How did we lose Iraq?

“ISIS came out of the terrible turmoil in Syria … I worried that terrorists would take and occupy territory, and that has come to pass, not only with ISIS but other Al-Qaeda affiliates and terrorist networks.” As I have written on many occasions in the past, when I left Al Anbar in 2008, it was reasonably peaceful with a chance for prosperity. Something happened between then and now make it into the deadly mess it became. The trouble in Syria is a leading cause and I agree with Hillary (whose quote that is, BTW) that our failed policy is Syria was a cause of the general trouble in the region today.

An article for reference is here, but you can also find it yourselves. I find her tone in the paragraph very disturbing. It is the poor workman who blames his tools.

I served at Al Asad, which is in the middle of Al Anbar and currently in the middle of the ISIS trouble. You can see that Al Asad is in the middle of nowhere. Our Regimental Combat Team was responsible for all of western Al Anbar, including cities like Haditha, Hit, Al Q aim, Rutbah and the border crossings into Syria and Jordan. I personally visited all these places and witnessed profound changes from when I arrived in September 2007 until I left in October 2008.

When I first got there, we traveled at night or in tightly controlled movements. You could feel the danger and there was lots of death and destruction. It was not until December of 2007 that security was good enough that I was allowed to walk around on foot patrol. But soon that became a regular habit. This is a market there As shops reopened, I would go in and buy food. I liked a local fruit drink called "Rani." You can see my picture at this link. The shopkeepers were friendly and happy to see us.

Now it is gone to hell. I am sure that many of the people I met were killed by ISIS. I know for sure about some of them. One I remember particularly was Sheik Lawrence. He was named after Lawrence of Arabia, since his ancestors had ridden with him. He had managed to protect his village, kept the war away from it. His people loved him and he genuinely was doing good. He wanted help for his city faced with drought. We could not help with rain, but my agricultural specialist helped make the sheep herds healthier. You can see his picture here.

Lawrence was assassinated a couple months ago.

We missed a chance. Al Asad was the perfect base. It was far enough from major cities that it could remain unnoticed, but it commanded the whole of Western Iraq and could interdict movement into Syria with little effort. When we left, it was like leaving Gibraltar. Some places are just strategically well placed.

What we do now, I don't know. I volunteered for Iraq because I thought we could make the future better than the past and I wanted to do my small part. Unfortunately, the work of thousands of us small guys means nothing when the big guys just mess it up.

I do not think we can easily "go back." We depended on the trust or at least the acceptance of the local population. Many of the people we befriended are probably dead or displaced. Others will never trust us again. When I did "tribal engagement" I told them what I thought was true. I told them that the U.S. was a reliable partner. Had that been true, the situation would be much different and much better today.

Nothing in history had to happen. All history is contingent. Yes, the Nazis could have won World War II and it would have seemed just as inevitable as the result we actually saw. Yes, Chines communism could have fallen in 1989 and Soviet communism could have survived. How different the world might have been, but historians would have been able to explain why this outcome was inevitable. The story reads better than it is lived.

I think the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a mistake. But with the surge we had redeemed the situation by 2008.

We had defeated and humiliated radical Islam on a battlefield of their choosing. We just needed to make sure the cure held. It is like taking anti-biotic. You cannot stop when the obvious symptoms go away. You need to continue the course of treatment until the pathogen is gone.

Posted by Christine & John at August 13, 2015 6:28 PM
Comments
Comment #397449

The Bush administration declared we were winning in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. They declared we were winning multiple times. But the truth is, we were never, ever going to win in Iraq because of one basic, fundamental problem: the Sunnis were unwilling to be ruled the Shias. The Shias, in turn, shut the Sunnis out of government.

It was baked into the cake when the Bush administration disbanded the Iraqi army. A democratic election did exactly what I expected at the time- it put the Shias in charge, the Sunnis rebelled, and the Kurds bolted. The Shia leaders were owned by the Iranians, by the way. Still are.

So until apologists acknowledge this, we will continue to see apologists attempt to rewrite what history.

Not even 150,000 troops kept there in perpetuity would have changed the outcome. We would have bled troops and money in perpetuity.

By the way, ISIS was formed by former members of Saddam Hussein’s military. The “King of Clubs” and an Air Force intelligence colonel fled Iraq in 2004 for Syria. They met al-Baghdadi, the religious leader. At first the groups did not trust each other, but eventually the former Iraqi military people and the religious fundamentalists worked together to form a team. That toxic mixture became ISIS.

Posted by: phx8 at August 14, 2015 11:10 AM
Comment #397450

All I know for certain is that Anbar province was peaceful and had the promise of prosperity in 2008. This I saw and experienced. I know that a small force based at Al-Asad could have dominated the region. Air power is very effective in the flat desert. Nothing could have moved over land to Syria w/o us knowing. It was so quiet that our Marines complained that they had not enough to do. I traveled freely anywhere from Ramadi to the borders of Syria & Jordan.

The RCT lost two troops from January 2008 until I left in October. I understand the tragedy of any loss and I felt one of them very personally. But the rate was essentially no higher than during routine training.

I have trouble even picturing how we could have gone from that good situation to what we have now in only a few years.

Posted by: C&J at August 14, 2015 11:26 AM
Comment #397451

phx8

BTW - I am surprised you disagree with Hillary, who you evidently consider much smarter than me.

Posted by: C&J at August 14, 2015 11:33 AM
Comment #397452

What is this strange fixation with Hillary’s intelligence? She graduated from Wellesley and Yale Law School. She has enjoyed a great career and raised a good kid, and she stayed married to her husband despite a very public difficult time. She is articulate, she rarely commits gaffes, and she has demonstrated an ability to run both a nationwide presidential campaign and the State Department.

She is liberal on social issues, but she is more hawkish on foreign policy than I like to see. While she is not perfect, there is not doubt in my mind she would be a good president.

Compare her with the competition. Last night Ben Carson stated “the number one cause of death for black people is abortion.” About PP, he said “One of the reasons you find most of their clinics in black neighborhoods is so that you can find ways to control that population.”

Compared to Trump, Carson, college drop-out Scott Walker, and others, Hillary does just fine, thank you.

Posted by: phx8 at August 14, 2015 1:34 PM
Comment #397453

Hillary is a fine and intelligent woman. I write that frequently. She went to fine schools and had a good childhood. She is not the super intelligent person some people think and she owes her current position to her husband.

Re Carson - he is probably a genius. He came from horrible background to great achievement. But despite his significant intelligence, I do not think he would make a great president.

The smartest presidents in our lifetimes were Nixon and Carter.

Posted by: C&J at August 14, 2015 2:01 PM
Comment #397454

“lead from behind”

Translation: First we must lose and then we can lead.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 14, 2015 2:13 PM
Comment #397455

C&J, thank you for your service in Iraq. From my understanding the biggest stumbling block to the US staying in Iraq was that the troops that stayed there would fall under the legal jurisdiction of Iraq and not be subject to USMCJ. Once that was determined it seemed to unravel any plans the US may have had of staying in country. Also, I thought that the surge had some elements of payments to Sunni trouble makers to keep them in line, I’m not sure. When those stopped and the money dried up it started to cause many problems. Not having had first hand experience in country it would help if you could expound on those points as to whether your personal experiences upholds those contentions or not. With all of the unrest in the whole region, has there ever been a chance of a peaceful existence for the people that live there?

Posted by: Speak4all at August 14, 2015 2:46 PM
Comment #397456

I don’t think anyone can become president without possessing above average intelligence. Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar and highly intelligent. Obama was chosen Editor for the Harvard Law Review, the most prestigious position a law student could achieve. Bush #41 was intelligent too. I’d rate Bush #43 at the bottom, along with Reagan, but I would still not go so far as to call them stupid.

Measuring or judging intelligence is a tricky thing. There are seven identified areas of intelligence, and different people bring different mixes and aptitudes to the table.

Carson has the kind of intelligence that makes him a great neurosurgeon. He has a big ego. That is common with doctors. At the same time, he lacks that internal governor, if you will, a combination of social awareness and philosophical rigor that fails to judge and put opinions in context, or follow them to their logical conclusion. It results in wild, off-the-wall statements, really nutty stuff. Who would go the extent of comparing Obamacare to slavery, or America under Obama to Nazi Germany? What would have to be wrong with a person to ever make those kinds of statements? Who would suggest PP exists to control the black population by murdering them as fetuses? That kind of over-the-rainbow stuff shows Carson is utterly unfit to be in politics in the first place, never mind polling second for the GOP presidential nomination. It is obvious. But that is what a big ego will allow a person to do, even when everyone can see they clearly should not do it.

Posted by: phx8 at August 14, 2015 2:46 PM
Comment #397457

Speaks

I think we could have negotiated that away. Nobody tried very hard, since our leadership wanted to get out.

We paid tribes to do various sorts of work. I paid for some myself. They often did not do the work as planned and it was in some ways a method to subsidize friends. But they were not mercenary in the sense that some people think. It sometimes takes money to get things done. It would take a longer explanation than I can do. Maybe it is like helping your kids get started in business or college when the kids are still unenthusiastic about doing it.

Re peaceful coexistence - I think it is possible. The place will never be really nice, at least not in our lifetimes, but it need not be violent as it is now.

This is what I thought in the last 1/3 of my tour. http://johnsonmatel.com/blog1/2008/06/were_gonna_do_what_they_said_c.html

phx8

Your point is good re different sorts of intelligence. Carson would not make a good leader. I agree. Neither would someone like Einstein. Intelligence is not fungible. Reagan and FDR were not “book smart” but they were good leaders. Nixon and Carter had higher IQs and both failed in their own ways.

Hillary lacks leadership skills. She is smart enough and has the temperament for a good lawyer.

Posted by: C&J at August 14, 2015 4:09 PM
Comment #397458

C&J, thanks. It never hurts to get information from boots that held ground. As I understood it, the withdrawal of our troops hinged on that contention that they would not be subjected to Iraqi laws and justice. Once the Iraqi’s would not agree to any amelioration of that requirement an agreement that our troops remained there degraded significantly and finally disappeared. I am uncertain if leadership can be blamed and if so it would have to be the leadership on both sides. Americans were war weary and didn’t seem to have the stomach to see our troops subjected to another countries laws. Iraqis were equally war weary but looked at our troops as an occupying force that needed to be gone or at least under there jurisdiction. Leaders follow the lead of their citizens requests. At that point any discussions about our troops staying there seem to take the tack that you presented in your blog “As often, however, we don’t fix the problem but try to fix the blame.” This didn’t improve the situation there from either Americans perspective or Iraqis since each side blamed the other.

I understand that these payments were not as mercenary payments but payments none the less. Your quote from the blog, “COIN Manual says that some of the best weapons do not shoot.” points out that the money seemed to be well spent at that time. However in your analogy of helping our children, while certainly applicable, seems to suggest that we did not carry through far enough with these payments perhaps? I know I try to help my children but expect results when I do. Were the results we obtained from the Sunni tribal leaders sufficient to keep making the payments or was is just time to cut bait?

I am uncertain anything we look back on with our 20/20 hindsight could be considered better than where we are today in relation to ISIL but there has to be something we might be able to say we learned without attempting to lay blame, don’t you think?

Posted by: Speak4all at August 14, 2015 4:51 PM
Comment #397459

C&J, your mind set is the problem here. Specifically I am saying you think like GWB and many others who look at the world as if it were a business and had to report a profit every quarter. ” I personally visited all these places and witnessed profound changes from when I arrived in September 2007 until I left in October 2008.” So the short term viewpoint tells us all is well on our watch.

“Now it is gone to hell.” Of course it has and you expected a different outcome in 2003 when we invaded Iraq and once again in 2008 when you thought all was well. Even now you underhandedly try to place the blame on Hillary/Obama for political gain in the short term. Not just you, of course, but most conservatives. You forget your team gave up on the neocon scheme as soon as the payoff, the no bid contracts and lost pallets of money used for bribes went missing or nuclear parts to Iran were sold, whatever the particular power broker wanted. Well maybe a bit later than that but not much. You guys left the military in Iraq at the whim of the Iraq government or be gone, that was the choice.

Meanwhile those we didn’t capture in Iraq, the military leaders and their allies sat back biding their time, not focused on the next quarter results, and when the time came started ISIS. Then are playing the long game, you are playing the short game for political gain and this is the results.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 14, 2015 8:20 PM
Comment #397462

Trump today on Jeb Bush and Iraq:

“The Iraq War is a disaster for the Bushes. The last thing we need is another Bush. Saddam Hussein, instead of him, you have ISIS, you have Iran taking over. You tell me, was it worth what we paid for?”

Posted by: phx8 at August 14, 2015 10:28 PM
Comment #397465

Speaks

The key to future success is trying to understand your mistakes and success of the past. It is hard to do this w/o laying some blame, but we should avoid it. One of the things I have learned is that you have to try to understand complexity, which means that small changes can have big outcomes and that it is often impossible to find true agency, i.e. someone to credit or blame.

Politics makes it difficult to properly analyze, since they want to blame or avoid it. History never stops. We read accounts that make it seems that it does, but it is really one continuum. That does not mean there are not important inflection points. Often, we cannot see them until looking back. We see them so clearly that we cannot believe that those at the time did not see them at all.

I think we lost a big change to make a generational change in Iraq. It need not be the shit hole it has been. Whether the U.S. could have or should have done it is hard to know. I don’t have any real solutions now. I simply mourn the lost opportunity and the terrible deaths of people I worked with.

j2t2

They are not the same leaders. They did not sit back and bide their time. ISIS came out of Syria. It overwhelmed Iraq. Absent the breakdown in Syria, it is unlikely ISIS would have infected Iraq. We might have held it to better progress.

Posted by: C&J at August 15, 2015 9:54 AM
Comment #397467

ISIS did not “overwhelm” Iraq. ISIS invaded with 1700 poorly armed soldiers. Rather than fight, some of the Iraqi Army deserted. Most of them joined ISIS and turned over all their American weapons. Overnight, ISIS went from 1700 poorly armed soldiers to tens of thousands of well-armed soldiers- most of them Iraqis. Ten billion dollars (or more) of training went to waster. Remember how Bush kept saying ‘when they stand up, we’ll stand down’?

In a nutshell, the Iraqi Sunnis, led by their tribal leaders and generals, betrayed the US. They turned on us because they resented the Iraqi Shias so much, and all of the weaponry we supplied and all of the training became a part of ISIS.

And we STILL have not come to terms with what happened or what is going to happen. Whether the winning organization is called ISIS or something else, at some point we’ll have to work with an independent Sunni state.

Posted by: phx8 at August 15, 2015 11:50 AM
Comment #397469

phx8

What I mean is that the pathogen came from outside. Absent the collapse in Syria, the situation in Western Iraq likely would have remained stable, if not happy. And our small footprint in Anbar could have prevented the situation in Syria from becoming so unstable, since we could have controlled and interdicted fighters and supplies moving from Iraq.

The Sunnis did not “turn on us” BTW. The whole situation went to hell. We are not the primary target. They are mostly targeting other Sunnis, hence the massive murder, rape and enslavement.

I don’t have personal experience of being terrorized, but I have had lots of contact with people in Eastern Europe and Iraq who have been. It is possible for a small number of truly evil guys to hold down very large populations using terror. Maybe 99 out of hundred are against the terrorists, but the first guy to raise his head gets it cut off, so nobody wants to be first. Beyond that, most of the 99 think that they are in the minority and they don’t know who to trust.

What the U.S. provided in our success in 2007-8 was a reliable partner, one you knew was not with the terrorists. Absent this, you have the mass confusion. You do not want to be the first to stand up, lest they cut you down. Nor do you want to be the last resisting, lest you are cut off.

ISIS is clearly not popular with ordinary Sunnis, or they would not have had to kill so many in such public and terrorizing ways.

Let me shift a little to popular will. I recall talking to lots of people in Poland who said that the visit by Pope John Paul II in 1979 is what finished communism. They said that before that time they thought they were minorities, that most people supported communism. When the Pope came, millions came to see him and they knew they were not along. Communist TV tried to limit the damage, showing small crowds of old people, but the masses knew the truth and the myth of communism died. Soon the system followed.

ISIS has created a myth of strength and terror. It needs to be broken before the movement can be eradicated. Our Marines were very good at breaking the myth of power of radical groups. I don’t know who will do the job now.

Posted by: C&J at August 15, 2015 1:20 PM
Comment #397470

Today Trump demanded Jeb Bush apologize for his recent comments on Iraq. For once, Trump may inadvertently do the GOP and conservatives a great deal of good.

When Jeb:-0 announced his candidacy I immediately ruled out his chances. Normally, the establishment GOP candidate raises the money, and that is usually good enough to win the nomination. Jeb:-/ raised huge sums from the Bush donor network as well as the Chamber of Commerce. But from the very beginning, this candidacy was delusional. No one was going to vote for another Bush, not after last time.

The weird thing is, Jeb:-( seems utterly unprepared to come to terms with Iraq. He acts surprised. What was he thinking? And what were his backers thinking? Just… delusional. And that’s just Iraq. No one has even bothered to ask about what happened to the economy under his brother and what Jeb:^( would do differently.

Trump will help conservatives and the GOP exorcise their demons. Over the past few days he simply says what everybody already knows. Of course, he says it with a lot more superlatives than everybody else. Anyway, Trump is forcing the conservatives and the GOP to come to terms with Iraq. He is forcing them to come to terms with a simple fact:

It was a terrible mistake.

Trump may finally put the Neocons back in their cages once and for all, at least in terms of Iraq. As to what foreign policy Trump actually favors, well, that’s a mystery. We’ll be strong! No one will mess with us! It will be the best foreign policy you’ve ever seen, I’m telling you!

Posted by: phx8 at August 15, 2015 2:39 PM
Comment #397471

phx8

Good that you find Trump so appealing. I do not.

Re the election - I prefer that it not be between the Bush and Clinton dynasties. I do not think that Bush will end up being the nominee. I used to think that Hillary was a lock, but the way she is stepping in the shit lately I am not so sure.

I think that Biden v Kasich would be a good race. It would guarantee a reasonable good result no matter who won. I also think it would be less likely that elicit the negative passions that we saw with Obama, that we see with Hillary and probably with Bush.

Posted by: C&J at August 15, 2015 3:54 PM
Comment #397473

Interesting article about how Hillary handled others who handled security.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/08/14/if-your-name-isnt-hillary-the-hammer-for-mishandling-secrets

Posted by: C&J at August 15, 2015 6:47 PM
Comment #397474

Oh, I don’t find Trump “appealing.” I literally laugh out loud when he delivers a speech. He’s funny. However, it’s probably a bad thing for American when a carnival barker and tv reality show star is more popular as a presidential candidate than people with political experience. He’s a nativist who appeals to the basest political element out there. But occasionally he will simply call it like it is.

Biden v Kasich would be a great race, but I still doubt Biden will run, and even if he did, I don’t think he could beat Hillary. He’s a good man. I would be fine with him as a Democratic nominee. As for Kasich… He’s a good candidate surrounded by too many weird ones. We’ll see.

Posted by: phx8 at August 15, 2015 6:59 PM
Comment #397476

phx8

Biden cannot beat Hillary. But Hillary might beat herself.

Posted by: C&J at August 16, 2015 8:46 AM
Comment #397477

Will Hillary beat herself? Doubt it. The fake scandal surrounding the e-mail server blew up Friday. There’s no indication of any wrongdoing, security breach, or misuse of classified information. There is no there there. Never was.

It is exactly this kind of fake scandal that brought conservatism and the GOP down to its current state. We have yet another conspiracy, a fake scandal, and a demand for inarticulate outrage while ignoring facts. It has happened again and again under Bill Clinton, Obama, and now with Hillary. Conservative columnist George Will recently wrote a column denouncing Trump for running a campaign free of facts. Yet conservatives and the GOP have been playing this game for a long time, whether it is Birtherism, Travelgate, the 50 or so articles of impeachment against Clinton that were dismissed by the prosecutor because of a lack of evidence, the so-called IRS scandal under Obama, calling Obama “lawless” and “unconstitutional,” and Benghazi!, insisting polls are “skewed” and the unemployment numbers are “fixed,” just to name a few. Global Warming denial might be the most extreme example of all. Nothing is too low or too vulgar.

Now Hillary is a virtual lock for the nomination. Meanwhile, pundits like Will declare the current GOP field of presidential candidates strong. They assure us the GOP supposedly has a ‘deep bench.’ Yet nothing could be farther from the truth, and reality is making that abundantly clear. Three vanity candidates are near the top of the polls- three people with no political experience. (Fiorina did run for the Senate in CA and, as Trump pointed out, lost in a “landslide). Ridiculous and absurd statements are routine for Trump, Carson, and now Fiorina with her latest expression of anti-vaccination sentiment.

Conservatives and the GOP have been playing this game for a long time, and now a $9 billion dollar chicken has come home to roost. The barbarians are at the gate. The peasants are storming the castle with pitchforks and torches. Frankenstein’s monster is loose, and no one can find the off switch.

Posted by: phx8 at August 16, 2015 11:30 AM
Comment #397479

phx8

Hillary may overcome, but it is not a fake scandal. She broke security procedure. It would cost a State employee his/her security clearance. The question is not whether or not she violated the rules. The only question is what she intended and if it is enough politically to sink her.

The question I would ask is if Hillary is above the rules that apply to all State employees and public officials.

Posted by: C&J at August 16, 2015 1:33 PM
Comment #397480

An interesting article about it being a mistake for Hillary to leave the Senate. Elected officials enjoy a much wider latitude when dealing with secret and confidential information and they have the right to have and use private emails. Had Hillary remained a Senator, she could have done most of the things she did w/o any risk of breaking laws.

When she became an employee of State Department, she surrendered the independent status she enjoyed as an elected official. We can understand how difficult it was for her to come down to the lowly level of a mere cabinet official, but she made the choice herself.

Hillary’s supporters think that she should be given a pass on this, since she was just between queen jobs. I think that all with security clearances should take their jobs seriously, even if it is only as a State Department employee.

Posted by: C&J at August 16, 2015 1:57 PM
Comment #397481

Forgot to put the link to the article. http://www.wsj.com/articles/mistake-of-a-lifetime-1439570067

Posted by: C&J at August 16, 2015 2:03 PM
Comment #397491

C&J, let’s just hope we don’t keep making the same mistakes in the Mid-East that has brought us our current dilemma. Supporting our Presidents diplomatic efforts in that region might provide an alternative but we know that is difficult for you and many others to accept.

It would seem that you have developed OCD where Hillary Clinton is concerned. On a post titled “How did we lose Iraq”, you have returned again to a critique of the former Senator and Secretary of State. You might consider some type of remedial therapy in that regard.

Just to re-iterate, I have seen no evidence on this blog, or any place else for that matter, of a call to give HRC a pass, gloss over her errors, or render her any special treatment. You seem to be part of the community here that insists that those things are happening when they clearly are not, given the latest developments. Let the investigation by the Intelligence Community proceed, let the Benghazi committee appearance happen and then using information garnered by those proceed with a decision of whether there should be any additional scrutiny made. I understand that you would like to convict HRC of some nefarious plot but please use your rationality and pursuit of the truth to guide you rather than any outlandish accusations that might help fuel your need for this immediate justice you seem wont to foment.

Former Republican President Eisenhower, who had much experience in the value of a strong military and the need for war had this to say regarding that:

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

We never won Iraq so how could we lose Iraq?

Posted by: Speak4all at August 17, 2015 11:46 AM
Comment #397493

Speak,
Iraq is a terrible issue for conservatives to discuss as the political season gins up. It just reminds everyone of Bush and how bad everything was back then. Jeb$ keeps opening his mouth about Iraq and then watches his polling numbers fall even further. In the latest poll, Jeb:-( is behind both Trump (25%) and Ben Carson (12%). Senator Cruz is third (10%) and now Bush has fallen to fourth (9%).

So, as many conservative columnists and talking heads have already noted, the GOP presidential campaign has turned into a horror show. The candidates can’t talk about Iraq without tanking Jeb:-o and others. They can’t talk about immigration without alienating Hispanics- although at this point, I’d say that horse left the barn a long time ago- and they can’t talk about woman’s health issues without further alienating women. Not that it stops them. Walker just came out saying Trump is right, and there needs to be a wall. Like Trump, Walker becomes very vague about how much a wall would cost. More of the usual incoherent nativism.

When channel surfing past FOX News, anyone can see three stories dominate the coverage: 1) The fake e-mail scandal, 2) Someone supposedly about to declare their candidacy and give Hillary a run for her money, and 3) talk about the 2016 GOP field, while strenuously avoiding the controversies and embarrassments that have now become part of the daily routine.

Posted by: phx8 at August 17, 2015 1:04 PM
Comment #397494

Btw, the media- especially FOX- is desperate for HRC to make herself available to them. Hillary is doing the right thing by keeping a low profile. There is absolutely no need to distract the media from conservatism’s circular firing squad. The more attention that focuses on Iraq, Immigration, Women’s health issues, Trump, Carson, Walker, and others, the better it is for Hillary and the easier it will be for her to win.

Posted by: phx8 at August 17, 2015 1:15 PM
Comment #397495

phx8, agreed. The conservative candidates for this election cycle are doing enough damage to themselves and each other without any assistance.

Heard Trump saying last weekend that the 11 million illegal immigrants and their families must go back to Mexico. This figure might be over 20 million. I know Trump has the money to build a bus big enough to take 20 million people back to Mexico but that might present a problem for the US highway system. The rear wheels of that long bus would be in Canada with the front bumper just touching the Mexican border. The incoherent disconnect necessary to maintain this idea is inconceivable except to the really, really stupid. No one who supports this can explain the logistics of moving 20 million people to another country, not one.

Posted by: Speak4all at August 17, 2015 2:16 PM
Comment #397496

OK, maybe one big bus is being a bit facetious but the alternative would be over 365,000 55 passenger buses. I don’t think there are currently that many buses available in all of these United States but I haven’t any metrics to support that. The disconnect of thought to even attempt to approach how to do that would be laughable if were not such a serious comment on the rationality of people who espouse that action.

Posted by: Speak4all at August 17, 2015 2:23 PM
Comment #397497

Trump makes things up as he goes along. He also ignore the fact that about 40% of illegal immigrants are simply students and working people who overstayed their visas. They are educated. They are employed. Why anyone would even consider deporting educated and employed people who want to be Americans boggles the mind. Obviously our laws are messed up, and the best way to fix that is through amnesty.

Posted by: phx8 at August 17, 2015 3:04 PM
Comment #397498

I do not want to criticize Trump. Anything I type might convince some one that they should rethink their support for him. I have no problem with either him becoming the Republican candidate for President or starting a third party run for that office. And I have the added benefit of hearing and reading about what he would do:

Send all of ‘em back and make Mexico pay for that and pay for building a yuge wall, I mean really, really yuge wall.

We should just take all of Iran’s oil profits away from them, all of them.

I will get the Latino vote.

I will get the women’s vote.

The blacks like me, I’m good to them.

Yikes, just yikes.

Posted by: Speak4all at August 17, 2015 3:31 PM
Comment #397499

Speak,
Really, Trump is just incredible. In order to stop ISIS he advocates going into Iraq with American troops and taking over the oil fields, in order to deny ISIS money. The US would then keep that money to pay our wounded soldiers and their families.

Typical Trump. It’s not even really a policy or even an idea. It’s just a fantasy. First of all, Iraq does not belong to us. It never did. No one invited us to invade that country. We invaded with military force and then we stayed in their country. In 2011 the Iraqis refused to let us stay any longer, per an earlier agreement reached by Bush. The Iraqis refused to let us stay because we wanted immunity for the occupying American soldiers. We wanted our soldiers to be above their law. They said ‘no.’ And so, the Iraqis gave us the boot and we went along with it.

As for those 4,400 American soldiers who were killed and their suffering families, and the 32,000 wounded, they have no one to blame but conservatives and Bush and the supporters of that war. Same goes for over $600 billion in up-front costs and the $2 trillion in follow-on ones. The Iraqis do not owe us the proceeds from their oil wells.

Posted by: phx8 at August 17, 2015 4:05 PM
Comment #397500

Trump is an A** granted, but Democrats front runner ??????????????

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at August 17, 2015 4:26 PM
Comment #397501

Quite frankly, the idea of proposing to actually round up millions of undocumented aliens and sending them back to Mexico is disturbing. What a picture for the world to see. Enormous sweeps by federal agents across the US. Huge detention and processing centers. Trainloads of families being deported. Remind you of anything?

I don’t believe for a New York minute, however, that Trump is actually serious about his proposals and assertions on immigration or anything else. He couldn’t be that stupid.

On the other hand, if he is serious, then we have a genuine megalomaniac running for national office.


Posted by: Rich at August 17, 2015 5:02 PM
Comment #397502

This is Trump’s last chance to run as President, he is 69 years old. Of course it is his first run too. I believe he has considered a run before but he knew that the time wasn’t right then. This election is different for him, it is now or never again due to his age. Plus his obvious marketing skills has allowed him to recognize and tap into the angry torches and pitchforks mob that the conservatives and Republicans has turned into. And as a true businessman he will keep this up until it starts hitting his bottom line. He has not had to pay for any advertising because he knows what to say to garner the headlines for the free PR that he gets. He’ll keep this up until it becomes cost prohibitive (he has to buy advertising) and at that point he will garner a sweet book deal and ride off into the sunset.

Any Democrat would be able to beat him but he doesn’t care about that because even if he does get the candidacy and gets beaten, he still has that really sweet book deal.

Posted by: Speak4all at August 17, 2015 5:31 PM
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