Oh really John, again?

Here’s a surprise: John McCain thinks we should send Special Forces into Nigeria (I guess they’re still available since we didn’t succumb to his calls for military action the last eleven times).region_1

“If they knew where they were, I certainly would send in U.S. troops to rescue them, in a New York minute I would, without permission of the host country,” McCain told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. “I wouldn’t be waiting for some kind of permission from some guy named Goodluck Jonathan,” he added, referring to the president of Nigeria . . .

Minor qualifier there (“if they knew where they were”) but hey, a headline is a headline. And it’s always very helpful to deeply insult that country’s leader.

“I would not be involved in the niceties of getting the Nigerian government to agree, because if we did rescue these people, there would be nothing but gratitude from the Nigerian government, such as it is,” he said.

We always know how citizens of sovereign nations will react when we barge in. Just like in Iraq.

43 responses to “Oh really John, again?

  1. I think you’ve got John’s number, Moe. To the guy who’s got a big hammer, everything looks like a nail. 🙄

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    • His hawkishness always surprised me Jim, given his Vietnam experience – not just the imprisonment but he knew it was a tragic failed war and should have become more skeptical of calls for war. But now he’s the clairon!

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  2. I do wish he would just shut up and go away. Preferably to that part of Antarctica that is melting into the sea.

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    • I thought he’d be so depressed when Joe Lieberman left his side that he’d give up too. But then, he’s still got Miss Lindsay Graham to keep him company I guess.

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  3. Firstly, the single most significant case of the US ignoring a sovereign nation’s government – excepting enemy nations – in order to carry out an operation was carried out under Obama’s orders w/o Congressional input. That would be nailing Osama in Pakistan.

    Secondly, I agree with McCain in this instance…but it does follow the “proper” talking-points of being denigrating to the Nigerian government that the govt. has set for some time. Remember, Obama’s State Dept. has always, until now, tacitly supported Boko Haram and blame their entire existence upon the Nigerian government’s “oppression” of Muslims.

    Thirdly, it’s a moot point and merely McCain spouting off. As he carefully said, “If they knew where they were…” We don’t and, hence, we’re not stupid enough to send in troops unless the entirety of the OAU – which means China in actuality – was A-OK with it, which they will never be.

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    • Oh jonolan, you of all people know perfectly well that the State dept (upon advice from our Bush era Nigerian ambassador as well as many many other nations) chose not to name Boko Haram a ‘terrorist group’ because doing so would have bestowed legitimacy and raised their profile. You call that ‘tacit support’. Quite a stretch.

      I assume that you give legitimacy to the invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq by saying they’re our ‘enemy’. With Islamists all over the middle east calling for Death to America, I guess we need to do us some more invading!

      And if Iraq was an enemy and a threat to our national security, how in the world can you say Pakistan was not?? And we didn’t even invade them – just paid a brief visit to one small town.

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      • Actually, I call threatening the Nigerian government over going after Boko Haram and describing them as oppressed people supporting them, both of which the Obama Regime has done. I use the adjective “Tacitly” because the threats were never carried out and Nigeria does have its own stigma of abuses.

        Iraq became an enemy nation during Gulf 1 and that never changed. I also draw a distinction between an honest invasion of a nation and the simple arrogance of violating their sovereignty by committing an act of war as if it’s our due right to violate their borders at will.

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        • [threatening the Nigerian government over going after Boko Haram and describing them as oppressed people supporting them, both of which the Obama Regime has done. ]

          Please please direct me to some evidence of that.

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          • Here you go – http://www.thenigerianvoice.com/nvnews/112917/1/us-withdraws-military-assistance-to-nigeria-over-b.html

            Let me add that, as it turned out, there was no evidence to support the original allegations in the 1st place. The State Dept. got played, which might be part of why nothing came of the threats.

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            • I read the story and I come away with a very different conclusion than you. US law requires suspension of aid over violations of basic human rights. (We had been supplying the Nigerian government with military assistance.)

              The charges were:
              “human rights violations by Nigerian security forces, particularly the military over the killing of dozens and destruction of hundreds of residences in Baga, a town in Borno State during a clash with members of the Boko Haram.”

              The story does not even suggest that those killed were Boko Haram.

              Look, Boko Haram is unspeakable and the Nigerian gov’t is plenty rotten itself. No excuses for either.

              But the mere idea that we ‘defended’ and ‘supported’ Boko Haram is just not supportable.

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              • And jonolan, is that your only source to prop up your ‘we supported’ them thesis?

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              • How about Hillary’s statement that it wasn’t about Islamism, it was about their being oppressed by their government?

                And truly, what more proof of support is needed beyond threatening the curtailment of needed aid? It’s not like the “law” in question has anything resembling a track record of being applied except as an excuse to pressure a foreign nation.

                Please, Moe! I used to get paid indirectly through those foreign aid dollars. I have some small understanding of the process and how and when they were allotted.

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  4. Well, things aren’t so simple in this case….

    Nigeria’s military has had problems with human rights….

    So while the US has sent Intel, FBI, State, CIA and others in a small group to look for the young women?
    The US has also checked to see that any help they offer isn’t used for human rights abuses….
    That sounds like a problem, eh?
    Trust issues…..

    The US has Special Operations assets in the African Command that CAN go do things….The US HAD to pressure Nigeria to even accept American and other countries help….
    This IS an uneasy alliance….

    McCain who’s just a 70ish Senator has called for aggressive action also in the Middle East….

    We’re drawing down there…..
    We’re NOT sending troops to Syria….

    No ONE really take McCain seriously with these rants….
    You encourage HUGE risks when you send spec ops people into countries with out their ok….(We DID do that in Pakistan to get ben laden)

    I’m sure President Obama is gonna think once..twice and about TEN time before launching any mission into Nigeria….

    Further more don’t look for a LARGE action from the US, France or the Brits…..We try NOT to do that sort of stuff anymore……

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  5. Boko Haram, are they finally a terrorist group? Good call Hillary.

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  6. Hillary is gonna get blamed for everything AND the Kitchen sink that happened for the last decade….

    THAT’s how scared the GOPer’s are….

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    • If Hillary only took the blame for the things she is/was responsible for the “kitchen sink” wouldn’t even come into play. Still waiting for some of those achievements she racked up as Secretary of State …
      Side note:
      Hey Moe! How’s my favorite all time, liberal but kind and thoughtful friend doing? Take good care and write when you can!

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      • Hey Steve! I don’t think we define a specific role for a US Secty’ of State. Different times, different measures. But here are summaries of the golas and philosophies of two of them, Condi and her successor HIllary – cribbed from Wikipedia :

        Condi Rice: championed the expansion of democratic governments. Rice stated that the September 11 attacks in 2001 were rooted in “oppression and despair” and so, the US must advance democratic reform and support basic rights throughout the greater Middle East. Rice also reformed and restructured the department, as well as US diplomacy as a whole. “Transformational Diplomacy” is the goal that Rice describes as “work[ing] with our many partners around the world… [and] build[ing] and sustain[ing] democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their people and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.” Rice traveled heavily and initiated many diplomatic efforts on behalf of the Bush administration.

        HIllary Clinton: She used her tenure to focus on non-military goals that would have more lasting effect than wars. She pursued what she called ‘smart power’ as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values – in a world of varied threats, weakened central governments, and increasingly important nongovernmental entities – by combining military with diplomacy and US capacities in global economics, development aid, technology, creativity, and human rights advocacy. In the Mideast turmoil, she advanced one of the central themes of her tenure, the empowerment of women and girls worldwide as a US security interest. Clinton visited 112 countries during her tenure, making her the most widely traveled secretary of state.

        I didn’t pick and choose from the content — there’s more I left out, but these entries go to how they viewed the job, what policies they pursued and they look very very similar to me.

        What kinds of accomplishments are they supposed to have had?

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        • My dear Moe! I’m delighted at your eloquent and articulate response. I understand completely what you’re saying, and you should know that I absolutely loathe Mr. Bush (all of them) and his entire administration when he was in office. I have zero love or admiration for Ms. Rice. I watched as she, G.W., Cheney, and the rest lied about 9/11/2001 and actually got away with it … the cover-up at minimum.
          As far as “smart power” is concerned I have difficulty accepting anything team Obama comes up with … with or without Hillary as “smart.”
          I also have difficulty with her claim of being responsible for Benghazi … then not held responsible. Then again Barack claimed responsibility as well. Who knows.
          If a Secretary of State isn’t required to accomplish something … why have one? That’s a lot of travel miles on the taxpayer’s dime to accomplish nothing.

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          • Steve, something I’ve learned since I started the blog in ’09 (and it surprised me) is how so many people of opposing political persuasions agree that Bush Cheney et al lied us into war. A good lesson I guess

            Also too, we very often see both the right and the left agree on what a problem is and only run into disagreement on how to solve it.

            But as for a Secty’ of State, not every one of them can be Thomas Jefferson! They don’t pass laws and they don’t sign treaties – the heart and soul of their job as diplomats is ‘relationships’ – building them, managing them and aligning them with US policy.

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            • I see a common thread in, er, this thread, and that is the problem of running a large bureaucracy, whether that be the State Department, the Defense Department, the VA or the whole U.S. government. The issue is one long-recognized as basic in management philosophy. It is called “span of control” and it refers to the very real limitations of any human being in supervising, communicating with and monitoring subordinates. The maximum number I recall from my management courses is about ten people. The result is that top managers are forced to rely on a chain of others. If bad things happen, then it is up to investigators to determine where the fault lies. If it’s in the leader’s plan, that’s one thing, but if it’s the fault of a subordinate’s execution of the plan, that’s another.

              This is why I’m surprised that the pursuit of Benghazi still has public traction, for example, (or at least that the GOP thinks it does). While pursuing broad goals of foreign diplomacy and strategy, Hillary was also apparently expected to keep tabs on the security threat faced by each of the some 2,000 consulates and posts around the world and head-off potential attacks, no matter that some ambassador might make an error in judgement and decline extra military forces even when offered (which was the case). In that case, and in the case of the VA scandal as well, I think we are going to find that inadequate funding is a root cause. The GOP-mandated sequester is still in effect.

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    • Agreed james – it’s been a venerable tradition in the Republican party for over 20 years now to blame the Clintons – sometimes one, sometimes the other, sometimes both – for endless transgressions. My favorite all time ‘Hillary did it’ was ‘she murdered Vince Foster’ after, of course she had an affair with him OR after he threatened to expose their Arkansas criminal acts. Whatever.

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    • Of course, james, we first have to satisfy Karl Rover that she doesn’t have a brain tumor or something.

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  7. The only three people who CAN be properly blamed for any and all foreign relations disasters that have arisen are Obama, Hillary, and Kerry and they should all be blamed for such or, at least, held accountable for their failures in judgement.

    They’ve only made it worse through their lying and attempts to cover up their failures in judgement, many of which were just honest failures.

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  8. As Sec of State Hillary and Kerry work FOR the President of the United States….

    The ‘buck’ stops there….

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    • Which is why I included Obama among the guilty, James. One cannot, and should try to, however, excuse the actions of the underlings because they were “just following orders.” That is especially true when those underlings have the power to mislead their superiors by falsifying reports.

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  9. While the underlings concept is accepted…

    In reality it doesn’t always make sense…

    If IN FACT the head doesn’t KNOW what the body is doing?
    It REALLY doesn’t KNOW…..

    But most people buy into the concept which is actually REALLY stupid….

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  10. Yeah, this makes me a bit sad for McCain, whom I’ve liked over the years. The “Send the troops in!” thing has turned into some kind of uncontrolled tic for him.

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  11. Now with the VA it’s fire the guy?

    Maybe the problem is the VA is TRYING to do WTF TOOOOOOMany things?

    Putting someone new there just to make the hungry dogs is simply NOT GOING to SOLVE the problems which have been on going for YEARS…..

    Iraq and Afghan conflicts have not helped the situation…
    But finding out WHAT is wrong is the first step…
    Not firing the guy….

    Oh, he says he ain’t quitting….

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    • As we are speaking of John McCain james – I have to wonder where he was in the last few years over this Phoenix VA problem. It’s Arizona fer elvis’ sake! It’s simply not beleivable that it hadn’t come to the attention of his office. So where was he??? I didn’t hear him making noise about that.

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  12. make the hungry dogs happy …that is….

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  13. Didn’t the US just send troops to Chad to search for the Nigerian kidnap victims? Does that make President Obama a crazy old man like John McCain? Probably not. First he is the one, the only Obama and cannot by definition be crazy like John McCain. Second these are only a drone force and not Special Forces. Still, this is how Vietnam’s are started.

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    • No Alan,we didn’t send any troops to search. We are providing technical support or whatever they call it.

      I for one wish we’d stay out of it altogether – classic set up for unintended consequences which almost always come back to bite us in the,, er, posterior.

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