Category Archives: Foreign Policy

Ask #Bush Why The #IraqiMilitary Won’t Fight

Federalism, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Nationhood, Neoconservatism, Pseudo-history

“Ask Bush Why The Iraqi Military Won’t Fight” is the current column, now on Praag.org. An excerpt:

… The ineptness of the reconstituted Iraqi Army is nothing new. In 2006, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton demanded to know when the “Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army would step up to the task.” “I have heard over and over again, that the government must do this, the Iraqi Army must do that,” griped Clinton to Gen. John P. Abizaid, then top American military commander in the Middle East. “Can you offer us more than the hope that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army will step up to the task?”

Indeed, the War Party is in the habit of thrashing about in an ahistorical void—or creating its own reality, as warbot Karl Rove, George Bush’s muse, is notorious for saying. The neoconservative creed as disgorged by Rove deserves repeating:

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

The lowly “you” Rove reserved for “the reality-based community” (guilty).

Curiously, a military that has done nothing but flee before the opposition ever since the Americans commandeered Iraq, had fought and won a protracted war against Iran, under Saddam Hussein. The thing we currently call the Iraqi military has been unable and unwilling to fight the wars America commands it to fight.

Why?

For one, Bush’s envoy to Iraq, Paul Bremer, made the decision to dissolve the Iraqi Army and civil service, early in 2003, with the blessing of Bush at whose pleasure Bremer served. Bush’s minions viewed the dissolution of the Iraqi Army as part of the “De-Ba’thification” process. …

… Another dynamic is at play in the region besides the Sunni-Shia divide. It is that between the forces of centralization and the forces of decentralization. …

Read the rest. “Ask Bush Why The Iraqi Military Won’t Fight” is now on Praag.org


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#TulsiGabbard Is Not A Total Ass

Democrats, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Military

Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is an Iraq War veteran, who serves on Armed Services Committee. She is also a Democrat, which usually comes with the presumption of asininity. This woman, however, is not a complete ass. Here she touches on some of the themes of my current WND column as to why the Iraqi military would not fight, although she eventually stalls:

WOLF BLITZER: Because you make a good point. There’s – the Kurdish fighters, they have their own separate militia. The Sunni – Iraqi Sunni fighters, they have their own separate militia. There’s the Iraqi Shia. They’re largely backed by Iran. They have their own separate militia. They’re all pretty – pretty dedicated. The weakest link seems to be the central Iraqi army, which the defense secretary of the United States says simply has the – lacks the will to fight, yet the United States keeps supporting that weakest link, the central military of Iraq. That’s a problem from your perspective, isn’t it?

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D), HAWAII:: Yes, Wolf, it is a problem for a few different reasons. One is, this is a strategy that’s proven to have failed, not only recently, but really even through the Bush administration when we had Maliki in charge, we were providing weapons and money and resources to this Shiite-led government that persecuted the Sunnis, completely left them out, and really created the situation that we see today where you have ISIS taking advantage of the oxygen that this policy has created where the Sunni tribes essentially have been driven into the arms of ISIS for protection. This is the problem that I see with the current offensive that’s happening right now heading into Ramadi. This is being led by the Shia militia who named this offensive attack a name that is extremely incendiary and offensive specifically to the Sunni tribes. So this is only going to make the sectarian divides deepen. This will make matters worse. And ultimately, again, this will push the Sunni tribes closer and closer into ISIS’ arms, at the end of the day strengthening ISIS rather than defeating them.

For the rest, she’s an energetic interventionist, so a bit of an ass after all. But then so are most Republicans.

(Source: CNN.)


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#Langley Has The Last Word:#ForeignPolicy On The#CIA

Foreign Policy, Military, The State

A Foreign Policy essay makes the case that the CIA is, effectively, running American foreign policy. It concedes what seems obvious: Despite a budget of billions ($14.7 billion in 2013, “up from the $4.8 billion in 1994″), the agency “was notoriously wrong about Saddam Hussein’s alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, a cataclysmic mistake that eased the path to the Iraq War,” and it failed “to help detect or prevent the 9/11 plot.”

Some salient points:

* The agency has “a direct line to the White House for open-ended covert programs.”
* It has “explicit permission to use [drones] in larger areas of Pakistan than before.” “‘The CIA gets what it wants,’ Obama has told his aides.”
* “Through … machinations, the spy agency has managed to weaken or eliminate crucial counterweights to its own power.”
* “Since its creation in 1947, the CIA has steadily evolved from an agency devoted to its mission of spying on foreign governments to one whose current priority is tracking and killing individual militants in an increasing number of countries.”
* “… from drone strikes in the Middle East to the network of secret prisons around the world and the torture that occurred within their walls—[all] originated at Langley.”
* “… the agency had waded even more deeply into the dark world of assassinations by hiring outside contractors associated with Blackwater, a firm synonymous with abuses in Iraq, to kill individual militants on the ground.”
* “In Pakistan alone, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates, CIA drones killed as many as 960 civilians between June 2004 and April 2015, including up to 207 children.”
* The CIA’s has just about direct access to the White House. It “answers to no one except the president.”
* “… much of its workforce has been plugged into ‘the Ivy League, Eastern power structure of American politics.’ … its alumni are in key positions throughout the U.S. government.”
* Obama has embraced “the Bush-era CIA abuses,” this, presumably, includes torture, rendition, etc.

Since its creation in 1947, the CIA has steadily evolved from an agency devoted to its mission of spying on foreign governments to one whose current priority is tracking and killing individual militants in an increasing number of countries.

READ “Mission Unstoppable.”


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#JonStewart Shames The Shameless #JudithMiller

Foreign Policy, History, Iraq, Journalism, War, WMD

Jon Stewart makes short work of Judith Miller, who is on a “rehab tour,” concerning her role in the ramp-up to war on Iraq. He dismantles her mindless lies, methodically. The fact that others were on board is not exculpatory, he tells her. Idiocy is bipartisan. Not everybody got it wrong, he tutors her (your truly and like-minded libertarians never count to these two).

Now if only Stewart applied the same rigor to gratuitous wars waged by the Obama-Hillary posse.

Miller is one of those disgusting specters American journalism spits out ever so often, as are her Fox News cheerleaders.


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#ChrisChristie’s ‘Compromise': Will #Spy On YOU, But Will Think Twice About #War

Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, Politics, Republicans

One rotter is catching on to the foreign policy most favored by sensible Americans. “I don’t think nation-building is a good sentiment,” Gov. Chris Christie told Megyn Kelly, during a grueling interview. About “exporting our values,” also touted by Jeb Bush big time, Christie said it depends on how you do it. Leading by example, making the nations of the world want to emulate the US: that’s a worthwhile impetus (@4:51 minutes). And then, being a Republican, Chris Christie went and spoiled it all by saying something stupid like, “I’ll spy on YOU!”


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UPDATE II: Rotten #Rubio (Rubio Has Stiff Competition: #MitchMcConnell)

Constitution, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Just War, Neoconservatism, Republicans

When he is not marshaling “Jeffersonian” lines from crap movies like “Taken” with Liam Neeson, presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is demonstrating that only if shamed and embarrassed will he and his Republican rivals shy away from wars that are immoral from the inception, unjust, cost trillions in treasure and tens of thousands of precious lives, and flout American national interests.

CHRIS WALLACE TO SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA: This brings us back to Iraq and the question of the week, which is, given what we know now, would you have invaded Iraq back in 2003?
As we all know, Jeb Bush had a tough time answering that this week. Here’s what you’ve had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

RUBIO: Oh, I don’t believe it was — the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein doesn’t run Iraq.

MODERATOR: After finding that there were no weapons of mass destruction, would you, if you knew that, have been in favor of the Iraqi invasion?

RUBIO: Well, not only would I have not been in favor of it, President Bush would not have been in favor of it. And he said so.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

WALLACE: Senator, isn’t that a flip? Six weeks ago, it made sense to invade Iraq in 2003. Now you say it was a mistake.

RUBIO: No, they’re two different questions. It was not a mistake. The president, based on — this is the way the real world works. The president, based on the information that was provided to him —

[SNIP]

“We will look for you. We will find you. And we will kill you” is the atavistic line from “Taken,” repeated by Rubio in his many interviews.

UPDATE I (5/18): In The Rotten Department, Rubio Has Stiff Competition: Mitch McConnell. Via ABC:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell underscored his support today for the controversial NSA program for bulk collection of domestic phone records, arguing it is essential to protecting the homeland.

“This has been a very important part of our effort to defend the homeland since 9/11,” McConnell said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ “We know that the terrorists overseas are trying to recruit people in our country to commit atrocities in our country.”

“Thank You For Your Service, Mr. Snowden.” F-ck Rubio, McConnell & Twitterers who unFollow me for loving liberty.

UPDATE II: Don’t let any Republican present you with this false choice. Republicans always say, “But what would you have done about Iraq?” That’s something of a non sequitur, an assertion intended to make you ASSUME something had to be done about Iraq. “The burden of proof is on he who proposes the existence of something, not on he who claims that it does not exist.” That was written 12 years ago.


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