Author Topic: Stand By for Slaughter . . .By Jonah Goldberg  (Read 154 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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Stand By for Slaughter . . .By Jonah Goldberg
« on: August 08, 2014, 09:00:12 AM »


August 8, 2014 12:00 AM
Stand By for Slaughter . . .
Obama remains indifferent to mass murder.
By Jonah Goldberg

In the summer of 2007, then-senator Barack Obama was asked if he was worried that his proposed withdrawal from Iraq would result in ethnic cleansing or even genocide.

He scoffed at the premise.

“By that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now — where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife — which we haven’t done,” he told the Associated Press. “We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven’t done. Those of us who care about Darfur don’t think it would be a good idea.”

Obama glossed over a crucial distinction. The slaughter in Congo wasn’t caused by our actions. The assumption behind the AP’s question — backed by countless experts — was that a withdrawal from Iraq at the time would almost certainly lead to slaughter. Obama’s remarkable answer was that even if you accepted the premise that leaving would ignite mass slaughter, it would still be right to bug out of Iraq.

Of course, as is his wont, Obama covered all of the rhetorical bases. He acknowledged that leaving prematurely would be bad.

“Nobody is proposing we leave precipitously. There are still going to be U.S. forces in the region that could intercede, with an international force, on an emergency basis,” he insisted. “There’s no doubt there are risks of increased bloodshed in Iraq without a continuing U.S. presence there.”

Then came the patented Obama take-back. “It is my assessment that those risks are even greater if we continue to occupy Iraq and serve as a magnet for not only terrorist activity but also irresponsible behavior by Iraqi factions,” he said.

As grotesque as Obama’s moral argument was, it was unknowable at the time whether his analysis was correct. It’s now pretty clear he was wrong on all counts.

When Obama pulled American troops out of Iraq, they were not serving as a magnet for terrorists; they were acting as a deterrent not only to terrorists but to “irresponsible” Iraqi factions.

(By the way, what is it with Obama and the word “irresponsible”? In Wednesday’s press conference, Obama said that by targeting civilians, Hamas was behaving “extraordinarily irresponsibly.” This is only slightly less condemnatory than “inadvisable” or “unproductive” — and far more conciliatory than the language he uses about Republicans daily.)

Admittedly, he couldn’t have predicted the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2007 any more than he could have predicted the debacle of his Syria policy and his vacillating “red line” rhetoric, which partly led to the rise of ISIS.

But as recently as last November, Obama dismissed ISIS and other al-Qaeda affiliates as nothing more than a jayvee squad. While interviewing Obama, The New Yorker’s David Remnick noted that “the flag of al-Qaeda is now flying in Fallujah, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria,” and that “al-Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.”         

The president shot back: “If a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”

Now, that same junior-varsity team controls more territory than any terrorist organization in history, has some 5,000 battle-hardened jihadists with Western passports, hundreds of millions of dollars at its disposal, and is earning millions more every day by selling oil on the black market. It is slaughtering Shiites, Christians and other “infidels” with a medieval abandon that makes the alleged A-team of al-Qaeda blanch with horror. At this moment, it has cornered tens of thousands of Yazidi villagers on a mountaintop. ISIS presents them with a choice: Convert to Islam at gunpoint or die of thirst.

To its credit, the Pentagon is reportedly contemplating airlifting food and water to the Yazidis, though you wouldn’t know that from anything the president has said.

You have to give Obama points for consistency. He remains as blasé about mass slaughter today as he was in 2007. Back then he presented our options as a choice between doing nothing and “deploying unilaterally” to put American troops in harm’s way. He plays the same rhetorical games today, insisting that critics who want to provide military aid to, say, the Kurds or the Ukrainians are really proposing war. And since no one wants war, we should accept our new role as bystander to slaughter.

It’s quite a legacy you’re working on there, Mr. President.

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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Stand By for Slaughter . . .By Jonah Goldberg
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 09:05:15 AM »
Obama drops bombs and bread on Iraq with no discernable plan, says Keith Koffler.
What’s the Plan, Stan?
by Keith Koffler on August 7, 2014, 10:56 pm
White House Dossier

President Obama Thursday ordered supply drops for Iraqis trapped on a mountain by ISIS Islamists and said he would order “targeted” airstrikes against ISIS if the terrorists moved on the Kurdish capital of Irbil, because he said it would threaten Americans in the city.

But Obama, who spoke during a prime time address to the nation also ruled out the reintroduction of armed forces into Iraq:
I ran for this office in part to end our war in Iraq and welcome our troops home, and that’s what we’ve done.  As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. 

And so even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq.

I understand why we are doing this. I just don’t quite get where this is going. Worse, I don’t think Obama understands where this is going either. It seems we are dropping manna and missiles from the sky without any kind of strategic sense of what we’re doing.

This is classic, haphazard, incrementalism. First we put some “advisors” on the ground. Now, we’re going to start bombing. And then . . . who knows? We’re eventually going to get into a situation where we have to choose between escalating our involvement further or not escalating and allowing thousands of deaths, ISIS control of the country, and another black eye for American credibility.

Um, the time has run out to “train” Iraqi forces. Targeted strikes are not going to change the situation on the ground. What I’m seeing is a reaction, not a strategy. Tough questions are not being asked, such as,

◾Can we tolerate ISIS and an Islamic state or not?
◾If not, then what are we going to do about it?
◾Are we going to take future actions that prevent 40,000 people for being stranded on a mountain, or just wait and drop food once they get there?
◾Are we prepared for potential retaliation by ISIS on American soil?

This is yet another poorly thought out operation, like the one in Libya which got rid of Qaddafi but left the country in a state of chaos. And – let’s be bipartisan here – the one in Iraq that got rid of Saddam with little notion of how to keep a lid on the place once he was removed.

I can’t tell you I know right now what to do. I generally know my own mind, but I acknowledge to you that in this case I haven’t studied the situation carefully enough to offer you an opinion on such a grave matter, involving commitments of American armed forces.

But I do know that the way this is being carried out, it’s not going to end well, for anyone. I’m not sure Obama has thought it through much more carefully than I.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Stand By for Slaughter . . .By Jonah Goldberg
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2014, 09:07:02 AM »
Some comments on the Koffler piece:

What strikes me is the impossibility of the various factions in Iraq ever getting together in reconciliation, and yet Obama expects this to happen? I don’t believe it, I don’t believe him, and I doubt that he believes it himself. Was there an audience in the state dining room? It’s disconcerting to see Obama swiveling his head to read the teleprompter and trying to appear as if he is addressing an audience there. And the big painting of Abraham Lincoln was there to send a message. Probably the dining room was chosen for this purpose.

I’ll take it a step further, Julie…it’s downright disturbing to watch ‘swivelhead’. There was no audience – maybe Valjar and Sam Kass plus the janitorial staff.   When presidents address the nation they traditionally sit at their desk in the Oval Office and look sraight into one camera/teleprompter to give the impression they are speaking directly to every American.  Obama looks like an idiot savant every time he pulls this stunt..

Is Mooch going to hold up a “#Save Our Mountaineers” sign tomorrow? Is there any truth to the rumor that Nike just received an order of 100,000 “Airborne Jordan’s” for the 101st and 82nd airborne division? That way President Obama will live up to his “no boots on the ground” pledge.  My hearts go out to every soldier and their family for having such a feckless Commander In Chief.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

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