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Comment: Re:Sudden? (Score 1) 214

The problem is you didn't "call bullsh*t", you made claims that appear to be false, and you made them without any citation. Who said Arctic sea ice would be gone by 2014? In what publication? If you answer to who is some media personality or mainstream journalist - sorry, that's meaningless. Look at the scientific literature, no such claim was made.

Where is your proof that Arctic sea ice has increased? Is the 5 year trend you claim statistically significant? From my reading, yes, there has been some growth, but the downward trend is still clear (see, for example, Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?.

Lastly, you made it an either/or choice - do something about climate change or do something about other pollution issues. That's a false choice.

Comment: Re:Obama, not Bush 2, responsible for ISIS ... (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49731307) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

You keep talking about this follow-up agreement. No follow-up agreement would have been required if the Bush administration had not, in their optimism, made the error in judgement that no US troops would need to be in Iraq after 2011. The quality of negotiating by the Obama administration is immaterial.

Comment: Re:Obama, not Bush 2, responsible for ISIS ... (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49731271) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

No, I'm sorry, it's simply ridiculous to try to isolate any discussion of Daesh to only Iraq. All it does is illustrate that you're only interested in trying to prove your belief, not understanding the actual situation.

As has been repeatedly acknowledged by people throughout our military and government, the idea that al Qaeda in Iraq was controlled after An Bar was incorrect.

Your last paragraph is just restating your wishful thinking. Could it have happened exactly like that? Yes, in a Hollywood movie. The reality on the ground is nothing like that. Would the situation have been different? Probably. Would Daesh still control large parts of Syria and Iraq? Undoubtedly.

Comment: Re:Obama, not Bush 2, responsible for ISIS ... (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49731261) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

In 2011, the Iraqi PM made the same offer. Even he acknowledged it was pointless, since the Iraqi parliament had to agree to it, and they were unwilling to do so.

That is not true.

Yes, it is true; see No, Obama Didn’t Lose Iraq where Mr. Kahl, "the senior Pentagon official responsible for Iraq policy during the first three years of the Obama administration" said,

Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, told U.S. negotiators that he was willing to sign an executive memorandum of understanding that included these legal protections. But for any agreement to be binding under the Iraqi constitution, it had to be approved by the Iraqi parliament. This was the judgment of every senior administration lawyer and Maliki’s own legal adviser...

You continued with

The Iraqis needed time to work out the internal politics of immunity but the US pushed them for a public position before they were ready so the public position was no immunity. Had to US given them the time they wanted the answer may have been quite different, as it always was in the past once the US sweetened the deal.

That's simply wishful thinking on your part. You want it to be true so that you can blame the Obama administration.

You're saying, basically, the Bush administration was willing to negotiate a troop pullout that would happen during the following administration, but they were unwilling to negotiate an agreement to keep troops in Iraq during the following administration. You can't have it both ways, sorry.

Its actually quite simple. Going forward the new guy won't be saddled with someone else's deal, the new guy will go forward with his own deal.

Gah! The "new guy" was saddled with the agreement! That's the whole point. I can't believe you don't even understand that, which is actually the simplest part of the whole discussion. The Bush administration saddled the Obama administration with a binding agreement on troop levels in Iraq. The Obama administration tried to renegotiate that agreement but the Iraqi government refused to change it.

I'm sorry, but this last comment really proves that you simply have a belief and all the facts in the world won't change it. If you disagree, then you have to acknowledge that this claim is ridiculous. If the Bush administration didn't want to saddle the following administration with an agreement, then they shouldn't have made one that forced the troops to be withdrawn.

Comment: Re:An intelligence officer? Well he MUST be expert (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49731259) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

It doesn't? Here I thought I was basing it on what you actually wrote, which included

Blaming the Bush timetable is silly.....he had several years to change the timetable

You claim that President Obama had several years to change the agreement, neglecting the fact that the Iraqi government had to agree as well. You further blame him by including multiple quotes claiming that he didn't try to keep troops in Iraq. The implication is clear - if he wanted to keep US troops in Iraq, he could have. That's simply false.

Comment: Re:Well that was an incoherent metaphor (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49731193) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

No, I didn't misrepresent your position at all. You fail to accept that the reason US troops were taken out of Iraq in 2011 was because of an agreement that was negotiated by the Bush administration; instead you focus on the failure of negotiations to change that agreement. If the Bush administration had not made a bad agreement, no renegotiation would have been required. The fault, if there is any, is in the original agreement. That's plain and quite obvious.

You keep talking about this supposed "intention" for changing the agreement. It simply makes no sense. If that intention existed, why didn't the Bush administration make it part of the agreement?

Your last paragraph slips off into wishful thinking again. No, the Iraqi government wouldn't have changed their minds if we committed to leaving more troops behind.

No, the request for immunity wasn't a surprise. The Iraqi government knew the existing agreement and knew that immunity would be part of any future agreement.

Comment: Re:Obama, not Bush 2, responsible for ISIS ... (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49727853) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

I've answered these same claims several times. Nothing you write backs up the claim that removing US troops form Iraq happened because of actions of the Obama administration.

Could the agreement have been revised? Yes, it could have been. It was attempted, and failed. The requirement that such a negotiation take place was due to an error by the Bush administration. If they had not made the agreement to remove all US troops, the Obama administration would not have had to renegotiate with Iraq over leaving US troops in Iraq. In other words, no matter how many different ways you try to state the opposite, the truth is that US troops were removed from Iraq because of a decision by the Bush administration.

Comment: Re:Obama, not Bush 2, responsible for ISIS ... (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49726451) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

Daesh already had a presence in Syria before we withdrew our troops from Iraq.

I'm not discussing Syria.

Oh my, that's rich. You can't talk about Daesh without talking about Syria.

Regarding your claim that a small US force could have stopped the development of Daesh; you're simply engaging in wishful thinking. The full US occupying did not stop al Qaeda in Iraq. A small troop left in Iraq almost certainly would not have been more effective. Trying to use this wishful scenario as proof that the Obama administration is at fault just illustrates the straws you must grasp at in an attempt to support your initial claim.

Comment: Re:Obama, not Bush 2, responsible for ISIS ... (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49726015) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

In 2011, the Iraqi PM made the same offer. Even he acknowledged it was pointless, since the Iraqi parliament had to agree to it, and they were unwilling to do so. In other words, as I said, this latest offer of immunity is different, and doesn't say anything about 2011.

If you think it would have been easy to negotiate US troop immunity with the Iraqi parliament in 2011, then I must say I'm impressed by your negotiating skills. Remember, the Iraqi people were sick of incidents where Americans were seen to be committing crimes but not being prosecuted. The situation with the security contractors, like Blackwater, was especially on their minds. Remember, no one in Blackwater had been found guilty of killing 14 unarmed Iraqis in Nisour Square until 7 years later. It really was not a simple thing to "negotiate away".

Let me quote the Iraqi PM, who said, in 2011 - "When the Americans asked for immunity, the Iraqi side answered that it was not possible". Your arm chair quarterbacking doesn't convince me.

It's an interesting tack you take in your last paragraph. It's illogical, but interesting. You're saying, basically, the Bush administration was willing to negotiate a troop pullout that would happen during the following administration, but they were unwilling to negotiate an agreement to keep troops in Iraq during the following administration. You can't have it both ways, sorry.

Comment: Re:Well that was an incoherent metaphor (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49725857) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

Sorry, the offer by the Iraqi PM of a immunity agreement in the fight against Daesh says nothing about the willingness of the Iraqi parliament to give US troops immunity in 2011. In 2011, the Iraqi PM made the same offer, but, as even he acknowledged, it was meaningless, since the parliament had to agree. They were unwilling to agree.

Look, it doesn't matter how far afield you go trying to support your claim, you will fail. The facts really are simple and incontrovertible. Your can either choose to accept them or live in your own imaginary world where the mistakes of the Bush administration are really the fault of the Obama administration.

Comment: Re:Well that was an incoherent metaphor (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49725749) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

Thanks for clarifying, but the clarification doesn't help your position, which, it's become clear, is simply this: even though the Bush administration negotiated the troop pullout, it's the Obama's administration's fault that the agreement was followed.

It appears to me that the way you came to this position is because you believe that the Bush administration always intended for the agreement to be renegotiated and if the Obama administration had really wanted to leave US troops in Iraq, they could have.

Those beliefs are unsupportable.

When the Bush administration made the agreement, the US was in a position of power. If the Bush administration had wanted to keep open the open to leave US troops in Iraq, they could have made that part of the agreement. When the Obama administration tried to renegotiate the agreement, it was not in a position of power. The Iraqi government already had what they wanted.

Could the US have found something to concede to Iraq that would have kept US troops in Iraq? Probably. You cannot know what that would have taken, though, and so your blithe assertions that things could have simply been "negotiated away" illustrate nothing but your naïve understanding of the political situation.

You're trying to blame the Obama administration for not correcting an error made by the Bush administration. That position isn't logically supportable.

Comment: Re:An intelligence officer? Well he MUST be expert (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49725615) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

Is this in response to my comment? If so, your response is off base.

The facts are quite clear. The Bush administration negotiated a planned troop withdrawal with the Iraqi government. The Obama administration negotiated with the Iraq government to change it. The Iraq government denied the request by the Obama administration.

Your claim that the Obama administration had several years to change the agreement is true, but the Obama administration would never have had to make that attempt if the agreement made by the Bush administration were not in place.

Your whole argument boils down to this: "If the Obama administration had really wanted to keep troops in Iraq, they could have. Since troops didn't stay, they didn't want them to stay badly enough. Thus, the lack of US troops in Iraq is the fault of the Obama administration." It's nonsense.

Comment: Re:An intelligence officer? Well he MUST be expert (Score 1) 263

by Saanvik (#49723449) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

Blaming the Bush timetable is silly.....

No, it's not silly. It wasn't a timetable, it was a legally binding international agreement. The Obama administration negotiated with Iraq to extend the timeline for withdrawal but the Iraqi government would not approve it. The US government could either abide by their agreement with the Iraqi government, or ignore the Iraqi government's rule of law.

Comment: Re:Obama, not Bush 2, responsible for ISIS ... (Score 2) 263

by Saanvik (#49723411) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

Obama's desire to abandon Iraq, to not leave a residual force resurrected ISIS/al-Quaeda in Iraq.

I'm sorry, that's ridiculous.

Daesh already had a presence in Syria before we withdrew our troops from Iraq. Remember, they made their first attack in Damascus in December of 2011. Troops in Iraq would have had no impact on Daesh in Syria.

Going further, while military actions in 2007 and 2010 hurt al Qaeda in Iraq, they did not wipe out the organization. There's no reason to believe that a small force could have done what a full force could not except the desire to blame President Obama.

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