Why the desire to pull the troops out of Iraq in the first place?


*posted first on Friday Feb. 10, here*

In the Australian today:

NO sooner did President Barack Obama welcome home American troops from Iraq and laud that country’s stability and democracy than an unprecedented wave of violence across Baghdad and elsewhere revealed the severity of Iraq’s political crisis.

Unfortunate, yet hardly surprising, even to the most casual of observers.

And whilst I can understand (yet not agree with) the Left’s position not to send troops into Iraq in the first place – an argument, largely moot, for another day – what I don’t understand is their fervish desire to pull the troops out.

It always smacked of idealism, ideology, rather than hard-nosed practicality.

After all, what was so bad with having a US troop presence there to help maintain Iraq’s fragile democratic stability?

One could argue that I am biased because a) I am centre-right politically and b) because I live in South Korea, a nation that has had a US troop presence – some 37,000  28,000 or so currently – since the armistice between North and South Korea and have seen what a permanent US troop presence looks like.

I am happy to accept those labels and can gladly tell you that such a presence ain’t that bad.

By and large,  US bases in Korea – and Japan for that matter – haven’t been a problem.

Sure, issues pop up from time to time, but if one looks at the big picture, then a strong US presence here can only be seen as a good thing, a safe option, a pretty darn good insurance policy against North Korea trying anything major on.

Almost 60 years we’ve had US troops over here without any major problems. In fact, many major problems (a full-scale Nork attack comes to mind) have arguably been averted thanks to this presence.

So, why the rush to leave Iraq essentially free of any US military  before even a decade is up and before, as is clear now, the job is done?

OK, so perhaps it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges. US troops in Korea, aside from those stationed at the DMZ, aren’t on active duty as they were in Iraq.

However, it’s not a completely dissimilar situation. Perhaps a good analogy would be to compare mandarins and oranges.

US troops not only provided safety and stability in the fledgling democracy that is Iraq – a country still steeped with sectarian and tribal rivalries – but surely they also provided a deterrence to anybody or any groups who want to destabilise the nation.

What takes years to build can take mere seconds to destroy, and I fear a lot of hard work is being undone on the whim of a flawed, feel-good, ideology.

So why?

The only practical reason that I can see for Obama pulling his troops out of Iraq is that with an Iranian confrontation looming which includes action needed in Syria, Iraq frankly isn’t important enough any more or at best, an impractical option for a potentially over-stretched military.

Of course, Obama – a man of the progressive Left – can’t actually come out and say that but it is reasonably well-known to those who don’t just get their news from the MSM that Obama is actually more of a war-time president than Bush was, having committed more troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and for a longer period of time.

So whilst the MSM might play along with the “bringing the troops home” narrative, the evidence indicates this simply isn’t the case.

Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian* and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.
Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama (“I don’t think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran”) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 (“The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.”).

(*BTW, I don’t recall Aussie PM Gillard highlighting that one.)

And this:

As the US and Israel carried on bickering over the right time to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, their war preparations continued apace. debkafile’s military sources report that flight after flight of US warplanes and transports were to be seen this week cutting eastward through the skies of Sinai on their way to Gulf destinations, presumably Saudi Arabia, at a frequency not seen in the Middle East for many years.

Add into this mix reports that China will reportedly help Saudi Arabia build a nuclear bomb, and that both China and India have started paying Iran for its oil in gold thus helping thwart current US/UN sanctions (more of which were recently thwarted by Russia and China), then we see a stage set for a showdown and we see the reality that rhetoric aside, Obama won’t be bringing many troops home at all.

To someone who doesn’t know any better, it’s as if Russia, India, and China – all wannabe first chickens to the trough – are ganging up on America.**

PS Who wouldn’t love to be a fly on the wall listening in to what the US is really saying about China? Their ever-expanding use of soft power is in many ways, stuffing it all up for America. China must surely be becoming an ever-increasing pain in the neck.

This leaves Australia in an interesting position. Our main export partner is China. Our main ally is the US. We send China our goodies to help them get rich and rival America. We practice shooting our guns with America to help keep America on top.

And yet China and America are also so deep in each other’s pockets. America buys China’s goods. China buys America’s debt.

Fun times.

** I highly recommend reading The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom. Part of the book talks about the pecking order of nations.

So which one?


Which Republican presidential nominee?

Having just spent an hour or so watching the New Hampshire GOP Republican debate, having gleaned various tidbits over the internet since a while back, I can honestly say I don’t know.

Yet.

In comments at that link, Ron Paul’s supporters come across as a tad too fervent, as does Paul himself. He just comes across as a bit whiney. Quick to complain about a problem but a bit wishy washy with any solutions.

Romney arguably won, but he comes off as Obama-lite+religion. He’s big government but I will say he’s tending to own his opponents. He does look presidential and has the establishment’s backing… not necessarily a good thing when up against Obama who REALLY has the Establishment’s backing and REALLY (at least) talks presidential (except here where he sounds about as formidable as Julia Gillard). Read the rest of this entry »

Tea party Vs the Teat party?


Caught a classic comment over on Samizdata that needs a good airing.

“By the way, while typing in this posting (on an unfamiliar computer) I noticed that I had at one point put the “Teat” Party. But actually, I quite like that phrase, to describe all the kind of people who think that Tea Partiers really are terrorists.”

If people against government spending and tax increases are disparagingly called “Tea baggers” (a derisory sexual term), then surely they cant object to us referring to those suckling on the governments largesse as “Teat Partiers”.

 

After all fair is fair, right?

So which are you?

Or

Lefties, please note, black pig used as it was the first one in google search, not Raaaaacim!!!

Congressman(‘s) Weiner


Weiner awardSome guys just never learn. Sean Salisbury. Brett Favre. And now aptly-named Congress-critter Anthony “wanna see my” Weiner.


Our debt ceiling is yet to be raised as the healthcare debate looms large, yet the most important political news of the moment revolves around a Brooklyn representative’s penis.


As Weiner himself noted, “The jokes write themselves.”

I thought Weiner was a little stiff at his news converence.

What’s the difference between a Democrat and a Republican? About 6 inches.

An inch more he’d be a king; an inch less he’d be a queen.

The police investigated whether a penis picture was displayed. The case was thrown out due to lack of evidence.

(Insert the “wiener” joke of your choice here)

Self Defence: Are You a Democrat or a Republican?


Are you a Democrat or a Republican?  Here’s a little test to help you decide:

You’re walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children.  Suddenly, a man with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you.  You are carrying a Glock .40 cal, and you are an expert shot.  You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.

What do you do?

Democrat’s Answer

Well, that’s not enough information to answer the question!  Does the man look poor?  Or oppressed?  Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?  Could we run away?  What does my wife think?  What about the kids?

Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?  What does the law say about this situation?  Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?  Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?

Is it possible he’d be happy with just killing me?  Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?  If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?  Should I call 9-1-1?  Why is this street so deserted?

We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.

This is all so confusing!  I need to debate this with some friends for few days and try to come to a consensus.

Republican’s Answer

BANG! BANG!

Extra Credit: Southern Republican’s Answer:

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click…..(sounds of reloading).

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click

Daughter: “Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silvertips or Federal Hydra-Shoks?”

via Paco in comments here

UPDATE:  A typical rational Australian Lefty replies –

Finally, Obama addresses the nation about America’s Kinetic Military Action in Libya


And via the magic of Twitter, his entire 7-page single-spaced speech can be distilled down into fewer than 140 characters:

“I authorized this war that is not a war, which is narrowly focused but broad in scope, so we could lead. As helpers.”

And this critique:

“Eerily like a Bush speech, but without the conviction.”

Hey, here’s a word cloud!

If you’d like a little more detail, see PJTV‘s account of the speech.  If you’d like the time-limited, vermouth-limited overserved kinetic martini-action version, see VodkaPundit’s drunkblog account.

And if you’d like to see how this speech SHOULD have been done, see Reagan.

UPDATE: More on Obama’s War from James Board, and a great post at RedState which includes some of the top Twitter reactions.

 

via twitterers @MelissaTweets, @EWErickson, @KamaainaInOC, @GayPatriot, @instapundit, @CalebHowe & @VodkaPundit.

I Want Your Money


It’s a new film coming out that takes a look at recent US government spending.

H/T RWB

cross-posted

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