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I wonder if at least some conservatives and liberals are in agreement that further American military intervention in Iraq to help the government there to deal with the ISIS crisis would be undesirable.  I don't know what side I am on in regard to this issue.  I certainly don't support ISIS.  On the other hand, I did not favor the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. in the first place.  But the U.S. did invade and one result of that action is a weak, fairly unstable central Iraqi government.
   

     Whether the initial invasion was a mistake is an issue for historians to discuss and argue.  Before ISIS, I tended to agree that, regardless of whether the action was justified or not, the end result left the Iraqi people better off than they were before the invasion.   I now definitely disagree with that view.  As bad as Saddam Hussein was, he would not have stranded thousands on mountain tops without food or water because they refused to convert to Islam.  Had they tried to defy his authority, he may have killed them outright.  But he would not have starved them to death.
      If Hussein were still in power, there would not be the present level of sectarian violence and ISIS, nor El Queda, nor the Taliban would have been able to gain a single foothold in Iraq.  If Hussein had not been removed from power, the Iraqi people would not being persecuted by ISIS.  That makes the United States at least partially responsible for the barbaric threat the Iraqis are experiencing.  It's not a pleasant thought, but, if the U.S. had not removed Saddam Hussein from power, ISIS would not be in Iraq.
      So I don't have any patience for those who criticize the President for sending Special Forces troops into a combat zone on a humanitarian mission.  If it weren't for our country, the humanitarian mission would not be necessary!
       One thing Americans can learn from Iraq is that exporting democracy is not something at which we excel.  The most pathetic outcome will be that if ISIS takes over, the United States and other countries will probably eventually accept it as legitimate, just like they accept the bizarre idea that Tibet is a legitimate part of China, even though China took it by force.  I guess right and wrong are not pragmatic concepts in world politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This falls under my "You broke it, you bought it" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antooo, BelgianBastard, a2nite

    category.

    I won't argue whether Iraq is better or worse off with Saddam Hussein.. he was killing his own share of Kurds without the help of ISIS.

    What I will agree with, however, is that we were the ones who chose to break Iraq's infrastructure and government.  We are most definitely responsible for leaving that country in the shape we did and it is our moral responsibility, if not legal responsibility, to intervene in a case like this.

    I hope, as you do, this is a lesson not to meddle in the affairs of countries unless we want to take the responsibility for it for generations.

  •  What!!! (4+ / 0-)

    I'll reply to the main point of your diary in a second comment in a sec, but WTF is the point of your

    As bad as Saddam Hussein was, he would not have stranded thousands on mountain tops without food or water because they refused to convert to Islam
    quote?

    He wouldn't have starved them to death on a mountaintop? Tell that to the thousands of Kurds trapped in the mountains without food and water, that prompted eerily similar airdrops and helo flights, which caused John Major (British PM at the time), to propose "Safe Havens", that led to the No-Fly zone in northern Iraq...

    Yeah, he wouldn't have done it because they didn't want to convert, he did it for equally vile reasons. I think you should amend your text. Maybe you didn't know about this stuff, but now you do, keeping your statement as is, while not a lie, is intellectually dishonest.

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:27:33 PM PDT

    •  And I should have added: (4+ / 0-)

      Sorry but this guy purposely and willfully bombed and gassed civilians, at least some of which were only opposed to his rule in so far as they didn't want to die. I mean, what did a baby or toddler living in Halabja ever do to oppose Saddam Hussein?

      I ride the wild horse .

      by BelgianBastard on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:32:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  sadam would have gassed them in their towns (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, waterstreet2008
      •  Only if that was what was most convenient to him. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DEMonrat ankle biter, aimeehs

        This is not conjecture. In the aftermath of the First Iraq war (aka the Gulf War), Saddam actually caused Kurds to flee into the mountains where there was no food and not enough clean water. So saying Saddam wouldn't do that is just factually incorrect.

        I ride the wild horse .

        by BelgianBastard on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:46:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention simply gassing them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BelgianBastard, aimeehs

      Don't forget Halabja.

      It is amazing just how much love bloodthirsty dictators get from the goofball left.

      •  if a single swallow does not make a drunk (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        then a single comment from a single commenter cannot equal "love bloodthirsty dictators get from the goofball left." unless you mean to parse out goofballs from the Left into their own group.
        I can live with that

        •  I don't think anyone , OPer included... (0+ / 0-)

          is "goofball left" or murderous bastard loving... that doesn't mean what any of us say is necessarily correct. OPer's statements about sectarian violence and letting people - PEOPLE, not fighters, PEOPLE - starve in the mountains, are ummm, well, not reflecting the facts. Hussein was a nasty tribal, sectarian bastard, one who thought nothing of killing innocents. Your comment reflects something other than what Mindful said.

          I ride the wild horse .

          by BelgianBastard on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:31:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If it were a single comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BelgianBastard, aimeehs

          you'd have a point.  But the number of commenters who seem to feel that dictators such as Hussein, Assad and Gaddafi were "not that bad" or that the regime of Al-Sisi is preferable to a democracy is a strong majority here at dailykos.

          •  maybe we are reading different diaries (0+ / 0-)

            or maybe it is because I have simply stopped reading comments by certain apologists or engaging them in discussion that I don't see the same level of support for dictators and such that was present on Kos some ten years ago.

            I don't think I have ever referred to Sissi's regime (which is simply the reassertion of power by the same corrupt cabal under Mubarak) as being not that bad.

            As I noted, maybe it is a matter of perception or maybe it is a matter of what each of us reads or maybe I perceive what is here as not so offensive given the amount of time I spend tramping about in Wingertopia    

            •  It is probably perception (0+ / 0-)

              for example, when people (like our diarist) talk about how the situation was better under dictator X, there's a glossing over of the atrocities there.  When Al-Sisi came to power, very few (it seemed to me, probbly incorrectly) felt that overturning a democratically elected and limited president (in that he had opposition capable of slowing him down for a military dictatorship was a bad thing.  Now it may just be that many thought the return of a more vicious Mubarak regime would turn out ok, while cynical folks like me had a good idea that it would be bad to the tune of sentencing thousands of political opponents to death for protesting.  Maybe it's nothign in the world than me having a better crystal ball than some others who were very vocal, but not a majority.

              •  I don't think I ever defended Saddam (0+ / 0-)

                at least not so as I can remember.  I do remember worrying about our "fixing" Iraq after we encouraged the Shia' to rise against Saddam during Desert Storm and then standing back as his Revolutionary Guards slaughtered them.  Where we abandoned them, Tehran welcomed them.

                I was very discouraged that Morsi was overthrown as it seems his election not only heralded what I hoped was a new era in the region but that he would be better able to fairly mediate in the IP mess.  However, here at Kos, I will admit a running debate with some apologists who, for example, continue to insist that if the Gazans are unable to flee the carnage, it is solely Egypt's fault for not opening their border.  At the same time these apologists refuse to admit that Egypt and Israel cooperate on security matters (to the extent I was accused of being a CT fanatic).

                A point which I made elsewhere earlier today is it seems as we approach 2016 an influx of new people whom I would not describe as leftist or Progressive but folks with their own agendas.  

          •  No they aren't in a majority. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mindful Nature, aimeehs

            They try to make it seem that way.

            There's enough of us who disagree, that 'their truth' won't win.

            Not that we are a team - but thanks for for batting for justice, fairness and democracy.

            P.S. You forgot Putin.

            I ride the wild horse .

            by BelgianBastard on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 05:18:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Dictators (0+ / 0-)

            I don't think I said anything about dictators not being that bad.  If you want to think Saddam was as evil as ISIS, that's fine.  It seems to me there are gradations of desirability in governing systems.  Republics, while far from perfect, are better than dictatorships.  Some may prefer to be ruled by brutally inhuman bands of violent murderous religious zealots as opposed to dictators.  That is their prerogative.  If I were an Iraqi, I suspect I would choose Saddam over ISIS if those were my only alternatives.

      •  I didn't. nt (0+ / 0-)

        I ride the wild horse .

        by BelgianBastard on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:22:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  BelgianBastard (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BelgianBastard

      You got me on that one.  I did not know about that.  But I think my main point is not invalidated.  
      I would not have objected to the United States helping the Kurds gain and preserve political independence from Hussein.

  •  google saudis finance Isis and you will learn (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kingsmeg

    Saudis
    Qatar
    Kuwait

    all financed isis / birthed Isis in syria

    now Isis is independently financed by the banks and oil wells they took

    •  Question is how long can ISIS continue (2+ / 0-)

      to expand.  Right now there are reports that ISIS fighters have attacked Lebanese villages with the Lebanese military and Hizbullah militias responding.

      Question here is if ISIS can convert from asymmetrical to conventional warfare in order to field a large enough force to take, hold and garrison key points.  So far, there have been no reports that I have seen as to who is actually doing the strategic planning for the ISIS military  

      •  There may or may not be any strategic thinking... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DEMonrat ankle biter

        or indeed direct control.

        I can tell you that there is no way ISIS 'gets control' of Syria, much less Lebanon. And if the US and Iraqi politicians (and both appear to be on that path) they won't control significant areas of Iraq.

        I think it's important to note [and this is a simplification] that the (armed and otherwise) support for ISIS in Iraq is very barganing chippy, even though the guys doing the shooting are not amenable at all to negociation. Sunnis in Iraq have been betrayed and marginalized by Maliki, as have Kurds. Most Sunnis don't want what ISIS claims to want, but 'the enemy of my enemy' blah blah blah. Maliki is - hopefully figuratively - a dead man walking. His time has passed.  Iran and Saudi may be bitter enemies, but neither wants a Talibanized Iraq. The US agrees. Most important, Iraqis agree. I have been to both places and Iraq is a far more urbanized, plugged in, less fight-to-the-death place than Afghanistan.

        As to your question about Assymetrical/Conventional... they will be obliterated a few hours after they decide to be a conventional army. A few minutes kater they'll decide to be Assymirians again

        I ride the wild horse .

        by BelgianBastard on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:50:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it appears the Dawa Party remains in the (0+ / 0-)

          driver seat; it is just the successor appears to be more of an intellectual raised in GB than someone who personally suffered under Saddam (though he had 2 brothers executed)

          OTOH maybe someone without the bona fides of the Shia' who suffered directly through Saddam might be the best choice to reach out to the Sunni.
          Time alone will tell

  •  The evil neocon Bushies are nt (2+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:33:55 PM PDT

  •  Apart from my reservations above, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeehs

    I think you are broadly right, except - again - you gloss over some important stuff.

    Sure, without Bush the lesser's daddy issues and Dick Vadey, the Iraqi people wouldn't be persecuted by ISIS. No, they would be being persecuted by Saddam. And Saddam killed, directly or indirectly, far more Iraqis than ISIS has, with the huge caveat of a giant "so far" attached.

    I basically agree with JJ; whether Iraq is better or worse off is largely irrelevant.

    But the US is responsible for the situation as it is now. So, morally America has a duty to minimize any negative outcomes for the people of Iraq. Now, don't get me wrong, there are legitimate differences of opinion about what those actions should be, but I think that JJ is dead on that just throwing up our hands and "letting them sort it out themselves" is not a defensable position.

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:43:13 PM PDT

  •  I would say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard, aimeehs

    the salafi jihadists are responsible.  I know, it is kind of radical to propose that Arabs have minds of their own and can take actions independent of imperial powers, but I think that it might actually be true.

  •  I just think it's a little funny (0+ / 0-)

    how the USA wanted to keep soldiers on the ground in Iraq, Iraq said 'No!' and refused to sign on to the SOFA, the USA leaves, Iran sends in it's troops instead, then ISIS shows up (funded and supported by who knows? robbing banks, really?), and all of a sudden American soldiers are headed back into Iraq to secure the Oil infrastructure that all those military bases were built to secure.

    It doesn't pass my smell test.  It's too convenient.  Obama was clear, whenever he spoke on the subject, that the only reason he withdrew all US troops from Iraq was because of Shrub's failure to get the SOFA the USA needed.  All of a sudden, after a few militants riding around in Toyotas and commandeering US equipment (how did they learn how to operate this complex gear so effectively?), running the 'School of the Americas' playbook, the SOFA is no longer an obstacle and US soldiers are going to be welcomed back with open arms. To defend 'US interests', though no one has specified what those interests are.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:01:28 PM PDT

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