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Pierce writes: "The problem arose when the architects of the American fiasco were allowed to escape any real accounting for what they'd done in Iraq and to the United States."

President Obama defended the Iraq war in Brussels. (photo: Didier Lebrun/PhotoNews/Getty Images)
President Obama defended the Iraq war in Brussels. (photo: Didier Lebrun/PhotoNews/Getty Images)


Obama's Preposterous Defense of the Iraq War

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

27 March 14

 

wo weeks ago, while discussing the president's position on the fight between the Senate and the CIA, I said that I thought we had clearly defined the limits of the president's philosophy of looking forward and not back, and of his role as national healer, and of the general theme of absolution that had charged his entire political career with a kind of redemptive energy. I was wrong. Yesterday, speaking in Brussels, the president soared past those limits and he and the fundamental justification of his presidency sailed into the surreal, perhaps never to return.

In merciful brief, the president attempted to explain to the world why the self-destructive and mendacious decision of the United States to engage in aggressive war in Iraq in contravention of god alone knows how many provisions of international law was manifestly different -- politically, legally, and morally -- from Vladimir Putin's land grabbing in and around Ukraine. Before anyone gave him a chance to be president, and throughout his unlikely rise to the White House, the president famously called the war in Iraq "the wrong war in the wrong place." It was the first stark difference between the president and Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary campaign and the clearest difference between the president and Senator John McCain in that year's general election. It represented the cleanest break available to the country from the bloody stupdity of the previous administration. It was the seedbed for all the hope and all the change. The problem arose when the architects of the American fiasco were allowed to escape any real accounting for what they'd done in Iraq and to the United States. There was no public punishment, no public shaming, no indication from the new administration that it was ready to demand penance from the old. And yesterday, the president illustrated quite clearly the size of the corner in which his basic philosophy had painted him.

The case he made was preposterous.

"Even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system," said the commander-in-chief in a major foreign policy speech at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. "We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain."

He knows so much better than that. The case we made before the U.N. was a insult to the world, built on stovepiped intelligence, wishful thinking, and outright bullshit, and delivered by Colin Powell because, as Dick Cheney put it so eloquently, Powell could lose a couple of points off his poll numbers. He knows that the Bush people were going into Iraq even without the U.N. -- which, of course, it eventually did. (Digby handled this with her usual aplomb.) He knows we made Iraq take its oil industry private, and he knows why. He knows who the profiteers are, and he knows into whose pockets the oil revenues descended. They are the people he inexcusably let off the hook by looking forward and not back, and by offering them and the country absolution without first demanding penance. (For all her other faults, Holy Mother Church at least gets the order right.) All of these things make up what he once called "the wrong war."

"We ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future," he said.

Holy Jesus H. Christ in a Humvee, he knows better than this, too. As Ryan Grim points out, we did not exactly leave Iraq as the kind of Babylonian Rhode Island we said we were trying to make of the place.

The president's paean to Iraqi democracy comes one day after the entire board of the country's electoral commission resigned en masse, protesting political interference and, according to Reuters, "casting doubt on a nationwide vote scheduled for next month." Critics have accused Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of a systematic effort to remove opponents from the ballot. Across Iraq, 68 people were killed the same day the commissioners stepped down.

He also knows very well why the riposte about America in Iraq to any attack on Russia in the Crimea has such a sting. It has a sting because it is almost entirely accurate. The destruction of American credibility in the areas of foreign affairs and international law that was wrought by our criminal occupation of Iraq will cost us decades to repair. The rest of the world, most of which declined to participate in our excellent adventure, doesn't have to listen to our preaching on those subjects without snickering. The president yesterday sought to rouse the outrage of the world against Russia through what were essentially debating points. If he had demonstrated, early and loudly, that he was going hold the perpetrators accountable for the crimes they committed in the previous administration, that he was going to call them to account for their lies, their greed, and their basic disregard for democratic norms and for the standing of the United States in the world, if he had demanded penance before absolution, then, maybe, he could have given yesterday's speech and not looked and sounded so damned bizarre. As it was, it was less a speech than it was an elegy, a sad eulogy for missed chances and lost, golden promises.

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+33 # Pickwicky 2014-03-27 11:13
--And that's the trouble with half-hearted half-truths. Mr. Obama please do better in future.
 
 
+44 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2014-03-27 13:52
I'll try to break this to you gently, Pickwicky, dear, but we, you and I, have been cuckolded.
 
 
-3 # Pickwicky 2014-03-27 18:46
Impossible, dear tref.
 
 
+2 # RobertMStahl 2014-03-28 07:55
No. TOTALLY POSSIBLE, but I get your humor. Back to seriousness, however, does anyone see potential here? Is being neutral, even through forgetfulness, even possible? They must have an army the size of a gas planet. Unfortunately, this one is a rock.
 
 
+46 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-03-27 14:02
Talk about "half-hearted half-truths", at this event Obama also talked about upholding our core values of individual rights, rights of privacy, our system of checks and balances and our use of legal processes and the rule of law. All of these core values are now gone in the United States. Pickwicky wants Obama to do better in the future. It is time for us to face the fact that Obama is a liar and that on top of his 'look forward, not back' should be enough for us to recognize what he really is. A flunky of the plutocracy. Obama is doing a fine job for them, but really giving the rest of us the dirty end of the stick.
 
 
+6 # Pickwicky 2014-03-27 18:47
Pickwicky was being gracious--perha ps fatally.
 
 
+64 # DaveM 2014-03-27 11:19
Do take a few moments to read up on present-day liberated Iraq. A shining example of democracy and prosperity, not to mention American statesmanship.

(yes, sarcasm)

The United States has a long-standing policy of not invading any sovereign nation. With regard to Iraq, we have ignored that policy for more than 20 years. To be sure, Operation Desert Storm (or the 1991 Gulf War, or whatever it's called) was in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and stopped once Iraqi troops were off Kuwaiti soil. However, the "shock and awe" bombing/missile campaign which preceded troops actually landing on Kuwaiti soil wreaked havoc on countless locations inside Iraq, some of which never truly recovered from the onslaught.

Probably worth noting the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died of starvation and related "inconveniences " during the 10+ years before we invaded them again. Or were they just "collateral damage"?
 
 
+43 # L H 2014-03-27 13:17
There is even more to this history. The US provided Kuwait with new "slant drilling" technology to drill underground across the border into Iraq. Kuwait was stealing Iraq's oil. The plan? To provoke Saddam Hussein into attacking Kuwait, so the US could come to the rescue and attack Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War. The US set-up a reason to go after Saddam because he wasn't cooperating or submitting to US demands. The US put Saddam in power, and he stopped taking orders.

The US created artificial reasons for both Iraq wars to the destruction of so many lives, contamination of land, and stealing resources.

We know enough now that words of a US President or Secretary of State are hollow performances. The truth is elsewhere.
 
 
+21 # Anarchist 23 2014-03-27 14:05
Those 'incubator babies' atrocity story was a piece of theater as well to stir up the passions for Gulf War I.
 
 
+6 # Pickwicky 2014-03-27 18:51
The 'slaughter of the innocents' has a eons long history in the Middle East. As I remember the 1990's version it was started by Kuwait. Kinda surprising that old myth worked so well over the centuries.
 
 
+21 # Helen Marshall 2014-03-27 15:59
Is this more sarcasm? True, we did not have boots on the ground in Iran and Cuba and Haiti and Guatemala..and just a few in Panama and Grenada...let's not even talk about Laos and Cambodia ... "A long-standing policy of not invading any sovereign nation?" Please tell us that you are not serious!
 
 
+7 # Richard Raznikov 2014-03-27 17:38
"The United States has a long-standing policy of not invading any sovereign nation. With regard to Iraq, we have ignored that policy for more than 20 years. To be sure, Operation Desert Storm (or the 1991 Gulf War, or whatever it's called) was in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and stopped once Iraqi troops were off Kuwaiti soil. However, the "shock and awe" bombing/missile campaign which preceded troops actually landing on Kuwaiti soil wreaked havoc on countless locations inside Iraq, some of which never truly recovered from the onslaught.

Probably worth noting the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died of starvation and related "inconveniences " during the 10+ years before we invaded them again. Or were they just "collateral damage"?... http://lookingglass.blog.co.uk/2014/03/27/we-think-it-was-worth-it-18060209/
 
 
+7 # RMDC 2014-03-28 08:07
"was in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and stopped once Iraqi troops were off Kuwaiti soil."

Actually it did not stop. the air tight sanctions regime killed about 4 times more Iraqis than the military operation. Remember Madeleine Albright's response to the UN report that said about 600,000 children under 12 had died. She said "we believe it was worth it."

The US campaign against Iraq from 1990 to the present day is an instance of genocide, a Holocaust. For Obama to endorse this is itself a criminal act. He is complicit in the Holocaust in Iraq.
 
 
+58 # PABLO DIABLO 2014-03-27 11:19
Barak Obama is just another "corporate hack" serving the military /industry complex. We shouldn't be surprised, it's been going on for A LONG TIME. How many times has an illegal government operation been told to stop, but somehow it keeps getting worse. We need to know who is behind this. I'm sure they really spy mostly for corporate interests. We (the people) need to take back "our" government. First and foremost, we need to get the "neocons" out of government. Second,
"splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds." --- John Kennedy
Guess why that didn't happen? How long are we going to tolerate their mistakes? Oh, and lies. The CIA is beyond "out of control". Evidently they are running/ruining our government. George Tenet should be held accountable for allowing 9/11 to happen. He saw Zacarias Maussaoui's computer with the plan in July 2001
 
 
+77 # thekidde 2014-03-27 11:37
Bush, Cheney and Rummy should be hung or at least imprisoned for life for their murders in Iraq.
 
 
+30 # Pancho 2014-03-27 12:53
I'm not a death penalty fan, but I'd go for life in prison.

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to be prosecuted however.

Remember that Sarah Palin is now claiming prescience because she mentioned Ukraine in an October 2008 speech. It was written for that parrot by one of the architects of the illegal occupation and invasion of Iraq, and the lobbyist for Georgia who was promoting their entry into NATO, Randy Scheuneman, Ahmed Chalabi's and Big Oil's best friend forever.
 
 
+17 # Philothustra 2014-03-27 13:50
Right you are, we want them alive and suffering.
 
 
+3 # wrknight 2014-03-29 17:16
I vote for a life sentence of water-boarding.
 
 
+7 # harleysch 2014-03-28 08:54
And what about Obama, who Sen. Feinstein has just exposed for his use of the CIA to cover-up the barbaric torture policy devised by Dick Cheney? What of Obama, who destroyed a country, Libya, which posed no strategic threat to the U.S.?

His self-revealing statement to justify the destruction of Iraq tells us all we need to know about Obama. To expect him to change, or do better, is delusional.
 
 
+28 # nickyus 2014-03-27 11:51
"our criminal occupation of Iraq will cost us decades to repair"

--Since the US never changes, how can it possibly effect a repair? Where's the repair people? True, new obscenities will obscure the older ones--but the underlying rot will remain.

On the other hand, if the US magically changed its spots overnight, I imagine repair would follow forthwith. What's the point of holding a grudge against a repentant sinner?

Of course, I'm just fantasizing about the last part.
 
 
+54 # reiverpacific 2014-03-27 12:02
"We ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future," he said. (quote).
Really???
As most RSN readers and posters no doubt know, scarcely a day goes by without what was once a cradle of civilization (which the US is NOT!) experiencing and reporting suicide, car or roadside bombings, murder and mayhem with women driven back under the Burqua from once being the best country in the Arab world for them to live and work in.
In other words a failed state.
And what of the "Green Zone" and "Missing Iraqi billions", which the US itself could sorely use to invest in it's own crumbling infrastructure, the no-bid crony-contracts , private "consultant" armies and silencing of Saddam Hussein by throwing him to the wolves of a judge and court of his own vengeful enemies, after being "Our bad guy"!
All that outside of all the American and Iraqui lives squandered, cultural treasures looted, a country plundered, sliding rapidly back into the clutches of warlords or Al Queda, depending on region.
It was all planned long before 9-11 by the "Project for a new American Century" club of Neocons -truly a bunch of heartless, self-important cowards and control-freaks, proven wrong in everything they planned or touched from the start (as their figurehead Dimwits fucked-up everything he ever tried before and including the presidency).
I still think that Ob' was warned not to go after them before he took office!
 
 
+6 # Pancho 2014-03-27 12:55
The PNAC is right. See my comment about Randy Scheuneman, above.
 
 
+1 # Jim Young 2014-03-30 13:21
Quoting Pancho:
The PNAC is right. See my comment about Randy Scheuneman, above.

PNAC 2 (Kagan and Kristol) is essentially reconsitituted under a less well known name as Foreign Policy Initiative

Old=PNAC, as of 2009, New=FPI
 
 
+22 # fredboy 2014-03-27 12:16
It is strange, but the biggest crimes often go unnoticed--or perhaps they are so huge they mystify.
 
 
+17 # jsluka 2014-03-27 12:54
With propaganda the Nazis taught "us" that if you are going to lie, use the "Big Lie" because it apparently works better - by mystifying reality as Fredboy suggests.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie
 
 
+2 # Pickwicky 2014-03-27 18:53
Mystify? Or paralyze?
 
 
+8 # liteguy 2014-03-27 12:40
This gives me a headache.....
 
 
+17 # James Marcus 2014-03-27 12:45
Treason IS, as Treason does.
Obama is a War Criminal, working for the Military-Indust rial Complex (Gee! What do you know?).
He is a Supreme Liar, Treasonous to the U S Constitution, and an extreme danger to Humanity.
 
 
-2 # Pickwicky 2014-03-29 11:51
James Marcus: Overstated.
 
 
+21 # lorenbliss 2014-03-27 12:54
Obviously the world has learned to recognize Obama the Orator as not just Barack the Betrayer but Barack the Belligerent – and Barack the Big Liar as well.

The dire question is whether -- now the president's true persona is known -- he will try in some way to do to the world what he is already doing to the United States, savaging the 99 Percent with ever-more-braze nly fascist policies.

(Note his proposals of more cuts to Medicare and new obstructions to disability insurance. Note too how he is tacitly backing Hobby Lobby in its war against women's reproductive rights, or how – like the devotee of shock-doctrine capitalism he is – he is using the shock of the bed-bug plague to repeal tenant rights in public housing, thereby making the housing easier to sell to profiteers.)

Yup: vote for a Democrat, get a sneaky, maliciously dishonest hard-right Republican -- such is life under the One Party of Two Names.

What Obama is doing stateside is bad enough.

As to what he might do to Russia, be afraid; be very afraid.
 
 
+28 # dascher 2014-03-27 13:28
And WHY has the US not bothered to present the images of Russian troops cascading over the border into Crimea? Maybe because it didn't happen??

And WHY does the President dismiss as preposterous Russian claims of US involvement in the overthrow of Yanukovych? Did he not hear the phone conversation the whole world heard in which it sure appeared that the US was agitating in Ukraine to 'get our guy' into office - and then, wow, he GOT into office after a popular revolution against Yanukovych who was good enough for the EU to make a deal with until he pulled out suddenly a few weeks earlier.

What is with the US government and US media? How short an attention a memory do they think we have?

It now appears as if the Ukraine is going to be used an excuse to increase the troop levels back to the high numbers we had during the midst of the Iran and Afghanistan wars. And all that hype about drones and the wars of the future being fought in cyberspace (and the billions spent in pursuit of that 'noble' goal) are inoperative.

Perhaps Mr. Obama sees sending a couple of hundred thousand troops to the defense of the Baltic states and Ukraine as an opportunity to fight unemployment?

Very very sad.
 
 
+17 # Michaeljohn 2014-03-27 13:35
His mistake was saying anything at all about Iraq. Once he mentioned it, he was committed to be positive or neutral. The guys who fought there and survived in whole or in part and the broken families of those who didn't would be even more embittered.
But now, if there was any chance of bringing Bush, Cheney and the other Neocons to justice, Obama just blew it.
 
 
+7 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2014-03-27 14:02
The biggest problem when government officials fail to uphold the law is that the people getting hurt but not getting justice decide to go get it themselves. More motivated by anger than a desire to "Preserve and Protect," they leave behind them a lot of collateral damage.

Bush and Cheney may have escaped having to suffer their day in court but that in no way means they won't be brought to justice, albeit, not the kind of justice dispensed by civilized beings.
 
 
+4 # RHytonen 2014-03-27 14:15
Quoting tref:
The biggest problem when government officials fail to uphold the law is that the people getting hurt but not getting justice decide to go get it themselves. More motivated by anger than a desire to "Preserve and Protect," they leave behind them a lot of collateral damage.

Bush and Cheney may have escaped having to suffer their day in court but that in no way means they won't be brought to justice, albeit, not the kind of justice dispensed by civilized beings.
STILL I bet the BIGGEST lies - Fear of "the greater evil" and the "Spoiler" Myth- keep you from voting GREEN and getting it actually DONE.
 
 
0 # Pickwicky 2014-03-29 11:52
Michaeljohn: Your first sentence says it all.
 
 
+22 # geraldom 2014-03-27 13:56
I watched and listened to Obama's speech yesterday about why what the U.S. did in Iraq can’t be considered hypocrisy when compared to what Russia did with the Crimea. Obama stated that the U.S. did not claim or annex Iraq's territory, and that the U.S. did not grab its resources for its own gain. Instead, the U.S. ended its war and left Iraq to its people.

o He conveniently left out the fact that the U.S., in gross violation of international law, had built one of the biggest U.S. embassies in the world in Baghdad under illegal conditions, under an illegal occupation, an embassy where over 16000 people reside, the vast majority of whom are not there for diplomat purposes, if you get my meaning.

o He conveniently left out the fact that the U.S., as an illegal occupier and against international law, set up a new Iraqi regime purposely friendly to U.S. interests over that of its own people and installed a puppet Iraqi oil minister who privatized an oil industry that had been previously nationalized under Saddam Hussein where all proceeds went to Iraq and its people, a U.S. puppet Iraqi oil minister who conveniently gave control of Iraq’s energy resources, as instructed to him by the U.S., to the multinational oil companies with most of the proceeds going into the pockets of the corporations which was the primary reason that Bush illegally invaded the country.

Continued
 
 
+17 # geraldom 2014-03-27 13:57
Continued

o As far Obama’s claim that the U.S. didn’t claim or annex Iraq's territory, the following is an excerpt from an email I received from Cindy Sheehan:

Quoting Cindy Sheehan:
While current "official" numbers are hard to come by, the USA still has thousands of troops, mercenaries and "diplomatic" forces in Iraq and the violence continues.


o The number of Iraqis that have died as a result of the illegal U.S. invasion of their country is all over the map, but based on an early investigation by John Hopkins Institute a few years after the invasion and what’s happened since, it could be well over 2 million, men, women, and children who have died, and I do not include in that number how many innocents have died in Afghanistan as a result of our illegal invasion and occupation of that country.

o What Obama also doesn’t conveniently mention is that the U.S. illegally (by international law) used chemical and radiological weapons against Iraqi soldiers/milita nts and innocent Iraqi civilians, most especially in the town of Falluja, but all over the country, and that the U.S. has literally saturated the Iraqi countryside, including Falluja, with depleted uranium dust, a substance that has a half-life of millions, if not billions of years.

Continued
 
 
+22 # geraldom 2014-03-27 13:59
Continued

o After we stopped bombing Iraq, Iraqis still continue to die from cancer and other toxic chemical-relate d diseases, not to mention the daily slaughter of innocent Iraqi civilians everyday ever since the U.S. officially (if not really) allegedly left Iraq.

o That Iraqi women in large numbers are giving birth to stillborn babies and babies with heinous birth defects as a result of these toxic elements in their midst. And, yes, if you’re asking the question, it is illegal by international law to use chemical, biological or radiological weapons against anyone no matter what the circumstances are, even against soldiers/milita nts who are fighting to rid themselves of an illegal occupier like the United States.

o Obama failed to mention the fact that over a half-million children under the age of five had died in Iraq under the auspices of the Bush Senior admin, the Clinton admin and the Bush Junior admin as a result of the illegal and heinous sanctions pressed against Iraq by the United States, dutifully and blindly followed by the U.S. puppet nations in Europe who also have to be held to account for this crime against humanity.

Continued
 
 
+14 # dickbd 2014-03-27 14:44
Great points. I wanted to give you a hundred green up numbers, but alas, they don't allow that.

Isn't it interesting how the media never mentions the Iraqi deaths and when they do, they really low ball the numbers? It is all very disheartening. We have to be ashamed of our government and out media.

Anyway, great blog with lots of good information. One hundred green points! No! An infinite number!
 
 
+21 # geraldom 2014-03-27 14:01
Continued

o Obama failed to indicate that the Iraqi people were supposed to be given the final word on the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the U.S. in the form of a referendum vote, to either approve or reject it. This vote was supposed to take place around July of 2010. If the Iraqi people rejected SOFA, than Obama was required by law to remove all foreign forces, include all U.S. forces, from Iraq by January of 2011. Obama and the U.S. puppet leader of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, knew that the Iraqi people would reject SOFA, and by some slight of hand, and very quietly, the referendum vote never took place, and no one seemed to question what happened. Since the the Iraqi parliament was against SOFA, it never got approved, but it did leave open the door for the U.S. to covertly maintain some level of troop force in Iraq probably within the U.S. embassy’s 16000+ people in Baghdad

http://fcnl.org/issues/iraq/faq_the_usiraq_withdrawal_agreement/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_Status_of_Forces_Agreement_referendum,_2010
 
 
+15 # seeuingoa 2014-03-27 14:01
Look at Obama. He looks intelligent,
reasonable and friendly.

And his only legacy will be extra-judicial dronekillings, indefinite
detention and signing of the XL-pipeline.

What a waste of opportunity.
 
 
+14 # geraldom 2014-03-27 15:03
Quoting seeuingoa:
Look at Obama. He looks intelligent,
reasonable and friendly.

And his only legacy will be extra-judicial dronekillings, indefinite
detention and signing of the XL-pipeline.

What a waste of opportunity.


seeuingoa, you forgot the most heinous thing of all. It may not compare with the thousands of innocent people who have already died from Obama's illegal drone attacks, but it is the most damaging of all in the long run.

Obama updated the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act, to give him and all future presidents the power of God, the power to select who lives and who dies just on the word of the president alone.

The latest and greatest version of the NDAA, pushed by and signed off by Obama, allows Obama (and all future U.S. presidents) to pick and choose anyone in the world to murder, even U.S. citizens, outside the U.S. and within the very borders of the U.S., that Obama or any future president feels is a danger to the establishment in the U.S., without any due process, without any trial by jury as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Obama has already murdered three U.S. citizens based on this new law. And, if a real maniac becomes president of the U.S. in the future, I don't want to even think about it.

The president of the United States has, in effect, become prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner.
 
 
-5 # Caliban 2014-03-29 15:55
US citizens are "murdered" in the US by the tens of thousands every year by their fellow citizens. As Commander-in-ch ief, the President is at war with covert enemies around the world. such killings are either acts of war or collateral damage events. And drones are to blame for far fewer than these then, rifles, grenades, plane-dropped bombs or launched missiles.

In any case, the NDAA (a bill in place for decades and modified to fit new military circumstances) the President is not authorized to "murder" anyone. He can order military attacks on known enemies of the US, and in an era of "unconventional " or "asymmetrical" warfare, equally unconventional defenses are required.

So, does this mean that all our actions overseas are well-thought-ou t and wise? No. Under Cheney and Bush, they were wretched. The current President has been much more careful and has reduced US violence drastically.

In short, your repeated attacks on President Obama dare balderdash (and that's a mild way of putting it).
 
 
+12 # Anarchist 23 2014-03-27 14:10
Obama's speech to the UN in summary: "Hello, Kettle? This is Pot!"
 
 
-7 # whatdidimiss 2014-03-27 14:12
Charlie Pierce is right that the U. S. (and now Obama) has no credibility when preaching international law to the Russians. He is wrong about insisting upon penance by the Republicans for their bad judgment and mendacity. Or perhaps he would prefer to have seen Obama's first term spent on partisan fighting over the past than on rebuilding the economy and enacting health care reform.
 
 
+15 # Inspired Citizen 2014-03-27 14:17
To think that I used to support this man. I've gone from support, to criticism, to denouncements, to calls for his impeachment (for killing Americans with no due process), to disdain for this corporate shill and tool. I have no idea why the Republicans oppose him; he acts like one of them.
 
 
+10 # dickbd 2014-03-27 14:38
Well, you know, we have this kabuku theater in which the Republicans and Democrats bash each other, while they both participate in the same service to their corporate masters.

I voted for Obama, too, and I wanted him to do well. I knew he would disappoint, as they always do. But, unfortunately, he has exceeded my wildest expectations!
 
 
+3 # dickbd 2014-03-27 14:38
Well, you know, we have this kabuku theater in which the Republicans and Democrats bash each other, while they both participate in the same service to their corporate masters.

I voted for Obama, too, and I wanted him to do well. I knew he would disappoint, as they always do. But, unfortunately, he has exceeded my wildest expectations!
 
 
+11 # jdd 2014-03-27 15:22
Obama's true colors coming out in this crisis. Has sounded like a neo-con from the start. Seems obsessed with Ukraine, perhaps his enormous ego still smarting from the lessons in diplomacy taught him by Putin in the Syria fiasco.
 
 
0 # Richard Raznikov 2014-03-27 17:37
http://lookingglass.blog.co.uk/2014/03/27/we-think-it-was-worth-it-18060209/
 
 
+5 # Cherylaaa 2014-03-27 17:47
Right now, President Obama and others believe that the US does not have to obey the same laws we hold against others. I created a petition to send to Congress demanding that we stop being hypocrites. Please sign and share...peace.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/219/745/399/tell-the-us-that-we-are-not-above-intl-human-rights-treaty/
 
 
+3 # tpmco 2014-03-27 18:17
Pierce is so correct. Hearing parts of this speech yesterday, I could not understand how Mr. Obama could say such a thing.
 
 
-13 # draypoker 2014-03-27 18:30
I don't think it is wise to criticise Obama here. The real villain is Putin, intent on restoring the power of the Soviet Union, whose dispersal he has regretted ever since Yeltsin allowed its dissolution. Putin wishes to reconquer Ukraine whose independence he has never accepted.

Has Putin succeeded? The EU has offered financial benefits to Ukraine and the end is not final.
 
 
-11 # Patrice Ayme 2014-03-27 18:47
Excitation is not always very smart politically.

Obama said what he said, about Iraq, because he had to make a crucial point... And everybody knows he is on the record against the Bush war in Iraq, as a Senator.

"Even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system." True. France warned Bush and his minions not to go to the UNSC again, because they would be vetoed out in a special way that would remove the vague authorization from the UNSC they had.

"We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory." True.

"We did not grab its resources for our own gain." It would have been a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Although I was fanatically against the Iraq war, especially its second phase, under Bush, and although I think war crimes trials ought to be held against Bush and company, and although I have been furiously critical of my friend Obama, I can understand why he had to say what he said about Iraq.

It's a question of context. It's a point that had to be made. I made it on my own site, a while ago.

Because it's the truth. As Dante noticed, there are various circles of hell. That's all Obama said.

And so it is true that the first annexation of a piece of a country since 1938 is a whole new game. It simply did not happen again... Wait...Actually that last successful ethnic cleansing and annexation, before Crimea, was Stalin's ethnic cleansing and annexation of ancient East Prussia.

Do I see a pattern? Maybe it's a habit?
 
 
+7 # jcdav 2014-03-27 20:41
So, because he was against Iraq war originally (once upon a time) it is OK for him to ignore the facts & blatantly lie? I have to agree with Harold R. Mencher's accounting listed above in the comments.
I worked for BO to get elected..I still think he MIGHT have been SLIGHTly better than the Repub offerings...HOW EVER, I have come to realize that both parties act the same, just the dems lie better. neither party has any acountability to the people. So long as most folks accept this (and their own "helplessness") it will continue.
 
 
+3 # geraldom 2014-03-28 08:03
Quoting Patrice Ayme:
.......

"Even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system." True.

"We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory." True.

"We did not grab its resources for our own gain." It would have been a violation of the Geneva Convention.

.......
Wait...Actually that last successful ethnic cleansing and annexation, before Crimea, was Stalin's ethnic cleansing and annexation of ancient East Prussia.


Patrice says "'Even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system.' True."

If you want to call Bush's blackmail of the U.N. saying that "We're going to war anyway, We demand that you give us legal cover" is working with the international community.

Patrice says "'We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory.' True."

Read Cindy Sheehan's quote in my comment on this article. The U.S. has covert forces in Iraq right now. We control Iraq.

Patrice says "'We did not grab its resources for our own gain.' It would have been a violation of the Geneva Convention."

It was against the Geneva Conventions to even invade Iraq, but that didn't stop Bush, and, yes, we gave away Iraq's oil to the multi-nationals . Read my long comment on this article.

You want to talk about ethnic cleansing. What about the death squads created, organized and supported by the U.S. to murder and disappear hundreds of thousands of innocent people all over the world, in Latin America and elsewhere?
 
 
-6 # Caliban 2014-03-29 15:39
The US covert, support, and training forces in Iraq are not sufficient in number or purpose to "control" Iraq. If they were, Iraq might actually be "in control"--which it is not.
 
 
+2 # BKnowswhitt 2014-03-27 18:49
China is the new super power who displaced the Old Soviet Union. Putin seeks to expand for resources and to that end regain status. USA annexed Iraq in a 30 year plan beginning with Iran Iraq War ending that with culmination of Gulf War II. Now multinational oil companies are positioned to run Iraqs Oil industry to benefit the West. Fact Fact Fact ... Putin doing the same in Crimea and Ukraine. All wars have economic reasons for their existence ...
 
 
+3 # BKnowswhitt 2014-03-27 18:51
As James Baker put it so eloquently when DumbYa was in the recount and looked like he'd win ... Baker was the mouthpiece for him ... and one of his quotes when asked about it .. that administration would only get involved in foreign disputes and policy only 'Where American Interests Lie' end quote ....
 
 
0 # robcarter.vn 2014-03-27 22:12
That OBAMA DEFENDED $5bn loss from the gains 2.7% GDP the majority didn't share won't help Clinton win a goat race.
 
 
+4 # RMDC 2014-03-28 08:10
Obama said, "We ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future,"

The guy is delusional. Inside Iraq, the americans are considered worse than Genghis Khan who sacked Baghdad in the 1200s. then it took Iraq several hundred years to recover. This time it will take a hundred years for Iraq to recover from the Holocaust brought to it by Bush/Cheney/Oba ma.
 
 
+1 # geraldom 2014-03-28 18:17
Quoting RMDC:
Obama said, "We ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future,"

The guy is delusional. Inside Iraq, the americans are considered worse than Genghis Khan who sacked Baghdad in the 1200s. then it took Iraq several hundred years to recover. This time it will take a hundred years for Iraq to recover from the Holocaust brought to it by Bush/Cheney/Oba ma.


RMDC, I don't think that Iraq will ever properly recover from the holocaust brought upon it by Bush/Cheney/Oba ma. This time is different.

In past events in the region, toxic elements were never introduced in any past conflicts. As I've indicated in one of my comments on this article, this time the United States has saturated the Iraqi countryside with depleted uranium which will be around for a very long time. The residues from the chemical weapons the U.S. used in Iraq will continue to cause medical problems among the Iraqis for a very long time, including stillbirths and birth defects among women, but will eventually go away, but DU will not do that, and it's everywhere in Iraq.
 
 
-5 # Caliban 2014-03-29 15:35
Bush and Cheyney? Yes. Obama? No.
 

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