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Letter: Commander-in-Chief

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  • Bob K Davis, CA
    June 27, 2014 2:25 a.m.

    Half truths make a pretty good case when they reinforce what you want to believe.

    President Obama only had to emphasize bringing the troops home -- on Bush's schedule -- because War Crazy McCain and Palin wanted to keep trying to win in Iraq.

    After all, we lost the heart out of our own economy and many thousands of lives trying to prove that we could change in a year or two, people who had 5000 years of grievances, tribalism, and wars.

    I missed the DN article telling the people of Utah that Haliburton, Dick Cheney's company, took in $39 billion dollars from those oil wars.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 27, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    In my view Mr. Obama is making the best of the current situation. There are many options available, but the only one that would satisfy most Republicans is more American blood.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 27, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    " rather than allow Obama to accept any blame for our withdrawal."

    You would do well to educate yourself Mr. Phillips. President Obama did campaign on a promise to bring the troops home because the status of forces agreement wasn't signed until December of 2008, a month after he was elected President. Then he simply followed what Bush had outlined.

    The whole idea that withdrawal was a mistake is the height of hubris and ignorance of the uninformed. In fact even some of the most ardent war supporters are now going woops.

    Remember the week long chalk board lecture by Glenn Beck on why the war and our efforts were not only correct but righteous because of the world wide caliphate? Now even he knows you can't create artificial countries out of tribes that have been at war for centuries and then say and by the way just govern yourself like we do.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    June 27, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    Democrats authorized the use of force based upon the evidence presented to them. We later found out that evidence was manipulated and distorted by the Bush administation. Also, let us not forget even though Congress authorized the use of force it was Bush/Chenney that decided to use it. Most of the world and many here in the country preached for patience and to let the UN inspectors finish their work. Bush/Chenney did not want that and rushed us into a war, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands. No matter how hard conservatives try to rewrite history the facts are still there for all to see.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 27, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    Democrats made a mistake supporting the war. They don't have to repeat it.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 27, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    If you want more military action, follow the guidelines set forth in the Constitution.

    Write your congressman and urge them for a declaration of war. It is their decision whether or not we commit troops; it is the President's job then to lead the military, AFTER Congress has done it's job.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 27, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    "The withdrawal will take place in two stages. The first stage will occur next year, when Iraqi forces assume the lead for security operations in all major population centers, while U.S. combat forces move out of Iraqi cities and move into an overwatch role. After this transition has occurred, the drawdown of American forces will continue to the second stage, with all U.S. forces returning home from Iraq by the end of 2011."

    President George W Bush in a radio address on December 6, 2008

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 27, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    Maybe... just maybe, the case for Iraq wasn't just WMDs (as some people pretend).

    Even IF we KNEW there were no WMDs (which we didn't).... People inside Iraq were telling us they had them. Saddam said he had them (was threatening to use them during Operation Desert Storm). His top officials thought they had them. The UN inspectors were there to inspect the facilities where they were making them (but were kicked out). We kinda had to play it safe and take them at their word, and assume they had some weapons. Heck... they had used them on the Kurds!...

    But regardless of WMDs.... We still had a strong case for confronting Hussein. #1. On his funding and encouraging terrorism, 2. mass murdering his own people, 3. encouraging anti-American groups in the middle-east, 4. His plot to kill our President, 5. His brutality to Kurds and Shiites in his country. It was MANY factors (NOT JUST WMD).

    The current regime in Iraq makes the same mistake as Hussain... Google "How were the Shias treated under Saddam"... (no role in government, killed, their churches destroyed, their people oppressed). We're right back where we started...

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 27, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    Herriman --

    That would Jason Chaffetz.

    Rather than pull the same old, same old typical GOP response,
    and write endless letters and radio talk shows compalining about the black Democrat in the WhioteHouse who was elected there TWICE, day after day...

    Tell Jason Chaffetz your concern.

    He is the only one Constitutionally authorized for you to declare War.

    As a Military Veteran who's actually had the courage to put skin in the game --
    President Obama is doing the RIGHT thing.

    If Iraq attacks us,
    then call me.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 27, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    The right never seems to let an opportunity pass to criticize the President, do they?

    It's almost like they're cheerleading for more destruction and death to occur in Iraq, just to blame Obama.

    I have an idea, if you really feel like Iraq is worth fighting for, sign up. Ryan, you nearest army recruiting center is:

    U.S. Army Recruiting Station
    9045 S 1510 W, West Jordan, UT

    See ya there!

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 27, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    The Iraqi war was started by the Oil men of Texas for their business reasons. After completing the mission for the oil men, and murdering the one leader that seemed to know how govern the people of Iraq, the Americans thought they could just step aside and natural events would make a democratic and peaceful Iraq. The defenseless Iraqi people were now put at the mercy of unscrupulous American businessmen who turned the Iraqi war in to a perpetual money cow. After a dozen years or so, the profitability of the Iraqi war was exhausted and the American forces were withdrawn.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 27, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    Re: "The intelligence on WMDs in Iraq ultimately proved faulty . . . ."

    No, it didn't.

    Saddam possessed and used weapons of mass destruction. He transferred some to Syria, and some of those are being destroyed today [though Obama allowed Syria to maintain a significant chemical weapons capability]. He was actively, though fecklessly, working on obtaining nuclear weapons, threatening his enemies with them, and bragging about them to his friends. Though he thought he had more time than he really did to obtain those weapons, he was determined to use them against any threats to his vicious regime or its expansionist, modern-Caliphate objectives, including his neighbors and us.

    Our intelligence [and that of every other nation with an intelligence service] was faulty only to the extent it ascribed to Saddam less corruption, more ability and effectiveness than turned out to be the case.

    Obama knows that every scary motive that determined Saddam's actions also applies to ISIS. He knows we will eventually be engaged in a difficult, existential fight with ISIS, or some other demonic group on the Islamist fringe.

    He just refuses to address the issue.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 27, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    @ 2 bits

    Hogwash. Syria didn't get WMDs from Iraq. They got them from Russia. Everyone knows that except for the staunchest Bush apologists and Iraqi war supporters (which you are one of). Just how many times must you folks be proven wrong?

    Saddam didn't have WMDs. His WMDs programs had been destroyed for nearly 2 decades before we invaded Iraq. He knew that actually having these programs would risk further action from the UN. However, he did want to lead others to believe that he indeed had WMDs. Why? Because look at his neighbor next door. If he could lead Iran to believe that he still had WMDs, they wouldn't mess with him.

    Hence, why studying history and seeing things from other perspectives (not just the American one) becomes so important. Unfortunately, repubs hate anything foreign these days. Just look at Ann Coulter's comments against soccer!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    @Maverick,

    Never said Syria got WMDs from Iraq... did I? Read my post.

    If you KNEW his weapons had already been destroyed... you knew more than the UN and their inspectors. Otherwise... why all the UN resolutions insisting Iraq dispose of it's WMDs and allow inspectors to verify it??

    I mean we know a lot of things NOW... that we didn't know FOR SURE then.

    But you can't pretend we should have made decisions on stuff we know now... that we didn't know for sure then (and couldn't find out for sure because Hussein kicked out the inspectors).

    ==========

    I wish we hadn't done anything militarily in Iraq as well... but we don't know what WOULD have happened in the middle-east IF we had done nothing.

    I seriously think the middle-east would be even WORSE off IF Saddam Hussein was still in power and doing what he was doing.

    We may have had a world war (started in the middle-east) if we had done nothing and let Saddam Hussein do his thing. We will never know.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 27, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    Lives are at stake. Those who tell us that Obama is correct need to review history. When Ted Kennedy told us to get out of Vietnam, 400,000 people were killed after we withdrew. This who have no regard for life will always put a dollar figure on military support. They will tell us that only their life is important; that the life of the citizens of Iraq are not important, even though we promised those people that we would protect them against those who wanted to kill them.

    Mr. Obama has a duty to those people because HE removed the troops that protected them.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    @Mike Richards

    You strike me as a strict constitutionalist...So before the President were to send in troops and jeopardize more lives, shouldn't Congress issue a Declaration of War as per Section 8 of Article I?

    Wouldn't it be more prudent to urge Congress to action rather than the Executive to overstep the bounds set in the Constitution?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 27, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    Mr. Phillips,

    Your extremely biased perceptions mirror those of Right Wing propagandist who try to influence public opinion by broadcasting half-truths and outright lies. Apparently these propagandists are really good at their jobs, or perhaps a certain segment of society does not really want to know or admit the truth.
    The premise of your anti-Obama spiel is faulty and typical of the Right Wing mindset.

    “ . . . but democrats supported the war at the time . . .” Yes, but you forgot to mention that Democrats supported the war ONLY because they believed the falsehoods perpetrated by the Republican GW Bush administration. In other words, the biggest mistake the Democrats made was to believe Republicans. Fortunately, we learn from our mistakes.

    Blaming Obama for Iraq is preposterous on other levels as well. GW and the Republicans embroiled the nation in a completely unnecessary war. GW signed the SOFA stipulating US forces would be withdrawn by the end of 2011. The Iraqis insisted. Obama complied.

    Now, Republicans are implying that US forces should be stationed in the Middle East in perpetuity like sitting ducks, perfect targets for terrorists.

    Face it, Republican “logic” is dangerous to this nation and the world.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 27, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    Max,

    Congress approved the "war" with Iraq. Both Republicans and Democrats voted to fund the war. It wasn't a formal declaration of war, but it was a "de facto" declaration of war. The President did not act without the consent of Congress (as required) and funding for the war (as required) was legislated by Congress. Congress was consulted. Congress approved. Congress allocated the funds. There was no move by the President to circumvent Congress, unlike what Obama is doing now.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    I'm sorry. I'm a conservative Republican, but I must come over to the liberal side on this issue.

    No good can come from continuing involvement in the middle east, militarily, or otherwise. They ARE tribal, and will probably continue that trend for the next 5000 years. We have the sunnis, shias, and kurds, then within those "tribes" are the various military factions, (Hamas, Hezbollah, etc.) The ONLY reason they recognize borders at all is due to world, and U.N. influences.

    I feel terrible that we have lost so many American lives in the middle east, but continuing to send troops there, ultimately, won't do much good.

    THEY need to stabilize their countries - IF they have the desire, which I doubt.

    Can we CONTINUE being the worlds policeman?
    We have actual U.S. troops in over 70 countries, (besides the Marines in embassies)where will it end?

    Our OWN citizens need help. Not to mention our southern border.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 27, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    Too long to quote but Washington's Farewell Address had a lot to say about avoiding foreign entanglements. The older I get, the more wisdom I find in our first President's parting words.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 27, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    Hey Mike Richards -

    "Mr. Obama has a duty to those people because HE removed the troops that protected them."

    WRONG.

    Barack Hussein Obama is the President of the United States, not the emperor of the world.

    Obama's duty it to defend the Constitution and protect the American people. The Founders said nothing about any duty to protect citizens of other nations. In fact it was the Father of our country, George Washington, who warned against "foreign entanglements."

    Sure, if we can, it's right to assist other powers in fending off atrocities committed by foreign despots and terrorists, but not if the risk to America and Americans is too high.

    Your take on history is always interesting. I didn't realize that Ted Kennedy commanded Nixon to remove troops from Vietnam.

    What is the result of that withdrawal anyway? The US and Vietnam are on fairly good terms now, and Vietnam is one nation where we DON'T have military bases sucking up taxpayer dollars.

    In retrospect, we may be better off to have lost that war.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    @ Mike Richards

    How many more lives would have been destroyed had Nixon and the repubs continued to expand the war into Laos and Cambodia? Instead of talking about thousands we would be talking about millions had Nixon and the repubs gotten their wish to use atomic weapons against all those south Asian countries. I don't think repubs remember or want to remember this part of history. Nixon lied (imagine that) about ending the war. He expanded the war and desired to use atomic weapons. So it is actually you who needs to review history.

    Furthermore, what you continue to demonstrate is that you don't believe that other peoples should have the right to choice. You believe that America has the god given right to invade, occupy, and attempt to force our ideals and principles on others.
    That's not the lords plan at all.
    You continue to find it much easier to send others to fight while you write comfortably on your iPad from home. Cowards do that. If some of you feel strongly about continual American intervention, then stop writing on the Internet and join.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    I'm still waiting for anyone to prove to me that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 and this so called 3 month war was anything other than a cabal to fleece us. Shift the blame if you want to but it doesn't change the fact that we were doing the bidding the power brokers.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    @Mike

    I did not criticize President Bush in my previous post. Of all the mistakes in Iraq, going to Congress first was one of the few things that went right.

    Whether or not we left at the right time is another debate, but it is clear the President would need a reauthorization from Congress. So before we criticize his lack of action, why don't we criticize Congress first for their lack of action?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 27, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    Maverick,

    You've asked the wrong question. What is the price of freedom? You enjoy freedom. You have the liberty to choose your life. Are you more important than anyone else? You didn't "buy" your freedom. Others paid the price. Millions have died so that YOU are free. How about the other seven billion people on earth? Are you better than they? Is you life more important than their's?

    God gave us agency. He intended that each of us be free to choose how we will live and what we will do with that freedom. He never intended that you or I or anyone else be "more" free than anyone else. The price of agency is to give our all, if required, so that all mankind have the privilege to be free.

    As Americans, we should know that the price of liberty has been paid for us by those who died to obtain that freedom. Are we better than they?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    Procuradorfiscal.

    If I was the leader of a small country in a world of giants I might broadcast loud and often that I possessed a super weapon that made me just as big as any other country. The probably truth is that Saddam Hussein was just like the other national leaders and was neither the best or the worst

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 27, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    Conservatives:

    If you need a war fought in your country, we'll go no matter the cost. Can't put a price tag on Liberty.

    Oh, you need food assistance and live in our Country? You're on your own. Obamacare and food stamps are bankrupting us.

    A little inconsistent, no?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 27, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    Mike Richards, "YOU are free. How about the other seven billion people on earth? "

    This is your mistake and it's a big one. To believe that freedom and democracy can be brought to parts of the world by military force, that first of all, have never had it, and secondly don't necessarily as a culture want it.

    Secondly you mistake places like Iraq as legitimate self formed countries with common goals and aspirations. It's not.

    Iraq falls apart for the same reason the Soviet Union fell apart. They both are hobbled together nations or societies of divergent cultures and once the dictatorial power holding them together falls apart they fall apart, and only more dictatorial power can put them back together.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 27, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    @GaryO,
    Very moving. I almost believed it was only Republicans (and their lies that got Democrats to vote for it). But then I Remember... Bill Clinton attacked Iraq too... and considered Hussien "The biggest threat to peace".

    Google "Transcript: President Clinton explains Iraq strike"...

    "CLINTON: Good evening.

    Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

    Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

    Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.

    I want to explain why I have decided, with the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, to use force in Iraq; why we have acted now; and what we aim to accomplish."...

    Obviously President CLINTON thought Hussein had biological and chemical weapons too.

    Only "know-it-alls" like GaryO, knew all along he didn't have them.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 27, 2014 1:56 p.m.

    @2bits

    You make an interesting case with the quote from President Clinton.

    Please allow me to add a little more to the discussion for consideration.

    1) I remember that people were questioning the "convenience" of the timing of these attacks. It happened at the same time Ms. Lewinsky gave her testimony to the special prosecutor that would lead to President Clinton's impeachment. Many thought it was a diversion to remove attention from himself and his personal affairs.

    This doesn't mean there were no NBC weapons in Iraq, but I think it can be used by those who wish to cast doubt to strengthen their argument.

    2) When I was serving in Operation Iraqi freedom, we were required to have a protective mask, but we were not required to carry it on our person, as the threat of an NBC attack was considered to be almost non-existent. So the Army had very little concern over an Iraqi NBC threat.

    Again, not a smoking gun as to there non-existence, but it is something to consider.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 27, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    @GaryO,

    If it was just Republicans and their lies... what about these statements from Democrats...

    "[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraqs refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs; Feinstein, Daschle, Kerry 1998"

    ========

    (Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983; Sandy Berger,1998

    ======

    If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow. Bill Clinton 1998

    ======

    In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, ( Hillary Clinton,2002)

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    "The intelligence on WMDs in Iraq ultimately proved faulty, but democrats supported the war at the time. "

    Those of us who frequented the Libertarian antiwar website knew from the very beginning that the WMD argument was bogus. The WMD didn't "ultimately prove faulty," it was bogus from the outset for anyone who bothered to look.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 27, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    Hey 2bits –

    “what about these statements from Democrats...”

    Yes, what about them? The Dems believed the GW Bush administration, and it is no surprise they passed along the misinformation they were told. Thanks for confirming my claims.

    I myself, along with many millions of other Americans, was absolutely taken in. I was hoping that our troops would find the huge WMD production and launch facilities before those massive stores of WMD’s were used against us. Of course, in retrospect, I needn’t have worried.

    And yes, Sadaam did at one time have a large stockpile of WMD’s, but that was ancient history by the time the Bush administration came along. Any quotes you have from years before are IMMATERIAL to the situation as it existed during the Bush administration.

    If I quoted FDR as saying that Germany and Japan are our most formidable enemies, would that have ANY resemblance to reality now? Of course not. Things change over time. And Iraq’s WMD capability, once formidable, was down to ZERO by the time GW came along with his lies.

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    June 27, 2014 4:52 p.m.

    Lets just admit that when we vote in a community organizer who still acts as if everyone in the world will bow to his wisdom, we can expect outcomes like this. Contrary to what some posters have said, I take no delight in seeing any of his failures. His failures are our failures as Americans. Hopefully in the future we'll vote for someone because they're good, effective, and wise. I still have hope for that.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    June 27, 2014 6:51 p.m.

    I am absolutely shocked at Mike Richards saying that "de facto" war is appropriate. Does the Constitution specifically use the words "de facto war"? I think not!

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    June 27, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    @Mike Richards. So how much money are you personally going to put up to help Iraq? We are under no obligation to help another country.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 27, 2014 10:06 p.m.

    "Lets just admit that when we vote in a community organizer who still acts as if everyone in the world will bow to his wisdom, we can expect outcomes like this"

    Really? Really? Really? This doesn't even make any sense.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    June 28, 2014 6:58 a.m.

    The republican and democrat congress and the Bush administration heard all that was presented to them concerning Iraq by our intelligence community. Prior to the Bush administration, we the public were repeatedly informed by Sec State Madam Albright of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and all the mischief that Suddam H was orchestrating.. When Pres. Bush decided to declare war against Iraq - his decision was approved by Congress. At that time, even former Pres. Clinton declared it to be "the right thing to do." Now of course it is the popular thing to decry Bush - but if so, surely blame casts its net?. For arguments sake, if Suddam H had not been taken out - what would we have been faced with today - imagine Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Syria united against Isreal?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 28, 2014 5:39 p.m.

    Wow, Ryan, so now Obama, implementing an agreement made by Bush, is now responsible for solving a conflict between two factions of Islam that has been going on for a thousand years. Is there any water you want him to walk on, too?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    The war would be the next one hundred year war if conservatives want to micro manage the sunni-shite issue for oil.