Paris Attack News – “You killed our brothers in Syria”

Here’re a few news reports:

* Paris Attacker And Gunman Identified As Omar Ismail Mostefai

* “You killed our brothers in Syria”

* Homage to Paris victims

I noticed the usual Russian disinformation warriors are out in force blaming this on the United States, claiming that ISIS was trained and supplied by the USA/CIA, or they are tools of Israel and the USA, etc. Odd how PenGun always mimics the same talking points. Maybe not.

There’s also a strong NotAllMuslims presence.


* Usa Today Editorial: The nature of this war: Our view
“It is a war of modernity against medievalism, of civilization against barbarity.”

* ‘Massive’ French airstrikes hit Islamic State


49 thoughts on “Paris Attack News – “You killed our brothers in Syria””

  1. Obama should send Janet Yellen to Syria. Yellen should walk out on to the sand outside Allepo and draw a circle in the sand and step into the circle. Yellen should announce that she has created 1 trillion US dollars which she will give to refugees who return to Syria to rebuild their homes and live in peace. She will state that anyone who breaks the peace of President Obama will be executed. She will remain in the circle until Syria is rebuilt and 1000 years of peace have begun. Terrorists will drop dead from fear of Obama.

    Everyone will know that Yellen speaks for the most powerful nation that ever existed. Everyone fears the USA and everyone cooperates.

  2. ‘Massive’ French airstrikes hit Islamic State

    I don’t think those words mean what the author thinks they mean. 10 planes. 20 bombs total.

    It was a strike, but far from massive. If it happens on a regular basis, maybe the French are serious. It does not happen, then this is to calm the citizens of the EU so that the invasion by Muslims can proceed.

    Another word that is bandied around by both the French government and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham [ISIS] is “war”. ISIS openly claims the attacks. Either ISIS is a nation-state [and it has the attributes] or it is not. If it is, it is a sovereign nation-state that has openly declared war by a deliberate attack on another sovereign state. Further, the means were outside the Geneva and Hague Conventions in that the attackers were not in the uniform of the sponsoring state. France has every right to use every means to totally destroy ISIS. Declaring war on a state with its own nuclear weapons should have certain consequences. The city of Raqqa is as much a capitol as Paris, and a wartime capital is subject to attack. A dozen kilotons would end ISIS and probably induce caution in similar groups who have ambitions to attack the West.

    If ISIS is NOT a sovereign state, then by the attacks on its neighbors and on Paris it falls into the category Hostis humani generis under international law. “enemy of all mankind” The same as nests of pirates and slavers. And a free-fire zone. And liable to receive far more than 20 conventional bombs [which works out to one bomb for about every 6.5 victims killed and 15 wounded in Paris].

    That which is either subsidized, or not penalized will increase. That which is penalized sufficiently will decrease.

  3. We had to kill 15 million Germans to make them give up their militaristic culture. It staggers me that people believe we can knock off a man here and there and win a war of civilizations. When I see governments talking about those kinds of numbers again, I’ll know we’re serious. Until then, it’s slow motion defeat.

  4. I was impressed by the words and tone used by the USA Today editorial. That’s the first mainstream newspaper I’ve seen talking in those terms. The Forbes article linked by Glenn on the likely fallout from these attacks is also good.

    That 20 bombs from 10 airplanes may have been one sortie for that wing. At two per aircraft, that sounds like 1 or 2,000 lb weapons.

  5. By the way, we finally attacked an oil truck convoy, the first time Obama was willing to approve something that might help. Guess what airplane shot up 116 trucks ?

    According to an initial assessment, 116 trucks were destroyed in the attack, which took place near Deir al-Zour, an area in eastern Syria that is controlled by the Islamic State.

    The airstrikes were carried out by four A-10 attack planes and two AC-130 gunships based in Turkey.

    The closing of the borders of Europe will probably destabilize Turkey. That will have huge consequences.

  6. Two members of my family went on holiday to Turkey recently, on the principle of “see it before it vanishes”. Mind you, we went to Venice on that principle nearly forty years ago, and the only vanishing it’s done is vanishing under a flood of tourists.

  7. This was from last month and explains some things about our new campaign (I use the term lightly) targeting ISIS oil:

    Inside Isis Inc: The journey of a barrel of oil

    Isis markets

    There are larger Isis-controlled markets in towns like Manbij or al-Bab in Aleppo’s eastern countryside. Traders here must present a document proving they have paid zakat, a tithe, to buy oil without tax.

    In Isis-controlled Iraqi cities like Mosul, the fuel is sold at mini “petrol stations” with two pumps. They are ubiquitous on Mosul street corners and locals usually name the oil according to the part of Syria it came from.

    Two types of fuel are sold in rebel-held Syria: pricier fuel refined in Isis areas, and cheaper locally refined fuel. Residents typically buy a mix of both, and use the cheaper variety for generators and keep better quality variety for their vehicles.

    The importance of Isis oil to those living in rebel-held areas of Syria is one reason why the US-led coalition has been reluctant to target the group’s trade routes. The coalition says it is wary of alienating local populations by bombing fuel now critical for their daily lives.

    This is important because just in the past few weeks, the Syrian army, Hezbollah, and the Russian Air Force have taken control of the eastern countryside of Aleppo:

    Kuweires is one of the largest airports in Syria and includes an air academy. It is 25 miles east of Aleppo and is surrounded by a natural water canal on three sides. Controlling Kuweires is an important step toward controlling three villages to the east: Manbij, al-Bab and Jarabulus, Bazzi said. Those towns are important to IS because they are along the Turkish border — meaning they can provide a main crossing place “for all radical militants in the world who come from the Turkish Gaziantep city and enter the Aleppo countryside to reach the IS caliphate capital in Raqqa. The control of Kuweires air base is expected to block the Raqqa-Aleppo road later,” he said

    This means Assad is now in control of the territory that ISIS oil transits through to Aleppo.

    The oil to rebel-held areas southeast of Aleppo is also falling under regime control

    After Kuweires, the Syrian army gained control of Hader on Nov. 12, as Bazzi had expected. He also expects the fall of two other nearby towns, Zerbeh and al-Eis.

    Taking over Hader gives the Syrian army control of a facility run by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas. Also, now the army can tighten its grip on the Aleppo-Damascus road so it can prepare to enter the northern and eastern Idlib countrysides to get closer to the strategic city of Saraqib.

    The oil that flows east to Mosul is now in trouble also. The Kurds just took over Sinjar, which creates a big speedbump for trucks into Mosul. The other route through the Iraq desert isn’t secure anymore because Iraq security forces/Shia militias control Tikrit and now most of the northern leg of the ‘Sunni Triangle’.

    This all adds up to this: the trucks we’re bombing are sitting there because they don’t have anywhere to go. The Kurds and the Russians have made life a lot easier for Obama. His official position was ordering an operation to “degrade and destroy” Arab terrorists, but in reality he would never fight them if it means cutting off fuel to Arab civilians or otherwise making them uncomfortable.

    Now that those civilians aren’t getting ISIS oil anymore, Obama is free to bomb the trucks. As long as the drivers park them properly and safely exit the cabs, that is.

  8. Grurray,

    A question about your approach to the post-war.

    Under an earlier post, you admired the recent French counter-terrorist intervention in Africa because the French apparently didn’t share the “ideology” of American intervention that you claimed caused the “mission creep” of “nation building and social work” in Iraq.

    I corrected you that the nation-building aspect of the Iraq intervention stemmed from the “original programming” of UNSCR 688 (1991) and related law and policy, not mission creep in 2003.

    Be that as it may, more significantly, neither contrasting ideologies of intervention nor the original programming of a ceasefire is the fundamental difference between the French Malian intervention of 2013 and the American Iraqi intervention of 2003.

    The fundamental difference is the French Malian intervention was conducted by official request of the interim Malian government in order to combat Islamic militants. The French intervention was in cooperation with the Malian government, not against the Malian government.

    Apples to apples: when we conduct similar counter-terrorist interventions while cooperating with another nation, we (obviously) don’t conduct Iraq-type “nation building and social work”, either. Those aren’t regime changes.

    The Iraq and Afghanistan interventions were regime changes. While both interventions contained prominent counter-terrorism components, the enemy included the government. The Taliban was allied with al Qaeda and Saddam’s regime was a global terrorist leader that rivaled and overlapped al Qaeda. Thus, defeating the enemy required regime change. When we win by combat, it’s the same process as conquest, which means we’re occupiers and the foreseeable fate of the nation is in our hands, regardless of whether we intend long-term ownership.

    That means nation-building is necessary, not just an ideology, in the post-war.

    You’re evidently opposed to nation-building in principle. Yet the needs of the mission don’t end when we run up our flag on the opponent’s capitol.

    Our Libya intervention shows that deposing a regime but then eschewing nation-building is a poor alternative.

    So, if you’re opposed to the post-WW2 American “ideology” of peace operations, what’s your approach to the post-war following a regime change like Iraq that’s unlike a cooperative intervention like Mali?

  9. “Two members of my family went on holiday to Turkey recently,”

    I was there ten years ago and found the people we met, most of whom in the tourist business but also Army officers in Scutari Barracks, very friendly and very supportive of Attaturk and his secular tradition. I wonder how much Erdogan has changed this. We did go to mosques, including the Blue Mosque where angry looking young man watched to be sure the females covered their heads and we all took off our shoes. I can visualize them as ISIS volunteers.

  10. To Eric – The idea of “Libya” as a nation is nonsense. There are no such people as “Libyans”. The geographical area called “Libya” contains many different tribes and clans. To the extent that it is ever under a unitary rule it will be the rule of a despot whose devotion to “human rights” will be about the same as that of Assad, Hussein or for that matter whatever son-of-a-bitch is currently in charge in Saudi Arabia.

    The neocon’s delusions about “nation-building” in the Middle East have had catastrophic consequences. Please try to get a grip on realty.

  11. Oh my, mentioned in dispatches. I do not get my information from the people who control your government. Your corporate overlords control the news, in most of the western world.

    Knowing this I do not believe anyone. I can pick from the massive data streams the internet provides and draw conclusions as to the truth. Even a steady stream of lies can provide truth if analyzed carefully.

    I can do almost nothing about what is going on, but I do care to know.

  12. The French have a successul tradition of hegemony over their former African colonies. Another key distinction is, as Jim says, many countries are post-colonial Western creations, but Mali has been a real nation for thousands of years, which gives it a certain unifying momentum.

    The difference here is the French aren’t nation building. They’re tending the garden.

  13. I repeat that the effort in Iraq was worthwhile to see if an Arab country, such as they are, can rule themselves without tyrants.

    Iraq had the best opportunity, as well as the Palestinians who have the model of Israel next door but who are insane.

    We had very poor intelligence from inside Iraq but Jay Garner had done quite well with the Kurds who have built a reasonable state despite constant pressure from outside.

    Bremer was, in my opinion, the problem as he decided to rule as a viceroy rather than turn things over to the exiles as I believe Rumsfeld and Tommy Franks wanted to do.

    The proximate reason why we invaded Iraq was Saddam’s misbehavior which had destabilized the middle east.

    On the other side is Bush Derangement Syndrome and fantasies by leftists who cannot accept that there are people who want to kill us because they don’t like us.

    Bush’s big mistake was to trust Bremer and that seems to be a weakness of Bush. He is not the best judge of men.

  14. Jim,

    You missed the point of my question to Grurray.

    I’m asking about his approach to managing the post-war in a regime change, given that he rejects post-WW2 American-style peace operations in principle.

    A government has responsibility for all within a defined geographic space, whatever the composition of the “many different tribes and clans” within it.

    Therefore, when our enemy is not the government, eg, the French Malian intervention that Grurray admired, then the post-war is not our responsibility. It’s the responsibility of the government, although we may assist the government in the post-war. In that case, the question of post-WW2 American-style nation-building, such as our peace operations with post-Saddam Iraq, is moot.

    But when our enemy is the government, once we’ve conquered the government, such as Saddam’s regime, then we assume the government’s responsibility for all within the defined geographic space.

    In the old days of empire, the post-war responsibility in a regime change was managed as a typical conquest. But the current US is not an empire. We are (or perhaps were) a hegemon that upholds a world order. We want the victory in order to uphold a world order, but we don’t want the conquest.

    Nonetheless, when we hold the post-war responsibility for a nation such as post-Saddam Iraq, the question for Grurray – and to you, if you’ll answer it – is his approach to managing the post-war if he rejects post-WW2 American-style peace operations in principle.

  15. Grurray,

    You’re comparing apples to oranges.

    Again, the fundamental difference is whether the intervention is a regime change. Not every American intervention is a regime change, either.

    The question of an Iraq-type nation building didn’t arise in the French Malian intervention because it wasn’t a regime change. The French provided counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency assistance that was requested by the Malian government.

    The question is your approach to the post-war in an intervention that is a regime change such as the Iraq and Afghanistan interventions.

  16. Mike K,

    I’ll take your answer as you agree with our post-WW2 American-style peace-operations approach to the post-war in the Iraq intervention. But you’re critical of the nuts and bolts of how we prosecuted the approach.

  17. ‘Massive’ French airstrikes hit Islamic State

    “Massive” must mean something different than the dictionary and I think it means. Let me know when it reaches 1,000 sorties.

  18. Mind you, we went to Venice on that principle nearly forty years ago

    Global warming is less reliable and predictable than jihadis.

  19. Even a steady stream of lies can provide truth if analyzed carefully

    As a long-time student of Soviet and East European history, I never saw anything of sort. Soviet lies in -> garbage out.

  20. If we had not invaded Iraq ISIS would not exist. Getting rid of Saddam opened the Gates of Hell in Iraq. Getting rid of Gaddafi opened the Gates of Hell in Libya. If we succeed in getting rid of Assad the Gates of Hell will open there.

  21. Getting rid of Saddam opened the Gates of Hell in Iraq.

    We gave the Iraqis a shot at running a free and democratic country at much cost in blood and treasure to the USA and our European, Canadian and Australian allies. The gates of hell were opened islamists and their allies. The Iraqi army turned and fled in the face it. This hell lies at their feet, not ours. Try to keep you causes and effects straight.

  22. Michael Hiteshew – If we had not invaded Iraq ISIS would not exist and Iran would have much less power. Getting rid of Saddam and installing a Shiite government in Baghdad which is now basically an Iranian satellite was remarkably stupid.

  23. Eric, whether or not Arabs are really capable of modern, civilized statehood (I believe they are not), our country is too ideologically fragile for post-regime change imperial actions, and the evidence is seen in our recent elections. You’ve pointed out that we had legal justification, strategy, and policies in place, but it was all quickly undermined when we elected Obama. He cares more about protecting Arabs than American citizens, and he was elected twice.

    Long term occupation of Germany and Japan was sustained after WWII because we were in a global cold war against the Soviet existential threat. Absent such a clear and present danger, a significant segment of our domestic political system is a perpetual threat to any American military action.

    Aside from maybe 400 or 500 good years when Europe was in the Dark Ages, Sunni Arabs in that part of the world have only known subjugation from surrounding imperial powers. I suppose that may be a good starting point.

  24. If we had not invaded Iraq ISIS would not exist

    ISIS is a newer version of Al Qaeda. Same bloodthirsty islamic barbarians, maybe more sadistic, but that’s debatable. They existed prior to our overthrowing Saddam. We can track them all the way back to the resistance that grew out of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. If we can say someone uncorked that bottle, it was the USSR.

  25. I am very impressed with these brilliant scholars who can foretell the future.

    I hope you won’t be too offended that I take another’s opinion on the matter.

    “Ajami draws on a variety of contemporary texts, mostly unknown or inaccessible to Western authors…. The result, based on six extended visits to Iraq and a lifetime of travel and experience, is the best and most idiosyncratic recent treatment of the American presence there. A series of firsthand portraits, often brilliantly subtle, of some fascinating players in contemporary Iraq.” — Victor Davis Hanson, Commentary

    “The Foreigner’s Gift stands in the tradition of Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul…. A wide-ranging, brilliant investigation of Iraq and the Arab world since the ouster of Saddam Hussein. Elegantly, Ajami interweaves history, literature, philosophy, politics, and religion with a sensitive grasp of politics in Iraq and the United States. A masterpiece.” — Josef Joffe, Publisher-editor of Die Zeit

    “Few have the requisite ability and courage to accurately diagnose the Arab world’s myriad political maladies…. Fouad Ajami, who has performed the task admirably on more than one occasion, does not disappoint with The Foreigner’s Gift.” — Rayyan al-Sharaf, San Francisco Chronicle

    I’m sure you know better, though.

    You might also consider reading Emma Sky’s book about what happened when she was there.

    Of course, your extensive experience in country and with Arab culture is superior.

  26. To Gruray – One reason for the lack of consistent political support for your preferred policy of involvement in the internal conflicts of the Middle East is that average Americans have trouble understanding why they should care who rules over some Middle Eastern hellhole on the other side of the globe, places that few Americans could find on a globe or have ever even heard of. The difficulty in expalining to them why such a policy makes sense it that this policy doesn’t make any sense.

    The average Japanese guy doesn’t give a flying fuck who controls Jerusalem or for that matter who controlss Donetsk. In the case of Jaqpan the ruling elite views are in harmony with those of the general Japanese population.

  27. “France has been a real nation for at most a few hundred years.” True, but what on earth has that to do with the thousands-of-years Reich that is apparently Mali?

  28. The average Japanese guy doesn’t give a flying fuck who controls Jerusalem

    Japan hasn’t been a major target of Islamist terrorism.

    Yet Japan is rearming in response to China.

    The Japanese are responding rationally to incentives, as do we when we have competent leaders. The USA was the target of Islamist terrorism culminating in the 9/11 attacks. The USA and Europe are still the target of Islamist attacks. These attacks have accelerated as we have disengaged from the Middle East. The Islamists continue to seek WMD. Most reasonable people can see where this is headed if we continue on our current course.

  29. Michael Hiteshew:
    “ISIS is a newer version of Al Qaeda. … They existed prior to our overthrowing Saddam.”

    Recall, too, that Saddam’s regime was a global terrorist leader rivaling and overlapping al Qaeda (in breach of UNSCR 687) and ruled Iraq by terror (in breach of UNSCR 688).

    From the Iraqi Perspectives Project, 2007:

    Captured Iraqi documents have uncovered evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism, including a variety of revolutionary, liberation, nationalist, and Islamic terrorist organizations. … evidence shows that Saddam�s use of terrorist tactics and his support for terrorist groups remained strong up until the collapse of the regime.

    From the UN Commission on Human Rights, 2002:

    The [United Nations] Commission on Human Rights … Recalling: … [UNSCR] 688 (1991) of 5 April 1991, in which the Council demanded an end to repression of the Iraqi civilian population and insisted that Iraq cooperate with humanitarian organizations and that the human rights of all Iraqi citizens be respected … Strongly condemns: (a) The systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law by the Government of Iraq, resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression sustained by broad-based discrimination and widespread terror.

    * I just posted this comment with links, but it disappeared, so this is take-2 sans links.

  30. Grurray,

    You haven’t answered the question, although you perhaps provided a premise to support an unstated answer.

    In one of my principal posts on OIF, I quote Paul Wolfowitz:

    We went to war in both places because we saw those regimes as a threat to the United States. Once they were overthrown, what else were we going to do? No one argues that we should have imposed a dictatorship in Afghanistan having liberated the country. Similarly, we weren’t about to impose a dictatorship in Iraq having liberated the country.

    He’s responding to people who criticize the post-war peace operations out of context of the war.

    Albeit the grounds for OIF included humanitarian grounds per Saddam’s breach of UNSCR 688 in the larger body of Iraq’s material breach of the Gulf War ceasefire, the casus belli for OIF was not nation-building. Nevertheless, an obvious result of victory was the assumption of the government’s responsibility for all within the defined geographic space of Iraq. After all, unlike Mali with France, the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan did not request our assistance to combat Saddam’s regime and the Taliban.

    Include the domestic political factors you stated. You still haven’t answered the question: What’s your approach to the post-war for an intervention with a regime change? So far, I’m realizing that you don’t have a better alternative to go with your disagreement with post-WW2 American-style peace operations.

  31. Jim:
    “Getting rid of Saddam opened the Gates of Hell in Iraq.”

    See the explanation of the law and policy, fact basis of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Excerpt:

    To wit, in May 2011, President Obama marked Iraq’s “promise of a multiethnic, multisectarian democracy … poised to play a key role in the region if it continues its peaceful progress”:

    Indeed, one of the broader lessons to be drawn from this period is that sectarian divides need not lead to conflict. In Iraq, we see the promise of a multiethnic, multisectarian democracy. The Iraqi people have rejected the perils of political violence in favor of a democratic process, even as they’ve taken full responsibility for their own security. Of course, like all new democracies, they will face setbacks. But Iraq is poised to play a key role in the region if it continues its peaceful progress. And as they do, we will be proud to stand with them as a steadfast partner.

    President Bush was right to enforce the Gulf War ceasefire and then stay in Iraq to secure the peace the same way the US stayed to secure the peace in Europe and Asia after World War 2. When Bush left office, the Iraq mission was a success.

    President Obama was wrong to disengage from Iraq prematurely. America’s protection was needed for the continued progression of Iraq’s pluralistic liberal reform and constructive role in the Middle East and the welfare of the Iraqi people. Instead, the feared danger of Obama’s feckless ‘lead from behind’ approach to the Arab Spring and irresponsible exit from Iraq is being realized.

  32. “As a long-time student of Soviet and East European history, I never saw anything of sort. Soviet lies in -> garbage out.”

    Ummm, I’m talking about the present. The news across all of what we know as the west, is pretty well the same. In the face of pretty obvious truth, they still follow the path they are given, or just go along with the rest mostly.

    It’s way past any random possibilities, and is cooked.

    You might notice it change as the west has been smacked in the face again. This is blowback from what the US started in Iraq.

    Memory is essential to make sense of anything.

  33. Eric,

    The best historically tried and true ways to insure stability are divide and rule ghettoization and forced relocation. I don’t see any evidence that this has changed.

    The United States has done this in the past, most notably while building our own nation, but, as Wolfowitz said, we aren’t about to do it again.

    The Kosovo model is another approach, where we peal off ethnic enclaves leaving a hegemon surrounded and neutered. This is a sort of updated Ottoman strategy. Unfortunately, this was unlikely to work with Saddam for a variety of reasons that we’ve already discussed. His threatened use of WMD, and potentially worse Iran knocking on the door of the eastern flank. This is not likely to work much longer in any case in the current era of nuclear proliferation.

    Japan was a special case as noted previously because of their unique culture, but there may have been something else going on. American occupation brought a cultural revolution that the repressed Japanese readily embraced. I believe American popular culture used to be a powerful part of our world empire, but with the anti-American mass media and entertainment industries it doesn’t seem likely this could be utilized.

    To sum it up since you insist on an official declaration, my position is this:

    the United States should not engage in any regime change, and therefore should not engage in any post-regime change nation building.

    I suppose that may well put me in the ‘Doomer’ or defeatist camp but so be it. That’s all I’m going to say on this subject because I’ve overstayed me welcome in this thread as it is.

    P.S. Dearieme, complex societies formed in what is now Mali at least as early as the 4th century AD and possibly long before that. We know they organized into the ancient Ghana Empire by the 8th century, mysteriously disappeared and reemerged as the Mali Empire in the 13th century. That is all.

  34. Grurray,

    That’s better. The way you answered implicitly acknowledges – especially with your “official declaration” – that there isn’t an apparent better alternative for the post-war with Iraq than the approach we took. I gather that Bush officials, Clinton officials before them, and possibly the two groups together, winnowed the post-Saddam options (pursuant section 7 of PL 105-338 and section 4 of PL 107-243) with similar thinking as yours.

    As a reminder, “divide and rule ghettoization and forced relocation” and “peal off ethnic enclaves” (like the tripartite option that Senator Biden knew was off the table), aside from their practical merits, were disallowed by the US custom of the time and/or the UNSCRs and thus were placed off limits for the US-led enforcement of the UNSCRs.

    Which places us back in Mike K’s position that post-WW2 American-style peace operations were the right approach, but our nuts-and-bolts prosecution of the approach was wanting.

    I’m more forgiving than Mike K because US military history is characterized by trial and error often with catastrophes along the learning curve. And, of course, the enemy gets a vote. Comparing US-led, UN-mandated interventions, we made worse errors with post-WW2 Korea with greater harm, but we’ve stuck with the ROK. We don’t usually win with perfection. We win with adaptation and resilience. The COIN “Surge” fit that pattern, but the President’s choice to disengage then withdraw prematurely from Iraq broke the pattern.

    “the United States should not engage in any regime change, and therefore should not engage in any post-regime change nation building.”

    Your position takes us up the chain of events to the decision for OIF that preceded the post-war.

    Mike K and I have commiserated that we’ve both found that critics will object to OIF without thoughtfully weighing the alternatives in the relevant context of wearing Bush’s shoes at the decision point for OIF. (See the answer to “What were President Bush’s alternatives with Iraq?”.)

    We can point out the missteps from 1990-1991 onward that landed an intractable Saddam problem on Bush’s plate.

    However, that doesn’t change that Bush’s options were a ‘containment’ that was toxic and evidently broken; drop the enforcement against a noncompliant, unreconstructed Saddam who posed a distinctive combined WMD/terrorism danger in the wake of 9/11 (note, ISG confirmed Iraq was reconstituting in violation of UNSCR 687 and Saddam intended to rearm); or resolve the festering Saddam problem by enforcing a “final opportunity to comply” (UNSCR 1441) under credible threat of regime change.

    Your position that “any regime change” was off the table necessarily means enforcing Saddam’s “final opportunity to comply” was off the table. Which leaves either the toxic and evidently broken ‘containment’ (status quo) or free a noncompliant, unreconstructed Saddam.

    President Clinton announcing Operation Desert Fox, 16DEC98:

    Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there’s one big difference: he has used them, not once but repeatedly — unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war, not only against soldiers, but against civilians; firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Iran — not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.

    The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.

    Saddam’s deception has defeated their effectiveness. Instead of the inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors.

    This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance.

    And so we had to act, and act now.

    In that already dire context, plus a heightened threat assessment in the wake of 9/11, President Bush chose to enforce Saddam’s “final opportunity to comply”. Subsequently, Iraq’s failure to comply with UNMOVIC finding “about 100 unresolved disarmament issues” triggered OIF.

    In that context, since you opposed “any regime change”, was your preferred alternative the toxic and evidently broken ‘containment’ or freeing a noncompliant, unreconstructed Saddam?

  35. Eric – You neocons are still raving about Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction”. They didn’t exist. You people are highly delusional.

  36. Jim,

    Actually, Iraq’s material breach of the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” (UNSCR 1441) for disarmament was confirmed by UNMOVIC – eg, “With respect to stockpiles of bulk agent stated to have been destroyed, there is evidence to suggest that these was [sic] not destroyed as declared by Iraq” – and then corroborated by the Iraq Survey Group – eg, “the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) maintained throughout 1991 to 2003 a set of undeclared covert laboratories”. Of course, of the two sets of disarmament-related fact findings, only the UNMOVIC findings factored into the decision for OIF. The ISG findings are post hoc.

    See the answer to “Did Bush allow enough time for the inspections?” and the answer to “Did Bush lie his way to war with Iraq?”. UNMOVIC and/or ISG findings are cited in other sections of the explanation but those sections particularly address the operative enforcement framework for the UNSCR 687 disarmament mandates.

    The key to correct your mistake that “They didn’t exist” is understanding that the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” for disarmament was set by UNSCR 687 (1991) and “enhanced” by UNSCR 1441 (2002). The pre-war intelligence estimates were not the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance”. Therefore, the pre-war intelligence could prove to be predictively imprecise – which is not unusual given the nature of intelligence – and Saddam could in fact be guilty of the material breach that triggered enforcement at the same time.

  37. Jim Says: You people are highly delusional.

    Says the guy who claims islamic terrorism was born when Iraq was invaded and Saddam overthrown. Neither ignorant nor delusional seems quite up to snuff to describe that level reality denial.

  38. I’m talking about the present.

    How nice for you. Then this assertion: Even a steady stream of lies can provide truth if analyzed carefully is correct only for Islamic politics and culture since 2000?

  39. This has been an interesting discussion even with the interruptions of the uninformed.

    There certainly are placed like HuffPo where they can find agreement in the fantasy world of the left.

  40. Mike K:
    “the interruptions of the uninformed”

    I welcome them as opportunities to inform.

    For example, Jim’s demonstrably false statements opened the door to set the record straight with citations to President Obama (re the condition of Iraq before the 2011 disengagement), the Iraqi Perspectives Project (re Saddam’s regime terrorism), the UN Commission on Human Rights (re Saddam’s terroristic rule), and UNMOVIC and the Iraq Survey Group (re Saddam’s disarmament violations).

  41. “Then this assertion: Even a steady stream of lies can provide truth if analyzed carefully is correct only for Islamic politics and culture since 2000?”

    The steady stream of lies come from the western press. There is very little differing opinion, even though there are huge holes in the narrative.

    Russia has troops in the Ukraine. Never proved, just assumed. I could go on for a long time.

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