Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State: What difference does it make?

American blood and treasure was spent in what is now shown to be an overturned victory as Fallujah falls under Al Qaeda control. let's not forget that Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State when Pres. Barack Obama and his national security team of advisers failed to complete the Status Of Forces Agreement (SOFA) as outlined by the Bush administration and agreed to by the newly formed Iraqi Parliament in 2009.Once again Obama's shortsighted view and false belief in a political victory over real victory and forward planning has opened the door for another country in the Mideast to fall into tribal warfare. the number of growing deaths in Iraq as Sunni versus Shiite violence increases left the door wide open for the Al–Qaeda– linked organization ISIL to achieve a key military and public relations victory. The coming days, weeks maybe months will tell whether the Iraqi government weakened and in disarray can retake Fallujah.
Flash forward a few months, Iraq in complete chaos and facing an al Qaeda/terrorist overthrow.

But the media can't ask her questions about Iraq can they?  That would be too...too...topical?  Instead let's give her some easy questions: Hillary Clinton is have a hard time answering questions about gay marriage and DOMA from Terry Gross and NPR?  I wonder what al Qaeda and the ISIS have to say about that?  Hillary gets a bit snappy!

Catch and Release? Let's do it again: Gabe Malor at AoSHQ links to this: The 9/11 role of one of the Taliban Five…
TOM: If Hillary Clinton can't handle NPR… how can she handle foreign policy?


  1. Pres. Barack Obama and his national security team of advisers failed to complete the Status Of Forces Agreement (SOFA) as outlined by the Bush administration and agreed to by the newly formed Iraqi Parliament in 2009

    This is simply not true. The SOFA was followed exactly. What was not done was to negotiate a new SOFA that would allow the US to keep 10,000 "support" troops in Iraq indefinitely.

    Don't contract a case of Obama Derangement Syndrome, Evi. Maybe those 10,000 troops would've made all the difference, or maybe the whole neocon plan for Iraq was FUBAR.

    1. Would I have supported going into Iraq again (in hindsight), hell no (Hillary says so too). But do I think Bush managed to salvage the situation before he left? Absolutely. If we had a trigger force (be it only 10,000 troops) do you think that makes a huge difference if the regime there survives or not. I recognize Maleki was and is a pain in the ass (just like Karzai is in Afghanistan). But how difficult would be some drone strikes on al Qaeda/ISIS forces this week? It is as if they wanted Iraq to fall they could blame Bush for it.

    2. Well, Bush thought he'd salvaged enough so that by Dec. 2011 the Iraqi gov't would be able to hack it on its own. I don't know how foreseeable this shitstorm was in mid-2011, when a new SOFA would've been negotiated, so I don't have an opinion on whether 10,000 troops would've been a good idea. But I do know that the Iraqi gov't was, let's say, ambivalent at best about those troops. And they didn't want them enough to grant the immunity condition that Bush got in 2008.

      Bargaining is a two-sided proposition. If the Iraqis didn't want our troops all that much, how should we have responded?

      Those are valid questions, but saying that there was NO agreement in place is just plain wrong. Cons are saying that now that the shit has hit the fan, but it ain't so.

      Suppose that in 2008 Bush had said, "Y'know what, folks? This country won't be able to defend itself by 2014, so we're gonna need to keep 10K to 20K troops there indefinitely, and be ready to ship many, many more there if things get really hairy." How many people, Reps as well as Dems, would've said, "Well, OK then. Sounds like a good deal."

      Not many, is my guess.

      I think the neocons have got to swallow a bitter pill on this one. It looks like Iraq just isn't really a unitary, stable country w/o a strongman ruling it. And if it were 3 countries right now, what are the odds that they'd all be getting along harmoniously?

      This is a disaster, and I think the greatest portion of blame goes to Bush the Elder, who destabilized the region in the first place for no good strategic reason.

    3. We didn't need 10K men in place to save Iraq. We could probably save it now with a few well placed drone strikes. But I know this much, letting it go to the al Qaeda lunatics is just wrong.

    4. In that case, why is this post all about Obama's failure to obtain a new SOFA in 2011 to replace the old SOFA?

      Righties are talking like this is Vietnam, where the local gov't wanted us to stay but we pulled out. But in this case it was the Iraqi gov't that wanted us out, and Obama was supposed to negotiate a deal to let us keep troops there. Maybe he was a lousy negotiator, but that's a long way from a "sellout".

    5. Chip S. the US could have negotiated a new SOFA with the Iraqis, but Obama decided what the fuck call their bluff and pull out. We could have a minimal presence and make a huge impact, now things are spiraling out of control (and like Ukraine) Obama did not see it coming. This is a disaster and one that could have been avoided with minimal treasure and blood.

      Fuck, we could probably curtail Bagdad falling if we did an aggressive drone attack plan on the ISIS forces.

    6. Please reflect on what you said: the US could have negotiated a new SOFA with the Iraqis.

      If our help was so transparently necessary in 2011--when Bush Himself implicitly agreed that our job was done there--why was it necessary to negotiate w/ the very people we'd've been helping? Does that make any sense?

      The Iraqis formally requested US help last fall, and we agreed to send them equipment, including the missiles and drones that you say are all that's needed there now.

      Now, if you want to complain about our piss-poor intelligence, I'm on board. Seems likely that it's a consequence of replacing "extraordinary rendition" w/ drone strikes. But if, after all we've done for them, the Iraqis can't fight off an attack like this, what are we supposed to do?

  2. ISIS is actually fighting al Qaeda in Syria, and are apparently fighting them for the heart and soul of the jihadi movement. They are probably the world's best killers of al Qaeda at the moment!

    Evi, if we decide to support the Iraqi government, we will de facto be allying ourselves with Assad's Ba'athists, Iran's Ayatollahs, and al Qaeda.

    I suspect that the situation may be a little too complicated for the American foreign policy establishment to deal with, as the two factions are the neocons who think we can invade the world and turn them all into liberal democrats, and the neolibs, who think if we're just supine enough everyone will love us and peace and love will spread throughout the world. I think maybe it is time to retrench and say "Fuck it" before we throw away any more treasure or lives.

    1. I know there is hostility between al Qaeda foreigners and the ISIS, but they are both Sunni, both radical and mostly aligned. The ISIS seems just as blood thirsty in killing Shites, Kurds, and other groups in Iraq. The idea that the ISIS and al Qaeda will kill each other off is more wishful thinking and probability.

      Even if you think letting the Shites/Iran and ISIS go at it (and I can see some cold logic in that), letting Bagdad fall would be a bad idea. If a few well placed drone attacks can bolster the Iraqi (Shite) Army to counter attack the ISIS, I would do it.

  3. Maybe her new campaign slogan should be, "What difference do I make?"


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