Sitting Ducks In Baghdad

Within three weeks Commander in Chief Barack Obama will have pulled all US military troops out of Iraq leaving behind 16,000 employees in the US Embassy in Baghdad.  In addition, there will be two US Consulates in Iraq with about 1,000 employees at each.

Leaving an active military force of 25,000 to 50,000 in Iraq would have been logical and comparable to the relative troop strengths the United States maintained in Germany and Japan after World War II.  Such a troop strength presence would have protected Iraq from Iranian and Syrian incursions and would also have provided substantial extra protection to our Embassy and Consulates.

With US troops withdrawn and China getting much of the Iraqi oil, why does the United States need to have its largest embassy and largest diplomatic mission in Iraq?  What will the Embassy and Consulate employees be doing other than serving as sitting ducks for Iranian terrorism?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is familiar with the 1979 storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the 444 days the US diplomats and Embassy employees were held hostage.  The militant Iranians did these things because they believed that President Jimmy Carter did not have the courage to challenge them.  Ahmadinejad has also seen the British and others recently driven out of Tehran by his supporters. 

How long will it be before our Embassy and Consulates in Iraq are attacked?  US employees will not always be in the formidable fortress that is the Embassy, which will be protected by a sizeable force of US Marines.  US and Allied citizens will be working in the Iraqi oil fields and performing other civilian jobs.

Will US diplomatic employees and other US and Allied personnel working in Iraq be taken hostage, tortured, and killed?  If such things happen, what will Obama do?  The Iranians and our other enemies understand that Barack Obama does not have the courage to seriously confront them.

The Ambush in Mogadishu took place because the US military presence was insufficient for the task at hand.  President Clinton did not think it necessary to have overwhelming firepower available for the Battle of Mogadishu.  President Obama has decided that making his political supporters happy by pulling out of Iraq is more important than fulfilling his duties as Commander in Chief.

In trying times such as these we are reminded of the words of United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart,

“An ethical person often chooses to do more than the law requires and less than the law allows -- there is a difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”

Obama’s military withdrawal from Iraq will likely be recorded by our posterity as one of the greatest acts of military foolishness in history.

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@May Really?

May, consider this from MSN hours ago: "The U.S., in fact, needs the help of Iraq in dealing with the volatile Middle East and two of neighbors in particular, Iran and Syria. In getting out of Iraq, Obama emphasized that "our strong presence in the Middle East endures" and the U.S. won't soften in its defense of its interests....

Said al-Maliki: "Anyone who observes the nature of the relationship between the two countries will say that the relationship will not end with the departure of the last American soldier.""

To re-emphasize, the date for U.S. soldiers to leave Iraq by December 31st, 2011, was set in an agreement between Maliki and George W. Bush.

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Obama's weakness on terrorism...

Obama's weakness on terrorism... How many times have we seen this appear on May's blog?

Obama is responsible for the death of Osama bin Laden. Obama is responsible for the deaths of 22 out of the top 30 Al Qaeda leadership.

Going back to the between the lines message in the previous post, if Iran or Syria want to play in Iraq's back yard without the approval of the Iraqi government, they are toast.

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It was not wise for George W. Bush to set a date certain

It was not wise for George W. Bush to set a date certain for US Military troop removal from Iraq. It was even less wise for current Commander in Chief Obama to not be able to make his own decisions on troop removal from Iraq.

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Obviousman,

Where will our strong presence in the Middle East endure if Obama pulls out our troops and sends them home?

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If al-Maliki is to be trusted, what al-Maliki does needs to be c

If al-Maliki is to be trusted, what al-Maliki does needs to be carefully watched and verified.

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Obviousman

Obama was no more responsible for getting Osama bin Laden than any other person actually less.

The dedicated men and women working behind the scenes are the ones responsible for getting Osama bin Laden. I have no doubt that if Osama bin Laden had been found in a compound in Afghanistan the president would have been notified of his death. American forces would have taken him out and then notified the white house based on standing orders.

The only reason Obama was involved at the first was because we had to go into Pakistan to get him. I will give Obama credit for choosing the Special Forces plan over bombing the compound. Due to this decision we were able to confirm the kill, obtain a treasure trove of intelligence, and remove the body to keep it from becoming an object of worship.

Also, he is not as responsible for taking out a lot of the Al Qaeda leadership as you indicate. Again, I give him credit for keeping the predator program in place after he became president and sticking with it even with all the negative publicity. However, again it is the hard working men and women working behind the scenes that deserve the credit instead of the President be he Obama or Bush.

Sometimes some of us in our enthusiasm to get political brownie points give the president, be he Republican or Democrat, more credit than he deserves.

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*YAWN*

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@AmericaFirst Wrong

AmericaFirst, the last time I checked Obama was the Commander in Chief. All of these operations required his approval. He is responsible for all of the successful missions, and he is responsible for all of the failures.

Of course, with any failures, the right-wingers would have been front and center complaining.

AmericaFirst, you don't know what you are talking about.

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Newt Gingrich Lawbreaker

Newt Gingrich has broken the law.

"Former Speaker of the House is facing questions over whether he broke the law by announcing on Wednesday that he would appoint former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton as his Secretary of State if elected.

Gingrich made his remarks at the Republican Jewish Coalition's Candidates Forum, saying he would first get Bolton to agree to change the State Department's culture of "appeasement."

But Taegan Goddard at Political Wire notes that Gingrich may have run afoul of federal law barring a candidate from promising a political appointment for the purposes of personal political gain.

Here's Title 18, Part I, Chapter 29, Section 599 of the U.S. Code:

"Whoever, being a candidate, directly or indirectly promises or pledges the appointment, or the use of his influence or support for the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."" http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2817493/posts

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C- Things May didn't mention :

*Iraqi Parliament is refusing to alter the 2008 agreement (pre-Obama) to allow any troops to stay. *Iraqi officials refusing to guarantee immunity for any remaining U.S. military personnel in Iraqi courts. *Contractors (est. of 5,000-6,000) outside the U.S. military will be charged with protecting American citizens in Iraq. Whether that is sufficient or not is debatable. *Negotiations with UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and others are being sought to increase the US military presence in the Middle East. To imply that the U.S. will not have a strong presence in the Middle East is ridiculous.

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Contact.....

Please, contact the Department of Justice and ask that Newt Gingrich be prosecuted to the full extent of the law in accordance with Title 18, Part I, Chapter 29, Section 599 of the U.S. Code.

You can find the DOJ contact information at: http://www.justice.gov/contact-us.html

Are we a nation of laws or not?

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Obviousman

If it is like you describe then the Commander-in-Chief would be up 24-7 approving all the operations being conducted by all the branches of our armed forces around the world including the intelligence community like the CIA. Have you ever heard of "standard operational procedures" that are in place for our forces to follow. I saw very few that had call and get the Commander-in-Chiefs approval before executing written into them. You ever heard of chain of command and commanding general?

Do you really think that every time they found Al Qaeda or other terrorists leaders hold up in a building they got permission from the CIC to blow them to hell. No they did not, because there was a standing order to take them out. The exception as I stated previously would be like having to enter another country’s air space.

A lot of these operations to take out terrorists are conducted by the CIA and not the military. Not to say that the president does not have control over the CIA, but not in the same sense as the CIC of the military. Some operations involving the CIA in other countries go down so fast that trying to get the presidents permission in time would be disastrous. This country has 15 intelligent agencies in the government.

So from what you are saying it is Obama’s fault that the Iranians have the top secret spy plane because of a possible mistake made in its programming.

It would be impossible for any person to be able to keep up with everything that is going on in the United States government much less continually approve all of it on an individual basis. If that were the case there would be no purpose for a chain of command or tiers of supervisors and managers between the workers and the head of the organization or government.

I believe I know what I am talking about and I am not going to hold a president directly responsible for someone else’s screw up that he had no control over even though they came under his command somewhere in the vast military complex of this country.

Also, I am not going to give the president more credit than he deserves for a job well done at the expense of individuals that have worked hard day in and day out getting the job done even before the current president was president. At the same time I do not see giving a past president more credit than he deserves just because he was part of the operation at one time.

Obama would not have had the opportunity to give the order if it had not been for all the hard work of people just like us doing all the hard work to bring it about.

I for one am tired of politicians taking credit for things that hard working Americans have done.

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scattershot replies

I have company, so very little time to spend online; my replies are scattershot.

First, like Dr. May, I am worried about Americans remaining in Iraq once our troops are withdrawn. However, aren't there various contractors there, with all their security? I'm assuming that these corporations will get contracts to provide security to our diplomats and any other US reps. We're "outsourcing" security, I'm almost sure. I can't imagine that we would leave people so vulnerable.

Like Obviousman, I think that the US had little choice but to withdraw, because of agreements made with the Bush administration.

I understand where America First is coming from: you have to give credit where credit is due, and the troops and special forces put themselves into the line of fire. BUT I do give credit to Obama and everyone else who was involved in hearing about the pertinent intel, making the decision to "go for it," and putting themselves into the hotseats for this action. What would have happened had the action failed? Obama would have been regarded as a total failure.

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@AmerericaFirst Wrong

AmericaFirst, have you ever heard of "standing orders"? Obama has issued standing orders to eliminate the Al Qaeda leadership, which have been accomplished by drones. That does not require his participation 24-7.

As to the killing of Osama bin Laden, Obama was directly involved as Commander in Chief. You can see a picture of this at http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2011/05/see-obama-watch-the-attack-on-osama-bin-laden

Yes, in all of these instances, others were involved, and you don't see Obama taking the sole credit for these operations do you?

May, likes to tell the story of how Obama gave the direct approval for "blowing the heads off of" the Somali pirates.

It is typical conservative spin, to not acknowledge Obama's involvement.

For good or bad, President's get tagged for the events that occur during their administrations. Just grab a history book and read it.

You don't know what you are talking about.

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@obviousman

We should be nicer to AF, bless his heart-he just can't seem to wrap his brain around the fact that GWBush shut down the group responsible for finding bin Laden ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGmnz5Ow-o ) and that Obama (the black guy with the funny name) gave the orders to those who found him, killed him, and retrieved reams of intelligence on al Qaeda in the process.

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agreed

"Sometimes some of us in our enthusiasm to get political brownie points give the president, be he Republican or Democrat, more credit than he deserves."

Well, this explains the idolization of Reagan.

It also sounds like the thinnest, weakest, pissiest, most anorexic rationalization for dissing the President that I've ever heard. Especially coming from a veteran, who should have learned this back in basic training.

Did the Air Force have a different C-in-C than the rest of the services, or did you guys have Nixon, too?

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@May

One of the many reasons given by the Bush crime family for the unnecessary invasion and occupation of Iraq was to establish democracy. Well, according to most, that was accomplished when the Iraqis had elections. Like it or not, that elected government wants us out.

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Yeah, right...

"It was even less wise for current Commander in Chief Obama to not be able to make his own decisions on troop removal from Iraq."

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9219858826421983682#docid=-165947781489116714

Oh, of course. After all, why would we want other nations to think that there might actually be some continuity in U.S. foreign policy? That when we agree to something we abide by the terms?

You all need to watch this video. Long, but worth it.

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Good news!

Don't worry about all those other candidates. All the undecided GOP voters can just vote for Newt Gingrich now. It's okay....he got Gary Busey's endorsement.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/gary-busey-endorses-newt-_n_1145476.html

In the event that you're a GOP voter on the fence over which presidential candidate to support, and you just wish the guy who starred in the 2005 film, "The Hand Job," would give you some direction, your decision just got a whole lot easier. Gary Busey appeared at the holiday party of Republican strategist Ron Bonjean over the weekend, and according to The Hill, announced that he was throwing his hat in with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. "I've never met Newt but I know what he stands for," the actor told the newspaper. As for his fellow Texan Rick Perry, Busey said, "He's a good guy, he just doesn't belong in the race." Busey is unhappy with his stance on illegal immigration, which is less conservative than many GOP stalwarts. Last spring, Busey endorsed Donald Trump for President, despite being fired on "Celebrity Apprentice."

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Obviousman

You and your cheering section can rant and rave and try to insult me all you want too, but Obama was only one cog in the machinery that brought down Osama bin laden. As I have iterated before if it had not been the hard work of the men and women of the CIA and other agencies Obama would not have had the opportunity to make any decision on taking out Osama. Also, some of you need to read what is posted a little closer since you apparently missed where I gave Obama due credit for the decision he made. Unlike you I will give credit where credit is due.

I bet all of you would be singing a different tune if it had been Bush's decision to make.

As far as giving the go ahead to take out the Somali pirates, I was for that, but how Dr. May worded it has nothing to do with me.

You should try watching the documentary on the locating and taking out of Osama. You might learn a few things.

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Amgems

Once again you need to bone up on a subject before you start making statements that will not hold water.

The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded in 2005 on Bush's orders and its members were reassigned to the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center where the hunt for Osama bin Laden was top priority. Bush felt they would be more effective working within the CIA Counterterrorist Center than outside of it.

Bush never ordered the discontinuation for the hunt for Osama like some Bush haters have tried to make people believe.

Of course, as I have said before it was not Bush or Obama looking for Osama, but men and women of the CIA and other agencies. Both Bush and Obama had more important things to do than micro manage the hunt for Osama. That is one reason why Bush said he did not think much about Osama. Bush, like Obama who followed had to worry about a lot bigger threats than Osama who had basically been neutralized as an effective commander.

Osama was afraid to use the internet or a cellular phone or a satellite phone to communicate with his group. He had to use only specially trusted couriers to physically carry messages back and forth which could take days. In this day and age that will not work very well.

By the way, Obama just continued the standing orders to take out Osama that Bush had initiated.

By the way, you referred to the "Bush crime family" so please tell me the crime that Bush was convicted of in a court of law that makes him a criminal?

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Doc

Please post any example you can find where I dissed Obama. I have given opinions about some of his decisions both pro and con, but have never displayed disrespect like you and your leftist friends have done to Bush. Like amgems calling Bush a criminal.

As I stated earlier, which you apparently glossed over, I gave Obama credit for his wise decisions in taking out Osama with Special Forces and his continuation of the predator program in the face of a lot of bad publicity.

Maybe if you took more time to read the post a little closer instead of trying to think up hateful things to say to try and insult me you might come across a little more intelligent in your thinking. I was always taught to respect the position of President of the United States along with the current and previous presidents. I guess you weren't since you badmouth Bush. I believe you did say you were a veteran also.

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Woo woo woo woooooo

Pull over, pull over, it's the blog police!!! Sirs, you are in violation of codes 451: Failure to stay on topic,and distortion of facts presented as opinion aka twisting, and 732: Name calling, and poor blog etiquette. Also code 001: Do as I do, for I am the shining example of how good people should act!!

I'm going to let you guys off with a warning this time, but dag nabbit, don't press your luck!!!

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ease50

In your case, you are a confirmed 10-96.

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@AmericaFirst Education

AmericaFirst, isn't education wonderful? At the beginning of the conversation, you pretended that you knew nothing about the concept of "standing orders."

As to the standing orders to kill Osama bin Laden, those were initiated by Clinton, not George W. Bush.

Again, you, AmericaFirst, have wasted a lot of pixels on a topic that you are improperly informed about.

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@ease50 Insults....

ease50, we have reached the point in the evening, when a frustrated AF, overwhelmed by detractors, has to resort to name calling.

A "10-96" is a mental patient, in case you didn't know.

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Obviousman

Making mountains out of mole hills to try and get back at me. I never pretended I did not know anything about standing orders that is your overactive imagination playing tricks on you again.

I find it hard to believe that Clinton issued the standing order to kill bin Laden when he had two chances and blew both of them. Do you have any evidence to the statement that Clinton issued the order?

I am well informed on the subject so quit making asinine statements to the contrary.

I believe the frustration belongs to you since you are grasping at straws to bolster your argument. Oh that’s right you are dancing the liberal two step where you apply different rules to liberals and conservatives. Ease pops off with montage of blog police, but I am not allowed to respond in kind or I am wrong.

Once again your name fits you. You are so obvious anyone can see through your facade of frustration.

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@AmericaFirst Insults....

AmericaFirst, it is the time of day when you resort to insults and attacks when you have been backed into a corner. We all see that, and we all expect to see you whine, because, like May, you will never admit you are wrong.

As to the "standing orders" to kill bin Laden by Clinton there are multiple sources. Try this one out: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/05/973382/-If-Bush-deserves-any-Credit-for-OBL-Capture,-So-does-Clinton

If you think that one is biased, I can provide you with lots of others. Or, if you really know how to do research on the Internet via Google, then you can find your own to counter.

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Bush speaks: ????????

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." --Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2001

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." --Washington, D.C., March 13, 2002

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obviousman

Are you kidding me! Why don't you answer my question about your double standards and the fact that eaze50 fired the first shot. You cannot do that and maintain your ridicules propaganda about "this time of day when I start calling people names" claptrap. You would have been at a loss with the little game you are playing if I had not responded to eaze50.

I beginning to think I applied the 10-96 to the wrong person. Wait, I have to wait till this evening since morning time may not be the right time for me to do this according to your propaganda skit.

You link is obviously biased and is easy for a person to see that by the very first sentence in the article.

I found what I was looking for on Wikipedia. I present this to show I do try to get to the truth in the spirit of the debate even when I prove myself wrong. I realize you will use it to further your attack on me, but I know you cannot help yourself anymore than a leopard can change its spots.

“”””’ Shortly after the September 11 attacks it was revealed that President Clinton had signed a directive authorizing the CIA (and specifically their elite Special Activities Division) to apprehend bin Laden and bring him to the United States to stand trial after the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Africa; if taking bin Laden alive was deemed impossible, then deadly force was authorized.[“”””

Where I got confused reading it some time ago was the fact that it was not reported that Clinton had issued this order until after 9/11 during Bush’s term. Bush and Obama continued the Clinton directive. At least that has been nailed down by hard facts and not innuendos.

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