Ten years ago today, U.S. air, sea and land forces attacked Iraq. And the great goals of Operation Iraqi Freedom? Destroy the chemical and biological weapons Saddam Hussein had amassed to use on us or transfer to al-Qaida for use against the U.S. homeland. Exact retribution for Saddam’s complicity in 9/11 after we learned his agents had met secretly in Prague with Mohamed Atta. Create a flourishing democracy in Baghdad that would serve as a catalyst for a miraculous transformation of the Middle East from a land of despots into a region of democracies that looked West.
Comments: This Bush blunder sank his polls and gave us Obama more than anything else Bush did. But neocons like Bill Kristol and McCain won´t go away. If neoconservatism were conservatism, there would be no need for the prefix
20-20 hindsight is a wonderful thing... after 9-11 every intelligence agency said that Iraq had WMD ...and they did...in the smoldering ashes of the Pentagon and the WTC the idea of leaving Hussein (Sadaam not Barrack) in power with WMD was not in our best interests as the vote to go to war in the Congress proved
Buchanan has always been a can of mixed nuts, but he passed his sell-by date five years ago when he decided that WWII was a mistake of American aggression. So who can be surprised that he thinks the same of Iraq? As a military historian, he could be asking you if you´d like fries with that.
This is really just an excuse for him to say why we should do nothing about Iran, and should abandon Israel.
Was Iraq "worth it"? Only an honest discussion can make that determination, and Pat´s discussion is not honest. Any war has high costs, and one can never really know after the fact what would have happened if we´d taken another path. Plus our tactics and strategies were often dubious, we could have had the same results, for better or worse, much more cheaply in terms of American lives.
My opinion is that yes, it was "worth it", though we paid more for it than we should have. And Iran is a totally different situation.
The problem with this kind of conjecture is that there´s no way to know what might have happened in the alternative. Maybe fifty years from now it will be possible to see in retrospect the real import of these decisions.
No it was not worth it. If America fights wars without using ALL it´s military might and without a WILL to win then it´s not worth it. Japan was also a nutjob nation but two NUKES got their attention real quick.
We will never know because Obama never wanted to win in Iraq. You cannot remove his actions over the last four years. If he had not been president, it is unlikely Iraq would have been turned over to Iran or that we would have been forced to completely leave without any role in the country. People in that part of the world were not sorry to see Saddam removed. And they saw the first tangible acts of democracy in an Arab state when the Iraqis started voting. It is Obama who turned his back on Iran, who put the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt, who has done everything he can to isolate Israel, who helped blow apart Libya. Those things have a real and continuing impact on what is happening to Iraq and throughout the entire Middle East.
There were weapons of mass destruction but they were trucked out of Iraq while discussion was going on about going into Iraq. Nearly every senator and representative voted to go in. I still have a list of the names. Later, some of them denied they voted for it. The dems are in control. If they still think it was wrong then pull out of the middle east and let them fend for themselves. Not one more American life needs to be sacrificed for being over there anywhere. Nor any of our allies. That being said, we don´t have many allies any more.
IMHO it didn´t require a retrospectroscope to know that spending our national treasure (money but more importantly our gallant warriors)on nation building in the the land of Islam was and is a futile effort. Punish aggressors with great malice, put their oil fields off limits to them and then pump those fields dry.Having done that tell´em "Don´t make us come back here again!" Yeah I know this is neither "nuanced" nor Ivy League but it´s the way my world works. nor
PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans are still more likely to blame former President George W. Bush "a great deal" or "a moderate amount" than President Barack Obama for the country´s current economic problems. More Americans blamed Bush during Obama´s first year as president in 2009; however, since mid-2010, views have been steady at levels similar to today´s. (Snip)About a third of Americans, 35%, assign a high degree of blame to Bush alone for current economic problems, about double the percentage blaming solely Obama (19%). Another 34% blame both, while 11% say neither is highly to blame.
PRINCETON, NJ -- President Barack Obama´s job approval rating thus far in 2013 has averaged 24 percentage points higher than Americans´ satisfaction with the direction in which the country is going. This gap is typical for the Obama presidency, but represents a much greater presidential job approval premium than most other presidents since Ronald Reagan have enjoyed. More specifically, so far this year, an average of 50% of Americans have approved of the job Obama is doing as president. At the same time, an average of 26% have been satisfied with the direction of the country. Similarly, since the start of his presidency in 2009, Obama's average job approval rating has been running 26 points higher than Americans' average level of satisfaction with the nation, and has ranged from 22 to 30 points higher each year.
A series of recent polls show President Obama’s approval rating at about 46 percent on average. This is somewhat lower than it was in late May, when it averaged 48 percent or 49 percent. Has the shift been caused by the dominant news story of the last two weeks — the disclosures about the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs? That’s tough to say since presidential approval ratings rarely provide unambiguous interpretations as to cause and effect.
RUSH: From TheHill.com: "A new poll finds a trio of controversies raising public concerns about the ´honesty´ of the Obama administration," not the president. "A new poll finds a trio of controversies raising public concerns about the ´honesty´ of the Obama [regime], even as the president maintains his approval rating." Limbaugh Theorem again. "A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released late Tuesday shows 55% believe the IRS targeting of conservative groups raised questions about the administration´s ´overall honesty and integrity...´" But Obama had nothing to do with it.
A slew of recent controversies has raised questions about the Obama administration for many citizens, but President Barack Obama himself has largely remained unscathed, a new poll finds. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll posted Tuesday, 55 percent of respondents said the recent IRS scandal, in which a division in the agency singled out conservative groups for extra scrutiny, raised some doubts — 41 percent said major doubts; 14 percent said minor — about the “honesty and integrity of the Obama administration.”
Nearly seven months after President Obama won reelection by a margin of 4 percentage points, the Gallup Organization, the world´s best-known polling firm, identified in a new report four main reasons why their 2012 surveys badly understated Obama´s support. The report, unveiled at a Tuesday morning event at the firm´s headquarters in Washington, detailed the reasons why Gallup believes that its polls failed to predict Obama´s victory. Gallup´s final pre-election poll showed Mitt Romney leading Obama by a percentage point, 49 percent to 48 percent.
In the new issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, I have a short feature about how Google’s (GOOG) executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, is investing millions in a new company with Dan Wagner and two dozen other veterans of the Obama campaign’s data analytics team. Schmidt was, not surprisingly, full of praise for the engineers, statisticians, and scientists whose work informed the strategy of a campaign that won by 5 million votes. But given the collaborative effort and many moving parts of a modern presidential campaign, it can be difficult to isolate the data team’s contribution.
The controversies surrounding the I.R.S.’s targeting of conservative groups and the executive branch’s handling of last year’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have yet to have much impact on President Obama’s approval ratings (although some slight decline may be hidden by an improved economic mood). But Mr. Obama’s former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, appears to be have been more affected.A Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday found Mrs. Clinton’s favorability rating declining to 52 percent, from 61 percent in February. The decrease was considerably more modest in a CNN poll released earlier this month, with Mrs. Clinton’s
She was a bomb thrower, a master performer, a flashy politician with an appetite for combat and perhaps the strongest TV presence of any Republican in Washington. Under the circumstances, it would be tempting to say the political world will not see Michele Bachmann’s like again. In truth, the political world will certainly see more politicians very much like Bachmann, who respond to the omnipresent incentives of activist money and media attention — present in both parties but especially in the GOP — by fashioning themselves into ideological gladiators built for national political warfare.
Henny Youngman, the late borscht belt comedian, told hundreds of politically incorrect jokes. One of them was his response when asked, “How’s your wife?” “Compared to what?” he’d say. Many women find the joke tasteless, but it can be a useful framework for thinking about national politics. Americans may not be ecstatic about President Obama and his policies, but compared with the Republicans, they think Obama doesn’t look so bad. This might partly explain why, even with all of the controversies engulfing the Obama administration these days, the president doesn’t appear to be hurt at all, at least as
Red-faced Republicans, circling and preparing to pounce on a second-term Democratic president they loathe, do not respect, and certainly do not fear. Sound familiar? Perhaps reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s second term, after the Monica Lewinsky story broke? During that time, Republicans became so consumed by their hatred of Clinton and their conviction that this event would bring him down that they convinced themselves the rest of the country was just as outraged by his behavior as they were. By the way, what was Clinton’s lowest Gallup job-approval rating in his second term,
Republicans are furious about the administration’s response to the Benghazi attack that left four diplomats dead, according to a poll released Monday, but have yet to persuade the broader American public of the scandal’s seriousness. Forty-one percent of Republicans in the survey from Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, said it was the biggest political scandal in American history, compared to only 23 percent of the general public. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans also said the scandal was bigger than the Watergate or Teapot Dome scandals. Seventy percent said it was worse the Iran-Contra.
White House insiders say President Barack Obama is in “a funk” about what he sees as increasing stagnation and failures surrounding his second term and some worry that the President is becoming more distant and distracted. “He’s not the same Obama that came to the Oval Office after the 2008 elections,” a senior White House aided confided to friends in an email recently. “I’m worried.” Chicago Mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel tells friends that the Presidency has changed his longtime friend Obama and many of those changes are “not good.”
In warning about possible al Qaeda attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials may have provided too much detail about intercepted chatter and the source of the information, and that may make it more difficult to get such tips next time, former and current intelligence officials say.On Friday, the U.S. State Department issued a worldwide travel alert for Americans, citing an unspecified al Qaeda threat. The bulletin said that the highest threat levels are the Middle East and North Africa, “and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arab Peninsula.”
Washington - President Barack Obama´s top national security advisers met at the White House on Saturday to discuss the potential threat of terrorist attacks that caused Washington and its allies to issue travel warnings and close embassies throughout the Middle East. The United States issued a worldwide travel alert on Friday (Snip) Obama is spending the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat after playing golf earlier on Saturday. His birthday is Sunday. The White House said Obama had received regular briefings about the potential threat and U.S. preparedness measures all week.
Citing a potential al Qaeda attack, the State Department on Friday issued a worldwide travel alert and warned American citizens that the terrorist group may be plotting a strike in the Middle East, North Africa or elsewhere. “Current information suggests that al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” reads a portion of the alert, which lasts until the end of the month.
Executive Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Mark Glaze gave some ambiguous and potentially dangerous self defense advice Friday on “Hardball.” Glaze, speaking in opposition to “Stand Your Ground” laws, said in a circumstance where someone “comes at you” with an axe handle one should attempt to either “talk,” “fight with your fists,” “run away,” or “deescalate the situation,” but not shoot the attacker: MARK GLAZE: Very often somebody will come at you. They might want to have a fistfight. They might come at you with an ax handle. CHRIS MATTHEWS: Would you consider the guy with the ax handle armed or not?
[Video] Rapper Jay Z appearing on HBO´s "Real Time" with Bill Maher says that the black community wants upward economic mobility rather than a stronger police presence. In a conversation with former Congressman Barney Frank about police tactics such as stop-and-frisk, Jay Z suggests the stagnant economy and wealth inequality could cause widespread social unrest: "The real problem is there´s no middle class, right? So the gap between the have and have-nots is getting wider and wider... It´s gonna be a problem that no amount of police can solve, because once you have that sort of oppression
Common sense tells me that cops don´t need a Taser or a shotgun to subdue a 95-year-old man. When John Wrana was a young man, fit and strong and fighting in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, did he ever think he´d end this way? Just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday, in need of a walker to move about, cops coming through the door of his retirement home with a Taser and a shotgun.
Not only should President Obama cancel a bilateral summit with "schoolyard bully" Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday on "Face the Nation," but considering the country granted asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, U.S. allies should try to move next month´s G-20 gathering from St. Petersburg. "President Putin´s behaving like a schoolyard bully, and in my experience, I´ve learned, unless you stand up to that bully, they ask for more and more and more," Schumer said. "He´s always going out of his way, President Putin is, to seem to poke us in
You don´t have to be gay or even Russian to feel the wrath of the Russian government´s homophobia. You could go to jail if you are "pro-gay," whatever that means. And that´s under just one of a growing number of hate-infused bills becoming law at a time when, as it happens, Russia is preparing to host the world in the next Winter Olympics. The perverse anti-gay legislation is inflaming an atmosphere of persistent intimidation and at times deadly violence against Russian gays and lesbians. The question now is: What should the rest of the world do?
I have a suggestion. How about an exhibit on Tawana Brawley? If the purpose of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian is to remember racial controversies, as the proposed Trayvon exhibit seems to confirm, then how about an honest look at the phenomenon of hate crime hoaxes? Particular attention should be paid to the role of the media in both the Trayvon and Tawana materials. Unquestionably, the media stirred up racial animus, and these incidents both contributed to raising racial tensions.
An odd dark vertical line that was observed in the sky over Florida earlier this week has left meteorologists puzzled. The shadowy apparition was spotted and photographed by Mike Weight at Honeymoon Island State Park near Dunedin, Florida, Wednesday. Weight was walking on the beach at around 12.30pm. The day was bright and sunny, but there were thunderheads forming to the east. ‘I was looking North when I observed what looked like a ray of dark light coming down from a small cloud to the surface of the Gulf about a half-mile away,’ the 73-year-old man wrote in an email
Several skills that every kid once learned in school are going the way of the dodo in a hurry. Diagramming sentences is practically an extinct art, for example. Cursive handwriting and memorized multiplication tables look to be swiftly headed that way. Apparently, the next thing that kids will no longer need to learn is spelling and grammar. Sugata Mitra, a professor of educational technology at Newcastle University in northeast England, announced that traditional language rules are out of fashion, reports the Daily Mail. Kids don’t need to waste time on those things, see. State-of-the-art computers and mobile phones can make