Tag Archives: Iraq

Exit Interview Pt. 3

Assessment of Barack Obama’s Presidency… Practically Historical attempts a nonpartisan analysis of the 44th President.

 

The Ugly

I'm not Bush

I’m not Bush

Arab sprung: Obama’s foreign policy was rudderless, and often alienated long-time allies.  The desperate attempt to sever ties to the Bush years was praised by the international community, but offered restored hope and strategic leniency to our enemies.  Hard withdrawal deadlines, reluctance to utilize force, and a willingness to support pell-mell regime change emboldened our enemies abroad and dangerously weakened our strategic position in the world.  The Iran nuclear deal could seriously destabilize the Middle East for years to come.

 

Underestimating the Junior Varsity: By 2009, few could argue that Bush’s surge of 2006 had pacified Iraq.  Obama’s stubborn adherence to a strategic recommendation(troop withdrawal by 2012)  by Bush officials may have won him political points, but it sacrificed the hard won peace in the Iraqi provinces.  ISIS emerged as a legitimate threat to peace in the region and US national security.  Obama’s half-hearted military response allowed once pacified regions of Iraq to fall under ISIS control.  His refusal to acknowledge the real threat these fanatics represent has allowed their influence to spread outside the region.  Miscalculations in Syria have prevented Obama from establishing a coherent policy for battling this very real threat to our security. 

Plan needed

Plan needed

Not my signature:  Every President wants to leave a lasting mark on domestic policy.  Obama’s legislative achievement was the Affordable Care Act- actual health insurance reform.  Every Democratic President since Truman wanted to reform the industry and cover more people.   The terribly complex and confounding legislation was heavy on regulation, passed on a party-line vote, and lacked public support nearly from its inception.  The law failed in many of its most basic goals and has wreaked havoc across the country with poorly conceived exchanges and ideologically driven mandates

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Already Forgotten

The current Presidential administration continues an aimless… and bewildering foreign policy- it should come as no surprise considering the diluted message the United States has sent the world following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The fact that three successive Presidents have failed to show a unified American position in the world is a clear indication of a failure to understand our history.

The Final Founder

The Final Founder

The foundation of American foreign policy was set in 1823… and crafted by John Quincy Adams and James Monroe.  Tucked away in his annual message to Congress was a bold and profound statement about the global interest of the United States- supporting freedom.   Too many politicians and “analysts” dismiss ideology as unrealistic in the geopolitical sphere.  This “nuanced” approach has enfeebled our position in the world- we have lost our way.

john-quincy-adams-signature-1

The Monroe Doctrine is not just about keeping Europeans out of North America… the ideological framework of the proposal is too often overlooked-

that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. . . But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States. “

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Uncommon Valor- Book Review

   Frank Antenori with Hans Halberstadt, Roughneck Nine-One: The Extraordinary Story of a Special Forces A-Team at War, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 2007

 

Rising above the politicization of the Iraq war is a task best left to the men who fought it.  Well publicized memoirs by the commanding Generals, the Secretary of Defense, and the Commander-in-Chief only fueled the partisan debate.  Green Beret Frank Antenori’s gripping account of the Battle of Debecka Pass is a vital primary source detailing the misunderstood conflict. An unusual blend of tactical storytelling and technical detail, Roughneck Nine-One is a rare look into the world of America’s “quiet professionals.”

Roughneck

Antenori expresses the unprecedented nature of his battle history.  Typically, Special Forces battles are classified affairs, kept from public scrutiny until years later.  Embedded reporters from CNN and the New York Times present at Debecka prevented the combat from being classified.  Antenori and co-author Halberstadt are able to relay the events with brutal frankness and commendable accuracy.  The frustrations of military logistics are explained to build anticipation for the inevitable battle.  Glimpses into American military planning are rare, and Antenori’s insights are particularly telling- the warrior struggling with red tape to acquire the necessary tools.

 

Roughneck Nine-One is essential reading because it dispels many commonly held myths about the Iraq war.  First, most importantly, the myth about weapons of mass destruction.  Mainstream media perpetuates the narrative of Bush lying about WMD to start the war- Antenori establishes that if true, this was a most elaborate lie.  Special Forces units were assigned specific missions targeting known WMD sites. Strategic complications delayed US entry into Iraq giving Saddam Hussein time to destroy or hide the incriminating evidence; Debecka was fought on such a mission.  Secondly, that Saddam had no ties to terrorism.  The Green Berets regularly engaged foreign fighters using the Iranian border as shelter- Antenori has no politically axe to grind, he tells a story the way he experienced it.

Quiet Professional

Quiet Professional

Frank Antenori opens an important window to a misunderstood conflict.  Partisan bickering over the justification for the war has clouded a proper historical picture of it.  Stories like Roughneck Nine-One are invaluable to scholars looking to accurately record America’s involvement in Iraq.

    

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Already Forgotten

The current Presidential administration continues an aimless… and bewildering foreign policy- it should come as no surprise considering the diluted message the United States has sent the world following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The fact that three successive Presidents have failed to show a unified American position in the world is a clear indication of a failure to understand our history.

The Final Founder

The Final Founder

The foundation of American foreign policy was set in 1823… and crafted by John Quincy Adams and James Monroe.  Tucked away in his annual message to Congress was a bold and profound statement about the global interest of the United States- supporting freedom.   Too many politicians and “analysts” dismiss ideology as unrealistic in the geopolitical sphere.  This “nuanced” approach has enfeebled our position in the world- we have lost our way.

john-quincy-adams-signature-1

The Monroe Doctrine is not just about keeping Europeans out of North America… the ideological framework of the proposal is too often overlooked-

that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. . . But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States. “

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Weekly History News Roundup

Cervantes remains discovered… author of Don Quixote was the father of the modern novel

 

Islamic ring found in Viking tombartifact may prove Vikings vast trade network

 

Wreck of largest battleship discovered… Microsoft co-founder leads team in Leyte Gulf expedition

 

Destruction of Iraqi artifacts shocks archaeologistsISIS militants destroying cultural artifacts in Mosul

 

Civil War Trust preserves record amount of land… Over 40,000 acres of battlefield land preserved in 2014

 

MS compatible, no doubt.

MS compatible, no doubt.

1 Comment

Filed under News

Weekly History News Roundup

Shakespeare never mentioned it… Richard III may have suffered from roundworms

 

Own some Iraqi history… CIA agent to auction Saddam Hussein’s rifle

 

What Can McKinley’s assassination teach us?Does angry rhetoric inspire violence in loners?

 

Virginia announces ambitious battlefield preservation plan… 13 battlefields to receive grants, Governor announces

 

Military conflict without war… America’s long history of not declaring war- last time was in 1942

 

Anarchists are great party guests...

Anarchists are great party guests…

Leave a comment

Filed under News