OBAMA-CHENEY 2012  1:03 am September 7, 2011

Obama Administration Invents Reason To Keep Troops In Iraq Forever

by Ken Layne

Deadlines are for losers, right? The Obama Administration will ignore a deadline this year to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, because why not. Defense Secretary/CIA chief/Clinton hack Leon Panetta will reportedly keep 4,000 U.S. troops in Iraq for “training,” which is always a great trouble-free way to keep the United States’ claws all over the world, forever. Panetta probably remembers this from when he served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer during America’s war against Vietnam.


WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is supporting a plan that would keep 3,000 to 4,000 American troops in Iraq after a deadline for their withdrawal at year’s end, but only to continue training security forces there, a senior military official said on Tuesday.

The recommendation would break a longstanding pledge by President Obama to withdraw all American forces from Iraq by the deadline.

Well of course it would break a “longstanding pledge by President Obama.” It’s not an Obama Administration policy unless it breaks a longstanding pledge by Barack Obama. [NYT]

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nounverb911 September 7, 2011 at 1:10 am

So Obama is on Halliburton's payroll now too.

AJWjr. September 7, 2011 at 9:18 am

Xe's a beauty…

Pristine_ODummy September 7, 2011 at 1:11 am

Oh, GEEZUS! Doesn't ANYbody remember what happened in VietNam?

Christ. Kill me now.

Mahousu September 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Not only does no one remember Vietnam, no one remembers "Daddy, what's Vietnam?"

Pristine_ODummy September 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I'm reading the history of the VN war right now. The parallels are eerie and discomfiting.

Pristine_ODummy September 7, 2011 at 1:23 am

Somebody get Leon Pancetta outa power ASAP.

unclejeems September 7, 2011 at 1:28 am

Next stop–Iran. Now if we could just get the Pakistanis to lob a few grenades at an American minesweeper . . .

RadioEnron9/11 September 7, 2011 at 1:34 am

Endless war is hell.

flamingpdog September 7, 2011 at 1:37 am

some political leaders, especially among the Kurds and Sunnis, would like some American troops to stay as a buffer against what they fear will be Shiite political dominance.

Three to four thousand American troops in a "training/advisory" position in the midst of a foreign country's civil war? DAMN, where have I heard this one before? Think, pdog, think!

gullywompr September 7, 2011 at 2:55 am

Does it mean anything if you put advisers there after the escalation instead of before? Maybe the French will show up and colonize the place soon? Or does it just mean that Paul is dead?

ShaveTheWhales September 7, 2011 at 3:47 am

Fuck, I've lived through this one before. But, to be fair, there are differences. Iraq is not this generation's Vietnam. Afghanistan is this generation's Vietnam, although with new, all-volunteer, packaging.

My prediction for Iraq — the Kurds and the Shi'ites will split the oil; the Sunnis will be fucked. Maybe, if we care, we can help to keep the Sunnis only economically disadvantaged, instead of outright persecuted.

If you notice us starting to support the persecuted Sunnis against the evil Kurds and wheys, well then, maybe this generation will have two Vietnams.

Mumbletypeg September 7, 2011 at 1:41 am

This isn't what I had pictured for Obama's strategy to combat stagnating job growth.

SwanSwanH September 7, 2011 at 1:43 am

Jobs, jobs, jobs!

FlownOver September 7, 2011 at 1:46 am

Anybody know the Iraqi translation of "Tet?"

Callyson September 7, 2011 at 8:46 am

"Not fucking again"?

gullywompr September 7, 2011 at 1:52 am

Disneyland? Fuck, man, this is better than Disneyland!

facehead September 7, 2011 at 1:53 am

OT, but …. LOLOLOLOL!!!! (fur realz)

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL–Did Riley become a video game designer?

(if it isn't clear from the link, there is a new game where the main goal is to kill tea party zombies … I'm still giggling)

Oh yeah, I found the link via Drudge:

EDIT: the following blog post gives a full review of the game

Characters include "factory made blonde Fox News barbie who has never had a problem in her life zombie" and "Koch industries Koch Whore lobbyist pig zombie."

AJWjr. September 7, 2011 at 11:05 am


Ken Layne September 7, 2011 at 11:53 am

The "half breed muslin" sign is in there, too. (According to Newell's Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/jim_newell

SayItWithWookies September 7, 2011 at 2:01 am

Compared to the 40,000 we had there, 4,000 is effectively zero, right? Then get them all out. Let the fuckin' neocons go on and defend their goddamn Biggest Embassy in the World Since Saigon using their own wealth and blood and sons and daughters and treating their war like a business. Those assholes have earned the right to defend their fuckin' ideals.

emmelemm September 7, 2011 at 3:40 am

4,000 = 0? Is that some sort of new math?

Callyson September 7, 2011 at 8:47 am

That's the math that the Tea Party uses when it tries to explain why the rich need tax cuts.

Mumbletypeg September 7, 2011 at 2:01 am

Wonkbot, what is the saddest thing?

Please don't crash your tender inner systems trying to narrow it down to one choice.

Serolf_Divad September 7, 2011 at 2:57 am

Come on guys, don't get so bent out of shape. History clearly shows that when the U.S. has military advisors in a given country, not only do those troops never grow in number, but things always get better in the country.

Dexter Linwood September 7, 2011 at 3:16 am

How about to menace Iran? I mean, come on. We got this thing, and it's fucking golden. We're just not giving it up for fucking nothing.

Really, though, anyone who thought we'd ever been fully out of Iraq is fucking stupid. Hell, we're still in fucking Cuba for goodness sake. It doesn't matter the party, either. Democrats may not be too keen on war mongering, anymore, but they don't generally mind occupation one bit.

DerrickWildcat September 7, 2011 at 4:10 am

Those anti-war peacenik Republicans will be outraged!

RedneckMuslin September 7, 2011 at 4:16 am

Obama invented it? Sounds like something Wolfiwitz and Cheney decided a long time ago. After all, this is the Bush II admin.

poncho_pilot September 7, 2011 at 6:57 am

can't say i didn't see this coming.

BarackMyWorld September 7, 2011 at 7:07 am

Read the article. The 3,000 to 4,000 troops is what Panetta is asking for. Both the administration and the Iraqi government have yet to agree to it.

starfanglednut September 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

Thank you.

imissopus September 7, 2011 at 10:43 am

Not fully reading an article in order to shit our pants has been a theme around here lately.

not that Dewey September 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

Remember when Ken used to chide us for making "tl;dr" jokes?

imissopus September 7, 2011 at 11:21 am

Whereas if one reads the entire article one might note that it was first reported on Fox and the source is a "senior military official" and that the number of troops is much lower than the 14 – 18,000 the military has been asking for for several months. Combine that with the quotes from McCain, Lieberman, and Ham Biscuits about how "dismayed" they are that the president would leave only 4000 troops in Iraq and note that the reporters didn't bother to get quotes from any anti-war politicians who might be dismayed at leaving even that many over there. Add to that the notation that the military has "almost run out of time to plan the logistics of withdrawal by year's end" anyway, which was entirely predictable…if the military doesn't want to leave a place, it's very easy for them to keep saying "Golly we're going as fast as we can, Mr. President, we just don't have enough C-17s to fly everyone out fast enough, hyuk hyuk hyuk."

Read between the lines on all of this and it sounds to me as if the military is being rebuked at every turn about keeping soldiers around and is trying to put some public pressure on the administration to keep even a small, token group in-country, said group already being 1/4 or 1/5 the size of what they really want. Hence this leak and the support from the Senate's Three Unwise Men, all of it designed to make trouble for the president and his civilian advisers. But one would have to read the whole article past the second graf to get that.

not that Dewey September 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Even at the level of "gut reaction to a headline", when I saw this in Salon or whatever yesterday, my thought was that, even taking the high-end worst case of that estimate, that would mean that Barry will have cleaned up 97% of someone else's mess, on a deadline negotiated by the guy who created the mess. By my reckoning, there are already 90k families whocan now have birthday dinner with mom or dad who wouldn't have been able to before Barry came along, and by next year, another 45k.

Way to go, liberal NYT, for making the case that Barry is a neocon warmonger who hates the troops and their families and giving free ink to the three chickenshit Senators who never got to melt enough plastic soldiers when they were 8, or whatever the fuck their rationale is.

Grief_Lessons September 7, 2011 at 7:08 am

We're doomed to repeat it anyway. It's a product of the human imagination, and humans don't change much..

For pithy history maxims I prefer "history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake".

not that Dewey September 7, 2011 at 10:32 am

George Santayana was an optimist.

MLHencken September 7, 2011 at 7:18 am

What's 4 k when you have all those contractors at the embassy?

tcaalaw September 7, 2011 at 8:27 am

Panetta is a f***ing disaster for American national security policy. Why can't he get caught sending shirtless photos out on Twitter?

EatsBabyDingos September 7, 2011 at 8:48 am

President Palin would have gotten us out by now. She can quit anything.

johnnyzhivago September 7, 2011 at 9:23 am

Think of them as American values missionaries!

FakaktaSouth September 7, 2011 at 9:34 am

Occupation Now, Occupation Tomorrow, Occupation Forever!

DaRooster September 7, 2011 at 10:56 am

Some "Jobs" speech…

hagajim September 7, 2011 at 10:24 am

How else are we gonna find Merika's youth productive jerbs to do?

lunaursus September 7, 2011 at 11:00 am

Well, we have been told we are leaving Iraq, how many times now, only to have the date changed since Obama got in? The US isnt leaving Iraq. You KNOW they're not, you've known it all along.

ttommyunger September 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

We had the Truman Commission during WWII. Roosevelt's VP went after war profiteers with a fucking vengeance. Truman actually resurrected his languishing political career by keeping the then emerging military industrial complex honest. Since then war has been allowed become an increasingly profitable cash cow. War boosts the Media's bottom line as well, so guess who is mum on the subject of war profiteering? Politicians get to "point with pride and view with alarm" on a grander scale in wartime and the money rolls in to their campaign coffers from defense contractors. Those at the top reap immense profits, those at the bottom fight and die. The late Gen. Smedley Butler was prescient to a fault in his little-read tome: "War is a Racket". My son is serving in Iraq, again; so I have no snark for this topic.

Crank_Tango September 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm

BUT, they will be gay troops. So it's like a step forward, step back, grapevine, something.

Mahousu September 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Bah, just another "training" boondoggle, like all those "professional development seminars" that take place in Hawaii. In a few years, the office Wallys will be signing up for Basics of Perl Programming courses in Baghdad, and MCDST test prep in Mosul.

Beowoof September 7, 2011 at 11:23 am

Spoken like a man who has had huge deposits into his Swiss accounts. Now if we could only get him to go there and visit his cash.

Respitetini September 7, 2011 at 11:25 am

Why, is that what the GOP is asking for?

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