A bit of ground fog and thick overcast right now this way-too-early Monday on California’s north coast — a couple of hours ago, the remaining chunk of that “strawberry/honey” moon from Friday the 13th could be seen hanging oddly in the southern sky.
Sea clouds covered the shining.
And the bright looks pale as seemingly the world tries to figure out the endgame in Iraq. Just about any clown with a mouth has poised an answer, except: Former President George W. Bush will make no public statement on the developing crisis in Iraq, his spokesman said Friday. “President Bush has vowed not to criticize his successor and does not have a comment,” Freddy Ford told ABC News in a statement.
(Illustration found here).
George Jr. is currently finger-painting himself into a playpen.
President Obama, despite the initial wonderment, has turned out to be an incredible disappointment, and Iraq has plagued him since the very beginning. Hard to get a handle on something as horribly dumb and dangerous as Iraq — huh?
John Cassidy at the New Yorker:
Having withdrawn almost all U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011 — there are still a few Marines there, protecting the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and other sites — the President is in a tight spot.
From his body language, it is clear that he wants to reëngage with Iraq about as much as he wants to undergo a root canal.
Most Americans feel the same way.
But, given the huge investment of manpower, money, and prestige that the United States has invested in the country over the past decade, it would be a brave or foolhardy President who’d simply step aside and watch the fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham overrun Baghdad.
Elsewhere in Washington, the blame game has already begun.
“This is the education of Barack Obama, but it’s coming at a very high cost to the Syrian people to the Iraqi people, to the American national interest,” Doug Feith, the Under-secretary of Defense for Policy from 2001 to 2005, told Politico.
“The President didn’t take seriously the warnings of what would happen if we withdrew and he liked the political benefits of being able to say that we’re completely out.” Senator John McCain, whom the President telephoned on Friday, has called on Obama to fire his entire national-security team, claiming, “Could all of this have been avoided? The answer is absolutely yes.”
McCain is right; it could have been avoided.
If, in the aftermath of 9/11, President George W. Bush had treated the arguments of Feith, McCain, and other advocates of the Iraq War with the disdain they deserved, we (and the Iraqis) wouldn’t be where we are today.
The irony is painfully acute.
Eleven years ago, in response to a terrorist attack by a group of anti-American religious fanatics, the United States invaded an Arab country with hardly any jihadis, or very few of them, to overthrow a secular dictator.
Today, with much blood and money having been spent, northern and western Iraq is full of jihadis, and the U.S. government is figuring out how to prevent them from overrunning the rest of the country.
And worse still, Bootstrap McCain acts out the historical idiot — like most of the entire GOP, which has a horribly-huge memory loss, which explains his confrontation Friday with HuffPost reporter Sam Stein, who asked McCain what entails victory in Iraq:
McCain had been arguing that the Iraq War was “won” before President Obama failed to pursue a status-of-forces agreement with the Iraqi government, which would have allowed some U.S. troops to remain in-country after the 2011 withdrawal.
“Yeah, I just want to nail down what it means to have it won, I guess,” Stein asked.
“Because when we were discussing the war, debating the war, I thought the idea was that we would put up an Iraqi government that would be self-sufficient, with an Iraqi military that could carry out operations.”
“So I’m curious, what is the definition of victory?” the reporter continued.
“What is the definition of winning? Does it mean having a residual force basically without [an] end date? I’m just a little bit confused. I want to know what victory is to you, Sen. McCain.”
“I think you are confused,” McCain began, “because you didn’t know what happened with the surge, where we basically had the country pacified.
“We had a stable government in Baghdad. And we had the conflict basically, for all intents and purposes, won.
“We still got troops in Bosnia,” McCain noted.
“A residual force would have stabilized the country. Most military experts will tell you that.
So I’m sorry about your confusion, but the facts on the ground were that Al-Qaida had been defeated almost completely, and with the residual American force and at that time, a strong Iraq — now, Maliki is very weak.”
“And Maliki got worse after we left,” the senator continued.
“And again, I knew this was going to happen. Because we didn’t leave that force behind.
“And so I’m sorry about your confusion, but anybody who was there will tell you we had the conflict won.”
“I guess I shouldn’t call myself confused, because it will be used against me,” Stein responded wryly.
“Yeah,” a still-combative McCain shot back.
What a colossal asshole — all what came of McCain’s mouth is wrong. Stein isn’t confused, old war brains is — Iraq didn’t want a residual US forces in their country, the rest is history.
And George Jr. still won’t blubber a word — saying he won’t criticize Obama, but by silence what is the little turd doing?
(Illustration out front found here).