Obama is ruining Rand Paul’s Presidential ambitions

How do you think Republican primary voters feel about a President who proposes to soften America’s support for Israel, allow the Russians to operate without resistance in Eastern Europe, offer concession after concession to Iran on their nuclear program, and refrain from using US power abroad to preserve American interests? Obama may be complicating Rand Paul’s potential run for the Republican nomination by putting Paul’s least-crazy foreign policy ideas into practice. Rand Paul will be starting the 2016 nominating race with Obama as his running-mate and Alex Jones as his Secretary of State.

Obama’s relatively hands-off approach to global affairs, coupled with an effort to mend our relations with the Arab world may have been broadly welcome in 2009 after the misery of the Bush years, but it didn’t take long for chaos to fill the gap left by receding US engagement. When that happened, there was no plan in place to cope. In time, Obama has settled on a template of foreign policy options that ranges all the way from smiling handshakes to finger-wagging.

No one outside the reinforced concrete walls of Cheney’s ideological bunker wants a return to the Bush years, but a consensus is emerging that there must be some policy space available between hair-trigger roaming regime change and isolationism. We are not alone on the planet. Events in Syria and Liberia and Honduras affect us. They do not require the same level of engagement as a similar problem in Kansas, but they are not isolated from us. Chaos ignored will suppurate. It is better to deal with serious foreign problems early rather than let them reach our borders.

It is possible to wield power using a minimum of direct military force to contain the worst consequences of violent opportunism around the world. We can build alliances with countries that share our values. We can use our vast economic power to influence and punish. We can deploy military force where necessary with minimal risk.

These options work when they are coordinated with a clear set of principles and backed up by credible leadership. With principles and leadership, it then becomes easier to build and maintain alliances that not only help us wield power, but help us check the potential excesses of our power, preventing the kind of disastrous unilateral action that we experienced in the last Administration.

In our Constitutional system, that combination of leadership and principles comes from the Oval Office. Under Obama, we have lacked leadership and clear principles in foreign policy. That vacancy may still be preferable to what we experienced under Bush II, but it will not likely help Rand Paul in 2016.

If Paul runs for President as just about everyone expects, he will be in the unenviable position of explaining why Americans should embrace not merely a continuation, but an intensification of Obama’s approach to foreign affairs. That is likely to be a tough sell to a Republican audience.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Election 2016, Foreign Policy
98 comments on “Obama is ruining Rand Paul’s Presidential ambitions
  1. Anse says:

    Right wing hawks seem to believe that everything that happens in the world is a result of American action or inaction. This is preposterous. Their solution to the instability we’re seeing in the world is even more preposterous. Take, for example, the mess that is Iraq today. The armchair warriors in the right blame America’s exit for that mess, but what possible good would have come from us keeping a large force in that country? Our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have not gotten us any closer to long-term solutions. We’ve spent the last decade trying to achieve a superficial appearance of stability without doing anything to address the underlying ethnic and sectarian divisions that have smoldered beneath the surface for a century, and I can’t see what we can possibly do about that.

    What we’re seeing in the Middle East is entirely predictable. What the hawks want does nothing to achieve a lasting solution. I doubt many of them believe a lasting solution is even possible, honestly. All their invasive measures can do is kick the hornet’s nest further. The irony is that they think American national security is at stake. It’s like saying I’m going to make sure that sleeping tiger on the other side of the ocean never hurts us by going over there and shoving my finger up its butt. The tiger had only the vaguest awareness of us before, but now it’s superfreakin’ pissed at us. But according to the hawks’ logic, this is what we want, because at least it will be pissed at us *over there* instead of here on American soil.

    It’s a dumb analogy, maybe, but so is this hawkish foreign policy. Just leave the damned region alone already.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Past decade? Try the past century, or even more. If you only look at the past decade you will not have a clue of what is going on.

      Yes, it is about national security. It doesn’t stay “over there”, think of the ’93 bombing of the WTC, the barracks bombings, the Cole, 9/11/2001 and much more.

      Leave it alone? We did that with Afghanistan in the 1990s, after helping them oust the USSR in the 1980s, after allowing Pakistan to set up the Taliban as a proxy government.

      There are ways to deal with and ultimately solve the problems. Those include long term military force and a whole lot of things like fracking in the U.S. for natural resources. Things the left strongly oppose. Maybe they like war, death and destruction along with outsourcing to major polluting nations like China and India?

      What the hell?

      • Anse says:

        That long-term military force is basically an imperial force, for all intent and purpose. We can’t openly conquer countries anymore but we can make them cower to our authority anyway. And then you have the nerve to bring up attacks against the United States without addressing the problems that led up to those attacks, and yes, you can go back a century and look at every misstep we’ve made leading us to the current crisis.

      • Anse says:

        P.S. what good is extracting fossil fuels doing for those countries, so many of whom are controlled by dictatorial regimes who reap the windfall while minority sects and ethnicities in those countries are forcibly denied opportunities to appreciate that prosperity? It’s pretty much what is happening in Nigeria right now, and it’s cultivating anti-Americanism.

        In the logic of realpolitik, it probably would have made more sense to the let the Soviets take over Afghanistan.

      • CaptSternn says:

        We extract more fossil fuels here, less dependence from there. Not real hard to understand.

      • Anse says:

        More extraction here, lower oil prices worldwide, doesn’t make a difference. And then if it does, you have to wonder what happens to those countries when their one major source of revenue taps out, and they’ve suddenly got nothing left? Peace and tranquility, I’m sure.

      • flypusher says:

        “And then you have the nerve to bring up attacks against the United States without addressing the problems that led up to those attacks, ..”

        Al Franken has a nice little quip about many conservatives’ approach to patriotism, that they love America in the same manner that a small child loves Mommy. That means that America/Mommy is perfect, America/Mommy can do no wrong, and don’t you DARE criticize America/Mommy about anything for any reason!!!!!!

      • CaptSternn says:

        You have a very strange view of the world, Fly.

        Anse, it would mean we wouldn;t have to protect countries like Saudi Arabia, meaning we wouldn’t be meddling in the ME and they wouldn’t have the funds to back terrorists like they do now.

      • flypusher says:

        Exchanges like this are what make me lean towards the “it’s got to be performance art” option.

  2. Turtles Run says:

    This is a picture of war. It is not the pretend clean type that the far right likes to pretend. It sure as heck isn’t Babylon 5 either.

    • johnofgaunt75 says:

      Israel’s actions over the past couple of weeks have been shameful and vile. I think that possible war crimes charges should be investigated against the commander who ordered the shelling of those schools. Israel knows where those schools are located and yet they shell them anyway. Saying that Hamas has rockets stored there or are firing out of a place nearby is not an excuse. Israel’s actions are a gross violation of the norms of a civilized society that claims to operate according to the rule of law. They are no better than Hamas frankly.

      • Turtles Run says:

        75

        The actions by Israel are indefensible (I am sure some will try) and the excuse that it is Hama’s fault will not cut it. Hamas is not forcing anyone to shell innocent children.

        Frankly, this sickens me to no end.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Hamas is a vile organization and a terrorist group. No doubt. But the current actions of Israel are frankly showing that they are really no better than Hamas.

        The current Israeli policy is simply unsustainable if they wish to remain a democratic country governed by the rule of law. They are quickly becoming one of the more reviled countries on the planet in such a league as Iran and Zimbabwe. How much longer before the political will in the US to support Israel “no questions asked” ends? I believe we are seeing a generational shift.

      • M Simon says:

        So as long as you use children as human shields attacking those behind the shields is impermissible? You should be a military advisor for Hamas. Well no need actually. They don’t need your advice. They have already taken it.

        BTW using human shields is a war crime.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Hamas is firing rockets by the thousands into Israel and hiding behind children to do it. They have no respect for life, they celebrate terrorists and suicide bombers. They are the types to have 12 kids, two to continue the bloodline and ten to die fighting the Jews and the West.

      If Hamas and others would lay down their weapons and stop fighting, there would be peace. If the Jews did so, they would all be killed.

      Maybe thosde whining about Israel’s response should download and install The Red Alert App to start to get an idea of what the Israelies are dealing with. My understanding is that it is constantly going off and people have only seconds to find cover.

      Images? Here are a lot of images for y’all.

      https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=israel%20after%20suicide%20bomb&gbv=2&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        I am very aware of the situation in Israel and the occuped territories. I have several friends who are Israeli and are veterens. I am also aware of the increasing shift of the State of Israel from a Jewish state that was secular (especially outside of Jerusalem) to a right-wing, Jewish fundamentalist state dominated by religious parties and settler groups.

        Rockets fired from Gaza are an issue and Israel has a right to respond. Such a response must be proportionate based on the threat and the damage done though. The response must also take into account potential civilian casualties. Blaming Hamas for the civilian deaths or attempting to hide behind “dropping leaflets” does not excuse Israel from their culpability in the deaths of civilians; especially children. They know where these schools are and they bomb them anyway. Israel knows that these schools are administered by the UN and are some of the only places of refuge for women and children. And yet, despite this, they shell them anyway. That is unexecusable. That is sick and vile. Israel has teams of commandos and are capable of doing quick raids to attack launching sites. Instead they shell them. That to me tells me this is as much about causing terror in the civilian population as it is about fighting Hamas. And that means that they are no better than the terrorists they are fighting.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Right, and the U.S. was no better than the Nazis or Japanese because we engaged them in WWII. No, 75, it doesn’t work that way. You attack me with a knife, I am not going to restrict myself to using a knife. There is no “balance” in war, and Hamas is waging war against Israel and specifically targeting civilians while hiding behind children. They have no value for life, their or anyone else’s. Hamas brings this on their people, and you are siding with them.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Capt,

        The law of proportionate response is a long established concept in international law and the laws of war. A non-proportionate response is seen as collective punishment.

        That is why when one is fighting an insurgency, you can’t simply round up the population that supports the insurgency and shoot them all. We executed war criminals in WWII for doing that sort of thing. In the same way, you can’t destroy an entire city in response to enemy fire from that city. The Serbs did that and some are serving life sentences for such war crimes.

        In the same manner, a country cannot attack known civilian enclaves even if the enemy is firing from them. A country can respond to that firing but it must be in a manner that best protects the civilians. Shelling the schools is not that manner.

        Israel, in these attacks, are intentionally bombing civilian targets in order to frighten the civilian population of Gaza. That is terrorism. Period.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        And if you think I support Hamas, then you are even more clueless than you seem. I think they are a vile, terrorist organization that thrives on violence and conflict. I just don’t particularly like the current Israeli Likud government either. They also thrive on violence and conflict.

        The best thing for both Likud and Hamas is a continuation of war and violence. This helps them politically. That is why there is no peace and that is why they are both dispicable organizations.

      • CaptSternn says:

        They stop being civilian locations when Hamas militarizes them. You are defending Hamas, Israel is defending itself.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        I am defending women and children against death my Israeli artillery shells. They are civilians and killing them is not defensible from a country like Israel that claims to be a civilized nation operating under the rule of law.

        You, on the other hand, are making excuses for the murder of children.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy

        You cannot seriously be defending the killing of children. This is a new low even for you.

  3. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Finally, Obama is getting taken to the woodshed because of his treasonous activities regarding Benghazi. The GOP- led committee looking into his treason declassified their report of all the Obama evil.

    “This report shows that there was no intelligence failure surrounding the Benghazi attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans. Our investigation found the Intelligence Community warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened, … which is consistent with testimony that the attacks appeared to be opportunistic. It also found that a mixed group of individuals including those associated with Al-Qaeda, Qadafi loyalists and other Libyan militias participated in the attack. Additionally, the report shows there was no “stand down order” given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, and no American was left behind.

    The report also shows that the process used to develop the talking points was flawed, but that the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis. Finally, the report demonstrates that there was no illegal activity or illegal arms sales occurring at U.S. facilities in Benghazi. And there was absolutely no evidence, in documents or testimony, that the Intelligence Community’s assessments were politically motivated in any way.”

    With this kind of damaging report from the GOP, I really don’t think there is any way Obama is going to win re-election in 2016.

  4. johnofgaunt75 says:

    I think that a big part of what we are seeing here is a shift in US foreign policy due to our relative decline in global power. Gone are the days when we can make foreign policy decisions with little or no consequences. Gone are the day when we can take sweeping action and essentially be assured that our traditional allies will fall in lock-step. Power is shifting east economically and, increasingly, politically.

    This means that we can no longer simply worry ourselves with the inner-workings of our own country. We can no longer pretend that the USA is the only country in the world that really matters. Increasingly that means we will have to share responsibility with other countries, which means that we are also going to have to listen to and even cede to, some of their concerns and thoughts.

    This also means that we are going to have to re-think some of the ways we have carried out foreign policy. Given out diminishing power, we are going to have to start realizing that other countries are going to be more likely to cede to domestic pressure and make choices that don’t necessarily match our own (see the decisions of France and Germany regarding the invasion of Iraq; a smart move). Maybe the next generation is going to have to learn a second language and that second language might be something other than Spanish. Maybe we will have to stop scoffing at the UN and other international organizations like the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

  5. Owl of Bellaire says:

    Since we’re talking about foreign policy, here is an even-handed and sober-minded look at the Palestinian situation from Israeli writer Amos Oz, interviewed by Deutsche Welle (but offered in English):

    http://www.dw.de/oz-lose-lose-situation-for-israel/a-17822511

    Some highlights:

    “This is why for Israel it is a lose-lose-situation. The more Israeli casualties, the better it is for Hamas. The more Palestinian civilian casualties, the better it is for Hamas.”

    “My suggestion is to approach Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – the ed.] and to accept the terms – which the whole world knows – for a two-state-solution and coexistence between Israel and the West Bank: Two capitals in Jerusalem, a mutually agreed territorial modification, removal of most of the Jewish settlements from the West Bank. When Ramallah and Nablus on the West Bank live on in prosperity and freedom, I believe that the people in Gaza will sooner or later do to Hamas what the people of Romania did to Ceausescu.”

    “Occupation is corrupting, even if it is unavoidable. Brutality, chauvinism, narrow-mindedness, xenophobia are the usual syndromes of conflict and occupation. But the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is no longer unavoidable.”

    • flypusher says:

      “When Ramallah and Nablus on the West Bank live on in prosperity and freedom, I believe that the people in Gaza will sooner or later do to Hamas what the people of Romania did to Ceausescu.”

      The Palestinians do gave some legit grievances, but it’s often hard to sympathize with them, because they frequently have chosen illegitimate means of dealing with them. As a people they keep making the worst possible decisions. Add to that the fact they are being used, by Hamas, by the Arab nations who use them as a stick to rhetorically beat on Israel and the US, and yes they are subjected to a variation on apartheid. Sadly for them there don’t seem to be any potential leaders amount them who recognize this enough to actually break out of this cycle of dysfunction.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      I am not hopeful.

      “Klein traces the mutual vilification back to Israel’s policy of separation..”

      http://www.npr.org/2014/08/04/337657171/is-there-any-empathy-left-in-the-gaza-conflict

  6. CaptSternn says:

    Bush41 made a serious mistake leaving the Hussein regime in power in Iraq. Maybe that is something that can only be seen in hindsight, but though I was not interested in anything political or any news at all (I shut it all out for a while after my military service for various reasons), I did not agree with that decision.

    Turned out that my bad feeling about it was justified, the war continued though on a lesser scale. We had to “occupy” Islamic Holy Lands in Saudi Arabia for over a decade to continue the war, to “contain” Iraq. That contuned conflict resulted is some devistating consequences, namely al Qaeda.

    Al Qaeda was not against us nor the House of Saud, though the organization didn’t like the decision to ask for U.S. help instead of using al Qaeda to liberate Kuwait. But when the House of Saud had us set up camp in Mecca and Medina, well, that put them over the edge. They turned on the House of Saud and were exiled.

    They knew they had no chance to overthrow the House of Saud as long as it had U..S. support, so they turned on the U.S. hoping to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. The ’93 bombing of the trade center happened, and many other attacks followed, leading up to the September 2001 attacks.

    Clinton continued the war with Iraq for all of his eight years, and also had to deal with the war al Qaeda started against the U.S.. He had opportunities to take out bin Laden, but was advised he didn’t have the legal authority nor justification. Early in his first term he uncovered evidence of collaberation between Iraq and al Qaeda, specifically working together on chemical weapons and plotting against the U.S..

    That finally led to some attacks against Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq in 1998, as well as making regime change in Iraq the official U.S. policy. He failed to act on it, he failed to really go after al Qaeda as an organization. But, well, he just didn’t have the political backing, nor the support of the nation, to take such measures. So knowing that, I do not fault him. He wouldn’t have had the support or backing even without the scandal over that blue dress. The U.S was viewed as, and was, a paper tiger.

    Then Bush43 won the 2000 election. Many on the left liked to point out that he was going to go after the Hussein regime if he managed to get elected, that was something he expressed to several people before the election. He was also intent on going after al Qaeda as a whole, after the organization, not just an individual here and there. As he put it, he didn’t care to swat at flies. But it is questionable that he could have gotten the political backing and public support.

    The September 2001 happened. I once saw a political cartoon not long after that attack, a person depicted as a U.S. citizen was lamenting over how the world had changed, and a person depicted as a terrorist said nothing had changed other than people in the U.S. were finally seeing the world as it is.

    Bush43 was the right man for the job, he knew and understood foriegn policy, he understood military strategy, or maybe he just had the right people as advisors. He knew that only force would be respected, he understood that force was needed, and in large amounts.

    By the time Bush43 left office, The Hussien regime was gone and Iraq was a semi-functional democracy. Al Qaeda was defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and on the run in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region, their stronghold. (Note, I supported Bush43 on foriegn policy and actions, I did not like him at all on domestic issues.)

    Obama has undone all of that. Obama is weaker than Clinton, maybe weaker than Carter. His record on Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Russia, etc, etc., is causing great harm to the world and as Lifer put it, that affects us here at home as well. We will need another Bush43 or someone stronger to gain the respect of the world again, and to have our enemies fear us again.

    That is a sad cycle we seem to go through, weak then strong then weak then strong and it costs us and it ends many lives. If we simply stayed strong, the world would be a better place and the tyrants and terrorists would always be on their heels.

    • goplifer says:

      Wow. I just wonder sometimes what color your sky might be.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Blue during the day and no clouds. Clear with stars at night and no clouds. What color is the sky in your world?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        The natural color of the sky is irrelevant when you’ve welded rose-colored glasses to your forehead.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      The sky is blue in our world Chris. To say Obama is ‘handling’ the world events just shows how detached from reality you are. The world is an absolute mess due to lack of leadership on Obama’s part. If you can’t see it, tell me what you’re smoking cause I want some.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Sternn the historical revisionist proclaims, “Bush41 made a serious mistake leaving the Hussein regime in power in Iraq.”

      What, you’d rather have had this quagmire during the 1990s rather than in the past decade? So much for that booming Internet economy. Iraq was a fragile, post-colonial state held together only by the brutal rule of a strongman. Bush41, with his diplomatic and CIA experience, knew well that the country would dissolve entirely if we removed Hussein from power, and that it would be a quagmire which would last for years. In that (as in just about everything else) he was much smarter than his idiot son.

      “Al Qaeda was not against us….”

      Tell that to the Egyptian clerics and Muslim Brotherhood members involved in the tale. The United States has also spent a great deal of cash and effort propping up strong-man leaders in Egypt, so they could oppose Soviets, crush Islamists, and pretend to like Israel. The Egyptian government has spent decades ruthlessly oppressing Islamists, including many of the inspirational figures behind Al Qaeda. And Egypt is the second-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid (behind Israel). We didn’t have clean hands, Sternn.

      “But when the House of Saud had us set up camp in Mecca and Medina….”

      Oh, please. U.S. troops have never been stationed in Mecca and Medina. Moreover, the U.S. built an air base in Dhahran in 1944, and continued to use it until the early 1960s, when its lease expired. That same air base, by the way, is what allowed the Hajj to expand from something like 130,000 pilgrims in a year to more than a million. And, because of the increasing number of pilgrims, Saudi Arabia had to expand the shrines… with construction contracts let to bin Laden’s own family!

      The French Air Force also had aircraft and personnel in Saudi Arabia for Operation Southern Watch. So one would think those “infidels” would also be the subject of a major Al Qaeda attack, in the same way that the U.S. and Britain have been. Yet that hasn’t happened. So, surprise, surprise, the situation may be more complicated than you’re willing to admit, Sternn.

      As for your complaints about “paper tigers”, Sternn, defense spending went *down* under George H.W. Bush, and stayed relatively flat during the Clinton administration. Here’s an article featuring a convenient historical graph, in FY 2013 dollars:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/07/everything-chuck-hagel-needs-to-know-about-the-defense-budget-in-charts/

      I won’t even try to address your counter-factual musings about George W. Bush’s foreign policy prowess, or Iraq as a “semi-functional democracy”. It seems you liked his foreign policy just because he was a jingoistic warmonger.

      “Oderint dum metuant” is not the foreign-policy standard the U.S. should live by.

      • flypusher says:

        “Bush41, with his diplomatic and CIA experience, knew well that the country would dissolve entirely if we removed Hussein from power, and that it would be a quagmire which would last for years.”

        Exactly. The only way we could have stopped that was to keep many troops in Iraq for years (more likely decades) to keep the warring factions from each other’s throats. In a free society you can’t do that unless you have a very solid majority of the population in favor, regardless of whether you are Reagan, or Bush I, or Obama, or Clinton, or Bush II, or Carter, or anyone else.

        When people in the ME have the chance to vote, there is the very real chance they elect people who don’t put US interests first (shocking!!!!). Our most realistic choices for stopping that are to invade and long-term occupy or prop up foul tyrants, both of which are very distasteful and have bad long-term consequences. I say let them sort themselves out, as messy as that will be, and use our political/economic/military power more judiciously.

      • CaptSternn says:

        We tried that with Afghanistan through the 1990s, Fly. How did that work out?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        So, please, offer us Sternnland’s favored foreign policies, whether military, diplomatic, or economic, for dealing with the hostile and toxic regimes operating in:

        * North Korea
        * Russia
        * Sudan
        * Syria

        Or perhaps you prefer hindsight to foresight. I wouldn’t be surprised: it’s the usual failing of conservative chicken-hawks.

        Perhaps it’s even simpler. Are you in the “Nuke ’em all”, “Neca eos omnes; Deus suos agnoscet” school of thought? And what would *that* do to U.S. international relations?

        Oh, right. “Oderint dum metuant” strikes again: the ethos of the elementary-school playground bully.

      • flypusher says:

        And how well is half-assed nation building working out? 9/11 could have been prevented without invading and occupying other countries, if agencies like the FBI and the CIA had actually bothered to exchange data. The ME has to work out its own problems. We can apply our influence judiciously and we can be alert to anything trying to sneak into our soil, but we cannot exercise the amount of control you seem to think we should.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You are not telling me anything new, bird. The French left Saudi Arabia shortly after Desert Storm. The Brits stayed with us, but as usual it is the U.S. that does the heavy lifting and the U.S. that backs the House of Saud.

        Yes, the whole mess is quite complicated. I have said that on this blog many times over. It is complicated and it is all connected. Desert Shield, Desert Sotrm, Southern Watch, Desert Fox and Operation Iraqi Freedom not called Operation Iraqi Liberation for what should be an obvious reason, O.I.L.) were all a series of operations in the same war that lasted over a decade.

        So many on the left try to split them up as individual, independent events that are completely unrealted. I must say I am quite proud of you for understanding and admitting that they were not separate, individual and unrelated events. And as you said, it is a lot more complicated than that. That’s why it took me doing a lot of research over the course of weeks and months before I finally changed my mind and supported the 2003 invasion to remove the Hussein regime.

        I was very strongly opposed to it at first and nobody would explain why it was necessary and just. I don’t think many people on either side, people of the public and probably a lotb of politicians, understood it either. They just fell in their partisan lines and followed like sheeple tend to do. That’s why we hear things like, “Bush invaded the wrong country after 9/11/2001” and, “Bush lied, people died”.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Bird, it is not that we either nuke everybody or we do nothing. Didn’t realize you were that much of a simpleton. Bush43 had the right balance on foriegn policy.

        Fly, we should have kept forces in Iraq to prevent what is happening now. It was Obama’s job to make sure we did that. He has failed. The left cheered Obama when the troops left Iraq, even though it was something Bush43 negotiated. Obama got all the credit. Now that it has fallen apart, the left is back to blaming Bush43. And yes, we could have prevented the 9/11/2001 attacks if we had just grounded four planes, or even prevented a few people from boarding each one.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, is avoiding answering questions the way you keep from exposing your ignorance to painful introspection?

        And, by your idiosyncratic historical standards, aren’t World War I and World War II really the same war? Do you maintain self-consistency by referring to them as such, or embrace the hypocrisy of using different standards in different situations?

        “Fly, we should have kept forces in Iraq to prevent what is happening now.”

        And how long do you propose we should have been reasonably required to do that? Five more years? Ten? Fifty?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ferdinand Foch called the Treaty of Versailles a 20 year cease-fire. It was almost exactly 20 years later when Germany resumed hostilities.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        The Middle East is like the box of Christmas lights that are all in a knotted ball. Almost if not impossible to fix. Has been this way for centuries. This is not a land war per se it is a Holy War tracing back to Abraham, Isaac and Ismael, It is a bloody, hateful family feud.

        9/11 forced our hand to deal with them in an agressive manner to protect our homeland. Misguided or not future historians will judge, not partisans.

        I have said many, many times that there was no ‘war plan’ for a massive terrorist attack in our country. I think GW Bush did extremely well cobbling one together on the fly.

        Now how about we get back to the post and discuss Obama’s total failure in foreign policy.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Who is “them”, Kabuzz? All Middle Eastern brown people in general?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, is avoiding answering questions the way you keep from exposing your ignorance to painful introspection?

        Are you quoting Fochs to avoid actually saying what you believe? Would that make you a Focher? But, to get back to the point, to you, are World War I and World War II really the same war, undeserving of separate names?

        And how long would you have proposed we should have been reasonably required to continuing occupying Iraq at full military strength to avoid conflicts like the present one? Five more years? Ten? Fifty?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Who said anything about staying in Iraq at “full military strength”? Oh, right, only the bird would think in such simplistic terms.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        All right, Sternn. How much strength, and for how long?

        Or are you going to continue this silly dance of abject cowardice?

      • flypusher says:

        “Fly, we should have kept forces in Iraq to prevent what is happening now.”

        As I’ve already noted, there’s this little complication with doing extended military operations in a free society- you have to get and keep the approval of a majority of your voting population. Keep an occupation going longer than the people want, and they toss your ass out of office and replace you with someone who will listen. America wanted out and Obama gave them what they wanted. America would have had to keep large numbers of troops in Iraq for at least another ten years, and even then there would be no guarantee the same thing wouldn’t happen. Anyone who paid attention to what happened to Yugoslavia could have called this. Bush41 got it. Bush43 didn’t.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Nonsense, flypusher. Had a Republican been in charge, It Simply Would Have Worked.

        ‘Cause God loves them. And that’s all there is to say, no facts or arguments necessary.

        Right?

    • texan5142 says:

      How is life in that bubble Sternn? You are a tool.

    • geoff1968 says:

      Nature has made some of us crazy, irrational, optimists. Perhaps the same force has made us GOP at the same time. A fix needs to be made upon this problem-if it’s even for real. The peace in the Middle East? What about the peace in Detroit? Am I a bit of the isolationist? Yes.

      So while some other place may burn, and that’s gosh awful, shouldn’t we be looking homeward?

  7. texan5142 says:

    “When that happened, there was no plan in place to cope”

    You said a mouthful brother. Think Iraq .

  8. Owl of Bellaire says:

    There are (or soon could be) ways to project American military power without putting American servicemen in direct harm’s way.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_bombardment

    Imagine popping a couple of those into a terrorist training camp in the middle of the desert, or the safe-house for the ruthless dictator of a failed state.

    • CaptSternn says:

      That was the Clinton strategy, and somewhat the Obama strategy. It doesn’t work.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Excuse me? The Clinton strategy was to deploy orbital weapons platforms?

        You didn’t even bother to read the link, did you, Sternn? You’re looking even more foolish than usual.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You are correct, Owl. I was on the iPhone most of yesterday and today. Was probably on the laptop at that time of evening, but I didn’t open and read the link.

        Yes, that would be something along the lines of hydrogen bomb destruction without the radiation issue. Science fiction has touched on that. Babylon 5, season 2, episode 20, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GImJdrCSOFA

        Interesting that you bring up such massive destruction. I have said many times that we are fighting a war and trying to be politically correct about it when our enemies know that, do not respect it and even use it against us.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        You still didn’t bother to actually educate yourself by reading something new.

        Or you’re functionally illiterate.

        Or you choose to believe whatever stray fancies your brain seizes on rather than following the information right in front of you.

        All three sound a lot like standard Tea Party characteristics.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, Owl, I read it. Take a physical object and fling it at the planet from high orbit and let gravity do the rest. Basically the idea of directed asteroids. Clear enough for you now?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Then why, pray tell, are you talking about (your words) “hydrogen bomb destruction”?

        The article’s math suggests a yield somewhere between 11.5 and 120 tons of TNT — or, to use nuke terminology, .0115 to .12 kilotons.

        The modern W76 MIRV warhead used on Trident missiles (four each) has a yield of about 100 kilotons. The B61 variable-yield bomb can be dialed from 340 kilotons down to perhaps 0.3.

        So you’re off by a factor of three at the very best, in the most optimistic of fringe cases, and in general by a factor of 10,000 to 100,000.

        So perhaps you’re just innumerate.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Depends on the mass of the object, bird.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Congratulations, Sternn, you have a basic grasp of Newtonian physics. But you’re still paying more attention to your inner replay of *Babylon 5* than to the actual subject at hand. The U.S. Air Force has not undertaken studies of lofting asteroids into orbit to use as kinetic weapons, nor of redirecting them from the Main Belt against others. They *have* examined the idea of using pre-placed orbital tungsten penetrators against ground targets… which is what the link was about!

        Tutt, is this asshole also so annoying in person, with a dogged insistence on never admitting that he’s wrong? It rapidly seems to be becoming one of his primary traits on this blog.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ok bird, you want to get into the details of the munitions used for the bombing. That’s all well and fine, but it misses the point I was making. We have bombed camps with bombs, missiles and other orfinance, and how has that worked out. That strategy doesn’t work. I think you understand that, which is why you want to pick at nits over the orginance used.

  9. Anse says:

    “Rand Paul will be starting the 2016 nominating race with Obama as his running-mate and Alex Jones as his Secretary of State.” “It didn’t take long for chaos to fill the gap left by receding US engagement. When that happened, there was no plan in place to cope.” chris, Chris, Chris. Apparently you must have missed Josh Earnest’s spin just 3 weeks ago that this administration has “Substantially improved tranquility of the global community.” Rand Paul will just point out the SUCCESS this administration has had with its/his policy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvYRJci0RZ4

    • goplifer says:

      Hehe. Yes, actually this Administration’s record is eerily close to what we saw from George HW Bush, probably the best foreign policy President of the modern era, if not our best ever. Bush I dealt with several foreign crises with direct intervention (Panama & Kuwait). He also pulled back from taking (reads:owning) Baghdad, intervening in the Afghan civil war, or putting troops on the ground in Bosnia.

      With a little time he probably would have been pushed into the same interventions Clinton engaged in, most importantly in Bosnia, but in general he did pretty well.

      Paul could defend himself by pointing to Obama’s successes, but his skull would immediately burst from the internal pressure. How he runs on Obama’s policies while claiming that Obama has been a failure is hard to imagine. But it will be fun to watch.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Good response Chris. George HW famously conducted the Gulf War to a near perfect T regarding balancing the need for projecting just the right amount of power to git ‘er done and then get the heck out of Dodge and screw that messy nation building quagmire. Too bad Jr was as clueless as CiC as he was everything else in life and ignored the sage example of dear old dad.

      By the way, that does not look or sound like an Anse post. That has all the grimy fingerprints of bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis reverting back to his old sockpuppet proclivities. Great role model in following Dan the richard’s “ethics” and “stylings” bart.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Agree, Bubba. That was not An Anse comment.

      • bart-1-seriouscynic-usincrisis says:

        Thanks for the corroboration Cap.

        And by the way, guess who that consummate troll/identity thief really is? Why none other than perennial jerk recidivist bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis and who knows how many other sockpuppets, who has now also hijacked Anse’s online ID. Among others.

        What a surprise to absolutely no one on either side of the aisle.

        And how do we know that it is bart pathetically (failing) at trolling again? Because as usual, bart is dumb as a stump (again) and couldn’t help inadvertently outing himself as a consummate inveterate troll. AGAIN.

        Bart’s perpetual 12 year old “intelligence” and “maturity” cannot help but shoot himself in the foot again (with apologies to 99.9999% of truly intelligent and decent 12 year olds everywhere).

        And wherever there is smoke, there is always a smoking gun and a self-inflicted gunshot hole or two or three in both of bart’s clown feet.

        Besides bart’s perennially horrific bludgeoning of the English language “style” fingerprint revealing bart’s true asshole nature no matter which ID he posts under, Mr. Dumbshit bart used his own same original email ID to create the multiple fake screen ID’s and posts of which Chris obviously has the smoking gun proof. And also easily for all of us to see for ourselves with just a modicum of attention to detail.

        Busted again bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis/and now Anse identity thief.

        Hey bart, which high school did YOU graduate from again? Did you even ever graduate from high school bart? All evidence indicates otherwise. You have some nerve denigrating ANYONE ELSE’s intelligence or academic credentials.

        Thank you for consistently proving me right again bart. Cowardly hypocritical troll sockpuppet bullies NEVER changer their yellow spots.

        Once a troll, twice a troll, three times a troll, always a troll, ain’t that right bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis/Anse identity thief and impersonator?

        Yet bart somehow has the absolute chutzpah to ALWAYS hypocritically whine about the “lack of decorum” and “declining morals”.

        Another little “virtuous” antic to impress your Jesus with eh bart?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Oh and Danny Boy, this little ID hijacking trolling of you was the “fine work” of YOUR buddy bart also. You’re welcome Danny.

        • DanMan says:
        July 30, 2014 at 9:39 am
        YES! I guess to make the culture war “victory” complete, we need to get rid of public decency laws, bestiality, polygamy, prostitution, gambling, obscenity/profanity, and pornography laws. Making ALL drugs “legal” would save us $110 Billion per year (1999 National Drug Control Strategy) alone.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Bubba and Cap, this is for you:

        http://nyti.ms/1ofHFeY

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Actually, Tutt, I found it delightful, too, as did my spouse.

        Our black Bombay, Pirate, Queen of All She Surveys, expressed no opinion on the piece.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I laughed aloud at the cat piece and then sent it to family members, a true internet stereotype.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Thanks Tutt. I had not seen that article so I appreciate your posting it as I would have never seen it otherwise. It was very entertaining and reaffirming. 🙂

        However, this writer is a closet reluctant Cat Guy as is apparently Cappy. It makes for better dry sardonic wit I guess. Me, I am wide open, out of the closet, flaming CAT GUY. 😉

        And the benefit of having multiple cats? You NEVER sleep alone regardless of your human relationship status…

        FYI, duet partner Odia Coates (RIP) was a (highly underrated) beautiful and soulful singer and a perfect complement to Paul Anka.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Cap and I are both proud to admit we are cat people. We love to take road trips, but we can’t be gone for too long because we have to get back to our “babies.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        My favorite part from the article:

        “I attempted to demonstrate to the cat that the water we drank was the very same water by pouring it from my glass into her bowl right in front of her, but she was utterly unmoved, like a birther being shown Obama’s long-form Hawaiian birth certificate.”

        Priceless!

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, I have finally found and made the time to read about the man and his cat, or is it the cat and her human? Great article. I could write several articles as long or longer about each of my cats and their different personalities, but I will not attempt to torture the residents of this blog with such things.

        Bubba, I do not deny that I am an avid cat person. And darn if I didn;t start and write an entire paragraph going into more about my cats, past and present, and then starting another paragraph before I realized I was about to attempt to torture the residents of this blog with such things.

        Now I am going to have to sit on my hands to not write about cats. 🙂

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Thanks for the clarification Cap. I misunderstood the extent of your “catness” from your initial reluctance in adopting the stray kitten. I too almost veered into maudlin reminiscing of my precious online namesakes Bubba and Bobcat, both older rescued stray tomcats with horrible medical conditions that passed long ago but way too soon. But then they all pass way too soon no matter how long they lived.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Bubba: Cap would adopt every stray cat he came across, so he has to harden his heart, but he could not say no to his newest addition.

        Speaking of kitty cats gone to heaven . . . I dreaded reading about the death of the author’s cat, but you will notice he does not mention her passing. I’m guessing it was too painful to write about.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Bubba, how about a tabby must be named for the “M” on the forehead. Siamese must be named with an “S”.

        Black cats I have not named. I adopted them already named.

        My beautiful dear lady helped me name the recently adopted tom. Thought he was a tabby with a white belly, so Moriarty, Mori for short. “M” for the mark on his head.

        Turns out he is a rare male calico, but he will still be Moriarty.

        Seems to fit. He does have the “M” on his head, and he is quite the cat.

      • Tuttabella says:

        BubbaBobcat, from now on, I will address you by your full name to give the memory of each of your cats its proper respect.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I like to say my cats are CANINE. They’re very affectionate, they wag their tails, stand on a table on their hind legs with their front paws on my shoulders and touch noses with me. They’re also very VOCAL.

        It must be their upbringing. All my cats have been dog-like and vocal.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Pirate recognizes the sounds of our cars and comes to greet us at the door, among other “canine” traits you’ve mentioned. So it must not be that uncommon.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Even the silent one tries to be vocal, Tutt. 😉

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Yes, Cap, you’re right. I have a cat with a silent meow. He just opens his mouth and nothing comes out. Also, my neighbor has a dog who doesn’t bark.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sherlock Holmes must get very confused when he comes to visit.

    • goplifer says:

      Yea. That’s Bart. I’ve sent him an email about this.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Thanks for the confirmation Chris.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Somebody please give Dan a slap on the wrist.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Tutt in Dan’s defense (I can’t believe I would ever say that), it was bart who trolled Dan first and Dan noted he had been trolled. And then he retaliated scattershot against all his perceived “enemies” on the opposite aisle rather than the true perpetrator perpetual trollbart.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Bubba, I always thought Dan and Bart were one and the same. Is there such a thing as self-trolling?

        But if they are one and the same, I would think you, of all people, would have picked up on it and addressed him as bart-1/serious-cynic/us-in-crisis/DanMan. How could you be wrong and I be right? That part makes no sense, since you seem to know him better than anyone.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Tutt, bart and Dan have distinct writing styles as does everyone, and neither Dan nor bart are capable of, or schizophrenic enough to maintain two dissimilar online identities for very long.

  10. texan5142 says:

    What he said!

  11. bubbabobcat says:

    I dunno Chris. We are and will still be in Afghanistan in some form through this election cycle and will have some type of presence (re: American soldiers dying) through next year as some type of vestigial “training and advisory” force.

    I think the military imperialism fatigue from the Bush arrogantly clueless folly years will remain strong for years to come. Until the next attack on our soil. Only the right wing Obama haters for the next 2 years and the Sith Lord Cheney acolytes will clamor for more foreign policy intervention with American blood. And thankfully they are few and far between.

    War is messy and horrific and will always be messy horrific. We shouldn’t step into it lightly as we have too often in the past.

    And the damage is littered throughout our recent history. And overtaxed and under supported VA system.

    Vietnam
    Lebanon (241 Marines and 63 Americans in the Embassy killed in truck bombs under Reagan)
    Somalia (which started as a “humanitarian” mission under George HW Bush and totally botched by clueless coward Clinton)
    Afghanistan (went in for the right reasons and totally botched what should have been a 30 day war)
    Iraq Invasion

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Chris, in rereading your post again in context with your subsequent followup comments, I may have taken your tongue in cheek call for MORE foreign intervention mistakenly at face value and owe you an apology. Though I did catch your noting Rand Paul’s dilemma in cloning an exact replicant of Obama’s foreign policy while railing against Obama’s foreign policy failures out of the other side of his mouth.

      And how you noted advocating essentially an isolationist (non) foreign policy will not fly in the red meat Roman Coliseum-like blood lust otherwise known as the Republican Presidential primaries.

      Thankfully they haven’t a clue how paradoxically self defeating their current primary selection process is and how their circular firing squad of a winnowing process doesn’t even represent rank and file Republicans, much less the general voting population of this country.

    • flypusher says:

      “War is messy and horrific and will always be messy horrific. We shouldn’t step into it lightly as we have too often in the past.”

      It’s easy to go to war when you don’t have any real feel for the effects of war. The American public doesn’t. The civilian casualties, the starvation, disease, homelessness, the fraying of your society- none of that is in any living American’s memory, because that hasn’t happened here since Sherman did his march to the sea. As bad as 9/11 was, it was only the smallest, briefest taste of war’s horrors.

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