Inconvenient Questions

1. What’s the exit strategy? Is anyone discussing what that is? How do we get out? It’s simple to get in. Getting out is the hard part.

2. What are our political goals in Iraq in re: IS(IS)? What do we hope to achieve? And in what time frame? Will our means achieve the ends?

[...]

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce

Karl Marx wasn’t wrong about everything.

Tonight, President Hopey-McChange goes on the television to attempt the following (as expressed by Chris Nelson):

The President goes on nation/world TV tonight in what’s being billed as an effort to rally the people, and our allies, to a robust, long-term, strategically and historically essential battle to the death [...]

A Climate of Unaccountability

They’re back! John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol, Dick Cheney – the people who pushed the U.S. into the devastating mistake that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq, have discovered yet another existential threat ready and able to destroy the world. Back then it was Saddam Hussein and his mythical cache of Weapons of Mass [...]

“An Orgy Of Public Preening”

From Gregory Djerejian, the last remaining realist in foreign policy circles:

 

In an orgy of public preening, the Iraq ‘Class of ’03’ flooded print and television media post Mosul’s capture by ISIS forces in Iraq last week. If one had hoped for the merest dose of humility given the calamitous missteps this hearty band [...]

Obama Announces New War Plan for Iraq

Today, the White House has announced a new war plan for Iraq, with a new Secretary of Defense, a new commanding General, and the clear identification of the leader of ISIS (or ISIL), in Northern Iraq.

Obama announced:

[...]

The Sunni Crescent

In late 2002, early 2003 I wrote a post here at The Agonist spelling out my opposition to the soon to be launched war of aggression against Iraq. We heard a lot reasons for why we had to wage war against Saddam Hussein: weapons of mass destruction, human rights, democracy and freedom and some others [...]

Rwanda, 20 Years Later

I’m afraid that the lessons we learned from Rwanda were zero. Sure, we intervened to ostensibly prevent genocide in Kosovo and we used Saddam’s genocide against the Kurds as one of many excuses to wage aggressive war against Iraq. The doctrine that came out of Rwanda, and Susan Rice has a lot of blood on [...]

Iraq Not As Bad As Crimea?

Look, I’m not a fan of RT. I was once asked to come on one of the shows and I politely declined, which might have been dumb, but I just had qualms about going onto a foreign propaganda outlet funded by a foreign government that is a rival of my own government to bash my [...]

The Case Against Donald Rumsfeld

An absolutely excellent deconstruction of Donald Rumsfeld by the award winning writer, reporter, Mark Danner in the New York Review of Books, in three parts. One, two and three.

I hope he turns this into a book.

Al Qaeda taking Iraqi cities – Falluja and Ramadi

Things are getting intense in the Middle East and Levant. The New York Times reports that Sunni militants are on the offensive in Iraqi cities with the headline indicating that the battle was over: Parts of 2 Key Iraqi Cities Fall to Qaeda Group Active in Syria, Jan 2

Isn’t it time to get this [...]

Iraqi group claims mortar attack on Saudi Arabia

Shias protest mistreatment in Bahrain by Saudi ally.

The conflict in Syria is spreading, without any doubt. Al-Akahbar reports that an Iraqi group fired six mortar rounds into a ” remote area of northeastern Saudi Arabia” as a warning to Saudis about their treatment of Shias. That would include the Shias in this [...]

We are the enemy Manning and Snowden aided

Bradley Manning & Edward Snowden

What do Manning and Snowden have in common?

I asked that question and came up nothing at first. Manning gave specific information on the content of U.S. intelligence. Edward Snowden exposed the structure and targets of a massive spying operation without exposing specific content. However, there is a common [...]

Approaching Outrage – Neo-Prophets and Data Mining

An extension and response to Don Henry Ford and Brian Downing

Stephen Colbert shows due respect at 2006 Washington, DC power fest

We are in a strangely quiet period of our post 9/11 world. The pretext for the war on terror and evisceration of the Constitution remains unexamined and unexplained to any necessary level [...]

Did counterinsurgency work in Iraq? (No)

Most accounts of the Second Iraq War (2003-11) attach great importance to counterinsurgency programs in ending the conflict there. The shift from using heavy firepower to winning hearts and minds is said to have created a “Sunni Awakening,” which changed the course of the war and brought a measure of peace.

In retrospect, the effectiveness [...]

Your morning Pepe – direct from Syriastan

The Islamic Emirate of Syriastan By Pepe Escobar Asia Times, April

the Islamic State of Iraq – for all practical purposes al-Qaeda in Iraq – announced, via a video starring its leader Abu Bakr al-Husseini al-Qurashi al-Baghdadi, a mergers and acquisition spectacular; from now on, it would be united with the [...]