Tag Archives: Iraq

Was withdrawing American troops from Iraq a good thing for world peace?

Control of Iraq (click for larger image)
Control of Iraq (click for larger image)

I really enjoyed this article from David French in National Review.

It says:

In Tuesday night’s debate, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine defended the indefensible — a strategic retreat from Iraq that threw away the fruits of American military victory, helped enable a terrifying genocide, and empowered America’s enemies. Even worse, he did so while spouting a pack of deceptions and half-truths that exhibited a child’s understanding of American strategic interests.

Where to begin? First, it was stunning that Kaine brought up as an accomplishment America’s dramatically reduced overseas deployments — as if the only measure of strategic success is the number of Americans in harm’s way. He said it was a “very, very good thing” that instead of 175,000 deployed, we now have only 15,000.

Well, yes, if America’s enemies were defeated or contained. Instead, American retreat created power vacuums that our enemies filled. Jihadists control more territory, have more men under arms, and are more effectively attacking America and American allies than when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state. Those are facts that make American withdrawal look less like an accomplishment and more like an inexcusable retreat.

Moreover, we didn’t have to maintain 175,000 troops in the field to hold on to our hard-fought gains. Kaine made the choice binary — maximum or minimum. Yet our defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq (the precursor to ISIS) was so comprehensive that the presence of only a small number of American combat troops could have prevented the kind of blitzkrieg we saw in 2014, when ISIS overran large parts of Iraq and Syria. There was never a question of keeping massive numbers of troops in the field. The question was whether we’d keep any troops in Iraq, and the Obama administration said no.

And that brings me to Kaine’s central deception. He still clings to the old, discredited line that America had no choice but to pull troops out of Iraq because the Bush-era “status of forces” agreement mandated their removal. Yet comprehensive reporting in the New York Times and The New Yorker magazine tells a very different story — of an administration that was unwilling to commit the roughly 10,000 to 16,000 (not 175,000) troops needed to maintain stability and of an Iraqi government that was unwilling to risk political capital at home for the sake of a merely nominal American presence. In other words, both sides blundered, badly.

As any number of strategic thinkers have noted, the results weren’t just predictable, they were predicted — by President George W. Bush himself. Speaking in 2007, Bush said that if troops were withdrawn before commanders said Iraq was ready, then:

  • It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al-Qaeda.
  • It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale.
  • It would mean we allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan.
  • It would mean we’d be increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.

All of these things happened. All of them. ISIS has committed genocide. It blitzed through Iraq, threatening Baghdad and even Kurdistan, and it has created a nation-sized jihadist terror state, one that is shrinking only because — yes — American troops have returned.

David French was deployed to Iraq, and saw Americans killed there. Then Obama pulled out our forces, giving the enemies of America a great victory. A bit later, the Islamic State (ISIL) formed, and began to take control, committing atrocities unthinkable to most of the naive people who voted for Obama. Retreat from Iraq created a mess, and we should learn from that failure. You can’t just pull Western troops out and expect everything to magically fix itself.

Is Trump right to say that Bush lied about the Iraq war, and there were no WMDs?

There was a debate on Saturday night, and Donald Trump started screaming like an unhinged psychopath not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES.

Red State introduces the meltdowns:

In Saturday’s CBS Republican presidential debate Donald Trump was the biggest loser. It wasn’t even close. Worse, the Donald was whiney, uncivil and so very un-presidential. He threw Trumpertantrum after Trumpertantrum, interrupted again and again and was booed over and over.

Here they are:

You can listen to all three meltdowns and read the transcripts in the Red State article. Let’s look at them.

The third statement about Planned Parenthood has already been turned into an ad by Ted Cruz, who was called a liar by Trump in the debate. The new Cruz ad shows Trump saying exactly what Cruz said that he said about Planned Parenthood on the Sean Hannity show.

I’m going to cover the “George W. Bush lied us into war and there were no WMDs there” statement below, and then this afternoon, I’ll cover the “Putin is a leader and there’s no evidence that he assassinated anyone” statement.

Here’s the part of the transcript that’s relevant:

DICKERSON: … On Monday, George W. Bush will campaign in South Carolina for his brother. As you’ve said tonight, and you’ve often said, the Iraq war and your opposition to it was a sign of your good judgment. In 2008, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer, talking about President George W. Bush’s conduct of the war, you said you were surprised that Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi didn’t try to impeach him. You said, quote: “Which, personally, I think would have been a wonderful thing.” When you were asked what you meant by that and you said: “For the war, for the war, he lied, he got us into the war with lies.” Do you still believe President Bush should have been impeached?

[…]TRUMP: You do whatever you want. You call it whatever you want. I want to tell you. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.

Two points to make about this.

Chemical weapons found in Iraq
Chemical weapons found in Iraq

First, we did find WMDs in Iraq – lots of them. And this was reported in the radically leftist New York Times, of all places.

Read it:

Five years after President George W. Bush sent troops into Iraq, these soldiers had entered an expansive but largely secret chapter of America’s long and bitter involvement in Iraq.

From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Second point, three different reports found that George W. Bush did not lie about the WMDs, nor did he pressure the intelligence agencies.


Everyone was convinced that Saddam had WMDs. It remains a fact Saddam used WMDs against and his own people. The intelligence and common wisdom that Iraq still possessed such weapons at the time we liberated Iraq proved to be wrong, but that doesn’t equate to a lie. So lets go over the facts again.

The Bipartisan Senate Select Committee Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community’s judgments related to Iraq’s weapons programs. At pages 284-285 the report states:

Conclusion 83. The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities.


Conclusion 84. The Committee found no evidence that the Vice President’s visits to the Central Intelligence Agency were attempts to pressure analysts, were perceived as intended to pressure analysts by those who participated in the briefings on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs, or did pressure analysts to change their assessments.

Besides that report, two other independent investigations came to the same conclusion.

The Robb-Silberman Commission On The Intelligence Capabilities Of The United States Regarding Weapons Of Mass Destruction likewise found “no evidence of political pressure.” At pages 50-51 the Robb-Silberman report states: The Commission found no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community’s pre-war assessments of Iraq’s weapons programs. As we discuss in detail in the body of our report, analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments. We conclude that it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate pre-war intelligence assessments.

The British Butler Report, Review Of Intelligence On Weapons Of Mass Destruction similarly “found no evidence of deliberate distortion.”

Trump can say anything he wants, but the facts are what they are.

Trump supporters in denial

I know 3 Trump supporters, and I’ve tried to speak to them about things like eminent domain, support for bank bailouts, single payer health care, touchback amnesty, Planned Parenthood support, support for Vladimir Putinadultery and divorce, support for the gay rights agenda, four bankruptcies, etc. Their response has been do deny the evidence. Trump never did those things, all the news articles are lies, and all the videos of Trump saying those things are fake. I expect better than that from Trump supporters. This time, the stakes are as high as they could be: 4-5 Supreme Court picks.  This is the ballgame for America.

War on women: Obama strategy lets ISIS rape, torture and murder women and girls


Hey Obama girls! I found your war on women... it's in Syria... you created it!
Hey Obama girls! I found your war on women… it’s in Syria… you voted for it!

This is by foreign policy expert Rebeccah Heinrichs writing in The Federalist.


Women and girls in Nigeria who are murdered or held captive for the sadistic whims of their Boka Haram captors are just one example, but there are countless more. Al-Shabab regularly brutalizes, rapes, and murders women and girls. ISIS has sought out Yazidi women and girls for slaughter and has taken captive thousands who are now victims of torture, systemic rape, and forced abortions, among other horrors. Christian women are also raped and, when they refuse to convert to ISIS’s Islam, are murdered, along with their Christian brothers.

[…][T]he Obama administration has failed to even begin to put together a serious military campaign to destroy the Islamic State, and the president and his supporters, including Hillary Clinton, are unwilling to identify the motivations of the global movement of Islamist groups. This is why it is fair to blame the administration for allowing the recent success and empowerment of these groups, and, consequently, the increased suffering of women and girls.

[…]This became all the more evident right after the horrific November Paris attacks when the French retaliated by taking out ISIS sites. This caused many to ask the obvious question: Why hadn’t the United States already included those specific targets on its list? In fact, if the United States were serious about taking out ISIS, it would have already destroyed those targets along with the rest of the infrastructure ISIS has come to rely on to operate as a government authority.

But, exposing just how selectively limited the U.S. strikes remain, former Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Morrell recently admitted, “We didn’t go after oil wells — actually hitting oil wells that ISIS controls because we didn’t want to do environmental damage, and we didn’t want to destroy that infrastructure.”

Let that sink in. These militants are brutally killing in ways to maximize suffering, selling children into slavery, raping young women and girls, torturing, recruiting citizens of Western countries to join their forces, gaining and holding territory, and exporting their terror in order to convert by the sword. And President Obama refuses to take out their oil wells out of concern for the environment.

But it’s OK, because as we know from Bernie Sanders, global warming is actually the cause of Islamic terrorism. Obama and John Kerry say that global warming is the top national security threat. So who cares about actual girls and women? We have to be more concerned about global warming.

Ladies and gentlemen, the real war on women.

And one last point for all the compassionate leftists who are pushing for bringing in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Why are there hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees? Why, because the leftists voted for a President who pulled our forces out of Iraq.

Retreat has consequences, ignorant leftists:

The president’s inability to see how his policies share the responsibility for the instability and humanitarian crises is almost unbelievable. Perhaps there’s no better example of this than the way he has inflamed the debate over the Syrian refugees. Waves of suffering Syrian men, women, and children are fleeing their country for fear of their lives.

But just a few years ago, before the refugee crisis, when Assad began terrorizing the Syrian people with chemical weapons and barrel bombs, President Obama could have decided then and there to hit back at Assad. President Obama chose not to empower what was then the more easily distinguishable moderate Syrian forces.

You can do foreign policy by substituting piety and feelings for rational thought. The goal is not to feel good, it is to do good, and retreating from a fight with evil does not do good.

Obama was elected to “end the wars”, but now we know how his deliberate weakness actually started a war on women. The REAL war on women, not the one that college students complain about when they demand free condoms and student loan forgiveness.

What did Hillary Clinton accomplish as Secretary of State?

What difference does national security make?
What difference does national security make?

Thomas Sowell writes about Hillary’s foreign policy achievements in Investors Business Daily.


U.S. intervention in Libya and Egypt, undermining governments that were no threat to American interests, led to Islamic extremists taking over in Egypt and terrorist chaos in Libya, where the American ambassador was killed, along with three other Americans.

[…]In Europe, as in the Middle East, our foreign policy during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state was to undermine our friends and cater to our enemies.

The famous “reset” in our foreign policy with Russia began with the Obama administration reneging on a pre-existing American commitment to supply defensive technology to shield Poland and the Czech Republic from missile attacks.

This left both countries vulnerable to pressures and threats from Russia — and left other countries elsewhere wondering how much they could rely on American promises.

Even after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Obama administration refused to let the Ukrainians have weapons with which to defend themselves.

[…][Obama and Clinton] both opposed the military “surge” in Iraq, under General David Petraeus, that defeated the terrorists there.

Even after the surge succeeded, Hillary Clinton was among those who fiercely denied initially that it had succeeded, and sought to discredit Gen. Petraeus, though eventually the evidence of the surge’s success became undeniable, even among those who had opposed it.

The truly historic catastrophe of American foreign policy — not only failing to stop Iran from going nuclear, but making it more difficult for Israel to stop them — was also something that happened on Hillary Clinton’s watch as secretary of state.

What the administration’s protracted and repeatedly extended negotiations with Iran accomplished was to allow Iran time to multiply, bury and reinforce its nuclear facilities, to the point where it was uncertain whether Israel still had the military capacity to destroy those facilities.

There are no offsetting foreign policy triumphs under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Syria, China and North Korea are other scenes of similar setbacks.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, news has now come out that the Benghazi investigation has managed to get hold of e-mails that Hillary Clinton sent to her non-State-Department-employee friend Sidney Blumenthal. They did NOT get the e-mails from Hillary, like they were supposed to. They got them from Sidney Blumenthal. Why didn’t Hillary hand over those work-related e-mails? You can read about that story in the Washington Times.

And more – Clinton approved of the release of one of the Benghazi terrorist attack suspects in 2012. She assured conservative Congressman Tom Cotton that the Benghazi suspect would be monitored by the Tunisians, so that he could do us no more harm. Well, he ended up in Mosul, Iraq, and was just killed by an airstrike in June 2015. You can read more about that story in The Weekly Standard.

Seriously… I would think that the Libya debacle alone would be enough to sink Hillary’s presidential hopes. When you add the Russian reset, Benghazi YouTube alibi, Libya, Egypt, Syria, the Clinton Foundation scandal, and so many other failures and mistakes, we’d be better off hiring a clown to be President than putting her in charge. She just isn’t qualified to the job. She just doesn’t take national security and foreign policy seriously. She is only interested in one thing: getting elected.

After a tough fight to take Ramadi, Obama hands it back to Islamic State

Control of Iraq (click for larger image)
Control of Iraq (click for larger image)

(Source: Political Geography Now)

First, let’s start with and article from Breitbart News about Obama’s retreat from Iraq:

There is no commitment to America’s fighting men and women that President Barack Obama has not broken. When he ran for office in 2008, he promised to leave a residual force in Iraq to secure that country against external meddling and internal collapse. When he took office, President George W. Bush handed over a relatively stable and secure Iraq, thanks to the “surge” Obama opposed, and thanks to the sacrifices made by thousands of Americans, killed and wounded in battle.

Yet in 2011, Obama withdrew all combat troops–which is likely what he intended to do all along–and left Iraq before the job was done, allowing terrorists to regroup and sectarian rivalries to re-emerge. By pulling out troops, he also removed the only remaining strategic threat to the Iranian regime. Today, ISIS is running rampant across the region, and he and his sycophants assure the American people that they are winning the war against the “junior varsity” terrorist caliphate.

[…]“I don’t think we’re losing,” Obama says. That is because he has won, politically. But our troops paid the price.

Now an article from famous war journalist Michael Fumento, in Investors Business Daily.

He writes:

Ramadi is a city of vast importance, both strategic and symbolic. It’s the city that al-Qaida in Iraq chose as its headquarters, and it became the most fiercely contested area in the country. It’s why SEAL Team 3 of “American Sniper” fame was stationed there and became the most decorated SEAL unit since Vietnam.

Many experts consider the Battle of Ramadi and the “Anbar Awakening,” engineered by Capt. Travis Patriquin, the actual turning point of the war. Patriquin — who a few months after briefing me on his brilliant plan was killed in Ramadi — got the Sunni chieftains to join the Americans and Iraqi security forces to defeat al-Qaida.

Yet, bizarrely, the Obama administration wrote off Ramadi last month, declaring that defense of an oil refinery took precedence — as if we couldn’t do both. (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey claimed, “It has no symbolic meaning.” Now Dempsey says Islamic State “gains in Ramadi are a serious setback for its long-suffering inhabitants.”)

In any event, within days the refinery was out of danger. Yet, the administration still refused to defend Ramadi.

[…]…[O]n no day previously did the U.S. launch more than a handful of sorties in defense of Ramadi, and on many days it flew none.

Yet, area assets include hundreds of strike aircraft, most of which can fly several sorties a day. These comprise F-16s, F-15s, F-22s, A-10s, B-1 heavy bombers, helicopters, and Reaper and Predator drones among U.S. forces, plus aircraft of 11 other coalition nations.

A single Reaper can carry a mix of 14 bombs and missiles, meaning it’s capable of that many airstrikes. Cruise missiles are also in theater, and the U.S. can hit with heavy B-52 and B-2 bombers from anywhere in the world.

Yet with this massive armada and with assets on the ground to help identify targets, the administration seems unable to find and strike more than a handful of targets daily. A machine gun here, a truck there. By comparison, during the 1968 siege of Khe Sanh, American aircraft dropped roughly 1,300 tons of bombs daily — five tons each day for every North Vietnamese soldier besieging the base.

But it’s not just Ramadi that Obama has neglected. Fact is, the so-called air war against IS is a fraud. Rarely are more than a couple of dozen targets struck in a day throughout both Iraq and Syria.

Obama is simply keeping U.S. air power grounded.

[…]…[G]enerally, Obama seems simply clueless when it comes to prosecuting war, stuck at pre-school level. (Even grade-schoolers know that bombs are worthless unless you actually drop them.)

This is as bewildering as Obama’s trading the top five Taliban in captivity for one American deserter, as I wrote in these pages last June.

It’s time for Congress and the presidential candidates to make this an issue. Alas, for Ramadi it’s too late. IS has scored a huge coup and the slaughter of our allies already has begun.

This is why it’s important when you elect a President that you elect one who understands the value of projecting military force and the threat of military force abroad. The next time we get attacked by terrorists trained in Iraq, maybe then we will realize the cost of abandoning the crossroads of the Middle East to the enemy. You can’t just end a war by unilaterally backing out of it, because it sounds nice. That’s how you lose a war. To win a war, you have to be decisive, use overwhelming force, and stay on until the region is stabilized.