Monday, December 26, 2016

Iraq, etc

We're going to go through a few comments/questions/issues e-mailed to in the last eight weeks or so.  (Thanks to Martha, Shirley and Beth who picked out the ones included.)

"President Obama ended the Iraq War at the end of 2011."


Iraq civilian deaths 2003: 12,125 2004: 11,659 2005: 16,402 2013: 9,851 2014: 20,169 2015: 17,502 Iraq Body Count

Someone forgot to tell Iraq.

There's also the fact that Barack sent a brigade of Special-Ops in during the fall of 2012. Tim Arango (New York Times) reported, "Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence."

Just because many people elected to ignore that fact doesn't mean it's untrue.

Yesterday, Stephen Kalin (REUTERS) observed, "The roughly 5,200 U.S. troops presently stationed in Iraq are part of an international coalition helping local forces retake the third of their country seized by Islamic State more than 2-1/2 years ago."

5,200 US troops -- and talk of that number doubly shortly to 10,000 -- doesn't demonstrate the end of the Iraq War.

And it is a slog.  Kimberly Dozier (DAILY BEAST) noted:

The general commanding coalition forces in Iraq predicts it will take two years of hard work to clear the so-called Islamic State from its twin capitals of Mosul and Raqqa, and then to burn out the remnants that will likely flee to the vast empty desert between Syria and Iraq.
In a Christmas Day sit-down with The Daily Beast at his headquarters, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend would not put specific timelines on the battle. But he mapped out a grinding campaign that he thinks is going slowly but as well as can be expected, considering how much time ISIS had to prepare and how brutal its fighters are willing to be.

You'll never defeat 'fake news' while pretending that the Iraq War ended.

"You say you like Bill Clinton but you called him a rapist."

I never called Bill Clinton a rapist.

When he was president, Juanita Broaddrick stepped forward and accused him of rape.

She's stood by that charge.

Bill managed to leave office without ever being asked about the issue in an interview.

(He never made a public statement as president but hid behind a spokesperson -- one who'd already stretched the truth with an earlier answer.)

As an ex-president, he's never been asked about it.

Should he be?

Yeah, he should give an answer.

But when he became the husband of a presidential candidate, he raised the issue all over again -- the same way that Kitty Dukakis' drinking was an issue, the same way that Howard Dean's wife's refusal to campaign for him became an issue they had to answer about.

Children are off limits.

Spouses are not.

Especially now when so many couples are made up of people who both work outside the home.

Bill Clinton skated on the issue as president.

As spouse of a presidential candidate, the press should have made it an issue.

I didn't defend him from the charge nor would I.

Only an idiot would.

I wasn't there, I don't know what happened.

When a friend was being charges with sexual harassment, I said I hoped it wasn't true.

I never said it wasn't true.

Nor would I.

Maria Shriver did that because she's an idiot.

Ahnuld would never cheat on her, the woman accusing him of sexual harassment were liars, no harassment, no affairs.

Meanwhile, he was sleeping with their maid, the same maid he'd fathered a child with.

Maria looked like an idiot.

Bob Filner is someone I consider a friend.

I said here I hoped the charges were not true.

I never said that they weren't.

They ended up being true -- and we didn't look the other way.

Bob has never been anything but kind to me.

But there was another side he didn't show me.

By the same token, I'd be an idiot to say Bill Clinton was innocent.

I wasn't there.

"You liked Hillary in 2008 but you were against her in 2016."

I didn't endorse Hillary until after New Hampshire.

I was staying out of it.

After Iowa, if Joe hadn't dropped out immediately, I probably would have endorsed Joe Biden.

I didn't agree with him on Iraq about everything.  I agreed on some things.  On other things, I respected that he was making his case (say for federalism) and then being willing to accept whatever the outcome was in the US Congress (they didn't support it -- nor did I).

In 2008, I knew everyone running in the primary.  Some I knew better than others.

The one I knew the least was Barack.

But Elaine and I had met him during his Senate run.

And I knew he was a liar from that meeting.

Iraq's an issue that matters to me.

He was for the war when we met him.  He was not opposed to it.

He was a liar.  Bill Clinton was exactly right about Barack's "fairy tale" on Iraq.

Dennis Kucinich?

A fake ass.

Mike Gravel?  Sincere and honest.

Bill Richardson?  Strong on Iraq.  A nice enough person.  Had flaws elsewhere.

John Edwards?

I don't usually support grabby hands that grab me and that do not accept "No" the first time it's screamed.  Not whispered, not stated calmly -- screamed.  I don't like John Edwards.  He's sleaze.

With Joe Biden dropping out the day after Iowa, it was a race between Edwards, Hillary and Barack.

Hillary voted for the Iraq War.  But was now saying it was a mistake.

Barack had opposed the Iraq War before it started -- despite Patricia J. Williams lying that he voted against it (he wasn't in the US Senate when the vote took place).  But he told Elaine and I that opposition no longer mattered because the war had started.  That and his anti peace remarks -- he loathed the peace activists of the sixties and insulted them the same way he did hippies in his recent CNN interview where he insisted his mother wasn't a hippie who didn't shave her legs.

That left Hillary.

What changed from 2008 to 2016?

She wanted war on Libya, she wanted war on Syria.

She did nothing to improve Iraq and refused the request of a friend to just mention Iraq in a speech about countries that were lousy for women.

Her mistake was not a mistake, it was who she was.

And then, during those eight years, she changed her "mistake" response.  She ended up with it being it was a mistake for her to vote for the Iraq War because she trusted Bully Boy Bush and assumed he would send the right amount of US troops into Iraq.  But, she felt, it didn't.

That's why I couldn't support her.

She also ran a lousy campaign.

Here are a few links we'll note: