Tag Archives: Biden



Put your old map of the Middle East in the pile of historical documents. For a hundred years, the national boundaries of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon followed the contours of the lines diplomats drew to show the demise of the Turkish Empire. Their inked lines paid little or no mind to the impact those lines would have on language groups, cultural and religious realities, and tribal territories.iraq

Iraq is not now and never has been a nation with the common things that make a nation, a nation. Instead, it worked around religious animosities, language differences, and conflicting tribal affiliations. The work around was only possible due to the harsh policies of a Sunni aristocracy that had no hesitation about using brutal tactics to subjugate Shia and Kurdish minorities. The Kurds have wanted and fought for their own nation for decades. At times they have sought Western support only to be betrayed time after time. The Shia are pulled eastward to the strong Persian and Shia  state of Iran, the same state that the Sunni leadership in Iraq fought a brutal war with in the 1980s. During that war, poison gas was used against the Iranians. Saddam Hussein was an equal dispenser of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). He also used poison gas on the Shia and the Kurds. Only ruthless cruelty and fear kept Iraq a nation.

Vice President Joe Biden, who almost got nothing right in his entire political career unless he copied it from someone else, stumbled on the right solution at the wrong time when he proposed dividing Iraq into Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish areas, provinces, or whatever. It was not to happen. His solution was too far outside the box for most of us.

President Obama made all the wrong moves and gave the wrong signals when he took power and pulled all our forces out of Iraq. But let’s be fair. The only way for Iraq to exist as a nation was to put a ruthless Sunni dictator back in power. That wasn’t going to happen. In its wisdom, the Bush Administration destroyed the Sunni-led Iraqi Army and ruling political party, clearing the way for weak Shia leaders to win or manipulate a democratic voting process that prepared the path for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to run a Shia regime that looked eastward to Iran for support and guidance, turning Iraq into an Iranian province.

Our president, who has a strong Sunni bias, knew he could not provide real military support to assist a Shia faction to battle a Sunni force. So all the hand-wringing over the number and kind of troops  sent now to Iraq and what the president should do is wasted. Iraq is history. Now we need to seek common goals among the Sunnis and Kurds.

Either way, this is a perfect issue for President Obama to follow his mantra, “the issue is never the issue.”  He never tries to solve issues anyway, he only uses them to destroy the opposition.  In Iraq, doing nothing is close to being the perfect solution. The Republicans will find some way to use the Iraq issue against themselves.

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Filed under Barry Kelly, Intelligence & Politics, Kurds, Sunni

Eight Decades of Insights – 15


My last blog emphasized the need to focus on the big picture and not on shifting issues. The president and his whole administration know the goal is to get re-elected: “Nothing else matters. Say anything. Do anything. Never mind the law. Sort that out later. When we win, we will own the courts. Use the full power of the executive office where it is needed. Increase subsidies, extend payments, fight voter ID, sue states, block investigations, try to deny late voting to veterans, leak if it helps build short-term credibility.” These are things the administration is willing to do. And don’t expect a serious effort by the administration to find and punish the leaker.

I have seen real leak investigations. When the president is angry about leaks, the leaker is found and sometimes exposed. These leaks are so spectacular that only a few people could have provided the information to the NYT. The FBI and a counter-intelligence team could find the leaker in two weeks if allowed to do what they know how to do. Mandatory polygraphs of less than twenty people to start. But remember: The end justifies the means. Failing to get four more years is the only thing to fear.

These are smart people. Take immigration. President Obama showed the brilliance of his campaign when he bypassed Congress and issued the essence of the Dream Act by executive order. Senator Marco Rubio lost his unique platform and the Republican Party its chance to make serious inroads into the Hispanic community and to win Florida big.

The Obama brain trust has at least one more ace up its sleeve. They must now be talking about cutting some baggage. Does anyone believe that the vice president is a net gain for the campaign? He is a gaffe a speech and standing beside the president on the platform he looks and acts like he has been or never was politician. Can he debate Ryan? I think not. So, think about it, should this end justifiy the means and should ‘followers of Saul Alinsky’ even think twice about throwing the VP under the first bus?

No! Watch the convention when a tearful VP tells the convention that the campaign and the responsibilities of another four years is just more than he can do. It isn’t fair to the president or the American people and the highly respected financial genius replacing him will help the party and the nation, thereby challenging Ryan’s contribution to the Republican ticket.

That is my prediction. It will happen unless the Obama brain trust believes it can win with Joe. In that case, the Romney/Ryan ticket must have made some catastrophic blunder or blunders.

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Filed under Conservative views, Intelligence & Politics, political solutions, Politics, Progressives