Iraq Strikes: Udall, Tipton Back Prez While Talk Radio Rages

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​Surprisingly little coverage in the last few days of local reaction to airstrikes over Iraq carried out by American forces against forces of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The Pueblo Chieftain's Peter Roper reported this weekend:

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., called the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant fighters “brutal” in their attacks on Iraqi people, especially religious minorities including Christians.

Obama’s decision to use airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel and to provide humanitarian aid was “the right one,” according to Udall.

“(ISIS) must not be allowed to gain a safe haven in the region but this fight belongs to the Iraqis and their neighbors. I remain strongly opposed to putting combat troops back into Iraq,” he said.

There seems to be some deference among Republicans today in regards to President Barack Obama's handling of the situation in Iraq–depending on who you talk to, of course. Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh says Obama is bombing Iraq to distract from his "numerous problems," and there is general consensus on the pundit right that if Obama had just not pulled our troops out of Iraq to begin with, the situation might be better–although American public opinion wouldn't be. Most of the statements from elected Republicans, though, combine support for the airstrikes with muted and generalized criticism. Roper continues:

In the 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Scott Tipton said, “The use of airstrikes is appropriate given the circumstances and the severe threat that ISIS is posing to the entire region.”

But the Cortez Republican went on to fault Obama, saying the president owed the public a long-term strategy for addressing the ISIS problem.

As for Cory Gardner?

Udall’s Republican challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, couldn’t be reached for comment because he was on the Western Slope, according to his staff.

Gardner's campaign has reached a degree of shrillness where it may simply difficult for them to say anything complimentary about Mark Udall or Democrats, even on matters of foreign policy where it used to be fashionable to occasionally pretend to show unity. That, or television and phones don't work on the Western Slope? We assume it's the former.

46 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Progressicat says:

    Udall’s Republican challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, couldn’t be reached for comment because he was on the Western Slope, according to his staff.

    Why out thur on the slope, they just done got them terlets what flushes with water.  They's hopin' for 'lectric soon, but they sure ain't got none o' them telephonics let alone none o' them handheld jobs.

  2. horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

    Frack Boy can't even phone it in.  Hilarious.

  3. ModeratusModeratus says:

    A military qithdrawal should be based on one thing: achievment of military goals.

    When Obama pulled our troops out of Iraq, he didn't care about whether we had achieved our goals, and this is the result. The "pundits" are correct.

    • ct says:

      But…but…your guy, the one that started the whole thing to begin with, you know with all the lying and bungling and such, GW Bush declared 'Mission Accomplished' years ago (although long after the "…I doubt six months…" prediction of Rummy and the Brain Trust…. "…greeted as liberators…", "…paying for itself…") 

    • CaninesCanines says:

      Someone remind me: What were our military goals going into Iraq?

      Oh yeah.

      • ct says:

        Nailed it:

        post-Saddam Iraq serves as a beacon of secular liberalism for its authoritarian neighbors, even facilitating peace between Israel and the Palestinians

        Now I see why we should listen to the Neocons again.  

        • DavieDavie says:

          And this from February 2003 when Bush the Idiot was "CEO of America":

          In other words, the post-Taliban order engineered by the U.S. is in danger of unraveling. And Karzai himself is all too aware that Washington's attention has shifted elsewhere. He came to the White House to plead for Afghanistan not to be forgotten, two weeks after it was reported that the Bush administration had — apparently as a result of an oversight — neglected to ask Congress to allocate any money for Afghan aid in its current budget.

          AC just can't wait to bring these champions of Stoopid back into power!

    • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

      Sometimes a situation is so completely fucked up and hopeless that the withdrawal is the military goal, but I will defer to the strategic military expertise of Moderatus.

    • Republican 36 says:

      First, and most importantly, the Iraqi government wouldn't allow U.S. tropops to remain in Iraq. The presnt prime minister refused to negotiate such an agreement. There was no "quick withdrawal."

      Second, we should have never invaded Iraq in the first place. There never were WMD's and Saddam Hussien, as bad as he was, was never in league with Al Queda. The l;ast thing he wanted was another group operating in Iraq that could threaten his hold on the country. The Bush administration took us into Iraq, eliminated Hussien, and thereby ignited the sectarian bloodshed we see today. For what purpose? I still don't know the answer. Hopefully, you could enlighten us. Based on your post above, you certainly presume to know what they were.

      President Obama inherited this situation and now has to pick-up the pieces which won't be easy and it will take long after he is out of office to conclude.

       

    • Progressicat says:

      God help me– from The Washington Times.  Iraq wouldn't give our troops immunity from prosecution.  Why would we expose them to foreign "justice?"  So, suck it, in other words.

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      Mod, You forgot Baraq said we won.

      “So here’s what I want you to know, and here’s what I want all our men and women in uniform to know: Because of you, we are ending these wars in a way that will make America stronger and the world more secure. Because of you.”

       

  4. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    I don't know what you folks are talking about. President Bush the Younger DID achieve his goals. He wanted to be a War President and he wanted to show Daddy how to do Iraq right. President Bush the Elder left Hussein in power. Junior took care of that. What he didn't get was that Saddaam was "our sonofabitch" and his father knew that. He kept the religious war at bay by enforcing an "I don't care which mosque you go to you're not going to fight about it on my streets" law. George the Youner tore that apart and we have an intractable civil/religious war to show for it. 

  5. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    I don't know if the Iraq war was ever about anything other than control of oil and making money. Saddam was an evil, violent dictator, just like dozens of other evil, violent dictators propped up by the USA over the last centuries. Iraq was secular before the US invaded – now it's in a constant sectarian, civil war. Osama Bin Laden plotted 9/11, but when we had him cornered in Afghanistan, we let him escape. Yes, Iraq had elections, and in theory, "our guy" won, but al-Maliki is not supported by the Iraqi people.  Women are actually less free than they were before the war, in spite of all the purple fingers.

    I know that the veterans who went to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan either beleived that they were doing the right thing, for freedom, for democracy, etc, or they just wanted a job in a country which wasn't generating civvie jobs. So instead, Iraq is a broken country, and so many of the well-intentioned veterans, too, are broken in mind or body.

    So what did America get for 11 years of war? Who "won"?

    • 9 billion "lost"- corruption, bribes?
    • 39.5 billion to Halliburton /KBR / Xe (Cheney was the company CEO before he became VP)
    • According to the International Business Times, quoting the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the level of corruption by defense contractors may be as high as $60 billion.
    • CNN reports: "Before the 2003 invasion, Iraq's domestic oil industry was fully nationalized and closed to Western oil companies. A decade of war later, it is largely privatized and utterly dominated by foreign firms."

    If there is war in Iraq, it will again be about oil. This map, from Brad Plumer writing for Vox, shows the oil fields which ISIS now controls. (oil fields in gray)

    Now, when renewable energy sources are competitive with oil, when there is so much potential to not let fossil fuels rule our foreign policy again, are we going to let a group of terrorists dictate that we should waste lives and treasure all over again? Seriously, have we learned anything at all over the last 11 years?

    • Old Time Dem says:

      This map does not show Iraqi oil resources.  The grey area is the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, not the location of Iraqi oil resources.

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        Trust you to nitpick that, OTD. I thought about correcting the caption to say "The oil fields ISIS has taken are in the gray area on the map" but, no edit function for comments.

        However, the northern oil fields, reportedly under ISIS control or threatened by ISIS forces, are in that gray area, which you would see if you click on the link I provided, and scroll down to the more detailed map of the specific fields and lines. (below) This map from the same article shows the Taq Taq, Tawka, and Supergiant oil fields within the "gray area" of Kurdistan. ISIS is financing its activities with 10,000 barrels per day of oil stolen from these northern oil fields, Rudaw reported. The Rudaw article also referenced  many other oilfields and pipelines which are not shown on the Vox map. But my understanding is that ISIS has not taken control of any of the southern oil infrastructure…yet.

         

        • Old Time Dem says:

          You wrote, "I thought about correcting the caption to say "The oil fields ISIS are taken are in the gray area of the map…."  That is incorrect as well; the gray area is the Kurdish area that is not under ISIS control, which is shown in brownish-orange.

          You state that ISIS is financing its operations with oil from the Taq Taq, Tawak, and "Supergiant" oilfields.  The Vox article is quite specific that ISIS does not control Taq Taq or Tawak ("it's [i.e., ISIS] not close to the big Kurdish oil fields of Tawke or Taq Taq.  It is also clear from clear from the two maps that ISIS does not control the Kirkuk oil field (which stretches from the city of Kirkuk to the Northeast.

          What you refer to as the "Supergiant" oilfield is not called the "Supergiant" oilfield.  It is the Kirkuk oilfiled, which is a supergiant oilfield–a reference to the size of its reserves.

          Given two shots at it, you have managed to misinterpret the graphs and completely misread the VOX article.  Better luck next time!

          I thought about correcting the caption to say "The oil fields ISIS has taken are in the gray area on the map" – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/61285/iraq-strikes-udall-tipton-back-prez-while-talk-radio-rages#sthash.Ke1MzGpF.dpuf

          I thought about correcting the caption to say "The oil fields ISIS has taken are in the gray area on the map" – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/61285/iraq-strikes-udall-tipton-back-prez-while-talk-radio-rages#sthash.Ke1MzGpF.dpuf

          "The oil fields ISIS has taken are in the gray area on the map – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/61285/iraq-strikes-udall-tipton-back-prez-while-talk-radio-rages#sthash.Ke1MzGpF.dpuf

          • Old Time Dem says:

            Eh…don't know about why those extra cut and pastes are in there.  This site could use a preview/editor function.

            • Progressicat says:

              There's an addon on this site that, er…adds on the tagline & link.  If you cut and paste from this site, either paste first into something else to edit the text or click the Source button, top left, and edit out the cruft before posting.  Bloody annoying, really.

          • Old Time Dem says:

            Here's the corrected version of my comment above:

            You wrote, "I thought about correcting the caption to say "The oil fields ISIS has taken are in the gray area on the map …."  That is incorrect as well; the gray area is the Kurdish area that is not under ISIS control, which is shown in brownish-orange.

            You state that ISIS is financing its operations with oil from the Taq Taq, Tawak, and "Supergiant" oilfields.  The Vox article is quite specific that ISIS does not control Taq Taq or Tawak ("it's [i.e., ISIS] not close to the big Kurdish oil fields of Tawak or Taq Taq.”  It is also clear from the two maps that ISIS does not control the Kirkuk oil field (which stretches from the city of Kirkuk to the northwest).

            What you refer to as the "Supergiant" oilfield is not called the "Supergiant" oilfield.  It is the Kirkuk oilfield, which is a supergiant oilfield–a reference to the size of its reserves.

            Given two shots at it, you have managed to misinterpret the graphs and completely misread the VOX article.  Better luck next time!

            • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

               

              @ Old Time Dem

              Your style and intellectual combativeness remind me of a former poster…is that you JO?

              • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                I believe he told me once to "fuck off" after I teased him by calling him "honey" after I had made reference how he reminded me of my ex.  He is definitely combative – with little sense of humor.

                • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                  I usually admit my small errors as long as the big  picture understanding is there. Condescend, nitpick, belittle, and willfully misinterpret my conclusions, and I ain't admitting shit.

                  Big picture: US is interested in who controls the oil fields in northern Iraq, aka Kurdistan. Airstrikes were initially to protect the escape route of the refugees; now, airstrikes aim to keep ISIS from  gaining more control of the major oil resources.

                  Big picture: ISIS fundamentalists are willing to wipe out the Kurds in order to control the oil. The US will intervene to prevent the genocide, but the control of the oil is still the hidden agenda.

                  Big picture: ISIS is stealing oil in Kurdistan and selling it, to finance their operations and fuel their trnsport.  However ISIS is doing it, they're able to pull out about 10,000 barrels of oil a day, according to Bewar Khinsi at the Kurdistan Protection Agency.

                  Biggest picture: We should intervene, short term, to save the Yazidis. We should not intervene long term to control the Kurdistan oil fields. We have alternatives now. Control of oil is no longer a strategic priority in foreign policy, or it shouldn't be.

                  Small shit (the mouse turds OTD likes to pole vault over):

                  • the supergiant oil field in Kurdistan is named the Kirkuk field
                  • ISIS is surrounding the areas of the biggest oil fields, controls a big refinery, controls a major dam that could flood the whole basin, and controls over 260 kilometers of pipelines, but is not actually encamped right on top of the bigger oil fields. That's sort of the point of the Kurdish defense effort.

                   

                  Insomnia sucks.

                   

                • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                  I have never minded sparring with combative bloggers, as that is part of the attraction, really. It is the lack of a sense of humor in some that grows very tiresome…the "If you can't take it, don't dish it out" rule is almost like Rule Number 2. Rule number 1 being the business about outing posters, of course.

                • ct says:

                  By 'little' do you mean 'none'? 

                • Old Time Dem says:

                  No, it was "piss off."  It was the diary in which you claimed that the exceedingl silly claim that the Constitution required a post office instead of allowed it–a claim you eventually conceded was wrong.

          • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

            OTD, once you show the slightest capability to actually read a map and interpret it, I will be happy to discuss it with you.

            The two maps have to be read together. The information has to be synthesized, which I can do, but this seems to be beyond you. Imagine the maps overlaying each other, which would be great with a paper and plastic overlay, but is difficult to do online.

            The Kurdish area is gray.  The brown dots show cities and towns which ISIS controls, and the lighter orange ones show areas ISIS controls, according to the (1st) VOX map. All of these are geographically WITHIN the northern gray Kurdistan area, which is what I said.

            The supergiant oil field is very clearly identified on the second map, as are the others. If you have some specialized knowledge contradicting the Vox article which names it as the Supergiant field, again, please do the world a favor and share your special knowledge with the article's author and the graphics specialist who created all those maps.

            When you read both articles, and look at both maps, which you apparently didn't bother to do, and see how they overlap and interrelate, it is quite clear that the US interest in and protection of this area is related to control over the oil fields, (also the interest of ISIS).

            You obviously didn't even bother to read the Rudaw article, which enumerated in great detail the oilfields and resources which ISIS controls or is in the process of trying to control.

            I'm not saying that the humanitarian motives are not important…but ISIS was moving all over Iraq for the last two months, and the US didn't move in to help until ISIS started controlling the oil resources.

            Something I learned from reading and synthesizing information. Try it sometime. It will be a nice change from supercilious snarkery. 

            • Old Time Dem says:

              That is three shots you’ve had at interpreting these maps.  You still get it wrong, which makes your comment of “once you show the slightest capability to actually read a map and interpret it, I will be happy to discuss it with you” pretty ironic.

               

              In your first presentation of the maps, you said “oil fields in gray,” and subsequently claimed that you meant “The oil fields ISIS has taken are in the gray area on the map.”  Both of those were wrong, and now you claim something different:

               

              “The Kurdish area is gray.  The brown dots show cities and towns which ISIS controls, and the lighter orange ones show areas ISIS controls, according to the (1st) VOX map. All of these are geographically WITHIN the northern gray Kurdistan area, which is what I said.”

               

              The first two sentences are correct.  But none of the ISIS controlled cities or region are within the grey area.  ISIS controlled areas bump up against the Kurdish Region, but so far the Kurds have kept ISIS at bay. That is patently obvious, so your statement that “All of these are geographically WITHIN the northern gray Kurdistan area” makes absolutely no sense.  What “All” are you talking about? I Exactly what ISIS controlled area is in the Kurdish Region?

               

              Regarding “Supergiants”:  there is no oilfield called the “Supergiant.”   The oilfield you are calling the "Supergiant" is one of three Iraqi “supergiant” oilfields.  The one located near Kirkuk—which you call the “Supergiant”—is the Kirkuk field;  the other two are East Baghdad, and the complex in the south near the Kuwait border.  These are called supergiants because of the size of their reserves. You apparently looked at the legend of the map and thought the Kirkuk field was called the "Supergiant" field.  It is a supergiant field, but it is not the Supergiant field; it is the Kirkuk oilfield.  The designer of this map and I are completely on the same page.  It is you who have made a mistake.

               

              A further mistake—which you refuse to acknowledge—is that you misread the VOX article.  You thought it said that ISIS had taken control of the Taq Taq and Tawka oilfields, which are in the Kurdish Region.  You were very specific that these were the exact fields that ISIS controlled and was using to finance its offensive.  But you read the article wrong—it actually said that those fields were not in ISIS’s hands—the exact words were ISIS is “not close to the big Kurdish oil fields of Tawak or Taq Taq.”

               

              You also specifically said that ISIS controlled the Kirkuk oilfield (the one you misidentified as the “Supergiant” field).  Again, that is incorrect, which anyone can tell by mentally overlaying the two maps and finding out that the field, which has its southern end anchored in Kirkuk, goes northwest alone the border of the Kurdish Region.  It is not surrounded by ISIS, which is another claim you made.

               

              BTW, I did read the Rudaw article, which identifies the “Kurdish Ayn Zala oil well in the Zumar region.”  Zumar appears to be in Nineveh Province, not the Kurdish Region.

              • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                Ho hum. Not going to let you make this thread about you. Or me. I already corrected what I'm going to correct.

                So do you think protecting oil resources from ISIS is sufficient rationale for American re-entry into Iraq? Let's stick to the topic of the thread.

                Fume away. They say vitriol is bad for digestion, FYI.

                 

                • Old Time Dem says:

                  My first comment was, in full,

                  "This map does not show Iraqi oil resources.  The grey area is the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, not the location of Iraqi oil resources"

                  No judgment; no sarcasm, and no condescension on my part.

                  You took it from there, doubling down on your misinterpretation and throwing in a misreading of the VOX article to boot.  And then you followed up with a third, very lengthy comment dripping with sarcasm and condescension.

                  Given that you've whiffed three times on map reading and interpretation, it probably is best that you shut the fuck up on the subject.

                   

                   

                   

                   

    • DaninDen says:

      O peration

       I raqi

      L iberation, the name given by Neocons to fail from beginning foreign policy response, What's learned? a cabal speculating on oil futures, a gridlocked House that cannot pass a Highway funding bill, record export of USA oil as refined product, yet, according to tonights news, Gasoline shortages in Metro Denver of unleaded regular

  6. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    We've been listening to aggressive hawks and liberal interventionists for a long time now. What good has it done us?

    Do No (More) Harm

    Walt has a point: "So instead of acting like a hyperactive juggler dashing between a dozen spinning plates, maybe the best course is to step back even more than we have already. No, I don't mean isolationism: What I mean is taking seriously the idea of strategic disengagement and putting the whole region further down on America's list of foreign policy priorities. Instead of constantly cajoling these states to do what we think is best — and mostly getting ignored or rebuked by them — maybe we should let them sort out these problems themselves for awhile. And if any of them eventually want American help, it should come at a steep price."

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      The extortion of the West, by the East, began with the creation of OPEC and was taken to an art form by the "Big 5".

      Um, let's see…how much do we pay them for our sunshine and wind? Oh yeah, right…nothing.

  7. BlueCat says:

    Gardner couln't be reached for comment because he doesn't know WTF he's supposed to think or say about this.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      It might distract Gardner from his mantra:  Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Yup. Cory can't decide which of his sugar daddies to placate.

      noCan't alienate the weapons manufacturers, who would love for the conflict to escalate.

      noSame with the private contractors, who would love to supply and service the "boots on the ground" -  or just be "the boots on the ground" – (if only Iraq hadn't insisted on "no immunity from prosecution for war crimes"… ) Cory got plenty of funding from Halliburton this election cycle.

      noCan't alienate the oil companies, who want only friendly powers to control the northern Iraqi oil fields in Kurdish territory, many now controlled by ISIS.

      noThe usual knee-jerk response, to criticize Obama no matter what, is dicey when O is supplying humanitarian relief to people who believe in angels, arming the rebels like McCain always wants, and bombing Muslims. I mean, what kind of self-respecting teabagger could  criticize that?

      All in all, it's not too surprising that conservative pundits and news outlets seem to be dazed and confused in responding to this latest oil-soaked crisis.

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