That Iraq Withdrawal We Elected in 2008?

Not gonna happen.

I have sent the enclosed notice to the Federal Register for publication, continuing the national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq. This notice states that the national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13438 of July 17, 2007, is to continue in effect beyond May 22, 2010.

Obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Accordingly, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to this threat and maintain in force the measures taken to deal with that national emergency.

Love, Barack Obama.

So even as Obama asks for more money for Afghanistan, he’s officially telling Congress the  national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq Iraq War isn’t going to end anytime soon, either.

The Guardian reports the same, though from the perspective of Odierno, not Obama, missing deadlines.

Update: I was too snide when I wrote this. The fatigue of watching the President’s deficit committee argue that we need to cut Social Security just as we’re about to get a $30 billion supplemental (remember, we weren’t supposed to get anymore of those?) to fight a war in Afghanistan many think we can’t win really got to me.

At one level, this appears to be fairly nondescript: it simply says that certain financial arrangements in place today will extend out past ten days from now. So it’s not an indefinite extension, it’s a bureaucratic detail.

But this language does worry me:

The Iraqi government continues to take steps to resolve debts and settle claims arising from the actions of the previous regime. Before the end of the year, my Administration will review the Iraqi government’s progress on resolving these outstanding debts and claims, as well as other relevant circumstances, in order to determine whether the prohibitions contained in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, as amended by Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004, on any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process with respect to the Development Fund for Iraq, the accounts, assets, and property held by the Central Bank of Iraq, and Iraqi petroleum-related products, should continue in effect beyond December 31, 2010, which are in addition to the sovereign immunity ordinarily provided to Iraq as a sovereign nation under otherwise applicable law. [my emphasis]

That is, it’s not just a bureaucratic extension of financial protections for Iraq past the next ten days. It’s a formal notice that Iraq will have its financial training wheels on until December, maybe, or maybe longer. It seems like it’s for the interest of Iraq, but I worry that it’s for the interest of ongoing US control over Iraq’s finances.

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150 replies
  1. thefutureisnow says:

    Sorry, am not a lawyer, EW. I read the document you linked…from the WH. And the paragraph that followed the one you highlighted in your post – talking about financial issues and liens and debts – don’t understand how that’s related to Obama saying no further troop withdrawals until December 31. And I didn’t see anything in the press release about keeping troops at present levels, either. But am assuming it’s all in the “hidden code” of those executive orders??
    BTW: Thanks for posting. If this indeed means no troop withdrawals…
    P.S. Is this the part that says no withdrawals?
    “…and maintain in force the measures taken to deal with that national emergency.”)

        • thefutureisnow says:

          The document stated Dec. 31 as a timeline for further consideration, didn’t it? How did Dec. 31 become May 22?
          (Unless, is this time as measured by folks in “Obamaland”?)

          • thefutureisnow says:

            Just re-read…and is the Dec. 31st “review” only referring to the financial/economic concerns (and I also saw a mention of “petroleum”)?

            • emptywheel says:

              Yeah, the emergency is not directly troop levels, but it seems to lay underlying legal framework. Trying to figure out what it means for Iraq’s sovreignty.

              • thefutureisnow says:

                Thanks for being so quick to reply, EW. You are AWESOME. And this story…is huge.

              • bobschacht says:

                Trying to figure out what it means for Iraq’s sovreignty.

                i.e., how to make it the 51st state?

                Oh, wait. I think that was Cheney’s plan.

                Bob in AZ

      • Larue says:

        As you post it above, it seems pretty simple for even layfolks to GROK that one salient point.

        Again, thanks Ma’am.

        I was wondering when this would happen, as it was obvious from all his other actions it had to be forthcoming.

        Now take THIS action, and superimpose it on AfPak?

        No stopping any of it, none of it.

        It’s MIC/Corp/Government unity for NeverEndingWar. And profits.

      • bobschacht says:

        It’s Obama officially extending the war, as explained to me by a Congressional staffer.

        Well, FWIW, here’s how I read it: In terms of political timing, it is bad news for a president to end a war right before an election unless it is clear that the war has been won. I guess it became clear to Obama and his military advisers that a “Mission Accomplished” event before the November elections would be neither possible nor wise.

        Bush spent his last year calculating how to make sure that the next president would not be able to withdraw from Iraq, or Afghanistan, without being vulnerable to charges of having “lost” it. Obama had better figure out how to let go of these tar babies before it’s too late. And to mix my Uncle Remus metaphors, he’s already too far into the brier patch to exit quickly.

        Bob in AZ

  2. phred says:

    Broken promises???? From Barack???? Nah, go on…

    Can’t wait to hear why we are supposed to vote for Dems in November… Oh, wait, it has something to do with Rahm’s wins, right? All better then… ; )

    • temptingfate says:

      They will surely promise to protect us from the evil Rs, who it turns out will promise their constituents to protect them from the evil Ds. This has become a tired and sad game, just as intended. Big winners are the corporations who want us to accept that there are no solutions.

  3. temptingfate says:

    The list of things promised to liberals and the middle class but not delivered is fairly massive. The list of promises kept probably belongs to Wall Street and they got a good return for their investments.

    • DWBartoo says:

      T’was, originally, “The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex”, and thus it remains …

      ;~C

      DW

    • Larue says:

      Sadly, it’s beyond the MIC.

      It’s the entire system, corporate, elected officials, governing appointees at all levels.

      Top to bottom. Way beyond the MIC anymore.

      Ma’am (said respectfully).

  4. transparait says:

    I’m trying to think of a way to politely state that Obama is very much like Mr. Reker’s travel companion.

  5. mattcarmody says:

    Congress could end this with the stroke of an appropriations bill pen but they won’t.

  6. skdadl says:

    Who could ever have predicted?

    I feel for you guys. They’re going to do this to us too in Afghanistan.

    O/T re GTMO: some good news and some bad news. (Please forgive any duplication of links I’ve missed.)

    The good news: Spencer at the Washington Independent: five human-rights groups protest the banning of veteran reporters at GTMO last week. Excellent report. Yay, Spencer! Yay, coalition!

    The bad news: Michelle Shephard: DFAIT to Khadr, Canadians, and the Supreme Court: “We’ve complied as much as we intend to comply, nyah nyah nyah.” (Ok: I made up that quote.)

  7. David Dayen says:

    This statement from Obama is the boilerplate used to ensure that every troop wouldn’t have to leave on May 22 of this year. This has no bearing at all on the withdrawal of combat troops by the end of August 2010 or the total withdrawal of residual forces by the end of 2011. Those remain operative by the status of forces agreement with Iraq.

    What the Guardian reported, however, is news. And it would violate the SOFA. But there’s not much definitive in that story – just that the withdrawal order hasn’t come through yet.

    • Kelly Canfield says:

      Well then, what’s the hang up on the withdrawal order?

      And why use boilerplate language, when one can craft language that says “We shall stay the May 22nd date in lieu of a forthcoming order to respect the current SOFA.” ?

    • Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

      I’m sure Barry’s every bit as trustworthy – for Dem party followers – as Karen Bass.

      Did you catch the news that some progressive Dems (I know, oxymoron) in the CA legislature are trying to repeal the 2 billion of corporate tax cuts she pushed through last year?

      • David Dayen says:

        Seriously, there’s nothing to trust w/r/t this document. This particular statement tells us absolutely nothing about his intentions and would have to be issued whether he had kept every promise over the last year and a half or no promise. It has no bearing on the SOFA or the bilaterally agreed-to, scheduled drawdown in Iraq. None at all.

        You can bash me for saying so and it doesn’t change the reality of the situation. And I’m quite certain that I would be first in line to vent if the SOFA was broken. But it’s not and this document tells us zip, zero, zilch about that.

        • Kelly Canfield says:

          D-Day that doesn’t answer my question @22. I do not understand why modified vs. boilerplate language couldn’t be used as regards such an EO and still respect SOFA.

          And I’m a bit unnerved as I usually can take front pagers at FDL on the merits with the evidence presented. To see two front pagers here at odds on the facts is disturbing me.

          • CTuttle says:

            The SOFA that Shrub signed is perforated with all kinds of loopholes… The SOFA that the Iraqi Legislature ratified does not contain as many, but, there still are some…! 8-(

          • David Dayen says:

            The purpose of this memo is to keep the presence of troops in Iraq legal in the eyes of Congress beyond May 22, 2010. That’s all. He could bring up the SOFA, I suppose, but that has nothing to do with this statement and would be extraneous to what amounts to a legal memo on a narrow point. Don’t blow it out of proportion. Believe me, if they violate the SOFA I’ll be the first to man the barricades, but this has no bearing on that.

            • Larue says:

              David, are you suggesting that you can take this doc release in of itself, out of context of the past and projected future, and RELY on as such?

              That’s just . . . it’s just . . . not like you. (wanna say ludicrous)

              Really, hoss? You believe you can isolate this doc as a matter of some protocol that calls for it?

              And not read into it, Obama’s past, or the present sitch that abounds and has been discussed to death regarding BushCo, Irak building (embassy’s and bases thanks CT) and such?

              I’m not feeling persuaded, hoss, first time ever from you, too.

              • David Dayen says:

                Uh, yeah, because if the President were Dennis freaking Kucinich and he promised to leave Iraq fully on May 31, 2010, he’d still have to send Congress this memo.

                All I’m saying is this memo tells us nothing about Obama’s intentions in Iraq. That’s a different story entirely from what’s told by this document.

                • Larue says:

                  And David, I’m saying that even protocols of standard conduct are suspect in these times, climes, and from this and any admin.

                  I suspect even the most INNOCENT of intent. Be it protocol and standard issue, or not.

                  And for you to forsake that, saddens me.

        • Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

          David, there is no national emergency for the US in Iraq. There may be one in the Gulf of Mexico, but there ain’t one in Iraq. They’re malnourished, broken, and have shown no evidence of capacity to project meaningful military threats to the US.

          Barry’s willfully chosen to continue our Empire’s boilerplate excuses for mass death inflicted in an attempt to seize resources brown people live over. He chooses to continue American exceptionalist State propaganda which justifies our occupation of a sovereign nation.

          Observing this – and Karen Bass’s willful 2 billion betrayal of grassroots Democratic voters in CA – in no way bashes you. Nor does observing that the sun is shining tonight in the Bay Area.

          • David Dayen says:

            The opinion that there is no national emergency in Iraq is one I share. It has nothing to do with this legal memo, which merely allows for the presence of troops in Iraq beyond May 22, 2010. This is my only point.

            While you bring up the massive corporate tax breaks passed in the middle of a deficit crisis in California again, I would say that I was probably the only person in all of California to write about that when it happened, and my continued writing about it contributed in small part, I feel, to the fact that there will be an initiative on the ballot in November, funded largely by the teacher’s union, to repeal those ridiculous tax breaks. Which I’ll happily vote for, as will you, I assume.

            • Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

              Sincere thanks for helping me clarify my language.

              What possible threat to the US supports Barry’s assertion re

              “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”?

              Unless, of course, merely defying US foreign policy – that killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions – somehow threatens our national security?

              And I’m very grateful for your educating me and many others re the ambitious Karen Bass’ willful choice to give away 2 billion in California’s resources – to some of the world’s wealthiest megacorps – in the course of her amazingly ambitious political career. Sincerely – good on ya!

              Karen upheld the existing order and her choice to do so on that issue (and others) helped grease her political career. Barry could get us out of Iraq at the cost of possibly being a one-term President. He and Karen will both sacrifice lives for their ambitions: Barry’s lie that broken Iraq threatens our national security will kill more people than Karen killed, but they’re both willing participants in referred homicide.

              Killing the helpless because that’s the way one’s predecessors chose to act is still evil: which is why Barry’ boilerplate is so evil.

    • BooRadley says:

      With all due respect, we just bailed out the banks who bet on Greece.

      Of even greater concern is that your comment implies that combat forces are equipped to occupy foreign countries.

      States and municipalities are going broke.

      I will do it if I have to, but I am one of those who is not anxious to make the decision about contributing to 3rd party candidates.

      I think it would be a serious mistake for anyone to assume that O’Bummer intends to withdraw from Iraq in the next year.

      This is another opportunity to partner with libertarians, Paulites, the MSM, and unions to apply pressure on the Progressive caucus and the Tri Caucus in the House. We have already seen results from that alliance in the unfortunately too tepid Audit the Fund bill that passed.

      I am going with Marcy’s version.

      Apologies if I read your comment too broadly.

      • Larue says:

        Boo, as this shit around us known as USA and our lifestyles and our standards of living are taken from us, and our rights are taken from us, and as the middle class is being destroyed in sum toto, I’m in agreement with you that the time continues to become opportune to combine forces of various GREATLY disgruntled factions to try and wrest back our government, our country, our rights.

        Shit as is just cannot be sustained much more as it’s decaying without major disruption of sorts, one way or another, be it from the poor who become fed up or be it from Mama Nature who becomes fed up.

        It’s all escalating, faster, quarter by quarter, beyond the control of anyone to contain the chaos.

        N that’s what happens when too few have too much and too many have too little. Jobs, income, housing, food, healthcare . . . all being taken away from the masses.

        In Rome’s time, it took hundreds of years to finally collapse as it eroded. For the USSR, only decades.

        Because time seems to compress the more our species progresses, I don’t think USA got decades left in it.

        Always appreciate your comments.

    • temptingfate says:

      Obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

      So, while we may often agree on some things, it appears that you don’t see this phrase as an open ended position. Given the fear of all things Islam, at what point is this phrase an argument for withdrawal? Ten years from now? After all the oil is gone? At what point was Iraq ever a serious (as in Nazi Germany or the mythical USSR of Dr. Strangelove) threat to this country?

      • David Dayen says:

        I’m sorry, but that’s the perfectly normal language used to extend the arrangement in Iraq and nothing about that suggests any changes to the SOFA, signed by our country and Iraq. It’s just not new information, it’s completely in line with the drawdown. I could dig up about 10,000 press releases with the words “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” used to extend what-all: sanctions, withholding an ambassador, whatever.

        • temptingfate says:

          Of course you can but the issue is that the decisions of today are couched in the justifications set forth earlier. The question is if one lays this down do they then drop back a pretend they never said it without expecting further justifications. The alternative is that every policy statement has exactly no meaning and the future is random.

        • CTuttle says:

          Screw the press releases… What about the entire planning, and, eventual construction processes of the largest ’embassy’ ever built by anyone, ever…?

          Speaks louder than words IMHO…! ;-)

          • temptingfate says:

            They just haven’t found the proper Saudi prince to take the Green Zone off their hands. Via the optimal Wall Street investment crew of course. The squid needs his vig.

            • Larue says:

              Sigh.

              Saudi is Sunni, Iraq is now Shia.

              The twain will not meet on that plain.

              The MINUTE USA installs a Sunni Saudi, it’s civil war that will make the past 7 years look like child’s play.

              • bobschacht says:

                Saudi is Sunni, Iraq is now Shia.

                Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that Saudi Arabia is Wahhabi?
                IIRC, the Wahhabi are more fundamentalist than the Sunni in general.

                Bob in AZ

            • phred says:

              It really doesn’t matter since no one since the initiator-guy is lifting a figure to put a stop to it. And last I checked Dems have had a majority in Congress since 2007 and with it the purse strings to do what they wish with funding for building projects. Blaming the Bushies at this point is laughable since they were only able to implement their policies with the complicity of Congressional Dems and since King BO was annointed things have continued to hum right along…

          • Larue says:

            Embassy hell, look at the size of the bases!!

            We’re never leaving . . . and that’s an old fest joke about never getting out of the driveway to get on the road to GET to the fest.

            But, it’s obvious to me, and others, for YEARS now, under BushCo, we were never leaving.

            Obama has easily proven his support for it all, too.

            We’re never leaving!

    • Larue says:

      Love yer work DD, but, you don’t have any trepidation beyond what YOU interpret from this?

      You ain’t losin yer ‘hairs standing on end’ instincts, are ya?

      We COUNT on you for that, along with the others from this forum.

    • DWBartoo says:

      Thank you, fatster.

      How may the Administration ignore this? This is about an innocent man, captured by American intelligence operatives and subsequently tortured.

      And, when the “error” was discovered, the American government did not wish to release him, “CIA agents, fearing the consequences of releasing him, argued for his continued detention and in fact held him for several weeks after his release had been ordered. Condoleeza Rice, then national security advisor to President Bush, intervened and directed his release.”

      America can ignore this only through the most arrogant of hypocrisies.

      Everyone in the world will understand that, and what it means to international relations … except “exceptional” America.

      Pathetic.

      [Although, my first thought upon reading of Rice’s role, I confess was, “Who could have …” (well, you all know the rest of that question).]

      DW

  8. trademarkdave says:

    I’m starting to think this turncoat motherfucker is a bigger asshole than Bush.

  9. Becca says:

    In short, in 2008 there was a presidential election.

    One of the candidates was a center-right social conservative who would continue the policies and practices of his predecessor, including two wars, indefinite detention, torture, secrecy, giveaways to corporations and financial behemoths, massive defense spending, threats to cut entitlement spending, and trampling on Americans’ civil rights in the name of national security.

    The other was a senile crazy old Republican even further to the right.

    Thanks President Obama, for clearing up the difference.

    • Larue says:

      System won’t allow it in the Dem ranks.

      I can’t work in the R rank(s).

      An independent third party needs more time than we have to gin up and prosper and influence and raise the army of voters required.

      Given that, what are YOUR thoughts?

  10. CTuttle says:

    National Emergency…? WTF…? It’s a National Emergency Imperative to get the f*ck outta Iraq…! E.O’s are a sorry basis and, arguably, more ammunition for the Hague, if Lady Justice truly reigns supreme, slow as she may be…! 8-(

  11. beleck says:

    as if Obama was going to do anything else. what a surprise, sadly, lol. wonder what Moqtada al Sadr will do now. i can’t remember how to spell his name. If this doesn’t cause Iraq to go fully fundamentalist Shiite like Iran, i can’t imagine.

    Obama is what the Corporations want. keep on keeping the wars going. Money Money Money. invest in the military war machine if you want to make money. that’s where whatever money Americans will go.

    Hows that Hopey Changey thing going for you! At least with McCain we were sure how bad we were going to get fucked!!!

    • Larue says:

      If this doesn’t cause Iraq to go fully fundamentalist Shiite like Iran, i can’t imagine.

      Uh, to my understanding, it already has? By and large? The turmoil is just to settle the final deal because WE are still there.

      As WE become, again, the obstacle of fulfilling the Shia control, our troops will start dying at horrific rates again, as even Sunni’s will take Shia money to kill the invaders (in exchange for some semblance of stability for their people during Shia total rule).

  12. tanbark says:

    Good thread, Marcy. Glad that someone is holding Mr. Bushlite’s feet to the fire.

    And phred’s as right as a snake. Becca nailed it.

    So. We got some questions to ask of ourselves:

    Do we reward this feckless shit with continued support, on the basis of “He’s better than the republicans…”

    Or, do we start doing what we can to yank the political rug out from under him?

    • Becca says:

      I don’t know, Tanbark. I’m already in the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Give” brigade. We’ve already turned away numerous calls from the DNC and its related fund-raisers. Two years ago, we were donating heavily — thousands of dollars, all told. Now? Nada.

      At this point though, with the secret prisons still in operation, torture (okay, so they say they dropped waterboarding, but they’re still doing everything else), Predator drone assassination attempts resulting in mass murder, no trials for obvious war criminals, sham trials with no evidence save tortured testimony, no real plan to end either war after 9 and 7 years respectively…

      I’ll say this: I can hold my nose and vote for someone I don’t like but do respect. But I absolutely will not vote for the mere “lesser of two evils” — because I don’t vote for evil. Period.

      • CTuttle says:

        You’re gonna love my diary I’ll be posting shortly at the Seminal…! ;-)

        Sy Hersch on Battlefield Executions, and, ‘Pattern of Life’ issues, amongst others…!

      • tanbark says:

        “…I absolutely do not vote for the lesser of two evils.”

        With you, girl!

        I think the voters who put their money and their hopes on Obama are not inclined to go with a democratic campaign slogan of:

        “Vote for us! We’re not as bad as the republicans!”

        And if we progressives aren’t of a mind to stay the course with Mr. Centrist, you can bet your hiney that the independents who helped him get that big mandate for change, won’t be reprising their vote, either.

    • Larue says:

      Or, do we start doing what we can to yank the political rug out from under him?

      How do we DO that, hoss? System does not allow for unapproved Dem competition. Nor does it allow for R same.

      And to form a 3rd party? Impossible so soon, unless there’s total civil disobedience and chaos and then, some fuck will arise like Hitler to storm in and save us (corporate sponsored, of course).

  13. macaquerman says:

    Yeah, i guess that the error lies somewhere other than with the interpretation of the notice released through the press office.

  14. tanbark says:

    The bullshit has been run for so many years, to sustain this lunacy, that the fact that Obama is rolling out the same old “stay the course” shitspeak, is, my 2c, reason enough to utterly abandon him. If we keep on basing our political support on fear of something worse, the democrats will never do the right thing.

    More: We can debate about how many seats the dems will lose in November, but they will certainly lose some, in both houses. Has anyone seen anything to make us feel that Obama will try to cut his losses by moving to the left? I think we’re going to see some shit from him that have us so pissed we could bite heads off chickens.

    • Larue says:

      I have dead chicken parts in my freezer already, hoss . . . . tell me something new.

      Now, if Obama does MORE of what he’s done?

      Foolish, and pushes US to open conflict internally in a hundred ways.

      Is that what he/they want? Or do the 1% and it’s minions really think they can push and hurt the masses more and more, without blowback, mass blowback of sorts?

  15. Hugh says:

    Aren’t all those EOs about seizing the property of Baathists and jihadis?

    Although I suppose it could be construed more broadly. Here is the operative paragraph of EO 13303:

    I, George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, find that the threat of attachment or other judicial process against the Development Fund for Iraq, Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests therein, and proceeds, obligations, or any financial instruments of any nature whatsoever arising from or related to the sale or marketing thereof, and interests therein, obstructs the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq. This situation constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

    • Hugh says:

      I’m wondering if an EO like this can be used to justify funding Iraq through supplemental appropriations, and that is what is meant by making the Iraq war his own.

  16. Adam503 says:

    Obama isn’t the guy that ran for President.

    I’ve seen the word “Trojan Horse” get used lately.

    So who is President? What have we got on the enigma that actually is President?

  17. Hugh says:

    So who is President? What have we got on the enigma that actually is President?

    Adam503, this would no doubt explain why Obama has nominated a cipher to the Supreme Court.

  18. tanbark says:

    Phred @ 59:

    As this point, with both clusterfucks alive and well; with 200,000 gallons a day of crude pouring into the gulf; and with Mr. Centrist still happily adopting the bend-over-and-spread-cheeks bipartisan posture…talking about the republicans, whether it’s the goopers in office, or the Limbaugh/Palin mouth-breathers out of office, is nothing but using red herrings to try cover Obama’s feckless ass.

    And more and more progressives are getting on to that fact and are getting pissed about other “progressives” doing it.

    • phred says:

      Indeed. I used to love reading TRex lay waste to Rethug stupidity, but since s/he threw in the towel I find most articles along those lines irksome. We have more than enough stupidity to go around on our side of the aisle, too.

      • tanbark says:

        Amen. For Christ’s sake, Digby’s been shaving points for Obama like the crookedest NBA ref that ever worked a “house job”.

        I.E., the repubs set the table for the two loon crusades, and for the disaster in the gulf, but some progressive bloggers are sounding like the old bushmasters acting as if it all descended on us from heaven in a shower of golden urine.

        Obama had 16 months to do something about the sweetheart drilling regs that Big Oil loves so much, and a month before the shit hit the fan on Deep Water Horizon, he signed off on more coastal drilling. Then, two days after the platform exploded, he said he STILL woudn’t reconsider that decision. On that one, he could probably have hired 90% of the people on this thread and gotten the right advice. That being:

        “Would you like to make a small wager on that about not reconsidering, with a shitstorm starting to break on your head?”

        The capper came out two days ago, when, it turns out, again, AFTER the platform sank and the world knew that we were looking at a catastrophe, he gave oil companies drilling in the GOM, 27 exemptions from having to file environmental reports.

        I’m like: Why are you people still defending this guy? Morality be damned; the only thing that he and his people respond to, are heavy political threats. We might as well get to it.

        • Becca says:

          Tanbark sed:

          I’m like: Why are you people still defending this guy? Morality be damned; the only thing that he and his people respond to, are heavy political threats. We might as well get to it.

          Amen. Simply asking Obama and the Democrats keep their campaign promises and stick to their party’s official platform hasn’t worked. They seem to respond only to overt political threats.

          We need to primary their asses everywhere. Donate to underdog challengers. Protest, protest, and protest some more. Engage in legal civil disobedience. And yes, withhold our support, money, volunteer time and votes from those who openly betray us.

          I may not be able to stop my self-declared ‘friends’ from stabbing me in the back, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for the knives.

          • afterthought says:

            You have an underlying assumption that is wrong: you assume that the government you see is the real government and that various bird-cage liner politicians really would betray their class in order to “win” for the proles.

            Fix that, and you’re golden.

          • tanbark says:

            We’ll see about that. When Rahm was pissing and moaning about us fucking retards, that was nothing but a loud “Ouch!”…and it wasn’t even in front of an election.

            Looking down the barrel of an opposition tsunami in November, political self-preservation may kick in, and Obama could show some populist spunk.

            Or not, I admit. But if he continues chasing the bi-partisan pony, and his policies just drift along in the bushian wind, the voters will know him as just another political hack, and will treat him accordingly.

            There is, of course, a school of thought that if he and the democrats get their asses handed to them this November, whatever their hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth about it, they will secretly be happy to be relieved of the burden of those big congressional numbers and the expectations that go along with them. “Gee, folks; it’s terrible. How can we get anything done? We’re down to razor thin margins in both houses.”

            Someone upthread said that the wars are going to go on for a long time. I disagree. I don’t think we can stand it if Iraq reverts to the carnage of several years ago. We’re something like 40,000 troops short of the surge at it’s peak, and if, by late 2011, we’re still occupying all of those Fortress Amurkas, any Iraqi government that isn’t rasing holy hell and presenting us with a direct demand to leave, won’t last long. Sadr still wields a lot of power there, and if he orders his militias to take up arms again, our casualties will begin spiking, and I think it will become like terminal Vietnam, with our voters not buying an ounce of the “light at the end of the tunnel” bullshit.
            On top of that, Afghanistan is just another whack-a-mole crusade. It’s the same as Vietnam in one crucial respect: time is on the side of the people who want us gone. Plus, the coalition of the rented in Afghanistan is becoming less and less interested in the costs in blood and treasure of trying to sustain bush’s, and now Obama’s, loon crusade.

            Here’s a question: can our economy really recover if we’re still spending that $4 billion a week in the two clusterfucks? Even if it’s possible to continue underwriting them, isn’t there going to be a price to pay in the form of American’s being sick and angry to see that Obama hasn’t done a damn thing that has improved our situation in Iraq and Afghanistan? Two days ago, some 90 people were killed in factional violence in Iraq. If that keeps going up, what is CentCom going to do?

            I just don’t think we can sustain the bloody idiocy in either place for much longer.

            • Larue says:

              My dear friend Tanbark, what a joy to see you again!

              Your last sentence sums it up for me.

              We’re too far and too fast careening out of control of even the 1%.

              It’s all just not sustainable, no matter the level of oppression that emerges on the masses.

              Somethings gotta give.

              Miss yer fonts, hoss . . . great to see ya again.

              *G*

        • Larue says:

          So, what do we progs do with our votes?

          I’m all ears hoss . . . I got no ideas anymore, vote wise.

          My ideas are far apart from the ballot box.

          Have been, for a long time now.

          But then, you know that . . . lol

    • Larue says:

      with 200,000 gallons a day of crude pouring into the gulf;

      Uh, hoss, word it’s been 25K BARRELS daily, since day one.

      And with the release of the video today from YESTERDAY, at the supposed source of the well head, it appears that there’s an equal amount or more of METHANE GAS leaking too.

      So, the update info is 42 million gallons of OIL, thru today, since day one.

      And NO ONE, NO ONE, has a clue about how much methane is leaking, or what it’s doing to the waters, or the air where it surfaces . . . but methane is poisonous to humans, mammals, and fishes.

      Ok, lemme retract that, NO ONE is reporting how much methane is leaking. But with 6 BILLION Barrels of oil under 5K ft of ocean, and then 30K of crust drilling, and another HALF that amount of methane gas (natural gas) reported to be in that Tiber Oil Field, this leak is gonna change life on this planet if they don’t stop it.

      You picking any? *G*

  19. bmull says:

    Marcy is probably correct that the withdrawal will be delayed, but David is right that this particular memo has nothing to do with that.

  20. Bluetoe2 says:

    Peter DeFazio of Oregon would make an excellent primary challenger to Mr. Bipartisan. He’s sees through O’s shtick.

    • tanbark says:

      ‘Toe; wasn’t DeFazio the one who wanted to bring up a bill to the house floor that would have stripped the health insurance industry of it’s exemption from anti-trust laws?

      Of course, in the event, Pelosi would have none of that, especially, since it’s highly likely that when the industry CEO’s had that June of 2009 meeting with Obama, when they told him what they wanted, and he gave it to them, that, the stripping of the anti-trust freebie, just like the Dorgan amendment, went into the wastebasket file.

  21. iremember54 says:

    Neither of these Wars is going to end anytime soon, and the American People fell for the same old same old again.

    Obama just like Bush forgets He was elected president of the United States, and thinks He has to be President of our wars and their Countries to show He’s a good Commander in Chief.

    I bust my ^$&*(% that these people care more for the people of those countries, supporting our Militaries Objectives, and find it easier to spend our money over there than here.

    We just flew the Karsi over here, put Him up in fine style, fed Him great, and made Him out to be a King, and all to make this Administration look good and feed the WAR policy.

  22. emptywheel says:

    FWIW, I think David’s cautions are well-considered.

    My biggest concern about this is NOT the May 22 extension, but the December deadline on things that include petroleum. I don’t see that that deadline is tied to the EOs, so it seems to be something Obama is raising himself.

  23. sporkovat says:

    That Iraq Withdrawal We Elected in 2008?

    You believed that, that the candidate you supported and worked to elect was really going to reverse the course set by Bush/Cheney?

    Not everyone fell for the hype, just as not everyone believed Bush/Cheney’s propaganda about Saddam’s WMD.

    supposedly, folks proven right should have their credibility enhanced, folks proven wrong should attempt to learn from their errors. But, if your tribe values things like blind loyalty over truth, and its members value loyalty to tribe over truth and independent evaluation thereof, instead your website would likely ban, moderate, and censor those who present you with inconvenient truths.

    how about these apples?

    If one is fond of venting against the stupidity,cost, and wrongness of the war in Iraq, what are you going to do if a neo-con (D) like Clinton or Obama gets in office and continues the war?

    Or worse, uses nuclear weapons against Iran?

    Dear (D) Party pragmatists and strategists, please do not nominate a neo-conservative candidate for pres or vice-pres.
    the magical invocation to always vote for the least worst might not work anymore, and a neo-con (D) candidate might lose to a more credible, less triangulated (R) version.

    And, if your candidate wins and continues the occupation and expands the aggression to neighboring countries, then we’ll see who was really anti-war, or just using it as a political wedge issue.

    from 2007.

  24. alank says:

    A Brief History of the Defence of Western Civilization in Vietnam

    * “I didn’t come back to Indochina to give Indochina back to the Indochinese.” [French General Jean Leclerc, September 1945]

    * “There is no question that the Communist menace in French Indochina has been stopped.” [American General J. Lawton Collins, Army Chief of Staff, 1951]

    * “I am also impressed by the French military plans, by the apparent Vietnamese determination to fight. I could not make any better plans than those already in existence.” [American General Mark Clark, February 1953]

    * “I’m going to kick General Giap’s teeth in, one by one!” [French Brigadier General Christian de Castries, April 1954]

    * “The French are going to win. It is a fight that is going to be finished with our help.” [American Admiral Arthur Radford, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1954]

    * “It is fashionable in some quarters to say that the problems in Southeast Asia are primarily political and economic. I do not agree. The essence of the problem in Vietnam is military.” [American General Earle K. Wheeler, November 1962]

    * “Every quantitative measure we have shows we’re winning the war.” [Robert McNamara, American Secretary of Defence, 1962]

    * “It’s the inherent right of the government to lie to save itself.” [Arthur D. Sylvester, American Assistant Secretary of Defense, 1962]

    * “The corner definitely has been turned towards victory in Vietnam.” [Arthur D. Sylvester, 1963]

    * “By Christmas it will be all over.” [American General Paul Harkins, April 1963]

    * “The Laotians are very interesting people. They don’t like to kill each other.” [Dean Rusk, American Secretary of State, September 1963]

    * “We are not about to send boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” [Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the USA, October 1964]

    * “Presently the military operations appear to be going better. There have been reports from a military point of view in recent weeks… We have also insisted on continuing the bombing as we did in the spring. The President made some very impressive speeches in that direction.” [J. William Fulbright, US Senator, October 1964]

    * “The Vietcong will just peter out.” [American General Maxwell Taylor, October 1965]

    * “The Vietcong are going to collapse within weeks. Not months, but weeks.” [Walt W. Rostow, American State Department policy planner, 1965]

    * “By the end of 1967, there might be light at the end of the tunnel and everybody will get the feeling that things are much better…” [Henry Cabot Lodge, US Ambassador to Saigon, December 1966]

    * “Vietnam is our greatest adventure, and a wonderful adventure it is!” [Hubert H. Humphrey, Vice President of the USA, November 1967]

    * “It can be said now that the defeat of the Communist forces in South Vietnam is inevitable. The only question is, how soon.” [Richard Nixon, 1967]

    * “I have never been more encouraged in my four years in Vietnam.” [American General William C. Westmoreland, November 1967]

    * “It looks very good. The other side is near collapse. In my opinion, victory is very near… I’ll show you the charts. The charts are very good.” [Walt W. Rostow, 1967]

    * “The enemy have been defeated at every turn.” [General William C. Westmoreland, 1968]

    * “Peace is at hand.” [Henry Kissinger, American Secretary of State, 1972]

    * “Hanoi has accepted near-total defeat… Anyone with practical common sense should be able to see…Hanoi’s acceptance of near-total defeat… The numerous American politicians and thinkers who endlessly said…we could never get an honourable settlement…look pretty silly.” [Joseph Alsop, American columnist, November 1972]

    * “The Swiss charter company Balair Monday confirmed that it refused to fly sixteen tons of gold, apparently belonging to President Nguyen Van Thieu and Cambodian President Lon Nol, out of Saigon to Switzerland.” [Los Angeles Times, April 1975]

    * “I am absolutely convinced if Congress made available US$722 million in military assistance by the time I asked—or sometime shortly thereafter—the South Vietnamese could stabilize the military situation in Vietnam today.” [Gerald Ford, President of the USA, April 16, 1975]

    * “South Vietnam surrenders unconditionally to the Viet Cong.” [Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1975]

    • Larue says:

      Yep, the US sucks in pre ’54 as Unkle Ho is hauling cannon on Hwy 1 (jungle muddy trails of inconceivable ups and downs to Dien Bien Phu).

      The cannon that lie on the ridges above the base, that decimated and destroyed the French.

      And from that lesson, one as great as the Elephants of Alexander, the USA failed to understand what they were up against.

      Nice list, hoss. I lived there, from ’53 thru ’62. In SE Asia, my ‘formative years’ so to speak.

      Ages 6 months to 9+.

      And as a teenager aged 13, began to hear the politics from my pops that drove it all.

      The smells, tastes, languages, cultures, clothes and more still linger in my mind.

      The politics dominate my being.

      Then, and now.

      *bows*

    • DWBartoo says:

      Quite a stroll down Memory Lane, alank.

      I don’t remember the date, but shortly after the Gulf of Tonkin “incident”, when Vietnamese “vessels” were said to have attacked an American warship (which was ALL bullshit, as we all have learned) Dean Rusk was asked, by a reporter who might have been a bit incredulous about the “event”, “Why would they (the Vietnamese) do that?” and Rusk replied, (I paraphrase, as I do not remember precisely) “I don’t know, they must think (about life and death) differently than we do.”

      That kind of says it all. Even though Rusk, and the M-I-C-C NEVER understood … even today. Maybe, the rest of the American people are beginning to?

      DW

  25. tanbark says:

    Sporkovat, that doesn’t work for me. We believed, with good reason then, that he was much better than McCain, who was clearly committed to continuing bush’s fuckups. The people who supported Obama and who were delighted with his and the dem’s big win, had good reason, based on Obama’s positions, that he would, at the least, fight the good fight, and we would win a lot of those fights, and in the process, define the republicans as being responsible for most of our problems, and for, unspinnably, being a bunch of obstructionist assholes.

    Obama hasn’t used the pulpit for that, a tenth of what he could have, but I’m not buying that he was obviously going to sell us out on so many of the things that needed to be done. That just won’t wash. His “centrism” came after the election, and it’s been a shock for most of the people who supported him.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, I cannot speak to anything above this necessarily, but trust me Obama is still light years better than having McCain and Palin in the White House. By several light years. Palin I only know from afar like everyone else, and she is a nightmare; McCain, however, I have the up close and personal on and, yes, he is that bad.

      • Hugh says:

        The main difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is how fast the boat we are on will sink, and even there we are talking about maybe the difference of one year at most. Still it would make for a great campaign slogan: “Vote Democrats! We will blow up the economy but we’ll take a year longer to do it!”

        • sporkovat says:

          well actually, according to Matt Taibbi, when he visited FDL:

          Yes, there is a difference. Wall Street has MORE influence under Democratic administrations.
          GS (Goldman Sachs) was Obama’s #1 private contributor. It gave 4 dollars to Democratic congressional candidates for every 1 to Republicans last year. This has been their history long-term. The Democrats very clearly bank their financial strategy on raising money from the financial services industry, and it’s been that way going back to at least 96, with the Rubin era when the Clinton Administration pushed for, and got, the repeal of the Glass-Steagal act, that had kept the banking system stable since the 1930’s.

          so actually, the unfettered control Wall Street has over Democratic Administrations and Congresscritters may accelerate the sinking of the ship, or decimation of the host by the parasites.

          • Larue says:

            Yer funny.

            Given the system failures we live in, you’d choose to argue the merits of one party against the other, here, at a prog site, despite the fact the system failure is part of our entire country top to bottom.

            Despite hundreds or more posts and comments from Firegods, you try to convey the Dem’s are more pawned than the R’s?

            And you do this, because you think ANYONE at FDL supports either party blindly?

            Yer so far gone, the universe has stretched and doubled in yer comments.

            Tell Rahm to find new talking points, and tell Rove Rahm’s fuckin up.

            ‘-)

      • Larue says:

        Yeah.

        Sadly, though?

        The differences are that Wasilly Gal and McPained would have us within 5 years or less of total human extinction.

        With Obama, we’re likely only 10-15 years from same.

        We bought some time.

        Wonder how it will be used . . . ;-)

    • Becca says:

      Tanbark thus spake:

      His “centrism” came after the election, and it’s been a shock for most of the people who supported him.

      True that, and many of us unrepentant progressive liberals supported Obama over his Democratic primary opponents precisely because he sounded more like a genuine capital “P” Progressive, the first in more than a generation, than the alternatives.

      He was going to end the wars and bring our troops home. Stop the secrecy, close the secret prisons, and not only end torture but hold those who did it and authorized it accountable. Abrogate unfettered Executive powers. He was going to hold big companies accountable, including the financial monsters that helped ruin our economy. Everyone was going to have access to healthcare and health insurance that was affordable — including a government-run plan, because that was the only way to keep the companies honest, but without a mandate because forcing people to buy private insurance was wrong. Not four or eight years from now, but right NOW. ENDA and hate crimes legislation were to be passed, DADT and DOMA repealed. Legislation to address global warming. More funding for scientific research, less for military hardware. No offshore or wilderness oil drilling, and finding ways to reduce our dependency on oil (not just so-called ‘foreign’ oil). And on and on…

      Anyway — yes, Obama’s in-practice ‘centerism’ (which usually equaled center-right implementation and legislation) and fetish for bipartisanship was a huge shock.

      • billtodd says:

        Hmmm.

        “He sounded more like a genuine capital “P” Progressive, the first in more than a generation, than the alternatives”? C’mon. Certainly not more (rather, far less) progressive-sounding than Kucinich, for starters. Or, if you demand an ‘electable’ candidate, certainly not more (and arguably noticeably less) progressive-sounding than Edwards, who was talking real populism from the start.

        Sure, Obama’s calculatedly non-specific RHETORIC was inspiring, but when you looked at his actual positions he was clearly a centrist (a real centrist, not the neoliberal corporatist mock-centrist that he’s shown himself to be for the past 16 months). He wanted to expand the military, for Christ’s sake: spending as much as the rest of the world combined just wasn’t sufficient for him – how progressive was THAT? He claimed he wanted to get us out of Iraq (Yay!), but only while reassuring us that he wanted to move those resources to the ‘good war’ in Afghanistan (surely you remember THAT). The rest of his policy positions were carbon-copies of Hillary’s (save for his professed opposition to mandated insurance purchases). And yes, there was considerable discussion about the establishment nature of so many of his advisory choices (though the fact that he would side-line the more progressive ones after taking office was not yet known).

        You didn’t need to be a Kucinich supporter, let alone an out-right socialist, to realize that Obama was no progressive: you just had to be paying attention. The most you could legitimately hope for was that he might BECOME more progressive if elected, based on those lofty but carefully vague slogans and speeches.

        Instead, of course, when he took off his super-hero mask 16 months ago we saw not the reincarnation of FDR but instead the bastard demonic offspring of Dick Cheney and Ronald Reagan. Now THAT was a legitimate shock to anyone who had expected (with some reason) that he’d stay true to his uninspiring centrist promises and thus prove at least a marked improvement over the status quo ante.

        The purpose of this response is not to beat you up: you were carried away by hope like so many millions of others were. The purpose is to highlight the fact that you let yourself get carried away by selectively ignoring some very public information that could have made you more circumspect had you been willing to think about it. This is the same thing that many self-professed progressives are STILL DOING TODAY about Obama and/or their hopes for the Democratic party in general, and thus it remains important to understand it and figure out how to open their eyes to it.

    • sporkovat says:

      That doesn’t fly. He was surrounding himself with DLC and neo-con advisers from the very beginning, he was vetted and backed by serious big-money players like Goldman-Sachs, and the clear pattern of Democratic Presidents has been to consolidate and entrench, sometimes (often?) expand upon Republican policies. See Clinton, Bill, otherwise known as “the Man from Hope“.

      willfull blindness to everything the authentic Left learned the hard way during Clintontime is not an excuse, I’m sorry. The kind of people who predicted Obama’s complete continuation and extension of Bush/Cheney’s policies were right, those who thought he would deliver Ponies were mistaken.

      The ‘Least-Worst’ thing vis-a-vis McCain/Palin or a Republican ticket of Dracula and the Creature from the Black Lagoon ain’t never gonna change, it is their Good-Cop, Bad-Cop shtick and we’re onto it now.

      • Larue says:

        First of all, I don’t recall a lot of those advocating that Obama was a continuation of BushCo. Not in the campaign.

        So, you need to get to that lil detail . . .

        Some, maybe, but not many . . . and few I recall at all here at FDL. And yes, I dismissed them as agents of provocation at the time.

        I was never that well informed, and others were not, regarding Obama’s campaign picks from DLC and neocon ranks. I don’t recall FDL having them discussions, much. But I have a bad short term memory.

        So, YOU may have been well ahead of the learning and knowledge based curve during the campaign.

        I was sucking up all the info I could find, sharing it with others who shared info with me.

        And all I recall is the Puma v. Obama debacle.

        I don’t know what voices of enlightenment you claim to claim regarding Obama being a corporatist from the ’08 Campaing, but I don’t recall hearing them.

        And hoss, I still hear voices from the SE Asian markets I was raised in, in the 50’s.

        So my memory ain’t THAT messed up . . . ;-)

        History, it’s who writes it and how one can use them writings to influence others.

        Me, I use my personal experiences. Sometimes I’m wrong, but that’s the nature of a personal lens and filter on the history . . . ;-)

        Sorry to disagree with ya on this . . . . I don’t recall any group think that had Obama pegged as solid as yer painting him, in the campaign.

        *G*

    • Larue says:

      May dawg bless ya hoss, for that one.

      Count me in as one of them, and now, horribly and desperately disgruntled with it all.

      And if ONE effin PUMA rises up and sez something, I’ll crap on their lawn.

      ;-)

  26. razorbrain says:

    FWIW: NBC Nightly News reported poll results today that showed 31% want a third party, and 83% don’t think the two-party system is working well.

    31% is a third of the pie, folks. If they only had something reasonable and decent to vote for.

    All those who have been debating the third party issue here recently, TAKE NOTICE!!!!!!

    • DWBartoo says:

      Your previous call, for “discussion” and consideration, is verified as prescient and proper, razorbrain.

      Carry on.

      DW

  27. Larue says:

    Obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

    I SO disagree with this.

    Sigh.

    Thanks Mz. Wheeler for the breaking update.

    Sigh. Time for civil disobedience, methinks, this line’s been drawn.

    Our government, our corporations, our leaders are hell bent on Total War, 24/7.

    I just can’t support that.

  28. Hugh says:

    Larue, I wrote a post a while back pointing out that if progressives could control 5% of the vote in swing or contested districts, we could determine the result. People think you need 50% plus one but that’s not true. 5% would mean we could tell a Democrat either you back us on our list of issues or we vote third party. If the Democrat waffles or fails to follow through we say screw them the next election cycle no matter what

    tanbark, I think the whole Democratic strategy for November is to hope that the Republicans are even more unpopular than they are. I don’t know if it will work but it could change the results from catastrophic to merely bad.

    • Larue says:

      Hugh, ok, thanks for the idea . . . and the reply.

      Given what we have to work with (FDL, basically, is it) do you see any way to IMPLEMENT your thoughts?

      I concur with your reply to Tan . . . from horrible, to just kinda bad.

      And still stuck with the same system that’s killing us, faster and faster.

      Sigh.

    • billtodd says:

      As I’ve been observing for a while now, if instead you’re willing to tell the Democrat “either you back us on our list of issues or we vote Republican” you only need half as many people to tip the result.

      I’ve voted third-party since 2002 when I had the chance, and otherwise left national ballot slots blank (since with one over-optimistic exception in 2006 no national Democrat had earned my vote). It felt good, but really didn’t accomplish anything. So now I’m willing to hold my nose and vote Republican if that’s what it takes to accomplish something, at least unless there’s a legitimately progressive candidate to vote for. And this still combines well with those who simply refuse to vote for an establishment Democrat (as I’ve been doing until now).

    • tanbark says:

      Hugh, I think you’re right about O. and the dems’ “plan”.

      The problem is, progressives aren’t the only ones who are getting nauseated at Mr. Centrist. Now that he’s outing himself as just another political hack, I think a lot of centrist voters (Nice to use the word without sarcastic quotes around it…) won’t be interested in a campaign slogan of:

      “Vote for us! We’re not as bad as the republicans!”

      Obama raised a lot of people’s hopes for the real changes that we so desperately need. Now that he’s shat upon those hopes, I think it’s going to cost him a bundle, politically speaking. And why shouldn’t it?

      Hi, Larue. Good to hear your voice. :o)

    • Larue says:

      Agreed, no need to detail WHERE he became one, but I’d readily suggest the day he took office and broke campaign oaths.

  29. annamissed says:

    I think what has happened is that the Petraeus overton window has – with the Iraqi election – just slammed shut. Everything Petraeus has done from his command in Mosul to the surge, has been nothing short of inventing holding actions that make it appear contentions have been resolved. The recent elections were, under the tacitly approved de-Baathificion regimen, were suppose to consolidate the disenfranchised Sunni vote into a single vote block for Allawi’s Iraqiya party, to the extent that it could overcome the Shiite parties fractionalism – and he could then form the nucleus of the new government something akin to the Bush appointed regime of 2004.

    This is of course not what happened. The Shiite parties of the INA have come together in a new Sadr/ISCI alliance that in real terms threatens to move the government toward the Iranian theocratic model of governance – they have even foisted upon Sistani the task of appointing a list of clerics and politicians to chose the new PM.

    This is not so much as losing the war, but of very self evidently allowing the (new) Iraqi government to slip entirely into Iran’s orbit, to the extent of actually embracing the structure and functions of Iran’s clerical run model.

    We should probably get used to the fact that Petreaus’ way of working things out always involves a self destruct mechanism.

  30. macaquerman says:

    maybe it wasn’t that you were too snide, but more like you simply misunderstood and jumped to an unwarranted conclusion.

  31. sluggahjells says:

    But, but, but, but, but, but, history will judge him as the greatest President ever!!!

    Centrism, our nation’s third fringe.

  32. Leen says:

    Obama “Obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Accordingly, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to this threat and maintain in force the measures taken to deal with that national emergency.”

    As if the people of Iraq were living in fucking caves before we illegally and immorally invaded their country. This is what our government wants Americans to think.

    This morning one of the host of C Spans Washington Journal (Greta) asked a Rep. Coffman if Iraq was a “success” What a dimwit. A “success” She did this with a smile on her face How insensitive how brutal. Maybe she could grow some chutzpah and ask how many Iraqi people have died, been injured and displaced as a direct result of our illegal invasion. No Greta ask is Iraq a “success”

    Our MSM including C Span will not touch the issue of the death and destruction in Iraq that has taken place in a serious way. Not Chris Matthews, Not Rachel, Keith, Ed, Dylan Ratigan…not C-span. Keep those Americans flipping through the reality shows with a little bit of reality thrown in by C-span.

    What did our military learn from the Vietnam war? Never NEVER show the pictures or real coverage of what is taking place in America’s illegal and immoral wars. DON’T SHOW THE PICTURES. Let Americans keep their collective heads up their asses about the death, torture and destruction happenning in their names…and then wonder why so many people hate us.

    Obama and Holder going along with the program by blocking those other Abu Gharib photos.

    My dear friend Peggy Gish is returning to Iraq with the Christian Peace Maker Team for 3 more months. She has been in Iraq close to four years of accumulative time since before the invasion. We get another side of the story via Peggy. A sad and horrific story

  33. tanbark says:

    Leen; good post.

    The bullshit was obscene coming out of Bush’s mouth, and it’s obscene coming out of Obama’s mouth.

    In fact, doubly so, with Obama, since he made substantial political capital out of the desire of most americans for us to leave, and now has gone back on it.

  34. Nell says:

    Not gonna happen.

    Who could possibly have foreseen this? I’m shocked and stunned.

    Not.

    Apparently, U.S. personnel will be there forever. When “we” start wars, they go on and on and on and on and on.

  35. BigJess says:

    Can we agree on one thing?

    Can we stop referring to Obama’s regime as centrist or center-right and agree that he’s a rat-fucking far rightwing corporatist conservative war hawk motherfucker?

    And CTuttle —

    That’s not a big embassy, it’s just your average size military base. No bigge, nothing to get excited about. Just same ol’, same ol’.

    • billtodd says:

      Yes (at least with the understanding that the ‘rat-fucking’, the ‘motherfucker’, and perhaps the ‘far’ constitute hyperbole rather than something to be taken literally).

  36. macaquerman says:

    still waiting for the update that says that the entire post was unsound.

    even the best blogger on FDL, which is how I regard Wheeler, can whiff . . . and shouldn’t shy away from admitting it.

Comments are closed.