Instead of a good old-fashioned and simple Our Side vs. Their Side, Good Guys vs. Bad Guys, the Iraq War is one that comprises many layers. They intermingle and overlap, kind of like the multiverse of conflict. Some of this is painted here in quibbly broad strokes, but the core is solid.
If we are to solve our myriad domestic problems and revitalize our economy we need to be more selective about our involvement in foreign crises large and small.
The country has become the new Afghanistan -- a center of attraction and a training ground for the next generation of jihadist fighters who will be able to make use elsewhere of the fighting experience they get there. And now the same thing has happened in Iraq. ISIS cleverly used the porous borders with Syria to draw jihadists initially recruited for Syria into the neighboring country. ISIS can thus create the reign it so desires over an extensive territory comprising parts of Syria and northern Iraq. Since the Americans destroyed the Afghan symbiosis between al-Qaeda and the Taliban, no terror group has achieved anything like this. And it will draw more Islamist radicals from around the world who will either join ISIS or donate money. From that point of view, the Mosul victory was a successful PR coup.
According to ancient legend, the Roman emperor Nero placidly played his fiddle while the great city burned down. I have the uneasy feeling our leader in the White House is engaging in a similar bout of escapism.
I saw a skinny, old, homeless guy with a guitar sitting at a table outside with his stuff. I biked about two blocks past, then thought, the hell with it, I'm going to buy me a cup of coffee there and buy him one too. I turned around and rode back.
What we got from Obama was a tunnel visioned view of history, even with regard to the historical event itself. And he completely missed the reality that events do not occur in isolation from one another.
Much of what U.S. service personnel died or were wounded for will have been lost. Although extremely tragic, however, this bad outcome may not be the worst effect of the war. That would be the destabilization of nearby Pakistan, which has 100-200 nuclear weapons and an insurgency trying to overthrow the Pakistani government.
Let's take the politics out of this action. Let's instead focus on rebuilding our broken VA system and building careers for our transitioning service members and military spouses.
It's a terrible precedent for Bergdahl's family to receive threats. Why hasn't the noise machine that put out those false translations been forced to issue a retraction?
I thought Karl Rove's 2004 Swift Boating of John Kerry's Vietnam service record in the US Navy was pretty disgusting, but the recent smears against President Barack Obama for winning Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release have descended to a new low.
I see the young people with their beautiful faces full of hope, intelligent and bright, most of them a lot more knowledgeable (I am not saying experienced) than a lot of people highly placed in the expiring government. They are all waiting, hoping, expecting, and maybe dreaming of the role some of them might play with a bright and shiny, brand new Afghan government.
President Obama's magnanimous decision to gain the freedom of U.S SGT Bowe Bergdahl after five years captivity in exchange for five Taliban Guantana...
Sen. Paul and the rest of the GOP should realize that even nations that have learned to live with terrorism as a way of life (states like Israel, Colombia and Sri Lanka) have traded thousands of prisoners in exchange for hostages.
The talking points flying around this week have all been on a single subject -- the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier captured in the war in Afghanistan.
Sacred war is a national rite of collective sacrifice and transcendence, as Lincoln declared in the Gettysburg Address: Marking in blood the rebirth of the nation. Yet we no longer inhabit a world where societies seek this celebration as the catharsis of identity -- although some peoples insulted and injured, like Putin's Russia, may dream of it. For we Americans today it is enough to feel a quick surge of pride, a little patriotic shiver or frisson, at the opening of Pro Ball. We need only genuflect to memory now. We have ritual commemoration locked in, 24/7 on cable, on the Military and Hitler channels, and now also, the ever-forthright "American Heroes Channel." TV always remembers, but how do we?
John Kerry said recently that Edward Snowden -- who gave up his career, access to his friends and family, and a comfortable life in Hawaii to tell the truth about the illegal, secretive activities of the Obama administration -- is "a coward and a traitor."