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Short Attention Span

Now here’s a good one. Yesterday, Jeb Bush congratulated the US Special Forces who killed a top ISIS leader, but he continued to blame the Obama administration for the “void that created this emerging caliphate that is far bigger than anything that existed before and there is no long-term strategy on how to deal with it.”

Can Bush really get away with that? Are we really so dumb that we have already forgotten who created the void in Iraq without any long-term strategy for stabilizing the region?

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6 Comments

  1. wildwood wrote:

    Yes he probably can and yes many of us are.

    Monday, May 18, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink
  2. Hassan wrote:

    I firmly believe that Bush wars caused this chaos. So blame goes to him for unleashing this mess.

    Question is how/what could President Obama have done to reverse or minimize it? Can he or future presidents get away by saying since they did not start it, it can go on?

    Monday, May 18, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink
  3. BTN wrote:

    Good point, Hassan, but what is your recommended course of action at this point? It’s a lose-lose situation.

    Monday, May 18, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink
  4. Hassan wrote:

    BTN, I have no solution, and hence I am not running for President. šŸ™‚

    I was liking Obama’s policy of total disengagement. Let the mess collapse on its own, and confusions removed and matter settle down in 10-15 years. But he is partially engaged, which seems quite counter productive. Either have one grand strategy and execute it with full force, or just stay out of the mess all together. Let the building burn down to ashes, throwing glass of water will not solve the whole fire.

    Monday, May 18, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    Over the history of this country, we have swung back and forth between isolationism (Hassan’s “total disengagement”) and being the cop of the world. Sometimes in quick succession. Unfortunately, both extremes have caused problems.

    There are lots of examples of where being the cop of the world caused problems — our actions in the middle east being a good example, but also getting involved in Vietnam, and our embargo of Cuba. There are examples where being isolationists worked well, again Vietnam, where after the war we ignored them and no dominoes fell (except that ones we help cause, like Cambodia).

    On the other hand, being isolationists at the run up to WWII allowed Hitler and Japan to grow very powerful. Eventually we were sucked into the war when we were attacked by Japan. Even so, we were in real danger of losing that war (and might have except that Germany broke their truce with Russia and attacked them — if they had not done that the allies might very well have lost).

    To be honest, I’m not sure about ISIS. I think we already tried executing one grand strategy with full force in the Iraq war, and that just made things worse. Likewise, I don’t think ignoring them would work — already they are committing atrocities and genocide and it would be a big mistake to let them keep doing that.

    I’m not sure if Obama’s strategy is the best one, but I can’t say that I can think of a better one. But I am pretty sure that it is not black and white. The best solution will be somewhere in between.

    Monday, May 18, 2015 at 11:45 pm | Permalink
  6. john wrote:

    In hindsight (ALWAYS in hindsight because that’s how history works), a re-reading of the Iraq Study Group Report and (why not) the American Enterprise Institute Surge Study could shed some light on which predictions were valid and which were motivated purely by party politics and wishful thinking.

    Meanwhile, it would be interesting to hear JEB’s long-term strategy on Iraq and how to deal with the Middle East in general and ISI in particular.

    And, what about Congress? We pretty much know the answer to that: If Congress actually did their job, then Congress would be in the position of taking responsibility. It’s ever so much easier to be an armchair quarterback than a real one.

    Whoever gets elected president will likewise have to take responsibility for his/her actions.

    The Bush strategy seems to have been to blame Cheney, and that may have been useful. Obama has no Cheney, but that won’t matter. JEB won’t be running against Obama, unless he truly intends to reverse course back to where we were headed before Obama was elected… and should make THAT clear soon, as well.

    If JEB thinks we should declare war on ISIS, then he should say so and let the people decide.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink