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Obama and Iraq: ‘Through a Glass, Darkly’

Posted on Sep 20, 2010
AP / Charles Dharapak

By Scott Ritter

“The time has come to set aside childish things.” With these words, President Barack Obama, in his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2009, pushed aside “the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas” which he claimed “far too long have strangled our politics.” This passing reference to the Scripture (1 Corinthians 13:11) served as the vehicle with which Obama broke with the policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush. While the differences in policy between Obama and Bush were many, they were particularly stark on the issue of the war in Iraq. On the surface, Obama’s televised address on Sept. 7, 2010, in which he somberly announced “the end of our combat mission in Iraq,” brought closure to a conflict as unnecessary as it was elective, and fulfilled, however superficially, his pledge to do just that. Unfortunately, Obama has come face to face with the biblical line “But now we see through a glass, darkly,” which immediately follows the Scriptural verse he mentioned in his inaugural address. The president and the American people will all too soon come to recognize that the quagmire in Iraq is far from over. In fact, one might say it has only just begun. 

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In what passed for the “Iraq master plan” as set forth by the Bush administration, Iraq’s oil wealth was to create the foundation of economic viability, which would then pave the way for political stability and improve internal security to the extent that U.S. combat troops could be withdrawn from that war-torn land. In a perfect world, this plan had a certain irrefutable logic, and as such was for the most part endorsed by politicians from both major parties, the mainstream media and the majority of the American people, enamored as they were with the Colin Powell-esque ethic of the “Pottery Barn Rule” that held “if you broke it, you own it.” And there can be no doubt that, regardless of the abuses which had occurred during the rule of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, America had, through the waging of two wars (1991 and 2003), the implementation of more than two decades of U.N.-backed economic sanctions and a disastrous occupation, “broke” Iraq.

To make amends for these actions, the American people have tolerated more than seven years of redefined missions (which ranged from disarming Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, to imposing democracy, to creating stability, and, finally, to creating the conditions for stability), all the while recoiling from the enormous cost in terms of human lives and treasure (American, allied and Iraqi). Compounding the problems associated with a fluid mission was the fact that the “enemy” in Iraq was similarly ill-defined—the Shiites were our friends, until Moqtada al-Sadr became our enemy; the Sunnis were our enemies, until the “Awakening” movement made them our allies; and “al-Qaida in Iraq” went from being composed almost exclusively of foreigners to being almost exclusively Iraqi, to being whatever the U.S. military chose to define it as. This lack of a discernable foe made any traditional military combat mission designed to close with and destroy the enemy through firepower and maneuver impossible to execute.

While the United States military can claim that it did not lose the war in Iraq, it will have a hard time backing up any claims of victory. America was denied its “Missouri moment” in Iraq—the Baathists of Saddam Hussein’s regime were never compelled to line up, as the Japanese had in Tokyo Bay in August 1945, and sign a surrender document. This lack of closure highlights the ever-present reality that while American forces may have defeated Saddam Hussein’s divisions, and ultimately captured or killed the Iraqi president and the majority of his senior officials, the fighting would last for years and continues today.

History has highlighted, and will continue to highlight, the failures inherent in the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq following the fall of Baghdad in April 2003. As liberation transformed into anarchy and the illusory “flowers and song” greeting turned into rancor and resistance, it became clear that the United States lacked a coherent plan and vision for rebuilding a post-Saddam Iraq. The dream of rapidly reconstituting a viable Iraqi nation was soon shattered by the reality of a land laid to waste by the combined effects of war and economic sanctions. This process was also hampered by an Iraqi people who lacked faith in one another, and were alienated by the ideology, incompetence and corruption of the American occupation of their country. Despite the prewar assurances and guarantees made by senior officials in the Bush administration, Iraq’s “oil miracle” never occurred, and as such any hopes of building a solid economic foundation upon which an indigenous framework of governance could be placed were quashed. With no anchor upon which to steady itself, Iraq’s drive toward democracy was instead cut adrift amid the treacherous currents of internal politics, regional insecurity and international greed.


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In many ways, the American experience in Iraq has been defined more by the fantasy dreamed up in Washington, D.C., than by the reality on the ground. That fantasy has included the “purple finger revolution,” which came to symbolize Iraq’s first national election of the post-Saddam era (Iraq still lacks a viable, cohesive government); the much-hyped military “surge” of 2006-2007, which had all the real impact of punching air; and the farcical economic “success” of major oil companies bidding on Iraqi oil exploration rights (orchestrated by an Iraqi Oil Ministry lacking both a governmental structure and legal basis for issuing such bids, given the Iraqi Parliament’s inability to pass an oil law. American politicians, aided and abetted by a fawning mainstream media, have fabricated a fiction aimed at a largely ignorant American public that fails to address the real problems in Iraq. It is in this topsy-turvy world created by political hype and media spin that a president can, with a straight face, announce the withdrawal of American “combat troops” from Iraq, while leaving behind six combat brigades (renamed, but not reorganized) comprising some 50,000 troops to fight and die in “noncombat.”

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By Sodium-Na, September 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Re: drbehelthi,September 26 at 3:49 am.


Oh yes!

We should not overlook the extent of destruction and the resulting “sociocide” of all aspects of the American social order.


Could not agree more with the comment quoted above.

Thank you for calling attentions to the overlooked facts by me.

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By sallysense, September 26, 2010 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

(hiya cheyennebode’n'all!... and gee though… don’t know about that… but thanks so much for your kind comments… and gee… sure don’t wanna derail this thread off its track either… although that poem was written with the iraq situation etc in mind… anyway… the best of wishes’n'ways’n'todays to ya’n'all!... and yes indeed!... lotsa bob’s neat tunes’n'their doin’s too!)... smile

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By drbhelthi, September 25, 2010 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment

“Anyone interested to know the extent of destruction
of Iraq and the resulting “sociocide” of all aspects
of the Iraqi social order,may wish to - - .”

Add to this all similar activities that have
occurred, around the world, since early 1950s, when
Georg H. “Bush” Sr. took the helm of the NAZI SS
general Gehlen, CIA, reorganized from the OSS.

Oh Yes!
We should not overlook the extent of destruction and
the resulting “sociocide” of all aspects of the
American social order - - .

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By Sodium-Na, September 25, 2010 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

From Scott Ritter’s article:


The President and the American people will all too soon come to recognize that the quagmire in Iraq is far from over. Infact,one might say it has only just begun.


The two statements quoted above had/have summed up the present political reality in Iraq. Seven months have passed since last March election has taken place and an Iraqi government had yet to be formed.

The tragic part of it all is this: While Iraqi politicians are bickering about who is to head the new government yet to form,daily slaughtering of innocent iraqis is on going almost daily,in various regions of Iraq.


Question: What the U.S.has to do in order to extract itself from such an unending quagmire? 

Answer: Just get out and get out as promptly as possible. Let the Iraqis fight it out among themselves and who ever prevails,so be it.

Final words: criticizing President Obama for the 50,000 American troops remaining in Iraq until 2011 is prematurely stated. Why not wait and see until the end of 2011 and see whether or not President Obama is up to honoring his promise? It is so unfair to forget that Cheney/Bush poured into Iraq 190,000 troops,while President Obama withdrew 140,000 troops,sofar,from Iraq.

What Cheney/Bush have left behind for Obama to deal with is really UNREAL!!

Anyone interested to know the extent of destruction of Iraq and the resulting “sociocide” of all aspects of the Iraqi social order,may wish to read the following book:

Erasing Iraq
Mike Otterman

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By cheyennebode, September 25, 2010 at 10:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


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By sallysense, September 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

hiya cheyennebode’n'all!... and thanks so much for your kind comment here too… (am just glad to share and grateful it’s appreciated)... the best of wishes’n'ways’n'todays to ya’n'all!... smile

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By IGELLE ELIAS TE5RHEMEN, September 24, 2010 at 12:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The experience of Americal leaders in Iraque is just to prove to world powers that the notion war is not just in itsself expensive and demanding but also not necessary in resolving issues between nations. The Cameroon and Nigerian experience in the Oil rich Bakassi Penisula is but an ideal experience for mordern man let Obama be modern and call the Iraquies to anegotiation table, and withdraw all American forces be they combat or Police.

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By samosamo, September 23, 2010 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment


Since Scott Ritter is still providing credible insight
into the machinations and devious intrigues of
this country’s oligarchy controlled hegemony, I
will read and pay attention to what he says
because this is dealing with the horrors of what
this country has been led down the ‘not so rosy
path’ the neocon’s and MICCC have charted out
and it ain’t good for this country or the world and
that is every bit as serious as what he is accused
of doing, more so considering the people affected
in breadth and scope of the current crises.

Ritter may get sent down the river for what he is
accused of but to flat out claim he has no
credibility for what he knows and just throw it in
a junk heap is on the irresponsible side of being
informed; may as well just come home, turn on
the BOOB tube, catch your lies and disinformation
from fux, cnn, msnbc or read usatoday and
believe like the other dumbstream members who
‘know it all’.

As truthful and precise as Ritter has been in
telling what he knows of those things on the
middle east, I can believe he is the target of
some scheme to silence him. There are not just a
few people who don’t want to hear Ritter on
subjects that contradict things like a new war on
Iran. Just as I believe that JFK was assassinated by
the cia or military or anyone in the MICCC using
oswald as the fool to do it.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 23, 2010 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

Rick, why are you so eager to believe it? Does it fit your point of view, your prejudices? I wonder how gullible you would be if a similar charge came against someone you have an agreement with? One must be skeptical of all such charges. Especially when they come at such propitious moments to impugn certain people for saying things against the Powers That Be. Do you actually believe them when it is someone’s else ox being gored? Are you that partisan, that shallow? It would seem so.

Remember “innocent until proved guilty” it is still extant—-for now.

Stings like those are done all the time. We don’t really have much information on it. And don’t forget how corrupt many of our policing organizations are. Death rows are filled with the people who were wrongly convicted, as are our prisons. [Plea bargains are insurance for them too.]

Open police states are like that, so are hidden ones.

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By drbhelthi, September 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

“Deeply flawed” are the personalities that roam the
US and other countries, paid by a “company” to
select out children to steal. Training the stolen
children to become sex slaves, and whatever else the
company wants to misuse them for, also reflects
“deep flaws.” The leaders of a nation that
intentionally support such “deep-flawed” activity
are also deeply flawed.

The age of consent in Germany is sixteen. How old
were the set-ups that were used to entrap Scott
Ritter?  Crafty company employees.

Certain company employees need to frequently look
around to see which colleagues are no longer there.

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By cheyennebode, September 23, 2010 at 10:59 am Link to this comment
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By Peetawonkus, September 23, 2010 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

Well, you go to war on the back of a lie and then wonder why everything went tits up. But, if you’re a right-winger, you don’t spend much time dwelling on the past or studying history for its mistakes. And of course Afghanistan is a dead end, since it scarcely has anything left to bomb anymore. But now Iran—that will be a jolly good war. Hey, we’ll be welcomed as liberators. After all, don’t they have Weapons of Mass Destruction?

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By Rick, September 23, 2010 at 5:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Why are you disgusted with the truth? And let’s test your theory of a smear campaign versus the actual facts.

Ritter pleaded guilty in the first instance and has already indicated that he did what he was accused of in the most recent case - he is quibbling about whether or not he knew the person’s purported age. That’s the exact same crap the perps on Dateline: To Catch a Predator use.

Stay in denial all you like, but this guy has destroyed his own credibility, and and as long as Truthdig carries him, I am no longer a reader of the articles on this site.

All people have flaws, including “brilliant” people, which I would concur that Ritter is. But this is a flaw I simply cannot condone.

Idiocy on the left is no more attractive than idiocy on the right. Both must be called out. In Mr. Ritter’s case, he is damaged goods, and I for one find it important to stress to my children that the message must be delivered by a messenger with credibility. Ritter’s is gone.

So I am not sure why you are disgusted with John for pointing out public record, and you are welcome all you like to be disgusted with me. But Ritter’s behavior disgusts me, as does anyone who is willing to just assume that this is a political smear campaign, rather than looking at the facts of the cases. Ritter is deeply flawed, and I sincerely hope that he gets the psychological assistance that he would seem to need.

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By glider, September 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Hey “John”,  you absolutely disgust me.

Scott Ritter is an articulate brillant individual bringing you an insight into the reality of the debacle of Iraq.  Into the debacle of hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths.  As far as I am concerned assume Scott is entirely the victim of a smear campaign perpetrated by warmongers of the powerful out of control MIC gone AWOL against American citizens in this country.  How curious that Julian Assange, another hero brave enough to stand up to MIC machine and speak the truth is similarly smeared within months of his release of an MIC expose.  Just how curious is that?

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By gerard, September 22, 2010 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

The country never voted for women’s rights, for FDR, for civil rights for all races, mainly African Americans, until tens of thousands made themselves heard via marches, letters, phone calls, demonstrations, letters to the editors, etc. etc. made a loud enough demand—united and insistent over a period of years, gradually building strength.

Most Americans, especially the middle class, even now do not act as long as their own situation is comfortable, which is a weakness that weakens all action in democracies.  Many people live entire lifetimes without feeling that they have any obligation to help others less fortunate—in spite of their Christian pretensions.

The right to vote was never considered as the only legitimate citizen action. That’s why other forms of public action were specified in the Constitution. All steps forward have been accomplished by many other methods. To pout over lack of access and influence does not let anybody off the hook, in my opinion. Collectively, what we are working against is the disunifying drag of “rugged individualism.”

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By Night-Gaunt, September 22, 2010 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

Reagan, GHWBush, Clinton, GWBush & Obama all did it. Contributed to it, expanded it and continue it as the Republic becomes ever more a mockery of itself.

The process first started in 1980 is being carried through under numerous presidents over decades of time by both parties through today. What does that tell you?

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By John, September 22, 2010 at 7:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since 2001 Scott Ritter has been arrested three times on charges of sexual exploitation of minors. He is scheduled for trial on the third arrest this month.

Why doesn’t Truthdig feel he has a credibility problem? Why doesn’t Truthdig tell us why they continue to publish this columnist?

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By aacme88, September 22, 2010 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

Gerard’s quote has it wrong. Progressives have no trouble imagining alternatives to their vision, it’s the realization of that vision that comes hard. Throughout history one form of conservative code or another, some more neanderthal than others, has ruled in virtually every country on the planet. There has always been a dream of enlightened rule, maybe even a few benevolent despots have provided it, but rarely have governments been created to live it. Some of the smaller European countries come closest. But progressives have no trouble imagining thuggish governance. They are just sick to death of it.

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By drbhelthi, September 22, 2010 at 6:12 am Link to this comment

Mr. Scott R., you are always so accurate. Very neat

A dark glass, indeed, which does not permit see-
However, not needed.

With a past that has not stopped, a continuation
under differently-named hoaxes will continue.

Similar to the hoax occupying the U.S. Presidency
and the U.S. Congress.

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By tedmurphy41, September 22, 2010 at 4:37 am Link to this comment

Don’t blame the current President as this scenario of Middle East involvement(meddling) by Western Governments has brought this impasse into being with no obvious way out.
Loosely quoting George Santayana, those ignoring the mistakes of the past are doomed to continue to make them in the present.

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By FRTothus, September 22, 2010 at 3:08 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man gets it so wrong.

Iraq HAD a “stable” government, insofar as any
imperial colony with a dictator fully installed and
supported by that selfsame imperial power has a
government.  The Iraq people, while never well off
under foreign domination, still had much greater
personal security under the once-US golden boy Saddam
than they have and have had under the US’s invasion
and brutal occupation.

And I believe you misunderstand the “easy” applause
and support Obama engendered with his hopeful, not
hateful, message.  The outpouring was relief from
folks genuinely thankful for what appeared to be,
finally, and hope for the end of the rule of the
crypto-fascist regime of Bush the Lessor, and the
glimmer of the dawn of a new, more civilized day in
America.  Alas, it has proven not to be:  We got a
Hoover instead of the FDR we needed. Nonetheless,
with Bush, our expectations were low to begin with,
and yet many of us were still shocked with the
frequency and flagrancy of the excesses of law-
breaking and law-ignoring and far too many abuses of
power to count.  Americans were more than tired of
the regime of Bush the Lessor, we were exhausted.  It
is not difficult to see, therefore, how it was that
the expectations for a populist community organizer
reached to the stratosphere.  Bush didn’t have far to
fall, we expected so little of him.  The people could
have voted for the anointed McCain/Palin ticket, but
didn’t, and further, swept the Republicans out of
both the Congress and the White House, a complete
Expectations were much higher for Obama, however. And
the current disappointment with Obama is because he
has has not lived up to those higher expectations,
and has instead continued Bush the Lessor’s policies. 
It is that, the failure to live up to the progressive
rhetoric, not the continuation of the policies of the
Bush the Lessor regime, that is the cause for the

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By aacme88, September 21, 2010 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

I saw Scott speak maybe a month or two before the invasion. He was perhaps uniquely qualified on the subject of WMD’s in the region, ex-military, lifelong Republican, someone that you would think the administration would listen to before taking any such action. But he was smeared and vilified by them, word was leaked that he had some unspecified child molestation problem, etc. Why?

Because the talk he gave outlined almost exactly what has happened as a result of that invasion, the tribalism, the insurgency, the growth of terrorism rather than its demise,the plummeting of our standing in the Muslim world, the destabilazion of other governments in the region, etc. Which of course was exactly what they didn’t want to hear, and more importantly didn’t want anyone else to hear.

I believe this illustrates as few stories can the lack of integrity with which the Bush administration, and Republicans in general, operate.

I have always said I knew what was going on with the invasion at the time because instead of listening to people with a history of lying(Bush/Cheney), I listened to people with a history of telling the truth (mostly Scott).

At this point, I will pay close attention to whatever he has to say on the region, agree or not.

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By Rick, September 21, 2010 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look, I love Scott’s perspective on this, but why does Truthdig have this guy writing again? Doesn’t Truthdig realize that their credibility is damaged when they put forth a guy caught masturbating on camera to what was represented to him as a 15 year old girl? As a father of daughters, I am more than a little offended.

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By IceNine, September 21, 2010 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

I do not believe that the majority of American people were ever fooled into believing we had any business invading Iraq. Granted, there is a certain portion of our population that is quite gullible, as evidenced by the recent successes of the so called Tea Party. I still think this is a minority of our citizenry.

The fact is, no one has ever consulted us about going to war prior to actually doing so. Nobody asked us before attacking Afghanistan, nobody asked us before invading Iraq, and no one will ask us before attacking Iran, if it comes to that. I don’t think anyone really believes that we are done in Iraq or that this has ever been in any way an honorable enterprise. And it doesn’t matter how many letters or emails we write to our elected representatives in Washington, or to the president himself; neither our sense of the viability of these wars nor our concerns about the moral issues involved are genuinely taken into account.

Therefore, I think journalists should cease excoriating the American people who simply are not heard when it comes to this matter of whether or not to play nation builders overseas while our own country goes broke. If Obama had told the truth about his own intentions during his presidential campaign, he would not have received many of the votes that brought him into office. It still amazes me that so many people saw him as a progressive, and I would think that by now surely it is clear that he is not.

After having lived through a number of election cycles in this country, one really must start from the assumption that every politician lies. Today, our democracy seems as close to broken as it can get without actually collapsing, and we, the oft mentioned and oft maligned American people, are held to account by our own media even as the sheen of gold-plated glory wears off the endless malarky flowing from Washington DC.

The vote is ostensibly our most effective mechanism for holding our leaders accountable for their actions. When one is as good - or as bad - as another that mechanism no longer works. Period.

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By gerard, September 21, 2010 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

What’s wrong with Obama is the same thing that is wrong with both progessive Democrats and reactionary Republicans:  “,,, The thrall in which an ideology (capitalism) holds a people is best measured by their collective inability to imagine alternatives.”  from an essay by Tony Judt, “Captive Minds”, in New York Review of Books, Sept. 30, 2010

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By Go Right Young Man, September 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

Former President George W. Bush left office with the lowest approval ratings since Richard Nixon. In reaction, for nearly two years, President Barack Obama won easy applause by prefacing almost every speech on his economic policies with a “Bush did it” mantra.

Last week, however, the president did the unthinkable: He praised Bush for his past efforts to reach out to Muslims. Vice President Joe Biden went further and blurted out, “Mr. Bush deserves a lot of credit.” Biden topped that off with, “Mr. President, thank you.”

Even liberal pundits have now called on Bush to help Obama diffuse rising tensions over the so-called Ground Zero mosque and Arizona’s illegal immigration law.

Recent polls show an astounding rebound in the former president’s favorability — to the extent that in the bellwether state of Ohio, voters would rather still have Bush as president than Obama by a 50-42 margin. Nationwide, Obama’s approval ratings continue to sink to near 40 percent — a nadir that took years for Bush to reach. Suddenly it has become better politics to praise rather than to bury Bush. - TruthDig aficionados excluded, of course.

The message from the White House seems to suggest Iraq is on the road to success, with a growing economy and a stabilizing government. Ask Vice President Biden. He recently claimed that the way Iraq is going, it could become one of the Obama administration’s “greatest achievements.” Obama himself seconded that when the former war critic called the American effort in Iraq “a remarkable chapter” in the history of the two countries.

Then there are the growing comparisons with Bush’s supposed past transgressions compared to Obama.

On the war on terror President Obama has dropped all the old campaign venom. Bush’s Guantanamo Bay detention facility, renditions, tribunals, intercepts, “enhanced” interrogations, wiretaps, predator drone attacks, and policies in Afghanistan and Iraq are no longer dubbed a shredding of the Constitution. All are now seen as national security tools that must be kept, if not expanded, under Obama. - Suddenly Nancy Pelosi is very quiet on the “Constitutional Crisis” in America.


The long-held and memorizing mantra; Bush did it! - Bush did it! - Bush did it is fast moving into the dustbin of history. - Thruthdig aficionados, excluded, of course.

To add insult to injury; If Iraq moves into a stable representative form of government in the next ten years people will remember that Bush did it!

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By dr wu, September 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

Our political parties, GOD bless them, are not leaving Af/Pak, Iraq. Not until the oil/gas runs dry. Dem and Repubs—really puppets of the oligarchy/military complex that runs the show

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By ralph, September 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The power elite rule the contry. They select the candidates, of both parties, fund them, and control them. Bush and Obama are two of the best presidents ever- they carry out the major wish of the power elite, which is continuous war. It is very profitable, and of no risk to them. And the masses?

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By sallysense, September 21, 2010 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

flame fan…

he fanned that flame till the well burnt dry…
while waiting for fuel from some refill guy…
then he tried to ignite another pile of sticks…
by enough degrees needed to heat up swift kicks…

he rubbed sides together but only so good…
for those suffering splinters to harbinger wood…
as lingering friction spawned fast-acting blunders…
blowing over all deals that worked real wonders…

soon nostrils and crowd folk poked noses in too…
around whiff-sniffing stench drifting odors of rue…
with its scent reminiscent of bygone’s return…
this lesson for history left life to unlearn…

pressure on memory-bank’s handkerchief wrinkling…
extended red flags past a waivered re-inkling…
as young re-enactors played out that man’s deed…
unapplauded by elders reprimanding bad seed…

next to shuttles of reasons not to follow that fellow…
holocaustic rebuttals still flexed other elbows…
hence preventative maintenance meant to keep fit…
couldn’t fully ensure a straight edge to remit…

though nonetheless most gathered nerve up in hand…
hoping thwart attempts start before more from this man…
but speculation’s blind date hit the public’s sore eye…
like flesh on the lam of chagrined passers-by…

the brunt of his flaunt taunts went on for that spell…
binding more carbon copies in shortcuts toward hell…
till the crew he showed off to withdrew to their lairs…
amid rock woolen hard shells and soft blase fairs…

trouble rekindled its strength with strong holds…
as subsequent frequencies increased tenfold…
for those sparks that were struck fully tipped off that town…
(if they’d only known then how quickly things can burn down!)...


(things need to change to get better… lotsa stuff to do… keep telling the lawmakers… ((no matter when their terms come to an end… and hopefully better workers begin!))... to wake up this government!... to care about the basics!... and stop misleading!... and end all the war!... and don’t waste anymore!...

and here’s one of many links that can be used to do that… and get congressional information etc too)...

(and there’s lotsa other stuff to do too!)...

the best of wishes’n'ways’n'todays to each’n'everyone!... smile

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By gerard, September 21, 2010 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

I admire Scott Ritter very much for his precise, orderly analysis of a situation about which he has first-hand experience and knowledge. Thank you, Scott Ritter, and TD as well.

I assume Scott Ridder is using well every access he has to political power in this hopelessly muddled country. Thanks for that, too.

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By Hammond Eggs, September 21, 2010 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan are South Korea, Japan or western Europe. They will, one way or another, eventually get rid of every last vestige of the United States’ presence in their nations.  It is inevitable, just as it is inevitable that a yuppie fool like Obama could never conceive of such an eventuality.

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By balkas, September 21, 2010 at 9:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It appears all one skein of wool or one bunch of not equally rich people: owners
of media, arms manufacturers, banksters, large shareholders, cia-fbi-police-
army echelons, congress, judiciary.

So it makes not a bit of difference who [mis]teaches us; it cld be a columnist,
editor, anchorperson, general, judge, congressperson, cia-fbi person—-one still
gets exact same [dis]information.

Separating media from one and only reality: the ruling class or governance,
appears an error.
And if done so as to deceive people, then, it is a criminal behaviour and shld be
punished. tnx

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By felicity, September 21, 2010 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

I forgot to mention a conversation attributed to John
Kennedy shortly before he was killed.  When asked how
we could/should extricate ourselves from Nam he said
that it was simple - just say that the South Vietnamese
asked us to leave. True or not true, makes no
difference, can’t prove it can’t disprove it - we could
easily pull it off as a way to leave Iraq, honor

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By felicity, September 21, 2010 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

FRTothus - You just might be right, in fact as
depressing as your ‘take’ is, it is probably correct.

That said, McCain’s stated goal for Iraq was, “Our goal
is an Iraq that no longer needs American troops” is as
hair-brained as the belief that our-goal-is-to-create-
a-society-that-no-longer-needs-a-police-force and then
we will be able to dispense with police departments.

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By samosamo, September 21, 2010 at 9:08 am Link to this comment


As mentioned by Ritter, the fawning mainsteam
media, and others commenting on this article,
illustrates just how important a truly truthful
functioning msm is in providing people with the
information they need to make those ‘real’
decisions so necessary in this whole world. The
correlation of the esoteric and exoteric
information from the very beginnings of intellect
and religious thoughts and control should not be
lost on today’s problems of holding back
essential information while doling out the crap
and crud to the gullible populace.

It, the msm, also demonstrates what results when
over a long period of saturation of
disinformation, no information, fluff, BS, celebrity
‘headline news’ and spectator sport diversions
have an almost permanent lasting affect of
distorting people’s way of critical thinking so that
any reasonable information just rolls off their
brains like water off a duck’s back. That makes
for severe damage to any society.

Only sharp forced trauma would come close to
shaking that part of the populations so
enamoured with their infotainment sources of
information that would open their eyes and
brains to a reality that the msm strives hard to
keep submerged in comatose type control. The
situation is very close if not already irreversible.

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By M L Baker, September 21, 2010 at 8:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

International Corporations go into third war countries knowing the people do not have the wealth, guns and political will and power to fight back. Corporations, motivated by power and greed ,destroy their infrastructure, indiscimately kill their women, men and children and steal their natural resources. War torn Iraq has been turned over to the greedy oil cartels and our U.S. Military have become the police for the oil pipeline running from the Caspian Sea through Afganistan and into Pakistan. We have a lot of “splanin” to do.

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By Roger L, September 21, 2010 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great article Scott, sums it up pretty well. Great to have you back. Keep up the good work.

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By Handle, September 21, 2010 at 8:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The best course is the same now as it was at the beginning - a complete withdrawal of all US forces.  We have no legitimate interest that justifies our occupation. The people of Iraq deserve the right to run their own country.

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By the worm, September 21, 2010 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

You can understand the President’s Afghanistan policy in light of his other
policy decisions and over all political ineptitude.
Obama’s bad policy decisions:
1. Gutted real financial reform (no Glass-Steagle, no ‘too big too fail) –
2. Rejected the only option that would have simultaneously extended coverage
and cut costs (single payer) -
3. Supported a stingy stimulus that was a third tax breaks -
4. Doubled-down and accelerated the Bush bailouts -
5. Escalated a meaningless and fruitless war in Afghanistan -
6. Not helped people with bankruptcy & mortgages remediation -
7. Fiddled around & not passed a jobs bill and even had to strain to extend
unemployment compensation -
8. Promoted off shore drilling, only to see it backfire in his face –
9. Ignored previous Republican profligacy, crimes, misdemeanors -
10. Used “Heck of a Job, Timmy” Geithner to promote low capital gains and
dividend taxes for the wealthy –
11. Couldn’t appoint a consumer advocate to head the consumer protection
agency -
11. Sand bagged a budget balancing commission to cut Social Security
Obama’s political ineptitude:
A.  Kept Bush advisors in the two key areas where people wanted change - the
Economy and the “War on Terror”
B.  Believed unrealistically (and kept believing) the Republicans would line up
for “bi-partisanship”
C.  Opted to not lead or even act as the “Great Explainer” in the non-Reform of
Health Care
D.  Opted to not lead or even act as the “Great Explainer” in the non-Reform of
the Financial System
E.  Fled almost all leadership roles in favor of an ‘insider game’ he did not
understand and could not win
F.  Drove the debt with a bailout of Wall Street and had nothing left for jobs
and the middle class (i.e. the voters).

What can you glean from the above? Obama promotes the transfer of taxpayer
wealth to corporations. Obama promotes perpetual war. Obama cries crocodile
tears for the middle class, while promoting policies that transfer private sector
debt to the middle class, to be paid for by taxing the middle class.

The much vaunted ‘free enterprise system’ is surviving by manipulating
Congress, the legal system and tax system. Obama is just a player in the
Washington DC game of steal from the poor and give to the rich.

Obama’s major decisions demonstrate his steal from the poor and give to the
rich policies:
Mandating people pay for private insurance (no government option);
Bailing out Wall Street with tax payer funds;
Lending taxpayer money to banks at 1% while the banks loan to taxpayers at
from 3 to 18%.

We cannot afford any more of this. We are sinking and the rich are reveling in
control of the process. The rich have manipulated the process to their
advantage and shifted wealth to the wealthiest through government policies. It
is past time (way past time) to use the government for the public interest , not
the interest of a few. Though we thought he did, Obama does not get it. Obama
should step down in 2012.

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By Rigor, September 21, 2010 at 5:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The US Government had no idea what it was getting
into with Iraq. This is a culture that NEVER
forgets, and grudges define politics - no matter
what form of government is in place.
The first gulf war should have ended with Saddam in
prison, but it didn’t (1st mistake), then after 9-11
the US attacked based on the WMD lies (2nd mistake),
then to finish off any integrity we may have had
with these people, we impose our forms of culture &
government on them - at the point of a gun (3rd
Before anyone finds fault with my views you need to
understand that the US is seen as a bully by the
Middle East Countries for this, and lacks all ethics
for things like monetary aid for other countries
like Haiti & Mexico where child rape and slavery are
the norm.

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By othus, September 21, 2010 at 5:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama has no power.  He’s simply the front man for a military psy-oped fake democracy.

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By surfnow, September 21, 2010 at 5:19 am Link to this comment

I never for a solitary moment believed the quaqmire was “over.”  The only people who believe such nonsense, are the same people who in the first place, believed the fairy tale that the invasion was to rid Iraq of Saddam, and to bestow a democracy on the Iraqi people.

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By FRTothus, September 21, 2010 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

I would suggest that one of the policy aims of the US
was to shut off the Iraqi oil, get that oil off the
market to restrict supply and thus raise the value of
the dollar.

I would further suggest that taking any official US
government pronouncement as being indicative of its
true policy aim is never wise nor prudent.  Democracy
is the last thing US policy-makers want, whether in
Iraq or elsewhere, including here at home.  Much
preferred is top-down rule by elites by and for
exploitive private corporate interests.

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