Recasting Bush as the hero of Iraq is taking things much too far

I see that Fox News and top Republicans such as Mitch McConnell are insisting that President Obama credit his predecessor, President George W. Bush, for making possible tonight’s announcement that U.S. troops are no longer engaged in combat in Iraq.

I suppose that’s true, they have a point. You could certainly argue, for example, that if Bush hadn’t committed us to that misbegotten war in the first place, President Obama wouldn’t be making tonight’s speech.

In fact, if Bush hadn’t decided to try to occupy Iraq with far fewer troops than were necessary, ignoring advice from top generals that several hundred thousand soldiers would be needed to do the job right, we might have been able to bring our role to a conclusion years ago instead of now. So they’re right in that sense as well.

And if Bush had understood the nature of the conflict much earlier — if he hadn’t stood in front of that “Mission Accomplished” banner on May 1, 2003 and proclaimed that major combat had ended in Iraq, at a point when just 172 U.S. soldiers had been killed out of an eventual 4,000 — yeah, maybe Obama wouldn’t have to be announcing the ACTUAL end of major combat for U.S. forces on an August night more than seven years later.

If Bush hadn’t stubbornly, blindly insisted year after year that the war was going well, that there was no civil war, that the incompetent Donald Rumsfeld was a great defense secretary, that no change of strategy was necessary because the original strategy was so brilliant — if he hadn’t refused to acknowledge reality until after the 2006 midterms forced him to do so — yeah, maybe Bush himself would have been able to make this speech while he was still president.

But that didn’t happen. For years, Bush tried to halfway it, refusing to commit fully but refusing to withdraw either.

“Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don’t you send more troops?” Bush said in a typical speech in 2005. “If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job. Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight.”

Look, I’m not trying to dredge up ancient disputes here, and I’m not looking for another chance to bash the ex-president. He has left office, and history will now reach its own verdict on his leadership and judgment. I’m fine with that. I will also acknowledge, as I have in the past, that the 2007 surge and the change in military leadership that Bush finally implemented were more successful in rebuilding security than I and many others, including Barack Obama, had expected at the time. As I also noted earlier today, Obama doesn’t deserve a huge amount of credit for this withdrawal process, because he has merely followed the timeline set by Bush.

For that and many other reasons, it was perfectly appropriate for Obama to call Bush today as a matter of courtesy, and I hope and expect that the president will treat his predecessor with grace in tonight’s remarks.

All that said, however, it is also impossible to sit silently by while the Republicans try to rewrite a history that remains so fresh in so many minds. The invasion of Iraq was not a triumph of the Bush years, it was his greatest single mistake and probably the single greatest foreign-policy blunder in U.S. history.

446 comments Add your comment

Normal

August 31st, 2010
6:36 pm

Bush? Hero? EEEWWWWWWW!

Hootinanny Yum Yum

August 31st, 2010
6:37 pm

Bush did it!

Hootinanny Yum Yum

August 31st, 2010
6:38 pm

Bush’s fault!

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
6:41 pm

Leave it to the Iraqis eh? Like I said below, I sure wouldn’t want to be a Kurdish, Christian, gay woman in what we’re leaving behind…but, hey, human rights is not real high on the agenda these days, are they?

RW-(the original)

August 31st, 2010
6:41 pm

If Obama was really smart he would give Bush 100% of the credit and claim he really had no choice but to follow the SOFA Bush put in place. Then if it goes to hell in a handbasket he can refer back to this speech.

barking frog

August 31st, 2010
6:43 pm

but..but…Exxon/Mobil got their contract and
we caught and the Iraqis killed Saddam that
tried to kill w’s daddy..How is he not a hero?

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
6:44 pm

RW
Makes sense to me….

barking

Yep.

Normal

August 31st, 2010
6:51 pm

ByteMe

August 31st, 2010
6:51 pm

Heck, Jay, the Faux Talking Heads try to rewrite history from just a few months ago (e.g., they lauded their second-largest shareholder — Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal — on air in April, but now they want to claim he’s the “terrorist money” behind the “ground zero mosque”)! Why such an uproar over their trying to rewrite history from a few years ago? That seems pretty tame when you put it in context.

President Hussein

August 31st, 2010
6:51 pm

How’s he gonna read that telepromptor tonight with his fake birth certificate glued to his forehead?

Scout

August 31st, 2010
6:53 pm

May I say something here? Bush made a lot of mistakes (mainly due to Rumsfield) but guess what.

He is NOT the current president.

Snope Man

August 31st, 2010
6:55 pm

Let’s talk about history, like from 2007 to 2008 and Democrats on Petraeus surge planning under Bush (yeah, that guy liberals snidely called Betrayus):

“I believe … that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything…” – Harry Reid

“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.” – Senator Barrak Obama

“The Bush Surge will backfire” – General (RET) Wesley Clark

“This whole notion that the surge is working is fantasy.” – Senator Joe Biden

“I think it is very difficult for the President to sustain a war of this magnitude without the support of the American people, and without the support of the Congress of the United States. That’s why Congress will vote to oppose the President’s escalation.” – Nancy Pelosi

On and on and on we can go. But the point here is that Democrats wanted BUSH to fail. They could care less about whatever happened in Iraq. Thats not history revision – that’s the fact.Now that we know Democrats were wrong. Whether or not you were against the war in the first place is irrelevant. Democrats were wrong then and now they know Bush was right. Again, whether or not you were against the war is not up for debate here. Of course, I won’t even bring up the fact that a large enough portion of Democrats supported and voted for giving Bush authority to go to war in Iraq in the first place.

And by the way, all that time Democrats said that Afghanistan was the “real” war and Bush was taking his eye off the ball. Where are these same Democrats now on Afghanistan? But give credit to Democrats for one thing: they are taking their eye off the ball of their failed economic policies. Fortunately, tens of millions of people are no longer buying their bait-n-switch tactics depending on which way the political winds are blowing. Right now, people are more worried about where their next paycheck is going to come from than what’s going on in Iraq.

Normal

August 31st, 2010
6:55 pm

Scout

August 31st, 2010
6:55 pm

President Hussein :

Let’s be fair. That “birth certificate” is not inaccurate, altered or counterfeit on its face. It is simply incomplete.

What Obama was talking about is his “Certification of Live Birth” which has minimal information.

His actual “Brith Certificate” has additional information such as the hospital of record and attending physician. If for no other reason, the National Park Service needs to know which hosptial so they can put up a marker.

Normal

August 31st, 2010
6:57 pm

Did the surge work? We will see when the last American soldier is gone…

WillieBee

August 31st, 2010
6:57 pm

Bush invaded Iraq and history has been his judge. In my view the war was a mistake.
However, Obama has finished things up right on the schedule that Bush left when he left office. If all Obama can do is blame Bush, he will have further redueced himself, further diminished his presidency and minimzed himself as a leader. Obama needed to decide if he was going to be a leader or a democrat. So far, he has consistently chosen democrat.
All of us are poorer for his unremitting partisanship. And that includes Obama himself.

@@

August 31st, 2010
6:58 pm

it is also impossible to sit silently by while the Republicans try to rewrite a history that remains so fresh in so many minds.

Obama tries to rewrite everyday.

Inherited Bush’s economic mess? More like supported it while he was sitting in the U.S. Senate.

Whatever, jay. You’ve got your mess call, and I’ve got mine.

Scout

August 31st, 2010
7:03 pm

Are the comments closed for the night ?

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
7:03 pm

Normal
@ 6:55
Aw! That was sweet…

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
7:05 pm

Rewrite history? What’s one more…I just got through reviewing a “new and improved” American history text…Oy!

jconservative

August 31st, 2010
7:13 pm

Two thoughts.

1. Bush said combat ended in May 2003. So what the hell is Obama gonna talk about?

2. Bush negotiated the treaty that outlined the troop draw down dates. So what the hell is Obama gonna talk about?

And just so everyone can get it straight in their head, Bush did not go into Iraq for any other reason than he thought 9/11 had damaged the USA reputation in the world and going to war was a good way to get that reputation back. You doubters can read Richard Haass’ book on the two Iraq wars which Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and Rice all say is accurate.

All the junk you heard about WMD, al Qaeda in Iraq, etc, etc was just advertising by the Bush Administration to get you suckers to buy into the war. And it worked.

Paul

August 31st, 2010
7:15 pm

Pres Obama telephoned Pres Bush?

That was gracious, and appropriate. Frankly, it’s about as far as it should go. The world stage is not the place for a president to announce to the world “before I was president, I was on record for a course of action that, in hindsight, probably wasn’t the best.” I know, some will argue he’s ‘apologized’ in the past. I’ll submit reflecting on a nation’s strengths and weaknesses and how to become more in line with what we proclaim ourselves to be is orders of magnitude different than an apology regarding a point in one’s political career.

Many have criticized him for so many “I” statements or ‘making it all about himself.’ Now’s not the time to change minds and have him start making more “I” statements.

Unless those doing the advocating want to apologize for being wrong in the past… :-)

Jay

Far as I remember, it was one senior military leader, the Army Chief of Staff, who publicly said more troops would be needed for the occupation. He’d already announced his retirement and his assessment was in response to a direct Congressional question, I do believe.

Pres Bush’s assertion no-one else asked for more troops, even in the midst of the fiasco, just strengthens my belief that numerous Army commanders and the then (AF) Chief of Staff should have been fired. That’s a statement of personal belief – I realize the practical truth is those who had the authority to fire them were part of the blindness.

Anyone stop to think that all the hoopla over his remarks as a senator is what might have swung the balance in his decision to escalate in Afghanistan?

@@

August 31st, 2010
7:17 pm

Hamas has claimed responsibility for killing 4 Israelis in the West Bank. Two men and two women…one pregnant. The car was riddled with bullets to disable it, and then the passengers were drug from the car and shot in vital organs…execution style.

Must be opposed to Obama’s meeting with Abbas and Netanyahu.

Free Palestine from Hamas!

Paul

August 31st, 2010
7:18 pm

Jay

Correction: “and the then (AF) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff…”

Patrick

August 31st, 2010
7:19 pm

Jay Bookman– I agree with much, but is this the ACTUAL end of major combat? For you or Obama to seriously claim that we are done with the fighting is really going out on a limb, especially as over 50000 troops will still be there for the foreseeable future!

landry

August 31st, 2010
7:26 pm

Obama needs to put on a flight suit and land on beck’s arse and claim mission accomplished…..

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
7:28 pm

@@

Oh, that’s right…human rights is confined now to the West Bank and Gaza… ISH

landry

August 31st, 2010
7:30 pm

Obama should hire the marketing team from the neocons who came up with the slogan, “Stay the Course”, maybe that will by him sometime, although I doubt the frothing lunatic christian right would give him a nanosecond to resolve the mess they made……

Jack

August 31st, 2010
7:33 pm

I can’t help but wonder what Bookman would have done if he’d been president when 9/11 took place. Form a committee? Organize a community? Take a vacation?

GOP is Gone

August 31st, 2010
7:33 pm

Exactly, if we had not invaded a sovereign nation on poor intelligence, or a down right lie, in the first place, then we would not have nearly 5000 dead Americans, a trillion dollars in debt to China, and over 100,000 dead Iraqis on Bush’s hands. History will clearly judge this fiasco for what it was, just that.

Need I add that the “surge” started to work when we wised up and started paying the Sunnis to stop fighting. Just what will happen if when we stop paying them? Civil War, again?

We broke this country, destroyed the infrastructure with shock and awe and now we are finally leaving. Who knows how it will end. Without a functioning government, abject corruption and nearly weekly, if not daily violence, I would hardly categorize this a victory.

What a waste, so many dead and wounded for life, for so little.

F. Sinkwich

August 31st, 2010
7:36 pm

What in the world does Obama think he’s going to accomplish tonight?

Only his second prime time address (first was the oil spill). The economy is in the tank and he has no idea what to do about it because he and his advisers have no experience in the private sector.

He’s clueless.

Nan

August 31st, 2010
7:37 pm

Bush did what was right for the people of Iraq; freedom that America was founded on. What can O’Bam say he has done for the American people?

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
7:41 pm

NAN
Freedom?

I take it you’re not a Kurdish, Christian, gay woman….

F. Sinkwich

August 31st, 2010
7:42 pm

Nan,

“What can O’Bam say he has done for the American people?”

Uh, ruined the economy?

paleo-neo-Carlinist

August 31st, 2010
7:43 pm

Jack, what would you have done; waited 18 months and invaded a sovereign nation with NO TIES TO 9/11 (which diverted assets from the war you were waging to “hunt and kill” those responsible for 9/11)? but enough about you and JB, you know what I would have done? I would have nuked bin Laden at Tora Bora. no JDAMS or bunker busters, no asking the Pakistani’s to cover the presumed escape route, no false “concern” about U.S. casualties in commiting a company of Rangers to kill bin Laden.

GOP is Gone

August 31st, 2010
7:43 pm

LOL……..Bush decides what is best for Iraqis……………..Just how would you and yours react to Islamic Troops taking over America and having your streets occupied by troops with guns and humvees? Maybe they think Islam is the way America should be? No wonder they hate us, the supreme arrogance of some Americans. We know what is best for you and your country, so shut up and stop fighting us.

As a matter of fact it sounds a lot like what we said to the Native Americans. And we all know how that turned out for them.

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
7:46 pm

GOP
Don’t go bringing the Indians into this…not the same thing at all…the Civil War, maybe…

Mike

August 31st, 2010
7:47 pm

Bush is a butthole (and his followers too).

paleo-neo-Carlinist

August 31st, 2010
7:50 pm

just a hunch j nix, but when the time comes, look for the Republic of Kurdistan. I believe they are atop much of the oil much ballyhooed oil reserves are under the Kurds. there may have to be some horse-trading with Turkey, but let’s face it, Turkey is only important a couple times a year. I think we’ll be happy to let the Sunni and the Shia slug it out in southern Iraq (think lots of dead Muslims, no matter who wins).

GOP is Gone

August 31st, 2010
7:50 pm

no josef, It is the exact mind set that White Settlers had towards Native Americans. We are superior and our way is best, if you do not agree to give us what we want we will kill you and take it.

Thanks for Nuthin'

August 31st, 2010
7:50 pm

Well, if the cons want everyone to thank Bush for Iraq, then where does that leave Rumsfeld and Reagan. Don’t they deserve at least a little of the credit for all those dead US soldiers and all those dead Iraqi civilians and the trillion dollars to fight the war. And we haven’t even mentioned Bush Sr. yet.

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
7:53 pm

GOP

Okay, two questions. First, may I see your CDIB card and second are you living on land seized under the terms of the Treaty of New Echota and depopulated during Removal?

Paulo977

August 31st, 2010
7:53 pm

Some hero … causing over 1 miilion Iraqis to be wiped off the face of the planet by engaging in an illegal war and leaving a splintered society!!!

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
7:55 pm

paleo

I agree with that summation. And the Kurds have got Israel on their side…

Doggone/GA

August 31st, 2010
7:55 pm

“We are superior and our way is best”

aka “the White Man’s burden”

Paulo977

August 31st, 2010
7:59 pm

GOP is Gone re: “mindset’ Absolutely .The movie AVATAR brought this out in no uncertain terms!!

paleo-neo-Carlinist

August 31st, 2010
8:03 pm

any of you folks ever heard of a cat named Jimmy Carter? he was the POTUS immediately after Nixon/Ford. forget about Watergate; politics as usual, but the real issue of the Nixon years was the 1973 OPEC embargo. it sent our economy into a tailspin, and from that moment on the “issue” in the Middle East was not Arabs and Jews, it was “how do we feed our addiction?” Carter warned of our dependence and was ridiculed for his “it’s patriotic to wear a sweater and keep the thermostat at 65.” he “failed” as a President because he couldn’t compete with American consumerism and greed and when he capitulated; admitting that the Middle East was now a strategic concern of the U.S. moving forward, the “dogs of war” were unleashed. the spin doctors of the neo-con right played the Israel card (double whammy – Jews lobby ghard AND fundamentalist Christians see our presence as Biblically mandated). the Bush “family ties” with the Saudi royal family were well known, so the plan was to package the projection of U.S. power in the Middle East as some patriotic crusade, and if the “natives” got out of line (behaved as they always have), we had the largest, most advanced and powerful military force in the history of the world to “plow the runways”. Bush is a criminal. and any GOP wag who “defends” him is a fool.

GOP is Gone

August 31st, 2010
8:06 pm

Yes josef, I probably am living on land that was stolen from Creeks and Cherokees, as are you. Not being say 250 years old, I cannot take personal responsibility. However, the mind set of thinking “we” know what is best for countries thousands of miles away from us in distance and culture is down right stupid.

I was watching interviews of the “Tea” people. One likened himself to a native American, knowing just how he felt when his country was taken away. I wish the interviewer had asked him just when
had armed men shot his wife and children, rounded up whom ever was left and locked them up on uninhabitable land far, far away, since he knows just how they felt.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

August 31st, 2010
8:10 pm

josef, I used this last week. in ‘91 there was a joke about Saddam being like Miss Muffet because they both “had Kurds in their way”. it’s all about oil. we (USA) are not very good poker players. we show our hand. Iraq, Iran, et all have to sell us the oil. they can’t drink it. they can’t bathe in it. sure, they can sell it to China, and Russia, and France, on the open market, but our oil companies don’t want an “open market”, they want the US military to fight and die to “secure” Iraq; then they want to extract, refine and… ’sell the oil on the open market.’ this is faux capitalism/free market at its best. at the very least, Obama should has said; “forget about withdrawls. we’re ceasing combat operations and we will secure the oil fields and nationalize them as assets of the U.S. government.” if ExxonMobil want the oil, let them hire Blackwater to take it from the USA.

Finn McCool

August 31st, 2010
8:14 pm

The surge was more a cash outlay than a ramp up in troops. We paid the enemy to stop shooting American soldiers. Money talks, all else walks!

That’s the American way. Buy your victory.

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
8:14 pm

GOP
If you are resident on that land then you are, from an Indian perspective, every bit as guilty and benefitting from the pretty pass brought on by those White Christians you want to rail against–the same mind set…and do you have a CDIB card?

And yes, I am, too living on said land…with my partner of 35 years whose ancestors were removed so that you (and I) can sit here fat and sassy…crying crocodile tears…

I was dead set against the Iraqi invasion and consider it to be a huge mistake…but what went on there and what went on here are not the same story…we did not go in to take the land and remove the people…now, the Civil War,,,well we did invade, conquer and destroy wrecking havoc, mayhem and sewing ill will and setting out to remake the society in our own image…

@@

August 31st, 2010
8:14 pm

Hindsight’s 20/20, but we should’a killed Muqtada al Sadr when we had the chance. He now sits in Iran acting as their go-between. So many people we SHOULD’A killed.

Soothsayer

August 31st, 2010
8:16 pm

After eight long draining years, I have to wonder if our government even understands what it is to end a war anymore. The end of a war, to most people, means all the troops come home, out of harm’s way. It means we stop killing people and getting killed. It means we stop sending troops and armed personnel over and draining our treasury for military operations in that foreign land. But much like the infamous “mission accomplished” moment of the last administration, this “end” of the war also means none of those things.

[T]he number of private contractors – who perform many of the same roles as troops, but for a lot more money – is expected to double. So this is a funny way of ending combat operations in Iraq. We are still meddling in their affairs and we are still putting our men and women in danger, and we are still spending money we don’t have. This looks more like an escalation than a draw-down to me!

The ongoing war in Iraq takes place against a backdrop of economic crisis at home, as fresh numbers indicate that our economic situation is as bad as ever, and getting worse! Our foreign policy is based on an illusion: that we are actually paying for it. What we are doing is borrowing and printing the money to maintain our presence overseas. Americans are seeing the cost of this irresponsible approach as our economic decline continues. Unemployed Americans have been questioning a policy that ships hundreds of billions of dollars overseas while their own communities crumble and their frustration is growing. An end to this type of foreign policy is way overdue.

Here is a great article by Ron Paul. If this guy were to run for President he would have my vote.

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
8:18 pm

paleo

The Kurds are definitely the wild card in this hand…

Thanks for Nuthin'

August 31st, 2010
8:18 pm

So many people we SHOULD’A killed.

What is it with these cons and their inappropriate use of the oui oui’s.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

August 31st, 2010
8:26 pm

GOP and josef, don’t know how I feel, as I am a native American. who was that other native of Duluth, MN? you know the Jewish guy who riffed the Bible and sang about “…to everything, turn, turn, turn…”? it’s hard to ‘figger out what any of us would have done in back in the day? I am Italian and my paisanos are from a tiny, remote outpost in “south central” Italy, which was kind of a R&R stop for the invading Teutonic armies (egad, I’m like half a freakin’ kraut!). so, while GOP’s point is valid on a very abstract level, it was kind of the nature of man (especially, but not exclusively Europeans) to explore for the purposes of expanding empires (and empires are commercial in nature, not political – politics is just the nudge used to send soldiers into battle). I’m drifting here, but a couple weeks ago, I was running and it occurred to me, in life we are either prisoners of our own arrogance, or prisoners of the arrogance of others (with a handful of kind of independent souls). if you study psych, you know about narcissim. in a narcissitic relationship there is a parasite and a host. to be more graphic; you’re either f**king someone or being f**ked by someone. like the Republic’s dealings with the Indians, Bush had the power to f**k Iraq (and the American people). and that’s all I have to say about that.

Soothsayer

August 31st, 2010
8:28 pm

buck@gon

August 31st, 2010
8:36 pm

The “greatest foreign-policy blunder”?

That’s the absolute ridiculous hyperbole we’ve come to expect from the ajc. So, in terms of subjects Jay Bookman knows little about, we already have science, economics, and now we can add history, of which he specializes in kooky liberal bias.

Here are some ideas for far greater “foreign-policy” blunders:
1. The Treaty of Versailles
2. The Creek War and the Trail of Tears
3. Allowing the rise of a nuclear Iran
4. Forming an alliance with the Soviet Union
5. Allowing the Rosenbergs and others to steal nuclear secrets
6. Mis-handling of the Iranian revolution by Jimmy Carter
7. The Bay of Pigs

This is open for discussion, of course, but I would maintain that because the Iraq war was largely successful in terms of what we can see so far, as a final outcome, and these mistakes resulted in more disastrous consequences and suffering, then we ought to count them before Iraq.

marko

August 31st, 2010
8:36 pm

Iraq was a risky gamble. I hope I’m wrong, but I think Iraq’s headed for a civil war. Our grand children will pay back China the money we borrowed to fight a war in a country they can’t show you on a map. While we were fighting a people that never attacked us, because they were hiding weapons of mass destruction, Iran was developing nukes. The fright wingers fear Obama will try to claim credit for this stunning success. Me I give the Bush boy’s full credit for the war. The rest of us we’re just left holding the check.

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
8:36 pm

paleo

I just passed on your native American to Unmentionable…he said, hat’s off to ya! He gets in a snit whenever anybody so politically correctly calls him Native American…”d*mn, anybody born on these two continents is a f’ing “native” American. If you’re not going to call me a man, then you must be talking about me from an anthropoligical paradigm, in which case it’s Indigenous American. More specifically, I’m Chahta-Tsa-la-gi. Otherwise, Indian is just fine by me…but out of respect for my Asian sub-continent fellow humans, American Indian is a little more accurate…”

As to what else you were saying, his comment is, “oh, I could definitely play that card, but then, what would the ones say that we displaced in the pre Columbian because the Great Buzzard told us it was ours…same song, different dance…”

Soothsayer

August 31st, 2010
8:37 pm

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
8:41 pm

buck@gon
My list wouldn’t be entirely your list, but the point is well made…this is just the one we’re dealing with now…

Soothsayer

August 31st, 2010
8:49 pm

“[My] fellow Americans, and Iraqis who are watching this speech, I have come here this evening not to declare a victory or to mourn a defeat on the battlefield, but to apologize from the bottom of my heart for a series of illegal actions and grossly incompetent policies pursued by the government of the United States of America, in defiance of domestic US law, international treaty obligations, and both American and Iraqi public opinion.

“In March of 2003, it was the United States government itself that contravened the charter of the United Nations, aggressively invading a country that had not attacked it and against the will of the UN Security Council. The war was preceded by a summit in the Azores of the US, Britain, Spain and Portugal, for all the world as though it were the sixteenth century and a confusion between empire and piracy still prevailed.

“The cost of this unprovoked and foolhardy adventure to the United States has been profound. A country known for its efficiency and prowess was made to look like a band of bumbling fools. The world’s best armed forces were mired in a quagmire that sapped its strength and attention, and permitted challenges to the US to go unanswered in the rest of the world. Iran was transformed from a minor annoyance– blocked by the Iraqi Republican Guards from a significant role in the Middle East– into a regional superpower with powerful influence in Baghdad, Beirut, Manama, Kuwait City, and Damascus. There is no doubt that more benefit accrued to Iran from the Iraq War than to the United States.

“Over 35,000 Americans have been killed or wounded in the Iraq War from hostile causes, and some 40,000 were killed or hurt in incidents classified as “non-hostile,” though likely many of these injuries actually occurred because of attacks. A generation of Americans will suffer brain damage, post-traumatic stress disorder, or physical disabilities because of this violent war, in which roadside bombs were deployed in the thousands against poorly armored vehicles that the Bush administration could not be bothered to replace with sturdier ones. The cost of the war so far, approaching a trillion dollars, is dwarfed by the cost of caring for the damaged veterans, and will likely mount to $5 trillion or more in coming decades. That sum is nearly half the entire current national debt.

“The damage to the United States and to international order and law is deep and our nation and our allies will not soon heal from its wounds. That damage is dwarfed, however, by the world-historical catastrophe that our invasion unleashed upon Iraq. The overthrow of the government with no plan for what might replace it; the dissolution of the Iraqi army; the willful neglect and destruction of the Iraqi public sector; and the animus against the Sunni Arab population mandated by the United States destroyed the foundations of order and economic activity in Iraq. The refusal of then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to properly garrison Iraq after its conquest left it without sufficient US troops to guarantee security. Instead of seeking reconciliation and an equitable new order, the Bush administration installed partisan conspirators in power and allowed them to adopt punitive policies toward the former ruling group. These policies were largely responsible for provoking a Sunni Arab insurgency of enormous proportions, which continues to fight and to seek the destabilization of the new Iraq even today.”

The speech Obama didn’t give.

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

August 31st, 2010
8:53 pm

Bush – One of the greatest Presidents in history.
Obama – makes Georgians feel better – we did not produce the worst President in history (only the second worst).

Lil' Barry Bailout

August 31st, 2010
8:54 pm

The Idiot Messiah is far too much of a self-obsessed megalomaniac to give anyone credit for anything, but I will give him credit for not funking up all the hard work our military and our President Bush did in forging a democracy in the heart of the Middle East.

josef nix

August 31st, 2010
8:54 pm

Time is fleeting and got some loose ends to tie up before calling it a day…

Thanks for Nuthin'

August 31st, 2010
8:54 pm

We also have Bush and his cronies to thank for our lack of regulations. At least folks like the Koch Brothers are thankful though. After all, those regulations sure have a way of choking profits and profits are all that matter.

buck@gon

August 31st, 2010
8:54 pm

Moral equivalence in the empty headed, self-congratulatory, morally vain, liberal left….

From National Review and Dennis Prager:

First, on May 25, PBS host Tavis Smiley interviewed Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the ex-Muslim Somali writer and activist for human, especially women’s, rights in Islamic countries. After mentioning American Muslim terrorists Major Nidal Hasan (who murdered 13 fellow soldiers and injured 30 others at Fort Hood) and Faisal Shahzad (who attempted to murder hundreds in Times Square), this dialogue ensued:

Ali: “Somehow, the idea got into their [Hasan’s and Shahzad’s] minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter.”

Smiley: “But Christians do that every single day in this country.”

Ali: “Do they blow people up?”

Smiley: “Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that’s what Columbine is — I could do this all day long. There are so many more examples of Christians — and I happen to be a Christian.

“There are so many more examples, Ayaan, of Christians who do that than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country, where you live and work.”

Then, on August 22, Michel Martin, host of NPR’s Tell Me More, in discussing whether the Islamic Center and mosque planned for near Ground Zero should be moved, said this on CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: “Should anybody move a Catholic church? Did anybody move a Christian church after Timothy McVeigh, who adhered to a cultic white supremacist cultic version of Christianity, bombed [the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City]?”

MESSAGE: You should be tolerant of Muslim terrorism (you stupid gullible American) because YOU are guilty of much worse! It’s an adolescent-level guilt trip for the ignorant, and the answer to a question no one asked.

marko

August 31st, 2010
9:01 pm

Soothsayer, good Quotes. you know the old Rough Rider proposed national heath insurance in 1912. guess he must of been a commie. Are you familar with these quotes? It is incumbent on every generation to pay it’s own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one half the wars of the world.-Thomas Jefferson. This is one of my favorites, we have the best government money can buy.– Mark Twain.

Soothsayer

August 31st, 2010
9:03 pm

Five US soldiers killed as Afghan casualties mount

Five US soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday, NATO said, as the number of Americans to die in the war in the past four days climbed to 22.

Four soldiers were killed in eastern Afghanistan in a Taliban-style bomb attack, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

The fifth died in an insurgent attack in the south of the country, where the insurgency is at its fiercest, it said in a separate statement. A spokesman confirmed to AFP that all the dead were Americans.

The deaths bring to 485 the total number of foreign troops killed in the Afghan war this year, compared to 521 for all of 2009, according to an AFP tally based on that kept by the independent icasualties.org website.

Following news of the deaths, US President Barack Obama warned that the United States faced a “very tough fight” in Afghanistan, with more casualties and “heartbreak” to come.

“We obviously still have a very tough fight in Afghanistan,” Obama told troops in Fort Bliss, Texas, as he prepared to mark the formal end of the US army’s combat operations in Iraq.

“We have seen casualties go up because we are taking the fight to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban,” Obama said. “It is going to be a tough slog.”

Translation: “war forever. ceaseless unending, shockingly expensive war.”

Not to worry. These were hapless soldiers who wanted to go to Afghanistan. As long as they don’t make little Junior go I’m OK with it!

buck@gon

August 31st, 2010
9:05 pm

Sooth,

The moral equivalence post above was for you. The Iraqi war will cost us half the national debt? You’re kidding and you know it! No one’s buying that schlock. If it costs $5 trillion to care for 50,000 people, how much do you think that is per person?

I’ll tell you. That comes to $100 million to care for one person in your fantasy world. I think 100 mill would cover the expenses for my whole extended family for centuries, not decades– whether or not it would cover your medication that seems to be not working.

Your fabrication continues…while hindsight is 20/20, we don’t know what would have happened had troop levels been increased; what we do know is that liberals were dead set against any buildup at all, especially and including Barry O. Yes, mistakes were made. Yes, every wartime president becomes unpopular, including FDR. Yes, every American death is an unimaginable tragedy.

No, it’s not time for Barry to deliver such a speech, though with the election now two months away, I SINCERELY WISH HE WOULD!!

Soothsayer

August 31st, 2010
9:09 pm

Marko thanks for the kind remarks.

Imagine this scenario:

Obama issues an executive order calling for a cease to all combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and for closing 80% of all American overseas bases. In addition, an immediate reduction of 80% of the U.S. Defense budget to be used to pay down the deficit and for infrastructure rebuilding.

How long do you think it would take for him to have a “JFK Dallas Moment?”

My guess is less than a week.

Doggone/GA

August 31st, 2010
9:10 pm

“MESSAGE: You should be tolerant of Muslim terrorism (you stupid gullible American) because YOU are guilty of much worse! It’s an adolescent-level guilt trip for the ignorant, and the answer to a question no one asked.”

Odd. That’s not what *I* go out of what you posted. What I got out of it is that you shouldn’t blame an innocent group of people for the horrible actions of a radical few.

Soothsayer

August 31st, 2010
9:11 pm

Buck@gon: please feel free to post a link to something that contradicts my post. I would be interested in reading it.

Kamchak

August 31st, 2010
9:13 pm

It’s an adolescent-level guilt trip for the ignorant…

The perfect definition of Christianity!

buck@gon

August 31st, 2010
9:15 pm

Sooth,

“Translation: “war forever. ceaseless unending, shockingly expensive war.”

Not to worry. These were hapless soldiers who wanted to go to Afghanistan. As long as they don’t make little Junior go I’m OK with it!”

I’m well aware of your cynicism. You feel regretful of the war in some way, either personally or emotionally. War is evil you guess. Is there a greater evil?

That’s a moral question you dare not answer, for if you do, you will understand that sometimes there are greater evils that must be confronted. A choice must be made to act or not, and this decision must be made without passion or prejudice but with reason. You can criticize the reasoning, and one should, but I haven’t seen any of that. What I’m seeing is an ad hoc straw-man critique of war unjustified by reason.

buck@gon

August 31st, 2010
9:18 pm

Sooth,

So let me get this straight. You want ME to post a link to disprove what you wrote about $5 trillion for care of (at max) 50,000 fighting men and women?

Why don’t YOU post something to justify your outrageous claim that by simple math means that each man or woman will require on average $100 mill? It’s a rhetorical trap to try and get me to prove a negative. What’s required is for you to support your absurd number.

Please provide proof, or we’ll know it’s just BS.

Kamchak

August 31st, 2010
9:20 pm

…or we’ll know it’s just BS.

Who granted you the authority to speak for anyone other than yourself?

buck@gon

August 31st, 2010
9:21 pm

Kamchak,

Thanks, you help me understand the liberal left mind. I always suspected that the modern liberal was religious in a way analogous to religion though rejecting of anything old-fashioned or other than newfangled worship of the state. You provide some sustenance to my theory. Muchas gracias.

How’s that “hope and change” working for you?

barking frog

August 31st, 2010
9:24 pm

Where in the world is Osama Bin Laden? We fought in Iraq to
keep from fighting him in New York City near Ground Zero.
We are fighting in Afghanistan to keep from fighting him
in Murfreesboro TN..Does anybody know exactly why we
are in Afghanistan? protecting poppies?

buck@gon

August 31st, 2010
9:24 pm

OK, I’ll know, and anyone else who recognizes that logically speaking, criticisms of outrageous and unsupported claims don’t need, justification, yet the claims themselves do., ie., people who recognize logic and reason.

I’m going to take away Kamchak’s sippy cup and send him to bed now…

Kamchak

August 31st, 2010
9:24 pm

How’s that “hope and change” working for you?

Just fine, but then again—I supported Juan McSame in the last election cycle.

Soothsayer

August 31st, 2010
9:24 pm

buck@gon; your argument is that there is some higher purpose for our going to war with Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t believe it. As anyone on this blog will tell you I have said it again and again WAR (as expressed in America) IS NOT A MEANS TO AND END (i.e. “victory in Iraq”) BUT RATHER A MEANS IN AND OF ITSELF. To believe otherwise is sheer lunacy. So you BIG DEFENSE needs a war. ALL THE TIME. If not why have so much military spending? Make no mistake WAR IS BIG BUSINESS. And if you interfere you’ll be squashed like a bug.

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 31st, 2010
9:24 pm

If things don’t go well, in 3 or 4 years “Time to turn the page” may be viewed the same as “Mission Accomplished”.

@@

August 31st, 2010
9:27 pm

Thanks for Nuthin’:

What is it with these cons and their inappropriate use of the oui oui’s.

I’ll let AmVet explain it to you. He’s probably sitting among us right now, champing at the bit to do just that.

Just read some of paleo-neo-Carlinist’s comments over at Kyle’s. Glaring similarities to he/she of another name.

Weird….you lurkers are just plain WEIRD!

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 31st, 2010
9:28 pm

When Bush left office it was STILL one of America’s greatest successes, just sayin…

It is now the dummycrats war to lose, so they dissemble.

(What’s up with the CAP attack, anyway?)

Ninja

August 31st, 2010
9:28 pm

Yeah, sure, combat is over. 50,000 troops and private contractors say pretty cleatrly that we ain’t goin’ anywhere. Iran better watch their @$$, they’re next. Somebody’s gotta make a buck after all.

Soothsayer

August 31st, 2010
9:34 pm

buck@gon: the best number I could find is $1 trillion. I don’t where they got the $5 trillion in the article. One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be a lot.

Dusty

August 31st, 2010
9:35 pm

Bookman is at it again! IF IF IF ….if only..Obama should….Bushs did….if if if

If nothing had been done after 9/11 we would have Saddam Hussein running Iraq, an al Queda headquarters in Bagdad, possibly wmd plus a warehouse full of gas to kill as already used on Kurds, Afghanistan run by the Taliban. Saudi Arabia would be overtaken for its oil fields.

OH yeah! Just imagine how great it would be if the Middle East was totally ruled by terrorists, dictators, Iran with nuclear weapons,.. Israel would have bombers warming on the runway ready for a moment’s notice. of need because they would be vulnerable..

The USA would be known as the wimp nation afraid of evil terrorists. China would stop all financial engagements. The world would be one happy(!) place with liberals hiding in their dugouts but declaring peace for all.

If wishes were horses, begging libs would ride. Dream on, fellows. You don’t have much longer to play fiddle dee dee every day and blame Bush. Try not to cry too hard at the next election.

PS The Braves are now six points ahead of the Mets. Go Braves!!

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the Liar Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

August 31st, 2010
9:35 pm

Only YOU would say such a foolish thing. Who else would get the credit?
Nobama, I don’t think so. Remember this Nobama gem:

• Quote: “I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war….You can take that to the bank!”

Obviously he was talking about one of the bail-out banks! mmm, mmm, mmm.

Scout

August 31st, 2010
9:43 pm

“This was my pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office. Last February, I announced a plan that would bring our combat brigades out of Iraq, while redoubling our efforts to strengthen Iraq’s Security Forces and support its government and people. That is what we have done.”

He said it ………….. but seven combat brigades and two combat aviation brigades remain. They were just given new names.

Kind of like having a Third Marine Regiment one day and a Third Marienette Division the next with the same people.

Smoke and mirrors from the Commander in Chief.

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the Liar Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

August 31st, 2010
9:45 pm

Where is the uproar? If Bush was prez, you looney libs would be all over this…The silence is unbelieveable, but expected. mmm, mmm, mmm

Until the late month spike, it appeared that the death toll for August would be well below the back-to-back monthly records of 66 in July and 60 in June.

By the middle of August 13 Americans had been killed – in part because of greater use of heavily armored vehicles and other defenses against roadside bombs, the Taliban weapon of choice.

barking frog

August 31st, 2010
9:45 pm

It is a crying shame Osama didn’t try to kill w’s daddy. he
would be dead. well, maybe not, he doesn’t have any oil.

Scout

August 31st, 2010
9:45 pm

Hey ………….. POTUS just sent me an email !!!

“Tonight marks the end of the American combat mission in Iraq.

As a candidate for this office, I pledged to end this war responsibly. And, as President, that is what I am doing.

Since I became Commander-in-Chief, we’ve brought home nearly 100,000 U.S. troops. We’ve closed or turned over to Iraq hundreds of our bases.

As Operation Iraqi Freedom ends, our commitment to a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq continues. Under Operation New Dawn, a transitional force of U.S. troops will remain to advise and assist Iraqi forces, protect our civilians on the ground, and pursue targeted counterterrorism efforts.

By the end of next year, consistent with our agreement with the Iraqi government, these men and women, too, will come home.

Ending this war is not only in Iraq’s interest — it is in our own. Our nation has paid a huge price to put Iraq’s future in the hands of its people. We have sent our men and women in uniform to make enormous sacrifices. We have spent vast resources abroad in the face of several years of recession at home.

We have met our responsibility through the courage and resolve of our women and men in uniform.

In seven years, they confronted a mission as challenging and as complex as any our military has ever been asked to face.

Nearly 1.5 million Americans put their lives on the line. Many returned for multiple tours of duty, far from their loved ones who bore a heroic burden of their own. And most painfully, more than 4,400 Americans have given their lives, fighting for people they never knew, for values that have defined our people for more than two centuries.

What their country asked of them was not small. And what they sacrificed was not easy.

For that, each and every American owes them our heartfelt thanks.

Our promise to them — to each woman or man who has donned our colors — is that our country will serve them as faithfully as they have served us. We have already made the largest increase in funding for veterans in decades. So long as I am President, I will do whatever it takes to fulfill that sacred trust.

Tonight, we mark a milestone in our nation’s history. Even at a time of great uncertainty for so many Americans, this day and our brave troops remind us that our future is in our own hands and that our best days lie ahead.”

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Scout

August 31st, 2010
9:48 pm

oldtimer

August 31st, 2010
9:48 pm

Bush’s war….Bush’s win.. of sorts..Let’s see how fast Obama leaves…

Ms. Chokesondic

August 31st, 2010
9:48 pm

Great, after all you dems are done Bush bashing can you please focus on keeping after BP to clean up the Gulf of Mexico? That larger plume of oil beneth the surface, as well as the Louisiana wetlands that still have oil inches below the top layer of soil aren’t being addressed. When people start getting sick off the shrimp coming out of the gulf, or you can’t get your Appalachia Bay oysters, BP will be long gone. Somehow Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Fag,er I mean Frank, will all be ready with their “Bush Did It” cards.

Scout

August 31st, 2010
9:53 pm

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 31st, 2010
10:02 pm

Scout

Doesn’t matter what anybody calls them, if they are being shot at, they’re combat troops.

landry

August 31st, 2010
10:02 pm

the born-again moron pulled the greatest frat-boy caper of all-time….leaving the World, Iraq and the US in tatters…..