Why We Fight

This week, the Obama Administration declared the war in Iraq over. You can tell because they say so. The reality is that American military bases will be disbanded and troops will no longer be deployed. American money and contractors will be in Iraq for some time, and will be subject to the whims of the Iraqi justice system.

How did we get to this point? Obama has been president for 2 years and 10 months. He promised to end the Iraq War as one of his first acts, like closing Guantanamo (which is still open). It turns out that the Iraqi government wanted to prosecute American soldiers if they felt a crime was committed. This was politically radioactive so Obama chose to make lemonade out of lemons. Thus was born the sudden decision to pull out of Iraq.

Whatever one thinks of the war in Iraq, there were reasons to go in. I’ve heard this idiotic mantra that Iraq was a war of choice. The United States has never been invaded. Every war has been a war of some choice, including the Civil War. There were all kinds of reasons to not join World War 2, for example. We started after being bombed by the Japanese. We ended it by nuking Japan. German expansion had nothing to do with us for years before then.

Afghanistan, the “good” war, is equally pointless now. Osama bin Laden is dead. We could let that country go to hell again. If Iraq has been a total failure, why did it take this administration three years to call an end to it? Why are we in Afghanistan? Why kill foreign leaders with international forces? What are we gaining?

The Iraq war started as a demand for Saddam Hussein to produce his weapons. Most of the world thought he had some, but none were going to do anything about it. Iraq was a major source of oil for permanent Security Council members like France. Kofi Annan’s son was working for the oil for food program. Then there were critics like Joe Wilson, who was dispatched by his wife, and Scott Ritter, in-between arrests for child pornography.

We will never know if there were never any WMDs or if they were simply moved. Saddam certainly didn’t spill the beans. Most people didn’t strongly object at the time, either. The war didn’t become an issue in the 2004 campaign until the economy started to recover and Kerry had to pick a different tactic. Bush ended up choosing a different tactic when his party had significant losses in 2006. He fired Rumsfeld and started the famous surge.

By 2007, the war belonged to Democrats. Threats to remove funding by not passing authorizations failed immediately. Bush was able to continue the war and plan an eventual end with little resistance. Democrats tried again in 2008, by electing a Democratic president with a Democratic Congress. Still, there was no change. In fact, not until the Republicans regained control of the House did the Iraq war come to the ending it did.

The president has the authority to use existing military assets for limited military engagements. Only the Congress has the ability to declare war. They also have the ability to refuse funding to the military. The Congress has abdicated that responsibility for half a century. Maybe they should give up their place in government as well.

About 1539days

I'm like a word a day calendar for executive disasters.
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24 Responses to Why We Fight

  1. KC says:

    Was this post tongue-in-cheek? If not, in my opinion it is waaaay off the mark.

    The “sudden” decision to leave Iraq was not sudden at all. Withdrawal by the end of 2011 was stipulated in Bush’s original agreement with the Iraqis. Obama tried to extend it but was rebuffed due to his insistance that troops be immune from Iraqi laws.

    …and the “whims” of the Iraqi justice system???? It’s THEIR justice system, and their whims are their business just as the “whims” of the US justice system are ours. Why shouldn’t our troops and/or representatives- who are now not at war- be subject to the justice system in the country that they are inhabiting?

    And let’s be honest, we haven’t left Iraq anyway. Thousands of “advisers” and “trainers” remain, as do countless contractors (private soldiers). We have a base of operations there, and so it shall remain.

    This post was a rare miss by this blog, but it missed by a mile.

    • 1539days says:

      This was a rare miss from a comment that sounds like trolling. “I love everything else you do, but…”

      I just heard this morning praise of how quickly Obama was able to pull forces out of Iraq. That sounds sudden to me. Obama did want to keep forces in Iraq and it was his failure to negotiate with the Iraqis.

      As to the other points, I made the same ones in the post. I can only assume you read the first paragraph and stopped.

      • Cate says:

        Disagreeing with you makes KC a ‘troll’? That’s kind of low 1539days.

        • 1539days says:

          Disagreeing with me badly makes the comment trollish.

          I pointed out that there are still Americans in Iraq> KC repeated it as if I left it out.

          Arguing that this was not sudden, even though the speed of the withdrawal is due to the fact that Obama was unable to extend the arrangement for even a few months, something KC also mentioned.

          As far as the justice system, we would never allow soldiers to be directly subject to the laws of a country where they serve. They would never be able to shoot anyone without fearing punishment. And Iraq wanted us there because their military is incompetent and corrupt. Basically, they wanted our skill but also the ability to have show trials when the people of the country got pissed off at the leadership.

    • myiq2xu says:

      This post was a rare miss by this blog

      The opinions expressed in a post are those of the author.

      • 1539days says:

        If we all had the same opinion, it would be a blob.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Speaking of blobs, just saw this posted on FB:

          Last 5 Months: The POTUS has been to 34 fundraisers. And the POTUS has been to Zero meet ins with Congressional Republican leaders. Does the Speaker of the House have to offer to make a donation to get him to show up?

          😀

  2. yttik says:

    I was also noticing how this Iraqi with drawl feels sudden. It’s not sudden, it’s Bush’s plan and it’s been in the works for a long time, but what’s happened is that the Obama administration has failed to define it for us. So it feels “sudden,” out of sync. Hundreds of thousands of troops have just spent years working over there, people have given their lives, American’s have been sacrificing, and then, that’s it, we’re going home. Well, what did we accomplish? Why are we going home now?

    Whether you agreed or disagreed with the reasons for the war, we’ve invested darn near a decade and trillions of dollars and American lives. Okay we’re finished now. Finished with what? Many of us don’t understand why we went into Iraq in the first place, but now we’re left wondering why we are leaving. When there’s no leadership, no defining the mission, you’re left speculating, is this about Obama’s re-election? Is it about needing those troops for war with Iran? Are we out of money? Why now?

    Our military is pulling out, but thousands of private contractors remain, we’ve got the largest embassy in the world fully staffed, and there’s this huge American presence remaining behind. So apparently the job is not done and we’re still left wondering what the job was in the first place.

    • 1539days says:

      The question too few people are asking is why we couldn’t have pulled up stakes earlier. The Congress could have forced Bush’s hand in 2007 by refusing appropriations to the war. Obama could have reduced forces down to nothing in 2009. What were the great gains we realized in the 3-5 years when the war went on?

  3. Cate says:

    “Whatever one thinks of the war in Iraq, there were reasons to go in. I’ve heard this idiotic mantra that Iraq was a war of choice.”

    I’ve always been of the understanding that Bush’s Iraq war was based on faulty and/or purposely fraudulent intel…and ONE of the real reasons was to fill the pockets of the defense contractors, another to fight “Daddy’s” war and show him he could win…Oil…

    I am a bit confused as to your thrust here, 1539days.

    • Mary says:

      Actually, the Congressional resolution for regime change was passed during the Clinton years, and all the Democratic leaders at the time were convinced Saddam, indeed, had WMD’s. Even Bill Clinton and Al Gore agreed.

      The choice to go in was Bush’s, yes. But the foundation of the “Saddam has WMD’s” came from previous admininstration intel. Those are facts.

      We’re “leaving” now because Barak Obama blew the negotiations and because he needs the illusion of keeping his promise to “end the Iraq War.”

      Emphasis on illusion, of course. We’re stil there.

      And many of the troops “leaving” will be stationed in Kuwait , in case they need to go back in. True story.

      • 1539days says:

        or if he wants to send them to Afghanistan. Or Pakistan. Or Iran….

        Clinton chose not to go. Bush chose to go. Obama chose to do nothing.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Obama doesn’t disappoint those of us who vetted him in 2008 without the help of the media. He never did ANYTHING so NOTHING as President doesn’t surprise us. 😉

        • Mary says:

          Clinton chose not to go because of Monica and Wag the Dog.

          I voted for him twice, and would again, if I could, so don’t jump me.

          But the Regime Change declaration and the claim re WMD’s were all his and Gore’s. Really.

          Come to find out (only after we searched), Saddam was bluffing the whole time.

  4. Benny says:

    Like the Obots say: Resistance is futile. Just be careful, myiq. If Obama loses re-election, the betrayers would be targetted first. And you happen to fall into that list. In the future, be safe pal.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Since I have never been an Obama supporter I could not possibly betray him. But I’m not worried, the Obots have been hating me for almost four years now.

  5. Benny says:

    Hmm…..I should have been more circumscept and cautious in my post. Sorry.

  6. yttik says:

    One problem is that Bush lied about why we were going into Iraq. Colin Powell lied. The media lied. Then the Dems in congress who voted to authorize the war also lied. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me half a dozen times over a period of ten years when you control both branches of government, and you’re simply lying. Now we’re leaving Iraq and it feels like another series of lies.

    I don’t really believe Obama is bringing the troops home to keep one of his campaign promises because he’s proven that he could care less about his campaign promises. I think the Bush plan for with drawl was already in place so it’s the easiest path to take. President Obama doesn’t really have to do any work, assess the situation, or make any decisions. He can simply let the plan already in place unfold and then take credit for “ending the war.”

    • 1539days says:

      Plus, he can take cover with this failed negotiation for an extension. By doing nothing, he allowed Iraq to dig their own grave. When the country goes to hell, Obama can just say Iraq gave him no choice but to leave and no one in the media will call him on it.

  7. DeniseVB says:

    Sept, 2008, MSNBC. Candidate Obama promised to bring the troops home within 16 months (by June 2010?) of his first term, which he could have done with his Dem House and Senate.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26621558/ns/politics-decision_08/t/obama-rejects-bush-iraq-withdrawal-plan/

    I wonder what changed his mind?

  8. DeniseVB says:

    From Redstate’s Dan Spencer

    http://www.redstate.com/california_yankee/2011/12/15/iraq-war-ends-on-bushs-schedule-not-obamas/

    Obama basically flip-flopped on the 16 month promise or he didn’t read the official U.S.-Iraq Withdrawl Agreement (link in article).

  9. 1539days says:

    Has anyone asked McCain why he handled Obama with such kid gloves in 2008 and then went after when there was 0 chance he could change the outcome of the election?

  10. votermom says:

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