special session to force a decision on invasion.
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Posted: 06/18/2014 3:45 PM

Re: War in Iraq - inevitable? 


I can see air strikes, but not combat forces on the ground to protect oil fields. That is too slippery a slope and I don't think Congress would Ok it.
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Posted: 06/18/2014 4:03 PM

Re: War in Iraq - inevitable? 



GrayhairedCard wrote: I can see air strikes, but not combat forces on the ground to protect oil fields. That is too slippery a slope and I don't think Congress would Ok it.
congress doesn't have to okay it.  The authorization hasn't expired IIRC. 

The issue is that President Obama won't use the power anyway.
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Posted: 06/18/2014 5:04 PM

Re: War in Iraq - inevitable? 


It should not have come to this. We had many different options other than allowing the situation to deteriorate to this point.

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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Posted: 06/18/2014 5:32 PM

What to Do in Iraq 



Genuine Realist wrote: It should not have come to this. We had many different options other than allowing the situation to deteriorate to this point.
To GR and all: I am not very interested in hearing what everyone thinks we should have done but would like to hear exactly what you would do now to achieve what specific goals at what projected cost and with what predicted end game.

Last edited 06/18/2014 5:37 PM by standfan

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Posted: 06/18/2014 5:40 PM

Re: War in Iraq - inevitable? 


I don't think Congress calls a special session for war and certainly not boots on the ground.

Here is a poll showing a big majority against military intervention:

http://www.publicpolicypolling...raqPollMemo.pdf

There is no way Congress is going against public opinion like that to put soliders in harms way.
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Posted: 06/18/2014 6:09 PM

Re: War in Iraq - inevitable? 


I don't think anything is going to come from the US other than tactical support.  No boots on the ground, no bombing.  Not going to choose sides in a Shia-Sunni battle.  The only thing I can see is the Kurds firming up their position on northern Iraq oilfields and perhaps finally splitting off from the rest of Iraq.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
---Hunter S. Thompson

 

I'm willing to admit that I may not always be right, but I am never wrong.

---Samuel Goldwyn

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Posted: 06/18/2014 6:21 PM

Iran taking over Iraq - inevitable? 


alas, the better question at this point...

nature abhors a vacuum... I agree, we're not going in...

but bet your sweet bippy Iran will

Last edited 06/18/2014 6:22 PM by FrankO

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Posted: 06/18/2014 6:25 PM

Re: What to Do in Iraq 


Did you ever hear the old adage, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it'?  I think everyone benefits from a discussion about how we got to where we are.  By the way, did you catch the Cheney interview on FNC?  Megan Kelly, the best opinion journalist on TV just raked him over the coals a bit.  He didn't seem to mind too much.  Comes with the territory if you're secure enough in your own skin to risk making a mistake.
standfan wrote:......To GR and all: I am not very interested in hearing what everyone thinks we should have done but would like to hear exactly what you would do now to achieve what specific goals at what projected cost and with what predicted end game.
Here's a toast with one last pour, may it last forever plus a minute more;
May fortune sing you her sweet song; to live and love way past long
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Posted: 06/18/2014 8:22 PM

So the US has energy security now? 


Read Cramer.
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Posted: 06/18/2014 9:31 PM

Exactly, right now, specific, cost, end game 


Military operations rarely have exact timelines, with specific known costs and packaged outcomes.  Leaving aside the "would have, could have, should have" scenario, in the short term our only viable military option is to strike ISIS concentrations.  That's a pretty poor target set; they are now embedded in civilian populations.  No way to isolate them out with airstrikes.   We can get a ten here, twenty there, but nothing significant.  

In the long term, the American public needs an explanation as to why it is in America's strategic interest to be forward deployed and strategically engaged, and why American isolationism leads to more problems, not less.  

If a stable, unified nation state of Iraq is a core strategic interest of the United States, then the President needs to explain that to the American people and convince them to support a policy dedicated to that. 

I think that is impossible for this President - on a substantive basis, I don't think he gets it; I don't think he can explain something he doesn't understand; see red lines discussion from last year in Syria.  On a political basis, he has spent the last decade saying that America has no core strategic interest in Iraq, and should get out and stay out and pivot to Asia.  

So I think the net outcome will be, a lot of sturm and drang, but no action.  We'll spin in place to give the appearance of due diligence, and ignore the problem and hope it stabilizes.  







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Posted: 06/18/2014 9:54 PM

Re: What to Do in Iraq 



rjnwmill wrote: Did you ever hear the old adage, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it'?  I think everyone benefits from a discussion about how we got to where we are.  By the way, did you catch the Cheney interview on FNC?  Megan Kelly, the best opinion journalist on TV just raked him over the coals a bit.  He didn't seem to mind too much.  Comes with the territory if you're secure enough in your own skin to risk making a mistake.
standfan wrote:......To GR and all: I am not very interested in hearing what everyone thinks we should have done but would like to hear exactly what you would do now to achieve what specific goals at what projected cost and with what predicted end game.
So you're saying we shouldn't forget that we spent 10 years and a trillion dollars and sacrificed thousands of American lives without being able to create a stable Iraq. Fair enough, but what are we supposed to do then?
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Posted: 06/18/2014 9:59 PM

We aren't choosing sides in a Sunni / Shia battle 


We're choosing sides between a Sunni terrorist organization and a corrupt Shia poltiical administration.  That's an easy choice, IMO.  
dpbrewster wrote: I don't think anything is going to come from the US other than tactical support.  No boots on the ground, no bombing.  Not going to choose sides in a Shia-Sunni battle.  The only thing I can see is the Kurds firming up their position on northern Iraq oilfields and perhaps finally splitting off from the rest of Iraq.
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Posted: 06/18/2014 10:08 PM

Re: Exactly, right now, specific, cost, end game 



navy9t1 wrote: Military operations rarely have exact timelines, with specific known costs and packaged outcomes.  Leaving aside the "would have, could have, should have" scenario, in the short term our only viable military option is to strike ISIS concentrations.  That's a pretty poor target set; they are now embedded in civilian populations.  No way to isolate them out with airstrikes.   We can get a ten here, twenty there, but nothing significant.  

In the long term, the American public needs an explanation as to why it is in America's strategic interest to be forward deployed and strategically engaged, and why American isolationism leads to more problems, not less.  

If a stable, unified nation state of Iraq is a core strategic interest of the United States, then the President needs to explain that to the American people and convince them to support a policy dedicated to that. 

I think that is impossible for this President - on a substantive basis, I don't think he gets it; I don't think he can explain something he doesn't understand; see red lines discussion from last year in Syria.  On a political basis, he has spent the last decade saying that America has no core strategic interest in Iraq, and should get out and stay out and pivot to Asia.  

So I think the net outcome will be, a lot of sturm and drang, but no action.  We'll spin in place to give the appearance of due diligence, and ignore the problem and hope it stabilizes.  







A nice response Navy and certainly true to a significant degree. But when does the lack of "exact timelines, with specific known costs and packaged outcomes" slip into the quagmire of a long-term occupation with no clear path to a successful outcome.

For all the sturm and drang coming out of the Cheney camp, very little in the way of a detailed proposal and a case for that proposal has been presented to the American people.When the neo-cons started the war, the justifications were a flavor of the month club and the projected cost and timeline were complete fantasies. Rjwnmill(pirate) and I are insisting on more this time.

From where I sit, ISIS needs to be curtailed but the better option seems to be providing limited support (e.g., air strikes, recon, and arms) but letting the Shias fight their own battle on the ground.

I need to be convinced that a stable unified Iraq can be achieved at a reasonable cost (and one of the costs is that a long-term occupation damages our standing throughout most of the Muslim world). One of the great strengths of the American democracy is the prevailing principle of separation of church and state. (Don't get me started on Santorum, et al.) The historical circumstances that gave rise to this principle and the tolerance and peaceful co-existence it fosters may not be unique but certainly do not exist at this time in Iraq and may not exist for several generations.

Last edited 06/18/2014 10:57 PM by standfan

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Posted: 06/18/2014 10:19 PM

Re: War in Iraq - inevitable? 


I just saw on the news Obama wants Maliki to resign. I disagree- just elect presidents for the Sunni and Kurd sections. The mistrust seems toxic not to be resolved soon.
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Posted: 06/18/2014 11:08 PM

Re: War in Iraq - inevitable? 


Divide up Iraq.  It's not a new idea in terms of separating tribes and sects.   We did it in Yugoslavia the hard way but eventually it was the only choice.   These are brutal times in Iraq (again). 
ichibanfan wrote: I just saw on the news Obama wants Maliki to resign. I disagree- just elect presidents for the Sunni and Kurd sections. The mistrust seems toxic not to be resolved soon.
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Posted: 06/18/2014 11:21 PM

Re: Exactly, right now, specific, cost, end game 


I'm not a military guy, but I do believe that acceptance of any sort of status quo with ISIS is out of the question. We cannot coexist with fanatics that use pre-medieval punishments - curicifiction, for God's sake - and mass murder. About the only good thing in this cluster - - - - is that the group is so extreme that they embarrass 'respectable' Fundamentalists. So some organized response from the region can be expected.

Western troops are not going to go back there - it's politically impossible and obscures the scandal these famnatics cause to the vast majority of Muslims. 

I'll write at greater length the reasons why I believe the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars made sense despite the risk of developmentrs like this - basically, a comparison with the way history was trending if they had not happened, and the need for some decisive action to reverse the trends completely. But this present state of affairs was not inevitable. The US and Iraq had achieved a high measure of stability by 2010, with a very promising fledgling demoicracy, certainly with no worse prospects than the United States in its early years (you might recall this nation was beset with two cultures, which turned out to be irreconcilable peaceably). 

But it needed some attention, at the least.political pressure and appropriate assistance to the moderate elements in the Syrian rebellion.

I don't know whether a unified Iraq can be achieved or not. I think so, based on the way events developed between 2007 and 2010.  But I'll give an explanation in the form of another chess anecdote. Years ago, I attended a lecture by the Danish Grandmaster Bent Larsen, at that time the second strongest player in the West behind Fischer. He was demonstrating one of his brilliancies, came to the critical move, turned to the audience, and said he couldn't give a concrete tactical justification for the move. 'The reason I played it?' he said. 

'Every other move was worse.'

Pretty much the way I felt in 2003 (after the fact) and now. It is always a choice of evils.

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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Posted: 06/18/2014 11:30 PM

Was Dick Cheney clueless? 


EJ thinks so...

So much of our Middle East policy has been predicated on some kind of post-WW2 reconstruction phase but it's hard to find evidence of it working in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Maybe democracy and peace are simply not possible in the Muslim world?  Yugoslavia fractured after Tito was gone.   I see no other way for Iraq to survive but to be carved up.

Last edited 06/18/2014 11:33 PM by Pasadena2000

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Posted: 06/19/2014 12:12 AM

Blame the Empire 


Iraq was an accident from the very beginning.

www.thedailybeast.com/articles...ented-iraq.html
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Posted: 06/19/2014 4:20 AM

Re: Exactly, right now, specific, cost, end game 



standfan wrote:

For all the sturm and drang coming out of the Cheney camp, very little in the way of a detailed proposal and a case for that proposal has been presented to the American people.When the neo-cons started the war, the justifications were a flavor of the month club and the projected cost and timeline were complete fantasies. Rjwnmill(pirate) and I are insisting on more this time.

.

You guys are amazing.  Always with your "detailed proposal" humdrum.  It was the same when Obamacare was opposed.  "Where's the other side's detailed proposal?"  

You know what?  I don't need a detailed proposal to criticize a lack of leadership of those actually in power.  That's not how this works.  President "I vote present" knows this in an intimate way.  As a critic, he made clear that Gitmo was a scar on the face of humanity. No "detailed proposal."  As a leader?  hmmmm.  

If anything, it was the "detailed proposal" on withdrawing from Iraq at all costs that got us in this mess.  

Cheney is playing the role of the critic.  He has that luxury after all these years.  He doesn't need to put forth a proposal.  He is welcome to just call it as he sees it.  

How about our administration put forth a proposal?  I and some on this board believe that a proposal is more than what lines we won't cross and what boots we won't put on the ground.
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