Comments: What Happened?

The US overthrew Diem in late 1963 when he was making noises about the US needing to leave Vietnam and that turned to be an enormously regretable maneuver. I think The Administration has learned from the past.

OMG, is that time? I was supposed to have taken my medication hours ago. Gotta go.

Posted by cemmcs at October 30, 2008 06:03 PM

I think The Administration has learned from the past.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Thank you.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at October 30, 2008 06:26 PM

I don’t believe that the U.S. built billion dollar permanent military bases come fortresses in Iraq just to abandon them. I also don’t believe that our leadership is influenced much at all by the netroots, grassroots, or what have you, not that I don’t believe a grassroots movement isn’t worth trying because it is. Occasionally over the past few years there have been a few brief moments where it seemed something positive may happen regarding Iraq and all have turned out to be just a pause with no affect. I’m certainly not going to get my hopes up over what may just be a hiccup in our relations with the puppet government of Iraq which controls (supposedly) only a very small area of that nation, the so-called green zone.

Posted by Rob Payne at October 30, 2008 07:23 PM

Perhaps Mr. Bush is just antsy because it's almost the end of his shift. Can't really blame him for losing interest. Let Obama handle it, Bush has some dental floss to harvest in Paraguay.

Posted by tim at October 30, 2008 07:38 PM

"I also don’t believe that our leadership is influenced much at all by the netroots, grassroots, or what have you..."
-Rob P.

As in Vietnam, what will influence our "leaders" is going to be the native resistance. My money is on the Iraqis in the long run, "enduring" bases or no.

Posted by Coldtype at October 30, 2008 08:32 PM

I think (2) primarily, but because of (1), which in turn has its roots in (3), exacerbating (2) and (1) respectfully...um, respectively.

Posted by scudbucket at October 30, 2008 09:13 PM

Maybe that raid into Syria had something to do with it. You know, like the second move in the "nice shop you have here. I'd hate to see something happen to it" dance.

Posted by abb1 at October 31, 2008 05:39 AM

You can't have a coup when you don't have a government or an entrenched well established military.. Oh sure there is a sort of government in Iraq but not one that controls much. There is no political group or force in Iraq that would serve US interests closely anyway, not to mention the administration is incapable of deciding what our interests in Iraq are.

The Iraq war was primarily fought for domestic political reasons. By winning a war Bush would unite America beind him and the GOP. That was the thinking well telegraphed in a 99 Bush bio.

Looked at in that light what is need is a coup here. There are a good 20 million who would support it but that isn't enough. Well not for a direct coup anyway.

Posted by rapier at October 31, 2008 07:36 AM

I don't think (1) has much to do with it in the "big power" sense, as our military power really isn't all that much diminished, but in terms of the current administration's sense of its own residual power, yes -- Bush/Cheney may well have realized that their ability to control events is evaporating. (2) is certainly a longstanding truth, and (3) has had a certain partial paralytical effect for many years now. In their heyday B/C were confident enough to ignore it, but not these days. Petraeus, the new CENTCOM CG, may have a surprising lack of concern about a residual presence -- his recent low profile on this issue may be the dog not barking in the nighttime. In any event, we had an adequate military presence in the Gulf region before this disastrous enterprise, and we will retain one after it is brought to a close. General P and other cooler heads may understand this. As for other regional players having an interest in Iraq, surely these will have learned something from our unhappy involvement and find more than enough challenges with their own unhappy domestic situations.

Posted by Ralph Hitchens at October 31, 2008 10:03 AM

i think "the surge is working" because maliki is not horribly unpopular in country and a certain political clique's future power depends on the surge working.

Posted by hapa at October 31, 2008 11:42 AM

time for a little humor from the Pentagon--

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., Oct. 31, 2008 – Army Gen. David H. Petraeus assumed leadership of the U.S. military command charged with helping to build peace in a tough and war-torn part of the world today. //

That would be CENTCOM -- the Combatant Command responsible for that portion of the US Empire which extends from Somalia to Pakistan, and includes Afghanistan where helping to build peace will require 20,000 more US troops.

Posted by Don Bacon at October 31, 2008 12:01 PM

there can be no peace without a leveled playing field

Posted by hapa at October 31, 2008 12:21 PM

I guess a coup might be messy, and not just off-stage messy at this point, and this messiness if it were to appear on US TV news would undercut all the good press the gop has drummed up and insisted upon regarding their precious surge. C'est la vie,fils de pute

Posted by tiffa at October 31, 2008 12:36 PM

I don’t believe that the U.S. built billion dollar permanent military bases come fortresses in Iraq just to abandon them.

Well, we built some really impressive bases in Vietnam, too. I think the Russian Navy is using one of them now.

For too long, I think those of us on the left have treated these questions as one of intention, as in: "What is Bush's plan? What trick is he trying to pull here?" (soon to be replaced by, "What is Obama's plan? What trick is he trying to pull here?") But the intentions of US leaders are only half the equation. The other half is the ability of the US to get what it wants, in the face of enormous resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan, our collapsing economic position, etc.

What happens on Dec. 31, when the UN mandate runs out, and there's no SOFA to replace it? Bush/Maliki may be able to go back to the UN for another one-year renewal (although the Iraqi parliament has insisted on their right to approve these renewals, and some members of the security council are becoming uncomfortable at renewing the mandate over the objections of the parliament). But that's just a short-term fix.

I think it's over for the US in Iraq. I think we're leaving, and on a shorter timetable than Obama's 16 months. And I mean complete withdrawal, no residual bases or mercenaries or "trainers" left behind.

Posted by SteveB at October 31, 2008 12:39 PM

Nah, they'll work something out. The US government wants it, the Iraqi government wants it (especially the Kurdish segment), it's only a large majority of the population who don't want it. And that's hardly an insurmountable obstacle.

Posted by abb1 at October 31, 2008 01:26 PM

I'm gonna start me a motorcycle gang and call them "The Sons of Bitches" That way ANY son of a bitch can join, moped or not.

Posted by Mike Meyer at October 31, 2008 02:51 PM

Just like the VC sappers it will be El Suicida that runs us out of Iraq, and just like LAST time WE'll leave it ALL behind for them. Those forts were meant to ROB YOU THE TAXPAYER, not control the middle east.

Posted by Mike Meyer at October 31, 2008 03:01 PM

it will be El Suicida that runs us out of Iraq

It's not El Suicida so much as general lawlessness, dis-organized resistance. I remember I read a pithy observation by (I think) Jim Henley; he was generalizing about the middle-easterners responding to a military occupation by turning the place ungovernable, creating an anarchy. Presumably it's not deliberate, it's just something that happens.

It's a bit like Gandhi, only with car bombs.

Posted by abb1 at October 31, 2008 03:35 PM

I would throw out the possibility that the lack of any actual natural constituency for American interests in Iraq makes finding a replacement to Maliki an improbable task. Since we invaded and the neo-con's pets failed to establish any sort of credibility with any fraction of the populaton we've been backing the Iranian-backed parties - a policy I don't think I've ever heard a logical explanation for - but what group in Iraq that could take control of the country really has our best interests at heart?

Posted by buermann at October 31, 2008 04:09 PM

Look at this now!

We got a bunch of 'liberals' talking about imperialistic foreign policy like it's a natural part of the political landscape. A few days before they are about to elect a pro-empire 'progressive' to the White House and they've embraced Iraq as our version of Vietnam. End the war, huh? LOLLIN! Keep on paying those taxes suckas!
~~~~~PALIN 2012!!~~~ AHAAAAA!

And to be fair Mike, the bases were built to rob the taxpayers and do it by (trying to, lol) controlling the middle east. To say they're double dipping is probably low ball though, I think they have it from more angles than we have opinions here.

(Just in case anyone doesn't get me lets just say that ~ is a new mark for sarcasm.)

Posted by tim at October 31, 2008 05:45 PM

A few days before they are about to elect a pro-empire 'progressive' to the White House and they've embraced Iraq as our version of Vietnam.

Please define "they."

Thanks.

Posted by SteveB at October 31, 2008 08:20 PM

'They' in the Cinderella sense. That is, if the shoe fits wear it.

Posted by tim at November 1, 2008 01:57 AM

'They' in the Cinderella sense. That is, if the shoe fits wear it.

Wow, that's just incredibly lazy. People who make comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam must be voting for Obama, but you can't cite any specific examples?

Kinda weak, don't you think?

Posted by SteveB at November 1, 2008 10:09 AM

Wow, that's just incredibly lazy. People who make comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam must be voting for Obama, but you can't cite any specific examples?

No, it was incredibly astute on my part. Maybe you misread what I wrote, maybe I didn't expound enough. But what I was trying to say is that my generation has done exactly the same with Iraq as my parents' did with Vietnam. That is, 1)complain loudly, 2)do nothing really except pay for it, oh yeah and fight it 3)act like we did something to end it (even though Obama won't and neither will protesting it) 4)grow up to be healthy cattl^H^H^Hconsumers and spend our entire adulthood hiding from the fact that we built our own fence.

Now, how specific do you want? Do I have to name names?

Posted by tim at November 1, 2008 05:09 PM

Agreeable. Not that any post beforehand wasn't.

Posted by Nikolay at November 1, 2008 08:04 PM