Insanity: Doing The Same Thing In Iraq And Expecting A Different Outcome

Because of the bull headedness of the President George W Bush administration, the Iraqi Army of the Saddam Hussein era was disbanded after the US invasion of Iraq. Water over the dam except for it’s recurring costs to the Iraqi and American people…

So we reconstituted the Iraqi Army and armed and trained them and they collapsed under the assault from ISIS.

So now what are we doing? Well we are reconstituting and training Iraqi troops to repel ISIS and retake captured territory. Whey would we expect this to work the second time?

You want to build a wall around something? I suggest the middle east and let the neighbors sort it out.


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16 thoughts on “Insanity: Doing The Same Thing In Iraq And Expecting A Different Outcome

  1. Ed, thanks.

    Ignoring the massive Constitutional issues with Congress abdicating its responsibilities, our Middle Eastern occupations violate every principle of war, as outlined in the (Gen. Colin)Powell doctrine.

    “The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:

    Is a vital national security interest threatened?
    Do we have a clear attainable objective?
    Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
    Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
    Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
    Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
    Is the action supported by the American people?
    Do we have genuine broad international support?”

    Tremendous agreement among liberals and conservatives that these foreign occupations only lead to more terrorism.

  2. This is one area where I think the Democrats have failed. When the Republicans took the country to war, the big corporations with government contracts were benefiting without really paying taxes. Its only fair that we would have said this is a real crises and we need the wealthy to pay a war debt tax.

    In the past few decades the federal government grows under Republican Presidents, Democrats have to stop the private war contracts and increase spending for school lunch programs, public education, health care, ect.

  3. I know you write from a sense of frustration. We all feel that. But given the spread of radical elements in that region, the threat they pose for allies, the pinch it could have if left unchecked on oil production and transport, and the number of people from all over the world that have traveled there and could return as threats to various nations make for more than enough reasons to stay engaged. It is costly and as your message makes clear also frustrating. But we are the leader of the world and have a mission that comes with that responsibility.

    1. Sorry Gregory,

      You appear to be ignorantly supporting, speaking for the US MIC and every horrible and murderous thing tied to it. The world banks, international monetary fund, currency manipulators are the leaders of the world *leaders* and we are their strong arm, continuing to kill and displace millions of PEOPLE, and destroy whole countries with depleted uranium ammunition, devastation of infrastructure and to terrorize with our weapons, women children and families and this is not the way to freaking lead anything.

      If you cannot see the same militarization of civilian police in this country, as the next logical end game of these *leaders?*

      Walker is doing it to WI in the same manner. Create a crisis like canceling the state’s county municipal mutual insurance program, smaller, poorer counties falter fiscally and private managers get appointed to move in, Detroit style and begin selling off county/public assets or need to borrow from the world banks rentiers and get trounced in debt and interest payment in the scam.

      Have you totally missed US/NATO backed neo-nazi coup and the escalation of misery and fear in the Ukraine?

      Thoroughly disappointed in your limited outlook here.

    2. Gregory,

      What are the troop-to-task ratios?
      What’s the objective?
      We’ve always had overwhelming air superiority.
      We’ve always had overwhelming land (force) superiority.
      We’ve always had overwhelming naval superiority.

      Why aren’t we winning?

      What’s this “spread of radical elements?”

      It’s a civil war. We started it when we destroyed the SUNNI military counterweight to SHIA Iran. That’s what Iraq under Saddam Hussein was. ISIS/ISIL is simply Saddam’s army reforming with the help of the Saudi royal family (Osama bin Laden’s relatives), other oil-rich Sunni’s, and weapons from the United States of America. They’re using our stuff.

      Since you clearly don’t have a clue, all George W. Bush did by invading Iraq was make Iran the land power in the region. Ok Bush helped Exxon and BP by letting them steal Iraqi oil. I’m confident you’re not ok with letting U.S. soldier’s die for western oil corporations, and the rest of the for-profit military industrial complex, but that’s exactly what happened.

      Didn’t Obama campaign on bring our troops home? Isn’t that why we elected him?

      Evidently, you also are clueless about how the Saudi Royal family is trying to corner the world market on oil. From highs above $100/barrel, they’ve pushed prices below $50. Some think the Saudi’s break-even point could be as low as $10/barrel. Trillions of dollars in investment in capital expenditures for oil exploration is about to collapse. Tar sands, off shore oil rigs, fracking for natural gas, no one can make money when crude prices sink so low. When all those companies go bust, the Saudi’s will jack the price back to $150/barrel and no one will dare invest.

      “Canadian energy companies trading at ‘irrational’ values, analysts say”

      “Canadian energy companies are trading at record valuations, signalling their shares haven’t caught up to the reality of crude oil’s continued decline.

      Suncor Energy Inc., Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and other stocks in the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Energy Sector Index are priced at 65 times expected earnings, an all-time high and more than double the average of U.S. peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Those valuations sit in contrast to crude, which touched $42.03 a barrel for the U.S. benchmark last week, the lowest since March 2009.

      As surging crude output strains storage facilities and pushes prices down in the U.S., Canadian producers are cutting thousands of jobs and reducing spending to weather the rout. High valuations suggest that might not be enough to help support earnings which are projected to drop 24 per cent for the group in the second quarter from the first, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

      The group, in general, is reflecting oil prices closer to $60,” Amir Arif, an analyst at Cormark Securities Inc. in Calgary, said by phone. “The longer oil stays at these levels, there is downside risk.”

      Oil prices have plunged more than 50 per cent from June highs as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries maintains output levels amid surging North American production, particularly from U.S. shale rocks. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, settled at $45.72 on Monday, while the signallinganadian Select benchmark traded at $34.50 after falling below $30 a barrel last week for the first time in six years.

  4. I am not trying to be difficult–but am honest in how I feel.

    No one is taking a position that Bush was not the cause of the fractured state that is now Iraq. But at some point we need to stop peddling that argument and think pragmatically about the needs we have to shoulder when it comes to foreign policy in the future. I am not suggesting we have not already done much heavy lifting in that regard. But let us recall that the region has changed since Obama ran his 2008 campaign. To use his lines form that race are no longer relevant. The polls and direction of national debates about how these matters shape 2016 should be our concern. Democrats can not win with soft mush–nor should we want them to. Moderate voters will, and should reject that. We have interests in the Middle East and they require American action. As to Saudi oil production levels we all can be comforted in that this move has forced Russia to recalibrate their economic game plan, and that serves US interests very well. As to what is the spread of radical elements? You are not serious. Hmm….Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Tunisia, the threat to Saudi Arabia. What might you suggest if radicals attack the Haj? Not that the US would be directly involved but the repercussions would require a foreign policy response. Can you imagine what will happen if just one person who traveled to Iraq or Syria to train with radicals return and takes an action against America. Might you wonder what impact that has on 2016. Real pragmatic foreign policy is required if we are to be serious about not only being Democrats but also Americans. Recall Scoop Jackson.

    1. Nobody is questioning your honesty about how you feel.

      Clue, I’ll bet many of the CIA operatives that were arming and training the Syrian “rebels,” to take out Assad (recall the citizen petition almost two years ago to the WH telling Barry to not attack Syria?) are back from Syria and in the US or maybe now sent off to “free,” the Ukraine for Monsanto and US petroleum/gas interests seeking to exploit that region.

      These same Syrian factions morphed into the current ISIS/ISIL threat. What you are missing is the point that US interests are NOT served by American exceptionalist hegemony creating chaos around the world for the purpose of allowing multinational profiteering off the death and suffering of people everywhere. Our country can’t take care of our own people and infrastructure but militarism around the globe is deemed crucial. NSA instituted why? Because our foreign policy is making so many friends and allies across the globe?

      Jesus freaking christ on a crutch, people in WI stood up to a microcosmic example of this same fascist crap with the Iron County mining ploy. Paid off politicians, armed guards illegally in the state and the Van Hollen refusing to prosecute, for starters.

      1. I took a far different position than those who signed the petition of which you noted. Had President Obama acted with the his presidential authority, following the use of chemical weapons by Assad and his forces, and not sought input from Congress there would be a different outcome for Syria today. We were not directly aiming for his removal with the bombing but a military strike would have disallowed ISIS from having as much a threat to that nation as it now has. Other rebel forces not aligned with ISIS would have had the means to make progress on the ground and not have allowed the upheaval and chaos that Assad has created and uses to fester. The lack of such a strike has allowed for ISIS to have a significant stranglehold on Syria. At the time that we needed to strike Syria I stated and still stand by a firm conviction. Using chemical arms is considered a war crime and banned under international treaties, including the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Geneva Protocol and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The moral calling of not only the U.S. and others to act in such cases when chemical weapons are used should be the code we live by, but the lack of applying a meaningful remedy for using those weapons will only encourage other tyrants in the future to act with the same reckless disregard for their citizens. Or is that not the type of “fascist crap” that we need to be concerned about?

        1. As I don’t follow regularly follow your blog, but only a few of your comments here, I obviously missed your comments about the lack of a strike against Syria for which you stated a strong conviction.

          But yes, depleted uranium weapons are not on the banned chemical weapons list, are they? Sorry for my mistake with semantics and for being so naive. Of course you are correct, the US of A is the only honorable actor in world affairs, militarily or financially.

          Thanks for correcting my misguided understanding.

        2. Proud to be an American hey Greg? Safer for 2 million reasons. Sleep well in the knowledge.

          Study: U.S. Wars Have Left Over 1 Million Dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan
          From Democracy Now:

          “A new report has found that the Iraq War has killed about one million people. The Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other groups examined the toll from the so-called war on terror in three countries — Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The investigators found “the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around one million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan (i.e. a total of around 1.3 million). Not included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen. The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware. … And this is only a conservative estimate,” they wrote. They say the true tally could be more than two million.”

          1. Yeah, I am proud to be an American. My Dad served in WWII, then came home and served for over 40 continuous years as an elected official. I grew up in rural area as a young gay man and have been active in politics in a variety of ways over the decades. Those you read my blog–and I know it is one of countless others–but doing so would have shown my concern about the number of Iraq causalities caused by a war that was not one we should have ever fought. My face can be seen in a local newspaper photo marching in Madison against that war. What we are facing now (in part) is the result of what that war unleashed. I can rest on good feelings about being right in opposing it, OR I can think about what needs to be done in a pragmatic way to further our national interests, and that of our allies in the region. That is the discussion that will carry us into 2016 and the election. Having said that I reject how you so willfully seem to cast off the use of chemical weapons in Syria by that regime and not feel–or so it seems–that there should be any consequence for their use. That to me is inexcusable. Perhaps I have misread your feelings, but there can be no allowance for chemical weapons use. Period. As by now you can probably tell I am not one who subscribes to much of your–and I am at a loss as to know how I should term it–it is not liberal as I am liberal in the sense of Frank Church and Ted Kennedy and Birch Bayh and others who governed in my formative years–and I am not sure your views are progressive–so I am not sure where you line up on the political label chart–but we are not on the same page when it comes to our views about foreign policy. I am sure we meet in the middle when it comes to Scott Walker and cuts to education and all sorts of other topics, and for that we can be grateful. So I am not really sure this back and forth is getting us anywhere, and therefore you can comment again and I will let that be the last word from me on this post. All the best to you as I do think an engaged person on the issues of the day is far preferable to one who does not care in any way.

            1. Beyond your pragmatism, your family and personal history and gender tribal affiliation all of which have absolutely nothing to do in justifying US military involvement continuing in the MENA in any fashion right now, I claimed from the start depleted uranium is also a chemical weapon and the business of the US has exclusively been making war as our most profitable and prosperous businesses since about 1991.

              I understand there is intermittent, primitively delivered, recent use of chlorine and other chemicals not specifically designed as weapons, being employed as such. However, the chemical weapons attack you refer to, that was being used as the primary excuse to justify the US to fully go after Assad, has never been definitively linked to the Assad regime. As likely a case of a false-flag operation to move US opinion is as strongly argued as anything else. Reliable sources have even claimed photos of the victims were from another ME region and time.

              Similarly, how fast did the downed jet liner over the Ukrainian border fall off the US corporate MSM when no proof could be found to pin it on Putin or Ukrainian Russian loyalists? Blame was shifting toward the US backed neo-nazi coup faction and Ukrainian Air Force jets. Justification for US/NATO involvement? Of course it is. /s


            2. Gregory,

              Nice to see Sen./Sec. Clinton’s advance team has made it to BB.

              You wrote, “The lack of such a strike has allowed for ISIS to have a significant stranglehold on Syria.”

              1. So, you support ISIS against Assad? Remember, ISIS has the support of Osama bin Laden’s relatives in the Saudi royal family.

              Like almost everything else in U.S. foreign policy, it’s about fossil fuels. “​Syria attraction: Russia moving into Eastern Mediterranean oil bonanza”

              “The wars for control of Syria, and actually there is more than one going on simultaneously, have a strong background in an undeclared war over who will control the region’s gigantic and newly-discovered oil and gas reserves. ….”


              It’s also about a pipeline built through Syria to carry oil and natural gas to China.

              When it’s not all about fossil fuels, it’s usually about the currency wars.

              And then the dollars from selling weapons, “US and Russia remain world’s biggest arms exporters – study” , which of course you ignore.

              2. WRT, your “My face can be seen in a local newspaper photo marching in Madison against that war.”

              What Madison newspaper? Share the link.

              3. If you want to continue to use words like “pragmatic,” answer the questions below about the specific countries you’ve already mentioned.

              3.1 What are the troop-to-task ratios?
              3.2 What’s the objective?
              3.3 We’ve always had overwhelming air superiority, overwhelming land (force) superiority, overwhelming naval superiority. Why aren’t we winning?

              4. Among all the massive issues you ignore are the refugees. When you destroy homes, infrastructure, access to water, that’s what “radicalizes” human beings. Their specific religion doesn’t matter, although it’s at those times, that religious leaders frequently emerge as the leaders of the “Exodus” to water, food and shelter. Think about the Danzinger Bridge shootings in New Orleans when Katrina hit.

              Here’s some video

              4. You wrote: “As to Saudi oil production levels we all can be comforted in that this move has forced Russia to recalibrate their economic game plan, and that serves US interests very well.”

              How anyone thinks Osama bin Laden’s relatives in the Saudi royal family cornering the oil market is a good thing for anyone except the royal family is beyond me. You just stated you want the U.S. to import all its oil from the Saudi’s.

              4.1 Russia’s oligarchs have had to “re-calibrate,” because western oligarchs convinced the U.S. to risk World War III by seizing Ukrainian natural gas.

              “Ukrainian Employer of Joe Biden’s Son Hires a D.C. Lobbyist”


              This is the Bay of Pigs (Russia moving military forces into Cuba) in reverse.

              “US Soldiers Readying for Ukraine Deployment”


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