Thursday, December 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Cheerleaders for the apocalypse back at it

kirchubel column sig

By
From page A8 | June 23, 2014 |

They’re at it again.

Many of the people who, in 2003, told us that we needed to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, are again infecting our radio and TV airwaves telling Americans that we need to go back and waste more lives and money.

As the terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – or ISIS, also known, ISIL – rapidly captures vast swaths of Iraq and Syria, many politicians on the extreme right in this country feel President Barack Obama is being negligent by not sending our troops into battle.

Last Wednesday’s Daily Republic article, “Prospect of new Iraq fight turns hawks into doves,” made the point that many politicians who originally supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, now acknowledge their disastrous error, and that sending U.S. troops into what could be called Iraq War III is not sensible.

But, neocon proponents of the 2003 Iraq War, like Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz, have been dredged-up, reanimated, and are making the rounds on talk shows spewing pro-war folly. Republican Sen. John McCain, who, it is purported, “never met a war he didn’t like,” encouraged the “entire Obama administration national security team to resign.” Republican Leader of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, ridiculed, “What’s the president doing? Taking a nap?”

On the other side, our member of Congress, Rep. John Garamendi, is sponsoring a bill to require congressional approval before we renew military activity in Iraq, virtually assuring nothing will happen.

Whether or not to recommit American troops, equipment and money to fight in Iraq is a “darned if you do and darned if you don’t” dilemma. Perhaps the Daily Republic will ask us to decide in the Question of the Week. My feeling is that if there was ever a place for unmanned drones, this is it.

I remember Fairfield when the Vietnam War started. Being a military town, we were solidly behind the effort to thwart the plague-like spread of communism in Southeast Asia. But as that endless war dragged on and on, and as we watched ourselves being killed and maimed on the nightly news, more and more of us felt less and less certain we had made the correct decision.

After losing the war, so much money, and so many young lives and potential from my generation, we sat and watched as Vietnam matured to become a modern world citizen, tourist destination and an active trading partner with the United States. In the end, this war didn’t seem to matter, except to the profiteers, taxpayers, and those who suffered and died.

But Americans were not so trusting in 2003.

Even after Colin Powell’s United Nations “weapons of mass destruction” speech, complete with photos, drawings, and a vial of fake poison; Condoleezza Rice’s “smoking gun, mushroom cloud,” and with 45 percent of Americans believing that Saddam Hussein was “personally involved” in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, many still rejected President George W. Bush’s unprovoked invasion of Iraq.

In his 2006 book, “Fiasco,” Tom Ricks correctly foresaw today’s headlines: “… that Iraq will fall into civil war, or spark regional war, or eventually become home to an anti-American regime, or break up altogether. In any of these forms it would offer a new haven for terrorists.” Terrorists, it seems, abhor a security vacuum, and will rush to fill it, and while headlines amply demonstrate Bush’s folly, the cheerleaders of Iraq War II permeate our radio and TV airwaves, not repentant, but doubling down, promoting, inciting, pushing us toward a third war in Iraq with all the jingoistic fervor they can muster.

No matter the truth or consequences, they refuse to be wrong.

Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at mikirch@comcast.net.

Mike Kirchubel

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Discussion | 53 comments

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  • TJ BairdJune 23, 2014 - 7:04 am

    The war in Iran was one that was most questionable to begin with and has proven to be a tremendous loss of life and treasure for no real gain in democracy. The questions going forward seem to be: What do we do to keep terrorism in check? How do we determine national interests? And finally, what are we will to sacrifice for that national interest? This isn't a Democrat or Republican issue, it is truly an American issue with American consequences if not answered correctly and acted upon correctly.

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  • TJ BairdJune 23, 2014 - 7:21 am

    My mistake, Iraq not Iran, shouldn't comment before the coffee kicks in!

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  • Mike KirchubelJune 23, 2014 - 7:30 am

    Hey, no worries, Bush the Younger made the same mistake.

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  • rlw895June 24, 2014 - 11:28 am

    TJ: Good questions. Any problem with how Obama is answering them? Congress?

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  • PornacJune 23, 2014 - 8:29 am

    Mistake? More like a lie to American people when we invaded Iraq. The USA invaded another country for corporate control of its oil. It disgusts me that the Bush people who did this are not in prison.

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  • Teach5thJune 23, 2014 - 9:08 am

    Enough of the nonsense already! How many libs agreed that invading Iraq was the right thing to do? Mike and Pornac conveniently leave out any of their folks' responsibility. And, don't you love Mike's mention of Garamendi's bill requiring Congressional approval before renewing military activity "virtually assuring nothing will happen". Obama has proven that he can do anything with just a stroke of a pen; the only thing is that he will sign Bush's name, so that the liberals/Dems can continue to blame Bush for what happens in Iraq.

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  • mike kirchubelJune 23, 2014 - 9:33 am

    I certainly hope you don't teach history. It's convenient that you forgot about all those lies.

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  • Teach5thJune 23, 2014 - 9:38 am

    What "lies"?

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  • mike kirchubelJune 23, 2014 - 10:04 am

    Wow. Read a book. It's no wonder you're such a staunch right winger, you apparently know nothing of history. It all makes sense, now. It is refreshing, though, to have one of you admit they're just shooting from the hip, with no real understanding of the chain of events. I wish the others could be as honest.

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  • Teach5thJune 23, 2014 - 11:27 am

    Mike - Really? You're the one who wrote that it was convenient to ". . . forget about all those lies." I read plenty. What I haven't read (or been privileged to read) is your list of "all those lies." I won't hold my breath as you try to compose a Rachel Maddow list.

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  • LWJune 23, 2014 - 5:39 pm

    This whole iraq mess was just like nam....same playbook.. No, we don't remember history.

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  • LWJune 23, 2014 - 5:45 pm

    Iraq will end up in 3 parts, somehow... The real issue.... Terror groups are still going.. I would support drones on (training) camps.. The so called advisors.... can find targets.

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  • rlw895June 24, 2014 - 11:24 am

    T5: What lies? Are you serious? How about we start with the ones told by "Curveball?"

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  • mike kirchubelJune 24, 2014 - 11:40 am

    Really. I couldn't believe it either. No wonder he's a right winger, he doesn't know anything.

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  • rlw895June 23, 2014 - 11:31 pm

    T5: Right back at you about nonsense as you anti-Obamaism once again compels you to defend the indefensible. Many "libs" supported the invasion of Iraq. But Bush & Co. being wrong about WMDs absolved everyone except them of responsibility for the results of that decision. So you are not only defending the indefensible, your point is pointless.

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  • rlw895June 24, 2014 - 7:12 pm

    No response, T5? So we move to the next day's comments and you repeat the same nonsense?

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  • JagJune 23, 2014 - 11:10 am

    Mike the only place I will disagree with you is that the people you mention Dick Cheney Sen. John McCain, even Carl Rove are not the far right they are more the mainstream right and we have a new far right coming up who I believe think as you do on this topic, It is time to come home and stop building up cities in other countries and take care of ourselves, If Garamendi would add secure the border to his bill I bet it would fly thru the house because it would have enough Tea party and democrats for both issues.

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  • mike kirchubelJune 23, 2014 - 12:04 pm

    It was actually an addendum to the defense budget. Don't think our borders are controlled by the military, but rather Homeland Security. Maybe we should cut H.S. and give the job to the military. They might do it better.

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  • Larry WJune 23, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    Mike. While I do not want to have another soldier die I am also reluctant to allow the country to fall into further chaos. While you can pound your chest proudly that you are right, the question is what can we do to assist the region. When we left Vietnam the killing may have stopped for us but it continued for those left behind. What would you do now for the area?

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  • ter666June 23, 2014 - 1:18 pm

    Well, we can all pray for the region. But seriously, I'm guessing ISIS wants nothing more than for us to get involved. The more money and troops we dedicate to the area, the weaker we become on our own home front setting us up for another 9/11.

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  • rlw895June 23, 2014 - 11:17 pm

    t6: Good points. Add that it would help ISIS recruiting efforts.

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  • mike kirchubelJune 23, 2014 - 3:16 pm

    Unmanned drones, intel, control of the skies. Not boots on the ground. Satisfied, or do you want to do more?

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  • Larry WJune 23, 2014 - 3:53 pm

    Mike. I would love more. What do we do to change things there. It just seams that dropping bombs from a drone does little to foster relationships that need to be established in order to broker a somewhat lasting peace.

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  • ter666June 23, 2014 - 3:58 pm

    Larry W, it's two factions of Islam that have been fighting each other for over a thousand years. What change can we possibly bring?

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  • rlw895June 23, 2014 - 11:37 pm

    t6: Careful. It's centuries but not "over a thousand years."

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  • rlw895June 23, 2014 - 11:40 pm

    My bad. You're right. My math cells must have shut down for the night.

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  • mike kirchubelJune 23, 2014 - 4:08 pm

    Any relationship with the U.S. and I.S.I.S. will last no longer than it takes a bullet to go from point A to point B.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 23, 2014 - 5:25 pm

    Mike: I agree. We need to unleash the furies of hell from the skies on this ISIS crew, just for starters. But the problem is Obama, looking like a deer in the headlights, continues to dither and sit on his thumb, doing nothing but "focus" on the problem. ISIS is just warming up for their main performance, which is to export hundreds of terrorists into the US to kill and maim Americans at will. That is why they must be stopped now. Sure it will be messy and there will be problems with Syria and Iran, but this is crunch time, and the ditherer-in-chief needs to act.

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  • mike kirchubelJune 23, 2014 - 5:51 pm

    He could be waiting for the airceaft carrier GHW Bush to get within striking distance. You may not have noticed, but he ordered that about a week ago.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 23, 2014 - 6:12 pm

    I hope you are right.

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  • mike kirchubelJune 23, 2014 - 6:13 pm

    By the way, Bush II dithered for 18 months and still got it wrong. I'm sure you understand this, but you need an entire.supply chain before you send troops into battle.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 23, 2014 - 6:28 pm

    Mike: Why not try and focus on Obama's handling of this crisis (that somehow surprised him and his advisers) and forget about Bush for a while? Think you can do that? I don't agree with your characterization, but even if you are right, to quote your next presidential nominee--"what difference does it make?" That was then. This is now. Where are the 10,000 troops that all the generals begged Obama to keep in Iraq as an insurance policy? Did Obama get it wrong? But the problem is now. The conditions are what they are. Let's see if your Democrat administration can do a better job of playing this hand. We can sit around sipping prune juice and arguing about Bush and his "lies" 20 years from now, if you want.

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  • mike kirchubelJune 23, 2014 - 6:59 pm

    Mr. S, it's the foxites that are saying obama is dithering. What the heck is he supposed to do? If he commits troops, the right will say he's an imperial president. If he waits for congressional approval, nothing will happen. If he orders 300 commandos to Iraq and sends an aircraft carrier into the region, he's dithering. You tell me, what would fox viewers be happy with, i mean other than having george bush back with dick cheney leading us to war for profit.

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  • mike kirchubelJune 23, 2014 - 7:07 pm

    Two more things: one, george bush signed the status of troops agreement before he left office, not obama. Also, the Iraqis really didn't want the invading troops to stay. Get it? Think Red Dawn and the russians and Cubans invading the U.S. How long would you want them to hang around? Wolverines!

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  • Mr. SmithJune 23, 2014 - 7:20 pm

    Mike: I do get it. You can't write two sentences without using the words "Fox" and "Bush." Also, if you do a little research, you would learn that Obama was on both sides of the troop withdrawal--depending on the audience, he would say the Iraquis wanted us out. On other occasions, he took sole credit for yanking us out. Google it. Fox, Bush, Fox, Bush, Fox, Bush! Sorry I bothered.

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  • mike kirchubelJune 23, 2014 - 8:37 pm

    Mr. S, you didn't seem to know the history behind what was going on, so i used words i thought you would understand.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 23, 2014 - 8:49 pm

    Mike: So, to quote George Bush, you "misunderestimated" me. Try to work on that.

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  • JagJune 23, 2014 - 8:06 pm

    Yes please let’s cut H.S and let the military take care of it but I was reading the other post and NO No NO to supply chains no troops as a matter of fact I think Obama should get congress to approve his next action and you are right they will not move on it so Obama is covered, If you want to bomb the crap out of them at forty thousand feet like Bush 1 did fine send drones in OK but you are going to have a lot if innocent life lost so we better make sure people can live with that but you cannot build a relationship with these people unless you are willing to knock it to the ground and I mean knock it to the ground take it over and start from scratch,

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  • 2realJune 23, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    Ive said it before and ill say it again. Firefighters inherit disasters all the time, you ever see one put gas on it? Hes had six years so far and has made this countries situation worse. 2016 is finally coming real americans! Lets get back on track

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  • 2real, you sitting down?...June 23, 2014 - 4:03 pm

    Michelle Obama...2016

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  • Larry WJune 23, 2014 - 6:50 pm

    If she is as popular with the school lunches, we have nothing to worry about

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  • Larry WJune 23, 2014 - 6:54 pm

    I agree. The two factions have been fighting for years and if it was not for petroleum the world would not be as involved. Then we could allow them to make peace, or not amongst themselves. I

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  • Danny BuntinJune 23, 2014 - 5:10 pm

    Real Americans? What is that???

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • 2realJune 23, 2014 - 8:01 pm

    Real americans as in every president before this unamerican muslim atheist president.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The SugarJarJune 23, 2014 - 9:32 pm

    Unamerican, Muslim, & Atheist? My goodness 2real.

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  • rlw895June 23, 2014 - 11:48 pm

    SJ: Just one of millions like Mr.S, according to Mr.S.

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  • The SugarJarJune 24, 2014 - 12:26 am

    So disturbing, rlw895.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 24, 2014 - 9:13 am

    Rlw: You need to stop this campaign to paint me into the same corner as 2Real just because I mentioned that this person has said some things I, and millions like me, agree with. After all, you occasionally say something that I, and millions like me, agree with. Does that mean you and I are alike? For the record, I heartily disagree with most of what you AND 2Real say on this board. In that, you are more like 2Real than I.

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  • rlw895June 24, 2014 - 9:17 am

    Mr.S: Thanks for that clarification. And with that, I will cease with an apology.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 24, 2014 - 9:25 am

    Apology accepted. But what are you going to do about the fact that you and 2Real are alike? Lol!

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  • rlw895June 24, 2014 - 9:35 am

    I'll give it all the attention it deserves!

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  • rlw895June 23, 2014 - 11:54 pm

    The fact that only guys like Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz can be "dredged up" to oppose Obama on his Iraq movements is a testament that Obama is making the right movements.

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  • rlw895June 24, 2014 - 12:00 am

    Recent developments in Iraq also are vindication for Joe Biden, who saw early that Iraq would not be internally stable without a strongman in power. He proposed partitioning Iraq peacefully when we had a chance. He look both prophetic and wise now.

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