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Michael Ramirez by Michael Ramirez

Michael Ramirez

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  1. TripleAxel commented on Matt Wuerker about 8 hours ago

    If you read the links that I have provided you will find evidence that alternatives were possible. You will also find that people accurately predicted what would happen if we took the course that the President ultimately chose.
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    This is an important issue, all the more so because the President’s defenders seek to insulate him from responsibility for prematurely withdrawing US forces from Iraq (a step which he took credit for in 2011!) by arguing that there was nothing different that he could have done. The record shows that he could have acted differently, had he wished. It also shows that the way he actually acted was consistent with his stated wishes, both before and after the withdrawal, all the way up to the point that his decision began to appear to be a political liability for him.

  2. TripleAxel commented on Mike Luckovich about 8 hours ago

    “Why thank you Obama for bugging out! GW Bush warned that if we just dropped and left as Obama did, we would be back. "
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    Also, President Obama made predictions about what would happen if we did not intervene in Syria in 2013. He proceeded to not intervene in Syria and his predictions came to pass!
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    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/09/15/the-horrors-obama-warned-would-happen-if-he-didnt-intervene-in-syria-are-happening/

  3. TripleAxel commented on Walt Handelsman about 8 hours ago

    It often does seem like the President is more interested in fighting his political opponents than he is in defending America’s interests abroad.

  4. TripleAxel commented on Matt Wuerker about 9 hours ago

    “But in 2011, American military lawyers deemed such assurances insufficient and insisted troops stay only if legal immunity was approved by the Iraqi Parliament.

    So Obama agrees with the military assessment and he’s wrong. Got it."
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    Well well! A short while ago you criticized lawyers for putting their opinions above the level of facts, but now that you have found some attorneys who agree with you their opinions are authoritative! Of course legal opinions do not trump facts, especially when (as is the case here) they are offered on behalf of a client who is looking for legal justification for his preferred course of action. American troops abroad generally operate pursuant to agreements with local governments and do not require parliamentary action to support their presence. In addition, the President’s lawyer’s opinion was evidently not so strong as to prevent the President from sending American troops into Iraq without parliamentary cover in 2014:
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    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/06/25/iraq-and-the-immunity-dodge/
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    “The NYT articles indicates that the final number of troops agreed upon was 5000 which agrees with what I said.”
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    You said “a few thousand at most.” And the Times article only mentions that the figure of 5,000 was “discussed.” Other articles I linked indicate that US and Iraqi military sources preferred a larger force. Again, there is no evidence that the Obama Administration made any effort to push this issue. Even a small force could have done some good, however, by stiffening the Iraqi army, by providing a basis for influence to the Iraqi political structure; and by maintaining infrastructure for additional deployment if and when desired.
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    “It was Maliki who would be using an executive order to offer immunity. Like Obama, he would have drawn substantial criticism for the use of same to get around his legislative branch.”
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    Iraq’s Constitution differs from that of the United States, and I do not know the full extent of Maliki’s powers. However, sources involved in negotiations agree that there were options available to Maliki and the Obama Administration short of formal Parliamentary approval. Again, one of the reasons we know this is true is that we have not sought or obtained legal immunity from parliament for the soldiers we have sent to Iraq this year.
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    “The facts are that prior to signing the 2008 SOFA, Bush was not able negotiate a good deal.”
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    President Bush agreed to the 2008 SOFA after President Obama’s election. The terms of the withdrawal followed President Obama’s declared timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Had John McCain been elected President Bush might well have sought a different outcome, but he chose to leave President Obama with terms that the new President claimed to like, while at the same time leaving Mr. Obama the flexibility to negotiate an extension had he wished to do so.
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    In response to your speculation I can tell you how a different President would have secured an extension for a continued American troop presence: by giving Iraqi officials political cover to move to establish troop immunity. This could be done in a number of ways. Instead, it became clear to the Iraqi government that President Obama wasn’t much interested in maintaining any American presence in Iraq. Under those conditions, why should anyone stick out their neck?
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    In response to your stinger, I would not have to imagine Palin involved in negotiations because she would have the good sense not to stick her foot in. Palin’s treatment of John McCain demonstrates that she has loyalty and discretion, and I would trade her for Biden as Vice President in a heartbeat.

  5. TripleAxel commented on Matt Wuerker about 15 hours ago

    President Bush was able to predict the consequences to Iraq if American soldiers were removed too hastily:
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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-george-w-bush-was-right-about-iraq-pullout/2014/09/08/6ddd91b2-374e-11e4-bdfb-de4104544a37_story.html
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    As for the proper discipline for examining political events I partially accept your point, for my language was inexact. I meant to emphasize that it would be foolish to rely on “scientific evidence,” as opposed to the sort of evidence accepted at law or in history, in evaluating political news.

  6. TripleAxel commented on Clay Jones about 16 hours ago

    Spitzer, Weiner, and Sanford were all criticized by Republicans. But Republicans do not believe that marital infidelity should disqualify a candidate from office, though it reflects badly upon his person.

  7. TripleAxel commented on Matt Wuerker about 16 hours ago

    “You mean like an executive order? That sort of thing which conservatives hate Obama doing?”
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    Criticism of President Obama’s executive overreaches focuses on his use of executive power in areas that properly fall within the responsibility of the Legislature, such as by administrative actions that are not supported by Federal Law. Foreign policy, however, is primarily an executive responsibility, and the President has a great deal of discretion in dealing with foreign powers. I am sure that the Senate would have ratified any arrangement he was able to reach with the Iraqi government, if ratification were necessary.
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    “No. Maliki gets the blame for the revolt of the Sunnis. Maliki was elected by the Iraqis.”
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    The articles I linked to noted that the Bush Administration was able to exert a moderating influence on Maliki while US troops were in the country. After our withdrawal he began to govern in a more sectarian fashion; in his defense, without US support and with a still-developing Iraqi army he may have felt the need to shore up a power base.
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    “And we are supposed to believe that a “few thousand” (at most) troops left for training purposes would keep the peace and Maliki in line? Lots of wishful thinking in all that.”
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    The articles I linked to discussed retaining a force of 8,000 to 20,000 soldiers. A force of that size, together with the infrastructure to rapidly support additional deployment at need, would have been very useful against ISIS when it invaded Iraq. It would also have given the US a potential moderating influence over the Maliki government, although I will concede that President Obama was uninterested in dealing with Iraq and would probably have given the country’s developing democracy little attention nor support.
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    “And that unusual use of diplomatic immunity was stupid because …”
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    Contrary to your statements, diplomatic immunity is used to cover soldiers in foreign countries. Furthermore, the soldiers we recently sent to Iraq are covered by the sort of diplomatic arrangement that President Obama refused to accept back in 2011:
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/world/middleeast/us-advisory-troops-get-immunity-from-iraqi-law.html
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    The diplomatic option was just one of several possible options available to the American and Iraqi governments as they looked for a way to maintain a US presence while saving Iraqi face. By insisting on the most stringent and difficult option the President essentially cut off these possibilities.
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    Legal evidence may not be like scientific evidence, but when we are in the realm of politics it is the best measure of fact. And with the evidence available to us I have no doubt that President Bush would have negotiated an extension to the SOFA with Iraq. Even if that failed he would have remained engaged with the country and its government; faced with a year’s advanced notice of the threat posed by ISIS (as the Obama administration received) President Bush would have heeded the Iraq government’s calls for help. And yes, the left would be calling him an imperialist for it.

  8. TripleAxel commented on Paul Szep about 17 hours ago

    Poll Shows Voters Want Republican Majority in Congress:
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    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/18850-poll-shows-voters-want-republican-majority-in-congress

  9. TripleAxel commented on Views of the World about 17 hours ago

    Some people do not want peace and it would be foolish not to acknowledge that fact.

  10. TripleAxel commented on Henry Payne about 17 hours ago

    So I gather that you think it improper to impugn the patriotism of people who criticize the President’s foreign policy decisions. I have been, after all, told that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” While I do not agree with the statement – I believe there are many actions that are more patriotic – I certainly believe that opposition to the President’s policies is appropriate and fitting with our democratic system.