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Posts Tagged ‘Marines

Can you Spell Power Vacuum? The US Can’t leave Iraq.

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iraq. should we stay or should we go?

iraq. should we stay or should we go?

Obama’s speech at Camp LeJeune today made official what we’ve known for a while, that the combat mission in Iraq is over. Perhaps that explains why the response to what should have been a historical announcement seemed strangely muted. There are many other possible explanations too, ranging from the little matter of a massive economic crisis, to the existing de facto end of hostilities in Iraq, to the fact that just maybe, there’s a sense out there that it’s a mistake to go.

Obama’s decision to bring our major combat brigades home by the end of August 2010, and the remainder of the training and counter-insurgency force by 2011 is not a cause for celebration, even among those vehement in their opposition to the decision to invade Iraq in 2003. The reason is simple. If, as the President has pledged, all US forces are withdrawn from Iraq in 2011 we’ll be leaving an unpredictable power vacuum that we will have no ability to deal with – if as is possible, a new sectarian crisis breaks out. I’m certain that Obama’s National Security Team did their due diligence and got as much intelligence to support the case for continued stability in Iraq as possible, but forecasts are just another word for hopes. And in the Middle East, banking on hope is a very bad idea. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by coolrebel

February 27, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Pearl Harbor Day. A Nation At War Then and Now.

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US Forces Landing On Omaha Beach, D-Day, June 6 1944.

Today is the 67th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which triggered America’s entrance into the Second World War. Less than four years later, America had been instrumental in defeating Nazi Germany and had almost singlehandedly defeated Imperial Japan.

US heavy industry was turned almost overnight into a highly coordinated Arms manufacturer, supplying the Allies with everything they needed to fight. At home, women went to work in factories, offices, and all over the home front, there was rationing of everything from tires to typewriters, from bicycles to beef, from fuel oil to coffee. There were blackouts all over America. And most importantly, there was the draft. Young men and women from all over America were drafted to fight and die on foreign shores. Over 400,000 lost their lives.

That is the definition of “A Nation at War”

The term is still used a great deal today to describe the two wars we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003 and 2001 respectively. We’re frequently told we are a ‘nation at war’.

This nation’s armed forces are indeed involved in two serious conflicts, but the nation as a whole is not, and hasn’t been since Iraq and Afghanistan began. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

December 7, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Obama and Iraq – Now Comes The Hard Part.

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04/24/95_15.58_SAIGONViet Nam

saigon 1975. will it be different when we leave Iraq?

Ivan Watson, NPR’s Baghdad Correspondent was the target of an assassination attempt today when he and his team were nearly killed by a car bomb. And in recent weeks there has clearly been a spike in violence in Iraq. Let nobody say that the situation that war-torn country is anything close to peaceful.

And yet the next President is going to withdraw our troops. Not in victory, or in defeat, but ‘believing’ and ‘hoping’ that peace will break out when we’re gone. That’s a bet many wouldn’t make.

Obama staked his early rise to prominence on a speedy withdrawal from Iraq, and superficially, facts on the ground seem to bear him out. He’s committed to a “safe and responsible” withdrawal of US troops around sixteen months from taking office. He has the support of the Maliki government, and the vast majority of the Iraqi people want us gone. The Status of Forces agreement which mandates our withdrawal by the end of 2001 also provides us with some political cover too.

So what’s the problem? Simple. When we leave, there is simply no way we won’t be leaving a power vacuum in Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »