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  1. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    Are we at war with ISIS? Does the President have the proper authority to respond the way he has responded to ISIS? Is ISIS a threat to the US? Why is the US taking primary responsibility for responding to ISIS? Is the UN any value at all? Is what Obama doing preemptive? So many questions. Perhaps I am missing the discussion thread on this issue, if so we can delete this one.

    I want to understand how some who post here can support what Obama is doing given the arguments against Bush's us of military force in Iraq, with an overwhelming vote of Congress giving Bush authorization to use military force in Iraq and overwhelming support of coalition partners.

    Without question I am war weary, and I am close to feeling that whatever happens in the ME is their problem and that any form of democracy will eventually fail - I am not sure if it is worth it any more - but I hold firm in my belief that if we have made a determination to go to war that we should do it with swift and overwhelming force and end the conflict quickly. My gut tells me that Obama is half-assed in this. It is his time to lead, tell us what the hell we need to do - in plain, clear and simple terms. We don't need an academic equivocation on war, boots, threats, coalitions, terrorism, etc.
  2. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    I have no idea if we're at war with the IS or not. The President probably does have the authority to respond as he has: this is not a declared war, and Presidents have long employed their Commander-in-Chief status to execute military endeavors not called wars-- for better or for worse. The US appears to be taking primary responsibility for responding to the IS because no one else is stepping forth to do so, including the UN, which has little more than symbolic value, especially in crises.

    I am also war-weary, and I feel that if the President can hold to his promise not to commit ground troops, that would really be best. But I am also unfond of terrorist groups, and I also feel that the last thing the ME needs is a truly radical extremist Islamist state-- either de facto or de jure. I have no problem with the idea of the US intervening in some way to burn these assholes. In general, I tend not to have a problem with intervention for actual humanitarian reasons, as long as it can be done effectively and efficiently, and without devolving into an endless and unwinnable mire.

    I was very opposed to the Iraq war, but not because I believed Saddam Hussein was okay and we should've let him be. In fact, if Bush had just stayed the course in Afghanistan, committed to it even harder, finished everything up, got Bin Laden, and wrapped up the whole 9/11 vengeance thing; and then, at some point afterward said, "Hey, Saddam Hussein is a really bad guy, look what he's doing to his own people," and presented any of the easily obtainable evidence that Iraq was a totalitarian dictatorship run by a homicidal maniac, I might well have been willing to support overthrowing him. I opposed the Iraq war because it had nothing to do with 9/11, everything to do with profits for oil companies and Halliburton, and the Bush Administration did nothing but lie to us in order to provoke the war.

    Although I tend to agree that Obama is probably half-assing this, I don't think he's lying to us. The IS really are horrendous and bloodthirsty wackos. I have no problem taking them out, though I don't for a moment believe that doing so successfully will result in the region becoming a stable, calm, and peaceful democracy. It won't. But that's not a good reason to stand by and let these fucknuts go around massacreing, raping, beheading, enslaving, etc. You do what you can, even when you know it won't be enough.

    I think it would be best if we could get a coalition together on this, though, and not just to save money and resources. I do think that if the IS is allowed to continue unchecked, long enough to establish a solidly-held territory, and begin acquiring more and better weapons, it is not impossible that someday it would become a threat to the West, including the US. Granted, I don't think they are currently a threat, nor would they be likely to be a threat directly to the West anytime soon. But still, it could happen, and best to nip it in the bud-- which goes to say that all the European powers and America should contribute to doing so. Though I am concerned that, unchecked and given a little time, they might well become a threat to Israel, which would be unfortunate in that if Israel defended itself with its accustomed vigor, it could find itself unifying a lot of terrorist groups to rally to the side of the IS, and at that point, it would be more difficult for the US to become involved, and Europe has never given a flying fuck about Israel, so no help there....

    Still, I do wish Obama were a better President. But he's just too...flaccid. I think he mostly has good intentions, he just can't get shit done, and can't get other people going to get shit done.....
  3. fflowley

    fflowley Don't just do something, stand there!

    I don't think we should do jack shit.
    We should have let IS march into Baghdad. When they started slaughtering the Shia then Iran would have had to deal with it.
    If we really lucked out we could have even got the Saudis dragged in. They have an ancient blood feud that's over 1000 years old to settle. Let 'em have at it.
    Nothing in Iraq/Syria/Iran is worth a single American life.
  4. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    I am close to having this exact sentiment. I was gung-oh for war with Iraq, get rid of Sadaam, help build a democracy foothold in the region, etc (never believed the war was about 9/11, I think those who think they heard this misinterpreted what was being said) - and I was starting to buy-in to Obama and bringing our troops home - but what the hell happened to him??? Is it that he has absolutely no convictions on anything? What is he trying to prove? He would have support to do nothing. And with people like me I can be persuaded either way at this point.
  5. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    Should never have gone into Iraq in the first place. ISIS is just more blow back.

    I am not sure what should be done with a problem like ISIS now that it exists.
  6. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    But we did. What crystal ball tells us that things would be better if we had not gone into Iraq? The debate should have taken place when Bush asked for authorization. To all the folks in Congress afterward saying it was a mistake, but voted in favor of using military force why didn't they take a stand when they had the opportunity. They have no credibility. To all the people who think they were lied to, I say really? Are they that naive? Did they not hear the words the President spoke at the time? Was it that confusing? Did you really not know that Bush/Chaney were going to finish what Bush I did not finish? There are a few who legitimately were against going into Iraq from start to finish, they took the heat for what they believed, stood firm, even-though I disagreed, they have my respect.

    As will be the next group...and the group after that...etc.....etc...it will never end. At least until moderate, peace loving Muslims who can live with others with differences take control over the extremists.

    Perhaps Obama is on the right track in his thinking that it is a ME problem. Only thing is why commit our Air-force until we get asked - why should we take the lead - why should we incur the lions share of the costs?
  7. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was indeed a boon to ISIS, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    The initial rationale behind dealing with Iraq was disarmament, not regime change. There were resolutions regarding WMD, and there was a very specious case cobbled together by the Bush team that gave them the impetus they wanted.

    Buoyed by fear and anger after 9/11, an invasion was made possible through public support. Regime change came through the Bush administration, and it had nothing to do with the U.N. resolution. They probably committed war crimes, but we won't likely see anything come of that. But that's another topic.

    In other words, you reap what you sow. The regime change was the U.S.'s idea. The removal of Saddam Hussein and its fallout is the U.S.'s responsibilty. Maybe the U.S. is taking primary responsibility for ISIS because they are primarily responsible for the current manifestation of ISIS. But I wouldn't hold my breath to hear such rationale. More realistically, the U.S. is taking primary responsibility for the same reasons they've always taken it.

  8. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom
    More than a few; over 60% of the Dems in the House and over 40% of Dems in the Senate.

    Most of the 1+ billion Muslims (99%?) are peace loving and live with others, but they too are the victims of the extremists, even more so than others (not to mention being the victims of Islamophobia in the US).

    Why should we take the lead? The Bush doctrine and fighting terrorism wherever it exists?

    I think Obama is making the best of a no-win situation that as Baraka stated was created, in large part, by the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Not only is ISIS an offspring of al Queda in Iraq, Sunnis in Iraq have been marginalized and the victims of sectarian violence and, for all intents and purposes, disenfranchised by the corrupt Maliki regime we helped put in place.

    Creating a coalition that includes ME countries (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar) is significant and he certainly has the authority under the 2001 AUMF (which, btw, House Dems overwhelmingly voted to sunset earlier this year, but Senate Repubs blocked it).

    We made the bed, now we have to sleep in it.
    --- merged: Sep 24, 2014 at 4:40 PM ---
    The costs certainly wont approach the $4-6 trillion end costs of the invasion/occupation of Iraq (including the costs of wounded veterans care for the next 50+ years).
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2014
  9. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    The whole region is a mess, and those countries need to come up with a plan of how to fix it. But that is very hard when one side is willing to use deadly force to get their way against a weaker population.

    I'm wondering why no one is discussing breaking apart Syria and giving the separate regions to Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan for them to manage and guard?

    There is a population problem there that isn't being talked about too. Way too many moderates are emigrating to Europe, US, and other western countries to escape violence...leaving a larger percentage of radicals that can gain power and control.
  10. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    ...and it took 11 years for them to benefit...and nothing in the interim had an impact either positive or negative...there was the Iraq war a vacuum of intervening events and now we declare war or whatever it is against them? Really?

    I know why I supported the war - it was regime change, I had no issue with the Iraqi people I had a big problem with Iraqi leadership. I believed democracy was possible. I believed it is what the people wanted. I believed they wanted leadership who would not murder, rape and steal the national treasure. I thought the leadership was a threat to the region, a threat to peace and a threat to US interests. Disarmament was an insignificant issue to me. I followed closely what Bush and Chaney actually said and I agreed with them and their arguments.
    --- merged: Sep 24, 2014 at 9:06 PM ---
    I do not recall the vote, giving Bush an open ended authorization to use military force against Iraq preemptively if he wanted (second vote), breakdown. Is this what your numbers are based on?

    It is very difficult for certain groups in the ME. I would agree with the 99% number for Muslims outside of the ME and I think it is possible most in the ME live in fear and go along, to get along. And if they need help, I would be more than willing to give it. But, we were not met as liberators in Iraq and they eventually turned control of the country to another intolerant tyrant. It was their opportunity, their vote.

    I am not even going to equivocate on what you say are victims of Islamophobia in the US in relationship to innocent people being beheaded on video by ISIS...or chemical weapons being used in Syria...or young women being sold into sex slavery...etc, etc., etc.

    I thought the bush doctrine was wrong. I thought Obama was going to change things. What went wrong? Obama sounded very similar to Bush today at the UN.

    If Obama leads, I can follow, even if and when I disagree - that is an in-house issue - when it is time to go to war or avoid war it is better if we are unified and speak with one voice in my opinion. If I was a leader and felt my predecessor's policy was a failed policy, I would change it! Wouldn't you?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2014
  11. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    - The president has a certain limited time that they can use force without authorization from Congress, it's in the War Powers Act.
    I think it's 60 or 90 days...but Obama is gearing up to request it from Congress.

    - Yes, ISIS is likely more because of power vaccuum from both Syria and Iraq being a clusterfuck.
    The original Iraq war was under Bush Sr. to push Saddam back from Kuwait.
    The 2nd was mis-adventure by GWB, under the concept of WMDs, but it was likely a push/con by Cheney to get oil.
    Obama tried to keep Iraq stable, but their govt refused to accept basic military residence rules (the US has this everywhere it stays) So they had to leave.
    Then the Iraq govt was inept and lopsided, pissing everyone off. And cowardly to boot.
    ISIS is made up a people who are likely radical because they have nothing else to lose. (vs. corrupt govts)

    - The US is a dominate and coordinating force in this..but it NOT the only player.
    There is several other western nations actively participating.
    And there are several Middle Eastern nations also participating.
    Even Iran is assisting in a round-about non-direct way.

    - Let's face it, ISIS is pissing everyone off.
    Upsetting the status-quo, screwing with major commodities and financing.
    Be real, it's not just the beheadings...but they did make it easier to justify and rationalize.
    The Middle East countries are joining, so they can't be taken over. (no one wants another Ottoman Empire)
    The Western nations are doing it for not just alliances, but to secure international money (yes, this could fuck up the worth of things)
    and to protect the still valuable oil

    - Obama is obviously wary and weary of war. It's distracting him from his other agendas at home.
    But, he's securing the potential security risk (vs terrorists)
    And the current security/financial risk (resources and markets)

    - And BTW...it never hurts a president to act militarily.
    As long as it doesn't take TOO long...And right before an election too...

    He's got the right participants. (decent group of ME nations...and some Western)
    And he's gearing up for a Congressional vote. (even before the deadline)
    And it's for the "right" reasons...ISIS made it easy.

    So far, I have no issue with it.
    It just needs to be a mission with intent and coordination with ME players.
    Not another long-term clusterfuck.

    I'd say since ISIS has pissed off everyone...they won't last for long.

    And cynically-militarily...it allows the US to practice it's new tactic/method of supporting the Air, Ops & Intelligence factors...and letting other local players get the ground. (ex. Libya)
    It's Big Uncle helping as "cop" with big guns, but the locals do the "cleanup" role
    Actually, seems to work.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
  12. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom
    I am referring to the 2003 Iraq AUMF
    House: H.J.Res. 114 (107th): Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution ... (On Passage of the Bill) -- GovTrack.us
    Senate: H.J.Res. 114 (107th): Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution ... (On the Joint Resolution) -- GovTrack.us

    And the Shiite majority voted for their (our) guy Maliki who imposed a sectarian government with ties to Iran, reneged on his promises to both the Kurds and the Sunnis, turned a blind eye to sectarian violence against Sunnis and leaving them marginalized with little or no hope that they had any voice in their government or even government protection from Shiite militia.

    I did not suggest the two were equal;, only that Muslims in the US have faced discrimination in the form of proposed laws in a number of states (all declared unconstitutional) , witch hunts and suggested loyalty oaths by Republicans in Congress and running for President, and other acts equating Islam with terrorism.

    I recall you being fully supportive of the "Bush Doctrine" but I could be wrong.

    If we are to act, IMO, Obama's strategy is the best way to act.
    1) no US boots on the ground (engaged in battle)
    2) bring ME countries into the coalition (Bush never did). Air strikes today were conducted by more planes from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE than US.
    --- merged: Sep 24, 2014 at 10:36 PM ---
    I dont think he plans on requesting anything from Congress and instead is acting under the authority of the 2001 AUMF (not to be confused with the Iraq AUMF).

    As I noted earlier, the House voted to end the AUMF (nearly all Dems and a few Repubs) but Senate Republicans killed it so that the AUMF is still authority for any future president to engage in military action against terrorists if there is any connection, however slim, to al Queda.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2014
  13. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    Personally I'm not calling them ISIS.
    I like what the French have been doing.
    From now on they are Daesh.
    France is ditching the ‘Islamic State’ name — and replacing it with a label the group hates - The Washington Post

  14. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    Interesting take. Especially if the Arabs are already using it derogatively.
  15. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    ...to get oil? The price of oil averaged about $23/barrel in 2012, $28/barrel in 2013. We did not need to steal oil from another nation at those prices! The "to get oil" talking point has no basis in fact.


    Residence rules? I thought Obama wanted our troops to come home. He laughed at McCain when McCain suggested we keep a military presence in the region! Seem to me that Obama got what he wanted and got a convenient excuse by saying it was the Iraqis who refused to come to an agreement. Obama never tried to negotiate an agreement.

    Right, war is a distraction. Obama has been incapable of getting bi-partisan agreement on any domestic legislation that requires building a coalition between moderate R's and D's - perhaps he does not even believe there are moderate R's.
    --- merged: Sep 25, 2014 at 3:16 PM ---
    Name a group that has not faced some form of discrimination in this country.

    Yes, some people are paranoid and do not understand the Muslim faith. Rather than attacking ignorance and belittling people a better alternative is to be enlightening and informative. American Muslims have a role to play in this regard.

    I am sorry that my post was not clear. I fully supported the Bush Doctrine at the time he was President. I thought Obama thought the Doctrine was wrong at the time Bush was President and got elected on that basis. Upon reflection, my views regarding the Bush Doctrine are changing, as I outlined. What I find surprising is that now Obama is more than willing to take preemptive military action. I am surprised that since the threat is not "direct" or "imminent" that you or anyone who railed against the Bush Doctrine could support the actions taken by Obama.

    I was getting to the point of believing that the US would be better served by not engaging in any military activity in the ME, bringing our troops home and "investing" in domestic issues. Now all of a sudden I wake up and we are in, what I consider, a new war in the ME. We were not greeted as liberators during the Iraq war, why does anyone think this will be different. We will be hated regardless. The people in the ME do not want democracy. The people in the ME do not want western style freedoms - like freedom of religion or freedom of the press. If I am wrong and they do, they surely do not show that they want it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2014
  16. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    I guess you could say that if you don't want to consider the intervening history. I'd rather consider it. ISIS didn't erupt spontaneously out of the sands of Iraq just this year.

    For what other undemocratic nations would you support U.S.-led regime change? I can think of a few that are (and have been) more dangerous than Iraq during Saddam Hussein's rule.

    It seems cherry-picked, or a choice of convenience. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld had their reasons. When they sold the idea to you, did you think, "Hey, I like the sound of that"? Would you have done the same for Iran? North Korea? I assume yes, but I myself suppose that the world would be in a much worse place if the Bush Doctrine reached its logical conclusion.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  17. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    Nor, simply because there was a US lead Iraq war. There have been scores of wars in Iraq and in the region. Why single out just one. Metaphysically everything that has happened in the past has lead us to where we are now - who the hell knows what the alternative would be if a butterfly flew left to the pink flower rather than right to the blue flower? Are you suggesting you know?

    In my view, it can not be healthy for a person's mental state to dwell on events from a previous decade. If it was a mistake you adjust based on current information. If it was the proper thing to do you adjust based on current information. The constant is adjusting based on current information. In no way does that suggest ignoring the past - it simply means taking in the new information and making adjustments as needed.

    But I am interested in how you are going to take something so clear and obvious, such as assessing new information to adjust course, and get it all convoluted.
  18. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    I don't know what you're trying to say. Maybe you're trying to say that the U.S. had no influence on the current manifestation of ISIS (or whatever the hell they're called). But that would be silly, wouldn't it?
  19. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    No. That sounds a lot like ignoring the past.

    Sorry. For too long conservatives in the US appear incapable of discussing root causes. This inevitably results in repeating the same stupid "mistakes" over and over.

    The US has been involved in many regime changes through history and I can't think of any that have lead to long term positive results (unless you count places that became either part of the US -- Hawaii and California -- or a US protectorate -- US Samoa.
  20. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize.

    Large City, TX
    What do you do with a country that wants democracy (at least claims to want it), but won't make the effort to organize their own effective military and police forces?

    How do you overcome centuries of feuds--religious, territorial, etc.--when all sides are willing to fight to the death?

    How do you convince peoples to set aside their What's-in-it-for-me? attitudes?

    The easy answer is let them fucking kill each other. Unfortunately their feuds & wars cross borders and oceans. And effect oil prices (gawd forbid that US citizens have to pay the gas prices resulting using domestic oil).