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View Poll Results: Agree or disagree?
Agree completely 22 61.11%
Mostly Agree 8 22.22%
Uncertain 1 2.78%
Mostly Disagree 3 8.33%
Disagree Completely 2 5.56%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-20-2014, 09:35 AM  
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Rand Paul: America Shouldn't Choose Sides in Iraq's Civil War

America Shouldn't Choose Sides in Iraq's Civil War

Obama has made mistakes but so did Bush by invading. There's no good case for U.S. military intervention now.

By RAND PAUL

Though many claim the mantle of Ronald Reagan on foreign policy, too few look at how he really conducted it. The Iraq war is one of the best examples of where we went wrong because we ignored that.

In 1984, Reagan's Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger developed the following criteria for war, primarily to avoid another Vietnam. His speech, "The Uses of Military Power," boils down to this: The United States should not commit forces to combat unless the vital national interests of the U.S. or its allies are involved and only "with the clear intention of winning." U.S. combat troops should be committed only with "clearly defined political and military objectives" and with the capacity to accomplish those objectives and with a "reasonable assurance" of the support of U.S. public opinion and Congress and only "as a last resort."

Much of the rationale for going to war in 2003 did not measure up to the Weinberger Doctrine, and I opposed the Iraq war. I thought we needed to be more prudent about the weightiest decision a country can make. Like Reagan, I thought we should never be eager to go to war. And now, 11 years later, we are still dealing with the consequences.


Today the Middle East is less stable than in 2003. The Iraq war strengthened Iran's influence in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. Sunni extremists backed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have filled the vacuum. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken over the cities of Mosul, Tikrit and is on the march to Baghdad.

While President Obama said Thursday he will not send "combat troops," he said he is sending 300 military advisers and he has 275 servicemen to guard the U.S. Embassy. Few are advocating for boots on the ground but many are calling for airstrikes.

Let me address both of these. First, we should not put any U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq, unless it is to secure or evacuate U.S. personnel and diplomatic facilities. And while we may not completely rule out airstrikes, there are many questions that need to be addressed first.

What would airstrikes accomplish? We know that Iran is aiding the Iraqi government against ISIS. Do we want to, in effect, become Iran's air force? What's in this for Iran? Why should we choose a side, and if we do, who are we really helping?

This administration, through bad decision-making that I specifically warned against, has already indirectly aided al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria—the very group some now propose to counter with U.S. troops.

For the small group calling for boots on the ground—how can we ask our brave men and women to risk their lives for a country the Iraqis aren't willing to fight for themselves? Iraqi soldiers are stripping off their uniforms and fleeing this fight. We shouldn't ask our soldiers to put their uniforms on to take their places.

No matter what the administration is planning, I also insist that it go through Congress. President Obama declared this war over and even asked Congress to rescind its 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq, something I agreed with. If he or others want a new war or military action, they need a new approval, from Congress, or I will oppose them.

The U.S. spent eight years training the Iraqis and nearly a decade of war has brought us to this point. Those who say it was a mistake to leave are forgetting that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government was demanding we leave in 2011.

Those who say we must re-engage in Iraq are also forgetting an important part of the Weinberger Doctrine: "U.S. troops should not be committed to battle without a 'reasonable assurance' of the support of U.S. public opinion and Congress." To attempt to transform Iraq into something more amenable to our interests would likely require another decade of U.S. presence and perhaps another 4,000 American lives—a generational commitment that few Americans would be willing to make.

Many of those clamoring for military action now are the same people who made every false assumption imaginable about the cost, challenge and purpose of the Iraq war. They have been so wrong for so long. Why should we listen to them again?

Saying the mess in Iraq is President Obama's fault ignores what President Bush did wrong. Saying it is President Bush's fault is to ignore all the horrible foreign policy decisions in Syria, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere under President Obama, many of which may have contributed to the current crisis in Iraq. For former Bush officials to blame President Obama or for Democrats to blame President Bush only serves as a reminder that both sides continue to get foreign policy wrong. We need a new approach, one that emulates Reagan's policies, puts America first, seeks peace, faces war reluctantly, and when necessary acts fully and decisively.

Too many in Washington are prevented by their own pride from admitting their mistakes. They are more concerned about saving face or pursuing a rigid ideology than they are with constructing a realist foreign policy.

David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and a strong advocate for the Iraq war, said recently that "the United States overestimated the threat from Saddam Hussein in 2003. Without an active nuclear-weapons program, he was not a danger beyond his immediate vicinity. That war cost this country dearly. The United States failed in its most ambitious objective: establishing a stable, Western-oriented government for all of Iraq." He added that "the government in Baghdad is not an American friend, and action against ISIS will not advance U.S. interests."

Other advocates for the Iraq war need to examine the evidence and make rational decisions based on it. That's something lacking throughout Washington. Leadership means admitting our mistakes so we can correct them. We will do ourselves no favors if we simply recommit to the same mistakes and heed the advice of those who made them in the first place.

Mr. Paul is a Republican senator from Kentucky.

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Old 06-22-2014, 07:21 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Bush's SOTU statement was based on findings provided by British intelligence, so no.
Quote:
that the White House already knew to be a forgery thanks to the CIA
To better sell a Lie.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:22 PM   #107
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I'm curious..... While still President, did Bill Clinton lie when he said that Iraq had WMDs?
Obviously this was missed earlier.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:25 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
To better sell a Lie.
The Brits said their finding was based on multiple intel data points so even if that document was a forgery and even if it was a part of the basis of the British finding, it alone doesn't undermine the finding. Hence Bush's "well founded" statement.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:55 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
The Brits said their finding was based on multiple intel data points so even if that document was a forgery and even if it was a part of the basis of the British finding, it alone doesn't undermine the finding. Hence Bush's "well founded" statement.
i know your cheney love is boundless (and that it extends to bush), but this is ...

so, if the british findings were based on multiple intel data points which presumably included the forgery (which may or may not have been far more important in the overall finding) and they relied on it to any significant degree the fact that it was a forgery clearly does undermine their overall finding to that same extent...

and if the wh knew that the forgery was a forgery and a part of the brits findings that they were relying on, wouldn't that have in turn undermined the overall conclusion to that same extent?

since we (that is i) don't know to what extent the brits were relying on the forgery nor to what extent the wh should have discounted the brits findings which were based at least in part on a forgery, we can't say how much the forgery, standing alone, did in fact undermine the overall conclusion of the wh...

but i can say that since we don't know the extent to which the overall assessment that the forgery and knowledge of the forgery was undermined, bush's statement was "well-founded" (in any common form of understanding of that term )...

maybe "best estimate" or some other expression of less than absolute certainty would have been more accurate and less misleading...

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Old 06-23-2014, 05:50 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
The Brits said their finding was based on multiple intel data points so even if that document was a forgery and even if it was a part of the basis of the British finding, it alone doesn't undermine the finding. Hence Bush's "well founded" statement.
It was based on this:

Quote:
Sold to Italian intelligence by some hustler, the document carried the signature of an official who had been out of office for 10 years and referenced a constitution that was no longer in effect.
Sounds legit. If you want to sell a lie.
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:02 AM   #111
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Because we left them high and dry.

I get that the nation is tired of war. But it is nothing short of irresponsible to have walked away from Iraq before they were strong enough to take care of themselves. Because of that decision, we now have a much worse situation that most certainly is of U.S. interest.
I think it's natural to do this to some extent but this board views everything as a decision made by the US. Even in foreign countries with their own elected leaders, any outcome is clearly because of something our government decided to do.

In this case "we" left them high and dry. It's all a screw up by insert Bush/Obama, next President

It's definitely not that a leader of a free nation told us to remove our troops.

Quote:
BAGHDAD—Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ruled out the presence of any U.S. troops in Iraq after the end of 2011, saying his new government and the country's security forces were capable of confronting any remaining threats to Iraq's security, sovereignty and unity.

A majority of Iraqis—and some Iraqi and U.S. officials—have assumed the U.S. troop presence would eventually be extended, especially after the long government limbo. But Mr. Maliki was eager to draw a line in his most definitive remarks on the subject. "The last American soldier will leave Iraq" as agreed, he said, speaking at his office in a leafy section of Baghdad's protected Green Zone. "This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alteration. It is sealed."
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:49 AM   #112
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I chose agree completely. The best thing for us would be Al-Maliki stepping down. This has been coming for a while. We need a government our allies in the region will support and help stabilize as opposed to doing the exact opposite.

Quote:
It suddenly seemed that the efforts of the surge might be for naught. And so, shortly after returning from Iraq, McCain and Graham visited President Bush at the White House. According to three individuals with knowledge of the July 11 conversation, the pair advised Bush to cut all ties with al-Maliki unless he showed immediate signs of engagement. Such a move on Bush's part would be tantamount to encouraging a coup against Iraq's first democratically elected prime minister, but McCain and Graham saw the situation as a desperate one. We've got a military strategy that's working, they told the president. And it's being undercut by an Iraqi government that's dysfunctional.
In 2013 the parliament tried to vote in a law preventing 3rd terms but the courts dismissed it. This May his bloc won enough votes that he'll get a 3rd term.

There is no easy side for us to choose. On one side is an Iraqi prime minister we aren't that fond of whose only allies are Syria and Iran. The other side is our allies funding an extremist terrorist group because their current actions are beneficial to them (for now).
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:00 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
i know your cheney love is boundless (and that it extends to bush), but this is ...

so, if the british findings were based on multiple intel data points which presumably included the forgery (which may or may not have been far more important in the overall finding) and they relied on it to any significant degree the fact that it was a forgery clearly does undermine their overall finding to that same extent...

and if the wh knew that the forgery was a forgery and a part of the brits findings that they were relying on, wouldn't that have in turn undermined the overall conclusion to that same extent?

since we (that is i) don't know to what extent the brits were relying on the forgery nor to what extent the wh should have discounted the brits findings which were based at least in part on a forgery, we can't say how much the forgery, standing alone, did in fact undermine the overall conclusion of the wh...

but i can say that since we don't know the extent to which the overall assessment that the forgery and knowledge of the forgery was undermined, bush's statement was "well-founded" (in any common form of understanding of that term )...

maybe "best estimate" or some other expression of less than absolute certainty would have been more accurate and less misleading...
1. We didn't "know" the documents were forged. There were elements within our intelligence agencies who doubted their authenticity.

2. We didn't know what British intelligence were basing their conclusions on. We only knew that they had assured us that their case was built on intel beyond the specific documents that couldn't be authenticated by our own intel services.

3. Bush's 16 words were about British intel conclusions not US intel conclusions. They were accurate even if there was reason to question the assessment.

4. "Well founded" isn't my conclusion. It's the conclusion of the official British investigation into pre-war intelligence. And it's not a judgment about the British assessment, it's a judgment about Bush's statement about the British assessment. In other words, the Brits may have been full of shit, but Bush's statement was pure as the driven snow.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:02 AM   #114
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I chose agree completely. The best thing for us would be Al-Maliki stepping down. This has been coming for a while. We need a government our allies in the region will support and help stabilize as opposed to doing the exact opposite.
Do you honestly think you're going to get that over there?
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:44 AM   #115
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What part of "already knew to be a forgery" are you having a hard time comprehending?
I read just fine, thanks. But forgive me if that is hardly evidence. Those are just words on a website. No source given.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:45 AM   #116
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May I ask what part of no way relevant you do not understand? If you look at my original post you will see I used the word history. Not Constitution, not legal, HISTORY. You are trying to turn this into a debate about something else. I am talking about historical facts only.

I do not need you to tell me what was on MY mind at the time I typed that. Quit arguing with me about it.
Nope.

Just because you may not have had it on your mind, does not mean it could not be taken another way--when added and applicable data are not mentioned. <--my post. Just saying I was adding to your post. Don't be so defensive.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:48 AM   #117
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Now those are legitimate websites/LibTards
I wouldn't call Global Research liberal. It's neither left or right.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:50 AM   #118
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That does not have a god damned thing to do with my point.
So.

I can add to it if I want...especially to show the cause and effect of the propaganda before the act of aggression on Iraq. Ya' know continuing the conversation?
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:56 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by ChiliConCarnage View Post
I think it's natural to do this to some extent but this board views everything as a decision made by the US. Even in foreign countries with their own elected leaders, any outcome is clearly because of something our government decided to do.

In this case "we" left them high and dry. It's all a screw up by insert Bush/Obama, next President

It's definitely not that a leader of a free nation told us to remove our troops.
Except that it was a decision made by us. That government exists because we made it possible to exist. And that government cannot stop an army of terrorists, do you really think they could still the best equipped and best trained military in the world? No, it was our decision.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:58 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Nope.

Just because you may not have had it on your mind, does not mean it could not be taken another way--when added and applicable data are not mentioned. <--my post. Just saying I was adding to your post. Don't be so defensive.
No one took it the other way. It was obvious what I was addressing. You just wanted to jump on your soap box.
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