Back To Baghdad: Obama Seat Of The Pants Policies

NavyLast Thursday I asked Obama to speak out on Iraq. On Friday he did. I don’t suggest the one is connected to the other but who knows. After reading what he had to say I wash my hands of all responsibility, if there is any to be had, for bringing about his talk on Iraq.

He calls the group that is threatening the well-being  of Iraq: ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) but most of the rest of the world calls it ISIS. I’ll call it ISIS except when I quote the president. Why he has to be different escapes me. It reminds me how most of the world calls the Mafia “the Mafia” while the FBI calls it the LCN for La Cosa Nostra which is translated from the Italian as “The Our Thing.”  Do Mafia gangsters talk like that?

Obama explained why we must get back involved in Iraq. He said ISIS poses a threat “to the Iraqi people, to the region and to U.S. interests.” Hmm! He doesn’t say it is a threat to the U.S. Just our interests. Is it we now war even if our country is not endangered but when our interests are threatened? Is one of our interests keeping our oil companies solvent?

He told us what he plans to do. (1) Reinforce our embassy with troops and evacuate some of its occupants;  (2) increase “our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets”  in order to get “a greater understanding of what ISIL is doing;” then we will “increase our support to Iraqi security forces” by preparing “joint operation centers”  and even though “we have had advisors in Iraq through our embassy” we will send up to an additional 300 to “assess how we can best train, advise and support Iraqi security forces going forward.”

You do know we already spent ten years and ten billion dollars to “train, advise and support Iraqi security forces.” It seems that has been one big failure. So we’re going to get back on the merry-go-round and do it all again. Does that make any sense?

He then told us that “American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq” but continued by saying we are positioning “additional military assets” to “take targeted and precise military action.” It seems to me that if you are planning to use your military to attack ISIS then I’d suggest you are returning to combat. Am I wrong about that?

President Obama went on to suggests that the present government of Iraq under Maliki must be thrown out and a new unity government be installed but adds it isn’t our place “to choose Iraqi’s leaders.” It seems to me in calling for Maliki’s ouster that is exactly what we are doing; for those aware of our history this changing governments by us during war time should bring back to memories of what we did in Vietnam.

He added that the U.S. won’t support one sect over the other which is exactly what we are doing. Does Obama not understand this is a civil war between the Shiites and the Sunnis? When we enter on the side of the Maliki, a Shiite, who is fighting against the ISIS, a Sunni force supported by other Sunnis we are supporting one sect.

Then Obama sort of went onto a different topic. He remembered our war that just ended in Iraq. He said we lost “nearly 4,500 American patriots.” I thought we lost members of our armed forces: mostly soldiers and Marines with some Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard members. In recent years we’ve called them warriors. I never heard our service members called patriots? Many Americans who have never put on a uniform like most members of Congress and Obama himself we can call patriots and even members of a football team are called that. I’m surprise the president is diminishing the value of those who joined the armed forces by lumping them in with everyone else.

Obama ended by saying the “issue I keep front and center, is, what is in the national security interest of the United States.” Yet, he never said in his prepared speech that anything happening in Iraq threatened our “national security interest” but only our interests; there’s a major difference between the two.

I called for Obama to speak but I was hoping he would not double talk us. Reading his speech it is like we didn’t spend ten years in Iraq losing lives and suffering large casualties while spending billions of dollars. He didn’t tell us how it would be different this time or why it would be different or how we won’t be whipsawed by Iraq forever. Going back in like he is doing is opening the sluice gates for endless involvement with us never having an exit.

After his speech he took some questions. Near the end of the question period he said: “my job is to make sure . . . that we’re recognizing the dangers of ISIL over the long term and developing the kinds of comprehensive counterterrorism strategy that we’re going to need to deal with this issue. And that’s going to involve some short-term responses to make sure that ISIL is not obtaining capacity to endanger us directly or our allies and partners, but it also is going to require some long-term strategies as well . . . .”

I find that shocking. President Obama has no long-term strategies for dealing with the problem in Iraq. He says he’s going to develop them. In the meantime he’s going to go back ten years and figure out how to train the Iraqi army; he will urge the Iraqis get along with each other as if they are children; and again use our military assets to bring us back into war. All this with no idea what we expect the outcome to be.

He’s been in office over five years. His casual approach to foreign policy is clear when he admits that the trouble in Iraq came as a surprise and only now is he planning to start trying to figure out what we should do. Our country is being poorly served. Despite the billions spent on Homeland Security, the Armed Forces, the CIA, and the biggest embassy in the world in Baghdad staffed with CIA and other intelligence services we’ve been caught with our pants down. As I said earlier, I guess that happens when you fly by the seat of your pants.

 

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2 Responses to Back To Baghdad: Obama Seat Of The Pants Policies

  1. william says:

    Matt, great post, and Sean great points. You know America is a great country, and we love the land and its people, especially the people, our family, friends, associates, neighbors near and far, who are citizens. We love immigrants who’ve come here legally and want to help those who’ve come here illegally, but if you’ve come illegally you can’t become a citizen: go back to the back of the line, and try again to come here legally. Of course, we are not going to throw out grandmas or children or even hard working young men and women. All this Country asks of us to pitch in and try to comply with the laws; Pitch-In: work, get a job if you can, help your neighbors and support your community. Be good; not perfect; we all make mistakes, and keep on trying. Have faith, hope and love in your heart, and try not to jaywalk, but if you do, be willing to pay the penalties. Freedom ain’t free>it took a lot of sweat and sacrifice to build this great nation; it will continue to take a lot of help from family, friends, neighbors and associates.
    America’s military is the strongest in the world and must remain so; at this at least we must be the best. But we don’t want to be Imperialists.
    HISTORY LESSON: Here’s where our loafers on the ground have betrayed us since WWII, since the wartime OSS metamorphosed into the peacetime secretive warlike war mongering CIA and the FBI started imitating the CIA.
    In the 1950s we deposed the Ruler of Iran.
    In 1960, under Pres. Kennedy, the CIA killed Diem, chose sides in Vietnam.
    In late 1960s we never got a good answer about Israel’s sinking of a US Liberty Ship. As a recent BC grad, I asked Sen Ted Kennedy about this. I think it was an honest case of mistaken identity, but it was like pulling teeth to get anything from the CIA or Johnson’s Admin. about it.
    Throught the Vietnam War, the CIA intel was wrong and the CIA and Administration’s top war hawks, their top dogs, kept lying to we the American people. 58,000 American deaths later they were still lying to us.(About Diem, about “no American boy will be sent to do what an Asian boy should do for himself” Johnson; about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, about how many Marines it’d take to take that hill, plantation, river valley or mountain top; about who was killing whom; about who was loyal to whom.
    In the 1970s, we never got good answers clashes in the Middle East, tro
    Inubles in Southeast Asia’s Opium Triangle, rebels in the Phillipines, or strife throughout central and south America and the Caribbean. The CIA, DOD, Pres Offices always blamed Cuba, Russia, the ChiComs and the ubiquitous iniquitous “Commies.”
    In the 1980s, the CIA was undermining duly elected regimes it didn’t like throughout the world. The CIA became a master of Agit-Prop. It blamed others for using propaganda technniques which it had mastered, mustered long ago and continued to use.
    In the 1990s we bombed out allies the Serbs to support the terrorist group and heroin trafficking group the KLA. We deposed Milosevic in Serbia.
    In the 2000s, we demanded democratic elections in Gaza, and when the Palestians elected Hamas members, we refused to recognize that election; same thing in Egypt: CIA deposes Murarek, Morsi is duly elected; CIA deposes him and installs military junta; in Libya we bomb to get rid of Khaddaffi and to prevent 10,000 deaths; we, the US Military and intelligance agencies, including the CIA, along with NATO bomb the hell out of Libyans as we did Serbians. We target Khadaffi’s home; we say his “compound” is a command and control facility; we kill his grandkids; I think of the Kennedy Compound.
    To be continued . .

  2. Sean Thornton says:

    We are surely leaderless, and have been for nearly 6 years. The Manchurian President has no clue, no plan, no foresight, no sense of the harm he is doing and has done to this country. He is an egotistical megalomaniac of the highest order. Because of his withdrawal of “boots on the ground” in Iraq (against the advice of our combat generals), he has “snatched defeat from the jaws of victory”. Now, because of his fantasy that the war on terror (Al Queda) has been won, there is nothing more that can be done to influence events in the Middle East. Now we must just sit back and wait for 911 redux.

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