We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Why? I was never convinced about the adventure in Iraq in the first place. Contra Dick and Liz Cheney, this has nothing to do with American freedom. The greatest threats to American freedom come from our own government. Governments will use any excuse to impinge on individual liberty.
I am not happy about the Gulf war or the war in Afghanistan or the war in Kosovo or the war in Somali. I was definitely against the war in Vietnam. Too young to have a voice about the war in Korea but I do feel good about the way South Korea developed. I basically have been opposed to every war and every military excursion except Grenada since 1952. I served 20 years in the Military and I oppose the U.S. going to war. But I ask what should we have done when Saddam took Kuwait and was about to take Saudi Arabia?? That is the basis for the war in 2003 with Iraq. Saddam signed a cease fire agreement in 1991 and agreed to many specific terms intended to prevent him from building up an army and developing arms and threatening his nieghbors. From 1992 until the invasion in 2003 Saddam ignored the agreement and did develop WMDs and build an army and threaten his nieghbors. If Clinton had been more agressive in enforcing the cease fire agreement it is likely the Iraq war wouldn't have been necessary. So the question for anyone who like me doesn't want war or the U.S. being the world police what should we have done in 1991? Let Kuwait and Suadi Arabia fall and Saddam take over the rest of the Middle East? And once we did kick Saddam out of Kuwait and destroyed his military and settled with a cease fire agreement should we have enforced the agreement even if it took military force? The point is that the Iraq war in 1993 was necessary because the cease fire agreement was not enforced by Clinton and Saddam was indeed building WMDs.
Now if the U.S. shouldn't have been involved in either of these wars do you really think that Israel would not HAVE to fight that battle and without our conventional power that they wouldn't have had to use nukes? Given all of that the question again is should we have saved Kuwait, Saudia Arabia and the rest of the Middle East or not? And if not what should we have done when the war went nuclear? You can only put your head in the sand until someone lights your ass on fire and then you have to actually do something about it. It's easy to say that any of these wars I listed were a mistake but then you must answer what you would have done when everything turned to shit. There is a price to pay for inaction too. If Bush hadn't destroyed Saddams war making power in 1993 I suspect that we would be discussing that inaction as a huge mistake.
Having said all that I still oppose the U.S. use of force without us being attacked however I would not be opposed to a judicial use of air power to attack ISIS targets of opportunity in Iraq to help the Iraq government and to decrease the risk ISIS poses to the Middle East and to us.
The US problem is the creation of another refuge for terrorists and bombers who attack the US and its allies. The US problem is that without the US being feared, as we are not under Obama, that such refuges are encouraged elsewhere in the world. Have you so soon forgotten the aftermath of Vietnam and the Russian adventurism and support of local attackers of Western interests.
I'm of two minds on this. I sickens me to think of all the sacrifice our troupes went though in Iraq. I find it almost impossible to imagine what the guys who came back with serious physical wounds might feel about this. We put them over there first to find WMD's which may or may not have existed - I suspect they had gas and moved it to Syria - but I have no evidence to point to.
Ultimately we kept them there to help install democracy - which was a nice idea but not well thought out.
On the other hand, it was always a doomed venture (adventure?) The culture is not conducive to supporting democracy.
Should we be putting more into it? You don't win with out boots on the ground, but it doesn't have to be our boots. Air strikes might hurt them bad enough to make them withdrawal - will that save democracy - not likely.
Probably just a case of thawing good money after bad.
This is a proxy sectarian war between Saudi Arabia and Iran that ranges from Lebanon to Iraq. The Wahabi Saudis will not tolerate the existence of Shiites, and Shia Iran wants to convert the world to Shia. This is a war that goes back 1400 years to the death of Muhammed, and it has no possible ending: mindless violence forever.
The Ottoman Empire suppressed the violence by standing on these peoples throats. If you want peace in the Middle East (and oil), you have to re-establish a modern Ottoman Empire. Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait become non-voting provinces of Turkey.
The ONLY long term solution is for the Gulf to run out of oil exports.
It is MOST unwise to take sides in the Sunni-Shi'ite transnational civil war.
It is even more unwise to permit refugees from the fighting to come into the West.
While they tug at the heart strings, it's inevitable that any such flows will draw jihadis into the West like sugar draws flies. Every jihadi that gets through is fully capable of murdering hundreds of American citizens.
It's what they live for, die for.
Barry has, de facto, decided to let Tehran have the Bomb.
This insane policy must mean that the Sunnis will have the Bomb, too.
In which case, Barry's desire to flee from the cesspit makes all the sense in the world.
President Buchanan is looking better and better with every passing day.