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Learning what went wrong

March 24, 2013

When U.S. forces, aided by those from several other countries, invaded Iraq a decade ago last week, most Americans believed a just, necessary conflict was under way and would be concluded swiftly....

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(21)

Avoice

Mar-24-13 10:55 AM

And all those decisions were probably based upon the premise the past administration had created a potential $5.6 Trillion surplus. NOT.

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Nusenior

Mar-24-13 12:08 PM

Learning from the passed. President Obama is trying and the voices from the extreme right keep shouting .There view of the 19th century “Might Makes Right”. Israel keeps up the pressure to bomb Iran and the extreme right shouts louder and louder “Might Makes Right”. So when will we learn. When we stop listing to the extreme right and the extreme left. I think it was Mark Twain who said the” man who stands in the middle of the road get’s run over from both sides.” That only leaves the extreme on the road. The human condition is such that we will never learn.

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svensota

Mar-24-13 2:08 PM

This is one of The Journal's more hilarious editorials--heartfelt gibberish that lays the responsibility on some obtuse "we".

Right. "We" with a capital "W".

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JReader

Mar-25-13 1:35 PM

Sven,

Your adept expertise in the art of gibberish has not gone unrecognized. Keep up the good work. Your gibberish has some very endearing qualities.

We went to war because the large majority of Americans were in favor of it. Congress (both policital parties) followed the cue of the opinion polls of the day and gave Bush the green light to use force to oust Saddam.

Ten years later there are still no shortgage of Monday morning quartbacks out there who with there highly selective memories will say this was "Bush's War" but the reality is good or bad all Americans own this war and it's aftermath.

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svensota

Mar-25-13 4:19 PM

JR: Thank you for the compliment. What you conveniently choose to forget was who was managing and twisting the critical information at the time. If Saddam had had WMDs then there was strong reason to go in take his regime out. That's what "we" all bought into.

But, he didn't have WMDs did he, JR. And who was feeding false information to Congress and to the American public to whip up war support?

Who, JR? Who?

Talk about gibberish. Your highly selective memory is full of it.

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Zorromcgee

Mar-25-13 4:25 PM

and of course vice -president cheney, who assured us there were WMD's was the former CEO of the company that got billions in no look contracts. If biden was the one involved in something like this JR would write a letter a week to the paper.

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svensota

Mar-25-13 4:36 PM

What I get a kick out of is, how the Republicans want to bend Bush-Iraq War2 and the Bush Afghanistan Fiasco around President Obama. That's like trying to blame Nixon and Kissinger for the Viet Nam War. Four guys got us into that unholy mess: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Dean Rusk, Robert S. McNamara and McGeorge Bundy--all Democrats.

All I can say is, the Republicans need to stand up and be big boys and admit their s c r e w up.

Trying to shuck it off to "we" or some big misunderstanding by the American public is pure, unadulterated, horse manure.

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JReader

Mar-25-13 4:57 PM

Yes, Sven it was Bush who duped congress and all of us into the whole WMD charade. If that were true he'd be the most clever person who ever lived. I for one don't think he's nearly that bright.

It was Kennedy who first got American troops involved in Viet Nam - but hey, who's really counting ?

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svensota

Mar-25-13 10:58 PM

JR: Kennedy didn't trump-up the Gulf of Tonkin Incident or commit over 200,000++ troops to Viet Nam, Johnson did. Viet Nam was a brushfire, by comparison, when Kennedy was president. You need to read some history. The Viet Nam disaster is squarely on LBJ's grave.

The same is true of "W"/Cheney/Powell/et al NeoCons and their idiotic misadventure in Iraq/Afghanistan, if your counting. It was, primarily, their doing and no one else's.

It's a little early for the traditional conservative attempt to rewrite history. But, nice try, JR.

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JReader

Mar-26-13 9:59 AM

Why has Obama twice approved the extension of the Bush tax cuts ? Yes, I realize in the latest round he got his much cherised token tax increase on the wealthiest Americans. By your logic Obama seems to be no better than Bush in his approach to spending and taxation. The only difference between the two is what they choose to spend "our" money on. And I guess you could argue that Obama is a more efficient spender than Bush - it took him less than half the time to surpass the debt racked up under Bush's eight years.

Sven, I stand by my statement that Kennedy first involved the U.S. with military troops in Viet Nam. And, the escalation began while he was president. He started with only several hundred "advisors" and that grew to over 16,000 by the time of his death. No disagreement that Johnson made it much worse.

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svensota

Mar-26-13 1:39 PM

JR: And, I stand by my statement that Viet Nam didn't escalate into a full blown war until Johnson pushed through the phony Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. (Much like "W" and his gonzo neocons did with Iraq and the spooky WMDs.)

There's a gigantic difference between an "advisory" force of 16,000 men and the 536,100 U.S combatants who finally ended up there in 1968. The "Kennedy force" was 2.9% of what Viet Nam became.

You're quibbling and parsing a point you've already lost. The weight of the numbers speak for themselves.

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JReader

Mar-26-13 3:55 PM

So Sven in your mind Viet Nam was an acceptable conflict when Kennedy got into it and only became a totally wrong war when Johnson beefed up the numbers ?

Not trying split hairs here but your original premise was one of a "who got us into this mess" argument and I for one think Kennedy does deserve his share of it. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there were plenty of Republicans in congress beating the war drum as is their way but the these decisions ultimately rest with the president.

Here's one for you to speculate on: Would Johnson have lead us into war had Kennedy not got the ball rolling in the first place ?

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svensota

Mar-26-13 5:04 PM

JR. No, not quite. The original premise was: who got us into Iraq/Afghanistan? And, you and The Journal think it was some mystical, nebulous "we"; whereas, sound thinking folks (my favorite Obamaism) know that the Bush-Iraq War 2 was squarely the desire of Bush/Cheney/Powell/and the NeoCons wishing to bring Democracy to the Middle East and kick a little b u t t in Baghdad, too.

("Saddam was mean to ma' daddy", justified "W".)

You'd like to obfuscate the issue, JR, by niggling about Kennedy in Viet Nam. Ted Sorensen said "no way" to your question, by the way, and he was totally unbiased. Right? Like Fox News or whatever else is poisoning your brain these days.

My point about bringing up Johnson was to show that presidents have plunged our country into totally stupid wars--be they Democrat or Republican (read "W").

See how fair I am.

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JReader

Mar-27-13 1:04 PM

So Bush was the ring leader and he managed to dupe the democrats in congress on a "known" false claim of WMD to authorize the use of force. Does that sum it up ?

And for Kennedy/Johnson you can simply replace WMD with the scurge of communism or SOC. I'm sure there were many Republicans that went along with the SOC claims. Just because the Whitehouse was under Democratic control doesn't excuse the Republicans who jumped on the Viet Nam bandwagon. Same goes for Bush & Iraq.

Until we hold all politicians accountable for their actions irregardless of their party affiliation nothing in our country or world will ever get better.

You can make whatever excuses you want for "your guys" in congress who voted yes on Iraq but the truth is they looked at the same intel Bush did and voted the way they did.

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svensota

Mar-27-13 1:55 PM

JR: I hereby award you the Solomon Prize.

Let's take all those incompetent warmongers out to some remote pasture and shoot them...but not with guns, please.

Although, I must say, I am pleased that "W" doesn't set foot outside the U.S for fear facing International Court charges.

And, I found McNamara's mea culpa toward the end of his life somewhat heartwarming. If he had had any dignity he should have gone over to the Viet Nam War Memorial one cold winter's morning, right at dawn, and blown his brains out...but not with a gun, mind you.

"And, so it goes."

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JReader

Mar-28-13 11:25 AM

Yes Sven - "and so it does go" as long as we the people keep letting it continue to go.

Too many people are in march step with their allifiated political parties so they look the other way when their guy screws up and will never let anyone forget when the other guy screws up. You've been a master at this concept, Sven.

We have noboby to blame but ourselves for the messes we've made around the world and in our own back yard.

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svensota

Mar-29-13 1:08 AM

JR: You're so right. George "W" Bush deserves a pass. It was all just a silly mistake. I apologize for trying to pin the blame for Bush-Iraq War 2 on him and his henchmen. "We" did it. Thank you for taking such a lofty position, above the fray of partisan politics.

Oh, and President Obama is now blameless, too, in JR-World, right?

I love your new-found thoughtfulness, forgiveness and insight, JR.

It must be the Easter bunny that's warmed your heart.

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JReader

Mar-29-13 11:24 AM

Sven,

George doesn't deserve a pass and nor is he getting one. There are plenty of people like you around to make sure that will never happen.

Everyone needs to remember how we got there and stop scripting their versions of history to make it appear he did this completely alone. You and I both know that's not true.

I would have thought you to be a little more of an independent thinker than that but it appears you just like toting the party lines just like all the rest of them. Too bad, really.

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svensota

Mar-29-13 1:45 PM

JR: Go ahead. Be wishy. Be washy. But, my friend, you NEVER give President Obama a pass, a break, or the benefit of the doubt. You are the first one to carp and niggle and whine about President Obama no matter what he does. I would buy into your more ecumenical political preaching had I not read your postings for the past two years or so.

By the way, how about those housing starts? How about that consumer confidence index? And, whoa baby, wadda' 'bout dat stock market!

No doubt, President Obama's "failed policies" are at work...again.

Oh, no, "we" did that, didn't "we".

"We" are so wonderful.

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GopherState

Mar-29-13 5:13 PM

George most certainly did not do it alone. I think he is a good-hearted man with good intentions that got played like a puppet by his party and Dick Cheney.

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GrandmaD

Mar-29-13 6:29 PM

I think what GopherState just posted holds true for all of our Presidents. I firmly believe that all of our Presidents were good-hearted men with good intentions, as I believe President Obama is now. None of them have acted alone.

People can't even come together on this lone Journal site - can you imagine the chaos among the members of Congress? We need to show the people of the world that we are "one" but continue to show them we are divided.

Of course, I have to admit that this site would be a bit boring if everyone agreed all the time, so carry on everyone because that is what this site is all about, right? Absolutely. :) :) Happy Easter!!

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