Tag Archives: Iraq

Trump betrays his supporters with John Bolton pick, signaling more ‘stupid wars’

Remember back to those halcyon days of the Trump campaign when his “America First” slogan signaled a return to American isolationism and turning away from Neocon “stupid wars” of regime change?

Despite having actually supported the Iraq war, Trump was highly critical of George W. Bush and his Neocon war cabinet on the campaign trail. Trump on Iraq: How Could We Have Been So Stupid? “One Of The Worst Decisions In The History Of The Country”:

TRUMP: I’m finding out all I can do is tell the truth. I tell the truth about Iraq. I say the war was a disaster. We spent $2 trillion. Lost thousands of lives, thousands of lives. We have wounded warriors all over the place. These guys have more courage than all of us put together. I have to tell you. All of us. And you know, I said we should have never been there. And you know, if Bush is insulted, I don’t care if he’s insulted. It was a horrible mistake. We should have never been there. Somebody says, oh, that’s not good to criticize? I say criticize? It’s one of the worst decisions in the history of the country. We have totally destabilized the Middle East.

I predicted that was going to happen. Because when you knock down the one power, the other power just took it over. Now Iran is taking over Iraq. Just as sure as you’re sitting there. We don’t even have anything to do with Iraq anymore. We’re gone. But think of it. We spent $2 trillion. Could have rebuilt our country. We could have done so much with that money. And instead, we’re worse in the Middle East than we were 15 years ago. Right now, it’s a disaster.

Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, but you know what he was good at? Killing terrorists. He was killing terrorists. Now, Iraq is Harvard for terrorists. if you want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It’s Harvard. And what did we do? You know, we spent all this money, lost all these lives, have all these wounded warriors. What did we get? Iran is taking over. Not only did they get the $150 billion in the stupid deal we made, one of the dumbest deals ever, but now we’re taking over Iraq, they have been fighting for years to try to take each other.

Many of Trump’s MAGA supporters voted for him specifically because they believed (irrationally) that he would get America out of “stupid wars” and he would use the savings  to “make America great again.”

On Thursday, Trump betrayed those supporters when National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster resigned (riiight, he was forced out) and Trump replaced him with the godfather of stupid wars, John Bolton, a Neocon who was one of the directors of the Project for the New American Century that advocated for regime change in Iraq and misled the Bush administration with false intelligence into the Iraq war fiasco. John Bolton, Fresh From Fox News, Joins the Trump Cast.

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Chilcot Report: A damning critique of the British role in the Iraq War

Today Sir John Chilcot, after seven years of a commission investigation into the British role in the Iraq War, released what has been dubbed the Chilcot Report as he is the chairman of the Iraq Inquiry. You can read the very lengthy Report (index page to chapters). From Sir John Chilcot’s public statement:

Bush-BlairWe were appointed to consider the UK’s policy on Iraq from 2001 to 2009, and to identify lessons for the future. Our Report will be published on the Inquiry’s website after I finish speaking.

In 2003, for the first time since the Second World War, the United Kingdom took part in an invasion and full-scale occupation of a sovereign State. That was a decision of the utmost gravity. Saddam Hussein was undoubtedly a brutal dictator who had attacked Iraq’s neighbours, repressed and killed many of his own people, and was in violation of obligations imposed by the UN Security Council.

But the questions for the Inquiry were:

  • whether it was right and necessary to invade Iraq in March 2003; and
  • whether the UK could – and should – have been better prepared for what followed.

We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.

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How the ‘McMedia’ fail to hold John McCain accountable

The “big story” in the Arizona political media over the past 24 hours is that Arizona’s angry old man, Senator John McCain, once again has demonstrated his lack of temperament, character, judgment and honesty by blaming President Obama for the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida on Sunday. McCain: Obama ‘directly responsible’ for Orlando shooting:

Sen. McCain, who lost to Obama in the 2008 presidential election, spoke to reporters in the Capitol Thursday while Obama was in Orlando visiting with the families of those killed in Sunday’s attack and some of the survivors.

McCain button“Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaida went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures, utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq,” a visibly angry McCain said as the Senate debated a spending bill.

“So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies,” McCain said.

* * *

Questioned on his startling assertion, McCain initially repeated it: “Directly responsible. Because he pulled everybody out of Iraq, and I predicted at the time that ISIS would go unchecked and there would be attacks on the United States of America. It’s a matter of record, so he is directly responsible.”

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Congress continues to avoid debating an AUMF to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria

This week Congress will vote against the P5+1 world powers nuclear agreement with Iran because Tea-Publicans prefer getting their war on with Iran, which many of them believe will come with the succession of a Tea-Publican president in January 2017.

us-forces-afghanistan-AP-640x480So Tea-Publicans will vote against a nuclear non-proliferation agreement, but they cannot bring themselves to perform their constitutional duty to debate and to actually authorize the current U.S. military engagements in Iraq and Syria against ISIS (and the Assad regime).

As I have explained previously, this is calculated: Tea-Publicans want the precedent being established by fighting a war without congressional authorization in violation of the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973 so that the next president — whom they believe will be a Tea-Publican — can take this country to war without asking for congressional approval. Dick Cheney’s Unitary Executive Theory of the Imperial Presidency will be back with a vengeance.

I have previously posted about the efforts of Arizona Senator Jeff Flake and Virginia Senator Time Kaine to force their Senate colleagues to perform their constitutional duty to debate and to actually authorize the current U.S. military engagements in Iraq and Syria. Senate avoids debating an AUMF to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria. I said at the time that Congress continues to abdicate its war powers under the Constitution, and is refusing to do its constitutional duty. I am amazed at the lack of editorial opinion on this subject from mainstream media publications.

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The House votes to continue a war that it has not even authorized

I posted back in May, When will Congress act on an AUMF for ISIS in Iraq and Syria?, and more recently, Congress once again abdicates its war powers. Congress has yet to debate and to vote on an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, long past the time limitations prescribed by the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

But today Congress did manage to find time to debate and to vote on continuing a war that it has not even authorized. We have gone down the rabbit hole again. House rejects withdrawal from ISIS war:

us-forces-afghanistan-AP-640x480The House voted resoundingly Wednesday to keep troops stationed abroad fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) despite the absence of a formal congressional authorization for military action against the group.

In the first vote of its kind since the Obama administration began airstrikes ten months ago, the House defeated a resolution requiring the president to remove troops within the next six months. The vote was 139-288. [House Vote 370: Yes: Gallego, Grijalva, Kirkpatrick – No: Franks, Gosar, McSally, Salmon, Schweikert, Sinema.]

Nineteen Republicans and 120 Democrats voted for the measure. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) voted “present.”

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Congress once again abdicates its war powers

So this week President Obama Authorized Deploying Up To 450 More Troops To Iraq, in addition to the 3,100 troops already deployed in Iraq since August of 2014:

us-forces-afghanistan-AP-640x480In a statement, press secretary Josh Earnest said the military personnel will “train, advise, and assist Iraqi Security Forces at Taqaddum military base in eastern Anbar province.”

He added: “The President made this decision after a request from Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and upon the recommendation of Secretary Carter and Chairman Dempsey, and with the unanimous support of his national security team.”

In addition, President Obama is open to expanding the American military footprint in Iraq with a network of new military bases. Pentagon Weighing Opening More Bases in Iraq.

This “mission creep” in Iraq is occurring without the U.S. Congress having taken any action on an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Iraq and Syria to combat ISIS.

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