Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happiness is Iraq in the Rear View Mirror

President Obama has announced our troops will be out of Iraq by Christmas, and we should all rejoice. Now, if we could get him to make the same command decision about Afghanistan...

Heritage laments this development, worrying that it "might jeopardize the progress that has been made in Iraq." I worry about that too, but Iraq is a sovereign country and they've asked us to leave.  We have tired of one another, as the quiet collapse of talks to keep troops there has testified.  They want to take the training wheels off, and we have no choice but to comply.

CATO has the better take...
This costly and counterproductive war—launched under false pretenses, sold to the American people as a cakewalk and an operation that would be paid for by Iraqi oil revenues—may finally, mercifully, be coming to an end. I certainly hope that is the case.
Our troops performed heroically, and they have ushered a people out of dictatorship.  We've given the Iraqis a republic, if they can keep it.

DoD's Army Moves Out, State Department's Army Moves In

I read in Wired that the State Department will fill the vacuum with a private army of 5,500 security contractors at a cost of over $3 billion! I ask, it it worth it?

It's a sign of trouble that the State Department needs its own private army.  How can you build goodwill traveling around in armored convoys?  With all that firepower, international incidents will happen, innocent Iraqis will be killed, and the populace will be screaming for blood. No diplomatic immunity for the security contractors, so we will simply allow the accused to sneak out of the country, adding more fuel to the fire.

Why do we need such a large State Department presence there? Iraq has no special value to us, there are no warm cultural affinities.  Why the fortress in Baghdad?  Why all the consulates polkadotting a hostile land providing targets for violent hatred?

We should put a small embassy among the others in Baghdad, and put a consulate up in Kurdistan and hire the Pesh Merga to guard it, which is what we do in many other countries.

Bloomberg - Will Troops Leave Iraq Better Off?


Ducky's here said...

It might not be so great if Iran and the PKK decide to get frisky.

Bit of a mess we are leaving.

Anonymous said...

How likely would you be to accept a position in the Iraqi embassy knowing that it's not very well guarded?

Anonymous said...

I have read that forces are planning to destroy our embassy, as has been done elsewhere. Good luck.

Silverfiddle said...

It is a bit of a mess, Ducky, but a sovereign nation has asked us to remove our armed forces.

Jack: Put it where the other embassies are and guard it. Do we really need to build a medieval castle? If so, what does that say about our position there?

Do we need to be driving all over the country in armored convoys?

Anonymous said...

Rx for a happier, more prosperous American future:

1. Get out of the Middle East. Close our embassies there.

2. Let the bastards stew in their own juice. Hopefully they will kill each other off, if we don't interfere.

3. Start drilling so we can producing our own oil and then buy oil only from sources in the Western Hemisphere. Selling Western Oil to other parts of the world should forbidden.

4. Stop foreign aid. Period!

5. Close our military bases abroad. How would we like it, if foreigners established a military presence in the USA?

6. Our excessive involvement with Israel -- a country whose interests are most emphatically NOT congruent with our own -- must cease. If Israel cannot stand on her own, she must must be allowed to go the way of all flesh.

7. Put our own house in order, and stop trying to 'fix" everyone e;se's problems.

8. Learn to live more economically. Better education would produce better values. They in turn would produce thrift. Thrift is a good part of the makings of a sane, productive, reasonably contented society.

9. Outlaw political agitation. Agitation is tantamount to treason, and should be treated accordingly.

10. Everyone everywhere should learn to mind his own business and stop trying to tell others what to do.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Why do we need to leave ANYBODY there let alone contractors or Embassies? (I can't imagine Obama or Panetta pulling for contractors to stay. Contractors work for a profit; what an awful example for America to set for Iraqis :-)!!(yes, sarcasm there....and remember that the left sure didn't approve of contractors when Bush sent them, huh?) What irony if Panetta asks HALLIBURTON to stay :-)

Maybe leaving will be the biggest gift we COULD give Iraqis; hell will break loose and then ALL of them will appreciate how it was in the 'good ol' days' when America was there protecting their towns and toppling the man responsible for so many families to have lost loved ones for no reason.?

Anonymous said...

It's always easier to get into a mess than to get out of mess. Since when does our State Department fund private armies, or am I naive? I we need 5500 troops to protect an embassy, we should have an embassy there until such time as it is safe.

Infidel de Manahatta said...

It's typical of our government now. We have a permanent "security" arm that will not go away.

All to make us safer.

Ducky's here said...

@z ....and remember that the left sure didn't approve of contractors when Bush sent them, huh?) What irony if Panetta asks HALLIBURTON to stay :-)


Yes, the left has been pointing out the continued privatization and the ridiculous expenditures, to the detriment of the enlisted, on mercenaries, who will always disappoint you.

Then you fall into the trap of assuming the likes of Panetta and President Stooge are progressives.
Nothing but pimps for military contractors.

America - drones and prisons are our growth industries.

But as I pointed out at another blog, z. Although you assume I don't read the Bible, I can assure you that I read it sufficiently to know that I & II Kings tell us that militarism is a mugs game.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Ponder this:

If this administration (or any for that matter) can place "a private army of 5,500 security contractors" in Iraq, then by God why can they not HIRE a PRIVATE army of 5,000 plus ARMED Americans at our southern border?

I am quite sure many would line up for a chance at the job to and including returning Veterans.

Fredd said...

I'm with Z:

Leave them alone to wallow in their barbaric ways. Let them throw acid in their women's faces, chop each other's hands off for the least of offenses, and if the truth really comes out, they can all just eat each other for all we care.

Leave them to their little hell on earth. If they start harboring enemies of the U.S. again, then send a fleet or two of B-52's to put them in their place.

Coounty Thinker said...

Terrorism vi Iraq is now a greater threat than when Saddam was in power, and the war tipped the balance of power in favor of Iran.

The WSJ editorial board - who i usually agree with, thinks we need to stay until the region is stable. They point to out 60+ year stay in Japan and S. Korea as examples of American foreign policy gone well. I'm not sure anyone in this country is up for that sort of commitment.

Silverfiddle said...

The WSJ editorial board - who i usually agree with, thinks we need to stay until the region is stable.

In other words, until hell freezes over.

Jersey McJones said...

"Why do we need such a large State Department presence there?"

For one of the main reasons we invaded in the first place - oil.


Z said...

JMJ...how's that oil thing worked so far for ya?

Fredd and SF....I do give some thought to the fact that our leaving will leave them to their own devices and that doing that could land one of their devices on Cleveland...

I'm MOSTLY in favor of going (Fredd, you about put me over the edge with 'eat each other'..that is funny!) but I DO worry about them gaining strength and even more lunacy through their hatred and jealousy and the religious demands the true koran puts on them (i.e.. WE are Muslim or we're TOAST...PITA toast, of course!)

Anonymous said...

I repeat -- with added emphasis:

We need to put our own house in order, and stop trying to "fix" everyone ELSE'S problems.

It ought to be obvious by now that we do not pursue these military adventures

A) to spread democracy

B) to profit from control of other peoples' resources

C) to expand our territory

D) to increase our hegemony

From the dismal results we have obtained in the immense sacrifice of blood and treasure we've made since the end of World War Two, we should know by now that the primary purpose in pursuing these unrewarding, immoral, insane, confiscatory policies is to line the pockets of cynical members of the Military Industrial Complex with gold.

Surely we can't be so obtuse as to believe our leaders play these deadly games for idealistic purposes, however misguided and impractical? No one could be THAT stupid -- or could they?

Our leadership is ROTTEN.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

The correct answer is B) To profit from control of other peoples resources.

Ducky's here said...

z, how are the scary Muslims going to get a delivery system that will reach Cleveland?

Anonymous said...


My POINT is that we as a a NATION have gained NOTHING. It all went into the pockets of the manufacturers or war materiel and the lousy congressmen who've been bribed by same to support our murderous insanity.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...


You'll never know if the Muslims ever get to Cleveland, because Boston is one of the American cities they plan to level first.

Ashes and soot make poor witnesses to future events.

~ FT

Anonymous said...

At any rate

'Tis better to die in a blast atomic
Than live with Sharia in countries Islamic.

'Tis better also to lie in your grave
Than live as anybody' slave.

Incineration beats incarceration any day.

~ FreeThinke

Jersey McJones said...


"JMJ...how's that oil thing worked so far for ya?"

Lousy. How's it working our for you? I mean, unless you make money from the oil biz.

Are you so naive as to believe securing foreign resources automatically means better deals for we common folks? Really? Have you studied history ever, at all, even just a little, in your entire life?

"I can't imagine Obama or Panetta pulling for contractors to stay."

Because you are that naive - and more. If you really believe the Obama administration is anti-capitalistic, you're a moron. This is typical American Empire behavior. Those contractors are just as powerful now as they ever were. During Obama's tenure, private contractors have flourished in Iraq, profiteering more than ever from the war.

Unlike the Marshall Plan, when investors and banks made the money from reconstruction, the money here is made by industrial and security contractors. The Iraqi people are not making money improving their infrastructure and economy. A few big American contractors, with cheap foreign (often not even Iraqi) labor, are, and a lot of the money it's coming out of our pockets.

This is bad for us, and bad from them. They need to get their people to work, we need to bring our national investment dollars home.


Anonymous said...

Rx: Take the ASS out of embassy, and abandon diplomatic relations with barbarous nations.

It would make better sense if we trued to persuade crocodiles and monitor lizards to become vegetarians.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...


Mirror mirror, in my hand
Who's the vilest in our land?

The mirror did not say a word,
But thought, "The question's quite absurd.

The country's run by knaves and fools
For citizens who act like ghouls

Sucking on each pus-filled sore
Destroying their esprit de corps

By taking a perverse delight
In cursing dark while loathing light."

~ FreeThinke

Finntann said...

FT: "Close our military bases abroad. How would we like it, if foreigners established a military presence in the USA?"

Too late. The Luftwaffe has had a Tactical Training Center colocated at Holloman AFB since 1996.

There are 650 personnel and 25 Tornado Aircraft there. The difference is while many countries conduct military training in the United States it is with and under US Command. While a tenant unit of Holloman AFB, the GAF Training Center is under German command and conducted by the German AF.

What's the big deal? It is no different than US military units stationed at foreign bases.

They also throw one hell of an Octoberfest!


Anonymous said...

I guess you don't recall that it was in Bush's timeline to be out of Iraq by 12/2011. Thank you Obama! Re-election guaranteed!

Anonymous said...

Interesting, Finntann. I never new that, but am I wrong in assuming the Germans are here at our specific invitation?

I wonder if the countries where we've been stationed since the end of WWII are really glad we're still there now that there's no practical need for it? Or am I wrong about that too?

What I meant, of course, was our practice of invading sovereign nations like Afghanistan and Iraq "for their own good" or on some other trumped up pretext, because we don't like they way they're running their internal affairs -- or with whom they choose to make alliances?

It is the cost of maintaining these bases abroad that I object to most, but I’m not above using a moral argument to bolster a practical point about fiscal responsibility.

Even if we maintain all these military outposts by request, do we really need to do so to ensure our own safety? Somehow, I doubt it.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Ducky, I picked Cleveland as a typical American city, to please you do I have to measure exactly how far Iran could hit and only use that very city on which the measurement stops? :-)....gad, think outside the box. Then go read some Ken Timmerman....you could really learn something.
Ya, I'd call the 19 on 9/11 pretty 'scary'...but you keep believing there's no terror threat. God, I wish I could be a liberal and I could allow my agenda to trump rationality.

OOH, Jersey! I hit a nerve, huh? I don't know history? :-)
How do we differ on this:
"This is bad for us, and bad from them. They need to get their people to work, we need to bring our national investment dollars home."

Karen Howes said...

I'm with you-- time to go. Matter of fact, we should pull out of every piece of crap country we're currently in, and just let them fend for themselves.

Scotty said...

Lots of us are. One of the problems with chat room communication is that so many are so anxious to make themselves heard theye forget-- or don't bother -- to listen. So, we wind up mired in redundancy and talking at cross purposes about things that don't really matter.

I said it elsewhere FT, conversations in this arena can often times be like arguing religion and politics in a barroom full of drunks!