Clay Bennett by Clay Bennett

Clay Bennett

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  1. Hiram Bingham

    Hiram Bingham said, 9 months ago

    Moderate Muslims throughout the Middle East are rising up and banding together to defend themselves against the threat of ISIS.


    So here’s your choice, America. Support their efforts and gain their friendship, or go in there with guns blazing as you usually do and turn all sides against you again.

  2. The Wolf In Your Midst

    The Wolf In Your Midst said, 9 months ago

    “To lump every Muslim into the “Hate America religious fanatic” group is counter-productive.”

    But it feeds nicely into their “we have to destroy them or they’ll destroy us” religious mania that’s fomenting right here in the US.

  3. braindead08

    braindead08 GoComics PRO Member said, 9 months ago

    Inter – mission? Oh, nonsense. You know, the first mission was totally accomplished. Our president at the time told us so. We were treated as liberators. Freedom and democracy were on the March. Terrorism was in its last throes. And it was glorious. Glorious.
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    No, this is a totally new problem, totally unrelated to what went on before. And the great thing is that it’s, you know, all Obama’s fault.
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    And, if we all just hate Obama enough, the problem will just go away. Just like every other problem.

  4. TripleAxel

    TripleAxel said, 9 months ago

    @braindead08

    “You know, the first mission was totally accomplished. Our president at the time told us so. "
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    That is indeed what the President Obama in effect said in 2011, claiming credit for the condition of Iraq. In this he was backed up by his Vice President, who predicted President Obama would be able to point to Iraq’s stable government as one of his greatest accomplishments.
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    Given that the Obama administration was so happy enough with the state of Iraq in 2011 I am inclined to assign it a significant amount of responsibility for the more recent decline in that country at the hands of a group President Obama knew of but dismissed as the “JV team.”
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    I don’t hate President Obama. On a personal level I kind of like the guy. But he needs to acknowledge (at least to himself) the mistakes he has made in Iraq and take vigorous corrective steps. His recent airstrikes against ISIS are a step in the right direction – hopefully that will not be the limit of his activity.

  5. Grazy Llamas

    Grazy Llamas said, 9 months ago

    Bis! BIs! Encore! Encore!

  6. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, 9 months ago

    It would be at least Act III, and that’s just since ’91, ignoring our interference to first create Iraq after WW I, install Faisal as king, then double-cross him, which seems U.S. strategy, just like with Ho after WW II…

  7. TripleAxel

    TripleAxel said, 9 months ago

    @old1953

    Here’s an article that addresses some of the President’s most critical missteps:
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    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/380810/disaster-his-own-making-charles-krauthammer
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    And here’s another article that discusses these points in further detail:
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    www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/06/why-obama-owns-iraq.php
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    There are other areas where the President’s missteps have had consequences (which are now being imposed upon the Iraqi people) but these articles should give you a general sense of the opposing point of view on this matter.

  8. Zuhlamon

    Zuhlamon said, 9 months ago

    Pundits from right-wing sites as proof of Obama culpability in their op-eds. Some proof.

  9. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, 9 months ago

    @TripleAxel

    I’ll respond to your sources rather than dismiss them as “right wing sites”.

    Krauthammer has given his unreserved endorsement to pretty much every possible military action since the mid 80s. Krauthammer suggests we should have maintained our occupation of Iraq, despite the fact that large majorities of Americans & Iraqis wanted it to end. Obama played the cards that he was dealt with & any sane Commander in Chief would look at those cards & conclude that it was time to fold.

    Krauthammer insists that there were no Al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2009. Only fools believed that the clans who were temporarily bought off by American cash & bullets were going to be loyal to a Shia run Iraq. That’s the crux of the matter: Bush made the mistake of believing Maliki would not inevitably be looking to Iran for support. Of course, any Shiite leader in Iraq would need to be on very good terms with Iran. Given that, it would be impossible for any Shiite leader of Iraq to gain the loyalty of Sunni Iraqis, unless they were allowed to keep most of the preferences they enjoyed under Saddam. Politically, there was no accommodation that either side would peacefully accept.

    Your second source cites a much more interesting source that goes into a lot more detail, though maybe a long read for some. Also, it is an opinion piece & should be viewed as such. What We Left Behind

    It’s hard to blame put much blame on Obama for the breakdown in Iraq. The American people were done with the occupation. If Obama staked his Presidency on keeping our troops there, Romney could have won the election in 2012 with five words: “I’ll bring our troops home.” Of course, since Obama made the promise to withdraw, Romney was free to hedge his bets.

    Here is what Krauthammer, Mirengoff & every other armchair general who says we should have maintained a major presence in Iraq misses: whether we stayed another year or 25 years, the Sunnis & Shiites were looking for a showdown. All we have done since setting foot in Iraq is alienate both sides. Unless we, as a nation, were willing to lose thousands of lives every year to keep the cauldron from boiling over, this was going to happen.

    As far as the threat of the “Islamic State”, so far they have captured vast swaths of desert. Now that they are trying to push into Shiite & Kurdish homelands, they have stalled. If you want to prevent ISIS from turning into a serious threat, you’ll do better by making sure our “allies” in the Persian Gulf stop funding them.

  10. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, 9 months ago

    “Unless we, as a nation, were willing to lose thousands of lives every year to keep the cauldron from boiling over, this was going to happen.”

    Footnote: Look up the British & Ottoman experiences over the last seven centuries with maintaining order in the region. They only maintained order at the cost of significant casualties.

  11. TripleAxel

    TripleAxel said, 9 months ago

    @old1953

    You believe that Obama could not have reached a compromise with Maliki, and excuse him from any responsibility on the theory that such compromise was impossible. The problem with this is that the second article I linked to notes (1) that President Obama made a compromise unnecessarily difficult, and (2) the Bush administration frequently and successfully influenced the Maliki administration to moderate its policies and to work with US forces. This sort of behind-the-scenes influence is particularly important in a region where a leader needs or wants an independent public image.
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    Your “defense” of Obama is therefore more of an admission that he is less capable in foreign affairs than George W. Bush.

  12. TripleAxel

    TripleAxel said, 9 months ago

    @Uncle Joe

    Thank you for addressing the articles directly, Uncle Joe, rather than dismissing them as mere opinion. I posted them in response to old1953’s professed ignorance of what President Obama did wrong in Iraq. Any response to that question would necessarily take the form of an opinion piece. As there is no scientific way to determine whether any foreign policy action was right or wrong any analysis of foreign policy will have the character of opinion. Therefore opinion writing should not be dismissed – rather, it should be judged on the merit of its arguments.
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    I disagree with your dismissal of Charles Krauthammer’s article, however. Whether Mr. Krauthammer is invariably in favor of military intervention (I do not know, but the Wikipedia article you cite gives more nuance to his position) has no bearing on whether he is correct in saying that President Obama disengaged from Iraq too quickly. I think your points that the clans of Iraq were unstable, and your point that a Shiite Iraq would tend to be influenced by Iran, are actually good arguments for the need to maintain a presence and influence in Iraq to give the country a chance to develop an internal stability under a more benign influence.
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    Your second defense of President Obama’s action is that it was popular. But Presidents are not given passes on mistakes because they are popular. As for the danger of electoral consequences, there was no danger of Mitt Romney seeking an immediate pullout – in fact, President Obama attacked Mitt Romney for wanting to have troops in Iraq, as he attacked John McCain for the same thing (now the President suddenly claims that the withdrawal of American forces was not his idea). The election scenario you imagine is not consistent with Mitt Romney’s character or his statements. And in any case President Obama was in the perfect position to endorse a slow withdrawal of forces, one that would continue to provide support to Iraq while giving him full credit as the President who ended our involvement in the country.
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    Iraqis showed great interest in forming a democratic government – their people braved suicide bombings and terrorism to exercise their right to vote. They did not vote for ISIS to sweep through their lands with torture and genocide. They deserve a chance and I wish that the Obama administration had given it to them.

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