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Earlier today, Obama delivered a speech in Brussels, where he has been attending meetings connected to the EU and NATO.

When criticizing Vladimir Putin, Obama gave a very whitewashed portrayal of the Iraq War:

Moreover, Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq war was a subject of vigorous debate, not just around the world but in the United States, as well. I participated in that debate, and I opposed our military intervention there.

But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.

Of course, neither the United States nor Europe are perfect in adherence to our ideals. Nor do we claim to be the sole arbiter of what is right or wrong in the world.

We are human, after all, and we face difficult decisions about how to exercise our power.

But part of what makes us different is that we welcome criticism, just as we welcome the responsibilities that come with global leadership. We look to the east and the south and see nations poised to play a growing role on the world stage, and we consider that a good thing.

America "sought to work within the international system," which it then chose to ignore when it did not get its way.

Oh, and the Iraq War had nothing at all to do with oil. Nothing at all. US corporations didn't want to plunder any resources one bit.

Obama also conveniently forgets how he wanted to extend the troop presence, but such negotiations broke down because of Pentagon demands for immunity for such troops--a demand clearly in violation of Iraq's sovereignty.

The US left behind a very stable country!

The line about welcoming criticism is just too precious. It is not about Iraq per se, but I just had to include it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Looking forward..... (24+ / 0-)

    prevents looking at what needs to be looked at, which, of course, is a political issue because politicians generally do NOT want certain things looked at.

    Like illegal invasions, lies, torture, ..... little things.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:03:26 PM PDT

  •  Just curious . . . (11+ / 0-)

    Do you think any US President would go to Brussels and say IRAQ was a total fuck-up and Putin is right? Especially when the the President is trying to isolate Russia?

    Next. While Obama may have whitewashed Iraq his basic point is corret, we did not invade Iraq and annex it. Then there is is the oil thing. Not saying saying oil wasn't a driver, but the Bush administration failed to get a single American oil company a contract with Iraq.

    Frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing from angry America. I’m also less than fond of knee-jerk America. And when you combine the two with the Internet, you too often get stupid America, which is really annoying.

    by jsfox on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:10:05 PM PDT

    •  We didn't need to annex it (19+ / 0-)

      we just had to insure our corporations had sweetheart deals for their oil

      That's the beauty of a post-national / corporate world;  You don't need to take the land, just make sure you have contracts of ownership on the important parts.

      Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

      by The Dead Man on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:20:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And yet that didn't happen. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy

        Kinda knocks the wind out of your argument.

        A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

        by Tempus Figits on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:19:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Neither did they greet the troops with open arms (17+ / 0-)

          and flowers.

          Iraq was a monumental fuck up on many levels. It was a failure by the Bush administration and Neocons to achieve their stated goal of opening up Iraq for American companies. That wasn't because they didn't want to, it was because Bush was a colossal fuck up.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:29:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Didn't say they did. (0+ / 0-)

            Nor did Obama.

            A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

            by Tempus Figits on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:19:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No wind was knocked out of the argument (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Johnny Q, YucatanMan

              you were responding to by the fact that Bush and friends failed.

              The goal was to have effective control over the government, and that goal failed miserably. But that doesn't change the goal.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:32:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not even close! (0+ / 0-)
                We didn't need to annex it
                we just had to insure our corporations had sweetheart deals for their oil

                That's the beauty of a post-national / corporate world;  You don't need to take the land, just make sure you have contracts of ownership on the important parts.

                There were decent reasons to go into Iraq.  None of which, Bush used.  Which was part of how he lost moral authority both for himself and the United States.  However, to criticize Obama for denoting that Russia not only unilaterally and without even the barest of justifications to invade a portion of the Ukraine (at first denying that he was even doing so) by saying that Iraq was the same thing is disingenuous at best.  Considering that many of the same people have been defending Russia's actions, disingenuous doesn't even properly describe it and mendacious comes closer.

                A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

                by Tempus Figits on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:32:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wow. (5+ / 0-)
                  There were decent reasons to go into Iraq.
                •  What were those decent reasons? (3+ / 0-)

                  Seriously? There were reasons to go into Iraq? This is where we're at, you're claiming that Bush went in for the wrong reasons but there was a case for war with Iraq? Even Obama isn't saying that.

                  There are obvious differences between Crimea and Iraq, the most obvious being hundreds of thousands didn't die in the invasion of Crimea. Iraq was objectively far worse than Crimea. The people in Iraq continue to suffer because of the invasion.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 07:28:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Other Bush reasons: (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT, YucatanMan

                    Killin' brown people
                    Makin' the ones we don't kill christians
                    Gettin' revenge for daddy
                    Showin' daddy up to prove I'm a man
                    Everyone loves a war preznit

                    Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

                    by The Dead Man on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 10:57:37 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  yet (0+ / 0-)

                    hundreds of thousands didn't die in the first couple of weeks in Iraq either.

                    The reason was the repeated mass killings of Kurds in Northern Iraq.  In the year prior to the invasion, he wiped out an entire town.  And yes we were initially greeted as liberators in Iraq.  That changed when it became clear that we were more interested in implementing ideological driven pogroms than actually normalizing life there post war along with the extreme incompetence in the people we sent over to act as the interim government until power could be transferred back to the Iraqis.  Like we successfully did post WWII in Japan and Europe (France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, etc.)

                    As I posted earlier, the fact that you don't give a damn about trying to stop Genocides is all I need to know about you and pretty much verifies what I have thought for a while.

                    A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

                    by Tempus Figits on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:12:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Just thousands died in the first weeks of Iraq (0+ / 0-)

                      Which is still orders of magnitude more than anything that has happened in Crimea. The fact that you can't see the difference is too bad. Russia = Evil, US = Good! And anyone who says otherwise is just an evil america hating hippie!

                      And the genocide of the Kurds had happened more than a decade before. The idea that we could stop a past genocide by invading is absurd.

                      As I posted earlier, the fact that you don't give a damn about trying to stop Genocides is all I need to know about you and pretty much verifies what I have thought for a while.
                      Right, it verifies that I accept the laws of physics, the ones that state that you can't change the past. But nice job spreading another bit of Bush propaganda. Next you're going to say it was for women's rights.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:24:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No it proves you have no clue on the past (0+ / 0-)

                        and insist to not learn the lessons.  You complain that we shouldn't fulfill and demand that others fulfill treaty obligations regarding the nullification of any legitimacy as a government if it is proven that you used highly lethal chemical weapons since the signing of it.  A treaty that is signed by nearly every country in the world.  Including Syria.  The fact that he used them on his own people being all the more egregious.

                        There are standards that the world has pretty much agreed upon.  Usage of Chemical Warfare and Nuclear Weapons are pretty much agreed upon as being taboo if for no other reason than that in makes the areas where used unlivable for generations at the least and that livable space on this planet is getting smaller all the time.  Both Iran and Iraq's usage of it in the 80's should not have been ignored either.  Of course nearly every country in the world has also signed similar treaties when it comes to Genocide, oddly enough Syria not being one of those.

                        As to the tired trope, but we didn't do it back when X happened with X being filled with the likes of Rwanda and Sudan.  That same excuse was trotted out against stepping into Bosnia.  And Syria will be used in some other future such event.  That in no way, shape or form should ever be a reason given, let alone accepted as a reason to not step into harms way in order to stop any further actions by those responsible.  And yes, if that means killing them in order to stop them from causing vastly more deaths both directly and indirectly because some future group of people figure that since no one stepped into Syria that no one will do so against them either.  

                        So damn straight we should have gone into Syria, Iraq, Iran, Rwanda, Sudan, Cambodia and now Ukraine.  As one of those agreed upon treaties of the world was redrawing border by invasion of foreign troops is no longer allowed.  Civil wars are still fuzzy but is still hard and fast that annexation by an invading force is not allowed.  With Russia and the Ukraine both being signatories of.

                        If these treaties and agreements are ever to mean anything.  Eventually, they need to be enforced and it might as well begin with the current one and then continued on every one thereafter.

                        A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

                        by Tempus Figits on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 06:37:19 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I never said we shouldn't stop genocide (0+ / 0-)

                          I said that we could not have stopped the genocide well after it happened. There's a huge difference there. You are mistaking my argument for something completely different.

                          And you seem to be saying we should invade any time someone violates an international treaty. Is that correct?

                          You think we should invade Israel? Because they've been doing this for years, with our support.

                          And those treaties will fall apart in a month if we start invading to enforce them.

                          You're calling for military action on the level of WWII. You are basically saying that the US needs to conquer the world.

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:19:35 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  We already have. (0+ / 0-)

                            What is being discussed now is what are our responsibilities to those that are not directly under our rule as opposed to the vassal states and their squabbles.

                            A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

                            by Tempus Figits on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:56:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  The oil companies were planning on the oil (6+ / 0-)

          infrastructure to be well maintained so they could just walk in and take over.  Unfortunately for them, it was crap and they had to walk away.

          Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

          by The Dead Man on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:50:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the only reason why the US oil companies didn't (9+ / 0-)

            get what they were hoping for in Iraq in the way of contracts, exploration leases and so on was the totally fuked up state of security in Iraq after its "liberation"

            no US oil company was willing to pour money into such a situation where any infrastructure they built would have been a prime target for blowing up by resentful "insurgents"

            so, thanks to us, China and others cut up the oil pie

            hilarious, if it weren't so bleeding tragic

            We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

            by Lepanto on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 04:12:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Why not? (18+ / 0-)

      Why not say that we made a mistake and that we've learned from it?  Wouldn't that be a more effective way to distinguish ourselves from Putin's actions?

      Why does anything have to be whitewashed?

      •  By 1 February 2009... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan

        ... US military troops should have been on troop transport planes headed for US soil.  It would have done wonders for letting the world know that we learned a lesson and we were trying to at least not continue our illegal actions and war crimes that the Bushista regime started.

        Instead, Obama retained the Bushista military personnel, the unconstitutional and illegal wars and torture continued unabated, and Gitmo STILL has not closed.

        Shame on Obama, and Shame on our Cretinous Congress Critters who went along with and continued the horror of the war crimes and illegal and unconstitutional actions started during the Bushista years.

        By 1 February 2009 there should have been bills before a Dem majority in the House and Senate to defund and disband the unconstitutional 'office of faith-based initiatives' that Dumbya set up with an executive order in '01, repeal the AUMFs, Patriot Act, MCA '06, FISA '08, and MCA '09 never should have been passed.

        Really..., all of those things could have happened SO easily....

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 11:33:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, I think an honest president (21+ / 0-)

      who opposed the war would point out that Iraq was horrible and killed hundreds of thousands of people and is still the cause of mass suffering. Because it's the truth and everyone fucking knows it. Everyone. His attempt to pretend otherwise further undermines any moral authority we as a country may have had left. Which was about nil by my calculations.

      When your argument is "We only killed hundreds of thousands of people and destabilized a country for the foreseeable future, but it's not like we annexed the place or anything." Then you've lost the argument.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:20:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, yes. Too err is human... (11+ / 0-)
    We are human, after all, and we face difficult decisions about how to exercise our power.
    To forgive, divine.

    Please, cut is some slack. Being the most powerful nation on earth isn't easy.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

    by DeadHead on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:10:07 PM PDT

  •  What part of... (6+ / 0-)

    "I opposed our military intervention there." Don't you understand? Just wondering.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:16:22 PM PDT

  •  That's utterly shameful and shows how full of (14+ / 0-)

    shit Obama is.  Lie to go to war for oil and power, kill up to a million people, leave 2-3 million as refugees, leave chemical weapons that cause deformities in babies for generations, and leave the country in shambles, and this idiot has the gall to try to downplay it.  
    That is sick and psychopathic. And it shows why he should not be believed in anything he says.

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:28:56 PM PDT

  •  "We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory." (11+ / 0-)

    We aren't returning Arizona or California to Mexico either.

    Glass houses.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:50:58 PM PDT

    •  Yeah! Fuck you Obama... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy

      Why'd ya gotta steal California??!!  Give it back, you dick!

      So looks like we got hyperbole with a side of insane for supper....my favorite!

      It's all a Communist PLOT!

      by quiet in NC on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:57:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hyperbole? Does that mean we ARE (8+ / 0-)

        giving them back?

        That's very exciting news!

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:05:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So if Obama didn't order the invasion (9+ / 0-)

        the US isn't responsible for what happened? Convenient.

        The US still has all that land. Not to mention the entirety of the land stolen from the native people.

        You know, we can be hypocrites and what Russia did can also be wrong. The problem here is this pretense that we aren't hypocrites. Some people have decided to fight against that charge rather than to be content to point out that what Russia is doing is wrong.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:26:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You gonna blame slavery on him next? (0+ / 0-)

          Might just as well, I mean there is no limit to history, right?  Yesterday, last week, ten thousand years ago...whats the difference?  We go right from this morning to 1850.  Whoo-hoo Mr. Peabody, this is fun!

          It's all a Communist PLOT!

          by quiet in NC on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:41:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, where did anyone blame Obama for Iraq? (11+ / 0-)

            Please reread my comment and show me where I blamed Obama for the Iraq War. Please provide a quote.

            You can't, and you can't provide a quote of anyone in this thread blaming Obama for the Iraq war, because not a single person here has done that.

            Yesterday, last week, ten thousand years ago...whats the difference?
            Seriously? Iraq is still suffering from the war, and you're going to pretend like it's history? Less than a month ago there were more attacks that would almost certainly not have happened if the US hadn't invaded. You may have stopped paying attention, but the people of Iraq don't have that option.

            This isn't about blaming Obama for Iraq, it's about being truthful about the Iraq war.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:48:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was referencing your comment referencing... (0+ / 0-)

              the US stealing land from Mexico.  Come on you gotta keep up.  But, I'm done, so you got time.  

              It's all a Communist PLOT!

              by quiet in NC on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:53:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You need to stop making things up (5+ / 0-)

                No one blamed annexing Mexico on Obama either.

                The US stole land from Mexico, as well as many native peoples. Are you saying we didn't do that? Are you saying we've offered some sort of restitution for that? Or are you saying that annexing stuff is fine as long as it happened a while ago?

                Here's what you said: "You gonna blame slavery on him next?"

                It sure as looks like you're making this about blaming Obama for things. You're trying to pretend like people are blaming Obama for things that no one is blaming him for. And now you've changed what you're saying yet again. S I apologize if my response to you didn't address what you said after I responded. I'm not currently psychic.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:58:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Bringing up California (0+ / 0-)

                  170 years ago, is sort of silly on its face to begin with.

                  Relevant international law dealing with sovereignty of nations and respect for borders didn't come into play until the UN came into existence - 1948.

                  Since 1948, there have been 11 incidences involving annexation, none of them involving the US:

                  Portuguese India, Sikkim, Ogaden, Rockall, East Timor, Western Sahara, Judea & Samaria, East Jerusalem, Golan Heights, Kuwait, Crimea.

                  And, I believe there are 5 more in the works, all Putin; Transistria, Gagauzia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and several oblasts in the east and south of Ukraine.

                  KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                  by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:20:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You left out Israel (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fcvaguy, Johnny Q

                    And the point still stands that the US is built on violently annexing territory in ways very similar to what Russia just did with Crimea. Yes, it was a long time ago. And of course we didn't bother with the voting part of it, but you've got to update it for modern times.

                    There's also Puerto Rico, which is more recent and was also annexed violently. As well as Hawaii.

                    And let's not forget all the places the US just replaced the government when it wouldn't do what we wanted, that way we didn't get the stigma of annexing them, but we got all the benefits.

                    And, I believe there are 5 more in the works, all Putin; Transistria, Gagauzia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and several oblasts in the east and south of Ukraine.
                    The first two I think are possible, although I'd expect that they want to be a part of Russia, as I know the first has voted overwhelmingly to join Russia at least once. The international community will ignore that though, because no one is really concerned with the legitimacy of these annexations, they just want to stop Russia from gaining land in Europe. Because of that I suspect Georgia has more to worry about than other places. No one makes a fuss about central Asian countries being attacked.

                    The likelihood of more of Ukraine being annexed any time soon is pretty unlikely in my opinion. That would require a real war and then there would be a chance of losing Crimea as well, and I think Putin knows better. He'll do like all great powers do now, only attack places where he's guaranteed to win, like the US does.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:42:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I didn't leave out Israel (0+ / 0-)
                      Judea & Samaria, East Jerusalem, Golan Heights
                      There's no legitimate comparison between California and Crimea. The UN and UN Charter didn't exist then. However, it exists now and the US and Russia are both signatories, bound by the Charter. We haven't annexed any country's property since we signed that treaty, but Russia has.

                      Puerto Rico, imo, is even a worse example than California. It was given to the US by Spain in the Treaty of Paris which both Spain and the US signed after the Spanish-American War. And, Puerto Ricans were made US citizens in 1917. More importantly, the US has been following the UN dictate with respect to de-colonization. A number of referendums have been voted on over the years; statehood, independence, or commonwealth and each time Puerto Ricans voted for commonwealth. And, none of those votes were held at the end of US guns and US military occupation. We didn't occupy the Puerto Rican parliament, lock the doors, and force a vote.

                      Hawaii was annexed in 1898, again pre-UN Charter. And, I'm happy that Clinton apologized for that action almost 100 years later.

                      I think if Putin had sent troops in Ukraine and re-installed a new government, rather than outright annexation of part of Ukraine, he would have had a stronger case by pointing to similar US actions in places like Panama, Haiti and Grenada. But, he didn't do that. He stole part of a country.

                      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                      by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:07:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Spain "gave" us Puerto Rico (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Johnny Q, YucatanMan

                        in that we had already taken it by military force and then we were given it in the treaty that ended the war. As for the rest of what you mention in regards to PR, that all conforms perfectly to Crimea. We took it by force and then later held a vote. That's what Russia did.

                        If it's adherence to international law that's the issue then Iraq is a good example of how little the US cares for international law. We didn't even bother going to the UN for approval to invade Afghanistan, and we're still propping up the government there.

                        There aren't any exact parallels in terms of Geneva conventions being in effect as well as everything else, but the fact of the matter is that we have a whole fuck ton of land that we got through far more devious means that Russia used with Crimea. I see no reason not to point out the hypocrisy in keeping that land while the government denounces Russia doing the same thing we did.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:29:45 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I think we said the same thing about (0+ / 0-)

                          the circumstances of how Puerto came into our possession, but Treaty.

                          As for the rest of what you mention in regards to PR, that all conforms perfectly to Crimea. We took it by force and then later held a vote. That's what Russia did.
                          Surely you're not serious. The two are not at all the same. Under the UN's charter for decolonization, we are following the UN guideline strictly. There have been a number of referendums in the modern era (3? 4?) where Puerto Ricans had a free and open vote for commonwealth, state, or independence. And, as I said above none of those votes were held at the end of US guns and US military occupation. We didn't occupy the Puerto Rican parliament, lock the doors, and force a vote. which is EXACTLY what happened in Crimea.

                          KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                          by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:27:37 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  We had voted years later (0+ / 0-)

                            Decades.

                            At the time we took it it was a similar thing. We took it by force and justified it with a treaty. Same as we did when we took California and most of the rest of the country. It's been a long time now, so other things have happened, clearly. My point was about the initial annexing.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:49:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Thank God. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q

                I don't think I would've made it through reading yet another of your hyperbolic fabrications.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                by DeadHead on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 04:43:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Or Texas (8+ / 0-)


      "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
      TheStarsHollowGazette.com

      by TheMomCat on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:03:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and look at the present chaotic state of Libya (14+ / 0-)

    where NATO (almost exclusively with US planes) bombed the shit out of the country allegedly in line with international agreement that it would not be about regime change (let alone the oil) but solely as a humanitarian intervention to protect civilians and ensure for them a golden future of prosperity and democracy

    pardon me if I puke

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:52:16 PM PDT

    •  No comparison at all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diogenes2008

      The actions taken in Libya were with the blessing of the UN under Resolution 1973 which demanded "an immediate ceasefire" and authorizing the international community to establish a no-fly zone and to use all means necessary short of foreign occupation to protect civilians. It got 10 votes in the Security Council with 5 abstentions. It passed.

      NATO (almost exclusively with US planes)
      The initial no fly zone was accomplished with UK, French, Italian and Canadian Air Forces. The US contributed sea launch cruise missiles to destroy Libyan anti-aircraft installations. US planes weren't engaged until after NATO took over the operation.

      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

      by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:35:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wonder if all the people (0+ / 0-)

      who snuffed it under those "humanitarian" bombs think it was worth it.

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:36:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama has been in Washington too long (9+ / 0-)

    He is beginning to sound more and more like Bush and other Republicans.

  •  I don't think you made your case (0+ / 0-)

    You should demonstrate how we annexed Iraq.

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 04:47:57 PM PDT

    •  So, comparing Putin to Hitler = Acceptable (5+ / 0-)

      Noting that the US did not in fact get the support of the international community in the Iraq war = Don't talk about that.

      The point here isn't that there's some equivalence between the two, it's that Obama down played the seriousness of Iraq to a very large extent, and all but lied about getting the international community's support.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:05:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You'll have to explain how I brought (0+ / 0-)

        Hitler into the equation.

        There's no equivalence between Iraq and Crimea. We never annexed Iraq. We'll have to disagree on that one AoT.

        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

        by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:37:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We overthrew a government and killed (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dfarrah, Johnny Q, YucatanMan

          hundreds of thousands of people. You're right there's no equivalence.

          And you didn't mention Hitler right here, but you've defended the comparison more than once. And when Clinton is making it then it's an issue.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:44:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Comparison of Hitler and Putin? (0+ / 0-)

            Yes, I agree with people who draw strong comparisons between the two with respect to their nationalistic ambitions.

            Hitler made his case that he should have dominion over all Germans no matter where they live and he invaded the Sudetanland. Putin has made the same identical claim with respect to Russians. He started to put real teeth behind it with his actions in Georgia and Moldova and now Crimea. And I believe there is more to come.

            I made the same comment in defense of Hillary's Hitler comment with respect to Putin here:

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

            by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:51:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Putin didn't write a book specifically (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              YucatanMan

              about cleansing the world of unclean and lesser races. That is different than claiming, as Putin does, that Russia has a responsibility to protect ethnic Russians. It's not even in the same ball park. Of course, no one making that comparison can be bothered to look for a better comparison, because why bother when you can compare your opponent to Hitler.

              I could compare Obama to Hitler! They both bombed other countries! Man, that's some rational discourse right there.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:58:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes it is different (0+ / 0-)

                I was very careful to say the similarities were there with respect to one dogma - dominion over Germans, and dominion over Russians. With respect to that alone, they are identical. And that policy is a dangerous one. And, Putin has shown on more than one occasion he's willing to act on his dogma.

                Also, we don't need to go back 200 years to show that Russia has a contemporary history of ethnic cleansing, forced emigration and forced immigration. There's a reason why 80% of eastern Estonia is Russian and that there are more than 10,000 descendants of ethnic Estonians in Siberia.

                KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:12:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  He didn't say anything about dominion over (0+ / 0-)

                  Russians, he said that it was Russia's responsibility to protect Ethnic Russians. There's a huge difference.

                  Also, we don't need to go back 200 years to show that Russia has a contemporary history of ethnic cleansing, forced emigration and forced immigration.
                  You need to go back to an entirely different regime. You dismiss the actions of previous administrations because Americans voted out Bush and yet hold the current government of Russia responsible for what Stalin did?

                  There's a reason why the four corners in the US is a massive reservation and New York is not majority Indian.

                  At what point do you think the US should be held responsible for it's actions? You've previously said that what Bush did doesn't really count because the US elected Obama. So what is it exactly?

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:29:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  come on AoT (0+ / 0-)

                    You're a-ok with going back 200 years to draw a parallel to Calfornia, or 19th Century actions with respect to Hawaii and Puerto Rico, but not ok with 20th Century incidences of ethnic cleansing, pogroms and forced relocation of populations.

                    It was 1949 (post UN), when Russia ordered the forced expulsion of all Kulaks and their families from the Baltic states. By 1953, up to 200,000 were deported. 75,000 more were sent to the Gulags. 10% of the entire Baltic adult population was deported or sent to the gulags.

                    At what point do you think the US should be held responsible for it's actions?
                    We should always be responsible for our actions. Obama admitted as much today in his speech and it was refreshing to hear that. However, pointing to US actions 200 years ago to put lipstick on the pig of Putin's dogma just isn't a credible argument to me.
                    You've previously said that what Bush did doesn't really count because the US elected Obama. So what is it exactly?
                    I don't think I've ever said that. What I have said, and what I believe, is that Obama can't be held responsible for Bush's actions. And that is something I see many people work hard to do. In fact, there's a comment somewhere in this diary that does exactly that. Obama promised to clean up Bush's mess. That I will hold him accountable for. I think he's done ok doing that.

                    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                    by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:21:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm fine with going back (0+ / 0-)

                      You are the one who has dismissed the Iraq war as being pertinent because the US had an election. I was just pointing out what I saw as an inconsistency there.

                      I don't think I've ever said that. What I have said, and what I believe, is that Obama can't be held responsible for Bush's actions.
                      This is about the US as a country, not about Obama being responsible for Bush's actions. It's about the US continuing to benefit from our past actions and condemning similar actions by other countries at the same time. Acting as if the US worked with the international community to go to war with Iraq is just completely wrong, and Obama knows that. That's the issue here, it's a whitewashing of the Iraq War in an attempt to elide accusations of hypocrisy. The correct thing to do would be to call the Iraq war what it actually was, a brutal and horrible tragedy that caused and continues to cause mass tragedy and a massive mistake.

                      We can compare past exploits of various countries and whether they're pertinent all we want, but the point here is that Obama profoundly mischaracterized the Iraq War simply to deflect charges of hypocrisy. It would have been far better to admit to the Iraq war being horrible and note that he opposed it for that reason and opposed what Russia did in Crimea for the same reasons. I think that's the position both of us take.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:47:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Obama's characterization of the Iraq War (0+ / 0-)

                        Let's look at exactly what he said today:

                        But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.

                        Of course, neither the United States nor Europe are perfect in adherence to our ideals. Nor do we claim to be the sole arbiter of what is right or wrong in the world.

                        We are human, after all, and we face difficult decisions about how to exercise our power.

                        What he said is correct. We did seek to work with the International system. Putin made zero attempt at doing so. We did not claim or annex Iraqi territory. We did not grab its resources. We did end the war, and specifically he ended it.

                        He did admit, on a world stage, in a major foreign policy address, that we are not perfect adherents to our ideals. I don't think Putin would ever say such a thing, or has any US President said anything similar in the past. When he says "we are human", that is tacit acknowledgement of past errors.

                        Yes, what he said isn't nearly as full-throated as you would prefer. He may have scored some personal points for himself by saying exactly what you think he should have said:

                        It would have been far better to admit to the Iraq war being horrible and note that he opposed it for that reason and opposed what Russia did in Crimea for the same reasons.
                        But, I don't think it would have been appropriate in that environment, in front of that audience. I wouldn't be surprised if he does say exactly what you would want him to say, at home, in an interview or press conference.

                        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                        by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:05:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Bush made a token attempt to work through (0+ / 0-)

                          the international community and when he could not he invaded anyway. And we didn't get any of the resources because we got forced out, and even then the oil companies ended up with a lot up in Kurdistan. The neocons wanted both control of the resources and effective control of the government. The reason that didn't happen was because Bush was a mega fuck up and failed miserably.

                          And of course all of that ignores the ongoing damage doe to Iraq. That's honestly the most insulting thing about this comparison. Russia annexed Crimea with virtually no loss of life and most likely majority support from the people there. We brutalized Iraq in a way that is almost unmatched in contemporary history. The invasion under Bush was only half of that. Hundreds of thousands died under the sanctions and constant attacks during Clinton and Daddy Bush. We were effectively at war with Iraq for almost twenty years. Pretending like the sheen of legitimacy that Bush tried to put on the war by going to the UN makes it something to emulate is absurd.

                          "Oh, if only you had pretended to care what the international community thought Putin! Then we would totally not have a problem with you annexing Crimea."

                          But, I don't think it would have been appropriate in that environment, in front of that audience. I wouldn't be surprised if he does say exactly what you would want him to say, at home, in an interview or press conference.
                          His goal was to address charges of hypocrisy, as such fully admitting that the war was horrible and not pretending like it wasn't as bad, if not worse, than taking Crimea would have been the appropriate way to deal with those charges of hypocrisy. Whitewashing the war was the worst way to address charges of hypocrisy and Obama should know that. It was not only unfair to the victims of the Iraq war, it was simply bad rhetoric.

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:37:16 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I can't agree with this AoT: (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT
                            Russia annexed Crimea with virtually no loss of life and most likely majority support from the people there.
                            The vote was effectively a choice between "yes" and "yes". And, in a diary Meteor Blades wrote, he cited this:
                            Polls in 2011 showed 33 percent of Crimeans of all ethnic backgrounds in support of joining the federation, and another showed that figure had dropped to 23 percent in 2013.
                            There is no way to reconcile those polls with the vote result.

                            I agree with a lot you say from many standpoints on the issue of Ukraine/Crimea/Putin, but I think some of your opinions aren't supported by the facts.

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:55:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're right (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fcvaguy

                            and I keep forgetting about those polls. Either way, the near compete lack of dead people makes it an entirely different situation as far as I'm concerned.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:00:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ironically (0+ / 0-)

                            if Ukrainian Russians had been getting killed by Ukrainian nationalists, Putin would have had plenty of justification. because, that is precisely why we interceded in Libya, Kosovo, Bosnia, and almost in Syria. He even tried to lie about Russians getting killed, however there was no proof. He even had stooges in eastern Ukraine and Crimea fermenting violence just to make the case.

                            In the end, he didn't have a compelling argument for his actions other than the basic truth which was, he wasn't winning in Ukraine politically (keeping Ukraine away from the EU) and he lost that battle. So he said "screw it" and took what he really cared about - Crimea.

                            And, I don't think we've seen the end to his ambitions. As you know, he's got a trail of similar actions behind him in Georgia and Moldova and his speech of March 18th is a real eye-opener on where is head is:

                            http://praguepost.com/...

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:31:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think the keeping the naval base (0+ / 0-)

                            in perpetuity was his main goal. I don't see a whole lot of gain in practical terms for the other places that Russia might annex. Although transnistria has made pretty clear it wants to be a part of Russia, and I'd bet that other places do as well. With those places it seems like Russia could now go through proper channels and have an easy time annexing them, which would look good and wouldn't risk war, so it's good all around for them.

                            Of course, if Russia tries to annex Transnistria through proper channels and is completely blocked then it has good justification for telling the international community to piss off after Transnistria voted by over 90% to join Russia already. For Putin he would have decent justification internal to Russia and in the wider international community to point to that as justification for seizing Crimea without asking the international community because there was no way the international community would agree even if they voted overwhelmingly to join Russia.

                            I don't buy all this "victory over Obama" bullshit that the right is spreading, but Putin knows what he's doing. It isn't that Obama failed, there just wasn't much to be done. After Bush and with the rise of the EU US power has drastically decreased. Putin saw that the EU and NATO were expanding and knew that Ukraine would be a part of it and he took action on Russia's long term interests. Bush royally fucked up the US version of the same thing in Iraq.

                            I agree that there will be some continued expansion, but it will be a while,a t least five years, probably a decade. Slow and steady, like all successful empires. Putin isn't at all like Hitler or the USSR, he's an old school style ruler. He's a true believer in Russia and knows that building an empire means going slow or risking collapse. And the weakness of the EU and the shifting of economic power slowly away from the US is obvious, so he'll make more grabs like this when the opportunity presents itself. But he's not going to do it any time soon. At most he'll make noises about Transnistria and how they overwhelmingly want to be part of Russia but aren't allowed to be. And then when political instability happens in some other border state with a lot of ethnic Russians he'll move there. Or maybe his successor will do it.

                            Russia plays the long game and with the exception of the USSR always has. China too.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:52:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  You don't have to "annex" Iraq --you just have to (4+ / 0-)

      control it economically.

      We didn't "annex"  Saudi Arabia or Kuwait --we just installed puppet governments and defended them with our military in exchange for them giving us their people's oil on nice terms.   Similar to the way we overthrew the lawfully elected government of Mossadagh in Iran ,installed the Shah and sucked out Iran's oil while the Shah's Savak torturers kept the lid on.

      Ask Putin about how economic controls work.

      Ask Argentina -- Henry Kissinger gave the junta the green light to execute 20,000 or so of its citizens and run up massive loans from the US banks.   30 years later the people of Argentina are still mired in the deep poverty of debt slavery.

  •  But BO is soooooooo (4+ / 0-)

    calm!!!

    Doesn't that make up for all of the rest?

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:09:52 PM PDT

  •  the basic point is that notwithstanding President (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, DeadHead, Johnny Q, NonnyO, YucatanMan

    Obama's speechifying

    no country in the world over the last 50+ years has been so willing to use force, or at least the threat of its use, to get its way in international matters as we have

    which doesn't leave any US president with much a platform with any kind of moral standing from which to preach to the world

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:41:15 PM PDT

  •  K&R for the shameful whitewash on Iraq. (1+ / 0-)
  •  Obama wrong about the oil also (6+ / 0-)

    Obama's statement "We did not grab its[Iraq's]  resources for our own gain" is bullshit, of course.

    Exxon has helped Kurdistan functionally secede from Iraq in order to get the oil over the objections of Iraq's government in Baghdad:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/...

    See also:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/...

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

  •  Money quote from Alan Greenspan re Iraqi Oil (5+ / 0-)

    “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,”

    As quoted by a  well known liberal news media source:

    http://www.foxnews.com/...

  •  I'm sure it would've done wonders (0+ / 0-)

    for our standing in the fragile world of international diplomacy, had Obama ripped off his shirt, cried "mea culpa!" and taken the full hit — on behalf of all of us — for the criminal assholes who preceded him in the White House.

    Yeah... that would've put his audience in the mood to address Putin's clumsy violation of international law.

    Want perps? Try the little herd of PNAC desk warriors who'd lobbied unsuccessfully, for more than a decade, for the invasion of Iraq and finally found their useful idiot in Bush The Lesser... with bin Laden in a supporting role.

    ... or, maybe, American presidents should do penance indefinitely for the egregious crimes of the Bushies, forever hold their tongues and leave foreign diplomacy to others?

    •  And yet Robert Kagan's wife chose the next (0+ / 0-)

      leader of Ukraine in early February -- weeks before the choice was announced to the Maidan.

      Strange.

    •  God, it's been five whole years! (0+ / 0-)

      Can we just forget about the ongoing deaths in Iraq due to the invasion already! That's like, ancient history!

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 07:33:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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