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Iraq: It Was Only a Matter Of Time

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BY DAVID MIXNER

Americans are reacting in shock this week to the rapid advance of the march toward Baghdad of the extremely radical Islamic ISIS militia. The group makes the old Taliban of Afghanistan look moderate. As the fringe group takes city after city, they are killing, raping and burning the homes of average Iraqi citizens.

Really there should be no shock about the emergence of ISIS in both Syria and Iraq.

The current situation has been an inevitability since Bush/Cheney took us to war in Iraq. The American invasion and occupation ensure that the more militants elements would pour into the country to fight once again the infidels from the West. America's insistence that a 'democratic form' of government was essential in the nation guaranteed that the Shiites would totally exclude the Sunnis from government, setting the stage for the current situation.

When will the United States (and for that matter most of the Western world) realize that the situation in the 'Islamic Arc' from Syria to Pakistan cannot be controlled by Western ideas, troops, or money? Every time in history we have attempted to impose our values, geographic boundaries and forms of government in this region it has only made the situation worse.

If anyone believes that we will leave a stable and democratic government behind in Afghanistan, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. As we used to say back home, 'that simply ain't gonna happen'.

After our trillion dollar spend, ten years of warfare, more than 8,000 Americans killed and tens of thousands of American soldiers left with severe physical and mental injuries, we are faced with this crisis.

Can someone please explain to the American people exactly what we accomplished?

There will be those who blame our President who is keeping his word (yes, keeping his word!) to the American people by bringing our troops home from these loser wars. If the sun comes up in the east they blame him. There are also interventionists who actually believe if we continue to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan some splendid new day of democracy will eventually emerge from those nations.

What have they been smoking and what history books have they been reading?

Post_war_iraqThe existing boundaries of the current Islamic-dominated states in the Middle East were set by oil companies after World War I. They were divided up based on resources and now historical tribal or faith based areas. Fake monarchies were put in place and we proceeded to take their natural resources to fuel our economies. When the monarchies collapsed we supported military dictatorships including that of Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Syria's Basher al-Assad. In fact, we were the main backers of the Taliban in Afghanistan when they were opposing the Russian occupation.

Now the cries will arise to "Save Iraq' and the voices of war will once again emerge from the hawks. Demands will be made to bomb ISIS strong holds as if we can put off the inevitable. Some will demand that we send troops once again into the war torn nation.

Americans have been taken to war in the past based on lies and distortions. We cannot save democracy in Iraq. This is for the Iraqi people to solve for better or worse. The time of dictating their future is over.

We better have those helicopters ready to evacuate Americans from Baghdad because I believe they might be needed sooner rather than later.


Jon Stewart Talks to Rachel Maddow About 'Why We Did It', Her New Doc on the Iraq War: VIDEO

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Rachel Maddow has a new MSNBC documentary arriving soon called Why We Did It which dives back into the reasons for the war in Iraq.

Stewart asks Maddow: "Why did you do this to yourself? Why did you delve back into the morass, the abyss that is the war with Iraq?"

Maddow says that 10 years on, there are now new people who are willing to talk:

"I think that there is a desire to hear the truth told. Honestly, there are two million Iraq war veterans in this country and there are four thousand families who lost somebody. And when you think about that, when you look at Wounded Warriors and the people that are carrying this for the rest of their lives...I think even the people who were part of it in some ways want to see those people hear the truth, and it has never been explained."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jon Stewart Talks to Rachel Maddow About 'Why We Did It', Her New Doc on the Iraq War: VIDEO" »


News: Neil Patrick Harris, Shia LaBeouf, Picasso, National Baking Week

Tweedle RoadNeil Patrick Harris and David Burtka up the adorable quotient, dressing the entire family in costumes from Alice in Wonderland for a Halloween party yesterday. The duo dressed up as Tweedledee and Tweedledum while daughter Harper went as Alice and son Gideon as the March Hare.

RoadShia LaBeouf tweets semi-full frontal still from upcoming flick, Charlie Countryman (possibly NSFW).

RoadWe're only hours away from marriage equality in New Jersey!

RoadSpeaker of the House John Boehner on why the government shutdown ensued, after he promised it wouldn't: "I got overrun, that’s what happened."

RoadIn San Francisco, two Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers were hit and killed by train one day after BART union workers went on strike.

RoadPicasso overload: 29 works by the famed Spanish painter hit the auction block at the same time.

RoadSuicide bombing in Baghdad kills 35, wounds 45.

QueerRoadBenedict Cumberbatch's WikiLeaks thriller The Fifth Estate bombed this weekend. Still, some might be interested in seeing Cumberbatch as a Disney prince. Any Disney prince.

RoadAs previously reported, Bravo's Andy Cohen will be hosting a ten year reunion of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy tonight. Will you be watching?

RoadWhite House brings in 'best and brightest' to help fix Obamacare website.

RoadBen Cohen's StandUp Foundation, an organization that works to eradicate bullying and advance equality, has a new line of t-shirts, hats and hoodies available for purchase.

RoadArchaeologists unearth pre-Viking age monuments in Sweden: "As archaeologists dug in preparation for a new railway line, they found traces of two rows of wooden pillars in Old Uppsala, an ancient pagan religious center. One stretched about 1,000 yards (1 kilometer) and the other was half as long. Archaeologist Lena Beronius-Jorpeland said the colonnades were likely from the 5th century but their purpose is unclear. She called it Sweden's largest Iron Age construction and said the geometrical structure is unique. Old Uppsala is known as a center for Norse religion, where believers gathered to sacrifice animals to gods such as Odin and Thor. The colonnades were found near a famous burial site where the three Iron Age kings Aun, Egil and Adils are believed to be buried."

UniRoadApparently it was national baking week in the UK. This seems like an appropriate way to commemorate the occasion.

RoadKaty Perry drops new lyric video for "Unconditionally."

RoadSandra Bullock demonstrates what commitment to your Halloween costume really looks like.

RoadBluegrass group Beef Seeds offers rousing rendition of Lorde's "Royals."


GOP Congressman: Dick Cheney Will Rot in Hell for Iraq War

Some tough words for Dick Cheney from Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), Salon reports:

Cheney“Congress will not hold anyone to blame. Lyndon Johnson’s probably rotting in hell right now because of the Vietnam War, and he probably needs to move over for Dick Cheney,” Jones, a libertarian who is often critical of the war in Afghanistan, told a Young Americans for Liberty conference in Raleigh this weekend...

...Jones was once a Neo Conservative hawk, spearheading the effort to change the name of French fries in House cafeterias to “freedom fries” after France declined to support the Iraq war. But he’s since had a change of heart and is now one of the most outspoken critics of American interventionism, picking up the mantel left by [Ron] Paul.


Senators Not Keen On Hagel For Defense Secretary: VIDEO

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Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel cleaned up one political headache, kind of, by apologizing for comments he made in 1998 about Ambassador James Hormel being "aggressively gay."

Hormel has accepted the apology, though does point out it most likely came to clear a path for President Obama to nominate Hagel to be the next Defense Secretary. "While the timing appears self-serving, the words themselves are unequivocal--they are a clear apology," Hormel wrote. 

But there's still the pesky problem of Republicans who oppose Hagel for opposing the surge in Iraq, his votes and comments about Israel and his resistance to sanctions on Iran. If Sen. Lindsey Graham's remarks this morning are any indication, that GOP problem isn't going away anytime soon.

"The Republicans are going to ask him hard questions, and I don’t think he’s going to get many Republican votes," Graham said on Meet the Press. "His positions -- I didn’t really, quite frankly, know all of them -- are really out of the mainstream and well to the left of the president. I think it would be a challenging nomination." Asked if he would support Hagel, Graham said he's going to wait until the nomination hearings. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer was also asked, but said he's standing by until an actual nomination has been put forth.

Meanwhile, independent Sen. Joe Lieberman used similar language on CNN's State of the Union, telling host Candy Crowley, "...If I were in the Senate on the Armed Services Committee and he was nominated, I would have some really serious questions to ask him, not just about Israel, but to me, the most significant foreign policy challenge for President Obama and our country and the world in the next year or two is Iran and it's nuclear weapons program. Chuck Hagel has had some very outlying votes on that."

Watch Graham, Schumer and Lieberman discuss Hagel's odds AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Senators Not Keen On Hagel For Defense Secretary: VIDEO" »


Did CIA Ask FBI To Investigate Outsider David Petraeus? VIDEO

RichardEngel

You've probably heard by now that CIA director David Petraeus resigned yesterday after an FBI investigation into his biographer, Paula Broadwell, revealed the general had an extramarital affair.

Rachel Maddow of course discussed this last night, bringing on both the reporter who broke the story, Andrea Mitchell, and NBC News' Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel to discuss the fallout.

One interesting thing Engel passed on is the way one former and one current CIA employee explained the agency's feelings toward outsider Petraeus, the four-star general who commanded our forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and how those feelings may have impacted this story: they would have had to bring the FBI in to investigate Broadwell and Petraeus.

"[Petraeus] actually wasn't very popular in certain circles inside the CIA," said Engel, before explaining that people really didn't like the general. "The CIA is a bit of an old fashioned club. They like it if you come up the ranks."

"One person at the CIA and one person formerly at the CIA put it to me this way, 'The CIA would have to ask the FBI to look into emails that were suspicious'," he says toward the end of the video AFTER THE JUMP.

So, was the CIA outsourcing its investigation to get Petraeus out, or is this, as some on the right suggest, a huge conspiracy so that Petraeus won't have to testify before Congress about the Benghazi attack that killed American Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others?

Watch Maddow and her team discuss Petraeus' resignation AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Did CIA Ask FBI To Investigate Outsider David Petraeus? VIDEO" »


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