Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Iraq and Multiple Choice Mitt

Commentary By Ron Beasley

Mitt Romney has once again proved he has no ideology or substance  with this:

President Obama�s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women,� Romney wrote. �The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.

Of course we all know that if Obama had announced that troops were staying Romney would have attacked that as well.  That's what someone who is 100% politician does. But some of the best take downs of Romney have been ironically from the right.  My friend Jazz Shaw and I used to do right-left blogging.  We didn't agree on much but we were both opposed to the Iraq war from day one and Jazz actually left the Republican party because of Bush/Cheney and the Iraq war.  Over at wingnut central, Hot Air, Jazz had this to say:

What would be different if we left in January? Or in 2013? or 2015? It was always going to end eventually and, given the nature of the region, I doubt it was ever going to end well. Our troops acted in the greatest tradition of our nation. They followed their orders and achieved all of the real victories on a day to day basis which ever truly mattered. But the end approaches and we need to thank them once again and close this chapter. It�s time to come home, and almost ten years too late at that.

I was surprised that the comments section was for the most part supportive of Jazz's views.  I think Jazz would agree that the same applies to Afghanistan.  But that's not all.  Over at the American Spectator, a has been wingnut central, Reid Smith takes Romney to the wood shed:

To answer Mr. Romney's two part question about our exit from Iraq, I suggest that the move is absolutely political, but it's also compulsory. We have run out of options in Iraq, but make no mistake, American troops are leaving because the Iraqis don't want us there.

First of all, the politics of the matter. President Obama owed it to his political base to end the war effort. To do so, he needs only follow the roadmap outlined the Status of Forces Agreement mapped out by President Bush in 2008. It was not a coincidence that the words "as promised" were dealt into his speech today.

As far as our "sheer ineptitude," I think Mr. Romney's frustration with the profile of our exit demonstrates a misplaced presumption that the United States could maintain an insufficient troop presence to prevent a catastrophic collapse of state.

After all these years, one remarkably simple lesson escapes him. We cannot continue fighting what our presence makes inevitable. We cannot prevent civil war, state failure, or safe haven for terror by providing tinder for all of the above - unless this country is ready and willing to dramatically augment the shape and stature of its Mesopotamian military presence. I do not believe it is. Perhaps more importantly, the Iraqis are similarly disobliged.

The major complaint from the neocon right is that Iran will gain influence as the US leaves.  Many of us who opposed the war predicted this from the beginning. Bush/Cheney wanted a war � Iran wanted Saddam out. Iranian agent Ahmed Chalabi told Bush and Cheney what they wanted to hear and bingo- Saddam is gone, the Sunni are out of power and the Iranian friendly Shia are in.  The US was played as a fool - Iran wins. 

Occupation of countries has nothing to do with Democracy or nation building - it's all about empire.  And the US can no longer afford empire.

1 comment:

  1. "The major complaint from the neocon right is that Iran will gain influence as the US leaves"
    Right from the start, the Bush administration did everything possible to guarantee the Shiite majority would prevail in Iraq. All the complainers now were oddly silent then, when:
    1) Immediately after Chalabi failed to gather a constituency post invasion, the occupation allowed the exiled Iranian Quds Force funded SCIRI to return to Iraq and form the nucleus of the new Iraqi government, intelligence service, and security forces.
    2) Facilitated writing a new constitution that weighed heavily in favor ethnic demographic representation.
    3) Did everything they could to exercise and support the notorious "Shiite option".
    4) Stood idly by (at best) or participated covertly (at worst) (ali-askai mosque, operation forward together) in the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad that sent 4 million Sunni's into permanent exile, and shattered the future chances of Sunni political representation.
    5) allowed the de-Baathification policy to remain in effect throughout the occupation.
    6) Allowed the Maliki Shiite government to ban hundreds of legitimate Sunni candidates from participating in elections.
    7) Signed a binding SOFA agreement with the Shiite government outlining the terms of total U.S. disengagement from Iraq.
    Sounds to me like they got everything they asked for, signed sealed and delivered by their "war president" hero G.W Bush - who confidently announced to the world "when the Iraqi government asks us to leave, we will."
    And now that all that's happened it's somehow Obama's fault that Iran has gained a friend out of an enemy, courtesy of the U.S.A.?