28
   

More American War in Iraq?

 
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 02:35 pm
@BillRM,
You'd quibble a couple of ten thousands in a recognized 200,000 to 500,000?

You're a cold cold man, Mr Bill!
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 02:37 pm
@BillRM,
Here. Watch this:

Iraq's Missing Billions
2006 Home » Economics - 48 min 57 Comments

Dispatches: Iraq's Missing BillionsThe British and American coalition which had overthrown Saddam Hussein was given a very special responsibility by the United Nations. It was given trusteeship of more than 20 billion dollars that belonged to the people of Iraq. Over the next 40 months, it spent almost all of it. Yet, no one can account for where it all went. Literally billion of dollars have gone missing.

In this revealing documentary, Dr. Ali Fadhil, a young Iraqi doctor, sets out to learn what has led to the catastrophic results when money was put into the care of the U.S. led coalition. What emerges is a disturbing tale of corruption and fraud. As word spread of the kind of money that could be made in Iraq, foreign contractors negotiated deals fast and furiously.

There was no oversight of projects. "As trustees, we did a very poor job," admits Frank Willis, a senior member of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). "We should have spent the money on the Iraqi people, rather than putting it in the pockets of foreign business." According to the United States' own figures, Iraq's essential services are worse than before the war, with the country producing less electricity, oil or clean water.

Watch the full documentary now

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JXlCmRf9Aig#t=0
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 03:08 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Quote:
What emerges is a disturbing tale of corruption and fraud. As word spread of the kind of money that could be made in Iraq, foreign contractors negotiated deals fast and furiously.


But Bobsal, Isent that what U S of A democracy is all about? Taking from the poor and giving to the obscenely rich. The Iraquies should thank God every day that they had the privilege of partaking of U S of A democracy.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 03:15 pm
@RABEL222,
Why, with what you state here, Rable, are you constantly trying to defend this grand criminal enterprise?
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 03:36 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Quote:
Dispatches: Iraq's Missing BillionsThe British and American coalition which had overthrown Saddam Hussein was given a very special responsibility by the United Nations. It was given trusteeship of more than 20 billion dollars that belonged to the people of Iraq


LOL we [US/UK] spend a trillion or so and there is some question about 20 billions?

Quote:
According to the United States' own figures, Iraq's essential services are worse than before the war, with the country producing less electricity, oil or clean water.


LOL........

Quote:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_Iraq

Iraq rebuilding projects[edit]
As of June, 2014 Iraq spent about USD 27 billion between 2003 and 2012 to rehabilitate the power sector after decades of war and sanctions, but widespread corruption in the country has hindered development efforts and power outages continue.[16] In 2005 the World Bank estimated that US$12 billion would be needed for near-term restoration, and the Ministry of Electricity estimated that US$35 billion would be necessary to rebuild the system fully.[17]

General Electric PPHM contract of US$ 3 Billion. Under the agreement, GE Energy will provide multi-fuel gas turbines capable of supplying 7,000 MW of electricity.[18]
Emergency Rehabilitation of Musayyib Power Station – Stage II, location Nation-wide, Project cost US$ 33 million. Duration 24 months, Starting Date June 2005, Completion Date June 2009.[19]
Al Hartha power station, Basrah, a project will double the output of the Hartha station from 400 MW to 800 MW, the total cost of the project is estimated at US$ 150 million which is funded by World Bank.[20]
Dora power station; rehabilitation Unit 5 & 6 (steam turbine, 160 MW each) $90.8 millions JO-03-037-08 by bechtel, perosnnel assistance and training for MoE $ 80 millions JO-04-503-03.[21]
Dukan and Darbandikhan emergency Hydro Power Project with cost US$ 37.5 million.[22]
In October 2010 it was announced that a Turkey energy company, Calik Enerji, has signed a contract, worth of US$ 445 million, with the Iraqi government to build a power generating station in Al Khairat, Karbala city in central Iraq.The generating capacity of the station amounts to 1,250 MW.[23][24][25]
In October 2010 Enka Insaat won a US$ 267.5 million deal to build a power plant and install six turbines in Ninawa Governorate in northern Iraq.[24]
In October 2010 MoE announced that Eastern Lights will install four turbines in an existing plant in Baghdad under a contract worth US$ 204.8 million.[24]
Iranian company Tavanir has built Al Sadr Power Plant and is currently expanding it to 640 MW. Iran also plans to build 2000 MW of installed capacity in Iraq and increase its export to Iraq to 1250 MW by summer 2012.[26][27][28][29][30]


We[US] are not responsible for widespread corruption in Iraq.


JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 03:41 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
We[US] are not responsible for widespread corruption in Iraq.


[The USA] violated a substantial part of the Nuremberg Judgments, directed at Nazi war criminals, which held that the ultimate crime in international law, the ultimate war crime - which carries with it every crime that may be committed in the war - is launching an unprovoked attack upon another state.

http://www.iacenter.org/warcrime/14_law.htm
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 03:52 pm
@RABEL222,
I guess we taught them Daily Chicago and Tammany Hall New York democracy. "Vote early and vote often!"
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 03:55 pm
@BillRM,
Well, OK, I guess billions and billions of dollars disappearing is A-OK in the face of a Trillion dollars plus war that the Chinese fronted because we won't tax the rich for their wars. After all,your grand kids are going to pay for it, right? Like one of my favorite GOP Senators, Everett Dirksen once said - "a billion here and a billion there, pretty soon you're talking about some real money!"
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 04:25 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Why would this 20 billions come out of the US taxpayers pocket?

There is no proof that you have shown that the funds did no go where they was supposed to have gone just some accounting problems.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 04:27 pm
@BillRM,
How come you are such a coward, Bill?
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 05:17 pm
Before Shooting in Iraq, a Warning on Blackwater

By JAMES RISENJUNE 29, 2014

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Blackwater personnel escorting Paul Bremer, an American civil administrator, upon his arrival in Ramadi, Iraq, in March 2004. Credit Image by Peter Andrews/Reuters
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WASHINGTON — Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.

American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show. The officials told the investigators that they had disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor and ordered them to leave the country, according to the reports.

After returning to Washington, the chief investigator wrote a scathing report to State Department officials documenting misconduct by Blackwater employees and warning that lax oversight of the company, which had a contract worth more than $1 billion to protect American diplomats, had created “an environment full of liability and negligence.”
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Document: State Department Documents on Blackwater Episode

“The management structures in place to manage and monitor our contracts in Iraq have become subservient to the contractors themselves,” the investigator, Jean C. Richter, wrote in an Aug. 31, 2007, memo to State Department officials. “Blackwater contractors saw themselves as above the law,” he said, adding that the “hands off” management resulted in a situation in which “the contractors, instead of Department officials, are in command and in control.”

His memo and other newly disclosed State Department documents make clear that the department was alerted to serious problems involving Blackwater and its government overseers before the Nisour Square shooting, which outraged Iraqis and deepened resentment over the United States’ presence in the country.

Today, as conflict rages again in Iraq, four Blackwater guards involved in the Nisour Square shooting are on trial in Washington on charges stemming from the episode, the government’s second attempt to prosecute the case in an American court after previous charges against five guards were dismissed in 2009.

The shooting was a watershed moment in the American occupation of Iraq, and was a factor in Iraq’s refusal the next year to agree to a treaty allowing United States troops to stay in the country beyond 2011. Despite a series of investigations in the wake of Nisour Square, the back story of what happened with Blackwater and the embassy in Baghdad before the fateful shooting has never been fully told.

The State Department declined to comment on the aborted investigation. A spokesman for Erik Prince, the founder and former chief executive of Blackwater, who sold the company in 2010, said Mr. Prince had never been told about the matter.

After Mr. Prince sold the company, the new owners named it Academi. In early June, it merged with Triple Canopy, one of its rivals for government and commercial contracts to provide private security. The new firm is called Constellis Holdings.
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Experts who were previously unaware of this episode said it fit into a larger pattern of behavior. “The Blackwater-State Department relationship gave new meaning to the word ‘dysfunctional,’ ” said Peter Singer, a strategist at the New America Foundation, a public policy institute, who has written extensively on private security contractors. “It involved everything from catastrophic failures of supervision to shortchanging broader national security goals at the expense of short-term desires.”

Even before Nisour Square, Blackwater’s security guards had acquired a reputation among Iraqis and American military personnel for swagger and recklessness, but their complaints about practices ranging from running cars off the road to shooting wildly in the streets and even killing civilians typically did not result in serious action by the United States or the Iraqi government.

But scrutiny of the company intensified after a Blackwater convoy traveling through Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007, just over two weeks after Mr. Richter sent his memo, fired on the crowded traffic circle. A 9-year-old boy was among the civilians killed. Blackwater guards later claimed that they had been fired upon first, but American military officials who inspected the scene determined that there was no evidence of any insurgent activity in the square that day. Federal prosecutors later said Blackwater personnel had shot indiscriminately with automatic weapons, heavy machine guns and grenade launchers.

Founded in 1997 by Mr. Prince, a former member of the Navy SEALs and an heir to an auto parts fortune, Blackwater began as a small company providing shooting ranges and training facilities in rural North Carolina for the military and for police departments. After the American-led invasion of Afghanistan and later Iraq, it ramped up to become a global security contractor with billions of dollars in contracts for the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency.

The company’s gung-ho attitude and willingness to take on risky tasks were seductive to government officials in Washington. The State Department, for example, secretly sent Blackwater guards to Shenyang, China, to provide security for North Korean asylum seekers who had gone to the United States Consulate there and refused to leave for fear the Chinese government would force them to go back to North Korea, according to company documents and interviews with former Blackwater personnel.

But Blackwater’s rapid growth and the State Department’s growing dependence on the contractor led to unbridled hubris, according to several former company officials. That was fostered, they said, by Mr. Prince, who not long before the Nisour Square shooting gathered employees in front of Blackwater headquarters in Moyock, N.C., and demanded that they swear an oath of allegiance.

Saying that the business was on the verge of being awarded lucrative new contracts, Mr. Prince told the workers that they had to take a pledge — the same one required of those entering the United States military — “to display our commitment to the war on terror,” several former employees recalled.
Continue reading the main story

As he was speaking, the employees were handed copies of the oath, which had a Blackwater bear paw logo on top, and told to sign and return it to their supervisors after reciting the words. But some balked.

This was an oath for soldiers, not the employees of a private company, and many in the crowd were veterans who believed that it was inappropriately being linked to the company’s commercial prospects.

“It was kind of like pledging allegiance to Erik,” said a former Blackwater employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he had been required to sign a nondisclosure agreement with Blackwater. “That’s how a lot of us interpreted it.”

Soon after State Department investigators arrived in Baghdad on Aug. 1, 2007, to begin a monthlong review of Blackwater’s operations, the situation became volatile. Internal State Department documents, which were turned over to plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Blackwater that was unrelated to the Nisour Square shooting, provide details of what happened.
Continue reading the main story Video
Play Video|6:26
The Blackwater Shooting
The Blackwater Shooting

Witnesses shed new light on the killing of 17 Iraqis by American contractors in Baghdad.
Image Credit Image by Johan Spanner for The New York Times

It did not take long for the two-man investigative team — Mr. Richter, a Diplomatic Security special agent, and Donald Thomas Jr., a State Department management analyst — to discover a long list of contract violations by Blackwater.

They found that Blackwater’s staffing of its security details for American diplomats had been changed without State Department approval, reducing guards on many details to eight from 10, the documents said. Blackwater guards were storing automatic weapons and ammunition in their private rooms, where they also were drinking heavily and partying with frequent female visitors. Many of the guards had failed to regularly qualify on their weapons, and were often carrying weapons on which they had never been certified and that they were not authorized to use.

The armored vehicles Blackwater used to protect American diplomats were poorly maintained and deteriorating, and the investigators found that four drunk guards had commandeered one heavily armored, $180,000 vehicle to drive to a private party, and crashed into a concrete barrier.

Blackwater was also overbilling the State Department by manipulating its personnel records, using guards assigned to the State Department contract for other work and falsifying other staffing data on the contract, the investigators concluded.

A Blackwater-affiliated firm was forcing “third country nationals” — low-paid workers from Pakistan, Yemen and other countries, including some who performed guard duty at Blackwater’s compound — to live in squalid conditions, sometimes three to a cramped room with no bed, according to the report by the investigators.
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David
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Time to assign a special procecutor.
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Mr.Prince on John Stewart said he felt very betrayed by the state department (in spite of the $1 billion he received in selling Blackwater)....
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What goes around, comes around. Our country is so divided on political, religious and gun control (the ability to kill others) issues we...

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The investigators concluded that Blackwater was getting away with such conduct because embassy personnel had gotten too close to the contractor.

On Aug. 20, 2007, Mr. Richter was called in to the office of the embassy’s regional security officer, Bob Hanni, who said he had received a call asking him to document Mr. Richter’s “inappropriate behavior.” Mr. Richter quickly called his supervisor in Washington, who instructed him to take Mr. Thomas with him to all remaining meetings in Baghdad, his report noted.
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The next day, the two men met with Daniel Carroll, Blackwater’s project manager in Iraq, to discuss the investigation, including a complaint over food quality and sanitary conditions at a cafeteria in Blackwater’s compound. Mr. Carroll barked that Mr. Richter could not tell him what to do about his cafeteria, Mr. Richter’s report said. The Blackwater official went on to threaten the agent and say he would not face any consequences, according to Mr. Richter’s later account.

Mr. Carroll said “that he could kill me at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” Mr. Richter wrote in a memo to senior State Department officials in Washington. He noted that Mr. Carroll had formerly served with Navy SEAL Team 6, an elite unit.

“Mr. Carroll’s statement was made in a low, even tone of voice, his head was slightly lowered; his eyes were fixed on mine,” Mr. Richter stated in his memo. “I took Mr. Carroll’s threat seriously. We were in a combat zone where things can happen quite unexpectedly, especially when issues involve potentially negative impacts on a lucrative security contract.”

He added that he was especially alarmed because Mr. Carroll was Blackwater’s leader in Iraq, and “organizations take on the attitudes and mannerisms of their leader.”

Mr. Thomas witnessed the exchange and corroborated Mr. Richter’s version of events in a separate statement, writing that Mr. Carroll’s comments were “unprofessional and threatening in nature.” He added that others in Baghdad had told the two investigators to be “very careful,” considering that their review could jeopardize job security for Blackwater personnel.

Mr. Richter was shocked when embassy officials sided with Mr. Carroll and ordered Mr. Richter and Mr. Thomas to leave Iraq immediately, according to the documents. On Aug. 23, Ricardo Colon, the acting regional security officer at the embassy, wrote in an email that Mr. Richter and Mr. Thomas had become “unsustainably disruptive to day-to-day operations and created an unnecessarily hostile environment for a number of contract personnel.” The two men cut short their inquiry and returned to Washington the next day.

Mr. Richter and Mr. Thomas declined to comment for this article. Mr. Carroll did not respond to a request for comment.

On Oct. 5, 2007, just as the State Department and Blackwater were being rocked by scandal in the aftermath of Nisour Square, State Department officials finally responded to Mr. Richter’s August warning about Blackwater. They took statements from Mr. Richter and Mr. Thomas about their accusations of a threat by Mr. Carroll, but took no further action.

Condoleezza Rice, then the secretary of state, named a special panel to examine the Nisour Square episode and recommend reforms, but the panel never interviewed Mr. Richter or Mr. Thomas.

Patrick Kennedy, the State Department official who led the special panel, told reporters on Oct. 23, 2007, that the panel had not found any communications from the embassy in Baghdad before the Nisour Square shooting that raised concerns about contractor conduct.

“We interviewed a large number of individuals,” Mr. Kennedy said. “We did not find any, I think, significant pattern of incidents that had not — that the embassy had suppressed in any way.”

A version of this article appears in print on June 30, 2014, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Before Shooting in Iraq, Warning on Blackwater. Order Reprints|Today's Paper|Subscribe
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 09:03 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
The one city contain the Japanese Army headquarters that would had be the center of the Japanese defense of the home islands should we needed to invaded and the other was one of Japan largest seaport and a center of military manufacturing.

Yes. Both A-bombs were dropped on military targets at the height of the most brutal war in human history.
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 09:07 pm
@BillRM,
You really asked that question, right?
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 09:16 pm
@oralloy,
You lie again and again, obscene Uncle Sam cum pouring from your gob, Oralboy.

---------

Phil Strongman: Hiroshima is a war crime that haunts my family, 67 years on
A A A
The US intentionally prolonged the war for the sole purpose of testing the atomic bomb on real cities

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/phil-strongman-hiroshima-is-a-war-crime-that-haunts-my-family-67-years-on-8008821.html
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 09:20 pm
The USA committed numerous war crimes in their firebombing of Japanese cities, bothered not in the least by their targeting of citizens. The USA planned to use atomic bombs in Korea and in that USA war crime, constantly targeted civilians.

This continued in typical USA pattern in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
oralloy
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 10:14 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
You lie again and again, obscene Uncle Sam cum pouring from your gob, Oralboy.

You're pretty good at childish name-calling, but it is noteworthy how you cannot point to a single place where I am even wrong about anything.


JTT wrote:
Phil Strongman: Hiroshima is a war crime that haunts my family, 67 years on

If Japan didn't want to be nuked into submission, they shouldn't have inflicted their reign of terror upon the world.


JTT wrote:
The US intentionally prolonged the war for the sole purpose of testing the atomic bomb on real cities

The only people who were responsible for prolonging the war were the people in the Japanese government who were refusing to surrender.

It's certainly not our fault that Japan refused to surrender until after we had nuked them twice.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 10:15 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
The USA committed numerous war crimes in their firebombing of Japanese cities, bothered not in the least by their targeting of citizens.

No civilians were targeted in the bombing of any Japanese city.
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2014 11:06 pm
@oralloy,
You are almost as stupid as JTT.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2014 09:06 am
@oralloy,
Quote:
The only people who were responsible for prolonging the war were the people in the Japanese government who were refusing to surrender.


To say nothing of threatening to commit mass suicide as a nation and people instead of surrendering by fighting to the last child on the island.

Training children/young women to attack American troops with bamboo spears of all things.

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQXUNXsJ9bAi7iZgoRt4nPZzolaG5BadJGI6eZqkZWAF5Qt9Gdhmw
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2014 01:16 pm
I've been hearing a lot of "experts" conceding that Iraq, as we've known it, no longer exists and it's not going to return to what it was in the foreseeable future. I tend to agree, but I don't think that conclusion can be reached just yet.

It remains possible that the Iraqi government could be overhauled to such an extent that people with an actual desire (based on nobility of vision or simple pragmatism) and plan for reconciliation between Shia and Sunni, could be at the helm. With enough military assistance from Iran and the US, ISIS could be driven back into Syria and if both can be achieved (tall order of course); the impetus for a Sunni state in Iraq would disappear.

The Kurds could probably be persuaded away from declaring an independent state of Kurdistan, since doing so would surely put them even further cross-wise with Turkey; even if they don't attempt to include any territory currently part of Turkey within their new nation. I would hope the Kurds are smart enough not to get themselves into a protracted and ugly war with Turkey, particularly since as a member of NATO, Turkey would be looking for support in any such conflict from the US. The Kurds are one of the few rational Muslim groups in the region, and we already screwed them after the Gulf War and I would hate to see us repeat that dishonorable behavior.

Of course these are very big "ifs," and it's as likely as or more likely that they won't happen than they will, but I still think a lot of people now declaring the end of "Iraq" could easily end up with egg on their faces.

Whether Iraq remains as is or ends up as two or three separate states is, to me, only important in terms of how these outcomes would likely be achieved and what their impact will be on US security and interests.

Joe Biden's idea of partition (which I seriously doubt was actually his idea) would have worked a lot better when he voiced it, than it will now. Three separate states created after the fall of Saddam could have been achieved with perhaps a minimum of violence and resulted in a wary peace and the need and opportunity for cooperation among all three. If the process of partition is now underway, it has already been drenched in blood and will get bloodier still. When the shooting stops (or is reduced to less than war-like status) though, there will certainly be deep animosity between two of the states (Sunni and Shia) and if the former is controlled by jihadists, continued constant violent conflict between the two is assured, and could possibly drag in the Kurds.

So while I don't, in principle, care a fig for the preservation of the territorial integrity of a nation that was created by receding imperialists, I think it's in the best interests of the US to assist as best we can in assuring that outcome. And we need to do it as quickly as possible for two reasons.

The longer there is no effort for meaningful reconciliation between Shia and Sunni; the animosity between the two groups will grow and harden. Right now Sunnis are killing Shia and Shia are killing Sunni, driven to a large extent by revenge for past acts of repression and murder. The more blood debts that are incurred the less likely reconciliation is possible, and that may already be the case.

Aside from the threats posed to US interests by instability and military conflict in this region, there is ISIS, and it presents an actual threat to security of the homeland rather than just our interests. The notion that they are simply a rag-tag band of brigands that can't seriously threaten our security is wishful thinking or foolish arrogance. Obviously they don't present anything even remotely like a threat of invasion of the homeland and there is no question that if they eventually do establish something representing an actual nation, they couldn't possibly withstand for more than a week an actual war with the US. The idea that they are taking the first step in the building of an eventual region wide Caliphate than could present a serious military threat to the West (through the seizing or developing of nuclear weapons) is, incredible, but they don't have to wait for as long as that would take to hurt us at home.

The mere fact that they have been able to accomplish so much in such a relatively short period of time means that they are well organized and have more than capable leadership. They have benefited from some luck and a pathetic Iraqi military effort, but that's by no means the sole reasons for their success.

Unlike al Qaeda during the end of the 20th century and early 21st, they are flush with funds and weapons, the latter being what a group like this is going to spend a big chunk of its cash one. Much has been made of the "fact" that al-Qaeda has "denounced" them for being too violent, (If there is a more ridiculous case of the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know it), but it does go to confirm what the horror stories we are hearing of hundreds of men, women, and children being beheaded, and an actually crucified are telling us: these are very bad men, who glory in violence. Threats against America and the West have already been reported as emanating from their leader, and al-Qaeda should have taught us that such threats are ignored or dismissed as preposterous at our own great peril. If we assume that the establishment of a region-wide Caliphate is their long term goal, then they must anticipate that some point their attempt will bring them in direct conflict with the West. It would not be an irrational strategy to attempt to influence, postpone, or possibly even prevent that conflict by inflicting massive casualties on nations they are likely to eventually come up against. The same strategy may have already been attempted by al-Qaeda (and failed as far as that specific group goes), but the nations of the West now have populations that are on the cusp of saying to hell with the rest of the world and pulling back into their shells. Another 9/11 might not stir up the anger and resolve the first one did, especially since the results of our lashing back have been unsatisfying and ambiguous. Whether a retreat into isolationism the case or the West would instead strike back this time with even more devastating violence, it is a viable possibility, and these people are risk takers if nothing else.

It appears that the president has decided that the US must be involved in this mess, but the question obviously is whether or not he has the right idea about how involved we should be and in what way.



 

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