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.

New video from the makers of “We Con the World” – Guns, Guns Guns! #flotilla


If you liked the Flotilla Choir in We Con the World last year, you’ll want to see Latma’s latest offering, the Audacity of Dopes band with Guns, Guns, Guns! 

An encore of last year’s Flotilla Choir masterpiece:

(via Big Peace)

Gavin Atkins and the Search for the 50 Million Missing ‘Climate Refugees’


In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. These people, it was said, would flee a range of disasters including sea level rise, increases in the numbers and severity of hurricanes, and disruption to food production.

Gavin Atkins has been doing a series over at Asian Correspondent trying to track down these 50 million missing climate refugees and I thought I’d keep a list of his articles on the subject here, for ease of reference.

What happened to the climate refugees? (April 11, 2011)

Cover up: UN tries to erase failed climate refugee prediction (April 16, 2011)

50m climate refugee claims: It’s all about money for the UN (April 19, 2011)

Reaction to the 50 million climate refugee prediction (April 22, 2011)

The origins of the 50 million climate refugees prediction (April 23, 2011)

50m climate refugees? New Scientist can’t find them either (May 5, 2011)

50 million climate refugees – the search continues (May 9, 2011)

The Alaskan climate refugees who never left (June 14, 2011)

Asian Correspondent makes it to the Beeb:  Gavin Atkins talks to Hannah Barnes from BBC radio 4 about the missing 50 million climate refugees story  (June 16, 2011)

I’ll try to keep this list updated as the hunt continues.

…as I told him after his May 9 article was published, “Mate, you’re gonna need a bigger milk carton” 🙂
Anyone with Photoshop skills out there want to step up..?

Obama on the 2nd Amendment


the Madsen Machine gun (short barreled)

That looks loud.

In the past, Obama’s position on the second amendment has been less than ideal.

While the Obama administration hasn’t mentioned the Second Amendment by name, it seems he may have recently had a change of opinion.

The new opinion takes the much more hardcore view that because the authority of a government is derived from the consent of the governed then owning guns is important as sometimes it is necessary to use arms to assert that consent (or lack thereof) and overthrow a government.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed for the first time in London that the United Nations resolution did allow for the ”legitimate transfer of arms” to rebels if a nation chose to do so.

”Our interpretation of 1973 amended is that it overrode the absolute prohibition of arms to anyone in Libya … so there could be legitimate transfer of arms if a country chose to do that. We have not made that decision at this time,” she said.

Not even a mention of any plans to do background checks for the new owners!

I know, I know. You might be skeptical. But we also know that his administration allowed known gunrunners to transport thousands of guns into Mexico.  Granted, allowing guns to Mexican drug gangs instead of the law abiding seems like a questionable idea.

I suppose that arming people in other countries might be the first step to acknowledging that people in his own country aren’t “bitter clingers.”

As Obama’s War Begins in Libya, Peace Activists Hold Rally at White House…


…Against the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

.

“You know it makes sense!”

h/t @WeaselZippers

UPDATE:

BUT BUT BUT!!!!! HE’S NOT BUSH!!!!!! heh. #ChimpyMcObamaHitlerHalliburton

PFC Bradley Manning, heres the torture..


As has been reported on many news sites PFC Bradley Manning is apparently so mistreated the UN is going to investigate. ( Id sleep with my bum to the door if I were him, the UN has a certain…reputation)

From the link: “THE UN HAS CONFIRMED it is investigating complaints made by supporters of detained US army soldier Bradley Manning, suspected of supplying confidential US files and military information to WikilLeaks.”

Now Ive run across an interesting website run by an ex-military man now lawyer who specialises in court martial cases. Hes also currently defending Mr Manning. David E. Coombs is his name, and he has a blog of his own.

He has written a piece on his blog which clearly outlines how PFC Manning is treated, and how his day unfolds. Its matter of fact and fairly banal, Mannings biggest hassle will be boredom.

Heres a couple of sections, but please go across and have a look at the full thing.

His cell is approximately six feet wide and twelve feet in length.

The cell has a bed, a drinking fountain, and a toilet.

The guards at the confinement facility are professional. At no time have they tried to bully, harass, or embarrass PFC Manning. Given the nature of their job, however, they do not engage in conversation with PFC Manning.
…..

He is allowed to watch television during the day. The television stations are limited to the basic local stations. His access to the television ranges from 1 to 3 hours on weekdays to 3 to 6 hours on weekends.
……

He is allowed to have any combination of up to 15 books or magazines. He must request the book or magazine by name. Once the book or magazine has been reviewed by the literary board at the confinement facility, and approved, he is allowed to have someone on his approved list send it to him. The person sending the book or magazine to him must do so through a publisher or an approved distributor such as Amazon. They are not allowed to mail the book or magazine directly to PFC Manning.
…..

He is not allowed to have a pillow or sheets. However, he is given access to two blankets and has recently been given a new mattress that has a built-in pillow.
…..

When PFC Manning goes to sleep, he is required to strip down to his boxer shorts and surrender his clothing to the guards. His clothing is returned to him the next morning

…..

So as you can see his daily routine is banal, and boring, but torture??

The Lawyers blog has been infested by shrieking moonbats of the most fantastic varieties, the comments section is a hoot.  Some highlights under the fold…

Read the rest of this entry »

Israel’s shame


Go here to register your complaint against the Jewish state.

H/T Bolta

Meanwhile, gay Spaniards prefer terrorists over homosexuals.

UPDATE

And it looks like hardly any aid was on that flotilla to Gaza to begin with, and none was on the Mavi Mamara. Conspicuously absent was medical aid – what Gaza really needs.

H/T Aussie Dave

*cross-posted

%d bloggers like this: