Iraq

Who says Clinton accomplished nothing in the Senate?

Featured image Dianne Feinstein came up empty when asked by the San Francisco Chronicle what Hillary Clinton accomplished during her time in the Senate. Feinstein couldn’t recall any “bills [Clinton] authored.” However, she noted that “there are things outside of bills that you can do.” There are, indeed. A reader directs my attention to three such things Clinton did in the Senate. First, she voted to authorize invasion of Iraq. Later, she »

In 2002, Trump said he favored invading Iraq

Featured image Donald Trump has made his alleged opposition to the war in Iraq a central theme of his presidential campaign. He claims that it differentiates him from his opponents and speaks to his sagacity when it comes to foreign and military policy. Early on, we noted that there was no evidence Trump opposed the invasion before it occurred. He began to criticize the war only after it appeared to be going »

What Trump said about Iraq, pre-invasion

Featured image Donald Trump continues to insist that prior to the invasion of Iraq, he said we “should not go into Iraq.” Last year, the tycoon said he could provide 25 articles demonstrating that he took that position. However, he has not provided one, and apparently nobody else has unearthed any either. This isn’t to say that Trump failed to opine on the question of whether to invade Iraq. Andrew Kaczynski of »

There’s no evidence that Trump opposed invading Iraq

Featured image Last night, Donald Trump repeated his claim that “I’m the only one on the stage that said we should not go into Iraq.” As I’ve pointed out before, however, there is no credible evidence that Trump said any such thing. Trump had plenty to say about the Iraq invasion after it had taken place. In the early days, when it wasn’t going well, he called the invasion a mess. But »

The Matthews miasma

Featured image Chris Matthews opened Hardball last night with an extended discussion of National Review’s editorial and symposium Against Trump. The NR cover flags the editorial by “The Editors” followed by the names of 22 conservative contributors. As the screen flashed a graphic of the cover, Matthews described the contributors as “22 hastily deputized editors.” Matthews seemed not to understand that the cover advertised the editors’ unsigned editorial opposition to Trump along »

The use and abuse of the “neocon” label

Featured image I’m disappointed that Ted Cruz has been describing as “neocons” some of the people whose foreign policy views don’t align with those he professes. Jonah Goldberg has called him out on this practice. Throwing the neocon label around isn’t an argument; it’s name-calling. Cruz argues well enough that he shouldn’t have to rely on name-calling. It must have gone over well with focus groups. Name-calling is bad enough. To make »

The fall of Ramadi and the outlook in Iraq

Featured image 2015 ended on a high note when ISIS was defeated in Ramadi. The news seemed all the brighter because according to reports from U.S. commanders, Iraqi military forces retook the city without help from Shiite militias. However, the distinction between Iraqi military forces and Shiite militias may not be as sharp as these reports assume. David French cites a Newsweek report that “the security forces of the Iran-backed regime in »

Good news: ISIS control of Ramadi in jeopardy (but watch out for Afghanistan)

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Iraqi troops, supported by U.S. air strikes, have stormed into the center of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province. At last word, they hadn’t yet retaken the city from ISIS, but their prospects of doing so seem excellent. According to the Post, this is the first major offensive by the Iraqi army in which Shiite militias have been largely excluded. Thus, it can be viewed »

Winning is the American tradition to which we should be true

Featured image In his address last night, President Obama described “our strategy to destroy ISIS” as follows: First, our military will continue to hunt down terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary. In Iraq and Syria, airstrikes are taking out ISIL leaders, heavy weapons, oil tankers, infrastructure. And since the attacks in Paris, our closest allies — including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom — have ramped up their contributions »

Good news: ISIS is losing territory and revenue

Featured image We have been critical of President Obama’s campaign against ISIS, and we will continue to be. The air campaign against the terrorist state should have been far more vigorous from the outset and we should have more boots on the ground. In fairness, though, there are indications that ISIS is finally being pegged back. ISIS has lost a significant amount of territory. In Iraq, according to the Washington Post, up »

It ain’t me, babe

Featured image Last night 60 Minutes aired an interview with President Obama conducted by Steve Kroft. The interview ran over two segments. Videos and transcript are posted here. In the first half of the interview Kroft asked about foreign policy. The questions were critical and the atmosphere was tense. Obama was not pleased. Obama yammered in his accustomed style. Kroft interrupted to note that he felt like he was being filibustered. Again, »

Donald Trump’s phony claim of prescience about the Iraq war

Featured image Donald Trump rarely misses an opportunity to tout his early opposition to the war in Iraq. But how early did his opposition come? If it predated the invasion (and Trump had ample opportunity publicly to oppose intervention during the long build-up to the war), then he can claim to have been prescient, assuming that the war was a mistake. If not, then Trump was just one of many voices who »

Donald Trump’s fallacious analysis of Middle East instability

Featured image Donald Trump said on Meet the Press yesterday that the Middle East would be a more stable place if Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi were still in power. For once, Trump answered a question about the Middle East more or less correctly. The Middle East would be more stable if Saddam and Qaddafi held true power in Iraq and Libya. But the question is whether, absent foreign intervention, Saddam and »

Iraq turns to Russia to fill void left by “unserious” Obama

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Iraq plans to set up a joint-intelligence-sharing hub with Syria, Iran, and Russia to fight ISIS. The center is expected to be operational within a matter of weeks, according to a spokesman for the Iraqi Defense Ministry. The Post’s Loveday Morris explains the meaning of this move: The deal is the latest indication of expanding Russian influence in the region as Moscow embarks on a »

Clearing my spindle, Syria edition

Featured image The withdrawal of the United States from Iraq and points elsewhere around the Middle East has created a vacuum that has been filled by forces hostile to the United States. Syria is representative. ISIS has moved into Syria from Iraq. Iran and Hezbollah have both moved into Syria to defend the Assad regime from ISIS. The Obama administration has taken a sort of Stalinist tack. Obama has concentrated on building »

Who Lost Iraq?

Featured image Hugh Hewitt has been making news regularly lately. If you haven’t been listening to his radio show, you should. Tonight I was driving home from work and heard the following exchange between Hugh and Lindsey Graham. First, this observation: Graham is not my favorite Republican by any means, but he is smart and generally sound on foreign policy. In addition, he has been personally involved in some key events of »

Tom Cotton on the Obama-Iran axis

Featured image Our friend Senator Tom Cotton has released a statement commenting on the Bloomberg story reported yesterday by Josh Rogin and Eli Lake here that we are now sharing a military base with Iranian forces in Iraq: When I was a soldier fighting in Iraq, Iran supplied the most advanced, most lethal roadside bombs used against coalition forces. Many American soldiers lost their lives to Iran’s proxies and Iranian-supplied bombs. Further, »